S1 E4: Real Estate Cold Calling Objections | How To Control The Conversation
In our latest episode of Today’s Brew, we sit down with Seattle real estate agent, Austin Hellickson, and discuss best practices for today’s real estate agent, as well as real estate cold calling objections handling.
Austin secured his realtor license just two years ago. In this time he and his team of 13 have closed more than 100 transactions!
Watch this short 15 minute interview for some great inspiration and tips on how to be a successful agent in this market!
Seattle real estate agent, Austin Hellickson, secured his realtor license just two years ago and has only been a full-time agent for about a year. In the year since going full-time, he and his team of 13 have closed more than 100 transactions! Austin ties his meteoric success to sticking to the basics. Wearing a suit (“You need to dress for success”), he phone-prospects using Espresso Agent every day from noon to 4 PM. Then he goes on appointments from noon to 8 PM.
His most important tip regarding how to control the conversation with real estate cold calling objections, is to use an outline and scripts to control the flow of the conversation with each prospect. “An easy way to gain and keep control is just to be the one that asks more questions,” he says. Plus, he points out that it’s important to accept failure and rejection on the journey to success: “One yes for every 50 no’s,” is his mantra.
Austin’s goal for 2023 is 250 closings! Learn how he plans to reach his goal on this episode of Today’s Brew.
Hi, I’m Noel with Today’s Brew, where top producing real estate agents share their tips on taking more listings, making more money, and having fun doing it. On today’s episode, we welcome Austin Hellickson from Seattle, Washington. Austin, how are you?
Austin Hellickson (00:22):
Doing great and excited to be here. Thank you, Noel.
Thank you for coming on. It is 6:30 in the morning over there. What I really want to get started talking about first off is your schedule and how important it is to you on a daily basis because, like I said earlier, it’s 6:30 AM in Seattle, and you are doing an interview with us. So this must mean that you are very focused and schedule is an important part of your business and its success.
Austin Hellickson (00:53):
Yeah, I feel like I don’t like to over-complicate things because then it just throws everything else out of whack. So I like to start off my day here in the office at 6:30, no matter what, I’m in the office at 6:30. We have our team huddle at 7:30. So between those two times I’m just working on building on our business, doing the automations on our back end stuff. 7:30 to 8:00 AM is our huddle. 8:00 AM to noon, I’m doing my prospecting times. So I first start off with expireds through Espresso Agent. Then I go into follow-ups, new leads from the day before and over the night. And that usually takes me till about noon. Noon till about eight, nine o’clock at night is when I wrap up my day, and then I just rinse and repeat the next day.
Okay. So noon to eight, that’s a big window. What are you doing? Are you going on appointments?
Austin Hellickson (01:44):
That’s all appointments, yes. So generally speaking, I’ll have two to three appointments that day that are confirmed that I’ll be going on, just for lack of better word; if people would actually show up, it’d be a lot easier.
So you’re saying that you’ll have appointments that some people do not show up for?
Austin Hellickson (02:02):
Yeah, so I’ll set up as many appointments as I can and I call, confirm and I like to call it, the Starbucks script, and just ask them, “Hey, I’m getting Starbucks on my way. I just wanted to see if I could grab you anything.” And then some people will be like, oh, something came up or I can’t meet today, so I’ll take those folks off my schedule. But generally speaking, I’ll have two to three appointments to go on.
Wow. Well, that’s awesome. Out of those two and three, how many are you getting?
Austin Hellickson (02:25):
Two to three.
Austin Hellickson (02:27):
So, year to date, I’ve personally listed and sold about 100 properties. But the biggest thing is, if I meet them in person and they’re actually looking to sell, then they’re going to list it with us. Otherwise, if I meet with them and they’re not selling at all, well, I mean, I can’t list those ones that don’t sell at all, or if they’re not looking, if they don’t sell.
They’re not motivated.
Austin Hellickson (02:47):
Exactly, no motivation. They’re be like, “Oh, I’m going to wait till the first of the year.”
Are you hearing that a lot right now?
Austin Hellickson (02:55):
I am. I’m getting that a little bit, but I’m trying to help teach folks that, look, we can only guess they’re going to keep raising rates. So especially for you, Mr. And Mrs. Seller, we got to meet now and we got to sell it now. So that way we have as many buyers as possible or else you’re just not going to be able to sell in January because you won’t be able to afford it. And then we know that time will come or they won’t be able to afford it in January. They’re like, “Oh, man, I wish I would’ve sold it a couple months ago.” Right.
Well, it’ll definitely make you have to stay more focused on yours, your job. You’re going to have to show up, you’re going to have to be committed. You’re going to have to stick to the schedule like we were talking about. How long have you been in real estate?
Austin Hellickson (03:32):
So I’ve had my license for about two years now. Been full-time since December of last year. So 11 months more or less, give or take.
That is incredible. And you’ve done 100 homes you’ve said?
Austin Hellickson (03:43):
Yep, we’ve built the team as well.
Okay, okay. How big is your team?
Austin Hellickson (03:49):
We have myself, two admin assistants, four ISAs and about one other listing agents and four or five buyer agents. So I think we’re about 12 or 13 now.
That’s big. That’s big.
Austin Hellickson (04:05):
Yes, we got lofty goals for this next year. We’re shooting for 250 closings.
Wow. Well, I think you’ll get it. That it seems promising for you and your team, for sure. What were you doing prior to real estate? What got you into real estate?
Austin Hellickson (04:23):
Actually, well, my dad used to be in real estate. Now he owns Club Wealth, which is a real estate coaching and consulting company. I actually sold their coaching program all through high school, then I went on the mission for my church, came back and just jumped feet first in the water, so to speak, into real estate, and we’ve been doing this forever.
Very natural transition for you.
Austin Hellickson (04:43):
So since you’ve mentioned coaching a little bit, I’m going to assume that you have scripts that you follow in a listing presentation. How important is that to you?
Austin Hellickson (04:54):
I think it’s crucial. Not only for the fact that having a script, but I like to think of more of an outline of things I know I need to use on the call, and when I’m using and going through that outline, I need to do certain things on the phone call rather than just sticking to the script no matter what the client says, but just building rapport with them as I go through the things I know I need to hit to be able to set that appointment. And then same thing on the listing appointment.
Keeps you focused and in line with what you need to be doing and a little bit of control of the conversation to keep things awake.
Austin Hellickson (05:24):
Okay. Yeah. Well, that’s good. So do you role-play every day or do you have partners that you link up with throughout the day or week?
Austin Hellickson (05:33):
Honestly, I don’t necessarily have role-play partners. We all make calls here in the office the exact same time. So I like to say I role-play with clients. We’re always just making calls and if I butcher a call, I’m getting feedback from people on my team and same thing with them when they mess up a call, we’re all giving them feedback so we can all continually improve along the way.
So if you mess up on a call, does that mean to you that you don’t get the listing appointment or you just didn’t speak well, got a lot of pushback, will you follow-up the next day with them and start over?
Austin Hellickson (06:09):
I mean, of course, if we’re messing up on a phone call, it’s generally going to be because we’re lacking in some sort of training or thing that we mentioned on the call. You hit the nail on the head earlier saying keeping control of the conversation. Nine times out of 10, if it’s a terrible conversation, it’s because we’ve lost control in some way or another. And an easy way to gain and keep control is just to be the one that asks more questions, direct the way that the conversation’s flowing. Even if people ask me a question on the phone call, I’ll answer, but then I’ll follow up with a question so that way I can continually, like you said, keep the flow of the conversation and keep control of where it’s going.
And get more information to be able to, like you said, relate to them-
Austin Hellickson (06:44):
… and hopefully get in front of them. How do you keep a positive mindset though, after you have butchered a call, as you said, how do you bounce back from that and not let it ruin your day?
Austin Hellickson (06:58):
One yes, for 52 nos is always the saying, or 50 nos, that we just got to keep pounding the phones and someone will say yes eventually. And we just got to continually have that practice. That we could role-play as much as we want, but until we actually start dialing and talking to real people, we’re not going to get real objections in their own lives. I’m just thinking of a call I had yesterday. Immediately called her up, she was looking to sell her house and she was just very reluctant. I thought she was just going to hang up on me. And then, like you said, just keeping the flow of the conversation normal and natural, that I was just able to set an appointment here for this next week. But if I just wanted to do my script for lack of better words and not be normal and natural, she would just hung up on me. She was very reluctant.
Absolutely. So you got it?
Austin Hellickson (07:44):
Yeah, that’s what I did. So our meeting is next week.
Oh, perfect. That’s great. Congratulations.
Austin Hellickson (07:50):
So, all right. So talk about prospecting a little bit more. You said eight to four or eight, excuse me, eight to 12. So that is four hours, that’s a lot of time. How many contacts are you trying to hit that day and how many calls does it take for you to get there?
Austin Hellickson (08:08):
The biggest thing for me, the setting the appointments in terms of number of appointments set. So, generally speaking, I’ll make about 300 calls a day. So actually eight to noon is when I’m in the office making calls. And then when I’m on appointment or in between appointments, I’ll be making more calls on my phone, just to make sure I hit that number I’m meeting to. Generally speaking, I’ll be between one out of every three contacts or one out of every four contacts will be an appointment set.
Those are some really good numbers. I mean, that’s some inspiration right there for newer agents. Just getting in the business, I mean, for you doing so well on a team or without a team, but just showing up every single day and getting these appointments, that’s definitely inspiring to hear for other agents because, like you said, with COVID just having happened in the last two years, you didn’t really have to do your homework and do your work. It was just turn and burn.
Austin Hellickson (09:04):
Nor did we have the habits. Nobody wanted to come in the office. Excuse me. Now we’re getting back into the swing of things, especially, the market’s changing now. We’re probably going to be losing a lot of agents industry-wide. Was it 87% of agents don’t renew their license after two years is the general statistic. And how many is that going to be now after the market’s changing? I’d be very interested and curious to see that statistic.
Yeah, probably higher. The turnover rate will probably be higher. You definitely have to be more diligent and remember to run your business as a business.
Austin Hellickson (09:35):
And show up every single day, which is what you’re doing. So if you had a piece of advice for newer agents, a general rule for them, one thing, don’t miss out on, what would it be?
Austin Hellickson (09:51):
Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. That’s the biggest thing and the first thing that came to mind is that do the things that have been proven to work and just do those consistently over a long period of time. For example, expired calls, nobody is dying to call expireds or maybe there’s some people that love calling expireds, but if you do it, you’re going to seek success. I love Espresso Agent for my expired calls. That’s what we use and I can upload those right into our CRM from Espresso Agent, makes things very simple. Just getting back to the basics, keeping things simple, getting a coach, finding someone who actually does more than you do and has been through this before to guide you in the process. Just as you get back to those basics and not try and reinvent the wheel, you’ll be able to see that success in your business.
That’s good advice. That’s great advice. Would you say expireds are your least favorite, or do you like them?
Austin Hellickson (10:41):
I’m not as diligent as I should be about calling them, but they’re great and golden leads to call. I mean, yesterday alone here in Washington, I think we had 227 expired listings on the market just yesterday alone.
Wow. That hasn’t been happening for a while.
Austin Hellickson (11:00):
And we called all of those and I think we set five appointments off of those yesterday as a team.
That’s awesome. Congratulations.
Austin Hellickson (11:05):
Yes, thank you.
I think expireds are golden. I mean, they needed to sell their home and you are going to deal with people that could be angry on the other end. But like you said, if you maybe don’t just stick to the script and can have a little empathy with what they went through, then maybe they’ll relate to you and you can get in front of their face.
Austin Hellickson (11:24):
Oh, absolutely. I would agree with that.
What about for sale by owners? How do you feel about them? How do you-
Austin Hellickson (11:31):
I like them. In my personal opinion, they have the heartburn over how much they pay their agent or paying somebody else to do the work for them. Whereas, if you can net the same amount of money, would you be opposed at someone actually getting this sold for you? I spoke with somebody here the other day, he’s like, “Yeah, one of my neighbors tried to do it for sale by owner and he tried to sell it for two years.” Right.
Yeah, that’s not working.
Austin Hellickson (11:58):
Yeah, you got to look at all the different alternatives. I mean, the owner of forsalebyowner.com, not to get too sidetracked. The founder and owner of forsalebyowner.com, he tried to sell his house on forsalebyowner.com, it didn’t sell. He listed it with a Keller Williams agent, and he sold it for $200,000 more than he was asking, which paid for that commission in of itself.
Austin Hellickson (12:17):
By a far.
Austin Hellickson (12:21):
So I think there’s having a tool or an arsenal of different statistics you can show to people as well, can help sway them towards being like, oh, okay. First of all, this guy actually knows what he’s talking about and second off, he can probably get the job done for me.
So when you go on your appointments, do you talk about market stats because you seem very educated in your area, which is obviously very important. Does that seem to be helpful for you?
Austin Hellickson (12:49):
Yes and no. So I only do it if I have to, to help make the sale. I go in there with the assumptive close, saying, that these guys are signing paperwork to me today to list their house, and then if I need to show market stats, then I will to, again, help them list their home with me that day. Other than that, I won’t. And I do feel like it is very helpful when I do do it.
Yeah, they’re a little reluctant, like you said, a little hesitant to maybe use an agent. So then seeing the stats just helps close the deal a little bit. Very cool. Very cool. Well, if we want to get in touch with you and send you referrals, how can we do that?
Austin Hellickson (13:25):
Super easy. It’s 253-300-1000. That’s our office number. We cover all of Washington State. We’re here to help you guys out. And if you want to get in touch with me, check me out on Facebook as well; Austin Michael Hellickson.
Okay. And as far as any other social media or email address you can provide?
Austin Hellickson (13:46):
Yes. So Austin, A-U-S-T-I-N, my last name Hellickson, H-E-L-L-I-C-K-S-O-N, at hellickson.com. So my first name dot last name at lastname.com.
Perfect. Well, thank you so much, Austin.
Austin Hellickson (14:01):
Thank you, Noel. Pleasure chatting with you. Have a great one.