Sometimes old school prospecting just works
There is a primal fear that most real estate agents have about making “cold calls” to generate business for themselves. Whether they state outright that the avoidance is about not wanting to feel rejected, or whether they hide behind excuses built around a "do not call" list, the simple act of picking up the phone and calling residents of a neighborhood in hopes of finding a potential listing is terrifying for many people, and often they simply refuse to participate.
That’s too bad, because if done correctly, cold calling works, and you -- the Realtor reading this post -- could be supplementing all of your other activities and income by doing so.
Now, those of you who know me might be thinking, “Wait, but isn't he that 'social media' guy? The one who does not believe in old-school real estate practices?”
Well, yes, I do have a proclivity toward the use of social media in building strong relationships and engaging others. But that doesn't mean the computer is the only way I reach out to people. Online networking is only one part of my overall business strategy. I am also on the phone all day long, mostly with people whom I've never met face to face.
The fact of the matter is that Realtors still need to interact with the public in traditional ways as well as new ways. In fact, we need to engage with people in every way that people now engage with each other, through every medium that the modern world uses. Yes, that means using FaceBook and Skype, but it also means picking up an old-fashioned telephone -- or even a shiny new smart phone -- and reaching out to strangers who might find you to be a resource.
Is there a chance that some people will reject you? Yes, absolutely. But there is also another possible outcome, which is that some won't. Let's say that you set aside one hour each day to make 10 calls. About
3 out of every 10 people you contact will actually discuss their home with you on the phone, and 1 out of 10 will agree to schedule a listing appointment with you. That's 5 new appointments generated each week. Provided you have a successful listing presentation strategy, at least 1 and hopefully 2 out of these 5 appointments will turn into listings. And to be conservative, let's say 1 out of every 2 listings actually sells.
Let's do the math:
Ten calls a day = five listing appointments a week = two listings a weeks = eight listings a month = four sales a month.
In my office, the average list price is $400,000, so we're talking about $1.6 million in additional sales volume each month. Not bad for one hour a day of phone calls, right?
Now, you do need to know what to say and how to say it, and you need to practice, but all that requires is that you carve out time to work on it with people who can help you perfect your approach. You just have to make the commitment to make things happen.
It's true that I spend a lot of time and effort on my social media outlets, but I also make calls every day to agents in my marketplace. I am not obnoxious (at least I hope not!), but I am persistent, much more so than my laidback online persona. I call people I want to call, but I call. Every single day. And therein lies the difference between those who make it rain and those who don’t.
If you can make a call and procure an appointment, regardless of the outcome, you have already won the battle, because so many in the same position will not even get that far.
So here is my challenge to you: make the time tomorrow to call just 5 residents of homes near one of your office's listings, and tell them you are on a mission to find a great buyer for that house. Ask them if they know anyone who has considered moving into the neighborhood. Then wait and see what happens.
Someone just might answer yes!