Real Story of a Real Agent + 8 Expired Tips

August 11, 2011

in Expireds, FSBO, Prospecting, REDX, Testimonials

Chris Cassidy, REDX Client since 2009

Expired Agent: Chris Cassidy

  • Started using REDX March 2009 – 1 MLS, 2 FSBO areas
  • Made more than $17,000 in gross commission first 12 months just from REDX expired and FSBO leads  ROI: 1800% return
  • Year-to-date closed 5 REDX expired transactions
  • About 30-40% of listings are REDX expireds and FSBOs at any given time
  • He is tracking to make at least $100,000 this year with $50,000 of that from REDX expireds and FSBOs

At REDX we love to hear from our clients about their success in the field. This week RE/MAX featured Chris Cassidy’s tips on working expired listings. Cassidy is going on 11 years at RE/MAX and 16 years as a Realtor. His story is one of riding the wave of prosperity in the ‘90s and early 2000s to real hard knocks. In 2009, he hit rock bottom and his wife, Jennifer, gave him an ultimatum to either start making money as an agent or get out of real estate.

“I had a lot of good and great years as an agent – everyone did because it was so easy,” Cassidy said. “But when the market turned south the things that worked before stopped working.”

Cassidy is very open about how when times were easy he had slowly moved away from the fundamentals of real estate. “I got really distracted with all the fads in running a business and in real estate.” So when the recession came he said he did not have a real business plan to make money.

“When my wife gave me the ultimatum I knew that in order to survive I had to innovate,” Cassidy said. “Look, I didn’t even have the money to pay for REDX when I signed up. I had to put it on a credit card.”

Cassidy tried working expireds a handful of times before 2009, but had no success, he says, because he didn’t have a system to do it in. Today, Cassidy says he uses the REDX seven days a week.

“It takes a few minutes a day to run the searches,” he said. “Less than an hour a day total to do the merges for the expired letters and envelopes.”

The eight tips below on tackling expireds is a real plan, from a real agent in the trenches everyday. “I am not going to do 300 deals this year, but I will do at least 25-30.”

In short, Cassidy says, “I wouldn’t be a real estate agent today if I didn’t have REDX. It’s very safe to say I would’ve had to quit the business.”

Tackle Expired Listings in 8 Steps
By Deborah Ball Kearns, RE/MAX Editor
original article: http://bit.ly/onO68V

Here are Cassidy’s eight tips to ignite your efforts:

  1. Do your homework. Search the MLS for expired properties and make a prospecting hit list of the most promising properties based on pricing history, location and condition. To save on time and research, Cassidy uses REDX, a service that searches multiple phone and information databases to deliver the most accurate and up-to-date contact information for expired, FSBO, cancelled and withdrawn listings. It also scrubs the contacts against the National Do Not Call Registry.
  1. Lean on the brand. If you’re just starting out with expired listings, you might encounter skeptical sellers who doubt your abilities. That’s where you can leverage the power of  (your brand).
  1. Knock on doors. The best way to get an expired listing is to offer your help in person. “Some agents want to be low-touch consultants, but now – more than ever – you have to network and talk to people.” Cassidy says. His suggestion: Visit at least two expired prospects per day.
  1. Grab their attention. Cassidy sends an expired-listing postcard that offers a free market report via a 1-800 hotline. The postcard includes direct language such as “Homes are selling in this market, and yours can, too, with the right marketing approach.” Get sellers’ attention by using phrases that encourage them to relist their property with you.
  1. Write persuasive letters. Send personalized letters that speak directly to sellers’ emotions and communicate your value and track record of success. “My first letter is killer; it includes a photo of their home with a sold sign mocked into the image,” Cassidy says. “The letter empathizes with the homeowner and explains that other sellers are in the same boat. It concludes by offering my help and telling the homeowner to give me a call.” Follow-up letters should be sent within a month and include testimonials from past clients explaining the impact you had on the process.
  1. Emphasize your strengths. “I have a table on my website showing the average days an expired listing was on the market before and the time it took me to sell it,” Cassidy says. “The differences are dramatic. Tables, graphics and other visual representations that pack a punch are great ways to show prospects your value.” Also, create a subsection of your website that speaks specifically to expired listings and provides a contact form for prospects to email you.
  1. Be consistent. You’re not going to get leads and contracts overnight so patience is important. “I’ve been working expireds for a year, and things finally started picking up in the last six months,” Cassidy says. “It takes time, work and consistency, so don’t give up right away.” It’s up to you to drill down deep to discover what’s motivating someone to sell and using that as a guide for how to approach marketing, pricing and other factors that will sell the property.
  1. Remove the stress. Cassidy offers sellers a sale guarantee that he won’t take a commission if their property doesn’t sell within 60 days. He also ensures that clients are a good fit from the get-go. “It’s all about risk reversal,” Cassidy says. “Take the stress out of the situation so homeowners don’t have to think about it. Remember: They’ve been through the process already and they’ll be more motivated than most sellers if you make things easy for them.”