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Common pitfalls of real estate inside sales

September 2017 /

Building a real estate inside sales team can be challenging. Learn how to avoid the common pitfalls and position your inside real estate sales team for success.

Thinking about setting up your own inside real estate inside sales team? Want to close more leads and shorten your sales cycles?

First of all, congrats! If you're thinking about this you are probably already generating enough leads already and now you want to focus on closing them. At Aiva, we speak to a lot of real estate agents on a daily basis and here are six common pitfalls to avoid so you can position your real estate inside sales team for success.

Start with at least TWO inside sales reps

One of the biggest mistakes you can make starting out is to only hire one inside sales agent (ISA). The problem with just hiring one is the rep may be good or (most likely) not very good and you won't know why. By starting with at least two reps you will find that where one fails, the other might succeed and vice versa.

In addition, make sure you hire reps that are sufficiently different from each other in their style, thinking, and approach to sales etc. By incorporating a creative mix of personalities, you increase your chances of success and learn more about what type of reps you will need to hire in the future (or stay away from).

Real estate inside sales happens outside of business hours

Before you hire your reps, make sure to set the expectation that they will be expected to work the same hours as your leads. And before you do that, go through your past leads and see what hours of the day and days of the week are busiest for you. Generally, weekday evenings between 3pm to 10pm and weekend afternoons are busy times as prospective home buyers and sellers are off work and have the time to search the internet for listings.

There's no point in hiring a rep to call on your leads during regular working hours for your leads. You will end up with a lot of "call me later" and "don't bother me" situations. If you have no choice, you should suggest they text when your leads are at work and call when your leads tend to be free.

Create and reward a speed to lead culture

Everyone knows that "speed to lead" is absolutely crucial for any successful inside sales operation. You need to teach your reps that contacting your leads within 5 minutes of arrival is crucial and necessary for their success. In addition, put a compensation structure in place that rewards reps for their quick response time to incoming leads.

Most integrated real estate CRM systems like Follow Up Boss, LionDesk, or Top Producer already let you run reports to calculate those metrics by rep. At the end of each quarter or month, you can toss in a little extra something for the rep that has the quickest lead response time.

Teach them that the fortune is in following up

While speed to lead is crucial to engaging and qualifying your leads, nobody will sign a contract to buy or sell on the first call. The real fortune is only in the follow up. Sit down your reps to craft a long term follow up strategy that spans at least 6 months, but ideally up to 18 months after the lead was generated.

The first month should be heavy with touch points, and then slowly reduce follow up frequency over time. Using an action plan or checklist feature in your CRM system can solve this problem so your reps start with a task list each day.

As your team grows, following up with past leads will be just as heavy a job as following up with new ones which will hurt your speed to lead strategy. In this case, setup an ON/OFF strategy where one rep is responsible for speed to lead on specific days of the week while the other is focused on following up with past clients (and they alternate). This way each rep gets the ability to focus fully on each part of the sales funnel.

Use all your devices to close more deals

To really maximize your inside sales success, you need to leverage a multichannel follow up strategy – that means using all your devices to communicate with customers across email, phone, text, and even direct mail.

It is easy to keep sending out emails and texts, but true conversion happens on the phone or in person even if the conversation starts by text or email. Not everyone is comfortable dialing for dollars, but your reps should understand that they must if they want to truly succeed.

There you have it, five solid gold nuggets of wisdom shared by agents that have built out successful real estate inside sales teams before!

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