Expired listing letters are a simple and powerful marketing tool.
How long does it take you to mail a letter? Exactly, almost no time at all! And you can have an assistant do it.
Today, I’m going to show you the exact steps to take to turn these frustrated sellers into your listings. We’ll use expired listing letters, postcards, and show you tons of free expired listing letter samples to amp up your marketing!
The first thing to understand about expired listings letters is that you must get into the mindset of a home seller before writing.
Here’s the deal:
Sellers with an expired listing are very upset! They’ve been through countless showings, open houses, excuses from their old Realtor, and more. They are very frustrated!
But why didn’t the home sell? It’s usually one of these reasons:
1) Price: The number one reasons properties don’t sell is due to pricing. You have to address this in your expired listing letter. There are numerous factors that go into pricing: the client, number of buyers, market activity, and marketing. This is a key discussion point for you to address with every expired listing.
2) Short Sale: Will the house sell for less than the debt owed? If so, you may run into a short sale.The process to overcome this can be long and turn away buyers.
3) Staging: Open houses and showings can be hard on families. It’s your job to make sure the condition of the house is not significantly impacting the value perceived by buyers.
The Insanely Crucial Thing You Need To Understand About Expired Listing Postcards And Letters:
The key with every expired listings letter is that you need to understand all the potential needs. Your understanding is directly related to your ability to relate with the seller. The deeper you feel the pain and frustration they feel, the better you will be at converting expired listings into your listings.
To fully understand this, I find it best to write down exactly what the seller is thinking and feeling. Here is a worksheet to help you write a great expired listings letter:
The Simple (But Profitable) Expired Listings Scripts, Letters, And Postcards:
You already understand the huge value that exists in expired listings. There are over 1200 expired listings in the average metropolitan area each year. And assuming even the lowest conversion numbers this can give you an addition 12 transactions per year. That’s a lot of potential! But how do you get it?
First, you need to pull a hot sheet from the MLS every morning. Second, put these contacts into a CRM of your choice. I like Top Producer, Contactually, and Base.
Now that you have their contact information, the goal becomes converting them into a listings appointment.
I recommend a 10 touch follow-up system using as many different methods of contact as possible. Why 10 followups? Because it will make you stand out. Most Realtors will give up after one expired listing letter. This is exactly what the seller is trying to avoid. They’ve already been burned by a Realtor who failed to do their job properly. You need to show that you are different. An organized 10-part marketing follow-up system is a great way to separate yourself from the crowd of other people calling on them.
These leads need to be nurtured.
Step #1 – The First Impulse – How You Use Expired Listings Letter And Postcards
The first touch of your 10-point system should be a drop-by. I find these a lot more memorable than the other letters Realtors will be sending. Remember, your true competition is the average Realtor. The average Realtor will place a call or send an email. You need to be better than that. Here are some ideas for your drop-by:
1) Starbucks gift card – Invite the seller out for a drink at Starbucks with you. Explain in the letter, with a gift card inside, that you are sorry the property didn’t’ sell. But would be more than happy to explain why it didn’t sell over a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
2) Paper towels with a letter talking about the absorption of their market.
Remember that you always need to include a call to action with these letters. The Starbucks card in step one is just to help you stand out. Your true calling card will be the call to action you place with your attention getter. The free gift is to help them remember you weeks from now when you’re still calling on them to get their business.
You’ll want to make sure you drop this off the morning their home expires. The seller will learn from day #1 that you are prompt and a creative marketer. Unique selling points is how you win expired listings. These two things will set you apart instantly.
Step #2 – Mail An Expired Listings Letter
The average agent will mail a letter on the day the house expires or the next day. You’ve beaten them by dropping off the gift yourself. Now, it’s time to follow up with your first interaction. This letter should be more standardized and mention the gift that you left for the homeowner on day one. Here’s an example:
You’ll want to send this letter the same day you drop off the gift. This way the letter arrives 1-2 days after they’ve received the gift. Remember, the call to action and empathy are the two main components in any expired listing letter.
In addition to this standard letter, it helps to supplement the mailer with a free market report. Maybe you have a newsletter you send your clients about market activity? Include that. Or maybe you can pull a detailed value analysis from the backend of your office software? Print that and mail it to them. The key is to go above and beyond a simple letter.
Step #3 – Expired Listing Letter
The next step is to show them the marketing plan. There were three main reasons why their house didn’t sell, and a few other reasons why the seller probably doesn’t like Realtors. This third step actually shows the seller why you are different and shows them that you’ve cared enough to put in the work before a listing appointment.
If you don’t know what type of marketing plan to put together, check out these tips on using social media to sell a home.
Free examples for your expired listing letters:
Sending expired listings letters is all about creativity and substance. You need to be creative enough to be noticed, but you need to be based in fact enough to be trustworthy. These sellers have had a very recent bad experience with a Realtor. It’s your duty to fix that. Here are some ideas for the remaining 10 steps:
1) Follow Up Letter – The simplest letters are the ones that convert the best. Did your big packet containing the value analysis not yield a call? Follow up with a simple card saying: “Dear Mr./Mrs. Seller, when’s a good time to discuss the value of your property? – Tyler”
2) Testimonials – Your testimonials can be gold when converting expired listings. Social proof is great for people who have recently been burned by another Realtor. This type of listing should relate to the prospect, transition, and then explain the testimonial. Finally, include a call to action at the bottom of the mailer.
3) Your Brokerage Information – Why do you work for your brokerage? Almost every brokerage has a selling point! Use this to your advantage. You should be able to easily craft a letter explaining this advantage to the seller. After all, you bought into that selling point yourself.
4) Community and School Information – Does your website have a tab for their community or school? If not, make one! This is a great selling point. You can show the buyer that your website actually has a page dedicated to their specific neighborhood and gets SEO traffic because of it. This also makes you look like a neighborhood expert.
5) Sample Flyers – Do you create unique flyers for your listings? Great! Send a sample flyer to the home owner. This will show marketing initiative and give you an opportunity to highlight the way you see their property. Remember, these people love their house. They have so many memories attached to it. You can create a flyer that makes their house look special.
6) Charity Events – Send expired listings letters about what you do for local charities. You will instantly stand out from the crowd! Realtor letters to expired listings typical sound like this: “I’m the best. You must list with me.” Nothing breaks down the “Me” talk like charity work.
Finally, it’s hard convert any of these leads without a great website.
Example Expired Listings Letter:
BONUS Content: Farming Expired Listings
Most Realtors are farming a specific neighborhood or region, right?
You should be farming expired listings in all your specialty neighborhoods!
For example, have you sold every property you’ve listed in that neighborhood?
That’s exactly what the expired listing wants to hear. You really need to follow up either with a phone call or expired listing letters to let the home owner know about your track record.