Working Expireds

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with Lockwood Real Estate

I worked with a newer agent in my company lately about how I used to work expireds.  Admittedly, I didn't do it very long (before shifting focus for awhile and later getting good success in Internet marketing) but I did get good results when I did it.   Owners whose listings have expired have proven that they're willing to work with an agent -- now they may need a good one to finally get the job done.  And hey, that's you!  

There are many systems out there for doing this.  Just Google "working expireds" or "expired listings scripts" and you'll find lots of good ideas.  How I did it hardly rises to the level of a system, but I can say it did make me some money, and if the Internet were to explode tomorrow or something, it's probably what I'd immediately think about falling back on.

So here it is, step by step:

  1. Go into MLS and find a bunch of expireds for your market area.  They don't all need to be recent.  Go back six months or so, and see if you can identify maybe 50-100 expired listings in an area you'd like to work.
  2. Once you have a list, check it against those that have listed or sold since then, and eliminate those. In some MLS systems, you can use the "property history" feature to do this, but I haven't always found this to be completely reliable.
  3. Now you have a list of expireds who haven't relisted.  If you just want to mail, use the a title company or other tool to look up the tax record on the home and find out the mailing address.  I prefer calling -- so at this point I would do the following.  First, see if you can find the phone number, either left in the listing (it happens) or from a phone lookup service like the (free) www.anywho.com.  Next, make sure you check that the number is not on the do not call list.  (Ask your broker how to look this up in your company).
  4. Got some expired listings not on the do not call list?  Good, print out the full MLS printout (agent copy), and staple the tax roll to that.  On the front, staple an expired listing worksheet.
  5. Your job now is to call and mail this group.  I recommend looking over the listing and tax roll first -- often you can figure out why the listing may have expired, but you'll still want to ask the seller why he / she thought it expired.
  6. My favorite script is below.  Modify to suit and check out the resources on the Internet.

"Hello, is this Mr. / Ms. __________?  Hello, this is So and So, from Such and Such real estate.  Is now a good time to talk about your home listing?"  (If yes)...  "I was looking in our MLS and I noticed that the listing on your home had expired, and I was wondering if you still wanted to sell?"  At this point you may find that they're planning on listing with their agent, or if not, you can ask them about why they thought it didn't sell, etc.  You might also offer some tips on what you learned from the listing, being careful not to blame them for anything for anything, but asking questions like, "I see your 2 bedroom condo is listed for eighty-five million.  Did your agent suggest that price?"  or "I see your home was appointment only.  Did you ever consider perhaps having a lockbox installed?"

If you don't quite get this far, that's OK, mark them down in your worksheet to follow up later.  Don't be afraid to leave voice-mail, or send them a note as well.  You should plan on a handwritten thank you if anyone spends a little time with you.  Always.  Use the worksheet to track what you're doing on each house.

There are lots of other scripts and dialogs avaiable.  Here's a great article from Realty Times, for example.

Enjoy! 

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Groups:
Real Estate Rookie
Tags:
prospecting
newcomers
expireds
expired listings

Comments 34 New Comment

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Rainer
53,164
John Lockwood
Lockwood Real Estate
Did you read my article, specifically, how far back to go?  The point is to get the ones that other agents have given up on.
August 13, 2007 11:48 PM
Rainmaker
135,689
Scott Cowan
RE/MAX Four Seasons

John,

 

Yes, I read your article and I found it to be very informative and well composed.

 

It appears in our market that there are not very many expireds that are not being pursued heavily by multiple agents. Even expired 6 months back are being contacted daily by agents who are trying to get the listings.  I think that I might be throwing in the towel a bit too soon. I am putting together a new plan based on your suggestions. I am looking forward to having better results. Thanks again for putting together such a well thought out post.

 

Best wishes,

 

Scott 

August 14, 2007 11:03 AM
Rainer
213,039
Doreen McPherson
Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~
Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe

Hi John,

Thank you for the ideas.  I am not up for cold calling, so I will stick with mailing like Bryant.  I hate to get cold calls, so I understand how people feel.  I like the idea of waiting and contacting the older ones.   

August 15, 2007 11:17 AM
Anonymous #33
Anonymous
Anonymous
Super great post!  My suggestion for those who don't like to call, knock the doors too.  People may not like the call, but they do like the human interaction.  Their agent in the past may have been the, "didn't return calls, didn't pick up sign, and worse, didn't tell me my listing expired" kind of agent and when you warm it up with a genuinely professional phone call or knock on the door, they're sold again.  
August 18, 2007 01:29 PM
Rainer
53,164
John Lockwood
Lockwood Real Estate

Oh thanks, all.  Doreen, I've had a bit of luck with calling -- none at all with mail.  Your mileage may vary.  I don't consider working expireds cold calling, though, because it's such a great list.

Thanks Julie, for hte kind words.

Wow, Scott, sounds like the agents are working them hard in your market.  If they move to CA, have those go getters call me!  :)

August 19, 2007 11:37 PM
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Rainer
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John Lockwood

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