Feb 022017

Real estate agents prospect for listings by cold calling because compared to other methods the costs are low and the results measurable and consistent. By phoning homeowners in a neighborhood 3 or 4 times a year and only selecting the most motivated sellers to work with agents put in less work hours, less miles on the car, and make more money while working with motivated people who are happy to work with them.

There is an excellent discussion about cold calling ongoing since 2009 at the AgentsOnline Realtors Forums and reading through the thread may be the best prospecting, lead management, follow up, and closing education available for free anywhere. The thread covers a lot more than just cold calling and it is certainly worth your while to read through it whether you are a new agent or have decades of experience.

To give you a bit of an idea about the art of cold calling I have distilled some of the basic information shared in the thread.

Agents who make cold calling their primary source of listings call for at least a couple of hours every day and have refined their technique so they talk to a hundred or more potential sellers in those few hours. Only people who are not registered on the Do Not Call List are contacted. For many, calling for a couple of hours a day 5 days a week results in 50 to 60 deals a year!

When new to prospecting by phone it is easier to learn in a market area where the turnover is good and the home prices are below average because there is less competition from other agents.

The goal of cold calling is to find a prospective seller who is motivated to move in the next six months. Although it would be nice to have that call result in an immediate appointment to sign a listing agreement that seldom happens. The listing happens later during the followup phase.

Agents look for strong motivation and nice easygoing people who value their professionalism and carry on a nice productive conversation. This is the type of lead that results in business.

Agents stand up when they call. They speak confidently with a cheerful energetic tone just as they would in a face to face meeting. If they reach voice mail they hang up and do not leave a message. If someone answers the phone they say something like…

“Hi Mr or Mrs so an so? This is ______ with _______ real estate and I have some serious buyers for your area….do you have any plans to sell your home in the next 6 to 12 months?” Then shut up. If they say “no” thank them and hang up. That was easy, wasn’t it?

Saying you have buyers should be a true statement as every active salesperson always has 5-10 buyer leads they are working with. You will not know if the house is suitable for then until you see the inside.

It is very rare that someone will say “no” or “not interested” and then list within the next several months.If they are thinking about selling they WILL engage in conversation.

The next step would be to ask a few qualifying questions to help determine their motivation such as “when do you plan to list your home for sale?” and “when do you plan to interview agents for the job of selling your home?” and “when do you want to have your home sold by?”

If you determine that a prospective seller is motivated they are flagged for followup which can include a pre-listing package, emails, phone calls, notepads, market updates, voice mail messages etc. The majority of leads need to be followed up with 7 to 15 times. 99% of your business will come from great persistent and creative follow up.

If you are looking for ways to increase your business without breaking the bank maybe it is time to begin prospecting for potential sellers using the telephone!

Jan 302017

The goal of every Realtor should be to have a large database of people who know you personally as an agent and will give you their own business and refer business to you. These people are usually referred to as your Sphere Of Influence or SOI for short and include past clients and people you have showed homes to or did property evaluations for.

Until you have been in the business long enough to generate a large SOI you need to find your own buyers and sellers by prospecting.

Early in their careers agents typically work with buyers that they meet passively by doing open houses for other agents, advertising, or from website leads. Their next step is actively prospecting by talking about real estate with people they know already or people they don’t know. Most agents soon conclude that it is far more profitable and easier to work with sellers than buyers. The top agents in any market area usually get 70 to 80% of their income from listings.

Websites and the internet are a great source of buyer leads but a poor source of seller leads. To get listings agents need to actively prospect for people who are planning on selling their homes. To do this many spend huge amounts on advertising and repeatedly targeting specific market areas with flyers and admail. For this to work many repetitions are required over a period of time and after risking massive amounts of cash the results are often inconsistent.

If you don’t have the deep pockets to see such a strategy through don’t fret! One of the oldest and lowest cost methods of prospecting for sellers is still one of the best methods and done right provides the most consistent income. I am talking about cold calling!

Many agents do call the owners of expired listings and find they are competing against many other agents and the sellers are unrealistic and difficult to deal with. That gets tiresome real fast. The same is true for calling FSBOs. Compared to calling Expireds and FSBOs real honest to goodness cold calling can be a breeze. You can end up working with nicer people who are actually motivated to sell.

Agents who make cold calling their primary source of listings will work the phones for at least a couple of hours every day and have refined their technique so they are talking to a hundred or more potential sellers in those few hours. They qualify those prospects ruthlessly and only consider one or two each day a bonafide lead that will move within the next few months. For many, calling for a couple of hours a day 5 days a week results in 50 to 60 deals a year!

Luckily, they are happy to share their methods, dialogues, and all the nuances in the Cold Calling Forum at the AgentsOnline Realtor Forums. Check it out!

I will delve a bit deeper into this real estate prospecting technique in my next article.

Mar 252014

Even with all of the recent search engine changes ranking is still all about links and finding beneficial links is harder than ever. Most of the sources of links we have all relied on in the past are now “no follow” which means they do not help your search engine positions.

On top of that, misinformation abounds which scares agents and webmasters away from some sources of links that are among the most beneficial. One of these sources is directories. It is true that the vast majority of directories are worthless for helping your SEO and in some cases can be hurtful. That doesn’t mean all directories are bad though.

Google has recently said that niche directories are one of the best places to have your site listed in.

How can you tell which niche directories are of value? It can take a lot of knowledge and time to properly assess all of the factors and since most just can’t do this we have done it for you!

Since this blog is about helping Realtors with their online promotion that is the type of directory this article is concentrating on.

One of the best places you can be listed in is the Epowered Professionals Real Estate Agent Directory. Because this directory is manually curated it can still offer you a “DO follow” link which will be beneficial in helping with your search engine promotion. The actual pages your listing /link resides on has actual Google Page Rank (currently PR 2 ) which means that these pages are recognized as being a valuable resource by search engines.

The site itself ranks well for many real estate related keywords and  being listed  can send targeted visitors to your website which in itself can generate real business for you. In addition, being listed can provide significant  benefit in providing a valuable link back to your website which can help increase your website’s position in search engine results resulting in even more business for you!

You can be added to the directory by following the instructions here.