If It’s Stupid and Works, Then It’s Not Stupid!

Bill out door-knocking

Bill out door-knocking

Dan has been investing in real estate for six years. He’s frustrated because he’s not able to find deals the way he could a few years back when there was plenty of low-hanging fruit on the market. Dan said his marketing no longer works. He’s one frustrated investor!


Desperate, Dan called and asked to go door-knocking with me. He’d heard that Kim and I had built our real estate investing business square on the back of knocking on homeowners’ doors. Problem was, the thought of knocking on a stranger’s door nearly makes Dan vomit. Isn’t it funny what folks will try when their sinking ship is about to go under?


A few days later, as Dan and I headed to the first subdivision, he nervously mumbled, “Knocking on someone’s door is plain stupid!” I smiled. Dan had himself convinced that he knew exactly what would happen at the first door – we’d get yelled at and the door would be slammed in our faces.


We soon saw a house with a For Sale sign in the yard. We pulled to the curb. I honestly thought Dan would pass out before we made it to the seller’s door. After knocking, I backed up twenty feet into the yard. When the seller answered I said, “Hi, my name is Bill. I see your house is for sale. I’m looking for a house in this area. Would you mind telling me a little about yours?”


After letting me know the price as well as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, I asked the seller about the overall condition of the property. With that, she asked, “Would you like to see the inside?” I answered, “If it wouldn’t be too much trouble, yes we would.” And with that, we were invited in and given a grand tour.


Once out of the house, Dan said, “I cannot believe what just happened. I’ve never seen anything like it. That couldn’t have been real!”


The second seller’s house was almost a repeat of what happened at the first. I explained why I was there, asked a couple of questions, and then the seller invited us in.


At lunch, Dan was full of questions. I explained that I’d been knocking on homeowners’ doors for more than 43 years. Experience has taught me that homeowners are always nice, friendly and helpful. Bottom line: Folks are absolutely terrific!


Starting out the day, Dan didn’t believe that eight out of ten sellers would invite us in. That changed by day’s end. We’d talked to seven sellers, been invited in six homes, and had made nine written offers. It was by far the most productive day Dan has ever had as a real estate investor.


As an investor, Dan faced three problems. First, he wasn’t getting face-to-face with very many sellers. He spent most of his time sitting in front of his computer doing research. Remember: real estate investing is a people business, not a computer business!


Second, Dan’s focus has been on finding deals. Pete Fortunato teaches us that deals aren’t found. Uncomfortable circumstances are found…opportunities are found – deals are constructed! So don’t go looking for deals. Instead, look for homeowners who have a real estate problem, and then help them solve their problem!


Third, Dan just knew that every homeowner we talked to would slam the door in our faces. But here’s the thing: Dan had never knocked on a stranger’s door before. He was terrified of something that wasn’t real. Are you like Dan?


When I dropped Dan off at the end of the day, I reminded him of what he had said at the beginning of the day: Knocking on someone’s door is plain stupid. Then I said, “Dan, if it’s stupid and works, then it’s not stupid!”


Bill and Kim’s North Georgia Real Estate Investors Association meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the beautiful Hilton Garden Inn off Main Street in Cartersville, Georgia. For more info, go to CashFlowREI.com.