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Use Recognition to Both Celebrate Past Success and Ensure Future Growth

A common occurrence each new year is celebrating the achievements of the previous year. Your team, office or company have likely planned some sort of recognition of sales production, listing final results in categories such as units, volume, commissions, often breaking them down into further categories for individual agents, teams, new agents and overall.

It is important to take a moment an consider exactly why we do this, and to use these occasions for maximum benefit. Annual awards are an excellent opportunity to not only recognize excellence, but also to foster company loyalty while inspiring future sales.

Approach annual awards programs with purpose and planning by incorporating the following into your efforts:

Make it special. Whether doing a live or virtual awards event, do something to raise the bar and show your appreciation for your agents and their achievements. Have a theme, create a program, have music or videos—whatever fits your style and budget—just don’t miss the opportunity to bring positive energy to this event. Also, if your recognition event will be virtual, overnight a small package to each agent for delivery the day before the event, including a printed program, event favors and certificates or other award recognitions. This will raise the appreciation level and foster agent engagement.

Choose recognition categories purposefully. Certain annual awards, such as top units and top volume, are obvious. Beyond those, annual awards are an opportunity to also celebrate activities that you would like to see repeated. Ideas for this include listings leaders, open house leaders, newer agent (e.g., under three years) leaders, or biggest year-to-year percentage increase in business (units or volume). You can even recognize “special” categories for agents that employ company tools that you want others to use, such as your CRM or marketing/engagement programs. The point is to have your recognitions both reward actual results and also encourage future sales-generating activities.

Thank everyone.
While not everyone earns individual accolades, each agent’s production still contributes to company success. Make a point of celebrating the unsung agents of the office by relating a few success stories from their year and thanking all agents in general. These anecdotes don’t have to fit any box—they can be whatever you want them to be. Even if you don’t call out everyone individually, recognizing and congratulating these types of contributions will create increased feelings of inclusion and loyalty by rank-and-file agents.

Be grateful and inspire new sales. Connect with your agents and thank everyone, from the top-producers to the office staff, for their collective efforts. Also, as always and especially after last year, turn your end-of-program comments to the future. Highlight the positives in the market and in your company and promote the opportunities and tools that they have by being part of your company. Exude confidence in them and their future and be positive in your mutual opportunity for success in the coming year!

Celebrating agents’ annual achievements is a time-honored way to recognize excellence and inspire continued growth. Doing your part to purposefully maximize the impact of awards programs on both loyalty and future sales is an important part of your company’s long-term success, so incorporate the points above in both your planning and execution of this activity and get ready for a great 2021 together!

To inquire about management training, recruiting and retention programs, keynote speaking, or customized and branded company platforms for agent training and growth, click here.

Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. She is also an RISMedia 2020 Real Estate Newsmaker as an industry Influencer. Sign up for a free 30-minute coaching strategy session or visit for more information.