4 Ways to Find Expired Listings Leads & Tips to Convert Them

Expired listings are properties that were on the market but failed to sell before the listing’s expiration date. Agents can get expired listing leads by identifying or purchasing them and then contacting them directly or through email, text, and direct mail lead nurturing campaigns and advertising. Expired listings are a valuable lead generation source for agents who want to capitalize on this as a targeted niche or secondary market to boost sales.

REDX makes it easy to reach out and nurture expired listing leads before other agents even find them. It’s a real estate prospecting platform that automates the search for expired MLS listings based on your criteria, eliminating the need for you to spend time and effort manually searching for leads. Your new leads are then added to the platform’s Vortex client relationship manager (CRM) for follow-up. Pricing starts at $59.99 per month, which makes it an affordable option for most real estate agents.

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4 Ways to Find Expired Listings Leads

To convert expired listings into active listing opportunities, you first need to be strategic in finding expired listing leads. There are different methods to find these types of leads, and they vary based on time and cost. You can generate leads organically by scouring listing sites and networking or through paid means by purchasing them from lead generation websites.

Here are four ways to generate expired listing leads:

1. Identify Expired Listings With the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

Many agents manually search the multiple listing service (MLS) for expired listings, copying and pasting each one they find into a contact list or their CRM. To search the MLS for leads that are about to expire, go into your MLS dashboard and pick the areas you want to search by city or town. Next, set the expiration date of your search to within two to four weeks to find listings that will expire soon. This will help you generate a contact list.

From there, you’ll need to periodically follow up with sellers on your contact list using lead nurturing tactics laid out in the next section to see if they’d like to relist their property with a new agent. While this method requires manual data mining from the MLS and checking back to make sure that the listing does expire, the leads you generate are free except for your time. MLS service search option for expired listing.

Example MLS service with expired listing filter (Source: Begin to Win)

Though free, there are a lot of moving parts when you manually search for expired MLS listings. In addition to conducting these searches regularly, you also need to establish a follow-up strategy for nurturing these leads.

Keep in mind that expired listing leads tend to take a longer time to convert since most previously worked with a listing agent and likely went through an emotional and stressful experience. In order for them to try again, you need to build their trust and give them hope that you can get a different result.

This is why using a CRM like Pipedrive can be a game-changer. Pipedrive is an incredibly effective and affordable tool that automates emails, texts, and direct mailers, and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to give you more insights into each individual contact. Using Pipedrive, you can sort your leads into categories and specify which messages and campaigns to send in order to nurture and convert leads through targeting.

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If you don’t have a CRM or are looking for a real estate CRM with specific functionality, check out our guide on the best CRMs for real estate professionals.

2. Ask Other Real Estate Agents

Develop and foster relationships with real estate agents who are open to exchanging their expired listings with leads of your own through networking, email, and social media. In addition to exchanging leads, some real estate agents will share their expired listings for a fee or commission. Because no two agents market a home the same way, it’s possible you will be able to sell their listing(s) successfully using a different marketing strategy.

You can easily find and join national networking groups like Referral Exchange or Agent’s Referral Network, or network with other real estate agents in local groups through platforms like Meetup. There are also many local chapters of real estate associations to consider joining, like:

  • NAR (National Association of Realtors)
  • NAHREP (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals)
  • IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management)
  • NREIA (National Real Estate Investors Association)
  • NAREB (National Association of Real Estate Brokers)
  • WCR (Women’s Council of Realtors)

3. Buy Expired Listings

If you want to target expired listing leads but can’t spend hours searching for them, an alternative option is to buy them. While some real estate agents might be uncomfortable buying leads, it eliminates the need to scrape what is essentially the same information from public records and the MLS yourself. To obtain a quality list of expired leads, buy from a reputable online lead platform and employ search parameters based on your area, property type, and real estate agent goals.

The REDX lead generation platform is an efficient, cost-effective source for purchased leads. It uses automation to scour the MLS to pull accurate contact data based on your criteria. By delivering For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and expired leads into the platform’s Vortex CRM, you can view lead contact information, tax information, and listing details with the click of a button.

While REDX does have a setup fee, it discounts this fee by $150 for Fit Small Business readers. The discount will be automatically deducted when you click over to their site from the button below.

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REDX system filters result for expired listing.

REDX expired listings with CRM (Source: REDX)

4. Search Public Records

Searching public records for expired listings is another free method of generating real estate leads, although it is the most time-consuming. To do so, visit your area’s public records archive, often at a city hall or county courthouse, to request access to listing records for your area. These records can provide valuable information about a property and the owner, including things like the purchase price history, divorce proceedings, estate references, and time on the market.

It’s important to note that real estate agents can spend hours flipping through paper documents or online lists to find accurate contact details for an expired listing. Although this method is free, you need to consider whether the amount of time spent finding one or two leads is costing you too many hours that would be better spent on active sales and lead nurturing.

7 Ways to Nurture & Convert Expired Listings Leads

Now that you’ve found new leads among expired listings that need your assistance, it’s time to use tools that convert these leads into clients or nurture them until they are ready to use your services. Automating marketing communication, placing targeted ads, and reaching out to expired listing clients directly can all produce high results.

Read ahead for seven tips to convert and nurture expired listing clients:

1. Send an Expired Listing Letter

While phone calls and emails can be faster and more direct methods for contacting expired listing leads, you may have difficulty getting in touch with the owner. Another way to personally connect with sellers is to send an expired listing letter. Make sure you use professional letterhead and personally sign each one. Make your letter personal, but focus on the seller rather than yourself.

Close the letter with an invitation to set up an appointment to discuss sales options further. If you’ve already made multiple attempts to contact a seller, your letter needs to capture their attention by outlining a clear sales path with fresh marketing ideas. If you want to brush up on your skills and get tips for successfully using letters for lead generation, here are expert tips for how to write the best expired listings letter.

An example of expired listing letter

Excerpt of an example expired listing letter (Source: Finger Lakes Realtor & Copywriter Don Stevens)

2. Set Up Drip Marketing Campaigns

Drip marketing campaigns are a series of automated emails sent to your contact list at regular intervals. They aim to move homeowners with expired listings further through the sales funnel toward relisting their home with you as their real estate agent. Drip campaigns are a proven way to nurture leads on a consistent basis, which is an essential part of getting new listings.

However, emailing too frequently can make your messages come across as spam. While it is a good practice to send an email right after first meeting or being introduced to a new lead, subsequent emails should be spaced out between two days to two weeks so as not to annoy a potential contact. Agents who are successful in real estate use testing and analytics to adjust marketing campaigns until they find the timing that gets the best results.

You should also make sure the emails in your drip campaign offer value, not just a solicitation. Include information like neighborhood and market reports, seasonal greetings, helpful tips, and “just sold” property announcements. For your expired listings leads in particular, you can send information about what causes listings to expire, simple changes that can prevent it, or case studies on how you’ve sold previously expired listings.

Graphic example of drip email marketing workflow.

Example of drip email marketing workflow (Source: Placester)

To get started with email drip campaigns, choose an email marketing tool with the right functionality as well as tips and education to make the most successful drip emails. Placester’s tools are designed for real estate agents. In addition to email marketing, they offer a website builder and access to professional marketing services. Best of all, you can get started for free.

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3. Advertise on Social Media

Social media real estate ads appear in social feeds, and these platforms have some of the most advanced targeting capabilities available online. Although there can be a significant learning curve, running ads on social media can be an incredibly effective way to get your name and offer in front of owners of expired or soon-to-expire listings.

Your real estate ads must be specific and speak directly to the pain points of expired listing owners. Show them that you are an effective, experienced real estate agent who can sell their property and that you actually care about them. Ideally, your ad will take interested sellers to a dedicated real estate landing page where you can offer something of value, such as a common list of reasons homes fail to sell, in exchange for their contact information.

Facebook ad example for expired listings from River Walk Home Buyer

Example of a social media ad targeting expired listings (Source: Facebook)

If you don’t have the time to learn how to create and manage your own real estate ads, work with the digital marketing experts at Artur’in. Artur’in provides ad management services specifically for real estate professionals for Google, Facebook, and more, so they can get you better results in less time.

Alternatively, if you want a tool to help you create your ads without outsourcing the job completely, try the Facebook ad tool available with Real Geeks. This tool can help you create real estate ads in a matter of minutes, providing the right guidance to get your ads in front of the right people.

4. Execute SMS Marketing Campaigns

SMS, which stands for “short message service,” is a method of communicating and connecting with leads by text messages. With a 98% open rate, text marketing offers the highest probability by far of reaching your contacts. This is a perfect way to quickly touch base with potential sellers about open houses or interested buyers and shows the homeowner that you are available and ready to do business.

A text campaign for expired listings should only be used after initial contact due to spam laws and the personal nature of a text. Just as with email, you need to have permission to send marketing messages via text. Texting someone who has not approved text correspondence might be considered an invasion of their privacy and could be a legal violation. Plus, if recipients report your messages as spam, your phone number could be added to blacklists and online complaint directories.

An example of marketing text message from a real estate agent.

Example marketing text (Source: Dial My Calls)

Consider using automation software from a CRM like LionDesk to continually stay on top of your real estate lead generation and follow up. LionDesk can help you create a strong website, automatically send out physical mailers, and track all of your contacts. In addition, the texting platform enables you to schedule marketing campaigns and track all of your conversations.

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5. Send Attention-getting Mailers to Expired Listing Leads

Direct mailers like brochures and real estate postcards can be a handy way to move a seller past the consideration phase of relisting an expired property with you. Send an eye-catching postcard inviting expired listing leads to reach out and set up an appointment with you to demonstrate how your marketing strategy can help them achieve their goal of selling.

Direct mail marketing template for expired listing leads from ProspectPLUS.

Example of direct mail marketing to expired listing leads (Source: ProspectsPLUS!)

If you want to send mailers that consistently get responses, use a service that caters to real estate professionals and offers huge time savings vs designing mailers yourself. ProspectsPLUS! offers ready-to-go templates specifically for expired listings. Start with one of their premade templates, then add information about other properties you sold in difficult areas or during slow buying times. Make sure your mailer has a clear call to action (CTA) inviting the recipient to reach out to discuss options for their own property.

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6. Call & Email Expired Listing Owners Directly

The most tried-and-true method turning leads into new clients is contacting them directly. Develop expired listing scripts specifically for marketing calls and emails, and keep in mind that owners of expired listings are different from other types of leads. It’s especially important to build rapport with sellers who recently had a bad experience before trying to educate them about their failed attempt to sell their home.

As with any kind of cold calling or emailing, using expired listing scripts helps you connect with leads more efficiently and effectively. Your expired listing script should build rapport and further the conversation while also being concise, presenting a next step, and offering a solution for the homeowner.

Here are some of the most noteworthy tips when creating an expired listing script:

  • Briefly introduce yourself
  • Be concise—get straight to the point
  • Be clear about your intent and offer
  • Focus on the seller
  • Demonstrate why you’re the right person to sell their home
  • Address common objections and pain points
  • Ask to schedule a meeting (if sending by email, include a link to your appointment booking software, such as Calendly)
An example of expired listing script from Fit Small Business.

Example expired listing script from Fit Small Business

For calls, emails, and even texts, Chime’s communication toolkit may be the most powerful and efficient tool. Its power dialer and click-to-call functionality automatically dials the lead’s phone number, leaves a voicemail prerecorded by you, schedules follow-up calls, and adds notes. Chime also has multiple email integrations and templates for various types of real estate leads.

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7. Offer a Marketing Strategy Presentation

After a homeowner has done all the work to sell their home and then ended up with an expired listing, they often feel frustrated and burnt out. Offering them a presentation of your marketing strategy can provide them with some clarity about what went wrong during their previous attempt, and showcase how you can get the job done successfully.

Highlight important marketing strategies, home features, or aspects of the property that were ignored during the first attempt, as well as a few options of sales approaches. Make sure to discuss the marketing tools or strategies you’ve successfully used in the past, and include specific numbers on previous successful sales whenever possible. Ultimately, your marketing presentation proves your dedication to selling the expired listing, which can inspire the homeowner to relist their property.

Fiverr's list of freelance presentation designs.

Examples of freelance presentation design professionals (Source: Fiverr)

To win over skeptical clients, your marketing presentation must look professional. With Fiverr, you can hire graphic designers and marketing consultants to help you create well-designed, compelling presentations that can blow your leads away. Choose from a variety of price points and experience levels to find a freelance pro and design that will fit your business needs and brand style.

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5 Tips for Increasing Your Chances of Securing Expired Listings

Expired listings are complicated to secure because owners are wary of going through the selling process again after a failed attempt. They may feel discouraged, overwhelmed, and less inclined to trust another real estate agent. As a result, when approaching expired listing leads, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Do your due diligence: While it is important to ask the seller why they believe their home didn’t sell, it’s also a chance to showcase your expertise. Review comps in the area and look for any mistakes the previous agent may have made relative to pricing or marketing the property.
  • Be different: Clearly explain how your brokerage and marketing strategy are different from other options and how your way is going to be an improvement over the previous effort.
  • Offer client testimonials and social proof: Social proof, such as positive reviews and testimonials from past clients, help to establish trust and give the seller increased confidence in your ability to sell their home.
  • Be patient: Sellers who were not successful the first time may take a lot of time, even several months, before they are willing to sign with another agent.
  • Be persistent: While it is a good idea to introduce yourself to potential sellers with recently expired listings, don’t forget to also target sellers whose leads expired six to 36 months ago, as they might be more willing to give a new agent a chance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much do expired listings cost?

There are two types of costs for expired listings: time and money. Scraping the MLS and searching through tons of public records can be a time-consuming task. Pricing for using a service like REDX to constantly search the MLS according to real estate agent criteria and deliver them into a CRM starts at $59.99 for one search per month.

Why do I need a CRM when targeting expired listings?

A CRM helps real estate agents track the progress of leads throughout the sales cycle. Whether you buy expired listing leads or you dig through the MLS, you need to track where each lead is in the sales pipeline. Choose a real estate CRM with the functionality that you most need, like Pipedrive, Market Leader, or an all-in-one CRM and marketing tool like Real Geeks. For more ideas, check out five ways to get real estate leads using Real Geeks.

How long does it take to get an expired listing?

It can take anywhere from days to months to get an expired listing lead to convert to a client. The most important part of working with expired listing leads is finding a fresh approach for the seller through marketing, real estate agent connection, or home positioning. Gaining an expired real estate listing depends heavily on your ability to build trust with the owner and help them see the potential in representation by a new real estate agent.

Bottom Line

Real estate agents often relist expired listings with success, which makes it a great opportunity for agents to get more listings to grow their business and income. Expired listing targeting is best for agents looking for a niche focus or secondary source of real estate income. Getting expired listings can be time-consuming, but agents with a powerful marketing strategy, organized CRM, and carefully crafted phone, email, and mail outreach can increase the likelihood of selling these properties.

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