Real estate cold calling scripts have been used by agents since … well, since the dawn of the industry, to be honest.
Contacting leads, past clients, and referrals used to be an entirely “outbound” marketing strategy where agents had to hope they were contacting prospects at the right time.
Thanks to modern marketing technology, real estate professionals have more insights than ever into whether someone is ready to sell or buy a home. Now that agents have the ability to track website visitor behavior, here’s what the new cold calling model looks like:
- You know who your top leads and clients are — those who may become clients for the first time, or again.
- When it’s the right time (based on your lead nurturing activities), you get them on the phone to confirm their interest.
- You make “the ask” to those who appear ready to buy or sell— and mark those who aren’t for followup.
Nowadays, cold calling is less a numbers game, and more a savvy way to convert new clients.
However, as with old-school client conversion, modern real estate cold calling scripts take work and practice to nail down.
Curious to learn how you can improve your prospect-to-lead conversion? Use our 14 expert sales tips and tricks below.
1) Create or download real estate cold calling scripts so you have talking points ready to go.
Whether you use our free real estate sales scripts or make your own from scratch, just be sure to have one on-hand for each cold call.
As with listing presentations to sellers and in-person meetings with buyers, you’ll want to read your script over and over again.
Practicing your opening lines and the specific points you want to touch upon will keep you in the driver’s seat of the conversation.
2) Spend plenty of time researching your lead online.
The more you know about your leads before dialing them up, the better you can sell to them. It really is that simple.
For prospects already in your CRM, examine their lead profiles. Their buying or selling preferences can inform your first pitch.
For referrals who you don’t know much about, Google them. Check out their social media profiles. Learn whatever you can about them that’s available on the web.
Not all of this info will help your real estate cold calling strategy. But all it takes is one commonality (shared appreciation for a sports team; your kids attend the same school; etc.) to develop a bond with a lead over the phone.
3) Be prepared to answer lots of questions.
When you share the core details about your agency, you’ll want to give a brief elevator pitch:
- Talk about specific clients you serve (single-family home sellers, luxury buyers)
- Mention the typical homes you sell (architectural style, price points)
- Bring up the time on market for your listings (how long it takes you to sell)
After that, you can invite prospects to ask whatever questions they may have.
And this is when you need to be on your toes. They could ask for info on recent clients you’ve helped or request you to lay out a dozen ways you market listings.
Being prepared for anything and everything that comes your way on cold calls is essential. Keep a notepad handy so you can record any unexpected questions or requests on calls. That way, you can improve your responses over time.
4) Be ready to explain your marketing plan.
The traits you possess as an agent — savvy negotiation skills, charming personality, etc. — are important to close clients.
That said, your real estate marketing plan could very well be your biggest selling point during your calls with prospects.
Make your real estate listing presentation deck shine by incorporating details about how you’ll promote a seller’s home online and offline.
Share info on everything from how you’ll capture enticing photos and videos of their listing to where you’ll share them (this could include your website, email newsletter, and social media).
The more you’re able to offer details regarding your marketing efforts, the more comfortable a lead will be in hiring you.
5) Bring energy to every call.
“The first 10 to 15 seconds of [a sales] call can make or break your chances of getting the outcome you desire.”
This Forbes insight from Darlene Price, president of communication training company Well Said, is certainly applicable to real estate agents.
You need to make a great first impression with leads on the phone — and a lack of warmth can ruin that impression.
Be enthusiastic and personable on your sales calls so your prospects respond favorably and want to stick around long enough to hear your main pitch. Bonus points if you can convince them to want to meet in person.
6) Own up to the fact you’re selling to prospects.
Be transparent: Explain that, yes, it is a sales call, and, yes, you want to earn a buyer or seller lead’s business.
Prospects will be far more receptive to your real estate cold-calling scripts if you’re open, honest, and upfront with them.
Share what you already know, let them fill in the information gaps, then emphasize your desire to help them.
Every sales call comes down to you pitching leads and getting a “yes,” “no” or “not right now” from them. Be straightforward and you’ll get straightforward answers.
7) Make your self-introduction as quick as possible.
Whether it’s a lead you’ve been nurturing for months or a new prospect just added to your contacts database, be succinct with your intros.
Some agents want to share their entire brand and sales history to start each sales call. Don’t be one of these agents.
- “Hi, [lead name]. [Your name] from [agency name] here. I’m a local real estate agent. How are you today?”
- “Hey, [lead name]. This is [your name], a local REALTOR with [agency name]. Have a few minutes to chat?”
That’s really all you have to say to get a conversation started.
8) Once you’re in, get to the point.
Getting leads to agree to talk beyond your phone intro is a form of permission marketing.
You need to relay value — in this case, who you are, what you do, and how you can help — to keep their initial interest going.
Once a prospect allows you to continue the conversation, be direct:
- “I’ve been working in [market name] as a buyer’s/seller’s agent for X years. I’ve helped Y clients buy/sell homes, and I’d love to help you buy/sell your home.”
Offer a sales metric or mention a recent closed deal too if you think that’ll help you prove your worth.
The point is you have minimal time to share why you’re calling. Make the most of this time and give leads the TL;DR (too-long-didn’t-read) story about your agency and how you can assist them.
9) Remember that the phone call is about them.
Real estate cold calling is very much like a form of speed dating: You will determine if you’re a good match for a lead in a very short amount of time.
You want to spend that time learning about the person you’re seeing. So once you get past the intro and value prop explanation, it’s mouth-shut-ears-open time.
Sure, your leads may ask questions you have to answer. But make sure you encourage prospects to share their story, too.
The more they feel heard and understood, the greater your odds are of forming a bond with them and converting them — either immediately, or in a future call or meeting.
10) Adjust your pitch to account for a lead’s pain point.
Each of the real estate leads you get on the phone will have their own unique pain point they need solved:
- A young couple with a baby on the way needs a starter house in the suburbs that fits into their tight budget.
- Empty nesters want to sell their large single-family home and get something smaller for just the two of them.
- A twenty-something professional wants to get a one-bedroom apartment within 20 minutes of their office.
On some calls, this pain point will already be known and you’ll be able to adjust your real estate cold calling scripts in advance.
Other times, though, this pain point will emerge after spending five minutes chatting with a prospect.
In these situations you need to think on the fly and come up with the right response to solve for this need.
11) Never bad-mouth other local agents.
Propping yourself up by putting other agents in your market down isn’t going to win you any favor with your leads.
In fact, as Bernice Ross notes in her piece for Inman News, it’s one of the essential no-nos of pitching yourself to prospects.
Comparing your sales figures to competing agencies is one thing. Disparaging their business is another.
If a prospect brings up another agent with whom you regularly compete with for business, offer modest praise for their work.
Then remind your leads what makes you stand out from them, and what makes you the right agent for the job.
12) Don’t take “no” for an answer … but don’t be rude.
As this article from REALTOR Magazine points out, there are several ways you can respond to leads’ objections.
“No” may be the end result for most of your sales calls. But remember: Polite persistence is the point of real estate cold calling.
You don’t want to step over any boundaries and insult your prospects in any way. But you also don’t want to give up so easily.
Your leads need to be sold on you and your business, so offer answers to every one of their objections.
Your sales pitch comes down to the value you offer. If a prospect doesn’t see that value, you know it’s time to hang up.
But until then, make it hard for them to turn you away and make them want to learn more about your agency.
13) End the call in a memorable fashion.
If starting your calls strong is important, ending your calls in a unique way is an absolute must.
Now, we’re not suggesting you develop a catchphrase like “Bazinga!” or anything like that. There are more subtle ways to make your final pitch noteworthy. Here’s a good example:
- “It was great talking with you. Let me know when you’re ready to start a bidding war for your home and I’ll get started.”
Project self-assurance to your leads and they’ll remember how confident you sounded.
Then, when they do think about which agent to go with, your name and call will come to mind.
14) Offer several follow-up options for your leads.
Following up with real estate leads is an art form.
Ask any top producer what their follow-up method is, and you’ll hear a comprehensive plan that incorporates additional phone calls, emails, and texts — but not all at once.
There is no one right way to follow up with a lead. However, you’d be wise to test out different approaches. Give these a try:
- Whenever a lead says they’d want to chat again: Dial them up again a week or two later to determine if they’ve made any progress with their buying or selling plans.
- If that lead still needs time to decide on their housing decision: Shoot them an email noting you still have interest in representing them. Share intriguing listings with buyer leads and local market stats with seller leads (e.g. figures that show it’s a seller’s market).
- If that lead doesn’t respond to your email or call: Text them with a quick hello (“Hey, [lead name]. [Your name] here. Just wanted to see how you’re doing and where you’re at with your buying/selling decision. I’m available to chat whenever. Hope to talk soon!”).
Experiment with your followup, but be sure to follow the one essential rule: Space out your communications!