A guide to reclaiming your personal phone number from eager agents.
If you put your house on the market for sale and for some reason the home didn’t sell (i.e. you changed your mind, you couldn't get the home you wanted, the capital gains tax was too high, the market was dropping, whatever the case the may be), then get ready. You are about to get flooded with hundreds of calls from local realtors who will give you a well-rehearsed pitch on how they can sell your house better than the last bozo. As a professional real estate agent myself, I also call the expired listings but there are certain things that will deter me from calling. Before we get to those details, we need to understand a few key concepts and answer some basic questions.
How did they get my Number?
There are a variety of services out there that capture contact data and sell it to salespeople. A lot of the information is actually public and recorded with the counties. Some of it is even free. You can see what pops up about you if you type your name into Google or use websites like truepeoplesearch.com. It’s a little creepy what Google knows about us...
Why am I getting calls?
The simple answer is your number is tied to a property in some way:
1. Change in status: There was a change in your listing status from active to withdrawn or expired, or your expired status hit a certain milestone date (i.e. 6 months, 1 year, 2 years etc).
2. You are trying to sell your house yourself (FSBO).
3. Someone has inputted your number into a sales funnel or online form.
4. Your number was once owned by a person who was tied to a property.
Real estate agents (and most other salespeople frankly) have figured out that sales is really just a math problem. In real estate, it goes something like this:
An agent calls X amounts of numbers a day → they actually talk to Y amount of people→ which leads to Z amount of active sellers appointments → 1 listing agreement.
Each agent will have to put in their own numbers based on skills experience and conversion rates, but the formula is the same.
An example would be:
An agent calls 100 numbers a day for 5 days (500 calls total) →
they actually talk to 25-50 people a week→
This leads to 1-3 active sellers appointments a week→
This generates 1-2 listing agreements.
Do You Still Want To Sell?
There are times where you don't stick with your original seller's agent and you still do want to sell your house. In that case, you won’t have to look far to find a new agent. In fact, you won’t have to look at all. They will find you. I promise :) If you are yet to find a new agent, you can always connect with us at Kingdom Luxury Realty to discuss your unique situation. Click below to set up a strategy call with us.
What can you do to stop the calls?
Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to stop the calls completely, it really just takes time. Even if the house sells you still might get calls. However, there are some strategies to help lower the number of calls and some things you can do to turn realtors off from your house (nicely, of course).
Without a real way to stop the calls completely, we need to focus our attention on limiting them as much as possible. But to do that we really need to understand one key concept. I call it the dead deal concept.
The Dead Deal Concept
The reason we talked about the formula above is to help you understand that sales really is a numbers game. Part of the job of a real estate agent is to sift through the deals that aren't viable and find the few that are. Agents want to find the people that need help and then help them. To put it another way, agents are looking for deals. Good agents don’t want to waste their time with people that don’t need their help and don’t have viable deals... a.k.a. a dead deal. So our goal is to make the deal look as unattractive as possible to those hungry realtors so they don’t waste their time calling a dead deal.
Making Your Deal Dead: Limiting the Calls
1) Put the Deal is Dead in the MLS
If you have a good relationship with your realtor and they haven’t already done this, then you need to call them and have them add this in the description page at the very top in big, bold, all capital letters:
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT SELLERS. SELLERS ARE NO LONGER SELLING THE HOUSE.
They should also add this in the agent remarks as well.
Not every agent checks the MLS before they call, but for those who do, they see that big red flag saying, "Dead deal, move on."
2) Get Your Number on the DNC (Do Not Contact List)
The DNC list fines hardly ever get enforced but some agents will respect those on the list and move on. It’s worth putting your numbers on there and some agents and data service providers do abide by this list. To get on this list, connect with your previous realtor for assistance or register online at www.donotcall.gov.
3) Dead Deal Voicemail
If you're getting an absurd amount of calls, one idea is to change your voicemail to say something like: “Hello, if you are an agent inquiring about our expired listing, we would like to politely ask you to please stop calling us. We are not interested in selling the house. Thank you, goodbye” You can then ignore all the unknown numbers and send them directly to that voicemail then change it back after a week or two. Your family and friends will understand.
4) Dead Deal Text
You can use the same concept by replying to unknown calls with a text similar to the Voicemail above. When you ignore a call, you can automatically push that text out and move on. Most realtors call from a number that can receive a text, so they're sure to get the message.
5) Re-list the House
Even if you're not selling, you can re-list simply to stop calls. Whether it’s with your previous broker or a new broker, one sure-fire way to eliminate the bulk of those calls is to enter into a listing agreement with an agent and re-list the house.
This will do three main things:
Change the status from “Expired” to “Active,” which will show agents that this particular deal is dead and it’s a waste of time to call. You are off the market to agents.
Real estate skip tracing services that regularly scrub their data will remove those listings from the database so your number won’t populate in the contact list.
The broker will be able to say there is an active listing agreement in place, which will deter other agents from calling. Agents won’t get paid unless they bring a buyer and most agents are looking for listings.
You may want to talk to an attorney first when re-listing. You will want to have an attorney read over the listing agreement and make sure there are no surprises. DO NOT just sign a listing agreement with a random agent. You will want to know and trust them. You will want to have a “cancellation at any time without any repercussions clause” in there and really manage the agent’s and brokers’ expectations. Tell them you don’t want to sell and why you just want to stop the calls. Maybe work out a deal where they will get to represent you when you do sell the house or something like that.
By implementing some of these strategies, you will drastically reduce the number of calls you get and the amount of time you spend on them. As time goes on, you’ll notice the calls getting less and less and becoming much more manageable. Please keep in mind that real estate agents are people too and being rude can really just ruin their day. Try to understand that they are people just trying to provide for their families, too.
As always if you have any questions reach out to us at Kingdom Luxury Realty. You can reach us at any time by phone or text at 949.749.2990 or connect with us.