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How to Successfully Land More Expired Commercial Listings

By Jim Gillespie | August 7, 2007

Commercial real estate markets are transitioning right now in many areas. Listings are often not moving as quickly as they once were, and for the first time in many years brokers are experiencing markets where commercial listings are expiring before they’re sold or leased. This is extremely common with large parcels of developable land as many developers are concerned about building new projects that won’t be ready for occupancy for one to two years down the road. But the same is also happening in many areas with existing buildings, too.

With this in mind, one of the areas that I’ve often observed being overlooked in commercial brokerage is going after expired listings with a targeted, organized approach. It’s rare to find a commercial broker who goes after listings like these in a very systematic, organized manner. At the very best maybe a phone call or two is made to the owners or a marketing package on the broker or brokerage company itself is sent to the owners in the mail, but often that’s about it.

In the midst of this something to be recognized is the mindset of the typical owner whose listing has just expired with their commercial agent. When they signed the listing with the agent the owner was convinced that the property would be sold or leased by now. But the agent didn’t deliver a buyer or a lessee to the owner, and right now the owner probably doesn’t have the highest opinion of any promises being made to them by commercial agents. So they may need a little time to evaluate where they went wrong before feeling confident once again in choosing the next commercial agent they’ll work with. And this length of time may be days or weeks depending on how motivated they are to get their property back on the market with another agent again.

So for you to be the agent the owners will want to list with you must be persistent, and you must also convince them you’re different than all the other brokers in your market. Keep in mind that the sum total of the owner’s knowledge, logic, and intuition had them list with a broker who didn’t deliver for them, so they may be a little unsure about trusting another broker again.

A solid, ongoing mailing campaign where the owner receives several postcards or mailers a week from you offering insight into why their property probably didn’t sell or lease, and telling them specifically what you do differently than the other brokers in your territory to make sure your listings move, can be a great idea. If you called the owner multiple times a week on the phone without them wanting to hear from you this frequently, you’ll run the risk of actually repelling them away from working with you. But calling them at appropriate intervals that do work for them, while mailing them information that informs them and allows them to read it when they want to, is a much better way to go. And the beauty about this is if you design your mailers one time for an expired listing campaign like this, you can then use the same designs over and over again with all the other owners of expired listings throughout your career.

Successfully landing expired listings involves differentiating yourself from your competitors, educating and inform your owners on the reasons why their listing didn’t move, and convincing them that you’re the broker who has the game plan that will move their property at a price they’ll be very thrilled with.


Join Me for FREE on my Next Teleconference Call on
“Becoming a Master at Getting Exclusive Listings”

If you’ve never been a member of my Commercial Real Estate Inner Circle before, you can join me for FREE on my next Inner Circle Teleconference call on Wednesday, August 15th, when I’ll be interviewing the following two experts:

Robert Campbell, author of the book “Timing the Real Estate Market,” who’s going to tell us when to buy, sell, and hold real estate in our own respective markets. Robert told everyone here in Southern California in August of 2005 to list and sell their homes if they wanted to cash out at the top of the market, and that prediction has proven to be very accurate. In addition, Robert will tell us which markets in the U.S. are now in danger of major reversals in value, and which markets are much safer to invest your money in right now, too.

My second interview on the call will be with Scott Lamontagne of Marcus & Millichap. Scott’s been one of my coaching clients and in 2006 he sold more apartment buildings than any other commercial agent in the entire state of Texas. His success has led him to flying in a private airplane throughout Texas to utilize his time more effectively and close more business as a commercial broker, too. The subject of my interview with Scott is “Becoming a Master at Getting Exclusive Listings” and Scott is definitely an agent who has proved that he’s quite excellent in this arena, too.

If you’d like to learn how you can join me on this teleconference call for FREE…click here.

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