Cold calling non alumni

So, my cold email response rate is very low from nonalums, however, some of these people could probably really help me out because my school only has so many alums in real estate that I can reach out to. My question is, what if I just called them up and not bother emailing them? Would this be coming on too strong? They either ignore my email or will tell me to fuck off and not call them again over the phone, but at least some might appreciate the effort. Idk help me out here.

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Comments (14)

Apr 5, 2021 - 6:07pm

I would say that it's probably worth doing both. Start with an email here and there and then politely follow up via phone call. Play up the student card hard and make sure you're able to tailor the convo specific to them and their firm. Nobody likes wasting their time on a generic conversation. At the best, they'll admire your persistence without coming off as too annoying. At worst they'll tell you to fuck off, which sounds like you've gotten a few of already, so no shock value there.

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Apr 5, 2021 - 6:14pm

What I do now is just cold email, if I don't get an answer I'll follow up a week later and if I still don't an answer, I'll just let it go. I'm thinking after the follow-up email I give them a call and if they tell me to fuck off it's whatever or we'll have a good conversation and they'll appreciate my persistence. I have a feeling it'll work pretty well with brokers, which is what I want to be anyway.

Apr 5, 2021 - 7:01pm

Try to join other organizations that these people are a part of. Volunteer clubs, CRE associations, etc. Esp on LinkedIn Groups. Like [email protected] said, it's hard to get a response if the person doesn't have a connection, but sometimes seeing that they're active in other organizations can help. I did that -- got a coffee chat with someone through a volunteer organization that we were both a part of and ended up name dropping her in an interview and it worked in my favor.

Be a little creative and try to join anything that they might be involved in. A friend of mine who's a broker learned to play squash and joined the squash club in his market where all the older development guys play just so he could "conveniently" run into them lol.

Good luck!

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  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Apr 6, 2021 - 1:09pm

I'm in the industry, I'd say email them first and get a response to set up a call. Especially if they're higher up, I'd honestly never cold call. Reach out on Linkedin and explain your situation. I've literally done the above of cold emailing someone who was not an alumni and didn't know me asking for career advice. They responded positively, go for it be polite and direct.

Apr 6, 2021 - 1:14pm

Intern in RE - Comm

So, my cold email response rate is very low from nonalums, 

First, not to try an "spin" this, but the reality is you get a higher response rate from alums.... which is totally expected, as many alums would just legit feel bad not responding. Someone who is just being cold emailed... well, you are a "rando" and randos are easy to ignore (I'll admit, I'd 100% reply to an alum, mixed for sure if I would to a rando, just like if you catch me on good day, otherwise, I'll forget tbh).

So a few pointers/responses...

1. I would not call or text, I would just email tbh. I find calls to be almost always "Sales" or spam or even fraud, so I think you will catch someone at their most defensive. Just the facts of calls these days, emails (or LinkedIn msg) are the proper medium. 

2. Alums are great, best affinity group for most. Before you go total "cold", look for more affinity groups, such as NAIOP or ULI. Emailing as "Hi I am a member of NAIOP chapter XYZ" could be as effective as alum of XYZ. Plus if you are a member (clearly join some groups if not), you get the benefit of the member directory which probably has valid emails! Better than LinkedIn messages tbh. 

- Side note, anytime you can find any shared affinity (like both interned/worked at same company, even if different times/locations) you will have better success. I mean, even doing this on WSO via PM can work better than with randos from LinkedIn. So think about clubs, groups, cities, hometowns, military service, whatever. Anything that makes you 1% more similar than a rando, will help! 

3. Send multiple emails!!!! I would literally reply/forward the prior email and just say.... "Hello, not sure if you received this, but I would still like to connect if you have time. Thanks, XYZ" - This can generate some second email guilt, and for those who would have replied but got busy, this is gold! For those intent on ignoring you, no additional harm! You can do this a few times/every so often, but don't go too crazy. I'd send the 2nd email like a week later (no later!), if a third... wait maybe 2 weeks, then probably best to drop it for many many months. 

4. Keep your emails short, seriously, they should read well on a PHONE, don't give your life story.... we have all networked for jobs, we get it, you don't need to justify yourself, we have ALL been there! 

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