While agents flock to expired and for-sale-by-owner listings, the divorce subset of the market is often left alone because of the confusion that surrounds the process of getting listings from divorcing couples. But divorce listings are typically lucrative and minimally competitive.
Curry explained that about 1.2 million couples get divorced every year in the United States and about 61 percent of them list their home for sale.
“There are hundreds of divorce listings in your market every single month,” he said.
Agents stay away from divorce listings is because they are afraid to “ruffle any feathers” and annoy those getting the divorce. But what agents need to understand, Curry continued, is that divorcees are motivated to sell, typically because they need to pay their attorneys and/or need the money to buy new homes.
“When you know how to approach it the right way, it is a gold mine of listings,” he said.
Look at divorce records
Agents can find leads by looking at court records.
“You can literally call the county and ask them when and how you can get the divorcing homeowner’s information,” Curry said.
If the agent doesn’t have the time to look up the records, Curry suggests hiring a virtual assistant from Fiverr to do it.
Fiverr is a platform that allows its customers to hire freelancers for services that range from web design, to copywriting, to clerical work.
“One agent we know, he paid someone $20 on Fiverr and they went and got him 100 divorce leads,” Curry said.
Build relationships with local divorce attorneys
Agents should find divorce attorneys in their markets, create relationships with them, and then ask them to refer them to their clients.
“They are actually really, really happy to give out these referrals because, again, they want this divorce case to be closed and they want to get paid,” Curry said.
Brand yourself properly
When reaching out to people going through a divorce, an agent needs to gain their trust.
Curry said that every social media account an agent has should display the same type of information: their brokerage’s name, their business address, their license number, their contact information and their website link.
“If someone pulls you up on LinkedIn and sees one address, and then they pull you up on Zillow and they see a different address or a different brokerage name, they’re thinking to themselves, ‘This person doesn’t take their business seriously because their information isn’t even accurate across these platforms,’” he said.
Don’t use selfies for profile pictures, he added. High-quality headshots look the most professional.
Agents should also have good reviews from the last three months. As Curry explained, “They show that you’re an active agent.”
These reviews should be on all the agent’s online profiles, like Zillow, realtor.com and Facebook.
If an agent doesn’t have any recent sales, Curry advises asking past clients to leave reviews.
How to start the conversation
Once an agent gets the lead, they need to master the reach out.
Curry said a soft approach is crucial. An agent needs to know how to answer the questions the divorcee is asking, he explained.
How do they get the most money for their home? How do they navigate through the transaction with their ex? How do they increase the value of their home?
Curry advised that agents answer these questions by providing things like a comparative market analysis, a free guide on how to sell their homes and/or a digital book.
Curry also stressed the idea of writing a short book. While the task seems tedious, putting together a digital book that answers all of the questions someone going through a divorce may have, is extremely unique.
“It shows them [the divorcees] that you are an expert, that you have a book on how to sell a divorce home,” he said. “People value books. People have bookshelves, they don’t have business-card shelves.”
Once an agent has the materials together, they can be sent through email, Facebook or even in a mailed letter.
The key here, Curry said, is persistence.
Send follow-up emails every week, he continued. Most of the agent’s leads will have to sell their homes, so it’s important to stay at the front of their minds.