So, you’re trying to build marketing leads in a specific community. Have you thought about door knocking? For many agents, door knocking in real estate is filled with negative impressions.
But that’s because you only tend to remember the times when door knocking was inconvenient to you. As a real estate agent, there’s actually nothing better than door knocking.
Because real estate is so incredibly local, going door-to-door is remarkably effective.
Let’s take a look at how you can build real estate leads and make a positive impression with these nine door knocking real estate tips.
1. Do your research about the neighborhood first.
Which neighborhoods are more likely to be susceptible to door knocking? It depends on your mission.
Let’s say you have an open house in the area. You might think door knocking is useless because it’s a lower-income, tenant-based area. Actually, that’s the best.
Going door to door could introduce you to people who are already renting in the area and are excited to buy.
On the other hand, what if you’re looking for listings? If you’re looking for a homeowner who wants to sell their house, you want to concentrate on properties that have a high homeowner ratio.
When cold calling, you should know everything about the neighborhood. The more knowledgeable you are, the easier you will find it to answer questions that they have.
2. Have a small gift to smooth things over.
What’s your value proposition? Well, you could help them buy or sell a home. But that’s a bit distant.
To smooth over the social interactions, consider giving each potential client a small gift to remember your real estate business by.
For instance, in the early months of the year, consider giving out calendars that have your name and number. When they need a Realtor, your name will be close by.
You could also give out local gifts like samples of local honey or jam, but make sure to put your social media and contact information on them.
A gift will go a long way toward making sure that they’re actually receptive to what you’re saying.
3. Practice your door knocking script.
A door knocking script is essentially an elevator pitch. Before you even start your door knocking campaign, you need this.
In a few sentences, what can you offer a homeowner?
The people you are talking to might be nice and polite, but they don’t really care about who you are or what you do.
You don’t want to introduce yourself with “Hi, I’ve been in the real estate industry for 14 years and would like to…”
Rather, you want to say something like, “Hi, I was wondering if you’re interested in selling your home?
When someone opens the door to you, they want to know what you want from them and what you can do for them.
4. Be specific about what you want and what you can offer.
Begin each conversation by asking if the person you’re talking to is the decision-maker or owner. You don’t want to waste your time talking to someone who can’t help you.
Tell them that you’re a real estate agent and you’re interested in helping them sell their home or buy a home (if you have open houses in the area).
Be clear. Today, most homeowners are being inundated by companies who are looking to buy their homes for cheap.
It’s very easy for them to assume that a real estate door-to-door salesperson is trying to sell one of these services.
Your real estate script should address this; be clear that you’re a professional real estate agent hoping to get them the most value for their property.
Lead generation has been somewhat complicated by companies who are sending out large numbers of flyers, letters, and mailers, describing a “fast cash home buying process.”
Make it clear that you and your real estate team aren’t involved in this.
5. Don’t be afraid to take “no” for an answer.
Let’s say someone isn’t the decision-maker, or they just aren’t interested.
It’s always best to take “no” for an answer.
“No” is still progress.
You might get a qualified “no.” They may say they aren’t ready to sell their house today, but might be tomorrow. Put them on the list for direct mail later. They may be interested in real estate sales, but aren’t in the position to buy. You can take their email address or give them a card.
But you’re not a door-to-door salesperson. Nothing in your marketing strategy is going to convince someone to sell their home or buy a home if they aren’t even in the market.
A successful real estate agent doesn’t have to convert. A good real estate agent or real estate broker concentrates on the potential buyer who is already ready to commit.
6. Time your door knocking correctly.
The best time to go door knocking is after 4 pm and before 6 pm — period.
It’s pretty simple. People come home from work at 4 pm. They relax and unwind. And then they eat dinner at 6 pm.
You don’t want to waste time knocking on doors when people aren’t home.
Likewise, you also don’t want to interrupt their dinner. That’s not going to be conducive to a nice meeting!
There are exceptions, of course. If you’re going through a retirement community, it’s more likely they’ll be home. And if you’re in an upscale area, more people will have flexible hours or stay-at-home parents.
In general, most people are at home on Sundays, but they often don’t want to be bothered during their weekends. Use discretion and gauge tone.
7. Have a contingency for when they don’t answer.
A lot of people just don’t answer. Whether they’re not at home or they are at home, but they think you’re trying to sell them a telecom service, they may not come to the door.
You should be prepared with door hangers and flyers.
Your real estate door hanger should have the following information: Your website, email address, phone number, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and your call to action.
You may also want to include some references from past clients and highlights of your real estate career on your flyer. It shouldn’t be too long, but it also shouldn’t be too generic.
Encourage them to call you for a free, no-obligation consultation on the value of their home. A lot of people are interested in knowing the value of their property, even if they’re not looking at selling soon.
Others may be interested in knowing there’s an open house in their area and may have leads for purchasing.
8. Consider targeting specific homes.
You don’t need to door knock throughout the entire neighborhood. Consider checking on an expired listing or an FSBO listing instead.
That way, you’re providing a service that you’re pretty sure is needed, rather than connecting with everyone in the local market. Someone with an expired listing likely needs a real estate professional to help, especially if their expired listing was also FSBO.
If you don’t have a lot of time, it’s better to door knock on homes that you know are open to you. Take a look at property tax polls to see which properties are distressed. The homeowner may be eager to sell and get rid of their existing debts.
9. Keep a complete list for re-targeting.
Lead generation takes time. A single door knock isn’t going to give you everything you need. But you can start to build a foundation.
In your door knocking script, ask if it’s okay to include the residents in emails. They may want to know when there’s an open house in the area or get updated information about the market. If they seem interested, write down their address. You can also send postcards and mailers.
Lead generation doesn’t happen overnight; it happens over the course of an entire career. It may be that someone you talk to today will call you tomorrow, in a week, or in three years. Even if they’re not useful in the near future, they will improve your market visibility.
Starting Your Door Knocking Campaign
So, how do you get started? Begin by looking at the neighborhoods that you most want to be in. Purchase doorknob hangers, flyers, and get out there. Consider bringing someone else with you, too — just for the purposes of safety and security.
As you continue door knocking, you’ll become better practiced at it. You’ll learn the types of questions that people ask and the best responses. You’ll feel more confident about your pitch, and that confidence will rub off on the people that you’re talking to.
Above all, don’t forget to be a human when you’re on a door knocking campaign. It can be easy to get laser-focused on results, but that just ends up giving you a bad reputation for being impersonal.
Take the time to get to know people. You never know which lead will really turn into a buyer or seller.
FAQs on Door Knocking in Real Estate
Is it legal to go door knocking?
It’s true; everyone’s been irritated by a door knocking strategy from time to time. But being a real estate professional does mean taking risks. It’s entirely legal to go door knocking.
Of course, if someone asks you to get off their property, you absolutely should. Learn to note hallmarks of houses that don’t want to be bothered. Apart from “no solicitor” signs, they may have “beware of dog” signs (or the ever-terrifying “this house doesn’t call the police”).
What should you know about a house before you knock?
Take a moment to look at a house online before you knock. You want to know the home value at a minimum.
You should also look up the sales history of the property and what it last sold for. Finally, look up the property taxes. If they’re behind on their taxes, they are more likely to be distressed. Luckily, all these things can be found online very quickly, if you know your area.
How much time should you spend door knocking in real estate?
Like any type of lead generation, you have to diversify. You probably don’t want to spend all your time knocking on doors. Setting aside one evening every couple of weeks, however, can be beneficial. At the very least, it’ll spread your sphere of influence.
What are the best neighborhoods for door knocking?
In general, the best neighborhoods for door knocking are neighborhoods that you have listings in already. You have a valid reason for being in the neighborhood and can prove your expertise in the local market. Otherwise, residents may feel as though you’re intruding.
Other than that, it depends on your niche.
What’s the best season for door knocking?
The best season for door knocking in real estate is often just after a long-dead season, such as the winter holidays. During the winter holidays, most people don’t want to sell their homes. However, they may be interested in doing so afterward. If you catch them just as the season is beginning to turn, they may not have been able to find anyone yet.
Where is the best place to find door knocking leads?
If you want to target door knocking, consider looking at Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for FSBO homes. You can also drive through your local neighborhoods to scan for FSBO signs. Distressed homes may come up as pre-foreclosures or pre-tax sales. Always be delicate when dealing with these homes. The homeowners are going through enough!
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I’ve helped hundreds of real estate agents, team leaders, & brokers all over the country increase their sales, online presence, and create scalable systems. I would love the opportunity to work with you. Together, we can make this year your best yet!