The first few days of an expired listing are like a tornado of activity. This tornado, much like the natural occurrence, sweeps up anything in its path. Real estate professionals across the city are excited at the new opportunity of a listing and are anxiously calling away and the home owner is in a daze with volumes of phone calls and mail. This whirlwind experience ends almost as quickly as it begins however.
After the first 5 days of an expired listing, the excitement for most real estate professionals wears off. Many assume that they have already “re-listed” the home which is why they aren’t picking up the phone. After all, if they really wanted to list the home again, surely they would answer their phone, right? The home owner likewise is coming out of the wind with fewer calls and their mailbox and doorstep are no longer overstuffed with information. It’s amazing what can happen in just 5 days.
For the average real estate professional, they don’t have a system of follow up in place for expired sellers so by day 5 they have already moved on to the next fresh batch of potential sellers. Taking expired listings monthly means understanding that it is going to take more than 3-5 phone calls before you take the listing. Sure, it is possible to get the home owner on the first phone call, set the appointment, and take the listing but that is a process that will get you maybe a listing every other month. In order to take 2,4,6, or even 10+ expired listings monthly requires having a process of following up with your potential listings.
Systematic Follow up Leads to Consistent Results
Follow up on expired sellers should involve two major components: mail and phone calls. Taking time to have a balanced attack will bring sellers calling you and make your phone calls easier.
Your expired listing letter can actually be quite simple. One of the most important aspects is that you get your expired listing letter in the mail on the very first day the home is identified as an expired listing. This will ensure that your letter arrives just after the initial flood of people who rush to drop something off in person. Keep your envelope and letter simple and make it easy for them to pick up the phone and get a hold of you.
Phone call follow up is what is going to enable you to take the number of listings that you have always wanted. When most agents have stopped after day 5 you can keep going and stand out from the crowd. I invite you to consider the following methods to get the most from your phone calls:
Call at the same time each day – It doesn’t have to be at the crack of dawn, but calling at the same time each morning will give you the best chances of getting a hold of the home owner. Your pipeline of potential sellers should be large enough to spend at least two hours on the phone.
Leave voicemails – Most agents avoid voicemails because they don’t know what to say. Leave voicemails and give them a reason to call you back. Let them know they can call you back to learn more about your “29 Day Guarantee” message. The more interest peaking and easier you make it on them to return your call, the more call backs you will receive.
Be prepared with scripts – Have a list of qualifying and interest peaking questions that you can ask the seller when you get them on the phone. You may get their voicemail 80% of the time so when you get them on the phone you want to take advantage of those valuable minutes to get the appointment.
Set a timeline – Your phone call schedule should go far beyond 5 days. Consider a phone call follow up schedule that lasts for up to 21 days. You don’t need to call every day, but put a schedule in place that allows you to reach them 6-10 times during that period.
Following up on expired listings won’t take much of your time, especially when you do it consistently every day. Along with your consistent follow up you will be able to consistently take listings monthly as well!
As part of the Real Estate Success Program, James Bridges, coaches real estate agents across the country on effective real estate marketing techniques.
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