Cold calling...never say never

Real Estate Agent with Rise Realty 3238238

Even though I have "been in real estate" as a real estate attorney since 2001, real estate sales is pretty new to me.  When I obtained my real estate license in 2010 I already possessed valuable skills that I had developed from my experience representing clients in my law practice.  However, I also brought with me to this business some baggage that I have realized has hindered my ability to achieve the sales goals that I want to achieve.  One of those pieces of baggage was my avoidance of cold calling.  I actually declared to myself and those around me that I would "never, ever cold call" when I started in this business.  Why was I so against cold calling?  A bad plan, bad habits, and probably too much pride.

A bad plan

Until recently, my marketing plan has been to rely almost exclusively on my law contacts to generate sales business.  While having those contacts has absolutely helped me to bring in good clients, those contacts alone are not enough to achieve the sales goals that I want to achieve.  Relying solely on my legal contacts was a bad plan.  

Bad habits

Cold calling and direct solicitation of clients is an ethical no no for lawyers.  Avoiding those activities is a good habit for lawyers to develop.  However, avoiding those activities is NOT a good habit for real estate agents to develop.  Law and sales are two separate animals.  Each role requires a different formula for success.  Avoiding tried and true sales techniques, like cold calling, was a bad habit.  


I do not have to tell you that lawyers do not have a great reputation, but I have truly tried my best to conduct myself with integrity and professionalism throughout my entire legal career and to do everything that I could to avoid the "ambulance chaser" stereotype.  Perhaps, though, from those good intentions I developed an "I am above that level" sort of pride which has hindered my sales efforts.    

Progressing beyond

I made progress today.  First, I realized how my plans, habits, and pride have been obstacles to me achieving my goals.  Second, I made my first cold call today.  Actually, I made cold calls for about two hours today.  No one yelled at me and I do not feel all dirty inside.  I conducted myself professionally, as I always do, and I feel good because I took action and stepped outside of my comfort zone.  And, I got a lead out of it.  Not yet a listing but a lead.  

Never say never.  If you are uncomfortable about cold calling, I suggest that you try it.  Even if you feel that there are other sales techniques that you prefer and you do not decide to make it a part of your marketing plan, you should do it to overcome whatever in your mind is keeping you away from it (fear, pride, etc.).    

Good luck out there!

Comments (49)

Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

Choosing to step outside our comfort zone - when we think it may benefit us - is empowering. Good post, Andrew!

Aug 26, 2014 07:30 AM
Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service

Hey Andrew,

I have done cold calling in various jobs.  As a little kid I did a lot of door to door stuff as well. Whatever you do, do with consistency and you will yield results...eventually.

Best of GREAT success to you in 2014!

Aug 26, 2014 07:31 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Somehow, I survived 22 years in this business successfully without cold calling. My attitude has been that I don't want it done to me, so I don't do it to anyone else. But my hats off to you for taking that brave step!

Aug 26, 2014 07:32 AM
Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service

BTW welcome to Active Rain!  Just saw that you are a newbie.  You are in a great place.

Aug 26, 2014 07:34 AM
Eren Millam
Realty World Cosser & Associates, Inc. - Chehalis, WA
Certified Negotiation Expert

It seems like a lot of agents, unless your successful, struggle if they're not willing to "get out there" by cold calling and door knocking. It does work, just take a lot of gumption!

Aug 26, 2014 07:50 AM
David Evans
HUD NLB Cumming GA

A lot of useful info here on a subject we all do not do enough of- Thanks.

Aug 26, 2014 07:54 AM
Kela Caspillo
Kauai Dreams Realty - Kapaa, HI
Kela Caspillo

Hi Andrew, nice blog. I have recently been debating cold calling. I think I want to at least try it to say I did it. It seems like a great way to get business basically for free. The only thing that has been holding me back was that I read on that its illegal :-| 

Aug 26, 2014 08:15 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I have to laugh as Mike Ferry drove those thoughts out of my head. I suggest that you check out some of his very good scripts. Now hopefully you don't have anything against those too! Just think of those as problem solving answers when someone throws a tough question at you.

Good luck!

Kela #36 - what! when is picking up the phone illegal? Jeez ....


Aug 26, 2014 09:04 AM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

I do not cold call.  At this point, about 90% of my business comes by way of referrals and word of mouth from previous clients.  

Different business plans for different folks and we need to do what works for us.

Aug 26, 2014 12:26 PM
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life


I don't see myself as the cold-call type, but I know a few agents here in town who do.  They see it as their plan, and I know it's worked out well for them.

If that's a new niche for you, go at it with all the gusto you have.

Aug 26, 2014 02:55 PM
Brian Force
Dallas, TX
Work With the Best!

Congrats on your first day of what will become your most addicitve lead gen technique! 

Aug 26, 2014 03:56 PM
Terry McCarley
Coastal Real Estate - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

I personally have never done cold calls but I do know people that are very successful doing so.  

Aug 26, 2014 10:25 PM
Theresa Akin

That one yes to a cold call will make up for the 99 nos. I don't cold call much but a couple times I have gotten good leads. It all depends on the ad.

Aug 27, 2014 12:50 AM
Jordan Gouger
Keller Williams Realty Inc. - Austin, TX
Helping you to achieve your housing goals!

Cold calling isn't really something I'm interested in either, but it has proven results. Some of the most successful people in the business built their business by cold-calling.

Aug 27, 2014 02:40 AM
Karen Luke
South Metro Property Management, LLC - McDonough, GA
Henry County Real Estate

I'm not a fan of cold calling either. But, I won't say "never," either.

Aug 27, 2014 10:47 PM
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

When I started in the business a long...long time ago, my first listing came out of cold calling. I had no idea what I was doing, but it so happenned that I was calling the right person at the right time and they needed to sell. 

So...I do love cold calling. Like everything else, it is a numbers game. Pick something that you fell comfortable with and play the number's game. 

Much continued success in real estate and welcome to ActiveRain.

Aug 28, 2014 01:07 PM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

I think stepping out one's comfort zone is always a large hurdle to overcome. It's not knowing what to expect, that always holds people back, but it's those that continue forward that find success.

Aug 28, 2014 04:37 PM
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Calling on expired leads or for sale by owners can be a great use of your time.  They are cold calls in the sense that the people don't know you, but they can also be considered warm or cool because they have indicated that they need to sell and may need the assistance of a professional that they connect with.  Great job on getting an appointment.  That was two hours well spent.

Aug 28, 2014 07:41 PM
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

I am not a huge fan of cold calling personally, but I know for many it works. it is definitely stepping out of a comfort zone.

Aug 30, 2014 01:22 AM
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

I think going back and reading some of Active Rains best Archives  likes this one should be shared again.

Mar 25, 2015 11:36 AM