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What Are the Secrets of Door Knocking in Real Estate Investing?

Door knocking for real estate investors is either an experience akin to a severe sunburn or a primary source of deals. The difference between investors’ sentiments about door knocking is the ones who hate it aren’t doing it properly or at all, and the ones who love it do it regularly. Learning a few basic secrets of this time-honored prospecting technique can be very profitable.
Door knocking is the actual process of going into a targeted neighborhood and one-by-one knocking on each resident’s door. Not only should the neighborhood be targeted for the type and price home you want to purchase, the homeowners can be targeted by finding out beforehand if they are in pre-foreclosure, divorce, bankruptcy or any other situation that would make them motivated sellers.
With a little pre-planning and basic development of a “script” of what to say to each type of targeted homeowner, this method of prospecting can be an investor’s most cost-effective and efficient format. I recommend that the door-knocker be dressed for success. This means no sloppy jeans and casual shirt, but preferably a logoed short with your company name and a neat and tidy appearance. You’ll only have 10 – 20 seconds to get out enough of a tickler sentence to get the seller’s attention so practicing what you will say is very important.
Most successful investors who use this method, will hire door-knockers to pre-screen the perspective sellers for them. The targeted prospects are kept for the investor training the crew, as these are much higher probability prospects. College and mature high school students are viable candidates for this job.
When a homeowner answers the door, the following strategies should be used:
1. Always take at least one step back to give the person answering the door a comfort zone.
2. Make sure you stick to your script! As an example, for people in foreclosure you might say, “Mr. Homeowner, I saw in the public record that your bank is trying to take your home and I wanted to see if we could help.”
3. If the person answering the door says they have it taken care of, just explain that you understand and that you will continue to follow their progress in the public record.
4. Give them a handout, even if it is a one page flyer, which explains what you do and why they should work with you. Short sales are always popular for foreclosure victims if they understand the process. Your brochure should convey these important benefits to them. Even if they don’t answer the door, you should leave your flyer.
5. Follow-up on the prospect’s progress, including going back to door knock if the property isn’t sold at auction or otherwise disposed of.
If you are invited into a property, always be careful. Use good judgment as one deal is not worth your life. Door knocking can work equally well in upper income neighborhoods as long as you don’t have to contend with gated or guarded communities. You should not be alone when you door knock for safety reasons.
In summary, door knocking can be humiliating or wonderful depending on your results. Never be intimidated or argue with rude people, it is not worth your time. Door knocking is possibly the single best source of getting deals quickly and at little or no cost. You’ll need persistence and fortitude to make it happen but the more you become experienced, the better and more effective your knocking will become.…