We've been doing outbound calling since 2015. Since then we've logged Tens of MILLIONS of calls all over the USA and Canada, most of that through Circle Prospecting. Circle Prospecting, at its core, is like calling the phone book. Its true cold-calling at its finest. The folks you're calling are normally in a specific geographic area or neighborhood and the goal is to get as many potential buyers and sellers as possible. Throughout these past years we've encountered lots of objections, MILLIONS of them in fact, but the interesting thing is that they all tend to be pretty much the same ones. Like a great Real Estate trainer once said, "your clients know their scripts, do you know yours?". We tend to see the same objections repeatedly, so much so that we've created a list of the top objections that we use to train new ISA's (Inside Sales Agents) on our team so they're always ready.
I've taught classes around ISA's and Real Estate Telemarketing in 15 different Real Estate offices in 3 different States and this list used to be part of my "secret sauce" I used to share only with class attendees, but here it goes, for the world to enjoy, in no particular order:
Objection #1 "Wrong Address/wrong number"
If you've ever done any significant amount of cold calling whether if it’s on a Mojo dialer, Vulcan7, RedX, etc, you'll know that the data isn't 100% accurate. In fact, in some cases it can be a mess (this really depends on the list provider and the area being called). Perhaps half the people you talk to will say "No, I don't live in that neighborhood" or "I'm not that person, wrong number" as objections to your awesome Just Listed or Just Sold script intro... what do you do now? What we teach our ISA's is that it just doesn't matter. If the person is on the phone, talking to you and hasn't hung up, keep following the script. Crack a quick joke and show some genuine interest in them and ask them whether they own a home or rent? Have they ever had any plans/thoughts about moving someplace bigger/smaller? If they're renting, have they thought about getting their own place? (only about 99.99% have). By taking this approach it won't matter if your prospect is in the right neighborhood or living on an island somewhere (we have converted leads in Hawaii while calling folks in Seattle), you'll always have a better chance at converting them into a nurture.
Objection #2 "How'd you get my number?"
So, you're dialing away in your office, trying to find motivated buyers and sellers and once someone picks up, they sound surprised and the first thing they say is "how did you get my number?". The tone of this question can go from curious to downright angry. Hey, this is cold calling and you will find some folks that don't appreciate it. As professional Telemarketers we should have empathy and always be courteous and respectful. We train our ISA's to always welcome this kind of question and respond with confidence:
"Our IT department generated this list based on your location, we just sold a home in XXXXX for $YYYYY and we're looking for other folks that might be interested in selling. Who do you know that we can help connect with a bunch of buyers?".
You can modify this a bit to always fit your situation, but as long as you're complying with Telemarketing rules and doing things by the book, you should have no problems answering this one.
Objection #3 “I need to think about it”
We’ve all been there. We’re having an interesting conversation with a potential prospect and when we try to go for the close, they come back and say “Yeah, let me think about it first” or maybe “I need to talk to my wife/husband/whomever first”. This can be frustrating, but you should always approach it with empathy. This person got called out of the blue by you and you’re asking them to make a decision then and there. For some people this is a no-brainer, but for others, even if you’re using a solid script to convert cold leads, it can take them some time to decide.
On our team we teach the ISA’s to not push too hard on an initial cold call if the prospect is using this kind of objection to delay, we don’t want to set appointments that will be unattended. What we try to do is close for the follow-up call and get them to commit to talk to us again. Something like “Hey, I totally understand you need some time, when do you think is the right time for me to follow-up with you?”. If they’re thinking about talking to a spouse first, schedule a “tentative” follow-up that gives them enough time to talk to them.
It’s worth saying that if you were talking to an Expired of FSBO owner, they you should definitely push harder here since you KNOW that the person is a motivated seller. But when it’s Circle Prospecting, its better to play the long game and build a relationship. We teach our ISA’s that there are two positive outcomes from a call: appointment and follow-up call, don’t disregard the latter.
Objection #4 “Not gonna buy/sell right now”
This is a very common objection. The key thing is to note that they may be referring to right NOW. They might be expecting you to want to close them immediately and have them give over their credit card info or something. You need to show them that you’re playing the long game. You’re not just looking for now business with Circle Prospecting, you’re looking to build a pipeline for years to come. We teach our ISA’s to always clarify that we’re not looking for someone to sell right this moment, we’re also interested if the owner has any plans in the future? Maybe a few months out? Maybe next year? Have they ever thought of moving to something bigger/smaller? Show some genuine interest and curiosity and you may be able to get some more information or even get them to open up about their real plans. It’s worth a try.
Objection #5 “I already have an agent”
This one is near and dear to my heart. This objection not only happens on cold calls, it can happen anywhere. This one is so common that it should be placed on the Real Estate License exam in every State. If you can’t competently answer this objection, you really shouldn’t be in Real Estate sales. I’d go as far as saying, if you don’t get to handle this objection very often, you’re not talking to enough people or not doing enough prospecting; you’re leaving money on the table. Ok, rant over.
We teach our ISA’s that there are several parts to handling this objection:
Part 1: Compliance. In lots of States and MLS boards it’s illegal to solicit business from a person that has a signed representation agreement with another Agent. So, they should ALWAYS start off by asking “Great, have you signed anything yet?”. If they say yes, then thank them for their time and move on. It is NOT worth it to solicit business from someone else’s active client. But if they say no, move on to the next question.
Part 2: Encourage a Comparison. If you’re talking to someone that hasn’t signed anything with an agent but has someone in mind they’d like to work with, the best thing you can do is ask them to compare their options and choose the best for them. Something like:
“Wouldn’t you want to be sure you’re working with the best? Why don’t you give us a chance to show you what we can do for you and earn your business? It’s always better to compare right?”
This would normally be it for this objection unless someone drops a bomb: the other agent is a family member/friend.
Part 3: Agent is Friend/Family. Everyone knows someone in Real Estate. Sometimes in their own family! This can seem like a killer objection, game over, but it doesn’t have to be. We teach our ISA’s to show respect and say:
“Hey, we totally respect friends and family, what if we could show you a way where you get to work with the best agent available and your friend/family member also gets paid?”
If they’re concerned about letting their friend/family member down, we can set up a referral deal or some other way of compensating them. The important thing is to not back down and give it a try. You’ve been on the phone with this person a while now, it’s definitely worth it.
Objection #6 “Home is rented”
I love this objection. It immediately helps gain some instant insights: the homeowner is an investor (whether they know it or not) and the person may own two or more properties, perhaps with a desire of owning more! It’s always interesting to talk with someone that owns a rental. Most landlords hate being landlords, and after the market crash, a lot of them became landlords because they couldn’t sell their old homes. Is this person on that boat? Or maybe they love owning a rental and are looking for ways to find more. In either case, they can use he help of a top agent.
Our ISA’s are trained to ask how long have they owned the rental? Do they enjoy being a landlord/investor? When does he lease end? Would they be interested in buying a larger investment and increasing their portfolio? Maybe cashing out and looking into other investments? Let’s be sure to find out.
Objection #7 “I can’t afford a home”
This objection can come in different ways, but it essentially means the person is currently renting and unsure whether they can afford a home. What you need to do is put the objection aside and find out whether the person wants to be a homeowner? IF they could qualify for a loan, would they be interested in buying a home this year? It’s still too soon to know if they can afford a home, but if the person has some motivation it can be worth connecting them with a great lender and/or credit repair specialist so they can help them get on the right track towards owning a home. Remember, this is Circle Prospecting, you’re building a pipeline of future clients and folks that can be ready to buy a home next year fit that category.
Objection #8 “Homeowner is busy/not available”
There are a lot of variations on this one. In reality, you have no idea if the person you’re talking to is the actual homeowner at any time, so you should always be curious even if they say the homeowner is not available/busy. We train our ISA’s to ask the person if they know if the homeowner has spoken about having any plans to sell a home? Do they think they might be interested in knowing their home’s value? Listen to the answers, they might give you a hint as to whether they’re the owner, one of the owners or the spouse of an owner. If there is any sort of interest, schedule a follow-up call at a better time to find the owner and keep calling away.
If you learn how to handle these objections, you’ll be a master at Circle Prospecting and will handle your cold calls with much more confident. Do you have another objection you’ve found during Circle Prospecting? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org we’d love to see it and share it with the world.
A top ISA team needs top training, if you’d like to talk to us about getting one of our awesome ISA’s to work for you, set up a call with our team!
Gustavo Munoz Castro
Gustavo is the Founder and CEO of PowerISA and loves to talk and teach about all things Real Estate
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