It’s no secret the real estate market in most places isn’t exactly on fire. While that can be demoralizing for agents, there are ways to keep motivation high and business streaming in.
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There’s an old sarcastic proverb that applies to the real estate market many of us find ourselves in: “May you live in interesting times.” It’s pretty clear that things are very “interesting” right now. Housing — both owned and rented — is expensive, and interest rates are much higher today than just a couple of years ago.
These factors have impacted the real estate market in two main ways. Buyers are hesitant to enter into contracts because they don’t want to pay what, to them, are intimidating interest rates.
Even when a buyer overcomes their aversion to higher rates, sellers are reluctant to sell because they don’t want to give up the favorable interest rates they secured years ago. Combine that attitude with the continuing inventory shortfall, and you have a recipe for a relatively stagnant market.
Slow sales are demotivating. Agents who aren’t closing many deals can start to view coming to work as a real chore. In an industry with already-poor retention rates, agents unhappy with their sales numbers are at considerable risk of giving up and choosing different careers.
That’s why we’re always looking for innovative ways to keep agents engaged and eager to come to work. One highly-motivational program we run is called Monday Mayhem.
Making prospecting fun — and profitable
I suspect if many agents could change one aspect of the real estate business, it would be to eliminate prospecting calls. It’s part of the job that’s intensely disliked by a large number of real estate professionals. Many avoid it like the plague.
But it’s also a great way to unearth new business, which means it shouldn’t be eschewed but encouraged, not only because it leads to agent commissions but also because those commissions supercharge agents’ passion for the profession.
So how can you structure prospecting in such a way that it’s not only not unpleasant but actually fun? You gamify it! That’s where Monday Mayhem comes in.
Game theory applied to brokerages
We’ve implemented the Coach Pipes Monday Mayhem program at Palm Paradise. We run Monday Mayhem events four weeks in a row quarterly.
Beginning in the morning, we hold a short seminar where agents roleplay prospecting calls to practice the dialogs and scripts we give them. At 9:30 a.m., agents make as many real calls as they can for 50 minutes, then take a 10-minute break before another 50 minutes of calling.
After lunch, which we have delivered to reward the agents and prevent them from having to leave for food, we do a physical activity to get their energy up, then run another two calling rounds in the afternoon.
We gamify it by offering prizes: The agent making the most phone calls in the four rounds gets a $100 gift card. We hold a bracket tournament for most appointments scheduled in each round, and the agent winning that bracket also gets a $100 gift card. We add in the incentive of treating agents who attend all four days to a team dinner at a nice restaurant.
It’s that gamification of Monday Mayhem that’s the key to its success. Without the prizes and rewards, Mayhem would just be a day of intensive calling. With them, however, it becomes a fun activity that agents look forward to. As Bill Pipes says, “Any time you start keeping score, whether it’s basketball, ping pong or prospecting, it’s a whole ‘nother game.”
The prospecting itself is often wildly successful. Other brokerages participating in the program report the average number of appointments they set during Mayhem months is quadruple that of a regular month. Pipes reports his clients often tell him the Mayhem sessions make regular prospecting calls seem easy; once you’re used to running a mile at a sprint, a jog seems effortless.
That’s not the only success: Because of the intensive prospecting calls during Mayhem, agents quickly gain confidence and skill at calling potential customers. Agents who participate in Monday Mayhem become better agents.
By making the skill leveling-up process fun and exciting, you not only grow your brokerage’s contacts, which translates directly to sales but also increase the job satisfaction of your agents, which helps boost your retention rates.
Keeping agents motivated in sluggish markets is difficult, but by rethinking the job to bring elements of fun and play into it, the motivation — and success — will grow rapidly.