We’ve all heard it: Work smarter, not harder. And, it’s a little thing called leverage that continues to keep KW competitive as the industry shifts. When a market changes, agents need to reevaluate and adjust their strategies to stay on point with their business models. Hiring an Internal Sales Associate (ISA) is one trending topic people couldn’t help but talk about at this year’s Family Reunion.
“Think of the ISA as a phone animal – a highly skilled, well-paid professional salesperson who is extremely comfortable and productive spending 80-85% of their time on the phone,” said Aaron Armstrong of Nashville, Tenn., during just one session on the subject.
So what does this person do, exactly? In a nutshell, the ISA converts your leads so you and the rest of your team can focus on your ONE Things. How they do it can vary - outbound prospecting, focusing on expireds and FSBOs, calls to the sphere… however you are capturing leads. The rest of the role’s job is spent training – record and listen to their own calls, listen to other ISA’s calls and study and practice scripts.
Tim Heyl and Sam Monreal, leaders of the Heyl Team in Austin, Texas, call their ISAs “call crushers,” and suggest using the ISA hires as a way to get real specific on what everyone in your organization does. Go out and find talent to fill those shoes. “Give your team the opportunity to focus and succeed through their ONE Thing,” Monreal said, “which means your market center profits.”
Of course we’ll reiterate the key to this if finding the right people, and panelists from varying sessions said it can take a lot of trial and error. While everyone agreed putting in the time and getting clear on your needs – who will they be talking to, what side of your business will they be on, what are your team’s numbers, etc. – is the way to find talent.
Vija Williams from Kirkland, WA, and Dar Walden from Anchorage, AK, have both had their ups and downs in trying to find the perfect ISA. While many think a high Vector 1 and 2 is the way to go, Williams and Walden warned be careful. They both caution that your ISA needs to have a good balance and recommend possibly having the high V1/Vs back up a different lead Vector.
Let us reiterate: Make your talent search specific to you and your team’s needs.
And when you’re missing person’s report is ready in hand, reach out to your network to start the search. A few successful finds have happened via scouting your Market Centers to see who’s super excited about prospecting and lead generating, and look outside real estate – put ads on Craigslist and look to other industries with similar positions. “Inside Sales Talent make great ISA recruits,” said Sam Monreal of the Heyl Group. “They’re comfortable cold calling and communicating the value of the business.” What industries? Think insurance, TV and phone, anyone who has spent most of their work hours on the phone and rocked it.
To wrap it up, top agents already in business with awesome ISAs said: focus on your business needs, will will beat skill, training is vital and stay in tune with your new hire.