Yesterday, we talked about the expired sequence, covering the “whys” and some of the “hows.” Today, we’ll break down the expired sequence into easy-to-follow steps.
- Find the expired, withdrawn, and cancelled listings on the MLS as soon as they are published (within board regulations).
- Check all other local boards for listings with “out of area” REALTORS® for “expireds” on local properties, just in case the property was never listed in your board.
- There is software available for downloads from most MLS systems.
Eliminate some of the above properties:
- Those out of your area of expertise, both by type and geographical location.
- Those under certain price ranges. If you do not want that market, do not go after it! Remember, I teach to always raise your price-point.
- Those of your own office listings, unless you get permission!
- Those areas or classifications that you do not want to specialize in.
- Those properties that are geographically undesirable because of time.
If the same daily bulletin also lists the “new listings” and “back on the market,” please check them to make sure that today’s expired listings are not back on the market. We do not want anyone saying that you were soliciting their listings; however, I did not take the time to see if “expireds” had been re-listed by checking anything other than the “same day” activity.
Research the owner’s name, address, phone numbers, and if possible, E-mail address.
- Names and addresses can be found by tax records, the MLS listing, title company, superpages.com, or any other internet based phone/address search engine. Some websites like people-finder.com are well worth the small monthly charge. Please remember that the harder the seller is to find, the less competition you will have.
- Phone numbers can be found in online reverse directories, 411 (directory for assistance), the phone book, and the neighbors from the reverse directory. As a last resort, I even call the previous agent and I offer a small referral fee for contact information on their old client, if they are not going to re-list the property.
- Keep track of this information on a control sheet on your dated contact sheet, showing the source of the phone number and any other information on the seller that you discovered. Number them and attach print-outs of the actual listings with the same numbers. Leave room to take notes on the success of your campaign to obtain an appointment.
- Scan for brokers and agents. Do not send your information to the competition. However, do remember that you can list the properties of ________________ that may no longer want to be involved. I also listed the residential property of many commercial agents.
- Scan for the expired watch. Expired watch includes old contacts, friends, or a formalized expired watch list of people that you might be contacting for a second or third time. They need special attention and a visit, if possible.
- Print two personalized letters to each owner (example to follow in three pages). Keep one in your file. Use business/company letterhead.
- Personally sign each letter and include a personal note, if you have had some recent success in the area.
- Include a business reply card. Yes, I know that it is very “old school,” but it is also very effective!
- Stuff letters with your card, personal brochure, magnetic card, and business reply card or use the firecracker mailing tubes. Always print directly on the envelope or more efficiently, use window envelopes. Labels just cheapen the effect.
- On your way to lunch, take to the main post office so they will be delivered on the next day.
- On your way back from lunch, knock on the doors of a couple of the most expensive “expireds.”
- Call the non-responsive sellers one more time before going home. Your phone script should be simple and nice. Something like – “Hello! My name is Walter Sanford. I am a real estate agent here in the Long Beach area. I noticed that your property recently came off the available property lists. I would like to know the steps that are necessary to apply for the job of achieving your sales goals.”
- Two days later send my crumpled letter (see example coming up in a few pages). Use the second exact copy of the letter that you sent in step 11. Stamp on it, “PLEASE DO NOT THROW ME AWAY AGAIN!” Crumple it up, un-crumple it, fold it, and mail it to the ex-seller. Using a regular envelope is fine.
- Call at least three times until you reach them once in the morning, before you go home, and a clean-up call once a week in the evening or Saturday morning when they are home. Use this simple script: “Hello, Mr. Johnson, please?” My name is Walter Sanford. I am one of the top REALTORS® here in Long Beach. I noticed that your property listing has recently expired. I hope I am not bothering you with any of my letters and calls. I would like to find out how I can apply for the job of selling your home.”
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