Successful Real Estate Agents Need ISAs
The key to success for your real estate business is the ability to convert leads into actual business. This is obvious, and, really, is true for any type of business. The thing about the real estate industry these days, however, is that there are more potential leads than ever out there. Potential clients are searching for houses online, looking for agents online, and being exposed to a torrent of advertising (yours and other agents’).
Needless to say, there are a ton of leads out there for the taking. The question becomes, how do you capture all of these potential clients? And once you make contact with a lead, how do you qualify them to make sure they are serious and worth your time to work with? Finally, how do you maintain contact and nurture leads that aren’t ready to buy now, but will be in the future?
The answer to all these questions is, hire a real estate inside sales agent (ISA).
What Is an ISA, Exactly?
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.
Do I Need a Real Estate ISA?
Asking if your real estate business needs an ISA is like asking if your body needs food. Think of your inside sales agent as the person who delivers the leads that feed your business (sorry for the corny metaphor, but it’s true). Now, not every business is necessarily ready for an ISA, but eventually, every business will need one. It all depends on if you are bringing in more business than you can handle while still generating and nurturing leads.
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.
Real Estate ISAs Save Agents Time
On a practical level, a real estate ISA becomes necessary when you simply don’t have enough time to do everything you have to do. As an agent, your main focus is working with clients to buy and sell homes. That’s what you’re good at, that’s what pays the bills. But there are many moving parts to running a successful real estate business; all of which require an investment of time and money.
Generating, converting, and nurturing new leads is probably one of the most important, but also most time consuming, parts of a real estate business. It takes a concerted, dedicated effort to create a consistent stream of new business. Having an ISA ready to contact leads, follow up with them and maintain a relationship with them, all while you are concentrating your efforts on your existing clients, is what will allow you to take your real estate career to the next level.
Other Things an ISA Can Do for a Real Estate Agent
Prospecting for Your Real Estate Business – There are a lot of potential leads out there, if you only are willing to and know where to look. You need ISAs who are constantly picking up the phone to contact expireds, withdrawns and FSBOs a daily basis.
ISAs are critical here because their job is wholly dedicated to picking up the phone and having successful sales conversations, they’re going to be on the phone 6.5 to 7 hours per day—every day, and they ensure that dials are made to get the requisite number of contacts to get you consistent listing appointments.
Retain Your Internet Leads – Research has shown that an internet lead that isn’t contacted quickly and efficiently is a client lost. Having an inside sales agent prepared to reach out to potential clients makes it so that you can reach them while they are still browsing your website. This will greatly increase your chances of making contact and of a successful conversion.
Additionally, if the internet lead is just browsing and not serious about buying right now, an inside sales agent can keep in contact with them. If you are able to maintain engagement with the lead and build a relationship, then you have a better chance of retaining their business when they are ready to buy.
ISAs Increase Your Sales – Once hired and properly trained, leveraging an ISA will allow your business to grow by leaps and bounds. Within their first 12 months, 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.