Door-Knock Diary: Heeding the Vibe

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Real Estate

Door knocking is very much about the “vibe.” Yesterday I knocked on 14 doors on Clay Street, in the Athmar Park neighborhood, in a one-hour period. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon without a cloud in the sky, and more importantly, without a Broncos game on TV. Conditions seemed great, and I did manage to speak with 9 people face-to-face.  That’s a hit rate of 64 percent (9 for 14), which is very good. 

But the vibe wasn't right. On one block, six consecutive people replied with a curt “no thanks.” In several cases, it was before I even finished my 10-second sales pitch. (Sometimes I’m grateful for that sort of quick rebuff, when I can quickly move on to the next house without wasting anyone’s time.)

Yesterday, the vibe felt a little different. It was December 23rd, two days before Christmas. People were probably into the holiday mode already, wrapping gifts and baking cookies and visiting with family and friends. That’s the best part of the season. A knock on the door might signify a visit from a neighbor. A pitch from a Realtor isn’t necessary a welcome surprise.

Good real estate brokers work very hard. Unfortunately much of the work is hustling for new business, not serving existing clients. Kind of like politicians who spend a lot of time raising money. Not their favorite activity, but it keeps the lights on.  If they don’t stay afloat, they won’t be around to do anything good.

“Lead generation” is the real estate term for activities like door-knocking, phone calling, and digital marketing. As you’d guess, there are many books, blogs, and podcasts by coaches and trainers aiming to help Realtors generate leads. I listen to a very good podcast called “Keeping it Real,” from a Hawaii-based outfit called Real Geeks.

The Geeks interview some successful broker, or a group of them, about the way they generate leads. One episode featured Lisa Chinatti, a broker who operates in Massachusetts. She discussed the various forms of rejection face by members of her sales team. (They are not door-knockers; normally it happens on the phone.)

She made this point: A person’s internal reaction to a rejection usually is mostly about what’s happening in their own head. Don’t ascribe your own doubts and fears to the person who delivered the rebuff, she advised. After all, the rejector was just approached by a stranger out of the blue.  Maybe they had cookies in the oven.

Which brings me back to the vibe. Was yesterday a big rejection day, pervasive and real because of the holidays? Or was it all in my head, based on a small sample? Is the vibe a real thing? And can good results trump challenging conditions? 

There is only one way to know.  Keep trying and testing. Like I said, good real estate brokers work very hard.