Driving for Dollars, D4D, is a popular and proven way to find opportunities that can't be discovered from your office. Here's how...

Driving for Dollars & Door Knocking Like a Pro

Written by:
David LaPlante
Written on:
March 7, 2019

Driving for Dollars (D4D) acquaints you with your market and reveals more opportunities – opportunities that riding a desk and scanning data never reveals.

What Exactly Is Driving For Dollars?

Driving for dollars is active marketing. It’s driving your market and recording properties of interest (typically off-market properties), which will vary depending on whether you're an investor, agent, or local business.

You’re out and about driving neighborhoods, gathering invaluable information in a way that staring at a laptop and studying disorganized demographic data will never reveal. Using a good old fashioned pen and paper to record info works just fine. And if you’re getting serious, you can use a driving for dollars app.

Of course, if you want to limit your carbon footprint, there are plenty of folks who choose to combine exercise with hyperlocal marketing by touring their neighborhoods while biking or walking.

Watch how you can drive for dollars like a pro using the PropertyRadar driving for dollars mobile app...

Does Driving For Dollars Work?

The short answer is, yes. Driving for dollars is about getting out from behind your desk, driving your market, and seeing what potential deals are available with your own eyes.The physical condition of properties and the visual characteristics of a neighborhood offer insights you’re not gonna get from a spreadsheet. When you’re out driving your market, you can see things like:

  • Broken or boarded up windows
  • Overgrown grass, weeds, and deteriorated landscaping
  • Dilapidated roofs
  • Cracked driveways
  • Pile of newspapers
  • Overflowing mailboxes
  • Even code enforcement taped to the door

While driving for dollars, real estate investors look for subtle things that can help them connect with the residents like children's toys in the yard, car types, camping equipment, and even bumper stickers. All can give clues as to how to get your foot in the door and connect with the resident. So yes, driving for dollars works when you consider it helps you visually uncover opportunities you may not necessarily get from public records and owner information records - which can sometimes have errors.


Making The Most Of Your Driving Time

Aimlessly driving around neighborhoods will get you nowhere fast. Worse, it may get the cops called on you if people see the same car continuously driving by, slowing down and staring. That’s where PropertyRadar can help. The PropertyRadar driving for dollars app can help you make the most out of your time by planning an efficient and effective D4D strategy.

More Than A Driving For Dollars App - Customizing Your Prospecting Experience

There are numerous examples of how the 'Discover' feature can help you while out driving for dollars. A few examples include:

  • Foreclosure Investors - An investor specializing in buying foreclosures can easily identify how many properties in a neighborhood are underwater, in foreclosure, or owned free and clear.
  • Roofers - A roofing contractor looking to find roofing leads can explore homes with roofs that are 20+ years old.
  • Local Fitness Business - A fitness facility marketing manager can discover and connect with homeowners based on their net income and age.

The possibilities are almost endless.

Think about it. You set parameters based on your clientele and then our Discover feature clearly and beautifully displays them on the heatmap. It gives you answers to questions you didn’t even know you had. And because PropertyRadar uses your smartphone’s GPS, the Discover map moves with you as you drive. Now you can zoom-in to the street-level view and filter by one of the many criteria tabs to quickly identify properties by that tab’s color.

When you see a property fitting your criteria, simply tap it to open up and view the complete profile of that property. And when you’ve got a property you want to pursue, PropertyRadar helps ensure you can easily capture all the details you need for easy reference later.

Add Photos For Visual Reference

When you’re out prospecting neighborhoods, it’s easy to think, “I won’t forget this house!” until later when you do forget, and you think, “Darn it, I wish I had taken a photo.”

If there’s one big regret we often hear from Driving For Dollars newbies, it’s that they didn’t take a photo. It’s recommended you take a few photos. You can capture something about the property that catches your eye and triggers your memory to flag it as an opportunity later when you’re reviewing property details.

Fortunately, PropertyRadar makes it convenient to take a photo and add it to the Property Profile while you’re in the profile itself. Now, you can use the photos within a profile to help re-qualify a prospect, as support within a proposal or estimate, to show your “proof of interest” in a direct mail postcard or letter, and more. Rarely, if ever, do you hear an experienced Driving-for-Dollars pro, talk about wishing they hadn’t taken so many pictures. The more data, the better.

Add Notes AND Set A Status For Streamlined Workflow

While a picture is worth a thousand words, recording a few notes about a property and its surroundings when your observations are fresh and top-of-mind is invaluable.

When you’re out Driving For Dollars, you can get overwhelmed with everything there is to remember about all the properties you’re reviewing. Adding bullet-highlights from conversations you have with residents and neighbors can be helpful to you later when you’re working through a qualification or purchase process. And don’t forget to take advantage of your smartphone’s microphone dictation feature to take copious notes. Give your thumbs a break! Simply call out the address and follow it up with detailed notes that you can transcribe later.

Additionally, the Set Status feature on the Property Profile page helps you and/or your teams organize and maintain a seamless workflow. In Set Status, you can let team members know if it’s time to ‘Contact Owner,’ ‘Research Title,’ ‘Submit Off,’ and more.

Drive opportunistically and discover the missing data.

As you become more experienced, Driving For Dollars often goes from something you go out of your way to do to something that just happens while you're driving to and from anywhere. PropertyRadar is your field sales software ready to capture unexpected opportunities at a moment's notice. There is always an opportunity to discover new clients while driving your route.

Keep an eye out for visual cues about properties not on your researched list. Whenever you see a property that piques your interest, just open the Discover feature, zoom-in to your location, and select the property to access its Property Profile.

These properties may not be on your researched list, but you can take the opportunity to snap some photos, add some quick notes, set a status, and add the property to a list. OR, if you want to strike while the iron’s hot, knock on the door. You may get rejected, but in any subsequent direct mail you send to the owner, you can remind them you stopped by and appreciated their time.

As the great Wayne Gretzky said, “you can’t score if you don’t shoot.”

Finally, whether you’re reviewing properties already on your prospect list or just taking an opportunistic look at properties in person, it's important to compare what you see with the public record information that makes up most of the Property Profile. Public record information may not be current or accurate, which can be a significant advantage to you. Having the insight into understanding something about a property that would be missed by competitors searching only a spreadsheet is one awesome way that many of our customers gain incremental new business.

Done Driving For Dollars - Now What?

After you’ve driven your market, implement best practices like sorting your original driving list into qualified and unqualified lists and using the Set Status function to determine your next-step action. Whether your next step is to send direct mail or attempt to reach the owner by phone, email, or social media, PropertyRadar has you covered. From within the app, you can send direct mail, print mailing labels, or export to a .csv file to mail-merge or import into a CRM.

Sometimes after consideration and further research, the next action you determine to be the best is to revisit specific properties with the aim to door-knock and leave a door-flyer. Then, use the same process to move properties into a new list or simply revisit the Status you set.

Looking for something specific?

Do your research in advance (Web app).

Before you hit the streets, do some research in advance. Familiarize yourself with the characteristics of the properties of interest to your business and know your market well. And do not expect to visit 100 properties in a single Driving For Dollars tour. Use the Discover feature and Make a List feature on the web app to save prospective properties you intend to drive-by to a list. Further, divide your list into lists of 30 properties or less, that you can reasonably drive by in a day or evening.

You can define specific areas by using the polygon tool in Map View to geofence the specific area you intend to drive-by in an afternoon, evening, or day-long excursion.

For example, you can define the specific area in a neighborhood using the polygon tool and set the app criteria to show Single Family Residences that are Absentee Owner properties owned free-and-clear, where the owner lives in another county.

Optimize Your Driving Routes With PropertyRadar

Once you've built a hyper-targeted mailing list of properties to visit, use the Route feature on the online version of the app to optimize a driving route.

Select the specific properties you wish to visit, click “Route” under the Marketing Options, and then enter a start and ending address. The PropertyRadar app then produces the most efficient turn-by-turn Driving For Dollars route for you.

Print this route or save it to your computer or smartphone to access while on the route.

Conclusion

As with any skill, Driving For Dollars is something you will get better at with experience. While this is a relatively comprehensive overview of how to succeed, the only way to become a Driving For Dollars Pro is to get out there and do it. And should you bike, run or walk your market, may you live to be 100 years old and die skinny…and rich.

Happy hunting from your friends at PropertyRadar.

Want to discover new opportunities? Sign up for your free trial of PropertyRadar today.

Written by:
David LaPlante
Written on:
March 7, 2019