Door knocking is an old school technique used by residential real estate professionals. Some agents get outstanding results from door knocking, while others never generate a lead. What makes the difference? How you prepare, and the tools you use will determine whether you’re successful or not. Done well, door knocking does help you find property sellers.
Why Does Door Knocking Work?
You may think that sending emails is as effective as meeting prospects in person, but you’d be wrong. The Harvard Business Review published some insightful research. They found that a request made face-to-face was 34 times more effective than using email.
Whether you’re contacting prospects via email or in person, you are making a request. You’re asking them to listen to you, trust you, and consider what you have to say. Door knocking is something to consider because it is the most effective way to ask for a favor.
Why Does Door Knocking Fail?
People fail at door knocking for a couple of reasons:
· They feel like a traveling salesperson or an overgrown Girl Scout
· They have a fear of rejection
You aren’t selling anything when you door knock. The purpose of door knocking is to help you meet homeowners in your target area. Your goal is to develop a relationship. So, you should never feel like you’re annoying people.
Selling has come a long way since the days when old-school used car salesmen techniques worked. And, door knocking has come a long way since the days when the best approach was to ask the homeowner if they want to sell their home.
Besides that, rejection is part of the sales process. It’s easy to deal with the rejection when someone doesn’t answer your email. You have a much different reaction when someone slams the door in your face.
Learning how to door knock will help you reduce the times when someone is rude. You’ll also get lots of positive reinforcement when you start seeing friendly smiles.
Why Should You Try Door Knocking?
Door knocking has several advantages over other types of marketing:
· It’s a low-cost marketing option. Consider what you’d need to pay out of pocket for SEO or direct mail. Compare that to door knocking, which requires little more than your time.
· You’re on the road anyway. If you’re in one of your target areas, you can make that trip even more worthwhile by doing some door knocking while you’re there.
· You can make a personal impression. Email is very impersonal, even if you include your photo in your signature. Meeting people face-to-face leaves a more lasting impression.
· You’ll be unique. Many agents reject the idea of knocking on doors, so your effort will make you stand out.
How to Succeed at Door Knocking
If you decide to try door knocking, don’t skip the preparation steps. If you dive in with no planning, you’ll fail miserably. You’ll also become convinced that door-knocking is a waste of time. Follow these guidelines to make your effort produce results.
Get In the Right Frame of Mind
If you start door knocking with the idea that it’s embarrassing, that’s what it will be. When you meet people at a community event and tell them you’re a real estate professional, do you feel ashamed of yourself? Of course not. And, it’s all because at a community picnic, for example, you’re just out meeting your neighbors. You’re not trying to sell them anything. Although if you’re smart, you do take the opportunity to let people know what you do for a living.
In a social situation, if someone doesn’t seem interested in talking to you what happens? You just drift off and find someone who’s friendlier. You can do the same thing with door knocking.
Pick a Target Area
Most successful real estate agents pick an area to farm. Farming is the process of becoming an expert in a specific geographic territory. It also allows you to become very visible to residents there. Being top of mind helps generate referrals and builds your business.
Use marketing tools with predictive analytics to make your efforts more effective. For example, you can get information about expired listings in your target area. You can also identify owners that are most likely to sell. Having this insight will give you an edge in finding and focusing all your marketing efforts, not just door knocking.
When you do go door-knocking, plan your route to start with the high-potential homeowners then move to other homes in that area.
Especially when you’re starting something new, setting goals is critical. Your goals may include completing a defined number of door knocks per day, week, or month. Having a goal gives you the motivation you need to be successful.
Prepare Leave-Behind Materials
You should always leave something of value when you’re meeting new people. You should already know the market statistics for your target area. If you don’t, make sure to gather that information for a defined period such as a quarter or year. Here are some examples:
· Number of homes sold
· Number of Days on the Market
· Current inventory level
· Listing vs. Sales Price Ratio
· Median Sales Price
· Home appreciation rates
Once you have the most current information, you can create a brief market report. Include statistics and your interpretation of what they mean for home sellers in the area. You don’t need to explain the market in detail. A one-page flyer will work. Offer enough information to prove your expertise. And, put your photo on the report to help people recognize you the next time you meet.
Get Comfortable with What to Say
Some people think that writing a script is the quickest way of sounding like a robot. The opposite is true. When you memorize a script and practice using it, you’re giving yourself a powerful tool for several reasons:
· You can plan what to say without the pressure of meeting a stranger for the first time
· You’ll feel more confident because you won’t struggle for what to say when someone opens the door
· You don’t need to follow the script word for word, but you’ll have that memorized script to fall back on if you feel tense
· You’re training your brain and making it easier to find the right words within the structure you learned
Think about any movie you’ve ever seen. Did it sound like the actors were reading from a script? It doesn’t sound that way, but they have memorized their lines. Sometimes they deliver the lines exactly as written. Other times, actors may improvise. Either way, once the actor has internalized what they’re supposed to say, they put real meaning in the words to tell a story. You can do the same thing.
Create different scripts for different purposes, like these examples.
If you have recently sold a home: You could create a “just sold” flyer that also includes some market data. Write a script similar to this one.
· I only have a minute, but I wanted to let you know that I just sold the home down the street from you. It sold in five days, and the sales price has appreciated X percent over last year. As a result, lots of neighbors want to know what their home is worth in this market. If you’re interested, I can do a comparative market analysis on your home when I do theirs.
Notice that the agent isn’t trying to sell anything. They’re offering information and service. If the homeowner isn’t interested, they can drop off the just sold flyer and leave. It’s the start of building a relationship with that homeowner.
If you’re having an open house: It’s a great excuse to do some door-knocking in the surrounding area. Some agents write a script that emphasizes their commitment to let the neighbors know about the home for sale. Some homeowners would love to pick their neighbors and will be glad to let you know if a friend is looking for a home in the area.
Other Door Knocking Tips
People will want to know who you are, why you’re there, and how much of their time you want. Always start your script with your name and the company you represent. Mentioning that you only have a minute will let the homeowner know that you won’t be taking up a lot of their time.
You can reduce the homeowner’s anxiety when opening their door to a stranger by standing a few feet back and off to the side of the door. You’ll look intimidating if the homeowner opens the door and finds you standing almost toe to toe with them.
Use ProspectNow to Find Property Sellers
If you do door knocking consistently, it will help you build relationships with potential sellers in your farm area. They may not have much to say the first time you stop by. But, you’ll typically find them opening up more as you continue to show your commitment to them with monthly market reports.
ProspectNow offers a database with over 140 million residential and commercial properties, including 23 million predicted to sell. If you want to get the most from your door knocking efforts, contact us for more information.