We’ve entered into the digital age.
But old-style real estate marketing tactics like door knocking aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. While it’s maybe not the most efficient way to market yourself and your business, you can’t beat the personal connection it builds and the fact that it costs a grand total of zero dollars.
So how do you do it?
Whether you’re an agent or investor, here are 5 tips for door knocking to generate real estate leads, scripts included!
1. Choose Your Area
You could just walk out the door, turn right, and start door knocking in your local neighborhood. Maybe that would even get the job done. But it’s better to be a bit more intentional than that. Since door knocking isn’t most efficient way to generate leads, it’s important to think about where you’re going to do it.
If you’re a real estate agent, think about the types of properties you want to peddle. Things like…
- Areas with a lot of new development
- School districts that are in high demand
- Neighborhoods with a lot of buying and selling activity
Door knocking in those neighborhoods will ensure that you’re reaching the people you want to reach. You want to think like a farmer (read here about real estate farming). You’re farming specific areas of your city over and over again so that you become the most top-of-mind agent in that neighborhood. If you know your city well, this shouldn’t be too difficult.
If you’re a real estate investor door knocking to find deals, then you should actually do even more research before you head out.
This is because your efforts will get the most results by focusing on homeowners in specific situations — such as high equity but in pre-foreclosure (check out our top 10 favorite lists here). You can pull these lists just like you would for a direct mail campaign using a tool like Propstream (Check out a Propstream review done by the blog “Tools 4 REI“) and then put those addresses on a map to figure out where your target areas are at.
In fact, here’s a great video where an investor shows you exactly how he uploads data to map out his driving for dollars routes (this same strategy can be used for door knocking).
You can start by door knocking at the exact properties of the list you pulled and then you can move on to the surrounding homes. This is a great way to make sure you’re targeting the right area.
Real estate agents can also use this strategy to find your target area if you’re not sure where to start. Of course, like investors, you’re not looking for motivated sellers with high-equity and in pre-foreclosure (or similar situations), you’re just looking for the right neighborhoods where you can spread the word. But you could just as easily pull a list via Propstream for specific types of properties or even based on the estimated value of the properties.
Whether you’re an agent or investor, it’s also important to consider the timing of when you go door knocking. Generally speaking, the best time to door knock is during the late afternoon, between 4 and 6. People are usually home from work by this time but they aren’t yet winding down for bed.
2. Use a Short Script
When you’re door knocking — or doing anything sales-wise that’s a little new and uncomfortable — it’s always good to use a script.
We’re not talking about using some long sales pitch that meant to trick people into listening to you… we’re just talking about have a few sentences practiced and prepared so you know what to say when people answer the door. So here are some simple and effective scripts for both agents and investors.
Keep in mind, the goal of door knocking isn’t to close the deal right then and there.
For agents, it’s to build rapport, increase brand awareness, and generate leads that you can later follow-up with.
For real estate investors, it’s about building relationships and finding possible deals.
You’re not closing the deal at the door. Your only goals are to…
- Generate Leads — Which means getting name, phone number, and email address.
- Build Rapport — Which means being nice.
- Gather Information — Which means asking some questions that might provide you with more opportunities.
Once you choose a scipt to use, practice it in the mirror and commit it to memory before you head out.
Door Knocking Scripts For Agents
Here are four door knocking scripts for real estate agents…
This script is great for taking the focus off of the person you’re talking to and instead treating them as someone who’s “in the know” and might be able to help you. It aims to produce useful conversations. But we still recommend ending it with an ask for the person’s email address.
Good evening. My name is Mike and I’m a real estate agent in the area. I was doing some research on this neighborhood and I found a lot of homes have been selling recently. Do you happen to know anyone who might be looking to sell?
[Wait for response]
Great. Would it also be possible to get your email address? I’m just creating a list of people who can help me stay “in the know” about the area. In return, I’ll send you one of my favorite guides that shows you how to get top-value for a property once I get back home 100% free.
Nothing Expected Script
If you just want to focus on building rapport and increasing brand awareness in a certain area, this script is what you want to go with. It requests nothing and gives off a good vibe. It won’t generate leads… but it will give your contact information to a lot of people.
Good evening. My name is Mike and I’m a real estate agent in the area. I just wanted to introduce myself and let you know that if you or anyone you know ever needs real estate help, I’m right here. [Give business card] You can call me at that number, any time, and I’ll be happy to help.
You have yourself a wonderful evening.
This script is more direct and aims to get the person’s phone number and email address.
Good evening. My name is Mike and I’m a real estate agent in the area. I was doing some research on this neighborhood and I found a lot of homes have been selling here recently. Would it be possible to get your name and email address? I’m just creating a list of people who can help me stay “in the know” about the area. In return, I’ll send you one of my favorite guides that shows you how to get top-value for a property once I get back home 100% free. How does that sound?
FSBO Listings Script
Here’s a script you can use when you’re door knocking at FSBO listings.
Good evening. My name is Mike and I’m a real estate agent in the area. I noticed you’re selling your home yourself and wanted to introduce myself and offer my services as an experienced real estate agent who can help you get top-dollar for your property. Would it be possible to get your name and email so that I can send you some information about my services? I promise it will be worth your time, even if you decide not to work with me. I’ve got some tips for you on how you can get top-dollar for your beautiful home.
Door Knocking Scripts For Investors
Here are two door knocking scripts for real estate investors…
The House Next Door Script
This script is great when you’re door knocking next to obviously vacant or distresed properties. Not only will this script give you a way to find information on the owner of a property, but it might also uncover other opportunities as you get into conversations.
Good evening. My name is Mike and I’m a real estate investor in the area. Sorry to bother you. Just a quick question. Do you know anything about the property next door here at [address]? I’m interested in buying it and I’m looking for the owner.
Straight To Seller Script
This script is for when you’re talking directly to the homeowner of the property you’re intersted in learning more about. You don’t want to be too direct here, though, so as to not scare them off.
Good evening. My name is Mike and I’m a real estate investor in the area. Do you know anyone who’s wanting to sell right now? I’ve got cash on-hand and I’m looking for properties to buy in any condition.
3. Bring Something For Everyone
The goal of door knocking is to build rapport and generate leads.
Which is why it’s so important to bring something for everyone you talk to.
What do I mean?
In order to create as many opportunities as possible, bring along the following…
Door Hangers — You probably won’t be surprised to find out that when you go door knocking, not everyone is going to answer. That’s why it’s important to bring along some door hangers (like these ones). Don’t let people not answering the door ruin your progress. Bring along some door hangers with your phone number and a simple message on them. Then put those on their doorknob when they don’t answer.
For agents, those door hangers could say something like, “Hey. I’m a real estate agent in the area. Just stopped by. Give me a call when you have a chance at [phone number]. Was hoping to chat.”
For investors, those door hangers could say something like, “Hey. I’m a real estate investor. Looking to buy a house as-is for a fair cash price. Give me a call at [phone number] if you’re interested.”
Business Cards — Business cards are also great. A lot of people mgiht not be willing to talk with you for very long or they won’t be able to give you much useful information. Might as well give them a business card so they can call you in the future if the needs arises!
Pen & Paper — It’s also good form to have a pen and paper with you when you go door knocking. This makes you look more official and it gives you a way to take down names and email addresses as well as any other relevant notes.
4. Coordinate With Open Houses
This tip is for real estate agents.
One of the easiest, most natural ways to door knock is to do so the week before you have an open house in the same neighborhood. This gives you an opportunity to build rapport, increase your brand awareness, get to know the community, and promote your open house all in one fell swoop.
Here’s a script you can use.
Good evening. Sorry to bother you. My name is Mike and I’m real estate agent here in the area. I’m just stopping by to let you know that I’m holding an open house at [address] which is just down the street on [date & time]. So if you see more cars on the road then usual, that’s what’s going on. We should have plenty of parking space but please let me know if it becomes a problem. Here’s my business card in case you would like to contact me to discuss it. Have a great evening.
The final tip is to follow-up.
Like I mentioned earlier, you’re not going to close deals right there on the porch.
The entire point of door knocking is reconnaissance — getting information, generating leads, and looking for opportunities.
But you can only capitalize on those opportunities if you follow-up.
Send emails and call or text people who gave you their phone numbers. If you’re not sure what to say or what to send and you’ve exhausted your attempts at being direct… remember that providing free value for people is always welcome. So send them something they can use (e.g. “Hey I just found this article about increasing your home value. Thought you might find it interesting.”).
Final Thoughts on Door Knocking
Door knocking is about creating opportunities.
It’s probably not going to be the only marketing tactic in your tool-shed. But the very act of being out and talking to people is itself going to put opportunities in front of you that other agents and investors are missing out on.
So it’s worth the effort.
And the tips above will help you get the most mileage out of your door knocking efforts.