Does Cold Calling Work in Real Estate?

What's the one thing every real estate agent wants? More leads!

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get them. For example, you can meet with other professionals in your area and agree to send each other referrals.

Or become a social media power user and connect with prospects on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Or run Google ads to accomplish the same thing.

Guess what else you could do—cold call prospects on the phone and pitch your services.

I know what you're thinking, "Does cold calling work in real estate?" Absolutely! You have to learn how to do it the right way. Keep reading, and I'll teach you what you need to know.

What is Cold Calling in Real Estate?

Cold calling in real estate occurs when a realtor calls an individual who hasn't expressed interest in their services but could realistically become a client.

Let's be honest: the real estate market in the U.S. is weird right now. Plenty of people want to buy homes, but supply is down, and interest rates have exploded since reaching historic lows in 2021. These factors have made it difficult for both home buyers and sellers.

By cold-calling prospects, you can discover potential clients, build lasting relationships, and prepare to assist them when they're ready to buy or sell. You may even be able to influence their decisions based on your knowledge of the market.

Discover the secrets of effective real estate prospecting right here.

The Proof is in the Numbers: Cold Calling Works in Real Estate

You can sit around, hoping a past client sends you a referral or a red-hot lead stumbles onto your website. But if you really want to take control of your career, start cold-calling prospects.

Here are a few statistics to prove the value of cold calling in real estate:

Here's the bottom line: cold calling works in the real estate industry. You just have to learn how to cold call potential leads the right way to find success with this strategy.

Cold Calling in Real Estate Industry - Use Close CRM

‎What Makes a Cold Call Effective in Real Estate (3 Key Factors)

To succeed with cold calling, you need accurate contact information and a reliable way to track every call you make. A few cold-calling real estate scripts won't hurt, either.

Hey there! Calling all cold calling enthusiasts–our article narrows down the top 8 sales headsets you need to know.

1. Accurate Contact Information

You know what's frustrating? Calling disconnected and/or inaccurate phone numbers. It's a huge waste of time you can never get back.

To avoid this, validate your cold leads to ensure you have the right contact information. If you’re working with commercial real estate, you can use a B2B data provider to discover and update your lead's contact details.

2. A Way to Track Calls and Manage Contacts

There are a bunch of different ways to track calls and manage contacts. You can use an Excel spreadsheet, for example. But if you have the funds, I suggest investing in real estate CRM software, which will make the entire process easier. Plus, many CRMs are equipped with automation, which you can use to help follow up with prospects in the future.

Pro tip: With Close, you can build full communication sequences for your real estate business. Time your calls, automate your emails, and receive follow-up reminders with one app!

What Makes a Cold Call Effective in Real Estate


3. Proven Cold Calling Scripts

Every cold caller should have a library of sales scripts at their disposal, each tailored to a different type of client and their current stage in the customer journey. You should also have multiple variations: one to use in conversation and one to use when leaving a voicemail.

We can share a few sales scripts with you. But you need to test them to see which ones are most effective for you. You can then store the winners in your CRM of choice.

How to Create an Effective Real Estate Cold Calling Strategy

Your cold calling strategy will consist of a few different things: the time of day that you make calls, your follow-up frequency, and how reluctance is handled and overcome.

Here are some of my favorite cold-calling tips. Each will help you get past low-value leads and stay focused on those most likely to list with you.

Find the Right Time to Call

When you cold call real estate prospects is extremely important. To succeed, you need to find the best time of day, the best day of the week, and the best frequency between calls.

Times to Call

Research shows that the best time to call new leads is between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. This is when they're most likely to wind down for the day and be available to talk.

Calling between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. can be effective, too. Your prospects will probably be handling simple administrative tasks before heading off to lunch.

Avoid calling before 10 a.m. and during lunch breaks. Your prospects won't have the brain space or desire to talk with you at these times.

Days to Call

Generally speaking, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to cold call prospects. Why? Because people have settled into their weekly tasks and are more receptive to calls.

Avoid calling on Mondays, as most people use this day to prepare for the week ahead. Don't call on Fridays, either. The laws of the universe dictate that we all spend our Fridays finishing our weekly responsibilities while pretending we're not daydreaming about the weekend.

Time Periods

The time of year you cold call prospects can affect your success as well. December is a bad time to pursue new listings because nobody wants to buy a new home during the holidays.

Speaking of holidays, try to avoid them. Like, all of them. Three-day weekends have a habit of becoming four-day weekends. Schedule cold calls with this fact in mind.

Target the Right Real Estate Leads

We've talked about the tools you need and the right times to cold call prospects. The truth is, none of it matters if you call bad leads. Use these tips to find quality prospects to contact.

  • Expired listings: Start with expired listings. These homeowners listed their homes with a realtor, but let the listings expire—most likely because the home didn’t sell in the agreed-upon time frame. Then the seller decided not to renew their contract. Do they want to work with a new agent? Possibly! When calling expired listings, the homeowner is probably frustrated and disgruntled. So, don’t pitch the benefits of selling a house when you talk to them. Instead, listen to their story and propose a unique strategy you can use to ensure their home sells the second time around.
  • Targeted area calling: Also known as circle prospecting, targeted area calling is what happens when you contact prospects who live in popular neighborhoods. Prospects may want to list their homes if their neighbor's home sold quickly and for a good price. Your sales pitch to these people can be super simple: just offer a free valuation on the property. Or, even simpler, propose the idea of selling to get them thinking.
  • For Sale By Owner (FSBO): Another great option is calling “For Sale By Owner” properties. Warning: there may be resistance due to cost. But if the property has been on the market for a while, and you think you can sell it quickly or for a higher price, they might be open to working with you. Let’s face it; they don’t have your skills or industry knowledge. A call to offer your expertise may win you the listing.
  • For Rent By Owner (FRBO): “For Rent By Owner” properties can infuriate owners—especially if the property hasn't been rented in a while. These homes are often a drain on the owner's cash flow. And the need to solicit applications, show the property, etc., on a regular basis might not be worth the hassle. As an agent, you may be able to contact these folks and convince them to list with you.
  • Buying Leads Online: There are quite a few paid lead generation opportunities out there, so choosing the right online leads for real estate provider requires a great provider with good price points and leads that will actually convert into clients.

Set a Follow-up Frequency

If I could only share one cold calling tip with you, it's this: follow-up with prospects. If you don't, you'll fail with this strategy. The question is, how often should you follow up?

A general schedule for timing cold call follow-ups would be:

  • Day 1: First call
  • Day 3: Follow up
  • Day 7: Follow up
  • Day: 28: Follow up
  • Day 58: Follow up
  • (Follow-up continues every 30 days)

If you make contact with a lead and discover that they’re already working with another agent, make a note to reach out again in six months. You never know. They might end that relationship or need help buying a home after selling it to someone else.

Cold Calling in Real Estate Industry - Set a Follow Up Frequency with Close CRM

‎Unless a lead tells you to stop calling them, continue to follow up at appropriate intervals. You want to be known and top-of-mind when your lead decides it’s finally time to connect.

Learn to Handle Call Reluctance

Call reluctance doesn’t mean your potential client is reluctant to speak to you. It means you are reluctant to make the call in the first place. Let’s face it: cold calling is a tough outreach strategy. Hearing a perpetual “no” and “I don’t have time” can be really discouraging.

The most common causes of sales call reluctance are fear of rejection, an improper understanding of what you’re offering, poorly qualified leads, and a lack of practice.

How do you know if you're experiencing call reluctance? You'll procrastinate on a regular basis, spend excessive amounts of time preparing for calls, and/or fail to ask for referrals.

So what’s the solution? Steps to overcome call resistance include:

  • Reminding yourself that you’re helping your clients solve their pain points
  • Knowing that you have a deep knowledge of what you do and how it benefits others
  • Properly qualifying your leads and targeting people who will be receptive to your calls
  • Logging your calls and prospecting work into a CRM to see your results improve
  • Taking a course on cold calling strategies and learning how to find your ideal customer
  • Talking to and practicing with other cold calling pros
  • Relying on your scripts while you practice, practice, practice

7 Real Estate Cold Calling Scripts that Work

Use the following templates to help you level up your real estate lead generation efforts.

1. The FSBO Script

"Hi, my name is [name] with [real estate company]. I’m calling about the home for sale. Are you the property owner?"

Wait for confirmation.

"Great! You have a beautiful home—I can see how much effort you've put into it. Would you be willing to work with an agent if it means your home would sell faster?"

Listen to what the homeowner says.

If you're empathetic and use the right tone of voice when the homeowner tells you that they've been trying to sell their home for a while, you may win brownie points.

If you happen to know a buyer who is interested in the house, definitely mention it to the homeowner as well. You can say something simple, like:

"I'm asking because I know a few buyers who are looking for homes in your neighborhood. I'd love to introduce you. I bet we can get your home sold in the next [time frame]."

If the homeowner expresses interest in your offer, and you feel like you have a good chance at the listing, try to set an appointment by saying:

"Can we meet for 20-30 minutes? I'd love to show you my process so we can sell your home as quickly as possible. You’re not obligated to use me, but I am confident I can get your home sold. Is tonight at 5 p.m. good for you? If not, what’s a good time tomorrow?"

2. The FRBO Script

"Hi, my name is [name] with [company]. I’m calling about the home for rent. Are you still looking to fill the vacancy?"

Wait for confirmation.

"I work with potential buyers and property investors in your neighborhood and am wondering what your long-term goals are for the property?"

Wait for an answer.

"How long has it been listed, and what is the monthly rent?"

Wait for an answer. Then, crunch the numbers.

"Okay, so it seems you haven’t been able to fill the vacancy for [X weeks] and have taken an income loss of [rent amount by vacancy time]. When did you last have an appraisal on the property? The market has changed dramatically over the last few years. Would you consider selling if the numbers made sense?"

If there is an interest expressed, set an appointment.

"I’ve helped lots of property owners get top dollar for their investment properties, and the market is in a great place for selling high. If you don’t mind, I’d like to research the property value and rental prices to see if you can increase your rent, or if selling is a better return. Do you have some time this week? I can bring the numbers by and show them to you."

3. The Circle Prospecting Script

"Hi, my name is [name] with [company]. I’m calling because I’ve recently sold a home in your area and wanted to share how much your property is valued at. Is that something you would be interested in?"

Wait for confirmation.

"Based on neighborhood comps, your house could easily sell for $XXX,XXX. I have buyers expressing interest in your area, and I’m confident that your property would draw a premium value based on its condition and curb appeal. Would you want to sell if I could get you the best price for your property?"

If there is an interest, move to the appointment script.

"Can we meet for 20-30 minutes? I'd love to show you my process so we can sell your home as quickly as possible. You’re not obligated to use me, but I am confident I can get your home sold. Is tonight at 5 p.m. good for you? If not, what’s a good time tomorrow?"

4. The Expired Listing Script

"Hi, my name is [name] with [company]. I’m reaching out about the property at [address]. Are you the homeowner?"

Wait for confirmation.

"I see the listing expired [last month/year] after being on the market for X months. I was curious, did the home just not sell, or did you reconsider and decide to remain there?"

Wait for an answer. If they still want to sell, say:

"I see. Well, I have to say, the property is [in excellent condition/in an excellent location/etc.]. I would love the chance to help you sell it. Would you consider listing again?"

If there is interest, ask a few more questions:

"Great! If you don't mind me asking, what was the highest offer you received last time? And was there a specific point of concern that kept people from buying?"

Wait for an answer. If the homeowner still seems like a good lead, say:

"I believe we can get it sold this time. I’d like to bring you new comps for your property and show you my listing strategy. Is tonight good for you, or is tomorrow better?"

5. The Pre-Foreclosure Script

"Hi, my name is [name] with [company]. I’m calling about the property at [address]. I’m a realtor that specializes in navigating the pre-foreclosure process and getting you and your family set up with secure and reliable housing. Do you have time to talk?"

Wait for confirmation.

"I know you’re going through a lot right now. Is there anything I can help you with, or any questions I can answer? My goal is to be a partner you can rely on during this process. I’m here to help you make the most of this difficult situation and keep disruptions to a minimum so you can continue moving forward with your life."

Wait for an answer.

"Can we meet tomorrow and discuss some strategies that would work for you?"

6. The Appraisal Follow-Up Script

"Hi [prospect's name]. It's [name] with [company]. I wanted to check in on the appraisal I conducted on your property back in [month]. I've kept my eye on the market in your area, and there's been a lot of movement. Do you have any interest in selling at this time?"

Wait for an answer. If the homeowner wants to sell, try to book an appointment using the appointment script above. If the homeowner is not interested in selling, say:

"No problem, I totally understand. Like I said, the market in your area has moved a lot. It might be worthwhile to update the initial estimate I gave you. Does that sound interesting?"

Wait for an answer. If the homeowner is interested in an updated appraisal, schedule an appointment. If the homeowner is not interested in an updated appraisal, say:

"Okay [prospect's name], that's completely understandable. It sounds like you aren't interested in moving out of the area at this time. But you might be interested in learning how much other properties in your neighborhood have sold for recently. What do you think?"

If the homeowner is interested in the information, give it to them. Then end your call by reminding them to call you if their position changes and they want to sell.

7. The Recent Sales Script

"Hi, this is [name] from [company]. Am I speaking to the homeowner of [address]?"

Wait for confirmation.

"I wanted to reach out because I recently sold a home in your area [home sale address]. You live in a great neighborhood. The homes there are generating a lot of interest and selling for really good prices. Have you ever thought about selling, too?"

If the homeowner shows interest, share information about the home you recently sold. This will get them thinking. Then, use the appointment script above to book a meeting.

If the homeowner is not interested, thank them for their time and leave your contact information. That way, they can reach out to you if they change their mind. Then, plan to follow up with them in a suitable amount of time. This will keep you top-of-mind if they decide to sell.

These are a few quick examples of what your script might look like. Use them as a base to help format your own scripts, then customize them to fit your unique personality.

If you’re looking for more advice, check out our top real estate cold-calling scripts.

Alternatives to Cold Calling in Real Estate

Successful cold calling isn’t the only way to reach out to potential clients.

If you can't bear the thought of calling strangers on the phone, these marketing strategies can be used instead. (They can be used to supplement your current cold-calling efforts, too.)

  • Texting: SMS platforms allow realtors to easily send, manage, and respond to thousands of text messages. It's a super time-efficient and scalable communication strategy. And because response rates are so high, it can be very effective. Just make sure your leads opt into your messages before you text them. It's the law. And if you really want to succeed with this SMS, use a CRM that offers built-in texting capabilities (like Close!).
  • Email marketing: Well-crafted, personalized email campaigns can generate click-through rates of 2.5 percent and up to 3,600 percent ROI. Spice up your emails by incorporating videos, ebooks, and other bits of interesting content. If you can display your expertise in real estate, you'll generate more leads and, eventually, sales.
  • Quality referrals: As a real estate agent, there's nothing better than a quality referral. Agents who build a circle of repeat clients who spread the word about their services, creating new repeat clients, tend to be the most successful. To begin building your circle, ask your friends, family, and past clients for referrals.
  • Warm calling: This article has been all about cold calling in real estate. But don't forget about warm calling, i.e., calling prospects you've spoken to in the past. These people will naturally trust you more because they already know you. Don't waste this opportunity! Follow up with past prospects to see if they're ready to buy or sell a home. To help, have your CRM send you follow-up reminders so you don't forget to do it.
  • Social media: Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are amazing resources—if you use them correctly. You need to post more than photos of recent listings. To win with social, share actionable advice that both buyers and sellers can use. Try sharing your thoughts on market trends, too. And tag relevant people/businesses in your posts so their followers can see you and learn about your real estate services.
  • In-person events: Get your butt to the store and buy a few appetizers. Or bake a few cookies at home if you're so inclined. Then host an open house to bring in potential clients. If you can't do an open house right now, maybe you can schedule a client appreciation event instead. These events help remind past clients that you're there, which might lead to fresh listings and/or future referrals.

Keep Track of Your Hard Work in Real Estate Cold Calling

‎Keep Track of Your Hard Work in Real Estate Cold Calling

A lot of time and effort goes into cold calling. But even with lower success rates than other real estate sales strategies, cold calling produces tremendous returns.

The key is making the most of the time you spend on phone calls. Losing notes, missing reminders, and getting follow-up dates wrong will derail your efforts and result in lost sales.

Fortunately, a quality CRM will make sure these things don't happen. The result? Well-cultivated leads who are excited to use your services to achieve their real estate goals.

When it comes to choosing the best real estate CRM, you can't go wrong with Close.

Our platform makes it easy to track and nurture leads, build automated communication sequences, and generate sales reports. It even includes power and predictive dialers to supercharge your cold-calling efforts and turn you into a productivity ninja.

Sign up for your free 14-day trial of Close. That way, you can use all of our solution's features and decide if it's the right tool for you. I'm confident it will be!

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