Expired listing marketing is a strategy that all real estate investors should implement. Expired listings occur when contracts between sellers and real estate agents expire. By reviewing expired real estate listings, investors can quickly find owners eager to sell their property. To get the most out of the listing, investors must first develop a strategic marketing plan.
The first step in developing expired listing marketing is to understand the psychology of home sellers. Expired real estate listings occur when real estate agents are unable to attract qualified buyers during the contract term. Sellers are often stressed and anxious when their property has been on the market for months without attracting a buyer.
Most people are aware that selling a home in today’s embedded market is challenging at best. However, when homeowners need to sell their real estate to avoid foreclosure or move to another state, they need results, not excuses. Investors must be able to develop marketing strategies that place a “Sold” sign in front of the seller’s property.
One consideration for investors is that real estate agents frequently check the multiple listing database (MLS) to locate expired listings. When agents locate an attractive property, they quickly send out an expired letter of quotation or contact the seller by phone in an effort to obtain a new real estate contract. Investors often end up competing against multiple real estate agents. Therefore, it is crucial to develop marketing materials that stand out from those presented by competitors.
Homeowners need the assurance that their business will deliver results. Many investors make the mistake of focusing marketing materials on past successes and tend to blow their own horn. While it’s important to highlight success stories, marketing materials should primarily focus on addressing the needs of sellers. By addressing concerns and fears, real estate investors can connect with potential clients on a personal level.
Sellers need to know that your company understands their distress and offers solutions to solve their home selling problem. While it may be impressive that your organization has sold dozens of overdue homes, distressed sellers want to know exactly how you plan to sell your home when your realtor couldn’t get the job done.
Expired listing marketing materials should also address how you plan to compete in a buyer’s market. Today, sellers compete with a multitude of low-price foreclosures, bank-owned homes, and short sales. Buyers can easily purchase real estate for below market value and rarely offer full sales price on homes, even if they are in pristine condition.
Real estate listings often expire because sellers refuse to lower the asking price. Investors should address creative financing options in expired listing marketing brochures and describe how these strategies can help sellers get the best price for their property. Creative financing options may include lease-to-own, seller return financing, 1031 exchanges, and subject to transactions.
When developing expired listing marketing campaigns, it’s important to create a variety of pieces that build on the latter. For example, investors would create an initial contact letter that introduces your company and outlines the services available. A few days later, an expired listing postcard would be sent offering a complimentary consultation. The next follow-up marketing piece could be a brochure that addresses common selling issues in a buyer’s market. The campaign could end with a phone call using an expired listing marketing script.
Investors who are not experts in developing marketing campaigns should enlist the help of a marketing firm that specializes in real estate. Another option is to invest in real estate marketing kits that include pre-made scripts and templates.
Before entering the past due listing arena, investors should develop plans to ensure they can deliver on the promises outlined in marketing materials. Take the time to educate yourself about the process and develop a network of real estate professionals who can help close the deal. Expired real estate listings can be a profitable investment niche for those who take the time to learn about available options and develop strong marketing materials and follow-up plans.