Successful door knocking for estate agents

24 August 2010
Posted in Canvassing

Over the past couple of weeks, an interesting thread has been running on the 4Networking forum about how estate agents can be successful at knocking doors.

Canvassing on the doorstep is an important part of raising your profile, particularly for start-up agents with limited stock. But it's also very easy to get wrong and become disheartened with unless you have a thick skin. The thing is, most people lead busy lives and don't like being sold to or researched on their own time.

There are of course two sets of prospects involved here: those that are already on the market and those that aren't (and probably have no current interest in being). And that calls for two very different approaches.

For those that are on the market, you are in a position to be more direct about your services, how you differ from their current agent and therefore how you can help. Perhaps take an "always be leaving" approach which gives prospects an easy and face-saving get out clause and prevents you wasting time on people who just aren't interested.

For all of the other doors, you are much better off looking at it as a brand building exercise. And perhaps this is only relevant to start-ups and new offices.

The chance of any of these doors being about to market their property is very slim, so you'll risk alienating most of them if you take too salesy an approach. Instead, your goal is simply to encourage them to remember you when the time comes - and for the right reasons.

The 4Networking thread throws up several good tips for this:

  1. Be considerate about the time you go.
  2. Pre-qualify the visit with a card through the door a week before you knock.
  3. Offer them something. Knock the door with a branded factsheet, local market report, advice leaflet or event invitation and simply say you wanted to pass the details over personally - a simple and non-pushy, "hello, we hope this is useful".
  4. People like to help others - ask if they'd like more copies in case they know anyone who might be interested in an introduction.

Just remember that it's all about helping them, not yourself!

Leave your comment:

What you said:

25 August 2010 21:59:17
I thought agents should not knock doors of property already on the market with a competitor
26 August 2010 09:11:52
Part 2(i) of the NAEA Code of Practice states: You must not directly or indirectly harass (see 10 e) below) any person in order to gain instructions. Also, you must not repeatedly try to gain instructions in a way likely to cause offence.

10(e) defines Harass as "act in a threatening or oppressive manner likely to cause alarm, annoyance
and/or distress."

Canvassing and picking up second-hand instructions is an important part of estate agency. It's important to recognise that, but also ensure that you act ethically.

Some parts of the country react better than others!

26 August 2010 22:08:24
In Scotland where are based, agents generally do not approach each others listings, except by carpet marketing with leaflets. The exception is that of targeting listings with Solicitors, who work under a different code of ethics (believe it or not!)so estate agents find them fair game. has anyone else got any comments on this subject !
27 August 2010 14:38:10
I hate it, we've never done it nor intend to do it. We were a new start up 3 years ago and nearly all of my competitors door knock our stock. I think its a complete waste of time. I think you can end up losing more potential clients than winning them.
01 September 2010 16:34:47
I wish I had the time and back up staff. There are a lot of agents who richly deserve me standing on their clients doorstep telling them how we can help and do a better job. They deluge my clients with semi literate junk mail - thankfully most of which is neither taken seriously or acted upon!
01 September 2010 17:08:50
Good feedback everyone - keep it coming :o)


P.S. Hope you're well David?
14 May 2014 16:41:21
I am a business generator whom of which door knocks on a regular basis and I have gained lots of instructions this way. Shows we work pro actively. ;)
01 November 2015 22:05:44
Seriously? Do you really want to stoop so low as to be knocking on doors (pre_-qualified or not). Vendors need to know that you or your agency is THE authority in that area. To achieve that authority, you need to do things that are respected - not things that portray you as a beggar!