The Art of Warm Calling

Blog Post Image
Real Estate

For Lead Generation

Diane Griffin is harnessing the power and profit of an ISA

Diane Griffin, of The Griffin Properties Team and the OP of the Grand Rapids North (Mich.) market center, supercharged her business with KW MAPS Coaching, Global Property Specialist (GPS), KW Luxury Homes International, as well as the invaluable assistance of an inside sales agent (ISA).

Even before she became a real estate agent more than a decade ago, Griffin had a long history of building successful businesses – launching three others before starting her real estate business. When she looked into Keller Williams Realty’s support systems and education, she knew she would be able to use them to transfer her business skills to real estate.

Within two years of launching Griffin Properties, developing her own brand and investing in an all-star team, she was the number one agent in her office. Two years later, she was the top agent in the city and established a mega agent office. Griffin has been among the top 100 Keller Williams agents for four years, and now has 20 people on her team.

Seeking Resources for Growth

Like every business owner, Griffin had to learn through experience and get assistance to reach the level of success she’s achieved. In addition to attending Keller Williams training events and classes, she enrolled in KW MAPS Coaching.

“Like they say, ‘When the student is ready, the teacher appears,’” Griffin says. “I finally heard what they were saying about coaching at Family Reunion in 2011.”

Griffin started working with KW MAPS Coach Joe Bogar, and her business doubled within two years. In addition, at the urging of her Chief Operating Officer Brook Powers, the team joined KW GPS and KW Luxury Homes International.

“We felt like these two groups were a very important combination for us, and they’re working. The high-end listing presentations, listings on the Website and in the magazine really helps us sell,” she says.

Adding the Right Team Members

Another breakthrough for Griffin’s team came when she and Powers hired their first ISA. More than 90 percent of Griffin Properties’ business comes from repeat customers and referrals, so it’s in the team’s best interest to contact former clients regularly. Powers knew someone who would be great at making calls to past clients to both stay in touch with them and determine if they had any real estate transaction needs or referrals.

ROI in 100 Days or Less

It hadn’t been easy to hire the ISA. At first, team members were resistant and thought that they could handle such calls on their own. Agents who used the ISA would shift from a 50/50 split to a 60/40 split, so many were reluctant to give up a portion of their revenue. However, Griffin and Powers were so convinced that it was the right move that they went forward with the hire.

Initially, the ISA was assigned to handle incoming leads from lead generation services. Prior to that, the pricey services hadn’t generated any solid leads for the team. Once the ISA was in place, she regularly reported appointments secured from the services’ leads because she was better able to follow up with the contacts. Appointments she secured this way would be paid on a 60/40 split, which agents didn’t mind, since these were leads they likely wouldn’t have gotten on their own. In addition, she would regularly work on contacting the customers, contacts and referral sources in the team’s 16,000-entry database.

“So we eased into it,” Griffin says. “The leads she would give them were qualified, she set up the appointment – she had done everything. The agents thought, ‘Oh my gosh. This is like gold.’”

That process was so effective that everyone is now sold on the value an ISA adds to the team. Buyer agents who meet a client that is not ready to purchase a property for six months or a year can hand over that contact to the ISA, who stays in touch with the prospect until he or she is ready to buy.

Now, every person who joins the team starts as an ISA so that they both have an appreciation for what the ISA is doing as well as polishing their own phone skills. In that first 100 days, the amount of business they generate pays for their stipends, provides them with extra income, and teaches new team members the value of keeping in touch with people in the database.

Success with Scripts

Anyone who joins Griffin’s team is required to learn some of the scripts she has developed. Scripts help her ensure that her team’s message is consistent and also help facilitate the process of reaching out and starting a conversation with a customer or prospect.

The short 100- to 200-word pieces are brief touch points that help remind the contact about the team’s services.

Conversational in nature, they help team members know exactly what to say in any given situation, Griffin says.


Tackling Ambitious Marketing Goals

After Family Reunion last year, Griffin and Powers challenged the team to secure 90 listings in 90 days using her scripts. “It was a total failure. We had no plan. We had no organization. After 45 days, we knew it wasn’t working,” she says.

So, the duo discussed what they needed to be successful. Six team members went to the KW MAPS Coaching class, 90 Listings in 90 Days,” taught by Craig Reger. They hired two more administrative assistants to manage the listing volume and upload information and photos. They also cross-trained employees to be sure anyone could pitch in where needed and help manage the volume. The scripts were essential, since they helped team members be comfortable in their calling – they knew exactly what to say.

The second eff ort was a great success and the team secured 100 leads in the 90-day period. In addition, the success continued after the competition, and the next month they secured 38 listings.

But the real secret to success, Griffin says, lies in the people rather than the words.