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Does Your Real Estate Team Need an Inside Sales Agent?

In his The Secret to Building a Successful Real Estate Team speech, real estate coach Travis Robertson urges us to build our own real estate team when we become so busy we turn away business. When a real estate team is successful, it’s busy. Sounds great, doesn’t it? It’s fabulous until the leads start to dry up and closings soon follow. Enter the real estate inside sales agent.

Is It Time for an ISA?

An ISA, Inside Sales Agent, is not a new concept to the sales industry, but the role is underutilized in real estate. A real estate ISA ensures that all lead generation tasks and follow up are taken care of, and appointments with new leads are kept fresh in the pipeline.

When Do You Need an ISA?

If three out of the five points below ring true for you or the realtors on your team, it’s time to explore the ISA model:

  • You’re unable to follow-up with leads or clients in a timely fashion.
  • Your database isn’t managed; there are delays with automating emails and you’re paying for CRM tools that you aren’t using.
  • You aren’t adequately prepared for listing appointments due to a lack of time.
  • You’re so focused on clients, you don’t have time to follow up with leads that have already met with you in person or talked with you by phone.
  • Once a client is finished with the inspection and appraisal process, they often don’t hear from you until right before closing.

How Can an ISA fit into Your Team?

An ISA should fit easily into your team. While training will be a critical part of their success, it’s important that you outline their primary job duties without mixing them up with Admins and Transaction Coordinators.

When creating a job description for your ISA, the following items should be on the list and covered during the interview process:

  • Phone skills Their voice will be the first thing your prospects hear when they call a number on a website or yard sign. They should be comfortable making and taking calls from potential leads.
  • Industry knowledge The ISA is going to be answering a lot of questions from prospects. They should be aware of fair housing laws and strive to avoid misrepresentation.
  • Technical Skills They will be using multiple applications and web-based tools, so they should be comfortable learning new online skills.
  • Organized. ISAs will be setting up listing appointments, follow-ups and buyer appointments. It’s important that they know how to use online calendars and scheduling tools.

Benefits versus Drawbacks.

Before hiring an ISA, make a list of the potential drawbacks and benefits as they apply to your team. If the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, you’ll know that it’s time to proceed.

Potential Benefits

  • Gives you and your real estate team more time to focus on income producing activities
  • Makes it easier for realtors to take time off without worrying about coverage for capturing new leads

Potential Drawbacks

  • Requires a base salary that isn’t tied to sales revenue
  • Requires time for training

Hiring and Training.

Get some guidance and advice from another trusted agent or coach who has traveled this path before you. If you don’t know anyone, look for someone who has hired a client-facing transaction coordinator. They will be able to point out problem areas or give advice on training.

Explore ISA content on Realtor.org and through your brokerage. The ISA position is growing in popularity, and resources exist to help ensure you follow the right hiring and training processes.