Every day, realtors must generate new appointments from prospective clients, hearing their pain points and, hopefully, selling their homes.
There’s no easy way to fill your real estate prospecting funnel, but could cold calling be a way to get you there?
The short answer is: yes. But there are right and wrong ways to do it.
Many realtors may think cold calling is dead. But before you write them off completely, remember they do serve a purpose. Of course, much of the success behind a cold call comes from a realtor’s pitch and targeting. If you’re up for the challenge, a database of killer cold calling scripts can help you land you more real estate clients.
The good news? You don’t need special powers to make cold calls that convert. The success lies in your preparation and delivery. How you position yourself on a cold call should reflect core traits that buyers want in a realtor:
- Confidence in your abilities
- Preparation that shows your prospect you’re the realtor for the job
- Enthusiasm to get their property sold
Let’s dive into how cold calling works, and ten scripts to help you fill your sales funnel and your CRM system with new potential sellers.
- The out-of-the-blue cold calling script
- The script that gauges interest
- The script that positions you as a community champion
- A script for leveraging a recent sale you made
- The script for nailing your elevator pitch
- The script for pitching someone you already know
- The script that gets to the point
- The script to pitch a property owner who is already selling
- The script to follow up on a previous property appraisal
- The script to stop a discussion about commissions
The secret sauce to perfect cold calling scripts
Each cold calling script in your sales arsenal should serve a specific purpose.
One might be to connect with a prospect who’s looking to put their property on the market. Another may just be to reach out and see if a homeowner is looking to sell in the future.
But no matter what script you use and for what scenario, they should all have a few basic ingredients:
- Goal: You must define the outcome you want from the call, whether it’s to meet up with the prospect or to secure a listing
- Positivity: You need to be upbeat on your call and show your prospect that you’re enthusiastic about working with them in the market
- Empathy: Even on an initial cold call, you need to share your prospect’s frustrations and show them that you understand their pain points
- Questions: Ask your prospect questions so you can engage in a more meaningful conversation and deepen your relationship
- Value: Offer a solution to their problem instead of just selling them on your real estate agency
A good approach to real estate cold calling is to set a daily target for how many you plan on making (and make it realistic). Let’s say you average a conversion for every 20 cold calls you make. If you’re happy with bringing in two new prospects a day, then make 40 cold calls that day and no more.
You don’t want to burn out, but you need to make sure you’re getting enough prospects in your pipeline to fulfill your targets.
Practice makes perfect
According to sales training guru Mike Ferry, practicing real estate cold calling scripts is the key to making them as successful as possible.
And to do this you must practice and develop your skills so you can handle yourself in any cold call. Ferry says this means you need to practice with intensity:
“Okay, let’s role-play, “so when do you plan on moving?” Everybody likes that question. “And how long have you lived there?” No, no. It’s not how long have you lived there, it’s “how long have you lived at this address?” It’s “where did you folks move from.” See, you practice with the intensity as if you were actually working with a buyer or seller.”
Once you’ve come around to the idea of practicing your cold scripts, enlist the help of other realtors in the office to help you nail them. The great thing about real estate is that objections from sellers are easy to predict.
Think about it, you know you’re going to get asked for the following:
- Your commission rate
- Your experience
- How many properties you’ve sold
- If you’re familiar with the seller’s area/property type
If you practice handling these objections in-house, it gives you a better chance of tackling them with confidence in the real world.
For the purposes of the examples in this piece, we’re going to use the persona of John, who works for Big Wins Real Estate.
Let’s get straight into the scripts.
1. The out-of-the-blue cold calling script
Let’s start with a script for when you’re making an initial cold call to someone to see if they’re interested in buying.
This script is good for: Gauging a prospect and hearing their pain points. This script is used to get your foot in the door. If they don’t write you off, arrange a time when you can call them back for a more in-depth chat about how you can help their property affairs.
“Hi! My name is John. It’s so good to finally reach you! I’m a real estate expert for the Big Wins Real Estate community. Just checking, is this a good time to talk?”
Now, let the prospect respond. For all you know, they’re driving or in the middle of something. Showing a prospect that you understand they may be busy is always a good way to build initial rapport, as it shows them that you understand that they have a life.
Be ready. At this point, your prospect will either give you an objection (“I’m not interested” etc.) or give you a couple of minutes of their time. Regardless of their answer, you need to steer the call with empathy:
- “I totally get it, you’re busy and I understand you can’t talk right now. It’s (prospect’s name), right?”
- “Sure, I can feel your frustration. The market certainly is difficult right now, (prospect’s name)”
- “Of course, I completely understand you’re low on time, (prospect’s name), so I’ll get to the point”
This script allows you to gauge where a prospect is at, and hopefully figure out a time to make contact again for another in-depth call.
2. The script that gauges interest
This script gauge’s a prospect’s interest in the market. Let’s look at this one as dangling a carrot in front of them.
This script is good for: Getting a more in-depth look into a homeowner and if they’ve considered putting their property on the market.
“Hi, I’m John with Big Wins Real Estate. Is this the homeowner?”
Wait for their confirmation.
“Ok, great! The reason for my call is that I have some buyers that are looking for homes in your neighborhood at the moment. Would you consider selling your home if you had someone lined up to buy it?”
Then, wait and listen.
The overall goal of this script is to plant the seed of selling a property in the prospect’s mind. But planting a seed isn’t enough, which is why you need to create a sense of urgency in the call as well. If you tell the prospect you have buyers who are looking in the area, this does just that.
If your homeowner shows an interest, make an appointment when it suits them within the next week and tell them you’ll do an initial pricing assessment of their property.
Many homeowners will tell you that they aren’t interested in selling at the moment. This is ok, but you must still pass on your information and explain how they can get in touch with you. No doubt, the prospect will bring up your call in a conversation in the following weeks, and this could be what leads them to think about selling a little more seriously.
A cold lead is better than no lead, so keep them in your sales pipeline to follow up with at a later date.
3. The script that positions you as a community champion
Positioning yourself as a champion in the community can help to build trust between you and those in the neighborhood you’re pitching within.
This script is good for: Humanizing yourself as an agent and connecting with prospects through their sense of community. It’s a great way to build relationships with prospective sellers and buyers.
“Hi (prospect’s name), this is John from Big Wins Real Estate. Just reaching out as I’ve been living in the (neighborhood/area name) for over 20 years and I just love this place. As a new agent at Big Wins with a specialization in the local area, I wanted to know if I could find a suitable buyer for your property in the next 30 days. Would you be open to meeting with me to discuss?”
This script gets to the point. Your prospect is either going to say yes or no. The tactic behind this script is, even if the prospect says no, you’ll likely strike up a conversation about the local area as you mentioned earlier.
Take notes of anything you pick up in the conversation. Even if the prospect isn’t looking to sell, it’s a great way to build the foundations of a relationship, and they may refer you to friends or family members who are looking to sell.
4. A script for leveraging a recent sale you made
This script positions you as an agent who has already made a sale in the neighborhood, and to show prospects that you are the person to get them results if they’re looking to sell.
This script is good for: Getting prospects to think about how much their properties are worth by highlighting a property you recently sold in their area.
“Hi, I’m John from Big Wins Real Estate. Is this the homeowner?”
Wait for their confirmation.
“Just getting in touch because I sold a property down the street from you recently at (recent sale address). It’s a great area with a lot of interest at the moment and the properties are selling for fantastic prices. Out of interest, have you thought about selling your home?”
This should kickstart their thinking process. If their neighbor’s house four doors down sold for $500,000, then they start to imagine their property could sell for that, too. Highlighting recent sales in a neighborhood is a great way to get a prospect thinking about if it’s also the right move for them.
If the prospect shows a hint of interest, you should offer up any information about the recent sale that will paint you in a good light. It could be how quickly you sold the property, or how well the property was priced. From there, you should at least be able to book an appointment with them to meet or price their property for them.
This script has two goals: to get the prospect thinking about putting their home on the market and to have you positioned as the agent to get the property sold.
5. The script for nailing your elevator pitch
Every realtor needs an elevator pitch, but the biggest mistake realtors make is coming across as robotic and rehearsed. You need to sound natural and convincing.
This script is good for: Getting prospects curious about your real estate agency and what you might be able to offer them and their hopes for their property sale.
Elevator pitches have one goal: to highlight why a buyer or seller should pick you as their real estate agent. Here are some examples:
“I just sold a property in this area last week for considerably more than the asking price. I know you’ve got a tight deadline for selling your property. If I could show you a plan to get your property moving on the market and above the asking price, can we set up a meeting?”
“I’m on a mission to help 50 people find their dream homes by the end of the year. I’d like you to be one of those people and I want to be the person that finds your dream home in the shortest time frame possible. Would you be open to meeting with me tomorrow?”
As with an elevator pitch in any industry, objections are common, but only if you haven’t managed to strike an interest in something you’ve said.
Your overall goal with this elevator pitch script should not be to sell yourself as the best realtor in the area, but to simply book an appointment with the prospect.
If they do object:
- Show empathy towards their objection: “I understand you’re busy”
- Ask for details: “Can I ask, why do you have a tight deadline for your property sale?”
- Offer up a solution: “We can get your property sold within your timeframe”
Positioning the conversation around their pain points can make a difference in the success of your elevator pitch.
6. The script for pitching someone you already know
Has somebody put their property on the market that you’ve already met at an event or know through a mutual friend? If so, this is a great opportunity for you to connect with the prospect organically and build on the trust you’ve already established.
This script is good for: Getting a headstart on other realtors. In some way or another, you already know the prospect. Use that to your advantage and get your foot in the door before your competitors do.
“Hi (prospect’s name), this is John! We met at (fundraiser, mutual friend’s birthday etc.). So, how have you been?”
Don’t open with the fact that you’re a real estate agent. Try and build the conversation from your last engagement with the prospect.
“I was just calling you because, as (mutual friend’s name) might have told you, I’m a real estate agent for Big Wins Real Estate. I’m just reaching out to family and friends to see where they’re at with their properties and if they’ve thought about upgrading, downsizing, or selling their home. (Prospect’s name), have you considered a move, considering the market right now?”
Use this script to reconnect with someone you’ve already met. This way, they’re much less likely to go on the defense. As they’ve already met you, it’s likely to be more open to a discussion and keeping the conversation casual—especially as your job is something that may well have already come up in conversation.
But that doesn’t mean the conversation can’t be productive. As you’ve established a level of trust, asking to meet up on the weekend to give them a pricing estimate won’t be such a strong ask. Work with them when it comes to times and, of course, ask them if anyone they know is looking to sell.
7. The script that gets to the point
When it comes to cold calling, if you aren’t careful with your time, it can chew up your entire day. That’s why you need to get to the point without rushing your prospect.
This script is good for: Fitting the number of cold calls you require into your day without it hindering everything else on your schedule.
“Hi, this is John from Big Wins Real Estate. I’m calling as my agency has some buyers who are interested in buying a home in (prospect’s area). Can you tell me if you are looking to sell your home either now or in the near future?”
This one is short, sharp and most importantly, it’s clear.
Your prospect knows right off the bat why you are calling, and your question leaves no room for an answer other than “yes” or “no”. If they are interested, move on to your next pitching technique and, if they say “no”, add them to your CRM as a cold lead and make a note to follow up with them again in the future.
8. The script to pitch a property owner who is already selling
Sometimes, people are unsuccessful when they try to sell their homes privately to avoid commissions. Pitching these prospects when they’re struggling to sell and feeling deflated can be a great way to leverage your real estate cold calling.
This script is good for: Contacting a prospect who hasn’t had any success selling a house on their own. They are more likely to be open to hearing your pitch if they’ve tried (and failed) to sell.
“Hi, is this (prospect’s name)? My name is John and I’m calling from Big Wins Real Estate. I was surfing the web this afternoon and I noticed you’ve got your house up for a private sale. I was just wondering if you have had any success?”
Wait for their answer, which will most likely be a “no” if you’ve spotted the property on the internet.
“I’m not surprised, the market is slow at the moment. How long have you been on the market for now?”
Wait for their answer.
“Hmm. What kind of response have you got from interested buyers so far?”
Wait for their answer.
“Where are most of the interested buyers coming from? Have you had an open house or are you relying on your internet advertisement?”
Wait for their answer. By now, you’ve already got some information that can steer the pitch in your favor.
“That’s very interesting. The reason i’m calling you today is just to see where you’re at with the sale. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you with the sale, and if you would like my assistance with getting some more interest in the property.”
It’s at this point you may get some objections from the prospect. For example, they might reassure you that they’ve got the sale under control. If this is the case, you can then ask whether they would change their mind if you could get them the property price they’re asking for.
Either they’ll bite at this point, or they won’t. If they don’t, make a note of it in your real estate CRM and follow up with them on a regular basis until they come on board, or they manage to sell the property themselves.
Pro-tip: Don’t use this script if the seller is already using another agent. It’s unethical and violates the Standards of Practice 16-2, 16-3. Don’t be that realtor.
9. The script to follow up on a previous property appraisal
If you’ve given a property appraisal and then hear crickets back from a prospect, it doesn’t mean you should write them off. They’ve shown initial interest in selling their property, so try following up six months after the appraisal to see where they’re at.
This script is good for: Following up with leads that have gone cold. If you’ve given a prospect an appraisal, you should be following them up with interest.
"Hi (prospect’s name). It’s John calling from Big Wins Real Estate. I just wanted to touch base with you about the appraisal I conducted on your home in (month of appraisal). I’ve been watching the market in your area closely and there’s been quite a lot happening. Has your position on selling the property changed at all?”
Wait for their answer.
“Ok no problem. Because the market in your area has been so busy, it may be worthwhile updating the initial estimate I gave you. Would this be something you would be interested in?”
Wait for their answer. If they say “no”, don’t give up.
“Okay (prospect’s name), I completely understand. I’m picking up that you aren’t planning on moving from the (neighborhood) at the moment, but I think you might be interested in how other properties in the area have sold since I spoke to you in (month you last spoke).”
Wait for their answer. If they don’t put up any immediate objections, you can talk to them about any new sales or listings in the area.
As with our point from script four, people are often interested in how much their neighbors make from selling their property, so use it to your advantage.
10. The script to stop a discussion about commissions
Although nothing is certain in real estate, it’s likely your prospect will bring up the topic of your commission rate.
This script is good for: Not getting locked into talking about your commission on a call. As we all know, it can get ugly.
The best way to handle an objection about commission is to extinguish it early.
Prospect: “John, I don’t want to pay more than 3% commission on the sale.”
John at Big Wins Real Estate: “(Prospect’s name), I’m making a note that you don’t want to pay anything more than 3% commission. How’s tomorrow or Tuesday looking to meet up to preview the property?”
Here, you’re not agreeing to their terms, but merely acknowledging it to make the prospect feel understood. If you disagree over commissions on an initial call, you may never step foot inside the prospect’s property.
Once you’ve previewed the property and let them know what you can offer them as a realtor, then you should address the commission fee again and reinforce what you can do for them and their property.
Bonus tip: Making the most of your open houses
As a realtor, you need to be looking for new prospects every chance you get. This includes any open houses you host for current clients.
Not everyone that attends open houses are there to buy. Some people are just there to have a casual look around. But be mindful that many who attend open houses are either sellers who have properties on the market, or homeowners who may be considering putting their homes on the market in the near future.
These people are gold when it comes to real estate prospects. And you should have an open house pitch ready to go to make the most of the opportunity.
Ask every single person that comes to the open house how they found out about it.
It doesn’t matter if they found out through a newspaper advertisement or they saw the “for sale” sign in the front yard, they’re all listing prospects. Once you’ve opened up the conversation with them, find out:
- If they currently live locally
- If they’re looking to buy or sell either now or in the near future
- What their timeframe to buy or sell is
- When they want to move or sell
- When they would need to sell their property so they could purchase another home (timeframe)
- If they’ve had an agent conduct an appraisal on their current property
- If their property is already on the market
If all goes well at the open house, you’ll arrive back to your office with some interested buyers for your seller’s property, as well as some hot new leads to add to your prospecting funnel.
Keep track of all your cold calls with JustCall
To ensure that your calling strategy is as effective as it can be, you need to track and monitor all your outgoing and ingoing calls.
Calling app JustCall can help you do just that.
By integrating JustCall with your CRM, any calls are automatically logged in your sales process. Calls to existing contacts and matched and added to the contact’s page, while calls to new numbers automatically create a new deal.
To be successful at the cold calling game, you must be doing more than dialing numbers and telling prospects you can sell their house.
Cold calling is hated by most salespeople for a reason: because they’re not good at it.
Don’t be that realtor that hassles people through useless cold calls. Add a sense of professionalism by practicing your cold calls before you make them. Once you’ve got a prospect listening, you’ll be able to steer the conversation in your favor.
Whether you’re just touching base or looking to make ground with an old relationship, the strategy is the same: listen to their pain points, be empathetic, and let them know you’re the right realtor to make ground with their property.