September 24, 2012 in Marketing
I was really pleased when Neva Williamson agreed to do a guest post for my blog. Neva has taken an old strategy for finding motivated sellers and made it work for her in her business, and that is cold calling.
For all of you that are just getting started and you have NO money for marketing, after you read this post be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Neva is living proof that if your desire is strong enough, you can overcome just about anything. You really can get started with NO money.
Now you're probably saying, “Cold calling is hard”. And, yes it can be. But it can also be a great way to find deals.
My name is Neva Williamson, wife, mother of a baby girl and former 9-5‘er. I say former because I quit my day job, leaving behind a six-figure income. Even though I had a lucrative career, after ten years I was only going through the motions. I was not passionate about my work and I knew it would not give me the lifestyle I craved anytime soon. Now as a full time real estate investor, I have freedom to make as much money as I want, doing what I want while being in full control of my time.
For several years before I quit, I continued to work my 9-5 job and make money in real estate on the side. I needed constant reminders to stay focused on my goals, and they were always posted in a place where I could see them. During this time, I also had to learn to utilize effective and low cost sales and marketing tactics.
One of my wholesale deals I made $40,000. I was able to pay off bills and finally quit my 9-5 to stay home with our new baby girl. Unfortunately after paying bills my marketing budget was low. In fact it was nonexistent. To continue my real estate business I pursued low cost marketing ideas again. The best strategy I’ve found is cold calling.
What is Cold Calling?
Cold calling is the act of picking up the phone and calling a complete stranger with the intent of selling them on your services. While intimidating at first, the more you do it the more comfortable you will get with it. The key is to never take rejection personally and be prepared with a short script before you pick up the phone.
After dialing the phone number and confirming I am speaking with my contact, I use the following standard introduction statement:
“Hello, my name is Neva Williamson and I am a local real estate investor in VA. I see that you are also a real estate investor with rental properties. I am calling today to see if you are interested in selling any of your properties at this time?”
If they say no, I say thank you and have a great day. If they say yes or it depends, I walk them through our home buying process and the conversation flows naturally from there.
There are many benefits to cold calling. My 3 favorites are:
- Inexpensive. Once you have a list of homeowner’s phone numbers, you can pick up the phone and start calling. There is often no up-front cost, just a phone bill deferred until the end of the month.
- Immediate Gratification. It may take 100 phone calls before you connect with a homeowner, but it only takes one deal to make up for all of the time, effort and rejection. On the phone, a deal can happen in an instant. Remember, the goal is to make money in real estate, so even if it takes a thousand phone calls the effort is worth it!
- Control. Cold calling puts you in control. Rather than waiting for someone to answer an advertisement, you are being proactive in building your business. This is an important and satisfying shift in mindset.
Getting a List
- Before you can start calling you will need a list of homeowner’s phone numbers. This can be tough, but here are some excellent resources to try:
- Anywho. This service performs searches on the Yellow Pages and White Pages, and also does reverse searches by area or zip code.
- Spokeo. This is another online service that looks up people by name, phone number, email or physical address. Some information is blocked without a subscription.
- Listsource – Find Property owners with phone numbers.
- For Rent Signs – Call for rent signs and ask the landlords if they are interesting in selling instead of renting.
To make money in real estate you must be persistent. On some days you will reach a friendly voice on your first call, on other days it will seem like everyone is annoyed with you. Then there will be days when any voice would be a relief! Remember to:
- Be prepared; keep your energy up and your voice friendly.
- If you encounter angry people, do not be put off; their anger is not about you. Continue with your friendly voice. Sometimes the best deals will come from initially hostile people.
- Always leave a detailed message explaining who you are and why you are calling. My $8400 wholesale deal was from someone who heard my voicemail and called me back.
- Schedule a block of time to cold call, usually in the morning or late afternoon/evening, and stick to it. Do not get distracted, keep calling and be thorough with anyone who answers the phone.
Remember, you are the master of your destiny. You can make money in real estate if you are proactive and stay focused on your goals.
If you have a home to sell in the DC, Virginia or MA areas, be sure to stop by Neva's site. All Above Realty is a multi-service company that has the ability to buy, repair, market and sell homes.
If you would like to schedule a 1 on 1 call with me to talk about specific strategies for building your brand and creating more effective marketing for your business, you do that here by clicking this link.
Have you gotten your freebies here on the blog? If not be sure to do that today so you don’t miss any of the business building tips I have coming your way. I want this year to be your best year ever! And if you enjoyed this article, please share it.