If it’s January, it’s Agent Appreciation Month at Inman. Join us all month to celebrate all that agents do, and come together with us virtually at Inman Connect, Jan. 26-28. Craving total access? Take advantage of our Agent Appreciation Sale and save 50% on your Select subscription.

Appreciation doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to be sincere. These 12 agent appreciation ideas (one for each month) allow you to connect with your agents both personally and professionally so that they can feel seen and valued. Many of them are eminently affordable in monetary terms but are made special by the care and attention you bring to the process.

January: Start the year off right with a planning session

One of the best things you can do for your agents is to help them think ahead and set goals for the new year. Make your brokerage meeting more practical and actionable by offering everyone the opportunity to plan their calendar, marketing and financial goals. 

Then brainstorm what steps they’ll need to take to implement their plan. Provide a planner or custom binder so they can keep track of their progress throughout the year.

February: Start a book club (and provide the books)

Stop wishing for your agents to read that great book that changed your professional life. Buy them a copy, and bring them together regularly for discussion and sharing. Use Zoom for virtual meetings, or hold a regular in-person book club when office life returns to normal.

March: Hire a consultant to provide free business strategies

Many of your newer agents might not have access to the professional insights and information they need to grow their business properly. 

Maybe they need to step up their marketing materials, or perhaps they need to implement a content strategy. Maybe they need to start an LLC or talk with an accountant about their tax planning. 

Book a consultant to come in and spend a couple of hours answering questions and offering insights to help your agents grow their business smartly and sustainably.

April: Encourage agents by giving handwritten notes

Take a few minutes each week to send out a few handwritten notes to agents in your brokerage. Over a year, you will have reached out in a profoundly personal way several times to each member of your team. You just may find that the simplest word of kindness and encouragement goes a long way in building relationships with your agents and inspiring them to excel. 

Also, you’re setting an example for them to follow up with clients and their sphere.

May: Provide regular opportunities for event marketing

Whether you offer an annual picnic or a monthly movie night (socially distanced, of course), regular brokerage-sponsored events give agents an affordable opportunity to invite their best clients and most valued referral partners for a special, fun-filled occasion. 

That means more face time for each agent and top-of-mind recognition for the brokerage as a whole.

June: Offer upgraded marketing collateral for agents

Hire a professional copywriter to create bios, or bring a photographer in for photo sessions. Provide branded graphics for agents to share on their social media profiles. The more you can support and facilitate your agents’ efforts, the more motivated they’ll be to market themselves.

July: Meet with agents for one-on-one coaching

In most cases, you are the most experienced real estate professional your agents know. Sit down with them regularly to talk about their business and determine how you can help them develop

Give your agents the chance to ask questions and learn how to build the business they’re dreaming of while supporting the brokerage’s goals as a whole.

August: Help agents identify their next level goals

We always tell agents to take their business “to the next level,” but that level can differ for each agent. Help your agents understand where they are in their professional journey, ask where they want to be long-term, and figure out what interim steps they need to take to achieve their goals. 

Practical, actionable short-term goals are essential but can be hard to identify. Offer your insight for a path forward.

September: Celebrate the little things

We often bring attention to the big wins: a pricey listing or super-fast home sale. What about the agent who just had her first closing or who beat last year’s GCI? What about the agent who completed additional training or started a popular blog? 

Rather than focusing on what people are not doing, focus on what they are doing, and make it a cause for an “attaboy” or “attagirl.”

October: Check-in on plan progress

In January, your agent made a plan for the year. How’s it going? Check in with your agents individually. Find out how the year has gone and what kind of progress they’ve made on their goals. Identify areas of improvement, and offer support and suggestions as needed.

November: Plan events with an emphasis on wellness

Bring in a yoga instructor or meditation consultant. Ask a nutritionist to talk to your agents about healthy on-the-go eating, or have a trainer teach easy exercises for when they’re stuck in traffic. 

Let your agents know that you care about more than their sales for the year — you care about how they feel and how they take care of themselves.

December: Ensure that everyone ends the year on a high note

As the year winds down, make sure that everyone knows that they are appreciated. Plan a party, give a gift, or simply say thank you. 

Everyone is busy, but making your agents feel important must be high on your priority list. Look for something positive in every agent’s year, and mention it in their handwritten note or holiday greeting card. 

Let them know that you notice what they do well so that they’ll be motivated moving forward.

Troy Palmquist is the founder and broker of The Address in Southern California. Follow him on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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