Every agent works referrals and most dabble in geographic farming, but after the first few tries, few take advantage of cold calling. Although it can feel like an exercise in futility if you don’t do it right, unsolicited calls during dinner are a big tradition in American industry. Why? Because when done right, they work. Here are 5 tips to help you see why cold calling doesn’t work and how to turn it around. Untargeted Audiences Real estate isn’t a one-size-fits-all business, so just cold calling people from the phone book or buying a list of homeowners isn’t going to generate great results. Decide who you want to reach out to and target your audience. Your chosen audience could be FSBOs—easy to find on Craigslist, the newspaper, or by driving around your area—or expired listings in the MLS. You can even find homeowners who list their address as different from the property they own to see if they would like to cash in on their investment. Unclear Goals If you want to convert contacts, you need to have a concrete personal goal and you need them to call you back. To make that happen, offer your contact a compelling reason to call you back. If your contact is a possible seller, your approach may involve offering a customized CMA to show them how much their home may be worth. If you’re reaching out to a FSBO contact, you may find them more receptive to an offer for a free FSBO guide than a sales pitch during your initial contact. Unprepared Many agents who decide to give cold calling a try aren’t sure what to say when someone picks up or have been instructed to “leave a message after the beep.” Avoid being unprepared by practicing introducing yourself, saying what you want to say for voicemails and answered calls, and addressing any objections your contacts could potentially have. Practicing your message will also help keep “ums” and “uhs” to a minimum. No Message Most people ignore calls from unknown numbers. They figure if it’s important, the caller will leave a message. However, many agents feel uncomfortable leaving a voicemail or simply assume it won’t be listened to. They hang up without leaving a message. However, according to a study by Insidesales.com, 61% of executives say they are likely to listen to voicemail messages. This is an easy problem to fix. Instead of hanging up when you reach a contact’s voicemail, leave a message. And not just one message. Studies show that most people give up trying to reach a contact by phone after 1-2 calls. However, according to Insidesales.com, by extending your number of contact attempts for each lead to at least six, you’ll be able to take your initial contact rate to at least 50%. Follow Up Cold calling contacts can be a great way to generate new business, but you have to include adequate follow up to make the strategy really work. Vorsight research shows that using simple, short, direct subject lines can help you achieve an 80-90% open rate, so try using subject lines like “Voicemail Update” or “Conversation Notes” to appeal to your contacts. In your emails, you can offer free resources, ask when a good time would be to talk, recap what you discussed if you got them on the phone, or direct them to your website. Whatever you decide to write, make sure you offer them a reason to respond to your follow up. Before you start using these tips to convert more contacts into business, make sure your contacts aren’t on the National Do Not Call Registry. Another way to win more business is to answer every lead as soon as it comes in: not an easy task when you’re hosting a open house, drawing up a contract, or showing a buyer around town. Homes.com can help! Our Lead Concierge team can call new leads and answer incoming calls from all your lead sources! To find out more, give us a call at (888) 651-8956 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.