The Secret to Beating Your Fear of Real Estate Cold Calling

Gavin Finch
Written by Gavin Finch 

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Real estate investing is a skill-based endeavor. Your level of success depends on your ability to generate quality leads, comp your deals and calculate their after repair values. However, one of the most important skill sets is the ability to make phone calls to motivated sellers. 

While real estate cold calling is an essential skill set for investors to master, it’s one of the most daunting ones to practice. The idea of calling someone you’ve never met before and proposing to buy their home makes most people uncomfortable.

If you can relate to that fear, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Cold calling anxiety keeps more investors out of the real estate industry than you would imagine. But if it’s been stopping you in your tracks for a while, today is the day you beat your fear of cold calling. 

There are proven formulas for mastering it and developing the cold calling skills you need to grow your real estate business. Let’s explore them together. 

Use a real estate cold calling script

Most cold callers agree that a script is a priceless resource, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been calling for years. Not only will it tell you what to say at pivotal moments in the call, but it will also calm your nerves and give you an anchor to the real world if you start to panic or lose control of the conversation. 

A script will even remain a great resource long after you become comfortable with calling because it gives you an easy way to get back on track if you drift into auto-pilot or you’re having a bad day.

There are a few ways to get your hands on a script. You can access one online, which is a great idea if you’re new, or you can write your own. If you decide to write your own, it should include the following:

Of course, writing your own script may be more challenging than it seems. You’ll have to carefully craft your messaging and choose the right transition points. If you’ve been calling for a while, you probably already know what works. Otherwise, we recommend sticking to a script from a professional. This will help you learn about the less-obvious details that define the success of a cold call.

Make cold calls as often as possible

Your initial reaction to this piece of advice might be “That’s not very helpful,” but it’s actually the most important action to take if you want to defeat your fear of cold calling. The only reason you’re afraid of calling motivated sellers is because you don’t know what to expect. Your mind is creating worst-case scenarios to deal with the unknown. 

But once you start calling and deal with a few of your worst-case scenarios, you’ll realize that it’s not nearly as bad, stressful, or frightening as you expected. Sure, you’ll deal with some angry people who scream at you and you’ll probably mess up a few calls by stumbling over your words. But after you go through these experiences, you’ll realize that cold calling isn’t nearly as bad as it seemed. You may even find that you love the process.

To call more, set yourself goals and slowly make them bigger over time. Start by aiming to call for 30 minutes without stopping. Once you do that for a few days, expand to 45 minutes, then an hour. 

If time-based goals aren’t your motivator, then set yourself a number-based goal. Start by calling 30 people without taking a break, then raise the number to 45, then 50. Before you know it, you’ll be a high-volume caller.

This process is guaranteed to make you more comfortable on the phone. The law of large numbers says that it’s also nearly guaranteed to land you deals as well, so it creates a win-win situation. However, you should be careful not to go overboard with your calling numbers. New calling regulations are cracking down on spam callers, but they’re inadvertently targeting legitimate high-volume businesses as well. 

To prevent your phone numbers from being labeled as “spam likely” we recommend making a maximum of 150 calls per phone number, per day. Then, if you find that a certain number is connecting less than usual, sleep that number for a few weeks before bringing it back into rotation. This will ensure you can continue using the number long-term.

If you follow this simple rule of thumb, feel free to call as many people as possible. This is one of the few strategies that’s guaranteed to make a positive impact on your real estate company, so don’t neglect it.

Have a conversation with the motivated seller

Don’t treat your cold calls like sales pitches where your job is to convince the owner to sell to you. This is one of the most common mistakes real estate investors make, and when it comes to the fastest ways to end a call, it’s a close second to hanging up yourself.

Instead, your goal should be to have a conversation with the motivated seller. Understand the problems they’re facing, build rapport, and work together to come up with a solution. 

There are a few different ways to do this. Top wholesaler RJ Bates III often leads with the question “Are you interested in selling your house?” but there are other options. You can gently bring up their financial situation, asking about their pre-foreclosure status or other factors motivating them to sell. If you’ve found the property by driving for dollars, you can bring up damage to the house and ask what’s keeping the owner from repairing it. 

The most important thing is that you start a dialogue where the motivated seller can express their fears, desires, and needs. Not only will this build rapport, but it will help you understand the owner’s pain points and find out how to solve the owner’s problems. 

Whether you’re wholesaling, fix and flipping, or growing your portfolio, you’re still an entrepreneur, and entrepreneurship is built on problem solving. If you approach your real estate cold calling with this attitude, you’ll find much more success than if you approach it simply looking to make a profit. 

Choose a confident, winning mindset

There are two ways to look at everything in life. You can see everything as a chore or you can view everything as a challenge. You can choose your mindset, and your choice will determine much more than how happy or miserable you are while you’re working.

The various parts of the real estate process are no different. Cold calling is undoubtedly one of the most challenging parts of investing in real estate. However, many real estate professionals find that it quickly becomes an enjoyable part of the process once they start seeing it as a challenge instead of a chore. 

Real estate cold calling is a skill-based activity, and you can improve with time and practice. If you adopt this mindset, every bad call becomes a learning experience, and you realize you don’t have to fear making mistakes. In the same way that athletes make mistakes as they’re learning a new play, you’ll understand that making mistakes or tripping up on your opening are just part of the game. 

As you see your skills improving, you’ll quickly realize that cold calling is fun. That might seem unbelievable right now, but you’ll realize that it’s true. Every time you dial a number, you have the potential to land a deal and improve your skills. Every conversation, good or bad, becomes a fascinating story to share with friends and family. The process becomes genuinely interesting.

The best part of choosing this mindset is that it immediately makes you a better caller. It increases your engagement and gives you a better attitude, which will make your target audience more engaged and more willing to listen to what you have to say. 

If you’re not convinced, call the DMV or some other government office and think about how you feel after talking to someone who isn’t engaged in the call. That’s not how you want to make motivated sellers feel.

Conclusion

Cold calling is one of the most daunting tasks when it comes to real estate lead generation and marketing. The simple idea of picking up the phone for the first time and calling someone you don’t know makes most people break out in a cold sweat. They might yell at you or worse: they might be interested and then you’ll have to make an offer.

Thankfully, anyone can overcome this fear. It doesn’t matter if you’re shy, introverted, or inexperienced; cold calling can become your top marketing strategy. Unfortunately, many people never try, because making the first few calls is too intimidating. Instead, they offload the task to a virtual assistant or stick to less personal marketing plans, like direct mail campaigns or SMS texting. 

Each of these options has an essential place in your real estate business, but only after you become a proficient cold caller. If you never confront your fear of real estate cold calling, you won’t be prepared to make below-market value offers on people’s homes and you certainly won’t be prepared to negotiate with motivated sellers or cash buyers. You also won’t be able to train your virtual assistants properly, because you don’t know how to make calls for yourself.

In short, real estate investing is the epitome of the phrase “good things don’t come easy.” Learning how to cold call is essential to succeeding in real estate sales, and it will be a scary process at times. However, if you push through and develop a winning mindset, you’ll overcome your fear and find that real estate cold calling is one of the most rewarding things you can do, both financially and personally.


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