How Do You Inspire Your Agents to Keep Them Engaged?

Use these tips to keep your real estate agents active and selling.

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country.” — Thomas Paine, December 19, 1776

In December 1776, George Washington and his army were facing perhaps the pivotal battle of the Revolutionary War. His troops were cold, hungry, and wanted to go home for Christmas. Washington knew if he lost his army, he would lose the battle and the war. He asked Thomas Paine to write him a speech to rally his troops. The famous Winter Soldier speech inspired his troops to stay, fight, win the battle, and the war.

As leaders today, we face the corona-virus war—a battle for both our health and wealth. How do we inspire our troops to fight this battle as Winter Soldiers instead of victims? Here is a battle plan to survive during the war and to thrive afterward.

  1. Character. You should appeal to an agent’s character as a player, a Winter Soldier, not a victim. Remind them that it’s not what happens but how they respond that determines the quality of their life.
  2. Clarity. Leaders clarify the future. Clarity is the antidote to fear. “If you can manage my fear of the future, I will follow you,” says Marcus Buckingham in his book The One Thing You Need to Know. Lay out your plan to survive in the short run and thrive in the longer term. Give your people hope for the future. Point out that we are in one of the three basics of life: food, clothing, and shelter. When one of these basics is disrupted, as it is now, the demand doesn’t go away.
    It merely creates pent-up demand. There will be a bigger demand later. Winter Soldiers won’t lose income. Their income will be postponed.
  3. Can Do! Focus your people on what they can do versus what they can’t. Action is the antidote to fear. Don’t let them be a hermit in hibernation. There is still a market in most parts of the country. People still need our services. We will have to do it differently (in many cases, virtually) than in the past, but we can do it. It’s a great time to reach out and take care of friends and clients.
  4. Connect. Connect your office and your people electronically. Encourage your associates to connect with their clients and friends daily. Set call goals, personal note goals, and real estate review goals. Now, you have an excellent opportunity to build relationships and a foundation for future business. Redefine social distancing as physical distancing. Now is a time for social connection.
  5. Certainty. Create pockets of certainty. Schedule electronic sales meetings, training sessions, and social events. Create protocols for buyers, sellers, showings, contracts, and closings in the new environment.
  6. Culture. Let them know they are part of a tribe. They are not alone. Just because we are remotely working doesn’t mean we are working alone. In a strong culture, members of the tribe will reach out to help each other. “Nothing sustains motivation better than belonging to the right tribe,” observes James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits.
  7. Create. Look at this time as an opportunity to encourage your people to sharpen their saws, to work on their business, to learn, and install new systems that will take them and their business to a better place. Now is a wake-up call for many people on their health and their wealth. Help them set some health and wealth goals, so they are better prepared for the next war. Use this time as an opportunity to start installing those systems and habits now. Build a Winter Soldier office/company.

Winter Soldiers can navigate the tough times and help their clients in all kinds of markets. They are not Summer Soldiers or Sunshine Patriots, eager when the market is easy and absent when times are tougher. They are prepared to weather any real estate season.