Real estate agents often ask, “does outbound calling work,” or, “does cold calling work?” The answer is at the end of this post, but first it’s important you know why. Real estate agency is competitive and has a long ramp-up period. New agents are super motivated and are eager to be proactive in order to drum up business. This means holding open houses for other agents, sending direct mail, and even picking up that ice cold sales phone to dial for dollars. While outbound calling is better use of time than additional training for agents, it’s not a good use of time.
Several years ago and before, let’s just say 2007 and earlier, outbound calling was still a fairly effective way of generating business. However, a lot has changed since then. The internet has become a huge factor in consumer thinking. If a consumer is considering a service or even using a particular agent they will go online and do some investigatory tail sniffing to see if they check out as a professional. This has created a major shift in how professionals and consumers meet. We’ve moved from sales-system oriented marketing to relationship-based sales. Social media and internet presence meet consumer research. Connections are made and quality informative content is delivered to consumers which often results in a sale. This is unequivocally a higher quality way for consumers and professionals to choose to work together. Consequently, it makes outbound calling look more desperate and less credible. The relationship model has has been naturally selected over outbound calling as the winning marketing strategy.
It’s not enough to just say that outbound calling is less credible as the reason why it’s not as good. It’s also important to mention that because it is an outdated method facing extinction, the conversion rate is worse now too. This makes it harder for the remaining die-hards still out there in the boiler room trenches. Will these outbound callers drum up any business through cold calls? Some might, but at painfully thin conversion rates which beg a bigger question – is cold calling a reasonable and sustainable longer term business model? The answer is simply NO.