Use this plan as a basis for prospecting for expireds. Add other successful strategies you have tried as you learn more about what is most effective in your market.
You should spend 30 minutes each morning, as early as possible, printing out a list of expired listings from the MLS.
- Focus on expired properties in your market area or that you feel have a strong market appeal because of price or features.
- Keep track of how long properties that you consider particularly salable have been on the market. If you learn that a listing is about to expire, offer a referral fee to the listing salesperson to let you negotiate a new listing with the seller prior to expiration. This gives you the inside track.
What other lead sources for expireds have you found helpful?
Develop a Tracking System
You often will need several weeks of contact before you can convert an expired to a listing. Once they’ve had a bad experience with another real estate practitioner, expireds may not be immediately receptive to a real estate practitioner. You will need to demonstrate to them why you’re different than their prior salesperson.
Your tracking system should include:
- Name, address, and phone number of expired
- Information on the property from the MLS, including previous list price, and, if possible, days on the market.
- Date that the listing expired and previous salesperson.
- Date, time, medium of every contact, and response with an expired, in chronological order—for example, phone call at 9 a.m. on 9/14, offered free comparable market analysis. If you do mailings or e-mails to expireds, be sure to include those contacts in your tracking system.
Other tracking information you’ve found valuable:
Develop a Solicitation Schedule
Although expireds are usually sold on working with a real estate salesperson, a bad experience with their previous real estate associate may make them distrustful of your promises. Keep this in mind, and focus your solicitation on providing consultative services that emphasize your past successes.
On the day the listing expires
Mail, or better yet drop off, a marketing package. If possible, do something to make your marketing package stand out from the many others an expired is likely to receive. Options include, sending it in a colorful or oversized envelope, adding a special delivery or personal/confidential stamp, or hanging it on the door in a plastic bag preprinted with you name and a drawing of a house.
Later that week
Mailings: Send a follow-up letter or postcard if you don’t get an appointment. Again, provide a supportive message, such as “Sometimes, even a great home doesn’t sell right away.” Also include a statistic noting what percentage of your listings sell in 90 days or less.
What other techniques have you used for making initial contact?
Recheck the MLS to be sure that the home was not re-listed. Also drive by the house and look for a sign. Be alert to the possibility that a frustrated expired might become a FSBO.
Mail another marketing letter, emphasizing your success rate in selling listings in 90 days or less. Include information on any recent sales near the expired’s home, to subtly reinforce the going price range for the area.
Other techniques for maintaining contact:
Recheck the MLS to be sure that the home has not re-listed.
Phone calls: Follow up to ensure that expired has received your service package. Use this opportunity to ask if you can come over and see the house so that you can keep your buyer clients informed of everything available in the neighborhood. Low-traffic times at open houses are a good time to make expired follow-up calls, suggests author Danielle Kennedy.
Buyer interest: If you have an appropriate customer, call expireds and ask if they would be willing for you to show the house to a buyer.
Other techniques for getting your foot in the door:
Recheck the MLS to be sure that the home has not re-listed. Drive by and check for a yard sign.
Listing presentation: If you’ve gotten an appointment and the mood is right, present a prepared listing agreement during your visit for signature. As an alternative, promise the expireds that you will complete a marketing plan of the property within 48 hours for their review. Present the plan, then ask for the listing.
Final letter: If you’ve been unable to get an appointment, send a final letter asking expireds if their interest in selling their property has waned. Enclose a personal marketing brochure and suggest that they keep it for future reference if they later decide to list again.