How To Use A First Impression Vacant Package To Win Vacant Listings

According to the United States Census Bureau, there are over 16 million homes sitting vacant. What does that mean for you, the realtor? Well, it means there is a goldmine of listing opportunities just waiting for you to come calling.

The key is to think quality over quantity. While there are millions of potential leads out there, you stand a much better chance transforming one into a listing if you go after the right vacant.

In this training course you are going to learn:
  • How To Find Motivated Vacant Leads
  • How To Use The First Impression Package
  • How To Follow Up With The Vacant Listings Campaign

How To Find Motivated Vacant Leads

You have a two options for finding vacant leads:

#1: Paid lead sources, such as MelissaData.com or Data Tree can provide you with Vacant Leads for a price.

#2: You can find them yourself. You can use resources like the Property Appraiser’s Website, Clerk of Court, or Zillow to find leads. In addition, you can also simply drive around, look for properties that look vacant, and take down the addresses to follow up later.

Let’s go a little more in-depth on how to find the leads.

Here are some of the different sources we’ve found in our search for Vacant Leads.

MelissaData.com 

Your local Property Appraiser or Tax Assessor

  • Cost: Free.
  • Note: You have to sort through the data they give you and try to make sense of it. Contact them for more information on how to get the info.

Agent Pro 247

  • Website: https://www.agentpro247.com/
  • Cost: $50-120 a month for a monthly membership.
  • Note: They sell their data in a monthly membership. You can get 500 records per month for $50. That might make sense if you’re able to review and work 500 records each month because then you’ll have a new set of listing leads to work each month.

List Source

  • Website: https://www.listsource.com/
  • Cost: The prices ranged from 10 cents to 15 cents per lead on an a la carte basis.
  • Note: I couldn’t figure out their pricing. It seemed to vary — with no rhyme or reason to it. In addition, I didn’t like their website. It seemed out of date and cumbersome to use.

Data Tree

How to find the vacant leads that are the most likely to sell.

You’ll notice that the quality of the vacant leads varies depending on the source. Here are some of the different lead sources, ranked according to their likelihood of selling.

Highest quality leads, most likely to sell: 

Evictions. I’m talking about single family or condo evictions where the property owner doesn’t own more than 3 properties. (Apartment evictions don’t count.)

You can find eviction filings at your local courthouse. Call or visit your local courthouse for more information.

High-End Vacant Lots or Vacant Land — where the owner lives out of town. The best leads are people who have owned the property for years and live out of town.

A lot of them simply hold onto the property for years and just never get around to selling it. You’d be surprised how many are open to selling once you contact them.

Get these leads from one of the paid data providers or your local Property Appraiser or Tax Assessor. Contact them for more information on how to get the lists.

Absentee Owners with other signs that the owner may be interested in selling. Here are some of those signs: long grass, unkept yards, broken windows, delinquent property taxes, or anytime the home simply looks vacant.

If you get a list of Absentee Owners from one of the lead providers above, you can find the ones that are most likely to sell by driving past the homes or checking their tax records on the Tax Collector’s Website.

Medium quality leads, likely to sell:

Absentee Owners who live out of town. Some of the lead providers allow you to buy a list of only this type of lead. 

Absentee Owners where the owners are over 65 years old. In the National Association of Realtors 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the largest percentage of sellers (24%) are between the ages of 65 and 74. So, when you combine an Absentee Property with an owner that’s 65+, they’re much more likely to want to sell. 

You can often find someone’s age just by Googling their name and location. Look at the screenshot below:

An Inside Tip: You can research the age of all the property owners using a Demographic Appender like Data Finder. They will append Phone Numbers for 4 cents per matched record and the person’s age for 4 cents per matched record. 

They have a minimum order of $100. If you want a ton of great vacant leads, then buy a list of 5,000 from Melissa Data, Append their info using DataFinder, and then start working those leads. 

High-End Vacant Lots or Vacant Land - where the owner lives in the area.They aren’t as likely to sell as the owners who moved away. But a lot of them do want to sell.

I’ve listed a lot of properties like this simply because my contact was the one thing that “pushed them off the fence” and got them to take action.

Absentee Owner Tear-Down Leads.This is where the seller will be more likely to sell because they can get a lot more for their property than what they’re earning in rent. 

A perfect example is this property just down the road from our office:

I estimate that each lot is worth about $300,000. So, they could probably sell it for $900,000. And, even if the owner was in town, $900,000 cash is much more attractive than the $1,900 a month they’d get in rent.

For Rent by Owner -  where the owner lives out of town. Rentals are so tough. And very few property owners really understand the risks associated with being a landlord, much less how to deal with those risks.

When you show them the risks, and the fact that you can help them get rid of their properties and put money in their pockets, they often decide to sell instead.

You can find rentals on Zillow, Craigslist, and the Facebook Marketplace.

For Rent by Owner - where they’ve been for rent for longer than 30 days. Most rentals rent out pretty fast. But the ones that are on the market for longer than 30 days are highly likely to want to sell. You can find rentals that have been on the market for a while by sorting for “Newest” on Zillow and scrolling to the oldest rentals. See below: 

Below is a rental that’s been on the market for over 60 days. It’s worth about $350,000 and would be a great listing lead.

When you show them the risks, and the fact that you can help them get rid of their properties, and put money in their pocket, they often decide to sell it instead.

Lower quality, less likely to sell leads.

Yes, these people do sell. But they’re not as likely to sell as some of the people I’ve talked about above.

I wouldn’t send these leads a book, but they are worth a phone call to offer your Digital Book, a free market analysis, and see if they’re interested in selling.

Regular absentee Owners that live in the area and are less than 65 years old.

For Rent by Owner where the owner lives in town.

All Tear-Down Leads. Yes, I know this training is about Vacant Homes. But, you’re going to come across lots of Tear Down Leads. So, you might as well work all of them.

I think it’s worth contacting the Owner Occupants! Some of these properties are such great listings that you don’t need any other selling motivation indicators!

But, if you want to sort out the best leads, look for some of these selling motivation indicators:

  • Over 65 years old.
  • Owner doesn’t live on the property.
  • Behind on property taxes.
  • Formerly listed.

So now that I’ve gone through the overview, pick a source of leads and start building a list.

How To Use The First Impression Package

There are two different ways you can get the package in the seller’s hands:
  • Drop Off Package
  • Mail Package.
Let’s start with your different options for getting the package into the seller’s hands.
*A key to remember here is that these packages are not going to the actual vacant property but the address of where the owner actually lives.* 

The Mailed Package: Insert your book and the package contents inside a bubble mailer. Once you’ve got your books packed up, go to the post office, buy stamps and mail them to your leads.

The Drop Off Package: Put your book in a clear bag so the seller can see it, and leave it hanging around the front door handle or on the porch where they’ll see it. Don’t forget to include a handwritten note and your contact information.

Now that I’ve shown you how to get the package into the seller’s hands, let’s take a look at what’s inside!

The Marketing Pieces that make up the First Impression Vacant Package.

Note: you don’t have to add all of these marketing pieces. Modify the documents to match what you do and the way you do business. You can insert the documents in your book package – before or after your book.

Vacant Lead Cover Letter

This cover letter introduces the agent and explains the purpose of the book.

Agent Comparison Chart

Use this chart to compare what you do to market a home versus what kind of service the average agent typically provides.

Marketing Plan

Use this sample marketing plan to illustrate what you offer and how you market the homes you list. Feel free to modify this to match what you will do to market your customer’s home.

Reference Letters

Add testimonials and references from customers and colleagues to this document.

Photo Brochure

This will prove that you are going to advertise the home better than other agents.

Follow Up With This Vacant Leads Campaign

The Vacant Leads Campaign includes all the necessary elements to run a seamless campaign and start getting listings immediately. It starts with your First Impression Package and progresses through a series of follow-up letters and even phone scripts. We’ve even established a timeline, so you know exactly when to follow up with the next letter or phone call. All you need to do is list the home; we’ve done the hard part for you.

Below you can find all of the letter templates and scripts needed to complete this Vacant Leads Campaign.

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