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.
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.
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!