The general purpose of a leaderboard is to show a group of “players” how well they are doing. Often used in gamification systems, individuals are able to see who is in the lead, to compare scores, and in effect checking out their own “ranking.”
A leaderboard should broadcast -- ideally in real time -- the results of the top performing agents around your office. This will keep agents on their toes: they know everyone’s watching. It also allows people to take credit for their success and should give agents a feeling of ownership and involvement in your overall sales goals.
The key is to encourage those involved to persevere, to keep plugging away in attempt to reach the top. In terms of real estate sales our “players” are the sales team, the leaderboard relates to performance and the end goal is to be the most successful real estate agent.
What can a leaderboard do for real estate teams?
Joe thinks he can sell more than Jack and Sally believes she is the best salesperson in the team by far, a notion hotly contested by Abby who has been slogging away in an effort to secure leads and close sales.
Healthy competition is great for performance, by nature a salesperson tends to be motivated and driven, with one eye on exceeding their targets and a penchant for being known as the best of the best.
When you have a positive team you also have a lot of positive energy, channel this towards meeting and exceeding goals with a little friendly rivalry, and you could see a huge increase in sales.
Leaderboards deeply tap into human nature
Dan Cable introduced the idea that people who are highly motivated have a very active ‘seeking system’. Throughout history, humans have used their seeking system to find new hunting grounds, more bountiful forests and better water sources. It is the key to our success.
Many people who feel demotivated in their work have deactivated their seeking system, because it hasn’t been stimulated enough.
Luckily, the seeking system is reactivated when people see the direct impact of their work. In real estate, agents don’t always notice the impact of their work -- especially in a slower market. Securing a deal can take months and often progress is slow. So there might be periods with few tangible results in terms of units sold or commission raised.
Periods without clear results can lead to the seeking system shutting down. To counter this, you should provide agents with constant feedback on their performance.
Leaderboards provide agents with near-constant feedback, but at the same time keep things fun and exciting. Agents should feel a breath of fresh air every time they step into the office and see their name on one of the leaderboards, showcasing their work and performance.
How to make a leaderboard
The leaderboard can display key data, providing an overview in regards to success. For example, it could identify who has been the most effective in terms of buying or selling real estate for a notable price.
Next to seeing the direct impact of their work, agents will feel more in control with leaderboards around.
To make sure this works, you’ll need to create multiple leaderboards for different metrics. If you just create one leaderboard, you’re likely to always see the same agents at the top of the list. If you base your leaderboards on multiple metrics, every agent has the opportunity to shine in their own way -- and they’ll also see where they’re lagging behind.
For instance, an individual agent doesn’t have complete control over their own production and commission. Other parties -- buyers, other real estate agents, their broker -- influence what happens to these metrics. It could also just be that the market’s in a dip at the moment. So if you created a leaderboard based on production alone, agents might actually feel less motivated because they don’t directly control their production.
The key here is not to downplay the importance of production, but to show that many different factors can lead to production and commission increases.
These factors are often things that agents do directly control, like the number of calls they make, the number of viewings they organize, which leads they try to match with which house, etc... It’s crucial to get a few a small wins in so you continue to be motivated, even when sales a slightly slumping. Each agent will see their own success and will have the energy to double down and work even harder, improving overall company performance.
If you want the team to fully engage make sure they know what the objectives are - create clear goals to ensure your team is accountable. Putting together a leaderboard sounds daunting, but collating and entering data doesn’t have to be a barrier to getting it done.
There are some great tools available that will enable you to track progress and gain the valuable insight you need to power and motivate your team.
The key is to get everyone on board and to get everyone striving for the top tier. Rewards can help, in the form of badges or an incentive such as a bonus, a prize or even an afternoon off (ok so that might be a little too generous)! For some, just having their name up there, near or at the top of the leaderboard, is reward enough.
Finally, don’t let team rest on their laurels, there should be no such thing as “I’m here, I’ve made it.” There should always be a goal to strive for, the leaderboard can be used to keep things fresh, keep things moving, and to keep the team motivated.