Is Hiring An ISA Your Only Option?

Real estate agents tend to look to Inside Sales Reps as a fix-all for having too much business to develop and close. As an agent in this growth phase, what are your other, potentially more profitable, options?

As a real estate agent, hitting 80 transactions or more per year is a pivotal point. 

You’ve hustled and reached a transaction level 86% of agents only dream of. However, you’re one more inbound lead away from having too many potential clients and legitimate clients to handle. 

Should you immediately hire an ISA (inside sales rep)? 

Most agents do! But most real estate agents aren’t aware of other options. 

ISAs can, and do, take the load off of agents at the top of the sales pipeline: analyzing inbound leads, contacting and qualifying homeowners, and setting up the first meeting. 

What many agents don’t realize is they’re asking one ISA to do the job of two to three people.

Is ISA burnout starting to sound familiar? 

Instead of bringing on an ambitious future agent or savvy social media marketing major, what if you broke up the responsibilities of an ISA to yield better results? 

Intro the FRA (first response agent)! 

In real estate sales the Inside Sales Rep is typically responsible for two separate jobs: 

  • Qualifying homeowners who come down the pike as inbound leads
  • Converting cold lead homeowners into warm leads via long-term follow up plans

Imagine how effective even the best ISA is when they’re splitting focus and tactics across two types of homeowner leads! 

One group has put a hand up and said, “Yes please call me I want to sell my home now!” 

The other group has all but said, “Get off my porch!” 

A First Response Agent handles all of a real estate agent’s ready-to-sell inbound leads. Whether they’re coming via website lead magnets, physical mailers, phone calls, or direct referral. 

The FRA ensures a homeowner wants to sell -- The agent locks in the deal. 

So Why Start With An FRA? 

It’s all about context switching. Context switching is basically multitasking and it’s a severe detriment to anybody’s productivity and results. 

It damages focus, drains energy, clouds priorities, and diminishes cognitive function. 

You’re looking for an ISA or FRA because context switching is preventing you from listing 100 homes instead of 80! 

When an agent chooses to hire an FRA they’re setting themselves up for maximum success. Whoever they hire doesn’t have to spend the entire day context switching between lead qualification and cold lead conversion. 

Look at the difference between basic task lists.


  • Contact warm leads funneled into CRM database
  • Qualify direct outreach leads via phone or virtual message
  • Contact referral clients
  • Set up a meeting between the agent and the homeowners

Do the same four things with the same focus every day. 


  • Contact warm leads funneled into CRM database
  • Qualify direct outreach leads via phone or virtual message
  • Contact referral clients
  • Set up a meeting between the agent and the homeowners
  • Follow up with cold leads 30, 60, and 90 days out from first contact
  • Create a new cold lead contact strategy
  • Develop fresh Google and Facebook ad campaigns 
  • Post new pictures on Instagram and Twitter
  • Ship new seasonal mailers to 10 zip codes
  • Execute direct messaging and neighborhood farming strategy 

Are you starting to see how ineffective one role could be versus the other? 

Whether an agent places every and all lead conversion responsibilities on one person or strategically divides it up, is up to them. 

If you’ve reached the point where you get to consider outsourcing top-of-funnel responsibilities it’s in your best interest to consider multiple options and pick the one that will yield the most listings for you. 

And don’t forget, if you’re an agent looking to outsource everything and get qualified homeowner leads in your inbox every week our dedicated team of Phone Animal ISAs does that for agents across the country -- context switching not included.