A Tale of Three Agents: How to Adapt a Real Estate Expired plan to Work in Your Market Area

by | Apr 3, 2015 | Grow to Greatness, Real Estate Moms

When you as a Real Estate Agent adapt an Expired plan to your Market Area, you need to adjust that plan to fit “where” you are working expireds
Before I give you examples of three clients that have modified Expired Plans to meet their areas, I want to make sure everyone is clear on what the goal of working expired listings is:  “getting the listing appointment.”  Now, actually getting the listing at a marketable price and then selling that listing are two other articles, but here we are going to be talking about “getting your foot in the door.” I have three clients in total different market areas that use three totally different approaches.

The City Agent:
The first Realtor is located in the city.  He uses the ExpiredRealEstateLeads.com program to locate the Expired Listings every morning.  (Let me stress how important it is to work Expired Listings daily.  It is crucial to contact them right away.  A large percentage of Expireds will relist immediately.  If you are only working Expireds on say a weekly basis, you will not be able to get your foot in the door simply because you are too late.)
This City Agent works Expireds in areas that he farms and is very familiar with.  There are also a very large percentage of homes in his area that ARE NOT on the Do Not Call list.  This agent is on the phone calling Expired Listings every day from 9:30 am to 10 am without fail.  His intention with the phone calls is to see if the homeowner is still interested in selling their home and to make an appointment to come out, that day if possible.
After making phone calls, setting appointments and talking to those that are home; this City Agent then spends 30 minutes making up packets to drop off at the homes that he was not able to talk to.  In these packets he includes some marketing materials about himself, some market update information about the current conditions in the area in their price range, and personal letter about why he wants to list their property and why he thinks he can sell it.
Between 4-5 pm, this City Agent then drops off these packets hoping to run into home owners that are getting home from work.  Because traffic and parking are an issue and his market area and neighborhood are condensed, he creates a plan and walks the packets to the front doors of the 4-5 Expired listings for the day.
Now there is continued follow up that he does if he is not able to get an appointment right away, he will follow up two days later with a phone call to make sure they received the packet and weekly phone calls for the next two weeks along with one other mailing that first week and then weekly mailings for the next five weeks.
Using this approach gets this City Agent 3-4 listing appointments a week and 1-2 sellable listings.
Would this kind of approach work in your area?
The Suburban Agent:
The second client I am going to tell you about lives in an upper middle class suburban area in the Midwest.  This Suburban Agent’s area is very different than the first one I told you about.  99% of the homes are on the Do Not Call List and calling just is not something that works for her area.
Many of the neighborhoods have a no soliciting policy and even if they don’t have a formal posted ordinance regarding door knocking, it is something that is frowned upon and not something that works in her area.
This Suburban Agent also looks up the Expireds through ExpiredRealEstateLeads.com daily, but what she does is makes a list of the homes and drives by them taking a picture of the front of the house.
Because so many agents are sending the same thing, including information about themselves and the company and a standard cover letter, she has found the way for her to stick out is to send a greeting card in an envelope that is personally addressed to the homeowner.
The greeting card is in an envelope that gets opened and the card has a photo of their house on the front.  On the inside is a handwritten note that is personally addressed to the homeowner that says simply “I want to sell your house, and I think I can.  I know you will be getting a lot of mailings form numerous other agents, but I would love to meet with you to show you why I am different.  Please call me so we can set up a time to meet.  I look forward to meeting you.” And she signs her name and includes a copy of her business card.
The Suburban Agent uploads the picture, creates the card that then is printed in her handwriting and sent that day and it costs her less than a dollar, plus the cost of the stamp.
If you think this type of approach might work in your area, you can check out that postal card system for Realtors at www.CardsforRealEstate.com
Now, like the City Agent, this Suburban Agent doesn’t just make that first initial contact and leave it at that.  She sends out a post card through the same system 3 days later and another card 3 days after that.  She continues with cards weekly for four more weeks and then puts them on a monthly card and postcard campaign which is automated through this system.
A couple of years ago in her area it would have been considered a waste of money and time to continue to follow up with this lead for a year.  However, she has found that many homeowners in her area have decided to pull their home off the market for a period of time before putting it back on the market.  This Suburban Agent is going on 4-6 listing appointments a week and over half of them have been expired for over 3 months.
Would this kind of approach work in your area?
The Rural Agent:
The last client of mine I want to tell you about today lives in a rural area in the North West.  This Rural Agent has actually hired a marketing person that gets compensated just for getting listing appointments.  That is her only responsibility on the team five days a week and she rarely goes a day without getting at least one listing appointment, usually it is 2 or 3.  That is 10-15 listing appointments a week.
How many of you on the call are drooling over the thought of having someone else doing all of your prospecting so all you had to do is go out and do the listing presentation and sign listing agreements all day?
Like I mentioned, she does this in a rural area so door knocking would definitely not work in this area.  Because she is such a high volume agent in a sparsely populated area, she does cover several counties in order to hit her production goals.
Again, the thing all three of these agents have in common is that they keep up the Expired Program Daily.  (Five Days a week)  Every new Expired that comes up on the ExpiredRealEstateLeads.com System that is not on the Do Not Call List (about half of them in her area are) gets a phone call with the goal again of setting that listing appointment for the lead agent.
Now the marketing person on this team has a number of different scripts to use when she calls, but she never uses them.  She was born and raised in a small rural community and knows most of the people (or some mutual acquaintance anyway!) in the tri-county area.  She just calls them, starts to chat with them, builds rapport and sets the appointment for the lead agent.
If she is not able to reach the people by phone, she begins compiling a packet that again includes information about the team, a sampling of the marketing materials they use and a personal handwritten note to the seller.
This person then maps out the homes that Expired that day and right after lunch, begins to drive to each of the homes she was not able to talk to that day and personal drops off a packet.  Again, her hope is to run into the seller and set that appointment.  She has even received calls to set up listing appointments after she has run into the neighbors while out there, chats with them for a while and ends with a half joking remark to the neighbors telling them to encourage the sellers to call them if they are serious about getting their home sold.  She even gets the neighbors working for her!
Again, she has a follow up plan in place to follow up the next day with a phone call to make sure they received the information, another mailing 3 days later, and again three days after that.  Weekly calls and mailings for the first six week if the property does not relist or they inform her they would like wait for an extended period of time and then she just puts them on her monthly Lead Farm Mailing after that and never takes them off. She figures they will sell someday and if not, she has enough rapport with them after the personal contact that she might get (and has gotten) referrals from them.
How many of you think this type of approach might work in your area?

I gave you examples of three very different areas.  I tried to choose areas that would represent the majority.  But if I didn’t describe your area, what could you do to a standard marketing plan that would make it fit your area better?
I work with an agent that works in very elite areas that have household help that open their mail for them and discard any junk mail.  She also uses the personal greeting card system with a very short personal handwritten message inside.
I work with agents in resort and second home markets that have owners that live in other states.  Most of their contact is done through high quality mailings.
I have another agent in a very high tech area so his mailings direct them to his website where most of the expireds decide to email him and set up a listing presentation.
What might work in your area?  Take out a piece of paper and take 20-30 seconds to describe your market area and list one thing that you might want to try in your market area.