Are you on the Do Not Call list? You should be!
We spent a lot of time lurking in community groups to see what people in the industry say about clients, specifically, how they find them.
One of the biggest things we have noticed is the “dialling for dollars” and those that will spend time and money to call (or have tools and assistance to call) expired listings, leads from data companies, for sale by owners, and more.
So if you are thinking about buying or selling soon, here are two crucial things you need to know about the Do Not Call lists.
There are two types of registries:
There is the National Do Not Call Registry that is run by the Federal Trade Commission. There are also 12 individual state registries.
State-level Do Not Call lists
Texas You have a residential no-call list and a business utility no-call list!
The FCC and individual states have some varying rules:
Each individual state has its own rules (and small loopholes) regarding the real estate industry contacting you. The following items may vary by your state but are addressed in some fashion on the above state websites.
There is a 31 day grace period from when you sign up until you can actually start reporting people for calling you. The real estate industry loves to sell your information, so if you are considering buying or selling soon, be sure to register yourself now.
If you include your phone number on a For Sale By Owner advertisement, real estate agents are allowed to call you if they have a buyer interested in buying. While it may vary by state, most can be fined for calling you without an interested buyer. Hint: you can ask to see the buyers pre-approval letter to help verify if they have a client.
Most states allow an agent to call you if they have done business with you in the past. From the states we have reviewed, some say no more than six months from the last transaction, while others say 18 months.
If you submit your phone number to a large company in the industry, they can pass along your information to subsidiary companies. Make sure you read the actual terms before submitting any information to these big websites (or consider getting a temporary number).
Fines can go up to $40,000+ when some violate the registry's terms and you can easily submit a violation on the federal or state website. Submitting a violation through your state, at times, can be processed much faster than at the federal level.
It is unclear how the registry finds and fines those with a spoofed number (pretending to be a different number on your caller ID). However, there is hope! The FCC recently fined a Texas-based company that participated in spoofing. The fines totalled $225 million for the 1 billion robocalls they made (many of them spoofed).
What about Text Messages?
Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, companies can only send automated marketing text messages to consumers who have given their express written consent and opted-in to the businesses program. Because the FCC and the courts consider a call to be the same as a text, the penalties for violating the TCPA are the same.