I would love to know why so many Realtors feel its "ok" to send flyers, open house notifications, broker's opens, new hire announcements, and other such email nonsense to other Realtors.
Last time I checked, unsolicited email that I or other agents DIDN'T SPECIFICALLY ASK FOR...is lawfully S P A M. The fact the Realtor you are emailing is related to your business field as another licensed Realtor has no bearing on your ability to send people this garbage. The CAN SPAM LAW doesn't recognize that little tidbit so many agents thinks should apply.
"Well they are a Realtor too, they should WANT my emails!!!"
I mean for Pete's sake, am I missing something? I've been to our NAR site, PAR (Pennsylvania Association of Realtors), and every other site I could find....I read the law, their policies...etc. Is there some exception for Realtors spamming other Realtors???
As the company I.T. guy working for our brokerage, it never fails...about once every month or so I get cornered by an agent who gets an emailed flyer or announcement from some other Realtor in our area....and they look at me and say, "Hey...the company should be doing this....for me...for us...." Etc..etc...etc.
It's never, "Hey Nick, can you show me how these people are sending me these announcements? I'd really like to learn how to do this." At least not where I am.
Why is there this unbelievable assumption that the company should be doing the individual marketing of an agent's business, especially when it comes to certain technology? Aren't you all INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS???? The email marketing technology that is available now for your use is MIND-NUMBINGLY easy in many cases and, wake up for this one, isn't made for an entire agency to use in the manner you want it used.....FOR SPAMMING.
These services, when used properly, are MADE FOR INDIVIDUAL USE ONLY. I'll bet many with this mindset think the broker should just have a single staff member post every new listing on Craigslist??? Under one account???
How is this so hard to understand, that in the case of spamming your entire local Realtor MLS membership, it's ILLEGAL without gaining each and every agent's permission??? And cmon, working with these professional email marketing services via their point and click websites, if you use the system correctly, is PAINFULLY easy. Especially if you have 15 minutes to spare, can use a computer mouse, and have the ability to sit at a computer.
Oh...I know...no one has any free time any more. The market is just so busy.
What was I thinking?
What I find staggering about the email flyer mindset that I encounter, is when I explain the CAN-SPAM LAW to the Realtor and how as a company we can't get involved in this effectively, I might as well be speaking in some other language. There is no care or concern for what's right or wrong with spamming...because, "Hey, XYZ Realty and Agent SoandSo is constantly sending me open house and price reductions!! The company needs to be doing this!!!"
NEVER MIND the fact that 99% of these emails are sent out via harvested email lists (that site should be F'ing ILLEGAL) or agents who scour the MLS rosters sucking up all of the publicly printed email addresses. Never ONCE have I received an email from any ‘said' agent in our area because I signed up (OPT-IN) for a list of theirs. NOT ONCE.
...but isn't amazing that when you get the flyer or announcement, at the bottom is some un-subscription request to unsubscribe to the list you are a member of??? WHHHHAT?
How many of you are constantly signing up for email announcements lists from your other Realtors in your area? I bet about .07% of you.
I know for a fact these people and brokers are either buying lists or using some service to proliferate the crap via harvested data. It is truly amazing. Especially when, as the I.T. guy, it gets shoved down my throat that this form of marketing is "NEEDED" and we "HAVE TO BE DOING THIS" as a company.
How am I supposed to sit there and argue can-spam laws when local agents or BROKERS are doing the same nonsense????
Again...is there a LOOPHOLE in the CAN-SPAM LAW that allows those sites legal rights to do what they do???
Someone, please enlighten me if there is!
It's a true joke and while it's gotten much better over the years, virtually any legitimate service you now see available to agents, legitimate services such as ICONTACT.COM and CONSTANTCONTACT.COM all have STRICT rules against sending email to someone who didn't opt-in to your list.
These services are fantastic, but the proper way to email market is to gather email addresses of people who have specifically requested to receive your email. To provide a method for them to actually want your announcements.
I can sit here and think of a few ways each and every realtor could do this....but of course, that would mean you had to sit and work and create a way to gather permission....
...whoops..I forgot...the market is on fire and there's no time for an agent to do such work.
Just find the I.T. guy and he'll make it all better.