Expired Listings Chapter 03

Stand Out from the Competition

 They’ve already “been there, done that”, you’ve got to do something different to stand out!

One of the most obvious niches of real estate, yet also one of the most despised.


Simply put, expired listings represent failure.

The reasons are many, but blame typically falls on the listing agent. So naturally, expired owners tend to have a jaded view of real estate agents in general.

On the flip side, the homeowner has tipped his or her hand. By listing, they made it abundantly clear they have a desire to sell their home.

Additionally, they displayed a willingness to work with an agent.

This makes the owner of an expired listing the ideal lead.The moment their listing expires, it becomes a magnet for other agents hoping to jump in and win the re-listing for themselves.

You’ll likely find that expired owners are sick and tired of answering phone calls from eager agents. You’ll also quickly realize they have been hearing the same thing over, and over, and over again. Each agent they give an ear to has a pitch. Sadly, most of them are basically the same.

 Dare to Be Different!

The good news is with so many agents going after expireds in the same way, it’s easy to stand out from the crowd!

The first step is to find a way to be different from everyone else.

This may be the single most important step you take toward winning expired listings.  As a bonus, you’ll be able to leverage this point of difference in ALL of your calls, contacts, and listing appointments.

The concept is nothing new, and pre-dates the specific theory proffered in the 1940s. At that point, this idea of “being different” was given a specific name: USP – Unique Selling Proposition, or Unique Selling Point by a television ad pioneer.

Call it what you will, Point of Difference, Unique Perceived Benefit, Competitive Advantage, the concept remains unchanged.

Bottom line: You need to show a clear and specific differentiation from others in the same field.

Focus on the Benefits!

Large corporations do this well, both physically and psychologically.  Just ask around for opinions on Coke vs Pepsi. Or try Chevy vs Ford. While comparisons show many similarities between products, these companies have established a strong base of loyal customers. People perceive a value in one or the other.

In real estate, you don’t have a consumable product to flavor, or a utilitarian product to engineer. What you do have is yourself. Nobody else is you, or ever can be.

You are already unique. You’ve just got to take time to find out what you do better or differently than others, and bring it to light.

Keeping your ideal lead in mind, remember this question: “What’s in it for me?

Answer that question in a unique way. Put a twist on your point of difference that benefits a seller, or buyer.

For instance, you have a large team. While you may be tempted to tout that as a point of difference, don’t. Instead, focus on the availability and access a large team provides.  Calls and questions will be answered quickly. A whole team of people is working to make the transaction a success.

See how you make it about them?

Get people to sell FOR you.

Expired home owners want to know what YOU will do differently to get their home sold quickly, and for top dollar.

That brings us to another key tactic for winning expired listings: People buy from people.

Bought anything online recently? Which one carries more value, the glowing sales copy describing an item, or testimonials from real people who’ve bought and used that item?

Testimonials let others do the selling for you!

Want to make a big first impression on expired owners? Build out a testimonial drop-off package.

That’s right, drop off.

You’re creating a point of difference.So while others call, you mail. And while others mail some version of “an expired letter” they begged off another agent, YOU mail a testimonial package.

Don’t look like everyone else.

  • Make sure it says something different. A letter that says the same thing everyone else’s letter says? It will be hard to grab any attention.
  • A Small 1-page letter? This is boring and probably won’t grab anyone’s attention.

There’s a story about a seller that interviewed three Realtors. They didn’t know which one to hire. So they hired one that the dog liked. If you look like everyone else, then you will get the same results they get. A good way to separate yourself is to use direct mail. It’s different than everyone else.

What do most agents do?

Most agents simply cold call. They call the expired and ask, “When do you plan on interviewing the right agent for the job of selling your home?” After the 3rd or 4th (or 20th) call, the seller will most likely view everyone as the same. If you send them a personalized letter, you will stand out from all the other agents that cold call.

But don’t just do “Average Joe” direct mail.

  • Use Unique Stamps
  • Use Doodles on your letters

The third way you can stand out from everyone else is to speak their language. Most agents don’t do this. Instead, they speak their own language by talking about themselves. Often when agents send out a letter, it’s about how great their career has been. Sure, you can get a few listings this way. But there is a better way.

Imagine if you found the perfect Expired Listing. The home expired today and he’s looking for a new agent. Now, he is heading home from work. You happen to specialize in his neighborhood and you’re the perfect agent for him. But, he doesn’t know it.  He’s listening to the radio. All of a sudden the song ends and you come on.

You have 5 minutes to give him your perfect sales pitch. He’ll listen to it as long as you are interesting. He’s a captive audience. Does that sound crazy?

It’s not and all you do is need to send your own “Expired Rocket” package out.

You can do this and have their full attention for five minutes. You could even talk to them for an hour if it’s done right. We call this “What’s In It For Me?”. Pitching toward the seller with this mindset will likely bring you some of the best converting marketing rates you’ve had. Either by talking to them or just sending a “What’s In It For Me?” aka an “Expired Rocket” letter.