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The Expired Listings Goldmine

Written by Patti Brotherton on Sunday, 12 August 2001 7:00 pm

Every real estate professional should be looking at a program to work on expired listings. More and more will be available because of the changing real estate economy and agents’ inability to stay ahead of the trends. This is a valuable resource for building your listing inventory because the sellers want to sell.


As every great agent knows it is your consistency that will make the difference in making any prospecting work. There is no difference in working with expired listings. The agent who does the most follow-up will be the winner. The best way to build in consistency into your individual program is to calendar it and make it a habit. Do this work the same time each day, week, whatever and you will find that the consistency is automatic—it’s now a habit.

What to do

Local owners:

Calling the day a listing expires is always great, but taking it a step further is even better. Deliver a package to the expired listing the day it expires, then call. We are assuming at this point that this is a local owner and that you have their phone number. If this is the case, then your letter should have a picture of their property embedded in the letter and how you want to talk to them about marketing their property. If you want a sample of this letter, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The other items in your package could consist of your resume, a sheet of testimonials, a list of all your sales for the year, and copies of some of your advertising.

Other brokers are calling the same time as you are, but how many have delivered a package? Some have. Make yours stand out. Put your package in a plastic bag and hang on their door, or put it in a bag with a design of a home on the front, make sure you have a picture of their home on your letter. You need to make yourself and your marketing stand out from the crowd.

Keep calling to get an appointment. The difference in making this pay off is your follow-up. All you want to do is show the difference between you and the other brokers. Make the sellers the focus of all your presentation materials—not you. Most agents give up after one or two calls.

Should you leave a message on an answering machine? I say YES. Something simple, but that will get their attention. “I noticed that your property is not in the Multiple Listing Service any longer and there is no record that it has sold. I would like to spend just a few minutes telling you about my marketing program so that we both win.” You can get even more creative than this.

What happens when you have no phone number? You need to develop some quick postcards that you can send every other day. Not too much, just a few lines about how it is important that the seller get the best representation, etc. If you want some samples, just email me. Most agents don’t even start to work on these sellers if they have no phone number. You will definitely he noticed this way.

Out-of-area owners:

You can send the same letter and immediately follow-up with the same postcards. It’s an easy system. If you have the phone number, of course, call.

There are two major points to this article. Be consistent with your follow-up and stand out in the crowd. Do something different. The picture of the property embedded in the letter is something that I have found works really well. Give it a try. There’s gold in those expired listings!

Patti Brotherton has been a licensed Realtor for over 25 years, during that time she was named #1 in the nation in residential sales; and in management she led several offices to #1 status in both California and Florida. Patti holds numerous awards and commendations for her performance in sales. She is the author of a book for new agents entitled, Blueprint for Real Estate Success. She is a columnist for several real estate websites including Realty Times and International Real Estate Digest. She has formed her own firm, PAB Performance Partners, to help others reach top success levels. Currently, Patti is under contract with Prudential California Realty, serving as their District Manager for Santa Barbara County. You can reach Patti at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit her website at .

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