How to Use Social Motivation

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Beyond Personal Motivation

Naturally we expect our agents to be personally motivated, however we should not rely strictly on personal motivation when we have the power of social motivation in our arsenal.  Social motivation can be an incredibly powerful force.


In 1999 I decided to challenge myself by swimming from Alcatraz at the South-End Rowing Club’s Invitational swim. I told a lot of people that I was going to make that swim.  Immediately after leaping off the swimmers’ boat on the back side of Alcatraz I knew I was in trouble. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I was probably going to have to go back in the boat. I’d have to tell a lot of people that I’d failed, and that’s when the social motivation kicked in. There was simply no way I was going back in that boat.

(You can listen to the the whole story below if you want).


What are the three main types of social motivators and how can CRE brokerage owners and managers learn which ones to use with their individual agents?


The first is what we would call ‘the need to achieve’, to out-perform others, to be the Top Dog, if I may use that term.


The second is the need for affiliation. These people are all about relationships, within the company and with their prospects and clients. They need to feel that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.


The third is the need to influence; to impact others in a positive way through their position or reputation.
How can you find out your agent’s social motivational needs? At your next ‘beer and bull’ session (you do have those don’t you? – if not now is the time to get those on the calendar) direct the conversations to these three questions.
Where have you come from career-wise?
Where are you now in your career?
Where do you see your career going from here?


Have them share their stories with the group to build stronger social connections. By observing which social motivators drive them the most, secondarily, and least, you can get creative in finding social motivators to fuel their personal motivation.


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