Successful cold calling campaigns to vacant property owners require solid preparation and patience. You will hear “no” far more often than “yes,” but that reality should not discourage you. Research shows that for every 209 calls you make, you’ll set one listing appointment or receive one referral. Over the course of a year, those numbers mean many successful transactions and a healthy income.
You won’t, however, be successful with cold calling if you are not prepared with a professional campaign and the right attitude. These factors are especially important when it comes to cold calling vacant property owners. This group faces special challenges that you need to address in order to get their attention. Their properties represent money-making opportunities for you, but they may be a big vulnerability for the owners. You need to plan your campaign carefully. Consider the following tips before you begin your cold calling campaign.
1. Tailor Your Scripts
Successfully cold calling vacant property owners doesn’t mean following a script word for word but using one to ensure you hit your strongest pitch points. And these points will vary depending on your audience. Vacant property owners are usually highly motivated because they are more vulnerable to fire, vandalism, water damage, and theft. Empty buildings are a big temptation for thieves and squatters. And if someone is injured on the property, the owners may face lawsuits. You can mention these issues in your pitch.
Although these owners are often highly motivated to sell, they may also be especially skeptical of people in the real estate industry. Many ended up with vacant properties because previous deals did not work out. You’ll need to convince them that you are trustworthy and bring something significant to the table.
2. Display Empathy
Some vacant property owners are in a financial bind, but you can scare them off if you come across as unfeeling. Of course, you want to make a profit, but you cannot seem to be taking advantage of someone who is in a weak position.
Be certain to treat vacant property owners as you would any property owner. Act professionally and respectfully while empathizing with their difficult position. The vacant property owner may need to sell quickly but will resist you if you seem predatory. Also, remember that not all of these property owners are desperate to sell. Some are happy to sit on their property until they can reach a financially beneficial deal.
3. Listen More than You Speak
Salespeople are often accused of being Big Talkers. In fact, the stereotype of a salesperson is one who barely pauses for breath as they pour out their sales points. Often, simply listening to the vacant property owner’s story will help close the deal. So if they explain the last five years of their building or land’s history, do not jump in. Just listen.
You need to follow this practice when cold calling vacant property owners. Letting the owner talk builds a connection between you that makes it more likely you’ll close the deal. Always fight the urge to interrupt or put on a hard sell.
4. Time Your Calls
Maybe you like to make your cold calls first thing in the morning or during the late afternoon. And while you might find some success with your favorite calling schedule, you would do better if you shifted it a bit. Research shows that cold calls made between 10 am and 2 pm are the most successful, and yet callers make a minority of their contacts during this time frame. Only 31% of cold calls are made during this period, but 53% of all appoints are set then.
If you like to make most of your cold calls in the evening, you should reconsider your strategy. Although 42% of cold calls are placed then, only 21% of appointments result from these contacts.
5. Use Voicemail Effectively
Sometimes, salespeople and others in the real estate industry do not prepare well for reaching the owner’s voicemail, despite it happening quite frequently. If the property owner does not recognize your number, they probably will send it to voicemail. Even if they do recognize your caller ID, they may well send it to voicemail to listen to later. The challenge for you is to leave a message that inspires a return call.
Your script for voicemail needs a strong lead that includes what you can do for the vacant property owner. For instance, “This is Nancy from United Real Estate, and I have some exciting options for your vacant property” will be more effective than “This is Nancy from United Real Estate. I’d like to talk to you about your vacant building.” Remember, a poor voicemail message is worse than not leaving one at all.
6. Offer Concrete Solutions
When someone answers your cold call, do not waste their time with vague explanations of how you can help. Give them at least three concrete ways that will improve their property situation. Do you have potential buyers for their property? Can you suggest a loan plan for redevelopment options? Are you interested in acquiring the property and leaving the vacant property owner a financially attractive way out? Give the potential client specifics on what you can do so you can arrange a successful listing or financing appointment.
Vacant Property Owners: The Prospect Now Advantage
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