Joys of Prospecting? What the heck!?

Real Estate Agent with Century21 Drue Self Real Estate

Prospecting... a word that before this week drove terror in my heart! A few synonyms in my opinion would have been intrusive, irritating, annoying, unprofitable, and pretty much all that is horrible  and negative! However, I have started to prospect by going door to door passing out business cards, visiting expireds and FSBO's,  and some cold calling (following DNC list of course).

I went door to door yesterday, and I sat in my car for at least 10 minutes before my desire for success dragged me out and pushed me in-front of the first door. I waited... rang the door bell... waited some more... and much to my dismay, someone answered. I smiled, gave a non-intrusive, soft sell attitude casual hello, talked a little bit, gave him a business card, and then he started to tell me about the neighborhood! I was almost speechless! "This isn't the way it happened in my nightmare..." I thought to myself. He was actually rather kind and pleasant, and it is quite possible that because of him I proceeded to go to every house on that street. I had two positives, two neutrals, and one negative. Most of the people were not home so I left a business card in the screen door and would go on my merry way.

The sun was shining, I was in a good mood, and knocking on doors was nothing like what I thought it was going to be. I will have scheduled time maybe 2 or 3 days a week now where I will go to my farming area, pick a new street, and proceed to get to know the locals. Once my website is complete, I hope this will drive business online, which will then lead to more buyers and sellers calling my phone. I am convinced the modern real estate customer believes that he or she has enough information that they do not need a pushy hard selling Realtor. People will go with a friend every time, and I am out to show my city that I can and will be that friend who will look after their best interest.

I always imagined prospecting to be a horrible thing where desperate sales people go through a neighborhood annoying the heck out of the residents. I have never had a Realtor knock on my door, ask if they could give me their business card, and then proceed to ask how my day is going or what I thought of the area, and then tell me that if they can be of service in anyway to call them. Now I know that being a new Realtor in my first year that I will have a lot of ups and downs and learning experiences. But if I never had the downs I would never be able to go up, and if I never had a mistake to learn from I would never learn!

Comments (115)

Jacki & Jerry Shafer
The Shafer Real Estate Team, Keller Williams Louisville East - Crestwood, KY
The Shafer Team, Call 502-643-SOLD

Hi Andy:

I applaud your drive and ambition.  I've never had a Realtor come to my door either.  Shows how chicken most of us are!  So you da man!


Feb 26, 2008 01:58 PM
Tina Farinas
Fusion Real Estate Network, Inc. - Roseville, CA

Excellent job!  It's getting past the first hurdle that makes it tough for everyone.  After that it will be smooth sailing.

Feb 26, 2008 03:56 PM
Robert Arnold
Brooks Prime Properties - Huntsville, TX
Lake Livingston Real Estate
I see this blog is almost a year old and was wondering if you were still doing the door to door or have you moved on to something else?
Feb 27, 2008 03:22 PM
D. Bass
Ask The Underwriter - Atlanta, GA
Blog: Ask The Underwriter

Great Post! I felt that way about cold calling mortgage brokers, but I actually found that people were very receptive or polite!  It definitely encouraged me to do it at least twice a week now.

Keep getting out the car, and I'll keep picking up the phone!

Feb 27, 2008 10:29 PM
Karen Hubert
Center Stage Design-real estate staging, Ancaster/Hamilton - Ancaster, ON
Home Stager
Good for you Andy.  I'm sure there are many of us who can relate to these feelings. Great post.
Mar 02, 2008 02:26 AM
Elaine A. Cook
Connect - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate
Great post...courage...that is all that stands between point A and B!!!  Well done!
Mar 02, 2008 03:02 AM
Alex Mordas
EarthSTEPS - Tallahassee, FL
Green Building Consultant


I'm at that point where i am about to be sitting in the car waiting till my drive to succeed drives me to the first front door. We'll see. Hope it goes as well for me as it seems to have for you.


Mar 02, 2008 04:18 AM
Gary J. Rocks
Juba Team Realty - Jefferson Township, NJ


Glad to see you did it, wasn't that fun? I have knocked on thousands of doors and made some good money doing it. Out of all the doors I've knocked I only had about 5 people who were peeved that I did it.

Mar 03, 2008 03:24 AM
Paula Hoff
Country Home Real Estate, Inc. - York, PA



Thanks so much for this valuable info.  I'm a newer agent and this is exactly how I've began my business -- door-to-door at expireds and FSBOs.  This certainly wasn't the easiest thing to do.  There were many times that getting out of the car just wasn't happening!!  I've just found that is much easier for someone to hang up on me than shut the door in my face.  Also, in our day of all this technology (not complaining about it -- couldn't live without the cell phone, computer, GPS etc.) but people want "warm bodies" not automation.  They want to speak face to face and know that someone cares and will be there for them. 


Thanks for giving me the encouragement to continue getting out of the car!

Mar 04, 2008 04:00 AM
Rafael Cortes
Home Run Real Estate, Inc. - West Palm Beach, FL

Boy I thought I was the only realtor prospecting door to door, now I don't feel so lonely.  I have system that works well with me and if anyone wants to know about it just email me at:

Iam glad to know there are realtors working the old fashion way.  I also use the internet to prospect and both work wonders.  Keep the good work, Andy.

Mar 04, 2008 09:48 AM
Kelly Spinosa
Crossroads Realty - Sea Girt, NJ
Good Post, some positive motivation here. I have also experienced many ups and downs which you can easily let get to you, I recently had a deal fall through and although I missed out on the commission I took the knowledge that I gained from it as my payment : ) There is so much to learn in this business it is really important not to get discouraged. Thanks for sharing!!!!
Mar 06, 2008 01:44 PM
Rob Muller
ReMax Town & Country - Canton, GA
Cherokee County Real Estate
Your a braver man than I, I can just imagine the response I would have had a few years ago if a real estate agent had shown up uninvited and that is enough to scare me away from the door to door method. so kudos to you
Mar 06, 2008 01:59 PM
Michelle Hall
Century 21 Hecht - Denver, NC

I am still within my first year as well, and am happy to read this blog.  I too get these horrid visions of humiliating myself in front of an agitated person as I knock on their door.  I always have to talk myself into it and just do it. 

May 14, 2008 02:43 PM
Henry Bruce
Realty National Mastery - Rossmoor, CA

Good jod Any, I door knock my first year in the business, No sells or buyer, but keep going.

May 14, 2008 06:25 PM
Richard Schardt
Keller Williams Realty - Kernersville, NC
Triad NC Real Estate

Andy, I just read this post that is now over a year old, yet timeless. Thanks for sharing your experiences, they are inspiring to me. Thanks also to the numerous people who commented.

May 15, 2008 02:33 AM
Linda Schulte
Keller Williams - Alpharetta, GA

Reading this post and all the comments has been very revealing!  It's comforting to realize that most of us suffer from the same fear of prospecting.  Here are a couple of great quotes that I keep taped right by my phone:  "Feel the fear, and do it anyway", John Maxwell, and another one, and I don't know who to credit this one to:  "Money lies on the other side of fear"!  So, if you're sitting in your car, not able to get out, or can't seem to make yourself pick up the phone, just go for it!

Linda Schulte, Keller Williams North Atlanta

May 15, 2008 08:19 AM
Brendan Hume

Hey Andy,

 Hope your are still out there doing

your work.


I knocked on 3000 homes four times

a year for my first five years in the business.

(12000 a year, 1994-1999).


My data base has gone quite so I'm

back to 100 doors a day, 3600 in the

last 2 months, still going.


It's not easy but it works.

I wont wish your luck, you will make

your own.



Jul 07, 2010 12:57 PM
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

thank you very much for the informative and interesting post. I get so much out of the active rain network.

Mar 02, 2012 10:51 PM
Laura Murray
Weichert - Silver Spring, MD
Search Montgomery Co., MD for homes

Good luck to you.  I see the post was written several years ago, it would be interesting to here how your perspective on things has changed.  Also, what were your biggest "ah ha" over the last few years?

Jul 12, 2012 04:16 AM
Christi Hacker
Realty ONE Group Sterling - Omaha, NE
Your Omaha Area Real Estate Specialist

I just stumbled across this post am so happy that I did. Years later it is still relevant and I thank you for sharing your experience! It is good to know that 'sitting in your car' feeling is not unique!

Mar 25, 2014 07:31 AM