Is Cold Calling Worth the Effort in the Vacation Rental Industry?

When’s the best time to cold call someone? What makes the best cold call voicemail? Gain a cold calling edge with these top tips to increase your chances to land the sale. 


Ahhhh the joys of cold calling……


Is it worth the effort? 


What are the odds of success? 


And, what are the best cold calling tactics to land a deal?


Back in the day, I worked at a VRM start up in the sales department. Cold calling was where I started and I learned a lot by calling 50+ vacation rental self managers a day for 6 months.


Makes you cringe doesn’t it?


Well it’s not for the faint of heart. 


Luckily, I was born with the thick skin and determination needed to be a good sales person. I’m always up for a challenge and being no stranger to the hustle and grind of sales, I took on the task, but just like anything I take on, I’m looking for the edge, a pattern, or some insights to take the game to another level.


In this article I’m going to tell you what made my approach so successful back in the day and how I’ve updated it now. And hopefully you will soon find your edge in cold calling and come to dread it a little less.

What’s the best time to cold call someone?

Calling in the middle of the week has better odds of connecting with someone, Friday and Monday are the worst, and weekends are hit and miss. I’ve had people get mad for calling outside of business hours, but only a few.


Keep track of what time of day you call each prospect so that you can try different times of the day to identify when they are more likely to answer the phone.

What makes the best cold call voicemail?


When cold calling, keep in mind that most of the time you’ll be leaving a voicemail. Today, people don’t pick up calls from unfamiliar numbers. Having a compelling voicemail message ready is key. Offer something of value – this is the hook you need for them to call you back.


Here’s one of my favorite tips. 


When VRBO was bought out by Homeaway, I called VRBO self managers and offered to do a free analysis of their listing to improve their ranking with search algorithms. 


People were willing to stay on the phone with me and let me tell them about the company I worked for afterwards. 


The bottom line is that if you do get someone who picks up the phone, nailing that first call with a homeowner is crucial to winning their business. Check out my article on “how to hold a homeowner discovery call that leads to a sale” for tips on how to do this.

What are the rules on cold calling?


If you decide to cold call there are some regulations to take into account. 


If someone is on the National Do Not Call List, they can file a complaint and you could be fined $10k. It’s hard to say how enforced this is, but it’s good to know about.


If you want to avoid calling anyone on that list you can buy a list of people on that list in the specific location you are targeting properties, but the list is sorted by area code and each area code list will cost you. With people having cell phone numbers from all over, it’s just too expensive to invest in especially with such low odds of success.


The best use of time and cold calling efforts should be focused on calling business people since they are not on such lists. 

Realtors are the first group that comes to mind and you can offer them projections for their listings that look like something you want in your rental program. 


Proactively making projections and calling the listing agent to pass it along as a “courtesy” is a great way to go. Get them on the phone and chat them up, go over your numbers and info about your company and get their email address so you can send the projection and flyers they can print out for their clients. If you get buyer leads calling your property management company you can send those to a realtor to make a friend, which usually turns into future referrals.


Also, think about calling vendors who work on vacation homes and offer them referral bonuses if they can introduce you to an interested property owner. Most big national VRMs reward realtors a $1,000 bonus if the introduction leads to a signed service agreement. Offer that deal to housekeeping contractors, pool and spa techs and other service providers and see how excited they get. 


And these vendors are an awesome source of leads because they talk to the homeowners on a regular basis. And a realtor only once in a while.


There’s your edge! So get some fresh coffee and get to Googling those service providers. 


Sales is a numbers game, the more calls and connections you make, the more likely you are to build a thriving pipeline of deals. 


Good Luck!


If you have any questions or suggestions for future articles please reach out to me on Linkedin.


Author: Brooke Pfautz

Brooke is the CEO and Founder of Vintory and is well known in the Vacation Rental industry as the authority when it comes to growing Vacation Rental inventory. You'll find Brooke at his home office, on the latest Vacation Rental webinar or podcast, or at industry events across the States.

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