Hi, this is Brian Kurtz with Re/Max Real Estate…yes, I’m calling because my company has a few buyers looking for a home on your side of town – are you thinking of selling in the near future?
This is, as far as I can tell, the ultimate script for cold calling for real estate leads. Like most scripts, I didn’t come up with it on my own from scratch, rather I swiped the general concept from the Big Cold Calling Thread at the Agents Online real estate forum. I tweaked the details in order to make it easier to employ, but at it’s heart it remains the same.
Let me point out that I specifically pause after saying “…real estate…” and I also emphasize the word buyers when using this script. I’ll out line the reasons for this as well as the other factors which make this script so effective.
1) It’s Fast
If you want to speak with 100 people per day and find out if they are thinking about moving in the near future and you don’t want it to take all day (5 hours on the phone might as well be all day) then the script you use needs to be lightning fast. LIGHTNING. Asking additional questions like those found in the Mike Ferry Just Listed/Just Sold script will destroy your work flow where speed is concerned.
Asking additional exploratory questions will very rarely “get the seller to come out of their shell” and admit that they really ARE giving serious thought to the idea of moving or offer up the name of a friend or family member who has plans to move. When placed on the scales for evaluation, the few extra leads you glean from asking extra questions will never outweigh the power of speaking with 100 people each day you prospect.
Don’t kid yourself, the extra time that those extra questions take will translate into you NOT speaking with 100 people per day consistently which means you end up with FEWER leads at the end of the month than if you had just stuck with the super-short script as outlined.
2) It’s Non-Offensive
…or at least it’s as non-offensive as it can be. Some people are easily offended and hate anyone who calls them on the phone for any reason. It could be September 11th all over again and the Red Cross could be conducting a passionate plea by phone for blood donations to address the issue and these people would blast off at the mouth toward the Red Cross rep who happened to call their house.
Some people are just jerks. Period. That’s what they are. They are also in short supply representing less than 5% of those you’ll speak with when cold calling. You’re not going to change them and if you’re going to adjust your prospecting plans in order to try and avoid these people or come up with the perfect approach that will get them to respond positively to your call, then you might as well just throw in the towel right now and give up.
It ain’t gonna happen.
The script as outlined above is so short that it doesn’t bother most normal people. When they say, “Ummm…no we’ve got not plans to move right now.” and you cheerfully respond, “Alright then, well you have a great day!” they often will say, “Oh THANK you!” and you can hear the smile in their voice.
3) It’s Tactfully Allows for Comprehension
I want my script to be reduced to the ridiculous. I want it to be as close to the following as possible:
“Me real estate agent. You want to sell house soon?”
Of course, that’s just not how people talk. So the script has to be crafted in such a way that it makes sense, doesn’t confuse the homeowner, quickly conveys the ideas of “real estate” and “selling” and “soon – yes or no?” That’s it.
When I present the script over the phone to a cold call prospect I always PAUSE after the words “real estate”. So the script actually flows like this:
“Hi, this is Brian Kurtz with Re/Max Real Estate (PAUSE) – yes, I’m calling because…”
The pause has a very specific purpose. First of all, there is often some frazzled communication in the first few seconds of the call as the homeowner is saying random hellos. The Mojo Dialer uses copper connections which means that you don’t have as much of that weird delay that instantly identifies telemarketers who are using Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) types of phone connections. That being said, I’m still convinced that sometimes there is at least a little bit of a delay in the connection from the time the seller picks up the phone to the time I hear the “beep” in my headset alerting me that the calls is live. When I opening up with only the first section of the script until my timed pause, any confusion seems to get flushed out and the conversation runs smoothly from there.
Also, when I pause, it gives the homeowner time to register the main concepts that I WANT them have at the forefront of their minds. They need to be thinking “Real estate….oh, this is a real estate related call” and/or they need to be thinking, “Re/Max…..who’s Re/Max? Oh yeah that real estate company and OH he SAID real estate!” The pause allows their mind to be primed up to know that what I say next needs to be received in the context of a real estate related conversation.
I also stress the word “buyers“.
I work with Re/Max which is the biggest company in the areas in which I prospect. There are a good number of officers fielding many agents. The areas I myself am calling in are HOT so there are ALWAYS Re/Max agents who have serious buyers looking for a home in those areas. Always. So when I say…
“…yes, I’m calling because my company has a few buyers looking for a home on your side of town…”
…their mind will recognize a logical REASON for why this Re/Max agent named Brian is placing a real estate related call to their home. Having contacted thousands of people now I know for a fact that this whole thing, as simple as it is, can be very confusing to someone who is deep in thought about the news program they were watching when my call came in. Providing them with that sense of reason for the call helps eliminate a lot of that confusion for them. This is good because when they are CONFUSED they ask me to repeat what I was saying which essentially DOUBLES the time of most calls. That’s not good. I want them to clearly understand on the first go-around.
4) It Forces A Response Based on a Time Frame
The tail end of the script helps force a response to the question with a clear time frame in mind when I say, “- are you thinking of selling in the near future?”
I get a good number of smarty pants people who respond, “Well I guess I might think about moving…for the right price.” or “Well I guess so. Isn’t everyone always thinking of selling if the price is right?”
They don’t even know it, but they are completely and utterly wrong.
Sure, there are isolated examples here and there but it is SO rare that someone would actually move if someone just showed up on their doorstep and “made them the right offer.” It just doesn’t happen. Think about it. If you go up to someone’s home, bang on the door and say, “Hey, we love your house. We’d like to buy it. If we agree to get it appraised and I agree to pay 10% over the appraised value…will you sell it?” How often would the answer be “Yes!” do you think?
Pretty much never.
People move primarily because they have a MOTIVATION to move. These motivations are many, wide, and varied but people do NOT sit around waiting for someone to show up and make them an offer that they can’t refuse. So when I call I want to know if they have a motivation to move and I want to know if that motivation is going to get them to make that move in the next 12 months or less.
Asking, “- are you thinking of moving in the near future?” will typically flush that out.
The “near future” is different for everyone and a good number of people, when I ask follow up questions, will admit that the near future to them means in 2 years. That’s not a lead. Most, however, when they respond that they do have plans for a move in the “near future” will be thinking about a timeline that is 12 months or less.
5) It Is a Survey
One thing that I never liked about more in-depth scripts like those designed by Mike Ferry and others, is that they essentially amount to selling-over-the-phone. If you are “closing for the appointment” over the phone, don’t tell yourself sweet little lies, you are SELLING over the phone. When someone agrees to have you come over for a listing appointment, they have “bought” what you are selling – namely an opportunity to present your services.
In order to close for an appointment over the phone, someone has to make available their services for sale over the phone. Period.
My guess is that while you’re reading these words you are already seeing the problem with this.
When you offer your products or services for sale over the phone, you are soliciting. Once you begin soliciting over the phone your calls fall under the jurisdiction of the various Do-Not-Call Regulations set up at both the state and federal levels.
Now this may vary by state, but if you do NOT offer your products or services for sale over-the-phone, then you are not soliciting and you are not considered a telemarketer for the purposes of the law in regards to the DNC regulations. At least as far as I can tell. (You can pay a lawyer to confirm if you wish.)
Conducting surveys for either market based or opinion based research is one of those activities that is specifically exempted from Do-Not-Call provisions…at least with the Federal DNC regulations. My script is essentially a 1-question survey which establishes who in a given area has plans for moving in the near future. I can take this data an put it on a map. I can then use this map and the market research data it contains in order to decide future courses of action for my business. This is very similar to what politicians do with the data gathered from polls. They use it to build out their own plans for how they will conduct their political campaigns. Here’s what my map looks like now:
Click to Enlarge
As I do not offer my services over the phone in any way to 98% of all the people I speak with, I do not worry about the “DNC Police” banging on my front door. In fact, I can confidently say that any agent who worries about that type of thing really, deep down, just does NOT want to prospect by phone (most likely because of fears they have within) and they are looking for reasons to justify their choice to not take action and get on the phone. How do I know? Because they still call their past clients.
If you are an agent who is going to use cold calling as the primary method in your quest to prospect for real estate leads, then this script is going to get you in touch with more people than any other – and it will do it faster too. This script will get serious people to admit that they have plans to move or not and they up and tell you whether they see themselves making that move in the near future or their plans are really a bit further off on the horizon. Nowhere in this script does it prompt you to offer products or services, so it would be hard to fall under the axe the FTC for making unrequested phone solicitations…as there is no soliciting involved.
Go ahead and give it a try the next time you get on the phones. Set a goal to call until you speak with 100 people and qualify them with this script. See how long it takes to accomplish this task and then ask yourself how long it would have taken if you used an alternative script that was a lot longer. Then, if you did NOT use Mojo or another dialer, ask yourself how much FASTER the whole process could be completed if you leveraged technology to add an extra dimension of speed to your cold calling efforts. I think you’ll be pleased with the answers you come up with.