Four Real Estate Agent Best Practices to Help You Stand Out

real estate agent on phone

Four Real Estate Agent Best Practices to Help You Stand Out

real estate agent on phone

As of 2022, there are about two million real estate agents in the United States. In some markets there are thousands or even tens of thousands of other agents. That is a lot of competition. How can you effectively overcome all of this competition? By making yourself stand out from the pack and doing things different from how most are doing it.

I’ve put together some real estate agent best practices to help you stand out from all the others in your market.

Real Estate Agent Best Practices #1: Create an Awesome Website

If you work with a large real estate company, then you most likely have a website on their domain. But that is most likely not enough. You need a unique website that doesn’t look like half the other agents’ in your market. Hire a designer and web developer and create a professional looking website that stands out.

Include your standard pages: listings, about, home evaluation tool, etc., but also include things like regular blog posts to boost SEO, maybe a page about things to do or see in your area, and a page with past client testimonials. Doing these things will give you a website that looks different from the basic agent site format, allow you to prove your expertise, and help you be higher in search results.

Real Estate Agent Best Practices #2: Give Away a Freebie

Once people are on your website, you want to get them on your email list so they can enter your funnel and start being nurtured. One of the best ways to do that is to offer them a freebie that is valuable to them. That way, they will sign up with their email and phone number in order to receive it.

Good ideas for real estate agent website freebies include:

  • Free home evaluation
  • First time homebuyer’s guide ebook
  • Insider tips for enhancing curb appeal when selling
  • Applying for a mortgage checklist

An even better strategy is to give them a choice of ebook (maybe first time homebuyer’s guide, how to enhance curb appeal, and how to apply for a mortgage), so their choice gives you insights as to whether they are a buyer or seller and where they are at in the process.

Real Estate Agent Best Practices #3: Have Real Conversations with Leads

Like I mentioned, there are most likely a lot of other agents in your market. And they all probably sound pretty similar to the leads they are calling. One of the best real estate agent best practices is to not sound like you’re reading from the same boring script as everyone else. Instead, focus on having a real conversation.

Most agents do most of the talking on calls. Don’t be like most agents. Focus on discovery questions; ask the lead about their situation, goals, past experiences—and listen closely to what they have to say. Respond naturally to what they are actually saying, don’t’ just keep trying to get the conversation back to your script.

People want to work with real people, not drones that read blindly from scripts. So be a real person and have a natural conversation.

Real Estate Agent Best Practices #4: Under Promise and Over Deliver

You need to sell what the lead is buying, but you don’t want to mislead or overpromise. What that means is that you want to position yourself as being able to deliver on the lead’s goals (instead of trying to force their situation into meeting your own goals) but avoid being unrealistic. Don’t just tell the lead what they want to hear if you can’t actually provide it. Set and manage their expectations and tell them what they need to hear without overtly making them wrong.


 Follow these four simple yet critical real estate agent best practices to help yourself stand out from the hundreds or thousands of agents also in your market. Implement them consistently, and your lead conversion will explode as a result.

If you’re serious about converting more real estate leads, then check out Conversion University. It teaches you both the conversational framework you need, and you have a coach to practice all of the concepts until you master them.


Don’t Sell Past the Sale: Improve Your Real Estate Lead Conversion

person looking at lead conversion stats

Don't Sell Past the Sale: Improve Your Real Estate Lead Conversion

person looking at lead conversion stats

When it comes to real estate lead conversion, sometimes you just need to sit back and shut your mouth. One of the biggest mistakes that real estate agents and ISAs make is selling past the sale, also known as selling past the close. Basically, it means that you keep trying to sell the lead on working with you, even after they already agreed to. You just keep flapping your lips and rattling off benefits of why they should work with you. And pretty soon, the lead is reconsidering whether they made the right choice.

How Selling Past the Sale Hurts Real Estate Lead Conversion

If you’re selling past the sale then you’re persisting with explanation and persuasion to a fault. You most likely have a problem with recognizing when you’ve reached the key point in your pitch when you’ve said all that you need to say. If you keep talking after that point, then you just as likely to talk the lead out of the sale as you are of converting them.

Take this example; you do all your discovery. You figure out your lead’s goal and desired outcome. You qualify them, determine they are worth your time, and you successfully lay out the value you can offer them and how you can help them accomplish this goal. Basically, you effectively you’re your unique value proposition. They bite. The lead says they are willing to meet with you. Amazing.

But then you keep talking. You start hammering home all of the marketing your team can provide. You start saying how many people you work with and how many houses you guys get sold. You keep layering it on after you already sold the lead. The result? You may something that the lead doesn’t like. Maybe they are uneasy about working with an agent who sells so many other houses, because they doubt the personal attention that they will receive. Maybe you just say the wrong thing.

Now the sale is gone. All because you kept on selling and didn’t just stop talking when you should have.

Don’t Be the Only One Talking on Real Estate Calls

Similar to not selling past the sale, the other key to successful real estate lead conversion is NOT doing all of the talking. Most sales people will do about 65% or 75% of the talking on their calls. The problem is that by only letting the lead speak for 25% of the time you won’t be able to understand the full picture of their situation.

Successful discovery, objection handling, and figuring out the lead’s desired outcome all require you to listen. Ideally, you should cut down the amount that you talk to under 50% of the call. Many sales people have the mistaken belief that when they are talking, they are in control. But the opposite is actually true. You’re in control when you are asking good questions to guide the lead and then gaining valuable information from their answers. That information is what you will end up using for your close.

Bumping up the amount of time that the lead is talking is generally related to more successful real estate lead conversion. This is especially true for cold calls, which require heavy amounts of discovery to be successful.

Stop Getting in Your Own Way

Want to convert more real estate leads? Perfect the art of listening more than talking. The thing about sales calls is that most people don’t want to be on the phone with you. And most of them would rather procrastinate than make a definitive decision. Continuing to sell past the sale might just give them an excuse to put off making a decision. And talking too much will prevent you from getting the information you need to close successfully.

Talk less, don’t sell past the sale, convert more real estate leads.

If you’re serious about converting more real estate leads, then check out Conversion University. It teaches you both the conversational framework you need, and you have a coach to practice all of the concepts until you master them.


How to Make Real Estate Lead Generation a Part of Your Daily Schedule

real estate agent daily schedule

How to Make Real Estate Lead Generation a Part of Your Daily Schedule

real estate agent daily schedule

Generating leads is one of the most important parts of your real estate business. After all, it doesn’t matter how amazing you are at buying and selling houses if you don’t have anyone to buy or sell them for. The problem for many real estate agents, though, is that they don’t dedicate enough time towards generating new leads.

I get it. You’re busy taking care of your current clients, negotiating deals, and contacting your existing leads. But if you don’t make time for real estate lead generation, then that long list of clients and leads will eventually dry up!

How to Build Your Daily Schedule: Include Real Estate Lead Generation

We’ve discussed in past articles how real estate agents should structure their day. Although a lot of it is common sense, if you’re like me then you often overlook or put off doing some of the most important things for productivity and success. Without going into too much detail again here, below are some important tips for structuring your day:

  • Get the minimum required sleep that you need to feel awake, energized, and motivated.
  • Exercise every day, even if it’s just a 15 minute walk around the block.
  • Do some type of mindset work, like journaling or mediation, to prepare yourself for the day and prevent negativity.
  • Have a hard start time to your work day.
  • Have a hard end time to your work day.
  • Block out time for important tasks (hint hint: for real estate lead generation)
  • Be flexible and tweak your routine to meet your changing needs.

Time Blocks Are Your Best Friend

Let’s be honest, if it’s not on your schedule, then odds are you’re not going to do it. You’ve got too many other things to do that are on your schedule. That’s why a pro tip is to use time blocks on your schedule for certain activities, like real estate lead generation. For me personally, I like to do lead generation activities at the start of my work day, usually from about 9am to 11am. Then, if I don’t have appointments with leads or customers, I will also generate leads from about 2pm until my hard work day stop at 6pm.

By blocking out time and putting lead generation into your daily schedule, it stops feeling like an extra activity that you should only do when you have the time. Over time, you’ll adopt it as a key, core part of your day and critical piece of your real estate business.

Just like you schedule in meetings or trainings, you also need to consistently set aside time for generating leads and prospecting. For most successful agents, that means two to four hours each and every day.

More Tips for Real Estate Lead Generation

You might be saying, “Okay, I’ve built lead generation into my daily schedule, now what?” It’s a fair question. The answer is that there are a huge number of different real estate lead sources, and you need to find the ones that work best for your market and particular business. Here are a few ideas:

  • Build mutually beneficial partnerships with homeowner’s insurance companies, lenders, and even local businesses. You want as many people as possible referring whoever they can to use you to buy or sell a home. And you can do the same for their businesses.
  • Start with who you know. Reach out to people in your sphere to ask them for business. See if they are buying or selling a property and straight up ask them if they can refer other people to you who are buying or selling.
  • Keep your social media channels full of new and fresh content like videos, blog posts, tips, and more showing things happening in your career and your life. Be a refreshingly positive voice on the peoples’ feeds in your network.
  • Similar to social media, consistently send out emails. Put out emails reminding people on your list about the services you offer, how much success you have working with your clients, and your involvement in local community events.
  • Be active in your community by attending local city and board meetings, going to events, volunteering, and even signing up for training classes or going to local tradeshows. Get out there, make yourself known, and talk real estate as much as possible.

How to Conquer Real Estate Lead Generation

On the surface, generating real estate leads can seem like a daunting task. But as long as you work it into your daily schedule and do it bit by bit, you will start to see results. Be creative and see what other successful agents are doing, and copy them in your market! Once it becomes habit, then it will be second nature to you.

For more tips and strategies for generating and converting leads, then check out Conversion University today!   


Top Lead Conversion Strategies for a Spring Market

guy looking at real estate leads

Top Lead Conversion Strategies for a Spring Market

real estate clients

The ability to consistently convert new real estate leads is arguably the most important part of being a real estate agent. After all, if you can’t convert new leads then whether or not you can actually buy or sell homes successfully is pretty much irrelevant. You either turn your leads into happy clients, or your competitors will do it instead.

In this article I’m going over some key tips for real estate lead conversion to help you effectively and consistently generate new business for your company.

Tip #1: Speed Is the Key

This one may be obvious, but a lot of times new agents don’t understand just how important it is to speak to leads immediately. The moment they come on to your radar, you have to react to them. When it comes to internet leads, as many as 71% of them go to waste because people do not follow up with them quickly enough. To avoid this happening to your leads, always be sure to reach out to them as soon as they respond to an ad, send you a direct message, send you an email, etc.

Tip #2: Make Effective Use of Social Media for Real Estate Lead Conversion

With people answering phones less and less, social media is a must for generating cold leads. Whether you use organic, direct messaging, or paid ads, social platforms help you connect with potential clients and move them into your sales funnel. Social media analytics will also give you insights as to who is viewing and clicking your content. This information will allow you to tweak your social media and lead generation strategies to fit that demographic.

Tip #3: Use Real Estate Drip Campaigns

Buying and selling real estate involves huge transactions—for most people it’s the largest transaction they will make in their lives. That means that they will often be picky about who they work with. As an agent, you have to introduce them to your brand, who you are, what you offer, and how you’re going to help them accomplish their goals. The best way to do that is by consistently putting yourself in front of them via email drip campaigns. That way you’ll stay top of mind, and even if they aren’t ready to buy right now, when they are ready, they’ll think of you.

Tip #4: Calling Leads? It’s All about Your Mindset

It doesn’t matter how many scripts you study, how many objections you practice handling, or how much research you do on your leads. If you don’t have a positive, productive mindset, then you aren’t going to be successful on your phone calls. You have to think about the value you’re bringing to each lead, and your faith that the interaction will be successful for you both. As a real estate agent, you are helping the people you work with. They are lucky to be receiving your call, because you can palpably improve their lives. When you feel yourself becoming negative, take a break and focus on your commitment to helping others and yourself at the same time.

Tip #5: Have Real Conversations instead of Focusing Solely on Scripts

When it comes to real estate lead conversion, it’s important to not just rely blindly on a script. Scripts can be very valuable because they give you something to fall back on if the conversation gets off the rails, but they’re not everything. Prospects can tell when you are just mindlessly repeating something you memorized. Instead, use the script as a starting point but then have a real conversation. Forget the memorization and focus instead on objection handling techniques, sales discovery, and closing logically.


There’s a lot that goes into real estate lead conversion, and these tips are just a starting point. The best thing you can do is constantly evaluate and refine your process based on what’s working and what’s not working. Always be on the lookout for new ideas and what other successful agents are doing. Your lead conversion process will never be “finished”, but a constantly evolving system.

If you want some help with real estate lead conversion, I have a program that can help called Conversion University. It’s a combination of self-paced video training and LIVE interactive expert coaching. Our live sessions happen each week, at the same time, on video, in a small group environment for maximum impact.

Our expert trainers all have many years of converting leads themselves AND of successfully training and leading teams of ISAs and Agents. In our 50 minute live sessions, we feature a combination of teaching, roleplaying and reviewing real-life call recordings of our students.

If you have questions about how to consistently convert more real estate leads and grow your business, then check out our training programs today!


How Successful Agents Organize Their Real Estate Leads

guy looking at real estate leads

How Successful Agents Organize Their Real Estate Leads

guy looking at real estate leads

Whether you’re brand new to the industry or a seasoned agent, and no matter your current production level, effectively organizing your leads is a crucial part of your success. Most likely, you have real estate leads coming in from multiple sources and platforms, who are at various points in the sales process and should be categorized differently to keep your head from spinning.

Organizing your contacts will help you with lead conversion because you can group them together by priority and source, and send certain types of messaging to particular groups. A disorganized contact list will make lead conversion and generation much more difficult, because you may not know where the lead is in your process, and as it gets messier and messier, the harder your list is to organize.

Wait, Doesn’t My CRM Organize Real Estate Leads?

Yes and no. Although most CRMs have the capability and functionality to categorize and organize your real estate leads, you still have to tell it what to do. C-R-M stands for “customer relationship management” and helps you track leads and prospects, nurture and communicate with your leads, and even book and manage your appointments.

But even the best CRM can quickly become disorganized if you don’t set it up and manage it the right way. The first organizational step is ensuring all of your leads are in one spot, flowing from your lead generation sources to a central storage center, your CRM. But once there, how the CRM organizes them depends on the parameters you set.

Once set up, your management system should automatically route leads to the proper category that makes sense for your business.

How to Organize My Real Estate Leads

There are many different ways to organize real estate leads; it really just depends on the specific person and what their style and needs are. A good place to begin is to think about your relationship to the lead in question. Using several broad categories can make it a little bit easier to get started:

  • Seller leads
  • Buyer leads
  • Past clients
  • Current clients

Once you implement those categories, the next step could be to divide the groups further based on the level of contact you’ve had with them. Here are some example categories:

  • Referral leads
  • Leads that are new to your list
  • Leads you’ve met with
  • Leads you haven’t met with
  • Leads you just met with

Categorize Leads Based on Lead Behavior and Actions

After your leads are separated into their type and your level of contact you’ve had with them, ideally you want to track actions that they take and that you take with them. You want to know how many of your emails they are opening and clicking on, if and where they are clicking on your website (i.e. listings, home valuation page, etc.), and if they are responsive to your texts. That way, you can know if you should reach out to them and what sort of messaging you should use.

This is where having an effective CRM comes in.

For example, Follow Up Boss will indicate and notify you if a lead in their system responds to one of your voicemails, texts, or emails. It also uses a feature call “Smart Lists” to instantly filters and organizes leads so you know which ones are the highest priority that you need to contact first.

If you have questions about how to effectively organize and categorize your real estate leads to boost your conversion rate, then reach out to the Smart Inside Sales team today!


How to Use Social Media for Real Estate Lead Conversion

using social media on phone for lead conversion

How to Use Social Media for Real Estate Lead Conversion

using social media on phone for lead conversion

For better or for worse, social media has crept into nearly every aspect of our lives. It’s where we go to catch up with old friends who live far away, it’s where we find news sources, it’s where we check out companies or products before we use them, and much more. There are literally billions of people who use social media every single day, with 57.6% of the world’s population on at least one social media site as of October 2021.  

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Facebook daily users: 1.930 billion
  • Instagram daily users: 500 million
  • Twitter daily users: 206 million
  • Tik Tok daily users: 50 million

With these kinds of numbers, there is simply no good reason why you should not be using social media to your full advantage for real estate lead conversion.

Let’s take a closer look.

Top Benefits of Using Social Media for Real Estate Lead Conversion

There are a wide range of benefits to incorporating multiple social media platforms into your lead conversion strategy. Here are just a few of the most important ones:

  1. An alternative to cold calling – With average answer phone answer rates continually decreasing, it’s important for real estate agents to diversify their cold lead generation strategies. Social media is one way to do that. Whether through paid, organic, or direct messaging, these platforms connect you with potential clients in a way that was only possible via phone calls 15 years ago.
  2. Visually promote your services or listings – People love videos. The fantastic success of Tik Tok in recent years is proof enough of that. Make short, sharp videos showing your properties, capabilities, track record, family, and anything else related to you or your business. Putting yourself out there has will help you find buyers for existing listings and show that you are a dedicated, creative agent to potential sellers.
  3. Boost traffic to your website – Each of your social media pages should link back to your website, giving you a backlink which will help your SEO. Additionally, you can share pages, blog posts, or listings on your social media channels to encourage potential clients to visit your site and see what you are all about.
  4. Understand your client demographic – Once you are active on social media using both paid and organic posts, you can use social media analytics to understand who is viewing and clicking your content. These insights will help you tweak your social media strategy and overall brand to fit better with that demographic.
  5. Show that you are a human – Social media lets you share personal challenges, triumphs, facts, and experiences. Take advantage of it! Share what you are up to, how things are going, how your family is doing. All of these things will show that you are more than just an agent or a sales person.

Ideas to Use Social Media Effectively

There are many ways to put social media to work for real estate lead conversion, and we will go into the specifics of strategies to use in a future article. With that said, here are some content ideas for your business:

  • Real estate news and market updates – Keep your clients, prospects, and leads informed as to how the market is looking and what’s going on in the industry.
  • Tips and how-to’s – Educate your audience on all things real estate. How to stage a home, what the most valuable renovations are when it comes to selling, how your yard should look when buyers are coming by, how to highlight your home’s best summer and winter features, and the list goes on.
  • Client testimonials – Build trust and credibility with your social media audience by providing proof that you are good at what you say you do! Videos are best, but sharing any type of testimonial is a great way to convince prospects who are unsure about working with you.
  • Tips or developments in your local community – Be a resource for your audience for your community. Talk about new things opening up, events happening, things to do, where people are moving to, etc. Establish yourself as the expert on your local market!
  • Display listings – Post pictures and videos of your listings. Do walk throughs, highlight the best features, even interview the owner! The sky’s the limit with how creative you want to be.

Social media should be a central part of your real estate lead conversion strategy as we move further into 2022. Stay tuned for more tips, best practices, and strategies to come in future articles of ours!


The Myth of the Perfect Real Estate Script

agent reading bad real estate script

The Myth of the Perfect Real Estate Script

agent reading bad real estate script

The perfect real estate script is something that all new real estate agents hope for and search for. That flawless set of words that will take your lead conversion numbers to the next level and bring you an endless stream of success and income. However, the longer most agents are in the business, the more they come to realize that the “perfect” real estate script for lead conversion just doesn’t exist.

Despite all the coaches and trainers and internet ads and free ebook downloads that claim to offer you the script that will make you millions if you only memorize it, the truth is that real estate lead conversion is a little more complicated in 2022.

Are Real Estate Scripts Useful in 2022?

Scripts have been a big part of real estate lead conversion, and essentially all phone sales, since the beginning. And the reason for that is easy to see: scripts allow you to pre-memorize responses to common objections, give you a sense of security that you won’t be caught speechless, and let you take the tried and tested words of more advanced or experienced sales people.

But there is one glaring problem with using real estate scripts, which is depending on them too much. In the old days you could rely more on sales scripts and have a reasonably chance of converting your leads. Today, the people you’re calling are savvier and more resistant to anything that sounds salesy, feels pre-programmed, or that isn’t unique and tailored to their specific needs or wants.

I’m not saying that real estate scripts are completely useless. On the contrary, they can be extremely useful when you are new to the business and just starting out with sales and cold calling. They can help you stay on track and, more importantly, give you something to fall back on if you start speaking more naturally and get a little lost in the conversation.

But the way forward and the key to converting more leads is to always increase the amount of real, natural conversations that you have with leads, not to search endlessly for the perfect script.  

The Alternative to Real Estate Scripts

You might be asking yourself, if I shouldn’t be memorizing a bunch of words to say on my calls, what should I be doing instead? The answer is that you need to focus on learning conversation techniques and strategies, instead of individual scripts. Each situation you encounter will be different, and by arming yourself with a general framework about how to have successful conversations, you will be much more adaptable and successful.

Here are the three most important parts of any phone call that are much more important than learning word for word real estate scripts.

  • Discovery and qualification – find out what the lead’s situation is, what problem they’re trying to solve, and what their end goal is. Plus, you need to be able to determine if they are worth working with or not.
  • Objection handling – can you turn a “no” to a “yes”? You’re going to be hearing objections or forms of objections you haven’t heard before. You have to be ready to deal with them on the fly, even if it means deviating from your script.
  • Closing skills – no matter how good your script is, you still have to recognize both your path to the close and when it is time to close. If you close too early or too late, even the best script won’t be able to help you.

Instead of the “Best Script”, Learn the Best Process

At Smart Inside Sales, we teach the PPO process, which stands for Perspective, Process, and Outcome. These are the three things you need to learn about when speaking with a lead. They are the key aspects of understanding how and when to close successfully on your calls.

  1. The lead’s perspective is their past experience, knowledge and speculation.
  2. The prospect’s process is their own plan that they have for their situation. The process is typically what will lead to an objection. They have their plan and you are not a part of it in their mind, so they turn you down.
  3. And finally, the outcome. This is the unique result or benefit the prospect believes their process will deliver for them.

The PPO process allows you to really dig into the lead’s thought process and how they see their own situation. You learn about their plan and goals from their own perspective. You then use that information to sell them what they are looking to buy and show how working with you will help them achieve their goals. If you can do those two things, then the sale is as good as sold.

Move Forward with Fewer Scripts and More Conversation Tools

If you’re having trouble converting new leads or you want to build a more consistent stream of new business, then my suggestion would be to move away from dependence on scripts. Use them as a general outline for your conversations, but as you gain more experience, your main focus should be on how to respond naturally and instinctively know the right questions to ask to get the information you need.

To do that requires both a conversational framework and a lot of practice. We give you both at Smart Inside Sales. If you’re an agent or ISA struggling to convert your leads, then our comprehensive training program, called Conversion University, can help.

Stop chasing the myth of the perfect real estate script and start making real strides towards better lead conversion today!


Being a Real Estate Team Leader: Who to Hire First

real estate team leader

Being a Real Estate Team Leader: Who to Hire First

real estate team leader

Building their own real estate business is the goal of many real estate agents. Running their own team, greatly increasing revenue, and, as the eventual goal, stepping out of production entirely. Every real estate agent has the potential to get to that point if they take the right steps and make the right choices along the way. It’s no easy journey and, in some ways, the real challenges only start when you make the jump over to growing your own real estate team and being a real estate team leader.

In this article we’re going to cover when the right time is to make the switch to building a real estate team, as well as who your first hire on that team should be.

What It Means to Be a Real Estate Team Leader

Before we start discussing when and how to start building a real estate team, I think it’s a good idea to touch on what it means to be a real estate team leader. As we covered in a previous article of ours, team leaders have to double as a real estate mentor. They have to be dedicated to assisting their team members and helping them grow and develop.

Like we said in that article, it’s not necessarily the same skillset involved in being a real estate agent and being a real estate team leader and real estate mentor. For that reason, the latter role is not always for everyone. But if you want to be a coach, a mentor, a trainer, on top of being in the day to day real estate trenches (at least in the beginning) and running a business, then building a real estate team may be for you.

The next question is, when should you start?

When to Start Building a Real Estate Team

The first thing you need to consider when deciding whether or not to starting growing a real estate team is if you have sufficient business to justify it. In fact, transitioning from a solo agent to building a team should be the logical next step for your current situation.

Look at it this way, being an agent requires various tasks and an immense amount of work. You have to spend time prospecting for new leads, creating and executing marketing campaigns, meeting with clients, dealing with mortgage brokers, taking clients on property tours, etc.

As your solo business grows, it will become more and more difficult to handle all of these tasks effectively. It will get to the point where it’s literally impossible for you to take on any more clients, and you will have to start turning people away.

Although this might be a good problem to have, you don’t want to be missing out on potential revenue. It’s at this point when you should consider starting a team to help handle the volume you are generating. Typically, 50 to 60 transactions per year is the most that an individual agent can handle. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 40 to 50 transactions before you consider starting a real estate team.

The next question is, who should you hire first?

The First Person to Hire for Your Real Estate Team

Too often, agents transitioning to real estate team leaders want their first hire to be another agent or a real estate ISA. However, more often than not, these positions are not the first ones you should think about filling. For one thing, you need a solid foundation of scalable and transferable lead generation systems, you have to be very organized, and you need a training program for new agent and ISA hires. Generally, most agents do not have the time on their hands to build these systems when they are still handling all of their own administrative work.

So, who should you hire first to your real estate team? An administrator!

Why Hire an Admin for Your Real Estate Team

All of your success as a solo real estate agent has brought with it mountains of paperwork, a large database to maintain, and a busy schedule to manage. If you’re handling 50 transactions a year, then you need someone to take some of that burden off your shoulders. That’s why an administrator is the best first hire you can make for your team.

An administrator will free up your time, so you can start focusing on building the systems you need to make agent and ISA hires that will help generate your business more revenue. Your next hire would typically be a buyer’s agent and then an inside sales agent. From there, it’s all about adding to the roster when the volume becomes too much for the team to handle. More agents, more ISAs, more admins.

Before you know it, you’ll be running a large, successful operation and can accomplish the goal of most real estate team leaders: to pull yourself out of production completely!

If you want to focus on ramping up the accountability, organization, and communication of all aspects of your business, as well as crafting and executing an effective plan for dominating your market, then check out our leadership coaching.


Top Characteristics of Real Estate Team Leaders and Mentors

real estate leader playing chess

Top Characteristics of Real Estate Team Leaders and Mentors

real estate leader playing chess

Being a successful real estate team leader is no easy thing to accomplish. Contrary to what many people think, achieving success as an agent does not necessarily guarantee someone will be a good leader. Team leaders need to be a real estate mentor and have to be committed to helping their team members grow, improve, and succeed.

But before we dive into leadership styles, principles, and characteristics that make great real estate mentors and team leaders, let’s first understand why agents join teams in the first place.

Why Join a Real Estate Team?

Many people are attracted to the real estate industry because it offers high levels of freedom, flexibility, and control over your income. In every state, agents are required to find a sponsoring real estate broker for their license, however that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are working with a team. In other words, many agents are sponsored by a broker but operate without much support. To be completely independent, some agents choose to also go after their broker’s license.

So why would anyone want to work for a real estate team? This is an important question to know the answer to if you want to lead a team of your own.

The top reasons most agents want to join a real estate team rather than operate independently (at least at first) are the following:

  • Shared resources – real estate teams share marketing materials, expensive software, leads, knowledge, and other types of digital tools and technologies that can be extremely helpful to finding clients and buying and selling homes.
  • Team support – working as a solo agent can sometimes be a lonely and stressful business. Many agents enjoy being a part of a team, because they feel like they are all working towards a common goal and have colleagues to turn to when things get tough.
  • Professional development – new agents will often join real estate teams because they want to learn from more experienced agents and a real estate mentor in order to further their career. Good real estate team leaders will provide training, skill building workshops, and resources for their agents to hone their skills on their own.
  • Accountability – many people realize that success is easier if they have someone holding them accountable for their performance and career goals. A real estate team leader and other team members will let you know if you are slipping in any area and help support you and give you the tools to improve.

What Is a Real Estate Team Leader?

A team leader is a real estate mentor, consultant, trainer, and partner all rolled into one. Instead of focusing on listing, selling, and buying real estate, the team leader focuses on their team members—helping them become as productive and profitable as possible. Their task is to cultivate a team culture and build a systems-driven environment to make lead generation, lead conversion, negotiating deals, and closing deals as easy as possible for their team.

The main goal of real estate team leaders and what they ultimately have to love is coaching people and developing a profitable, scalable business. Not necessarily working with clients and negotiating deals. Team leaders need to pull themselves out of the trenches on a day to day basis and focus on the big picture. Their job is to work on the business while their agents work in the business. That’s the key difference.

Characteristics of a Successful Real Estate Team Leader and Real Estate Mentor

Every team leader will be different with different leadership styles and leadership principles. However, there are some characteristics that are important for every real estate team leader to cultivate. I say cultivate because being a great leader is a skill that needs to be worked on, practiced, and constantly developed. It’s not something you just have or don’t have.

  • Be a real estate mentor – at the heart of it, a team leader is a real estate mentor or coach. You need to have a burning desire to help people succeed and pass on your knowledge, skills, and experience to them. You have to want to be their ultimate support and go to person. You should view their success as your own success.
  • Be a great communicator – agents almost always have to be great communicators in order to do well. But it’s even more important for real estate team leaders. No matter which leadership styles you think are best, communicating clearly should always be at the top. You’re leading meetings, setting goals for the team and for individual team members, and guiding training activities. Knowing how to communicate effectively without coming off as negative, passive, unsure, or angry will make all the difference in how your team relates to you.
  • Be positive and empathetic in stressful situations – as a real estate team leader your agents are looking to you to set the tone in different situations. Staying positive even when things aren’t going great and always being empathetic to the feelings and mistakes of your team members are critical to maintaining a productive, cohesive, and effective team.
  • Be influential – you have to have an impact on your agents’ mindsets and outlooks. If your agents don’t tell themselves the right stories, then they won’t produce. What are the right stories? That they are helping people and their community. When they call leads, your agents have valuable information and skills that will help make that lead’s life better. Your agents aren’t sleezy salespeople or a burden on the people they are calling and working with. Leaders need to have the charisma necessary to positively influence their agents’ thoughts and feelings of self worth.
  • Be systematic – developing systems are one of the most critical parts of building a real estate team and being an effective real estate team leader. You have to translate how you’ve been successful into processes that will allow your team to be successful. Everything from how you generate leads to how you convert them to how you follow up with them to how you manage transactions should be documented and repeatable.

The Right Leadership Styles: Servant Leadership and Being a Real Estate Mentor

Servant leadership is a concept and leadership style that was coined in the 1970s by Robert K. Greenleaf. We’ll sum up this article with his words:

“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.

 “The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?”

Great real estate leaders have leadership styles that embrace servant leadership. They are serving their team in order to lead them and to help them achieve success. They are real estate mentors.

If you want access to resources and materials to help improve your team, then Smart Inside Sales can help.


Find and Hire Rock Star Real Estate ISAs

real estate isa hiring

Find and Hire Rock Star Real Estate ISAs

real estate isa hiring

What are the best places to find awesome ISAs for your real estate business?

We hear this question a lot at Smart Inside Sales. Many team leaders and real estate business owners struggle with finding and hiring inside sales agents who perform well, contribute to the business, and last for the long term. It’s frustrating and expensive to hire the wrong candidate, especially if you don’t understand what you are doing wrong.

Hiring Real Estate ISAs: Treat It Like Lead Generation

The important thing to remember when hiring new inside sales agents is that you need to treat it similar to lead generation. Finding the right candidates to work with you is literally lead generation for your company. What does that mean? Run ads for the position on Indeed and other job websites, and aim for a high volume of candidates. You should be trying to generate 20 to 30 resumes of potential hires every week. If your ads aren’t generating that many candidates, then tweak and revise them.

Once your ads are bringing in sufficient numbers of resumes, that’s when you start screening them and building your short list.

I know what you’re thinking…that all sounds really obvious and is already what I’ve been doing with bad results. Well, frankly, the reason you’ve been getting bad results is because you haven’t been screening and narrowing down your candidates in the best way possible.

How Real Estate ISAs Are Normally Hired

The problem with the way most real estate team leaders, and really leaders in every industry, hire new candidates is that they don’t conduct serious evaluations of their skills until after they make the hire. The way it normally works is that they’ll look at a bunch of resumes, talk to the candidates whose resumes they liked the best, and then, usually, hire the candidate they liked talking to the most.

The issue is that at no point in that process does the team leader really determine the skill level of the candidate. They are basically going off of what the candidate says about themselves. It’s only after hiring the ISA that they learn whether or not that person can actually do the job required of them.

This way of doing things wastes the valuable time and resources of a real estate business. But there’s a better way to do it.

Screen Inside Sales Agents before You Hire

The first step in your hiring process after looking at resumes should be evaluating whether or not the candidate is actually capable of the job you need done. Instead of narrowing down resumes, interviewing, hiring, then screening their performance, the process should go: narrowing down resumes, screening their performance, interviewing them, then deciding whether or not to make the hire.

How do you screen their performance? By evaluating how they talk on the phone with you or another team member. The most important skill a real estate inside sales agent needs to have is to be able to have good conversations with complete strangers and convince them to take an action. If you don’t think someone is very good at speaking on the phone, then they most likely will not be able to accomplish that.

So, before you even move on to the next steps in the interviewing and hiring process, you want to hear how they sound on voicemail, do role plays with them where you present them with various situations or objections, and have the candidate make actual calls to see how they do. Doing this might seem like a lot of work for potential hires, but the alternative is spending far more time and money on an ISA that doesn’t end up working out.

The candidate doesn’t have to be perfect, but you should be convinced that they are at least somewhat good and confident on the phone—to the point where you think you can train them to be better.

What’s the Next Step?

Once you narrow down your resumes and then see which candidates sound good on the phone, the next step is to conduct a formal interview. This step will help you gain a deeper understanding of their experience, skillset, mindset, motivation level, and, generally, what kind of person they are.

If everything checks out, then make the hire.

After hiring, the first next thing you do should be training them. Do role plays, mock calls, and call reviews, and teach them objection handling techniques, sales techniques, etc.

We Have the Tools to Help You Hire, Train, and Keep a Real Estate Inside Sales Agent

The ISA Ascend program at Smart Inside Sales covers everything a real estate team leader needs. It takes you from prepping your business for ISA training and showing you how to promote the position, to how to screen resumes, evaluate candidates, and actually make the hire. Once you hire the best ISA for the job, you’ll also have access to our Conversion University program that includes video courses and live coaching.

Hiring the right ISA can be tough, but it’s impossible. The tools we offer at Smart Inside Sales make it a whole lot easier!


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