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Scripts and Templates to Turn Expired Listing Leads Into Clients


As new real estate agents, we are often taught to reach out to expired listings in the MLS as a way to prospect for clients.

You may have been given this script: “Hey I saw that your home is no longer available for sale. I have a buyer who may be interested and I’d like to come by and preview it.”

Perhaps you didn’t really have a buyer, but were told this was a good way to get your foot in the door. However, in many cases, the seller has already gotten calls from 10 other Realtors claiming the exact same thing.

Do some of these other “gimmicks” sound familiar, too? You may have even tried these yourself:

  • I’ll sell your home or I’ll buy it!
  • I’m THE neighborhood specialist!
  • I’ll sell your house in 90 days or it’s free!

These were all part of the OLD WAY of selling real estate. In this post we’re going to explore a new way of approaching expired listings that focuses on delivering VALUE instead of BS.

WHICH EXPIRED LISTINGS SHOULD I FOCUS ON?

The first step to conquering expired listings in your target market? Take a step back, and define your target market.

At GoodLife Realty, we are currently targeting a small, luxury market where owners Garry and Krisstina Wise recently moved. It only encompasses a single zip code, but there are more than 15 homes that sold there in the last 90 days, each for over $1 million.

What’s interesting, though, is that there are even more listings that have either expired or were withdrawn in that same time period. So for every home that sold there were 1 or 2 listings that didn’t.

The agents who were winning these listings were unable to sell these homes at a price or in a time-frame that was acceptable to the client. This signals a huge OPPORTUNITY to go in and take market share from those agents.

The strategy we are about to outline works best in a smaller “submarket” like the one we just described. You could probably scale it to a larger area, but it will be expensive and you’ll spend a lot more time driving around.

Focusing in on a submarket for highly targeted outreach will help you build your reputation as a local market expert. Alternatively, you could zero in on a specific architecture type or price point, or focus on selling multi-family units to investors. Whatever you choose, start (or continue) to build your brand around this segment of the market.

HOW DO I START A CONVERSATION WITH EXPIRED LISTING LEADS?

The best tool we have found to start a conversation with and deliver value to our expired listing leads is our “My Home Didn’t Sell … Now What?” report.

Keep in mind, the seller is probably feeling disappointed—and maybe even angry—because they believed the agent they hired would sell their home. This report provides value and is designed to engage the psychology of the seller’s current mindset.

In the “My Home Didn’t Sell … Now What?” report, we include:

  1. A list of empty promises other agents make, so you can distance yourself from those tactics

  2. A case study of someone in the same situation, which shows them they are not alone and there are solutions to their problem

  3. Client testimonials describing how we helped them when they were in a similar situation

  4. Client references with contact information (address and phone number) to provide further validation

  5. A chart showcasing expired listings that we were able to sell quickly and for close to or above asking price (use your brokerage’s stats if you don’t have your own)

  6. A detailed description of “Our Approach,” which outlines the step-by-step process we will use to sell their home

  7. Our “Easy Exit” listing contract to minimize their risk and address objections (they can terminate our listing agreement at any time, they just have to pay the hard costs we have accrued, such as a photographer)

The most important thing our report does is offer value instead of a gimmick, setting us apart from all the other agents calling with the same old tired lines.

HOW DO I GET THE REPORT IN THEIR HANDS?

There are three options we recommend to ensure your report gets seen by the seller:

OPTION 1: Warm Call

This strategy can be effective if you already have an established brand in this submarket, meaning you’ve sent items of value to this seller before, are a known presence in the community, and have sold several homes in their neighborhood. The following script can be used in this case:

“Hi [Seller],

This is Garry with GoodLife Realty. I noticed your home recently came off the market. Do you mind if I ask whether you’re still interested in selling your home?”

IF NO: “Apparently something has changed since you first put your house on the market. Do you mind if I ask what that is?”

IF YES: “If I were able to show you how our clients make 2.7% more, on average, than their neighbors, would you be interested in talking with me?”

[Move them into an Initial Consultation]

If they aren’t ready to set up a meeting, leave the door open:

“Would it be okay if I sent you a report called ‘My Home Didn’t Sell … Now What?’”

In this scenario, you’re asking questions and letting them do most of the talking. Whatever they say, leave the door open … it might take more than one conversation. In a seller’s market they may be getting 20 calls a day from agents, and you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd.

OPTION 2: Doorstep Drop Off

If you don’t already have an established brand in the submarket, or want to further warm your leads, we recommend color printing on cardstock and binding the “My Home Didn’t Sell … Now What?” report for your small target group. Then drive by each home and drop off the report on their front doorstep.

We like to put the report in an envelope with a GoodLife branded wristband on top. This gives the envelope an odd shape and peaks the seller’s curiosity about what’s inside … which means it’s more likely to get opened. You can use a pen or any other branded item you have as long as it’s not too flat. It’s a great way to ensure your package gets noticed.

Obviously it would be cost and time prohibitive to do this for a large list, but this type of outreach is manageable for a small submarket.

Follow up your doorstep drop-off with this script:

“Hi [Seller],

This is Garry with GoodLife Realty. I recently dropped off a copy of our ‘My Home Didn’t Sell … Now What?’ guide.

I just wanted to make sure you got it. Did you have any questions about it?

Do you mind if I ask whether you’re still interested in selling your home … if you were able to get the right price?”

IF NO: “Apparently something has changed since you first put your house on the market. Do you mind if I ask what that is?”

IF YES: “If I were able to show you how our clients make 2.7% more, on average, than their neighbors, would you be interested in talking with me?”

If you’re still getting a “NO” you can follow up with:

“I’m sure you have a very good reason for saying that. Do you mind if I ask why that is?”

This question allows you to address any misconceptions they may have about why they shouldn’t sell, such as “I’m afraid I won’t get enough for my home” or “Now is just not a good time to sell.”

OPTION 3: Highly Personalized Outreach

We are testing a new variation that we wanted to share with you. It’s a way to personalize this approach for a small, highly-targeted list.

Start by printing out their listing from the MLS. Use it to illustrate why their home didn’t sell. Highlight the long list of price reductions, the poor promotion, or anything else you feel the previous agent mishandled in their representation.

Place a colored Post-It on top with a personal note:

And include a copy of the “My Home Didn’t Sell … Now What?” report in the package.

You can’t do this for thousands of people, but you can do it for a dozen and you’ll have a much higher conversion rate.

Follow up with a phone call and use the following script:

“Hi [Seller],

This is Garry with GoodLife Realty. I recently dropped off a copy of our ‘My Home Didn’t Sell … Now What?’ guide.

I just wanted to make sure you got it. Did you have any questions about it?

Do you mind if I ask, why do you think your home didn’t sell?”

What’s the #1 answer you are likely to get? “My agent didn’t do anything.”

While that may not always be the case, the fact is … sometimes it’s true.

In the old ways of doing real estate, agents used to use the Three Ps: Put a sign in the yard, Place the home in the MLS, and Pray that it sells. Unfortunately, many agents still do this, especially in hot markets.

If this is what consumers believe all agents do, they will choose one based on how much they discount their commission. Price will become the distinguishing factor. If you can’t find a way to show your client the value you add, you’re going to find yourself in constant discounting wars with other agents.

Instead, DIFFERENTIATE.

HOW DO I DIFFERENTIATE MYSELF FROM ALL THE OTHER REAL ESTATE AGENTS?

Garry has a tool he uses to address this very issue, which is his “Go To Market Plan.” It includes a very strong online marketing campaign. According to the National Association of Realtors, last year 97% of buyers started their home search online. And according to that same survey, over half of all home buyers found the home they wanted to purchase online.

The more you share this knowledge, the more trust you’re going to build with the seller. Of course it begs the question, “How will you market my listing online?”

Garry is always ready to address this question by handing them a copy of his “Go To Market Plan.”

This eight-week marketing plan includes a detailed description of the steps we take to prepare and market their property, including an online marketing strategy utilizing tools like Facebook ads and Instagram.

It overcomes the objection: “My agent didn’t do anything,” and it differentiates you from all the other agents vying for their business.

Present it with the following script:

“The unfortunate fact is, most agents still operate under the Old Three Ps: Put a sign in the yard, Place the home in the MLS, and Pray that it sells.

Now, when you hire me, we’re going to use a completely different strategy that utilizes advanced online marketing strategies to maximize your home’s exposure to potential buyers. And in fact, let me walk you through this report that outlines exactly what we’re going to do.”

HOW DO I UTILIZE ADVANCED ONLINE MARKETING STRATEGIES?

As an agent, if you’re not already advertising your listings online, it’s something you should strongly consider. It’s key to differentiating yourself to sellers, especially those expired listing leads who believe their real estate agent “didn’t do anything” for them.

Not only will marketing properties online help sell your existing listings, if done right, it will bring in leads for new business, as well. And at a cost that’s much lower than many of the “old” ways of marketing a listing.

We have a collection of great resources to help you gain exposure for your listings online. Get started today by downloading our free report …How to Turn Expired Listings into Clients 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Put the tired gimmicks aside. Win over your expired listing leads by delivering VALUE instead of BS.

And DIFFERENTIATE yourself by utilizing internet marketing tools to maximize their home’s exposure in the very place most buyers begin their search … online.

 

5 Comments

  • I would also like to obtain a copy of your 8 Week Marketing Plan and a copy of “My House Didn’t Sell – Now What?”. Thanks in advance.

  • Gary and Chris,
    First of all, thank you for providing such amazing content and how to’s for all of us agents.
    I have to tell you that I am so intrigued with the marketing side of our business and everything that Chris suggests is top notch. Gary because of your experience and confidence you most deffinetly will win many listings.
    I am somewhat of a newbie, but not so new that what your teaching hits home. I have a limited budget and am a sole provider. Therefore, a steady income is essental. I dont agree with the used car salesman tactics and tell the seller things that are not going to happen. I love love love your 8 weeks marketing plan.
    Can you suggest a step by step process to get all of these items started and up and running? Apparently I am the individual that gets analysis paralysis and cant get out of my own way.
    I am a very social and caring person, not so much that I dont understand that it is essential to provide that I provide service with a final agreeable sales price for my client.

    I enjoy door knocking, dont like calling, very impersonal, and enjoy open houses when I get a great turn out.
    Open houses, I put out 14 signs, advertise on face book with specified audiences with salary ranges and location paramiters.
    I believe another one of my challenges is i dont have a landing page. I think the reason is my web site provided through my company Keller Williams Realty doesnt support it without an additional fee.

    As you can see, HELP! You guys rock and I know you always come from contribution, and I thank you. Anything you can suggest would be greatly appreciated and would deffenitly get me on my way to the success that I know I can achieve.
    By the way, Gary your hair looks better cut short. Ha Ha

    Thank you in advance

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