Ditch that stage fright
One thing I learned during my time in sales is you don’t have to be on a stage to experience “stage fright” door knocking is just as intimidating.
The heart-pounding, parched mouth, tight throat, trembling, sweating and nausea can happen when doing something as simple as merely contemplating making a cold call.
Worse, it comes on in spades when considering knocking on a stranger’s door to ask about his plans for the future.
Professionals in psychology and psychiatry call this “performance anxiety,” an aspect of social anxiety, and claim that the malady is “ … fairly common, occurring in as much as 13% of the population,” according to James W. Jefferson, MD, at the National Institutes of Health.
Stage fright can be overcome and you can be knocking your way to real estate riches.
1. Overcoming the jitters
According to the pros, the best cure for the jitters is preparation, so practice your door-knocking approach until it becomes second nature.
“Don’t focus on what could go wrong,” suggests the professionals at WebMD.com. “Instead focus on the positive. Visualize your success.”
They also suggest concentrating on connecting with your audience. When Mrs. Homeowner opens the door, smile, make eye contact with her and don’t think of her as the enemy.
Tony Robbins says that to become successful at anything, “model someone who is already getting the results that you want.” In fact, he credits this technique with being “the number one secret for the things in my life that I’ve mastered.”
We watched a lot of agent-advice videos on scripts and other approaches to door-knocking and, by far, we feel that Borino (former rags-to-riches agent and current real estate coach), does a brilliant job. He’s definitely someone you can learn from, and copy.
2. Make a game out of it
Instead of approaching a day of door-knocking as drudgery, make a game out of it. Don’t concentrate on how many leads you need to pick up from the session but go for the no’s instead. Investor Sal Williams walks you through his game of “I need 39 ‘no’s’ in his YouTube video.
Related: Score Big with Door Hangers
3. Don’t go empty-handed
No, leaving a business card with the homeowner isn’t enough.
Rachel Adams Lee began her mega-agent career by knocking on 200 doors per week. She shares some tips on creating a handout that offers value to the homeowner in her YouTube video.
But, really, anything that offers value to the homeowner will be welcome. This might include a neighborhood market update on one side of a postcard or flyer and general homeowner information on the other. Valuable info for homeowners includes:
- How to take an insurance inventory of their home’s contents.
- How to solve the “should I buy first or sell first” dilemma.
- A story about how much equity local homeowners have regained since the recession ended.
- Which remodeling projects add value to a home and which to avoid.
One very successful agent we know commissioned a freelance writer to ghostwrite a seller’s handbook that walks homeowners through the entire selling process.
Handing an actual paperback book to a potential client, with the agent as an author, not only offers value to the homeowner but establishes her as an expert in real estate.
4. One ingenious tip for the chronically shy
Despite knowing the scripts verbatim and watching the videos of the masters, some agents just can’t bring themselves to shake the “Ew, I’m a slimy salesperson” feeling by knocking on strangers’ doors.
We learned a tip from Minneapolis agent Shannon Brooks that we think you’ll love. In fall and spring, Shannon door-knocks, but not for the reasons other agents do. She’s collecting non-perishable food donations for local food banks.
And, she takes it a step further by branding the bags she leaves with homeowners.
It started off with basic paper bags,” Brooks tells smartzip.com’s Gina Thelemann. “but now it has evolved into a branded bag with my name and brand, and my lender and title partner’s brands, too!”
It also started with the aim of helping the community but she quickly learned what an amazing strategy it could be for the chronically shy agent. The initial conversation is easier to start, it’s non-threatening to the homeowner and it allows you to follow-up when you return to pick up the donated items.
5. Which doors to knock on
Good for you if you already have a geo farm. If you don’t, now is the time to choose one. But, choose intelligently.
First, check the tenure of current homeowners in your chosen area. In 2017, the average home seller had lived in her home for 10 years, according to the NAR. So, seek out a farming area in which the homeowners have lived there at least 8 or 9 years.
Then, consider your income goals and narrow down your choice of neighborhoods to those at the right price point to help you meet your goals.
Coach Tom Ferry says to start with between 250 and 500 homes and then expand “as saturation and ROI is accomplished,” according to coach Kay Fairchild.
Another approach, as explained by coach Kevin Ward, is to target certain homeowners, not neighborhoods. Ward calls these homeowners “turbo leads” and they include FSBOs, expired listings, and homeowners who’ve received notice of defaults.
“They have already exhibited a need or a desire to sell their property,” he explains. In his video, he walks you through how to approach the homeowner in a way that lessens the chance of resistance.
Time to dive in and order at least 100 door hangers to attract more buyers, more sellers or advertise your open house or new listing!
Remember to also keep FSBO and Expired Door Hangers in your car for that spontaneous drive by.
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