How to Use a Major Life Events to Start a Cold-Call Conversation
The dreaded cold call. No real estate agent truly enjoys it. But it has to be done. And I’m not just talking about calling strangers out of the blue (although this will address that, too), I’m really talking about that call with just about anybody out of the blue.
It could be a past client. A prospect who changed their mind about working with you. Family members you haven’t talked to in decades. There is a really good reason that you would want to call these people and offer your real estate help. I’ll call this reason “trigger events.”
Life events are events that occur in someone’s life that get them thinking about buying or selling. And using these trigger events are a great way to get into a good conversation from a cold call.
For example, normally a cold call might look like this: “Hey, just wanted to say hi, and ask if you had any home buying or selling needs I could help you with.” This approach positions you as somebody who is clueless. Using a trigger event will position you as someone who knows what is going on: “Hey, I heard that you guys had twins. Congratulations! Are you going to have enough room in your two-bedroom?”
The second approach shows you know them and are interested in them. Of course I’ve compressed the conversation down for sake of space. The approach works much better if you work in your appeal naturally–not forced.
Let’s look at other trigger events, and how you could use them to start a great cold-call conversation.
1. Job Promotion: Are they relocating? Do they need help selling, renting or buying?
2. New Birth: Arrival of a new child will probably force them to think about space issues.
3. Death in the Family: You need to be sensitive with this one. Take it VERY slowly.
4. Lay Off: Another issue you need to be sensitive with. Best to remind them of their options for selling fast.
5. Child Graduated from High School: Is the child going to college? Is the family thinking of downsizing?
6. Child Graduated from College: Is the child coming to live back at home for a time? Are they looking for a house? Where?
7. Paid Off Current Home: Are they looking for a second home? Downsizing?
8. Parent Coming to Live with Them: Are they going to upgrade? Rehab?
9. Retired: Are they going to stay in the area? Buy a second home?
10. Divorce: Do they need to sell? Can you help one of the partners buy a new home? Another sensitive issue you need to handle properly.
11. Adoption: Do they have the space?
The trick to making these kind of conversation starters work is to draw a very clear line between the life event and how you can help. If there is not a clear link, then abandon ship. They will smell your duplicity from a mile away and hate you for it, especially if it is a tragic life event like a death or divorce. Always remember to be kind and considerate.
This also means that you need to keep tabs on family, friends, past clients and prospects. You need to keep your ear close to the grapevine to hear about these events. Otherwise you will miss out.
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