Any real estate agent trying to grow their business knows how much time prospecting, chasing cold leads, setting appointments, making calls, and doubling as a sales agent can take. It’s exhausting. It’s also inefficient.
That’s precisely why real estate inside sales agents (ISAs) are such valuable resources in the industry. When 94% of buyers report that responsiveness is a top quality they look for in a real estate agent, agents can’t afford to waste time.
For agents and real estate teams looking to save time and increase sales by getting help with lead qualification, follow-ups, and scheduling, ISAs are worth learning about.
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What is a real estate ISA?
A real estate ISA’s main role is to transfer the highest possible number of sales-ready leads to a real estate agent. An ISA can significantly increase an agent or real estate team’s bottom line by increasing conversions—that is, turning leads into sales.
One thing that’s important to mention is that an ISA is not the same thing as an assistant. Real estate ISAs focus specifically on inside sales.
What does a real estate ISA do?
Many real estate professionals consider inside sales agents to be jacks of all trades—and for good reason. They can do any number of things, depending on the needs and goals of the real estate agents they work with.
An inside sales agent is responsible for a wide variety of critical tasks, including:
- Setting appointments
- Prospecting for new leads
- Making cold calls
- Qualifying incoming leads
- Following up with past leads
- Scrubbing leads
Let’s take a closer look at three of their main responsibilities, and the tasks that fall under them.
This includes cold-calling prospects like expireds and FSBOs to identify opportunities. It also involves conducting market research to evaluate and identify the most effective ways to target prospects.
This includes identifying leads who are sales-ready, as well as contacting new leads. The ISA discerns which leads are qualified and unqualified and feeds them to the real estate agent’s CRM for whatever type of follow-up is appropriate.
This includes converting unqualified leads into qualified ones by addressing their needs and barriers.
For example, if a lead needs a lender, an ISA can direct them to one. Since 80% of sales require an average of five follow-up calls, the ability to follow up effectively is crucial.
ISAs may also follow up with past clients to solicit referrals for new leads.
When should a real estate agent hire an ISA?
Your need for an ISA depends on a few things: how many leads you’re currently juggling, how much business you’re doing, whether you’re ready to scale, and the number of deals you close a month.
To be a profitable addition to your business, an ISA should typically have a minimum of 500 leads to work on at any given time. If your business has that many leads, it’s a good time to begin your search for an ISA.
Other benchmarks that can signal the need for an ISA: if you consistently close two deals each month and if you already have an excellent assistant.
Remember that an ISA isn’t meant to be your assistant; they are meant to grow your sales.
What skills and qualities should a real estate ISA bring to your business?
Agents and real estate teams who take the time to find skilled real estate ISAs typically find that they’re worth every penny of their salaries.
The most important skills and traits you should look for in an ISA include:
- Outstanding organization skills
- A solid understanding of drip campaigns and CRMs
- The ability to handle rejections professionally
- Comfort with cold calling every day of the month
- The ability to follow scripts
- Effective written and verbal communication skills
- Goal-oriented approach
In addition, a good ISA should understand the services and sales processes of the real estate agent or team they’re working with. They should be friendly, energetic, and adept at solving problems.
How to help your real estate ISA succeed
Once you’ve gone through the interview process and chosen an ISA, it’s important to make sure they’re set up for success. This involves training them to focus on the right leads, defining a good workflow, and setting goals and targets.
ISAs need training so they can focus on the right leads. If you’re able to spend the time, a three-week training process is a smart approach.
During week one, the real estate ISA should job shadow to learn how your team operates. Week two should involve your real estate ISA practicing what they’ve learned and getting tips. In week three, they should be making calls while being shadowed and receiving feedback from the person or people who trained them.
Different CRM workflows work best for different real estate teams, but these are the three you’ll typically see between agents and ISAs:
- From the lead source to the agent to the ISA
- From the lead source to the ISA and the agent together
- From the lead source to the ISA to the agent
You may already know which workflow you want to use, or it may take some trial and error to sort out the best one for your team.
Set goals and targets
From the start, it’s important to make sure you and your real estate ISA are on the same page about how you’ll measure their success. Setting target metrics upfront helps you objectively track how they’re doing and how they’re improving.
How are real estate ISAs paid?
There are three typical pay models for ISAs:
- Fixed salary at an hourly rate plus a bonus for each qualified lead
- Fixed salary at an hourly rate plus commission
- A 100% commission model
The 100% commission model is the least popular because ISAs will usually focus on the easiest inbound leads to convert, leaving behind all other leads. In the salary plus commission model, commissions of 5–15% are typical.
ISAs to consider for lead generation and sales
You may want to hire a real estate ISA directly, or you may prefer to hire a real estate ISA company. If you’re interested in working with a company, these are some top ones to consider:
Upcall primarily focuses on outbound sales needs, which helps agents outsource lead generation without hiring a dedicated sales team. The cost is $1,000+ per month.
Offering ISA services with text messaging and integrated website chat capabilities, Smart Alto’s live virtual assistants start at $300 per month.
For $1,800 per month or more, Verse.io will nurture leads and perform follow-ups as a concierge provider for real estate professionals.
Structurely offers ISA software to engage leads in the funnel. It can integrate a chatbot into your website and offers live chat as well. This service starts at $179 per month.
Starting at $399.95 per month, AgentAssistant will call incoming leads for you and try to set appointments. It also offers a program to call cold leads.
Bring in more leads to convert with Luxury Presence
While a real estate ISA will help bring more leads to your business, you should ideally already have a well-established lead generation system in place so they have a steady stream of leads to convert into sales.
Luxury Presence’s award-winning marketing solutions are designed to help you attract more leads—including customized websites, On-Demand Ads™, Home Value Reports, and more. Schedule a free demo to learn how we can help you generate more leads easily and efficiently.