1. Have a plan and stick to it.
Agents who go through each week with a prospecting plan don't let their business run them. If you schedule two hours of calling or drop-offs, don't go over that time.
Because when it messes up your day, you'll start to not look forward to prospecting when the time comes.
If you have time set aside per day for unknown distractions that come up, it will improve your prospecting by keeping it from getting interrupted.
Don’t try and do five things at once.
We suggest doing your prospecting early in the morning. It’s when people who work are the most receptive.
Don’t try and squeeze getting into contact with a lot of owners in a tight space either. But not giving into distractions is the major key.
It’s okay to say no to someone or say you can’t get to it until another time. You can even take another step and specify what type of leads you will prospect at certain times.
2. Know the details of the lead’s home and area - they will notice.
This is one of the quickest ways to separate yourself from other agents on the phone or other agents in person.
If you call and ask about the particular home, with details about some comparable sales, the area and the market for the house, the owner will be impressed.
This is going to take a few minutes of research before each contact with an owner you attempt to reach. It will be well worth it if done right.
The more prepared you are for this conversation, the more respect the owner will have. If you call up and ask them questions that are generic, they will tell.
This also avoids you from sounded scripted like that. That's a stereotype that realtors have, and this is how you break that.
If you mention a school or surrounding amenity that can improve the home's value, that's even better.
3. Look for quality over quantity in your prospecting conversations.
Don't think about the number of leads you can call in an hour. You want to gauge your success on how many owners you talked to that are serious about selling.
Try to build rapport each call, no matter what they say at first.
A successful day might get you some owners that you can reach out to later, or meet later. Turning cold leads to warm leads is a good goal as well.
If you aren't in person, one of your goals should be to get a face to face meeting.
It's not about how many leads you talk to; it matters more that you make progress and can add those owners to your sphere of influence.
4. Classify your leads.
This is a big part of preparing to prospect. Setting out a different time to chase cold leads lets you focus on that and how most of those conversations will go.
Then have different time blocks when you concentrate on the owners who are really close to selling. Then focus on the owners that you've talked to, but are on the fence about selling.
Segmenting your time and leads like this makes your conversations each time go so much smoother.
Talking to someone who has no idea who you are and might not want to then talking to someone who's home expired and isn't sure if they'll relist is different.
Try and keep your leads as segmented as possible. Cold, warm and hot are three simple ways to classify them.
Or you could be more detailed with them.
Under 30 days is group one, where they are ready to buy or sell quickly. The next would be the middle tier of 30 to 90 days. The last would be anything over 90 days.
It’s best to get the people from the last two groups into an email campaign or just to send them emails every now and then. When you get someone under 30 days, you need to make an appointment with them on the spot.
5. Appreciate each no. You are closer to a yes.
Think of hearing no a not yet.
Then consider each time you hear that another step closer to getting a yes. It is true if you look at it the statistics. Just keep going and never take it personally because that’s when people get down the most on this process.
The same as any other type of sales, real estate is a numbers game and the more people you talk to, the more useful leads you’ll get and the more sales you’ll make. Did you know that 80% of sales happen between the 5th and 12th contacts you make?
That's even after you get them into warm leads. So don't get down if you get a string of owners who ask you to leave them alone. You're that much closer to getting somewhere.
6. Don’t take rejection - or anything prospecting personally.
This goes along with having the mindset from the #5 on this list. If you look at every "no" in that positive light, you won't take it personally.
There's no way around it, calling people you don't know will always result in some of them being really rude.
Just don't take anything personally and keep going. Also, if the conversation seems good, but it still results without a better lead or opportunity, try and learn from it.
Thier feedback is another way to judge how you're doing.
7. Prove your worth as soon as possible.
Like I said earlier, being prepared and knowing the details about their home and area can help start this
But before they have time to shut you down, say what you bring to the table and what you want to do with them and their home eventually.
The other way to go about it is to give them advice and tips right off the bat.
In person or on the phone, don't start the conversation lightly because you may never get the chance to show your worth.
8. Be persistent.
A lot of the time, it is a game of persistence.
Imagine having a conversation with an owner. They aren’t ready to sell. How you handle the follow-ups with them will determine whether or not you get the listing.
Agents are talking to owners all the time who say maybe one day or they don't know, then never following up with them.
Don’t ever give up on a lead until they work with someone else or give you a flat out no.
Not only is that missing out on their business, but it also makes the time you spent on them completely wasted.
Most of the agents drop out and don’t call them back after the first try.
Then 89% of them don’t hear from them after two tries. This is how staying persistent sets you apart.
9. Keep your persistence respectful and not annoying.
Don’t scare them away by over-communicating. It still is important to stay in touch with them, just do it the right way.
You annoy owners when they easily can tell your only reason for the call is to get their listing and their money.
This is why each contact you make with an owner should have a reason. Even if it's just to help.
Helping them is a good enough reason for each call or drop by. Especially for cold leads.
10. Always try and get a face to face meeting.
I just said you should have a goal for them each contact, and this should be your goal for yourself each time you prospect someone.
This where you'll be able to go through your listing presentation and really show them what you want to do for the home.
If a prospect is willing to meet with you, they're seriously considering listing with you.
Then you prove that not all agents are the same. Talk about and show them about homes selling for different prices and in different time frames.
You can only get this far in person. Make it your goal each time you're on the phones.
11. Offer help to prove your value (again).
This is one of our tips again, for a good reason. It's the most important thing you can do.
This is the best and truest way to build trust with any owner. If you help them with no strings attached, you are completely different than any other agent.
Our members do this with custom books that teach the owner about the home selling process.
If you're not a member, you need to help them out in other ways. Market analysis, tips for staging and things like that.
When they are ready to list, they'll call the person who helped them the most.
12. Use your sphere of influence.
Client referrals are the most valuable referral’s that you can earn. The average conversion rate is an extremely high 70%.
The best way to be sure you consistently connect with your past clients is to have a system for reconnecting with your old customers.
A couple of times a week, start with a list of five names and make five contact calls to simply say you were thinking about them as you drove through their area and wanted to say hello.
Send them emails on important dates. Holidays, a year anniversary of them moving and things like that.
No former client wants to see stuff from you all the time constantly and on social media and then in their mailbox. But there are many times where a personal update is appropriate and very much appreciated.
Keep this group in your prospecting routines.
You should know the right time to ask if they have anyone they know who needs help selling when you reach out to them.
13. Treat every prospect like you would a friend.
Don't be nervous. Don't be all about business and the listing.
Think of them as a friend you are calling to help out with. This can pave the way to a fruitful business relationship.
14. Events and open houses are places to get contact info.
Any event or open house is a great place to collect leads and information.
This is big because they aren't cold leads, and could eventually turn into referrals or a listing.
Take advantage of any of these situations. It's less about handing out your information as it is getting theirs.
At an open house don't be afraid to ask for their contact info or even have a sign in sheet.
Prepare yourself for questions about the home, its history, and neighborhood.
If someone asks you a question at the open house and you get stumped, it’s going to look really bad. Anyone who was impressed with you will be less likely to answer an email or call in the future.
Be firm about collecting the information you want and make sure it’s real. You can say it's about the security of the home.
15. Keep track of the hot leads and prospect them separately.
You need to strike while the iron is hot. Prospecting and contacting these owners takes precedence over any others.
After two times talking with them, invite them to meet with you somewhere.
This is where you try to solve any problems or answer any questions that they have. You can quickly get an idea of what they need from you and how you can move forward.
Your hot leads are already familiar with you, so you can get down to business easier.
16. Use proven methods and scripts.
If certain ways you approached leads worked for you in the past, replicate it and tweak it each time you contact an owner.
The key here is not to sound scripted.
That's going to turn off any owner. So use what works for you, but be flexible with it for each situation and conversation.
Find what works and repeat it over and over again.
17. Prove all agents aren't the same each listing appointment.
The burden of proof is on you here, and this is the time and place to do it.
If you do this, you'll win the listing. Look for a similar neighborhood where all the homes are very similar.
Neighborhoods with condos and townhomes are excellent for this.
Then, you can meet with a seller and tell them: “Not all homes sell for what they are technically worth. Look here’s a condo that sold on the sixth floor of this building for $450,000.
A unit with exactly the same floor plan on the 4th floor sold for $498,000. That’s a 10.7% difference in price. They had a similar amount of upgrades, etc.”
When you do this, the sellers are going to realize that real estate isn’t all luck. The agent you hire matters.
There actually is a difference that your agent can make. If you hire the wrong agent, it can cost you 5%, 10%, and maybe even 15%.
You don’t need to geek out on data. Just show them a quick example. You don’t need to show them crazy stuff.
18. Ask for referrals - after a sale and after you keep in touch with old clients for a while.
Ask clients for is a survey on their experience working with you. If you get this type of feedback, it is the type of thing you need to put on your listing presentations and other marketing material.
Then after they fill this out ask for a referral.
When you call your sphere of influence, ask for a referral, preferably at the end of the call, but it can’t be the primary basis for the phone call.
You have to think of it as a relationship building phone call. Calling them up and asking for that referral as the main objective is just going to shut them off.
Make sure that the conversation always ends in a fashion to ensure you’ll be able to stay in touch with them down the line.
19. Listen to their concerns first.
Don’t just call them and give them a one-sided information dump. An agent who talks too much will turn off owners.
In fact, the owner needs to do the most talking, unless there are updates. You can prove you listen to them when you speak to them or during an appointment.
Ask them questions and make the meeting a back and forth. It’s how every meeting should be.
This is another common stereotype you need to overcome quickly.
If you focus every email or each call to help the customer and listen to their responses, then those response rates will rise dramatically.
20. Go the extra mile to prove your value.
This is the third time I've mentioned this because that's how important it is.
The best way to do this is with custom books.
It's what our members do and why they have so much success. If you give an owner a book with your face on it, they remember you, and it sits in their house.
This has lasting power unlike anything else. You are the king of real estate with this.
Prospecting is the most important part of your job as an agent. With so many realtors, how can an owner tell who's for real or not?
This is the difference these books make. It will transform how you are prospecting.
They can get tucked away somewhere, but most people aren’t going to toss them in the trash. They’re worth something, and they’re worth something to the author’s name.
Do this and you will position yourself as the authority in your market. When you give away your book, it will separate you from your competition.
Want to get a free sample of the book that will get you more listings? Click the link below.
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!