Expired Listing Letter Sample Templates, And How To Live Large On Expireds
Looking for the perfect expired listing letter templates to send out? I break down the exact top producer followup system that will get you results now.
We’ve got some great expired listing letter sample templates, expired listing scripts and more great tips to show you how to live large on expireds!
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Expired listing letters are a simple and powerful marketing tool, and today I’m going to show you how to write an expired listing script that gets you leads.
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 letter samples, postcards, and show you tons of free expired listing letter samples to amp up your marketing! And if you want to really take your marketing to the next level, get a leadsite.
And be sure to check out my home staging guide after you’re done reading!
The first thing to understand about expired listings letters is that you must get into the mindset of a home seller before writing your expired listing script.
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! So your expired listing script needs to be on point.
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.
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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 for expired listing scripts to help you write a great expired listings letter:
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. That’s where good expired scripts come in.
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.
Just like with the leads Easy Agent Pro’s Leadsites produce, these leads need to be nurtured.
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.
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 expired listings letter sample:
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.
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. Be sure to use a website that allows social media integration.
Sending expired listings letters is all about creativity and substance. A good real estate expired letter needs 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:
Finally, it’s hard convert any of these leads without a great website. Easy Agent Pro makes Leadsites. Check them out if you don’t already have a strong web presence.
Below we’ve got some expired listing scripts to help you get started. Feel free to copy these expired listing scripts word for word – Or edit them and create something more personal.
Here’s a cool trick:
Postcards are super easy to make in Canva.com. You can login to Canva for free and design cards with the same expired scripts as those above.
This will give you tons of free real estate expired listing postcard options.
Design a few. Print them. And have your assistant mail them!
Alternatively, why not try handwritten notes to expired listings? Adding a personal touch like this can be a great way to reach out and you can even use the expired scripts above as inspiration!
It doesn’t have to be anything flashy. Just a simple handwritten message from you to them, seeing if they’re interested is a great chance to start a conversation.
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 from your real estate expired letter. 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.
If you’re ready for a website that works as hard as you do – check out LeadSites. With a LeadSite, you can start putting your ideas into action and watch your business grow.
Want to call expired listings in addition to sending expired listing letters? Here’s a quick video full of tips and scripts for calling expired listings
Do you use expired listings letters like this in your business? Let me know how your real estate expired letter works for you or your biggest take away in the comment section below! I look forward to reading your responses. – Tyler
Our guide on making free Real Estate Logos will help you if you are just getting started! You also will see an added benefit from this marketing if you come up with some great real estate slogans. If this isn’t for you, my guide to real estate marketing ideas should help find a tactic that will work. Becoming a real estate agent isn’t easy! I interviewed the top producers across the web to help you find the best tactics to generate business.
Need help crafting the perfect slogan? Check out our handy guide!
Slideshare by Stacey Alcorn: This slide presentation guides you through the entire process of lead generation with expired listings. You’ll learn tips for getting business and why it’s such a profitable idea in the first place.
Realtor.com: Realtor.com breaks down their expired listing system in this 2 page PDF.
Real Estate Letter: There are 3 additional sample expired listing letters to be found on this page.
Virtual Assistant Chick: This shorter article examines one type of expired listing letter.
A homeowner with an expired listing doesn’t have to be contacted by telephone. In fact, if it’s a common practice in the industry in your area, you might want to consider door knocking, or an even less-intimidating follow up method: write an expired listing letter.
Direct mail marketing is old school. Which is why many marketers have such great success with it. As an increasingly large number of agents drop direct mail as part of their marketing plans, it becomes a better strategy for those who include it.
“The engagement is growing as the clutter declines”
according to the pros at the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).
Sure, this is the “digital age,” but direct mail marketing is still very much alive. Response rates for mail sent to prospects are three times higher than just three years ago, according to the Data and Marketing Association (DMA).
In its 2018 edition of the Statistical Fact Book, the DMA found that 64 percent of Millennials say said they prefer scanning for “useful information” in direct mail than in their email boxes.
So, let other agents make those clumsy, annoying cold calls while you lick stamps to stick to envelopes stuffed with your brilliant first-contact expired listing letter.
The most important aspect of any marketing piece is to know your audience. In this case, it’s a homeowner who had his or her home listed with an agent until the listing expired.
Now that, and the fact that the homeowner is getting calls from tons of agents, is what we know for sure about them.
What we don’t know, despite many real estate advice-givers claiming otherwise, is their frame of mind. We don’t know if they’re:
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Assuming we know how the recipient is feeling is a big mistake. In a Trulia.com thread about expired listings, a Fairfield, CA agent warns that during the time the home was on the market, “something didn’t go right and making an assumption of who’s to blame could lead to embarrassment for you and/or the seller.”
The entire focus of your letter to the homeowners with expired listings should be on getting a face-to-face with them to discuss what happened, from their point-of-view, with the sale of the home
Tom Toole’s expired listing letter does just that. You’ll need to trade your contact info to download the case study that includes the expired listing follow up letter, but you’ll find it on the Tom Ferry Coaching website.
The Ardmore, PA RE/MAX agent begins by acknowledging one of the few things he knows for sure: The homeowner is receiving a ton of calls from real estate agents. The very brief paragraph on how many homes he listed and sold after another agent failed is impressive.
A more effective use of that space in the expired listing follow up letter, however, would be a testimonial from an expired listing-client he’s helped.
“My home was on the market for one year with another agent. When the listing expired, I hired Anita Deal with Anita’s Real Estate and she had the home sold in three days.” Jack Frost, Anchorage
Social proof always beats out anything you can say about yourself.
The key concept with the expired listing letter is to set yourself apart from all the others who are jockeying for this listing. You can do that by avoiding the same, tired real estate clichés other agents use:
Whether you are hand-delivering your expired listing letter or mailing it, put it in an unbranded envelope and hand-address it.
Hopefully, you’ve decided on how you’ll handle future follow up contacts with the homeowner. Postcards seem to be the most popular method, but many agents also use doorhangers.
Don’t neglect the expired listing follow up. Remember, these people are getting beat to ca-ca by other agents and will be all day, every day for at least the next two weeks. Impatient agents will give up, which is why you shouldn’t.
Be different. Show up in person and if they aren’t home, leave your follow up materials somewhere they will be sure to find it.
If by some chance you luck out and the homeowner is there, and willing to talk, remember the one question that will be at the top of their mind: “How are you going to help me?”
So, ask a lot of questions and listen to the answers. Then, summarize the situation from the homeowner’s point of view, “so that you get a “that’s right” answer.
“Don’t go for a ‘yes,’ go for a ‘that’s right!’” suggests Christopher Voss, former head of hostage negotiation for the FBI and founder and CEO of the Black Swan Group.
Expireds and FSBOs: Two of the most challenging listings to pursue. Owners of expired listings are disillusioned and typically a bit grumpy.
The FSBO seller usually thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room (you know the type). He watched an HGTV show on selling a house and now knows everything there is to know. Too bad his sales price doesn’t end up reflecting that superior knowledge.
There is a ton of information online about how to approach both of these sellers, with scripts and dialogs, suggestions of “leave-behinds” and more.
And every other real estate agent in town is using those identical techniques
How many times does a homeowner need to pick up the phone and be asked “When do you plan on interviewing the right agent for the job of selling your home?” before wanting to puke every time another agent calls?
Let’s freshen up the pursuit of expired listings. Tweak that expired listing packet just a touch, and dump the stuff that makes homeowners’ eyes roll.
Finding expired listing leads is easy, and that’s the problem. Go to the MLS and pull up the data. Any agent can do it. And many, many do.
In the popular pursuit for instant business, agents clamor after expireds.
Then, there are investors to compete against. Type “expired listings investors” into a Google search box and it returns 1,830,000 results. Popular topic, right?
“Given that level of opportunity, many real estate investors make prospecting for expired listings a regular part of their business plan …” according to Tara Mastroeni at Fool.com.
She goes on to remind her investor reader that many real estate agents also prospect expired listings to there’s lots of information online about how to go about it.
In other words, the investor should do what everyone else is doing. Silly wabbit.
The bottom line in her advice, however, is that they should send an “expired listing letter.”
So, there you have it: You’ll have tons of competition. But, they’ll mostly all be working the same, lame prospecting routines.
Which gives you a chance to stand out among all of them with an expired listing packet.
Why do agents use an expired listing packet or hold a buyer’s consultation? Yes, to educate the prospect, but also to create a good first impression.
To accomplish the later requires knowing your audience: A homeowner who wanted or needed to sell her home.
Statistics teach us that she may have chosen the first agent she spoke with. The home didn’t sell within the listing contract’s time period.
Other than those facts, you know nothing about the seller, not who she chose as her listing agent, her motivation for selling, why the home didn’t sell and her current state of mind.
Most coaches and other advice givers automatically assume the agent was incompetent and that may well be. That agent might also be the seller’s mother or aunt or brother.
These advisers will also tell you that these sellers are angry and frustrated. This may or may not be true, but to approach them as if it is true isn’t wise.
Don’t assume anything about the owner of the expired listing except the aforementioned facts.
Take a drive by the home, check out the neighborhood too. While you’re there, snap a good, clear photo of the home’s exterior.
Back at the office, download the listing. Peruse the listing remarks and the photos through the eyes of a marketer. Is it polished and professional? If it’s not, the seller may have not been getting much traffic through the home.
Run a quick CMA to determine if the price was right. Your CMA may not be as accurate as if you’d seen the interior of the home in person, but it will give you a good ballpark figure to start with.
If the seller’s price was too high, don’t assume the agent bought the listing. Remember, you don’t know this seller. It may have been priced too high at her insistence.
Now you’re armed with a few assumptions you can work with:
Some or all of these may be pertinent for your presentation.
Gather up anything that proves your experience in the neighborhood (or with homes in the seller’s price range), such as listing printouts. You’ll also want your best testimonials, your marketing plan (and samples of how you’ve marketed homes in the past), a description of the current market and your pricing philosophy.
If there is any other information that makes you stand out in the crowd of other agents, include it. Now, organize the pieces in a logical order.
Write a cover letter that outlines what’s enclosed in the packet, in the order they’ll find the information, your pricing philosophy and opinion of how the home was priced with the other agent. Then, go through the packet to ensure every item looks polished and professional. Finally, don’t forget to ask for an appointment.
That photo you snapped while touring the neighborhood? Attach that to the front of the packet for a personalized look.
Pursuing expired listings isn’t for everyone, although it seems like everyone is doing it. If done right, however, a good expired listing packet is one of the few real estate lead gen methods that has a quick turnaround.
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Expired listings are a great *potential* source of clients. (After all, these people literally just had their house listed.)
The problem is you need to touch these people multiple times with quality information before they’ll listen to you.
Unfortunately, most agents don’t think like “Ms. Real Estate Agent,” and they only touch the potential lead once or twice before giving up. And that’s just sad.
When it comes to expired listings, the victors realize that you need to touch prospects 10-15 times before the convert to clients.
One way to get a touch in on these people is with expired listing postcards. But, the problem is most of these designs are dated, or break several rules of copywriting.
To help you out, we’ve made you a free expired listing postcard template.
Here’s what it looks like:
PS: If you haven’t taken my FREE “Beat Zillow” course yet, stop procrastinating and take it. You can get it here.
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