Prospecting expired listings can be the core of anyone's business in the real estate field. You can create a system that will give you repeatable results for your effort. Let's look at these three very positive characteristics in prospecting expired listings.
They are easy to find: Expired listings come up everyday, so you will always have a handful that you can work with on a daily basis. They provide a steady stream of new leads to contact for listing appointments. There are also usually a few very heavy days each month. You will need to set your schedule to take advantage of these heavy days. The end of the month is one of the heaviest times for expired listings; up to 25 percent of the expired listings for the month may occur in just one or two days.
They want to sell: Expired listings were on the market at one time, unlike many other types of clients you will contact. The owners had a plan laid out to sell and move. Unfortunately, their plan did not work out, but, in most cases, they wish it had. There will be some expireds that were listed by clients who are now tired of the process, but the majority of them still want to sell.
The bulk of them are looking for an Agent: If the prospect still has the desire to sell, as most do, then they are searching for a new Agent. They are looking for someone who can solve their previous problem. Most do not know why their home did not sell, but they are frustrated with their previous Agent and sometimes all Agents. They will rarely return to their previous Agent.
The successful way to work expired listings is the CAP system: Consistency Attitude Persistence
The first part is consistency: You must consistently work expired listings. For you to achieve a large return on your time invested, you must work diligently for a minimum of four weeks straight. Expired listings cannot be started and stopped without losing momentum. There is a rhythm and a flow to them. They must be a daily discipline that you work on. If you prospect them for two weeks, then take a week off, you are back to zero. I did not prospect weekends, but I did diligently call Monday through Friday.
Your leads must build, and your follow-up must grow. When you get down the road 30 plus days, you will begin to receive calls for listing appointments from your work earlier in the month as well as your appointments from new expireds. You must work to create a pipeline of expired listing clients.
The second part is attitude: Your attitude plays a crucial role in your success working with expired listings. You need to convey to the seller an attitude of compassion and problem solving. They are not just looking for someone to pound a sign in the ground; they are looking for someone to get their home sold; they are looking for someone to solve their problem. They can get even more resentful due to the high volume of Agents that may call them.
Many expireds feel that everyone else is the problem, when it is actually them and their price. When it comes to expired listings, price is the problem 90% of the time. You have to read the people you are meeting with regarding their home. Too many Agents who work with expired listings hit their prospective clients with a ball peen hammer between the eyes when it comes to the price. That will work with some and will fail miserably with others. You must be able to adjust your delivery.
You need to read the prospective clients, and, most importantly, you need to exude an attitude of caring and compassion for their situation, while conveying confidence in your ability to get the job done. Sometimes, the only way to get the price down is to convince them you care, and it pains you that they have to sell for less, but there is no other way. It is like the doctor who tells his patient she has cancer. He does not like it, but he has to do it, so he can cure her.
The last, and at times most critical, is persistence: Your persistence or ability to stick with it can have the most positive results of all. Many expired listings do not set appointments right away with Agents. Sellers will wait a week or two, maybe even a month. The number of calls they receive about their home drops dramatically as the weeks tick by. Do not be one of the Agents who drop off unless the sellers have low motivation or are unreasonable. Be one of the ones left standing at the end of a week or two.
Be persistent in your calling. Call them a few times a week. All you are doing is trying to set an appointment. You are not doing a listing appointment over the phone; just close for an appointment. That is what the call is for. You just want to be one of the three or four they interview. If you keep that as your goal, you will get plenty of salable listings.
Focus on the CAP system daily. Work both today's expired listings, and the ones you gathered in the past. Effectively follow-up with your hot leads daily. Remember consistency, attitude, and persistence are the keys to prospecting expired listings.