The Great Listings Hoax: Why Agents Are Looking in the Wrong Places for Listings

Real estate has become ultra competitive. You’re competing with 100 other Realtors to get just one Expired listing.

When you try to talk to FSBOs, they don’t want to hear what you have to say. They’ve heard it all before. In fact, you’re the 50th agent to call them. If you're one of 50, you have a very low chance of getting the listing, even if that FSBO does list with an agent.

Let’s not even talk about the commission! Discounters are literally listing homes for free.

What to do? What to do?

The problem isn’t with the industry.

The problem is that you’re looking for listings in the wrong places: Places that are ultra competitive.

So here's the deal: you can go out and you can try to win by competing against very strong competitors, or you can try to do something different.

You don’t need to go where the competition is. If you try to compete with everybody, it's going to hurt. It's going to be hard.

When everyone zigs, you zag. There are huge rewards in doing things differently from the crowd.

Most people want to do what everyone else is doing. There’s nothing to be gained by following the crowd.

Years ago — this is probably 15 years ago — Ben, a Smart Agents Realtor, was driving through a place called Starke, Florida. Starke is in the middle of nowhere, but it's on a main road that connects very large cities to one another.

If you want to travel east from Jacksonville to Gainesville, Tampa or anywhere else on the west coast of Florida, you’re going to go down 301 and drive through Starke.

The traffic can be terrible in Starke. It'll get backed up from one side of town to the other with big rigs, semi trucks, etc. It can take 30 minutes to drive through town.

In fact, the traffic has gotten so bad that the state of Florida is spending $100 million to build a bypass around Starke.

Ben was driving from the north side of Starke to the south side. It was a Saturday, so traffic was heavy and it would have taken him 30 minutes to drive through town.

Instead of driving through town on the same road as everyone else, he turned left at a stop sign. He went over a couple of streets, and he was able to shortcut through half the town just by driving on back roads off the main road.

He was able to save probably 30 minutes of time because he wasn't a sheep. He didn't just follow the same route through Starke, Florida, that everyone else did.

The same goes for real estate: If everybody else is going after FSBOs, going after Expireds, trying to compete with the commission discounters, don't follow the same path.

If you want to get listings, you’ve got to look in places besides where everyone else is looking.

Bottom line: Don’t be a sheep.

Let me show you where to look so you can find easy to get listings with fair commissions and no competition.

Better still, I’ll show you how to get these listings without cold calling, without door-knocking, and without discounting your commission.

So, what should you do?

Go after leads that aren’t as competitive as FSBOs & Expireds.

Here are some ideas for listing niches that aren’t as competitive as FSBOs and Expireds.

Vacant Land

Vacant land. That's another huge opportunity. Selling a 10-acre tract for $500,000 is pretty cool. Since no one wants to sell it, there’s way less competition. And, because the market is hot, it sells quickly.  

An agent sold a 30-acre tract of land for $400,000 and made a really good commission because there was no competition for vacant land.

Find vacant lots in your area, contact the owners, and ask them if they want to sell. The market's hot. It's a good time to sell.

Maybe they want to sell now and get the property off their hands. So there's tons of opportunities if you're willing to look somewhere other than where everybody else is looking. 

Old Expireds

These are a little different from regular Expireds, o you have to approach them differently and look farther back to find them.

Go back a year, two years, three years — even as far as five years back into your MLS — and pull up expireds from five years ago. Make sure they haven’t already sold and they’re not active.

The thing with Old Expireds is that they are often overlooked or forgotten altogether by most agents.

In fact, you’ll probably be the only agent contacting them about listing their house.

Hack the REDX to get the listings. Once you get those leads, you can use the Smart Agents system to convert leads into listings.

Vacant Homes

This is another great niche to explore. You can get these leads from public records and through your county property appraiser’s office. Sometimes, you can get them right off of their website.

Just Google “(Your County Name) Property Appraiser,” and Google should pull up their website.

If you can’t find the information on their website, call them on the phone and ask for help. I’ve had great experience getting them to help.

Now, compile all of the information in your database. When you contact these owners, be sure they understand the benefits of finally selling their vacant home.

Here’s a great blog post on how to list vacant homes.

Pre-Foreclosures

Pre-closures aren’t targeted much, and there are quite a number of them hanging around.

Look them up in the public records. You can buy these leads, as well, on a few different websites.

When you find them, contact them and follow up after that.

Inherited Homes

Work with probate attorneys to get information on any inherited homes they know about.

Give them a referral fee. The owner will listen to their attorney's recommendations, making it easy for you to convince them to list with you.

Check out this blog post to find out more on how to find inherited listings.

Divorces

There is less competition for divorced homes because it’s a sensitive niche and most agents would rather stay away. This gives you an opportunity to snag these leads that scare other agents.

You can find the leads yourself by contacting your county courthouse. The people that work there will help you get the information.

You might also be able to get the information off of the county clerk of court’s website. In some areas, it is called the Register of Deeds.

Just Google “County Name Courthouse,” and the correct website will probably show up at the top of the results. You will want to look up divorce cases and look for recent divorces.

You can also work with divorce attorneys and offer them a commission every time they refer you to clients who are looking to sell their homes following a divorce.

Here are more details on how to find divorced homeowners who have to sell.

Rentals That Want to Sell

People usually rent out homes for three reasons:

  • They don't have time to sell.
  • They think they won't be able to sell.
  • They don't think they will get the right price.

These are the perfect leads to win over. Finding them online is easy. You simply need to show them that you can sell their house for the right price. 

Convince them you will get it sold and for the price they want. It's low hanging fruit. Here’s how to get landlords to stop renting and sell.

How To Contact These Leads

Here are a few good scripts you can use to contact some of these leads:

Script for contacting a person who owns a vacant home 
or a home that rented about 9-10 months ago

Step 1: Make sure you are talking to the owner. Call and ask for the owner by their first name only: "Hi, is this [Owner’s Name]?"

Step 2: Ask if they have a minute. “I have a quick question for you. Do you have a minute?” [Wait for them to answer.]

  • If they say “Yes, then continue.
  • If they say “No,” then tell them you will happily call back later and wind down the call.

Step 3: Determine if they are interested in selling. “My name is [Your Name]. I’m a Realtor here in [City Name]. Do you own the property in [City Name] on [Street Name]? [Wait for them to say “Yes.”]

“I was wondering. When do you plan on selling that property?” [Wait for them to answer.]

  • If they say “Yes,” then continue to Step 4.
  • If they say “No,” then thank them for their time and wind down the call.

Step 4: See if they are interested in the book. “I recently published a book that shows how to sell a home for more money. Would you like a free copy of my book?” [Wait for them to answer.]

  • If they say “Yes,” then continue.
  • If they say “No,” then tell them you will call back another time and wind down the call.

Step 6: If they’re still open to talking to you, then get more information to move forward with the process. Ask the following questions and note the answers.

  • “What is your address to mail you a free copy of my book?”
  • “If you were to sell, how soon would you like to sell the property?”
  • “What is the reason that you are considering selling this property?”
  • “Do you have any idea what kind of price you want for the property?”

You can ask whatever other questions come to mind and then finish the call.

If it sounds like the person is open to meeting you, then set up an appointment. Here’s a good script you can use: “If you don’t mind, I can look at the home sometime soon and give you some different strategies that will help you sell it for top dollar. What’s a good time to meet?”

If they aren’t interested in meeting, then send them your book and follow up another time.

Script for contacting an old expired and offering them your book

Step 1: Make sure you are talking to the owner. Call and ask for the owner by their first name only: "Hi, is this [Owner’s Name]?"

Step 2: Determine if they are interested in selling. “My name is [Your Name]. I’m a Realtor with [Brokerage Name]. The reason I’m calling is because you had your home for sale a little while ago, but it unfortunately didn’t sell. I was wondering if you were interested in selling your home — provided you could get the right price?” [Wait for them to answer.]

  • If they say “Yes, then continue to Step 3.
  • If they say “No,” then thank them for their time and wind down the call.

Step 3: “What kind of price would you need to get in order to sell?” [Wait for them to answer.]

  • If the price is reasonable, then continue to Step 4.
  • If the price is ridiculous, then say “I don’t think I will be able to help you get that price for your property. I appreciate your time. You can contact me if anything changes.” After that, wind down the call.

Step 4: “I recently published a book that reveals five home-selling strategies that anyone can use to sell a home that didn’t previously sell. Would you like a free copy?” [Wait for them to answer.]

  • If they say “Yes,” then continue to Step 5.
  • If they say “No,” then thank them for their time and wind down the call.

Step 5: “Terrific! If it’s OK with you, I’d like to meet with you and take a look at the home. That way I can show you how these different home-selling strategies can be used to get more buyers interested in your home. What’s a good time that I can stop by, take a look at the home, and give you a free copy of my book?” [Wait for them to answer and setup the time.]

  • If they are hesitant to have you drop off the book, then say: “I understand your concern. What’s your mailing address to mail you my book?” [Wait for them to answer and write down their address.]

Step 6: If necessary, get more information to move forward with the process. Ask the following questions and note the answers.

  • “If you were to sell, how soon would you like to sell the property?”
  • “What is the reason that you are considering selling this property?”

You can ask whatever other questions come to mind and then finish the call.

Use Our Books To Get These Listings

The truth is that these are some of the hardest leads to find. You’ve got to put in the work to find them first. But, once you find a couple of them, convincing them to list with you is easy.

The secret to convincing these leads to list with you is to show them you know what you’re doing, that you’re the best in the industry — you’re an authority in the industry.

There is no better way of doing this than giving them a book that you’ve authored as your first introduction. They’ll be impressed by your knowledge in the industry. You’ll come across not as a salesperson, but as an agent who truly wants to help them out.

So get yourself a few books and send them over to your lead. Follow up and see the listings stream in like never before!

Get a Free Sample Today

Want to try the books out commitment-free? You can order a free sample of our Business Card book to get started.

Our MyBooks membership also includes customized websites and social media marketing tools. We’ve made content licensing easy for real estate agents.

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Charles-Banner-4-1-1-3


avatar_joe Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here

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