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Maybe the SEO Business Isn't For You

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

Spam InquiryTo the guy who thinks it is clever to inquire on one of my listings as if he were an interested buyer, only to pitch me  that he is an Internet search firm and can improve my search engine rankings:

I will never, ever do business with you. 

I really get pinched by the false alarm you cause when an entire admin staff puts what they are doing on hold, goes into service mode to answer an inquiry, determines which agent will take care of the potential buyer or seller, only to slide to the bottom of the pole and see your crass solicitation. That is SO not cool. Is is disruptive. 

I get solicited all the time. The Police Conference of New York called earlier, and the guy's pitch was to stop child abuse, as if I wasn't already against it. I'm the broker and owner of the company. I get approached by people selling leads, copy toner, advertising, web pages, payroll services (what regular agent deals with them?), business consulting,  and dozens of other offerings. 

But even the scam telemarketers promising me the sun moon and stars if I buy their product don't have the temerity to masquerade as a phantom buyer to get my attention. Even the guy who knocks on my office door selling knock off perfume out of a cardboard box doesn't pretend he's a buyer for one of my listings. This wasn't a blog comment. This was a consumer inquiry. 

Do you sell to cops by pretending there was a crime? 
Do you sell to EMS workers pretending that an octogenarian fell and broke a hip?
Do you walk up to rectories asking for a confession only to pull out your snake oil?

No, you just figure that I'll pay more attention with the vague promise of a commission. You try and use my mission against me. 

For Pete's sake, you are supposed to be good at getting found. If you have to resort to subterfuge, maybe the SEO business isn't for you. 

Jamie Dumaine-Russell
RE/MAX Alliance - Branford, CT

Amen!  I get them all the time by phone and via my website and they drive me nuts! 


Sep 23, 2011 04:30 PM
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

That is my pet peeve too, especially there is a New Buyer Inquiry in my email box, and then i clicked on it, it is an generic copy and paste email telling me I can get on top of google. Oh really? How did they find me in the first place...?


Sep 23, 2011 04:41 PM
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Gotta say, I like the ones that start off by asking if they can "speak to the person in charge of purchasing". At least I know who I'm dealing with!

Sep 23, 2011 04:52 PM
Kirsten Lindquist
Pacific Union International - Sonoma, CA
Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country

Phillip:  What a lousy way to try to drum up business.  These folks should be doomed to failure.

Sep 23, 2011 05:01 PM
Toronto, ON

Hi Philip - The sales process used by that SEO company reduces their credibility to zero.

Sep 23, 2011 06:02 PM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I appreciate a good salesman, afterall, we are all business-folk.  But, I do not appreciate people who don't do their job well or who are deceiptful.  I had a lady call me the other day about something and I still don't know what it was for.  I actually was in a mood to give her a chance so I asked her what her product was and she said, "you sound busy" I'll just go ahead and email you and call you tomorrow.  Well, I had not indicated in any way that I was busy, it gaveme a feeling that she was just trying to get her calls done so she could go hone. She actually was trying to get off the phone with ME! And she was the one that called me to solicit business.  She then told me she would call me the next day.  She didn't.  She called me two days later.  In my opinion this woman was not a good salesman, and I still have no idea what she's selling... -Kasey

Sep 23, 2011 06:22 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

The worst I've heard (I may have read it here on AR) was when a woman pretended to be a buyer and went so far as to make an appointment to look at homes... She wasn't a sales person, she was a process server.

I get a LOT of emails from people telling me they can put me on page one of Google - when I'm already there. But so far, none have pretended to be copywriting clients.


Sep 23, 2011 07:27 PM
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Hey Phil ......... Tell it like it is!  I think most of us have your back 100% on this one!

Regards from The Q

Sep 23, 2011 07:31 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Now, that is really low.

Sep 23, 2011 11:21 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Oh, by the way, Joe, can I call you today?  I am selling the idea that everyone should get a home inspection.


Lately I have been getting a lot of "friend" requests to link to somebody on LinkedIn.  I don't know them, but I do know that the next day the emails will start!


Wanna link?

Sep 23, 2011 11:48 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I just sent you a LinkedIn request!  Enjoy!

And link!

Sep 23, 2011 11:52 PM
Liz and Bill Spear
Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
Transaction Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Phil, That type behavior drives me nuts.  I put sending an email whose subject line starts with RE: when we never sent you an email to reply to in the same category.  You try to trick me and I'm supposed to trust you and give you my money?  Yeah, that'll happen when Hades is a great place for ice skating.  Bill

Sep 24, 2011 01:32 AM
Kim Boekholder Utah Real Estate/ PECO
Results Real Estate 801.580.5624 - Draper, UT
Broker Results Real Estate/Leasing Specialist PECO

Good for you and very true if seo is their business and they were good at it you would have found them.   Silly people.   I hope you don't have a false alarm like that anytime soon.

Sep 24, 2011 03:57 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I hate that approach of someone trying to "give you a referral" when it turns out they want to sell you a service.

Sep 24, 2011 06:38 AM
Surprise Arizona Realtor Jim Braun Sun City Grand Active Adult Communities
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Jim Braun Sun City Grand Az - Surprise, AZ
Surprise AZ real estate Phoenix West Valley

Phil, What a terrible approach. As you know some could care less and it gets very old and is disruptive.

Sep 24, 2011 07:12 AM
Mike Reyman
eXp Realty - Media, PA
Delaware County Real Estate

Craigslist is notorious for getting yourself spammed.  Thanks for the post.

Sep 24, 2011 01:29 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I get tons of comments on my blogs from people wanting to be seen by my audience.  Not quite as bad as a listing inquiry, but close.

Sep 24, 2011 02:34 PM
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
We receive many SEO spams on weekly basis, they always send us emails under 'buyer' section of the website...
Sep 24, 2011 02:51 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I'm not making this up . . . several weeks ago I got a solicitor call.  They started off with "J. Philip Faranda recommended I talk to you about ____________."  (My mind forgets what that product was.)  I knew full good and well that you (or anyone else) wouldn't be thinking of me for a lousy whatever.  I replied, "Oh, he did??  Let me call him on my other line and give him a big thanks!"  CLICK.  I was going to write a post about it "thanking" you for the kind recommend, but didn't.  Snce you brought it up . . . I thought to share. 

Sep 25, 2011 08:48 AM
Amy Bly
Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors - Montville, NJ
Styling Homes for Selling and Staying

Phil, Oh, boy, you hit another nerve with me -- I get these people, too, soliciting me as if they were staging prospects on my website contact form. I always get a llttle excited (although I'm learning not to) and then see a message about "how they can help me improve my SEO." Really tacky way to get leads, IMHO. Glad everyone else agrees! 

Carla -- TOO funny!

Sep 26, 2011 05:02 PM