Getting face to face with potential sellers can get you listings, but it might do more harm than good, agents say.

“I live by the golden rule,” Steve Epstein said. “I do not do anything in my business that I wouldn’t want done to me, and I assure you that I don’t want people soliciting me at my doorstep.”

Steve is my business partner who has groomed me in my real estate career from day one. The foundation of my career has been built upon this golden rule of marketing, and thus far, it has worked well.

By the numbers: door knocking works

Although my golden rule sounds great on paper, the production numbers would disagree. Statistically, agents who door-knock tend to get listings in that neighborhood.

Shannon O’Brien writes about an agent, Tom, in her article “Don’t knock it till you try it,” who door-knocks 250 homes a day. She says that $38.8 million of Tom’s 2013 production was as a direct result of door knocking.

There are similar stories of door-knocking success in my office; new agents are starting off their careers with a bang by door knocking every day.

You might be coming off as pushy and annoying

I recently sold a home in a neighborhood that is heavily door-knocked by a particular real estate agent. After the transaction, my seller and I were talking about the success of the deal (it sold for over asking price, all cash, closed in three days).

During the conversation, she mentioned the agent who frequently door-knocks the neighborhood, and she rolled her eyes as she said, “He is very pushy. I would have never listed my home with him.”

To me — that is devastating. I was born and raised in my community, and I won’t sell my “name” for any amount of business. If people say “Dusty Baker” while rolling their eyes, I have already lost.

Other options that work

Listen, if you are killing it door knocking, don’t stop. But I would recommend analyzing your approach from an outside perspective to see if you are “that agent” and if people roll their eyes when they talk about you.

If you are looking for other ideas to farm a particular neighborhood, here are some:

1. Food drive

Work with a local food bank and drop off bags at each home in a neighborhood with a particular pickup date.

2. Polling places

Volunteer to sit near the voter’s booths during election season to meet residents.

3. Neighborhood-specific fundraisers and events

Find out when neighborhoods are hosting fundraisers or events to attend.

4. Host a “Shredding Event”

Bring in a professional shredding service and invite your clients to bring their shreddable documents.

You should always stick with what works for you, but these are some alternatives to door knocking that can raise your local profile without turning people off. Good luck out there.

What do you do to connect with residents in your area? Please share in the comments section below.

Dusty Baker is a high-volume real estate agent and established blogger.

Email Dusty Baker.

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