If you’re a real estate investor or agent who needs to find sellers…
Then one of the best and most popular methods to find deals is by cold calling.
But very few people actually like cold calling.
It can be a bit like weeding through hay to figure it out.
And it can feel discouraging many times.
But, in this article, we want to give you not only encouragement, but a how-to guide with expectations, scripts, psychology, and tactics to increase your cold-calling efforts.
Cold calling can be one of the most cost-effective means of finding a great real estate deal and a great strategy to have as part of your monthly marketing repertoire!
Let’s get started:
What is cold calling?
Cold calling is the protecting tool that many people in real estate, mortgages, lending, and various other industries use for finding leads for their business. It typically utilizes a list and a skip tracing tool/vendor (which we’ll talk about later), and a dialer to help.
For real estate… you’re just looking for A seller or buyer.
Think of it as the OG form of networking in the real estate biz. You might be calling potential buyers, or maybe homeowners who didn’t even know they wanted to sell. It’s all about starting a convo and finding opportunities where you didn’t see any before.
Why do people still use this old-school method?
Though it might sound a bit old-fashioned in an era of social media and digital marketing, cold calling remains a valuable tool for real estate professionals. When done correctly, it can lead to new opportunities and provide a personal touch that digital communications often lack. It’s a direct and proactive approach that can result in immediate feedback and a chance to quickly build a relationship with potential clients.
Cold calling can be super effective if done right. And super cost-effetive as well.
If you have time… you can cold call motivated seller.
What does it take to be successful in cold calling?
Let’s get real for a second: Cold calling for real estate is no walk in the park.
A lot of folks think they can pick up the phone, make a couple of calls, and—boom!—close a deal.
But in reality, it’s a grind.
Many give it a try and then throw in the towel, thinking it’s not for them.
The problem? They didn’t set themselves up for success in the first place.
Volume and Goals
First off, this is a numbers game. You’re going to need to make a ton of calls to get anywhere. Don’t expect to hit a home run on your first try. Set actionable, realistic goals for yourself. Whether that’s making 100 calls a week or 500, it’s all about what you can realistically manage. And let’s be clear: when we say ‘realistic,’ we’re not talking about easy. You need to stretch yourself, but not to the point where you get burned out.
Testing, Persistence, Tools, and Buddies
There’s no one-size-fits-all script or list that’s going to make you a cold-calling wizard. It’s all about testing different approaches to see what resonates with your market and your own style. Don’t be too quick to quit; set a “quit goal” like making 5,000 calls before you even think about giving up. Believe it or not, there are also nifty tools that can help you up your game without breaking the bank. Finally, consider finding a cold-calling buddy. This isn’t just moral support; it’s accountability. Team up with someone who’s also in the trenches, agree on goals, and keep each other honest.
So, while cold calling in real estate can be tough, it’s far from impossible. Know what you’re getting into, set yourself some solid goals, and stick to the plan. Success won’t happen overnight, but with dedication and the right strategies, you’ll get there.
Is Cold Calling Legal?
So you’re all fired up to start cold calling, but wait a minute—is this even allowed?
Good question! First thing first: I’m not a lawyer, so for any legal advice, you should definitely consult an attorney.
Now, generally speaking, cold calling isn’t outright illegal, but there are rules you’ve got to follow.
We’re talking about regulations like the Do Not Call Registry, which is a list of phone numbers from folks who don’t want unsolicited calls.
Make sure you’re not dialing up anyone on that list or you could be in for some hefty fines.
Plus, every state and even some cities have their own rules about telemarketing and solicitation.
Navigating the legal aspects of cold calling for real estate can feel like walking through a minefield.
That’s why it’s crucial to get your info straight from the source: consult a legal expert who knows the local laws where you operate.
Keep in mind that laws can differ widely from one place to another.
Some places might have stricter rules, requiring you to obtain permits or follow certain scripts, while others are more lenient. So before you pick up that phone, make sure you’re up to speed on the rules in your specific area.
Here’s a quick video from Youtube about the Risks of cold calling:
Tools to Make Cold Calling Easier for Real Estate
Let’s face it, cold calling can be a bit of a slog. But the good news? T
here are tools designed to take some of the weight off your shoulders.
We’re talking about stuff that can help you find people to call, actually make the calls, and keep everything organized so you’re not losing your mind—or potential deals.
Let’s break some of these cold calling tools down:
You’ve got to know who to call, and that’s where data providers come in. They give you a list of potential leads that you can start dialing. Some popular choices are:
2. Deal Machine
3. List Source
4. Skip Force
Skip Tracing Tools
Got your list? Awesome. Now you need accurate phone numbers. That’s what skip tracing tools are for. Some options that are well-known for their accuracy are:
1. Skip Force
2. Skip Genie
Propstream and Deal Machine can find numbers but the above are known for accurate numbers.
Actually making calls is where dialers come in handy.
You’ve got two main types:
1. Simple dialers that are utilized on your desktop or mobile app. You click, they dial. Easy-peasy. But they dial one number at a time. which some people prefer (for simplicity and for legality)
2. Advanced dialers that call multiple numbers at once (also called “robo dialiers”). These call 3-5+ numbers at a time. The first person picks up, is the person you talk to. The others will get hung up on.
A quick heads-up: check the laws in your area about these robo-dialers before diving in.
Once you’ve started making calls, you’ll need a place to keep track of who’s who.
You can’t trust this to your memory or a notebook. T
hat’s why you need a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.
It’s like your personal assistant that helps you remember who was interested and who, well, wasn’t.
There you go.
Each of these tools serves a purpose in making your cold-calling journey less of a hassle and more of a well-oiled machine. Choose the ones that fit your needs, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a cold-calling superstar in the real estate game.
Here’s a quick video on dialers for cold calling:
Leads vs. Prospects vs. Deals in Cold Calling for Real Estate
Alright, let’s clear the air a bit.
People often get tangled up in the terminology when it comes to cold calling in real estate.
You hear words like “leads,” “prospects,” and “deals,” and it’s easy to get lost.
But here’s the deal—cold calling is mainly about prospecting.
That means you’re out there fishing for potential interest, not sealing deals on the first call.
You’re looking for a “yes, I’m interested” or even a “tell me more.” Those folks? They become your leads.
Now, why is it important to keep these terms straight? Simple: It helps you spot the weak points in your sales funnel.
If you’re making hundreds of calls and nobody’s biting, you might need to take a hard look at your list or your approach. Something’s off.
But if you’ve got leads—people who’ve shown interest—but you’re not turning those into actual deals, your problem probably lies in the follow-up or appointment setting. Understanding the difference between a prospect, a lead, and a deal allows you to fine-tune your strategy at each stage, making you way more effective in the long run.
Lists for Cold Calling in Real Estate
So, you’re pumped to start cold calling, but wait a sec—let’s talk about your list.
Yep, your list is basically the VIP of your cold calling game. You can’t just dial random numbers and hope for the best.
The more focused your list, the better your chances of finding people actually interested in selling. Think of it like fishing; you gotta know what kind of fish you’re after and where they like to hang out.
Now, where do you find these golden lists? There are heaps of options! Check it out:
– Driving for Dollars: Hop in your car and jot down addresses of distressed homes in your area.
– For Sale by Owner Listings: Owners who list their homes on Craigslist or Facebook might be open to selling.
– For Rent by Owner: Landlords get tired too, and they might just be ready to sell.
– Niche Lists from PropStream: They’ve got lists tailored to your specific needs (some listed below).
– Expired MLS Listings: Homes that didn’t sell might be ripe for a deal.
– Bankruptcy and Tax Liens: Folks with financial issues are often motivated sellers.
– Foreclosure: Unfortunately, these properties often need to be sold quickly.
– Absentee Owners: They don’t live in the property, so they’re often more willing to sell.
– Cash Buyers: Not only can you build your buyers’ list, but you might find some willing to sell.
– Farm Area: If you’re an agent with a specific area you work in every year, keep a list for it.
Bottom line: A good list is like a treasure map. It won’t guarantee you’ll find gold, but it sure boosts your chances. Choose the right list for you, and you’re well on your way to cold-calling success.
What if they don’t answer?
Call them another time. Keep them in your dialer CRM and recycle to it to the top.
Once you get someone to answer the next decision is:
- Is this a lead?
- Or a follow up cause they’re not ready to sell YET (which is still a “lead” now)
- Do I remove them from my list (if they express I’m not selling. You don’t want to waste time with them).
Scripts for Cold Calling as a Real Estate Agent
Alright, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty—scripts.
Now, you might think reading off a piece of paper sounds kinda robotic, but trust me, having a solid script can be a game-changer. It helps you stay focused, hit the key points, and make the most out of each call. Plus, a good script still leaves room for you to be you. Don’t believe me? Check out these three script ideas that you can either snatch as is or tweak to fit your style.
Script 1: The Introduction
“Hey there, this is [Your Name] from [Your Agency]. How are you today? Look, I know I’m a stranger and you’re busy, but I’ve been helping people in [Your Area] get fantastic deals on their homes. I was wondering, have you thought about selling your property any time soon?”
Script 2: The Local Market Hook
“Hi, my name’s [Your Name], and I’m a real estate agent who specializes in the [Your Area] market. Have you heard about the recent uptick in home sales around here? If you’ve ever thought about selling, now might be the perfect time to get a solid return.”
Script 3: The Direct Offer
“Hello! I’m [Your Name] from [Your Agency]. I’m reaching out because I’ve recently helped a couple of families sell their homes in your neighborhood. I know selling is a big decision, but if you’re considering it, I’d love to chat about how I can help get the best price for your property.
So, give these scripts a whirl or make ’em your own. The goal is to get the conversation started and find those folks who are willing to say, “You know what? I am interested.” Then, my friend, you’ve got yourself a lead.
Scripts for Real Estate Investors
Scripts aren’t just for Hollywood; they can be a real game-changer in the world of real estate investing.
Having a script in hand keeps you focused and ensures you hit all the right notes during your call. But remember, a script is more like a guide, not a word-for-word monologue.
The goal is to have a natural conversation while covering key points that could lead you to your next great investment.
Here are three script examples to get you started:
Script 1: The Friendly Inquiry
“Hi, this is [Your Name]. I noticed you own property in [Area]. I’m a local investor and was wondering if you’ve ever considered selling?”
Script 2: The Problem Solver
“Hello, I’m [Your Name]. I specialize in making quick, all-cash offers for homes. Are you interested in a hassle-free way to sell your property?”
Script 3: The Neighborhood Expert
“Hey, it’s [Your Name]. I’ve been investing in properties around [Area] recently. Do you own [Address]? Have you ever considered selling it?”
Feel free to adapt these scripts to fit your style and your specific investment strategy. With the right script in hand, you’re not just making a cold call; you’re opening the door to a potential goldmine of opportunities.
Here’s a video on a script as a real estate wholesaler:
Wrapping It Up: Cold Calling for Real Estate
Alright, folks, let’s bring it all home. We’ve covered a lot of ground, from the basics of what cold calling is in real estate to the legal stuff and even some killer scripts to kick-start your calls. We’ve got you thinking about what it takes to succeed, like setting realistic goals and testing different approaches. We even gave you the lowdown on the tools that can make your life way easier and how to build a list that actually helps you connect with potential deals.
The bottom line? Cold calling is more than just picking up the phone and hoping for the best. It’s a whole strategy, guys. It’s about knowing your target market, having the right tools, and most importantly, keeping your eye on the prize—turning those cold calls into hot leads and, eventually, into closed deals.
Remember, this isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. But with the right preparation and mindset, you can turn this classic, tried-and-true method into a powerful part of your real estate investing game plan. So go on, get dialing!