Emailing Listings is Counterproductive

Managing Real Estate Broker with Howard Hanna Rand Realty License # 49FA1074963

Spam is spam, whether it is for a Nigerian diplomat or a 3 bedroom ranch. The whole point of a high tech MLS system is so we don't have to exchange information via archaic means, such as listing books, letters, faxes, or smoke signals. The information is at our fingertips. Moreover, saved searches and hotsheets tell us when a match is made with a prospect. So why do I still get emails with subject lines such as "price reduced" and "new listing"? 

Is this how some agents pacify their clients? It doesn't work. If I wanted to know your every move I'd follow you on Twitter. 

If we have a prospect match, maybe an email would work. But agents who announce their every move via unwanted email announcements clog inboxes, annoy, and waste valuable time. It's not something colleagues do, and it hinders more substantive communication, because if you train me to delete your spam daily you just might have an offer get whacked also. 

So, this week, I am implementing a new spam policy: I am going to politely ask anyone who spams me to remove me from their database. If they do, swell. If they don't, their email addresses will be blocked, and they'll have a nice Mailer-Daemon sent back  to them every time they litter. Hopefully, they'll get the message. 

We need to revamp our culture as professionals. Sending out spam should not be part of how we interact. 

Comments (80)

Mike Russell
Mike Russell Real Estate Group - Overland Park, KS
Overland Park Kansas Real Estate

blocked, I added all of the flyer companies to my blocked domains. About once a week I clean it out of about 50 or 60 eflyers.

Jan 21, 2010 11:42 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

You got it right J Philip! In fact, one of the 'dino-brokers' in my area JUST figured out how to e-mail...hahaha! Once a week, we all get a link to ALL his listings. Same ones each time. I was just thinking EXACTLY what your post says. This is spam, plain and simple.

Jan 21, 2010 12:41 PM
Roland Woodworth
Blue Cord Realty - Clarksville, TN
Blue Cord Realty

I can see both sides of the story on this one. Not every Realtor looks at the hot sheet on a daily basis. It's a great way to get the word out of a price reduction, or that new listing.  Some Realtors do tend to over due this.

 Now if you block their e-mail address... You could miss out on other important information via e-mail. Maybe even an offer on one of your listings.

Jan 21, 2010 01:06 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

I don't get it either.  If I had a buyer interested in the property, I'd already know... 

Jan 21, 2010 01:09 PM
Karen Pannell
Real Living / Home Realty - Owensboro, KY
Owensboro KY Real Estate -270-903-2167 Homes, Cond

I dont' mind receiving email listings from other agents.  If I don't have time to look at it, all I do is hit the delete key.  No biggie!


Jan 21, 2010 01:11 PM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Amen!   I've begun doing the same this year.  I am more than capable of getting this info from our MLS so stop spamming me people.

Jan 21, 2010 01:55 PM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

I understand how you feel, I have one agent who send me an email on each of her listing, or I should say the same thing twice.   The result is, I delete without reading.

Jan 21, 2010 02:01 PM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

I understand how you feel, I have one agent who send me an email on each of her listing, or I should say the same thing twice.   The result is, I delete without reading.

Jan 21, 2010 02:01 PM
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

I agree wholeheartedly, and I think Lenn's first comment sums up my thoughts on this topic.  As an MLS member, I promise that I can find any active listing in our system.  :)

Jan 21, 2010 02:06 PM
Jessica Steele
Welcome Home Realty - Surprise, AZ

That is so true! I can't tell you how many emails I delete on a daily basis due to the fact that I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR LISTING. I can operate my MLS just fine. I know how to search for what I am looking for. I don't need someone filling up my inbox with those listings that I'm not (searching for).

Jan 21, 2010 02:06 PM
David Monsour
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Gettysburg, PA

Agreed some of these emails must be the agents last living brain cell attempting to make a sale.  it's in the MLS if I had a buyer we'd be looking at it.

Jan 21, 2010 02:11 PM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

I don't mind getting them for Broker's Opens because there's FOOD involved and maybe CASH PRIZES, but new listings? DELETE.

Jan 21, 2010 02:33 PM
Ron Parise - Cape Coral, FL

One man's trash is another mans treasure.

I enjoy and use the email you dismiss as spam. yes its in the mls (or should be) but sometimes i like to make my client streach a bit by showing them something that they didnt ask for.  like this.: I know you wanted a home at least 2200 sq ft  with a tile roof, but take a look at this; its only2100 sq ft and its a metal roof. But the metal roof looks like tile and there is a 3 car garage where you could convert one bay to storage effectively adding to the living area of the home. Or I know you wanted to be within 2 miles of the hospital but this home is just what you asked for in every other way its just 2,2 miles from the hospital...wouldnt that work almost as well? Even if my client rejects it, it lets them know Im thinking about them.

Jan 21, 2010 02:45 PM
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi J. Philip -- I agree, I delete them and ask to be removed.

Jan 21, 2010 02:47 PM
Sherry Chastain
Hendersonville, Nashville, Old Hickory, Lebanon Tennessee - Hendersonville, TN
Realtor, Selling Homes, Lake Properties,Luxury Homes,Short Sales

I'm with you. I get tons of email that consumes hours I'd rather be face to face with someone.  I also have vowed to start unsubscribing.

Jan 21, 2010 03:29 PM
David James
ReMax Real Estate Services Columbia South Carolina - Columbia, SC

One national companyencourages this spamming.  My post got deleted last time when I complained about this three letter named company by name, so I won't say which one it is, but they have these templates that their agents use to irritate us.  Then there's that other company that you might think of if you sail through the Straits of Gibraltar.  Please brokers, it doesn't help, don't train your new agents to do this to us.  Take that time to teach them how to use a hot sheet and why experienced agents don't need their spam.

Jan 21, 2010 08:45 PM
Susan Thompson-Solomons
Monument Sotheby's International Realty - Solomons, MD
Southern MD Real Estate-Solomons Specialist

There's a difference between randomly sending e-mails about properties that are irrelevant to a market all over the place, and narrowly defining agents that are selling similar types of properties and attempting to network with agents where there is higher possibility that they will have a client for the property. I have waterfront listings where I do this because with waterfront properties buyers are typically considering several areas. I massage how I do this - it's very narrow in scope to try not to offend agents on the chance they view it as spam - it needs to appear there would be a reason that the property would be of interest to them for me to send to them. I have gotten responses from agents and established a dialogue - my clients LOVE the fact that I do that and the agents indicate that they appreciate me sending to them. It's about appropriate targeting.

Jan 23, 2010 03:41 AM
Melanie Dawn

I agree with you J! 

There may be a time & place for email marketing such as Susan mentioned with her very specialized targeted market, or if I have specifically requested to be notified of new listings in a specific area. I also like receiving emails from developers marketing their properties as these are very often not on the MLS, yet they will pay a commission. Other than those exceptions, however, I find the blast emails to be spam & a waste of my time having to delete or unsubscribe or block.

That said, I've also heard multiple sellers demanding these types of mass emailings. LOL Perhaps that is why so many agents do it?

Jan 24, 2010 04:12 AM
Melanie Dawn

I hit "submit" too quickly and meant to add:

I don't see anything wrong with emailing flyers of new listings to one's own buyer database (assuming the buyer has opted in to this type of program), or using Twitter/Facebook types social networks to promote new listings.

My only objections are to the mass emailings of "new listing" & "price reduction" type information that is already available to me on the MLS, or is from another part of the world LOL

Jan 24, 2010 04:17 AM
Jim Cheney
Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA - Santa Rosa, CA
Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055

#13, that's fine if you have 2 way contact with another agent, but I get Vflers from all over California.  Several a month.  what if we all did that???  I don't know these agents, and don't know how they got my email.  ITS SPAM

Jan 24, 2010 05:05 PM