There are dozens of ways to find deals as an investor. You don’t need an expensive marketing budget or an elaborate advertising team to get the job done. In most cases, the simplest things you do can yield the greatest results. One of the ways that any investor can find deals is by door knocking. The idea of going door to door and physically talking to homeowners may seem intimidating, but it is often quite effective. Sure, there will be some rude homeowners who don’t want to talk, but the ones that do will make it all worth it. Remember, it only takes one. Before you go randomly knocking on doors, however, you need to start with a plan. Here are some tips to get the most out of door knocking:
Prepare yourself: Because most of today’s communication is done electronically, seeing someone at the front door can be intimidating. This often leads to a bad first impression. If you are going to knock on someone’s door, you need to be ready to present the minute the door is opened. You can expect homeowners to be skeptical of you and your message. It is best to develop some sort of short script to have on hand. It is important not to come off like you are reading from a script, but rather trying to have a conversation. There will be many people that will question what you are doing at their property and what you are selling. When this happens, you need to keep your cool and convey that you are simply looking for homeowners who are interested in selling or may know someone that is. For every ten people you talk to, a handful of them will be rude and want nothing to do with you. This is all part of door knocking, and an expected result. Focus more on the ones that have an interest. Before you pull up to any property, have an idea of what you are going to say and prepare yourself for anything.
Know your market: Getting in your car and knocking on every door you see will not give you the results you are looking for. It is best to have a handful of targeted properties in mind. Take some time and research the area. The best case scenario will combine a property that you have interest in with an area you want to invest. You can find willing sellers if you focus on distressed looking properties or properties being sold by the owner. A distressed property is a sign that the owner may not have the money or desire to keep up with the property. As such, they may be looking to sell. Before you get to the property, you should have an idea of the number of bathrooms, square footage and style of property. The better you know the house and the market, the easier it will be for you to talk to the homeowner.
Appearances matter: Nobody likes to think they are being sold on something. If you show up at someone’s door step with a three piece suit on, that is exactly the impression you give. Everything you wear and how you talk will be evaluated. If you have on expensive shoes, the homeowner may not want to add to your perceived riches. Always dress to your personality, but keep in mind the impact it has on the person you are trying to get a deal from.
Don’t stop at one: Every time you go out knocking on doors, you should aim for at least ten properties. Door knocking is similar to any other type of marketing: it is a numbers game. You can’t judge your success or failure based on just one person. If you commit to a certain number of houses one day a week for at least a month, you will see the results. You may hit a cold patch, but the tide will eventually turn and you will start to see some deals. If you give up after the first few, you will never know what your results can be.
Exchange information: When you knock on a door, you should treat it like you would any other new lead: as a chance to network. Handing off a business card and hoping to stay in touch is nice, but it will prove to be ineffective. You should try to gather as much information about the homeowner as possible, without sounding like a reporter. If they have interest in selling or know someone that might, you need to get a phone number or email to stay in touch. With this information, you can reach out to them every week or so and stay fresh on their mind. They may not want to sell right now, but you never know if they will have a change of heart down the road.
Door knocking may seem like a primitive approach, but it can still be effective. For a few hours a week, you can produce quality leads that cost nothing more than your time. It may not be as high profile as a mailing campaign, but it can prove to be much more effective.