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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.