Real Estate Cold Calling Tips and Best Practices
June 7, 2023
Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, News, Real Estate Business Planning, Real Estate CRM, Real Estate Marketing, Real Estate Teams
Real Estate Cold Calling Tips and Best Practices
There are a lot of ways to build out your real estate prospecting funnel, from ads to emails to in-person events. But one of the least understood – and hardest to do – may be cold calling. Although it’s one of the oldest ways of reaching out to leads, many of today’s more digital-savvy Realtors tend to shy away from it. After all, fewer people are picking up their phones these days, while those who do are often not receptive to a sales pitch.
But for those who know how to do them, cold calling can be a lucrative way to generate leads. It just takes a little preparation and practice. Let’s look at what you can do with cold calling, then break down some best practices.
Understanding Real Estate Cold Calling
Real estate cold calling is when you call prospects you have never spoken with before in order to sell your services. You may have gotten their number from a subscription service, sourced them from your CRM, or even from a colleague or past customer. Regardless, you’ll have to introduce yourself, grab their attention, and convince them that you can help them out.
The Importance of Cold Calling in Real Estate
Cold calling has remained an essential aspect of real estate prospecting because, to put it simply, it works. Here are a few reasons why:
- It’s more personal. Cold calling can be a great way to add an extra personal touch to your sales outreach efforts. Unlike emails or online advertisements, you can have real-time conversations with prospects. This can help you better understand their specific needs and preferences – something they’ll likely appreciate.
- It’s immediate. If you’ve ever been frustrated by how slowly leads respond to your emails or ads, then cold calling may be perfect for you. Because you get to talk to them in real-time, you can address their concerns and provide information immediately. This can be extremely beneficial for potential buyers or sellers who are actively searching or who have time-sensitive requirements.
- It can give you an edge. If nothing else, cold calling may be the most proactive way to reach out to potential clients. Instead of waiting for them to approach you, calling them allows you to take the initiative and offer your services before any potential competitors. When time is short, this can be enough to get you ahead.
- It’s great for market research. Cold calling isn’t all about selling – it can also help you understand your market better. By engaging in conversations with potential clients, businesses, and other local organizations, you can gather information about current trends and preferences. This will help you better tailor your services and identify any emerging opportunities.
Crafting the Perfect Cold Calling Script
Cold calling has plenty of benefits, but it will also require lots of patience and persistence. That’s why the most successful real estate cold callers will have a script (or a whole swipe file full of them) at hand to quickly introduce themselves and move into their pitch. Let’s look at what goes into a perfect cold calling script.
The Importance of a Script in Cold Calling
There’s no rule saying you have to use a script when cold calling, but most successful real estate agents do because it helps them prepare, makes it easier to adapt, and keeps them focused.
Even if you’re great at thinking on your feet, putting a script together can help you hone your pitch by making you think about the best way to say something and also anticipating any possible responses. This will allow you to get to the point in as few words as possible, while keeping you prepared for anything a prospect might ask or say.
A script is also a great way to keep you focused. Especially when you’re making dozens or even hundreds of cold calls every day, it can be difficult to remember each talking point you want to make. And if you’re relying on other salespeople to make these calls for you, a script will reassure you that everyone is giving the right answers and responses across the board.
Elements of a Successful Cold Calling Script
Depending on what you are selling, the type of buyer or seller you are pitching to, and your own personality, there are many ways to write a script. That said, most successful cold calling scripts will have many of the following elements:
- Introduction: Start off by telling them who you are and why you’re calling. Keep this concise and clear.
- Question: Ask them an open-ended question about their needs or challenges. The goal here is to establish a rapport and get them talking about themselves.
- Value proposition: Communicate how you can help them solve their problem. Highlight any benefits or advantages you can offer, making sure to clearly relate it to what they’ve just told you.
- Follow-up: If the call goes well, you should end it by scheduling a follow-up call or meeting so you can discuss how you can help them further.
And, of course, it should go without saying that you should bring a friendly and approachable attitude to the entirety of the call. Even if they’re not interested, it’s still important to come across like a professional – you never know when they might change their mind.
Tips for Tailoring Your Script to Different Types of Leads
Unless you’re only interested in one type of buyer or seller, you’ll likely have to change up your script according to the needs and preferences of your different leads. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean starting at square one with each lead. Here are some ways you can adapt your script.
- Segment your leads: You should first have a clear understanding of who your different leads are. Try to categorize them based on specific characteristics, such as whether they’re first-time homebuyers, sellers, or renters. This will make it easier to develop tailored scripts.
- Customize your value proposition: Depending on what type of lead they are, you’ll need to make sure your core message addresses their unique needs. For example, first-time homebuyers may want help with the buying process, while investors may be more interested in potential returns.
- Use relevant examples: Try to work in past success stories, anecdotes, or any other examples that might speak to the specific lead type you’re talking with. Hearing about your relevant experience will help increase your credibility and trust.
- Adapt language and tone: Wherever possible, think about how you can personalize your language and tone to match each particular segment. For instance, you may want to use simpler terms when speaking with first-time buyers, while investors may want more of a focus on numbers and ROI.
3 Tips for Effective Real Estate Cold Calling
It can be hard picking up that phone for the first time and making that call. But just remember the following tips and you’ll be on your way to cold calling success.
1. Finding and Qualifying Leads
The first step to successful cold calling is to have a list of quality leads. There are several places where you can do this. For instance, one of the fastest strategies would simply be to go through your CRM to look for old leads you can follow up with. If it’s been a few years since you’ve contacted them, they may be open to a conversation about buying or selling. Similarly, you could tap into names you’ve collected from events (e.g., open houses) or referrals.
If you want to get more creative, try reaching out to FSBOs (for sale by owner). While they may be resistant at first, a little patience and persistence may be able to convince them of your worth. Or you could try expired listings. Although they may have had a poor prior experience, you could give yourself an edge by convincing them that you have a viable pricing and marketing plan that will work for them.
2. Research and Preparation
The more information you can learn about each lead, the more likely you’ll be successful. While this should start with knowing how to segment them (i.e., buyer or seller), you should try to dig even deeper. Learn their name, what they do for a living, and, if possible, why they’d like to sell or buy.
Once you’ve done your research, you can start putting in some proper preparation for your call. Come up with a few ways your services or expertise will solve their challenges or address their pain points. Do whatever you can, using the information you have, to best communicate your value to them.
3. Overcoming Objections and Acquiring the Lead
When it comes to cold calling, it’s not a question of if you’ll get objections, but how many. That’s just the name of the game. Fortunately, you’ll likely hear a lot of the same ones over and over again, which means you can be ready for them. Here are a few of the most common, along with some ways to overcome them:
- “I don’t know you.” This may be the first objection you’ll hear. You can get around this simply by providing more information about who you are, your agency, and some mutual contacts you may have. If they’re still suspicious, invite them to look at your website or social media accounts.
- “I’m not interested.” When you hear this, just assume they need more information. Make it clear how you can provide value by highlighting your skills, expertise, and advantages.
- “Is this a sales call?” Don’t let this intimidate you. Instead, meet this with transparency. Tell them that this is a sales call and describe exactly what it is you’re selling. People are typically suspicious of sales calls because they feel like they’re being coerced somehow. But by being honest and forthright, you can put them at ease.
- “I need more information.” Consider this an open invitation to give them exactly what they’re asking for. Offer to send them information on their home’s value or a market update in their area. Even better, tell them you’d love to meet in person to show them how you can help.
Mistakes to Avoid in Real Estate Cold Calling
Becoming successful at cold calling probably won’t happen immediately. Instead, it will involve some trial and error as you learn what works and what doesn’t. That said, here are a few common mistakes to avoid as you work your way through your list.
Lack of Preparation
It may be tempting to just dive into your calls as soon as you put together your list, but this strategy may leave you grasping for answers when your leads start to object.
After all, it can take quite a bit of finesse to pivot a conversation from a hard no to a maybe and, finally, to a yes. You’ll have to know why they are pushing back, understand their pain points, and have responses ready to deploy. All that takes preparation, which is why it would be a mistake to skip.
Being Too Pushy
You may think you’re being eager, informative, and even helpful. But if your lead feels like you’re being too aggressive or pushy, then you won’t get too far on your call.
To avoid this, remember that the focus of the call shouldn’t be on what you can do, but on how the buyer or seller can benefit. Ask them questions about themselves and their situation, and try to start a real conversation about the challenges they’ve encountered. Listen to them. Then, when you do talk about yourself and your services, relate how they will directly help your lead.
Failing to Follow Up
Finally, even if you’ve had a successful conversation, exchanged information, and scheduled another call or meeting, don’t expect your lead to follow through with it. Even the best cold call is simply a warm up to a real introduction. You’ll need to follow up with them in order to cement the relationship.
This could take multiple forms. For instance, right after the initial call you could send them an email reiterating what you talked about and when your next meeting will take place. Alternatively, you could call them a few days later just to check in and remind them how great it was talking with them. Regardless, you should aim to stay top of mind so that the opportunity you created doesn’t get lost.
Sierra Interactive Can Help
When it comes to cold calling, a little help can go a long way. With Sierra, that means the ability to compile comprehensive databases of qualified leads, then automatically assign them to the right agent. Using our integrated real estate dialer, you can also power through your call lists in record time. And with the option to route calls, leave ringless voicemails, and cut time to contact with instant calls (all while recording each call for full activity tracking), you can give your agents all the tools they’ll need for success.
Matt Niehaus is the Senior Digital Marketer at Sierra Interactive.
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