Over the past few years, the world of real estate marketing has become increasingly sophisticated. The emergence of various innovative techniques has drastically altered the way agents approach real estate lead generation and the advent of countless tech solutions continues to slowly remove the human element out of the equation. In light of these developments, many find it easy to dismiss cold calling as obsolete and outdated. The reality, however, couldn’t be further from that. In this article, we will highlight the effectiveness of cold calling as a lead conversion technique and outline a simple guide on how to cold call in real estate.
Is Cold Calling a Waste of Time?
Despite ample evidence to the contrary, «Cold calling is dead» is one of those myths that refuses to go away. This fallacy is often propagated by real estate agents who have fallen into the common pitfalls associated with this lead generation method. Such mistakes include adopting a confrontational tone with the prospect, failing to convey the added value that they bring to the table, and being too self-focused when pitching their services. Needless to say, successful cold calling in real estate is predicated on avoiding these mistakes. This is exactly how top realtors make cold calls. Cold calling, when done right, has a wide range of advantages. Here is a brief look at some of them:
- It does not require a support structure: One of the great things about cold calling in real estate is the simple fact that you can implement it without the need for an established network. The success of a cold call is simply determined by your ability to demonstrate value in a one-on-one interaction.
- It widens your reach: Cold calling is the easiest way to reach a larger target audience. Unlike methods that require significant manpower and resources, real estate cold calling strategies allow you to widen the scope of your marketing outreach in an effortless manner.
- It is a cost-effective approach: Cold calling prospects is a highly affordable way to introduce your services to a target audience. The low cost is especially helpful to those who are just starting out.
- It provides you with instant feedback: Prospect feedback is extremely valuable to your real estate marketing efforts. The instant feedback that you get from cold calling in real estate enables you to gauge your audience’s response and helps you adjust your approach accordingly.
The Basic Steps to Effective Cold Calling in Real Estate
Before delving any deeper into this guide, you must first be aware of what cold calling in real estate entails. To put it simply, cold calling real estate leads is not fun. In fact, it is a fairly tedious process. Moreover, this approach has a somewhat sleazy connotation that might lead you to question your ethical conduct. Being a real estate agent, you need to make sure that you have the right mindset before cold calling. In any event, here are the steps you should take to get the most out of this strategy.
1- Focus on expired listings
The first step of cold calling real estate leads is figuring out who you should be calling. While there is a myriad of options that are available to you, I advise you to focus on expired listings. As the name implies, these are prospects who no longer have an active listing agreement with a real estate agent. This usually occurs when the home or income property remains unsold after the time frame agreed upon between the two parties. When the seller opts not to renew the contract, the listing expires.
The rationale behind focusing on expired listings is fairly simple. These prospects have already put their homes on the market and are open to the idea of working with a real estate agent. Having said that, you should expect a certain level of frustration and disgruntlement when contacting homeowners with expired listings. After all, the prospects have just gone through a failed sale. Instead of just pitching your services to them, the key to converting these homeowners is helping them understand why the sale hasn’t gone through and proposing a unique strategy that differs from the standard approach.
2- Compile a list of prospects
Now that you have decided to focus on expired listings, the next logical step is compiling real estate cold calling lists. Here are your options:
- Sifting through public records or the MLS: This is a tedious and labor-intensive method that requires combing through a sea of data. While the «free of charge» nature of this method might be enough for some to choose it, savvy real estate agents who appreciate the value of time prefer more streamlined approaches to prospect collection.
- Use specialized tools: As we mentioned earlier, technology has radically transformed the real estate industry. This is especially visible when it comes to collecting homeowner data and qualifying real estate leads. In fact, there are many tools that enable you to compile homeowner lists with phone numbers in a matter of minutes. A perfect example of a tool that you should consider using when you’re trying to get real estate leads is the Mashboard. This tool will provide you with homeowner information including names, numbers, emails, and addresses. You can perform a homeowner search either with an address or simply get homeowner data for an entire location.
3- Create a script
This is where things start to get interesting. The script that you use when cold calling in real estate can be the difference between converting your prospects and ending up empty-handed. More importantly, relying on a good script provides structure to the process and ensures that every important point is addressed. Naturally, a lot of effort must go into crafting a compelling dialogue that hits all the marks.
Real estate cold calling scripts can be based on various strategies. In the case of expired listings, conveying empathy has proven to be an especially effective approach. Keep in mind that these are disgruntled homeowners, so positioning yourself as the expert who understands their challenges and needs will go a long way towards establishing a good rapport with them. Here is a brief outline of what an effective expired listing script looks like:
You: Good morning! My name is ____from_____, how are you doing today? I was going over some local sales and couldn’t help but notice that your home is no longer listed. I’m curious as to why this is the case?
Listen attentively to what the prospect is saying and try to keep the conversation light and personal. Inquire about where they were planning to move after the sale and ask about their current deadline.
You: How did your previous agent handle your listing? Did they share their marketing strategy with you?
The prospect will likely describe a negative experience.
You: My approach is quite different. I offer a lot of time and attention to every one of my listings and I keep my clients up to speed with everything I’m doing. I would love to discuss my strategy with you, how about this Friday at___?
4- Don’t haggle over price or commission
This is one of the most valuable real estate cold calling tips that you should take into consideration. Disputing price and commission over the phone is highly ill-advised. Don’t forget that the end goal of cold calling in real estate is getting to the appointment. Aggressively disputing the price or commission is a sure way to turn off the prospect. Instead, focus on making a good first impression and leave everything else to the in-person meeting.
5- Keep the funnel full
Resting on your laurels after converting a few real estate leads is one of the worst mistakes you can make. In fact, ensuring a high success rate of cold calling in real estate requires refilling the lead funnel on a consistent basis. This positions you in a good place to capitalize on every opportunity in the market.
The Bottom Line
Cold calling in real estate is without a doubt one of the most valuable ways to acquire new customers for your business. Don’t let preconceived notions or phone anxiety deter you from leveraging this effective lead-gen strategy. Take action right now and get your lead funnel going!
To learn more about how Mashboard can boost your career as a real estate agent, click here.