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This post was updated June 6, 2023.
We all have knocked on a door or two for reasons not related to real estate and it was easy. Why? Because you are not thinking about it or is it because you know exactly why you are knocking on the door?
I can remember an agent tagging along to go door-knocking with me. The entire ride over I could tell she was nervous and scared.
She practiced what she would say the entire time as if she was about to recite a poem for thousands to hear. She finally mastered it but when it was time to get out of the car and get to work, she decided she just wanted to shadow me doing it for a while before knocking.
After about ten doors, she saw how easy door-knocking was so she jumped in and took one side of the road. She has built a business door-knocking now, but first she needed to see it done to overcome her fear.
I have knocked on over 2000 doors and in 2021 I closed more than 300 transactions without paying for leads or marketing. Door-knocking and cold calling were the two main sources for my business. I will share my approach to door-knocking, and hopefully, it defeats the fear in you.
Door-knocking is a way of doing business that does not cost you anything but time. Timing is one of the important aspects of door-knocking. Our primary goal is to knock on doors when people are most likely home.
Ask yourself, when are you normally home? Is it 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m.? Regardless of what season we are in, most are home after 6 on any given night.
Believe it or not, the season has a lot to do with when you should door-knock and shouldn’t. I know no one wants to knock in the winter when it is freezing outside or in the summer when the temperatures could cook bacon on the sidewalks, but those seasons have shown to be the best time of year to knock on a door.
Monday through Friday when I door-knock, I go around 6:15 p.m. This gives the 9-5 workers time to get off work, pick up the kids and make it home. I have tried to door-knock in the middle of the day but the number of conversations I have decreased tremendously. On weekends, I knock before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. If the timing is off, the results will be as well.
Approach and delivery
Now that we have an idea of timing, let’s jump into the most important aspect which is the approach and delivery. The mistake some agents make when door-knocking is the thought of getting business from the action of door-knocking the same day. The agents who take this approach often come off as aggressive and salesy.
It’s fun if you can get someone to say yes to selling their house that day, but more times than not, you will not get that and you will rub them the wrong way. The thought process I take is to make a great first impression and have them accept my letter or card.
After I have successfully accomplished my mission and do not get the door slammed in my face, I book a day to knock that subdivision again in three weeks. I never wear a suit, but always dress business casual. I do not take comps, nor do I discuss the value of their home. In fact, I am never there for more than one minute.
Here is what I do. I knock on the door, step back two steps and wait for them to answer. When they answer, I say:
“Hey, my name is Quintavius Burdette. I am a local agent in the area. I am out today meeting some of the homeowners in the subdivision, and I do not think we have met.”
I wait and allow them to respond. I then respond to any question they may ask me. If they do not ask any questions, I will end it with:
“I have typed a letter for you guys to read when you have a chance, if you have any questions about the content, shoot me a text or give me a call.”
I say goodbye and go to the next door and say the exact same thing. I say the same thing to keep me from freezing up and wondering what to say next.
Here in Mississippi, we are big on football, so if I knock on a door and the owner has a certain school hat or clothing they are representing, I normally mention the fact that Ole Miss would beat them like a drum. That normally makes them laugh and drop their guard, but right after that, I go into who I am and why I am there: to meet homeowners in the subdivision.
I hope this gives you the confidence to go out and knock doors. When you remove the thought of getting business, it becomes easy.
Quintavius Burdette, or Q as he is known, is a former football and track star at the University of Mississippi and a current agent at RE/MAX Experts of Germantown, Tennesee. Follow him on Instagram.