I received an email today for a local agent in town today that I found very interesting.
This agent looked to have sent out an email ‘blast’ most likely purchasing a list of email addresses from one of the many companies selling such things. The email was titled “Touching Base”. The title and subject clearly infered that I had a relationship with this agent, which I obviously do not, but it’s a hook to get you to open the email – breed familiarity. Salesmanship 101. I have no problem with that, although I don’t use those particular tactics myself, to each his own.
My problem came with the body of the email, it read as follows:
“I wanted to touch base to see if there is anything I can do for you. As your local real estate expert and economist, I am here as your resource for information and updates.”
“Economist”…..now THAT is interesting. I wonder what our Real Estate commissioner would think about that statement? In Arizona we are strongly encouraged not to advertise or work outside of our area of expertise. Clearly passing a real estate license exam does not constitute the expertise of an “economist”. Outside of our own local licensing laws in Arizona, this agent is a REALTOR and subject to NAR’s professional standards which holds a REALTOR to be honest and not mislead the public.
I just thought this was a stretch, and a poor one at that.
UPDATE: I checked this agents website just to make sure they did not hold a degree in economics and then I sent the agent involved an email as a professional courtesy to let her know that she might be advertising herself outside of her scope of expertise and to be cautious.
The response I got from the agent in it’s entirety was this: "The e-mail sent was from the Keller Williams 33-touch campaign, not something we ourselves wrote"
...And obviously not something they thought to proofread before sending out or feel a need to correct? Hmmmm.....
I know what a lot of you are thinking. “They are just trying to let there client’s know that they are on top of this crazy economic upheavals, stimulus incentives, etc… They are trying to be relevant to their sphere.” There is relevant and then there is overstating the facts, and let’s just say it, lying.
We have clients that are desperate for help right now, not just needy or curious, but actually desperate. Is it fair to communicate to those folks seeking professional advice that you have a higher degree of expertise than you have? Couldn’t an agent be taking advantage of an extremely volatile client? Maybe, maybe not….but why take the risk? Let’s hold ourselves to a higher standard of care to the public.
Thanks for reading.
UPDATE 2, March 13 2009: Still on the drip e-mail program, even after informing them that I was an agent.