If you are trying to drum up some real estate leads you will likely use a number of tactics to get attention. Cold calling is one of the oldest tactics in real estate investing and it continues to be an effective way to get in touch with potential sellers.
Sitting down and making a couple dozen phone calls in a short time frame is not something most people want to do. Especially knowing that you will encounter hang ups and push back. But connecting with people directly over the phone is a great way to plead your case, listen to their needs, and start a negotiation! This is why despite the time it takes to complete, cold calling is still a viable lead generation strategy in real estate investing.
To run a successful cold calling campaign you need to spend more time preparing for your calls than actually executing them. The most successful cold calls are equal parts personality and preparation.
So what exactly does cold calling mean? What can you get out of it? And most importantly, how can you make yourself successful at it?
What Is Cold Calling?
By definition cold calling is calling someone without prior notification. You can cold call a complete stranger or a person you already have a connection to. A number of industries use cold calling as a way to generate leads, make sales, and make connections.
In real estate investing, cold calling is generally used to try and make contact with people who may be interested in selling their property but have not listed it for sale yet. Cold calling is usually used in conjunction with other forms of lead generation like driving for dollars, networking or building lead lists with real estate software like Invelo.
An investor will generally do research and build a list of real estate leads and use cold calling or direct marketing, or a combination of both, to reach out and make contact.
Cold Calling Pros
- Can help you make connections with homeowners that may be interested in selling.
- Cost effective and requires nothing but a phone, no additional support needed.
- Gives you instant feedback.
- Lets you lead with your personality to make a true connection!
Cold Calling Cons
- People don’t love being called out of the blue so you can face push back or hostility.
- Can be draining if you have a lot of leads to reach out to.
- Not everyone is made for the phone so it might require practice.
- People may simply not pick up, which will require you to call again.
How To Be Successful
Cold calling may seem easy and straightforward but it is a skill that needs to be mastered. There are a few things you can do before you begin your cold calling campaign to increase your chances of success and make yourself feel more comfortable and confident on the phone regardless of who is on the other end.
Build A Solid List
The first step to any cold calling campaign is to build a list of prospects you want to connect with. You can do this in a number of ways including driving for dollars and compiling properties using an MLS service.
Invelo’s list builder tool is the perfect resource for creating property lists for cold calling because you can utilize a number of filters to generate targeted, up-to-date lead lists in the neighborhoods you are looking for. You can also skip trace in-app for those properties that do not have any contact information or outdated contact information listed.
Find Phone Numbers
If you are using some kind of real estate software like Invelo there may already be some contact information listed for certain properties. But for others you will have to utilize a skip tracing service to find that information. If you are working in Invelo you can skip trace right inside the platform either one contact at a time or in batches!
Do Your Research
Before you even grab the phone make sure you have done a good deal of research so you come across as knowledgeable and can answer any question to keep the conversation flowing.
Your research should include the basics of the property you are interested in acquiring. If you come with numbers and facts the homeowner will trust you more. Make sure you have key information about the value of the property, the neighborhood and the real estate market.
Create A Script
You may think you can wing it once you get on the phone but being prepared with a script will make a huge difference in your success rate. Real estate investors who do a lot of cold calling use scripts to guide the conversation toward a deal. You might think this will make the call impersonal but with enough practice you will flow through it like it is all happening in the moment.
When you sit down to write a script for your campaign make sure you are writing something that is tailored to the kind of property or connection you are interested in. You don’t need to write a new one every time but you should craft something different for different scenarios. If you are calling someone completely out of the blue make sure you start off with a little more information about yourself. If you are pitching to someone you already know write something with less biographical information. If you are calling a homeowner who has already listed their home on the market you can probably skip the part where you try and convince them to sell!
Your cold calling script should always get to the point and allow room for questions from the property owner. You want this to be a back and forth conversion, not a monologue. So be sure you are precise, personable and to the point.
Once you have something on paper, practice it with a friend or colleague and record it so you can listen back. This will help you hone the script to make it more conversational and smooth and allow you to hear what you will sound like to potential sellers.
Practice Makes Perfect!
To hone your conversational skills and perfect your script you will want to practice as much as you can. You can practice by yourself by reading your script aloud over and over again to get comfortable or you can grab a colleague and role play the call.
You may think you don’t need to practice but the more you do the more natural and relaxed you sound on the phone. If you have never done a cold calling campaign before this will help you sound less stressed and nervous. Even a tiny change in your tone can be heard at the other end!
Prepare For Pushback
Not everyone is receptive to cold calling so you need to prepare yourself for some pushback.
Brainstorm a list of questions, excuses, or statements that a property owner may say to you to get you off the phone. Prepare your responses to these so you can keep the conversation going or end it on a positive note to be revisited later. If you can prepare for a number of scenarios before you start calling you will have a much better chance at salvaging a conversation that might have otherwise ended.
Use Your Personality!
One of your biggest assets in cold calling is your personality! Property owners are much more receptive if you seem friendly, understanding, and calm. If you jump on the phone with an attitude or using a ton of industry jargon you can be certain you will not see a lot of success. You should always have a friendly attitude even if the homeowner does not.
Always be mindful of what kind of impression you give off on the phone. If you are stressed out and have a short fuse one day maybe you should skip calling until you are more yourself. You don’t want to kill a chance because you were in a bad mood.
Before you start calling put yourself someplace where you feel comfortable and at ease, where you can freely talk and be yourself. Grab a cup of coffee, put on some comfortable pants, whatever you have to do to get yourself comfortable. You are the one setting the tone for the call!
Calling a list of property owners to make your case doesn’t seem like a fun task but it can be an effective way to make connections and close deals. If you choose to embark on a cold calling campaign making sure you are prepared and well-mannered to ensure your success.