Monday, March 26, 2007

Cold Calling? Time to Warm Up the List

If you haven’t spent time manning the phones recently trying to scare up new clients, you may have forgotten how utterly frustrating the process of cold calling client lists can actually be. The act of sitting down in front of that brilliant piece of communication technology can be daunting, and the rejection received on the other end can be wholly disheartening. This is especially true if this is to be your first point of contact for these prospective new clients.

With this level of frustration, you need to ask yourself, is this really worth it? The answer is actually more complex than yes or no, and actually hovers around the place of “it depends.”

Cold calling can be a great way to find new business and secure new clients. However, you should never waste your time calling a completely cold lead. If you look at your investment in time and the return that you receive, there are much more productive ways to spend your time.

Instead of trying to prospect cold leads, spend your time and resources developing cold leads into at least moderately warm leads before picking up the phone. My personal rule of thumb is that I never call an unsolicited cold lead until they have been exposed to my personal brand at least five times. In that vein, I use the 4MySales prospecting system to touch these cold leads with email, direct mail, new announcements, market updates and other bits of information. I make sure that each lead gets exposed to my message in some form or other at least five times before picking up the phone. After at least five exposures, the prospect is much less likely to just hang up on me, and may be familiar enough with me and my services to offer a good conversation, and even a possible referral.

Cold calling can be a difficult task and a daunting waste of time if the lead list is entirely cold. Take the time to warm up the list by sending out your message in a couple of different formats before taking the time to pick up the phone.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It’s notice of default time again

I just received an email from an agent friend of mine letting me know about a notice of default workshop that is coming up. I do not know if I will attend or not as it has been a while since I have dabbled in the field of pre-foreclosures and creative finance investing. However, it does raise the question, how can real estate agent capitalize on this new surge in NOD’s from “liar loans” coming due?

Many real estate agents actively prospect notice of default recipients. However, the pitch is typically the same. List with me, I can get your house sold before the bank takes it away. Unfortunately, many of these homes have larger amounts due on the loan than they are currently worth.

My recommended approach is to prospect to these people with the voice of help and reason. If you are not familiar with the process, learn about the process of forbearance to help the homeowner fend off the bank while he/she sells her home. Depending on local regulations, you may be able to charge for this service as a value add; in addition to giving the home owner more time to sell the home. Also, make friends with a few investors in the area who may be able to buy a property quick for the right deal. Regardless, when approaching a homeowner who is in the throws of foreclosure, approach them with the voice of honest reason and an offer to help.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Untapped source of new clients looking for a home

One of the biggest changes in a person’s life that almost always involves a move is a marriage to another person. Two people join in matrimony, and at least one of the parties needs to move. More importantly, for a bright-eyed young couple, it is now time to find their dream home.

I posed the following question the other day to a group that I was addressing: “How many of you currently prospect newlyweds and engaged couples as part of your marketing?” Although it was a small group, nobody volunteered that this was part of their target market. One person did volunteer that they have an active client that is in fact a newlywed, but none of the agents currently made this group part of their target market.

So what’s the takeaway?

This may be an un-tapped market to attract a fair number of prospective home buyers.

I haven’t worked out the details on how one would market to these groups, but there are a number of bridal fairs, boutiques, websites ( and other resources where an enterprising real estate agent may prospect for the newlywed couple that is ready to start their lives together and move into their new dream home.