Recently I received an email from a client of mine. She had decided to let her listing expire from the market. Oh, we had several offers, but it boiled down to a case of not wanting to move badly enough to make a change.

What was disturbing is that she emailed me to say:

“I just wanted to let you know that since the very second our listing expired, we have been harassed by Realtors by phone, mail, email and even showing up at the house. My phone number is on the Do Not Call list.

“In fact, I had one of the agents tell me over the phone that they purchased our information. It would be nice to stop receiving all of this unsolicited contact — especially since we know our Realtor of choice!”

For someone who brands his business on good customer service and who is a people pleaser, this is, needless to say, quite alarming.

This brought one word to mind:



  • ask for or try to obtain (something) from someone.


ask for, request, seek, apply for, put in for, call for, press for, beg, plead for More

  • ask (someone) for something.
  • accost someone

I would think what she has felt is the third definition from the standpoint that she felt accosted. She told me on the phone that she had 16 phone calls that first morning alone from agents “blowing up” her phone.

That is bad enough, but some energetic Realtors were showing up at the house? Really?

I explained to her that unfortunately there are companies out there that will obtain everything from cellphone numbers to other information to give subscribers to their service the ability to call those expired listings to solicit the seller for their listing.

What it did, in this case, however, was made this seller pretty offended by hard sales tactics.

This story is by no means the first time I have heard a seller complain about these types of unwanted contacts.

I had another new client tell me that in a matter of 48 hours from when she withdrew her listing from her previous broker she got so many calls that she finally started having to be rude.

She said that real estate agents even had her husband’s cellphone number and email address, and he was not even on the title to the home. The words “Big Brother” and “overbearing” came out as well.

If I were one of those agents, I would feel pretty miffed at the service I paid because apparently there were at least 20-30 agents who also spent money to obtain that same information on this listing. What a waste of cash.

How many recent articles have we read that talk about how we need to lose that stigma of a salesperson, not to mention posts that say the consumer is so “over being sold”?

Emails like this from my client are also a real-life reminder of why a professional real estate agent does conduct themselves to a higher standard.

For me, personally, I spend money on my CRM. I love it. I can touch base with past clients and contacts who hopefully still like me — customers who would welcome a phone call, email or another contact from me because I represented them well, gave them good service and have kept up with them.

Just like this seller of mine whom I developed a relationship with before the listing, but then she decided to let her listing expire. Even now, I  keep up with her because that urge to move will come back one day, and she will call me again.

How much more productive is that compared to calling a bunch of homeowners whose listings expired because the seller is not ready to move, the house is priced too high, the condition is bad, or they have a bad taste in their mouths still because of a previous agent?

Not saying some don’t achieve their goal and get listings out of it. Just saying that for me, I have enjoyed the Brian Buffini perspective of working with referrals and developing more than a transactional-based experience with each sale. Build relationships that last.

I got a call on the way home today. A past client from four years ago called me to say she got my letter in the mail through my CRM that dealt with pricing a home to sell this spring.

This action happens to be what Buffini calls an “item of value.” She said that she was calling because she and her husband just had a baby, had outgrown their home and were looking to move.

They wanted to get with me to talk about sales in their neighborhood and how to put their house on the market. Note the significant part of this story: She called me. What a difference compared to buying lists and the first story with the calls and harassment my other client felt.

For a past client or a referral from a client to call is about the best phone call you can get in our business. It’s why I feel the best use of money spent is always on past clients — not random expired sellers.

Hank Bailey is an associate broker and Realtor at Re/Max Legends. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Hank Bailey.

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