Let’s be honest here, cold calling often sends a shiver down the spine of even the most experienced real estate agents. Calling people who aren’t expecting you to and who probably aren’t sure who you are can be very intimidating for most people. This anxiety around cold calling arises from the fact that rejection is a very likely possibility, and many people just don’t know how to do it correctly.
With the right real estate cold calling script, however, you can turn this dreaded activity into a valuable source of new listings. With a strong script behind you, you’ll enter calls confidently, lose any shyness you may have, and convert more of those leads into paying clients. In today’s article, we’re going over the basics of cold calling scripts and covering the following:
Although many real estate professionals debate the merits of cold calling as a lead generation strategy, mostly because of low contact rates and high levels of resistance, if you’re going to cold call, then any expert will tell you that the key to doing so successfully is having an effective script. A well written and tested script will keep you on track, help you find out the information you need to find out, and keep you from fumbling your words or forgetting important suggestions.
According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2019 survey data, 71% of sellers say an initial impression of trustworthiness is very or extremely important in helping them decide on an agent. A good cold calling script is often an integral part of making that good first impression. But this isn’t to say that scripts are everything when it comes to cold calling.
Real estate scripts are extremely useful to use as a bedrock of the conversation, but you shouldn’t rely on them completely. In today’s world where people don’t like to answer their phones and calls of all kinds are difficult, the key is having real conversations with leads and prospects. That means that you don’t want to sound like you’re reading or that you have pre-programmed responses to their questions and answers.
Having a script keeps you grounded and reminds you generally of what information to go after, but it can’t replace the basic necessities of converting leads on real estate cold calls:
In other words, cold calling scripts work excellent as part of a wider lead conversion system. To boost your sales, you have to develop a good script, listen and remember what the lead tells you so you can appropriately respond, successfully handle objections, and be able to have conversations that flow. These are all necessary components of a successful cold calling conversation.
There are some basic guidelines that every script should follow in order to be effective.
Although most of your cold calling scripts will be fairly similar, it’s important to have different scripts for different types of calls. That is to say, it’s important to have scripts tailored to specific types of leads. The way to speak to certain leads and the questions you need to ask will differ depending on if they are for sales by owners (FSBOs) or expired listings, for example.
FSBO scripts need to convince the lead that they need help selling their home, that it will be too much trouble for them to do on their own, it will be more convenient to have an agent, and/or having an agent will help them better achieve their goals. For that reason, your script needs to include questions about why they are choosing to sell on their own, what they are hoping to gain from it, and what their overall goals for selling their home are. Be ready to deal with the objection, “I’m selling on my own to try and save money.”
Expired scripts really need to make you stand out. These leads are getting tons of calls from tons of agents, all around the same time. This script needs to get at what happened the first time around selling their home, whether they used an agent, what went wrong with that agent, etc. Then it needs to hammer home the value that you and your team offer, and why you guys would make the next attempt at selling the lead’s home much more successful.
Circle prospecting is aimed at increasing your exposure and connecting you with homeowners in your area. The point of this script is not necessarily to make a sale, but to establish a relationship. This means finding out about their current home situation, if they are planning on selling anytime soon, why they moved here, if they would use an agent if they did sell, etc. The purpose of this script is not transactional, rather it’s to make yourself known to them and to start building rapport.
It’s important to remember that most of your success from cold calling won’t come from the initial call. The real purpose of that first cold call is to qualify the lead in order to determine if they are worth your time pursuing, and obtain their name, email, and a timeframe for you to follow up with them. The majority of eventual sales you’ll convert from these types of calls will be achieved by you or your team actually following up with the qualified leads that you initially contacted.
Cold calling does not have to be scary or intimidating. At the end of the day, you are offering valuable services to people who need them. Have specific questions and general responses ready, listen and take notes to what the lead is saying, and always remember to be an empathetic human in your responses, instead of a mechanical robot.
As we’ve mentioned before, be a resource for them instead of someone just looking for their business. Educate them on the market they are looking in, how to operate in a seller’s or buyer’s market, how to get the best financing, etc. Approach the call from the angle of helping them and you’ll be successful.