Door Knocking, Cold Calls, & Letters to Homeowners: Realtor POV

In today’s real estate landscape, we’re facing some unique challenges. With inventory levels at an all-time low, some open houses resembling Black Friday sales, and buyers feeling like they’re on the losing end, my team and I have had to roll up our sleeves and dive headfirst into generating business.

It’s a two-fold challenge. Firstly, we can’t simply wait for the perfect house to magically appear on the MLS for our clients. We need to actively seek out opportunities. Secondly, survival in this business means selling homes, and with a 25% reduction in the number of homes being sold and inventory levels reminiscent of 2008, waiting for people to reach out isn’t an option if we’re going to remain successful.

So, what’s our strategy? We’ve embraced the old-school methods of building a real estate career. You know, the ones those gurus and coaches always talk about – “Go Back To the Basics.”

However, I’ve noticed something interesting on my Facebook feed – people complaining about those random calls and the flood of postcards, yellow letters, and texts asking, “Do you want to sell your home?” 

But here’s the twist – my background is in community organizing. I moved to Providence  in 2001 to serve as the Canvas Director for Clean Water Action Rhode Island after a stint in Houston, Texas. It was a challenge, and people weren’t always nice, but I loved making the connections with people and providing them with an opportunity to do something that would have a positive impact.

And guess what? I was really good at knocking on doors. Scratch that, I was exceptional. I built a team that raised half a million dollars through door knocking in my first year. And I was out there with my team just about every day. And while door knocking as a real estate agent is different than as a grassroots organizer, there are skills I learned during that time that have made a difference in my efforts today.

When it comes to making phone calls or knocking on doors as a real estate agent, our goal is quite simple, and it’s not what you might think. Here are the keys to success in this endeavor: confident language, brevity, offering something of value, a clear offer of help, and followup. 

The likelihood of someone saying, “You knocked on my door and I do want to sell my home right now! Let’s sign a listing agreement!!” is pretty slim – not impossible, but rare. So, what’s our real goal? Building relationships and offering assistance. And I think that’s a very different approach than a lot of other folks that are out there right now. 

Can we provide a list of trustworthy contractors, a market update or current home value report, or connect them with a knowledgeable lender? We don’t approach these calls or in-person visits with the expectation of an immediate sale; instead, we aim to build lasting relationships and provide enough value that when they’re ready to make a move, we’re their first choice.

Now, I won’t deny that not everyone loves receiving these calls or having a stranger at their doorstep. It can be tough to get past those initial sentences, which is why consistency is a challenge. But the real key here is mindset.

Thinking that nobody in Barrington answers their phone, or everyone in East Greenwich will slam the door in your face, or that people in a particular neighborhood are just plain rude – these are all excuses. It takes a mindset shift to keep knocking on doors and making those calls.

Training, coaching and practice are essential, just like in any other endeavor, and that’s something our team provides. And if we really want to stand out in this industry then we have to go above and beyond for our clients.

So, if you do happen to receive a call or someone shows up at your door, here’s my suggestion: be nice, be polite, and feel free to say, “Thanks, but Jess Powers is our real estate agent for life!” They’ll likely tell you that they know me and that you’re in good hands then they’ll move along to the next person.

In the world of real estate, persistence, a positive mindset, and genuine relationships are our secret weapons. So, keep an eye out for those Realtors working hard in your neighborhood – we’re here to help and, when you’re ready, make the real estate journey smoother.