Get More Seller Leads By Becoming an Expert in Expired Listings
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
Looking for seller leads?
What if I told you that there’s a homeowner in your market who’s willing and desperate to sell but can’t? In fact, there are (on average) hundreds of them. But here’s the catch: They’re frustrated and disillusioned because they weren’t able to sell before their listing expired.
However, even though their listing expired, they still want to sell. Even though they’re emotionally drained and tired of the process, they still have a tiny glimmer of hope that their property will sell one day. That’s where you come in.
You, dear real estate agent, can turn this seller’s frown upside down. With your expertise and pluck, you can turn a listing from expired to active to sold.
But why go after expired listings?
As you know, seller leads can be difficult to generate. Each expired listing is an opportunity to find a motivated seller (and prospective client).
However, you’re not the only agent in your town who’s on the hunt for these expired listings. In this post, we’ll help you formulate a successful plan for finding, approaching, and converting expired listings.
There are two main ways to go about finding expired listings.
The first (and cheaper) way is to check out your MLS every single morning. In addition to looking at the newest listings and price changes, you can also find out which listings have expired.
The second way is to sign up with a real estate prospecting service like RedX, Vulcan7, or Landvoice. These services search the MLS for expired listings and find reliable contact information. You’ll pay a premium to use one of these services, but you’ll save a lot of time in finding numbers. Plus, many prospecting services also come with built-in autodialers and CRMs (Customer Relationship Management software), which makes the process of reaching out to expired listings even easier.
Whichever option you choose to collect expired listings, be sure to use a CRM before contacting them.
A CRM is a must because it allows you to keep track of all of your contacts, whether they are clients, referrals, prospects, etc. In your CRM, you can record everything about a contact, including when and how you’ve contacted them and notes that you wish to remember for future conversations). Your CRM can also be programmed to stay in contact with clients and prospects automatically through drip email campaigns.
When it comes to expired listings, use your CRM to record each time you make contact with a lead. Because you’ll likely juggle multiple leads at one time, your CRM can also keep you on track for what you should do next to stay top of mind with the lead.
Now, here’s the fun part. It’s time to reach out to those expired listings and make connections. But before you pick up the phone, there’s one thing that you’ve got to understand— the seller’s mentality.
We talked about this briefly in the intro. Your seller is frustrated. They have questions about why their property didn’t sell. Feeling burned by their previous representation, they’re probably not happy with real estate agents in general right now. Why should they trust you?
Go into the conversation ready to overcome their objections.
Don’t go into a cold call without a plan. Develop a script to help you overcome common objections and hit all of the points that you’d like the lead to know.
In your script, be sure to empathize with the seller. This is why it’s important to understand the seller’s mentality. By incorporating their frustrations into your script, you’ll appear more relatable to the seller. Everyone wants to be validated.
After sharing your prepared opener with the lead, zip it and listen. It’s easy to talk your way out of a sale. But if you listen intently to the seller, you can find out their top frustration and goal when it comes to selling. This allows you to offer tailor-made solutions that can inspire the seller to trust you.
Remember to skip the sales pitch. You don’t need to convince them to sell their home. Instead, you need to empower the overwhelmed seller and help them see the wisdom in partnering with you.
Do you have an autodialer? Autodialers make the real estate agent’s job easier.
This is why an autodialer is the essential prospecting tool: Dialing numbers by hand is tedious after the first few. Manual dialing can also eat up a large chunk of your day. When you use an autodialer, the system calls for you automatically. Then, while you’re on one call, the system is dialing another lead. If the lead answers while you’re still on the other call, some autodialer systems may either play a recorded message or ask the lead to stay on hold until you’re available.
Depending on the autodialer, you may also be able to upload your script and have it pop up when you’re in a call. This makes it easy for you to stay on point during your call, and not have to fumble with multiple screens or papers.
If you have a CRM, you may already have access to an autodialer. It’s helpful to have an all-in-one CRM and autodialer so that the system records every call without needing additional input from you.
There’s a misconception that FSBOs and expired listings are exempt from the Do Not Call list. However, that’s not the case. If a person is registered on either the National or State Do Not Call list, you cannot call them for soliciting purposes. If you do, you’re subject to a fine of up to $40,000.
Be sure that you subscribe to and check the Do Not Call list once every month. Clean up your contact list accordingly.
Corresponding by letter to expired listing leads is an oldie but goodie. You may not be able to reach every lead by phone, but if you have an address, why not use it?
But wait. Before you print off and mail out a standard, impersonal plea, please consider the yellow letter method.
Yellow letters are so-called because they are traditionally written on a yellow legal pad. The presentation is personal and informal. The goal is to come across as sincere.
Yellow letters have evolved over the years. No doubt, you’ve come across yellow letter-styled direct mail before. Many agents don’t even use yellow letters at all, opting for white or personal letterhead.
Instead of worrying about color, just ensure that your letter is handwritten and personalized. Leads can spot a copy and paste right away. Don’t try to sneak by with a handwritten-style font on an obviously printed and mass-produced letter.
In your letter, tout your track record. If you’re still new to the game, highlight your brokerage’s record. Also, include a CMA to help the seller understand their home’s current market value.
Most agents don’t go door to door. This is why you should try this strategy. You’ll immediately set yourself apart from the pack. You may not be the first agent to ring their phone that morning, but you can be the first (and only) agent to ring their doorbell.
This move is bold and more effective than cold calling, especially if you come prepared. Bring a CMA and go over your list of common objections in the car so that you’re ready to make your case.
By popping up unannounced, you’ll definitely surprise the seller. So, don’t expect to close any deals during the initial conversation (but bring your listing agreement with you just in case). However, you can still make a plan to meet with them again. For example, offer to share your marketing ideas with them over a cup of coffee later that week.
Alternatively, some agents prefer to start with a yellow letter and then follow up with a face to face door knock.
Finding sellers through expired listings can be lucrative. However, to be successful, you can’t do what everyone else is doing. Use the above tips to find and convert expired listings.