Resuscitating Expired Listings (PART II)

Last time we discussed how to approach the expired listing owner. This month we will cover how to prove your value to these potentials —even before they become clients. This five-step approach to courting the expired listing homeowner will help you convert their expired listings into your new listings!


Resuscitating Expired Listings (PART II)

Last time we discussed how to approach the expired listing owner. This month we will cover how to prove your value to these potentials —even before they become clients. This five-step approach to courting the expired listing homeowner will help you convert their expired listings into your new listings!

  1. Give them the Real Picture
    Offer these expired listing owners information about the current market for home sales in their area. Let them KNOW if the market is sluggish, what the average time on the market is for their home’s price range and any other relevant information. You may want to keep these statistics on your site and updated with archives to show that you stay on top of this type of information.
  2. Empower Them – Create an information package to help the expired
    listing owner understand what caused the listing to expire and what they can do to secure a sale on this property. Offer your help to locate or offer the information they need … including a checklist on how to select a service-oriented, knowledgeable agent. Offering help without obligation (especially to an audience probably frustrated with your
    competition) is always a good thing.
  3. Tell Them They Aren’t Alone
    When an owner has failed to sell a home during a contract period, they know they aren’t happy. They also need to know they aren’t alone.
  • Offer statistics – Tell them that ____ percent of all first time listings in your geographic region do expire.
  • Come clean – If your own sales stats are good, tell them what percentage of your listings expire.
  • Don’t claim to be perfect, merely above average! – Tell them what you
    do to prevent listings from expiring and to ensure your clients are well-served.

    This will encourage them to draw their own conclusions about how you can help them.

  1. Offer Tangible Proof of Your Service – Chances are, the last
    agent didn’t offer much proof of what they did to sell the house. Many agents take a “trust me” approach to serving a homeowner. That won’t work well with an individual who has experienced an expired listing.

For this particular brand of client, answering the question “what have you done for me LATELY?” (before it’s asked) is paramount.

Create a “client contact tear-sheet” that you keep on each client with dated notes on what you have done to market, promote or assist in the sale of their property.

For example:

March 21 – Talked with Smiths about listing their property
March 21 – Gave Smiths list of FAQ’s on “Selling Your Home”
March 22 – Signed papers
March 22 – Posted sign in yard
March 22 – Installed lockbox
March 23 – Called client and discussed staging for photos and made appointment
March 24 – Took photos for website and newspaper ad
March 24 – Posted listing on the web
March 24 – Reserved space in Sunday paper for Ad
March 25 – Recommended consideration of property to six potential buyers
March 25 – Scheduled first showing
March 26 – Showed house to two potential buyers
March 27 – Newspaper ad ran
March 28 – Called Smiths and made recommendation on removal of children’s toys from side porch prior to showing
March 29 – Secured a slot on local access cable home show for next Sunday
March 30 – Sent an e-mail progress report to Smiths

You get the idea. Your goal is to give these potential clients an example of your activity
during the course of serving a typical client (removing actual names, of course) so they can
see how what you offer is different than what they received before.

  1. Be a Good Steward – Be an excellent representative of your industry. Never discredit, shoot down or “badmouth” your competition or their previous listing
    agent. When you see, through the process of helping a potential or current client, that
    something was not handled as well as it could have been… apologize to them. And then
    tell them what you are going to do to make it right.

Be a model agent for your industry. Maintain professionalism, even in the face of unpardonable lapses in service, lack of professionalism and dismal results from your competition. What you don’t say about your competition will speak volumes about you.

NOTE: Next time, we will discuss some of the advantages of niching the expired listings
market, a basic how-to approach to marketing for this particular niche, and what this focus can
do to improve your business.

© Copyright 2005 by Angela Allen Parker of Wicked Wordcraft

 

This article first appeared in the “Word Magic” column at www.epowernews.com in May 2005.

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