Recognizing agents for their hard work is a good tactic for creating a culture that’s conducive to success. Here are a few ways to celebrate your agents’ wins and accomplishments.

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A good real estate agent’s work is invaluable, yet their efforts are notoriously underappreciated. Real estate transactions are among the biggest financial decisions a person will ever make, and clients often rely heavily on their agents to guide them through the process.

Agents work tirelessly within an industry where pay is largely based on commission with no guarantee of payment, despite the need to invest in marketing their listings and advertising their services. And then there’s the constant threat that technology will replace the very personal process that is buying and selling real estate.

At our brokerage, we understand what our agents face in the field and what they achieve every day. As words of praise are few and far between, we take it upon ourselves to create these moments of recognition internally.

We believe that a collaborative sales culture where we celebrate each other’s achievements benefits the competitive nature of the industry, boosts morale and leads to an environment where agents can learn from each other’s successes.

Utilizing recognition is a delicate but achievable tactic for creating a culture that’s conducive to success — as long as it’s thoughtfully and strategically executed. Here are a few areas of recognition I’ve found to be beneficial and encouraging to agents.

1. Production-based awards

We recognize our very top producers and those who achieve the top 5 percent of sales volume without specifically ranking our agents. We call these our MVP and Chairman Awards, respectively.

This accolade factors in price-point variation to be more inclusive and is structured so that agents will strive to join this coveted group. We recently unveiled our 2020 MVP and Chairman Award recipients on our blog.

2. Networking opportunities

Establishing recognition focused on networking has shown to be a great tool for our agents. People naturally want to be surrounded by successful people.

Designing networking events and touchpoint opportunities for our agents to engage with other leading brokers has proven essential to inspire, motivate and celebrate the individuals who are the greatest assets to our company.

3. Superlatives

Physical awards and trophies are not the only motivating tools available. Culture-carrier awards such as superlatives are a great way to toast to agent achievements, especially in our regional offices.

Each local and regional office manager should be empowered to celebrate production and volume of sales with superlatives such as MVP, “rising star” and “rookie of the year.” This is an excellent way to honor those who have contributed the most to the company culture and bottom line.

4. Celebrate regularly

Take every opportunity to celebrate wins within your organization. Weekly office or staff meetings should include opportunities to share accolades with the group and upper management.

Recognizing team members who have gone above and beyond to assist or collaborate is paramount. Not to mention, celebrating special wins — like the first big closing or other notable milestones in an agent’s career — can boost morale and team spirit. We enjoy highlighting our agents’ achievements and charitable contributions on our blog, which we then share globally with our colleagues through our weekly newsletter.

Recognition drives behavior. It’s important to be clear on the behavior and goal setting you wish to encourage. If you desire to focus solely on production and sales volume, then utilize various tools at your disposal, such as a weekly leaderboard and rankings.

If you want to encourage a collaborative culture, then provide business planning, one-on-one coaching and accountability check-ins. This will establish attainable and tactical goal setting for agents who desire to be a part of the elite group within your organization.

Rainy Hake Austin is the president of The Agency in Los Angeles, California. Connect with her on Instagram

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