Door-knocking and cold-calling are practices that can make a difference, especially for newer agents or in competitive markets. For some, it’s frightening. For others, it’s exciting. But for most, it’s going to be a part of their real estate business—at least to some degree. While every agent needs to develop their own technique and every market offers its own nuances, there are some broad principles that absolutely can maximize the value you get from pounding the pavement.
Here are four fundamentals to keep in mind before you pick up the phone or start hitting doorbells:
There is no need to beat around the bush regarding who you are or why you’re there. While there are many ways to get to the point (that is, that you are a real estate agent hoping to get their business) make sure you get to it quickly without too much razzle-dazzle. No one wants to try to figure out what a stranger on their porch or on the phone wants from them, and being up-front is the best way to earn some trust right off the bat.
Be topical and relevant
Even if you do a lot of research, probably most people know plenty about the broad, factual developments in their community. But if you can bring up recent news, even if it isn’t directly related to housing or real estate, you will gain a lot of quick credibility. Besides talking about homes you might have sold nearby (when applicable), see if you can mention a new local business that opened, recent concerts and festivals or hot local news. You will come off more like an active member of the community rather than an outsider.
Let them speak
Striking a balance here is hard. You want to make sure the focus stays on you and your services, but you also do not want to simply rattle off a script and hope it sticks. Don’t be afraid to let someone talk about what is important to them, and allow them to steer the conversation when appropriate. While some people might make you reel them back into real estate-relevant topics, others will help you see new angles through which you can appeal to them and their specific situation—if they have the chance.
Differentiate your declinations
A quick “no” and a closed door or dial tone is probably best left alone, but if someone lets you get even halfway through your pitch, don’t forget them. Respect when people tell you they aren’t interested, but make sure they know you will still be around when or if anything changes. If you have time, note what your conversation was about in your database along with any details you were able to glean about them. These people could very well come back to you in the future, or you might later want to target them for a specific marketing or mailer campaign.
How to best cold-call or door-knock is almost always something you will learn specifically by doing it, discovering your own strengths and taking measure of your market. But these broad principles, when applied to you specifically, can go a long way toward turning an often arduous practice into something that is very worthwhile.