To build a strong real estate team, you have to find the right people who are better at certain aspects of your job than yourself as a team leader. You have to find people who are good at handling objections, asking questions, following-up with leads, and who are great at handling rejection.
Thankfully for you, the role of the real estate Inside Sales Agent (ISA) is here to do just that and a lot more. Once you've determined now is the right time to bring an ISA on to your team, it's important as ever to make sure you're hiring the right ISA.
You can start by asking the right interview questions, and thankfully, we've compiled a list of 8 must-ask real estate ISA interview questions that have been team lead-tested and coach-approved.

ISA Interview Questions

1) What are your favorite questions to ask a lead?
Asking questions is the #1 skill you should look for in your ISA (followed closely by their ability to listen). Asking your candidate to fire off a few of their favorite sales qualifying or closing questions on the spot will either:
  • a) tell you they're prepared to be great at asking questions
  • b) great at making up valuable questions on the spot
Both of which are traits to look for when hiring your real estate ISA.
2) When was the last time someone told you "no" and how did you handle it?
9/10 conversations your ISA will have with a real estate lead will end in "no." Rejection becomes a part of life as the ISA on your real estate team. Being able to handle rejection and reflect on it shows poise and vulnerability. Being vulnerable is one of the top traits an ISA can possess, as it leads to better conversations with leads and ultimately creates lasting relationships that can be converted into closings.

3) What's the last thing you taught yourself?
Being self-taught is an indicator of personal growth and internal reflection. Your ISA candidate must posses both traits. As we recommend hiring a candidate with high "D" and high "C" behavioral traits on the DISC Profile, the high "C" stands for Consciousness. The best real estate ISAs are conscious of themselves, allowing them to reflect on past work to learn and get better at their job. And we all want our team members to keep getting better at their jobs, don't we?
4) In what ways does your role as an ISA bring value to our consumers, the home buyer/seller?
Asking your candidate to put themselves in the shoes of the consumer is as close to a "trial run" as you can get without role playing. Rather than your candidate proving they can ask the right questions, or qualify and close the lead, they have to think about the "why." Consumers in today's world are skeptical of salespeople, and digging into this question will give you insights into how your ISA candidate will be treating your valuable leads.
5) What are the most important qualifying questions you ask every lead?
Asking your candidate to put themselves in the shoes of the consumer is as close to a "trial run" as you can get without role playing. Rather than your candidate proving they can ask the right questions, or qualify and close the lead, they have to think about the "why." Consumers in today's world are skeptical of salespeople, and digging into this question will give you insights into how your ISA candidate will be treating your valuable leads.

6) When do you stop pursuing a lead?
Many times, you can fall into the trap of hiring an outgoing, personable, high "I" ISA. They can engage your leads, but spend 45 minutes to 1 hour talking to them about properties, personal banter, or their personal life. None of which ensure the lead they're speaking to is worth any more of their time, or if they set an appointment, that lead is worth your company's buyer or listing agent's time.
7) Have you ever had a losing streak? How did you overcome it?
You've heard the old saying, "buy or die," right? It's certainly an aggressive sales montra, but nonetheless speaks to one's mindset of persistence. Understanding when and why your ISA candidate might stop following-up with a lead can speak to their tenacity. The best ISAs always have a chip on their shoulder and are not easily defeated by an unresponsive lead.
8) What motivates you?
A great follow-on question to #7 is asking about their motivations. Every real estate team's ISA needs to have a chip on their shoulder. Motivations can be as simple as saving more money or more complex like pushing themselves to learn a new role. Either way, the bulk of your ISA interview should be focused on your candidate's motivations.
9) (BONUS) What's your opinion of continuing education in the sales role?
It's bonus time! Ourselves, and our friends at Hatch Coaching recommend that when you hire an ISA they should stay in that role for the long run, rather than moving into the role of a showing or listing agent. This means they should have a hunger to keep getting better at their role as an ISA, which can only be attributed to their desire to learn.
Hiring an ISA isn't hard, hiring the right ISA is hard. Hiring the right ISA takes time, patience and the ability to ask the right questions. Focusing on your candidate's motivations, desires, personality, and behavioral tendencies can lend a lot of insight to how well and how long they will stay the ISA on your real estate team.
Get more interview questions like these and ISA training tips by downloading the How to Hire and KEEP your First Real Estate Inside Sales Agent eBook.