Real Estate ISAs: Ask Great Questions

real estate isa sales calls
real estate isa sales calls

Real Estate ISAs: Ask Great Questions

One of the key things to learn as an ISA (or any salesperson) is that you don’t want to be doing all the talking during your sales conversations. If you’re an ISA on a prospecting call, and it’s mostly a one way conversation in which your voice is thundering on with little input from the prospect, then something is not right.

You have to sell, not tell. And the two are rarely the same. It’s natural for a salesperson or ISA to get on the phone and immediately want to start explaining who they are, talk about their team’s track record, and start trying to close too early by telling the prospect how their team’s strategy and process work great every time and will work perfect for them too.

The problem with blurting all this information out and essentially talking at the prospect instead of to them is that you have no idea what their particular situation is like. You explained your company’s process, but if you don’t have an understanding of the prospect’s process and an idea of what goal they are trying to accomplish, then you’re in trouble. You have to have an idea of how or if you can actually benefit them if they choose to work with you.

In other words, unless you have an understanding of what they are trying to accomplish and how, you can’t begin to convince the prospect that your team will work for them because you can’t even know that yourself.

Ask Good Questions

The trick to overcoming this? Ask good questions. What great salespeople do is use good, relevant questions to lead prospects to their own conclusions. Great salespeople know that what they are hearing from prospects on the phone isn’t all there is to the story. They know that there are layers to every conversation they have with a prospect and that the outer layer is just a small fraction of what the prospect’s overall situation looks like.

As an ISA you have to read between the lines and be able to hear what’s being said “behind” what’s being said. That’s the only way to get enough information to decide whether this lead is worth working with, and the only way to be able to sufficiently convey the value you can create for them. This means listening very carefully to what the prospect is saying and then asking lots of good follow up questions. The better the questions and the deeper you go, the better the quality of the appointment you are able to set.

Have Real Conversations

As an ISA, just as important as asking great questions is having real and natural conversations. It’s okay to have a script in front of you or a list of questions you know you want to hit, but it’s not okay to just blindly read off of the script or just go down the list of questions checking them off as you go. This is how you sound salesy and distant and not how you are going to understand what the lead is after in order to give yourself the ammunition to close.

Instead, your questions and conversations need to be real and they need to be logical. And by logical I mean they need to fit into the current conversation you are having, and not just because they are on your pre-determined list of questions.

For example, if the lead comes back with an objection saying they just want to wait for a while to purchase a home, then ask questions that get at their motivation for why they want to wait and why they want to move or purchase a new home in the first place.

Do you currently own a home?

Where are you thinking of moving to?

What brings you there?

Why are you thinking it is better to wait to buy a home?

More often than not, the objection (and how you deal with it) is going to lead you to the opportunity to close. Through dealing with the objection successfully, you will have had to convince the lead that you can either assist them with their process, or you offered a better process and convinced them that your way will help them better achieve their desired outcome.

The problem that many ISAs or agents have is with timing. Knowing when to close and not closing too early. The solution to this is actually pretty simple: closing has to be the logical conclusion to the conversation you are having with the lead. Most of the problems that ISAs encounter on their sales calls are the result of having forced conversations based on scripts or not asking enough questions or not asking the right questions.

Conclusion

As a salesperson, you have develop the ability to ask good questions and to read between the lines when the prospect or lead gives you their answer. You need to be able to gather all the bits of useful information that the lead says and doesn’t say. Once you have a clear picture of what the lead wants and what is holding them back, you can pounce on the opportunity and ask information-gathering questions that will lead you to the natural conclusion they seek—a sale.

4 Tips for Hiring an Inside Sales Agent

hiring a sales person
hiring a sales person

4 Tips for Hiring an Inside Sales Agent

When you need to hire an inside sales agent (ISA), or really any sales person, it can be difficult to know where to start. Nowadays there are tons of online resources for finding candidates, but you still have a process in place, know which questions to ask, know what to look for in a good candidate, know how to conduct interviews, and the list goes on.

In a previous article of mine I discuss the correct structure of the ISA hiring process and how best to evaluate someone BEFORE you hire them as an inside sales agent for your real estate team. In that article, I touched on how the hiring process should be: performance, interview, hire, train.

In other words, the first step in the new hire process should be testing whether or not this person is actually capable of the job you need done. Learn that before you invest tons of time and effort in an interview.

What to Look for When Hiring an ISA

In any industry and every business, sales people are the foundation of profit and success. And make no mistake, inside sales agents need to be top notch sales people. Although the most important skill for a potential ISA hire to have is to be able to speak well on the phone and have meaningful and productive sales conversations, I would argue that equally as important in an inside sales candidate is teachability and the drive to learn and improve.

You want at least some base phone and sales skills, but what you also want is a past history of tangible value creation. I would say don’t get caught up on whether or not the candidate has tons of real estate experience—you want them to prove to you that they know what it means to create value for a business, that they’ve created value in the past, and that they are motivated to create value for you.

Now, it’s easy to say all that. But how do you actually determine those things throughout the hiring and interview process?

Here are some tips of things to look for when hiring an inside sales agent for your real estate company.

Four Things to Look for When Hiring an Inside Sales Agent

  1. Pay less attention to the type of company they worked for in the past or what their title was and more to how they describe their role and the work they did. In the interview are they just giving you a job description of their role? Or are they telling you a story of their day to day, how they developed the role, how they took on new things, or how they helped grow the business by X amount? You want someone who frames their past experience in a way that highlights what they created and what they tangibly improved.
  2. You want an ISA candidate who can prove they spent a good deal of time looking into your business and your particular market. Someone who did some research and so has a grasp on the type of clients your business typically works with, what types of properties you guys work with clients to buy and sell, the size of your company, how much business you do, who your largest competitors are, etc. They should be able to ask good clarifying questions based on the information they found before the interview.
  1. Keep an eye out if the candidate reaches out to you before the interview. Reaching out before the interview shows a high level of confidence and engagement. It’s a sign of a great potential candidate if, beforehand, they ask you if there is anything specific they should prepare, if they present a few topics they would like to touch on in the interview, if they ask about the dress code, or even if they just ask the names of the different people they will be interviewing or speaking with throughout the process. It shows they are serious about the position.
  1. Hard questions. If the candidate has the nerve to ask you difficult or potentially uncomfortable questions, they are demonstrating a high level of confidence that is sure to pay dividends down the road during their sales conversations. You want someone who knows when to say what, but who isn’t afraid to say what they are thinking or ask hard questions.

When hiring an inside sales agent, if you come across a candidate who is both good on the phone in your initial evaluation and then demonstrates a few or all of the above tips, they are definitely a candidate worth considering for the ISA position.

Just remember, each part of the hiring process should be framed within a context of creating value. You need them to bring more money in to your real estate business then you pay them, it’s as simple as that. And they should show that they know that too.

Real Estate Training: The Materials and Program You Need

real estate training materials
real estate training materials

Real Estate Training: The Materials and Program You Need

Real Estate Training

True success in the real estate industry comes with building a successful real estate team. You can be an awesome solo agent, make tons of money, and have a very comfortable life. But without developing a solid real estate team around you, you’ll always be in the trenches, you’ll always be turning over stones, you’ll always be knocking down doors.

True success, the kind that allows you to make money even when you’re on vacation, on the weekend, while you sleep, comes from hiring and training the right people to go into the trenches for you. Building a consistent and valuable team of real estate agents and real estate ISAs allows you the time to both focus on your business as a whole and to actually live the life you want to live.

But in order to do this, you need to do more than just hire good people, you need a solid real estate training program to bring your real estate business over the goal line.

Your Real Estate Agents and ISAs HAVE TO BE TRAINED

The problem with building a successful real estate team, though, is that there are often simply not enough hours in the day to dedicate the necessary time. Real estate training isn’t just about how to sell houses—in fact, the majority of it is sales training. Your agents and ISAs need to train in lead generation, lead conversion, how to talk on the phone, caller objection handling, closing techniques, and the list goes on.

As a real estate business owner or real estate team leader, you are busy running and managing all aspects of the operation. That’s in addition to focusing on the big picture, making sure processes are running as efficiently as possible, and constantly searching for growth opportunities.

But it’s also your responsibility to make sure your new hires are trained adequately enough to actually start producing value for the business. Because let’s face it, the cost of a new hire that doesn’t end up working out is too high.

What’s the cost of a bad a hire you might ask?

Well, let’s take a real estate inside sales agent for example. And let’s say it could take about 3-6 months until you can see definitely if they are a right fit or not. If you’re paying an ISA $2,000 – $2,500 a month base salary then that’s a loss of AT LEAST $8,000. Not to mention the time and energy spent recruiting, screening, onboarding, and training. That’s in addition to the lost opportunity cost of the transactions a GOOD hire could have created for you.

That’s time and money you won’t ever get back.

Real Estate Training Online

To mitigate the risk of a new hire failing to adequately meet standards and expectations, and to take some of the stress and time commitment off of their plate, real estate business owners and team leaders are increasingly turning to real estate training online.

And it’s not just about an online training course. What team leaders need—what really benefits their team—are real estate training materials that they can incorporate into their own weekly meetings or training sessions. I’m talking about group roleplay videos, call review sessions, articles, tips, strategies, etc. Real estate coaching materials that lay out the concepts, lessons, and examples that team leaders need to hammer home for their agents and ISAs.  

Those types of real estate training materials, in addition to an awesome lead conversion training program, is how you’ll take yourself out of the trenches and take your team from zero to one. With an online sales training like Smart Inside Sales’ Conversion University (excuse the shameless plug), you can be sure that your ISAs and agents are learning much more than scripts. They will master overcoming objections and learn how to have enjoyable, successful sales calls.

Smart Inside Sales Real Estate Training Materials

I know that adequate training and adequate training materials are essential to growing a successful real estate team. Over the past 10+ years, I’ve created the complete system to recruit, hire, and manage top producing ISA’s. I’ve used this system to double my team’s sales to over $200 million in less than 3 years. And I’ve helped dozens of other teams and agents do the same – or even better.

And over the time since I started my real estate coaching business, we have amassed a library full of coaching and training videos and materials. Everything from call reviews to group roleplays to coaching diary entries where I share problems and solutions my clients are going through.

I know how tough this industry can be and how valuable and knowledgeable help is difficult to come by. That’s why I started my real estate coaching business—so team leaders like you can have access to real estate training materials and courses to take some of the burden of training your team off of your plate. Training your team is a necessity, but you don’t have to go at it alone.

Check out our real estate training materials, courses, and coaching options at Smart Inside Sales.

What Can an ISA Do for your Real Estate Business?

beard-2286440_1280
beard-2286440_1280

What Can an ISA Do for your Real Estate Business?

Inside sales agents (ISAs) are becoming increasingly popular. And not just for large real estate companies with massive teams, but for small teams and even highly successful single agents. But no matter the size of the operation, real estate teams hire inside sales agents so they can have a steady stream of highly qualified leads that will help them take their business to the next level.

Role of an ISA

I 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.

Their goal is nurture the lead from start to finish, from prospect to client. Often they own the entire sales process. They do their own prospecting, reach out to potential leads, show the lead their intimate understanding of their needs and the product they are selling, and make follow up calls as necessary in order to set up an appointment.

Basically, you are hiring an ISA to be the first point of contact with potential business—representing your brand and the value you or your team can bring to clients, as well as ensuring the potential client is serious about buying or selling and worth your team paying attention to.

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.

If you do that, hiring an ISA may well be the most important new hire you make for growing your real estate business.

Are You Ready for a Real Estate ISA?

Among other things, you probably need to hire an ISA if you meet the following conditions:

  • You have too many leads to deal with and are unable to follow up with them all.
  • You are so focused on existing clients and income-generating activity that you have no time for prospecting. 
  • You have too little time available to properly prepare for listing appointments.
  • Once a client is finished with the inspection and appraisal process, they often don’t hear from you until right before closing.

If you are already bringing in around 150,000+ in annual GCI, and you already have a solid and well-trained assistant handling your transactions for you, then you are ready for an ISA.  At this point you are able to scale and do more business.  You can leverage your lead generation while producing more appointments and contracts.

In fact, at this point, if you are looking to sustain and grow your business then you have to hire an inside sales agent for your team. To not do so is to stagnate or decline. The essential problem that you can’t avoid is that there is only a limited amount of time in each day. Day in and day out, if you are knocking down doors, leaving no stone unturned, and asking for business from anyone and everyone, you will have no time to focus on overall direction and strategy.

Hiring ISAs Gives You Breathing Room

Having an ISA allows you to focus on your business. It means you can rest easy knowing that the leads are coming in and that you have the time and resources to help your agents or focus on your strategy for the future.

Real estate inside sales agents allow your business to thrive.

 

Inside Sales Team: Don’t Hire the Wrong Inside Sales Agent (ISA)

real estate ISA hiring
real estate ISA hiring

Inside Sales Team: Don't Hire the Wrong Inside Sales Agent (ISA)

Hiring new people is scary. So much so, that business owners and team leaders are often deterred from hiring, even when doing so would help their business grow. This is especially true when it comes to real estate companies or teams hiring inside sales agents (ISAs).

Real Estate Is a Tough Industry

Real estate is a tough industry. Between 75% and 87% of real estate agents leave the industry within just five years of getting started. And the attrition rate for real estate inside sales agents is not much better. It’s very difficult, and you have to have a specific set of skills coupled with the ability to adapt quickly and think on your feet.

The nature of the industry makes it tough to hire the right people for the job that will last long enough to make your investment in them actually worth it. But this shouldn’t be an excuse to not hire people when the growth of your real estate business depends on it or to hire the wrong people for your team or for the position.

Successfully hiring real estate ISAs that become major assets to your team is not impossible. In fact, it’s as simple as following a process that, although it may seem a bit counter-intuitive, will allow you to more easily and consistently make good hires.

I’m sharing this with you because I know firsthand how tough this industry can be and that there’s not a lot of help out there. Real estate team leaders, real estate agents, and salespeople in general mostly prefer to keep winning ideas and formulas to themselves, rather than share them with their potential competition. But I want to help you build a successful team, and that starts with hiring the right people for the job.

Use the Correct ISA Hiring Process

Put frankly, many, if not most, business owners and team leaders go about hiring the wrong way. In terms of real estate ISAs, the typical process looks like this: you interview a bunch of people, hire the one or ones who have the best resume or who, based on the resume and interview, seem to have some experience.

After hiring, you then find out whether or not the new ISA can actually do the job that is required of them. And if the new hire seems to be able to fulfill the basic requirements of the job, then you get around to training them on the finer points of the craft.

Though typical in the real estate industry and, essentially, in all industries, when hiring this way the key components of the hiring process are basically in the wrong order. Instead of going interview, hire, performance, train, you should be going performance, interview, hire, train. In other words, the first step in the new hire process should be testing whether or not this person is actually capable of the job you need done.

Evaluate the ISA BEFORE You Hire

How do you do this?

In terms of a real estate inside sales team, the most critical skill required by the job is the ability to have successful sales conversations over the phone. If someone is not strong when it comes to speaking on the phone, they’re most likely not going to be a good fit. At the end of the day, the ONLY thing that matters is if an ISA can make hundreds of calls per day, have good conversations, and persuade someone to take ACTION. 

So the key thing to do is see how they sound on the phone. This means listening to them on voicemail, doing role plays where you present them with different situations or caller objections, and having the candidate make actual calls to see how they do. The key thing you are evaluating here is not whether they have perfect responses to the situations presented to them in the roleplays or on the practice calls, but whether or not they have the basic ability to interact confidently over the phone, and whether or not they are able to think on their feet and not get overly flustered. Basically, you are looking for someone who can perform at least moderately well over the phone, and who with some training could easily become a lead conversion master.

If they can successfully make calls and they sound good on the phone, then you know that they are a very good potential candidate. Testing in this way before you make the hire will cut down on your wasted time and money. 

Train the Heck out of Your ISA

Once you have several candidates who performed well on the phone, then move forward with an actual interview to get a feel for their overall skillset and for what kind of person they are. And then hire the one (or several) who you feel is the best fit for your particular business or market. The next key step is to train the heck out of them.

You should begin training as soon as you hire a new ISA. Don’t just throw them in there or wait for them to get their feet wet. This will most likely cause them to get discouraged or burnt out and you will have wasted your own time and their time. Hit them with training right out of the gate. This means role plays, mock calls, call reviews, objection handling techniques, sales techniques, etc.

This can be time consuming, especially if you fully commit to it. And since you are busy running your business, one of the best ways to train your new real estate ISA is to use an awesome lead conversion training program. This will keep you out of the trenches using time you don’t have, and take away the burden of making sure your inside sales team is getting consistent, uniform training. 

With a training like Smart Inside Sales’ Conversion University, you can be sure that your ISAs are learning much more than scripts. They will master overcoming objections and learn how to have enjoyable, successful sales calls.

Conclusion

There’s no getting around the fact that real estate is a tough industry and a tough industry to hire for. But part of that difficulty definitely arises from team leaders and business owners not navigating the hiring process effectively or in the most efficient way possible. Switch up your formula and hire the right ISA for your real estate team the first time around.

When Should My ISA Lead Generate?

real estate leads
real estate leads

When Should My ISA Lead Generate?

Hiring an inside sales agent for your real estate team is a big step forward. It’s also an increasingly popular step as agents and real estate team leaders begin to realize the immense value that an ISA can bring to their team. An effective real estate inside sales agent (ISA) will lead to higher conversion rates and has been shown to generate 5 times the amount of revenue that it costs to hire them.

But like anything, that level of return is not completely guaranteed. The success and value that an ISA will bring to themselves and to your real estate team depends on a variety of factors. These factors include the inside sales agent’s individual motivation to lead generate, the company or team culture and sales mentality that are cultivated by its leaders, and how the daily schedule of the ISA is structured.

Your ISAs Should Respond to Leads as Quickly as Possible

One of the most critical factors determining whether you’ll be able to turn a real estate lead into an actual client is the speed with which you are able to respond to them. In today’s digital world, most companies are getting tons of leads coming in from a multitude of online sources.

Buyers are able to access a variety of listing services to get information that they once had to go through agents to get. To take advantage of this new world you have to be one of the first (ideally, the first) to reach out to a lead. Of course, in reality it is not possible for real estate agents or ISAs to follow up immediately with every single online lead. But experience and evidence shows over and over again that speed to a lead has a massive impact on lead conversion.

The reason you hire an ISA is so your real estate team can get to more leads as quickly as possible. Their job is to start the conversation with leads, find out the problem they are trying to solve, and explain how your team can help them solve that problem and help them reach their goals quicker and easier.

What Time a Day to Contact Real Estate Leads

You want your team to respond to leads quickly, but there are also certain times during the day that are MOST productive for reaching out to leads. Research has shown that the best time of day to make contact with leads is between 8am-9am or between 4pm-5pm. That is when you should make sure your inside sales agents are concentrating their prospecting calls because it’s during those times that leads are most likely to pick up the phone.

Between 8am and 9am should be when your ISA is contacting those newest and hottest leads that have come in. And then towards the end of the day (between about 2pm and 5pm) they should call the following:

  • Any nurtures not reached earlier in the day (leave messages this time)
  • Any expireds, FSBOs and withdrawns from the past 7 days that haven’t been reached
  • Any follow up tasks that haven’t been completed for the day or prior days

Have an ISA Work after 5pm if You Can

A study done by hireaiva.com of about 100,000 real estate leads showed that only about half are generated between normal working hours (9am-5pm). As I already mentioned, one of the most productive times to lead generate is between 8am and 9am. But there are also extremely productive times after 5pm and before 8am during the week. In addition to that, the study also found that about 30% of the leads were generated during the weekend.

What does this mean for your inside sales team? It means that if you are able to, (i.e. if you have more than one ISA) you should schedule different ISAs to work at different times of day. Creating separate shifts will allow your team to take advantage of all the prime lead generation times throughout the day and lead to more conversions and more success for your business.

Conclusion

Hiring an ISA is a must for your real estate team once it hits a certain size and amount of revenue. But you can’t expect automatic profits and success just through the act of hiring. They need to be properly trained and motivated, and work within a structure that will set them up to create value. And a big part of that is knowing when to hammer home the lead generation. Know what times a day and preach immediate response. Your real estate business will thrive as a result. 

Inside Sales Agent: How to Close on your Calls

real estate isa closing
real estate isa closing

Inside Sales Agents: How to Close on your Calls

As an inside sales agent, being able to properly and successful close on your calls is one of the most (if not the most) critical parts of your job. Even if you are a master at overcoming objections, can relate to leads on your calls, and have enjoyable sales conversations, it is all for nothing if you don’t know how to close correctly and consistently.

Objection Handling

Successful closing is closely related to successful objection handling. So first and foremost, real estate inside sales agents need to know how to successfully deal with objections. As I explain in my Conversion University Course, the key to dealing with caller objections is to understand the lead’s perspective, process, and outcome—the three parts that make up every objection. This is called the PPO process.

The key here is to understand these three parts of the objection from the lead’s point of view, not just from your own. Below are the five most critical aspects of dealing with an objection once they tell you it:

  1. Acknowledge – Listen to what they say and let them know that you understand it.
  2. Paraphrase – Restate what they said without leading and without interpretation.
  3. Inquire into their perspective, process, and outcome – This is where you dig into their thought process how they see it. Get them to walk you through their knowledge, plan, and the unique thing they hope to accomplish. These are the three things you need to know in order to counter their objection, so ask questions that get you the answers.
  4. Determine the unique benefit or result they hope to achieve – this is their sought after outcome.
  5. Close if appropriate – Close if the lead does not bring up another objection as a result of the PPO process or if it becomes obvious that meeting is the next logical step in your conversation.

Closing Logically

More often than not, the objection (and how you deal with it) is going to lead you to the opportunity to close. Through dealing with the objection successfully, you will have had to convince the lead that you can either assist them with their process, or you offered a better process and convinced them that your process will help them better achieve their desired outcome.

The problem that many ISAs or agents have is with timing. Knowing when to close and not closing too early. The solution to this is actually pretty simple: closing has to be the logical conclusion to the conversation you are having with the lead. This means you have to be having ACTUAL conversations with leads on phone. You can’t just be going blindly from a script—you have to be in the moment, react to what the lead says, and ask relevant questions given where the conversation goes.

If you are working with them to get an understanding of the outcome they desire, and you are powering through any objections they present, then the time to close is going to naturally arise once you can tell they are satisfied with your answers to their objections. Just follow the conversation.

If the lead says they are starting to interview new agents and get their home back on the market in a few weeks, then the logical time and way to close would be to say “Oh great! I am excited to show you how our team sells homes in less time and for more money than other agents. I am available on Wednesday or Thursday to meet. Which day works best for you?” That would not be the logical close if the lead said, “We’re not interested in selling. We took it off the market and are going to wait until the market improves.”

Closing with Empathy

This largely gets back to the PPO objection handling process, but it is critically important to closing successfully. You HAVE to close with empathy. Put yourself in their shoes, understand what they know, understand what they want, and understand how they want to proceed.

If, from their perspective, it does not make sense to meet with you, sign with you, or have any sort of next step with you, then you have not done enough work to be ready to close. You have to be constantly viewing the conversation from their point of view. If it doesn’t make sense for them to take the next step with you, then ask more questions and acquire more information from them until you can present a proposition to them that makes sense—for them.

Conclusion

Closing is the key aspect of any sales call. If your job is selling on the phone, like if you are a real estate inside sales agent or even an outside agent, then a successful closing is all you can have to show for you work on any given call. It gets down to having a REAL conversation with the lead. Understand what they are dealing with from their own perspective, and close when you know you have something of value to offer them that will help them achieve THEIR goal in THEIR specific situation.

Real Estate ISAs: Convince Sellers to Sell this Winter

midnight-snow-1915907_1280
midnight-snow-1915907_1280

Real Estate ISAs: Convince Sellers to Sell this Winter

If you are a real estate agent or an inside sales agent then you have heard this objection from sellers many times: “I want to wait until spring to list my house.” This time of year, especially, many—if not most—sellers would prefer to wait until winter is over before they even think about selling their home.

That spring is the best time to sell is a ubiquitous idea in the home-selling world. And it is not necessarily wrong—the spring has a large number of buyers, more demand from people looking to get into their new home before school starts in the fall, sellers often feel their homes look more appealing in the spring and summer, and, in colder climates, the weather itself is easier for buyers to deal with.

But are the spring and summer the only times to sell, or even the best times to sell?

Understand Their Perspective, Process, and Desired Outcome

As an agent or ISA, this objection can be difficult to deal with. There are many advantages to selling in spring, and the idea is so entrenched among the general population that it can be tough to convince them otherwise on the phone or during an appointment.

But no matter how prevalent and persistent this objection may be, you deal with it in the same way that you deal with any objection: understand the potential client’s perspective, process, and desired outcome.

The lead’s perspective is their past experience, knowledge and speculation. Examples of perspectives that may lead to objections are “I’ve sold my home myself before”, “I’ve already met with an agent”, and “I can do what an agent does, you guys don’t do much.”

The lead’s process is their own plan that they have for their situation. Examples of a process is “I’m going to sell my home myself”, “I’ll just use the agent I used before”, or “I am just going to wait until spring to sell my home and get a better deal”. 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.

And finally, the outcome. This is the unique result or benefit the lead believes their process will deliver for them. Examples of these are “not wasting time”, “avoiding disappointment”, and “proving to my neighbors or real estate agents or to the world that I am right”.

There Are Advantages to Selling in Winter, Too

Your first job as a real estate inside sales agent or outside agent is to understand what your potential client is seeking to accomplish, and how they think they are going to accomplish it. Next, your job is to determine whether their outcome will better or more easily accomplished if they list their home now (in the winter) rather than waiting four months until spring arrives.

To do this, you have to let the lead know that there are also clear advantages to listing their home in the winter that may be beneficial to them in light of their goals. Here are three reasons for sellers to list their homes in the winter:

  1. Less Competition – Because most sellers wait until the spring to list their homes, there are fewer homes on the market, which means less competition from other sellers. Additionally, the low inventory can create increase competition among buyers, which generally result in higher sale prices.
  2. Winter Brings Serious Buyers – Similar to why there is less competition in winter, this season draws out the serious buyers because most buyers think it is best to wait until spring to check out the market. The ones who do come out do so because they are serious and cannot wait until spring to purchase a home. These are not window shoppers, but motivated buyers who want to take advantage of the less competitive market and get their hands on their ideal home.
  3. You Can Highlight the Winter Side of Your Home – Show off your home’s winter-readiness. Have the fire going, showcase the hot tub, highlight the design and features that will make their life easier during winter, like an easy-to-shovel driveway, new roof and furnace, south-facing windows, and well-insulated pipes, among other things. These features, however simple, will show that your home can handle the harsh elements.

Conclusion

As a real estate agent or inside sales agent, your job is to try to produce the best possible outcome for your client. To do this, you first have to get to the heart of what their desired outcome is. Once you understand that, you then have to determine yourself if you think it would make sense for them to not wait until spring, given their desired outcome. If you think it makes sense, your next job is to convince them.

There are great reasons to sell in the spring, but there are also great reasons to sell in the winter. Understand their perspective, process, and desired outcome and then thoughtfully explain to them why it would be advantageous for them to not wait. That is how you will convince sellers to list this winter.  

4 Reasons Real Estate ISAs Fail

real estate ISAs
real estate ISAs

4 Reasons Real Estate ISAs Fail

You’re going to reach a point with your real estate business when you’ll have to hire more people. This is just a fact. You’re going to be so busy actually running the business and your real estate team, that you will need people to take some of the tasks off of your plate.

And if you are intent on growing your business even more, then one of these critical tasks is consistent lead generation. You have to hire people who can consistently supply a steady stream of quality leads. These people are called inside sales agents (ISAs). A good inside sales agent is a highly effective and accountable salesperson who prospects, follows up with leads, nurtures leads, and sets appointments.

Building an Inside Sales Team Is Tough

Hiring and maintaining a successful inside sales team can be tough. Just like with outside agents, the real estate industry is tough and has a high attrition rate for inside sales agents as well.

To start, it can be hard to feel comfortable passing off some of the responsibility that you have been shouldering. This is your business or your team—something that you have poured hours of work, sweat and tears into. This produces a bit of reservation when it comes time to let someone else track down and follow up on leads in your name.

And then how do you hire the right people, and then properly set them up for success? Both of these aspects of building a successful real estate inside sales team can be stressful and intimidating if you do not have much experience doing it. And they are why many team leaders find it difficult to develop effective inside sales agents.

To help you build your real estate team, below are four common reasons why ISAs often fail.

#1 You Didn’t Hire an Actual ISA

As I mention in another post of mine, 7 Strategies To Build An Inside Sales Team, extensively evaluating your inside sales candidates during the hiring process is key. More important than hiring someone whose resume says they have a lot of real estate inside sales experience is hiring someone who can have effective sales conversations on the phone.

The most important skill your ISA needs is to be able to persuade people to take action through their conversations. If they can’t do that, if they aren’t motivated and energized by having sales conversations on the phone, then they are going to quickly lose confidence, have call reluctance, and most likely eventually fail.

#2 There Aren’t Clear Expectations or Accountability

Clear expectations and transparent means of measuring progress towards those expectations are both critically important. Inside sales agents and inside sales teams are relatively new phenomena in the real estate industry and so are the expectations and requirements that come along with them. And if you, as the team leader or business owner, don’t know what is expected of your ISA, it’s hard to think they will either.

Your ISA needs daily, weekly, and monthly goals and expectations. This means tracking things like number of dials made, number of contacts made, contact to appointment ratio, number of appointments set vs. appointments converted—and having benchmarks for where the ISA should be with each of them at each time mark.

If you can’t clearly express what is expected of your inside sales agents, then they will fail.

#3 Poor Lead Sources

Your ISA needs sources where they can find solid, quality leads. You can’t expect them to generate leads out thin air. All lead sources are the not the same and so 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)

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.

If you sufficiently train them on how to prioritize and work the different lead sources, your inside sales agent will be much less likely to fail.

#4 Lack of an Environment Conducive to Success

Many ISAs will fail because the company environment and culture is not encouraging their success. Many people have false ideas in their heads about what it means to do lead generation, make phone calls, and close sales. You need to replace these ideas and perceptions positive stories and inspiration.

If your sales person has good stories in their head—if doing those activities that lead to production have a positive connotation—they will be unstoppable. If they have negative stories in their head about lead generation, setting appointments, and what those things mean about them as a sales person, then no matter what you do or say, they won’t lead generate.

Emphasize that being productive, being creative, and connecting people with products that help them are how they create value for themselves and get them closer to the life they want to live, in addition to creating value for clients.

Set Your Team Up for Success

Hiring and maintaining a successful real estate inside sales team is not easy. But if you can avoid the pitfalls described above, you will develop a strong team that grows your business by leaps and bounds. The key is to make sure that, in every instance, you are working to set your ISAs up for success.

How to Lead Your Real Estate Sales Team?

waves-1867285_1280
waves-1867285_1280

How to Lead Your Real Estate Sales Team?

“If you want to build a ship,

don’t drum up the people to gather wood,

divide the work, and give orders.

Instead, teach them to yearn

for the vast and endless sea.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Take Your Sales Team Beyond Numbers

We spend so much time in coaching talking about accountability and tracking sales people’s numbers and making them report to us, but forget that the highest level of leadership is inspiration rather than oppression. One of the most important parts of leading a team is helping the people working for you put their role and their work into context.

Numbers and accountability are critical to cultivating a successful and productive real estate team, but it’s important to remember that those numbers don’t happen in a vacuum. They are the result of the level of drive and motivation that your ISAs and agents have on a daily basis. And their drive and motivation is largely the result of the company’s or team’s values and culture. This is where inspiration comes in.

What Drives People

So how do you inspire people to produce more value? I can definitely tell you what does not inspire people: fear. If the only thing driving your inside sales agent to pick up the phone and dial is fear of the consequences of not doing so, then they are not going to be successful on their calls and their numbers will likely fall even further. Fear of reprimand or termination if they don’t hit their numbers will increase stress and decrease confidence.

Instead of fear, offer your team opportunity and self-responsibility. What inspires people to work hard and consistently produce is the belief that their career and their life are in their own hands. That they are in control of their own advancement and have the real ability to improve their lives, set and meet personal goals, and be successful through working hard and constantly honing their skills.

Emphasize Value Creation and Productivity

In order to create a feeling of opportunity and self-responsibility on your team, you have to tie together them creating value for the company and creating value for themselves. One of the main things that can sap motivation of your employees and cause their confidence and numbers to drop is the feeling that they are working for the benefit of someone else instead of for the benefit of themselves.

By building a culture that emphasizes that when your employees are creating value for the company, they are also creating value and opportunity in their own lives, your team will be much more inspired and productive.

And how do you create value for the company and for yourself? Through productivity. Being productive, being creative, closing deals, bringing in new business—these are things to take deep pride in and are really nothing short of heroic acts. Your agents or ISAs are helping people sell their homes or get into a new home, but they are also improving their own skills, making a difference at the company, and taking charge in building the life they want to live. That’s inspiration.

Yearn for the Vast and Endless Sea

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

Use numbers and accountability to measure progress and success, but to motivate your team teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. That is to say, teach them that they can build the life they want. They have that power and that ability. It just takes consistent and dedicated value creation.

Teach that being productive, being creative, and connecting people with products that help them are are things to strive for and take pride in. That the way they create value for themselves and improve their own lives is through creating value for the company and for the team. Their personal productivity and success is the way they get closer to the life they want to live, in addition to creating value for clients.

Help your agents and ISAs connect the dots between their work and their life and between the company and themselves. That’s how you’ll motivate them and make your team unstoppable.

Get your Pricing

Get your Pricing

Skip to content