Eight in 10 agents shun cold calling

Few agents are willing to telephone strangers, even though one top principal believes it can be an effective way to expand a database.

According to a recent poll on Real Estate Business, 80.8 per cent of respondents don’t make any cold calls.

The poll also found that 9.0 per cent of agents make an average of one to five calls per day, and 2.5 per cent of agents make six to 10 calls.

Another 3.4 per cent make between 11 and 20 calls, while 4.3 per cent make 21 calls or more.

PRDnationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, which placed 31st on this year’s Top 50 Sales Offices ranking, lets its agents decide for themselves whether or not to cold call.

Principal Mark Kentwell said cold calling is often a secondary form of lead generation for agents in his office, but that it can still be a good way for them to initiate relationships.

“The purpose for a cold call would generally be if they are trying to populate the database with more records of people who own property in that area for future relationships,” he told Real Estate Business.

“The initial cold call may well be that they’re calling about a particular result they’ve had in the area which was quite strong.

“Or it may be that they’ve got some form of report to offer to those locals and they want to know if they want to opt in or not.”

Mr Kentwell said cold calling works best when agents follow the initial phone connection with a structured series of communications in the months ahead.
That should be a mix of telephone and letterbox communications, and even personal visits, he added.

“The activity itself isn’t dramatically hard. What agents might find hard is the fact you might go through 50 or 70 phone calls before you uncover something good, and then if your enthusiasm isn’t there, you can waste that opportunity,” Mr Kentwell said.

Starr Partners chief executive Douglas Driscoll wrote in a blog for Real Estate Business that one of the keys to successful prospecting is to switch off the computer to remove distractions.

Mr Driscoll also advised agents to start the conversation with an intriguing question and to take notes so that they don’t use the same lines in subsequent calls.

[Related: Top 10 tips for phone prospecting]

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