Ditch Cold Calling Forever And Get FSBOs & EXPIREDS To Call YOU Instead

by Ideas For Using Mailbox Power, Real Estate Agents, Relationship Marketing

Ditch Cold Calling Forever And Get FSBOs & EXPIREDS To Call YOU Instead!

Have you ever asked yourself… “How do I get FSBO or Expired leads without cold calling?”

I know my colleague and good friend, Jim McCord sure did!

Come to think of it, who wouldn’t ask themselves that question?

Jim’s been a real estate agent for over 20 years now (now a real estate marketing coach and best selling author) and let me tell you; I was completely blown away by the strategies that he shared recently about how to get FSBO or EXPIRED listings without making a single cold call, and I think you might be too.

In this blog post I am going to share with you the strategies that Jim is using to get FSBOs & Expireds to CALL him.

Worst case scenario? You’ll learn how to find free leads and how to turn what would be a cold call into a really friendly, warm call.

Here’s how to ditch cold calling forever and get FSBOS & EXPIREDS to call you instead.

Be Different Than the Other Realtors.

One of Jim’s favorite sayings is… “Be Different Than the Other Realtors.” And, if you think about it; his advice is right on the money.

During his first 10 years or so as a Realtor…

Jim made thousands of cold phone calls. He knocked on cold doors every weekend. He worked his sphere of influence (like a ninja!) and even begged if the situation warranted it. He also occasionally paid Zillow and Realtor.com to get leads.

Admittedly, these activities did work for him. He just didn’t LOVE having to make cold phone calls, or knocking or cold doors, begging his sphere, and especially having to pay for overworked, overpriced, & overrated leads.

While you can still do all of those things, you should know that you do NOT have to.

  • You don’t HAVE to make thousands of cold phone calls.
  • You don’t HAVE to knock on cold doors every weekend.
  • You don’t HAVE to beg your sphere by calling them and asking (begging) them for business and/or referrals.

Those are all things that are OK to do; but understand that those are considered traditional real estate marketing activities.

And what we’re discussing here in this post is considered more of a “non-traditional” approach to real estate marketing.

Take a look at the screenshot below.

direct mail pieces from realtors

This is the kind of stuff that all the other Realtors are mailing out. Real estate agents are either mailing it out or dropping it off.

It is all company information, it’s all about the real estate agent, complete with photos of the realtor, or it is photos of the realtor AND company logos with information about the real estate agent and the company.

The only thing that changes on those is the name of the Realtor and the company logo.

How Jim Chose To “Be Different”

About 12 years ago or so, Jim started sending customized greeting cards (and gifts).

sample of card Jim sent out

This was actually the very first one that he sent.

It was an expired listing.

He took a photo of the house and put it on the front of the greeting card along with text that said, “Still Interested In Selling?”

Know what happened?

Yep! You guessed it!

When the owner got that card in the mail, he called Jim on the phone and listed with him that day; based on that card alone.

Phenomenal, right?!

Here’s another example.

screenshot of a listing with a really bad first photo

This one was an expired that had been listed three times before.

It’s hard to tell in this photo, but that’s a horrible first photo shown in that listing.

It was a 46-acre farm that was absolutely stunning and that photo did not do that property any justice whatsoever.

Jim knew that if he got to meet with them, that he would be able to list their house just by explaining how important the first photo is for marketing purposes and how he would approach the marketing of their home.

sample of awesome farm card Jim sent

Jim put a photo of the house on the front of a card and wrote the words “Awesome Farm” and then put his own message and a different photo from their property (a picture of a pond) on the inside of the card. Along with that card, Jim sent a box of brownies.

They listed with him the day they received the card and brownies in the mail.

While they were doing the listing paperwork at the dining room table, Jim saw a stack of mailers and flyers off to the side and Jim asked the client what it was.

The client said, “Jim, we got that nice box of brownies and that card with a photo of our house and over there is what we received from everybody else.”

These are pictures of the marketing materials that Jim saw while they were doing the listing paperwork.

sample of direct mail pieces from realtors

sample of direct mail pieces from realtors

sample of direct mail pieces from realtors

sample of direct mail pieces from realtors

Those are just a small sample of what FSBOs and EXPIREDS receive in bulk.

picture of home that was either FSBO or EXPIRED

Now, imagine for a moment that you owned that house right there and you’re either ‘for sale by owner’ or ‘expired’ and you are debating which agent to list with and you’re getting all of that company information from all of those other realtors.

And you’ve got 10 or 20 realtors hounding you on the phone every day. Calling you, calling you, calling you.

xpired listings - what jim sent -brownies mug and card

And when you open up a box and the first thing you see is a card with a photo of YOUR house and in this case a mug and a couple of brownies.

Can you just imagine for a moment how getting that package would feel?

By sending things like that to FSBOs and Expireds, Jim truly has wholeheartedly embraced his favorite saying… “Be Different Than The Other Realtors”

Do they ALWAYS call you? No, of course they don’t! You don’t get phone calls all of the time.

But, here is what DOES happen whether you’re sending a custom greeting card or a card and a couple of gifts. When you do the follow up and you tell them your name and what company you are with, they remember who you are, instantly.

It turns a cold call into a really friendly, warm call.

Jim is amazed though, by how often he does get calls from prospects just by sending cards and gifts out to for sale by owners and expireds.

It has made prospecting fun!

What Else Can You Do To “Be Different”?

xpired listings - card and envelope designed

Another thing that Jim does to ensure that his stuff gets opened is he adds a photo of the home on the envelope. The photo above shows a photo of the house on both the card and the envelope which is a 5×7.

Can you imagine pulling this out of your mailbox along with bills, junk mail, other real estate agents mailers? You’re walking back to the house and your holding this stack of mail and you start to sort through it and you see right away an envelope with a photo of YOUR house on it!

You’re going to be like “WOW! Who did that? Who sent this to me? What is this?”

xpired listings - card and envelope designed 8.5

This is another example of putting the photo on both the card and the envelope. You can’t really tell from this photo, but this is an 8 ½ x 11 card and envelope. It’s BIG!

Examples of Other Packages For Thank You’s, FSBOs, Expireds, Etc…

jim thank you card to clients who bought that house

This was a thank you card he sent to some clients that bought that house.

card & mug Jim sent to an expired home

This was a package that Jim put together for an expired home. So they got a photo of their house on the front, ‘your listing is expired are you still interested in selling?’ with the coffee mug.

You can’t tell in this photo, but there are actually two different pictures of their house on that mug. They listed with Jim.

sample of thank you card Jim sent

This is a thank you card that Jim sent.

home sweet home inside

On the inside of the card, he included a personal message and a photo of THEM standing on the front porch of their new home.

home sweet home mugs

They also received two coffee mugs. The front of their new home on one side of the mug and a photo of them on the other side of the mug.

adventurous family mugs card and brownies

This was the package that Jim sent to that family shown in the middle there.

They purchased a house from him, but it was a flip house and it would not have made any sense to take a picture of them in front of their new home because it did not have any sentimental value for them whatsoever.

Showing gratitude for their business was important and so he had to get creative in terms of his thank you gift, so that it was meaningful and memorable for the buyers.

adventurous family front of card

When they started doing business together, they became friends on Facebook.

Jim got photos of their family from their Facebook photo album and put that on the front of the card.

adventurous family inside of card

On the inside of the card, you can see Jim grabbed more images that they had posted and put those inside.

adventurous family mugs and brownies

The husband and wife each got a mug but they had different photos on them. One for the husband and one for the wife.

For the brownies, Jim customized the label to say “NOT for the parents! These are for the kids ONLY!”

adventurous family text from sarah

When they received the thank you package, the wife sent this text message to Jim.

“You’re really upping your game with those mugs!! The brownies are good too, but the mugs melt my heart!”

People are not going to throw those away. They are going to keep those mugs forever.

Two Stories That Will Practically Force You To Sit Up And Take Notice

First up is a business story. A short sale fiasco & a lesson on how to get past the gatekeeper.

Jim had a short sale some years back that was extremely frustrating. The deal wasn’t going anywhere, it actually fell through not once, but twice! This was the third deal.

The lady that was handling the short sale for Bank of America was a nightmare and he just could not get anywhere with her and this was his THIRD ‘go around’ with this woman at BofA.

He was so incredibly frustrated that he was willing to resort to trying to get the CEO of Bank of America involved!

Jim’s a smart guy.

He knew that if he tried to pick up the phone and call the CEO, there was no way in a million years that he would be put through to him.

So, Jim got clever!

He actually did a web search for ‘CEO of Bank of America’ and discovered that his name was Brian Moynihan.

He was also able to find a corporate photo of him and one of his quotes.

front of card with b of a ceo & quote on front

He put the photo and the quote on the front of the card.

inside of card to b of a ceo

He wrote that message on the inside and that card along with a big box of chocolate brownies.

The DAY that the CEO of Bank of America received that package, Jim received a phone call from him!

Let that sink in for a minute.

The CEO of a MAJOR bank initiated an outbound telephone call to Jim, a lowly real estate agent in Kentucky who was hoppin mad to boot.

Brian, the CEO told Jim that his secretary (AKA “The Gatekeeper”) rushed in to his office holding that package and said “Mr. Moynihan! You HAVE to see this!”

You and I both know there is NO OTHER WAY that he could have gotten in touch with the CEO of Bank of America, let alone have the CEO initiate a call to him.

No way!

After that phone call, where Jim got to rant about how poorly BofA was handling their short sales (to the CEO no less!) – the property closed that Friday.

And secondly, a personal story.

Jim’s son (Jimmy) is a pilot and was working for a commuter airline up in New Jersey. His son was making $20k a year flying. That’s what all new pilots make. People don’t believe it when he tells them that, but that’s what new pilots make in their first four or five years.

Jimmy was away from home about 18 nights a month while he was working for this commuter airline.

Jimmy is married and they were expecting their first child. He really wanted to work for this outfit called “Ultimate Jet Charters” which was local to them in Cincinnati. Ultimate’s pilots fly out and back in to Cincinnati every night, so he wouldn’t have to be away from his family so much.

Jimmy told his dad that he has been unsuccessful at getting an interview with Ultimate. He had sent them emails, sent them letters, dropped his resume off in person… but nothing.

He just could not even get an interview with them.

Jim of course, told his son to send them a card.

Jimmy was reluctant and told his dad, NO CARDS!

Jim knows better. He has seen it work a thousand times and this was his own kid after all!

So he convinced his son to let him put the card together and he would send it to himself and show it to Jimmy for a final decision about whether he should send a card or not.

jims son flying - front of card

The chief pilot’s name and the person responsible for hiring was Dave so that’s who he addressed it to. He got the logo from their website and put that at the top. Got a picture of one of their jets and at the bottom is a photo of Jimmy in the cockpit of another jet.

inside of card

On the inside of the card, the whole background is one of Ultimate’s jets.

Another picture of Jimmy, this time as a co-pilot, and a note from Jimmy. That card, along with a big box of brownies was ultimately (no pun intended wink-wink 😉); with Jimmy’s permission, was sent to Dave at Ultimate Jet Charters.

Almost two weeks after the package was sent, Jimmy called and told Jim that he was a ‘frickin genius!’

Jimmy not only got an interview with Ultimate Jet Charters, but he got the job!

Please understand something here, this is very important.

Jimmy DID NOT get the job because he sent a cool card and some brownies. NO!

He got the job because he’s a great pilot, he’s got a lot of hours, and he’s great on interviews.

But, he absolutely GOT THE INTERVIEW directly because of the package that he sent to them.

Use non-traditional real estate marketing to help you achieve your goals.

traditional vs non traditional real estate marketing

Traditional Real Estate Marketing is:

  • Agent Focused – All about the agent.
  • Company Focused – All about the company.
  • Photos of the Agent – Yes, photos of the agent are a good thing, but best when used with photos that are meaningful to the recipient whenever possible.
  • Cold Calling – “I LOVE cold calling”, said no one ever.
  • Cold Door Knocking – (see Cold Calling!).
  • Buying Leads – buying leads isn’t a bad thing, but can be if it’s your ONLY method of getting leads.

Non-Traditional Real Estate Marketing (also known as “Relationship Marketing”) is:

  • Customer Focused – All about the customer. Their goals, needs, etc…
  • Personalized Photos – Images that are meaningful to the recipient, like pictures of their home and property.
  • Verbiage is Personalized – Uses their name and is written to them, not at them.
  • 100% Open Rate – Who gets an envelope in the mail with a picture of their house on it and doesn’t open it? Even without a picture on the envelope, it is still WAY more personal than a postcard or a form letter on company stationary.
  • Zero Cold Calling & Door Knocking – Self-explanatory.

What System Is Jim Using?

The name of the system is “Mailbox Power” and I will give you the highlights here as well as a link you can use to signup and try the system out for yourself.

Make the perfect gift for anyone

In just minutes, the system allows you to WOW your customers and prospects with useful and memorable products, each individually personalized with their own name or a custom message.

Automate your gratitude

The easy to use campaign builder allows you to create a schedule to automatically send your personalized gifts and cards when YOU want them to go out, not when a holiday says you should.

Perfect for never missing another birthday or creating a monthly top-of-mind marketing campaign to your customers.

Creativity unleashed

The easy to use drag and drop designer gives you unlimited freedom to create stunning designs that will truly WOW your recipients.

Not a designer? No problem! The new Design Store is loaded with hundreds of templates you can modify for your needs.

Not only that… but you can also hire us to create custom cards, gifts, or campaigns at a very affordable price.


Using a system that will enable you to ditch cold calling and get FSBOs & EXPIREDS to call you instead is just smart business, all the way around.

Signup Bonus!

Free FSBO Prospecting Card Template – 100% Editable



Free EXPIRED Prospecting Card Template – 100% Editable


When you signup using THIS LINK – I am going to give you these TWO templates, completely FREE. Complete the form below AFTER you have signed up.

You’ll literally be able to start your marketing program TODAY! Signup here.


Thanks so much for being here. I hope you got some value from this post.

If you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE.


Andrea Shepherd

Andrea Shepherd

I run my web design agency, write this blog, and teach business owners and entrepreneurs how to implement and use relationship marketing techniques to increase their relationships, referrals, and retention. I also offer custom design services for users of this system. Yes, it costs money. No, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. 😉 Learn more about our custom design services here.


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