While the old-school version of this lead-gen method may indeed be over, there’s a contemporary version that’s alive and well, and getting results.

With the new year about to dawn, it’s time to level yourself up. We’ll close out the year with a monthlong focus on real estate coaches and the value of ongoing training. Expect advice from the top real estate coaches, deep evergreen training resources and more during Inman’s Coaching and Training Month.

Cue the deep and ominous music; here comes the dreaded conversation about cold calling

To cold call or not, that is the question. 

Those two words tend to elicit visible and tangible fear and discomfort in most agents. But why? Is it our deep-rooted fear of rejection? Is it because we’ve been told we must follow a script to be successful? Or is it simply because the idea is so foreign to some of us that we’ve created a fear-based mentality around it?

I can tell you from experience that cold calling is alive and well, and has kept my $50 million+ per year business thriving. 

Let’s start by throwing out the old idea of cold calling. When people say cold calling is dead, perhaps they mean the old version is dead — and I agree with them. But, in its place, is a type of calling that is effective and useful to the people on both sides of the call. The goal of every agent should not only be a sale, but to provide value to their clients. 

The idea that you pick up the phone and randomly dial numbers with the hope that the person picking up with have a pre-approval letter for $1 million and no agent is unrealistic. As much as well all want to believe unicorns exist, let’s get real here. If you spend any of your time cold calling with this belief, you will not get very far. 

But if you adjust the way you look at and approach cold calling, it could very well change your entire business for the better. 

Here’s how to get started with cold calling

  1. Before you pick up the phone, make sure you’re calling a farm that is already familiar with you and your business. How can you do that? Start by sending out an introduction letter via snail mail to the same farm you intend on calling. That way, when you pick up the phone to call and reach someone on the other end, they {may} already know who you are, making the transition to a conversation much easier. 
  2. Create rapport immediately: Find things in common, talk about events happening in your community or neighborhood. Let them know you’re not another spam robot, and try to have a real conversation from the start. This does not need to be about real estate immediately! 
  3. Call the same farm(s) and stay consistent. Consistency is key.
  4. Throw out the boring script. You don’t need it. Can you imagine if the people in your life read from a script every time they spoke to you? We are calling people, which means each person that you reach will have needs and desires that will vary from yourself and others. You must adjust your conversation based on the individual person instead of sticking to the script.
  5. Understand that a No (or an immediate hang-up) is not personal. 

When you hang up on spam calls, is it a personal jab to the person who is calling? Absolutely not. You probably don’t even think of the person on the other end in most cases. Remind yourself of this when you start feeling rejection and doubt creeping in. It has nothing to do with you. Let yourself move on to the next call with ease and as Elsa once said, let it go! 

  1. After introducing yourself, when the person answers the phone, always ask, “Is now a good time to talk?” If they say no, ask them when a better time would be. This will always create a much better outcome than if you start rambling the second they say Hello. They could be waiting for a call from the doctor or their child’s school, and the last thing they may want to do is talk to you. At least right now. Be mindful and thoughtful of the human on the other end of this call. 
  2. Be respectful of people’s boundaries and visit the Do Not Call Registry: https://telemarketing.donotcall.gov/

It is important to be mindful about who you’re calling, and verifying their information is not on this list. Doing this in advance will save you from a very unpleasant conversation down the road. 

I have known many agents who swear that “cold-calling is not for them,” but when I asked how often they tried it or their experience with it, most of them replied by saying they’ve never actually done it. And hey, it may not be for them or you, but with so many top-producing agents seeing success from it, isn’t it worth a try?

If you find yourself at a standstill or a crossroads for marketing and lead generation, give these steps a try. And you might just land yourself a $20 million sale from one phone call as I did. 

Amie Quirarte is a luxury real estate agent with Tahoe Luxury Properties in California and Nevada. Connect with her on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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