For those of you who are out knocking on doors, an important part of that process is planning out your route. You don’t want to waste time and gas by zig-zagging back and forth across town all day. Jason Ferguson shows you one way to do this using free tools from MapQuest.
For those of you who are out knocking on doors, an important part of that process is planning out your route. You don’t want to waste time and gas by zig-zagging back and forth across town all day.
I’m going to show you one way to map several addresses so you can visit them in the most efficient driving order.
Now there are several different websites and even mobile apps that let you do this, but today I’m going to show you a free option. Some of the other ones require either paid software, or a monthly subscription.
Depending on how much door-knocking you do, that might make sense, but for now, here’s how to do it for free using MapQuest.
For this example, I’m going to assume you have around 20 addresses to visit. If you have more than 26 you’ll have to split it into batches. Now a lot of you are working with lists you’ve purchased from a list vendor, or maybe you’ve exported a list from your customer database.
In either case, your list is probably going to be a Microsoft Excel file, although other spreadsheet formats will work too. So, you’re going to need a file that contains your addresses.
Now we’ll jump over to MapQuest.com which you’ve probably used at some point. Instead of clicking “Get Directions” hover over the word “Travel” at the top of the page, then click “Route Planner”.
From here, we can add destinations one-by-one, but that doesn’t save us any time. I think the fastest way is use the “Copy & Paste Area” although the "Import Spreadsheet” tabs works too.
Now open your Excel spreadsheet. Select a batch of addresses you want to visit (up to 26). Then Copy the cells that include address, city, state, and zip.
Now switch back to MapQuest, and in the box under the “Copy & Paste Area” tab, go ahead and Paste the info you just copied. Don’t worry if it looks like a jumbled mess at this point.
I like to tick the box that says "Allow MapQuest to re-order stops on your route” You can choose between shortest time and shortest distance if you like. Then click the “Get Directions” button.
Now you get a map showing your route. From here, you can Print the map and directions, or if you have a smartphone, you can send the map to it. One other option is to install the MapQuest App on your phone.
I’m going to send the map to my phone. To do that, I enter my number, and this sends me a text message with a link to the saved route. If I press it, the map opens on my phone’s web browser.
So again, that was one way to plan your route. I’d love to hear how you guys do it. If you do it differently, please comment below.
You may also be interested in this video: How Insurance Agents can Plot their Clients on a Map
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