Looking for Love... or Clients? Here's One Approach (not)...

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LoveA few months ago, I saw a post on a real estate forum that made me LOL. ROTLMAO actually. And ask myself - seriously? Seriously?

The thread was extolling the virtues of high-octane cold-calling. Serious cold-calling. Cold-calling to the tune of several hundred (yes, hundred) calls a day (yes, a day). Proponents of the method regaled the rest of us with their stories of successes; of listing appointments won and offers accepted and deals closed.

A few brave souls (myself included) tried to introduce alternatives to high-octane cold-calling for those who might not be as comfortable disrupting hundreds of unwilling phone-answers every day, but we were routinely shot down with attacks on our courage, our commitment and our work ethic.

Ah well.

Here was the gist of the thread and that had me rolling my eyes, slapping my head and wondering if our industry has lost its mind.

The post-er presented the following analogy as a way of illustrating the beauty of the cold-calling method as a way to build a real estate business.

He asked:

"If you were a single guy, which of the following two methods do you think would be more effective in finding a girlfriend?

Option 1: Sit at home watching football and drinking beer, or

Option 2: Line up 100 women and ask each of them out for coffee?"

Um. Well.

I'm thinking that these 100 lined-up women might....

  1. Think the guy is a total idiot, and/or
  2. Think the guy must be awfully desperate, and/or
  3. Think the guy is really annoying, and/or
  4. Think the guy is utterly pathetic, and/or
  5. Feel uncomfortably like a number in this guy's game.

So, I guess the analogy continues like this:

"If you were a hungry real estate agent, which of the following two methods do you think would be more effective for finding good business?"

Option 1: Sit at your office waiting for the phone to ring, or

Option 2: Call 100 random strangers and ask them if they need a real estate agent?"

Y'think there might be a third option? Maybe even a fourth? One that doesn't make you look desperate, annoying or pathetic?

Yeah, I think there just might be.

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Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Actually, I don't exactly understand how those guys are putting up those kind of numbers (they say), yet manage to be on that site so much...hmmmm...being online extolling the virtues of cold calling isn't generating business, I don't think!

Dec 14, 2010 08:52 AM #18
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Susan - I've always thought the same thing - but what I really wonder is when on earth these folks have time to actually manage all this business if they're cold-calling 3 hours a day and then going on listing appointments, and, of course, hanging out online. When I'm busy, chatting on forums is the last thing that occurs to me to do.

Dec 14, 2010 08:58 AM #19
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

I also marvel that with all the fanfare given to prospecting and how well it's working, these agents never, and I mean, never post anything about the difficulties they're having with inspections, loans, buyers remorse, etc. Are they so awesome that their transactions always go like clockwork?

Dec 14, 2010 09:01 AM #20
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services


Dec 14, 2010 10:01 AM #21
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services


Dec 14, 2010 10:02 AM #22
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

And they wonder why Realtors/agents have such a bad reputation with the public!  Because of bozos agents (I seriously doubt this guy is a Realtor) like this.  Ok, seriously now, I am so glad that there are other Realtors/agents that do not operate this way.  I feel fortunate (yes fortunate because there are a lot of people like this guy) that I have had the pleasure of working with Realtors/agents that don't prescribe to this nonsense.

Dec 14, 2010 10:06 AM #23
Sue Gabriel
Cleveland, OH

If I had to cold-call all day, I'D be the one needing the beer!

Seriously, I've very fortunate that I read SWS before I took my first real estate class. There's no way I would have gotten into this business if pestering strangers was a requirement to be successful.

Dec 14, 2010 10:19 AM #24
Renée Montgomery
Century 21 New Millennium - Warrenton, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate

I agree with Susan, how can you be making all these calls and post so much. I follow that thread, too, when I have time. It makes me shake my head. Thanks Jennifer. Reading your book on my kindle and I suggested it to one of our newer agents.

Dec 14, 2010 10:47 AM #25
Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

If I could find 10 women that liked watching footbal that would be fine. My TV is only 32 inch so 100 could not see it comfortably. Kidding aside you do make a good point but are these the real alternatives. What if you call 100 expires and have something good to say ?

Dec 14, 2010 10:51 AM #26
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Charlie - actually... that's another related post I'm working on - stay tuned!

Renee - Crazy, isn't it? Did you catch the part where I asked when they had time to service their clients and was soundly scolded for not managing my time well if I was "getting all caught up in the details of the transaction?" Sheesh.

Sue - You and me both, sista...Luckily when I went to real estate school, I hadn't heard any of this nonsense yet. If I had, I never would have started. Funny how things work out.

Donne - I literally LOL'ed when I saw your graphic!

Dec 14, 2010 10:57 AM #27
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

OK...I get the game

"If you want to live for at least another twenty years would you..."

A.  Put the barrel of a loaded shotgun in your mouth and pull the trigger


B.  Drink a gallon of the deadliest poison known to man.


Huh, tell me, come on give me an answer, come on now you can get it right.


Or maybe...."hey asshole why am I bothering to have a discussion with you?"


Dec 14, 2010 01:17 PM #28
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

To take the dating analogy a step further, most gals I know would NOT stand in anybody's lineup for a coffee invitation.  :-)  

They might, however, accept an invitation from a guy who strikes up a conversation while at a food pantry volunteer group or service club meeting, or at music class, or even in a sports bar.....

Dec 15, 2010 01:26 AM #29
Ken Barker Realtor® GRI, E-Pro Certified
Dilbeck Real Estate - Burbank, CA

Jennifer - I am here because of Donnes "Called shot" post. One that I originally missed.

In another business I did Cold Calling and I loved it. Sort of. But for Real Estate, Not happenin'.

Warm calling more acceptable. But you had my at football and drinking beer.

Dec 19, 2010 09:24 AM #30
Jennifer Prestwich
Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster - Henderson, CO
Madison & Co Properties

Jennifer, that approach is a head-smacker for sure!  I cannot imagine cold calling 100s of people every day.  I'd want to hang up me for sure!  Great post :)

Dec 19, 2010 10:49 AM #31
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Jennifer,  Hard to believe more than .001 of agents would do that for more than a day or two - or a call or two !  I'll assume there was a book for sale involved.  Hope your Holiday Season is the best ever !

Dec 20, 2010 06:33 AM #32
Christine Pappas - REALTOR®
eXp Realty - Willoughby, OH
eXp Realty - Because Experience Matters

This is historical!  I know where I'd tell that guy to go!  


To each his own, I guess!  I'll stick with the soulful way - working with soul mates!  :)

Dec 20, 2010 06:55 AM #33
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

There are plenty of other options BUT I'll play devil's advocate to your post.  There are PLENTY of successful agents doing this sista!  Ever heard of Mike Ferry?  Agents make over $300K minimum doing half of what he asks.  Don't knock it until you've tried it - besides you didn't offer any alternative now did you?

There isn't only one way to prospect.

Dec 20, 2010 10:14 AM #34
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Jennifer...Who the heck are these folks calling?  Isn't there a Do Not Call List out there somewhere and isn't the purpose of it to prevent things like cold calling.

If these folks are so successful with their cold calling why aren't they simply sitting home dialing the phone and passing out referrals.  That's what I would do IF we were allowed to cold call.  We are not unless we are checking every name to make sure it's not on the list.



Dec 20, 2010 12:40 PM #35
Faye Y. Taylor
StepStone Realty, LLC - Floresville, TX
Homes for Sale Floresville, La Vernia & San Antoni

I'm with the guy who said if he had been told he would have to cold call, he would have never become a Realtor.

My thoughts were:   get my license; sit in an office and wait for the calls or the walks ins.

Ha, ha.  Don't know where I got that idea.  

But seriously cold calling 100 people a day?  Rather beat my head against a wall.  Give me AR, the website, warm contacts anyday.

Dec 21, 2010 06:41 AM #37
| As you know, I recently moved a mlioiln and one times. I just completed another local move about a week ago. Here's my advice: Marry someone who is willing to let you leave from house A with your laptop for a library or cafe to work for the day so that you can come home to house B after he has packed, moved and setup everything without you. That's seriously how I've made most of my moves over the last five years. If that's not possible like it was when I had to move to NYC while he was already here the little by little approach is best. It also helps avoid the OMG I'M MOVING AND I HAVE TO WORK AND I'M GOING TO EXPLODE feeling that can happen to the best of us.
Jul 26, 2012 11:48 AM #38
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