There is nothing chillier than the words Cold Calling. Whoever coined the phrase surely hit the nail on the head. As a successful Real Estate Investor, cold calling can’t be avoided. At some point you’re going to have to step out of your comfort zone.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll define cold calling as making an unsolicited telephone call or uninvited visit in person, in an attempt to connect with a prospect or property owner. If you’re going to make money as a real estate investor, your first step will be to connect with distressed property owners. Sometimes the only way is to make the dreaded cold call.
If the property you’re looking at is already on the market, sellers make it easy for you to get ahold of them. They want you to call. When a home is not yet for sale, investors have do a little homework to look for contact information. If the home is a rental property, the tenant may not be able to give you information. He or she might not even know the owner is considering selling.
You might be able to locate the name of a previous homeowner but the property may have changed hands due to circumstances such as death or divorce. In some cases, inheritance issues with out-of-state heirs might complicate your search.
Looking for the name of a home owner can be tedious. If you’re patient, with time the process gets easier. Once you locate the owner’s name, you’ll be ready to move on to the next phase—looking for a phone number.
Google makes it easier than it was a decade ago. It used to be investors had to search city records, old phone books, etc. but these days the Internet is a big help.
Once you have a phone number, it’s time to prepare for a first contact call. Remember the cold call described at the beginning of this article? Yeah, that’s the one.
Whether by phone, email or in person, a first contact is referred to as a cold call. Email is easiest if you tend to be anxious meeting new people, but it won’t always put you in touch with the person you’re trying to reach.
If you can’t or don’t want to meet in person at first, a phone call increases the odds of connecting, even if you have to leave a message or two. Making your first contact by phone can help to avert the first impression judgement that can occur if they don’t like the way you look, or if the prospect is intimidated for some reason.
After your first contact, by email, phone or in person, your next point of contact is a warm lead. These 5 keys will help you get there:
Dress professionally and remember to smile. You don’t necessarily need to wear a suit and tie if you’re a man, or a dress if you’re a woman, but a clean, neat and tidy appearance is essential. Even if your meeting is by phone, dress professionally.
Be prepared. Approach the meeting from the standpoint that you are there to help the person out of a potentially stressful situation. Introduce yourself and tell the person why you’re calling. You might find it helpful to have a list of bullet points of things you want to be sure to discuss.
No one wants to be taken advantage of, and with all the scams these days the prospect’s first instinct might be to distrust you. Be polite and respectful though the person might be defensive and when the time is right, ask for a meeting.
Remember to say thank you, whether or not you set a meeting. If the prospect isn’t ready to meet face-to-face, ask for a second phone call and then if they’re willing, set an appointment.
If you follow the three keys in this article, cold calls can result in a win-win relationship between you and prospects and your investment business will grow.