Some experts say that real estate agent door knocking is the most effective type of lead generation. However, many real estate agents aren’t excited about giving it a try. If you’ve never tried door knocking, you probably don’t know why some agents find it so successful. It’s not magic. It works if you do it well. Tips that will help are shown below, then you can decide if door knocking is for you.
Why Real Estate Door Knocking?
Real estate agents, financial advisors and others use door knocking for lead generation. These are the reasons why many use this lead generation approach:
- It’s inexpensive. If you don’t have a big marketing budget, door knocking is a marketing effort that takes time, but very little investment. Other marketing efforts such as SEO for a real estate website, content marketing, and direct mail, cost much more and may be out of the reach of some agents.
- Leverage time on the road. As an agent, you have appointments at a seller’s or buyer’s home to attend to their transaction. Many agents find that spending time door knocking while they’re in a residential neighborhood makes the most of the trip.
- Reinforcing your brand. Face to face communication is much more likely to result in someone remembering you than an email. And, if you ask the people you encounter for a favor, which you are doing by asking them to engage with you, you’ll be 34 times more successful than if you sent an email.
- You’ll stand out in people’s minds. Many agents consider door knocking old school, or not worth the time. Therefore, you’ll stand out more than agents who have been contacting prospects using direct mail or telephone calls.
Real Estate Agent Door Knocking: Preparation
The fastest way to prove to yourself that door knocking is a stupid waste of time is to try it on a whim one day. The agents who make a lot of money because of door knocking prepare themselves to do it right. Here are several things you need to do.
Check State and Local Laws
Some locations have “no solicitation” laws that typically require you to have a permit to door knock. That requires paying a fee and acquiring a permit. If there are such laws in your area, you’ll need to decide whether the costs would outweigh the advantages of a face-to-face introduction. Don’t ignore such laws – breaking them can incur large fines and even jail terms.
You need to have an end goal in mind. Some agents want to introduce themselves to the homeowner and highlight their qualifications for listing in the neighborhood. If that’s your goal, think about the things that set you apart from other listing agents, for example:
- You’re selling homes in the area for the highest price per square foot
- You have advanced tools to help sell homes such as showing solutions and showing feedback
- You have sold more homes in the area than any other agent
- You live in the neighborhood
Agents use other goals, in addition to an introduction. You’ll need to choose one that works best for you. Here are a couple examples:
- You have a listing in the area and promised the sellers that you’d make sure all the neighbors knew about the house
- You just sold a home in the neighborhood and there were a number of interested buyers, indicating that buyers want to find homes in the neighborhood. “This got many of your neighbors wondering what their homes are worth. Would you want us to determine the value of your home, also?”
If you just want to give it a try, you don’t need to spend a lot of time or money creating materials, but you do need something of value to take with you.
Door knocking is most effective for finding home sellers as opposed to buyers. Probably the easiest thing to put together for sellers is a recent market report. You should be able to get everything you need from your MLS. Prepare a professional looking single page report that includes current information for your target area such as:
- Number of Days on Market
- Level of Inventory
- Listing vs Sales Price Ratio
- Median Sales Price
- Number of Transactions
The key to preparing a useful market report is to replace industry jargon for simple English. For example, rather than Days on Market, call the statistic something like “The average number of days that a home remains on the market before it sells.”
Another important thing to include is an overall description of what the real estate statistics mean. For example, is the DOM and inventory low? Explain what that type of a market means to a potential seller.
If you have a valid claim to fame, note that on the report, also. Let’s say that you have a record of a listing vs sales price ratio of 96 percent. That would be a great thing to promote.
Pick a Geographic Target
Some experts recommend starting in a neighborhood where you already have a presence. If you haven’t established a strong presence in a single neighborhood, make sure that another agent doesn’t already dominate the neighborhood you’d like to target.
Some agents target neighborhoods where they already have a listing. It’s a natural opportunity since you’ll be spending time in the neighborhood anyway. Still others focus on expired listings since the sellers may be frustrated and open to a better alternative.
Tips for Real Estate Agent Door Knocking
Here are a number of things that agents who have done door knocking successfully have learned.
- Write a script and practice it. If you knock on a door with no idea of what you’re going to say, it’s easy to freeze up. Write a script that supports your goal and practice it. You may not use the script word for word, but it will give you something to start with.
- Answer the homeowner’s initial questions. Tell them who you are, where you’re from, why you’re there and how long will you be there. Do it fast to get those questions out of the way.
- Tell the homeowner you only have a minute. This will answer one of their initial questions and put their mind at rest that you’re not going to dive into a two-hour conversation. In addition, it makes you seem like the busy professional that you are.
- Don’t stand right in front of the door. Standing too close can be intimidating. While you’re waiting for someone to answer the door, stand a little off to the side and a few feet back from the door. Then, smile.
- Door knocking is valuable, regardless of the outcome. Even if you never got a lead from door knocking, it’s still a great way to build confidence, identify homeowner concerns, and increase your ability to talk to strangers and handle objections.
You’ll also learn to handle rejection. Any type of sales includes a fair amount of rejection such as people who won’t talk to you, internet leads who won’t answer your emails, or listing presentations that don’t result in getting a listing. Keep these things in mind:
- The next door you knock on could result in the biggest win of your career.
- You can’t take rejection personally. A homeowner may not be interested in what you’re offering, but that has nothing to do with you. They don’t even know you.
- The more you door knock, the better you’ll get at it and the easier it will get.