If you’re a listing agent, the most critical part of your business is obtaining new listings. You can try to find potential sellers by contacting old clients or making cold calls. But one of the best methods for getting new listings is by contacting owners who you know are ready to sell and want to list with a real estate agent.
One way to find those owners is by reviewing expired listings. Although these owners usually intend to relist their property, they often don’t want to relist with the agent who failed to sell the property the first time around. You can reach out to offer them an alternative.
Listings Expire All Month Long
Most listings expire near the beginning or end of the month, but listings expire every day of the month. You should make searching for expired listings a daily habit, not something you do only at the start or end of the month. You can check the daily MLS hot sheet for expired listings, or search in MLS using “expired” as a parameter.
Some MLS systems tell you the date a listing is scheduled to expire. You can make note of listings that will expire soon and be ready to contact the owner once that date arrives. It’s unethical to reach out before the expiration date, so don’t be too quick.
Make an Expired Listing Your Listing
Once the listing expires, the selling work begins. Your first step in selling the property is to sell yourself to the owners.
Don’t just start calling all the owners, though. You want to take on the listings that have a high probability of selling quickly. Start by reviewing the listings that didn’t sell and see if your experience gives you any insight.
Do whatever market analysis and other research you need to learn about the property’s value. You’ll be able to use that information in your conversations with the owner.
Of course, you have to find out how to reach the owner. You can use Internet searches and other means to find the right phone number. If you can’t track down a phone number, you may need to contact the owner by knocking on their door.
Prepare a script for your conversation. You will need to convince them why they should trust you to sell their property.
You can discuss:
- Marketing Techniques
- Online Exposure
- Better Photographs
- Staging (real or virtual)
- Realistic Pricing
Even though you are trying to convince the owner to list with you, you should also evaluate how you will work with the owner if they do. Is the owner realistic? Are they really motivated to sell, or will they put roadblocks in the process?
Streamline the Process
Since you will be working expired listings routinely, put a process in place to minimize the effort it takes. There will be days when hundreds of properties have just become available. You need to filter them and be strategic about where you invest your time.
Be prepared with a plan for you and your assistants to work through the list quickly. Being one of the first to reach out to the owner is key to converting them as clients. Have a prepared packet of materials to send to the owner or take on your visit. Try to make the packet stand out so it doesn’t just end up in the garbage.
You need to be persistent, as well. A single letter or phone call won’t be enough to convince someone to switch their listing to you. Follow up with the owners after they’ve had a chance to review your materials.
At the same time, be sure you adhere to Do Not Call requirements. Being over-eager can cost you your reputation, not just a single potential client.
On the other hand, if you convert a client and sell their property, you can be sure they’ll tell people what a great real estate agent you are. This is another reason to add expired listings to your leads: effectively selling expired listings is a great way to market yourself.