I’ve been hearing a lot about “door knocking”. My manager has suggested it, I’ve seen it come up in “How to Sell Real Estate Books” – I’ve even heard you mention it from time to time!
Is this really a viable way to get clients? Does it work?
Here’s the short version of my answer: yes, no, and trust me – there is no monster in the closet!
And now, the longer version: door knocking is an old school method of prospecting. Over the years, it has earned thousands of agents hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, does it work? Allow me to borrow a line from Henry Ford: whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.
Connecting with people and engaging in conversations about real estate is what we need to do to thrive in this business. Sure, you can connect in many different ways, but having a real face-to-face conversation is invaluable. Door knocking just so happens to be an incredibly effective way of doing this.
Here’s the thing: there is no monster in the closet! Just like children fear the unknown, allowing their imagination to create amazing stories of terror, agents have a tendency to do the same. You’re probably picturing yourself knocking on a door and having some horribly mean person yell at you about how you’re an irritating loser, and to get off his property — stat! Believe me when I say: it doesn’t happen like that!
What actually happens is that you end up having a handful of meaningful conversations with your own neighbours, or with neighbours of your listing. You build trust. You build rapport. And – every once in a while – you meet a person who needs your services. It’s the perfect way to build your business.
Part of the fear that stems from door knocking is the perception that you are interrupting someone and selling something that they don’t need. Door knocking isn’t about being a traveling salesman. There are many approaches that you can take that involve offering valuable information or contributing something positive to the neighbourhood. Here are a few ideas:
- Use the “Knock 20” policy: every time you list a new property, knock on the doors of 20 neighbouring homes before you install the “for sale” sign. Offer these neighbours the scoop firsthand – they will be thrilled to have “insider” information.
- Offer to hold a neighbourhood food drive or clothing drive for a local shelter. Go door-to-door to inform neighbours about your initiative and to encourage their participation.
- Create a small card with interesting facts about the neighbourhood, like financial statistics or demographic details.
- Let neighbours know that you have a family looking to purchase a property in the neighbourhood, and you’re asking around to help them out. Just be sure that these prospective buyers actually exist!
Use these ideas directly, or seek inspiration from them to do a little brainstorming of your own. You’ll find that there are countless different approaches that you can take to engage people in a little real estate talk. Remember, most people are actually quite curious to about what’s going on in the market – especially in their own neighbourhood!