August 26, 2020

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AJ Guzman

What Is A Virtual Real Estate ISA?

Take Our Quiz To Find Out Why Real Estate Leads Are Not Responding To You And How ISAs Can Help

The fact is the real estate industry is becoming increasingly transactional; consumers are willing to do business with you even if they’ve never met you before. 

This hasn’t always been the case in this industry. Not too long ago the only way to find a good agent was through an introduction from a family member or friend. 

Back then if you wanted to generate leads as a realtor you’d have to go door-knocking and hope that you just happened to find someone who was actually looking to buy or sell a home.

Of course, with tools like Facebook and Google generating leads has become significantly easier. Heck, at this point generating leads isn’t really even the problem anymore.

Today the problem lies in converting those leads into clients, especially in a world of instant gratification when consumers expect to be followed-up with immediately. 

“...lead conversion pretty much requires around the clock coverage”  

However, as your real estate business continues to grow lead conversion becomes more and more difficult. 

You’re out on listing appointments or showing houses or attending closings, how on earth do you make time for lead conversion? These days lead conversion pretty much requires around the clock coverage so the real question is ‘how do you make time for anything else?’. 

This is exactly the problem a Virtual Real Estate ISA solves.

What is a Virtual Real Estate ISA?

A Virtual Real Estate ISA (or Virtual Real Estate Inside Sales Agent) is a salesperson whose sole job is to help you convert your leads into appointments. 

They’re your full time appointment setter. 

They do this by texting, calling, or emailing your online leads as soon they’re generated.

(NOTE: Take our quiz below to find out why real estate leads are not responding to you and how real estate ISAs can help you solve the problem. As a bonus you'll also learn when you need to use email vs text vs phone calls).

*SPOILER ALERT* It’s texting; texting has completely dethroned calling in the past 3 years as the most effective way to convert leads. 

That’s why we here at Smart Alto have completely embraced text/SMS as the King of Conversion. It gives our agents a way better way to follow up with online leads.

So let’s say you’re buying Realtor.com leads but haven’t been following up with them fast enough (within 5 minutes or less) then you’ve probably realized that you’re not getting the ROI you know you could be.

In this case, a Virtual Real Estate Inside Sales Agent will help you by responding to your leads within just a few minutes and turning the qualified leads into appointments.

The best part of Virtual Real Estate ISAs is that they cost you a fraction of what an in house ISA would. 

In most instances, a part-time, in house ISA will run you a minimum of $2,500 per month!

Here at Smart Alto, we have monthly plans starting under $300 per month to have a team of Virtual Real Estate ISAs working around the clock to turn your leads into 15-minute phone appointments that show up directly on your calendar!

Smart Alto schedules phone appointments on your calendar when you're free to talk (no awkward live transfers)

When it comes to real estate, an ISA is responsible for conducting inside sales and is comfortable with spending the major chunk of their time scrubbing, qualifying, and following-up with online leads. 

Other responsibilities of a Virtual Real Estate ISA include:

  • Servicing inbound leads either from sign calls or from other internet sources
  • Prospecting for geographic farms, past clients, COI, expired listings, and FSBPs to generate new leads 
  • Setting APPOINTMENTS for their Real Estate Agent directly in their agent’s calendar. (This is the #1 responsibility. Without these appointments, nothing else matters!)

Perhaps the most significant advantage of hiring a Virtual Real Estate ISA is that your overhead costs are dramatically reduced (especially when compared to an in house ISA). 

There’s no hiring, training, and you don’t have to manage employees either. Similarly, there are no sick days to worry about and no lost time due to shirking. 

Moreover, Virtual Real Estate ISAs are highly skilled (remember this is their WHOLE job) and can identify potential seller leads, convert them into possible nurtures, and set up an appointment directly in your calendar. 

Is Having a Virtual Real Estate ISA Important?

Let’s be honest, as an agent, you probably hate reaching out to online leads. I mean how many people truly like dial tones, dead-end leads, and difficult to convert buyers?

Besides, odds are you simply don’t have the time to follow up with every single online lead you get. You’re busy showing houses and going on listing appointments.

Eventually, these two factors lead to your follow-up process coming to a stop, leaving you with cold leads and nothing to show for all that money you spent generating them.

So what do real estate agents do? Simple, they blame the leads. You’ve heard it right?

“These leads suck.” “ I can’t believe I paid for these” etc

But let’s be real here, we all know deep down it’s not the leads...it’s us. We lack the time and availability (and in some cases the skill) to turn these online leads into the gold they really are.

So for less than $300 per month you can turn a loss center into a profit center, yeah I’d say a Virtual Real Estate ISA is pretty important.

Are Virtual Real Estate ISAs a New Thing?

In nearly all industries, inside sales agents have become a growing phenomenon, and real estate is no different.

It used to be that only ISAs were reserved for large companies with deep pockets that could place a few dozen in a call center and have them answering inquiries all-day long.

Today, the majority of companies use either completely remote inside sales agents or a hybrid system.

This virtualization of ISAs has opened the floodgates for Realtors (and other small business owners) to begin leveraging ISAs.  

Should You Hire a Virtual Real Estate ISA?

Here’s the deal, not everyone should hire a virtual ISA BUT if you are currently generating more than 50 leads AND can answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions you should definitely schedule a demo with Smart Alto today

  • Do you often follow up with leads more than 3 minutes after they’re generated?
  • Are you too busy to jump on every single lead you get?
  • Is lead conversion boring/tedious to you?
  • Would you rather not waste your time with unqualified leads?

That whole 50 leads part is a little bit of a grey area, for some agents in higher-priced markets it might make sense to hire a Virtual Real Estate ISA with far fewer leads. 

Putting it all together

Think back to a time that you were extremely busy, just overwhelmed with buyers and sellers, can you picture it? Now I’m willing to bet that the month before that you had an unusually high number of appointments, right?

No, I’m not psychic, that’s just the way real estate works. More appointments equals more clients.

By automating the ultra-critical step of qualifying online leads to a virtual real estate inside sales agent, you can create an appointment setting machine in your business. 

Thus, we here at Smart Alto offer you a way to turn your business into a client generating machine. Take our quiz below to find out why real estate leads are not responding to you and how real estate ISAs can help you solve the problem.


Author
AJ Guzman
Former ISA & Content Marketing Manager at Smart Alto

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