COLD CALLING - Shouldn't you Research the Neighborhood?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams NY Realty

If I wasn’t a real estate agent I’d probably hang up but...


I usually hang right up from solicitors, especially since I’m every Do Not Call List that you can be on for all of my phones and multiple times, but you know we still get them. Usually automated, sometimes that good old “we are not asking for money pitch!).


Yesterday I got a call that went like this.

Hello Barbara. This is John from “xyz” realtors. (Did not say which town but I knew where he was from and it was across the county). Did you know that your neighbor down the street just sold their house? It was listed at $599,000 and sold for $550,000. (It was originally listed for $799,000 beginning of last year and went steadily down, which of course he didn’t mention and perhaps thought I didn’t know). I played along and said, yes, I knew it recently sold. Then I asked him: Are you the real estate agent that sold it? He said “NO!”. So this guy wasn’t the listing agent and he didn’t sell it. From a seller perspective, why would I want to list with him?


He proceeds to tell me that, if I wasn’t aware, inventory for houses is really low, and that he is calling all of the neighbors of that house in case I wanted to sell. There are buyers who would like to live in my neighborhood! (I also know that is not true since, although house prices can be high, taxes are high and we are not in the best of school districts. I have a hard time showing homes if people have school age children and are not planning on sending to private school).


At that point, I felt it wasn’t fair to lead him on anymore and said: John, I’m actually a real estate agent as well. Few things he should know is 1) I am on the Do not Call List, and did he look me up before calling me? 2) The house he is pitching, which he did not sell has been on the market for almost two years..and since he did not list or sell it, why would I list with him? 3) I have lived in my town for 19 years and even living here,there is very little turnover in our neighborhood and the few that list have listed with someone in our neighborhood they’ve known for 20 years.


I wished him good luck and told him to say hello to the broker who runs his firm and tell her that Barbara from J. Philip Real Estate  says hello since I interviewed with her before joining my current firm! I have never done cold calling, even in my previous business. I always believe a ‘warm call” introduction through someone you know, or going out and putting your face to a voice is much more effective and less time consuming. Besides, that expression every no is closer to a yes has never been an incentive to me. I don’t like being solicited, and imposing on people’s lunch or dinner, to me, leaves the impression I’m desperate and they are probably one of thousands of calls I’m making until I get some lonely person who wants a visitor and tells me to come over!

So, the only thing I can say to brave soles who sit and research telephone #’s in neighborhoods is 1) know the neighborhood you are calling and make sure its one that you service and know well 2) make sure check DNC list 3)Don’t sound desperate...This guy sounded like, gee I have no listings and my broker wants me to dig up business and 4)if you have to use your neighbor sold their home pitch, at least know the history of how much it was going for originally. Rather house sold for rock bottom you want me to sell your house for the same rock bottom price? Really.

Comments (20)

Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

I am not a fan of cold calling but if i was I see your point. Can't stand phone solicitations myself.

Mar 31, 2013 05:16 AM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

You have a lot of patience.

I just place the phone on the floor until it disconnects.  I can picture them wishing I'd hang up so they can go to the next call.

Mar 31, 2013 05:32 AM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Barbara - I'm with you....I don't like getting these calls and I don't want to be the one doing them either.  It sounds desperate.  I'd rather market so that those who want/need me, find me.  i'd rather have them ask for me rather than vice versa. It definitely gets easier over time...word starts to get around and people find you in multiple ways, especially if you have a strong presence online.

Mar 31, 2013 09:58 AM
Ron Aguilar
Gateway Mortgage Group - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

again, why would an agent cold call? they don't. Now back to picking up the 500 pound telephone, do it but 

know who, why and when B4 you do. 

Apr 01, 2013 08:26 AM
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

I cannot believe Lenn is so mean ! <smile>     I should remember that next time.    I just quietly hang up...  

I have never cold called, and even mailing to expireds is a waste of time here.   When I heard the other day how many calls and letters a client of mine got when she let the last listing from the previous agent expire - it's horrific!!!!

Lots of other better methods of contacting strangers ...

Apr 01, 2013 09:22 AM
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

Say hi to Phil from me..

Apr 01, 2013 09:23 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

The agent is poorly trained and it's his Broker who needs a makeover so he can train his agent to become successful. The agent will learn from his mistakes and eventually become successful because he's FEARLESS. He's doing apprenticeship tasks now but he'll soon adapt and learn what not to do. Every sales person should have a mentor to guide them through their marketing challenges. 

Apr 01, 2013 09:41 AM
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

There ain't no fixin' stupid.  I make cold calls.  Not a lot, but some.  I know who and why I am calling.

Apr 01, 2013 09:44 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I dont make cold calls myself, too time consuming, But...

I would have thanked the guy, he is working hard doing something others dont want to do in order to bring more inventory onto the market for the other agents to sell.

As far as dnc list go, I think that they are a communist plot designed to shut down legitimate commerce while allowing all the scam artists and politicians to have a little more uninterrupted phone time.

Apr 01, 2013 02:15 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I've managed to survive quite successfully in this business for 22 years without cold calling. Hate it when it's done to me (and I've been the recipient of similar calls, Barbara, from agents whose offices are 50 miles away from my neighborhood), so I don't do it to anyone else. We only have so many hours in each day... I'd rather focus my prospecting hours in a different direction than cold calling. (Plus who can deal with all that rejection?!)

Apr 01, 2013 09:54 PM
Terry McCarley
Coastal Real Estate - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

I have never cold called and I hate sales call.  I must admit I love Lenn Harley's approach - I may have to try it!

Apr 01, 2013 11:40 PM
Barbara Bartell-Kamp
Keller Williams NY Realty - White Plains, NY
Westchester County NY Rentals, Condos, Coops, Home

Thanks for all of your comments!  Seems the concensus is that cold calls are time consuming, and as many of you said..why you do unto others what you don't like being done to yourself! For those who cold call but say they know their target area and knowledge of area good for you fearless soles! For Bob Crane, about DNC lists..yes its amazing we can get automated calls and those calls that say "I'm not calling for money or to solicit you"...who are you kidding? I'd hate to be one of those telemarketers..And to Dagny Eason.yep, I'll say hello to Phil.

Apr 02, 2013 12:39 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

He was probably a new agent whose broker told him this was the way to get business.  It is a tough way to go.  He should be blogging on ActiveRain.

Apr 02, 2013 03:12 AM
Lehel Szucs
All Seasons Real Estate, Inc. - Covina, CA
REALTOR of choice

don not like cold calls ... or making them and do no do ... I agree that referrals and warm calls work much better

Apr 02, 2013 03:20 AM
Barbara Bartell-Kamp
Keller Williams NY Realty - White Plains, NY
Westchester County NY Rentals, Condos, Coops, Home

Gene - To answer to your point..His broker is relentless and believes in calling..but they don't have much traction on our side of county. Too aggressive. To Lehel..glad you agree

Apr 02, 2013 03:39 AM
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner
Travis Realty - Enterprise, AL
email: / cell: 334-494-7846

aaaaaaaaaahahahahaha - I did car sales for a few months back a few years ago as a "hobby" (seriously). Other companies MADE you do an hour of cold-calling every morning. NO WAY for me!

Apr 02, 2013 06:02 AM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Barbara, we cold call expireds.  And we find knowing the subdivision and market vale ahead of time really helps.

Apr 02, 2013 08:19 PM
Barbara Bartell-Kamp
Keller Williams NY Realty - White Plains, NY
Westchester County NY Rentals, Condos, Coops, Home

Hi Bob.  Our agency sends out postcards rather than call.  My broker has had some luck with that, but down here in Scarsdale/Hartsdale/White Plains area..I haven't had a response. I find that most expired are re-hiredby their agency faster than you can get hold of them.

Apr 02, 2013 10:12 PM
Brad Baylor
ERA Coup Agency - Milton, PA

Barbara - I have never done any cold-calling, and do not plan to start.  I do solicit business via a letter, especially to folks whose listing has expired.

Apr 17, 2013 12:30 AM
Barbara Bartell-Kamp
Keller Williams NY Realty - White Plains, NY
Westchester County NY Rentals, Condos, Coops, Home

Hi Brad,  I've tried letters to expired but hasn't worked. Still in a quarry how to develop business after having contacted everyone I know.  Without listings can't do open houses which, in Westchester, draws the most leads!

Went to two public open houses in White Plains last weekend..there were at least 20-30 couples viewing the houses and the agent (who I know from another firm) said he had 4 offers by end of day.

Apr 17, 2013 12:35 AM