What's your favorite way to get new clients?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks

I have been taking a 12 week course for experienced agents, geared toward making us more efficient, more effective, and more profitable.  It's a great course and I have put most of the lessons into practice,  have benefitted from them, and will continue to follow them.  If this were a class in which grades were given, one area that I would not have earned a high score is in cold-calling.

 For some reason I am uncomfortable doing this, although I have certainly done quite a bit of it.  After just a few calls, the phone feels like it weighs a ton and I tend to move away from calling and start working on other things.  Especially since most of the numbers I call get no answer.  The people who do answer are friendly and polite, but no leads result.  I realize that it is a numbers game and that my odds would be higher if I made more calls, but knowing that doesn't help.

I can go door-to-door and talk to strangers, and I have gotten good leads and referrals that way, although it is more physical and time-consuming.  I hold lots of open houses and get buyer clients from them, and I have gotten referrals and at least one listing client from my blog.  I love to write and I enjoy meeting people and making new friends, so I prefer these methods which seem to work better for me.  The instructor in this course insists that we should be making a minimum of 60 contacts per week, and that a contact is when you actually speak with someone (this means hundreds of calls must be made every week).  I envy those who can do that, but I can think of a million excuses not to do that many calls.

All other facets of this course are great, and I appreciate all that I have learned - even though I have been in real estate for more than 20 years.  How do others feel about cold-calling, and what is your favorite or most productive way to prospect for new business?

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Susan Neal
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Susan Neal Fine Properties
Fair Oaks, California

Full time real estate services in Fair Oaks CA, with friendly professionalism, 30+ years experience. 
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Stephen Butler
RE/MAX CENTRAL - Las Vegas - Las Vegas, NV

Is anyone not uncomfortable with cold calling?

Nov 06, 2008 07:09 AM #1
Thomas R. Martin Broker/Owner ICPM
Investors Choice Property Management - Sacramento, CA
Property Management the way it SHOULD be.

I find that being in places where business happens is much easier than cold calling. I attend classes where I know Landlords will be present, then do my best to impress the class with my experienced answers. Also, the local SAR meetings are a great place to network. AR has been a relatively new resource, but we can already see the tremendous possibility.

Nov 06, 2008 07:31 AM #2
Brett Tousley
Keller Williams Realty - Richland, WA
Tri Cities Real Estate | (509) 420-0013

Long live the Internet, I'm prospecting right now while I'm typing this.  24/7 and the calls you make to your visitors are warm calls at the worst.

Nov 06, 2008 07:36 AM #3
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

My favorite way to get new client is through Open Houses.  People are already there because they are interested in real estate, so if you can engage them in dialogue, provide value by answering their questions, and demonstrate your expertise with your answers, then you're well on your way.  I've never made a cold call and can't imagine that I ever would.  I don't do phone duty either.

Nov 06, 2008 02:06 PM #4
Frances C. Rokicki
Fran Rokicki Realty, LLC - Bolton, CT

I love to host workshops and events.  I invite my current & past clients, friends and family.  People always ask to bring a neighbor or friend.  It has offered me more opportunity for new business than any other idea.  Of course, I follow up with a note, call and popby!

Nov 08, 2008 07:11 AM #5
Mary Buchner
Realty USA - Amherst/Clarence - Buffalo, NY
Amherst NY Real Estate, Relocation and Buffalo Homes for sale

I wear my name tag almost everywhere I go.  People start talking to me about real estate.  Of course some people look at me funny for wearing my name tag and even tell me that I forgot to take it off.  But then, I tell them, no - I left it on on purpose- do you have any real estate needs???

Nov 08, 2008 11:30 AM #6
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Susan:  Cold calling gets easier the more you do it.  It's that simple.  I go through periods where I cold call a lot.  Usually when my referrals are not coming in as much.  Keep at it.  I have gotten business through it, though not as much as referrals and calls on listings.  By the way, calls on listings is my favorite way to find clients.  It's very cool to turn a caller into a client.

Nov 09, 2008 05:27 AM #7
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Thank you all for your comments.  These are great ideas, and I'm glad to know they are working for you.  I guess we all have to do what we are comfortable doing, so that it seems more natural, but I still wish I were better at cold calling.  I like sharing thoughts like this and hope more people will add their thoughts.

I do wear my name tag just about everywhere, like Mary, and I hand out business cards as often as possible.  If someone asks my name, I give them a card.  I'm sure plenty of them get tossed, but some of them get kept and people may hopefully recall that I was friendly and worth calling with their real estate needs.

So far, though, my best business-getters have been my blogs and open houses.

Nov 09, 2008 01:16 PM #8
Simone Shaw-Disla
Re/Max Infinity - Secaucus, NJ
e-Pro, ASP RE

Susan I have to agree with you I don't like cold calling and I do make excuses not to do it but I can find time to do the other things that work for me like blogging. I believe if you're not comfortable doing something it shows and then it's not as productive for you. That's just my belief.

Nov 10, 2008 01:42 PM #9
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

Susan, My sphere must feel sorry for me because they're alway sending me qualified clients...

Nov 10, 2008 05:15 PM #11
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Paul, How can I can that kind of sympathy from mine? ;-) I do get referrals, but not enough to keep me in business.

Nov 11, 2008 01:19 AM #12
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

When I was a Realtor in Houston, it was open houses. Jim loves open houses, too. No one in his office likes open houses, so he gets to do his own listings and their listings, too.

Nov 12, 2008 01:22 PM #13
Justin Singletary
Century 21 Fox Properties - Savannah, GA

The internet is my best friend. I find blogging, helping people with questions they might have on forums, and talking with "For sale by Owners" is bringing in a good bit of leads with a nice turnover rate.

Nov 13, 2008 02:34 AM #14
April Stephens
RE/MAX One Realty - Clayton, NC
Broker/Realtor - Johnston & Wake County

I have always had a great response from my Open Houses, although they are mostly new construction, I have received several resale & buyer leads.

Nov 14, 2008 02:55 PM #15
Ann Dail
Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551 - Baton Rouge, LA
Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem

While I have done call calling, I find it is the least productive use of time.  First, I always work my warm market (that's someone I can call by name whether I know their last name or not).  Then if time alllows I do cold calling.  The 2 types of cold calls that are most productive for me are FSBO's and Expired properties.  After that I work a neighborhood by walking the street and meeting people face to face; with my goal being to turn those into warm market people.  I get internet leads that are cold, but only have had success if they gave a phone number.  My drip system for emails isn't sophisticated enough to be productive.

Dec 10, 2008 07:31 AM #16
Doug Garner
CENTURY 21 Garner Properties - Independence, KY
Principal Broker, Auctioneer, Northern Kentucky

although has become more cumbersome since the do not call list was invented (at least in Ky) it still remains the the single best source of new business. I've been through this many many times with new and experienced agents. Almost no one enjoys cold calling but one thing remains clear no matter how many times it's tried and tested, cold calling results in business. You may have heard this before from a long time popular trainer. 1) Go to the office at 9:00 AM 2) Get your cross reference phone numbers (don't spend more than 3 minutes decided on what area to call) 3. Start calling 4) don't stop calling until you get an appointment.

How does one transaction per week sound?

If you do this 3 days a week you will get 3 appointments per week. 3 appointments per week will result in 1 transaction per week. The more you do it, the less time you will spend on the phone.

I've seen it, sone it to many times for anyone to tell me it doesn't work.

Dec 12, 2008 01:26 PM #17
Jeff and Lisa Sellers
The Sellers Realty Lubbock,TX - Lubbock, TX

All good ideas, keep them coming...Personally, expireds have been my best source of cold calling...I need to do more doorknocking...don't ignore your sphere though.

Dec 17, 2008 12:54 PM #18
Eileen Begley
Coldwell Banker, DelMonte - Carmel, CA
Monterey Real Estate

Sooo many people are on the Do Not Call List now days. So think "warm calling" is better - calling people you already have contact with.

Dec 17, 2008 02:35 PM #19
Corey & Erika Kahler
The Cascade Team - Kirkland, WA

Wow, I've never done cold-calling and am doing well.  But I think it's a great idea when things are slowing down. Why not?  Not that I think i'd enjoy it, but clients are clients.

Nov 05, 2010 01:42 PM #20
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