Real Estate ISA recruiting, training, and operations: How to build an effective team of appointment setters
The best real estate ISA systems have to get the recruiting, training, and placement of real estate ISAs and real estate virtual assistants right.
They also have to manage client relationships and culture.
When real estate practitioners reach a level of success where it becomes necessary to hire a real estate appointment setter, the debate of virtual vs. in-house real estate inside sales agent quickly begins.
If you’re wondering if you should start delegating tasks in-house and scaling up from within your business or hire a real estate ISA company to start setting appointments from your growing list of leads, this real estate podcast is a must-listen.
In this Ask The Expert interview, Andy Cole from 0260 Labs shares how he has gone from top-producing estate appointment setter to a top-producing real estate agent, to a busy entrepreneur: And how he’s finally laid the foundation for a system where he can work less, earn more, and do great things for other real estate professionals.
Real Estate ISA Tips and Topics in this Episode:
0:00 Introducing Andy Cole from 0260 Labs
3:22 Starting pay and job description for a real estate inside sales agent/real estate ISA
5:47 What the best real estate ISA companies are really good at
6:52 The one thing real estate agents REALLY need to do for their real estate ISA appointment setters
8:19 Preventing burnout as a real estate agent or real estate investor
11:34 Determining how to recruit, train, and place real estate ISAs effectively
13:18 Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs: Common mistakes and how to avoid them
16:33 Not everyone is built to manage people, so using a real estate ISA service might be best for you
18:58 Subscription-model real estate ISA service for any lead type
21:31 Conversation-based ISA prospecting
22:47 Best time to make real estate cold calls: 0260 labs ISA scheduling
25:46 Stop wasting time and money chasing real estate leads: The 6-figure mindset
27:42 Documenting and delegating your standard operating procedures (SOPs)
28:56 When do you need an appointment setter? When don’t you?
31:44 Should you use real estate ISA services or directly hire?
32:41 Virtual ISA vs. In House real estate inside sales agent training: Which is better?
35:16 0260 Labs: Real Estate ISA services for people with too many leads
39:39 The ROI of using real estate ISA services from 0260 Labs
42:31 How to connect with Andy Cole and 0260 Labs
Resources for this Episode:
Show some love for Andy in the comments!
Connect with Andy Cole on Facebook
Join our Facebook group, Estate Professionals Mastermind
Interested in growing your probate real estate business? Check out the Probate Mastery course
TRANSCRIPT: What the best real estate ISA systems get right: Tips from Andy Cole of 0260 Labs
How we got the Real Estate ISA System Right: Interview with Andy Cole from 0260 Labs (0:00)
Chad: Welcome everybody. My name is Chad Corbet, founder of Probate Mastery and Magnum Opus Project.
Here today with Andy Cole from 0260 Labs. And we are going to talk about real estate ISAs.
If that’s a foreign term to you, that’s the inside sales agent.
We’re going to unpack this, hear Andy’s story, how he got to where he is, why his business exists.
I’ll give you a hint: It’s because he had some of the same struggles you guys do, but this is something that comes up often, like ” I’m not getting my calls made, either because I’m afraid or I run out of time. How do I do this? Do I get on Fiverr and hire somebody and train them just to have them for somebody else for 25 cents more an hour? Or do I hire this company that, that says they want me to take a 40-hour block of time? Or do I just try this call center because they cold-called me? And I don’t know if it’s going to work or not.”
It’s a constant struggle we see in the industry. So whether you’re a real estate agent or broker, or you’re an investor, It’s something that I think, putting Andy in front of you as the expert let’s hear his story learn from what he learned, and maybe he’s a good fit for you to get this done, or maybe he can provide a lesson you can pull from his experience to overcome this challenge yourself. So Andy, welcome to the.
Andy: Chad, I appreciate you having me, man. I enjoyed our conversation before hopping on it. And I was, it was your assistant that reached out to me on Facebook, I think out of the blue cat. Okay. Yeah. I wasn’t expecting this for the first podcast I’ve ever been on. So I’m texting. Let’s do it.
Chad: Yeah. So I think it helps for context, like tell us where, like, where you entered the real estate industry. When did you realize that having an ISA was a big necessity and what lessons have you learned along the way?
Andy: Yeah, so I’ve been in the space now for eight years. I started, Jesus was like, I mean, I was 20, it’s like 25 at the time, so yeah, I’m 33 now.
So eight years give or take got a job working as an ISA. The job description was literally, make 120 dials a day. I had never had a sales position ever.
Chad: Now, was that on a real estate team, Andy?
Andy: It was on a real estate team. Yeah. it was an inside sales position. So that was my entry into the real estate space.
I had no real estate experience. I didn’t have a real estate license. I had just graduated from school. I had no idea what I was doing. Of course, all the courses that I took in college didn’t prepare me for anything.
Chad: [Sarcastically] no way.
Andy: No surprise, like, right.
Yeah. I’ve got some pretty strong opinions on college, but that’s maybe a conversation for another time. So I got this job. They stuck me in an office, you know, in a conference room in the corner, didn’t have my own office. It was a pretty small cramped office. I got a job working for a guy named Spencer Hash.
This is in San Antonio, Texas. And what I didn’t realize at the time was Spencer was a top producer. He was a pretty top-producing agent.
I didn’t realize who I was even working for. Like I said, no real estate experience had no idea who I was working for. Set me up in front of BoomTown.
So this was back in 2014. I mean, this was back like, you know, CRMs were not as common as they are today. Like everybody knows what a CRM is. Back then though, he was pretty forward-thinking he put me in front of BoomTown.
I was like, okay, this is actually like, pretty straightforward, you know, it’s just: Be detailed, be organized, do the work every day, come in and do the work every day. Make your phone calls, add your notes. I mean real estate, it becomes predictable.
Starting pay and job description for an inside sales agent/real estate ISA (3:22)
Chad: And what was your compensation model?
How did you have a base plus commission?
Andy: I did. Yeah. So it was $30,000. Yeah, I think it was a $30,000 base plus bonuses. Starting, it was like two and a half percent of 3% was the closing bonus so that it was entry-level, completely entry-level.
Chad: What did that business owner end up paying you?
Andy: So the high watermark and y’all is earning pretty close to a hundred thousand a year.
Chad: Okay. So where that’s important. And I want to put a pin in that. You know, What the audience here is considering is how the hell am I going to afford a hundred thousand dollars salary if I need someone to help me make calls? That’s the problem in real estate. I think that’s where you ultimately will find you saw an opportunity cause people who aren’t running at full scale, anyone who’s new to the industry are just getting in a transition or just getting this up. It’s out of reach for a lot of people.
So having, a dedicated ISA that converts, not just that burns up the phones and hangs paper, but an ISA that gets appointments and those appointments stick. It’s not an easy thing to achieve. Most people have to pay. 70 to a hundred thousand dollars a year for that qualified caller.
Now you can hire an ISA for a lot less, for sure. But you get what you pay for and you either invest in their salary for a skill set they already have, or you invest in growing that person and pouring yourself into them and helping them achieve that skill set. For context, just that this is one of the reasons why you’re here.
A lot of people don’t have the cash flow or the courage to bite off a hundred thousand dollar employee, which is why I think it’s about the service you guys provide is valuable to people who haven’t reached that level yet.
Andy: So I think the cash outlay to bring on an ISA, like, yeah. Yeah.
There’s that. But man, there’s so much that’s involved with even like bringing an ISA up to speed. The job description for me when I first started was 120 dials a day. That’s one KPI to optimize for, It’s like, how do you organize a CRM?
How do you get detailed notes? How do you make sure to get all of the questions answered? Not dig one level deeper, dig, like 3, 4, 5, 6 levels deep and get all the information? Cause you know, a buyer, maybe they’re thinking about buying a house.
Okay. But what’s the real story, like, do they need to sell to buy? Okay, well now we’re talking two transactions. It’s like, how do you get the ISA to be operating at that peak level where the money that you’re spending one to make five, ideally. I mean, I think like as a business owner, that’s what you’re looking for.
it’s, It’s tough, man.
What the best real estate ISA companies are really good at (5:47)
Chad: The answer is simple it’s systems and training. The implementation is what’s tough right?
Andy: The implementation is tough. Like the accountability side of things, like you can have the best training in the world, which we have some pretty good training.
You can have the best systems in the world, which I think we’ve got, like, our systems are very dialed in, but like the accountability side of things, you know, every day we’re looking at performance, like how many calls did they make and how many texts did they send out? How many appointments were booked?
How many questions are the real estate ISAs asking, right? If people aren’t asking questions, if they’re off just doing their own little thing over here, I start getting concerned when, especially the newer ISAs, if they’re not asking me any questions, that’s when I know like, oh wait, they think they know too much and I need to start having a conversation with them about like,
you know, give me some feedback here.
Chad: So, it’s common knowledge, like it’s not easy to hire, train, grow, nurture, and retain top ISA talent. I do want to get back to your story though. Like, I want to hear your transition, like your aha moment, like as an ISA from looking at it you’ve essentially.
Gone completely. The other end of the spectrum is from an ISA, for the entrepreneur to being the entrepreneur that provides the ISA.
The one thing agents REALLY need to do for their ISAs (6:52)
Chad: So let’s follow that journey. I’m curious to hear what made, what aha moment gave you the courage to say, I can do this better and I can do it for others. For sure.
Andy: So I worked as an ISA for three years with the Spencer hash team. So at the time, high watermark. I mean, we were doing about $90 million a year in transaction volume as a team. So that was for the entire team. I think we had, like 15 agents that were working full time and then we added a couple of part-timers, but really it was, it’s 15 agents that are essentially working full time.
I was the sole ISA in the office booking appointments for the entire team. So we were doing about 90 million a year was about 400 sides a year. I mean, the appointments that I was setting up for the office was accounting for just a shade over about 50% of all the transaction volume that was going through that office.
And that’s, not a typo. And I know this because for me to get paid as an ISA, all of my comps, like I, I had to track these deals, as an ISA. Tracking these deals to actually make sure that the agents are putting their notes in the CRM like that the lead has actually gone from appointment to appointment closed.
It’s very complicated. Like, when you’re trying to corral agents to actually make sure that notes are updated, it’s very complicated. So I had very detailed notes on exactly what was being closed, so it was about 50% of all the transaction volume that was going through the office was, things that I had essentially set up, and yeah, that’s to be assumed because I was the only ISA in the office.
And, if I’m not doing that, I’m not doing my job basically. So I guess it’s not really a surprise, but
Preventing burnout as a real estate agent or investor (8:19)
Andy: 2017 I decided that I was ready for a change. We had a listing agent position open up in the office. Like we had somebody leave. I wanted to go out in the field and see if I could, start closing deals out in the field.
So I did that for a year sold 95 properties my first year as a listing agent. And to be honest with you, man,
Chad: that’s awesome, dude.
Andy: I didn’t even realize at the time, like looking back, like it’s actually a little bit eyeopening, but I didn’t even realize, like, that was really a big deal at the time.
What I did know is that man, I burned myself out. I had to call it quits after that year. I remember there was one there’s one time I got a call from a client, literally like 12 o’clock on Friday and this was back. Like, I don’t drink anymore. I’ve actually, I haven’t drank anything for two years, which is another, this is another side note, I was at a bar or something.
I was having a drink with a couple of buddies and I’m getting a call from a client it’s midnight on a Friday and I’m just. Dude
I’m done with it. Like I’m done with this. I do not want to be dealing with this right now. And I also had a different mindset at the time.
I think I had a pretty selfish mindset at the time. I think now it’s different because it’s a business owner.
You know, somebody’s calling me at 12. O’clock there’s probably something wrong. Thought that. Oh my gosh. Give me one second.
Sorry about that stupid Google voice, but I’m perfectly timed yeah, I know her. So like, if somebody is calling you at 12 o’clock on a Friday, like it’s probably important, but I, think back then, I was more focused on myself. whereas now is just a mindset shift.
if you’re focused on really serving the needs of your clients, like, listen, I’ll pick up the phone at 12 o’clock. If I’ve got a client call me. I think most of the clients I work with, like, they’re not going to be calling me at 12 o clock. I enjoy who I work with. I mean,
Chad: There’s a lot of parallels between my story and yours. I was doing on market and off the market. But my first year in this brand new market, I did 72 conventional deals like on market. And I think, I don’t know, a few dozen off-market wholesale and portfolio deals, but I was working seven days a week, most days, 16 hours.
Andy: But normally that was an easy day.
Chad: I remember. I mean, I remember not sleeping. Like there was one time I had without any help, no admin, no team. I had 17 deals in escrow and I was going on, on a three-week trip to Canada where I was going to be off-grid. And you’re not going on a trip. I went, but I had to spend three nights not sleeping.
I literally stayed up and just got in front of all that work and set it up. And it got to a point where I’m like, this is insane. Like this isn’t a business. This is a shitty job change. And I had to bring other people and I had to learn to delegate and I had to grow. So it’s, I mean, be kind to yourself, I guess is my point.
Like you, you learned from. Like you burn out, but you took a valuable lesson from it. It’s not that customer experience didn’t matter. It’s just that you were out of your out of bandwidth, like it mattered less than your own sanity at one point, right? Yeah. I mean, it’s, it literally starts affects your health.
Andy: I mean, I actually, I mean, I forgot about this, but at the time, I mean, dude, starting to have like panic attacks. Being stressed. I mean, it’s like, dude, it’s like literally affecting my health. That’s my new, like, I gotta change things up here cause this is not working out. So basically, I mean, I took a year off, I was dealing with some other stuff at the time personal stuff that was also causing me to just be all sorts of stressed out.
Determining the best way to recruit, train, and place ISAs (11:34)
Andy: So basically from like 2018 to like 2020, when I started my current business, honestly, It was just a stretch of like, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing.
You know, when you go through a year of just like, doing well, but hating it, you’re just like, man I just don’t want to go back to that.
So I don’t even really know how it began, we started doing ISA and lead generation specifically for clients and, it just started snowballing.
I don’t do any advertising. I mean, I’d say the majority of people that reach out to us, it’s mostly inbound and referral based, which, again, to be honest, like that’s the kind of business that you want.
You know, I enjoy the people that I do business with.
Like, I treat them like family and yeah, that’s essentially how I got started,
Chad: but your original vision was, if I can find the real estate ISA and teach them what I know, then hand them off, then I can arbitrage from that. Right. Like you can make a fee for service.
Andy: That is exactly correct. So base, so like the initial, last year and you and I were talking about this, initially so what we started doing is we actually were doing ISA placements.
So we would Find the ISA, recruit them, put them through our application process, get down to the, the creme de LA creme, like the best of the best. We feel like you’re going to do an amazing job doing this. just to be clear.
So like, anytime you’re hiring people, you’re doing the most unpredictable thing in the face, on the face of the planet, you can have the best hiring process in the world. Just expect that 50% of these people are not even going to work.
Chad: So you guys, this is where like, this is where Andy can be such a valuable resource to you and to the community. So I’ve found I’m blessed with lots and lots of insanely successful people in my life. When I have access to people like that, I tend to ask 90% of my questions are geared towards the mistakes they’ve made.
Not what they got. Right.
Mistakes to avoid as an aspiring entrepreneur (13:18)
Chad: And before we started this recording, Andy and I were joking about how we used to think, every year we know less, even though you read books and meet people and go to conventions as you progress and grow as a person, you’ll if you’re doing it right, I think you’ll realize, less and less every year as you gain wisdom and become more humble.
So what I want to talk about what I really want to, like, what I think they can really benefit from you is like learning from that vision you had that gave you the courage to take action. Like that entrepreneurial spark went off and you’re like, yes, that’s it. I can do it. Like what lessons came from that.
And what made you shift your model? Cause that’s a lot of the people listening to this. Are also, they’re either in the thick of this, or they’re still looking for that spark of courage to make the move. So I think, I’m giving you a platform to help people not make the same mistakes you’ve made and that’s a super valuable to learn from somebody,
Andy: Man, we’ve made a lot of mistakes. So like the number one thing that I have learned though, when it comes to hiring people in general and. I love everybody. Like everybody on our team, man, we treat them like family. We do our best to treat them the best that we possibly can.
But listen, at the end of the day, like you’re running a business and if you’re putting all your eggs in one basket for one person, you’re going to get burned a lot. And I think the reason why, we are growing right now and I have to give her a shout is I mean my head of recruiting, she’s incredible, EJ.
So she’s doing anywhere from seven to 10 interviews per day right now. I mean, she’s one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. She knows exactly what we’re looking for. I mean, we’re playing the, the volume game, like to get to the best of the best. If you’re good.
If you’re planning on doing this yourself, you gotta have volume to work with otherwise again, if you’re putting all your eggs in one basket, like I’m telling you, you’re just not going to be successful. So like, if we have somebody quit on us or they resign,
You know this happens. I mean, honestly it happens all the time. We just had somebody resign on us last week and it was personal problems. So you know it wasn’t a fit for her. So we had to quickly, come in and swap out that ISA for client and that happened same day.
So their business was not interrupted, but the reason why we’re able to do that is because not only do we have the recruiting side of the equation down, but we’ve got, anywhere from five to 10, ISAs in our trial period that are training at any given time. So
I can literally, you’re out of the picture you’re in. It’s like a sports team. Basically. I have a bench of people I can work with. You know what I’m saying?
Chad: But before you learned that lesson you were playing on one-on-one like you were playing pickup ball. When someone walked away, you were, you’re left high and dry, the dials weren’t being made.
Andy: Oh no, let me clarify that the dials were being made, but guess who was making the phone calls? I was making the phone calls. Yeah. Which, for the client, like maybe like, maybe that’s a or them because eight years of doing this, you get pretty good on the phone. Again, like what I try to get out of now, I’m going straight back into it, because, I’m having to do everybody’s job for them. And, you were just mentioning this like 16 hour days, like, that’s like an easy day, the days start getting crazy, so if you’re putting all your eggs in one basket, You’re going to, you’re going to feel the pain and, just be prepared. I think honestly that’s the biggest lesson that we’ve learned doing this is play the volume game.
Chad: Make sure you have people that are ready to go and and expect one and two to go somewhere else before you actually get them up to speed or like once you’re comfortable with them. One out of every two is going to leave.
Not everyone is built to manage people (16:33)
Andy: I think your listeners may find value in this, all share this.
I’ll walk you guys through our actual application process step by step. So the way that we do this right now, and
Chad: I want to make a clear transition. I may be confusing, as the interviewer, I may be confusing this. Looking at what your, an original model was. We haven’t really talked much about what your current model is.
So let’s make that transition first and then talk about your process for sure.
Yeah. So in 2021, and in, basically since we started, we were doing ISA placements. So what I mean by ISA placement is we essentially go out into the marketplace. We find, a really high quality individual.
Andy: We train them for a time period of about three or four months. It’s about what we found that it takes. It takes us to get, somebody with no knowledge of how to do this job to a point where like, they’re 80% of the way there and they know how to do his job at a very high level.
And then the last 20% that’s gained over the span of about a year of doing it, just doing it every single day. So we were doing it that way and a lot of problems were coming into play there, but I think the, I think that the biggest problem that we were having is one, it’s a people management problems.
So like when we were pulling out from the placement and we conclude the placement, we, we let that ISA remain with the client, it’s really hard to just drop all the accountability in the systems that we have in place. And then the client is just expected to like deal with it,
Chad: your culture was lost in translation like that didn’t transfer.
So you brought them in the one environment where they felt cared for and you were growing them and then you move them into a whole different company culture and give up control. You both give up control of that, right.
Andy: A hundred percent
Chad: inside of your business. And you can’t ever control that. Like you can’t control if you place somebody with a bad people manager, they’re probably going to fail no matter how that, how good they are at their job, right.
Andy: A hundred percent. So it’s a combination. They don’t know how to do it. And maybe like, they just got too much on their plate. And then, you know, you have a couple that They just don’t want to do it. Basically what we found is that the placement model, I mean, for us, just doesn’t work like for us, it’s to achieve the highest possible results and have it be consistent day in, day out 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We’ve got to be involved every single day.
And you and I were talking about this prior to the call, such a huge part of this is accountability. You can have the best systems, best training in the world, but if you don’t have any accountability, you still get zero, you get zero.
Subscription-model real estate ISA service for any lead type (18:58)
Andy: For us so we, in 2021 January 1st, 2021, we moved to a straight up subscription model.
So basically, a client comes to us, they have a database that, I’d say the majority of the clients that we work with have database of, anywhere from five to. 70,000 leads. I mean, that’s the range of database sizes that we’re playing with right now. And they just, they know that they have a lead followup problem, but I feel like, I mean, because this is such a tough business to scale, like nobody’s really come in and figure out how to do it.
So they essentially come to us. They want the database cleaned up and they want booked appointments. The thing that makes us different from everybody else, and this is not designed to turn into a, a sales pitch or anything like that, but it’s just like, this is how we get results.
Like we actually work inside of the client’s CRM. This is not happening outside of the, in a third party CRM, this is all happening inside of your CRM. So you as a client go in and see, what is my ISA doing today? Are they doing the work? Things like that. So that’s the transition I did that.
Did that clarify your question?
Chad: So I think that’s a good time now to talk about what does that onboarding look like? Cause I think the questions in the audience right now are going to be well, can you do that for my probate leads? What lead types can you do it for? Is it just sellers or can you do buyers too?
Like, let’s talk about the relationship, the B2B relationship between your company and the practitioner and how that process works. Like, how customized is it? How boiler plate is it? Like, what does it look like?
Andy: For sure. In, in terms of lead types, any, like we work with every lead type, a lead is a lead as a lead.
If it’s probate, if it’s Zillow. Radio advertising like that. Yeah. The messaging is going to be a little bit different. I mean, it is going to be different depending on what the lead sources, but we have scripts that we use for this stuff and yeah, we make it, we have all sorts of clients.
So we work with, I mean, we’ve got YouTube clients, we’ve got people who have Facebook groups. We’ve got people that they just, they spend a huge amount of money on realtor.com and Zillow. So depending on what the leads versus it are, we will match the messaging to to whatever the lead sources is are that you’re using
The first month, so you’re, you were specifically asking about the onboarding process. If you’re looking for perfection. I think again, you’re just not going to be successful. The two options of progress versus perfection, we’re always focused on the progress side of the equation.
Like perfection, like the first month, it’s like, it’s messy. Like I’m not gonna lie. Like it’s messy. Often during the first month and I tell them when I have an initial call with them, if you do move forward with us, I’m just telling you right now, if you spend all day looking inside of your CRM at messages that we’re sending out on your behalf, some of these messages are not going to make sense.
Conversation-based real estate prospecting by inside sales agents (21:31)
Andy: Like there’s no way around it. Like some of these messages are literally not going to make sense. The point is like conversions happen in conversations. If you’re not having any conversations, you’re not getting any conversions. You’re not getting commission checks. The way that we look at this is like, this is a process we’re playing the long-term game.
And, at the end of the day, again, give me the option between perfection and progress. I’m going to say progress every time. Like I could care less if there’s mistakes happening. As long as those conversations are turning into a conversation for me and my team in the form of booked appointments, it’s like, does it really matter?
How you get there, really. And then, in terms of the onboarding process, we get access to your CRM. We get all those logins. Like those are all sent over via a type form. So we have, the onboarding process is pretty quick. Like when somebody signs on with us, like usually we’re up and running within a week.
And that’s basically what it looks like. I mean, it’s pretty streamlined. Like we, we get all the info ahead of time so we’re not having to bug the client. You know, throughout the process, like, what do we do here? What do we do here? Like, that’s our job.
Chad: Like, you know what lead types you’re prospecting, what the prospecting block hours are like where that fits into the calendar. I’m assuming you, as part of your onboarding process, you’re going to say, what hours do you want us prospecting? And then do they want live transfers versus calendar appointments? Is it.
Are those options available or is it like, here’s how we do it.
Best time to make real estate cold calls: 0260 labs ISA scheduling (22:47)
Andy: Everything that you mentioned there, we customize it towards the client. In terms of the hours that ISAs are working, we strongly recommend 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The local time you’re laughing
Chad: for years, I’ve been referencing an MIT study on Zillow cold calls.
And what they found is prospecting on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Raised your conversion rates by like 164%.
Chad: And I’ve referenced that study. I found it in like 2013 and I referenced it so many times because that was when I was an active practitioner and I was like, screw it. I’m going to take a chance. So I changed my prospecting blocks to those 12 hours a week. I hit those blocks. So it was Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Eight to 10:00 AM, four to 6:00 PM. And everything else was either appointment times or personal time.
Like I did not go on appointments on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and I did not make calls on Mondays and Fridays. And I did my best to take Saturdays and Sundays off. When I actually had the courage to put that in place. That’s when I started to reclaim my time. And my transaction volume continued to go up for like, 72 that a year prior to 103 or four the next year, but it focused me.
I had a much higher percentage of I had a much higher chance of connecting and I had a much higher chance of converting during those call blocks. So like, for me, that’s why if our hiring, you had to have very specific based on my, the positive reinforcement from that experience. But it’s interesting.
You guys have basically found the same thing. Like you’re looking at those, when it’s most. You’re most likely to convert, but it sounds like you’re still willing to make the calls. If the client says, I want you making Saturday morning calls, you’ll do it.
Andy: Right. So we, as far as the scheduling side of things, like the majority of the clients that we work with are, it’s a Monday through Friday deal. We do have clients that, I mean, it’s a five day, five days a week, work, schedule something along those lines. If, if we do have a client that is, and we do have clients that do this, instead of taking days off on Saturdays and Sundays, we’re taking days off, Tuesday, Thursday, so we were flexible. But yeah, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. I mean, that’s, those are the same times that I was calling when I was an ISA. And, I didn’t know about the MIT study, but I just was basing it on past experience. Like I had success doing it. So I feel like, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel,
Chad: no, that’s why I was smiling. Cause it was consistent. It seemed like you, you didn’t know about it, but it, you found the same result. And I think it’s study was based on 88,000 outbound calls to Zillow leads. Okay. That was the origin. So you’ve been on the phone with Zillow leads, right? like the ability to connect and the ability to convert were the two KPIs and the study, and both were like, I think one was 114% increase and the other was 164 by focusing on those middle week, middle of the day calls and those specific blocks.
I took us down that rabbit hole. All right. So to summarize like you, oh, let me just ask you a direct question.
Stop wasting time and money chasing real estate leads: The 6-figure mindset (25:46)
Chad: Do you think that makes sense for any real estate practitioner who is operating at a level where they have a comfortable income, they want to grow their business and they’re looking at what the options are.
Do you think it makes sense for any of them? And if so, which ones to actually hire and onboard and manage their own ISA versus using a service?
I’ll give you my soapbox rant on leak, like when somebody, when a practitioner who says, I’m going to make six figures this year, whether they have, or have not, that’s the mindset they’re committed to, right?
Your time is worth, let’s just say no less than $50 an hour. If you’re in a six-figure. Even if you haven’t achieved it, I’m going to say that’s a $50. Your role is 50 bucks an hour. If you’re going to hit your goal, otherwise you’re just bullshitting yourself. Right? Let’s apply that the value of your time is 50 bucks an hour.
Now you get in your car, you sit in traffic, you drive 30 minutes to a courthouse.
You go through security.
You talk to the clerk, waste five minutes there, grab a Hershey’s bar out of the candy bowl, finally get to the records room. Wait until she’s done dealing with the other person, then can teach you how to pull the nod or the probate or the divorce or whatever lead type you’re there for.
You write it down on pen and paper.
You pay a dollar 50 to print it.
Then you come back to your house. You waste some time having lunch.
Then you put it into a spreadsheet.
Then you go to Spokeo or Intelius and you skip trace it to get the phone number. Then you decide you have to get it into a CSV import into your CRM.
Finally after an entire day, you’ve got 30 leads that are ready to prospect. You ready to start making calls eight hours into this? So for me if you’re in a six figure mindset, or if you’re already in a six figure income bracket, I will absolutely say you are losing money. If you’re doing your own data acquisition.
Positively I’ve modeled it out. I’ve used it in coaching. I’ve had to put it in spreadsheets and prove it to people. I assume you probably are similarly as passionate in preventing people from making that mistake in the ISA space
Documenting and delegating your standard operating procedures (SOPs) (27:42)
Andy: 100%. So I agree. The data acquisition part, like you got to delegate that out.
If you’re doing that yourself maybe if you’re having to create the SOP first, I actually do recommend, do it yourself. Make sure you’ve got it down. Once,
or, maybe a few times to make sure you got the process down, documented on loom, recorded on loom and then delegated out to somebody with SOPs on exactly what they need to do to get it done so that you can focus on the, in that case actually doing the calls and, getting these people, on the phone.
The one thing that I will say that I think is really important I have seen, a number of times is we’ll have a client come to us that thinks that they’re ready for an ISA and I didn’t realize this until after, like we got into this a little bit, they’re ready for an ISA, like, they’ve got the exact mindset that you’re talking about.
They’ve got the six figure mindset, but the issue is they have not spent enough time on the phone, developing the muscle memory required to to know how to actually get deals closed in the first place. And that’s like, that’s a really important concept to understand, because if you’re, you can have an amazing ISA booking appointments, you, but if you don’t know how to like overcome objections and, get past the first five seconds of the call, how to ask the right questions, how to listen on the phone, the appointment can get booked, but like the agent doesn’t know what to do with it.
When do you need a real estate appointment setter? When don’t you? (28:56)
Andy: And then they will come back and they’ll say, Yeah, I’m just not getting anywhere with these leads and truly, like, I didn’t understand where the problem was, but the, we started spending a whole lot more time with the clients that we’re working with.
And then it became very clear, like, okay, wow. They actually have, they don’t like the appointment has been set, but they don’t know how to approach it properly. You know, when we’re talking about the actual conversion side of things. And I know I’m getting a little bit ahead of you here, but the actual conversion side of things like appointments are great.
Closings, pay the bills, right?
Chad: The problem you’re highlighting is also why this community exists, right? So we have, right now we’re offering a course in the probate space and it doesn’t like, I think some people expect to come in and learn all about probate law and the logistics of it.
We talk about enough of that, so you can understand the process, but. 90% of success in any niche is really being empathetic to the prospect’s situation and crafting an offer that’s valuable to them and you defeat the objections before they arise. So I think in this community, you’re going to find that they know how to deal with the appointment.
Like that’s what they’ve taken a 16-hour course. They know what these people are going through. What’s valuable to them. What’s not what to say, what not to say. It’s the biggest problem in this community is. The work’s not getting done, either they don’t have the time to make the calls or they’ve called reluctance has crept in, on them for some reason or something shifted like a child got ill, a parent had to go into long-term care, whatever that reason might be.
But I agree like that problem you highlighted is the reason real estate training is so valuable. It’s the reason third-party services that specialize like you’ve figured out what the biggest choke points are in Recruiting, training, and retaining real estate ISAs and that learning curve is steep.
Andy: It’s so brutal.
Chad: I learned how to close. I learned how to monetize pretty much every real estate conversation I was on. So that’s what I try to teach and convey as here’s what you do when you have the conversation. So here’s how you establish rapport. You find out what their needs are and you earn the real estate conversation.
You don’t start into, Hey, you got a house, you ready to sell it? Like you focus on people and situation and then move to real estate and done correctly. It can be very fluid and easy and it’s easily repeatable. So that’s kind of who this community is. Like. They prescribe to that and they’ve done it, but it’s interesting to see that we both, I mean, our businesses both serve the same problem.
Andy: A hundred percent. And in terms of coming back to your original question about, do we recommend going out and doing this yourself, or hiring somebody else to do this man, unless you really enjoy pain and you really enjoy like the learning process.
By all means, feel free to go do it yourself. It’s going to be expensive to like, the amount of expense that you’ll incur, trying to figure this stuff out yourself. Like you probably would have been better off hiring somebody that knows exactly what they’re doing, honestly,
Should you use real estate ISA services or directly hire inside sales agents? (31:44)
Chad: We’re all in real estate here. So let’s use a real estate metaphor. If you had to out of dire straits or sheer necessity, I bet you could build your own house, right? But there’s. There’s still doesn’t make any damn sense because take yourself out of that and go do whatever you do, close deals, whatever that was while you trade that time for money and trade that money for the contractors, time to build you a house.
So it’s not to say that you can’t. But you probably shouldn’t because it’s a huge pain and a huge learning curve and costly mistakes will be made. And I’ve watched so many of my friends go through this guys that are doing anywhere from 50 to 600, 700 deals a year. And oftentimes two transaction sides on the majority of those.
And I’ve watched the pain, like having an office of one ISA upwards of like 12 in one office. And I’ve yet to hear anyone say, you know what? That was a hell of a lot easier than I expected it to be.
Andy: That, that was so much fun. Let’s do it again.
Virtual ISA vs. In House ISA: Which is better? (32:41)
Chad: Usually it usually results in, my ISA is now my competition because I taught him or her how to be good on the phones and get listing appointments. And then they figured out how to close the appointment. So now I’m competing with them. That’s usually the outcome.
Andy: That’s a very good point. And I’ll tell you what. So this was something that we learned,
you know, midway through the process is like the benefits of actually having a virtual ISA
They’re never going to be your competition. Right. So there’s that whole aspect of as well, like it’s like you’re spending all this time to train them and then they go off and they, they joined somebody else cause they realized they can make more money as a real estate agent basically.
The benefits of hiring remote, they cannot be understated there. My entire company is remote. Living out of Airbnbs right now, traveling full time. I don’t know if I mentioned that or not, but
Chad: we were both nomads too.
Andy: Yeah. So it’s I mean, the benefits hiring somebody that is working remote that actually want, they want to work remotely. Like these individuals that we bring on, we would hire from all over the world. We hired from Pakistan, the Philippines we brought somebody on from the Commonwealth of Dominica. I didn’t re I didn’t even realize the Commonwealth of Dominica was different from the Dominican Republic.
So I’m getting a better geography class than I ever had in school. Honestly, going through this stuff, we hired somebody in from Mexico the other day. Where else Ecuador. So like, I, you know, all over the place and these people, like they want to work from home.
Being able to offer that as a, as a job benefit, again, like, if you can provide them with a much higher standard of living than they would be able to get in a job like in their specific country, then it’s just like, it’s a win-win for everybody.
And I think that’s, that’s what we’re really big on. So yeah.
Chad: We’re at the top of the hour. I won’t keep you for too much long. I want to underscore some key points here. So it’s clear to see that regardless of where you are, whether you’re at a top producer level or, you’re in six or seven figure income, the transition to having an in-house ISA is never easy.
And I think you can tell from Andy’s story and I mean, I’ve seen so many people go through this. That doesn’t change that a lot of people perceive it as not as challenging and we might agree that it is based on our experience. People are still going to try it. The conversation keeps coming up like.
Should I do this? How do I train them? What systems do I use? The conclusion here is if you want to cost yourself money and you want to introduce more complexity and challenges into your business, then undertake it that way.
Otherwise, this is something that can be outsourced and something we haven’t talked about. And guys may, I’m not a hard sell person at all. There’s options out there. A friend of mine, Daniel Ramsey owns my out desk and he’s been on this show as one of our experts.
0260 Labs: Real Estate ISA services for people with too many leads (35:16)
Chad: He has one model and Andy, something I’d like to talk about is your model, like who is your ideal customer at what level?
Could they afford a service like yours? What can they expect if they are drawn to what what you have to say and want to try out your ISA services?
Andy: Yeah, absolutely. So I’d say, realistically the numbers that we’re looking for is specifically database size. Like you’re bringing on an ISA for a reason, you know, you have a follow-up problem.
And the minimum database size that we look for is about 2,500 leads in the database. And that’s like, just because of we need enough opportunities to book appointments from you know, this is a numbers game.
Chad: I want to be clear to the community. So here, most of these folks are getting on average 80 leads a month from their probate, just in the probate pillar of their business.
However, that’s compounding. If they’ve been doing it for a year, then, they might have a thousand leads, a thousand probate leads in the database, but I want to be clear. You have sphere of influence. You have past clients, you have anyone like anyone who’s in your database. The other thing I want to say is I was shocked when I first started training real estate professionals.
How few of them one knew what a CRM was, two had one, because it’s something I’ve always had. Like from the very, very first time I ever stepped in the real estate, I had a spreadsheet, but that was my CRM. Right. I kept track of my contacts. And so it’s something that. If you don’t have a CRM, I’ll say it again.
Go get a damn CRM is one of the foundational steps to being a real estate professional. But if you do, if you’re thinking about this, like, oh man, I don’t have 2,500 leads. You probably do. Throughout all of the things that you’ve done and try to, if you can find that data and get it into a CRM, we probably all have more than 2,500 contacts that.
would be viable prospecting.
Andy: For sure. And a couple of other things I’ll just mention here. So the total database size, that’s one lever that we pull. The other one that we pull is the total amount of fresh monthly leads that are coming into the database so if you’ve got 80 to a hundred probate leads, great, you know, that’s like, that’s about the number that we need to make sure again, that your ISA has enough work to do in enough leads to call to to book appointments from.
Chad: I mean, understand, like this is one pillar. Most people, they have sphere of influence. They’ve got referral business. They’ve. We’ve got other things they’re getting internet leads or they’re door knocking, neighborhood like circle prospecting or neighborhood farming. Like the, I mean, if I have it my way, they’ll be able to reach a seven figure income, just doing this one thing.
For a lot of people, there’s enough lead volume that’s achievable. And that’s the thing I’m most proud of is as the number of seven figure people that have come through this course for 500 bucks and they’re making seven figures and they just quit everything else. That’s what I’m striving for.
I realized that’s not going to happen the first year for every single person. you know, they’re coming in at different stages of their career. Some of them are investors and brokers. Some of them are just brokerage. Some are just investment. Some of them are working five lead types. Some of them have, are brand new to the business and just found this.
And it’s what they’re starting with. But for most people I think they are using multiple strategies. So they have different lead sources and a bigger database than just their probate leads.
Andy: Yeah, and I agree like a hundred percent. So like, if you really dig down and think about it, like if you don’t have all this stuff in one centralized location, like if once you get it all in one centralized location inside of a CRM, you might actually be surprised at how many people you actually have in there.
So it’s like the CRM. It really doesn’t matter that much. It’s how you’re actually using the CRM. And do you have SOP in place and are you holding people accountable to those SOPs on a daily basis? That’s how you’re going to get results so like the CRM, it doesn’t really matter. But like, is there, is there something that we can come in here and like actually help this person solve a problem?
I mean, Those are really the numbers that we’re looking for. And as far as the costs, like what we charge to essentially do this. So we’re at 2,500 a month. Right now we ask for a six month commitment. Cause quite frankly, I’d say the majority of our clients, I mean, they start seeing deals closing around month, five, and six. They should be. ROI positive by month seven and eight, if they’re not usually there’s a problem at that point.
It’s, this is not Amazon prime. It’s not UberEATS. You can’t, tap a button and the money magically shows up tomorrow. I mean, if you’re investing in your business for the long-term, which that’s the only way we play this game, at least over here, and I get a sense, like, that’s how you guys are playing as well.
Then yeah, we’d love to talk to you and see how we can help. Again, we do not do perfection, but we do progress and we do results as well.
The ROI of using real estate ISA services from 0260 Labs (39:39)
Chad: So we’ll just recap that. So if you find yourself in a situation where you’re using a CRM, it has more than 2,500 contacts.
You’re consistently adding 80 to a hundred, at least at a minimum per month and $15,000 over six months to scale your business massively. It doesn’t scare the shit out of you then you’re probably a good prospect. I also want to point back to the very early in this conversation. Andy, someone who’s trying to decide. Should I work with Andy or do this on, ignore his advice and do this on my own, let’s look at the math of it.
Let’s just look at the logic of it. So for $30,000 a year, for the full 12 months, they would have 30,000 invested to have all of the systems, all of the recruiting, all of the management, the customer relation, but with the B2B relationship and support that cost 30 grand a year. And you got people, you got full-time callers setting appointments for you versus if you do this on your own. You’re likely to find a caller that’s qualified. You might have as much as $45,000 a year in a domestic ISA, or you fight through the same learning curve that we’ve discussed here today: You find a virtual ISA.
You interview dozens upon dozens of them. You hire 10 of them. Five of them stick. One of those actually turns out to be good. And then they leave you two or three months later and you come all the way back and start over. And it’s, I’m trying to point the value that I see in this: The ability to at least step in and say, okay, on day one, we know we have a system like qualified caller using a systematic approach, and I have some influence on that.
That’s customizable to my business, and it might take six months to ramp up before the snowball really starts gaining momentum. Versus taking it on yourself. I have to put the systems in place, the recruiting systems, the business systems, all this, go figure this out, go meet these people, figure out which ones are good, which ones are going to stick around, which ones are going to leave.
And like, going back to my earlier comment about the value of your time. If you’re in a six figure mindset or greater, like if you figure out what you actually pay them and the amount of time you spend going through that, I think everyone will find either. I want this and I’m going to do it now, or I want this and when I can afford it, I’m getting it.
Or I’m just going to go make my own calls which I won’t have a problem with. If you guys all decide, if this inspired you to get on the phone and do your own calls, that’s always better. Like, cause you’re going to convert at a higher level. But if your calls aren’t being made, I wanted to put people and professionals in front of you that can actually help you with that problem, because it’s always better to do something than just not prospect.
Andy: Couldn’t have said it any better. Yeah, I agree. A hundred percent and yeah, I mean, to be honest, I’m making live calls, every single day.
In front of it, for the ISA that we’re doing. So even though I’m running the business, like, um, you know, we’re, I’m still doing this every single day. Cause if I don’t make calls, like you get rusty and you’re deluding yourself if you think that you don’t get rusty
How to connect with Andy Cole and 0260 Labs (42:31)
Chad: Andy I really appreciate it. This has been a great conversation. I appreciate your time. Tell us how we can keep in touch, get in touch with you. How can they find out more about your service? What’s your desired former contact here? And we’ll also drop it in the show notes. Absolutely. I appreciate that.
Andy: So I’m very active on both Facebook and LinkedIn. If you want to just add me as a friend on either or shoot me a message on either one of those Andy Cole. Andy Cole. Yes. Yes. Or, and you can also reach out to us on our website. You can book a call with me on our website, www.0260labs.com
That’s zero to six, zero numbers labs .com and man, I think that’s pretty much it.
Chad: All right. I have a feeling we’re going to have to do a follow up or 12 to this. It’s always, it’s a constant conversation in real estate communities. We may actually invite you to one of our group coaching calls on Tuesdays at 3:00 PM Eastern.
We do a live call every week. And uh, I think it would be, I would like to at least give them access to you here and then maybe invite you back to one of our live coaching calls, where if you’re willing to take the hot seat in front of, you know, practitioners like led
Andy: Let’s do it! Honestly. Like what I’ve learned is the more that I say yes, the more like, things just started happening.
So let’s do it. Yeah. I’m in, count me in.
Chad: All right. Andy, thanks so much. And we will, we’ll have him on schedule for you guys to talk to yourself. Thanks a lot. Have a great night, Chad. Appreciate it.