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    Cold calling is a polarizing activity. On the one hand, when done correctly, it can be a helpful lead generation tool for real estate agents. On the other, most people would rather do just about anything than spend time calling people they don’t know.

    To that end, we’ve brought you four cold calling tips to help you make the process easier. Cold calling is one instance where the more prepared you are, the better experience you’ll have. Read on below to learn how to make cold calling work in your favor.

    1. Know where to find your leads first

    The first roadblock that many agents face is not knowing where to go to find their cold calling leads. With that in mind, there are three main ways that you can search for leads:

    • Look for expired listings: The best way to find semi-warm leads is to search for expired listings in your local MLS. The owners of these listings were working with real estate agents to try and sell their property and, for whatever reason, it did not work out. You may be able to find a good percentage of leads who would like to try again with another agent.
    • Call For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) properties: There’s a chance that the owners of some FSBO properties may be tired of trying to sell their properties on their own and may want to give working with an agent a try.
    • Buy leads: If you don’t feel like coming through listings to collect leads, there are companies out there that will collect them for you for a small fee.

    2. Create a script to use until you get comfortable

    Once you have your list of leads together, the next thing to thing to do is to write out a script. Again, it is possible to buy done-for-you cold-calling scripts, but even if you do choose to go this route, it’s best to take some time to personalize it before you actually start making calls. Ideally, your script should sound natural to you.

    If you’re writing the script, you’ll want it to include the following sections:

    • Brief introduction: State who you are and ask a question to get the conversation started, such as “Are you interested in [buying/selling] a home in the near future?”
    • Elevator pitch: If they say no, apologize for taking up their time and end the call. But, if they say yes, give your elevator pitch, a 30-second-or-less explanation of why you’re contacting them and how you can help them. For example: “I recently worked with someone in your neighborhood and I was able to sell their home over the asking price. I would love the chance to do the same for you.”
    • The ask: Cold calling isn’t about getting potential buyers and sellers to agree to be your client, they’re about getting them to agree to meet you to discuss things further. In light of that, your goal for the call should be to set up that meeting. You could say, for instance, I’m more than happy to interview with you and answer any questions you may have. Is there a good time for you to meet this week?
    • Questions/Objections: Usually, by this point, the person you called will have questions or objections. Be sure to address them, but rather than getting dragged into a long call, your best bet is to try to refocus the conversation on setting a meeting.

    3. Practice before you dial, especially around objections

    They say that practice makes perfect and cold calls are no exception. Before you start making calls, it’s in your best interest to take the time to role-play your conversation with someone who is close to you.

    While you’ll certainly want to practice the whole script, in particular, you should play close attention to any objections that you may encounter, including:

    • I don’t have time to talk right now
    • I’m not interested in working with a real estate agent right now
    • I’m not serious about buying a home. I’m just looking.
    • My friend is a real estate agent.
    • I have bad credit, so I can’t buy right now.

    While these are just examples of the type of objections you may encounter, you should brainstorm a list with your role-play partner and come up with some prepared responses. That way, when they come up while you’re making your calls, you’ll be ready to keep the conversation moving forward.

    4. Track your results and tweak your script

    Once you feel comfortable with your script and your objections, it’s time to start making calls. However, in this case, experience can be the best teacher. Rather than just hanging up at the end of the call and moving on, it’s a good idea to track your responses and to tweak your script as needed.

    With that in mind, jot down a few notes after each call. Take the time to think about how you could respond differently. Additionally, when you come across an objection time and time again, consider adding it into your script.

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