Why You Must Consider Door Knocking to Generate Real Estate Leads
Agents can generate real estate leads in various ways. Some of the most common ways include a Facebook lead generation campaign, setting up a website and drive traffic to the site, networking with other real estate agents and setting up open houses and inviting potential home sellers.
One, les common but just as effective way to generate real estate leads is to canvass a neighborhood and go door knocking.
What? Door knocking? That’s a viable way to generate real estate leads? It absolutely is! Knocking on doors could be the best way for some real estate agents if done properly.
What’s Old is New Again
Ever heard the saying, “What’s old is new again?” The saying implies that what once was important or effective, and became ineffective or unimportant, is now important or effective again. That’s what knocking on doors is. It’s an old school real estate agent way of generating leads that became ineffective for a while, but is now effective again.
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Why is door knocking effective? Most advertising requires an action on the part of the person being advertised to. It requires us to click on banners, ask for information, or drive to the store that has the sale that weekend.
Door knocking requires no action on the part of the person who answers the door, the person being advertised to. As any good ad executive will tell you, this leads to effectiveness because requiring someone being sold to do any action, even the slightest possible action, is tough!
That’s why what’s new is old again. Door knocking has become an effective way to generate real estate leads, again.
Door Knocking Will Separate You from the Real Estate Agent Pack
We’ve been taught that the only way to generate leads is through the internet. And, that’s okay. Customer retention management systems like the Home Value Leads CRM are great at allowing us to take whatever leads we’ve generated through our social media advertising and put them into the CRM.
You can also put door knocking generated leads into the HVL CRM, though. So, that’s not an excuse. Here’s the bottom line: you’re hesitant, which means every other real estate agent is hesitant. Wouldn’t it be nice to be one of the few real estate agents who wasn’t scared to go door knocking?
Separate yourself from the pack by door knocking!
Door Knocking Allows You to Control the First Impression
If you go door knocking and someone answers the door, you control their first impression of you. You don’t have to rely on word of mouth, a visit to your website, your Facebook posts or Instagram messages to give your first impression.
They’ll get the first impression that you give them.
You Can Become Top of Mind Even if Nobody Answers the Door
This is the most important reason to consider door knocking. By knocking on doors, you can generate leads even if nobody answers the door. How? You leave behind materials: a business card, or something useful like a pen with your name and logo on it. Whatever you leave behind, make sure it’s something that keeps you on top of the potential client’s minds.
Then, you can write down the address, put it in your HVL CRM as a cold lead, and then follow-up with another door knock in a month or two. Is it a cold lead? It is, but it’s still a lead that you can follow-up on after you follow up on your hot and warm leads.
Why Don’t Real Estate Agents Employ Door Knocking into Their Marketing Strategies?
Sometimes, real estate agents might try door knocking once and then give up on the exercise. They do this because they might have no luck the first time they tried door knocking. The key is to always be sincere when someone answers the door. If you’re nervous, that’s okay. Nervousness can put the person at the door into a state of ease.
Also, there are some individuals who will answer the door that will be rude to you no matter the door knocking script. That’s the main reason some real estate agents try door knocking and then give up on it after the first attempt.
If a rude person answers the door, realize that no matter what script you would have used would have changed the person’s attitude. Rude people are often rude for reasons unknown to you. Maybe, the person was having a bad day.
You don’t know, which is why the worst thing you could do is to read too much into it. Instead of worrying about the person being rude, maintain your integrity and sincerity, apologize for bothering them and then leave your business card and let them know that you’re available if they have any questions. Doing this could lead to a much longer conversation.
Door knocking is not the most popular real estate agent marketing strategy. In fact, most real estate agents don’t like to go door knocking. Although not popular, it can be extremely effective when agents are armed with powerful door knocking scripts.
Door Knocking Script Basics
Let’s answer the two most important questions regarding door knocking: what are door knocking scripts, and why are door knocking scripts effective?
What Are Door Knocking Scripts?
If a decision-maker answers the door, we might have struck gold, but that gold could slip from our fingers if we’re not prepared. Door knocking scripts prepare us to keep gold in our hands. Good door knocking scripts allow us to establish ourselves as an expert real estate agent, establish an immediate rapport with the individual who answered the door, and helps us start the conversation.
Door knocking scripts are simple scripts that allow us to generate leads. By using door knocking scripts, real estate agents can increase the likelihood of turning a lead into an actual client. Not all door knocking scripts are effective. Different door knocking scripts work for different situations.
For example, most of the time, the person that answers the door won’t be a decision-maker. In those cases, we must have a door knocking script, maybe even two or three, that turns the person who answered the door into a champion of ours. That’s not easy to do.
If nobody answers the door, you’re in a different difficult situation. While you have the chance to write a handwritten note and leave it for the home owner, you can’t just write a handwritten note. You must have an idea of what you wish to convey in the note. It helps to have some examples, some notes that you’ve prewritten that can guide you while you write a specific handwritten note.
What Makes Door Knocking Scripts Effective?
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes one door knocking script more effective than any other. Door knocking, like most forms of marketing, can approach the level of art. Effectiveness can be measured by the response you receive, but even then, be careful about reading too much into the response.
You could arm yourself with the best possible door knocking script imaginable, a door knocking script that you’ve gone over plenty of times and that has been effective in the past. You still might run into a situation where the door knocking script doesn’t work. When these moments happen, don’t become dejected. Try to find out why your ironclad door knocking script didn’t work.
At the end of this article, we provide 4 cold opening door knocking scripts and 3 warm opening door knocking scripts. We also answer relevant questions about each type of door knocking script. Real estate agents can use the scripts provided, or use them as guides to help them create their own.
Create a Door Knocking Location Strategy
Door knocking scripts can most definitely help real estate agents discover new clients. Door knocking itself is a valuable marketing technique that, if anything, provides agents invaluable branding. By branding themselves as the go to real estate agent in a specific neighborhood, those agents get a leg up over competing agents.
But door knocking scripts, and door knocking itself, are only effective if there is a strategy behind it. The best strategy for door knocking? Think like the great real estate agent you are: location, location, location!
Base Strategy on School Districts
This might be the best way to create a door knocking location strategy. Knowing what the neighborhoods are with the best school districts could lead to home sales leads. There are multiple reasons for this. Let’s go through each one:
1. The most expensive homes are usually in the same neighborhood as the top schools
Places like La Canada near Los Angeles, or Friendswood or Katy near Houston, not only have great school districts but also have the most expensive homes. The reason is because people who can afford to purchase or rent expensive homes also support the schools that their children attend. That’s just common sense.
2. Homes in good school districts are often legacy homes
Homes in great school districts are often handed down from parent to child. Believe it or not, some home owners might just be renting the home, or they might be living in the home because they don’t know exactly what to do with it.
Legacy owners are more prone to sell. One legacy owner we know of had to move his mother-in-law from Glendale, CA to San Diego, where he and his wife lived. He took over the mother-in-law’s home after moving her out and then went about the process of fixing up the home for sale.
It still took him a while to sell the home because at first, he didn’t know what real estate agent to contact. Think what would have happened if you had gone door knocking on this person’s home while he was there contemplating the best way to sell it? He’d have signed with you!
3. Senior citizens own homes in good school districts
Good school districts aren’t created overnight. It often takes years, sometimes, decades for a school district to be labeled good or great. Senior citizens and retirees own many of these homes. Many of them are widowed or single and many of them are ready to sell. Just like legacy home owners, retiree home owners often want the profits of a home sale more than the home itself.
4. Families are desperate to buy homes in great school districts
Families with children put great school districts at the top of their list for purchasing a home. If an owner who has a home in a great school district wants to sell, there will be no shortage of buyers.
Base Strategy on Selling History
Selling history is an important aspect of a door knocking location strategy. There are two-sides to looking at selling history, though. The first is all positive. If the home has sold before for a premium, it most likely will sell for a premium again. That’s good news to a motivated real estate agent and a motivated home seller.
The downside is that if a home churns too much, if it’s sold over and over again, it could be hard to get a real idea of its value. Not only that, you could find it difficult to sell the home for a premium again if it just sold for a premium.
So, use this method to canvass neighborhoods for door knocking. Just know that it might not be as effective as the school district method.
Base Strategy on Neighborhood Home Values
This is an easy one. The higher the home values, the more real estate agents and homeowners make when they sell the home. It’s also extremely effective. However, it’s also a strategy that most real estate agents utilize when they decide to go door knocking.
Real estate agents like you should definitely use this strategy. They could decide to use this strategy along with the school district strategy. Or, they could use this strategy to canvass a neighborhood for a month with no regards to the school district strategy and then switch it up with the school district strategy the next month.
No matter what, make sure to find out the home values of the neighborhoods where you’re trying to find leads. It doesn’t matter if you go door knocking or not. You must know the median price and specific prices for homes in any neighborhood where you wish to generate leads.
Base Strategy on Neighborhood Intangibles
Intangibles are huge. Are the homes near a fire department, police station, YMCA? Are the homes situated near small businesses or a corporate business park? Will the homes attract too much foot traffic?
Intangibles are massive. Also, it’s great when homes are near walking areas like parks and streets with multiple businesses. Homes within walking distance of Honolulu Ave. in Montrose, CA are worth more than homes far away from a street where families can walk, have lunch, purchase a few items, and have a great day without having to drive anywhere.
Thinking of neighborhood intangibles when creating your door knocking strategy can go a long way to finding the right neighborhood to knock on doors. Definitely research the best school districts around your area and always find the median price and individual price for homes in the neighborhood no matter if you go door knocking or not.
Door Knocking Script Best Practices
Top Door Knocking Best Practices
As with any real estate agent marketing process, there are best practices associated with door knocking. Door knocking can be extremely invasive. Most individuals are suspicious of door to door salespeople. As a real estate agent door knocker, you are essentially a door to door salesperson.
Stick to the below listed best practices to ensure you aren’t an annoying door to door salesperson!
1. Only door knock during the day
The first best practice is an obvious one. Real estate agents should never go door knocking at night. There are various reasons for this.
Safety must always be at the forefront of any door knocking strategy. It’s much safer to knock on doors during the day than it is at night. Although it’s quite possible that more potential leads will answer their doors at night than during the day, it’s just not worth it to real estate agents to door knock at night. Too many bad things can happen. For example, it’s tougher for most drivers to see at night. Not a good idea to roam around a neighborhood with low visibility, right?
In addition to the safety issue, nobody wants to be disturbed by a salesperson, any salesperson, at night. Night time is when people have dinner, watch television, and unwind after a difficult day. The last thing they want is for an eager real estate agent to knock on their door and tell them how much their home is worth.
2. Door knock in neighborhoods you’ve researched
Here’s another no-brainer door knocking best practice. It makes no sense for real estate agents to step out of their offices or homes, get into their cars, drive to neighborhoods they know nothing about, and start knocking on doors.
If that sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is ridiculous! Why would any potential lead take you seriously if after answering the door, you have absolutely no follow-up about how much their home is worth, how much homes in the neighborhood are worth, why they should consider selling at this point in time, and why they should consider working with you to sell their home at this point in time?
Those are answers for serious follow-up questions that any decision-maker you reach through door knocking will most definitely have. If you haven’t researched a specific neighborhood, specific houses if you can, as well as all the intangibles the neighborhood has to offer, schools, businesses, etc. to bolster your lead generating efforts, your door knocking strategy will be dead before you’ve had a chance to knock on a single door.
3. Always leave something behind
Sounds simple enough. Any time you knock on a door, have something to leave behind. If a person answers the door, you’ll want to leave something behind that reminds them who you are. Even if the person who answers the door has no decision-making power, leave something behind.
Always leave your information in the form of a flyer or business card. That’s for decision-makers. If you decide it’s a good idea to leave more than just your information behind, maybe something like a key chain or bottle opener, make sure you’ve got enough for both the person that answers the door and the decision-maker.
If you just leave only one small reminder gift behind, you have no idea if the person who answered the door will keep that reminder gift for himself or herself. That’s why it’s important to leave a gift for both the person who answers the door and the decision-maker.
Also, you want the person who answers the door to serve as your gatekeeper. Gate keepers wield more power than many of us might believe. Reward gatekeepers and take a step closer to decision-makers.
4. Think long-term customer
Always be sincere and honest. Present facts not pipe dreams. You want to create a long-term customer because long-term customers can become excellent referral machines. A referral machine is one who name drops a real estate agent every chance they get. If you treat people the right way, sometimes you can develop a referral machine relationship without ever selling the person’s home. That’s how referrals work.
Always think long-term customer. By doing so, you’ll be in the right frame of mind no matter whether a decision-maker, a non-decision-maker, or nobody answers the door. Door knocking is all about frame of mind. Positivity will take you a long way when you’re out there knocking on doors.
5. React as a human being, not as a real estate agent
You’re going to run into situations where you’re the evillest person in the world for knocking on a door and trying to help someone. They can make money from selling their home, or they can take profits from selling their home and moving into a bigger home. Most of the time, those are positive things.
However, many people who answer the door won’t believe those are positive things. To combat this, you must act like the human being with emotional intelligence that you are. Always take the high road. Never get angry. Always thank the person that answers the door. Kindness and understanding will tear down way more walls than being defensive.
Types of Door Knocking Scripts
3 Different Types Door Knocking Scripts
There are 3 types of door knocking scripts: when the decision maker answers the door, when the non-decision maker answers the door, and when nobody answers the door.
First, realize that you always start out, no matter who answers the door, by telling them who you are. Second, you must ask if the person that answers the door is the decision maker or not. You won’t know if the person is the decision maker unless you ask. Don’t ever assume.
The next step is to ask if the person you’re speaking with owns the home. That’s when you either pivot to a “decision-maker door knocking script”, a “non-decision-maker door knocking script”, or a “nobody answered the door”, handwritten note door knocking script.
1. Decision maker answers the door
If the decision maker answers the door, you’re in luck! You’ve gotten close to striking gold. You haven’t struck gold yet because the homeowner, the decision maker, hasn’t yet become one of your clients. However, you’re in the vicinity where gold exists.
If the decision maker answered the door, you should have specific scripts in mind. One of the things you might consider is handing the person a compliment. Definitely frame it in real estate terms, i.e., talk about how great their lawn looks, or how awesome the house itself looks from the outside.
Point out the fantastic state of their neighbor’s homes as well. Then, ask the person if they would ever consider selling their home. Advise them that you know it would fly off the market because other homes in the area are flying off the market.
The bottom line with the decision-maker type door knocking script is that you must balance hard selling with the fact that you’ve got the decision maker in front of you. You might never again get an opportunity like this, therefore, you want to be aggressive, but not so overly aggressive that you don’t get the chance to put them into your HVL CRM.
It’s a fine line. Develop strong door knocking scripts that help you toe that line.
2. Non-decision maker answers the door
If a non-decision maker answers the door, you must first ask if the decision maker is available. If the decision maker isn’t available, your next course of action should be to discern the relationship between the person who answered the door and the decision maker. You can simply do this by asking questions. Simply ask, “Are you related to the person who owns this home?”
If the answer is no, then say something like, “Oh, okay, well, I’ve got something for you, anyhow.” That’s when you bring out your small reminder gift. Remember, it’s important to always leave reminder gifts for both the person who answered the door as well as the decision maker.
Kindly ask the person to forward your reminder gift to the decision maker. 99 times out of 100 the person will do just that if you’ve taken the time to also hand them a reminder gift. People are naturally inclined to help you when you approach them with sincerity. They’re also more prone to help you if you give them free stuff!
3. Nobody answers the door
If nobody answers the door, you must still use a door knocking script. The script you use in these cases should be handwritten notes. Just write the scripts down and have them ready to go. Make sure you’ve got enough on hand.
Since you are door knocking during the day, there’s a good chance nobody will be home for most of the residences. Make sure you have a door knocking handwritten note scripted out beforehand. If you can personalize it, even better. Also, always leave a small reminder gift.
See below for an example of a handwritten note.
I’m sorry I missed you. My name is ______. I’m a real estate agent who was walking by and noticed how lovely your home is. A home just down the street from you sold for _____.
Have you ever thought about selling? Give me a call at ____. You can also reach me via email at ____.
I look forward to speaking to you.
7 Can’t Miss Door Knocking Scripts
Now that we know what door knocking scripts are, how to use them, and why they’re so effective, let’s turn our attention to actual door knocking scripts. Check out 7 scripts that surely will lead to success!
We’ve got two categories for door knocking scripts: cold opening scripts and warm opening scripts.
Cold Opening Scripts
1. “ My name is ______. I’m a real estate agent. I’ve been studying your neighborhood and just noticed that one of your neighbors sold their home for _____. Have you ever thought of selling your home?”
2. “ My name is ______. I’m a real estate agent. I noticed that one of your neighbors listed their home for _____. Have you ever thought of selling your home?”
3. “ My name is ______. I’m a real estate agent. I’ve been studying your neighborhood and just noticed that one of your neighbors sold their home for _____. Have you ever thought of selling your home?”
4. “ My name is ____. You’ve got an absolutely beautiful home. I’ve been researching the area and wanted you to be aware that home prices are higher than they’ve been in a long time. Have you ever considered selling?”
Frequently Asked Questions About Cold Door Knocking Scripts
Why should I introduce myself?
It might seem like introducing yourself right away doesn’t make sense. After all, you could just go into a pitch. But, let’s consider the situation. You are knocking on someone’s door in the middle of the day to ask them if they’ve ever thought of selling their home.
You have no real basis for knocking on their door other than the fact that you’ve studied their neighborhood and know that you could sell their home for a lot of money. First, you want to establish that you’re no threat to them before even establishing that you’re an expert.
Never discount the power of an introduction. It says you’re confident and you’re not afraid. It will also put the person who answers the door at ease.
What should I say if the response is bad?
Apologizing for disturbing them if they give you a bad response works. If you do apologize, don’t be too contrite. You’re trying to help them. Make sure to let them know about how much they could sell their home for. The thought of making money often calms the most difficult person.
What are the four most important things to consider with cold opening scripts?
1. Be sincere – All effective forms of communication start with sincerity.
2. Don’t assume – Don’t ever assume. You might be right 90% of the time with your assumptions. The 10% of the time that you’re wrong will blow you’re chance at representing a home seller.
3. Have a follow-up if the decision-maker doesn’t open the door – Realize that many people work during the day. The chances of a non-decision-maker answering the door is high.
4. Consider a softer sell in the initial door knocking script – Don’t be overly aggressive with your initial door knocking script. Even if the decision-maker answers the door, you must be delicate. You’re knocking on their door during the day. Be aware of that.
Warm Opening Scripts
5. “My name is ____. I’m a real estate agent that works with ___. We just sold a home for one of your neighbors. Would you be interested in seeing how much your home is worth?”
6. “My name is ____. I’m a real estate agent that works with ___. We just listed one of your neighbors homes for ___. We could probably list yours for around the same. Have you ever thought of selling?”
7. “My name is ____. I’m a real estate agent that works with ___. We’re offering pre-listing presentations and free home value calculations in the area. One of your neighbors took us up on our offer. Would you like to see how much your home is worth?”
Frequently Asked Questions About Warm Opening Scripts
How aggressive should I get?
Aggressiveness depends on the targeted home. If you know the homeowners, even just through someone else, maybe the agent who works in your firm that sold the home down the street, being somewhat aggressive shouldn’t hurt your chances at signing them on as a client.
If you don’t know the people at all, tone down the aggressiveness. Even though you or someone you’ve worked with has sold their neighbor’s home, that doesn’t mean they have any idea who that neighbor is or whether they can trust you.
What are some follow-up things to say if the decision-maker doesn’t answer the door?
Always ask for the decision-maker. If someone answers the door who isn’t the decision-maker, all isn’t lost. Kindly ask the person if they’d forward your information on to the decision-maker. If you’re handing out goodies, make sure to leave two sets, one for the person who answers the door and the decision-maker.
Any person who answers the door that’s not the decision-maker can become a real asset to you. You want to develop champions for your cause. Keep that in mind.
Just like the actual door knocking scripts, the answers to the questions we lay out is just advice. Real estate agents should try and develop their own style of door knocking, their own strategies. Also, make sure to experiment with different door knocking scripts. You never know what will work and don’t forget that half the battle is your comfortability. Use scripts that you’re comfortable using. That’s the best way to ensure door knocking effectiveness.
The bottom line is that door knocking works. It’s also highly effective in this age of non-interpersonal sales. Think about it this way, one of the most important things a person can do is sell their home. That’s where they live. That might be where they raised their children.
Selling a home requires a personal touch. There’s nothing more personal than door knocking. It says, “I’m not the type of real estate agent who wants your business just because I’ve got a cool flyer. I’m my own flyer!”
Real estate agents should use door knocking as a part of their overall marketing strategy. For many real estate agents, they should make it the most important part of their marketing strategy. If agents spend time door knocking, they’ll generate more real estate leads than they ever thought possible.