Leadership: its meaning, its importance, its role in our lives, has been front and center in the past year. There are differing styles of leadership but the meaning of the word doesn’t waiver. It is defined as guiding or showing the way; commanding, controlling; a leader is someone in authority.
We recognize there is more than one way to lead. We also know we have some awesome leaders in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. We’ll use this section to introduce you to some of them, and perhaps you can learn from their leadership style.
Jen True, owner/broker of True Real Estate, kicks off this 2021 series. As a region, we have all had a front row seat in watching her leadership. First opening her own office on Jan. 4, 2016 in Mankato, then growing the number of agents under her and the number of offices. While the main office remains in Mankato, located in the Historic Depot on Riverfront Drive, True Real Estate also has satellite offices in St. Peter, Henderson, Lake Crystal, and Arlington.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I would say my style is that of a coaching style, and I also take on a collaborative and democratic approach. I was an independent contractor for four different franchises before I opened True and I learned early on the importance of working together. The administrative staff is at the core of the organization and it starts with the coaching and training of the administrative staff first. The admin needs to understand the mind of the real estate agent and how agents work. Real estate agents are running everywhere all day and they need exceptional support.
I also learned that our industry is highly competitive and I coach the agents on how to go and get their business, as well as the importance of competing with yourself and making yourself a better version than you were the year before, or even the day before. Always be aware of your surroundings and what is happening in the industry, but keep your goals and your eyes on yourself and mind your own bobber.
Are there others in our community that are your “Leadership” role models? And why?
Actually, no. I stumbled into being an owner/broker without a plan and I’ve created my own avenue to lead. For the past 10 years, I’ve put a strong focus on being a student of personal and self-development and that has helped me be a better leader. I believe in sharing information and teaching my agents and staff everything I know about the industry. Transparency is key!
What has been key to your growth and success?
Our motto is growth and never-ending improvement. I believe you can only go two directions in life: up/down or forward/back. Year one, we could have grown but I chose not to. I wanted to create a strong foundation, and at the time I had to instill the importance of growth within our small team. Growth isn’t for everyone because it propels you out of your comfort zone. I am more comfortable being a little uncomfortable, taking risks, and living in a world of uncertainty at times. It keeps me grounded and humble.
How do you try to instill leadership in others?
I believe everyone is a leader in their own way and I encourage every team member to let their leadership skills shine. Grow within yourself and create healthy habits in personal life, that flow into your professional life. Also, just be honest and choose the next right thing. I tell my agents where I came from, how I got started, and how many times I wanted to quit. I tell them anything is possible if you dream big and work hard. After a while, you will figure out how to work smart. If you keep taking steps each day in a forward direction and make positive choices you can do and have anything you want. It’s about keeping your mind, your thoughts, on the target of positivity. I don’t believe in holding people back and I encourage every agent to grow so big that they need to hire their own administrator. I want them to grow so big that they need to bring on a buyer agent. I encourage them to keep growing until they bring on more and if they get so big they feel like starting their own company, as I did, I know that I had a part in that.
True Real Estate
112 South Riverfront Drive, Suite 122
Mankato, MN 56001
Phone: 507-345-8783 (Mankato)
507-934-8783 (St. Peter)