Adventures in Cold Calling #48
FSBOs and Expireds. Expireds and FSBOs. These are typically the bread and butter of those in real estate who turn to prospecting as their salvation from the feast of famine cycle. There’s some issues that have to be overcome though in order to do is successfully.
First of all, there are the OBVIOUSLY difficulties. The ones that pop out at you once you do your first calling session. These include:
- The fact that FSBOs have talked to too many agents already and don’t want to talk with you.
- How each of them already “has an agent in mind” if they need one – so they don’t need to talk to you and (hint, hint) they don’t need you to bother calling back.
- This strange phenomenon where they are trying to get their home sold themselves but they don’t answer the phone when you call.
- The fact that you can get their direct number right off of Zillow or Craig’s List – but you better do it in the first day or two because once they discover that 90% of the calls they get are from agents, they decide to pull down the number in an attempt to try and screen calls by forcing buyers (the people they WANT to talk to) to email them or fill out the web form FIRST before a phone number is given out.
- Pure rudeness.
- In meetings at work and won’t talk to you.
And the list goes on and on.
But that’s not the stuff I’m talking about. When you sign up for calling FSBOs it’s YOUR job to figure out how to overcome all that stuff and good scripts go a long way toward doing that. This FSBO script by Fearless Agent will get you started in the right direction if you need one.
No, the REAL problem comes in doing things at a HIGH level. With FSBOs that means MULTI-POINT contacts systematically delivered out over the course of 8+ weeks.
You see, you NEED to call the FSBOs within the first 48 hours that they are listed. That’s when they are MOST likely to pick up the phone. They’ll also be at their “friendliest” too. They’ll also be MOST likely to give you an email if you ask for it the right way. There is a downside though. That downside is the fact that…
They Are Unlikely To Give You An Appointment!
Common. They just put the sign in the front yard. Sure, you’ll have a few one-n-dones here and there over the the years if you consistently call, but almost universally these people are going to want to at least give it a few weeks on their own before they interview agents. They didn’t buy that sign for nothin’. They didn’t type out a description for nothin’. They didn’t take pictures and upload everything to Zillow for nothin’.
So you need to call EARLY in order to be one of the first ones to start building a relationship with them. Show up late, and you’ll get shut down. HARD. After that though – it’s all about the follow up. In the video below, Colton Lindsay says that he uses a 16-point follow up system. Now why might that be?
The reason is that you only have to call FSBOs for one day to realize that you are going to have to call them back again and again and again. You’re also going to have to start mailing them. Because some people will just-so-happen to be ready to pull the trigger one day and they they walk to the mailbox, see your mail piece, remember that you’ve followed up a lot over the past 6 weeks, and decide to call YOU to set the appointment.
That doesn’t happen if you don’t mail though.
How about email? Grant Cardone says you should be hitting prospects in your follow up stream from every angle. That BEGINS with the phone and extends to email but carries on to email too. Video email is best. That means Bombbomb if you want to do email at the highest level possible. It might even extent through to personal visits…but that one is more controversial if you really think about it and don’t just take what the real estate trainers say at face value.
Here’s Where Things Get Tricky
I find that LOTS of business is what I call – Lost In The Edges.
The edges where ONE phase of your prospecting needs to transition through to another. So for example, let’s talk about the Initial-Call-To-Follow-Up-Sequence transition.
So you make the phone call to the FSBO on Day #1 that they show up on the radar and they’re nice, they like what you have to say because you use a POWER script like the one offered by Fearless Agent but they don’t give up the appointment. Because it’s Day #1 for them. So you need to TRANSITION them…don’t you? What all is involved in this first transition? Here’s what has to happen in MY world:
- Move them OUT of the F1 Group in Mojo and INTO the F2h Group so they’re called again next week
- Create a NEW main lead record in Evernote and push them OUT of Mojo and INTO Evernote.
- Add them into AnyPresentations.com done-for-you monthly real estate newsletter.
- Do up a hand-written thank you card w/biz card inserted to go in the mailbox TODAY.
- Print up a form letter from Realty Juggler along with a helpful tips article to go in the mailbox TOMORROW.
- Launch the MAIN Realty Juggler sequential mail sequence with the start date being Monday of next week.
- Record a quick video saying “Hi – Here’s my resume I promised to send” that will be used in Bombbomb.
- Upload that video to Bombbomb and Create-and-send the Bombbomb video email to the prospect. (same day)
- Add them into an Autoemail search in the MLS so that if they list with another agent you can PULL THEM OUT of this follow up sequence and not continue mailing to them or calling them when it no longer makes sense to do so!
All that stuff has to be done. For one prospect. If you’re going to follow up at a high level.
Then you have to do all the stuff associated with that. So every Monday you have to go into Realty Juggler and print up the letters for this week. As you are constantly adding people into this system the number of letters that come out of the printer and need to be hand-addressed (never send a letter that is NOT hand addressed), new helpful tips articles needed to be printed and matched to the individual letters, and you need to also include a Just Listed or Just Sold flyer to serve as visual proof that you’re getting the job done for other people. Other people are CHOOSING to go with YOU as their agent because – when they met with you – they DID see that what you tell everyone (including the current FSBO prospect) is true. You really DO have a good plan to get their home sold and get them more money on closing day.
But That’s Just the First “Transition”
What happens when they DO list with someone else? What happens when they DO pull their house off the market? Well now you need to have a system to UNWIND everything that is in the list above!
Do you see how people can get lost in this process? I’ve had it happen dozens of times as I was getting MY follow up system up and running. I get the auto-email from my MLS that a house is now on the market, I look them up in the Evernote and Mojo and I find that they never got moved to the second call group. Or they never had their mail launched. Or they got put in BombBomb for video emails but never got assigned to the GROUP in Bombbomb so that when that group was selected for email every other day, those emails were not getting to that person.
All kinds of people falling through the cracks for various reasons.
Then there’s the OTHER kind of failure that comes on the other end. Realty Juggler prints out the VERY LAST LETTER in the FSBO mail sequence, you look up the address in Evernote or Mojo or the MLS and find out that it was listed with a different agent a week after it first popped up on Zillow and you PULLED it from Mojo so you were not calling but you did NOT pull that prospect from AnyPresentations or Realty Juggler so you’ve been spending money/time mailing them when you shouldn’t have been.
Putting the system together in the first place took creativity. Again, creativity takes time. Lots of time. It STEALS time. From prospecting. From family. The letters have to be written. And of course you always want to “show up bringing value” and not just a pitch, so each letter needs to come with a helpful ARTICLE. So the letter has to be written and the article has to be written.
Then, once you get the letter sequence up and running, you move on to the email sequence. Building that. But creativity takes time. Some weeks it steals time from prospecting again. Some weeks you end up behind on PRINTING/MAILING the letters & articles you took the time to create in the past. Friday comes, you were suppose to print the stuff on Monday, address it throughout the week, and drop in the mail today. On Friday.
What do you do instead?
You tell Realty Juggler to Print-to-Microsoft-Word, you open up the file in Word and see that there are 22 letters that need to be printed. There are 22 envelopes that need to be addressed. You need to print up 22 articles and then match them with the right letters. You need to look up all those people who you’re mailing to and check to see what Just Listed/Just Sold flyers you’ve sent them in the past so you don’t send them again. You need to… And then it happens.
The print button never gets pressed. The printer doesn’t cycle up. Nothing gets printed that week. Nothing gets mailed. And because all those people are going to get a NEW letter NEXT week…you’re not going to “do it later”. It just doesn’t get done. AT ALL. A week worth of letters that were SUPPOSED to serve as additional “touches” to build your familiarity and value in the mind of the prospect – it just doesn’t happen.
Like I said guys – I’m real with this stuff. You don’t get any sugar coating here at the Elite Real Estate Prospecting blog.
So people get lost in the transitions and your follow up gets crippled as you become overwhelmed. And assistant is, of course, the solution to this but like I mentioned before – if you don’t have the coin to PAY an assistant then you ARE the assistant and all this DOES have to get done by you and there WILL be times when it just – doesn’t – get – done. Life takes over.
Oh, By The Way…
Did I point out yet that this is JUST for FSBOs? Expireds are a different animal. Don’t kid yourself by saying that you’ll be able to come up with letters/emails that work just fine for Expireds AND For-Sale-By-Owners. They’re different animals and they need to get different stuff that connects with them in their minds where they are on both a logical and emotional level. As these two prospect groups harbor very DIFFERENT thinking patterns, they need to get different materials. Attempting to make ONE follow up sequence that will work for both will most likely end up backfiring. It will end up working for neither.
Seeking the Promised Land
There is a better way friends. A MUCH better way. Calling FSBOs and Expireds and even Cold Calling is like eating survival food. It doesn’t taste that good, it’s low quality, and it’s only designed to keep you going until you can get back to your normal life and start eating “real stuff” again. That’s what we’re going to be talking about next time.