The power of awards and recognition for retaining your agents

— Weichert Franchise

In today’s competitive real estate market, retaining your agents, especially those who are your top performers, is paramount to your brokerage’s success. While competitive salaries and benefits matter, fostering a culture of appreciation and recognition can be an equally powerful tool to keep your agents engaged and motivated. It can also serve to attract new, shining stars.

Weichert® is built on a culture of people first, and it’s through this philosophy that we’ve established our formal awards and recognition programs. These initiatives are great tools that our franchise affiliates draw from all year long to help motivate and retain their best agents. As a real estate broker, you, too, can benefit from these types of programs. Weichert has some tips to help you implement them in your business, but first let’s start with why.

What can an awards and recognition program do for your business?

There’s one, universal word that drives us as human beings: motivation. It fuels competition, sparks connection and togetherness, helps us reach personal and team goals, and drives us to keep striving toward meaning and purpose. Whether it’s at home or office, motivation serves as the answer to why we get up in the morning. 

So, it’s easy to argue that an awards and recognition program is going to help motivate your agents to work hard, work together, and grow with your brokerage over time. Public recognition of achievements fosters a sense of belonging and purpose, encourages healthy competition, and drives productivity—all of which motivates agents to strive for excellence.

And when agents feel valued and appreciated, they’re more likely to stay with your brokerage, reducing costly turnover and its associated disruptions. According to an Indeed survey, 30% of people who left a job within the first six months said being recognized more for their unique contributions could have helped them stay longer.

A strong awards and recognition program can also position you to the outside world as someone who cares about your agents. People talk; you’ll quickly gain a favorable reputation that attracts high-performing agents seeking a positive and rewarding work environment. 

How can you build an awards and recognition program? 

Now that you see the clear argument for why an awards and recognition program makes sense, let’s look at a few steps for implementation.

Define your goals and objectives:

  • What areas do you want to incentivize? For example, sales volume, client satisfaction, and community engagement are key buckets for measurable success, which helps in creating clear and fair criteria for recognition.
  • What do your agents care about? One of the most critical aspects of creating an awards and recognition program is understanding your agents’ motivations and how they like to be celebrated for their achievements.
  • What’s your budget? You may choose to give agents monetary recognition, such as gift cards, or plaques and trophies, and all require a designated budget. Being spotlighted on your website or getting a special press release as agent of the month is free. When creating your program budget, keep in mind the events you may want to host—such as an awards dinner or virtual event—to recap their fantastic work throughout the year and give the entire team an opportunity to celebrate together. 

Choose your recognition strategies and tactics

Award categories can be tailored to specific goals and values, recognizing achievements in areas such as:

  • Top sales award
  • Years of service award
  • Exceptional customer service award
  • Employee appreciation events
  • Weekly/monthly shoutouts on social media

Think about the physicality of the award—the Oscar moment—where someone walks away with a plaque, trophy, gift card, or personalized gift. And determine the frequency of the recognition. It can include a mix of immediate and annual awards to maintain consistent motivation and acknowledge both short- and long-term achievements. 

Create measurable rules and criteria for recognition

“Certain annual awards, such as top units and top volume, are obvious,” says RISMedia. “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 the biggest year-to-year percentage increase in business (units or volume).” 

Establish clear nomination criteria and guidelines to ensure transparency and fairness. Create opportunities for peer nominations to foster a sense of community and shared ownership.

Celebrate and publicize achievements—and be consistent

This is the fun part! Plan and host events where your agents are publicly awarded and recognized. For example, host an awards ceremony to celebrate the award recipients and showcase their accomplishments. You can even add a theme, such as a Super Star Super Bowl event in February or a Big Wave awards dinner in the summer, complete with beachy bells and whistles. As you brainstorm ideas, remember your audience—your team—to ensure you’re offering something that resonates with them.

The value of recognition is priceless 

Awards and recognition programs bring our team together here at Weichert. By utilizing our tips for celebrating agents’ achievements, you, too, can keep building on your culture where people feel appreciated for their hard work. When you encourage collaboration, celebrate success, and build a community founded on support, the rest follows. 

Contact us to continue the conversation and find out how Weichert can help you strengthen your recruiting and retention efforts. 

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