There’s just something about door knocking for real estate that strikes fear into the hearts of new agents. What if they slam the door in my face? What if they yell at me? I don’t want to bother anybody… What if they don’t like me?!

Well, I hear you. Nobody wants to feel humiliated trying to drum up business. But there’s a lot you can learn from door knocking in your neighborhood or farm area. Not to mention, if you master this skill, you’ll likely be miles ahead of your competitors who are too scared to take on the challenge. 

In this article, I cover everything you need to know about real estate door knocking, including the best scripts and 16 door-knocking tips to get more leads. With these scripts and tips, you’ll have plenty of knowledge to quickly build up your courage to take to the streets.

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16 Door Knocking Tips to Get More Leads in 2023

1. Don’t Ask for Business—Offer to Help 

One of the biggest mistakes new agents make when door knocking is trying to hard-sell total strangers on their doorstep. Unless you have a stellar track record in their neighborhood, this will turn off most homeowners. Instead, focus on how you can help them. The distinction is subtle, but important. Check out Chis Linsell’s video below for a quick run-through of his door knocking strategy and why it works.

2. Don’t Forget to Bring Your Door Hangers

Leave a door hanger on the doors when homeowners don't answer the door. Let them know who you are and why you were there.

One of the best leave-behinds you can use when door knocking is door hangers. In my opinion, they have one of the best returns on investment (ROI) of any print marketing you will do. Full stop.

When you leave marketing collateral with your picture on it on a doorknob, the homeowner is more likely to recognize you the next time you come around. Follow up with postcards, phone calls, and a mailer with a neighborhood market analysis. The objective is to be seen as the neighborhood expert. 

You can get gorgeous, custom-designed door hangers as well as social media templates, business card templates, and more from Agent Crate. Agent Crate offers 1000+ customizable templates to create beautiful leave-behinds in minutes.

Visit Agent Crate

3. Don’t Try to Close the Deal on Their Doorstep

People can sense when they're being sold to. Don't try to close the deal on their door step. Focus on getting to the next step.

The cardinal rule of any real estate lead generation strategy is to focus on moving relationships to the next step. In the case of door knocking, that next step is generally either a phone call, being added to a direct mail or drip campaign, or—if you’re really lucky—a listing presentation.

While you may be eager to close deals, pushing too hard for goals that are unrealistic is a surefire way to get a door slammed in your face. Sure, you want to seem confident and maybe even a little bit hungry to close, but most people instantly turn off when presented with a sales pitch, no matter how good it is. This is especially true when you’re standing on their doorstep on a Sunday morning.

So do yourself a favor and save the hard sell for your listing presentation. Instead, focus on just moving the ball down the field. What next step do you realistically want the homeowner to take with you? A phone call? A visit to your open house? Focus on that and you’ll have much better luck knocking doors.

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4. A Small Compliment Can Go a Long Way 

A sincere compliment is one of those icebreakers that has probably worked since the last Ice Age and will continue to work for a thousand years. So the next time you’re out door knocking, try to find something genuine to compliment the homeowner on, like their well-kept lawn or their decor at the front door.

When starting a conversation, remember to make it about them, not you. Ask questions and show genuine interest in what they are saying. The goal is to lay the foundation for a solid relationship.

5. Go the Extra Mile to Set Yourself Apart 

Another hard-and-fast rule of lead generation is that you need to offer something that your leads actually want. This can be as abstract as a conversation or advice, or as concrete as a well-researched comparative market analysis (CMA) or market report.

If you feel like you have nothing to offer, then you’re doing it wrong. Just by virtue of your access to the MLS, you have more information at your fingertips than the average homeowner. It’s just a matter of packaging that data in creative and useful ways. Why not hire a virtual assistant to put together CMAs for homes in a neighborhood you want to target?

Sure, that will cost you money, but how many other agents are going that extra mile? As Close Contributor Beverly Ruffner always says: You only need to be a little bit better than the competition.

Just remember that data on its own is cheap and accessible to most people. The real value comes from analyzing and packaging that data in ways that are useful to your potential customers.

6. Allow Yourself to Fail

If you’ve worked in real estate for more than 10 minutes (or own a television), you’ve probably heard of Barbara Corcoran. What you may not know about Barbara is that she grew up poor and dyslexic, and was waiting tables before she decided to become a real estate agent.

Fast forward a few decades and she ended up selling her innovative brokerage, The Corcoran Group, for more than $66 million. Like many entrepreneurs, she credits her amazing success to learning lessons from failure. Successful people don’t get where they are without breaking a few eggs. So smile when someone slams a door in your face, learn to meditate, start a healthy morning routine, and always remember that you’re not a brain surgeon—you’re just trying to close some deals. So don’t be so hard on yourself. Things are going to work out, but you need to let yourself fail first. It won’t kill you. I promise. 😀

Related Article
Why Do Real Estate Agents Fail: 7 Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

7. Dress for Success, but Don’t Forget Comfort

Dress professionally when you head out to door knock, but make sure to keep comfort in mind.

One of the best-kept secrets of success in any sales job shouldn’t be a secret at all. Here it goes: People are going to judge you, and harshly, based on your appearance. Yes, I know it’s not fair, and yes, I know you really think leads won’t care if you show up in sweatpants and a T-shirt to show them houses. We’ve heard these arguments over and over again. Of course, that doesn’t make them right. 

This is especially the case with older people who own the majority of the homes in this country. As long as you’re comfortable, dress as nicely as you can when you’re out door knocking.

Not sure how to dress to impress? Luckily, we put together guides for women and men on how to dress—and more importantly, how not to dress—to close more deals.

8. Make Some Fun Pop-by Gifts

Pop bys are a fun way to introduce yourself to your neighborhood or farm area.

Pop-by gifts are small treats that you can leave with homeowners in order to get them to remember you. Things like candy, flower seeds, or any other small gift with your message and contact info will work. Cheesy jokes are optional, but kind of encouraged.

Our very own Jodie Cordell loves putting together fun pop-by gifts for her farm. Here are her tips on what works best:

“I treat it like a welcome wagon event and have fun with it. Your potential clients will love and appreciate it more than you think. Take advantage of any fun or cheeky holidays—National Donut Day, anyone?—as well as the major ones to put together some themed pop-by gifts to hand out.”

Need some great pop-by ideas? We’ve got you covered. Check out this article we published with tons of pop-by designs to inspire your own creativity:

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15 Clever Real Estate Pop-by Ideas to Get More Referrals

9. Learn the Best Days & Times to Door Knock in Your Area

Depending on your neighborhood, there may be better times and days to reach more people with your door knocking efforts.

Learning when to knock doors is like asking which baseball team is the best. No matter who you ask, you’re going to get a different answer. But there is a general consensus from people who use door knocking as their primary lead generation strategy: Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Most people are home, but are more than likely still in get-stuff-done mode instead of full-on relax mode, like they are on Sundays.

The only caveat here is neighborhoods where observant Jewish people live. In that case, you just might want to wait until Sunday, as Saturdays are days of rest in the Jewish religion. And likewise, knocking on doors on Sunday if your community is devoutly Christian may not be well received. In short, know your audience and respect their private time.

Another good time to door knock that most people skip is in the morning during the weekday between 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. You’ll catch a lot of entrepreneurs, work-from-home types, and retired people who are just getting their day together, and so may be more receptive to a friendly face or someone showing initiative.

10. Invite Them to the First Open House at a New Listing

When you land a new listing, make sure to invite the neighbors around the listing to come check out their neighbor's home at the first open house.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always desperately curious to see how my neighbors live. What does that cool-looking brownstone with the cute little yard look like inside? I bet it’s nice…

In order to satiate curiosity, always take the time to door knock in a circle (hence the name circle prospecting) around a new listing before you have that all-important first open house. It not only helps you look good to your homeowner, but might just keep you top of mind with the neighbors as well.

When the neighbors come to the door, hand out personal invitations, introduce yourself as the neighborhood expert, and encourage them to take a peek at their neighbor’s home. This is a great way to build engagement in the community and keep the seller happy at the same time.  

Speaking of open houses, if you need some ideas to actually generate leads at your next one, check out our guide here.

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11. Don’t Try to Knock Too Many Doors in One Day

Contrary to popular belief, being physically and emotionally exhausted at noon is not a signal that you worked hard, and definitely not an indication of effectiveness. It’s a signal that you’re stressed, tired, and probably cranky to boot, which is basically the exact opposite mindset you need for a successful door-knocking campaign. Who wants to talk to a stressed-out stranger on their doorstep? The answer, of course, is literally no one.

So if you want to avoid burnout, set yourself a realistic goal of around 20 doors to knock before you head to the office or start your open house this weekend. If you don’t believe me, just imagine knocking that super-lucky door where a millionaire who wants to sell lives and being too wiped out to build a rapport with her.

12. Track Your Progress

There are several apps you can use to take notes at each home you visit while knocking doors. Keep track of how many people you connect with.

One thing many agents forget when they’re out door knocking is to measure their efforts. How many doors did you knock? How many doors got slammed in your face? Which doors should you absolutely avoid next time? Which seemed kind of promising? Who seems like a decent candidate for a direct mail campaign?

You don’t have to hire MIT to crunch the numbers for you here. Just keep a little log book or notepad app on your phone and take some notes when you’re out door knocking.

Pro tip: If your customer relationship manager (CRM) has a mobile app, like LionDesk does, you can use it to keep track of every conversation while you’re out and about. Add new contacts, take notes, and save data right in the moment. You can even try LionDesk for 14 days without even giving your credit card number.

Try LionDesk CRM

You also need to measure your performance if you want to get better. What went right? What went wrong? Does your script need tweaking? Are you getting less nervous or more nervous? Improve your communication skills and your confidence will improve too.

13. Ask Open-ended Questions

Want to know a secret to not being boring? Get people to talk about themselves and then really listen to what they’re saying. That’s it. Easy, right? Well, yes and no. After all, you have a pretty clear agenda here, right? You’re not just walking your farm area at 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday to chat about the weather.

Not only does the same rule apply to door knocking, but it’s actually crucial to your success. Think about it. You have maybe 15 seconds to get and keep their attention. Even if you’re super charming, homeowners are probably looking for an easy excuse to get back to their morning newsletters and bagels. Answering a simple yes or no is one of those excuses.

So to avoid giving them an easy out, and never ask questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Instead, try to get prospects engaged in a conversation by asking open-ended questions and actually listening to their answers instead of just waiting for your turn to talk.

14. Knock With a Partner

It's always safer to door knock with a partner.

Since safety should be one of your main concerns, you might want to think about finding a partner to door knock with. It could be a junior agent who needs to work on their pitching skills that you take with you to each door. Or, if you head out with an equal team member, you each can take one side of the street. But the fact is, pairing up is almost always safer than going it alone. 

By the way, this applies to any neighborhood. The simple fact is you never know who is going to answer that door, so having a buddy across the street watching your back is always a good idea.

It could just be a creepy old man who gets too flirty, but a quick “Hey, would love to chat more but my partner is across the street” should be enough to throw cold water on most people.

While the odds of getting into trouble are pretty rare, you never know. As an added bonus, you’ll have a margarita partner if you decide to knock off early. 🍹🧉

Related Article
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15. Don’t Be Afraid of Luxury Neighborhoods

Don't skip the high-end neighborhoods in your community. After all, they need your services too.

Can we talk about super-attractive people for a minute here? If there’s one thing they say over and over again, it’s that fewer, not more, people hit on them. While this might seem counterintuitive, it makes sense when you think about it. After all, most people assume they have no chance, so they don’t even bother.

Well, you can think about wealthy neighborhoods like that super-hot guy in your spin class. You might have a low chance of getting his digits, but if you don’t go talk to him, you have zero chance. Why not give it a shot?

The other good part of knocking on rich people’s doors is that they’re more likely to be entrepreneurs—and maybe also more likely to be self-made entrepreneurs who appreciate a good hustle! Maybe some eccentric billionaire will take a shine to you and give you 10 listings to sell this year. Hey, you never know until you try, right?

Related Article
How to Become a Luxury Real Estate Agent in 2024

16. Good Deeds Can Help Build Good Will

Organize and participate in local events that help your community. You'll be doing good while building good will with your neighbors.

If you really want to get in with the locals, there’s nothing like doing something selfless and useful for the community. I don’t know about you, but whenever I see someone helping others in my neighborhood, I can’t help but like them.

It doesn’t have to be a large act, but a simple neighborhood cleanup can put you on everyone’s radar. Organize a cleanup day, run a clothing drive, or host a pet adoption event and then get out there in front of the people in your neighborhood and start conversations to get things going. This is a great way to overcome any door knocking fears because it takes all the pressure off and gives you a reason to be on their doorstep other than to sell something.

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The Best Door-knocking Scripts for 2023 

1. If I Brought a Buyer Door-knocking Script

This script is a classic. The basic idea is to uncover an interest in selling from a homeowner. It’s straightforward and short so it’s an easy conversation starter.

2. Recent Listing Door-knocking Script 

Trying to come up with a value proposition to justify knocking on a stranger’s door on a Saturday morning isn’t easy. The best offer you have as an agent is a track record of success selling homes in their neighborhood. So if you have a recent listing that received multiple offers, print it out, black out the personal information, and put together a mini-presentation you can use as a talking point. Now that you have a reason to be there, here is a script you can use.

3. Your Neighbor Just Sold Door-knocking Script

The most successful agents leverage the sale of a listing to gain more listings immediately after closing. Use this highly effective conversation starter to take advantage of your recent success with people who own homes around your listing.

4. Housing Update Report Door-knocking Script 

Believe it or not, many homeowners are interested in the housing market, even if they’re not currently thinking of selling their homes. When you arrive on their doorstep with pertinent market information that affects the value of their home, most people will pay attention. Here’s a simple and easy-to-use script you can use alongside the latest market data.

5. Home Valuation Door-knocking Script

Similar to the housing market update, homeowners are always curious about their home’s appreciation. Share a recent sale in the neighborhood to pique their interest in getting a home valuation from you.

The 30,000-foot View: Is Door Knocking Still Effective in 2023?

Com in - Go away doormat

If you ask some agents, they may say technology or social media is a much better way to go when it comes to generating leads. But the truth is, there’s room for both online lead generation and door knocking. And there are plenty of reasons to keep door knocking in your overall marketing strategy, not only as a new agent just starting out, but even as a seasoned agent. In my opinion, agents have been relying on technology to generate leads way, way too much over the past few years.

These days, it seems like every agent is obsessed with perfecting custom audiences for Facebook ads, or trying (and failing) to go viral on Instagram or TikTok. Instead, they could hone the one skill they need to last in this industry: the ability to make a personal connection with another human being.

So, the more everyone in your office leans into technology, get up, go outside, and go knock some doors.

Over to You

Do you think door knocking will disappear or make a huge comeback in 2023 and beyond? Let us know in the comment section.

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