Door Knocking: A True Professional’s Guide

As a Realtor who focuses primarily on digital marketing, I’m tasked with following a LOT of social media.  Some of this means I’m posting advertisements or fun things to read on my business page, sometimes it means getting involved in a community discussion on a Facebook thread.  All of it involves getting to know those around me to increase my brand.  No, I’m not your friend JUST to try and push my wares down your throat.  I am genuinely a people person and I love helping those around me.  However, I am in sales.  I am a salesman.  If you don’t know that I’m a salesman, you can’t be faulted for not purchasing from me.  It’s my job to tell you.

That’s the crux of sales though isn’t it?  In order for you to know about me, I have to interrupt your day with something you didn’t necessarily ask to be informed about.  I might do that via an e-mail, phone call, radio ad, or knocking on your door.  However, no matter which way I do it, I’ve interrupted your day.  So where does this topic stem from?  Well, as I said, I follow a lot of social media.  Turns out my fellow community mates aren’t a huge fan of door-knocker solicitations.  As it also turns out, I am a door-knocker solicitor.  How’s that for conflict in our little story?  Consequently, this article will be a little bit of backstory on my sales approach and why I do it.  I’d also like to give some tips to fellow door-knockers.

Sales and Door Knocking

I don’t wear pants at work, so why would I expect people to wear pants at their house!?  That’s a little joke by the way.  I wear a kilt.  However, it’s a fair question.  Let me tell you though, I don’t care.  If you feel confident to open the door in your little white underpants, then you do you. Flaunt it! I will hold a conversation with you nonetheless.  When I go door knocking I am interrupting a person’s sanctuary and their castle.  I have to be understanding when they choose to address me in the chosen kingdom regalia.  I also don’t get hurt feelings if you peek out your window and then decide not to open up.  However, door knocking a proven method to get your name out and introduce yourself to a community you intend to serve.  Love it or hate it, door knocking isn’t going away.

That said, what I do mind is if you open the door for the explicit purpose of being a jerk.  I’ve only run across a few of these thankfully, but they do exist.  Somebody so hell-bent on protecting their ‘domain’, or inconspicuously placed no soliciting signs, that they seek to verbally berate me for going out and trying to earn a living for my family.  Not cool. I can completely understand being annoyed by my door bell songs, but, like a phone call, just screen me and move on.  It baffles me why someone would go out of their way to be angry.  Life is too short!  A far simpler option is just “I’m not interested, and next time, could you please skip my house?”

Door Knocking Without Annoying the Neighborhood

Let me start with the number one way to not get yelled at.  HAVE A REASON TO BE THERE!  For all that is good and mighty, have a reason.  Let me give you some examples.  I go door knocking for: open houses, listings, houses I’ve sold, and to meet MY neighbors.  I do not go door knocking to prospect in random neighborhoods I would like to sell in nor do I go door knocking to “introduce” myself in neighborhoods where I do not reside.  If you do, expect to have the door slammed in your face.  The only service I think that can merit that are restaurants.  Otherwise, stick to other (and more effective) channels of first contact advertising.  If you’re going to interrupt someone and force them to open the door, have a reason to be there and make it non-salesy.  People’s time is valuable – at least acknowledge that.

Pushy Salesman Door Knocking

Hi there! How Can I Ruin Your Day?

If you’re going to go door knocking, make it a habit and build familiarity in a given area.  I try and knock on a few doors in my neighborhood at least every other week.  Even if it’s only one or two.  I say “Hey, I’m a Realtor who lives down the road on Main Street.  I just wanted to take a moment out of my day to talk and see if there is anything I can do for you to make your life better.”  Focus on the person and the rest falls into place.  Be willing to follow through too.  I had an elderly neighbor say needing a bunch of heavy boxes moved to the trash.  You know what I did?  I took some really heavy boxes to the curb for him in a dress shirt and kilt (Related: Do Community Service).  Be a people builder, not a wares pusher.


Door knocking irritates people, so give them a reason to not hate you.  That means have a direct and relevant reason to be on their doorstep.  You’re inviting them to an event, you live in the neighborhood, and some other valid reason.  If they open the door and you shove a brochure in their face, except that brochure to go in the garbage.  They’ll look at the brochure though – just long enough to see the company name and add that to their “Do Not Call” list.  These rules don’t apply for restaurants though.  Show up with food at my door and I will give you two minutes of my time.  I can also be bribed with 25% off coupons for said food.

Another thing to consider as a door-knocking salesman is the municipal codes.  In my area, law enforcement doesn’t have a lot of power and authority so long as it’s a non-gated community.  That is, unless the city requires a permit for your pandering.  If that’s the case, expect law enforcement to throw you out without a second thought.  One final note about law enforcement, expect to talk to them.  Working for the sheriff’s office in dispatch, we get a lot of solicitor calls that come in as “suspicious persons” knocking on people’s doors.  Everybody is worried about a robber casing the area.  Follow Jack Catchem’sA California SuperCop — universal rule for dealing with law enforcement; don’t be a jerk.

Celts, do you agree with my synopsis about door knockers?  Are you likely to open the door for an obvious salesman?  What about if you’ve seen their marketing previously?  Let me know in the comments below!  If you’re looking to buy or sell property in Central Florida, click here to get in touch with me!  If you’d rather just follow my awesome blog, check out my Facebook page by clicking here!

Cash Flow Celt

I'm just a local business and finance nerd looking to help people get educated about small business, marketing, and personal finance! I write about anything and everything that I can tie into those themes. I'm also Central Florida's only Kilted Realtor, so I write about Real Estate too! Check out my About Me page to see the origins of Cash Flow Celt.

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3 Responses

  1. I have to admit that I normally screen the knocks/door bell rings. The only time I ever get super frustrated is when I put my son down for a nap and the door bell rings. It’s a 50/50 chance that the door bell has awakened my son and that’s going to be a disaster to get him back to sleep. So I’m all about being earning a living but my preference is having the realtor walking the neighborhood and building word of mouth from the people outside 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment MSM! I can respect the futility of putting the baby back to sleep after an errant door knocker. My son’s room is right off the main hallway. While the knock or door bell ring won’t wake him up, the dogs rushing and barking next to the wall opposite his bed will.

      However statistically it won’t happen. So while I personally feel incredibly bad that it might wake your kiddo, I’m not going to stop day-knocking on the off chance. If I restricted myself to just people running around outside, then I’ve wasted my day. That one out of ten homes roughly in my area; if that.

      That said, screen my door knock. I won’t be upset.

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