Real Estate

Council Post: Maximizing All Aspects Of Your Personality For Success In Real Estate Development

Chris Doyle, President and CEO at Billd, 120-Day Terms on Material Purchases for Commercial Contractors.

The real estate business is complex — there’s no question about it. Consider the tasks real estate developers oversee regularly, from researching and finding the right piece of land to purchase, to financing the deal, to working with contractors and builders to develop each project, to finally arriving at the finished product. It takes strong, self-aware leaders to manage the entire project without missing a beat. 

However, no one person is the same, and all leadership personalities vary depending on natural characteristics and experience. So how do you ensure you are bringing your strengths to the table as a leader? Hint: It’s not about being a flawless leader — that person does not exist. It’s about analyzing your strengths and weaknesses and using both to unlock true leadership potential in the real estate world. 

Testing For The ‘Right’ Qualities: A Look At The Culture Index

I lack patience. I’ve always known this. But throughout my years as a business leader in a variety of industries, including finance, technology, construction and real estate, and now serving as a founder and CEO of Billd, I’ve learned to use my impatience as a catalyst for positive business growth and change. How so? As other impatient leaders like myself can attest, the benefit of having a lack of patience is the ability to act fast, be decisive and drive things to the finish line quickly. So, understanding the positive aspects of what is typically looked at as a personality weakness has allowed me and others like me to take advantage of it and use it to amplify our respective leadership team’s strengths and workflow styles.

Arriving at this realization took some work, but it was not lost on me that understanding my leadership characteristics was critical to becoming a better leader. Disclaimer: I am also not a psychologist and didn’t just magically conclude this by myself. The leadership team at Billd sought the help of the Culture Index to identify each of our unique personality traits in order to build an executive team that unlocked all of its potential. Through a comprehensive data and analytics personality study, the Culture Index helped reveal our team’s top talents and gaps, freeing us to make data-backed decisions on how we assign leadership roles (and all roles throughout the company (i.e., the right person in the right seat) to ensure maximum success.

One of the key revelations from my analysis? I’m decisively a “Low C and High A,” which means I am a low-patience, very autonomous leader who thrives in a fast-paced environment. While patience is a virtue and my lack thereof may typically be construed as a negative, our team learned to take this particular quality and use it in a way that brings effective change. 

Personality Tests And The Real Estate Industry

So how does all of this apply to the real estate industry and specifically real estate developers? 

Real estate developers wear many hats and are required to solve complex challenges on the fly. From residential to commercial projects, they are often tasked with taking a piece of undiscovered property and creating the next desirable piece of real estate. They deal with all stakeholders, architects, contractors, lenders and many more folks, and they must possess a wide array of knowledge to master all subjects and make firm decisions. 

As a developer and key decision-maker, understanding your unique leadership characteristics can help you make key decisions to keep projects moving forward, avoiding bottlenecks and friction along the way.

For example, if you happen to lack patience, like me, identify how it affects your decision-making process and arm yourself with key advisors to help balance this attribute.

Consider bringing on a team member that takes a slower, more methodical approach and analyzes all possible scenarios that could result from a decision. It’s about creating a rounded approach that utilizes all aspects of your leadership skills to unlock additional levels of potential and success. 

Lessons From Our Own Culture Index Implementation 

If you’re considering implementing a similar personality test for your team, here are a few lessons and best practices to keep in mind from our experience. 

Trust the process and trust the test — it helps. I felt the personality test results were very accurate. It’s tempting to try and counter the data with personal feelings — like arguing against my lack of patience, for example. However, it’s counterproductive to the process as many personality tests utilize all attributes of an individual’s personality.

Understanding managing preferences. A personality test can help you understand how to more effectively manage different individuals on your team, including how to shift your approach when handling conflict or other difficult situations. Data from the test of choice will also likely explain a lot of things you already know about your leadership style, but it helps you better quantify, analyze and make better, informed decisions about the best path moving forward.

Different roles require different personalities. As I mentioned earlier, it takes a village to run an effective organization or project, especially in the real estate industry. However, it may not always be clear who’s right for each position, leaving some team members frustrated and wasting their potential. One of your top leaders may be a terrible fit for one role, but a perfect fit for another. With a personality test, you can better identify the characteristics and strengths of each team member, assess them against the unique demands of each role and determine where they would be the most effective and engaged. 

Personality tests are an effective, data-based method for placing the right people in the right roles to ensure your organization runs like a well-oiled machine. Considering all of the attributes a real estate developer must bring to the table, being able to identify your team’s individual leadership strengths and weaknesses — and harnessing them both more productively — can help develop a winning formula for business success.


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