Inside Sales Team: Don't Hire the Wrong Inside Sales Agent (ISA) - Smart Sales Coaching
calendar January 10, 2019

real estate ISA hiring

Inside Sales Team: Don’t Hire the Wrong Inside Sales Agent (ISA)

Hiring new people is scary. So much so, that business owners and team leaders are often deterred from hiring, even when doing so would help their business grow. This is especially true when it comes to real estate companies or teams hiring inside sales agents (ISAs).

Real Estate Is a Tough Industry

Real estate is a tough industry. Between 75% and 87% of real estate agents leave the industry within just five years of getting started. And the attrition rate for real estate inside sales agents is not much better. It’s very difficult, and you have to have a specific set of skills coupled with the ability to adapt quickly and think on your feet.

The nature of the industry makes it tough to hire the right people for the job that will last long enough to make your investment in them actually worth it. But this shouldn’t be an excuse to not hire people when the growth of your real estate business depends on it or to hire the wrong people for your team or for the position.

Successfully hiring real estate ISAs that become major assets to your team is not impossible. In fact, it’s as simple as following a process that, although it may seem a bit counter-intuitive, will allow you to more easily and consistently make good hires.

I’m sharing this with you because I know firsthand how tough this industry can be and that there’s not a lot of help out there. Real estate team leaders, real estate agents, and salespeople in general mostly prefer to keep winning ideas and formulas to themselves, rather than share them with their potential competition. But I want to help you build a successful team, and that starts with hiring the right people for the job.

Use the Correct ISA Hiring Process

Put frankly, many, if not most, business owners and team leaders go about hiring the wrong way. In terms of real estate ISAs, the typical process looks like this: you interview a bunch of people, hire the one or ones who have the best resume or who, based on the resume and interview, seem to have some experience.

After hiring, you then find out whether or not the new ISA can actually do the job that is required of them. And if the new hire seems to be able to fulfill the basic requirements of the job, then you get around to training them on the finer points of the craft.

Though typical in the real estate industry and, essentially, in all industries, when hiring this way the key components of the hiring process are basically in the wrong order. Instead of going interview, hire, performance, train, you should be going performance, interview, hire, train. In other words, the first step in the new hire process should be testing whether or not this person is actually capable of the job you need done.

Evaluate the ISA BEFORE You Hire

How do you do this?

In terms of a real estate inside sales team, the most critical skill required by the job is the ability to have successful sales conversations over the phone. If someone is not strong when it comes to speaking on the phone, they’re most likely not going to be a good fit. At the end of the day, the ONLY thing that matters is if an ISA can make hundreds of calls per day, have good conversations, and persuade someone to take ACTION.

So the key thing to do is see how they sound on the phone. This means listening to them on voicemail, doing role plays where you present them with different situations or caller objections, and having the candidate make actual calls to see how they do. The key thing you are evaluating here is not whether they have perfect responses to the situations presented to them in the roleplays or on the practice calls, but whether or not they have the basic ability to interact confidently over the phone, and whether or not they are able to think on their feet and not get overly flustered. Basically, you are looking for someone who can perform at least moderately well over the phone, and who with some training could easily become a lead conversion master.

If they can successfully make calls and they sound good on the phone, then you know that they are a very good potential candidate. Testing in this way before you make the hire will cut down on your wasted time and money.

Train the Heck out of Your ISA

Once you have several candidates who performed well on the phone, then move forward with an actual interview to get a feel for their overall skillset and for what kind of person they are. And then hire the one (or several) who you feel is the best fit for your particular business or market. The next key step is to train the heck out of them.

You should begin training as soon as you hire a new ISA. Don’t just throw them in there or wait for them to get their feet wet. This will most likely cause them to get discouraged or burnt out and you will have wasted your own time and their time. Hit them with training right out of the gate. This means role plays, mock calls, call reviews, objection handling techniques, sales techniques, etc.

This can be time consuming, especially if you fully commit to it. And since you are busy running your business, one of the best ways to train your new real estate ISA is to use an awesome lead conversion training program. This will keep you out of the trenches using time you don’t have, and take away the burden of making sure your inside sales team is getting consistent, uniform training.

With a training like Smart Inside Sales’ Conversion University, you can be sure that your ISAs are learning much more than scripts. They will master overcoming objections and learn how to have enjoyable, successful sales calls.


There’s no getting around the fact that real estate is a tough industry and a tough industry to hire for. But part of that difficulty definitely arises from team leaders and business owners not navigating the hiring process effectively or in the most efficient way possible. Switch up your formula and hire the right ISA for your real estate team the first time around.


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