We recently posted about Espresso Agent’s powerful new Neighborhood Farming tool available through our CRM.
In today’s post, we’re going to take a deeper dive into the power of neighborhood farming, but focus on the language most commonly used in our industry: circle prospecting.
Let’s start with a basic definition of circle prospecting:
The definition of Circle Prospecting is cold calling targeted property owners of niche property around market activity in the attempt to create a lifelong relationship (not to necessarily create an immediate transaction)
Unlike working with FSBOs or Expireds, where there is likely to be more immediate urgency and motivation, circle prospecting, as the definition suggests, is about building your database of future opportunities. Or, to look at it another way, it is more of a “top-of-the-funnel” business development strategy. But one that can pay some huge dividends over time.
So, even though there is a high chance of rejection, there is a good likelihood the homeowner will stay on the phone with you. Therefore, it’s all about how you approach the call. Clearly, you are not trying to “sell” them at this point. It’s about making an initial contact, putting your name out there for future opportunities.
There are two basic types of circle prospecting strategies:
- Just-Listed Prospecting: Serves two objectives. First, you are alerting nearby homeowners that you’re selling in their area and asking if they have any friends or family members who might be interested in moving to the area. Secondly, you can use the call to assess the homeowners short or long-term goals, so that you can add them to your contact list. Let’s look at how the conversation might go:
- “I just listed a home for sale at 123 Main Street. I wanted to check to see if you might have a friend or family member interested in moving to the neighborhood?
- If NO, you can probe: “I appreciate that. By chance, do you have any plans to move in the near future?”
- If NO, shift the conversation with a few open-ended questions: “How long have you lived in your home?” “What attracted you to this neighborhood?” “Where did you move from?”
- If the answer to the initial questions are YES or POSSIBLY, then you try to move the conversation forward by getting an idea of their timing and plans (“When might you be interested in selling?” “Where are you planning to move to once we sell your home?”). If the answer is six months or less, you now want to pursue an initial meeting or.
- Pending or Just Sold Prospecting: Here you are actively seeking interested sellers by touting your experience with selling homes in their neighborhood.
- Your opening: “I just sold a property at 123 Main Street. In the process of selling, I had a number of interested buyers who really like this neighborhood. So, I’m reaching out to see if anyone in the area is interested in selling in the near future.
- If they see interested: “Great. I’d love to have a chance to take a quick look at your home so I can give you an initial value. Absolutely no cost or no obligation on your part. When would be a good time for me to come over?”
- If they aren’t interested, you can end the conversation, or possibly gather some information using a few of the probing questions above.”
Again, circle prospecting is a long-term business development strategy (although, it would be great to find someone interested in selling today!). The key to successful circle prospecting is asking solid, open-ended questions to get as much background as possible. If the homeowner is absolutely not interested in selling, you know you can move on. But if there is some level of interest, you know that person is someone worth nurturing for future opportunities.