part II Joys of Prospecting? What the Heck?!?

Real Estate Agent with Century21 Drue Self Real Estate

My butt glued to the seat, nothing going nowhere anytime, I find myself writing scenarios about door to door prospecting. Personally I envision the worst possible things people can stay, then I figure out ways out of them. I often find myself laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, knowing that the chances of finding somebody else like me who could possibly think of saying something that rude is, thank God, extremely slim.

In continuation of an earlier blog, Joys of Prospecting? What the heck!? I am writing possibilities of what you could say if you want to try knocking on doors. All I ask is that you don't go in the area I farm, as I would have to undoubtedly give you a mean look, and that is never a good thing:-).

Now, I cannot write out something for you to say, as what I say might  be awkward for anybody else to say. That, and every-time I go door knocking, I switch up my little spiel so that I can see what works best and grabs the attention of the home owner. So instead we'll do main thoughts of what could work for you.

  • People will do business with a friend. What do you say if you want to be friends with someone? What could make people want to be friends with you? First off, people want to be comfortable and feel good about themselves when they are around friends. If I knock on your door someday, and start talking about myself, are you going to be interested in hearing about the greatness of me? Chances are you won't, unless you happen to like the color of my socks and shoelaces. So the point here is to get the homeowner or whoever answers the door to talk about themselves! Ask about the neighborhood, how long they have lived there, compliment their garden or landscaping, if they have a car you envy ask about how it drives, acceleration, etc. Just anything to get the person talking about them!
  • Be sure to introduce yourself. Full disclosure between friends! No point in trying to hide that you are a Realtor if you ever expect or want them to do business with you. Always have a business card you can give them so they can get a hold of you if they want a CMA or to list heir house.
  • Give people their space. Do not touch people, do not try to shake their hand when you first meet. I always stand at least 5 feet away from the door after I knock or ring the bell, that way they do not feel threatened in any way.
  • Let them feel like they are in charge and in control. Ask for their permission to give them your business card. Do not be pushy. You are trespassing on their turf, and so help them if they want to slam the door on you thats their right.
  • Do not feel like you have to get them the first time. If they are friendly and tell you about their car, the neighborhood, or anything at all, write them that day or  the next and thank them! Once again, be a friend. At the end of the letter, tell them to call you if you can be of service. That will be enough of a sells pitch. They know you are a Realtor, and chances are in reality that the can get pretty close to the same service from anyone. The difference with you will be that you are their friend, or at least someone they like because you are nice to them and treat them with respect.
  • Most importantly, do not take rejection personally. I'm sure that if they knew you personally they would invite you in for a cup of tea. However at this point, to them you are just somebody trying to get something from them, and people do not like to be had.
  • Do not end your prospecting time on a bad note. If the last house on the street closes the door on you, go to the next street until you find a good house. Your subconscious has a memory like none other, and it will be harder and harder to get back out their if every time you start you think of that last house.

I hope this helps people. Please do share your experiences! I did a CMA yesterday for someone I met while door knocking. I have not had a listing yet, but this is a numbers game. You knock on enough doors you will find someone who wants to sell their house. People will list with a friend every time if they have a choice, not a stranger. And in order for you to have friends, you must first prove yourself friendly! Good luck!

Comments (12)

Yvonne Brown
Century 21 Northwest - Gilbert, AZ
Andy, your last comment about ending on a good note rings true for other things as well. Ending anything we are doing on a good note will make it so much easier to come back to next time around. Thanks for sharing!
Mar 22, 2007 06:20 AM
Sandra Williams
Rancon Real Estate - Temecula, CA
Door to door farming is so hard for me---I know it works so it is nice to have some advice in this area.
Mar 23, 2007 06:20 PM
Sean Schroeder
Century 21 - Virginia Beach, VA
Century 21 top producers

Going door-to-door doesn't have to be hard or scary. Having the door slammed in your face is the worst thing that could happen to you.  In my experience, and I have been doing the door to door thing for about 2 years now, I have had the door slammed in my face only a handful of times.  My approach is not that of a sales person but from the stand point that I am trying to better serve my current and future clients.  I promise them two things.  1: I am not here to get them to sell their house, or purchase one and 2: I have only 3 questions I would like to ask them.  After I say this I ask my 3 questions, and after each I wait for a response and write the answer in my note pad.

It is important that you keep this promise of 3 questions,  formulate 3 open ended questions ( Who, What, Where, When ). The goal is to get the prospect to provide you information, and to let them do most of the talking.  After you are done don't forget those that answered your questions.  Send them a nice letter and remind them that your business relies on referrals.

Just a note, If someone starts to give you a hard time just smile and say "thank you for your time" and politely walk away.  You must stay in control.

Oh and by the way, when you introduce yourself hand them your business card and make sure that you have written the following words on it "THANK YOU".  Time this for the moment that you make the promise to only ask 3 questions.  You want them to see the "Thank you", it takes their guard down and you are thanking them in advance!


Mar 26, 2007 01:48 PM
Gary J. Rocks
Juba Team Realty - Jefferson Township, NJ


great blog, I just now found this blog part on farming and think its great that others like to go door to door to me I would love to do it everyday if I could.

Seems like you have great idea's, I have some that I will be sharing at a later date.

If anyone out there needs to read up on it they should purchase the book by Tom Hopkins on How to Master the Art of Listing. A great investment. Some of the highest producing agents I know use this book as their Bible in the Real Estate Business.

Mar 28, 2007 09:28 AM
Jacinto Hausinger
Realty Pro Inc - Vancouver, WA
I tried door to door knocking when I first started in real estate. Most people were a no, with a few slammed doors. However, I can account 4 transactions to door knocking, so it was worth the initial shock and rejection.
Mar 29, 2007 03:35 AM
Heather Armstrong
Skogman Realty - Cedar Rapids, IA

I think if you just start out with a "non-threatening" goal, such as:  I am going to walk this neighborhood and I'm not going home until I meet 10 people and let them know that I sell Real Estate.  The hardest door to knock on is the first one and like you said, Andy, any rejection isn't personal.  This is a numbers game.....every no you get takes you that much closer to a YES!!!!

good luck everyone!

Mar 29, 2007 03:58 PM
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Andy great post, but you could make your life easier by getting someone in your office to let you help them market their listing.  Yup.......create your own brochure, hold the open house the hole 9 yards.  Using your energy to help sell a listing where you find the buyer or possibly get your own listing from your activity.

Create your own brochure before the open house and distribute 200 flyer 3-4 days before the open house.  This give you a reason to walk the neighborhood and put the flyer in the front door.  Do not ring just keep moving.  Someone will stop you, and you may get another CMA and a listing.  Keep up the effort it is a rule of numbers.  Also mail to the expired listings.  I did just that and got a listing and sold it in 11 days!  You can too.

Jun 21, 2007 06:55 AM
Preston Riley
Weichert Realtors, Dean-Kelby - Charleston, SC
I agree to end things on that good note... very important for someone with motivation problems. Especially in my hot area like Charleston, there's always a reason to not go if you can think of one. Keep posting!        
Jun 21, 2007 08:07 AM
Katy Stansifer
Good thoughts! Even after having been in sales before my RE career, I still find it difficult to knock on doors. The first time I did it, I did a CMA of 5 recently sold properties and mailed them to 25 houses in my neighborhood. Then I followed up by door knocking. Most people remembered getting it and it was a way to start the conversation after introducing myself. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't keep up the momentum because I moved away from that neighborhood. BUT, I plan to do something similar in my new area.
Jun 21, 2007 09:10 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
Good post. I agree real estate is a numbers game. you never know who is looking to buy or sell and if you are the agent they met recently, they will remember you.
Jun 21, 2007 10:51 PM
Kate Bourland
Marketing with Kate - Redding, CA
Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing

Also, get a loan officer to help you out in exchange for loan referrals!


Jun 22, 2007 05:55 AM
Christi Hacker
Realty ONE Group Sterling - Omaha, NE
Your Omaha Area Real Estate Specialist

I stumbled upon this post, ant I know I am years late :) I would add that you should ask the homeowner that you are able to meet face to face if you can occasionally send them market information, and ask for their phone and email address. Then add to your database.

Mar 25, 2014 10:02 AM