Did You Always Dream of Cold-Calling for a Living?

By
Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Ho hum, yet another spammer on Active Rain posted a silly comment on an old blog promoting her essay writing service or some other nonsense. Yeah, like I (or my readers) am/are going to rush right out and hire her because she posted an obviously inappropriate comment on a two-year-old blog.

I have to wonder who comes up with this stuff. Is there a professional association out there teaching their members to promote themselves using stupid internet tricks? Are there books and magazines and newsletters on the subject? And if so, who signs up to be a professional spammer? What sort of person thinks this is a cool way to make a living? Do they look forward to getting up in the morning and going to work? Did they always dream of being a spammer when they grew up?

Who ARE these people?

Actually, who cares? They don't care about us, so why should we care about them?

Which leads me to cold-callers.

The cold-callers in the world aren't all that different from internet spammers, and frankly, I find myself asking similar questions about them, especially the real estate cold-callers. The most bewildering question (for me) is why someone gets into the wonderful world of real estate if all they care about is high-volume prospecting. Aren't there easier ways to make a living that would put their tough skin and admittedly admirable persistence to good use? Careers that don't carry any ethical duty or legal liability beyond getting that contact or sale?

I got into real estate because I love the process of managing a real estate transaction. Not because I always dreamed of getting up every morning and pounding the pavement (or the phone lines) hunting for business.

<Shrug>

I guess I'll just have to continue to Not Get It.

 

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Rainer
33,901
Tim Markley
Coldwell Banker Gundaker - Chesterfield, MO
Real Estate Agent (314) 223-3681 - St. Louis, MO

I'm with you Jennifer!  Unfortunately my broker pushes cold-calling as the way to get business.  With me being a new agent without a large SOI, I feel like I don't have much choice but to do it. 

I've enjoyed both of your books immensely and I'm hoping that my more soulful prospecting will take off and I can leave the cold-calling behind.

Nov 14, 2010 03:00 AM #13
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Tim - funny, I'm writing the SOI chapter in my next book and am in the process of responding to your dilemma as we speak/write! But I'd love to know more details about what your broker advises... WHO are you cold-calling and what are you saying to them. Please share?!

Nov 14, 2010 03:27 AM #14
Rainmaker
717,806
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

The scary thing that I see Jennifer is that it DOES work.  The door knockers and cold-callers in my area do have business right now.  But I'm definitely but I'm struggling.  Just a few days ago I had someone select me for a listing presentation because I was standing outside his building with listing sheets waiting for a buyer client. Now, he did question me extensively about the area with which I am familiar.  But what makes people pick one agent over another? 

It is probably the "agents are a dime a dozen" mentality that produces this.  The door knockers and cold-callers would argue that it makes them look like go-getters.  No - if you're a woman you just look like a pushy broad that won't go away until the "victim" does what you want.  If you're a man - you might be slipping towards intimidation or worse.  It cements in the mind of the public that we are just pushy hacks angling for our slice.  But then that comes full circle as to why this method works.  Since we are all the same - it doesn't matter who you pick.

 

Nov 14, 2010 04:17 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,027,150
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

I always wondered why power spammers didn't become stock brokers if they like the phone so much!!

Nov 14, 2010 03:11 PM #16
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

RM - actually you might be onto something there, but not what you were thinking... what if the reason cold-callers are successful is because they are focused on finding business, much more so than those of us who refuse to pester people.... and if those cold-callers were to REfocus all that energy into less disruptive and obnoxious tactics, they'd be just as successful? The very nature of cold-calling IS that it's a focused "attack" so the person doing it does have admirable persistence.

Personally, I still believe that providing great service and getting and staying in touch with the people you've impressed is a far more preferable way to run a real estate business, but what if THAT's what an agent focused on, with the intensity of the volume cold-caller?

Nov 14, 2010 11:09 PM #17
Rainmaker
784,314
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

It is pretty crazy isnt it?  How many calls do you get that say: I can help you increase your internet presence so your clients can find you..

DUH, You found me, I guess I must already have a presence???

Survey after survey always show that referral is the #1 reason for choosing a RE Professional... so do your job, Do it well and treat it like a career!  That's the secret!

Nov 15, 2010 04:17 AM #18
Rainer
33,901
Tim Markley
Coldwell Banker Gundaker - Chesterfield, MO
Real Estate Agent (314) 223-3681 - St. Louis, MO

Jennifer - I am cold-calling expired listings and FSBOs.  The scripts aren't really any different from any other scripts that are out there on the internet.  I just prefer not to have to pester people to try to get business. 

Nov 15, 2010 04:24 AM #19
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Tim - I actually don't "mind" cold-calling these folks as long as the caller actually thinks he can help them. That's my main annoyance with FSBO and Expired campaigns - they're all about the agent needing business instead of the agent thinking he can positively impact the seller wanna-be's life...

Robert - I know - it's funny, isn't it!?

Nov 15, 2010 04:30 AM #20
Rainmaker
122,939
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty / LakeHomes.com

Let's assume that out of 100 cold-calls you get 5 warm leads. However it is likely you will also piss of 80+ people... potential customers.

If you make 100 cold calls a day, image how many potential customers you can piss off each year!!

What if cold-calling was called "creating your reputation image by pissing off people?"  Would it still be popular?

Hugs! G

Nov 15, 2010 02:35 PM #21
Rainmaker
324,794
Samantha Smith
214.422.0729 www.SamIAmHouses.com - Rowlett, TX
Sam I Am Houses, Simply Texas Real Estate

I'm not 100% with you here Jennifer. Cold Calls can be "spammers", calling just to call & harasse but I believe the Cold Calls we make in Real Estate are calls to people we don't know but know we can help or want to work with ... whether its a FSBO or a new business to create a relationship with. The way I see it is, my Cold Calls are similar to being at a Networking Event - I'm increasing my SOI, creating relationships, & offering my services (which could be to volunteer for an organization or be their agent in a transaction).

~Cheers~ 

Nov 15, 2010 02:42 PM #22
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Samantha - Maybe it's all in the attitude. If you are approaching your calls with a true desire to help someone and you are capable of helping them, that will come thru. But the vast majority of discussions I've seen on the practice of cold-calling have nothing to do with bettering the lives of the audience and everything to do with getting an appointment and moving onto the next. Not that I begrudge anyone making money, not at all - but as Glenn described - when it's done knowing that you'll annoy the majority of your audience, I just don't get why anyone would want to make a living that way!

But, my dear, you are always welcome to not be in 100% agreement with me (I guess) ;-]

Nov 15, 2010 10:59 PM #23
Rainmaker
784,314
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Just a quick little additon.... Is cold calling an expired or FSBO really a cold call?  I dont think so - they have shown interest in selling their home.  You just need to be prepared to tell them how you will sell their home where others have failed.  I think these are more luke warm calls!

Nov 16, 2010 03:39 AM #24
Rainmaker
349,627
Sally Lawrence
Advantage Real Estate - Tehachapi, CA
Broker, CHS, e-Pro, SFR, REALTOR®

Jennifer, although I agree with the premise of not bothering people, I disagree that cold-calling is evil.  I used to do sales seminars in which I taught the standard "sales is a numbers game" scenario.  You know, if the closing rate is 10% and your commission is $100 per widget, then nine of ten calls is going to say "no" but each of those ten calls is worth $10 in commission.

I don't believe in random cold-calling, but I do believe in targeted marketing.  No one here has mentioned short sales yet, but that's one of my biggest markets right now.  I farm two areas for short sales and I do it by cold-calling.  I visit each prospect with a flyer once a week for three weeks.  If I have no response after three weeks I drop that potential short sale from my list.

Why do I cold call for short sales?  Because I think people in danger of losing their homes are frightened and unsure of what they may be able to do, so they do nothing.  My goal is to educate them as to their options and, if appropriate, list them as a short sale.  These folks are grateful that someone seems to care and talking to a caring "stranger" seems to work better for many than talking to someone they know.

So, I contend that not all cold-calling is evil.

Nov 17, 2010 01:14 AM #25
Rainmaker
292,688
Robin Rogers
Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio, TX
CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser

Hi, Jennifer:

Interesting that so many of the spammers are touting their thesis writing skills. And how ungrammatical their "comments" are.

Cheers,

Robin

Nov 18, 2010 12:33 AM #26
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

I know - I usually delete them, but thought these were kinda funny!

Hmmmm... just scrolled thru and don't see them. Are they automatically being deleted now?

Nov 18, 2010 01:31 AM #27
Rainmaker
324,145
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Hi Jennifer,

 

Of course I agree with you completely!  Hilarious that comment #9 is a spammer of ringtones.

I think I'm batting 1000 on those damn essay writing spammers commenting on my posts.  I HATE them!  I don't want their broken English, cruddy grammar comments on my posts where the outside world can see!

I will NEVER do cold-calling because I absolutely HATE it when someone cold calls me.  Golden Rule, pure and simple!  I'd rather attract than browbeat!

Nov 20, 2010 03:38 PM #28
Rainmaker
485,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Melissa - I'm getting bombarded with those spam comments now - Did I annoy them with this post or have they just stepped up their silly game?

Nov 20, 2010 10:55 PM #29
Rainer
185,219
Arleen Montford
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY GULF COAST - Pace, FL
Selling NW Florida Homes in Pace/Milton/Pensacola FL

I only cold call if I am planning to follow it up with a pop by and I have an item of value to share with them. I always give them something before I ask for anything.

Nov 22, 2010 12:26 AM #30
Rainmaker
539,177
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Jennifer - I did start my career with Sweathogs cold-calling.  I got comments from "I'll blow up my house beforfe I sell it!" to "Yes, I was thinking of selling!", and I did get listings.   I think most people today are very sensitive to phone solicitations, so it would be more difficult to succeed.

Nov 23, 2010 12:47 PM #31
Anonymous
Imane
I'm still not sold on the glimmer mist paitns, they tend to curl the paper and I can't seem to get a good look so any ideas with misting bottles would help me.Actually just tips on what to do with curling and paint at all would be great and paint on paper with stamps would be cool.
Jul 26, 2012 06:40 AM #32
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