Doorknocking Expireds: What to Leave If No One Is Home

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What do you leave for an expired listing seller when you knock on their door and no one answers? If they are at home, your goal is to set an appointment. If they are not home, your goal is to get them to call you…which is much harder.

If you leave an expired packet, there is a high probability another agent will see it and take it. What is the best thing to leave? A business card. However, it’s not the business card that is important. Rather it is the note you leave on the business card that will inspire them to call you “Sorry I missed you. If you’re still interested in selling, please call me ASAP. Thanks, Kevin.” That’s it. If they are motivated to sell and have not yet chosen an agent, this is the strategy that is most likely to get them to call you back. Try it!


Yes! Hi there, it’s Kevin Ward, the founder of Yes Masters Real Estate Success Training and the author of the number one bestselling book, The Book Of Yes: The Ultimate Real Estate Agent Conversation Guide. Today I want to talk to you about when you’re door knocking expired listings and they’re not home. I get this question asked a lot. “What do I leave at the door? What do I leave for them if nobody’s home? Do I leave my expired packet? What do I leave?” Hopefully you have an expired packet, which means you have something that if you’re door knocking expireds, you can deliver to them and give to them that’s going to have something powerful and unique about your value proposition of, “Why would I want to hire you?” Right?

But what do you do when they’re not at home? Do you leave the packet or do you not? What I always did or what I always recommended is, and coach agents today do is, don’t leave your packet. The reason you don’t want to leave your packet is, number one, there’s a very high probability they will never see it, because if the next agent that comes along sees it sitting there on the door or on the front porch, they’re probably very likely going to take it. So now you just give all your strategies to another real estate agent. Probably not the best thing to do.

But the other thing is, is even if they do see it, it’s probably not the only thing they’re getting. And it is impressive that you actually came to their house and put something on their door, that gets their attention, that is there, that is powerful, that is important. But what is the best thing to leave?

So I’m going to share with you in this video, what is the best thing to leave that is most likely going to get them to call you back. Because see, here is the reality, if they’re at home, when you knock on their door and they answer and you talk to them, your goal is to get an appointment. Here’s some great information, but I don’t really want to give them the information. I want to leave with an appointment, with an actual listing appointment. That’s the goal.

If they’re not home though, you can’t get an appointment, right? That’s not possible. So what do I want to have happen? I want them now to call me. So if they’re there, the goal is to get an appointment. If they’re not there, the goal is to get them to call me. And that is a much harder thing to do. It’s easier to get an appointment when you’re talking to them face to face than it is to get them to even call you back when they’re not even home. That’s the harder challenge. So how do you do it? What actually gets the phone to ring?

Well, there’s two different approaches that you can kind of take, and I base it on this question, and that is, what do they want? What is it that the sellers really want? And I’m going to tell you first what I’m pretty sure they don’t want. Here’s what they don’t want: they don’t want you. Sorry to tell you that, but I’m pretty sure that they’re not looking for you, that they don’t want an agent. You see, what they want really more than anything else, what they want is, they want to be sold. They want to move, that’s what they want. There’s really, if you think about it, and I know this kind of hurts our feelings a little bit, but there’s never been a seller in the history of the world, I don’t think, that wanted an agent. You see, what they want is, they want to move, they want to get the property sold. They don’t want an agent, because there’s nothing exciting about having an agent. What’s exciting is moving. That’s what they want.

So if we’re focused on what we want, which is, I want them to want me, that’s a much harder proposition than it is if I focus on what they want, and that is, I want to know if they still want to move, if they still want to sell. So here’s the different approaches. Because there’s two things you can do. One is, you can leave them a packet of information. If you leave them a packet of information at their door to try to get them to call you, if you leave something there, or if you mail, it’s the same thing if you’re mailing stuff, it’s got to be so impressive, it’s got to be so powerful that it makes them go, “Wow, of all the agents that are mailing me stuff or knocking or calling or whatever, I want you. Out of all the other agents, you’re my favorite, you’re the one I want.”

And I’m telling you, that is a high bar to set for yourself. Now, I’m not opposed to it. I’m just saying, it’s harder to get them to want you than it is to find out if they want to move or not. What if I just ask the question, do they want to move or not? See, here I’m trying to impress them to want me. The simpler approach is, with the packet I have to get them to want me in order to call me. What if I could just get them to call me if they just want to move. I don’t care if they want me or not. I just want to know, “Do you want to move or not?”

So here is the strategy that I have used for years, that I have trained for years, and that with all my experience and observation of all the different approaches that I’ve tried, used, and seen used, this is the best one by far, and it is very simply a business card. That’s it. You leave your business card. But what you put on the back of your business card is what’s really, really important. So one of the things I recommend is first you have your business card and that you’re going to leave it with a handwritten message on the back of your business card. Now, what if you have stuff on both sides of your business card? Doesn’t work. Or if you have one of those slick business cards that you can’t write stuff on the back, doesn’t work.

I always had a business card that I could write on the back, because it was just useful when I met somebody at an open house or I met somebody anywhere and I wanted to give them a note. Or if they didn’t have a business card and I wanted to write their information down, I could do it on the back of a business card. And for this strategy, having a business card you can write on the back of is so powerful.

So here it is, I want to just share with you, here’s what I recommend that you write on the back of a business card to leave. And it is the best strategy on the planet for getting them to call you when you leave it at their door. Here it is. Just flip over your business card and you just write, “Sorry I missed you.” Which says, I was here. I actually came to your house. “Sorry I missed you. If you still want to sell, please call me ASAP.” And then you just sign it, Kevin, your name. “Sorry I missed you. If you still want to sell, please call me ASAP.”

Now, what does that communicate to them? Communicates to them that if they want to sell I may have something for them. Now, they don’t know what I have for them, but this is not about me. See, “Sorry I missed you.” It’s about you. “If you still want to sell, please call me ASAP.” It doesn’t say, “Hey, look how good I am, I’m the best.” And they’re going like, “Yeah right, whatever, everybody’s saying they’re the best.” All the stuff that they think about you, it becomes irrelevant, because they’re going like, “Hmm, what could this agent have for me if I call them?” Now honestly, their biggest hope is probably that you have a buyer for them. Okay? Doesn’t matter.

What matters is, do you want to move or not? And who’s going to call you from this thing? The person that still wants to move. And if they still want to sell, whenever somebody says, “Please call me ASAP.” You’re communicating urgency and you’re communicating if you still want to sell, you need to talk to me. Not, if you want me, you need to talk to me. It’s, if you want to sell, talk to me. So I’m focusing on what they want and saying, “If you still want what I can help you with, then call me.” That right there, straightforward, simple, and I would literally take before I would go door knocking and I would just have a stack of business cards and I would write, it’s the same message. You just write that on 20 different business cards and go out. And every time you knock on somebody’s door, if they’re not there, that was what got left.

Now, I tried to always put it somewhere where I felt like the homeowner would find it, that another agent if they were coming up door knocking would not. So if I could slide it inside their door, through their door, or somewhere where another agent wouldn’t see it. I even tried, if they had a garage, the direct entry garage, I know a lot of people when they get home they don’t go in their front door, they go open the garage door, go in, close it, and leave. And so I tried different stuff like sticking one in the garage door seam, so that when they opened the garage door the card would fall out, they would see it and they would pick it up. I don’t know if that works or not. I never knew for sure whether they found it at the door or found it in the garage door. But I was always looking for ways that, if I could get this message in their hand, I knew if they still wanted to sell, it was the best chance that they were going to call me. And that’s what you want.

Because now, once you get the conversation going, once they call you, now you have them, if you’re prepared. And so the next step obviously is, you’ve got to be prepared that when they call you, you know what to say and how to say it to actually get them to be willing to set up an appointment to meet with you. That’s the skill part. But this is the strategy, this gets you started, getting your phone ringing, getting that happening. And then you can use your expired script.

Once you get the conversation going, that simple, “How are you doing?” “Oh great, I noticed your house had been on the market.” Because you don’t have to remember which house it was. You just ask them. “Oh, well I was actually talking to a lot of people today, knocking a bunch of doors. Can you refresh my memory of which house yours is? What’s your address?” If they don’t want to say, great, say, “No problem. The reason I was out and knocked on your door was simply because I noticed your house had been on the market and I’m sure you’re aware by now that the MLS is showing your home as off the market.” And then you simply have the conversation. It is the most powerful way out there to help get the phone to ring, to get them to call you back, which gives you the chance to get them to say yes to you.

If this video’s been helpful for you, give it a thumbs up, share it, like it, comment on it if you have any questions, if you’ve tried a strategy, or use a strategy that works, I’d love to see your comments, love to see what you’re using and what you’re doing that’s working to get yes.

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