**The following is a guest post from Mitch Ribak who is the broker/owner of The Mitch Ribak Real Estate Team with Tropical Realty of Suntree in Florida. We would like to thank Mitch for this excellent overview of the downfalls of the real estate ISA.**
It’s been 8 years since I started using an ISA in my Real Estate Brokerage in Melbourne Florida. Yes, we were doing it way before it became the “in” thing to do. I’ve spent the last 8 years perfecting the process and making tons of mistakes until the process we currently use was implemented. Since we started figuring it out, our Internet Lead Conversion went from 2% to 4.5% on average.
Almost daily I read online or here of a Broker or Team leader trying to hire an ISA. They do this without really thinking the process through. The only job description they have is that they should make phone calls and make lots of them. However, that thought process gets lost fairly quickly as they start to implement their program. Then, within a few months, the broker doesn’t see any extra results and abandons the concept.
So why do brokers fail when hiring an ISA? There are many reasons of course, but here are a few the ones we struggled with in the early stages of implementing our ISA program in-house.
- The ISA ends up becoming more of an admin person than a full time ISA.
- The ISA doesn’t have the proper software systems to stay on top of leads. You can’t just call every lead all the time, you have to pick the most active.
- The Agents take up too much of the ISA’s time asking about other aspects of their business such as sales, the MLS, and other non-lead conversion issues.
- Brokerage or Team hires a part time ISA/Admin person where they have multiple responsibilities and the ISA gravitates to the easiest job.
- ISA is not licensed and therefore can’t discuss real estate.
- ISA does not involve the Agent in the process until the end and then the customer has already gone ahead and used another Agent. (they wanted to talk to a Realtor not an assistant)
- Hired an out of the country ISA.
- Probably most important, the Broker/Team Leader has no idea how to train an ISA properly.
Of course there are many other reasons why this program would fail. The key is to be sure you have a clear understanding of duties as well as a great training program to ensure that the ISA knows exactly what they should do and how to accomplish the goals set forth by the Broker.
Over the years I’ve lost hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of dollars by not having the right systems in place. Since I was one of the first using an ISA for Internet lead conversion, I didn’t have any resources (like me) to let me know how to run the program. Now, after 8 years, I’ve finally figured out the system to increase lead conversion and as stated above we consistently convert at 4.5 times the national average of 1%. We have a long way to go before we hit 10% Lead Conversion, but I do believe it’s attainable. It’s my goal and it’s pretty much what eat, sleep and drink daily!
One last note. Having an ISA is very difficult to track production. The reason of course, if they are doing it correctly, is they are constantly branding the Agent. Many times, because of the ISA, the customer will contact the Agent. However, at this point most Agents will take full responsibility for that lead calling them verse giving the ISA any credit. It might be a benefit to reach out to a professional that understands and is consistent in their lead conversion. It’s a tough battle, but it is certainly a lucrative stream of revenue for you and your brokerage.
**Mitch has recently launched a new company called Inside Sales Agents where he can show you why you should stop spending more and more money to generate more leads. Instead, focus on maximizing your conversion rates with the use of a trained ISA. If you have been considering hiring an ISA, make sure to check out Mitch’s services first.**