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  • Welcome! This page will show you the basics of the program and how to implement the expired listings program. If you have any questions please email support@lauraduggan.com for help. Make sure to watch both videos below to get started with the program. The entire program is here online so that you have instant access to it and you won't need to wait for something to arrive in the mail. It is all here!
  • 1

    How To Access the Program?

     

  • 2

    Walkthrough Video

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  • 3

    Continue

     

    Identify & monitor your expired listings »

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 4

    Determine Your Criteria

    The more focused and narrow your criteria, the better your success rate should be. Consider the following:

    • What expired listings are the best "fit" for you? Identify areas that you want to target. Do you want to target neighborhoods where you have the greatest market knowledge or where you have recently sold a home? You can do this by zip code, neighborhood, subdivision, the area around your child's school, neighborhoods built by a certain builder, etc.
    • Identify the type of property that you want to list. Do you want to focus on single family homes, bungalows, rental properties, out of town sellers, estates, starter homes, retirement, condos, garden homes, waterfront, historic homes, downtown lofts, or a particular age of home? Where is your expertise and your interest?
    • Identify the price range you want to target. Any price range is fair game as long as you know your numbers. By doing monthly market statistics, you can see what price ranges are selling. We look at these numbers monthly and yearly to plan our targets. If you've ever wanted to "move up" in price range, the expired listing program is a great way to do that too. You just have to know your numbers.
  • 5

    Review the Expired Listings

    Every day someone on your staff should pull the expired listings that meet your criteria and hand you the print out for each house. (Have your staff person check to see if it has been relisted before sending the first mailing). There will be a greater number of listings toward the end of the month because agents tend to put the end of the month as their expiration date. You should review the list and decide which expired listings to put in your program. Note: The first time you pull listings, go back 12 months and pull all expired listings that meet your criteria. Some may have been off the market for months.

  • 6

    Selecting the Right Expired Listings

    You want to choose listings that give you the best opportunity to sell them. Answer the following questions:

    • Does this listing fit into my criteria (area, price range, property type, etc)?
    • Is there something about the condition, access or pricing of this listing that I know I can change and get it sold?
    • Who was the prior listing agent? If it is someone in your market with a strong record, you may want to pass on the listing. On the other hand, there are some agents in my market that I love to follow, and I look for their listings when they expire because I know that I can get them sold.
    • Is the property vacant or have a tenant? Tenants usually mean trouble unless you can get them out. I tend to skip those unless the seller lives in another city. If the property is vacant, I know I can get it staged and get it sold at no cost to the seller.

    Note: The number of expireds that you select each week will vary with the time of the month and the time of the year. I generally select 25-30 a month for my team to target. You may want to choose more, or you may want to do less. The important thing is to choose wisely.

  • 7

    Additional Background

    Once I make my selection, I have my staff pull the tax record so I can explore the listing further. I want to see if the seller is occupying the property or if they live somewhere else. Locate vacant owners from the tax records. I want to see how the last tax valuation compares to the last list price. Sometimes a bad tax valuation will keep a property from selling because the taxes are out of line. I also look at the deed history so I know how long the seller has owned the property and what he owes on it.

  • 8

    Enter selected listings into an Excel spreadsheet

    You need to be able to monitor how many mailings each listing has received and have contact information available. We recommend an assistant maintain the Excel spreadsheet and provide you with a weekly copy. A mailing should be going to the list every 3 to 5 days and there are 5 standard mailings and additional optional bonus letters, so tracking your mailings and status is important.

    Get Started by Setting Up Your Campaign Tracking »

  • 9

    Start the mailings

    The first of five mailings should be started to the listings you selected. See tab three above "Mailing 1-5" that explains each of the mailings. (Enter sent mailings into the spreadsheet when completed).

  • 10

    Review and update

    Review the entire list of expired listings weekly that you are marketing to and modify the list. Homes should be checked weekly so that listings that have gone back on the market with other agents should be removed. (Update the spreadsheet as needed).

  • 11

    Improve Your Criteria & Future Mailings

    Monthly review your criteria and determine if your criteria should be expanded or narrowed based upon your results, changing market conditions, and/or your recent sales. We've provided language for the letters but you might want to adjust the language slightly to fit your writing style. Additionally determine how to more individualize each mailing, if additional attachments you recently created should be included in any mailings, and determine if bonus letters should be sent to selected or groups of expired listings.

  • 12

    Continue

    Prepare your first mailing »

  • 13

    1st Mailing: 1st Expired Fold Over Card

    The first mailing sets the tone for the entire campaign and is made to look like a formal invitation when the seller receives it. This mailing is so impressive that it sometimes gets the job done with one mailing! (see the Manual for more explanation) You want this mailing to make a WOW impression and to separate you from the other agents vying for the seller's attention. When the seller opens your piece, and he will open it first, the watercolor-like rendering of his home will capture his attention and demonstrate your skill and creativity.

    • Locate your card stock. The paper for this mailing is important. The fold over card and
      matching envelope are A-9 in size and an off white or eggshell color like you would find with
      formal invitations. You can check with your local stationary store to see what they carry or you
      can order the one we use from the member section in our site. The card stock that we use is Neenah 65# Teton with a felt finish (to absorb the ink just right) in a color called Cover. It is 8.5 X 11 and scored in the middle so that it goes through our desktop printer but folds easily. It also has a deckled edge on the bottom of the front flap, another elgant touch. Your card stock does
      not have to be deckled but it does give it a nice formal look.
    • Print the envelopes and the cards, inside and out, using the "monotype corsiva" font so that it
      looks like the typeface on a party invitation or formal announcement.
    • For the envelope, print your name and home address in the upper left hand corner. (See sample
      below)
    • For the exterior front flap of the card, "snag" the photograph of the home from the expired
      listing in the MLS and image in a color Silhouette onto the front ot the fold over
      stationary card. If your MLS won't allow you to use their photo, Google the house address and
      see if there is a suitable image. You can also use a generic photo of another house similar to the
      expired. Beware of copyrights if the photographer has marked the photo and use a different
      photo. (See samples of Exterior cards below) 

      Note: Each printer is different. Some will print to the edge of the cardstock, called a full bleed, and some printers will only provide a border around the picture, which I found still works fine. My printer is a simple Epson Stylus Photo RX58 but most desktop printers should work.

      Note: If the photograph that the agent used is not a good one, I use the picture and add a P.S. to the message that says, “Pictures say a thousand words. Your home will really benefit from our professional photography.”

    • Print your name, company name, phone number and email address across the back (exterior) of the fold over card on the bottom so that the seller knows your contact information (see sample below).
    • The inside language of the card is to reflect the uniqueness of your marketing approach and language is included in the sample inside card below.
    • Sign each one of the cards yourself and include a business card inside.

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    Use the printing guide to get the best prints »

    Preferred Paper: Find paper at a local store or order custom paper

  • 14

    3-5 days later

    2nd Mailing: 2nd Expired Fold Over Card

    The second mailing and the first expired letter describes how our marketing program is different from what other agents use because the focus of the marketing is the property, not us or our company. The second mailing explains to the seller that 92% of all buyers start their home search on the internet and this requires a completely different marketing approach. Buyers purchase lifestyle and stories. ( See Manual and Webinar for more information). This mailing is to let the seller know that his home has a story and that our marketing program focuses on that story. Included in this mailing is a high quality, one page marketing piece showing photos and a brief description of the home with the web address of the Homesite prominently displayed. The seller sees the concept first-hand and will typically go to the website that I have created for property in the brouchure.

    • Build your demonstration single property website as an example for all the sellers who will receive your communications. You may also use a website that you used for another property. Many companies provide single property real estate websites (our recommendation is under the Resources tab). Find a single property website product that focuses on the home not the agent. Fill in the website with extensive professional photography and content. You can definitely use one of your prior listings if you build individual websites. (examples are in the Resource tab). The better the prepared site, the more the seller will understand the importance of this approach. You can use the same website demonstration for all you expired listings, or build differrent ones for differrent market areas or types of property. The ones I use are inexpensive but elegant.
    • After you have built the sample website prepare a flyer on the house . (Examples are below and in the Resources tab.) This flyer will be included in this second mailingThe website address for the listing is purchased as part of the single property website so no need to purchase the website address in advance.
    • Prepare the second mailing on your stationary. It is recommended that the mailing look more formal than most promotion letters and not include pictures and large banners. (See examples below.).
    • Sign the letter yourself.
    • Instead of sending a business card with this letter, enclose the marketing flyer from the demonstration website or from one of your current or previous listings that says, “You’re Invited to a Virtual Open House, No RSVP Required”. (See example below and in the Resources tab.)

    Microsoft Publisher 2003

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    Microsoft Publisher 2007

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    Microsoft Publisher 2010

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    Microsoft Word 2007

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    Preferred Paper: Use high quality stationary paper with your logo and business information.
    (No agent photo)

  • 15

    3-5 days later

    3rd Mailing: 3rd Expired Fold Over Card

    The third mailing is similar to the first mailing Foldover card, with different interior language and an additional marketing piece called a "mini brochure" included. I use a different photo of their home from the MLS for this mailing. Again, the idea is to capture their attention. This time, however, we also printed the web address for their home onto the front of the card. Remember you don't need to purchase this in advance.

    • Create a mini brochure using the information for the property from your sample website (See example below.) This is the size of a tented business card and will be placed inside the Foldover card. They can be printed at a local copy store.Note: Sellers love these mini brochures. I give my sellers a stack of them to carry in their wallets and purses and to pass out to their friends and business associates.
    • Build the Exterior of the Foldover card as before, however if possible, use another silhouette photo of their home. If possible use a backyard pool shot or a view shot. If those don't exist, use the best interior photo available. If there are no other photos, we use a professional interior shot that we have taken from another listing.
    • Build the Interior of the card using the new language in the example below.

    Microsoft Publisher 2003

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    Microsoft Publisher 2007

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    Microsoft Publisher 2010

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    Microsoft Word 97-2003

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    Microsoft Word 2007

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    Microsoft Word 2010

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    Use the printing guide to get the best prints »

    Preferred Paper: Find paper at a local stationary store or order custom paper

  • 16

    3-5 days later

    4th Mailing: 4th Expired Fold Over Card

    This letter focuses on the three reasons that a property does not sell---price, condition and marketing. While it briefly addresses the price and condition, the focus again is on your unique marketing program. Sellers are afraid that real estate agents take the listing and then forget them and that there is no one there to sell their home. This letter addresses just that. It shows the seller that marketing with the property website provides the buyer with answers to all of their questions without regard for day or time. The letter also emphasizes the importance of pricing within the market, staging the home to highlight its best features and professional photography. In essence, it positions us as attentive experts ready to provide any service needed to get the home sold. Remember, these listings have already expired once so giving the seller lots of communication about the Internet viewings and the feedback from actual showings is a critical component to your success in selling the property.

    • Identify listing activity reports that you will provide the seller. These report the activity that your listing has received. Remember, these listings have already expired once so giving the seller lots of communication about the Internet viewings and the feedback from actual showings is a critical component to your success in selling the property.
    • We also use Homefeedback.com to follow up every showing. Sellers can log onto the account you create for them or you can send them the agent feedback after every showing. They also have a cumulative report that I send monthly or when I am trying to get a list price reduction to reposition the listing in the marketplace.
    • We also show internet activity to the seller every month. We use Realtor.com to show Internet viewing statistics and a company called RealTour.Monthly, we develop 3 general market reports: 1 by price band, 1 by area, and 1 by zip code. Each report shows solds, inventory, months of inventory, average price and average days on market. These are our primary report to sellers and is sent to each seller monthly (examples are in the Resources tab).Market reports can be purchased, and some are excellent, however most look generic and are usually not specific or current enough for the seller.
    • Prepare the fourth mailing on your stationary with the language in the examples below.The typeface for every piece and every envelope should remains consistent (Monotype Corsiva). It is recommended that the mailing look more formal that most promotion letters and not include pictures and large banners. (See examples below.)
    • Sign the letter yourself. I usually write a very short personal note on this fourth communication.

    Microsoft Publisher 2003

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    Microsoft Publisher 2007

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    Microsoft Publisher 2010

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    Microsoft Word 97-2003

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    Microsoft Word 2007

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    Microsoft Word 2010

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    Preferred Paper: Use high quality stationary paper with your logo and business information.

  • 17

    7 days later

    5th Mailing: 5th Expired Fold Over Card

    The 5th letter focuses on the quality of your promotions and includes examples of what we do. By the time that this mailing reaches the seller, the seller has had an opportunity to see the types of marketing pieces that we employ and the quality of the pieces. The seller will judge you by the quality of your marketing pieces.

    • Identify the marketing pieces for inclusion with the fifth mailing. If you do not have market pieces I have found examples from other Realtors in your company works well. Market pieces come in many types. Look at your promotional pieces and determine if they represent quality. Would they impress you.?We focus on two and four page brochures created when we have listed the house and the price point justifies it. Our brochures are high quality. They are printed in full color on heavy glossed card stock, and we only use professional photography for the photographs. Typically, the front of the property is printed on the front of the brochure with a descriptive caption and then the web address of the property website. Whether you get your brochures done through your company or have them designed by a printer, they need to be quality.If you do not have promotional materials to include I have seen agents use the marketing pieces from other people within their company or have seen them create pieces from the demonstration property website.If you do not have any promotional pieces, you can still send the fifth communication. Remember this is the last major time to impress the seller.
    • Prepare the fifth mailing on your stationary with the language in the examples below.The typeface for every piece and every envelope should remains consistent. It is recommended that the mailing look more formal that most promotion letters and not include pictures and large banners. (See examples below.)
    • Sign the letter yourself. Include a personal note if you have time.

    Microsoft Publisher 2003

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    Microsoft Publisher 2007

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    Microsoft Publisher 2010

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    Microsoft Word 97-2003

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    Microsoft Word 2007

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    Microsoft Word 2010

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    Preferred Paper: Use high quality stationary paper with your logo and business information.

  • 18

    7 days later

    6th Mailing: 6th Expired Letter

    • The sixth letter contains a list of references (names, addresses, and other contact information) or letters of reference from expired sellers whose homes you have sold (See Letter 6 with the letter of reference example).  If you haven't yet sold an expired home this could be an expired listing reference from the company you work for or even references from your non-expired listing sales.

    Microsoft Publisher 2003

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    Microsoft Publisher 2007

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    Microsoft Publisher 2010

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    Microsoft Word 97-2003

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    Microsoft Word 2007

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    Microsoft Word 2010

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    Preferred Paper: Use high quality stationary paper with your logo and business information.

  • 19

    Download the Complete Set of Mailings

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    Microsoft Publisher 2010

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    Microsoft Word 97-2003

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  • 20

    Continue

    Use the bonus letters to attract more attention »

 

  • 21

    Bonus Letters, Fold Over Card, or Postcard

    I created these additional letters to be used when you want to add more “touches” to your mail campaign. You may want to add them to expired listings that haven’t relisted with another company when you’ve completed the other mailings. Or, you may want to add them to your campaign in neighborhoods that you are farming to get additional coverage. Personalize them to make them your own. These can be printed on letterhead with an enclosure of your choice, sent as foldover cards or they can be sent as a series of postcards.

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    Microsoft Word 2007

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    Microsoft Word 2010

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  • 22

    Program Management Resources