If you’re a real estate professional, one of the best ways to increase your industry value is to know how to find expired real estate listings.
Aside from the typical listings you will find on the multiple listings services, or MLS, expired listings can open more doors of opportunity to both you and your potential clients. These types of listings should never be overlooked by any broker or agent for the potential they bring.
Table of Contents
- What Are Expired Listings, and Why Are They Important?
- Get Expired Listings on the MLS
- Check Public Records
- Consult Other Real Estate Agents
- Buy Expired Listings
- Create an Expired Listings Script
- Create a Template for an Expired Listings Letter
- Use Social Media Ads for Marketing to Expired Listings
- Next Steps
The thing about expired listings is that they offer several benefits to you as an agent, such as:
- They have higher conversion rates from lead to client. Estimates say that agents often get one appointment for every 25 contacted expired listings. This gives them a better conversion rate of 4% compared to ordinary listings.
- They lead you to more motivated sellers. Expired listings typically bring along with them highly motivated sellers who are a lot easier to work with.
- They give you a more affordable lead generation strategy. Typically, lead generation costs plenty of money, whether you buy lists or pay for marketing and promotion. In contrast, expired listings are virtually free. You just need to know how to find them.
- They aren’t as labor-intensive. Relisting expired listings takes far less effort than working with buyers.
- The seller is more likely eager to work with a new agent. If the previous agent didn’t get the job done, the seller will be more willing to work with a new agent.
Curious now? Read for more.
What Are Expired Listings, and Why Are They Important?
An expired listing is a property that hasn’t been sold by the end of a certain agreed-upon period between a seller and a listing agent.
When people are getting their property listed for sale, they usually enter an agreement with a real estate agent that the home will be listed for a specific duration (like six months). However, the property might end up not getting sold within that period.
If the listing is not renewed, it becomes an expired listing. Real estate listings expire due to reasons such as overpriced homes, inexperienced real estate agents, poor staging, an oversupply of similar homes, and poor real estate marketing.
Expired listings are a great source of quality leads for top real estate agents. Since property owners are motivated to sell, realtors can negotiate a good price and close quickly. However, the first thing you need to do as an agent is learn how to find expired listings.
The good news is that prospecting expired listings is a low-overhead, low-cost business strategy. In addition, this type of listing has been proven to have higher conversion ratios compared to other prospecting methods.
Though door knocking and cold calling could help in getting expired listings, you need to have a more strategic approach for successful real estate lead generation. We have listed seven effective ways of finding expired real estate listings in 2023. Let’s go over each of them real quick.
1. Get Expired Listings on the MLS
Many hot real estate agents use the MLS for real estate lead generation by looking for listings that are due to expire in less than a month. To find expired MLS listings, all you need to do is go to your MLS dashboard and select locations that you want to search by town or city.
Next, enter the expiration date of your search (four weeks or less) to identify listings that will expire soon. Once you have identified some soon-to-expire properties, figure out a way to get in touch with the seller and find out if they would want to relist their home with a new agent. Of course, be sure not to get in touch with the seller until the day after the listing has expired.
Still, with this strategy, you can be one of the first agents who makes contact. Just keep in mind that perusing through the MLS for expired listings can be a very time-consuming and stressful task.
If you simply don’t have the patience and resolve to do this, there are other ways that you can find expired listings online or offline. That’s what this list is all about. We will go through other simple yet practical and effective strategies for you to find what you’re looking for.
In the meantime, we would advise you not to neglect this particular strategy, as it is one of the most effective ways of getting the leads you need.
2. Check Public Records
Just like going over the multiple listing service, searching through public records is another effective but time-consuming method of finding expired listing leads.
What makes this extra challenging is it will require visiting your location’s record archive, such as the county courthouse or city hall, and requesting access to listing records. Please note that it can take hours to flip through online lists or paper documents before getting one lead. That is on top of the commute time you will need to get to your local record office.
Despite that, this particular method has a very good upside. Though this real estate lead generation method is very time-consuming, it is free and can be a source of valuable information about a home and its current owner.
On top of the typical info such as names and phone numbers, you can confirm details such as:
- Divorce proceedings
- Purchase price history
- Time on market
- Estate references
These, and other similarly useful information, could help you get that lead you’re looking for. This particular method may require a bit more effort on your part but should also not be overlooked.
3. Consult Other Real Estate Agents
In the world of business, especially real estate, your connections and networks matter. You need to take care of those relationships, especially if you’re learning how to be a more effective agent. These connections could give you good leads to business opportunities you wouldn’t have all by yourself.
At times, real estate agents in your network will have several expired listings that they are open to sharing for a commission or fee. Others would be willing to do a kind of exchange to receive other valuable listings. This is why you need to stay in touch with other agents in your area to grow your real estate business.
Take phone numbers and email addresses. Exchange business cards with them. Send them postcards once in a while to show you remember them. This way, they also don’t forget about you when they come across expired listings in your area.
So make sure to take care of those relationships. You don’t need to be best friends with each of them. You just need to ensure that you have a good professional relationship with them.
Conduct your affairs and services with dignity and integrity always. This will increase people’s confidence in you that will make them give you good leads without hesitation because of your professionalism and reputation. That’s how you grow your network.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Networking for Agents
4. Buy Expired Listings
An efficient and cost-effective strategy for real estate lead generation is to simply buy the information you need. Though many real estate agents might not like the idea of buying expired listings, it saves you the trouble of having to scrape for information from the MLS and public records.
There are several platforms online where you can purchase expired leads based on parameters such as property type, your target housing market, and your goals as a real estate agent. You only need to identify which sites make for the best sources for this type of information.
Of course, you will have to take into account the quality of data the platform provides, so choose wisely.
Once you find a platform that you believe offers you high-quality data and reliable information, you can look for expired listings to buy. Just make sure to perform due diligence before making any purchases so you get your money’s worth.
Related: Is Buying Real Estate Leads Worth It for an Agent?
5. Create an Expired Listings Script
Having a pre-written script will make emailing or calling phone numbers on expired listings easier.
The script should begin with a short introduction that explains the reason for your communication. You can then mention some reasons why you think the property did not sell and what you would do differently if the listing were renewed with you. Finally, ask for a meeting where you can present your real estate marketing strategy to the seller.
The expired listing script should be long enough to cover all the important points without losing the seller’s attention.
If you, however, think that writing a script is challenging, you can always turn to websites that offer writing services, including script writing for various lines of business.
But instead of paying extra for services that you can easily do, we suggest you give it a try first and ask a fellow agent to go over it with you. You can engage in a bit of a role-playing exercise to see how it works and if there are ways you can improve your script.
6. Create a Template for an Expired Listings Letter
At times, real estate agents looking for expired listings struggle to get in touch with property owners via email or phone. Some owners are not willing to talk to an agent after failing to sell their property previously.
In such cases, you can reach potential sellers by sending a letter the old-fashioned way—through their mailbox. This letter should be written using the same formula as the expired scripts:
- A good introduction
- Your professional opinion on why the property didn’t sell
- The service you can provide to improve the chances of the property being sold
- Unique marketing ideas for better visibility
- An invitation to meet so you can present your strategy to the seller
Make sure to write your letter on a professional letterhead and sign it personally.
7. Use Social Media Ads for Marketing to Expired Listings
You can use social media ads to promote yourself as a real estate agent and encourage owners to relist with you.
Since you are marketing your services, be sure to mention properties that you have sold in difficult-to-sell areas or slow buying seasons in your social media ads. Use hashtags such as #expiredlistings to attract the right audience and offer complimentary reports such as home valuations.
For more accurate targeting when generating real estate leads, we suggest using Facebook ads. Since almost everyone is on Facebook, advertising on the social media platform will give you greater online visibility to reach new clients and grow your network. Instagram is also a good platform to advertise on, although its users are mostly millennials and GenZ.
Related: 22 Real Estate Social Media Marketing Ideas
Now that you know how to find those expired real estate listings, what’s next for you? As a real estate professional, there is a big difference between simply knowing how to find a listing and actually making conversions.
To do that, you will also need to know how to move forward with the information you have. Here are the next steps you should take if you expect to be successful in providing this type of service to your clients.
1. Use Real Estate Comps to Your Advantage
As a real estate agent, you should already be intimately familiar with the property prices in your area. If you happen to find an expired listing in your backyard, you can easily estimate going rates by comparing it with real estate comps.
This makes it easier for you to optimize the selling price on a particular expired listing that makes both buyers and sellers find reasonable and attractive. While there are a lot of websites that offer real estate comps, one of the best out there today is Mashvisor.
Mashvisor is a real estate platform that has helped countless agents and buyers close deals on profitable real estate investments since 2015. As a site, Mashvisor offers users access to high-quality data that covers nearly every real estate market in the US, with its massive database.
Agents and investors have found Mashvisor to be a very useful tool in locating the best real estate properties in the most profitable markets. With tools like the Market Finder and Dynamic Pricing, users can easily make accurate and realistic ROI projections with greater confidence.
Get access to Mashvisor’s tools to get you on your way to a thriving career in real estate. Get started on your 7-day free trial today.
2. Start Strategizing to Find Expired Real Estate Listings
Just like in any aspect of real estate investing, context plays an important role. As a real estate professional, you have keep up with current trends and behaviors in your local real estate market. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding expired listings. You need to know how to strategize specifically for the market you’re in.
For instance, if you’re a seller, you will need to consider your location and what it has to offer buyers, especially those who are looking for worthwhile investment properties.
If many of your clients are real estate investors, you need to know what the market has to offer by way of cap rate and cash on cash return. Those who are into real estate investing will greatly benefit from this.
Similarly, as an agent, your knowledge of the area will allow you to come up with the right strategy to find those expired listings. Perhaps it’s more practical for you to go to your city hall to look at the public records than set out to buy expired listings because of some financial restraints.
Maybe you’re new in town and don’t know much about the area and know very few people, making it harder for you to connect with other professionals. You can try email or online marketing instead.
At the end of the day, you should devise and implement a strategy that works best for your situation and context.
3. Make as Many Contacts as You Can
Lastly, the real estate industry is all about having the right connections. People run this business. And this business is all about the people. That said, as a real estate professional, you need to make as many contacts as you can. Put yourself out there for others to see. To make it in this business, you need to be outgoing and people-oriented.
You are not merely investing money in pursuing the right leads and closing deals. You are investing your time in people because these people will open doors for you to walk in.
Grow your network. Join clubs. Attend conferences and seminars. Call other agents. Check up on former clients and ask for referrals. Introduce yourself to new people.
This may be more challenging for an introvert, but you don’t have to be an extrovert to succeed. You just need to be consistent in growing your network so you can find good leads on good deals, including expired real estate listings.
Anyone can learn how to find expired real estate listings. However, this type of listing can be very tricky to get because property owners are wary of going through the same selling process. You need to be sensitive to the property owners and address their concerns sincerely if they are to trust you.
The tips mentioned in this article will make the process of finding, securing, and relisting expired listings much easier for both experienced and new real estate agents. You just need to find the right strategy that works best for your situation and have the discipline to turn it into a habit.
It may not be as easy for everyone, but commitment and consistency will help elevate your game and make you successful at spotting those expired listings. On top of internal governance, an external tool like Mashvisor can do wonders for your career as a real estate agent. Its features and tools can help you locate promising properties to offer to your clients.
Want to learn how Mashvisor can help you succeed in your real estate career? Schedule a demo with us now.