Day #46 of 100 Days of Prospecting
Higher contact rate again today. Made for smooth cruising up to the 100 contact mark. Had one lady tell me that two other agents had cold called her last week. So we’ve got that to deal with. I think that that is going to become more and more prevalent. Competition is only going to continue to increase in this business. More and more agents are going to be told to call FSBOs and Expireds. They’ll continue to be told “Just call and you’ll get your fair share” even when all the “low hanging fruit” enters a place where it’s forever picked over.
That situation will lead to people turning to the less competitive avenue of cold calling. Or circle prospecting. Or whatever you want to call it. The problem I see with this is that it will quickly create an unmanageable situation.
Think about it. I got ZERO leads calling through the entire city of Royal Oak. Why? Because people had been hard-core “circle prospecting” that city right before I did. They burned out the people base. When someone gets a cold call today, they really do need a good 90 days to rest before ANY agent calls them again.
The benefit to cold calling is that you get in contact with people who freely confess that they are thinking of selling and you get to follow up with them until they DO decide to sell. They don’t do the whole “confessing” part though if they are getting called by multiple agents. They clam up. It turns into the whole Tragedy of the Commons thing. A shared resource is destroyed when too many people try to access it.
The result will be that instead of having to make 100 or 130 calls to get a lead, you need to make 200. At that point OTHER people (who are more well funded) will decided to start hiring people to do the calls for THEM too. The idea being to brute force their way through the opposition and conquer by sheer numbers of calls.
Of course the reaction from the market will be less response and now the number of contacts that have to be made to get a lead climbs to 300. Then more people hire cold callers to try and overcome the hours-calling-necessary-to-get-a-lead problem. And then it climbs to 400 contacts to get a quality lead. At which point the whole pasture has been destroyed by overzealous grazing.
The Farming Project
The truth of this whole thing has been dawning on me for quite some time now. Competition in all avenues of traditional prospecting is only going to increase. To unmanageable levels. A solution has to be found. A final solution.
I believe that that final solution is the relationship based business. Building relationships to such a level that those people are not going to be picked off by a cold caller or anyone before they call you.
These days it’s pretty common to have people responding to my inquiry as to whether they are thinking of selling in the near future or not with a “Yes, but we already have an agent picked out.” Sorry. I’m done trying to use the objection handlers to try and get an appointment with someone who has already made up their mind so that they can pick the agent they’ve already decided on and then tell themselves “Yup, we’re going with our gut…and look…we even interviewed another agent before pulling the trigger too!”
Forget that. I’m looking for people who are NOT committed to other agents. If I wanted to jump in the pit and slug it out in a fist-fight of competition I would call expireds and FSBOs. The whole point of cold calling is to connect with people who are NOT planning on interviewing multiple agents.
So while I am still consistently calling, I am also laying the groundwork to launch into what I call “Super Farming”. That’s actually the reason I switched brokerages. Super farming is going to be a long-term strategy to dominate one particular area. The area you pick matters because the median price point for whatever area you choose is going to dictate your income level for the rest of the time you work that Super Farm. So I picked a higher price point area an switched to a RE/MAX broker in that town.
The truth is, I don’t like the idea that I have to call, call, call other people to get appointments. I happen to like it when people call me and ask ME to come out to list their house. That pretty much NEVER happens when cold calling. You have to do the outreach to get the initial lead and then you have to reach out again and again in follow up. If you do NOT call those people, they never seem to bother calling YOU to set the appointment.
People in my network of relationship do though.
So it’s pretty clear. If I want more people calling ME to list their house, then I need to have more relationships. Relationship with people in my Super Farm. So I have to invest time BUILDING those relationships while at the same time NOT slacking off on my calling activities.