How do you set you agents up for success and encourage retention on your team? Properly training and supporting them for growth, and compensating them appropriately. When the expectations are understood, there is a clear investment in a growth path, and compensation is motivating, it makes for productive and empowered agents. The same goes for the ISA role. In Part 1 we discussed if ISAs should be licensed or not, but whether or not you choose to license them, how do you make sure you’re setting the role up for success? We asked our top clients how they successfully train and compensate the ISA role.
Training Your ISAs
The job is clear-cut in your mind: Work. That. Phone. But, you need to have a plan in place to onboard your ISA when they start and continue their education to keep the momentum going. Consider setting a curriculum for their first 90 days. Provide them with collateral like:
- A clear outline of the job requirements
- A rundown of who does what on the team
- Scripts for lead follow-up as well as prospecting
- Call tracking forms and sheets
- A reporting system to keep them accountable
- Training sessions/resources for your CRM
- Even suggested reading and educational videos
The more they can absorb about their role, the team’s mission, and the industry as a whole, the better prepared they’ll be to hit the ground running.
After the onboarding process, meet with the ISA to determine month-to-month plans. Include monthly goals, milestones you’d like them to hit, and performance metrics that will be tracked. These will be things like number of prospecting dials, appointments set, etc.
Adam Bailey suggests live training with your top agents, at least once a week, so the ISAs can pick up tips and strategies from the more experienced. Another helpful training tip is quality control–to record every conversation the ISA has during training, so they can review, correct, and learn gradually from each experience. Having a set written script may be a good way to guide the ISA during the first few days as they get their footing and start to develop their own skills.
Here’s a very basic look at the typical day of some ISAs:
Keep in mind, this is for the ISA that is serving as both an Inside Sales Agents role and an Outside Sales Agent role. This job encompasses both prospecting, cold-calling, and outbound work as well as follow-up, lead-nurturing, and inbound work.
Compensating your ISA
There’s no sure-fire way to appropriately compensate your ISA. Commission-based, salaried, or somewhere in between…you’ll find every combination being used. Factors like team compensation structure, your ISAs specific role, and agent/ISA relations will play into the best way to pay them.
Salaries vs. Commissions for ISAs
Mike Grbic, the guest speaker in a BoomTown U webinar series “Ignite Your ISA Model,” (for BoomTown users only, scroll down to ‘Ignite Your ISA Model’) discussed what he found to work best. He found it problematic to have a commission-based salary for the ISA. First of all, some agents expressed negativity over having to split their hard-earned commission. Secondly, the ISA’s role is not only to contact but also to nurture leads.
The average lead spends approximately 8 months in the database searching for homes before an agent can close a deal with them. A commission-based worker is less likely to take the time and focus to incubate those leads. Mike found that ISAs who were hired on a consistent wage were better at long-term nurturing compared to commission-based agents who focus on, and cherry-pick the “now” buyers.
Though there are a few brokers who do prefer to pay their ISAs based on a percentage of commission, more brokers are starting to employ a pay structure that is based on an hourly rate, plus a flat dollar amount per pre-qualified appointment (for example, $15/hour plus $50 per pre-qualified appointment). This is a good pay structure because it rewards the ISA for something they themselves can control, as opposed to the closing of a deal which depends more on the agent.
Going Virtual: Should You Hire a Virtual ISA?
While the ISA role has been used by some of the top teams to really boost their bottom line, the obvious downside is that it’s an additional hire. That means more overhead, more resources, more team dynamics to consider. Many brokers see the benefits of a new hire outweighing the cons, preferring their ISAs to be physically present in the office, as they feel it’s more productive, but many others have also chosen to go virtual.
Many BoomTown owners shared that they were more than satisfied with their virtual assistants from MyOutDesk, but there are several other virtual assistant services available. Whether you hire a virtual assistant or a local ISA, there is a direct correlation between how much time is spent training and working with them and their levels of success.
Regardless of whether it’s in-house or virtual, the biggest benefit of having the ISA model is that it allows agents to focus on showing homes and selling real estate instead of the time-consuming task of qualifying and nurturing leads. Whatever compensation or training system you develop, and whether you prefer an in-house or virtual ISA, investing in a great ISA will allow you to save time and focus on growing your business.