Tony Hoefakker, First time home buyers, Sellers, Investment homes. (Coldwell Banker Bain)

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Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn


I must take the contrarian view. If you fear cold-calling and don't like it don't do it. There are many other ways to build your business. It's your business do it your way.

I haven't made a cold call in over 10 years. I used to be with Coldwell Banker too. They push cold calling. Floyd Wickman and Mike Ferry training reading scripts and cold calling total strangers on Saturday morning. I was pretty good at it because before real estate I was in ad sales and did most of my business over the phone but it was B2B calling advertisers at their office. Calling people at home is an intrusion. Ever since they passed the Federal DO NOT CALL law I got turned off. My friends and family told me they hate telemarketers.

In my opinion it's a very old fashioned sales method. I love real estate but I would hate it if I had to force myself to make cold calls. I consider FSBO's and Expired more warm calls since they are trying to sell. I prefer calling expireds because they're ready to list.

Personally, I would never list my home with a total stranger soliciting me over the phone out of the blue. I hang up on telemarketers disturbing me.

I knew I needed  something to generate leads because I wouldn't buy into cold-calling so I started blogging 10 years ago. Best business decision I ever made. (The Mike Ferry trainer laughed at me that I had a blog now they train in blogging HA!) but my blog started pulling in business.

 Instead of pushing (begging for business) calling strangers from the Cole directory I pull in business.  I get calls from sellers that say: "I've been following you online for months, I knew I was going to list with you." They feel they already know me.

You're a young guy in high tech Bellingham WA. In my opinion forget "old-school" go more today-high tech, blogging, social media, e-newsletters, put up profiles establish your Internet footprint work your sphere, make videos.  Find a niche in the market and become an expert by blogging about it.

The buyers and sellers will start to come to you. You may  enjoy it. I love blogging, technology, networking, social media and meeting people. I love open houses but I rather eat glass than make cold calls. 

Jan 04, 2016 12:48 PM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Pick it up, put it to your ear, begin speaking while standing, not sitting and do not use a script!

Jan 04, 2016 09:09 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Just do it. Do not think. After a few times, you'll get used to it and become better. It is ( again) like learning riding a bicycle:) Good luck. 

Jan 04, 2016 03:33 PM
Sandra Graves
Keller Williams Realty - Folsom, CA

I would continue to do what you're comfortable with. If you have zero interest in cold calling, then I would use your energy in other areas. I don't do any cold calling. It's not for everyone. If you really must do it, then have you thought about hiring a virtual assistant to do the calls for you? 

Jan 04, 2016 03:26 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

remember that the phone is not as heavy as your mortgage

and set your daily quota low until you get more comfortable with the phone

Jan 04, 2016 01:30 PM
Scott Lawson
America's Home loans - Santa Rosa, Petaluma Mortgage Broker - Santa Rosa, CA
Mortgage Broker FHA, VA, refinance or purchase

Just pick up the phone and do it...


Try and work leads that are somewhat local to you. Call, introduce yourself, your company and your location--establishing that you are close by is paramont.....Forget about asking them how they are--just get to business.


"Hello, this is Tony with Coldwell Banker in Bellingham and I'm following up on your inquiry about real estate. HOW CAN I HELP YOU?


I borrowed that last line from the Dog Whisperer--he uses it on every show. It's the most effective and powerful question you will ever ask a prospect--it gets them talking...Next,  you do the listening...


From there on it's a piece of cake. I only chase warm leads--but when I get going, it's almost like an addiction--I start hitting one after the other like crazy....It becomes quite effortless...


Foget all the silly scripts out there. Keep it quick and simple:

  • Your name
  • Which firm are you with and your location
  • "How can I Help you"
  • Be silent and let them talk


Now it's easy as pie...




Jan 04, 2016 09:18 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Just do it is one answer. Are you talking about following up with people or cold calling. I "fear" the phone as well when it comes to cold calling and don't do it.

Jan 04, 2016 09:37 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

What Mitchell J Hall said...

Jan 04, 2016 08:12 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Tony, just pick the damn thing up.

Jan 04, 2016 05:11 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Tony, this is one where you just have to get over it!

Jan 04, 2016 04:06 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Two options,

1. just Do It.

2. Find someone to delegate this portion of your business, there are plenty of people out there who love to talk on the phone, finde one, train them well and get ready for the schedule that they will fill for you.

Jan 04, 2016 11:07 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

My first broker told me, "I knew you'd have a knack for cold-calling" -- 20+ years on a radio mic and GETTING cold-called will do that to ya. But I HATE it. It's one of my least favorite things. So you're not alone. The trick is to a. role play to teach you to think on your feet. b. KNOW YOUR PRODUCT and come from a place of tipping off a new friend about a great opportunity. c. imagine your recipient wearing a purple teddy and feather boa stillettos or somesuch silliness. d. breathe.

Jan 04, 2016 10:06 AM
Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Luxury Homes & Interior Designer

I don't like scripts.  I want to speak from my heart, and be myself.  I might stand up and pace around but the more you do it, the more comfortable you will be.  Let your own personality shine through.  

Jan 04, 2016 09:46 AM
Compass - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Partner - The Private Client Network

Tony Hoefakker just dive pick up the phone and call. Might help you to stand up and pace if you are Nervous Whatever works. It's not as bad as door knocking!

Jan 04, 2016 09:17 AM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Practice makes perfect. Good luck to you Tony.

Jan 04, 2016 08:52 AM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

Just do it and by repetition "you shall overcome". Think of some of the most hilarious stuff just before making those calls.

There is one program called "dialing naked" to help with this.

Jan 04, 2016 08:52 AM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

There are some great answers here so far.  I'm going to throw my two cents in the ring.  

If it's cold calling, I wouldn't recommend it.  It's annoying to those receiving calls and as soon as you announce that you're a Realtor their guard is going to go up.  Plus I think in today's day and age it's rude.  

If it's a fear of calling a lead and sounding stupid...  you better just get it over with because it's going to happen.  

I remember when I was new I was terrified when somebody entered my open house.  What if they figure out I'm new?  What if they realize that I don't really know what I'm talking about because of my lack of knowledge due to no time in the business?  What if I say something stupid?  

All of them happened multiple times.  After a while my knowledge, experience, and confidence grew.  The quicker you get it over with the better it's going to be.  Best of luck Tony!  

Jan 05, 2016 02:52 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Take a depp breath, dial the number and go for it! The more you do it, the easier it becomes!

Jan 04, 2016 09:35 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I do not have a problem calling people who provided their phone number.

Jan 04, 2016 09:02 PM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Tony. It takes a bit of practice, what worked best for me was to put a mirror in front of me, it didn't take me long to decide what I wanted to look like and them sound like.

Jan 04, 2016 05:51 PM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Phones are easy! whats the worst that can happen? they hang up on you? they cant bite you! and you are young you can adapt... also you can text...after the first call! Good Luck to you!

Jan 04, 2016 03:09 PM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Make like NIKE...

Jan 04, 2016 02:01 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     Familiarize yourself with the Federal (and any State or local) "Do Not Call Lists".

     After passing over those names, just pick up the phone and call.  You may think that they are going to curse you out, hang up, slam the phone down... but you will be surprised how many FSBOs and Expireds, etc. will chat away with you.

     Make those calls!

Jan 04, 2016 01:01 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I suspect it's like anything else we don't like or want to do...just do it. But practicing some scripts or at least having a good sense of what you want to say up front will help. And know your business - your confidence in your market and the buying and selling process will help

Jan 04, 2016 12:18 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Practice with friends or family until you are more comfortable making cold calls.

Jan 04, 2016 11:42 AM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Start knocking on doors! 

Jan 04, 2016 11:39 AM
Fred Hafdelin
Weichert Realtors - Mountain Lakes, NJ

Try calling some expired listings that you really don't care if you get.. Don't use a script. Ask the seller "do you still want to sell your home "and the conversation will develop from there. If the person you call is rude to you just remember that its not personal and move on to the next call. After a while it gets easier.

Jan 04, 2016 11:02 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I hate it too. But I make make myself do it. The more you do the easier it becomes.

Jan 04, 2016 11:00 AM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Stop looking at each call as a make or break situation. You're trying to make a connection and they can't all be immediate action. Find some common ground and follow up within 30 days or you'll lose any rapport established. Short term success is a rarity this is for the long haul, years in fact.  

Jan 04, 2016 10:51 AM
Melissa Jackson REALTOR
Trinity Premier Properties - Azle, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

Took me a while and I still shy away from calling unless I'm returning a call. You got some great advise on here. Relax and practice, you will do fine once you get started. 

Jan 04, 2016 10:20 AM
JoAnn Moore
The Mortgage Market of Delaware - Georgetown, DE
Home Loans in Delaware

Get to know a loan originator. Once you knwo each other pretty well you will feel comfortable enough to ask a lot of questions and not feel like you are asking silly questions.  The loan originator will regularly have pre-approved clients they may refer to you.

In telephoning, it is the first 5 seconds that are the worst. After that you are home free. 

Jan 04, 2016 09:04 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

The good news is you don't need to use those kinds of leads.  Generate your leads in other ways... ways where you network in person, through digital media, or by mail.  

Blogging is a great way to generate online leads and you don't need to "talk" to the people until you have established a relationship.  

Specificially regarding your question about the phone: just do it, and the fear should pass.  The main thing is to not get discouraged by minimal results.  The success statistics with online leads is extremely low.  There are more beneficial ways to generate leads.

Jan 04, 2016 09:01 AM
Kelly McGovern
Realty Concierge International - Bellingham, MA
Working with Kelly is a good move

Call reluctance is real.  The best way is to just pick up the phone, dial and hope someone answers (instead of hoping for the vmail - c'mon you've done this lol).  I speak to everyone like they were already my friends and I've been told that I sound trustworthy and likable from the first call (which I am ).  I don't read a script (its so obvious) - I just have a friendly conversation.  It's fun to have the gift of gab!  I much rather use the phone to talk to someone than text or email.  So much better!

Jan 08, 2016 06:02 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

I'm very impressed by Mitchell J Hall's answer.  

Jan 05, 2016 02:31 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

you need to just build your self confidence and once you understand that you know more than they know, you'll make that call...

Jan 05, 2016 01:39 AM
Shanna Hall
Real Estate Solutions - Kirkwood, MO
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311

Do what Nike said- Just do it;)  Good luck!!!

Jan 05, 2016 01:08 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Pick up the phone and make the calls. I have not received any reports regarding sickness or death from making phone calls.

Stay on the phone until your appointment schedule is full.

Jan 05, 2016 12:00 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I think the phone is easier than in person, but practice with friends and past clients.  It is a necessary evil.

Jan 04, 2016 11:26 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Tony Hoefakker Don't do anything you aren't comfortable doing. If you do any cold calling make sure you adhere to the Do Not Call list.

Jan 04, 2016 10:53 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Look for the AR GROUP - Real Estate Sales and join it . There are many helpful posts contained there !!!

Jan 04, 2016 10:23 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones


Jan 04, 2016 09:48 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Have a bigger fear of being broke.  You are going to get a lot of rejection just expect it.  Some good advice I received when I first got started:

Some will, some wont, so what, next.

Jan 04, 2016 09:43 PM
Tony Hoefakker
Coldwell Banker Bain - Bellingham, WA
First time home buyers, Sellers, Investment homes.

Thanks everyone! Great tips!


Jan 04, 2016 11:35 AM
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

I used to feel like that, didn't feel I could be as persuasive on the phone as I could in person. And that actually ended up working for me. Now I am the "cold call queen", will walk in anywhere and start a conversation with anyone. But that also made me better on the phone eventually, I had the script DOWN.

Jan 04, 2016 09:35 AM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Bribe yourself to just pick up the phone.  

Jan 04, 2016 09:14 AM
Joan Dickie
Keller Williams Premier Realty - La Crosse, WI
Keller Williams Premier Realty

I haven't.  I find other ways that I like to do.  I hate getting cold calls myself and I won't be a hypocrite.  

I might suggest one thing.  If you don't have any listings, borrow one listing.  Call all the neighbors and ask if they can help out their neighbor sell and ask if they know of anyone who is thinking of buying.  You are helping the seller and you are coming from a helpful frame of mind.

Have you thought about door knocking?  Getting face to face with people might be your strong point.  When they answer the door, immediately say "No I'm not here to ask for your vote"  That usually gets at least a smile.

Jan 04, 2016 08:53 AM