Low Contact Rate for Real Estate Calls: What You Can Do

texting in real estate
texting in real estate

Low Contact Rate for Real Estate Calls: What You Can Do

Cold calling is in a bit of a crisis right now. Namely, because fewer and fewer people are answering numbers they don’t recognize. Decades now of telemarketers have slowly conditioned people to become more and more suspicious of people trying to sell them over the phone and, increasingly, weary of numbers they don’t already have in their phone.

The Key to Real Estate Sales

At Smart Inside Sales, our training can help you overcome the first problem. Leads being suspicious of salespeople on the phone is not a deal breaker. As we discuss in a lot of our articles and in our video content, the key to being successful on your real estate calls is to have real conversations with people that are actually helpful. What we mean by that is that you have to enter your calls not necessarily to get the sale, but to genuinely assist the lead or prospect in solving a particular issue.

The way you do this is by employing a strategy we call the PPO process. PPO stands for Perspective Process Outcome.

The prospect’s perspective is their past experience, knowledge and speculation. Examples of perspectives that may lead to objections are “I’ve sold my home myself before”, “I’ve already met with an agent”, and “I can do what an agent does, you guys don’t do much.”

The prospect’s process is their own plan that they have for their situation. Examples of a process are “I’m going to sell my home myself”, “I’ll just use the agent I used before”, and “I am just going to wait until spring to sell my home and get a better deal”. The process is typically what will lead to an objection. They have their plan and you are not a part of it in their mind, so they turn you down.

And finally, the outcome. This is the unique result or benefit the prospect believes their process will deliver for them. Examples of these are “not wasting time”, “avoiding disappointment”, and “proving to my neighbors or real estate agents or to the world that I am right.”

If you understand the prospect’s perspective, process, and outcome from their own point of view, then you are in a solid position to start helping them solve their real estate problem.

Real Estate Cold Calling: Increase Your Contact Rate

Understanding what your real estate leads want and being able to help them get there is great, and necessary. However, no matter how much you train and prepare to convert leads on your real estate calls, if the prospect doesn’t answer the phone then it’s really all for nothing. And like we mentioned, the sad truth is that your prospects and potential leads are answering their phones less and less.

Earlier this year, the company behind the caller ID app Hiya released its first State of the Phone Call report. This report analyzed 11 billion calls and found that Americans only answered about 52% of all calls they receive on their cell phones. Looking deeper into the study, the report found that Americans don’t answer nearly 76% of all the calls they receive that come from unknown numbers.

This massive spike in unanswered phone calls cannot be blamed fully on telemarketers. They have been around for quite some time now. The real culprit behind these surprising numbers is the explosion in spam and robocalls. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you most likely know what I am referring to. We are inundated every day with so many unknown numbers that it would almost be laughable if it weren’t so darn annoying.

How to Overcome Low Contact Rates

The key to making a real estate sale is first being able to make contact with prospects. That means finding ways to circumvent people’s growing aversion to answering the phone calls of strangers. An option that many real estate agents and real estate ISAs are turning to is text message.

According to a study undertaken by Pew Internet in 2015, about 70% of Americans prefer text messages to phone calls. This represents an enormous shift in cultural and communication norms. And over the past four years, I think it is safe to assume that this number has only gone up. What this means for real estate sales and cold calling in general, is that we are the midst of a shift. And shifts present opportunities for those who can get out ahead of them.

So what do we know so far? We know that people are answering phone calls less and less, and that the majority of people prefer to communicate via text messaging as opposed to phone calls. Getting out ahead of this curve means utilizing both messaging apps and phone calls. That’s how you can stand out from the multitude of robocalls that people are receiving on a daily basis.

The way real estate agents are doing this is by calling prospects and then immediately following up with a text message. This method is effective because, even if they don’t answer, calling someone will still draw their attention to their phone. If you quickly follow up with a succinct text message that conveys the value you can offer to the prospect, then you can channel that attention towards what you are offering them.

While it may not be as good as them answering the phone to have an actual conversation with you, having them see and possibly respond to a text message is better than a missed call. At least you are opening the channels of communication. From there you can start building a relationship with the lead and hopefully get them on the phone where you can use the strategies and techniques to convert them into paying leads.


The way we communicate with one another is rapidly evolving and changing. This is just as true for real estate agents and real estate inside sales agents as it is for anyone else involved in phone sales. To keep up, we have to continuously evolve and change as well. By including texting in your prospecting and lead conversion strategy, you are able to stay one step ahead of the changes.


The Key to Your Business: Following Up with Real Estate Leads

real estate follow up
real estate follow up

The Key to Your Business: Following Up with Real Estate Leads

Following up with leads and prospects is one of the most important aspect of sales. Not just real estate sales, but all sales. Obviously, if you are not making a determined effort to communicate with people you are trying to do business with then why should they even want to consider working with you? Some aspects of following up with leads can change from industry to industry, but this underlying fact remains the same no matter what.

In real estate, however, following up is even more important. This is because a lead means more to you than it does to salespeople in many other industries. Not only does each lead you can turn into a client represent a significant amount of income for you, but according to the National Association of REALTORS, 64 percent of buyers and sellers use an agent they previously worked with or a referral from a friend or family member.

What that means is that for each real estate lead you fail to turn into a client, you aren’t just missing out on a single sale. You’re missing out on one or two or any number of commissions down the road. Needless to say, each potential client needs to be important to you (within the confines of your bandwidth and workload, of course), and you have to make sure you are following up consistently with your leads.

To help you on your real estate agent or real estate ISA journey, here are a few tips to help you follow up and get the most out of your follow ups.

Always Be Helping Your Real Estate Leads

At Smart Inside Sales, we say this all the time: don’t think of leads as just a sale or has potential money in your pocket. Your job is to help them solve whatever problem they are trying to solve. For this, you need to understand where they are coming from—from their own perspective and point of view. Throughout your entire communication with them you have to make it clear that the two of you are partners working towards the same goal. The lead’s goal.

These days, people are busier than ever. If you want them to give you a second look when you are following up with them (whether it is via phone, email, or text) then you have to offer them value on each encounter. You won’t get much traction if you just say you’re “checking in” or “following up.” Prove to them you mean business by actively helping them solve their problems with each call or email or text.

Make Time for Following Up

This tip is a more practical one. As a real estate agent or ISA I know you are busy. You have a million things to do and days can quickly get away from you. Trust me, I get it. I’ve been there myself many times. However, following up with leads and prospects is one of the most important tasks you are going to do each day. Predominantly, because this activity will directly generate business for you.

The key to overcoming this is setting a schedule and sticking to it. It will be hard at first, but if you are able to block out time on your schedule and stay faithful to it, you will notice a massive difference in your time management abilities.

Ask the Lead the Best Way to Contact Them

Since we are discussing following up with real estate leads that means you’ve already contacted them successfully once. But you could have gotten lucky that first time. You want to ensure you are able to successfully reach them again and again if necessary. What’s the best way to find out what the best way is to reach someone? Ask them!!

Additionally, if you let the lead choose whether they prefer to be followed up with via phone call, text, or email, you come off as less pushy and more helpful.

Open Powerfully

On follow up calls you’ve already made your first impression. Assuming they are talking with you again because you made a good or decent impression, you need to keep that going. It’s critical that you continue to build rapport with your leads and get them to trust you and believe what you’re selling – which, in the case of real estate, are your skills, knowledge and experience.

On your real estate calls that means opening with the leads name and showing them that you remember your previous conversation with them. If they said they were making repairs then ask them how those repairs are going. If they said they had to figure a few things out before meeting with you then ask how that figuring out is going. Show that you are engaged and invested in working with them to achieve their goals.

Know When to Stop

Badgering an unresponsive lead won’t make them want to talk to you—in fact, it might turn them off from ever wanting to talk to you. Continuing to reach out after your fifth or sixth attempt isn’t helpful to your prospect, and it doesn’t do you any good, either. At that point, cut your losses and stop trying to reach them. If you’d like to, you can send a final email letting them know you will no longer be contacting them but they can reach out to you in the future.

Following Up with Real Estate Leads

Follow up is key in the real estate industry. As with any job that involves sales, perfecting your technique and being able to successfully convert leads into paying clients is the difference between success and failure. Use these tips and constantly be aware of what is working on your follow up calls and what isn’t. Constantly seek to improve your skills.

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