Running a Relevant, Engaging, and Productive Agent Contest (3-part series)

“I love the idea of holding a sales contest with the agents, but how do I begin?” I get this question a lot when working with brokerage owners and managers. During this three-part blog series, I’ll share insights on how to create relevant, engaging, and productive agent contests. I will cover strategies for choosing the right type of contest, best practices for increasing agent engagement, and, most importantly, methods for assessing your contest afterward to see if your desired results were achieved. Check out Spark & Logic’s Contest Best Practices for additional inspiration.

Part 1: Where do I begin?

There are many reasons why conducting a contest can be a good investment of your time and money. The key is to ensure the contest is relevant to your company’s needs. A contest can increase production, raise brand awareness, or enhance company culture. Understanding your needs will help you select the best type of contest. Let’s tackle how you identify your company’s needs first.

Consider enlisting the help of a few trusted advisors so that you aren’t guessing by yourself in a vacuum. These could be agents, support staff, family, or other brokerage owners you respect. Having another pair of eyes can be helpful. When we are too close, we may not see areas of opportunity.

You might also complete a simple SWOT analysis. Is company production down year over year in critical areas, such as listings taken, units closed, or sales volume. How has your company culture held up during the pandemic? With agents working more from home and coming to the office less, this could be an area that needs bolstering. When you’ve recently been in front of a potential recruit, are you finding it more challenging to demonstrate why your company is their best choice? Once you have identified your needs, you can choose a contest that will help strengthen that area.

For example, if my SWOT analysis listed a decrease in listings taken year over year, the contest might focus on prospecting and listing appointment skills. Point activities could include strengthening an agent’s listing presentation, agents staying top-of-mind with their past clients and SOI to get more referrals, agents holding better planned open houses, and a return to prospecting activities, to name a few ideas. Now we can build a list of activities that support these skills. Things like wearing a name badge or branded apparel or contacting past clients in person, via text, phone, or email could all be point-getting activities. What if an agent gives their listing presentation to the manager for feedback? Adds past clients to an eNewsletter? Puts together a comprehensive Open House Checklist to give to the sellers? These are all great ideas because they get agents back to the basics and doing what they need to do to fill their pipeline.

My next step is to give the contest a catchy name. Consider using something relevant to the outcome. Prospecting for Gold, Money Bag, or Pipeline Derby could be good choices. Popular game shows can also inspire a contest name. For example, The Amazing Race reality show could be your inspiration for The Amazing Listing Race. Once you have the contest theme, ensure everything connected to the contest reflects the theme, including sign-up sheets, promo flyers, the meeting room, and the prizes.

Your contest budget should consider various items, including decorations and prizes. A compelling contest should run between four to six weeks. Any shorter and agents won’t have enough time to gain points. Any longer and agents may lose interest. Ask yourself: will I provide small weekly prizes for achievements or all prizes at the end? What will the main prizes be? How many prizes will you award overall?

I like the idea of small weekly prizes of cash. I might recognize an agent who got their first listing during this contest or closed their first transaction. Handing out a crisp bill at the meeting in front of their peers can create excitement plus recognition for the agent. A win-win.

Larger prizes might be awarded to the top three point-achievers. If possible, keep the prizes real estate related, such as a ticket to an upcoming conference, branded apparel, free continuing education class, or real estate sign riders. Perhaps the top prize is something fun like a weekend getaway at a local inn or dinner for two at an expensive restaurant. Whatever your prizes are, understanding your budget helps keep this contest fun for you, too.

Now that you have considered your contest objectives and budget, you need to engage your agents. Part two of this blog series will explore what it takes to get agents excited and onboard with a sales contest.

 Spark & Logic helps take your company contests to the next level. Subscribers receive a new ready-to-use contest template every quarter that complements our sales meetings and workshops. Learn more about subscriber benefits here or email us at   

About the Author

  • Laurie Popp
    Laurie Popp