Lead Gen 101: When to hire a Cold Caller

Warm, friendly, highly-motivated sellers are eager to meet with you every day.

Sounds nice, right? Setting appointments is key, yet most agents don’t make the time to prospect five days a week. That’s why the idea of hiring an Appointment Setter or Inside Sales Agent is alluring. For brevity, we use the acronym “ISA.”  If realtors can pay an ISA a low hourly rate plus a small commission at closing to bring in warm leads, why isn’t every agent teaming up with talented an ISA?


First, there are some downsides to hiring an ISA, including:

  1. High turn-over. Most ISAs will leave the role within three to six months. A good one may last a year before they move up and out of the role.
  2. Training and accountability. Developing successful ISAs takes work. They will require training, coaching, and accountability.
  3. Results vary and may never be as good as if YOU were on the phone making those dials.
  4. Hiring an ISA can be a good move, yet too many agents hire before they are ready.

Ask before hiring an ISA:

  1. Do I have ROCK STAR administrative support? Can my team double their production without having trouble handling the volume?
  2. Do I have a solid CRM and PROVEN lead generation tools in place?
  3. Do I have a Business Coach to help me and my ISA maximize results?
  4. Have I MASTERED scripts and dialogues and successfully converted leads consistently using the scripts, systems, and methods?
  5. What is the “end-game” for my ISA? Will they graduate into a Buyers Agent? Become a Sales Manager and oversee other ISAs? Or eventually, burn out?

Things to know when hiring an ISA:

  1. Proven outbound sales experience is more important than real estate experience.
  2. Most of the candidates interested in this role are either early in their career, or toward the tail-end. There are pros and cons to both and you need to decide what is more important to you.
  3. Qualified, skilled candidates expect to earn $60,000 - $100,000+. They cannot afford to live on $10 - $15/hr during the ramp-up period. It can take anywhere from three to six months for an ISA to begin to hit their stride and see commission income. Be prepared to pay per lead or per appointment during the ramp-up period so that your ISA can afford to stay in the role until the pipeline starts flowing.
  4. You do not need a full-time ISA, and with the right candidate, they can work remotely. A strong lead generator should be able to produce 5+ appointments per week working two to four hours per day. We know of one remote ISA who generated 40 leads in four weeks, working about 15 hours per week!

Are you ready to hire an ISA?

Teams with successful ISA programs share similar traits:

  1. They have the systems and the support to maximize conversion.
  2. They invest in lead generation tools (Boomtown, Zillow, Trulia, etc.).
  3. They have a powerful CRM.
  4. The Lead Agent is a strong prospector in his/her own right and is able to both lead by example and train effectively.
  5. They pay a solid base salary of anywhere from $2,000 - $4,000 per month, plus commission.

Do YOU have an ISA? How is it going? What works, what doesn’t? Please share your experiences so that we can all learn from them.

Pro REA Staffing Inc.Comment