Apartment units and buildings that are put up for rent by the owner (FRBOs) are a valuable asset for agents. They allow you to work directly with landlords, get accurate information for your clients, and keep 100% of the commission. One of the best ways to enter into a partnership with a FRBO is to pick up the phone and call them! But, we know that cold-calling can make even the savviest agents start to sweat, so we want to help out real estate agents with a six part script to cold call landlords.
6 Part Script to Cold Call Landlords
Step 1: Introduce Yourself
Say: “Hi! My name is John Smith and I’m a real estate agent working with John Smith’s Broker Agency in Boston, Massachusetts. Can I know who I am speaking to?”
The first step should always be a friendly, basic introduction where you let the landlord know who they are talking to, what agency you’re signed with, and what cities you cover. Set a tone of clarity and purpose from the get-go. Ask for the landlord’s name, to show your interest in working with them, not just talking at them.
Step 2: Let them know where you saw their listing
Say: “It’s nice to speak to you, Jane. I saw your rental listing— the one on 123 Cherry Street, Boston— on Craigslist.”
Again, strike a friendly tone with your potential client and address them by their first name. Then, continue setting your tone of clarity and purpose by letting them know the address of the particular listing you are contacting them about, and exactly what website you saw the listing on.
Step 3: Let the landlord Know Why You’re Calling
Say: “I wanted to reach out because I think the two of us could work together and I could help fill your vacancy. I’m hoping to schedule an in-person meeting so that we can talk more about a possible partnership.”
After you’re done setting the groundwork for the conversation, let the landlord know exactly why you’re reaching out and announce your intent to begin creating a partnership.
Step 4: Let them know the benefits you can bring
Say: “I specialize in rentals and with my books of business, access to the local MLS (and with my subscription to Rental Beast), I can help get your listing in front of people. Also, I can help you set a price on your apartment that will match its market value.”
Now that you’ve let the landlord know why you’re calling them, let them know the benefits that they can gain by a partnership between the two of you. We’ve given you some very important benefits that real estate agents can offer landlords: the ability to market the listing on more channels than the informal Craigslist, and the ability to set an appropriate price that will get the vacancy filled quickly. However, maybe you have other ideas that you’d like to share? Maybe you have special experience working with listing agents or maybe you’ve sold apartments in their building before. Feel free to change this part (or any other part) up and customize it to your liking. Remember, though, you only have a limited amount of time to make an impression, so forefront the most important things you can offer.
Step 5: If you Can, Let Them Know About Your Successes
Say: “I’ve helped landlords like yourself find qualified tenants for their listings, and I have a book of clients, many of whom may be interested in units like yours. Let me know if I can give you some references.”
Show yourself as professional by letting them know your past successes. If you have past experiences working with landlords, great! Talk a bit about that. If you don’t, let them know about your experiences placing qualified clients in rentals that they love. Make sure not to promise anything. Instead of saying, “I can certainly find you tenants,” keep things tentative by qualifying your response with a well-placed “may.”
Step 6: Arrange a Meeting or Give Them More Information
Say: “I’d be really happy to partner with you. Let’s schedule a time where we can talk more about how we can work together. My phone number is <Your Phone Number>. Would you like to be added to my newsletter?”
Express that you’re excited to work with them. And, an offer to put them on your newsletter will be good to let them know that you are a professional real estate agent.
Remember: Try not to sound scripted
OK—We’ve just given you a script, but try to sound like you’re not using it when you call the landlord. Practice saying this script a few times with a friend or fellow agent from your brokerage to feel comfortable. And, remember—while top agents have scripts, they’re also ready to deviate from them a little bit. Always think about where the conversation is going, and how you can best adapt to express all the key ideas we’ve given you in the script. Also, if you’d say something a bit differently, feel free to change it up until it works for you!
Do: Listen to their concerns
If the landlord expresses concerns about some aspect of their property and your ability to fill their vacancy, make sure to address it and offer a solution. Perhaps they’ve had some bad experiences with real estate agents before and shy away from the idea of a partnership. Perhaps they’re worried around the cost of working with a real estate agent.
If they’re willing to talk about those experiences, let them know why working with you will be different (and make sure to follow through on any promises you made!)
Don’t: Be Too Pushy
Say: “Thank you very much for your time! My number is 617-555-3128. Please feel free to reach out any time in the future.”
Make sure you’re not coming off as too pushy. Over zealousness is a huge turn-off for anyone. If the landlord really doesn’t seem interested in making a partnership, and you’ve explained what you offer to the best of your ability, stay polite and considerate. Thank the landlord for their time and give them the best number to contact you.
If the landlord says they need a little bit of time to think about their answer, plan an outreach plan to make sure that you stay top of mind. Email them directly after your phone call with a few sentences about what you talked about, reiterating how you can help and providing your number.
Be Prepared to Be Shut Down
We never like to hear about agents being treated rudely or shut down. Even with this script to cold call landlords, it can happen, but don’t be too discouraged. Call another landlord and try again!
Cold calling can be intimidating! It’s not the easiest thing. Practice makes perfect, so ask a friend or a member of another brokerage to practice this script with. We promise it’s all worth it. And, with the Rental Beast platform, you can access over 8 million listings without listing agents attached.
To learn more about the Rental Beast platform or to request a no-obligation demo visit Rental Beast for Real Estate Agents.