Principals and agents are evenly divided over whether or not door-knocking is an effective prospecting tool, according to a recent poll.
Of the 467 respondents to the most recent Real Estate Business straw poll, 47.5 per cent believe door-knocking isn't effective, while 46.5 per cent said it was still a valid form of generating business. Six per cent remained undecided.
Peter Peard, CEO of The Peard Real Estate Group in WA, said door-knocking - or getting "belly to belly" as he preferred to call it - remained a vital part of an agent's role.
“You see the British [agents] come out [to Perth] and they don’t know a soul, they get out and door-knock,” he told Real Estate Business. “I’ve got guys [who did this] for three years, and they’re now taking home a quarter of a million dollars a year.”
“So the door knocking is [important], particularly if you’re trying to break into an area where the competition is very dominant.”
“You need to sell yourself, and you then start getting a rapport, and then you start getting business out of them. Now, if you didn’t have that conversation, you didn’t knock on his door, you’re never going to get the call. You’re just a nobody.
“You build your business that way. Belly to belly - that’s what I call it – just get out and talk to people.”
“Walk around [your area] when you first start, hand every business owner and every shop assistant your business card.”
Industry training consultant Peter Glichrist, however, disagreed, particularly in relation to new agents. He told attendees at the recent REAL 2012 event that the last type of person a home owner wanted knocking uninvited at their front door was an agent.
"I'd rather have Mormons knock on my door," he said.
James Bennet, from Belle Property Group Lane Cove in Sydney, told attendees at the Young Professionals In Real Estate (YPIRE) conference in Sydney recently that door-knocking was a big part of his success as an agent.
“I would say, just starting out, that door-knocking is the best thing you could possibly do,” he told Real Estate Business. “Especially if you’re knocking for someone else, because it’s less confrontational and isn’t so ‘there-and-then’.”
“I wouldn’t suggest cold calling though, because when you cold call, the person on the other end of the phone knows you want something from them. If you’re just door-knocking, you can strike up a conversation and take your time.
“Sure, sitting behind a desk you can call every house in the street in a few minutes when it would take an hour to walk, but you’re missing out on connecting with the people in your local area.”
Mr Bennet used to doorknock in his local area almost every day, but now that he has established himself and a local identity, he spends more time with clients. “I will probably do it maybe once a fortnight now,” he said.