Wouldn’t you like to spend more time on listings than chasing prospects who don’t really intend to buy any time soon? You can with the right cold calling script!
Guess what? Some of the most successful real estate professionals in your town are cold calling right now. Yep, believe it or not, the top performers in your farm routinely cold call as part of their prospecting strategy. They consistently sniff out potential buyers in their area and nurture those leads into clients.
By prospecting over the phone, you can consistently replenish your pipeline with potential leads. As your contacts grow, you’ll eventually spend more time cultivating leads that generate referral business than cold calling.
Is Cold Calling Legal?
Cold calling has developed a bad reputation, largely due to unethical telemarketing practices by businesses during the 80s and 90s. Federal and state legislation were introduced in the 2000s that have all but eliminated annoying telemarketing calls.
While cold calling or prospecting isn’t the same as telemarketing, it is still regulated by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in the US, and the CRTC in Canada. Brokerages and solo agents alike should be familiar with DNC (Do Not Call) rules, as well as regulations for autodialers.
Cold calling doesn’t have to be a dreaded exercise you routinely avoid. As long as you’re not asking for someone’s business over the phone, you can still safely practice cold calling in your state or province without facing legal repercussions. In fact, with the right cold calling script, you can uncover more buyers each week with less effort!
Why Agents Should Use A Cold Calling Script
Successful agents understand that prospecting is as much an art as it is a science.
Preparation before each call will lead to more successful qualifying. A cold calling script provides you with three key elements:
- Preparation before each conversation
- Confidence and authority during the call
- Higher efficiency at qualifying prospects
Think of your cold calling script as a road map. Your destination is an appointment with a qualified prospect. Your conversation should progress naturally in stages that lead you to your goal. If you structure your script appropriately, you’ll quickly identify the most promising leads and improve your conversion ratio significantly.
Essential Writing Tips For A Killer Cold Calling Script
You’ll win more listings and referrals by preparing a cold calling script that’s well thought out. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you begin:
When writing your cold calling script, pay attention to the language you use. Be polite but don’t overdo it. Avoid professional jargon, long-winded sentences, and awkward phrasing. Choose natural expressions that you’re comfortable with, rather than a false persona.
Speak in a conversational manner; neither too fast nor too slow. Imagine you are speaking with someone you know. Put a picture up on the wall of someone who calms you if it helps! Keep it professional and never ask personal questions unless they are relevant.
That’s right! Don’t be a telemarketer! Avoid high-pressure sales tactics over the phone. Think of your cold calling script as a qualifying tool that helps you uncover leads quickly. Most buyers and sellers only interview one real estate agent. You don’t have to sell them. You just need to build a relationship with them so that when they are ready to buy or sell, you’re the first person that comes to mind.
Ask Probing Questions
When you ask relevant questions about your client and their needs, you demonstrate empathy and build rapport. The goal of your prospecting should be to uncover a need, not to sell them on your service over the phone.
Take the time to think about probing questions ahead of time, and write down as many as you can think of. Experiment with different ways of asking the same question and see which one works best.
Remember, a conversation should go both ways. Remove long monologues from your cold calling script. If you ask questions, be prepared to listen closely to your client’s response. The answers they provide will help you qualify your prospect and how much time you should expect to cultivate the lead into a buyer or seller.
Simple And Direct
Always choose the most direct and simple approach to connect with your prospect. If you weigh your script down with long-winded replies, you’ll overwhelm your prospect with information that may not even be relevant.
Keep one specific goal clearly in mind and stay focused on directing the conversation towards your objective. Are you seeking an appointment, qualifying a prospect, or looking for a referral? Stick to one goal and plan your script accordingly.
Your first few phone calls will probably be a hot mess. Don’t be discouraged. Like anything else, consistent practice will yield improvement over time. Practice your cold calling script briefly before you begin.
Choose a time of day when your prospects are most likely to be available and commit to reaching a specific number of contacts each day. Once you hit that number, stop, review your results, and make a note of any improvements you’d like to make for next time.
Every cold call is only the first step in a relationship that may stretch over many years, or only a few months. Their first impression of you will be the one that sticks. A good cold calling script will actually make you more comfortable and relaxed during your conversation.
If you’re utilizing a script verbatim and not getting results, try writing a script that sounds more like you. Write it in bullet points, on sticky notes, or with pictures if it helps.
4 Steps To Writing A Real Estate Cold Calling Script
With that in mind, we’ve created a thorough guide to help you craft your very own prospecting script. Use our suggestions to plan and structure your conversations, and set a goal that includes a consistent, realistic number of cold calls each week.
1: GREETING & INTRODUCTION
A good introduction can make or break your call. When you write your cold calling script, consider an introduction that is as simple and as short as possible. Your aim should be to generate curiosity from your prospect rather than a sale.
Casual and professional is the tone you want to strike with each prospect you reach by phone. Avoid clumsy, scripted introductions that sound unnatural. Here’s an example of what NOT to say:
A sample of a Bad Introduction:
“Hello! Good afternoon, my name is X and I’m a real estate professional with XXX Brokerage. We’re the number one brokerage in town and I’m currently looking for new clients in your neighborhood. Are you thinking about selling/buying in the next couple of months?”
This kind of introduction sounds like a solicitation. Listeners have likely heard this spiel before from telemarketers, and it immediately conveys a negative impression of you in their mind.
You could wind up on the DNC list with this approach because it directly asks for the prospect’s business.
Instead, try to simplify your introduction:
“Hi! Good morning, my name is X and I’m a real estate agent who works exclusively with homeowners in our community. You’re one of a few homeowners on my list that I wanted to get in touch with.
Do you have a second?”
You’ll notice a few subtle differences in this revised introduction:
- First, there’s no mention of your brokerage or its status. Keep the conversation personal by focusing on who you are.
- By mentioning that you are a specialist, you distinguish yourself as an expert rather than just an agent. If the person you’re speaking with is not a homeowner, they’ll inform you right away. You can then ask for the right contact.
- You may have noticed that in this second introduction, the speaker says “our community” specifically. Whether you live or work in your area, establish yourself with prospects as a peer who shares their appreciation for the neighborhood.
- By mentioning that the prospect is one of a few people you want to speak with, you’ll engage their interest and they’ll be more likely to give you their full attention.
2: GETTING PERMISSION
Once you’ve paused to address the prospect’s questions, it’s always best to ask for the prospect’s permission before you begin qualifying the prospect. If they have time to talk, it’s a good sign that there is some level of interest.
On the other hand, if they’re busy, they’ll appreciate your professional courtesy. You can then let them know you’ll get back to them. If the prospect asks to be removed from your list, do so immediately, without rebuttal.
3: QUALIFYING THE PROSPECT
At this point in the conversation, you’ll want to qualify two very important things:
a) You are speaking to the key decision maker (homeowner or buyer)
b) Your prospect is considering buying or selling
The right qualifying question will reveal your prospect’s intentions as well as their motivation. Rather than asking for the client’s business, appeal to your prospect’s goals or dreams.
Here are some probing questions that are simple and effective:
- “If you could get the right price for your home in the next three months, would you consider an offer?”
- “Assuming you could find the right home for the right price in the next three months, would you jump at the chance to move or relocate?”
- “Hypothetically, if you could qualify for a mortgage today, what kind of home would you be looking for?”
The probing questions provided above are designed to draw out important details concerning your prospect’s timeline for buying or selling. By listening closely to your prospect’s response, you can determine how likely your client is to sell or buy within a reasonable time frame. You can then designate each lead as either hot, warm, or cold.
As your database of contacts grows, make sure to segment your contacts appropriately. This way, you can create specialized, targeted drip campaigns that cultivate prospects at the right time with the right message.
4: SCHEDULE A FOLLOW-UP ACTION
Once you’ve qualified your prospect as hot, warm, or cold, set an objective for cultivating the lead to the next step.
Every phone call should end with a follow-up action. Your goal should be to schedule an in-person appointment, a callback, an email, or simply a calendar reminder. Schedule your follow-up action on your calendar.
With these tips in mind, you can craft a script that suits your needs and reflects your personality. You can write your script as bulletins, on cue cards, or any way you like. Practice delivering your script, and role play with others to identify potential improvements.
4 Cold Calling Script Samples To Get You More Prospects
Whether your focus is buyers or sellers, condos or detached homes, you’ll be more successful if you focus on calling the right type of prospects.
There are four types of cold calling lists you can create. Create a separate, unique cold calling script for each type. Practice, experiment, and tweak each one over time until you have a script that works best for you.
FSBO Cold Calling Script
Homeowners in your area seeking to sell their home independently can be a great source for potential leads. Often, you’ll find that homeowners who choose to sell without an agent simply lack a referral they trust.
Contact FSBOs to find out what objections they may have, then offer a solution that addresses their concerns.
FSBO Script Example:
“Hi, this is X from X Realty. Congratulations on listing your home! I know how much work that is! I specialize in helping local homeowners connect with the right buyers, and I see you recently listed your home yourself. Your listing made me curious, so I thought I’d call to ask a simple question of you.
How soon would you like to sell your home?
I’m creating a shortlist of 10 homes for prospective buyers. I’d like to include you on my list before the end of the week.
Would you be open to working together to sell your home in the time frame you have in mind?”
This simple script is assumptive and will help you qualify your prospect. By asking the right questions, you can draw out any objections they may have and address their concerns. Appeal to your prospect’s reasons for selling and you can overcome their objections. Finally, you can book an appointment to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.
2) Newly Listed/Newly Sold
Homeowners who have newly listed their property are already qualified. They are either in the market for a new home or looking to sell. All you have to do is convince them that you are the right agent to help them.
Your cold calling script to newly listed or sold clients should be short, assumptive, and direct. Aim to book a listing appointment rather than send information by email. Take the lead in the conversation and demonstrate that you are knowledgeable, confident, and an able negotiator.
Newly Listed/Sold Script Example:
“Hey, is this X? Hi, this is X calling from X Realty. I specialize in properties in your community, and I’m always looking to help local residents with a need to sell//buy.
Can I ask you a question? What is your time frame for buying/selling?
I’m booking meetings with prospective buyers/sellers in the next two weeks, and I thought you might like some help in getting the best offer possible.
Would you be open to meeting in person for a consultation?”
With this script, you can, in effect, schedule more listing presentations with qualified buyers and sellers who are already listed.
Again, you’ll notice how brief and direct the cold calling script is. The less you talk, the better. If your prospect is asking questions, it means you have piqued their curiosity. With a few thoughtful probing questions, you can learn about your client’s needs, their concerns, and how to help them reach their goals. Use the information from your prospecting call to prepare a killer listing presentation that blows their socks off!
3) Expired Listings
An expired listing represents a prospect who is ideally positioned to do business in the shortest time frame. When calling expired listings, your cold calling script should focus on booking a listing appointment.
Expired Listing Script Example:
“Hi, is this X? This is X from X Realty. I came across your listing and I’ve been eager to speak with you.
I specialize in the local housing market. Can I ask what your ideal time frame is for selling your property?
In my experience, expired listings are usually due to overvaluation. As an expert in the neighbourhood, I can provide you with an accurate valuation for free. Would you have time this week for me to give you a free valuation?”
Most prospects do not conduct a proper home valuation before listing. An inaccurate home valuation can lead to a longer time on the market, higher closing costs, and significant financial loss.
Even if the prospect has received a home valuation, offer to give them a second opinion for free. Advise them about the potential dangers of overvaluation, and offer to provide further details in person. This way, you’ll demonstrate your depth of knowledge and your sincerity as an agent who values their happiness first.
Close the conversation by scheduling an appointment. Use your in-person appointment to build further rapport, demonstrate your expertise, and win your client’s trust.
4) Local Business Owners
Business owners in your area can be powerful referral generators for real estate agents. Building a rapport with local restaurant owners, retailers, and associations is one of the best ways to uncover buyers and sellers who are ready and motivated.
Business Interview Script Example:
“Hi, is this X, the owner of X business? This is X from X Realty. How are you? I’m a neighborhood real estate specialist and I routinely help my clients connect with local businesses for their needs.
I’d like to include your business on my list and feature you in my monthly newsletter.
Would you be open to a 30-minute interview some time this week?”
You’ll notice that the script does not ask for referrals. The referrals will come after you’ve established a rapport. By interviewing the business owner, including them in your newsletter, and promoting their services to your clients, you’ll build rapport and inspire word-of-mouth.
Schedule an interview to learn more about the business, the owner, and their knowledge of the community. Prepare your questions in advance, take pictures, and share the results on social media as well to generate further exposure for the business.
During the interview, you’ll uncover valuable clues that could lead to a referral. You’ll learn about the business owner, build rapport, and demonstrate your expertise without ever having to solicit anyone directly!
Be sure to follow up afterwards with a thank you for the business owner’s participation and time. Include them in your newsletter and social media so they see that your efforts to promote them are sincere. Business owners will naturally reciprocate as you demonstrate value and sincerity.
Despite the aversion many real estate agents have towards cold calling, top performers routinely engage in cold calling to qualify leads and generate referral business. A cold calling script is an essential tool for effective prospecting by phone.
Create your own script, personalize it, and practice delivering it consistently to get the best results. When writing your script, be brief, direct, and professional. Choose a specific goal and schedule a follow-up action for every call you make.
Finally, recognize each call as only the first step in a relationship you will need to cultivate. It’s highly unlikely you’ll ever find willing buyers and sellers on the first call, and this should not be your goal in the first place.
We’d love to hear your script ideas and prospecting tips. Leave a comment below or send us an email with any questions to improve your cold calling!