Cold calling is the bread and butter of sales reps in real estate. It’s one of the most effective ways to find customers, but only if you’re ready for various conversation scenarios.
So, how should you cold call in real estate? In this post, we’ll share 11 cold-calling scripts for real estate agents. Whether your prospect is a potential buyer, seller, or tenant, use these scripts to grab their attention.
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Why Cold Calling Matters in Real Estate
Cold calling is a popular customer acquisition practice in real estate. Sales representatives reach out to potential clients without knowing if they’re interested in selling or buying property. You might be wondering — where do their phone numbers come from?
Real estate agents either find phone numbers online or receive contact information from the marketing team. Some might also use lead distribution software and gain access to third-party prospect lists.
Though cold calling is time-consuming, it can prove very beneficial in real estate. Among others, it helps spread awareness about your services and build an instant connection with those who do, in fact, need real estate agency support.
Does cold calling in real estate work? Here are a few statistics to show it does:
- As many as 28% of cold calls are answered.
- Over 57% of real estate agents claim that telemarketing is the best lead-generation technique.
- Real estate agents admit that 50% of their leads come from cold calling.
So, how do you get it right? Let’s discuss this next.
11 Scripts for Real Estate Cold Calling
As you place tens of calls a day, your conversations can take many different turns. Some potential clients might be interested in buying property. Meanwhile, others might have a spare apartment, but will need that extra nudge to consider selling it. So, as a real estate agent, you have to come prepared for any and all scenarios.
Here are 11 scripts for real estate cold calling that will help you make the most of each conversation.
1. When You’re Calling to Introduce Yourself
Let’s start off with the most basic scenario, i.e., when you’re calling to introduce your offer to potential clients.
Here’s the script:
“Good morning! My name is Alex. I’m a real estate expert at Keller Williams. Would now be a good time to talk?”
Notice how these three sentences put zero-to-no pressure on the prospect. Since you’re calling a stranger and don’t know their schedule, you might be interrupting them at work or while they’re out grocery shopping. Still, you give them the option to respond quickly and, ideally, engage in a quick discovery call.
The goal for this script isn’t to have the prospect commit to a meeting. It’s about understanding if the person you’re calling has any interest in your services. If you hear a clear “no,” remove the phone number from your list. And if you don’t hear an objection but it’s not a good time to discuss business, ask when you can call them back.
Best for: When you want to test the grounds and get a sense of the prospect’s overall interest.
2. When You’re Reaching Out During Work Hours
Unless you’re selling office space, high chances are whomever you speak to will be interested in selling or buying property as an individual. So, if you call them during standard work hours, they might not be able to engage in a long conversation.
Here’s how you can tackle this if you want to find new properties to list:
“Hi there, this is Alex from Keller Williams. I’m reaching out because I have a group of buyers interested in purchasing a home in Independence, MO. According to Yellowbook, that’s where you’re currently living. Would you be interested in selling your property now or anytime in the next couple of years?”
And here’s a real estate cold calling script for when you’re looking for buyers:
“Hello, this is Alex from Keller Williams. I’m a real estate agent operating in Independence, MO. I’m reaching out to ask — are you interested in buying residential property in the city?”
As in the previous example, these scripts are to-the-point and take up no more than 20-30 seconds of your prospect’s time. If they’re sitting at a desk, surrounded by work colleagues, they can respond with a “no, thank you” or ask you to call them later.
Best for: If you engage in cold calling between 9 AM-5 PM on weekdays.
3. The Circle Prospecting Script
Say there’s an area that you’re particularly fond of. You know that properties in that location sell out fast, so you can consider using the following script.
“Hello, it’s Alex from Keller Wiliams. I am reaching out as I’ve just sold property in your area and wanted to ask if you’re interested in knowing how much your home is worth.”
If they say yes, you can continue with…
“Currently, properties similar to yours sell at $XXX,XXX. In fact, I have plenty of buyers who’d be interested in buying a home in the area. Given the condition of your property, I could definitely sell it at a premium price. Would you consider a sale?”
If they confirm, you can move on to scheduling an appointment.
Best for: If you have experience selling properties in the area, and you can show your success rate, this will help you build a strong case.
4. Handling Objections
If you found a property that you’d love to sell, and you’ve noticed it’s been listed by a private owner, you can try to persuade them to hand it over to you. If you hear objections, try to handle them gracefully.
“Hi, it’s Alex from Keller Williams. I’ve noticed that you’ve recently listed your house for sale. It’s a beautiful one! I’d love to help you sell it. Would you consider cooperating with a real estate agent?”
If they hesitate or start coming up with objections like “But I’ll have to pay you a commission,” you can say:
“I understand your concerns, but given the state of your property, I am confident I could sell it at a premium price, and faster than you would on your own. Also, I’d take care of all the paperwork, which can be overwhelming.”
Best for: If you came across a property that truly caught your attention, and you’re confident you can sell it at a premium price. This will compensate for the commission that a seller will have to pay.
5. When a Seller Has Already Found a Buyer
Let’s say there’s a seller who has already found a buyer. You can still persuade them to work with you by offering to handle the paperwork and run a background check on the buyer. As a real estate agent, you’re aware of all the pain points that most property sellers face; address them during the call. This will boost your chances of sealing the deal.
“Heard you found a buyer for your home — congratulations! I’d like to give you a hand with handling the transaction. Since I’m covered by errors and omissions insurance, which includes third-party legal protection for the transaction, I can save you from potential E&O claims. If I guarantee that I can sell your property for a higher price than you would on your own, would you consider working with me?”
Best for: This script can work if the property is listed for a price, which you think is below its worth. And you’re confident you can sell it at a higher price.
6. When the Seller Wants to Discuss Your Commission Over the Phone
Getting the seller and/or buyer to agree on your commission is the most important stage of signing a new client. Still, you should avoid it over the phone and pick it up after you’ve seen the property.
But what if your prospect insists on discussing money over the phone? Acknowledge the terms they expect, but don’t agree on anything. Here’s how you can respond if you feel pressured:
“Thank you, Maria. I’m writing down that you’re open to paying no more than 5% for closing the sale. When would be the best time for me to take a look at the property? Would Monday, 5 PM, work for you?”
Notice how you’re making the seller feel heard, without clearly agreeing to their terms just yet. This way, you’ll be able to:
- Negotiate the commission if you spot anything that would speak to the property’s disadvantage during the live preview.
- Keep the seller engaged in the conversation. If 5% is too modest of a fee, saying so over the phone would likely be a deal-breaker. Instead, you can build an initial connection by meeting them face-to-face. If you make a good impression, the seller might be more open to negotiating the rate.
Best for: If you’re certain that you’ll be able to justify your rate after viewing the property.
7. When You Know Your Prospect
As a real estate agent, you meet a lot of people. It might turn out that a person you know personally is planning to sell a property. If this happens, you can consider using the below script:
“Hello, Mr. Williams. It’s Alex Smith. We met at a PTA meeting last week. You mentioned that you’re looking to sell your house and are considering working with a real estate agent. I’d love to help.
“I have experience selling properties in your neighborhood, and I am more than confident I could sell yours at a premium price. I’ll also happily assist you with all the paperwork. Also, since my insurance covers errors and omissions, including third-party legal protection for the transaction, I can save you from potential E&O claims. How does this sound to you?”
Best for: When you really know your prospect, otherwise you’ll come across as untrustworthy and overly salesy.
8. When a Listing Expired But the Property Wasn’t Sold
Occasionally, you might come across properties that expired but weren’t sold. You can treat them as leads and reach out to the homeowners asking if they need help selling them.
“Hey Tina, it’s Alex from Keller Williams. I saw that you listed your house for sale, but the listing expired two months ago. If you’re still planning to sell it, I’d love to give you a hand.
“I have experience selling houses in your area. On average, it takes me X to find a buyer. I also help my customers with all paperwork, which can be overwhelming if handled on your own. Would you be interested in setting up a meeting to discuss this further?”
Best for: When you can give it a shot if the listing expired recently. Naturally, if you’re short of leads, you can make a list of all unsold properties and get in touch with the owners. But you have a higher chance of success if the listing expired a few weeks or months ago.
You could take on a similar approach when perusing rental listings, which we discuss next.
9. When There’s a Rental Property You’d Like to Sell
Say you found a For Rent by Owner (FRBO) listing that has either expired or has been refreshed multiple times. It seems like the owner can’t find a tenant. You can call the number on the ad and try to convince the landlord to convert the listing into a for-sale property.
Start off with a simple introduction:
“Hello, my name is Alex. I’m calling in reference to an apartment I saw on Craigslist. Am I speaking to Marie?”
If they confirm their identity, you can go straight to your pitch.
“I’m a real estate expert and have been selling apartments in your area for over five years. I’ve noticed that your ad has been up for many months now, which must have already generated a considerable sum in ongoing costs. Would you be open to converting it into a property for sale?”
If the prospect doesn’t respond with a clear “no,” you can mention the value you’d bring to the table. For example, they might have had bad luck with previous tenants or neighbors. Now would be your time to shine and solve their struggles.
Best for: There are at least three scenarios when you might hit the jackpot with this approach:
- You’re willing to go the extra mile in your search for unique properties.
- You don’t mind investing the time and effort to convince the property owner to sell.
- On top of for-sale properties, you also offer rentals. If the owner doesn’t wish to put the property on the market, you might be able to match them with the right tenants.
10. When You’re Referring to a Specific Sale You Made in the Area
This script for real estate cold calling will be perfect if you’re an expert in a specific neighborhood:
“Good morning. My name is Alex Smith, and I’m a real estate expert at Keller Williams. I’m reaching out as I’ve just sold two apartments in your building. During the past two years, I’ve seen a spike in interest in real estate in your neighborhood. Most of the properties are now selling for an extra 10% on top of last year’s rate. Would you be interested in getting a valuation for your apartment?”
You want to be extra careful here. Since you’re speaking to strangers, it’s best to offer a no-strings-attached, free property valuation as a CTA.
Best for: When you’re genuinely focused on one area and know the neighborhood and latest per-square-foot prices by heart.
Know a few sellers in the area? Perfect! You can also go a step further and leverage word-of-mouth referrals, as in the scenario below.
11. When You Come Referred by a Previous Seller or Buyer
Few scripts for real estate cold calling can be as personalized as this one. Say that you’re selling a house and the owner told you their neighbor might be interested, too. Here’s how you could check if they’re truly thinking of putting it on the market:
“Good morning, my name is Alex. I’m a real estate expert at Keller Williams. I received your contact details from your neighbor, Marie, whose house I’m currently selling. Marie told me that you might be interested in putting your property on the market, too. I’ve seen tremendous interest in your area in the last couple of years. Would you be open to valuating your property and discussing a potential sale?”
In this scenario, you want to sound like a friendly advisor. Leverage your existing relationship with the neighbor to prove that you’re a professional in your field.
That being said, be careful about how you present your offer. Reassure the prospect that it would be a simple conversation only and that they aren’t opting into anything. Your current customer might have overestimated their neighbor’s interest, and pressuring them into a meeting could easily backfire.
Best for: If the customer you’re mentioning as your referral is truly happy with your work. They might put in a good word or two. Also, if you’re okay with nurturing your prospect until they’re ready to discuss business.
Real Estate Cold Calling Best Practices
Do your research.
Real estate is ultimately sales, and among other things, effective selling comes down to good research. So before you pick up the phone, make sure to familiarize yourself with your prospect’s situation. Learn about the area where they live, the median listing price, and, if you can, create a list of properties you have sold in the neighborhood.
It’s also worth writing down all pain points or problems that you think homeowners come across, along with how you can tackle them. Coming prepared will not only make you look more professional but also help you handle potential objections without hesitation.
Timing is everything. Call at the right time.
Timing is everything. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. According to a study by Rental Beast, 8–9 AM and 4–5 PM are the best times to call to qualify a lead. And Thursday is the best day to do so. Call on Thursday at 4:30 PM, and you further increase your chances of getting a new client.
While it’s worth looking at studies, the truth is you have to find out what works for you and your prospects. And this will call for some trial and error. Contact prospects at different times and days of the week, and track your results. After identifying the best time and day, stick to it.
Create a cold calling script and practice.
If you’re new to cold calling or haven’t been successful so far, dedicate the time to creating a script. You need to know exactly how you’re going to start the conversation before you pick up the phone. Ideally, memorize the opening sentences by heart so they sound natural.
Scripts for real estate cold calling are your elevator pitch – you only have a few seconds to tell the prospect why you’re reaching out.
Though it may sound counterintuitive, make sure your call doesn’t sound salesy. Instead, present yourself as an expert who can help sell, rent, or buy real estate property. No strings attached!
Also, every time your conversation goes off-script, write down how it played out. List any follow-up questions. Take note of any customer challenges you haven’t heard before. This will help you prepare yourself for similar scenarios in the future.
Make sure to follow up.
Closing a deal on your first call is mostly about serendipity — not skill. In fact, successful real estate representatives are masters of the art of follow-ups.
Your goal for the first conversation is to:
- Assess if there’s any chance of converting the stranger into a lead, and
- Find out when they’re free so you can call them again.
When or how you should follow up also depends on your prospect’s timeframe. If the person you’re calling prefers communicating via email, you can change to text communication. Keeping your prospects comfortable as you try to win them over is your top priority.
There are many factors that can contribute to your cold-calling success. Among others, it comes down to:
- Local market expertise.
- Timing your call correctly.
- Following up.
- Using the right script.
Inspire yourself with the scripts for real estate cold calling above. Since you know your target customers best, customize them as you see fit. And remember, practice makes perfect! Good luck with your cold-calling endeavors.