How to Convert Expired Listing Leads
Converting expired listings can be difficult. When calling expireds, how many times have you heard the words, “You’re the thousandth agent that has called me”? As soon as a listing appears on the MLS as expired, many many agents start circling like sharks, calling them, pitching them, doing whatever they can to sign the lead.
The question is, how do you stand out from the avalanche of other agents all calling the same expired leads in your market? How do you convince this home seller that you are the agent who will get their house sold this time around?
Lots of competition. That’s the first difficulty with going after expired listings.
The second difficulty is the fact that prospecting expireds means you have to do what both new and experienced real estate agents often dread doing: cold calling.
Cold calling is never easy, and, to make matters worse, expired listing leads are not the easiest people to talk to. By definition the house they are trying so hard to sell didn’t sell. That means that something went wrong, they didn’t achieve their goal, they are frustrated, and they are probably exhausted.
And now they are being called by hundreds of real estate agents and ISAs, hearing the same thing over and over about how, although their home didn’t sell the first time around, this or that company has an edge that will get it sold this time.
What Is an Expired Listing?
Put simply, an expired listing is a lead whose home did not sell. Expired leads are still qualified sellers, something just went wrong or not according to plan during their first attempt. Once the contractual agreement between an agent and the home seller expires, then the listing agent or Multiple Listing Service (MLS) will often remove the owner’s name, phone number, and address from the MLS database. However, you can still find the lead’s contact information by using an expired listing service.
The reasons why listings expire and homes don’t sell can be many. It could have been overpriced, maybe the marketing was poorly done and so the house did not get the proper exposure it needed, or maybe the location of the house is not ideal.
No matter what the reason is for the listing expiring, the problem is most likely not insurmountable. In fact, the reason that the home did not sell the first time around is your opportunity and ticket to potentially gain a new client.
But how to convince the lead that you are the agent for them?
All it takes is for you to understand the lead’s specific situation and their specific goals, from their perspective.
How to Convert Expired Listings
As you call expired leads, you’re going to be hit with more and more objections. These will most likely come even quicker since the lead is probably frustrated and has been contacted by so many agents. To make yourself stand out, at Smart Inside Sales we use a technique called the PPO Process. PPO stands for Perspective Process Outcome.
The prospect’s perspective is their past experience, knowledge and speculation. Examples of perspectives that may lead to objections are “I’ve sold my home myself before”, “I’ve already met with an agent”, and “I can do what an agent does, you guys don’t do much.”
The prospect’s process is their own plan that they have for their situation. Examples of a process are “I’m going to sell my home myself”, “I’ll just use the agent I used before”, and “I am just going to wait until spring to sell my home and get a better deal”. The process is typically what will lead to an objection. They have their plan and you are not a part of it in their mind, so they turn you down.
And finally, the outcome. This is the unique result or benefit the prospect believes their process will deliver for them. Examples of these are “not wasting time”, “avoiding disappointment”, and “proving to my neighbors or real estate agents or to the world that I am right”.
These are the three components that make up an objection. The key here is to understand these three parts of the objection from the lead’s point of view, not just from your own.
How to Deal with a Caller Objection
Below are the five most critical aspects of dealing with an objection once they tell you it:
- Acknowledge – Listen to what they say and let them know that you understand it.
- Paraphrase – Restate what they said without leading and without interpretation.
- Inquire into their perspective, process, and outcome – This is where you dig into their thought process how they see it. Get them to walk you through their knowledge, plan, and the unique thing they hope to accomplish. These are the three things you need to know in order to counter their objection, so ask questions that get you the answers.
- Determine the unique benefit or result they hope to achieve – this is their sought after outcome.
- Close if appropriate – Close if the lead does not bring up another objection as a result of the PPO process or if it becomes obvious that meeting is the next logical step in your conversation.
Follow this process, understand where the prospect’s objection is coming from (from their own point of view), and respond in a way that makes sense given the lead’s perspective and goal.
Conclusion: Understanding is the Key to Expired Leads
The key to successfully closing expired listings is understanding the situation from the lead’s perspective. This is true both when it comes to empathizing with them about their home not selling originally, and when it comes to overcoming any and all objections they throw at you.