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Cold Calling: An Investor's Guide

May 21, 2020 by Tara Mastroeni

Cold calling is an important part of any real estate investor's lead-generation strategy. However, successful cold calling involves a lot more than just picking up the phone and having a conversation with a prospective seller. Rather, there's a particular sales strategy behind it. With that in mind, below are a few cold-calling tips to help you up your game. Read on below to learn more.

Create your cold prospect list first

The first step to a great cold-calling strategy is building a list of prospects. As an investor, your goal should be to target people who are eager to sell their homes and, more specifically, who may be willing to do so at a discount.

Fortunately, while creating a cold prospect list may be a little bit time consuming, there are quite a few ways to make it happen. Combing through For Sale By Owner (FSBO) websites for sellers' names and contact information is a great place to start. Beyond that, using the MLS or public records to find recently expired listings and then gathering phone numbers through the white pages is another option.

Write out your cold-calling script

After you've come up with a hefty list of sellers to cold call, the next step is to write out your cold-calling script. You'll want to keep it brief and stay away from making an outright sales pitch.

Rather, it should feel more like a genuine conversation, but you still want to hit one of the sellers’ main pain points -- which is the inability to find anyone to buy their home -- and explain how you can offer a solution.

Your script should cover the following areas:

  1. Verify that you’re speaking with the right person.
  2. Briefly introduce yourself.
  3. Explain that you've been looking to buy a home in the area and you saw that their home is/was up for sale.
  4. Compliment a feature of the home (and keep it sincere).
  5. Ask if they're still interested in selling.
  6. If yes, ask if you can set up a time to see the home.
  7. If no, apologize for taking up their time and end the call.

Follow these cold-calling tips to increase your chances of success

Cold calling, like any other sales strategy, is an art. The more outbound calls you make, the better you will get at it. However, you can still do certain things to help set yourself up for success. To that end, keep these cold-calling tips close at hand, especially when you're just getting started.

Rehearse your talking points before getting started

Many novice callers get nervous and experience call reluctance, but the last thing you want to do when you're on the phone with a potential seller is to sound like you're reading off a script. With that in mind, take the time to really familiarize yourself with your talking points before you make a single phone call.

Make your calls between 4p.m. and 5p.m.

According to Hubspot, a popular marketing platform, the best time of day to make a sales call is between 4p.m. and 5p.m. That's when most people have wrapped up their day at work but aren't quite ready to sit down to dinner. Notably, Wednesday and Thursday are also supposedly the best days of the week to make calls.

Don't be afraid to leave a voicemail

Thanks to cell phones and caller ID, many people are reluctant to pick up a phone call from a number they don't know. However, motivated sellers may return a phone call from someone who's offering to buy their home. Be prepared to leave a voicemail that includes a shortened version of your script along with your contact information.

The bottom line

The cold call has been an important lead-generation tool for real estate investors and sales professionals for decades. However, like anything else, it takes practice. Use the advice above to help you take the stress out of doing cold outreach. With these tips, your calls will sound less like a sales pitch and more like a genuine conversation.

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