Real Estate ISA Radio: Interviews with a Top ISA Series
Episode 2: April Martin - ISA at Dani Blain Team
What you'll learn:
- How to systematize your lead follow-up and nurture
- How The Dani Blain ISA team makes over 113,000 calls, sends 60,000 emails and 47,000 text messages
- Training your ISAs the right way to keep them
- Handling different types of leads based on personality and BTOP (Build Trust Over the Phone) techniques
Robby T: That's funny.
April Martin: It's true. I can't keep track of the numbers. Over 113,000 calls made, over 60,000 emails sent, over 47,000 texts. Are you still there?
Nate Joens: I kind of am. Can you see me?
April Martin: No, I don't see you and I see a pan of Robby still.
Nate Joens: I do too. I think Robby has sufficiently broken this.
April Martin: Okay.
Nate Joens: Okay. Well, Robby's just going to be there smiling I guess since I can't seem to get rid of him.
April Martin: Okay.
Nate Joens: So I guess just keep going.
April Martin: I am at roughly 1,300 appointments set, and a little bit over 400 closings year to date.
Nate Joens: Okay. Great. So, can you tell us a little bit about your current role today and maybe how it's changed since you started with your team?
April Martin: Sure, absolutely. I was privileged to come on board with Kevin Blain himself, I was his original ISA, so founder from the beginning. I got the pleasure to go over and travel and see Robby, and Jim, and Eric and train with them personally. They've been a huge blessing in our life.
April Martin: From the beginning, from just not really knowing how to do it, or what to do, or what to expect, to today, I oversee four other ISA and we do currently manage and have managed up to 50 agents and 30-40 taking leads. So, my mornings are pretty busy. I come in at 7:30am, and pretty much do my leads, and my sales as an ISA until around noon. At around noon, I check out and I put on the management hat and making sure our ISA's are accountable. I'm going over current appointments set with them.
April Martin: We're trying to hold a pretty high standard for what the appointments set look like for our agents. I'm taking a look at who's converting. I am also looking at our different agents conversions. So, more of a management role and also providing training for the ISA's, because I've bene in this role three years. And since, the role is pretty ne overall in the industry, I think it's kind of up to ourselves to consistently grow and find new material. We're constantly trying new things and seeing what works. Just constantly providing new ways for our ISA's to get better.
Nate Joens: That's awesome. Could you, first of all, what are come of the tech tools you're using today. You'd mentioned you start the morning with your leads. Where are those leads coming from? Are they different than the ISA leads that they're working come noon? Kind of what's your lead, set the state a little but on your tech scene.
April Martin: Sure, so we have a basic CRM. We use Sync here. I know all ISA's and every team is different, that's one thing I've learned by studying ISA's the way I do. Is that, all teams are different, very unique and I would say some specialize in some things. We specialize in typical online leads such as Zillow, Realtor.com, Facebook, Facebook back at you, Dave Ramsey. Those are some of our traditional lead sources. My day, when I come in, any new leads on the platform, there's typically two of us at all times so, shifts tart from 7:30 until 4:00, and then one comes in from 12:30 until 9:00. All leads are round robin amongst the ISA's so typically everybody is getting a consistent new lead source a day. New leads, fresh leads, if you will.
April Martin: Then we also might have something a little different than a lot of teams. Because of our team size and the amount of conversions we do, we do do a lot of advertising. So, we do have a hotline and that phone does ring. And so typically whomever has that hotline, it's something you usually have to earn because you have to be very quick, because those are coming in live. You've got to be very, I know this is a hard thing to measure, but you've got to be very intuitive, and you've got to be very good with people skills and getting them to talk. Because, that phone can ring up to once every 15 minutes.
Nate Joens: And how may ISA's do you have? I'm sorry if I missed that.
April Martin: That's okay. It's me and four others, so four and a half.
Nate Joens: Okay, and what are their ranges of experience?
April Martin: I have one that's been here two years, and then two that have been here one year, and one that's brand new that we're currently on.
Nate Joens: And so, you know, this is probably a little bit a deeper question that I want to continue to dive into, but you had mentioned that getting access to the hotline is a high privilege. How do you set criteria for them to gain that access, gain that privilege? Is it simply based on experience? What are your criteria for that?
April Martin: Well, that's normally, when a new ISA comes in, they're typically trained for 90 days before they're going to access new leads or the hotline. They are shadowing, they are sitting with us. I do a lot of one-on-one when I put the lead on speaker and let them hear the questions we ask. We typically have a set form of information that we are to do our best to in conversation, get the information from the lead.
April Martin: Our new ISA, her name is Myra, and she said she hears us question so many different ways, just lead the conversation, so that when we come to a point where we dial, and I let her take the lead, it is on speaker and if at any time she gets stuck, she backs away and I take over the conversation in a fluid motion so that way there's no hiccup there. We do that quite a bit until she is comfortable. Even then, I like to listen to them dial, hear them for quite a bit before there's so many different scenarios in real estate that come across the hotline, that she has to be comfortable with taking agent referrals, she's got to be comfortable in the new [inaudible 00:09:00] sellers, competitive listings. Many, many different scenarios on that hotline.
Nate Joens: So, you're allowing those new ISA's to work leads that aren't new to start for the first 90 days. What type of leads? Are they calling? Tell me about what those first 90 days are like.
April Martin: Typically, the first 30 days, a lot of learning, a lot of role-playing, a lot of industry language. Real estate's a whole new language. A lot of listening to us, so there's hours of listening to us. Hour just learning our CRM. There Is hours in learning our agents and what their specialties are, and who's good at what. So there's so much, almost information overload when and ISA first starts, So, then when we actually get them comfortable with the CRM, and they're watching my girls do follow-ups on the dials and everything, then it's time for them to get comfortable with Mojo, and loading Mojo, and that whole dance that we do with Mojo. And so, one they get there and we are actually giving her leads, it's typically the older leads, the ones that maybe we never got, maybe they're just attempted contacts and there's been a lot of dials on them. But just a lot to practice on and with, so they're typically the older ones.
Nate Joens: Okay. I know that's what Robby teaches as well. ISA's don't get the privilege of the new leads until a certain period of time that they get a work through their crappy leads and kind of earn their stripes that way. When they actually do graduate to the new leads, why do you think that ISA's might not be successful after a certain period of time? You said you had an ISA that's been there for two years. Is that your most experienced other than yourself?
April Martin: Yes. We have had ISA's stay longer, but they just transition into being a full time agent. So they still are on the team, but they just went that route.
Nate Joens: Okay, so do you think that is a successful career path is to graduate ISA's into agents? Because, I know that's a little bit different than what Robby might believe. How do you think that's working out?
April Martin: That's not my preference ever. I think if it's my goal, long term goal, is to set this up in a way where my ISA's are very successful and they don't want to leave. To keep them as long as they can and as long as they're happy. I think it's really a personality type, and this particular ISA was an excellent ISA. She is now an excellent agent and she is one of our top converters because of her experience in ISA. So, I can't fault her for that. I think her D was so high, she's definitely going to be a business owner as far as a real estate agent. Phenomenal, she's brilliant.
Nate Joens: So, what do you think is the most important criteria or aspect in your business that keeps ISA's around that doesn't cause burnout. From my perspective, the ISA role is hard. It seems like a role that doesn't have a very long shelf life. It's exhausting. You get hounded by people all day who frankly don't say a lot of nice things sometimes. What do you do to combat the burnout?
April Martin: We try to make our work environment especially fun, and positive, and encouragement. We do a lot of laughing, a lot of joking, and a lot of celebrating. I think one thing that is important as a leader, I provide at least once a week, videos, encouragement, we have books that we all read together and share. Just the positive mindset because, like you're saying, this is a very, can be, a very negative field all day.
Nate Joens: Yeah.
April Martin: And so, then I think it's okay to admit this has been a really rough week, or a hard day, and just acknowledge that and take a break. Take a break and refresh, reset, get the positive mindset. We are all about positive mindsets here, and encouragement. And so, acknowledging the hard things and we turn it into laughter, because some of them are so bad. Some of the responses we get, some of the feedback, some of the texts, we turn them into laughter. You have the stage, you either laugh, or you cry.
Nate Joens: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. What do you think is the typical ISA look like for you. I think you mentioned that one of yours was a high D, I assume, we talk a lot about the DISC profile here, what are your ISA's look like that you think are going to stay in the ISA role?
April Martin: You know, it's interesting. One thing that I learned from Kevin, and I've kind of taken his approach on this and it seems to be really working, all of my ISA's are extremely unique. Each one has specific strengths with specific lead types. It doesn't mean we don't work on our weaknesses, but I am finding that an IS or an SI, the energy that comes from an I, the intuitiveness, the ability to grab people and hold conversations, but the steadiness of and S, to do all the notes and all the tracking. It's working very, very well. I am an off the chart I, and a pretty doggone high D. I can see where my weaknesses are not a good fit for what needs to be done in the every day tracking, but I think it's my D that forces me to get it done. The S's can be trained to really track very well.
Nate Joens: That makes a lot of sense. I think those are the two that Robby recommends on the DISC profile. Robby if that's wrong, please chime into the chat and let us know.
April Martin: I think they might have suggested DC's.
Nate Joens: We talk about it a lot, I just can't remember right now, so hopefully he jumps in and confirms that, but I think that's always been really interesting. You have to get the right mix of ISA's or, in the case that you're just hiring one, you have to have that person who can definitely handle the note taking on their own. That's so important. That's one thing that I definitely hear from Robby. He actually posted in Leads Geeks yesterday something about how the diligent ISA's are always taking notes, and you have to be religious in that.
Nate Joens: So, what are some of the things that your ISA's do on a daily basis, maybe inside our CRM that you think, maybe not only your CRM, but inside of all of your tools. What do they do on a daily basis that you think sets them up for success in the future and on an ongoing basis?
April Martin: First of all, answer the phone.
Nate Joens: Yes.
April Martin: That's a simple one. Sometimes we can get so caught up in numbers, that they have to do a certain amount of dials per day, that they're dead set on getting the dials done, that you can ignore opportunities right in front of you. So, answer your phone first of all. If that hotline's ringing, Zillow live, whatever, take that first.
April Martin: They're really good at, first of all, getting their mind right. Being very positive and today we are going to do this. We're going to accomplish X, Y, and Z. I always encourage them to write out what they're going to do every day. They are going to do it. Then, set forth. When you set forth, usually if you come in priority is hot leads on the platform. If they land, our lead sources here in California, the market is extremely competitive. We've got about 30-60 seconds to get to them or we're going to loose them. So, hot leads are a priority, getting them on the phone immediately. And then we have the lender in the office, so transferring them if... Because our goals for the day, if these are their goals, a couple hundred calls, but I'm more interested in contacts. Eighty contacts, four appointments. That's our goal.
April Martin: We do appointment reviews, so they're really successful at getting them on the phone and then transferring them to a lender. And mind you, this sounds really cut and dry. There's usually about eight to fifteen minutes of conversation in getting to know them, connecting, getting pain points, pleasure points. I think my ISA's are excellent at connecting to people. And so, we know that we've done a good job when the client actually wants our ISA to be their agents. And so, I think they're really good at doing that, getting right to the lead. Their communications in their CRM, we have a lot that is automated, we try to rely on automation. First, I would say the fresh leads, getting back to the ones that have responded, and then dialing correctly. Watching who's active, who's alert. Watching who's logging in, and then just going for it.
April Martin: Of course, we do do the 10 days of pain. So, if we don't get them on the first try, we are dialing for 10 days and texting and emailing. All of it's automated as far as the texting. Just staying on them and with them knowing that the first day within 30-60 seconds is really important. The third day, the fifth day, and then after that staying in contact with them. Just setting up for once every two weeks, to once every four weeks, to filtering them out if they're not just attempting contact.
Nate Joens: If I did my math right, your goal is 80 appointments a week. Is that right, 20 per ISA, your ISA's?
April Martin: Yes.
Nate Joens: So, 80 appointments a week. How do you define an appointment?
April Martin: What we have, I have a checklist, a sheet of things of information that they need to get from the client. It's basically, it's kind of, it sounds cut and dry and very cold. It doesn't happen like this. It's all in a smooth, fluid, getting to know them conversation. So, they're definitely not going through a checklist. But it's basically a mini pre-app. So, we are finding out about the client, we are finding out... Because, the goal is either an appointment set with lender or agent, appointment set with lender, or a strategic follow up. All of those are gold. All of them.
Nate Joens: What is a strategic follow up?
April Martin: Strategic follow up is where you have gotten their motivation, you know their time frame. My ISA's are taught to ask a lot of process questions. Oh, okay, so looking to buy in a year. Awesome, what's making you wait a year? Sometimes there's so many misconceptions, that they think they have to wait a year, they think they have to have 20% saved. So, finding out motivation, time frame, why, what's holding them back. Getting their permission to follow up again at a certain point. All of those are gold. They all take a lot of time. I know [inaudible 00:22:05] plan to prize the appointment set first. Strategic follow up is just money in the bank later. I put weight on equal, and I expect equal from my ISA's.
Nate Joens: Can you say those three appointment types again in case some people missed it?
April Martin: Okay. The obvious highest and most prized is the appointments that pre-approval with a lender and agent. Then there's some that may be not quite ready to go to the agent, so it's just lender. And then, strategic follow up.
Nate Joens: How are your ISA's responsible for, when the actually pass it off to your lender or an agent, what's the pass off or the hand off look like?
April Martin: So, we're talking to them. We're finding out all this great information, their motivation, their timeframe, their pleasure points, their pain points, we find out where they work, we find out what they believe their credit score is, if they've been there at their employer a couple of years. We find out all this great information. If they're willing to talk to a lender right then, I a handing the phone. Our lender has put their ISA in our office. So, we are directly doing a pre-approval right there if we can get it. At that point, the lender is giving them right back to me and I am saying, okay now you are... Our team is a little bit different because we do cover four different counties. So, the lead going to that county, I already have made a great connection with them. I already have the agent in mind. I've already mentioned them a few times in the conversation. And so, at that point, the appointment is set with the agent to reach out.
April Martin: Our agents have a rule. Once we give them a lead, they have an hour to get to it. So, the call is made, the text is sent. I'm telling them, when I'm on the phone, I'm like, our agent so-and-so is amazing, he loves first time buyers, he's so good with them. Super patient, he's going to answer all your questions. As soon as we hang up, he's going to text you his business card with a picture, and then he's going to call you right behind that.
Nate Joens: Awesome. Yeah, that's great. One thing that I kind of want to switch gears on here is the actual strategic follow up piece and the just general follow up piece to unresponsive leads. A question that I have here from Robby is how many follow ups each are your ISA's responsible for in their pipeline at a single time? How many leads are your ISA's each following up with today?
April Martin: I think there's a difference between how many leads are in their pipeline, and how many leads that we would consider viable leads.
Nate Joens: Okay.
April Martin: So, they may have 5,000 in their pipeline, but they may be corresponding with about 3,000, and they may have up to 1,000 strategic follow ups. They are responsible to get at least, we try for, two a day.
Nate Joens: Two?
April Martin: Strategic follow ups.
Nate Joens: Awesome. So, two strategic follow ups a day and four appointments per day are your goals.
April Martin: That's like, you are an overachiever.
Nate Joens: Okay, cool. Are there any other goals, standards, procedures that you have in place that are important to hitting those numbers?
April Martin: Yes, we try to shoot for, once again, I try not to get caught up in the amount of dials. Because, one thing I've learned about my ISA's watching their dials, I can have them blow through 300 or 400 dials, but that means they're not talking to people. So, I want to see the contacts is really what I'm interested in. Because when I see contacts go up, I see strategic follow ups go up. So, it can range depending on if they have the hotline, if a lot of new leads are landing, their dials can get interrupted. We typically look for a couple hundred dials a day. Hi Robby.
Robby T: [inaudible 00:26:49]
April Martin: So, 800-1000 dials a week. Hang on, let's see. About 400 contacts a week, and our ISA's typically do get in between 400-500 contacts a week.
Nate Joens: Okay.
April Martin: Typically, you talk to about 80 people a day to get four good appointments.
Nate Joens: 80 people, 80 contacts a day to get four appointments is what you're seeing for typical conversion rate.
April Martin: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah typically 40 contacts will get you two.
Nate Joens: Okay. Two appointments?
April Martin: And, you've got to remember that's 80... Hey, you know what, yeah I do want to talk to you, now's not a good time, but can I set a time later. You get those contacts, but it takes 80 of those to get the decent ones.
Nate Joens: No, that's really helpful to help me grasp how many attempts are actually needed to be made here. You said you had a lot of the follow up actually well... Let's answer some of these questions actually. It looks like we had some questions on that. So, Abby asks, one ISA has 80 contacts a day over the phone seems like a lot. Is that all over the phone? Are some of these happening over text and email too?
April Martin: Some of them are texts, some of them are text and then to phone.
Nate Joens: Okay. And, Zack then asks a similar question, how much dial time do your ISA's have a day to hit 80-
April Martin: Four to six hours.
Nate Joens: Four to six hours, okay. That's a lot of calling.
Robby T: P.S can you guys hear me? Am I actually here?
Nate Joens: We can hear you Robby can you hear us?
Robby T: Can you see me? Because it shows me up on the screen with you guys, I just want to make sure, can you see me?
Nate Joens: Yes, we can see you Robby.
Robby T: Oh my goodness! I clutched it, guys. I've got to celebrate. I honestly have zero clue how I did this. No clue. I went in the same link literally 20 times. Anyways, I'm amped right now because I wanted to chime in like 400 times. Can I ask a question really quick, April, now that Robby T's back I the house?
Nate Joens: Yes.
April Martin: Yes.
Robby T: Awesome. Good. So, how many, obviously you guys are crushing it and you're having tons of conversations and everything you've shared is a lot of good stuff. How many incoming leads do you guys have coming per month to feed this machine that you guys have created?
April Martin: We've got about 800-1200 depending on the season and the peak, and these are prime leads.
Nate Joens: New leads per month.
Robby T: There's not a lot of PPC in there, I'm assuming. Is it a lot of property inquiry leads? Give me a little more depth there.
April Martin: Typical Zillow, Realtor.com, they're probably our highest source.
Robby T: Cool, awesome. Just wanted to get some clarity there. That's great, cool to hear. Sorry, I just had to celebrate really quick.
Nate Joens: Yeah.
April Martin: We do get a lot of people calling live through Zillow.
Robby T: Oh, okay.
April Martin: A lot of clicking on the call button and going through. The hotline really rings, I've seen it go off once ever six minutes. So, we do get a lot of call action.
Nate Joens: Sure. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Cool. And, just one last kind of piece on this that Zack wants clarification on is, how do you define a contact? Is that just anyone who picks up the phone or anyone who responds to a text or email? Is that a contact no matter what they say?
April Martin: No, it's a conversation. It's a conversation to get a call later. It's a conversation like we've talked to them, find out they're not interested. It's a conversation. And, that can come through a text. I see a lot of questions about what is 80 contacts? 80 conversations with people to get an answer of what to do with them next.
Nate Joens: Okay.
April Martin: Out of the 80, you might get 20, 16, 14, depending on the day that lead you to those appointments.
Nate Joens: Okay.
Robby T: Sure.
April Martin: The rest is going to be scheduling you for later, telling you about their Grandma got sick, they're not ready to buy. You're going to get a lot.
Robby T: Yeah. And, then I'm assuming, April, a lot of that as well is people that are just frankly not interested and say April, take me off your list. That's a contact as well.
April Martin: Absolutely.
Robby T: And, I don't think, I've always said that that's one of the major portions of this game is, and I think you guys embrace this as well is, get the no's quickly. That way you can spend more time on these yes's, because that's what I'm hearing you say is you're just trying to go all in and spend more time nurturing, touching, taking care of servicing, I call it loving. That's really what you're doing is making sure those people feel like they matter. So, is that kind of a good way to describe it?
April Martin: Yes, and Robby I know that you and Jim know, people who have been in the game for a while, just because they say no right then does not mean they really mean no. We keep them in the pipeline, in six months, their activity might go way up, and they call back in live. We have leads who have re-registered six different ways, and still telling us no, they're not interested.
Robby T: Yeah, there's always a funny matrix between somebody's behavior, and what they're sometimes telling you. Sometimes you just caught somebody on that bad day and that's why in our world, I don't believe in ever trashing a lead completely unless they literally say, Robby go... You can fill in the words, we're all adults here hopefully. But, if they say something like that, along those lines, that's not someone I want to work with, frankly. I'll trash that stuff. But, if somebody says, no, I'm not interested at all. Heck, even if they have an agent, I'm not trashing that. Because, stories change. Behavior changes all the time.
April Martin: Robby, one thing that we actually found that works for us as a good strategy, like I said, we have very competitive lead sources so, especially one particular one. When that lead registers their information is going out to a couple different agents and everybody in this area has figured that out, so they are calling within a minute.
Robby T: Yeah.
April Martin: It's our job to get to it first, but a lot of those leads have agents. The one thing that we've discovered is we wills set a follow up in a week. Okay, I hope it works out great with your agent. Do you mind if I contact you to see how that showing went? And we will find out that it didn't go well, they weren't happy with the agent, they never made the showing, and we get a lot of appointments like that.
Nate Joens: I like that, April. I'm going to make sure to note that down. That's good. I like it. And, I'm sure sometimes they're like it went really great.
April Martin: They do.
Nate Joens: Who cares, now at that point you have some better information. That's really good, April.
April Martin: Yup.
Robby T: Huh. Yeah that's interesting. I would have never thought to do that.
April Martin: If you look at agents follow up over all, and then we call back and they've said, well actually the agent called me back and let me know it's pending so no, I never met with them.
Nate Joens: Truth.
April Martin: They're just free.
Nate Joens: Interesting.
April Martin: And they're really, thoroughly impressed we called back.
Robby T: Yeah. Absolutely.
Nate Joens: Have you ever had someone get mad when they called back?
April Martin: Never.
Nate Joens: Why not? Why do you think people don't get mad, even if they have an agent, it went well, they're committed to that agent. Why do you think that they're not getting mad at you or something along those lines.
April Martin: I think it's rare nowadays to see any type of customer service. Everything is automated, everything is routing you somewhere else, and the biggest complaint form clients is that their agents won't call them back.
Nate Joens: Yes.
April Martin: So, here you have somebody actively providing customer service. They're not used to it, and they like it.
Robby T: That's a very good point I agree with that.
April Martin: They're very polite.
Robby T: That's great.
April Martin: And they remember us because we told them we're going to check in.
Robby T: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Nate Joens: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Robby T: I like it.
April Martin: And sometimes they text. Sometimes they text us back, hey thank you for checking. It went well and I'm working with them it's going great.
Nate Joens: Yup.
Robby T: That's cool.
Nate Joens: There's a reason you guys across [inaudible 00:35:54] I was going to say up there, but then I realized we're higher up than you guys, so it's over there.
April Martin: We're going to [inaudible 00:36:05] you.
Robby T: That's great, that's cool.
Nate Joens: I think we've touched a lot on tools and processes and things like that which has been great. What do you think just simply makes the most successful ISA our of your four. You don't have to name them, who are the most successful, who aren't, but they have their days. What do you think makes them successful on a day-to-day basis?
April Martin: Being diligent about the processes, whether you like it or not. Being extremely good listeners and intuitively asking the right questions. My best ISA's extract the most information, and the client gets of the phone feeling like they just made a new friend. And so, I think every single one of my ISA's are trained that way and we tend to pick and hire people who tend to have that naturally as part of their nature. And, they're warm. They exude warmth over the phone.
April Martin: This is what I've noticed consistently that I can say for ISA's and agents across the board, and I say this all the time, whether you're a top producing agent, or whether you're a top producing ISA, the one consistent thing I can see is they are positive and warm. If there is any chance of moving that lead forward, or that client forward to conversion, it's such a positive, warm, informative, educational, customer service, get to know them kind of process, with my ISA's and top conversion agents. They're positive. They provide information in such a positive way that the clients get excited.
April Martin: I think our ISA's are consistently good at providing excitement over the phone. Genuinely excited for the home buyers and it works. I can hear them smiling.
Nate Joens: I love it.
April Martin: So, that, and the consistency with the process.
Nate Joens: I love it.
Robby T: So, I've got to ask, and first of all April, I have to agree with you a billion percent that you've got to have a system and a process for everything. Here's what I heard you say just so we recap it. ISA's need to be great processors, they've got to stick with the system, they've got to be asking really great questions, and they've got to be diligent listeners. Earlier you said they've got to be diligent note takers, and they've got to be very positive and warm.
Robby T: What's really funny with this is, when you bring up the warmth and positivity, that's the one that probably matters the most actually. Because, if they're cold and negative on the phone, you're not going to convert even if you do the rest of those things. And, the reason I want to talk about this real quick is all you're saying with that, is that your focus on them making somebody feel like they matter. I always say that logic makes us think and emotion makes us act. It sounds like what your ISA's, and I've seen this amongst the best ISA's out there is, you make people feel like they matter.
Robby T: Again, it's a feeling. The warmth and positivity makes it feel like I'm somebody, and I agree with you 100% that customer service is something that is, and I actually think that it's always been an art, that warmth and positivity is just an art form. There's different dialects. Our ISA's typically are DC's and CD's. Or balance, right? But, the reality is it's all focused on, how do you make somebody feel on the phone and do they feel like they matter. And if they don't, you're not going to convert them, end of story in my mind.
April Martin: I totally agree, Robby. I think we have one of the hardest jobs, I call it BTOP: Building Trust Over the Phone.
Robby T: Yup.
April Martin: And it's a skill, and it takes time to get really good at it, to ask the right questions. They've got to feel safe with you. And, typically, it's at really good appointments, I have a ten set questionnaire that all my ISA's have to get this information to set the appointment. Now, of course the client doesn't know, but there are ten things that need to be... and I do go through my ISA's appointments. I make sure that that's in there. And, if they didn't get it, why? Where did you get stuck? Typically, we get stuck with the B's. The B personality, those are the ones that typically you've got to handle a little bit differently.
Robby T: Yup.
April Martin: But, it is that building the trust over the phone. If you can do that, you will convert.
Robby T: Amen. If you were to give some advice here. Obviously your people, you kind of talked about this, but how would you advise someone to become a better listener? What do you do to practice those skills? Some people have it innately, some people have to work at it. And, I'm sure you have a combination of both within your ISA's, and even if you have it innately, you can always get better. So, what would you do and what have you guys done to practice those listening skills?
April Martin: When we role play, or when they hear how I take a phone call in the training portions, we will actually correct each other and I will purposefully role play and I will throw out little tidbits, pleasure points, pain points, that if they're listening correctly they can dial in on.
Robby T: Sure.
April Martin: There are certain questions that if you ask them, they will open up a can of worms and you will get the information.
Robby T: Yeah.
April Martin: And so, knowing those key questions and when to insert them that they feel safe, you will get the information. So, we practice and I will stop, or they will stop me and say hey, I just let you know that I'm a client, I'm living in a house that's overcrowded. Well, that was a perfect opportunity for you to ask, okay so, tell me a little bit about that. How long have you lived there? And let them talk, just let them talk. Ask questions and let them talk.
Robby T: Ask questions and let them talk. It's funny because we just released a new game called conversations, and if you buy, if you use it, it's honestly it's just that. It's when people bring things up, far too many times, the biggest mistake I've seen people make is they move on too quickly to the next. So, if someone says their home is too overcrowded, you instantly move on past that.
Robby T: What you just did, the brilliance of it, was you just did tell me more, and that's just always been my argument. The best script in the book is some form of tell me more. And that's all you did. Give me some more insight behind that, tell me a bit more about that. That is the best script in the book and that is what leads... It's really weird, and tell me if you agree with this, April, but from my experience, what happens is you ask that and probably three, four minutes into the conversation and it's where the meat is. There's almost a pause after you ask it, and it's almost like they're contemplating, uh-oh, am I going to let this all out? And then boom, the emotion comes out behind it. It's weird.
Robby T: The ISA's, you've got it, because you know exactly what's going on. The best ISA's will tell you, when you ask tell me more type questions, there's going to be a contemplative moment where the lead literally is questioning, do I trust this person enough? Am I in a safe enough place? And it's crazy, because what comes out next. The overcrowding is a surface level response and beneath that is going to be so much randomness. That overcrowding could be a billion things. It could be, we have twins, I just adopted my brother's kids because he passed away. You don't know what it's going to be, but it's almost always when you hear things like that, when you use tell me more, that's where the meat is. So, I'd be remiss if I didn't bring that up.
April Martin: And that is where you do your connecting, and you do your empathizing, and that's where you show some compassion, and that's when they understand you're human and you care.
Robby T: Amen.
April Martin: They don't care about what you know until they know you care.
Robby T: Amen.
April Martin: If I focus on anything, the hardest of my ISA's, especially at first, is learning positions in the conversation to connect.
Robby T: Yeah, I love that.
April Martin: Connect and get the information. Connect and get the information.
Nate Joens: Over, and over, and over again. I love that. I like that you said that that's what makes us human and that's the key and that's great.
Robby T: By the way April, somebody requested that they want the ten questions. Would you be willing to share that with the listeners of today if you email that to Nate, I think Nate could find a way to get it sent out to everybody.
April Martin: Sure.
Robby T: So we can get them a copy of your ten questions that you're using.
April Martin: Okay. I can do that.
Nate Joens: I can do that too.
Robby T: Awesome.
Nate Joens: Yeah so, Robby, do you have nay other questions for April before we wrap up with our less ISA and real estate-y questions?
Robby T: I can think of anything. April, as always this was... Sorry I missed about 50%, 60% of it. I think it's funny by the way that you guys could see me and hear me, I had zero clue. I don't know how it's happening, and I don't know how I got back in, but I'm glad I did because April, you know you're one of our favorites and we think much alike and I love your perspective. You brought some major value for these people today.
Nate Joens: Yeah, absolutely.
April Martin: Thank you so much, and I want to thank once again Eric, Robby, Jim, You, just the whole crew. We love you guys, we miss you guys. Great place to learn right here, [inaudible 00:46:39] resource, and also acknowledge all my ISA's. I've got girls under me that are amazing and we're hitting over a thousand closed total for all time record. And so, we're just really looking forward to doing a lot of good things this year. I think I have the strongest team I've ever had. So, it's amazing.
Robby T: I love it. That's great, April. You're a great leader for them, that's super cool.
Nate Joens: Yeah, can you leave us with any book recommendations?
Robby T: P.S I have one more question after the book question. P.S I have to ask it, but yes, book recommendations.
April Martin: Twelve Pillars I really enjoyed and our girls read it. That is a good one. It's called Twelve Pillars. Right now we're reading JumpStart Your Thinking by Maxwell.
Robby T: Ahh, sure.
April Martin: Keeping them ready, positive. So there's a couple.
Nate Joens: Cool. Yeah, those are great. Robby, what have you got? What are your questions?
Robby T: This is, I've always been a lead geek, so I try to end this every time with the question of, and I usually ask the question April, are you more of a fan of Star Wars or Game of Thrones? I've got a bad feeling you're going to say neither. So, we may have to have a debate about that. Game of Thrones is a little not PG, I get that part. Is there anything that's super, and Leann taught us this, anything that's super nerdy to you that you love getting into. Super geeky, nerdy, that you maybe don't tell anyone else.
April Martin: The only think that I think I'm a little OCD about is I'm an online researcher and whatever I'm interested in, so I can spend hours digging myself into rabbit holes into whatever I'm looking... and it could be researching ISA's, or just whatever my mind is focused on. I am very geeky with reading books. Very geeky with constantly growing.
Nate Joens: I love it.
April Martin: That's me.
Nate Joens: That's great I love it.
April Martin: And no, neither Game of Thrones or Star Wars.
Nate Joens: I love it.
April Martin: I'm more of a business [inaudible 00:48:57] person.
Nate Joens: Love it, that's super good.
Robby T: My internal goal is to make geeks cool again, or cool to begin with? I don't know if that's... probably cool to begin with, but I'm working on it.
Nate Joens: Right.
April Martin: Awesome. Well thank you for having me you guys.
Nate Joens: Yeah, we appreciate it April, and we're not done yet. As we usually do with our webinar's we do a giveaway, but unfortunately we're not doing a giveaway today. But, we have something equally as exciting and something that I'm very excited about in that Structurely has a new feature that we've been waiting to roll out for this one. So, with that, I'm going to try something I've never done before which is to share my screen. I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm going to try it.
Robby T: Uh-oh, that could break it.
Nate Joens: Can any of you see my screen?
Robby T: I can see it, it's itty-bitty but probably because I'm a presenter.
April Martin: Yeah, I can see it, It's itty-bitty. That's me.
Nate Joens: Anyway, if you can see the screen, it should say something like, Introducing Smart Nurture, which is the feature. Smart Nurture is very similar to what you were actually mentioning, April, in that you call them Strategic Follow Ups. We're calling it Smart Nurture. It's essentially when a lead becomes responsive and they are saying a few things. Hey, I'm just looking around right now. We continue the conversation, that's what this actually does. We have qualifying conversations via text with your leads. What is your timeframe to move? Are you working with an agent? Financing status? Price range? Beds, baths, this that and the other. We get that information.
Nate Joens: But, a lot of leads, as you can attest to, both of you, say something like, don't waste your time, I'm not looking to move for another year and a half or so. Up until this point, we would just say got it, no problem. We'll connect with you later and that would be the end of it. Now, with Smart Nurture, we actually will follow up with them in that period of time that they may have told us.
Nate Joens: So, if they're saying something like, in this case I'm looking to move sometime next year. So we say, great, we'll be in touch with you next year. But, obviously it doesn't make sense to connect with them exactly 365 days later. You want to do a little bit of nurturing up until that date. So, we actually would reach out to a lead looking in the next year, about 180 days later, and continue to follow up with them for the course of a few months up until the time frame to move. So, we take care of that all automatically for you through our new Start Nurture feature.
April Martin: That's awesome.
Nate Joens: It sounds very similar to the strategic follow up, which I did not know you guys did.
Robby T: Nate, can I tell the story of how we mocked this up?
Nate Joens: Yes.
Robby T: So, Nate and I were in Minneapolis, was it a couple of months ago, Nate?
Nate Joens: Probably, yup.
Robby T: And when we mocked this up, we were talking about this and it's kind of a funny story. We went to University of Minnesota and we went to their library and that place was packed. There was no place. And, I'm a white board fan, anyway, I'm going to show a picture here and I think you'll be able to see it. We broke into some random building, don't tell the U of M, and these white boards you can move, and we just geeked out and everything you see was everything they created was from that white board. So, funny story. Trespass and breaking and entering mates, lead to something great. [crosstalk 00:52:50] We didn't break in, we didn't. I'm making it sound like we were more BA than we actually are. We just literally walked in because the door was unlocked into a random building.
Nate Joens: We break in and nerd out. That's what we do.
Robby T: More like, door opening and closing is what happened.
Nate Joens: Well, if you want to check out the feature that started as a white board brain [inaudible 00:53:15] confession, break out and visit www.structurely.com/smartnurture. That will be available always we will send that link out in a follow up email as well as on Structurely's social media as well as this webinar will be automatically sent out to you in a recording via email in about two hours. We'll put it up on the Structurely YouTube channel, we'll post in our our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. There's going to be no shortage of finding this great webinar with April as well as it will be on RheISAradio.com as a podcast, so just type that out TheISAradio.com be sure to subscribe to that. You'll be able to listen back to all of our great interviews with top ISA's like April in the past and all future interviews with top ISA's coming up. So, with that, thank you guys. Thank you Robbie for joining half way through it was great to have you and that you could join us.
April Martin: Better late than never.
Robby T: Awesome. [crosstalk 00:54:26]
Nate Joens: Take care April.
Robby T: Thanks, Nate, I appreciate it brother. Love you all.
Nate Joens: Bye.
April Martin: Bye guys.
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