One of the questions that comes up, again and again, for agents is this:
I need to reach out to more prospects. But I just don’t have the time or interest in “smiling and dialing.” Should I hire someone just to do that?
The answer to today’s question is… it depends. Yes, that’s my favorite answer! I love it when professionals treat me with the, “well, here are the positives and negatives of each side, now you’re a big boy and can make up your own mind” so this is what I’m going to try to do with y’all today. Let’s dive right in to the key points to take into account.
First, here are some reasons why it might be a good strategy for you.
You can reach many more people
One of the best parts of this strategy is that it lets you reach many more people in a human and real way than you could just by door knocking. There are only 24 hours in a day, but if someone is helping you–suddenly, your team now has 48 hours in a day! Thus you can do substantially more damage–in the best sense of the word.
It lets you build relationships, vicariously
At the heart of building your SOI and your numbers is relationship building. Having someone else on your team helps you invest in building relationships. But “vicarious” is the key word because they’re doing it through another trusted member of your team, not you directly.
It’s hard work, and someone needs to do it!
If building a fortune as a real estate agent were easy work–there’s be many more millionaire real estate agents! But there aren’t because, among other reasons, it’s intense work and someone needs to do it.
Spam exists because it works
We all mock spam but guess what? If spam didn’t result in enough sales to justify the energy, then it wouldn’t exist. We have spam because it works. Do you want to be a phone call spammer? I’m definitely not one to judge anyone morally since good-and-bad is much more complex and less obvious than the room in this article provides me space to get into (plus you’d probably yawn if I digress too much into moral questions!). I’m merely observing the reality: this directions works and can work, if done smartly.
To grow, you have to mature from what you do, to managing others
In any career, you reach the limits of what you can do as an individual. There are still only 24 hours in the day. So to really grow in your career, you reach a point where you have to hire and manage others: so you either grow or you die. Thus, if you want to grow in your career, you have to take on the reigns of learning how to “manage” people–and why not learn to manage people by managing someone to cold call to get you leads? It’s as good an entry-point into hiring and learning to manage people as any other.
But that said, there are a few reasons why you may not be up for having someone cold call leads for you. Here are a few reasons.
If they’re not licensed, they can’t answer a lot of questions
Being a real estate agent isn’t just getting a piece of paper–it’s learning a lot of subtle details that non-agents likely won’t know. But it’s not just that: to talk about certain issues in certain ways or to answer certain questions, on behalf of an agent, you can’t do that unless you are an agent yourself. So study your local regulations and talk to other agents near you to understand what someone cold calling can and can’t say on your behalf. You probably don’t want to risk your license!
They won’t know as much as you do nor be as effective as you can be
No matter how good the caller is, they’re not you and because of that, they’ll never be able to give the subtle and smart answers you can. So they will likely be a lot less effective–even if their goal is just to get a meeting for you. (And remember the opposite argument, the Comparative Advantage point I implied above: to grow your practice, you need to focus on bigger things so you need someone to focus on this, even if you don’t.)
In practice, cold calling this only works when you really train them & they’re really good
These are separate points but are deeply related. Most people who cold call you just won’t be good–there’s no way around it. So you need to invest the time and energy into finding someone good. And once you’ve found them, you need to invest much more energy training them, and managing them. There is no “plug and play” situation where you just hire someone and suddenly you’re flooded with leads. If only life were that easy. So be prepared for the serious time and energy commitment… and of course the financial commitment as well.
Finally, a bonus tip!
Whether you decide to hire someone to do cold calling for you, or not, here’s one tip to keep in mind. Every jurisdiction is different and every state has different licensing requirements, but in most of the USA, you can’t pay a non-agent a commission as a % of the deal; to pay any sort of referral fee, you need to be licensed. However, you usually can pay salesmen and cold callers bonuses. Just make sure you dive into the regulations of your jurisdiction because, sometimes, there could be a fine-line between a “bonus” and a “commission” and you want to make sure you’re not endangering your license.
In conclusion: there are reasons to hire a cold caller, reasons not to–and a lot of them come down to your business vision, your time, your strategy, your risk preferences. There’s no right or wrong answer, but figuring it out is harder than just paying someone a few dollars and hoping it works. There’s no shortcut for hard work.