Traditional Marketing: Neighborhood Canvassing 101

What is Neighborhood Canvassing?

Neighborhood Canvassing is the act of usually knocking on doors and asking people if they need a quote on a job. It could also be going around a neighborhood and putting flyers on doors, mailboxes, etc.

Neighborhood Canvassing is a low-cost tactic and way to get jobs, but it’s very time consuming, so if you do it yourself it only costs your time. What most home pros don’t accurately account for is the cost of their time spent knocking on doors versus launching potentially more effective marketing campaigns. If you hire people to do it you can usually just pay them a commission of any jobs earned so you aren’t making an upfront investment if you don’t end up getting any work from it.

Neighborhood Canvassing can get new customers relatively fast if its successful. Sometimes, it can take a lot of door knocking before you see a job roll in. Your specific service or business will play a big role in how quickly you see results.  Typically, the higher cost of the job, the less success you’ll see getting them from neighborhood canvassing.

Neighborhood CanvassingHow is Neighborhood Canvassing Used in Home Services Marketing?

Neighborhood Canvassing is used in home services marketing very often, especially as a home pro is starting out. A home pro may spend time in the morning or afternoon after a job in a specific neighborhood to try to drum up more business around the areas they are already servicing. They may also allocate a certain day of the week to neighborhood canvassing to try to drum up some new business.

What are the Pros of Neighborhood Canvassing?

The biggest pro of neighborhood canvassing is that it is a low cost option to get jobs. You can also target getting several jobs in the same neighborhood- which helps you build a reputation within a certain area (increasing the chance of getting referral business) and it makes execution easier because you don’t have to drive all over town from job to job.

What are the Cons of Neighborhood Canvassing?

The biggest con of Neighborhood Canvassing is that some neighborhoods prohibit soliciting and can be very annoyed by this tactic. It’s becoming less common for people to door knock, and while some people don’t mind it, other people get very frustrated by having a stranger come to their door to sell them a product.

It also doesn’t work for all types of home services businesses. You are much more likely to be successful for smaller odd jobs with canvassing. Things like pressure washing, tree service, lawn maintenance, pest control, house cleaning and even roofing can work well. These are smaller ticket items that a home owner may have been putting off and the convenience of you showing up and offering to get it done may be what they need to get pushed over the edge and into a sale.  While none of these services are necessarily “impulse buys”, the price point is something more manageable for a homeowner to quickly justify out of convenience.

However, if you are selling a very high-ticket item like new siding, electrical, plumbing, windows, retaining walls or things of that nature people aren’t usually just going to go with someone who knocks on their door. They are going to be more inclined to budget, research and plan for these types of purchases so there’d have to be a timing element that comes down to luck more than anything else. While that’s not always the case, the more expensive the purchase, the less likely someone will impulse buy it from a door knocker.

What are the Key Elements that Should be Done to Ensure Neighborhood Canvassing is Successful?

If you are going to pursue neighborhood canvassing as a marketing tactic, there are a few things you should do to ensure its set up for success. First, stay away from neighborhoods that prohibit soliciting, don’t ignore no trespassing signs and if you do come in contact with an annoyed homeowner, do not badger them, be persistent or try to keep talking to them. Be respectful of their wishes and simply leave them alone.

Do not linger or stay at the home longer than one door knock or ring of the bell. While you may know for certain that the homeowner is there and just ignoring you, be respectful of the fact that they don’t want to be sold and walk away.

Always appear incredibly professional. We recommend that you wear a company branded t-shirt and have on professional attire. Make sure your leave behind is also professionally printed and a good representation of your company. We recommend having a tracking number and page on your website to drive leads to so that you know how successful your efforts were and to offer some sort of promotion that gives the homeowner a reason to act now.