Another good source of business is vacant leads — not only vacant homes but vacant land, as well.
In the community where I live, people are buying up vacant lots like crazy, then building homes on them.
I live on the beach in Jacksonville. A lot of homes are beach shacks, and investors will come in, buy the homes, tear them to the ground, and then build two or even three homes in their place. Sometimes, I've seen them build as many as four homes on a lot.
When I was a new agent, vacant homes were one of my best listing sources. I would find vacant lots and homes that the seller wasn't living in. I’d call up the homeowner, or I'd mail them a letter, and I got some good listings from this method. It's an effective and simple strategy.
Finding Vacant Leads Around Town
If you see a vacant home in your farm area, pull it up on the property appraiser’s website and give the owner a call.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you're in a vacation community, there could be people who bought their homes as vacation homes and plan to rent them out on Airbnb or something similar.
However, they may have never pulled them together to make that happen. They could be sitting on a home that they're frustrated with since it was a bad investment, and they want to get rid of it. This is why staying aware of all the vacant homes in your neighborhood is a really good place to start. You can look at teardowns, you can look at lots, you can look at abandoned homes, vacation homes — just pay attention. That's a really good source of leads.
Finding Vacant Leads Online
Another great way to find leads is to use the Melissa Data website. To use it, simply Google Melissa Data. The site has a lot of simple data that you can go through and filter what you want.
Though you have to spend a couple of bucks to access the leads, Melissa Data is totally worth it and will save you a lot of time searching.
Another useful website is Agent Pro 247. The site charges a certain amount per month for either property profiles or lead packages.
Tailor a Listing Presentation for Vacants
Giving a listing presentation to a vacant homeowner is probably going to be different than delivering a normal presentation. You may need to convince homeowners that their homes should be sold, as opposed to convincing them you are different from other agents. You need to prove the benefits of selling to them. Here are a few tips:
1. Be Upfront About Pricing
The best thing to do is to be honest and straightforward about the price. If you’re not, it’s only going to make things worse down the road. Don’t avoid the pricing issue or instantly agree if the seller seems inclined to overprice.
2. Make Sure Your Numbers Make You Stand Out
When you bring up statistics, make sure they fit in your presentation and also stand out. Another great idea is to send over your stats in an email, so the seller knows a little bit before your first meeting.
3. Come With a List of Upgrades or Repairs
Include a list of simple upgrades or repairs that could enhance sales price, such as painting, updating the landscaping, staging and other things that won’t cost a fortune.
4.Highlight Everything With Great Pictures
Whether it’s techniques to entice a bigger audience or staging ideas you’ve done in the past, you need to have detailed pictures of everything so sellers can easily visualize you doing the same for their homes.
5. Close the Deal
This may seem obvious, but many agents stumble around this question or wait for the seller to make a statement first. You shouldn’t wait for the prospect to decide they want to list before you decide to close.
6. Don’t Give Up When The Prospect Says “I have to think about it.”
If a seller claims they need to think about it, it’s the instinct of many agents to give up and not follow up later, feeling it’s a lost cause.
But if you’ve already answered most of their questions and they just seem to be stalling, you can still likely get them to commit. Talk about the burden of maintaining the empty home. Or, if they are renting it out, talk about the hassle of having tenants.
In other words, find out what their main objection or concern is, then address it.
To land leads in this niche, consider using our vacant book, which shows homeowners the benefits of selling vs. renting out their homes. Visit authorify.com to learn more.