Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘door knocking’


Should Prospecting Be Painful?

Well its good to be back. As I mentioned in the video it has been tough getting out over the last few months but the weather has finally turned. Seriously, not running made me completely squirrely. It’s one thing to work out but running gave me so much more. Basically, I have a busy life. I truly need those few hours of meditative time to put everything into perspective, think about what I need to focus on, and flex my creative muscles. So, back to running. This run was one of the early ones I did in March so I was feeling the burn in my legs. It made me think about this topic.
Do you know the pain you get after a hard workout? All your muscles hurt. Usually its a sign that you “done good”. Prospecting pain is kind of like that. All the prospecting you’ve done is paying off and you are exhausted from being so frigging busy. You complain about not having a moment to yourself but secretly you love it. The truth is prospecting should never really hurt but you might want to consider that it should at least be painful. Like exercising, you have to shake it up from time to time. If you exercise the same muscles over and over again the gains you make start to diminish. Think about door knocking. Sure it works but you can’t really do it in the dead of winter. The snow and cold gives you the opportunity to try something different. The point of all this? While prospecting has to be a daily routine, you can’t just use one channel. Shake it up, try something new. Naturally I would love your input on what you do to “shake it up”. Have a great day!

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.


What Does It Cost To Farm A Neighbourhood?

farming So you want to be a Realtor? Well most books you read out there will tell you that you need to farm a neighbourhood. Hey, I’m not saying that rule is written in stone because in this day and age you can prospect from your social groups or by targeting a particular age or demographic through tools like Facebook. But there are advantages to working one neighbourhood…especially one that you live in. Obviously you are familiar with it. People see you out and about (maybe with your dog) so there maybe some recognition. You go to the local stores and of course you tour properties in the vicinity to gain expert knowledge. Your geographic farm is only as big as you determine, but the realities are that the bigger the area, the more expensive it is to farm it and promote it. I like to tell new agents that you should target one or two buildings or about 500 homes before taking on more. So, last week we did a little noodling in our office about just how expensive farming can be. We outlined the action and the cost associated with it. Here’s what we came up with;

farm 2

farm 1

As you can see there is a healthy mix of the good old tried and true techniques that I believe should not be disqualified. They still work and provide the public with name recognition. They include newsletters, flyers, local paper ads, door knocking, cold calling. Add into the mix some ideas, like joining local BIA’s and neighbourhood committees, holding buyer or seller seminars and sponsoring kids teams and you have the making of a fairly substantial marketing program. On top of those more traditional approaches, social media has given the savvy realtor even more tools. Agents are creating neighbourhood channels, websites and Facebook groups, to speak with authority about what’s happening in the area. They are using video to promote local attractions and businesses and are tweeting out the latest gossip. They aren’t mentioning that they are Realtors right away though. It’s a round-about marketing technique that aims at gaining trust before asking for the business. It’s about proving to buyers and sellers that you are more dialed in to the nuances of the neighbourhood than the next guy.
You do all these things are for the sole purpose of networking (prospecting in real estate parlance). For the most part the things that you do take more time than money, but when you are starting off, you’ve got nothing but time.
Add it up and you have an idea on what it’s all going to cost you. About $20,000 per year. That falls in line with our company’s belief in spending about 10% of your earnings on marketing. The cost associated with the actions we came up with were based on actual costs that agents in my office spent and we tried to limit the size of the farm area to 1000 doors. Obviously there are some economies of scale in farming. For example, the cost to produce a video isn’t going to change depending on the size of your farm but the cost of gifts, newsletters and flyers will. There is one other factor to consider and that is location. A billboard in Rosedale (one of Toronto’s most affluent neighbourhoods) is going to cost a lot more than one in Kingston Ontario. Don’t let these numbers scare you. In a perfect world you would accomplish all this and more. For now though it’s important to recognize that some of the best things you can do is get out there and shake some hands. That’s the most cost-effective farming you can do!
Is there any downside to geographic farming? Sure. a Client you’ve taken out a bunch of times decides to look across town and thinking that you don’t know anything about it hires another agent. The best defense is a good offence so while you are out, let the clients know that you are familiar with all the neighbourhoods of the city.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.


Back To The Basics of The Home Search

blog for July 30If you have been an agent in Toronto for any length of time you recognize that the real estate market tends to slow down a bit in the summer months. We’ve all been working pretty hard so a quieter pace is always welcome. We cut back our weekly meetings and take a collective breath as we recharge our batteries, catch up on work, plan for the fall or simply enjoy the summer heat . Well, as they say, there’s no rest for the weary as we find ourselves as busy as ever. We are on our way to recording one of the best Julys in years.

Considering the great weather, we had a great turnout. I thought at this morning’s meeting we would take a few moments to take stock of what’s going on in the market.
The good news is that everyone is busy but the biggest complaint out there is that there is not enough product. I like conducting a quick poll to best guage what is going on. It was clear that the agents are working with way more Buyers than Sellers. At the end of the day this is not a terrible problem to have. But no product out there? This got me thinking. I’m in a room full of real estate agents who are hired by buyers to find them a home. Waiting for properties to show up on MLS is NOT finding a home! If someone has contracted me to find them a property where I could potentially make $20,000, I’m going to do everything in my power to do my job ….including spending a little money and throwing in a little elbow grease.

So where does one start? When I got my license in 1988 my manager told me to go out and door knock, cold call, drop flyers and cover other agent’s open houses. She told me that for one simple reason…..because it worked. Today, you can add contacting people by email, twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or a host of other means. There is one difference though. When you were first starting in the business you were told to bang on doors to find listings.

Knock knock, “Hi, my name is Joe Smith from ABC Realty, I am your neighbourhood realtor. Do you want to sell your home?” Repeat.

Today your job is different. You are trying to find a home for your buyer.

Knock knock, ” Hi, my name is Joe Smith from ABC Realty. I have a fully qualified buyer looking to move into this neighbourhood. They recently missed out on a home similar to yours. Since they are currently renting they a pretty flexible on when they need to move. Are you considering a move in the next few months or do you know someone in the vicinity that is thinking about selling?”

Can you spot the difference? It’s HUGE. While the first example is about introducing yourself with the hope of getting a listing, the second is clearly a call to action. You HAVE an active and ready buyer. What could be easier? There is nothing scary about knocking on someone’s door when you have a real purpose.

I am reminded by the words of an old Realtor I know. “If the business doesn’t come to you…you go and find the business”. Looking for a house for your client? Do your job and find one the old-fashioned way.

If you like what you read please follow me on Twitter of Facebook. Thanks!

mark mclean

%d bloggers like this: