A Curious Phone Call

Real Estate Agent with RLAH Real Estate AB95346

My phone rang, and when I answered, the caller introduced himself as an agent from Keller Williams.  He told me that he has a young couple looking for a home to purchase in my neighborhood and he was wondering if I knew anyone who might be selling soon.

OK, in this era of super tight inventory, this young man did what I often do when I am seeking hones that might be coming soon, but not in the system yet.  I call agents who do the most business in my target neighborhood, and it's a strategy that can work very well.  

So I did happen to know of several possibilities, and I began by asking him how much his buyers were looking to spend.  And then this agent got quite flustered.  

"Perhaps I misunderstood,"  I said.  "I assumed you were calling because I'm a Realtor who is active in this neighborhood."

Then he 'fessed up!  He said he was "circle prospecting" - a term with which I am unfamiliar.  

So I asked him if that meant that he lied about having buyers to try to nab a listing from an unsuspecting homeowners.  

"Well," he answered, "This is just telemarketing and a very great way to get business."


"Um, I feel an unsolicited coaching moment coming on," I replied, explaining that this was his lucky day.  He had just called an real estate veteran Realtor who is on the national Do Not Call list.  Instead of ratting him out to the Federal Trade Commission, I would give him some advice.

It was just basic stuff that his broker should have shared before releasing him to the streets of DC -

  • Always tell the truth - real estate is a business where you are worth what your word is worth. Little fibs will catch up with you and destroy your credibility.
  • There are better and more productive ways of prospecting than cold calling strangers. 
  • If you are going to call strangers, you risk big fines and legal hassles if you call someone on the Do Not Call list, so before you dial a number, be certain that you make sure it isn't registered.  

By the time he hung up, he agreed that he needed to re-write his script - a script that I'm guessing his broker gave him.  And who knows?  Through his calls, he might even find a buyer for my gorgeous new listing in Adams Morgan!  


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties 09/12/2017 05:00 AM
  2. Carol Williams 09/12/2017 07:12 AM
Real Estate Best Practices
Diary of a Realtor

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Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

I dislike cold calling. I did it when I first started in real estate. I dislike telemarketers even more.

Aug 11, 2017 08:11 AM #42
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

I am happy you took that call. One agent can really spoil the process. I do not have a problem with cold calling but being honest about the nature of your call is very important. Sure some agents use the phone to get biz but done with bad form is negative, thanks for the post

Aug 11, 2017 09:03 AM #43
Janelle Ancillotti
Seneca Home Staging - Syracuse, NY
HSR Certified Home Stager, Syracuse, NY

How gracious of you to take the time to re-educate that fellow; he learned a valuable lesson at no cost.

Aug 11, 2017 10:15 AM #44
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Hi Patricia,  Boy, is he lucky he got you before he got himself in hot water!  I hope he was smart enough to take your advice and learn a lesson.

Aug 11, 2017 01:27 PM #45
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

Ah yes, the old tried and untrue script of asking anyone and everyone if they know someone about to sell or buy. Too funny that he got you. Nice to see you back in the Rain.

Aug 11, 2017 03:28 PM #46
Lana Robbins Licensed Managing Broker/Owner
Aloha Kai Real Estate - Kirkland, WA
Licensed in Washington, Florida, and Hawai'i

Hi Patricia. You could have been nasty but I hope he learns from it. Next time if there is one it may cost him big time.

Aug 11, 2017 05:50 PM #47
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I was also introduced to this term a couple of years ago by a KW agent. Not my style. That's why when I call a homeowner and say I have an interested buyer, they never believe me.

Aug 11, 2017 08:55 PM #48
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I'm glad that person called you and was able to get the down low on prospecting and calling those on the DNC list. I have to say, though, that regardless of what he was told by his broker/training team, he's the one that decided it was perfectly okay to lie to people. He could have said "no!"

As for the Do Not Call list, I'm on it and I get sales calls often. They start by saying "This is not a sales call" which is probably what they were told to do so they could get around the rules. It is a sales call.

Aug 12, 2017 03:47 AM #49
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

And we wonder why our industry has credibility problems to overcome with consumers???  It's kindof like the old saying, Patricia Kennedy ... "a few rotten apples spoils it for the bunch".  It definitely makes it harder for those of us  trying to conduct a credible quality service ...


Aug 12, 2017 11:56 AM #50
Susan McCall - - Compass Realty Solutions
Compass Realty Solutions - Portland, OR
Listing and Buyer's Agent

That is just bizarre. What agent that has been in the business longer than a few days would disclose this kind of information to another agent.  I get emails every once is a while from agents that are looking for properties that may be coming on the market.  AND they will give a referral fee?  Hummnnn, I would of course rather have a referral fee than a listing.  Really????

Aug 12, 2017 05:10 PM #51
Kathleen Frawley
Keller Williams 916 730-4404 Elk Grove, Wilton, Folsom, Sacramento - Wilton, CA
South County Sacramento, 916 730 4404

Oh my! I wonder if he was new and desperate.  He is lucky he got someone gracious and patient like you.  Lying for any reason is not tolerated at the Keller Williams office I work out of.  

PS How could he NOT know who you are?  You are famous, I am all the way in Sacramento California and I know who you are....

Aug 13, 2017 05:55 PM #52
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

I didn't read all the comments but of the ones I did read, not a single KW agent in the bunch. I'm a recovering former KW agent and that's what they teach their agents: cold calling and door knocking. That's mainly what their Bold program is all about. I hate when people cold call me so I don't do it to anyone else. Tried it one time and never again. But it works for some people. 

Aug 13, 2017 09:41 PM #53
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cold calling can work, but it is not for the uneducated.  The Do-not-call list is not to be ignored.   I would rather door knock than call and read from a script that is less than completely honest.

Aug 14, 2017 06:29 PM #54
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I came over to see what you've been up to - and if you were back. Miss you. Glad to have caught this feature though - wow what a bottom feeder. Glad you educated him. ;) D 

Aug 31, 2017 03:46 PM #55
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

You were very gracious about the sticky situation.  I hope it comes back to you in a positive way.

Sep 08, 2017 08:45 PM #56
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I do not encourage my newbies to cold call as the Do Not Call list is in force. Above all agents should tell the truth. This is one reason that agents get a bad name with the public.

Sep 11, 2017 12:23 PM #57
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

That was nice of you to take a moment to educate them instead of turning them over. I hope it worked!

Sep 12, 2017 06:24 AM #58
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Patricia Kennedy Excellent! This and many more reasons are why we chose to disassociate ourselves from the KW franchise. They drill scripts and deception in a frail attempt of dominating neighborhoods. We prefer to be honest and open with all we contact.

Sep 12, 2017 06:53 AM #59
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Pat

Hope all is well!!

I found this via Debbie Reynolds reblog, but checked and I already commented! But I read it again - there's a valuable lesson here and hopefully those who might decide to try this will think again. What a great learning this fellow got! Hope he took it to heart.


Sep 14, 2017 04:50 PM #60
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Good for you...teaching him. It's amazing some of the things new agents do when left to their own devices!

Sep 16, 2017 06:46 PM #61
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Patricia Kennedy

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