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:
- Be considerate about the time you go.
- Pre-qualify the visit with a card through the door a week before you knock.
- 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".
- 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!