Agent Secrets: Leverage a Team for more efficient follow-up

Your time is valuable and there’s only so much you can do every day. While following up with leads is an important part of generating business, routine tasks can often be better handled by delegating them to a team member. Even if you’re a solo agent without the resources to hire a full team, a part-time assistant can free you up to do more high-value work.

First, a recap of some basic terms, in case you’ve never encountered them:

  • Inside Sales Agents (ISAs) make first contact with new leads. Their job is to get leads on the phone, qualify them, and schedule appointments. ISAs don’t have to be realtors, since they’re only confirming information with the lead and not advising on home buying or selling.
  • Outside Sales Agents (OSAs) handle lead and client appointments and listing presentations. OSAs are usually realtors, but depending on the appointment, they don’t have to be, unless dictated by local real estate board regulations.
  • Virtual Assistants (VAs) are people you hire to handle various administration tasks on a contract basis. They operate from their home or other remote location instead of working full-time in your office. A virtual assistant can be in the same city or anywhere in the world. VAs can do ISA work and also handle other office tasks like email triage, website updates, or minor bookkeeping.
  • Your Office Administrator is a detail-oriented person who will oversee your operations and make sure all systems are working properly and efficiently. Quite often, you may need to cover this role in the beginning. But if your strengths are in sales and not customer service or managing people, you should look at filling this role as soon as possible.

Training and regular performance reviews are very important in managing team members. Document your follow-up and sales process — how you handle each lead before contact and through to signing them as a client. This can be hard work, but very valuable for getting new helpers up to speed quickly.

Working with VAs can be tricky since they’re not in the office where you can observe them. When hiring a VA, get clear information about how they document their work, and give them instructions on using phone scripts and recording conversation notes.

ISAs and VAs will vary widely in their conversation skills. Some may be inflexible when balancing a script with the dynamics of a phone conversation, which can be off-putting to leads. Consider role-playing a few calls with them. Our EngageCRM records call audio, which you can play back to review their performance. If your CRM doesn’t have this feature, you could consider using “mystery shopper” leads who can provide comments on the follow-up.

Finally, consider how you will manage your conversations. Things can get very messy if multiple team members regularly chat with leads without making detailed notes. EngageCRM records all conversation activity for every lead in one place. And the new StayInContact multi-channel messenger provides a single inbox for your team, with real-time activity notifications, so you can track and assign conversations and other tasks.

(StayInContact also uses Voice Over IP (VOIP) calling, so overseas VAs can call leads in the US/Canada without the need for third-party calling solutions like RingCentral. Learn more here.)

Our team of digital marketing experts has 23+ years of experience designing effective follow-up strategies, plus technology you can leverage to get more conversations with less effort. To learn more, click the green button below to get started with a free marketing assessment.