Many real estate agents feel a little uneasy about calling people since the Do Not Call List was established in 2003. Even though it has been 5 years, some agents are still unsure about how to call prospective clients and remain within the guidelines of the Do Not Call List's regulations. Many real estate agents relied on cold calling to generate leads and drum up new business. With the Do Not Call List in place many agents believe that they cannot call anyone that they haven't actually spoken to face to face before. But in reality, that is not the case.
The law states that a company may call a consumer for up to three months after the consumer makes an inquiry or submits an application to the company. That being said, all a real estate agent has to do is get that prospect to contact them first. They are then free to call them for up to 3 months. (If the caller specifically requests that the agent not call them back or put them on their do not call list, the agent must comply.) Now some agents may say that if all the prospects were calling them, they wouldn't have to worry about not being able to call people on the Do Not Call List. Well, the reason prospects aren't calling those agents and making inquiries is because the agent is not giving them a reason to.
Agents must provide prospects a compelling reason to call. There needs to be something in it for them or they won't pick up the phone. So you have to ask yourself, what is it that people in the market to either buy or sell a home need? The number one thing they need is INFORMATION. Information is a powerful thing. Without it everything is a guessing game. How are people to make an informed decision without educating themselves? As a real estate agent, you are in a unique position to provide them the information they need. Becoming an information provider is a great way to generate leads and have those leads call you.
A real estate agent can establish themselves as an information provider by offering people free reports about a variety of subjects that would be helpful to prospective buyers and sellers. For example, if an agent is looking to attract sellers a report on ""How To Sell Your Home In A Down Market" would be especially helpful to a seller right now. On the same note, a report on "Why Now Is The Best Time To Purchase A New Home" would be equally popular. You can even be more specific with your reports. Offer reports such as "Buying A Retirement Home In insert your area here" to generate leads in that market. A report on "How To Go From A Renter To Owner In 90 Days" will generate leads of a different kind. By offering these reports you are doing a number of things:
* Getting people to call you so you don't have to worry about the Do Not Call List.
* Generating leads.
* Gathering very specific information about those leads.
* Positioning yourself as an information provider and someone that is there to help.
* Building a rapport with prospects.
Now all this is fine and good but, if you can't track these prospects that are contacting you to get information, it is a worthless effort. One way to do that is by using a toll free number call capture system. A call capture system is going to allow you to capture their name, address, phone number and the report requested by your callers - vital information on how to get back to them and what you will say when you do. Here are 2 aspects of a toll free call capture system that will help you generate leads without fear of the Do Not Call List, as well as track where those leads are coming from:
1. The toll free number itself is an important part of the system. Unlike a local number, a toll free number cannot be blocked. So that means even if your caller has a blocked or unlisted number, you will still capture it. A toll free number has also been proven to increase your advertising response by up to 30%. They offer prospects a no hassle, free call to get their free information and people like that.
2. A call capture system uses tracking extensions. By adding a different extension to each of your advertising pieces or sign riders, you are able to gather information on you caller's needs before getting back to them. As an added bonus, you will be able to determine which of your advertising pieces are generating leads and which are sucking money down the drain.
The Do Not Call List definitely changed the way real estate agents generated leads. However, it does not mean that they are unable to generate just as many - if not more - leads by calling people on the phone. The key is getting those people to call you first and you can take it from there.
Brandi Cummings is an expert author on the unique issues facing small and home based businesses, including real estate agents. She recommends checking out http://www.RealtyOne800.com a leading provider of toll free call capture systems.