What Lead Sources Should My ISA Work?
You’ve hired an inside sales agent! Maybe you’ve even got a whole team of real estate ISAs. You might be asking yourself, “Okay, what do I do now?” How do I best use this person or this whole team to ensure that I am getting an awesome return on my investment?
Part of this question are some other questions. What lead sources should my ISA or ISA team be working? Should my ISA work my database of past clients and sphere?
These days, your real estate team is—hopefully—getting leads from a variety of sources with varying levels of interest and who are at different stages of the buying or selling process. So how do you determine which leads should be worked, when they should be worked, and by which of your inside sales agents?
Work ‘Em All
The short answer is this: work all of your lead sources. This includes inbound leads, inbound referral leads, expireds and withdrawns, for sale by owners, and even past clients and sphere leads. Although there are definitely more and less valuable lead sources, each source is a potential for business, and it is smart not to avoid any of them.
Don’t get me wrong, I realize that this isn’t always practical. Depending on the size of your team and stream of leads from certain sources versus others, you may have to focus on the most productive sources at the expense of less productive ones.
If you have a real estate team with multiple inside sales agents, then the critical thing to do is prioritize lead sources for your different ISAs, depending on their skill and experience level. This is where having a larger team starts to exponentially work to your advantage. You can have your newer inside sales agents work the less productive or less valuable lead sources, while your more experienced ones work the more valuable sources.
What this does is twofold. This allows you to work all of your lead sources (because even those “less valuable” sources can still generate a lot of business for you) and also allows your newer ISAs to gain experience and hone their skills so they can graduate to also working the more productive sources.
All Lead Sources Are Not Created Equal
Like we already established, all lead sources are not the same. And as such, they should be worked in a specific order, depending on different factors like the size of your real estate team, and how much bandwidth your team has.
These lead sources should be worked in the following order, from top to bottom:
- All inbound leads
- Inbound referral leads
- Expireds, withdrawns, FSBO leads
- Past client sphere leads
- Circle prospecting (If this is in support of a farming strategy or if the ISA has NO ONE ELSE to call)
Inbound leads is the key lead source for your real estate team. The reason they are so important is in the name itself. Inbound. These leads are people who have followed the trail of bread crumbs you have laid for them. Through going on your website, signing up on a lead form, responding to an email, responding to direct mail, looking on Zillow, or whatever the avenue may be, they have expressed interest in your company and what your company offers.
They have exerted at least some effort in finding you, and have expressed enough interest in order to drive them to your website and give you their contact information. At a minimum, these leads are somewhat active and most likely have some problem they are trying to solve. That is what makes them so valuable to you and your team.
These are the leads that your inside sales agents should be targeting and contacting first. They are looking to solve a problem and your business can step in and be the solution they are looking for.
Inbound Referral Leads
Inbound referral leads are similarly valuable. For some types of referrals, the concept is essentially the same as for other inbound leads. People actively trying to solve a problem and so are going on websites like Dave Ramsey, Agent Machine, or Upnest in order to look for a real estate agent who can help them solve it. They are primed and ready for you.
Traditional referrals can also be tremendously valuable to you. These leads may not have come directly to you via a website or advertising response, but were brought to you by a friend or family member they trust enough to listen to.
The Rest of the Leads
The key is to work all of your lead sources if your ISA team has the ability to. There are three common mistakes that ISA teams often make:
- Only putting the ISA on working cold outbound leads (which are much more difficult to convert and don’t typically provide enough contracts and closings to make the ISA position profitable.
- Ignoring outbound altogether and only having the ISA work low quality inbound.
- And the WORST mistake: hiring an ISA to solely do circle prospecting, which is randomly calling every phone number in a neighborhood looking for a potential lead.
There is a lot of business to be found in expired listings, withdrawn listings, for sale by owners, past client sphere, and circle prospecting.
These aren’t necessarily the low-hanging fruit that inbound leads can sometimes be, but if your inside sales agents know how to get to the heart of the desire of leads and prospects who fall into this category, then there is ample business here that a lot of other teams will not be taking proper advantage of.
Like I describe in my article, Cold Call the Right Way, the way your ISA should deal with any objection on a call is to understand the prospect’s perspective, process, and desired outcome. Most prospects who have an expired or withdrawn listing, or who are trying to sell their property themselves have a specific plan and desired result in mind. Your job is to understand what that is and then show how you can help them fulfill their desire easier than they can with their existing plan or process.
If you can train your team to be able to do this consistently, then these so-called “less valuable” lead sources will be what sets your ISA team apart from your competition.
The point is that all lead sources can be valuable to your real estate team. The seemingly less valuable sources can be valuable to you if your inside sales agents know how to properly work them. The key is to correctly prioritize the lead sources and determine which ISAs should be cross-trained to work all lead sources. Start the less experienced on the lower end of the list and then progress their skills up to working the most valuable leads.
There are plenty of lead sources out there, and you can take advantage of them all!