During BAM’s second live cold calling event, real estate agents tuned in as Tom Toole, Dan Oneil, Jason Posnick and Byron Lazine made live calls and shared their secrets for circle prospecting.

Packed with valuable takeaways, the cold calling event is worth watching all the way through. In case you missed it, here’s the full replay:

Below, we break down tips, scripts, and key moments from the event. Bookmark this page and use it for your future circle prospecting calls!

What is Circle Prospecting?

Circle prospecting hits two targets that real estate agents work toward on a daily basis. First, it is a proven method of lead generation. At the same time, circle prospecting becomes a form of brand recognition, making you stand out in your preferred market. Here’s an added bonus: circle prospecting doesn’t require a big budget, which is always good news. 

One of the easiest ways to do circle prospecting, of course, is with circle dialing—in other words, making calls to a targeted area surrounding a specific listing. 

Circle dialing is a softer sell than calling expired listings or FSBOs, so it can be the perfect place to start if you have fears about cold calling.  Not only does circle prospecting create excitement and enthusiasm for a listing (which is great for the seller), but it also helps you get more leads and more listings. 

You can also supplement circle dialing with other forms of lead generation, including door knocking and direct mail to the targeted farm you are calling. 

Reasons for Circle Prospecting

When circle prospecting, you are creating relationships. 

The conversations you have likely won’t convert any time soon because the people you speak to are at the top of the funnel (compared to expireds or FSBOs who are ready to convert). So, think of these calls as part of the long game of relationship building. 

Whether it’s around an invitation to an open house or supplying information about a recent sale in the neighborhood, circle prospecting allows you to have more conversations with buyers and sellers in your market. 

Here are some reasons to make calls and start conversations. You can do this one time throughout a listing or several times—which will help people remember your name: 

  1. When you sign a listing (or a coming soon property) 
  2. For a local priority viewing for neighbors
  3. Before an open house
  4. When you get an offer accepted 
  5. Prior to an inspection
  6. When the property closes

Once you have a reason for calling, it’s time to prepare. 

Proper Preparation

If you follow Tom Toole, you’ve probably heard him say:

“Proper preparation prevents poor performance.”

Like anything else, the more prepared you are, the better chance you have to succeed. Here are tips from the webinar:

  • Know your state laws. In some states, cold calling is illegal. Respect your state laws, and no matter where you live, do not call those on the national ‘Do not call’ registry. 
  • Determine your reason for calling. Are you calling about an open house, a record sale, or something else?
  • Select your target area. When using a dialer, you can select a radius (watch Byron do this here) surrounding the listing or property you will be talking about. (Remember to filter out numbers on the ‘Do not call’ registry.) 
  • Do your research. This not only includes all relevant data for the house you are calling about but information about the local market as well (see below). 
  • Set up your calling environment. Make sure you have your research readily available in an environment that is free from distractions and noise. 

Even if your sole reason for calling is to invite neighbors to an open house, you must sound like a local market expert when having conversations. During the webinar, Jason Posnick shared what market data you need to know before making calls:

  • How many homes have sold within ¾ of a mile within the last six months?
  • What is the average list price of those homes? 
  • What is the average sales price of those homes?
  • What is the average price per square foot?
  • How does this compare to last year?
  • What is the average days on market?

Leave a Voicemail

When you make calls, you are going to get a lot of people who don’t pick up. (You’ll also get people who hang up on you, but that’s a different story.) 

Byron and Tom agree that professionals should always leave a voicemail. We heard a few examples of voicemails in the live cold calling session, which we break down below. 

But first, here’s a pro tip from Tom Toole: Record your voicemails ahead of time. It saves you some time—and maybe even your voice. 

Voicemail for prospecting around a ‘Just Sold’ listing:

“Congratulations, the value of your home just went up! There were record sales at (street) and (street), all in less than a month and above the asking price. So if you know of anyone thinking of selling, give me a call back. There are buyers out there looking to move into your neighborhood. Again I’m (name), you can reach me at (number).”

Voicemail for prospecting around an Open House:

“Hi, this is (name) from (team or brokerage). We’re hosting an open house this weekend and are inviting all the neighbors to preview the home before the public at (time and date of preview). The property is going on the market at $XXX,XXX, and we’re giving you a sneak preview in case you know of anyone who wants to move into the neighborhood. We’d love to see you at the preview on Saturday at (time). The property address is (address). Hope to see you there.”

Scripting Tips: How to Keep the Conversation Going

When circle prospecting, you are generally reaching out to homeowners surrounding a current or recent listing. You are providing them with information about the sale of the home, which, in turn, will affect the value of their own property. Once you get someone on the phone, the key is to keep the conversation going to start building rapport and trust. 

Here are some of the great lines heard during the live cold calling event

Conversation starters:

  • Hi, I’m calling to congratulate you—we just sold a home in your neighborhood, and it went 7% above the asking price with 70+ showings. I thought you’d want to know about it, given you’re the next street over. 
  • My name’s (name), and I’m a local Realtor. I don’t know if you saw a for sale sign in your neighborhood— but we recently sold a property at (address) in 3 days over the asking price. 
  • I’m calling because I have your neighbor’s property going live on the market this weekend. Since you live there and know the neighborhood better than anyone, I’m calling to see if you know anyone interested in moving to the area. 

Questions to keep the conversation going:

  • Do you know anyone who might be thinking about making a move and would want to know about the incredible price we got for the seller? 
  • There are a lot of people who, just like you, love the neighborhood. So, we’re seeing if you know anyone who might be looking to sell.
  • I understand you’re not looking to move anytime soon. But if you were, where might you go?
  • We’re putting that home on the market for $XXX,XXX. What do you think about that price for that home?
  • How long have you been in the neighborhood?
  • Is there someone in the neighborhood you know who would be interested in this information?
  • You mentioned you might want to move down the line, where are you thinking about moving to?
  • If you had to guess, do you think properties in your area are still going up in value?
  • Are you curious about the value of your home?

How to earn an email or contact info: 

  • We can give you the final number when the sale closes. If you need anything in the meantime, can I text you at this number and send over my contact info?
  • I appreciate you taking the time. If it’s okay with you, I can send over the final sale price if that’s of interest to you. 
  • Is it ok if we follow up with you down the line? Is there an email address I can send my contact info to so you have it?
  • If you’re curious about what’s going on in the neighborhood, I can grab your email and send over some information about what’s happening. 

Key moments to watch from the event

Whether you’ve watched the entire event or not, here are some key moments packed with takeaways for anyone looking to circle dial. Get out your notepad and listen in:

  • 20:18 Jason’s call
  • 22:50 Tom’s call
  • 29:50 Tom’s call
  • 52:10 Set a goal and know your ratios
  • 1:07:20 Debriefing a call with a legitimate lead
  • 1:27:50 Circle prospecting turned recruiting call
  • 1:38:25 Power move for getting a phone number
  • 1:40:05 Getting a clean email
  • 1:45:00 Q&A

If you missed our first cold calling event, be sure to check out this video for calling expireds, and stay tuned for our next event where we’ll be calling FSBOs!