Overcome real estate phone call reluctance for the best customer service

Follow these steps to have more effective phone calls with leads

Most agents think they are alone in avoiding prospecting phone calls. You’re not. It’s normal to experience call reluctance. Fear of rejection, failure, conflict, success or lack of confidence fuels real estate professionals’ reluctance. Maybe you suffer from all of these. It’s time to get out of fear and into action.

Knowledge equals confidence and ignorance equals fear. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. But, if you desire a greater level of profitability, then you must improve your knowledge.

Many agents reach a certain level of production and never get to the next level because you are only comfortable working with your referral network. To move the needle financially, create higher goals and reach the next professional level, you must learn to help more people than just the ones you already know.

Do what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it

Working in areas you aren’t comfortable in is more important than ever in this changing market. You need more contacts, not less, because fewer people are buying and selling. In 2022, there were 6.5 million transactions, this year it’s predicted that there will be around 4 million. To do the same or more business, you have to be much more proactive this year. Do what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it. Sometimes that means getting on the phone.

This train of thought leads us directly to proactive lead generation, otherwise known as prospecting! Proactive lead generation means you don’t have to pay for your leads or sit around waiting for elaborate systems. You are the master of your success.

If you’re not calling because you don’t know what to say or how to say it, eliminate that fear by investing in proven scripts. A script is simply an outline of questions that help you to determine a prospect’s motivation so you can provide them with best-in-class service.  

A service-based mindset

Make the call about the person you’re talking to, not yourself. Maya Angelou famously stated ‘they’ll forget what you said but remember how you made them feel.’ Remove personal pronouns — I, me, my — from your conversations as much as possible. Ask more questions about the lead. Make fewer statements.      

Whom you’re calling matters. Circle prospecting is not effective. Recognize that different types of calls yield different results. Contacting expired listings and unrepresented sellers naturally yields more appointments than ‘cold calling’ random homeowners. Not only should you maintain a service-based mindset, but you should provide that service to the leads who most likely need it.

The following strategies are key to overcoming that phone call reluctance and improving your real estate business.

Prospect listings for your buyers

Your buyers expect you to find them their dream home and not by using the same tools they can use. Prospecting specific neighborhoods for specific buyers is highly effective in a market with very low inventory. Turn a seller into a buyer, then lather, rinse and repeat. Many deals are happening every day that never flow through the MLS.

Listen more than you speak

Once you have them on the phone, listen to the prospect’s answers so you can have a positive conversation. Don’t interrupt for the sake of the script. It’s a rookie mistake to always jump on the conversation. That shows you’re not listening. Take a breath, slow down, and realize you don’t have to use every question in the exact order you learned the script in.

Stop taking everything personally and making things so difficult

When someone doesn’t need to buy or sell their home today, that’s not about you. They just don’t need your help currently. They aren’t saying no forever. Learn to say ‘next’ instead. Your job is to find the people who do need you. Keep dialing. The next phone call could be the best call.

Know your ratios

The average commission in the country today is at least $10,000. This means you’re making $120,000 per year on just one deal per month. How many contacts — a phone call with a decision-making adult about real estate — do you need to set up one qualified, close-able listing? Aim for a ratio of 1 out of every 10 contacts becoming an appointment.

Be ‘situationally aware’

This means you have to listen to the conversations going on around you about the market. Everyone has real estate on their mind all the time. They’re either renting looking to buy, thinking about listing and moving or considering investing or flipping. Be knowledgeable about your market so you can provide value to those all conversations — no matter which category they fall into.

Who do you know that could use my help buying or selling real estate?

Always be ready to take notes, set appointments and take action. It’s better to set an appointment on the spot for a couple of days out than to put someone into a drip system or chase them down for an appointment. Practice urgency.

Schedule and stick to your proactive lead generation

80% of your day must be spent generating new business. 20% should be spent on taking care of the leads you generated. A day without listing appointments or buyer appointments must be spent proactively lead generating.

When is the best time to be on the phone or door-knocking?

There is no ‘magic hour,’ but ideally, you’re spending dedicated time in the morning because if you don’t get on the phone then, you’re unlikely to do it later. That said, three in the afternoon to six in the evening is a good time slot. People who are unreachable during working hours can also be contacted on some weekday mornings and a couple of weekday evenings.

Role play 10% with partners and 90% with real prospects

Create a group video call and support each other with live prospecting sessions. Make it an interesting game among your colleagues. A gift card or meal in the ‘pot’ could increase motivation. Whoever sets 3 qualified appointments first gets the money.

Tim and Julie Harris host a podcast for real estate professionals. Tim and Julie have been real estate coaches for more than two decades, coaching the top agents in the country through different types of markets.  

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