Why door-do-door (d2d) sales is back

door-to-door sales is back. Be ready for success. Accelerate your d2d sales with the RealtyBuddy app

D2D sales was dying because of telephone, social media and COVID.

However it is back and now is your best bet for prospecting.

People are starving for human contact. Social media has become astronomically expense and no-call lists killed phone canvassing.

Door-to-door sales, or direct selling, is a sales approach that appears to have borrowed a lot from canvassing, a technique used to source for votes during elections. This type of direct marketing has been in use since as early as the 17th century. D2D sales involve walking from one door of a house to another, trying to sell a product or service to the person that responds.
In the 19th century, d2d sales are still crucial in real estate, home improvements, and repairs. Before developing mail order and online sales, door knocking was an effective method for distributing goods, especially outside major towns. Currently, there has been a resurgence of door-to-door selling even with the advance in technology and internet selling.

D2D sales in real-estate

You may be asking yourself, does door-to-door sales work in real estate? It is possible to generate real estate leads with a door-knocking approach. All you need is to network with the potential buyers, ask them for their contacts and invite them to open houses. To achieve this, door-to-door salespeople will need to come up with a successful real estate door-knocking strategy.
The alternatives to door-to-door selling have huge problems, and for instance, telephone prospecting is dead due to the absence of call lists. People registering in the National Do Not Call Registry brought about the lack of call lists to exclude them from telemarketing calls. Some companies opted for robocalls which were later abused and became illegal.
In terms of direct marketing through email, GDPR and other regulations make it more difficult and expensive to implement a successful email marketing strategy.

Social media marketing has become extremely expensive. Facebook and Google are working extra hard to extract maximum value out of their social media enterprise.
Door-to-door selling is back. Its revival was witnessed between 2012 and 2013, showing a 34% annual growth in position. It has become a new trend among direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands. Companies with a tough time with customer acquisition through direct marketing are now more than ever hitting the streets.

COVID and D2D sales

As COVID comes to an end, people have become more open to social contact, something they may have lacked due to the lockdown measures that limit movements and interactions. As companies continue to switch from 9-to-5 jobs to working from home, traveling salespeople now have the best chance at catching their prospects at home when they knock on their doors.
Currently, there is a unique demand for communication between one human to another. Corporates are taking advantage of this opportunity to acquiring new customers and at the same time build strong, personal, and lasting business-to-consumer relationships. Adding door knocking to your marketing mix helps a lot in coming up with a superior marketing strategy.

Face to face contact builds relationship

Door-to-door selling creates authentic connections with prospects. It is easy for traveling salespeople or drummers to customize their sales pitches based on the potential customer’s tone and body language. The advantage of human-to-human interaction is that it can quickly build rapport, establish trust with the possible buyer and make them feel comfortable.
A well-trained and experienced salesperson using the door-to-door sales approach should be able to strike up conversations and meaningful discussions with potential buyers and at the same time attract their interest in the product or real estate. The success of D2D sales highly depends on your sales ability to close the deal.
As new companies continue to join the online selling world, the competition becomes fierce. Door knocking may be a less common approach to customer acquisition; it is a highly effective weapon for any company looking to stand out in a crowded market. Personal contact is still a crucial need when it comes to selling products directly to the consumer.
The face-to-face approach provides an opportunity to inform potential customers about your product or service and, at the same time, influence their decision-making process. For some companies, a 30 to 60 seconds sales pitch may not cover all the information about the product, service, or technology used. Some prospects may want to see a demo on how certain products work. Startups will require more time to educate the people about the new offerings.

Online and social media sales is expensive

Door-to-door sales people face less competition owing that most companies are directing their efforts to online and social media marketing.
Real-time feedback is crucial in the process of developing products or services that meet the customer’s needs. The success of a door-to-door sales approach is measurable since the results are readily available and can be quantified. The results obtained from door knocking are crucial in calculating ROI, tracking progress, and making significant changes.
Understanding the customer’s pain points and pain of change does help a lot in personalizing the sales pitch and solution to their current problems. Building a relationship through door-knocking can help a lot in developing trust. You will be fulfilling the cliché that people often buy from people they like, know and trust.

Even in 2021, there is plenty of reasons why salespeople are going back to knocking on doors: Low competition, low overhead cost and creating quick brand recognition for local businesses like Realtors. You can introduce youresle with door to more people at once makes it crucial for brand recognition and awareness. In less than an hour, drummers can cover three doors by spending less than 20 minutes per house.
In some cases, one is likely to find no one at home, which is also an excellent opportunity to leave behind some information about the product or service you are offering. Suppose you wish that they contact you for business or refer someone to you, leaving behind fliers, doorknob hangers, business cards, postcards, or small gifts or treats. Some will be willing to pass along the information to a neigbor, friend or family who needs it.
It is still true today that people buy from people they know and trust. Most customers want to see the human behind a product. Door knocking is still a powerful tool in real estate and a significant number of fields. Though it is considered too old-fashioned, it has some vital benefits that you wouldn’t get from online marketing strategies such as social media, content, and email marketing.

D2D: The best sales approach is back

Door-to-door sales is still a highly effective method for acquiring new customers. More and more businesses are seeing the relevance of adding door-to-door selling to their marketing mix towards the end of the pandemic. As countries open up their economies, people have shown to be very open to social contact. This sudden change in social life creates a pleasant environment for D2D sales to thrive.
Companies currently using door-knocking in their direct marketing strategies understand that it is a powerful means of creating a customer base and increasing revenue. They use modern technology to accelerate their sales. D2D sales are more demanding, but when circumstances are right, it can be enriching. Door-to-door selling is back mainly to take advantage of the need for personal contact. It fills the gap of opportunities that came as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Door knocking succes for Australian Realtors

Door knocking works like a charm for Australian Realtors
Door knocking Australian style

Door knocking distinguishes you from competitors. It is amongst the best recognized and proven lead generation methods for realtors, but does door knocking bring success in Australia?

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.

Face to face engagement builds trust

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.

Door knocking is low cost

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.

Effort creates success

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.

Door knocking in Australia

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.

The right tool leads to door knocking success

Use of modern technology takes the traditional burden out of door knocking. In our always connected world, with GPS and vast online databases, mobile technology is a fantastic tool. Use RealtyBuddy to make door knocking a breeze.

Online References



Success in real estate through a positive mindset, focus and determination

Joy Russell

Interview with Joy Russell
Realtor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

What is the foundation for her succes in real estate?

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 are your business goals 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 real estate? 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 goals 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 in real estate with 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.

Real estate success: “The harder you work, the luckier you get.”

Peter Byers, worked hard to get real estate success
Peter Byers

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.


If you want success in real estate: “make the calls”

Max de Vries talks about real estate successInterview 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.

Real estate success: “Every thing you do, every day, is prospecting”

Interview with CYNDI ALVAREZ, successful realtor in Austin. It is all about prospecting according to Cyndi.
Cyndi Alvarez

Interview with CYNDI ALVAREZ
Realtor in Austin, Texas

What is the foundation for Cindy’s succes in real estate?

How 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.