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.
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.
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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.
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.
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:
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.
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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.
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.