By Julie Escobar
I had the great pleasure last week of sitting down with one of my favorite REALTORS,® Kathy Casarin to talk about the strategies and solutions she uses to ensure that she gets the expired listings she wants – every time.
Q: Kathy, you came into the business at a tough time – tell me about that.
A: I did! It’s funny a few years ago, homes were selling for $30,000 more than what they had, everyone had multiple offers and people were scrambling to get their license so they could cash in on an “easy market.” I, of course, came into this business AFTER that. I started real estate when people were turning in their licenses! So I knew to make it, I’d have to do some things differently. I got with my broker who really helped me understand how important it was for me to get my name out there. So I started with a website and lucky for me, a representative for ProspectsPLUS! came into my office to do a workshop and introduced me to your software, and it was a blessing for a brand new agent – I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel!
Q: I’m glad for that – what made you decide on working with Expireds as your niche of choice?
A: Well, I’m not much of a cold calling person to start with, and since I had a marketing background, in many cases, I could see the reasons the house didn’t sell. With Expireds you already know they’re motivated to move the property, so it seemed like a good way to build my business, get new listings and like my broker taught me, get my name out there!
Q: Well, it worked given that you were named one of the Top 50 Realtors on the Rise by RIS Media two years ago, the top listing agent in 2009, and top sales agent for 2008-2009 for your company! Share with us some of your secrets to success!
A: Sure! I knew that to compete in my market, especially without having a lot of experience, I had to do the homework and brand myself as the professional to turn to. For me, putting a system in place to help me list those expireds just made sense. So, I put together a comprehensive pre-listing package that I send out to every expired that comes on the market. The package helps present me as a professional who is ready, willing and able to start marketing their property and provides the seller with valuable information and insights they need to make the best decisions for their families. In many cases, that package alone spotlights that I’ve already done more in terms of market analysis and marketing preparation than the other agents in they’ve talked to. So it enables me to get the call not to interview me as an agent; but to say, “Come over and list my house.”
Q: Sounds like you’ve got a well oiled machine at this point. Can you give us a sneak peek at what’s inside that pre-listing package?
A: Sure, I keep a lot of the pieces that don’t need customizing printed and put them together in advance. That way, every day I can look at the Expireds that come on the market, quickly add custom pieces to the pre-assembled ones and send the packages out. It a great way to start your day when you know that before you even go out for your morning run, you’ve put 2-5 packages in the mail and you’re pro-actively moving your business forward. Even if there are no Expireds that day, I recommend going back through your MLS and looking at the listings that expired 3-6 months ago and see if they were sold or re-listed. If not, don’t assume they’re not a good prospect! I’ve gotten a lot of listings this way and the sellers are thrilled that they weren’t forgotten! I think of it as planting seeds. If you’re always planting – you’ll always have something to harvest!
Sometimes the packages vary depending on the property and if there are obvious reasons it didn’t sell, but some of the main ‘ingredients’ include: