OREA Real Estate College

A-B-C of Prospecting Techniques

In the 1992 movie Glengarry Glen Ross, written by David Mamet, motivational salesperson Blake confronts employees of a Chicago real estate office about their less than stellar performances. His advice: “A-B-C. Always… Be… Closing.”

Our advice – be careful with your ABCs. You should be translating prospecting initiatives into sales goals, but you should do so with the client’s best interests in mind. How do you find buyers and sellers? 

Following is a list of several prospecting techniques, which we will describe briefly. We will examine each technique in more detail in future blog posts.

Cold Calling

Cold calling, making unsolicited telephone calls or visits, may seem daunting, but it is necessary, especially as you launch your new career. It need not be unnerving if you are prepared. For example:

•  Determine how many cold calls to make each day (make sure it’s reasonable)

•  Have a clear understanding of your objectives in making the calls

•  Be positive (easier said than done)

•  Be persistent

•  Be professional

•  Be brief 

Please ensure you do not contact anyone on the National Do Not Call List. For more information, go to https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/index-eng. Also, check the MLS® listings of your local real estate board to ensure you do not call a property currently listed for sale.

Remember – the great thing about selling real estate is that virtually everyone you know and meet, at some point in their lifetime, will require your services.

Converting For Sale by Owner (FSBO)

This technique is rife with opportunities and challenges. The opportunity – the people you’ll be contacting want to sell their property. The challenge – they don’t want you (or any other salesperson) to sell it for them. It is your job to convince them they should use a salesperson and that you are the right person for the job.

What should you tell them?

•  Because you have access to the Multiple Listing Service®, you can tell them what a property is worth.

•  You have the knowledge and skill to market the property effectively.

•  You have the knowledge and experience to negotiate successfully on their behalf.

•  You will handle the paperwork and ensure it is completed properly.

Working Another Salesperson’s Open House

This technique is based on the premise that you have no listings and a lot of spare time, and another salesperson in your office has lots of listings and no spare time. This is an excellent networking opportunity – it’s a great way to meet potential prospects and gives you the chance to practise your communication skills.

Working a Farm

In real estate, ‘working a farm’ means choosing a target market and positioning yourself as an expert in the minds of buyers and sellers in that market.

Farming can be classified under two headings – geographical and personalized. Geographical farming is targeting a specific area/neighbourhood. Personalized farming is based on your interests, hobbies, and relationships (e.g., people in a specific profession, or people who belong to a specific club).

Direct your marketing initiatives (advertisements, website, newsletters, door knocking) towards buyers and sellers in inside your farm. Your goal is to build your presence and reputation.

Working Expireds

‘Expireds’ refers to listing agreements that have reached their expiry dates, meaning the listing brokerage no longer has a representation agreement with the seller. This has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage – the seller is motivated to sell. The disadvantage – the seller is likely exasperated with the whole selling process. In addition, because of privacy concerns, you must be certain the seller has consented to being contacted once the listing expires. This information is noted on the listing.

For More Information

For more information on sales techniques, please consult our A Mentoring Kit for New Salespeople: Training For Success at http://www.oreacollegestore.com/ShowItem.aspx?ItemID=LT-PB-MentoringKit&Design=false&CurrentTab=divCatLearningTools. This is a valuable resource for both brokers and salespeople.


Have we missed any prospecting techniques? Let us know.

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