Do You Need A Real Estate Inside Sales Agent?
An inside sales agent can be the best thing for your real estate business. Once you’re is ready for it, it becomes an imperative to hire an ISA in order for your business to continue to grow and be successful. They perform a crucial role, which becomes more and more crucial as you do more business and your real estate company becomes bigger and bigger.
What Is an ISA?
You might be thinking, “Okay, you’re telling me this person is critical to my real estate business’s continued success, but what do they actually even do?”
At Smart Inside Sales, we like to explain the role of ISAs to my clients in terms beyond the general view of appointment setters or lead scrubbers—ISAs are skilled real estate professionals who are highly trained, skilled, and dedicated to their craft in the same degree as an outside agent. The advantage of the ISA is that they specialize in the initial tasks of lead generation, lead nurturing, and setting listing and buyer consultation appointments.
Basically, a real estate inside sales agent is a lead generating and converting ninja who, as opposed to an outside agent, conducts their craft over the phone instead of in person. They are first point of contact with your real estate company and are responsible for getting new business in through the door.
The basic structure of a real estate inside sales role is:
- ISAs receive inbound leads and conduct rigorous outbound prospecting to uncover leads.
- ISAs scrub leads, determine motivation, timing and ability.
- ISAs set the listing and buyer consultation appointment for an outside agent.
- ISAs also maintain a nurturing database of leads and work that database to produce future appointments.
Why Hire an Inside Sales Agent
Once hired and properly trained, leveraging an ISA will allow your business to grow by leaps and bounds. Within their first 12 month, you can expect your ISA to produce between 50 and 60 transactions.
Though it varies, on average ISAs are compensated by a low salary and between 5%-15% commission. This may seem like a lot, but a well-trained ISA is more than worth it. According to a statistic from the Real Estate Trainer, real estate teams which utilize ISAs have found the income they produce to be at least five times the cost of employing them, amounting to a 5 to 1 return on investment.
ISAs will do this by establishing for you a consistent and predictable stream of seller and buyer leads. The key is to establish an effective training program, and clear expectations of what the ISA is supposed to accomplish.
What Happens if You Don’t Hire an Inside Sales Agent
As with every new employee, hiring a real estate ISA is a large investment and includes some significant up front costs. However, if your business is at the point where it is bringing in around 150,000 in annual GCI, and you already have a well-trained assistant handling your transactions for you, then you may actually suffer by not hiring an ISA.
First off, by not hiring an ISA, your real estate business is going to be missing a boat load of opportunities. As you’re business grows you’re agents are necessarily going to be becoming busier. They are going to be setting more meetings, showing more houses, making more sales, and, generally, having their time stretched more and more thin. This means that prospecting is going to go by the wayside. Or, if agents continue to devote time to prospecting, they will most likely have less time to diligently spend on follow up.
And as you probably know, follow up is everything in real estate. Most seasoned agents and real estate professionals will tell you that after a lead comes in, you have to follow up and make contact within five to ten minutes. That’s it, that’s your window. Now you are starting to understand why it’s critical to have an inside sales agent dedicated to prospecting and following up with leads.
You Need a Real Estate ISA for Higher Quality Leads
Next up, your business will suffer without a real estate ISA because you will be regularly receiving lower quality leads. First, there is less time and effort dedicated towards prospecting, meaning that your leads and prospects are less diligently vetted. This results is more missed appointments and in wasting time with people who are not actually serious about buying or selling a home. And second, there is less trust fostered between your company and the prospect or lead. This is the result of less contact.
On the other hand, if you have a solid ISA and a consistent nurture strategy in place where you can foster relationships, your listing appointments are not only of a superior quality, but they are easier ,and take less time, for you to convert.
Without an ISA, it’s hard to make the requisite 6 to 8 contacts, or more, to prospects to establish a great foundation and nurture a relationship to the point where buyers and sellers welcome you and your agents into their home buying or selling process.
Listing Appointments Suffer without a Real Estate ISA
There are a lot of potential leads out there, if you only are willing to and know where to look. You need dedicated ISAs who are constantly picking up the phone to contact expireds, withdrawns and FSBOs a daily basis.
ISAs are critical here because their job is wholly dedicated to picking up the phone and having successful sales conversations, they’re going to be on the phone 6.5 to 7 hours per day—every day, and they ensure that dials are made to get the requisite number of contacts to get you consistent listing appointments.
Real Estate Inside Sales Agents Are Required for Growth
The fact of the matter is that real estate agents are primarily focused on the here and now business. This makes sense as they rightfully have to be focusing on buying and selling homes for existing clients. Having an inside sales agent means someone in your company is keeping an eye on the future. Finding new leads, making contact, and nurturing them into future clients.