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Contests and Recognition are Proven Methods for Elevating and Retaining Agents

By the very nature of being commission-based, most real estate agents clearly understand the general benefits of working hard and making sales. That being said, agents still respond to additional incentives from management to increase their sales activity and production. Therefore, brokers, managers and team leaders should appeal to agents’ desires for achievement by offering short-term and long-term contests and other forms of recognition.

These activities provide two obvious benefits for the agents and the company: an increase in production—leading to more income for everyone—and a greater connection between the agent and the company, increasing retention.

Here are a few proven incentives to help drive sales and increase retention:

Monthly and Quarterly Sales Contests: These are the simplest and most obvious way to incentivize increase sales activity. Structure contests based on dollar-producing activities: prospecting calls, new listings, units sold, etc. Try to set it up so that every level of agent will be rewarded; consider having a category for newer or lighter-producing agents. The point is to drive activity from everyone. While you don’t always want only the top agents to win…still recognize them, since they are superstars for a reason!

Semi-Annual and Annual Recognition: Similar to short-term contests, tie categories of recognition—and any accompanying rewards—to activities and achievements that you want to encourage. Don’t just settle for simple cut-offs of $10 million, $20 million, etc. Recognize the marketers, the listers and other ways that your agents hustle and create business. Importantly, communicate with your agents throughout the year with updates on their progress (you should do this for short-term contests, too). By letting agents know when they are close to hitting a next level or reaching an incentive, they will work harder to achieve them.

Social Media Contests: Drive exposure, lead generation and new business by coupling a workshop on social media and digital marketing with a contest based on views, leads generated or other criteria. Especially with ongoing distancing—but, in reality, for the general way our world is evolving—driving digital engagement is an excellent way to increase your agents’ sales opportunities and reinforcing your value to them as their manager.

Recruiting Bonuses: These are a win-win for everyone. When agents are incentivized to attract other new agents to the company, the company grows and they are rewarded for their efforts. Depending on your company’s model, recruiting incentives can either be one-time or ongoing, but having anything in place will encourage agents to help grow your team, and they have the extra benefits of both monetary or other recognition, as well as working with someone they presumably know and like, increasing their ties to your company.

Incentives can always be used to encourage productive activities and drive more sales. Choose what you want to promote, stay in communication to drive agents to achieve, and your overall sales and retention will both benefit.

To speak with Sherri Johnson about how she can help increase production and profitability through working with your agents and management team, schedule a free 30-minute discussion with her here.

Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 25 years of experience in real estate as an agent, broker and executive, Johnson now shares her proven methods through coaching, consulting and keynote speaking services nationwide. She is a national speaker for the Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and is the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. Johnson has also been named an RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker in 2020 and 2021 as an Influencer and Thought Leader. Schedule a free 30-minute coaching strategy session or visit for more information.