Before we dive into the 7 easy steps for turning expired listings into clients, here’s an overview of the the campaign. Below is a map that outlines every action and interaction that takes place between you and an expired listing lead.
When a listing expires, that seller’s trust with real estate agents and our profession is broken. Ask a seller why their home didn’t sell, and more often than not, you’ll get this response: “Because my agent didn’t do any thing.”
To make matters worse, their phone is likely blowing up with calls from agents all making the same, empty promises.
The bottom line is: Reaching an expired listing is a difficult task. There’s a lot of ill-will and mistrust to overcome if you hope to build a working a relationship.
That’s why the single, over-reaching goal of this campaign is to create opportunities to engage personally with the seller. The goal is to build rapport and trust, and show expired listings why you’re different from all the other agents!
The strategies in this campaign were developed Garry Wise, co-founder of GoodLife Realty and The Paperless Agent, and typically see an incredible 20% response rate.
Now let’s dive into the step-by-step process of how you can turn expired listings into clients:
Step 1: Build a List
It all starts with building a targeted list.
There are two tools we recommend that will supply you phone numbers, addresses, and emails from sellers with expired or withdrawn listings.
The first is Vulcan 7 (not available in Canada). This is the tool preferred by The GoodLife Realty team as they are reliable, accurate, and provide cell numbers that are not on the Do Not Call List.
An alternative is RedX, which has been adding on features to be more competitive (RedX is also a less expensive option).
Using one of these tools, whichever you prefer, you will be able to build a targeted list of sellers who have expired listings.
Step 2: Drop off “My Home Didn’t Sell Now What” booklet
To stand out from the crowd here at GoodLife Realty, we created the “My Home Didn’t Sell Now What” report.
The report starts out with, “When things don’t go as planned in the sale of a home, it can be easy for a seller to give up on the excitement to move that they once had. You may even be sitting there reading this thinking that it’s best to throw the towel in and give up on the dream of selling, or to wait for an extended period “when the market is better,” or to question whether or not to even work with a real estate agent.”
Immediately the report empathizes with the disappointment and frustrations of the seller, without making any outlandish promises. That’s the goal of the report.
The report goes on to showcase testimonials from sellers we’ve helped in the past, proof of listings we’ve sold after they expired the first time, an outline of our marketing plan and activities that no one else is doing (i.e. what sets us apart!), and more.
Check out the video at the top of the post for a more in depth look at the report!
Create your own version of this report, and print it out! Add in a personalized cover letter to increase the chances that the seller will reach out to you. Put all these materials in an envelope and drop them off at the home (knock to see if anyone is home but if not then simply drop it off).
Don’t send it in the mail. You will have a much higher response rate if you take the time to go in person and add in the personal touch (and remember, this is being dropped off only to members of the targeted list you created in Step 1).
Step 3: Follow up with phone call/voicemail
The day after you drop the packet of information, follow up telephonically with the seller to ensure they received the contents and to schedule a face-to-face meeting.
If you are working in an area with apartment building, high rises or condos and can’t literally get to the seller’s front door, think strategically; where would the UPS drop off a package? The same place will work for you, too (probably the doorman).
However, if you have the opportunity to knock on the door, then do so; you are dropping something off that is of extremely high value to the seller.
Step 4: Drop off sticky note with message
A few days after you’ve left a voicemail, drive by the seller’s home again and leave a simple sticky note letting them know you wanted to make sure if they got the information. Ask if they have any questions and leave your business card as well.
A rule of thumb in direct mail marketing is that one touch is a waste of time. Never send just one flyer as it wastes your time (and money).
There is also a multiplier effect at work; the more touches you have or actions you take to make contact, the greater the likelihood that you will make that connection.
In other words, don’t stop at Step 1, 2 or 3 and call it a day.
Don’t assume you’ll be a “one hit wonder”; that doesn’t work!
Step 5: Follow up with phone call/voicemail
You can improve your response rate by increasing the contact that you have with the seller. This contact can be direct, for example a phone call or meeting, or indirect contact by leaving something for them, such as a package, letter, or sticky note.
By leaving the sticky note, you have a reason to call or leave a voicemail.
Ultimately, you are not going to convince a seller unless you have a conversation with them; marketing is ultimately comes down to the relationships you build.
Step 6: Drop off a Property Marketing Campaign preview
Step 6 is to drop off the third and final piece of marketing to the home; a preview of your Property Marketing Campaign. These are the steps you will take to market their home to potential buyers.
Step 7: Follow up with phone call/voicemail
Follow up one more time with a phone call or voice message.
As you work through the 7 steps for turning expired listings into clients remember that it is the repeated interactions, or touch points, which builds your relationship and trust with the seller that ultimately will gain you the listing.