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The Ultimate Guide To Real Estate ISAs

The perfect guide for agents and teams looking to develop their real estate Inside Sales Agent program and create a follow up system that turns leads into closings.

The Ultimate Guide To Real Estate ISAs is complete with insights and strategy for Real Estate Agents, Team Leaders, Brokers, and anyone else looking to build a real estate ISA program to help grow their business.

Read it now to build or refine your real estate ISA strategy before you make the same mistakes as other agents who spend thousands recruiting and training an ISA just to have them leave without ever procuring a deal.

What is a Real Estate ISA?

A Real Estate ISA (Inside Sales Agent) is someone who works internally via phone or computer to follow up with Real Estate leads with the primary goal of converting leads into appointments for Real Estate Agents.

When you really look at it, a real estate ISA is not much different than any other sales role.

It's how today's Realtors can grow Mega teams and Multi-Million Dollar Businesses.

If you don’t know the first thing about ISA’s just know that building the right team of real estate ISA’s can be the difference between plateauing in your business and growing exponentially every single month.

The core job description of a real estate ISA is to filter through all of your leads by attempting to contact them, qualifying every lead they connect with, and ultimately scheduling an appointment between you and the lead.

Some people think of ISA’s as appointment setters but that ignores the immense value in filtering your leads and qualifying your leads who may not be ready to act now but can be a customer in the future if organized properly.

Real estate ISAs come in several flavors and can use different forms of communication, the 3 most common forms of communication are:

  1. Text/SMS
  2. Voice Calls
  3. Email

In chapter 2, we’ll go into more detail about which form of communication is best for real estate ISAs. But for now just know that the 21st century has seen a lot of changes in which method consumers prefer.

When most teams consider hiring a real estate ISA they tend to look only at the potential increase in lead conversion by having a dedicated sales agent focused on the top of the funnel.

In reality, hiring a real estate ISA is also a form of leverage for you to get time back on your calendar, making you more productive. It’s a ripple effect that can quickly impact your whole business.

Who Should Hire A Real Estate ISA?

In many ways, a real estate ISA is best for real estate agents/teams who don't have the time to consistently follow up with online leads.

These agents find themselves bogged down with paperwork and showings, the only business procurement they really have time for is going on appointments with referrals and repeat clients.

It’s incredibly tough to be an appointment setter on top of being a full-time Realtor, it’s like having two jobs: one can be very demanding with clients who want all of your time and the other, while important, is just so much easier to put on the back burner.

Even many teams find themselves in need of a real estate ISA when they realize that simply generating more leads won’t directly lead to more closings without a strong follow-up system being executed every single time.

Broadly speaking, if you have the time to follow up with all of your leads on your own, a real estate ISA might not be able to deliver enough value. 

It’s sorta like driving your car to the mailbox, sure it’s nice but really a car is meant to travel much farther distances. Just like real estate ISAs are meant to follow up with a very large quantity of leads.

How Do You Hire and Train A Real Estate ISA? 

It all starts with proper training.

Here are some of the common steps in training a real estate ISA:

  • Help them learn the best follow up scripts 
  • Set up alert systems that allow them to respond to leads immediately
  • Show them how to schedule appointments on your calendar 

The next thing you’ll need to do is establish a system for managing and motivating them.

You'll get this free Hiring Kit as a special gift for reading this guide.

One proven method is to schedule a weekly meeting at the same time every week, here you’ll review their metrics for the past week and establish their goals for the following week.

In chapter 6, we give you a complete guide on how to recruit, hire, train and retain real estate ISAs.

What Are The Benefits Of A Real Estate ISA?

There are so many different reasons to hire a real estate ISA and the benefits are so far-reaching that we see such a wide variety of agents using our service.

From solo agents who generate more leads than they can handle to large teams who need to implement a consistent follow-up process in order to justify spending another $10k on leads each month.

They all tell us they get something different out of our service but some of the most common reasons we see are:

To convert a larger percentage of leads into appointments

Many large teams come to us because they realize that as their agents get busier and busier they have less time to devote to converting new leads into appointments. 


They use our ISAs because dedicated real estate ISA converts better than a real estate agent with no time to reach out to new leads.

To be able to increase the total number of leads you generate

A lot of top producers tell us that they would gladly generate twice as many leads as they currently are because they can find a way to service twice as many clients. 

But they can’t find a way to follow up with twice as many leads, the logistics just get too cumbersome as their advertising budget increases.

To free up time that can be spent on more dollar-productive tasks

Nearly all of our solo agent clients tell us that they think of Smart Alto as a vital team member who takes a big piece of their workload off of their hands.


By following up with all of their leads, we give them time to go on more appointments and schedule more showings.

For these agents, our incredible conversion rates are just a bonus.

To recruit and retain agents

We have several large teams and brokerages using our service and they look at us as a way to make their lead generation program more attractive than any other firm in the area.

Anyone can offer an agent leads but by pairing with Smart Alto these teams and brokers are offering warm appointments that convert into closings and their agents can’t get enough of it.

Make more money

The number one reason is ultimately to make more money, a real estate ISA is essentially a salesperson. Meaning their job is to help grow revenue whether that be directly (like setting appointments) or indirectly (like freeing you up to close more deals) a real estate ISA helps you grow your gross commission income (GCI). 

About The Ultimate Guide To Real Estate ISAs

Real estate ISAs aren’t a magic bullet, and if you think hiring one is easy then you’re in for a wake up call. 

But if you’re willing to internalize everything we cover in this guide, you’ll be able to choose the best ISA for your business the first time.

The Ultimate Guide To Real Estate ISAs covers the principles we have learned the hard way such as using the right scripts, finding the right people, and choosing the right follow up channels, and maximizing success.

There’s no hype or unproven tactics. Just time-tested principles and modern strategies we use to qualify 10’s of thousands of leads each month. 

Real estate ISAs can be a perfect solution for the right agent or team willing to put in the work and follow through on what they learn in this guide.

What You’ll Learn

In each chapter, we’re going to give you all the information you need to make critical decisions about hiring and training a real estate ISA for your business.

Through deep dives into various aspects of the role you’ll learn:

  • How the real estate ISA's role has changed and how you can implement the latest follow up methods to filter leads and schedule appointments when you hire an ISA. 
  • The best practices in lead follow up, the scripts the best real estate ISAs use to get results and help teams grow. 
  • The different types of real estate ISAs - from chatbots to humans - and how to choose which one is best for your business. 
  • How to hire internally or outsource (and how to know which one is right for you)
  • How to maximize success when working with a real estate ISA. What you need to win. What they need from you and how to make sure you get it right the first time.

Ready to start?

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.