Recognition and Reward Strategies for Commercial Real Estate Brokerages

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In commercial real estate brokerage today the process of recognition and reward should be established within the agency team.  In that way the best people with the best ideas and the top results will be encouraged to maintain the momentum and improve personal performance over time.

It is interesting to note that many brokerages ignore the achievements of individual agents.  Many of the agents within such group are left to their own devices with little support and encouragement.  Rarely then will all of the agents come together as part of a team building opportunity.

Common sense says that recognition and reward should occur as part of any sales team performance plan.  It is up to the real estate team leader or sales manager to achieve that.  Commercial real estate sales and leasing can be quite challenging and also time consuming as a career.  Anything a leader can do towards encouraging team performance and consistency will be a great idea.

So here are some tips to help you with building sales team performance in the real estate team:

  1. There are differences between sales team performance and personal performance.  You need to reward both as and when they occur.  Also give due regard to the differences between sales, leasing, and property management.  Achievements can occur in each property discipline.
  2. Some market segments will be quite difficult to work in due to the levels of competition or listing stock.  That difficulty should be recognized as part of the recognition and reward process.  A small achievement in a difficult market should be rewarded.
  3. Understand the differences in the deals within the property segments.  One broker or agent may a list and sell many small properties on a regular basis.  The value of those properties may be relatively low and hence the commissions quite ordinary.  Another agent with greater skill may focus on fewer transactions at a much higher value.  So there are differences to be considered when it comes to rewarding your team.
  4. In most real estate brokerages, there will be functional differences between the administration team and the sales team.  Sometimes there will be conflicts and pressures to deal with given the priorities of individual agents and the ways in which the teams function.  Keep both segments of the business working together productively and positively.  The recognition process should apply to each segment of the business understanding how they should operate with and support each other.
  5. Some individuals within the team will make significant personal sacrifice as part of building their business and their market share.  This needs to be noted and encouraged.  Goals and targets can be set for exclusive listings, commissions, market share, marketing, inspections, and close deals.  Every week and every month separate categories of achievements can be recognised and rewarded.
  6. Encourage the sales team to establish goals and targets at an individual level.  On a weekly basis you can meet with the members of the team to identify their focus and momentum in each case.
  7. Some of your agents will be high performers.  They will have business skills and knowledge that will be valuable to those with lesser experience.  Establish a buddy system within the office so that top agents can share their skills with new agents.
  8. Regular role playing should be merged into the sales meeting structure on a weekly basis.  Spend 10 minutes each week discussing and role playing a particular challenge identified in the market currently.

In closing on this special topic, it should be said that the commercial real estate industry has an extremely high turnover of sales people.  It is not unusual for 40% to 70% of salespeople to fail within the first 12 months of their career.

The only way to offset this problem is to provide the necessary training and support within the brokerage, together with a well-structured recognition and reward program.  A good sales manager or team leader should structure those programs as a priority.

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