The most crucial ingredient for a successful contest is you. Your enthusiasm and passion set the tone. You are the cheerleader, and there are various ways to show spirit and elevate the fun factor. I have seen owners and managers dress up to match the theme of their contest. Their energy level is contagious, and they are letting the agents know how much fun they’ll have if they participate.
Another best practice to build anticipation is to announce the contest two weeks before it begins. Use that time to review the contest rules and activities that will earn points, showcase prizes, and explain other logistics (such as how agents turn in their weekly activity tracker sheets). The more the agents know what to expect, the less confusion when you launch the contest. Less confusion equals less stress.
Next is to leverage your weekly sales meeting. Playing upbeat music before meetings begin creates energy. If your meetings are held in person, decorate the room using your contest theme as inspiration. Dollar stores and party websites (like OrientalTrading.com) have inexpensive decorations.
If your meetings are virtual, consider putting together “contest party bags” that contain festive items for the agents to put up in their home offices. Have the agents pick up their bags two weeks before the start of the contest.
Let’s use The Amazing Listing Race as an example. Décor might include a starting line and a finish line, a countdown board showing the number of days remaining in the contest, a tracking board to see who’s in the lead, and fun items like race flags, balloons, and streamers. Another best practice is to display the prizes if possible. And before we get too far, let’s reel ourselves back by remembering your contest budget!
During the contest, watch for and recognize agent achievements, especially “firsts.” A first listing appointment, a first listing, a first pending contract, or a first closing are significant milestones. Acknowledge those achievements when providing the weekly contest updates. Everyone appreciates public recognition.
Last, remember the recommended length of time for running a contest. Longer than six weeks, the agents’ enthusiasm may wane. It’s better to end on a high note than to drag the contest on too long. To complete the contest with a bang, consider distributing the main prizes at a sales meeting. If there are cash prizes, make sure to have crisp bills. If the prize is physically tiny, like a Visa gift card, package the gift card in a beautifully decorated gift box. Check out Etsy for inspiration.
Take announcing the contest results to the next level. Consider a newsletter or social media posts showcasing the winners and prizes. Create a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the winners and photos you took throughout the contest and run it on a continuous loop on the reception area monitor. If you make a big deal out of your contest, so will your agents.
Now that you have successfully run your contest, it is time to review the return on your investment. The third and final part of this blog series will explore how to evaluate the results.
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