Every organism on planet earth engages in some level of competition.
Most scientists agree that the spectacular success of the human species is due to our unusually high levels of cooperation among non-related individuals.
Time and time again, humans distinctly seem to cooperatively compete for the benefit of a group.
Better yet, how does competition positively (or negatively) affect the success of a business?
Today, I'm going to answer that question—and I'll also show you the 7 key factors for creating successful real estate sales contests.
Why is it important to foster healthy competition within your real estate team?
One study found that increased competition across firms exposes subjects to increased group beneficial behavior on the part of their co-workers and increases their own such behavior.
In competitive markets, firms unable to elicit cooperative behavior are likely to be outcompeted by firms that are more successful in doing so, leading to the sustained growth of firms demonstrating cooperation.
Long story short—competition, when handled skillfully, can be a great asset to your team. It promotes hard work, encourages responsibility, and reduces laziness.
That's why when we built Sisu, we created a tool that allows real estate team owners to foster healthy competition from Day 1 on the platform with ease.
What are Challenges within Sisu?
"Challenges" is a tool within Sisu to help team owners keep their agents motivated and productive.
To set up a Challenge, all you have to do is click:
The Admin >>> Challenges in your Sisu back office.
Then, begin filling out your ideal settings within the "Create New Challenge" section
I will go into greater detail about how to best set up sales contests within Sisu to set your team up for success.
1. Choose the right Challenge type
There are 3 available Challenge types within Sisu:
- Race—this type pushes agents to be the top performer in the selected category. You select a point value for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, and it's a race to see who can produce the most.
- Everybody wins—this type (as the name hints) gives everybody a chance to win. You set a threshold and any agent who exceeds that threshold is awarded points For example: everyone who does at least 100 contacts is awarded points.
- Per-unit—this type awards agents on a per-unit basis. You can define the point value of each unit, and points are awarded accordingly. For example: every contact is worth 100 points or every appointment is worth 1000 points.
Most successful team owners I've spoken to recommend the 'Per unit' Challenge type.
Because depending on the metric you choose for the given time frame, it challenges each agent to accumulate the most points in order to secure 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place.
EX: Every appointment set = 100 points.
But keep in mind, the Challenge type you choose should be directly related to your goal (as a business owner) for the desired outcome (i.e. - increase production, Zillow reviews, etc.)
The best example of this is if you wanted to take your agents to an event. You could set up an 'Everybody wins' challenge with the parameters—if the agent closes more than 40 in a year, they get taken to the event.
Try out each Challenge type and see which one motivates your agents the most.
Have fun with it!
2. Select the best time frame to keep engagement high
Most top-producing teams choose to do monthly sales contests.
Why is this?
Because having to 'hype up' your agents for an entire quarter is substantially more difficult than it is for the four weeks that make up a month.
Creating sales contests with new goals that reset at the beginning of the month keeps the energy high and keeps your agents motivated.
3. Give enough points to get people excited
It might seem like common sense, but the number of points you choose to give 'per unit / per activity' has a big effect on the agent's motivation.
Psychologically speaking, 100 points is going to naturally seem more alluring than 10 points.
This is why the minimum point allotment should be set to 100.
Let's take a quick look at the top-producing real estate group in Utah's setup for Challenges:
Not only are all of their points set up to 250+, but they have all their Challenges as the "Per unit" Challenge type, and their time interval is set to 1 month.
Someone once told me that "Success leaves clues."
Moral of the story is—copy what works!
And when it comes to points for sales contests, the more the merrier.
4. Ensure the right amount of activities per sales contest
Let's get two things absolutely crystal clear regarding creating sales contests within Sisu.
Challenges should be based on 1 activity or 1 metric.
Contests can be made up of multiple challenges (if you choose so).
Most team owners that see success in their sales contests tell me not to do more than 3 challenges (activities) in a contest.
But there's plenty of team owners who choose to do 1 activity per contest.
Ultimately, that decision should be based on the specific goals of your business.
5. Break up the agents into groups for each sales contest
Believe it or not, breaking up your sales contests into 2-3 groups is a best practice.
Why is this?
Because instead of an entire team collectively competing against each other, it allows more competition and ups the stakes.
Think of it as an opportunity for bit of friendly inter-office smack talk.
I've seen top producing owners break up their team into groups such as:
- girls vs. boys
- downtown office vs. suburb office
- sub-group vs. sub-group
It's entirely up to you how you break your team up! Just keep it friendly, lively, and engaging.
6. Consider a Presidents Club for top yearly performers
I mentioned earlier that the top-producing teams most often create new sales contests on a month-to-month basis.
However, that shouldn't discourage you as a team owner from rewarding and recognizing your top producing agents of the year.
How do you do this?
Consider a Presidents Club.
There are multiple ways you can set up your own version of this, but the most effective way is to set up an 'Everyone wins' Challenge type.
You can choose the 'number of' threshold, but the preferred metric tends to be 'closed units'
For example: any agent who closes more than 30 units in a calendar year gets to go to an annual retreat / vacation.
A Presidents Club (or something similar) is a great way to give your agents a north star to work towards throughout the entire year.
It also helps stave off loss of morale.
If an agent struggles in contests for a month or two, that doesn't necessarily mean they can't still surpass the threshold requirement for the annual Presidents Club retreat.
The agency and ownership behind that thought will keep them motivated long term, even if they've had a few losses.
7. Your business goals should inform your sales contests—not the other way around
Simply put, your business goals should inform your sales contests.
It should ideally never be the other way around.
What do I mean by this?
Let's say you notice that your company's Zillow reviews have been lagging recently.
You could then create a sales contest around getting Zillow reviews from clients for a month.
I actually know a team owner who used this exact strategy and got 700 Zillow reviews to their business page in 1 month's time.
So when in doubt, always look at your business' goals before creating your sales contests.
Most coaches in this industry are going to say the #1 thing is to focus on the 'appointments met' metric. Because if your agents are not going to an appointment every day, what are they doing?"
—Spring Bengtzen, Utah Life Real Estate
Wrapping up the 7 key factors for creating successful real estate sales contests
The 7 key factors for creating successful real estate sales contests are:
- Choose the right challenge type
- Select the best time frame to keep engagement high
- Give enough points to get people excited
- Ensure the right number of activities per sales contest
- Break up the agents into groups
- Consider a Presidents Club for top yearly performers
- Your business goals should inform your sales contests—not the other way around
Regardless of how you decide to execute, leveraging sales contests are an excellent way to consistently keep both your team's motivation and production high.
7 tips for setting up real estate team sales contests