Real Estate Agent with Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 CalBRE # 01188158

I attended a real estate expo on Wednesday.  It had a plethora of featured speakers with no shortage of topics on how to create more business.  Much of the recommendations included calling as many people as possible in a few hours time.  We were told to commit to calling for at least an hour to 3 hours a day.  We were even given a suggested script.  The speakers confessed that they didn't look forward to doing this, but it is part of being a successful agent.

Now, I have no doubt that this works.  In fact, by the time I left I was feeling a bit guilty that I was one of those attending who, when this was suggested, immediately thought that I wouldn't do this.  What kind of objective thinking is that? These were professionals, after all.  They should know what they are talking about.

Then I realized the real issue.  I hate it when people cold call me.  I am offended that they take my valuable family time to promote their business.  So, while these speakers touted their success when they committed to this regime, they didn't say how many people they disturbed in the process of searching for the one that would want the callers help.  What is the ratio of people happy to hear from me to the number of people irritated at the disruption in their lives?  How many will never do business with me as a result of my calls as opposed to those who will?

I am a big fan of the golden rule..."Do unto others what you would have them do unto you".  I won't be doing any cold calling and am very comfortable with my decision.



Re-Blogged 3 times:

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Ann Cordes
Century 21 Randall Morris and Associates, Waco - Waco, TX
Home Ownership is Not a Distant Dream

Paula, you should definatly check out one of the most popular re coaches on Active Rain, Jennifer Allen, Sell With Soul. She teaches prospecting for introverts. No cold calling or any thing else that makes you feel "icky".

Also, an agent in my office found an easy way to get rid of telemarketers. She starts talking to them about real estate and asks " Do you know anyone who's looking to buy or sell?" They don't hang on the line too long.

Apr 11, 2011 07:15 AM #210
Jeff Frank
Chicago Financial Services (Mortgage Banker) - Chicago, IL

I hate cold calling too. The idea of time blocking 1-3 hours for proactive sales activities is a good one, though. Now that the refi boom is over I need to revisit my top 100 past client list and keep in touch with them better. These are the ones who will be happy to hear from me.

Apr 11, 2011 08:32 AM #211
Jeff Frank
Chicago Financial Services (Mortgage Banker) - Chicago, IL

I occasionally get cold calls from people who found me here trying to sell me leads. "We have clients who are looking for FHA loans in your area" or something like that. One thing I don't do is dodge them.  I have little time to waste on internet leads that are usually sold to at least 4-5 other loan officers so I tell them that even if the leads were free I wouldn't want them. That  makes them go away quickly and I don't have to dodge any more calls from them.

Apr 11, 2011 08:37 AM #212
RhondaHeaslip NanaimoRealEstate
RE/MAX of Nanaimo - Nanaimo, BC

I hate cold calling....for the same reasons you do. I do "warm calls". Regular re-connections with past clients, usually every 3 months, is what I do. They are happy to hear from me and it keeps me top of mind for referrals by them.

Apr 11, 2011 10:11 AM #213
nobody - Alamance, NT

I am a Summer. Cold calling is for winter people. I connect with past clients on a regular basis and most of the time I hear something like. You know I have a friend that is looking for....and that is just music to my ears.

Apr 11, 2011 10:18 AM #214
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to my little diatribe!  It sounds like some clarification is in order.  These cold calls are not what many of you refer to as warm calls.  There are a few suggestions I really liked.  One of them was instead of using 3 hours to cold call, why not use 3 hours to volunteer?  Can you imagine the relationships you could build and ultimately, as it comes out that you are a Realtor, the business you could get? The caveat is that you have to do volunteer work in the spirit of giving...not getting.  Also, I loved the idea of calling just to catch up.  No mention of business is allowed.  Now THAT I could do! 

Also, even if you love doing this, please don't assume that the recipient of your call feels the same way.  Your enthusiasm may not be a two way street and the person you called may be too polite to let you know.

Again, thanks!
Paula Swayne

Apr 11, 2011 12:09 PM #215
Walter Jetter
Heavenly Homes Realty, Inc - Fayetteville, NC

I'm with you 100% on this!

Apr 11, 2011 02:55 PM #216
Gregg Schoh
Montana Land Company, Flathead Valley Montana - Lakeside, MT

In my 17 years in RE, I have never and will never cold call.  I consider it one of the reasons some people paint us with the same brush as used car salesmen.  I don't consider myself a sales person.  I'm an advisor and consultant that my clients know they can rely on for straight answers.  I have found that I do much better concentrating on cultivating those past and potential clients that already know me and have done business with me.  Calling someone I don't know and reading them a script is something I refuse to do knowing how much it irritates me when I'm on the receiving end of said practices.

Apr 12, 2011 03:34 AM #217
Justin Morgan
435SELLNOW.com - Justin Morgan Real Estate Team - Saint George, UT
Investor/Agent with www.435SELLNOW.com

Lets be careful not to be excusing ourselves out or hard and uncomfortable work. 

Most people and that include agents are NOT willing to do the hard work to achieve success.  If you have a valuable service to offer the prospective client, then... "do unto others as you would wanted done to you"... offer your service.  The problem with cold calls is the telemarketing industry and pushy rude salesman have allowed us to become uncomfortable with the calls. It has VERY little to do with being interrupted... that is an excuse.  We are interrupted ALL DAY, emails to smart phone, TV ads, kids, Facebook, Active Rain posts, and phone calls to name a few.  I am ok with being interrupted IF I am getting valuable information.

Calling an expired listing... obviously the last agent didn't do the job and get it done right, now it is  your turn to help.  FSBO... these owners have TONS of reasons why they must be FSBO in this market.

We NEED to be cold calling and talking to people to help the real estate market avoid more foreclosure by homeowners that just dont know what to do because the never talked to knowledgeable RE agent that had true value to give them.

My advise... make the calls... But use YOUR SCRIPT and speak from your heart... only if you truely have a value proposition. 

Apr 12, 2011 05:19 AM #218
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Paula...The Trainers of today say Lets Get More Referrals from Friends Family and our Sphere of influence...Some relate and think lets get back to Basics and Cold call...that's so broad brush!

We need to Prospect or Market for business, we're in the Lead generation Business or we're not in Business. Cold Calling, it's okay if it works for you. You better be keeping in touch with Past clients or they'll soon think you're not interested or like them any more or worse out of the Real Estate Business. It's easy to just drop by or call on a regular basis to find out what challenges they are having and what they are doing to address them..ask if you can help, from time to time it's okay to ask if they know anyone that can use your services...be supportive and be a go giver, you do need to talk to people like past clients and inquiries on listings ...the telephone is just a tool to do that.

Congratulations on your Feature Post

Apr 12, 2011 06:00 AM #219
Madison Carlson
RE/MAX Excellence - Long Beach, WA

Oh THANK YOU for clearing this up, I now am guilt free from not doing as I was told when I first entered the business: 1-2 hours of cold calls. The Golden Rule is a great example here, I get frustrated when people cold call me, it's almost like they guilt trip you into what they are selling which makes me not want to buy what they are selling even more. I think this could definitely be detrimental to a Realtor, especially in a small town market. Cold-calling is a thing of the past when people did not have the internet or even a computer for that matter. My grandmother was in the business for over 25 years and swears by her cold-calls and door-to-door sales pich but in todays technological run world you're advertising time is better well spent with special notes and internet blogging/advertising.

Happy Selling!! :)

Apr 12, 2011 10:06 AM #220
Jamie King
Hoty Enterprises, Inc. - Huron, OH
Sandusky, OH

I'm soooo glad there are many others out there with the same thoughts. I think cold calling is annoying and just plain obnoxious. If a realtor or any other sales person cold called me, I would be less likely not more likely to use them the next time I needed their type of service.

Apr 12, 2011 12:33 PM #221
Ranji Singh
Century 21 Heritage Group Ltd. - Newmarket, ON

Hi Paula


From these responses the verdict sure seems in favour of root canal over cold calling. It doesn't mean cold calling is bad (or good). It would be great to hear the answers to a natural extension of this post: Given that Lead Generation is the successful agent's life breaath, what exactly do you do to generate a consistent flow of leads?

I particularly like the responses of # 117 and #122 - shall pay heed.



Apr 12, 2011 05:23 PM #222
Barbara Tretola
RAC Real Estate Associates, Inc. - Massapequa Park, NY

An agent called me the other day to ask if I wanted a free CMA. I told her I was an agent and could do my own. Se said does that mean you do not want one? I had to laugh! I said you would be right on that and said goodbye.

Apr 13, 2011 05:02 PM #223
Phil Porter
Charter One Realty - Hilton Head Island, SC

I'm the world's guiltiest with cold callers - always want to be friendly knowing they are trying hard to make a living. Recently I have come to the point of hitting the "answer" button followed very quickly with the "disconnect" button. Maybe they'll think no one is home. Doesn't matter - most of it is "robo-dialing" anyway.

Apr 14, 2011 07:51 AM #224
Robert Courtney
Lihue, HI
Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS

It has all been said very well, so I say "ditto".

Apr 18, 2011 07:46 PM #225
Lucy Puniwai
Fathom Realty.LLC - Haslet, TX

The more exposure I get on the Internet, the more cold calls I receive to opt in to PAY FOR LEADS! In my opinion, a lead is a lead is a lead. They are either ready,willing and able or...NOT! The last call was from a company saying for just $199.00 a month....and I stopped him right there and said, I am in the business to make money and I will work to generate my own leads. Cold calling - it's just plain rude! As far as FSBO's, I would visit the property, find out why they are FSBO, many times the Seller has no equity and cannot afford Realtor fees. That used to be an old mantra - FSBOS will eventually list..well, the market has changed, a lot of these people are upside down and some already have HOA liens or headed toward Foreclosure. It's just not worth the gas right now. Of course, in stated humble opinion!

Apr 19, 2011 06:24 AM #226
Jamie R. Bell
Bell Realty Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NEP - Glastonbury, CT
Your Central CT Realtor

Paula~I can't agree with you more. Ever since I moved I have been reluctant to get a land line because of this very thing, unsolicited calls. I applaude you for sticking to your business philosophy.

Good luck w/your marketing!

Central Connecticut Realtor

Apr 19, 2011 09:54 AM #227
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

I agree Paula. Now I get spam texts. Will it ever end?

May 10, 2011 05:33 PM #228
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

Good for you Paula!  I have never made a cold call in my life, and I certainly don't plan on starting now.  I've been consistently growing my business over the last few years with creative marketing, and an increased online presence.  I like "permission based" marketing...and I refuse to annoy people with calls they don't want.

Nov 04, 2011 08:44 AM #229
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Paula Swayne

Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga
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