This wasn't what I was planning to write about but I just heard, for the 2nd time, about a woman that was harassed by a barrage of agents cold calling her. The first time I heard about it was from one of the agents that was part of a cold calling group that might have been part of this story. He posted his story on a real estate group on Facebook. A similar story was featured on the news in Colorado. I'm not sure this is the same story, but to read a post from one agent on a real estate group on Facebook and to see the news story here, I'm thinking it might be one and the same. I've been searching to find the original post on the Facebook group but haven't been successful. I will state that in the video of the news feed on the above link a different brokerage was mentioned, but that is not where the Facebook poster is from.
How did she receive so many calls in such a short time?
There is a popular, somewhat newer national franchise that offers their agents training. There were many agents sitting in a coaching class and they are all taught how to cold call. They are handed a list of home owners and sellers to call with their phone numbers. A common cold calling practice is to call owners of listings that have expired or that have been canceled in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Many of these sellers end up listing with another agent if the first agent can't get the property to the closing table.
The agent in the Facebook group I belong to tells us how he made a call to this poor woman and either spoke to her or left a voice message. But he doesn't stop there. He ends up calling again and even texted her after he spoke to her at some point and after she told him she wasn't interested. She finally told him she was going to call the police & report him and he shouldn't be calling her as she's on the DNC list.
That was only one of the agents in the class. She got barraged by many, many calls. She thought it was as many as 100 calls! That isn't cold calling - that's harassment!
Why I don't cold call
I don't like to be cold called. We have a land line and it is rarely used or answered. As an agent, I do receive a lot of marketing calls from vendors that want my business. Those salespeople can be downright rude. They've hung up on me before I could get the entire phrase "I'm not interested" out.
I realize these are trained telemarketers and their paycheck is dependent on the amount of sales they get, so it's a numbers game for them. Not interested? NEXT!
But as a REALTOR I don't accept the job title of telemarketer. I don't like getting telemarketing calls from anyone, so why would I do that to someone else?
Agents that don't believe in cold calling
I network with a lot of agents across the world, but mainly the U.S. & Canada. I am a member of forums and multiple Facebook groups. There are two sides to the cold calling debate.
There are agents like me who don't like it and won't do it - out of respect for the home owners and the DNC list. I remember trying it many years ago after paying for a popular marketing class. This was before the Internet went mainstream and before there were computers in every house. In fact, it was before Caller ID. More people answered their phones back then, in fact, this was before cell phones! We didn't have as many ways to get in touch with future clients as we do now.
I hated cold calling. Do I have a thin skin? No, even though it's better to get hung up on than getting swore at & being told off. I hated it because I didn't like getting cold called myself. How can I do this to others?
I said to myself, "if this is the only way to be successful selling real estate then I'll have to find another career." I'm still here since 1983. You do not have to cold call to be successful.
Those that believe in cold calling
Are there really agents that enjoy cold calling? Maybe a very small percentage like it. The rest do it but don't enjoy it. They are usually new agents going through training. They are hungry agents trying to get a client. Cold calling is one of the techniques they're taught, especially through the specific franchise I mentioned above.
There is a cold calling proponent on one of my Facebook real estate groups. He has repeated, multiple times, that no agent has been fined for calling to someone on the DNC list. I haven't checked to see if this is true since I don't do it. I do know that if an agent was found guilty and fined, it could cost them up to $16,000!
Yet coaches still push this old technique. New agents, or agents that can't keep up with changing technology (the average age of a real estate agent is 58 and not all have embraced the Internet), continue to cold call to find new clients.
Many agents that don't believe in cold calling consider these agents as unsuccessful. They choose to cold call because they don't know how to market any other way, or they can't afford to invest in other types of marketing to acquire new clients.
The above paragraph is a general statement. There are some successful agents that have cold called for years and continue to do so. These are the agents that actually enjoy doing it, and many of them now use "robocallers" to help them make hours of calls every day.
Stance of The Judy Orr Team on cold calling
We don't believe in cold calling or door knocking because we don't like when it happens to us. If someone else wants to cold call, so be it. Many try it, hate it and stop. Only a few continue with that kind of marketing.
We use social media and Internet marketing along with sending postcards, letters and newsletters to our past clients and expired and canceled listings in the Orland Park real estate market, Homer Glen and Orland Hills. We will also mail to For Sale By Owners in the area.
The items we mail are not the "We're #1" types of marketing so many agents use. Our mailings show sellers what we do for them and how we can get their homes sold. We share our marketing techniques using our postcards to show potential sellers "what's in it for them".
If we pique a seller's interest then they call us. We invite them, via direct mail, to visit our websites and use our home search features. We also offer our Instant Market Activity/Value tool and a more precise Comparative Market Analysis questionnaire. This is how we prefer doing business and we've been complimented by sellers on our methods. Click on any of the buttons below that you might be interested in, or give us a call at 708-536-8200.