Real Estate

Cold calling is for the birds. Do this instead to win leads

Understanding the math behind property turnover rates can help agents better identify problems (and solutions) based on market trends, not hustle culture

In 1932, Australia found itself on the brink of war.

It wasn’t threatened by another nation, but rather a more formidable opponent — emus.

Thousands of emus. The large flightless birds, had wreaked havoc on the farmlands and crops of Western Australia.  Rather than bury their heads in the sands, the fed-up farmers called on the military for help, anticipating a swift victory.

Nature had other plans.

Despite sending in troops, packing Lewis machine guns, the soldiers only managed to kill a tiny fraction of the invasive birds before Australia waved the white flag of defeat.

How was it possible that trained specialists could be out gunned by flightless birds?  


The Australians learned that brute force doesn’t work when the odds against them were ignored.  

And real estate agents could learn from this historical misstep that draws surprising parallels to the sales techniques taught to many real estate agents today.  

The futility of cold calling strangers en masse today may result in an occasional lead, but for the majority of agents, today’s current market data makes it a waste of time and brain cells.

Consider the recent statistics on turnover rates: Only 1% of U.S. homes have changed hands this year, the lowest turnover rate in over a decade. In niche markets, the numbers are even more daunting. 

Just 11 out of every 1,000 two- and three-bedroom homes have a new owner.  In competitive areas like San Jose, California, only six out of every 1,000 homes have turned over. 

The odds are clearly stacked against cold callers, yet many self-proclaimed experts continue preaching cold calling as a go-to tactic. They assert that it’s a “numbers game” — if you make enough calls, you’re bound to land some deals.  

While these bold claims are great for clicks and course sales, this advice fails to acknowledge reality: customer behavior data has evolved. Customer behavior and technology have grown, yet the cold calling advice hasn’t.

Rather than squandering time and money on ineffective cold calling, agents should first identify what problem they solve, and then how to package their solution system. With this clearly defined, agents can harness insights to pinpoint the most probable prospects for their solution system based solely on market trends, not hustle culture.

Agents can then deploy targeted outreach to connect with the prospects who need the solution they sell.

With housing inventory scarce and buyer demand more specific to property types and locations than ever before, the true payoff lies in matching your messaging to the market of the moment — not randomly power-dialing homeowners during breakfast.

The forward-thinking agents, the ones taking their unfair market share today, are meeting consumers where they are and sidestepping the unsolicited cold calling advice. These are the agents using effective lead-generation strategies rooted squarely in the language of God — mathematics.  

Now is your best time to stand out from the competition by understanding and embracing turnover data to concentrate on the most qualified leads. After all, the Emu War taught us that it’s always wise to assess the odds before embarking on a flightless pursuit.

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