Smart Alto



A Complete Guide To Hiring Real Estate ISAs

Odds are if you’re reading this you already know that you need to hire a real estate ISA. 

Having an effective follow-up system is a vital part of growing your real estate business.

For many teams and top producers, you’ve simply become too busy to effectively follow up with leads on your own and it just makes the most sense to hire an employee whose sole job is to implement an effective follow-up system.

Having your own real estate ISA on the team is a massive asset, they make it easier for you to manage your own time knowing that you can focus on going on appointments with prospective clients and providing service to the leads you already have.

But hiring isn’t easy, if it were everyone would have an ISA.

This hiring kit will give you the guidance needed to hiring your first real estate ISA

This hiring guide includes:

  • Outlining Expectations
  • Recruiting
  • Interviewing
  • Training
  • Retaining and Incentivizing 

Outlining Expectations for a Real Estate ISA

When hiring a real estate ISA (or any role for that matter) you need to be crystal clear about your expectations.

When consulting with teams who have fired or lost a real estate ISA we found the most common source of friction is that the ISA was not meeting expectations.

Most of the time this isn’t because they hired a bad real estate ISA, instead it’s usually because the expectations weren’t perfectly clear.

Silent Expectations Don’t Get You Anywhere

We call this issue, the issue of silent expectations.

Silent expectations are all the things you expect from people but have never explicitly told them that you expect it from them. This can lead to a ton of frustration and is often the cause of many workplace rifts.

It happens all the time to first time employers, where you’ll have an employee who isn’t meeting the expectations you think they should BUT you haven’t actually told them those expectations because you think they’re common sense.

For instance an ISA with no real estate experience might think it’s perfectly fine to finish up some minor tasks before texting a new lead.

But you know that after just 5 minutes the chances of reaching a lead decreases dramatically.

The first time you see it happen, you’re on your way to an appointment and don’t have time to teach your ISA the right level of urgency. Then a few weeks go by and you begin to become concerned about decline in your conversion rates, after a bit of digging you find out that your ISA is following up with new leads 10,15, sometimes as late as 30 minutes after they register.

Then you think back to their training and realize you never explicitly told them that leads need to be contacted within 5 minutes or less, so you can’t really blame your ISA.

You sit down with them and explain the magnitude of the mistake they’re making hoping that this will help them self correct.

But since it’s been a few months, they’ve already developed the bad habit of finishing clerical tasks and entering notes in the CRM before following up. After all, habits are notoriously hard to break.

This is why it is critical to the success of your business that you are crystal clear with your expectations from your real estate ISA long before they start working for you.

Smarter still, you should have these expectations clearly outlined before you begin interviewing so that you choose the right person for the role instead of shaping the role for the wrong person like so many others have done.

Before You Consider Hiring a Real Estate ISA Answer These Questions

What will your real estate ISA do each day? 

How quickly are they expected to respond to incoming leads? 

Will they only make calls or send text messages too

Will they follow a proven script or do they need to build one? 

Will they be part-time or full-time?  

How much are you willing to pay? All commission or base plus bonuses?

Are they only expected to work 9-5 or are they supposed to respond to leads 24/7?

Knowing the answers to these questions can be the most critical step you take in aligning your real estate ISA’s expectations with your own. Getting on the same page makes it easier for you to manage your real estate ISA.

Recruiting a Real Estate ISA

Now that you’ve Identified the expectations for your future real estate ISA, it’s time to find them. 

Use the questions from the expectations section to form a rough draft of your job description.

Once the job description has been created, you need to get it in front of as many people as possible, think of it like lead generating for applicants.

Just like lead generation, you’ll want to start with your Sphere of influence and maximize your reach by leveraging social media and popular job boards.

  • Social media - Use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to announce your opening.
  • Job boards - Facebook Marketplace, Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, local newspaper websites, etc. 

Also like lead generation this can quickly turn into a near full time job for larger teams that need to recruit multiple ISAs it often makes to hire a full time recruiter to drive to college campuses to recruit and prospect for talented ISA’s daily.

Do not underestimate the amount of time you should be spending recruiting in order to find the right candidate.

Interviewing a Real Estate ISA

Now that you’ve generated applicants, it’s time to qualify them with a good interview process. 

The key is to structure the interview in a repeatable way. Too many agents just “wing” their interviews when hiring a real estate ISA.

This can cause a few problems.

First of all, it’s insanely uncontrollable, maybe you have a better conversation with an applicant just because you two watch the same tv show...does that really make them a better fit for the job?

Now you might be thinking “If I like them, so will my leads” but that’s not the goal of a real estate ISA. You’re not only looking for someone with the gift of gab, you need someone resilient enough to take dozens of “no’s” every single hour.

You want to ask behavioral questions to better understand how they handle difficult times and maintain motivation.

Interview questions

Here are a few behavioral questions that can help you decide whether or not your ISA applicants can do the job well on a consistent basis. 

Tell me about the last difficult sales conversation you had?

Describe a time that you really blew a sale?

Follow up: What did you learn from this experience?

Tell me about the last great sales/prospecting book you’ve read and what you learned?

Describe a time you dealt with an angry lead who used heavy profanity?

How do you handle buyers who just want to see the house and don’t want to talk to an agent?

What’s the longest you’ve ever followed up with a lead and how did you start the conversation on the last few attempts?

The whole point of these interview questions is to verify that they have experience in sales and that they have the resilience to handle the inevitable rejection that comes along with converting online leads without losing their cool. 

Training a Real Estate ISA

Now that you’ve hired a real estate ISA the real work begins.  

Your main job focus has shifted now from converting leads to training your real estate ISA to convert leads.

A good checklist for training your real estate ISA might look a little like this:

  • Teach them the BANTAR principle
  • Practice asking questions in a non-probing way 
  • Teach them how to use the CRM system
  • Give them an SMS follow up system and calendar access
  • Show them how to filter leads to effectively follow up

You also want to introduce them to the metics you’ll be tracking to determine whether or not they are successful in their role.

Here are a few metrics we track:

  • Number of Attempts
  • Number of Responses
  • Number of Qualified Leads
  • Number of Future Fit Leads
  • Number of Dead Leads
  • Number of Appointments Set

Remember, if it’s important, then you should track it and use it to measure success. 

Retaining and Incentivizing a Real Estate ISA

Now that you’ve hired an ISA and trained them you must shift your attention to keeping them onboard and retaining your new hire.

That’s right, sales people have notoriously high turnover, especially in real estate.

This means that in order to avoid attrition you’ll need to invest in training, collaboration and incentives. 

For most teams this means offering a bonus on closed transactions as well as several other perks, the costs can quickly add up to more than $4,000 a month for an average performing real estate ISA. A great one will cost you even more.

Some teams and managers try to get around this by hosting weekly or monthly competitions in which the top sales person gets a prize, this is actually a far more costly strategy because the ISAs not in contention tend to minimize their effort resulting in a lower total sales number compared to teams that only offer bonuses and commissions.

Retaining and incentivizing real estate ISAs can quickly tally up to extremely high salaries AKA extremely high costs.

Summing Up

Hiring a real estate ISA to work in your office is incredibly tough. It costs money, it takes time, and most importantly it takes a risk tolerance that accepts that even after you’ve spent the time and money you might have nothing to show for it

When done properly hiring an in house ISA is an expensive project, when done poorly it can ruin your business.

So you have to ask yourself, is it worth it to hire your own ISA or should you just outsource to a company that specializes in real estate ISAs?

Check out Chapter 7 and decide for yourself. 

The Best Follow Up Strategies For Real Estate Leads

The strategies you use to follow up with real estate leads will have a massive impact on your success with a real estate ISA.

The right ISA using the wrong practices is worse than a bad ISA using the right practices.

We arrived at this set of strategies by not only reading the literature and studying all of the available data on lead follow up, but also qualifying 100's of thousands of leads the past several years.

We’ve ultimately landed on 8 best practices that will each boost your conversion rate and when combined can have a massive impact on the quality of your business.

Learn all 8 practices and how to implement them to build a perfect follow up system.

Texting Real Estate Leads: How To Guarantee Real Estate Leads Respond To Your Real Estate ISAs

The first goal of real estate lead follow up is to get a response. It’s not to set an appointment or to close a deal.

Those may be the ultimate end goal but they are not the first goal.

When first reaching out to a lead it’s important to remember the first goal of real estate lead follow up, getting a response.

We’ve found time and time again that text messaging is the best where to get a first response from your leads.

Learn all about why that’s true and where to take it from there.

Steal The Best Real Estate Lead Follow Up Script Template To Qualify Buyers

A great script isn’t actually a script, it’s a series of reminders to your real estate ISA that remind them to ask important questions that not only build rapport but also qualify your leads in advance.

Through experience and experimentation we have developed the BANTAR principle, a framework for elegantly qualifying leads and converting them further down the funnel.

Learn the entire BANTAR principle complete with an example conversation between an ISA and a lead using the BANTAT method.

Real Estate Appointment Setting: Your Secret Weapon To Supersized Growth

Live Transfers have become a hot topic of discussion over the past few years when talking about real estate ISAs.

However, through lots of trial and error we have been able to determine that 15 Minute Phone appointment is the best way for real estate agents to receive hot prospects from their real estate ISAs.

Unlike live transfers, 15 minute phone appointments actually solve the problem of limited agent availability and can help to increase conversion rates.

In fact the only reason they aren’t the norm is because 15 Minute phone appointments are hard to implement on the real estate ISA’s side of things.

Real Estate Chatbots Comparision: How To Determine Whether Chatbots or Humans Are Better Real Estate ISAs

Technology can sometimes seem like the key to all of business’ problems.

But through experimentation and testing we’ve found that chatbots are not the key to converting real estate leads. Instead, you need a human real estate ISA.

We review what happens when leads are met with real people. The effects human real estate ISAs have on your conversion rates, and most importantly the effects they have on your bottom line. People prefer talking to people and in this business, give people what they want.

A Complete Guide To Hiring Real Estate ISAs

Having your own real estate ISA is a big goal for many teams.

Real estate ISAs make it easier for you to manage your own time knowing that you can focus on going on appointments with prospective clients and providing service to your existing clients while someone else manages your incoming leads.

But hiring a real estate ISA is no small task.

Let this chapter act as your hiring guide when hiring your first real estate ISA.

Choosing The Best Real Estate ISA Appointment Setting Service

Choosing the right Real Estate ISA Appointment Setting Service is not only a good alternative to but also a great upgrade over an in house ISA.

Still, it’s  a difficult task so in this section we’ll review the primary questions you should be asking when qualifying the many different real estate ISA companies in the market. 

Many companies offer to mark some leads as hot or pass the buck to you as soon as a lead responds, this simply won’t do.

But what should you look for instead?

13 Step Real Estate ISA Appointment Setting Template

Time Is Money. 

Every minute matters so you want to focus on the highest revenue producing activities.

That means when you get ghosted or have appointments but can't seem to turn them into active customers and closings, you’re losing both time and money.

That’s why we’re going to give you a checklist of the exact 13 steps that we’ve found to get you a 90% appointment show up rate and maximize your conversions.

We’ll cover exactly what to do both before the appointment and during the appointment in order to improve both show up rate and conversion rate.

Choosing The Best Real Estate ISA Company To Qualify Leads And Boost Your Gross Commission Income (GCI)

Find out why the smartest teams in real estate choose Smart Alto.

Hint, it’s not just because of our track record.

We integrate with their businesses like a software plug in that superchargers their CRM. Our biggest teams often say we solve some of their biggest problems.

We’ll layout everything that makes us such an obvious choice so you can make a smart decision about your ISA provider.

Hassan Riggs

Founder at Smart Alto and former real estate ISA who has set 10,000 appointments.