You may have heard of the term “coaching leadership style”. It’s possible that no one else better embodies this concept than my longtime friend, Claudia Restrepo.
In May of this year (2022), ICC hosted a real estate conference in the beautiful Florida Keys. As a part of that conference, I brought up a panel of top producers to speak to the attendees about their real estate success stories.
If you missed this conference, you can enroll in our FREE online course, the ICC Real Estate Conference 2022 Summary Replay, and gain access to several of our powerful mastermind sessions and videos.
This seems to be a theme throughout our Top Producers panel series. Each of these top producers started out on their own and, with a lot of work over time, grew. It’s a slow process — not something that happens overnight. What separates the top producers from the agents that never make it is that the top producers work hard — and they never working.
I’ve known Claudia Restrepo for 15 years. She immigrated from Colombia, and her story is nothing short of inspiring. Claudia wanted a safer place to live, and she wanted to learn English. She landed in Spokane, Washington, and got a student visa. It wasn’t glamorous. She worked any job she could get to survive.
In 2005, she got her real estate license. She knew she wanted to grow a real estate business. And eventually, an empire. Claudia launched The Legacy Group in 2007 — right as the market was crashing. In 2008, it was a buyers market with 8 months of inventory.
Claudia knew her goal was to replace herself. What does “replace” really mean? It means that Claudia wanted to find someone she could coach, train, and share her vision with, and then trust with her business. She wanted to build up a business that was solid enough to run without her.
In 2008, she got out of production with buyers, so that she could focus on coaching her agents and running her business. By 2010, she got out production with sellers. Now she could truly focus on developing her coaching leadership style.
Claudia is a testament to hard work, personal development, and confidence. If you are someone who is worried about your accent, or looking different, or being part of any demographic that isn’t in the majority — see that as an advantage, rather than as a disadvantage.
Instead of worrying that people couldn’t understand her Colombian accent, Claudia chose to embrace it. So much so that she says her accent was an advantage. As Claudia put it, “They had to listen to me. They have to pay attention to every word I’m saying.”
After Claudia replaced herself, she wasn’t out of the picture. She still works closely with her replacement as he leads her business in Spokane.
She is able to run her business in Spokane from where she lives now in Miami, Florida. That is a testament to how well she is able to lead. The leader she trained and coached is now her partner and is capable of running things and keeping her in the loop on important items.
This situation continues to stand the test of time. It has been successful for over 10 years since she replaced herself. Now, her business in Spokane sells over 400 units a year.
Now that she has the time, she can do what she is passionate about: using her coaching leadership style and training other agents to help them build their businesses.
And what exactly is she doing in Miami? Well, she has around 350 agents in her brokerage in Miami. Last year, her brokerage in Miami sold approximately 1,400 units … so that’s around $1 billion in GCI.
“Understand that when you find talent and plug it into your organization, and you find the right role for that talent, that will take your organization to completely new levels. Support, coach, and lead them — and get out of their way.” Yes, Claudia. YES!
So, how involved is Claudia? She meets with the leaders of her businesses once a week for a few hours. No nonsense. They go over key metrics and she coaches them.
Her leaders must be coachable for this relationship to work. They have to listen and learn as she uses a coaching leadership style. Each of the leaders she works with has their own, individual coach, paid for by Claudia.
Beyond that, Claudia has multiple coaches with whom she personally works on a weekly basis. She invests time in her own personal growth.
So many people use the excuse that they are “not coachable”. In order to be a top producer and perform, as well as grow at a high level, you must be coachable. You cannot succeed at a high level and not have a coach.
The whole art of leadership, in and of itself, is coaching. Becoming a good coach is important. Being coachable is important if you want to grow and become a leader. Coaching is the new leadership. Almost any leadership book you pick up will tell you this.
You need to develop your talent. Leadership is not ordering people around and telling them what to do. Leadership is developing your people.
If you develop people, they will respect you and receive what you are teaching them. Always make it about them. Claudia is a walking, talking testimonial to that fact. Her coaching leadership style is driving her businesses forward.
Today, we are giving you a free copy of our fillable form, Buyer & Listing Coach Organizational Chart. As you grow your team and expand your business, it’s important to fulfill the role of “coach” as you lead your people. This org chart will give you a feel for what that structure should look like.