Expired listings are properties that are unsold by the listing’s expiration date and haven’t been renewed for sale. It’s possible for agents to get expired listings manually or through a paid lead source. Ultimately, expired listings are great for agents who want to capitalize on this niche or secondary market to boost sales.
Real estate agents can waste unnecessary time and effort finding expired listings by combing through public records or the MLS (multiple listing service). To streamline this, REDX, starting at $59.99 per month, uses specific parameters to search the MLS for expired listings and adds an agent’s leads to an online customer relationship manager (CRM) for follow-up. Learn more about REDX by clicking the button below.
Here are 13 ways to use expired listings as a form of real estate lead generation:
1. Identify Expired Listings With the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
Many agents use the MLS to get expired leads by searching for listings that are set to expire in the next two to four weeks and adding those to a contact list. To search the MLS for leads that are about to expire, go into your MLS dashboard and pick the areas you want to search by city or town. Next, set the expiration date of your search to within two weeks to find listings that will expire soon. This will help you generate a contact list.
From there, you will need to periodically follow up with sellers on your contact list to see if they’d like to relist their property with a new agent. While this method requires data mining from the MLS and checking back to make sure that the listing does expire, the leads you generate are free.
However, you will also need to establish a follow-up schedule to nurture these leads, as expired listing leads can take a long time to convert. This is why using a CRM like Freshsales or Zillow Premier Agent can be critically important. These tools can be used to prompt you to make calls, deliver direct mailers, and send text campaigns in response to an action or client communication and help you track the success of your marketing efforts.
If you don’t have a CRM or are looking for something with more robust functionality, check out our guide on the best CRMs for real estate professionals.
2. Ask Other Real Estate Agents
Stay connected with real estate agents who are open to exchanging their expired listings with leads of your own through email and social media. Sometimes real estate agents in your office, your network, or online will have an expired listing to share for a fee or commission. Because no two agents market the home the same way, it’s possible you will be able to sell their listing(s) successfully using a different marketing strategy.
3. Network With Local Business Owners
A homeowner, whose property didn’t sell, may not be inclined to reach out to other agents right away to relist their property, but is still a member of the local community. A well-placed flyer featuring a client testimonial posted in a local grocery store or a well-timed business card exchange could be just the thing you need to rebuild their confidence and connect to a potential client.
4. Search Public Records
The most time-consuming method of gaining an expired listing is a search through public records. To do so, agents should visit their area’s public records archive, such as the city hall or county courthouse, to request access to listing records for their area.
It’s important to note that real estate agents can spend hours flipping through paper documents or online lists to find accurate contact details for an expired listing. Although this method is free, the amount of time spent finding one lead might cost an agent many hours better spent on active sales and lead nurturing.
However, this method of expired listing research can provide valuable information about a property and the owner. A real estate agent can confirm purchase price history, divorce proceedings, estate references, and time on the market.
5. Buy Expired Listings
An efficient and cost-effective way to get quality expired listing contact data is to buy the information. While most real estate agents might be uncomfortable with buying expired leads, this eliminates the need to scrape information yourself from public records and the MLS. To buy expired leads, use an online lead platform and search parameters based on your area, property type, and real estate agent goals.
The REDX lead generation platform is particularly helpful for this task because it efficiently scours the MLS to pull down information based on your criteria. By delivering FSBO or expired leads into their Vortex CRM, you can easily stay in contact with leads and measure marketing results.
While REDX does have a setup fee, it’s offering Fit Small Business readers $149 off the set up price, automatically deducted when you click over to their site from the button below.
6. Set Up Drip Marketing Campaigns
Drip marketing campaigns are automated emails sent to your contact list at regular intervals. They are aimed at moving homeowners further through the process of relisting their home. When using a drip campaign, be sure to include valuable information such as new neighborhood reports, seasonal greetings, or “just sold” property announcements so expired leads can see your work in action and stay connected.
Drip campaigns are great for ensuring you are following up with contacts regularly, whether you are targeting seller leads, like expired listings, or potential buyers. However, you want to make sure you don’t come across as spam by following up too often. While it is a good practice to send an email immediately following an initial face-to-face introduction, additional emails should be spaced out between two days to two weeks so as not to annoy a potential contact.
Many CRMs offer tools that can help you send out bulk emails, but not all include drip campaign functionality.
7. Send Eye-catching Mailers
Direct mailers like brochures and real estate postcards can be a handy way to move a seller past the consideration phase into relisting the property. Sending an eye-catching mailer or postcard asking the lead to contact you or requesting an appointment to discuss your marketing strategy can help increase seller interest after they receive your expired listing letter.
One way to send beautiful and valuable mailers is by using Canva. Canva is a free online design platform with built-in templates and graphics, so you can easily create mailers, social media graphics, sales presentations, and more.
However, another option is to use a service that caters to needs of real estate professions and represents a huge time savings over designing mailers yourself. For example, ProspectsPLUS offers ready-to-go templates specifically for expired listings. To create your own, just add information about other properties you’ve sold in difficult areas or during slow buying times and invite the recipient to reach out to discuss options for their own property.
8. Call Expired Listing Owners Directly
Calling potential leads directly is one of the most tried-and-true methods of gaining new clients. When working with expired listings, keep in mind that contacting an expired listing owner is different than connecting with a regular lead. You’ll need to educate the seller about why the previous attempt to sell their home failed and what will be done this time around to sell their house successfully.
9. Email Prospective Leads Directly
While drip marketing automatically sends emails to your existing contact list, cold emailing is your first attempt at contacting a potential client. Reaching out through email to suggest a meeting and give some tips about possible new sales avenues may seem less impactful than a phone call, but will likely yield better responses over time. Start with an email, then move to a phone call if a seller seems interested in relisting their property.
The best way to make both cold calling and cold emailing efficient and effective is by creating an expired listing script. The expired listing script should be long enough to further the conversation without being a time-consuming speech. Here are some of the most important tips when creating an expired listing script:
- Start with a short introduction
- Be concise
- Be clear
- Focus on the seller
- Include information about why you are the right person to sell their home
- Address common objections
- Ask to schedule a meeting
10. Send an Expired Listing Letter
While phone calls and emails can be faster and more direct methods of contacting expired listings, you may have difficulty getting in touch with the owners. In these cases, an expired listing letter may help you connect with sellers through their mailbox. Use the same formula as the expired scripts above to create a template for your letter. However, please note that you will be mailing this letter, so it should be created on professional letterhead and personally signed.
In addition, it is worth pointing out that because this is likely your third or fourth attempt to contact a seller, you will need to capture their attention with a clear sales path and fresh marketing ideas. Make your letter personal, focus on the seller and not yourself, and close it with an invitation to set up an appointment to discuss sales options further.
11. Consider Social Media Ads
Social media real estate ads appear in social feeds, so you can get your name and your offer in front of your target audience. This can be an incredibly effective way to encourage owners of expired listings to relist their home with you—particularly if you use Facebook or Google, as these platforms have the broadest reach and best targeting options.
To create an effective social media ad targeting expired listings, highlight homes you’ve sold in slow buying seasons or in difficult-to-sell areas. Create ads that offer complimentary reports, like home valuations; use hashtags to attract the right audience, such as #expiredlistings; and be aspirational in your copy to create buy-in from prospective sellers.
Your ad must be specific and speak directly to the pain points of expired listing owners. Show them that you are an effective, experienced real estate agent who can sell their property, and that you actually care about them.
12. Execute SMS Marketing Campaigns
SMS marketing means texting your leads. With a 98% open rate, it has the highest probability by far of reaching your contacts. This is a perfect way to keep in touch with potential sellers about open houses or interested buyers, and shows the homeowner that you are available and ready to do business.
A texting campaign for expired listings should only be used after initial contact due to spam laws and the personal nature of a text. Texting someone who has not approved text correspondence might be considered an invasion of their privacy.
13. Offer a Marketing Strategy Presentation
Creating a marketing presentation for the owner of an expired listing can help them visualize the potential of their property finally selling. Include possible sales approaches and highlights of important home features that were ignored during the first attempt. This way, a marketing presentation can show your dedication to sell the expired listing and can inspire the homeowner to relist their property.
Tips for Increasing Your Chances of Securing Expired Listings
Expired listings are complicated to secure because owners are wary of going through the selling process again right away. They may feel discouraged, overwhelmed, or less inclined to trust another agent. As a result, when approaching expired listing leads, keep the following tips in mind:
- Do your due diligence. While it is important to ask the seller why they believe their home didn’t sell before, this is also your chance to showcase your expertise. Review comps in the area and look for any mistakes the previous agent may have made related to pricing or marketing the property.
- Clearly explain how your brokerage or marketing strategy is different.
- Offer neighborhood testimonies or similar social proof. This will help to establish trust and give the seller increased confidence in your ability to sell their home.
- Be patient. Sellers who were not successful the first time will take time, often months, before they may be willing to sign with another agent.
- Be persistent. While it is a good idea to introduce yourself to potential sellers with recently expired listings, don’t forget to also target sellers whose leads expired six to 36 months ago, as they might be more willing to give a new agent a chance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much do expired listings cost?
There are two types of cost for expired listings: time and money. Scraping the MLS and searching through tons of public records can be a time-consuming task. Using a service like REDX to constantly search the MLS according to real estate agent criteria and deliver them into a CRM, however, starts at $59.99 for one search per month.
Why do I need a CRM when targeting expired listings?
A CRM (customer relationship manager) helps real estate agents track the progress of leads throughout the sales cycle. Whether you buy expired listing leads or you dig through the MLS, you need to track where each lead is in the sales funnel. A CRM like Freshsales helps real estate agents monitor leads and follow up easily.
How long does it take to get an expired listing?
It can take days to months to get an expired listing. The most important part of an expired listing is finding a fresh approach for the seller through marketing, real estate agent connection, or home positioning. Gaining an expired real estate listing depends on building trust with the owner and helping them see the potential in representation by a new real estate agent.
Expired listings are listings that were not sold by the original listing deadline. Getting expired listings can be time-consuming, but agents with a powerful marketing strategy, organized CRM, and carefully crafted phone, email, and mail outreach can increase the likelihood of selling these properties. Expired listing targeting is best for agents looking for a niche focus or secondary source of real estate income.
REDX helps real estate agents with lead generation for niche or secondary markets such as FSBOs and expired listings. Priced at $59.99 per month for expired listings downloaded into their Vortex CRM, real estate agents can increase sales opportunities in a new niche or secondary market by increasing leads. Learn more about REDX today by clicking the button below.