Door Knocking

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  • I plan to do what many are unwilling to do–Door Knock. What would you recommend as my “Farm Territory”. Should the area be based on how long it takes me to visit all the houses in say a three month period? Or should the area be based on a certain number of square blocks like 24 square blocks, regardless of how long it takes for me to cover the territory? I am thinking a territory that I can cover in 3 months might be ideal ( 4 times a year). What do you think?

    By the way, the territory will be Inglewood, CA, a city of about 110 K people. I plan to seek master leases, options, lease options, sub-2 and owner finance deals. The exit will generally be to rent/ lease the property for cashflow. Any rehabs deals will be wholesaled out to other investors.


    When Kim and I move from Cherokee County to Bartow County, Georgia in 1999, I used the new (then) Super Walmart as my hub. Cartersville, had about 35,000 residents. On a map, using a string to represent 2.5 miles, I drew a circle around that Walmart. Thus the famous 5-mile circle.

    I’ve worked this circle ever since. Because Kim and I lived on a horse ranch in Adairsville, GA, about 17 miles north of Cartersville, we did do some deals in Adairsville. Problem was, Adairsville was a one-stoplight town, not big enough to continually work. Therefore, Cartersville, in the same county as Adairsville, was our territory.

    Also, beginning in 2008, I began working Acworth, Georgia. It’s also in Bartow, on the south end of the county. We began working here when we began doing Lonnie Deals. Acworth is packed with mobile homes. Target rich environment.

    It took me about 3 months to door knock my circle. Once completed, I worked it again, and again, and again, and again.

    You may want to purchase my door knocking manual at It’s packed with 50 years of door-knocking experience.

    Finally, when out talking to people, don’t focus on structuring. Instead, focus on finding people to help and problems to solve. If you do T-bars, you’ll find the seller will tell you how they want the deal to be structured. It’s all about asking lots and lots of questions…and caring.

    Bill Cook

    This is very helpful Bill; Thank you. I saw your door-knocking manual and plan to purchase it just as soon as I digest the awesome deal structuring content here at Cashflow Depot. I have another six weeks until I move to California and begin door-knocking. I will likely buy your materials then.



    I saw your question but wanted Bill to answer it as it would be more complete than mine. However, he’s absolutely right. His doorknocking class was one of the best I’ve ever taken and the most practical. Sometimes it’s hard to take the “sale” from the salesman, but I would highly recommend getting this course ASAP. Learning Trusts, and entities and wholesaling and rehabbing is great, but creating deals through offers is the lifeblood of the industry (along with management-take David’s class ASAP). Master those two things and you are golden.


    I’m with Greg on this one, and I don’t mean about buying my door knocking course. I mean meeting with sellers face to face. This is where the rubber meets the road.

    If you want to run a marathon in six months, what’s THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU DO TODAY? Run, right? Go out and run, even if it’s only one block. Then tomorrow run a bit further.

    Point: You gotta run.

    Today, get face to face with a seller. I don’t care how you get there, just get there. When meeting face to face, ask one simple question. This is Pete Fortunato’s famous question: “Why are you selling such a nice house like this?” And then LISTEN.

    I’m not asking you to make an offer or structure a deal. I asking you to begin to learn their “WHY.”

    Bill Cook

    I wholeheartedly agree!

    In the morning, I am going to start door knocking here in Indianapolis. I was going to wait until I understood a better line of questions, but after this thread, I am going to get out and knock!

    Hey Jeff, I plan to start doorknocking next month when I relocate to Los Angeles. It will be a major part of my acquisition strategy. Let me know if you want a doorknocking buddy to help keep us motivated. I can be reached at 443.336.4837. Cheers. Rob.

    Yesterday, I was with my buddy Ed Taylor in Venice, FL, and did a bit of door knocking. It was a “talk to the damn neighbors” sort of thing.

    A realtor called Ed about a single family with two duplexes. The daughter inherited the property and wants to sell ASAP. Asking $850,000. Daughter is two years behind on taxes, and the properties are vacant.

    This is all we knew about the property and the seller’s situation when we pulled up.

    I’m telling this story so you can see what happens when you knock on doors and talking to folks in the neighborhood.

    After looking at the three homes (1 single family and 2 duplexes), it was apparent major rehabs need to be done to all three. Probably at a cost of between $150,000 to $200,000 to make them top-end rentals…which are the types of rentals Kim and I like.

    Because the seller was not there, I couldn’t do a T-bar to determine the seller’s WHY. I did the next best thing; I knocked on the neighbor’s door.

    As it turned out, because Steve (the neighbor) knew so much about the property, I didn’t have to knock on any other doors on the street.

    In no particular order, here’s what Ed and I learned:

    – The mother had built the property. She ran a tight ship. All the tenants were great. All snowbirds.

    – When mother died, son inherited the property. He was a crackhead. The property went to pot in a hurry. Because the neighborhood eyesore. Steve, the neighbor, call the cops many times and the cops arrested many people at the property. The son died of an overdose of crack.

    – Sister, who is a nurse, inherited the property. She wants nothing to do with it. Two months ago, she kicked all the tenants out. She then hired some guys to remove all the debris left at the property. More than 7 dumpster loads.

    – when hurricane Ian hit last September, all three homes went one to two feet under water. If you were in any of the houses, the water was 1 to 2 feet up the walls throughout the homes. There was no power for about two weeks. Mold, rot., mildew, etc.

    – the daughter has turned down two $500,000 all-cash offers.

    – The daughter sees the property as her retirement plan and wants as much as she can get.

    – Daughter is two years behind on property taxes.

    – the property is zoned for four more duplexes.

    – the property is on a dead-end street. It’s a nice, quiet part of Venice.

    – Two of the properties that surround the target property are owned by Steve’s relatives. They’re from up north (snowbirds) and both just left to return home. Steve watches their properties when they’re gone.

    – When asked if Steve knew of any other properties for sale, he said, “Yeah, mine, but not this house. I’m selling my house in Wisconsin.” He asked, “You probably don’t buy houses in Wisconsin, do you?” I told him I didn’t, but that my friend Derek Dombeck does, and I asked him the location of his Wisconsin house. Steve said, “It’s in a town you never heard of, Wild Rose, Wisconsin.” I laughed and said, “Steve, I have heard of Wild Rose, and not only that, I’m heading to Wild Rose in June to attend RV REIA!!!!” I sent my friend Derek the lead on Steve’s house he wants to sell.

    Folks, I’m told over and over and over and over how lucky I am. You’re probably saying that right now. I am NOT lucky. I simply get face to face with a lot of people, ask a lot of questions, listen, and then ask more questions. Doing this consistently allows me to make connections with people.

    Door knocking works. Be curious. Ask questions. Make written offers.

    Today, I’m call the realtor, Cathy, to set up a face to face meeting with the seller. When meeting with the seller, I will make her a written offer. I will do a T-bar.

    Love y’all,

    Bill Cook

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