In the past (late 1990's), door knocking on properties in default was a staple for any blue collar realtor working the pre-foreclosure sector. We had a whole army assembled and equipt with data, scripts, knowledge of available options, compassion, and savvy. You never know when you're going to get a cigarette flicked in your eye (it has happened) but you did it anyway. Evenings and weekends were prime time and you expected to put in some work in order to continue your success. At one time, we had over 200 listings with over 90% being short sales. Many were obtained as a result of door knocking N.O.D.'s.
As a national short sale trainer and a top active agent, I find much less door knocking being done as a major part of realtors' business plan. However, it never ceases to amaze me how many times the top short sale agents in the respective towns I visit are "door knockers". I always ask, "so, how did you get so many listings? What's the key to your success?" I sit back and either expect them to say that they door knock or spend major dollars with direct mail campaigns.
One weird fact is that it seems there is a stigma attached to "door knocking" as well. People who door knock or who refer to others who door knock tend to consider it "old school". Almost like it is something only people with no other marketing options do. That couldn't be farther from the truth.
At the doors is where real estate business thrives. Real people with real problems are out there. Carefully constructed scripts and conversations along with a healthy knowledge of the subject matter can breed fantasctic results. There is no short cut to success in real estate in this downturn. Homeowners are desperate for knowledgable Realtors who will put the needs of their prospects first and help them find the most favorable solution to their real estate crisis.
Below, I have laid the groundwork for the mind-set for the 4 levels of door knocking your prospects:
1. Pre-foreclosure profiling - Homeowners who obtained risky loans during the span of 2004-2007
*Soft passive "Trusted Advisor" approach, informing homeowners in the area about foreclosure relief options in case they know someone who may need more info (wink wink)
2. 30-60 day late on mortgage payment (credit lead)
* Soft semi-passive "Trusted Advisor" approach, in the area sharing current info on foreclosure relief options, laws are changing, stay informed, someone you know may need our help (wink wink), asking them if they have any questions about loan modification, short sales or any other relief options, positioning yourself as THE source for this info.
3. N.O.D. has recently been filed / recorded
* A little more forthright, confirming an N.O.D. has been filed. Asking them if they have a "bullet proof" solution they are working on, offering a short sale as a plan "B", having conversation, not being pushy, talking about timelines and ramifications if their plan possibly fails
4. N.O.T.S. has been filed / recorded
* Strong yet very polite, confirming N.O.T.S. has been set, making sure they understand what that means, politely probing their current status (many will be attempting to modify their loan), offering a plan "B" to increase their chances of avoiding forclosure, it helps to have a very good understanding of the Making Home Affordable program (www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov), being persistant. This type of lead is not for a wimpy agent. Got to know your stuff and be strong.
Well, Ihope this post either confirms what you're doing (if you're a door knocker), or convicts you to get out there and help some people if you're not door knocking. There is plenty of business out there...and you're not going to get it just by being on facebook :)