It’s no secret that successful Realtors often rely on marketing directly to FSBOs and expired listing owners. A lot of realtors who attempt to create business through these means fall short by two barriers:
- Finding the contact information of these potential clients
- Qualifying them as warm leads early in initial contact
Many agents elect to scour their local MLS to find contact info and cold call recently expired listings. The problem here is this is the go-to tactic for Realtors to attempt to convert an expired listing to a client, which means there will be heavy competition. It’s better for Realtors to either use alternative platforms or a service that vets these leads first and/or contacts them for you. These are better ways to go about this marketing tactic that will illicit greater conversion rates with less competition.
We will discuss how contact information can be found early for these home owners so you can get a head start on your competing Realtor counterparts, and how you can quickly filter, and convert these warm leads into clients.
1. Finding the contact information of FSBOs and Expired Listings
There are several ways Realtors can find and contact FSBOs and expired listing owners without going through a paid service. It’s more work, but for the penny-pinching real estate agent, this might be the desired route.
When you contact them, instead of delivering your typical elevator pitch for potential clients, try offering some basic services or advice for free to help them market. For example, offering to hold an open house for them will not only help you stand out amongst other agents that contacted them when they eventually decide to list with an agent, (which the large majority do), you might pick up some buyer clients that walk through as well.
Providing free advice or help is a good way to be non-intrusive and increase your chances of working with them in the future.
Keeping this approach in mind, let’s get into how you can find and contact these leads at no cost.
The Facebook Market is a good place to easily filter listed homes by FSBOs. Simply click the marketplace on the left-hand side, then click Groups. Type, “FSBO” in the search query after setting your search to your location and your feed will populate with a wide array of FSBO listings near you.
Same concept as Facebook Marketplace. Just set your search to your location, then select the ‘housing’ filter, then the ‘real estate – by owner’ filter. Remember to lead with advice or free help, not a pitch.
Other free FSBO contact information can be easily found on:
Local Newspaper Sites
Most paid services automatically find expired listings and FSBOs and upload them into your CRM. These tools are great time savers since they search your local MLS for you, and often provide the option to automatically leave a voicemail or text, prompting interested parties to call you back and saving you the trouble of contacting each FSBO and expired lead yourself one by one. They usually also provide their own scripts or other marketing materials for when those leads do call back. Here are some pros and cons for each FSBO/expired listings number providers and dialing services.
- Easy to search expired listing using their software. You can customize the search to find exactly the area you want to farm and input these leads into your search.
- You can label/add folders for any leads based on zip codes/search criteria.
- They have a built in CRM for which you can manage any follow-up task.
- A lot of phone numbers provided are invalid and or non-existent. You’ll have to use other services to cross check numbers like been verified or similar.
- They usually charge a setup fee and you have to install a software platform.
- No setup fee.
- More control over which expired listings you contact, as opposed to other services which just provide the list for you.
- Multi-line dialer tool.
- Their cloud-based platform isn’t very search friendly. You can’t search based on zip codes so it only pulls all the leads and then you have to manually look for them.
- Their CRM is non-existent, so there’s no automation involved with lead nurturing.
- A quick Google search will show their customer service department needs work.
- Offer probated leads in addition to FSBOs and expired listings.
- Verified email address option for contacting leads.
- Vets leads before handing them off to filter out expired numbers or “do not call list” numbers.
- More costly than other number providers.
- Expensive set up fee
- No free trials
- Video marketing tool built in.
- Full CRM platform.
- Cheap ten-day trial option.
- Built in power dialer.
- Expensive, (but not as expensive as Vulcan 7).
- No real vetting process in place.
- Triple line dialer tool.
- Multiple integration possibilities, even with other number providers and dialer services.
- Relatively cheap.
- Built in CRM.
- UX design is lacking in presentation and functionality compared to the other providers.
- Doesn’t filter out “do not call numbers,” which can lead to very unpleasant conversations and stain your reputation if the people contacted feel compelled to write an online review.
- Pay per minute option – good for Realtors that don’t heavily rely on dial generated leads.
- CRM integration with TopProducer.
- Doesn’t automatically track numbers or leads with CRM – lots more manual work on your part.
- Doesn’t vet numbers to ensure they’re not expired or on “do not call list.”
Different tools will work differently by market, but generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Vulcan 7 is probably the best service, but considering Espresso Agent’s cheap ten-day trial, you might want to try that first and see if it works for you before contracting Vulcan 7. If you’re stingy, and willing to learn a less than simple CRM and UX, Mojo is probably the best option for you.
2. Qualify warm leads early in initial contact
A lot of FSBOs and expired listing owners will remain unwilling to work with a Realtor. It’s important to identify these leads quickly and move on to optimize your time and business productivity. Be sure to establish the following criteria as soon as possible before deciding to pursue a FSBO or expired listing owner further. See that your leads are:
1) Willing to pay a full buyer’s coop off the bat.
-Nothing is worse than spending your time on a deal that eventually falls through due to a misunderstanding of how Realtors are paid. See that the lead is open to your commission rate.
2) Say they will consider hiring a Realtor if they can’t sell it in X amount of time.
-A willingness to hire a Realtor eventually means they probably will. Make sure you’re first in line.
3) Have a house in a price point that makes the follow up worth the time to actually spend the time following up.
-In other words, if it’s a cheap listing, it’s not worth your time.
4) Are realistic with sales price.
-Convincing a FSBO to contract you is hard. Convincing a FSBO to contract you AND significantly lower their asking price is a lot harder.
5) Have actual motivation to sell.
-Ask questions to determine their sale is a necessity like, “Are you moving out of state?” Or, “Did you recently become employed somewhere that makes your current living situation impossible?” Prodding for life events that implicate a home sale are a good way of going about qualifying in this case.
6) Selling in a buyer’s market.
-In seller’s markets, it is a lot easier for FSBOs to succeed on their own. You’ll have much more success if you restrict this technique to buyer’s markets.