How not to attract expired listings
After the listing expired on my son's duplex a couple of weeks ago, he got one postcard. As I may have mentioned before, folks around here don't do much prospecting.
Here is what that postcard said:
"We noticed that your property was listed for sale and that listing has recently expired, if you are still interested in selling your property we would love the opportunity to work with you and get that property SOLD give us a call and we can start the process.
I have copied the punctuation exactly as it appeared on the card. In other words, all 48 words were in one run-on sentence. Even typing it I wanted to stop and take a breath!
So, poor (no, horrible) grammar is mistake #1. In this case, it's so bad that it makes them look illiterate. How could they possibly write a coherent property description or fill out a real estate agreement?
Mistake #2 is beginning the message with "We" and then going on to "we would love…"
Is there anything about the property owner here? Is there anything to remotely attract the attention of the property owner? No, and no.
Sorry, no one cares what they would love.
Mistake #3 is not giving the property owner even one reason why this pair of agents might be a good choice. They're from out of town, so do they have expertise in selling property in Priest River? This is a duplex – do they have expertise in moving rental income properties? Who knows?
Do they offer to help figure out what went wrong? Heck no.
Will they send a follow-up? That has yet to be seen, but my guess is no. To date I have never seen any agent in this community (except me, way back when) send more than one prospecting letter.
What should you do instead?
While this card is a prime example of how NOT to gain a new listing, there are no doubt many effective ways to successfully approach a homeowner with an expired listing. For instance, you could cite your experience and success in selling homes of a specific type or in a specific neighborhood.
Since my set of 12 postcard-sized expired listing messages was written for use by a variety of agents with varying experience, the set begins with this letter:
You just saw your house expire off the market unsold. Why?
Usually, the answer lies in one of the three pieces of the real estate sales puzzle: price, presentation, and marketing. However, there are some other factors, such as negotiation, follow-up, and a buyer’s loan problems, that can play a part.
I’d be happy to send you my report “Why Didn’t It Sell,” or to talk with you in person. Just give me a call at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Tomorrow I’ll explain the first step in figuring out what went wrong.
Note that I'm telling the reader to expect more, and giving them advance notice that the information could be valuable to them.
You might think of a different, equally good approach. Just remember to make your letter about them and their problems, and to let them know that you have something of value to offer. And of course – proofread, proofread, and proofread again. I doubt if anyone here on Active Rain could/would make that many mistakes in just 49 words, but it's best not to make even one of them.
If this is the homeowner's first impression of you, make it the best that it can be.
Graphic courtesy of Stuart Miles@freedigitalphotos.net