Whether you’ve hired an ISA, or are just considering adding one to your team, you realize that the role solves a long-standing problem with lead follow-up and incubation for your agents. There is still some adjustments necessary to adding the role and how to instruct your ISA and your agent to successfully partner up.
How to Structure Your Real Estate Team with an ISA
Introducing the ISA role
If you’re thinking about hiring an ISA, you know the gap you’re trying to fill and the pain points you’re trying to solve. With busy agents and a harried day-to-day, they are often trying to do everything at once. Lead generation is always a priority, but with a packed schedule, the pipeline suffers. There isn’t time to nurture the relationships as more pressing business demands their time each day “in the field.”
If you’re managing a team and seeing this, it’s almost certain that your agents see it to. It’s likely that the idea of having someone come on as an assistant to the pipeline and manage the lead nurturing full-time will be an easy sell. Even if you’re working with a compensation strategy that reduces the agents’ split (Perhaps instead of paying 50%, you’re now going to pay them 40%) This difference is the cost of not having to handle the pipeline any more and to deal with the stress of trying to do everything.
An ISA frees up other members of your team to do their most dollar-productive activity, get back into the field, and get back to the things they probably go in this business for in the first place.
Some teams have had difficulties when starting to implement the ISA role and negotiating different splits, but this stems from agents not looking at the situation from the right angle. The value that the role brings to the table, typically increased the business for each agent from very early on. Not only are they freed up to handle the actual business of buying and selling out in the field, but in the meantime, their pipeline is being expertly worked by someone solely dedicated to building that relationship.
Implementing the ISA into the Team Process
Most teams have the ISA handle all calls and communications with buyers and sellers until they are ready to go see homes or list their house. At that point the ISA transfers the client to the appropriate agent. If for some reason the client wasn’t really pre-approved, or perhaps fall back in the process, then they go back to the ISA.
Before transferring to an agent, it’s best if the ISA is making calls and sending texts and emails with their own contact information, so as not to mislead anyone, or make for an awkward transition. For example, when texting, many ISAs put a signature block with their own name into the message even if they’re texting from an agent’s account in the CRM. With an email they should include their own signature rather than sending “from the agent” with the agent’s picture and info in the signature.
The Agent and ISA Hand-off
Transferring the lead from the ISA to the agent needs to operate as smooth as possible. A clear process should be in place that both the agents and the ISA follow to make the transition successful. Here’s a solid order of events for the ISA:
Schedule the appointment
Send an email to the agent that makes them aware of the new addition to the calendar
Alert the client that they will be meeting with AGENT’s Name, and what to expect
Confirm the appointment
Keep the agent accountable even after the transfer
Yep, most teams have found the transition works best when the ISA still maintains co-accountability for the lead. The ISA can add “to-dos” in the system even when the lead has moved over to the agent’s account so in order to check-in with the agent and keep the momentum going.
Having a script for the ISA to follow can help make sure they stay consistent. It can include messaging as simple as “since I handle the customer service side, you’ll meet with X who will show you the property. I’ll follow up afterwards and see how it went!”
Maintaining the Momentum (and the Relationship) with your ISA and Agents
You’ll want to have clear plans in place on any team to keep your agents accountable and make sure they’re motivated. The same goes for your ISA. It’s critical to have an effective strategy to maintain your ISA’s accountability and compensate them appropriately. But you also need to consider how to keep things moving along with the relationship between the ISA and the Agent, and how to maintain accountability and a healthy work relationship too.
The key to keeping the agent/ISA relationship healthy is having a clear leader in place. Tensions can easily arise. ISAs work hard hitting the phones and scoring appointments, but not all will be qualified, and this can frustrate agents. It’s important to keep everyone communicating and working together so agents can coach the ISA if there’s a problem.
Remember to make your expectations for success clear. Define what exactly an appointment means, and set goals to keep an ISA motivated around how many they should be capturing.
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