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What is the role of an inside sales agent? Why would someone want to do inside sales?

When should you create an inside sales department? These are a few of the most common questions when looking to take your real estate team to the next level by incorporating inside sales agents (ISA). It isn’t cheap, it isn’t easy, but it is worth it. ISAs are a money-making department and are able to turn leads with no future into deals.

The role is not complex. It is not social media, it is not database entry, it is not lead enhancing. It is calling. An ISA calls leads with the goal of booking appointments. An ISA calls follow ups with the goal of booking appointments. That is all. When other duties start being assigned, the calls stop being made. Even the best ISA can find a reason to not pick up that phone when they have other things they can be doing.

When most people get into real estate, or any profession, they are looking to make money, and money is in selling houses. Lots of people ask, “Why would someone want to get into the industry to never sell a house and spend their day making between 150 to 200 calls?”

There are actually a few reasons, and it comes down to the lifestyle you want. An ISA has set hours and will not be answering a panicked email at 3 a.m. An outside sales agent will not be saying the same thing; they have missed family events and answered emails at all hours. That isn’t always the dream.

Continuing with that idea, ISAs are good on the phone. They like educating people who have made it clear that they want to listen and then disconnecting and moving on three, five or 10 minutes later. Outside sales agents work the ISA’s nightmare – they deal with the public in face-to-face meetings for an hour at a time.

Finally, it’s the steady income. As an example, an ISA will make $15 an hour and then a percentage of commission if an appointment they set becomes a deal.

When should you create an inside sales department?

Inside sales departments are not cheap. They are an investment in the team, and like any investment you are putting out money to make more money. In this situation, it is with the goal of connecting with more leads to sell more houses.

Your team needs to be built and to be successful. You must have enough sales agents to be able to pick up the appointments that come from the inside sales department. The golden number would be five outside sales agents, including the team leader. An ISA would never book an appointment for the team leader, but they are there for other transactions.

Your team needs to have the money to create the department. Another baseline for moving forward with an ISA is having more leads than you can handle.

It’s a good time to set up your inside sales department when leads and follow ups are being ignored. This doesn’t mean when they are being poorly converted, this is when the team is just missing out on leads entirely. If you have a list of phone numbers and names and know there is no way your team can ever talk to those people, it’s time to move forward.

In part two of this story, I’ll address who would make an ideal ISA and how they should be compensated.

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