BrokerBryant.com: Listing expired listings the easy way.

Listing expired listings the easy way.

It's criminal!!

Have I ever told you how much I love expired listings? Well.....I'm going to tell you again just in case you didn't hear me the first time.

If you read my blog then you know I LOVE expired and withdrawn listings. They are by far, my number one source of business, even though blogging is slowly catching up.

I have been soliciting expired listings, every day, for 13 years. It's one of the things I never stop doing and it's also something I have to do first thing every day or my whole day is thrown off track. I've made it a habit.

It's my opinion, as a listing Broker, that there is no better way to get listings. I mean think about it, these folks have already decided to sell and they have already decided to use a REALTOR®. How can it get any better than that? It can't.

If you want to be a listing Broker, you really need to make this part of your marketing plan. Whether you are in a Seller's market or a Buyer's market the person with listings rules. Of course, this assumes they are priced right and ready for the market. I am not an advocate of taking every listing that comes your way. I strongly believe you should pick and choose and only list properties you can sell.

One of the advantages of having an expired listings program in place, is, if you are consistent with it, you will get enough real Sellers calling that you have the luxury of only taking good saleable listings.

I actually turn down more listings than I take. Unfortunately, in my market, Poinciana Fl, many potential Sellers owe way more than I can reasonably expect to sell their property for so I have to turn them down. With very few exceptions, I'm too busy to deal with short sale listings right now.

OK, back to my expired listings program. First, I believe in simple. If it's too complicated you'll find reasons not to do it. So this is what I do and what works in my market. I mail one letter, to every expired or withdrawn listing in my market area, every day. That's it!!! I don't call them. I don't knock on their door and I don't follow up with them. One letter, one time, every listing, every day. Is that easy enough for you?

Here's the key. Just do it. That's it folks my big secret. Just do it. OK, so since you asked, I'll give you a little more information:

  • Don't try to pick and choose which listings you feel will list with you. Hit them all.
  • Have a standard letter and just personalize the envelope.
  • Mail to the address in the tax records.
  • Don't try to see if they have re-listed. What difference does it make? If their listing expired you are within your right to send them a letter. They may list with you the next time around.
  • Make it a one page letter with some color and enclose a business card.

Here's another add on advantage to working the expired listings market every day. It forces you to look at your MLS Hot sheet. Every morning I see what's new on the market, what sold, what was reduced, what went pending, what expired and what was withdrawn. Can you imagine how much market knowledge I have just by doing this one thing, every day, for 13 years? Well, I'll tell you, it's a lot!

Now folks, don't start this program and then start complaining because you haven't received a listing call from it in 4 months, "the program doesn't work". If it doesn't work it's because you quit. I don't care what kind of marketing you are doing, if you don't commit to at least a year, you are wasting your time and your money.

If you are in a difficult market then there is no better time to start taking listings. It will give you increased visibility in your market. It will give you a better chance of getting some sales and it will help you improve on your communication skills. It's not easy keeping a Seller appeased for months on end. Now's the perfect time to learn this skill.

Trust me on this, when the market changes, the folks with a ton of good saleable listings will dominate. If I were you, I would start loading up, while they are so easy to get. I hope this post helps you to get motivated. Don't put it on your "to do" list.....just do it!

Heck, I'll even help. The letter I use is imbedded in this post here. Feel free to modify it to work in your market and go for it. The rest is up to you. Just stick it in a envelope and lick the darn stamp! Do it! Will you?

 

 

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Bryant Tutas
Broker/Owner
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker
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Comment balloon 60 commentsBryant Tutas • October 02 2009 02:54PM

Comments

Reserved Parking For "The Lovely Wife"...TLW...ROAR!

Hun...

You bet. As far as I am concerned expired listings and FSBO's are Seller's that are ready to get serious :)

P.S. I know you didn't mention FSBO's but, pah-leeze we have to think about that as well :)

TLW...ROAR!

Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Sometimes when you aren't first...it's better to be next ! Blog on....

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

Bryant - It's like shooting ducks in a pond (I figured that analogy is right up your alley).  This concept works!  Thanks for the GREAT motivator.

Posted by Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake (Coldwell Banker Realty-Schweitzer Mountain, Sandpoint, Idaho) over 9 years ago

I'd rather be next up with some of what is going on out there! Thanks for the SPECIFICS...really helpful!

BTW, I can't believe you made TLW hold the ball...

Posted by SarahGray Lamm, Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience (Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 ) over 9 years ago

Sounds like a great strategy, we've done a few mailings to expireds but not enough. Do you do any other follow up besides the initial letter?

Posted by Monica Bourgeau, Business Coaching (New Phase Business Coaching) over 9 years ago

BB, I'm always trying to tell new associates that this is where they should concentrate their efforts to get the ball rolling.  Thanks for not adding any mystique to the process and keeping it simple.  All points well noted.

Posted by Kevin J. May, Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida (Florida Supreme Realty) over 9 years ago

Don't try to see if they have re-listed. What difference does it make? If their listing expired you are within your right to send them a letter. They may list with you the next time around.

Never thought of this, BB... that is brilliant.

Borino
ExpiredPlus.com

Posted by Borino - The Real Estate Coach (Borino Productions) over 9 years ago

Sigh - I thought all I needed to do was to dress up like you guys in the photo!!! Oh well maybe mailing the letter is actually easier LOL. I so agree the ones with listings we dominate and we are determined to be there! ~Rita

Posted by Brian Burke, Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate (Kenna Real Estate) over 9 years ago

"A year". So true- as quickly as time passes, why NOT get our names out there with each and every expired listing? It certainly can't hurt, and clearly can (and will) help.

Posted by Laurie Mindnich over 9 years ago

Hi Bryant ~ Thanks for the kick in the pants - and the link to your letter.  I'm in. 

Liz

Posted by Elizabeth Bolton, Cambridge MA Realtor (RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA) over 9 years ago

Hello Bryant, In this day and age it is refreshing to hear that "Simple" rules in this way.  Thanks for the tips and the letter.  John (Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? !)

Posted by Alexander- Slocum, Realty Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate (Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington) over 9 years ago

Hi BB, love the picture of you two, LOL. How's that workin' for ya? :D

I used to, and I should start this up again. I appreciate the kick in the pants, thats for sure. Thank you!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 9 years ago

Expireds are where its AT!  A simple letter is all in a days work.  I need reminders like this often!

Posted by Johnny Morrow, Simple CRM Development (Track The Lead) over 9 years ago

Ha, I almost called you today. I had printed your letter.....what??? 2 years ago.

Lost it.

Hey thanks this was mucho timely.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 9 years ago

Ok the link to find the embedded letter is not there, it takes me to your 100th post. Gee I miss some of those folks who commented  there.

Can you check the link and send me in the right direction. Please.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 9 years ago

BB - Thank you so much for the letter!  I've been rather chickens**t about approaching expireds but now that you've provided me with words (I'll try to remember to substitute my name instead)....I've got no excuse....so....THANKS AGAIN!  :)

Posted by Coleen DeGroff, Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Bryant, I heard a great line this morning.  Success requires the "relentless pursuit of the fundamental basics".  I love you comment about not saying it doesn't work until you've done it for a year. 

Posted by Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain (Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain) over 9 years ago

I love the fact that you can't function without first-things-first. If we could all be so tied to such a task, or ANY task for that matter,

Posted by Stephen Kappre, Helping You Home (KW Hometown) over 9 years ago

BB,

What a great concept - and I really like the letter.  I am going to put your plan into action starting tomorrow.  If the letter doesn't work, i'll just take a picture like yours and use it instead.   LOL.  :-)

Posted by Karen Scott (Prudential Carruthers Realtors) over 9 years ago

LOL at that pic of you and TLW. Love it! And you're right about the expired listings. They're the best way to get new listings, and they're more open to our suggestions.  =)

Posted by Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach Real Estate (Florida Property Experts) over 9 years ago

Great, sound advice, Broker Bryant.  Both about "doing it" and reading the hot sheet.

Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) over 9 years ago

HEY BB! Thanks for the reminder. Do you handwrite the addresses on the envelope or do you use lables? Just wondering. Also, I was just talking about you to a new agent the other day (lightbulb moment! blog idea. i hope you dont mind being featured in a post), and I directed her to your blog. I let her know that there was a VERY knowledgeable broker here on active rain and i sent her to your 'rants'...i know she will learn alot. keep it up, you're a real estate rockstar!

Posted by Dee Neal, Atlanta Area Real Estate (Palmer House Properties) over 9 years ago

Love this idea.  I never even thought about that.  Thank you for your advice :o). 

Missy - the letter is in the post, (the 100th), it's not a link.

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) over 9 years ago

Love the photo! Good tips for newbie agents. I'm going to check out your sample letter right now!

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 9 years ago

Thanks again for always sharing what works for you.  I've read this before and I'm going to give it a try.  I always ck in with your posts - because I know I'll read something of value that I can use.  Your posts are great.

Posted by Judy Cicalese, Market Knowledge-Social Media Savvy 203-638-7812 (William Raveis Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Curious....have you tracked and measured your results?  For every x number of letters you send, you get x number of inquiries/replies back. 

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) over 9 years ago

I cannot STOP laughing at the picture..Cool Hand Luke?

My first listing was calling on an expired ninteen years ago and I have not tried it in awhile, might just do that! Have a great weekend and congrats on your son getting his RE License!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Dee...

It's always best to address the envelopes by hand. It lends the expired letter a personal touch. The Consumer tends to toss away envelopes that resemble generic mail. I do that myself.

TLW...ROAR!

Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Ok, you guys made me do it! LOL, sending out the 1st letter today! :) ~Rita

Posted by Brian Burke, Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate (Kenna Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Did a lot of this early on, BB, and it worked. So why did I stop? Danged if I know but looks like you have just added to this week's To-Do list for me!

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) over 9 years ago

I've been thinking about trying this.  Now that I have your letter I am going to try it.  Thanks.

Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) over 9 years ago

BB:  I can be a bit hard headed so forgive me.  Am I understanding this correctly when you say:

"I mail one letter, to every expired or withdrawn listing in my market area, every day."  

Do you mail to the same people every single day or just pick up the newly expired, withdrawn, and only mail to them with each new day?  I've read through all the comments and didn't see anyone ask the question so I must be the only one that is a tad confused.  Sorry. 

Also, I will add that I include a disclaimer at the bottom of my letter telling the seller that if they have already listed with another, to please disrgard.  They still call and complain to the broker when they get a letter and they are already listed.  But it would be a full time job, checking every expired to see if they have re-listed, although I do try to check when I can.  It's no problem if their listing has expired and they haven't re-listed but it has been a problem for those who have re-listed and get a letter. 

Above all, thank you so much for sharing this strategy and your letter.  I am sooo ready to get started!  You've given me the push I've needed.

 

Posted by Donna Yates, Blue Ridge Mountains (BHGRE - Metro Brokers) over 9 years ago

This is an inspiring post. I will take your Expired Listing advice to heart! Do you ever try phone calls instead of letters?

Betina

 

Posted by Betina Foreman, Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY (WJK Realty) over 9 years ago

Thanks Bryant for the advice and the link to your letter.  I did send out letters to expireds for awhile but then stopped when I didn't get a response.  DO it for a year, you say?  I guess I wasn't at it long enough.  OK, I'll try it your way.  Just another thing to add to my to do list.  BTW, loved your picture.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) over 9 years ago

Thanks Bryant for the advice and the link to your letter.  I did send out letters to expireds for awhile but then stopped when I didn't get a response.  DO it for a year, you say?  I guess I wasn't at it long enough.  OK, I'll try it your way.  Just another thing to add to my to do list.  BTW, loved your picture.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) over 9 years ago

Leah...

The expired letter program is something that just kind of catches up to when you least expect it. It doesn't always take a year but over time you'll start seeing the results. That's when you'll thump yourself in the head and say "Geesh...I should have stuck with it the first time around" :)

Now just so you know, the expired letter also plants a seed and helps to market your name in your farm area. We've actually taken listings from expired letters that neighbors have received. Our expired letter program is one of those things we've never changed because it keeps our pipeline full. Who wants an empty pipeline anyway? :) 

To All...

And I'm carrying the ball so I can whack him in the head with it :)

TLW...ROAR!

Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 9 years ago

I hear ya loud and clear. I probably wasnt successful because I didn't give this enough time to seed in me. I need to get back in the swing of things.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 9 years ago

Bryant, this is so simple! We check to see if they have been re-listed but that takes time, and you're right, it is within our rights to send it. If things don't work out with their other agent, maybe we'll get a chance.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 9 years ago

Thank you for including the letter!  I've already cusomized it for myself!

 

Posted by Jamie Hayden (Hayden Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I am a new agent and I was told that expired and FSBO's are a great way to start since they have a need to sell thier home. But I was not sure how to start or what to say.

Thank you for the sample letter!

Posted by Jean Bolin (Prudential CT Realty) over 9 years ago

What a blessings to receive the post and the letter to customize.  I was already thinking of how to budget for that many stamps but it seems to be worth working out.  A year, huh??

Posted by Latonia Parks, Certified Military Relocation Expert (Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV) over 9 years ago

Hello Bryant and TLW,

 

I agree this works. I did get a new construction listing last year with your letter and it sold. Although I listed the property around the holidays, it was sooooo easy to extend the listing contract. It sold at an acceptable price and the sellers were happy.

 

Peter

Posted by Peter Lavelle REALTOR®, GRI SRES, ABR, SOLD@100%Market Value,or I Pay You the Difference (Keller Williams Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Bryant, I read this blog a week ago while the ink was drying on my license.  I have every day since sent out my letters.  Today I recieved a call from the Son of one of the expired sellers.  He mentioned his interest in buying blah, blah, blah and I have an apointment with him this week to discuss his options.  Thanks for the Post. 

Posted by Michael J. Gallo, Florida Luxury Realty - Gulf Home Sales Team (Florida Luxury Realty) over 9 years ago

You are very kind to share this letter. I am going to get off my butt and follow your advice. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks

Posted by Sharon Harris, Realtor (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) over 9 years ago

You're so generous BB and TLW.  Thank you so much. -- Tanya in Montreal

Posted by Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager (RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca) about 9 years ago

Thank you so much for the information and ideas. I am a new agent working in a "virtual office" and still trying to figure out the best ways to do things. I already printed out the letter, changed to fit my market, and plan to mail some out tomorrow!

Posted by Andrea Peters (Cortiers Real Estate) about 9 years ago

If I didn't already say it let me say it now THANK YOU.  If I don't do it I have only myself to blame.  It has to go in my 2010 Business Plan.  Thanks again Margaret C.

Posted by Margaret C. Taylor, St Marys/Calvert/Charles MD Real Estate Agent (Century 21 New Millennium MD) about 9 years ago
Thanks Margaret. I seem to be getting quite a few comments on this article this week. Did you find a link to it somewhere?
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) about 9 years ago

We work the expired listings and it works for us!  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team ( Elite Realty Group) about 9 years ago

Bryant, what a great marketing plan you have and your letter is quite appealing. Unfortunately for our real estate board, we cannot contact expired's anymore! It is a serious infraction if we do.

I'm thinking that maybe changing it a bit for FSBO's?

Ty

Posted by Ty Lacroix (Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc) about 9 years ago

Thank you for the great insight. I will look at expired in a new way now! Ramble On my friend!

Posted by Tom Brintzenhofe (Exit Diamond Realty) about 9 years ago

Thank you for the great insight. I will look at expired in a new way now! Ramble On my friend!

Posted by Tom Brintzenhofe (Exit Diamond Realty) about 9 years ago

I am a new agent, I've only sold three houses so far. I posted back on December 17th that I was motivated by this post and your letter. That day I started implementing your system, using a modified version of your letter to fit our market. I got a phone call yesterday, and scheduled a listing appointment. Thank you for your advice! Now if I can just get the listing...

Posted by Andrea Peters (Cortiers Real Estate) about 9 years ago

That's awesome Andrea!!! You will get the listing. In fact here's some homework for you that will help.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) about 9 years ago

Thanks!

Posted by Andrea Peters (Cortiers Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Ok.  I have a quick question. I am working on using the letter you provided to start trying to get expired listings.  I was wondering whether you think a letter or a jumbo postcard with much the same text is better?  Thanks for being so generous with your information.

Stacey

Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) about 9 years ago

Bryant I have to say I really enjoy this blog. This blog has inspired me to get my rear in motion to expired listing. Thanks again

Posted by Ivan Pintor (Charles Rutenberg realty) almost 9 years ago

Bryant,

I used to do this...just not every day, or for very long, but it worked. I got a few listings with just one letter...they sold, I got busy, and I stopped. After reading your blog, I have decided to get back to business...thank you!

Posted by Stefanie Cohen, PA, "I Love to Sell Real Estate and it Shows" (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty) over 7 years ago

Hi Bryant,

I have been thinking about trying to work expired and dreading it, but with the simple letter I might commit to doing this every day.  I did up a bunch of letters today while sitting on the "floor" he ha at my office.

So you don't include anyting else about your marketing plan, etc??

Also, I was following another thread that branched off to FSBO letter.  I got the FSBO letter, but there was a reference to a FSBO kit that some agent from IL had, but he seems to be not around.  Did anyone ever get a copy of what he puts in the FSBO Help Kit?

Thanks for sharing!  I am in North San Diego County with higher end properties (of course everything is relative right?), so I wonder how it will work?

Posted by Debbie Lynn, Realtor, North San Diego 858.775.9771 (Prudential California Realty) about 7 years ago

Searching all I can on expired listings to get a feel if I want to invest in this campaign. I think I'm on to something. Great information here. Thanks Bryant. Enjoyed a lot of your blogs. Are you still finding success in expired listings?

Posted by Mike Baltierra, Full Service at Your Service Realtor-Eastvale CA (Rise Realty ) almost 5 years ago

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