Door Knocking Best Practices

The real estate sales industry (in New Zealand and anywhere else) relies heavily on relationships. It is but natural for clients to want someone they can trust handling their sizeable property investments. Whether they are in the market to buy or sell, they would need a realtor to guide them through the process. The challenge for such professionals is to be able to connect with such prospects. They must build their contacts base beyond their “sphere of influence” of family and friends. In this emerging world of social media marketing however, one of the most effective prospecting techniques is still door knocking.

This article will discuss the merits of the practice combined with some basics to remember in order to be more effective at it.

Demeanour is fundamental

There are three things to take note of before knocking on a stranger’s door. A good attitude which displays a positive and genuine demeanour is one of them. It is something that people will respond to and is a characteristic which underpins the entire process. Remember that the purpose of door knocking is to establish and build relationships. People will see through fake personalities who are not interested in their well-being.

Do not treat these short interactions as just another house to tick off the list. People will take notice and there is a good chance that word will spread about the encounter. It might as well be something positive. Be focused, show competence and convey professionalism. This is a long-term strategy and not just a one time affair to get a listing or a prospective buyer’s contact details.

The goal of door knocking is to:

  • Meet the neighborhood
  • Understand the sentiments of the community
  • Know the types of houses
  • Possibly get in touch with the homeowner’s association officers

Dress for success

Studies vary on exactly how long it takes to make a good first impression, or a bad one for that matter. It generally ranges between one tenth of a second to 30 seconds. Regardless, there is a short timespan to make a positive impact. Within this limited period, realtors need to communicate the part of a trustworthy and responsible professional. It will be difficult for potential buyers or sellers to rely on a realtor who cannot at least show that they take care of themselves.

A person’s outward appearance is a likely indicatorof what is going on within. The one who looks professional would certainly be viewed as more capable to handle the complexities of real estate investing over someone who introduces themselves in shorts. It does not matter if it is a hot day. Look sharp. Wear a nice crisp shirt and pressed slacks or a simple but appropriate dress to let people know that they are dealing with someone they can depend on. It is the second essential of door knocking which can easily be overlooked though can convey a very powerful unspoken message when executed correctly.

Ready for anything

Showing up at somebody’s door with a good looking outfit and an honest smile are just two parts of the equation. The third basic requirement is preparedness. Doing this takes time so be willing to put in the necessary effort to undergo the process. As the oft quoted saying bySun Tzu goes, “Every battle is won before it is ever fought.”

What does it take to win? Do the necessary research and study them routinely. This is more technical in nature though is not always considered the most fun part of being a realtor. It is also something that can easily be overlooked because of the effort involved in doing them. Performing due diligence however is not an extra requirement, it is actually part of the job. It is good to practice it not only when there is a potential sale but in every aspect of the business.

Know the facts and numbers:

  • Being familiar with the multiple listing system (MLS)
  • Researching on tax records and learning about tax nuances
  • Performing comparative market analysis (CMA)
  • Having a ready list of what is selling in the community backed up by figures

Stop, look and listen

Armed with these three fundamentals, it is important to keep in mind that not every door can be a target regardless of its potential. Consumer NZhas a “Do Not Knock” campaign in effect which could result in stiff fines for violators. Look out for such stickers before knocking on any door. Disregarding it could also be grounds to revoke a real estate license. Getting a bad reputation in the community however could be just as damaging.

When the opportunity does present itself and the door knocked upon eventually opens, be sure to exude a respectful but confident stance. Have a script that is non-confrontational both in words used and body language employed. Take one step back and to the side instead of squarely facing the prospect. Give a simple greeting of hello and wait for the response before continuing. The message should be short and simple but engaging.

Door knocking remains a great prospecting strategy for Australian Realtors

Door knocking distinguishes you from competitors. It is amongst the best recognized and proven lead generation methods for realtors. As you know, the higher the number of leads generated, the higher will be the revenue. Let it be a new real estate agent in the field or the highly knowledgeable and experienced ones running the business for years, door knocking works effectively for both by creating an impact in the minds of customers that are there to stay. It results in meaningful relationships with the clients eventually leading to sales and strong brand recognition.

This method of networking inculcates a sense of trust in the minds of your potential customers since they get the chance of truly knowing you, not just your online avatar. They feel that you are a person who’s willing to facilitate them and aid them in finding the right place instead of just another wolf looking for sheep. They are not discouraged with the feeling that you’re persuading them into something. The door knocking technique makes them think that you’re informing about the list of potential options that they could benefit from. It’s a well-known fact that reality doesn’t matter as much as what goes in the minds of your prospect.

The door knocking technique does involve a relatively minute amount of shoe leather cost but the fact that it is absolutely free distinguishes this method of interacting with the potential clients from any other. Any wise person would know that the potential of knocking the houses and reaching the door to door builds a relationship stronger than any that could be built over the cell phone, email or any other digital form of marketing your business. There’s no limit to the number of houses you can reach and hence there is always a margin of convincing and informing more people which results in future sales.

That door knocking aids in establishing real long-lasting connections makes it the right choice for realtors. By door knocking, even the client’s rejection won’t be that bad. The rejections through cold calling are often disappointing and cause demotivation but the rejections in person would still be an achievement. Such rejections would still mean that your message is being conveyed to the potential customers directly and that leads to a chain reaction causing the message to spread from one person to more and more.

You grow your sphere of influence simultaneously giving rise to the exposure within the market.  Being free means that it won’t be affecting the cost in any way and its potential is undefined. Conclusively, the factor that determines the success is the right mindset. Attitude is everything. It only works for real estate agents who believe it will work. With the appropriate energy, this method is undoubtedly the most useful for realtors in this aspect.

In Australia, the door knocking is considered a crucial aspect by the leading realtors in the field. Claudio Encina is considered one of the leading real estate trainers and he and various other trainers stress on its importance. According to the real estate business bulletin, the door knocking is considered by 46.7 percent of the realtors as an effective method. These included realtors like the CEO of the Peard Real Estate, James Bennet from Belle Property Group Lane Cove and several others. They believe that door knocking is vital for the success of realtors since it’s the most effective method and the time has proven the worth of this traditional method.

The effectiveness of this method in Australia is itself proven by the fact that almost half of the realtors trust this method of selling and generating leads. The fact that these halve includes some of the very enormous names in the field of realtors. Even the very well experienced trainers who are in contact with various realtors believe that the door knocking is an effective and stress on its importance, one example of such would be Claudio Encina, who works directly with some of the leading real estate agents in the field and with various sales teams in Australia in order to identify the various methods of how to deliver the best performance within the field. He stresses upon the crucially important door to door knocking by guiding the realtors through a list of methods that makes it and even efficient method of generating leads and hence ultimately increasing the revenue. The reason it isn’t used by all the realtors is the fact that there are some laws which goes against door knocking in Australia. To deal with that, realtors should go from house to house without directly trying to sell anything. It isn’t illegal to ‘talk’ to the people.

Online References

https://www.realestatebusiness.com.au/breaking-news/5423-agents-divided-over-door-knocking

https://www.domain.com.au/group/agent-news/expert-tips-to-develop-a-killer-prospecting-strategy/

Does Door knocking Work?

Door knocking to obtain leads in the real estate business has been around since time immemorial. While a controversial sales technique in contemporary society, many real estate agents are still convinced that this is a method that remains tried and tested. Others, on the other hand, feel it is a waste of valuable time best left to the novices.

Why Pursue Door Knocking?

Schneider of Smashwords claims that door knocking is like a treasure hunt. Clues to the treasure are all around but there is no definitive map to make sure you are the lucky winner who discovers the treasure. The point though, is to be persistent. Much like anything else in life, those who try harder are the most likely to reap rewards. Those who refine their door knocking techniques are also the real estate agents who will generate the richest treasures at the end of the day.

A study conducted by Harvard Business School provides even greater motivation to continue to engage in the door knocking sales approach. One study conducted by Harvard Business School established that personal interaction on a face-to-face basis ended in recipients recalling the brand name 13 times more than that of other advertising in the market place (Smartzip). That is a powerful reason to retain this technique in any real estate company.

Imagine that an agent generates 13 times more brand recall for his or her company than that of competitors? Based on this data, door knocking should become or remain a staple for all real estate companies. The simple reason for this high degree of recall is that real estate, like most businesses is a people-oriented business. Personalizing your service gets better results than impersonal media advertising. So, how does the agent go about door knocking?

Some Issues to Remember When Door Knocking

Many real estate agents who have done door knocking have some basic advice to offer both novices and seasoned agents.

  • Dress for success but also dress for comfort. That is the advice offered by Schneider. Real estate agents don’t necessarily need to don a suit to impress but it is definitely advisable to look and behave as a professional.
  • Write up several sales scripts to follow when door knocking as these will build your confidence and instill trust in the potential lead. When you sound like you know what you are talking about, your market leads will be more likely to be helpful.
  • Be prepared to deviate from your script as different leads will ask different questions.
  • Do your homework. You don’t want to be standing in front of a prospect and not know how to respond. Even when you don’t know the answer, assure the prospect that you will find out and get back to them. Keep your word if you want that person to become a concrete prospect in the future.
  • Bring advertising material with you. This is a useful way to open the conversation and leave contact details should your lead wish to use the information or refer a friend to you for a sale.

This is some basic advice offered by Schneider in her e-book entitled ‘Door to Door Real Estate Prospecting: The Complete Guide to Door Knocking for Listings’and

Josh Snyder in ‘Door Knocking for Real Estate Agents .. THREE THINGS + SCRIPT’on YouTube.

RealtorBuddy Helps Improve Your Door Knocking Prospects

Practice and persistence in door knocking are the absolute drivers of success for real estate agents. But everyone needs a little help from time to time. Fortunately, the RealtorBuddy app affords agents a lot of help when going from door to door to build leads.

This exceptional app has been designed precisely for real estate agents. It helps agents to track their door knocking activities. Agents can make brief notes after a call and fill in further details once they have more time back at the office. For example, agents can note which homes had vicious looking dogs, those where there was no response, helpful prospects or those with grumpy owners, which might be best to avoid.

Recording all of this data on the app enables the agent to make door knocking far more successful than in the past. The RealtorBuddy app allows the agent to make follow up calls to strong prospects, remember what was discussed and what topics to focus on in the future to build strong business relationships. Personalization is key to door knocking success stories, and using the app just enhances lead generation.

One last important piece of advice in addition to using the RealtorBuddy app is to plan for success. Set goals. Stick to these and increase them over time. Door knocking may be a traditional real estate sales technique but it still holds enormous value in modern society. This value is greatly enhanced by the RealtorBuddy app, blending the past with the present in a highly successful manner.

http://bhnj.com/pdf/door_to_door_ebook.pdf

https://smartzip.com/company/blog/the-surprisingly-simple-art-of-door-knocking

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4lF9DLUTIE&feature=youtu.be

Success through a positive mindset, focus and determination

Interview with Joy Russell
Realtor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

How important is prospecting in your business?

Prospecting is incredibly important. As Realtors, we are in the lead generation business. Without leads, there are no clients, no appointments, no closings, and essentially we’ll never make any money. It is crucial for a Realtor to spend two to three hours daily on lead generation.  As for me, I lead-generate two hours a day. I then follow up with clients for about an hour and a half. It’s all about top of mind awareness.

What does your team look like?

I’m an individual agent with three assistants. My executive assistant is in charge of handling all paperwork as well as speaking with lenders, title companies, and home inspectors. My marketing assistant creates all of the marketing pieces. My ISA is in charge of following up with clients.

What type of approach do you use for lead generation?

I’m pretty basic when it comes to lead generation. My main approach of lead generation is calling my database which consists of my sphere of influence and past clients. I also focus heavily on social media. When I first got started as an agent, my approach was door knocking just because I didn’t have any other source of business to call upon. I went out and I created business by knocking on doors every single day. I did this by introducing myself, explaining how I could assist them, and then asking for the business afterwards. I did this the first two years of my business and now it consists of repeat and referral business and as well as social media.

What kind of social media tools do you use?

I use Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn primarily. You will notice on my social media pages that post at least 3 times per day. There is a post at eight o’clock, twelve o’clock and four o’clock every single day. My eight o’clock post is inspirational, to help people start their day. The twelve o’clock post is a reminder that I’m a real estate agent. If someone is looking to buy a home or sell their home I am reminding them that I’m there to assist them and I am also asking for a referral.  The four o’clock post is a credit or financial tip to educate people. The purpose is to help them either become financially sound or make sure that their credit is together. That is how I use social media. My budget is incredibly low because I’m only focusing on people who want to do business with me and don’t spend on advertising. My marketing assistant creates all the content.

What targets do you have for prospecting?

I target my database primarily. I call twenty people per day and as a result, I receive around five to ten leads on a daily basis. I track everything in my CRM and write some things on a piece of paper, to stay on top of it. I also use a system called, Commitment to Excellence’,to track my numbers.It allows me to see exactly what I have in my pipeline, whether or not I’m on track, or if I’m behind. If I’m behind, then I know what I need to do and it’s going to push me to either make more calls that week, or do more marketing on my social media network. It gauges me to where I am and where I need to be.

What would you feel are keys to success in prospecting? Is it attitude, discipline, execution, experience, having a system? 

It’s all of those things. I think that mindset plays a big part. As Realtors we have to stay focused and have determination in order to accomplish our goals. We need to set goals, have a plan, and execute that plan. This is beneficial because it helps in knowing the number of transactions that are needed each year, each month, each week, and each day in order to achieve the goals that we set.

We must always know our numbers and have a positive mindset at all times. As previously mentioned, it is important to stay focused and to time block (manage time better by doing one task at a time). As long as one has those characteristics, he/she can still be successful in this business.

How do you maintain a positive mindset?

Having a positive mindset actually takes time. You have to really be determined. A lot of us say that we have a positive mindset but we allow things to stress and worry us. We also allow negative thoughts to enter and stay in our minds. I decided four years ago to remove all of the negativity in my life and to start living my best life possible. Nothing worries or stresses me because I made the decision to not allow it to.

I took inspiration from (the book) “Think and Grow Rich” which provides principles on training your mind. I say positive affirmation every single day. It is more than just saying it, it’s about having faith and actually believing it.

Those were the things I did in the beginning. I don’t necessarily have to do those things anymore because it’s now a natural part of who I am.

Have you changed anything in your prospecting approach over the last say ten years?

Everything has practically stayed the same for me. I only work on my twenty percent. That’s the reason why I leverage and hire other people to help me in my business. My approach is to lead generate and to focus on my database, past clients, and sphere of influence.

I call to check on them and see how they’re doing. I basically ask about how they’re enjoying their houses, how their family is doing, whether or not they have vacations coming up, and what they’re doing in their pastime for fun. I also remind them that I’m a resource for them if they ever have any questions or need anything.

I do not cold call, I have never called FSBO’s or expireds. It may seem strange but I don’t like calling strangers to ask them for business. I would rather call someone that I know or someone that I’ve done business with in the past and ask them to help me in my business. I also share my goals with my database and ask for referrals. That is my prospecting method.

Do you have to ask existing clients for business or does it automatically come to you?

A combination of both. I always ask for business. On my Facebook page, you always see me saying “Who do you know that’s looking to buy, sell, or invest their real estate? Message me for more information.”. There’s always a call to action on every single thing that I do. If you don’t ask for it, you’re not going to get it. I love the quote, “Closed mouths don’t get fed,” so my mouth is always open.

As a Realtors, we really only have five jobs. I focus on four of those five. Our job is to practice scripts and role play, lead generate, lead follow up, go on appointments, and negotiate contracts. I do all of these things in exception to the scripts and role play. The primary reason for that is because I don’t cold call.

Everything else in my business is leveraged. I don’t write the contract for instance. A lot of agents are still doing this because they feel that they are the only person that can do it the right way. I was like that in the beginning before I hired my assistants, three and a half years ago.

I was working late hours every day because I was trying to get everything done myself. I didn’t feel that anybody could do it better than me. Now I find that my assistants are much better than me in a lot of ways. We have to find other people who can assist us in the business, help it grow, and take it to the next level.

Alot of realtors are also scared to make the commitment to hire another person because of the money that they are going to have to pay for that person. In order to grow one’s business, one has to invest in that business.

What prospecting advice do you have for a starting realtor?

Find what works for you. For me, I’ve never been the one to pick up the phone and just call people and ask for business, especially if I didn’t know the person. Instead I focused on face to face interactions. I door knocked and talked to everyone that I came in contact with on a daily basis. It’s all about finding your niche.

I knew that real estate was a numbers game. I knew that my success was contingent upon the number of people that I came in contact with on a daily basis. I made sure that I knocked on so many doors every single day and I spoke to so many people every day. I handed out numerous business cards every day as well. I did these things consistently and became Rookie of the Year my first year in business.

My advice is to be consistent in whatever you do and protect your schedule at all times.

What targets did you set for yourself to become rookie of the year?

Honestly, my goal was never to become Rookie of the Year. I was more concerned about making money to support myself since I quit my job to pursue a career in Real Estate. I door knocked two hours every single day. I also introduced myself to every person I came in contact with and handed out my business card. That enabled me to accomplish my goals in this business. 

prospecting success through social media

Interview with Jonathan Elliott,
Realtor at Black Rock Realty, Arkansas

How important is prospecting for your business?

It’s very important. I spend probably at least one hour to one hour and a half per day on prospecting. Prospecting is getting new leads, new people to talk to, to increase your business.

What approach do you use for prospecting?

We do predominantly social media prospecting, but also follow up with our leads, send out thank-you cards, send out letters. The tried and true approaches to real estate prospecting. But, we are always looking for new avenues.

What targets have you set for prospecting?

We target a 20% closure ratio; That means that for every 100 leads we get in, we want to be able to close 20.

The actual number of leads per week changes throughout the year, though. We are targeting more leads in springtime and summer. Fall and winter are your slower periods. I always target more at the beginning of the year to balance out those slower periods.

What causes this seasonal trend?

Later in the year, people are just winding down and they are getting ready for the holidays. People aren’t buying houses in that period unless they really have to.

What do you feel are the keys to success in prospecting? Is it attitude, discipline, experience, having a system?

I would say just about all of those. You have to have a good attitude while you are prospecting.  You are going to be told no a lot, so you have to develop a thick skin for that. You have to be consistent and don’t give up. If you prospect one day and you don’t get any results and stop, then you are definitely not going to achieve anything. You have to be consistent and keep following up. On average I will probably speak to a prospect somewhere between 6 and 10 times before we get a deal working. Either I call them, and they are busy, or they call you back and you are busy. You need a lot of communications with somebody before you get an actual deal.

How have you improved your prospecting approach over time?

You are always refining your systems. Some things that you try don’t work, or you don’t give the response you like. You change those or get rid of them. You also find things that you do like, that do work, and you expand on those. As far as door knocking, we used to go out and put out flyers in the neighbourhood. But we just wouldn’t get back the return on our efforts. We changed how we were prospecting and changed what we were doing to get a better return on the investment of our time.

Social media has given that better return. You can reach a wider audience through social media also. Before, you were strictly targeting the people in a neighbourhood, while on social media you can go set a broader target. You can set your criteria up to reach the people you want. And it’s a lot more cost effective.

What is your biggest pain point with prospecting?

Quality of leads is always something you are going to have a problem with because you are reaching out to a mass audience. You may reach out 100 people and only 10 people might be serious about buying a house and 10 more might be thinking about doing it the next year. The other 80 don’t care.

What is your advice on prospecting for starting realtors?

Definitely, use your sphere of influence. Let all your friends, relatives and neighbours know what you are doing, that you are starting.  Let them know how you are doing it and just follow up with them. Talk with the people in your company that have been doing it for a while and learn from them. Ask them questions. You get some realtors that won’t tell you anything because they think you are going to steal their business and that’s not true. Talk to them, learn from them, ask them questions.

I know when I first got started, I talked to some of the people in my office that had a lot of listings. I went to them and said, “Hey, you have some listings that I can open for you on a Sunday at the open house?”. It worked for them because if I picked up a buyer for that house, they got to sell the listing. If it was not the exact house that the buyer wanted, I could help the buyer find another house.

“The harder you work, the luckier you get.”

Interview with Peter Byers

How important is prospecting in your realtor business?

Lead generation is the most important thing in any sales orientated business. It’s what keeps the engine running. So, obviously it needs to be scheduled and you need to be proactive at it every day.

How much time would you have to spend on it?

Over 15 years it has fluctuated. I got the best results when I did 20 to 30 hours a week of prospecting; that’s contacting one person after another and setting up appointments.

Prospecting is a combination of cold calling into the market area and following-up with existing leads and contacts. So, you’re You need to be talking to new people every day as well as nurturing people along the way. You’ve got to keep them both going regularly. So, when I say 20 or 30 hours, it’s a combination of the two of them, but regularly-scheduled meeting people face-to-face.

Prospecting is close to 50% of the work of a realtor.

What is the best way to do cold calling and nurturing?

I found that I’m more successful personally in door knocking than cold calling on the phone. I actually prefer going door to door over a phone calling, but I don’t like to go outside when it’s freezing cold. So, I would go door to door and if I met somebody, I would schedule to drop by again. Because I’ve already had an initial contact, I can now call them and say, “Hey, I’m going to be in the neighbourhood. Can I maybe stop in and see where you’re at in your process?” A lot of times, once you’ve made an initial contact face-to-face, the phone seems to suffice until they’re ready to make a move. But, you have to nurture the leads that you have and follow-up.

In terms of following up, if somebody says they’re ready in six months, you need to be talking to them in three months. So, whatever timeline they give you, you need to cut that in half just to cut space “Are you still thinking about a move in the next three months or has anything changed?” If we just wait until the time that they said that they’re ready, you find that life throws curves all the time.

Most realtors don’t cold call, most realtors don’t door knock, but those that do are more successful than those that don’t. The harder you work, the luckier you get.

Initial face-to-face contacts are superior because it establishes a stronger relationship?

Yes, and then you have to ask a person how they like to have further communication. Some people want to talk to you on the phone, some people want to meet with you face to face, and some people just want to text back and forth. Typically, the younger a person is they almost exclusively text. If you call them they don’t even answer their phone but if you text them they instantly respond. So, most people under 30 don’t like to talk on the phone; they’re text only.

Do you have specific targets for your lead generation?

When you’re focused on prospecting the math is one out of ten are going to be thinking about making a move. So, if you talk to 50 people in a week, 5 qualify. Some people with high I  personality type [type that is open to others and confident in their social ability, see DISCUSS] can even talk to a hundred people in 20 hours. I’m not so driven by numbers; I tend to care more and engage in longer conversations with more social interactions. My phone calls generally take twice as long but almost everybody I talk to that qualifies is willing to meet with me and then I bring half of those people under contract.

The goal is not the number of people that you talk to; the goal is the amount of time allocated. So, for example, if you’re prospecting the best time to call; most people are going to be either like 9:00 to 11:00 or 7:00 to 8:30 in the evening. Don’t call Friday nights, people don’t like to be called on Friday nights and call on Saturday may be between 11:00 and 1:00 o’clock. I find that when you’re making one phone call after another about two hours is my threshold of ‘grace’ let’s call it. It’s emotionally draining. You really have to be in the right mind set. That is important in any type of sales. You have to care about the person that you’re talking to and come across in a positive manner.

I find that in any kind of prospecting I do much better if I have some sort of accountability. The type of accountability has to tailored to your personality though.

What do you feel are the keys for success in prospecting?

Establishing rapport is critical. We are drawn to people that are like us. So you need to tailor your approach to the type of person. For instance if you start talking to type D [personality type focused on achievement and success], you can almost tell right away and just get right to the point. Because they don’t want to have a social chat. They just want to have the information and what you have to offer. If you are talking to a C [personality type looking for compliance and avoiding conflict] on the other hand, they want the data and analyze it.

You have to put in the time. Put it in your schedule and do it consistently.

You have to respect your prospects. If they tell you they’re not going to move in two or three years, the next phone call is not going to be six months later asking “You’re thinking about a move?” You’ve got to actually respond in accordance. So, you have to nurture it in accordance with what they would want.

Over time, did you change your approach to prospecting?

I think that the more accountability I had, the better I got. Life just happens.

What would be your advice to new realtors in terms of prospecting?

They’ve got to use a system, they’ve got to schedule a time to prospect, and they’ve got to execute it. They should talk to other people, who are successful at it and find somebody that can mentor them and help them.

You can’t do sales of any volume if you don’t have a system: You’ve got to schedule the people that you talk to; you have to keep notes to what it is that you talk to them about and when you need to follow up with them next. You schedule when you’re going to call when you have an appointment, and things that you have to do.

 

“To be successful in real estate you need to put in the hours & make the calls”

Interview with Max de Vries,  http://maxdevries.com/

How important is prospecting in your realtor business and what approach do you use?

Prospecting is the business. It is absolutely critical. My team and I start every day with prospecting. We follow the Mike Ferry system. From 8-11 we focus exclusively on prospecting.

What approaches do you use for prospecting?

As mentioned we follow the Mike Ferry system and have done so for the last 10 years. We cold-call every day. We start early. After we have some coffee and practice a few scripts with each other, we close the doors and start calling around 8 am.

We use an auto dialer. We have three groups that we normally call, expired listings, FSBO’s (For Sale By Owner) and leads we get from the title company. When we have a listing, we also call in a radius around that listing. We vary the approach. The one day we might focus on FSBO’s and the next on the leads. The key is to put in the hours and make the calls.

At 11 am we get together and compare notes.

What targets do have for prospecting? How do you measure success?

The primary goal we have is to consistently put in the hours. If you do that success will follow. With our approach, the results are different from day to day. Sometimes you have 2 or 3 leads, sometimes nothing.

What do you feel are the keys to success in prospecting?

There are three keys to prospecting success:

  • First, don’t be afraid to be rejected. You cannot be shy. You have to talk to people in this business. You are not going to be successful by being a secret agent.
  • Second, prospecting is a numbers game. You have to be aware of that and then put in the time and effort to make the numbers. Real estate is hard work.
  • Third, learn the scripts. What I see with new realtors is that for whatever reason some of them don’t want to use the scripts. They improvise, make things up and in the long run that does not work. They don’t last.

As you put in the numbers and make the calls you get better and better at answering the questions. There is not a question that prospects can ask that I or my team does not have an immediate answer for. You need to be able to answer the questions to get them as customers. Being able to answer the questions is something you develop over time and comes with experience.

In this day and age, there is resistance against being called. How do you deal with objections on the phone?

That is handled by using the scripts. Don’t try to improvise just use the scripts and practice them.

In terms of prospecting – have you changed your approach over time and what are some of the changes that you’ve implemented to improve your prospecting?

Not really. There are many systems in real estate that can work as well, but we stuck to ours and it has worked well for us.

What advice do you have regarding prospecting for realtors who are just getting started?

There are only two things: Take a mentor and work hard. The real estate business looks like a simple business, but it really is not. It requires a lot of hard work, a lot of experience and perseverance. Prospecting is absolutely critical for success especially when you are just getting started. A starting realtor needs to be prepared to put in a lot of hours.  I sometimes see new realtors just doing a few things on Facebook and the rest of the time they take it easy and I am thinking that is not going to work. To be successful you need to be prepared to work hard. You have to talk to people.

How could your life as realtor be made easier, specifically with prospecting?

We have the system for prospecting. The auto dialer certainly helps. What we could use is more data and better-quality data.

“Every thing you do, every day, is prospecting”

Cyndi pictureHow important is prospecting in your real estate business and what approach do you use?

It’s very important. Eighty percent of my occupation is marketing and lead generation.  Many new Realtors have no idea the commitment to marketing required.  I do a large percentage of my business by referral, but I’m always on the lookout for new families to help. Every activity that I do, every day, is lead generation, in my opinion. When I take my laundry to the dry cleaner and positively interact with a person then they’re a lead. They’re a prospect. By having friendly interactions with people, they feel trust towards me and I am already generating potential business and developing prospects.  Everybody knows someone that will need to buy or sell a home in the next year.

Also, if I see a house that looks vacant I will cold call and try to find the person that owns it, since there’s such a shortage of homes to buy. If I have a client who wants a specific house that isn’t on the market anymore I’ll track down the owner of the property to try and get it for my client. If they had their house on the market within the last five years and it matched what my client would want I don’t have any problem hunting them down and asking if they’d like to sell it, because a lot of times they do.  People are flattered when someone wants their home.  They also may know a neighbor that is contemplating selling their home.

I do phone calls and I do a lot of online marketing but I door-knock selectively. I’m very careful – since I’m a female my safety is my number 1 priority – so I door-knock around listed properties or when I’m doing open-houses.

When door-knocking do you work with a partner to make it safer for you?

I have an application called ‘Forewarn’ which allows me to look at the names/addresses for all the surrounding properties to see whether there are any sex offenders or anyone with a criminal history in the homes. Even when somebody calls me for help, I run a background check on them immediately through my app on my phone, so I can determine whether they are safe to meet with.  Knowledge is power.

When it comes to prospecting do you have any specific targets such as how much time you spend on it or the number of leads you want to get out of your activities?

Well, I have certain guidelines. Most agents block time every day to lead generate. Two to two and a half hours is normal.  You can’t stop this even when you get busy or a couple of months down the road you will not have active clients.

For me, the most important thing is being able to service all my clients and being very responsive to them. I know from experience how many clients I can work with at a time, while still giving them exceptional service. Once I reach my target I refer business out to other agents that I trust.

I choose to serve a larger geographical area compared to most other realtors.  I enjoy serving to military families, teachers and first responders so I go where I am needed. I give a discount to those groups, and because I do they tend to follow me. I try to take care of those that take care of me.  I have a Pay-it-Forward business model.

What would you say are the keys to success in prospecting? 

The most important thing is that you’re able to establish a rapport with people quickly.  If you’re not being your authentic self you’re wasting your time. I’ve also invested a lot of money to make myself one of the most educated realtors in the area. The groups that I give professional courtesies (discounts) to know they’re not getting an inferior realtor for a discounted price. They know that I’m going to take good care of them.

In terms of prospecting – have you changed your approach over time and what are some of the changes that you’ve implemented to improve your prospecting?

It’s really important to be able to listen and to have a good speech pattern on the phone. My weakness is I talk too fast. When the person answers the phone, you need to be listening.  When I say listening, I mean listening to communicate/understand not just to respond. You need to be listening and following whatever their speech pattern is. If they’re a slow talker and you’re going really fast you’re not going to be able to establish rapport. You need to mirror and match the way they communicate.

What specific event led you to adopt this mirror and match approach?

I had an elderly client ask me to slow down. I took that to heart. If somebody’s going to offer you honest feedback, you need to be open to it, and accept it. I have become more aware of that particular issue. Matching their speech patterns disarms people. It puts them at ease and they feel like they know you.

Do you have any advice for Realtors who are just getting started, regarding prospecting?

Every single thing they do every day can be prospecting. Little thing like your keychain, your phone case, and your ringtone are conversation starters/rapport builders. If you choose the right ringtone you can make people laugh/smile, they let down their guard and start conversations with you in the elevator. The other thing that a new agent can do is sit in Starbucks, with their computer and a stack of their cards and make it obvious that they are open for a conversation. They can do that by having a sticker on their computer that says ‘I’m a real estate professional. Ask me questions.’ That’s a great way to meet people.

The other way that I prospect is through companies I partner with. I make sure that the companies I do business with understand that they need to reciprocate if I’m sending them business. I support my disabled brother and my elderly father who’s 80.  Because of my obligations, I need to do business only with mortgage representatives and companies that will reciprocate.  They can either do co-op advertising with me or commit to sending me two referrals a year. You are respected when you know what you want and need, and you ask for it nicely.

The King of Lead Generation

The Power of Door Knocking

Door knocking has long been the gold standard of lead generation for realtors, both new and experienced. It’s where the bread gets buttered and meaningful client relationships are formed and eventually turned into a sale generating machine. There are so many upsides to door knocking that it would be impossible to list them all so here are some of the best:

  • Door knocking gives you an edge over other realtors that won’t put in the work (You get more leads and more sales)
  • Leads will contact you when they are ready to sell
  • Door knocking is a long-term strategy which will set you up with leads for years to come, the future is more certain, especially in hard times

So, Are You Taking Full Advantage?

The truth is that door knocking is not without its headaches, it can be tough to remember when you last visited a particular house, what mood the potential client was in, if they were interested in selling, and a whole host of other factors that can lead to both high rates of new listings and painful confrontations with frustrated homeowners. Even if you were to write all this information down the hassle can be enormous.

 

The solution is simple: an app that tracks all this information for you in seconds and builds out a profile for each and every house you visit. That means next time you visit you can see which houses were marked “Not Interested” letting you avoid an earful or houses that were marked “Not home” so you can give them another try and get leads more consistently.

 

You can even mark these houses as “Follow Up” making sure you don’t forget about people that were on the edge of selling but just needed a little nudge. The app that does all that and more is called Realtor Buddy and you can start your free trial right now and start making more sales! Take a big headache out of door knocking today.

RealtorBuddy page on AppStore

Blog Live

Welcome to RealtorBuddy’s blogs. We will collect articles on best practices in real estate prospecting and interviews with the best in the industry here.