Many Realtors feel that prospecting is a pain. That is true. It is also a lot of tedious work, blood, sweat and tears.
Regrettably, it is also a necessary evil if you want to stay in real estate sales and want to avoid (as much as possible) the sudden ups and downs and feast and famine of irregular commission income.
The objective of prospecting is to obtain new business. You must understand and resign yourself to the fact that prospecting is a numbers game: sooner or later somebody will say yes. There are several ways to improve the odds for success:
- Because prospecting involves constantly talking to many people, it will be necessary to hone your verbal and mental skills.
- Develop the habit of daily prospecting. With time it will become a comfortable routine, a continuous and never-ending procedure.
- The most difficult thing about prospecting daily is to make the first call or to make the first attempt.
- The best time to prospect is when you are fresh and have the most energy, because at the end of your work day you may be physically and mentally exhausted.
There are two reasons why many Realtors avoid prospecting. The first is the fear of personal rejection. This challenge is best met by being mentally strong. Now, this does not mean that you have to be a masochist who loves the anguish of repeated rejection. It simply means that you should look at the situation objectively.
Because the prospect and you are total strangers, his “no” is not a personal rejection. He merely indicated that he didn't want to do business at this time. If somebody says no, just thank him politely and move on to the next one. There are always more fish in the ocean.
It would be a shame if you are willing to let a total stranger dictate (by his rejection) what happens in your life. Are you willing to let your fear of rejection negatively impact on your present and future financial well-being?
If you still feel that you are unable to overcome this fear of rejection, ask yourself how much of your potential financial earnings, security and independence it is going to cost you. After you have totalled that up, ask yourself: “Is this irrational fear really worth it?”
The second reason why Realtors may be reluctant to do prospecting is the principle of delayed gratification. There is no immediate cash return paid instantly for your effort of prospecting.
If your sales manager would pay you $5 for each call you are making, I bet that you would be on the phone night and day, seven days a week, and you wouldn’t worry about the personal rejection.
In real life you are prospecting for yourself. When you do eventually connect, in due course you will earn a big, fat commission. If you divide that commission amount by the number of calls you have made prospecting for it, and then add up the number of hours that were required to sell that listing, you will most likely find that you have earned a lot more than $5 for each time you dialed the phone. Your payday is merely delayed until the deal is completed; and that is called the principle of delayed gratification.
If you love the feeling of success, financial security, independence and a good life for yourself and your loved ones, you have to learn to become strong-at-heart and you must be willing to pay the price. This merely means that you must make up your mind to stick with it.
When you are prospecting, then you should understand that
1. It is very unlikely that you can persuade a potential stranger on the phone to give you a written listing contract.
2. Most likely the best you can hope for is a chance of getting your foot in the door; once you have achieved that, the real selling starts.
3. You have to learn to be patient because due to human nature, many people need time to make a decision, because they have to feel comfortable with that decision.
4. If they don’t want to list or buy today, they may want to do so sometime in the future. Keep a record of them and don’t forget to follow up periodically.
What I have just written about has worked for me and it enabled me to stay in the real estate business for over 35 years.
I wish you all good luck!
The late Albert Teichner FRI, CMR, RI(BC), CRES retired after 35 years in the real estate industry. He wrote 100 columns for REM. Albert died on January 15, 2007.