Breaking the Ice with Tough Expired Listings

If the thought of calling or door-knocking expired listings makes you sweat and feel faint, you’re definitely not alone!  After all, who wants to mess with an angry or rude seller who thinks Realtors are clowns or crooks or both?  

The reality is that Sellers who have had their home listed with an agent and then had the listing expire have the right to be frustrated and even angry.  After all, they hired a professional to assist them in selling one of their largest assets which just happens to be the key part of some big plans in their life.   And the agent failed to get the job done and get their property sold!  To the agent it’s just an “expired listing,” but to the homeowners it is much more.  It is a complete breakdown in some pretty major life plans.  I mean, wouldn’t you agree that selling a home and moving to a new home or town is a pretty significant life event?  Absolutely.  And all they are expecting is for their agent  to get the job done.

Is selling a house that difficult for a skilled professional?  (Because that’s who they think they’ve hired.)  And now the listing expires.  They may not have even heard from their agent…or they may have heard a basket full of excuses.  And suddenly, out of the blue, they’re getting bombarded with agents calling them on the phone and knocking on their door and filling their mailbox with unwanted solicitations.

Enter…you.  You may be one of the first solicitors (at least that’s how they see you) or you may be number 10 (And they’ll probably tell you that you’re the 54th agent that’s called that day!).  And that’s when the fun begins.  New agents and timid agents get stumped and stopped.  It’s NOT rejection.  It’s simply the natural, initial resistance from Sellers who’ve been burned.

How do you break through that resistance?  Here’s the four steps to “Break the Ice” with tough expireds:

1. Understand where they’re coming from.  

And don’t take it personally.   Sellers who have had their listing expire have the right to be upset and distrustful. As an agent you have to be able to understand their frustration and connect with them…and then you can get an appointment and help them get their property sold.

2. Repeat and Affirm there responses.  

Yes….even if they’re angry or not the response you want.  It’s part of connecting with them.

3. Ask Questions about What They Want.

This is what my scripts do.  They guide you in asking the right questions that get the seller to engage and that focus on what THEY want, rather than talking about yourself and trying to convince them how great you are.

4. Don’t Give Up.

If you don’t break the ice on the first conversation.  Remember…that’s not rejection.  It’s just part of the resistance.  Sometimes if the ice is really thick, so to speak, it may take more than one attempt to break through it.  Most agents will give up.  Stay consistent in follow up and follow through and you’ll win.

Bottom line, you have to establish yourself as a credible problem-solver that is truly interested in their situation.

Please post your questions and comments and feel free to share!