The How and Why to Farming Expired Listings

This blog was originally posted on November 16, 2020 but has been updated to reflect the current market.

While maybe not the most glamorous source of business, working expired listings can give you an edge over other top real estate producers. Plus, they are easy to find in the MLS and the sellers have already shown they are willing and ready to hire a real estate professional. Taking this approach to growing your business with expired listings can certainly be a grind, but in the end, you can still build new relationships you may never have thought to explore.

Many new agents are not attracted to this type of prospecting due to the rejection that may follow. Most of the time, farming expired leads means getting on the phone and contacting owners without any prior interactions. Reaching out to cold leads can be hard to get right and can feel awkward at times. But those agents who practice, have a system in place and can push through and find value in this model will find their hard work pays off.

Here are a couple of ways to approach working expired listings as well as some of the benefits of implementing this model into your overall business plan.  

How to Approach Expired Listings

One thing to remember is that the people you are reaching out to are often people that want help from an agent but have had trouble selling their home. That means they may be frustrated or even nervous. Empathy can go a long way to converting a lead into a sale. Make sure you ask them what went wrong in their previous time on the market. From their point of view, you need to understand their concerns.

There are a couple of ways to tackle earning the business of expired listings. You can take a more personal approach and dial prospective owners. This can get a bit tricky so make sure to have a script handy or know what you are going to say before the lead is on the phone. Don’t seem sleazy, but rather keep the conversation light, genuine, and sincere when marketing your services.

Calling leads is the more time-consuming approach but enables you to change the discussion on the fly should the need arise. The alternative is sending out a unique letter or marketing brochure that prompts a call from the homeowner.

This is certainly the less personalized approach and can come across as spam rather than a genuine inquiry. Still, this option can be fruitful if you remember to follow up with the lead multiple times. Consider sending the initial letter, then following up with a second letter or phone call 3-7 days later. Keep in mind this option may seem affordable (especially if you are using sending the template to each lead), but make sure to account for packaging, postage, and other accompanying materials.

Why it Benefits to Work Expired Listings

If you are hungry for new business or just looking to broaden your exposure, farming listings can be a profitable new channel. For one, it takes less time and effort to work a single expired listing than it does focusing on setting up buyer consultations. When you think about working with buyers, you are organizing inspections, managing showings, and assisting buyers with obtaining new financing. These are all very time-consuming actions. While sellers aren’t always easy to deal with, they take far less time and will allow you to complete more transactions a year.

Farming expired listings also gets you a reputation as a proactive agent. Even if your lead-to-client conversion ratio is mediocre, you still benefit by getting your name out there. Increasing consumer touchpoints is crucial to effective marketing and introducing prospective clients to the services may turn into a sale, even if it isn’t an immediate one.

The main thing to keep in mind is to not get discouraged. With practice and perseverance, farming expired listings can be a profitable portion of your business model.

If you’re frustrated with your real estate career, but don’t know where to start or have a solid plan in place, then you might want to check out my 90 days to Success Coaching Series.

If you’re looking for more ideas to implement into your real estate business to achieve success, be sure to read The Standout Agent, available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold. There’s a reason why it quickly became a #1 seller!

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