The Best Real Estate Cold Calling Strategies in 2021
Real estate cold calling is probably one of the toughest parts of the job and, if we’re being honest, not one that most of us like to do very often. Afterall, we’re calling people who are not expecting us, who are busy going about their day, and who will most likely offer a good deal of resistance if they do answer the phone.
With that said, real estate cold calling is still a very important part of any lead generation and conversion strategy. What’s more is that with the craziness of the current real estate market, you need to cultivate every advantage possible for your team or business. That’s why we’ve gathered some insider tips and best practices for cold calling in real estate in 2021.
- Enter your calls in an interesting way
- Have a real conversation
- Sales discovery
- Objection handling
- Closing logically
Real Estate Cold Calling: It’s All about the Mindset
This might seem obvious or not like an actual solid tip, but the truth is that few things are more important than your mindset when it comes to cold calling. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many scripts you study, how many objections you practice handling, or how much research you do on your leads. If you don’t have the right mindset, you won’t be successful on your calls.
By “right mindset” I mean thinking positively about your role as a real estate agent or ISA, the value you’re bringing to each lead, and your faith that the interaction will be successful for you both. Here are three things you can do to help cultivate a positive mindset and enter calls confidently:
- Know and understand the benefits you bring to every person BEFORE you dial them. Know what you are offering them and how it is going to palpably improve their lives.
- Live and breathe mantras like “they are waiting for my call” or “they need my help”. Repeat these between each dial to keep your energy up on your entire list of leads.
- When you feel yourself becoming negative, take a break and focus on your commitment to helping others. Remember, they are benefitting from your call because what you are offering is valuable to them.
Enter Your Calls in an Interesting Way
Let’s face it, people do not answer the phone for numbers they don’t recognize nearly as much as they used to. That means that when you’re lucky enough to have a prospect actually pick up, you need to make the most of it. When they first answer you have precious few seconds to convince them that you are relevant to something they need or want.
How can you do that? By tailoring your opening statement to the specific person you are speaking to.
First off, assume the person who answered the phone is the person you were calling. Commit to their name; they’ll correct you quickly if it’s not right. Start your first sentence with “Hi Steve…” or “Hi Nicole…”. Then add a statement that lets them know that you know at least something about their situation. Something like, “Hi Mike, I saw you were looking for homes in Downtown Savannah”. By tailoring your message to the interests and behavior of your leads, you increase your chances of a positive sale.
Have a Real Conversation When Cold Calling in Real Estate
Real estate scripts can be very valuable when cold calling. They give you something to fall back on if the conversation gets away from you, they can help you have tried and tested responses to common objections, and they can give you a greater sense of confidence on the call. However, scripts alone are not enough.
Prospects can tell when you are just mindlessly repeating something you memorized. Instead, use the script as a starting point but then have a real conversation. Respond to what the lead is telling you in a way that is tailored to and makes sense for their specific situation.
Real Estate Sales Discovery
When it comes to cold calling, many agents and ISAs are too quick to close. More specifically, they try to close before they’ve put in the work to actually understand what the lead’s goals are—what their motivation behind buying or selling a home is (I’ll give you a hint, it’s not just “to buy or sell my house”).
You need to ask the right questions to dig down and understand what the lead is trying to accomplish through buying or selling, as well as additional information that will help you close later like:
- The prospect’s financial situation
- Their budget for buying a home
- Who is involved in the decision to move forward working with you
- What the prospect’s ideal timeframe is
- Potential objections the prospect might throw at you later in the conversation
There are probably hundreds of discovery questions and variations you can ask when cold calling in real estate, but here are a few of the most common and effective ones:
- Where are you guys moving from? Great! Are you from there originally?
- Who are you moving with?
- Why are you guys looking to move out of your current home?
- How long have you been looking for a new home? What have you liked about the homes you’ve seen? What kept you from buying that particular home?
- Is this your first time buying a home?
- How long has your current home been on the market?
- Where are you planning on moving to?
- When would you like to be in your new home?
Real Estate Objection Handling Strategy
There are a lot of strategies out there for overcoming real estate objections on your cold calls. We’ve found that the most effective one is known as the PPO process. PPO stands for Perspective, Process, Outcome. It’s important to note that we’re referring to the lead’s perspective, the lead’s process, and the lead’s desired outcome. These are the three parts of every objection.
- 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 is “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”. Once you understand these three parts of your lead’s objection, then you follow these steps to overcome it:
- Acknowledge – Listen to what they say and let them know that you understand it.
- Paraphrase – Restate what they said without leading and without interpretation.
- Inquire into their perspective, process, and outcome – This is where you dig into their thought process how they see it. Get them to walk you through their knowledge, plan, and the unique thing they hope to accomplish. These are the three things you need to know in order to counter their objection, so ask questions that get you the answers.
- Determine the unique benefit or result they hope to achieve – this is their sought after outcome.
- Close if appropriate – Close if the lead does not bring up another objection as a result of the PPO process or if it becomes obvious that meeting is the next logical step in your conversation.
And Finally, Close Logically
Closing on your cold calls should be natural and bring all the above strategies together. If you are working with the lead to get an understanding of the outcome they desire, and you are powering through any objections they present, then the time to close is going to naturally arise once you can tell they are satisfied with your answers to their objections. Just follow the conversation.
If the lead says they are starting to interview new agents and get their home back on the market in a few weeks, then the logical time and way to close would be to say “Oh great! I am excited to show you how our team sells homes in less time and for more money than other agents. I am available on Wednesday or Thursday to meet. Which day works best for you?” That would not be the logical close if the lead said, “We’re not interested in selling. We took it off the market and are going to wait until the market improves.”
You see the difference?
Real estate cold calling in 2021 is difficult, but definitely not impossible. The biggest hurdle is low answer rates. But if you can get someone on the phone, then follow the strategies we outlined above, and you’ll to start to convert more leads and grow your business like never before.
If you’re an agent or ISA struggling to convert your leads, then Smart Inside Sales has a training program that will help called Conversion University.