Seller's agents are spammers

Asked by Frustratedhomebuyer, San Diego, CA Mon Dec 27, 2010

I'm trying to buy a house in SD. Every time I email a question to a real estate agent (such as, "Can I see the house on Wednesday?"), the agent ignores my question and starts spamming me. I am now auto-deleting hundreds of emails per day from real estate agents announcing new homes on the market. I don't want to receive a newsletter, I just want my one question answered. If an agent would just read and respond to my email, I might have bought a house by now. Is this common?

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Answers

145
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Thu Dec 30, 2010
Last time I will mention this person on this site.

"John, Dunes is highly respected on both sites. he / she is an avid consumer advocate"

Dunes was the biggest spammer on Trulia and is the biggest spammer out here.. how so? By hijacking threads to sell his ridiculous point to everyone.. that is spam. He tried to answer every post with his personal spam. End of it. You will see what it is all about at some point. Consumer advocate? No. Respected? No.

Dunes is no longer here and conumers are better off without the nonsense.
9 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Fri Dec 31, 2010
Well, happyasaclam doesn't have any reason to post, she's too busy enjoying her home, having parties, and tearing up her dance floor!

People with problems or complaints post questions here. Not so much, "All is sunshine, how's your day?"

I would like my colleagues to consider this idea, if you would: Some of the people who have the lowest regard for the real estate profession are the practitioners themselves. We demonstrate it - validate it, even - by professing to be "above the filth." Hey, everybody, let's not act like our slimy brethren.

To my mind, nothing denigrates any field more than proclaiming, "I'm different, I'm the good one."

If our worst sins are that we use auto email and put our contact information / business card in every written communication, the world can handle that.

Frankly, I think that most of our problems stem from our schizophrenia - we are salespeople, and we want to be something else that, very technically and legally, we are not. You can be a salesperson and be honest, ethical, and while representing your clients interests. It's not that difficult. And if you're going out on a listing appointment, try telling the seller that you're not really a salesperson, that you're more of a consultant. See how that flies.

Our original posters states that they might have bought a house by now if only an agent would read their email. I do not think this is common.

All the best,
7 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Fri Dec 31, 2010
Bravo Mack.

"I would like my colleagues to consider this idea, if you would: Some of the people who have the lowest regard for the real estate profession are the practitioners themselves. We demonstrate it - validate it, even - by professing to be "above the filth." Hey, everybody, let's not act like our slimy brethren.
To my mind, nothing denigrates any field more than proclaiming, "I'm different, I'm the good one."


Happy New Year!
6 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Dec 29, 2010
This is the new world order, folks. In the old days, home shoppers actually had to have a conversation with a real estate agent, that agent would always have the opportunity to solicit that client's business.

Nowadays, not so much. Shoppers - consumers, all of us - want what we want when we want it and we don't want to have to put up with any nonsense over it. Look at the people who post questions here - virtually always anonymous, if they don't like the answer they get huffy, that's the way things are.

But let's get real. Real estate agents are in sales, and we know, from experience, that you get more sales from face-to-face contact with actual clients than you do by tossing emails to and from Hotmail accounts.

The websites, like T & Z, have their own raison d'être, which is to sell advertising. They prefer that we agents buy sidebar ads rather than put our contact info in every posting.

So, let's do ourselves - and everybody else - a favor. Let's not pretend that we wouldn't like to sell Frustratedhomebuyer, or someone like that, a house. Let's not pretend that we're not really interested in new business, let's not pretend that all of our listings are selling so well that we don't deign to bother with the Great Unwashed about trying to get them in the door.

Abide by the rules, absolutely. And I implore my colleagues - if you're not in sales, check your license. Mine used to say Salesperson, now it says Broker. It doesn't say Consultant, Marketing Specialist, Great Guy To See Houses With. We are licensed by the state to sell real estate.
6 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Jan 1, 2011
Thanks, John!

Joan, you must have heard the phrase, "you can't have clean hands while slinging mud." Every time we use the marketing tactic, "I'm above the filth," we are denigrating the profession. The statement associates the profession with dishonor, and places the speaker in the interesting position of explaining why they ever joined the profession in the first place. ("I wanted to save home buyers and home sellers from the lousy real estate agents in our area.")

As far as bad real estate behavior, please. The "worst" stuff leads to license revocations; there were seventeen in Washington State last year. There are contentious cases, like some of those discussed on T and Z, which go to interpleading or arbitration or perhaps to court, the total number of these cases are hardly clogging up the court system. Auto email, not in the same galaxy.

As to "I don't think what we label ourselves matters," consider that it does to the State. Washington State just changed, we are all Brokers. In some states, there are Salespersons and Brokers, and it is a license violation to represent yourself as the higher designation if you're not licensed as such.

Of course, the best of us counsel, advise, market, all that stuff. But I think we could really use an integrity check - are we telling our clients the whole truth when we act as if we're not taking time away from our families? Aren't we really investing that time towards getting paid for putting a real estate transaction together?
5 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Jan 9, 2011
Sigrid - the only way you can make it stop is to go to "email alerts" (under the question) and click on the option that will turn off further alerts from this thread.

Otherwise - this is a thread that will just keep on going, much like the energizer bunny.....

:)
4 votes
Oggi Kashi, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sat Jan 8, 2011
Listing agents receive bogus emails all day long from "buyers". Sometimes it's difficult to know if the inquiry is genuine. Sometimes the issue is the price range. If you are looking at homes that are most affordable, the number of inquiries received by the listing agent might be overwhelming.

I believe the best course of action for you is to interview a few realtors and choose your own buyer's agent to make the calls and go to bat for you.

Oggi Kashi,
Broker Associate
Paragon Real Estate Group - DRE 1844627
Web Reference:  http://www.oggikashi.com/
4 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Wed Dec 29, 2010
Do you respond to these agents or do they just send you lisings?

I seriously doubt that every agent you sent an email never contacted you and just added you to an automatic notification. This does not sound right. Sounds like a bunch of baloney to me.

John Sacktig
Broker / Manager
Orange Key Realty
4 votes
David Cooper, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sun Jan 9, 2011
Email is one way communication, and NOT the way I can reallly learn the motivation's and needs of my buyer or seller. If I don't have a active phone number and make voice contact after 2 email's back and forth, I consider the "lead" as very luke warm, and move on to someone who seems more willing to have me represent them.
Buyer's who seriously want to work with me, give their phone number by the second request. I have no need to send any more emails to those who don't.

David Cooper davidcooper@lasvegaswinner.org
3 votes
John Walin, Agent, Libertyville, IL
Mon Jan 3, 2011
Frustrated
This isnt a matter of ethics, or lazy practices of SD real estate agents. It sounds like you want to deal exclusively with the listing agent for a home you are interested in seeing. There is a strong case against doing that, go google designated agency and see what you give up representation wise when you participate in dual agency.

Quick solution is don't email, call that agent to get your appointment time. Also as a listing agent, if you want to only see my listing red flags go up in my head as to why don't you want to see other homes with agent. Fact is, few people buy the house they originally called on and if you are not willing to commit to one agent you like and trust you are wasting many agents time in their hope of getting lucky that you buy the one they show you. Interview buyer agents, find one you like and trust, sign a buyer agency agreement and go exclusively through that one agent.

I copied pasted same message because when i did original posting I forgot to "unclick" notification of other responses. I wish trulia had it the other way around! I don't like getting 7 emails in 3 hours on my i-phone following this threading :)
3 votes
Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Fri Dec 31, 2010
Beg to differ Mack. Standing by and not saying something when agents are demonstrating the worst of themselves to the detriment of the RE profession is far worse than refusing to tolerate bad behavior.

Complacency just breeds acceptance of the lowest denominator which drags the whole profession down.

I don't think what we label ourselves matters. Salespeople, transaction coordinators, problem-solvers, fire putter outer, negotiators......what does it matter, as long as we do the best we can for the people who hire us?

Once again, I feel that the majority of people on this thread probably have a lot to offer. I just think its better done by sharing knowledge than soliciting business.
3 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Fri Dec 31, 2010
"The posters name is Frustratedhomebuyer not Happyasaclamhomebuyer. That should tell you somethng. Answering this question with a bunch of call me responses only proves their issue. I don't think that they take away a positive attitude when they have to weed through all the posts soliciting business. This is more than just a sales job. We provide a service and we want people to come to us and trust us. You can take out ads or have websites to solicit business. People expect that when they search you out. Here they just want answers. Let’s provide that service and maybe if they like what you say they will come to you without you having to beg for it. "
Good, but Patrick.. who says that you, or me, or Joan or anyone is the one that can say stop posting and This person had enough and I ALREADY ANSWERED IT. If that person comes here and gets their answer and an agent to call.. (like this one obviously already did) move on.

You want to sit here and pontificate about how much you like this and would like this business to be..sorry, it is what it is. Like all other business in the world, there are good and bad. There are real estate agents that are whiners (as we have seen here) and there are people that answer questions and tell people to call them.. you don’t like it.. Change the channel. Yes. it is that simple.

If you want to beg.. beg away.
If you want to answer questions in a stupid fashion.. do so.
If you want to be funny, be funny.
If you don’t like it.. move on to another thread.
3 votes
Patrick Thies, Agent, Anytown, IL
Thu Dec 30, 2010
I'm not exactly sure that I would call Dunes a spammer. You may not like what he had to say because most times it was making agents or Trulia accountable for their statements. I disagreed with him at times but felt that he was making agents and Trulia live up to the standards and professionalism they claim to have.

This is just sales? Really? Are we selling kitchen gadgets that you can't live without? And if they don't work all you lost is $29.99 + shipping and handling? This job is far more then just sales. This is the biggest decision and purchase many will make in their life. There is much, much more to this then just getting them to buy a house. I sure wouldn't be able to sleep very well if I thought that I was in this just to get someone to buy something so that I get a commission. We need to listen to them and help them through the process and mean it, not just be in it for the commission.

Consumers come to this part of Trulia to get answers to their questions not to be solicited by agents trying to get a sale. Do agents join Trulia in hopes of getting leads or business? Yes, but it's a result of being professional and helpful, not jumping in and responding with "Call me call" and plastering your answer with phone numbers, emails, websites and a diarea of credentials that really don't mean squat unless you can back it up with your actions. There are agents on here whose sign off is 10 times longer then their response. Their answer gets lost in the mix. It's a little obnoxious in my opinion. Those are the types of things that Dunes called people on the carpet for.

Read some of these comments from the consumer. They are getting tired of the salesman mentality. I do damage control all the time and have to work twice as hard to overcome their perception of REA's and our industry. These types of forums need to be informative and helpful so that they turn to us for answers, not shy away because they are slammed with agents looking for business and seem only interested in getting a commission.

It's ok to disagree or to have a difference of opinion, however, keep it professional and respectful. Try and keep the level of professionalism up rather than drag it down with all the self promotion and begging for business. Just my opinion.
3 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Dec 29, 2010
Thanks, Joan.

Our frustrated homebuyer can complain all s/he wants, we're not going to stop reaching out. I get over 300 emails a day because my address is out on real estate websites - title, escrow (closing, Robin!), lenders, insurance, home repair, cleaning, sign posting, flyer creation and delivery and website development and SEO and other agents wanting to spam with my listings and on and on and on.

Yes, listing agents are spammers. How much mail do I get from Trulia?

I think I'll be okay.
3 votes
Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Wed Dec 29, 2010
Nice John. "This does not sound right. Sounds like a bunch of baloney to me." Nice way to help somebody.

Most agents here have their contact info readily available in their profile. I'm pretty sure that if a consumer is interested in contacting an agent they know how to do so without the agent actively solicting or putting a boatload of contact information in their answer.
Frustratedhomebuyer asked a question talking about frustration with spamming and gets solicited. I didn't see a cry for help. I certainly didn't see this person asking to have agents clammering for business like sharks in a feeding frenzy.

I don't know, I could be wrong and I'm pretty sure you will gladly correct me but I seem to remember Zillow pulling your profile because you couldn't/wouldn't follow their community guidelines which actively discourages spamming.

If further tarnishing the RE industry's reputation is your deal and any others who feel that this is the way to come across to people who come here asking for help, that's your deal and I'm obviously not going to change it.

But I'm not going to shut up about it either.
3 votes
Patrick Thies, Agent, Anytown, IL
Wed Dec 29, 2010
Just an FYI for those that some agents are referring to regarding spam. This is from Trulias Community Guidelines:

2. Be informative
Make a positive impact by sharing your knowledge and opinions with others and strive to post highly informative and useful content.

Answering questions with a mere “Yes” or “No” or with responses like “Ask a real estate professional” or “Contact me for assistance” is generally unhelpful. We discourage such responses and encourage you to address questions directly and in as much detail as possible.

Notice the "Contact me for assistance" part. Also, if you have a difference of opinion on something, expressing your own opinion if fine, but try and keep the name calling out of it. It's not necessary nor is it very professional.
3 votes
Jason Baez, Agent, Norfolk, VA
Tue Jan 18, 2011
Browse the profiles of several agents in the area and contact them yourself. Go with the one that you "click" with and be loyal. That agent will take care of you better than any listing agent probably will. Good luck.
2 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Fri Jan 14, 2011
132 answers and counting......oy.........and on that note - I wil make good use of the alert button and end this........bye Furustatedhome buyer, et al.........
2 votes
Christine Mc…, Agent, Valparaiso, IN
Mon Jan 10, 2011
You need your own agent as a buyer. That agent will contact listing agents about any questions you may have. It usually is free to work with an agent as a buyer.
Good Luck
2 votes
John Walin, Agent, Libertyville, IL
Sun Jan 9, 2011
Scanning unsolicited emails and deleting is hard, not. Gee, I get nigerian banker emails and inheritance notifications daily presented to me as trulia leads in my inbox. Plus get home inspectors and insurance sales from my profile page. You get the good with the bad.
2 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Sat Jan 8, 2011
Oggi - And also take notice that Trulia has its share of bogus questions too! There are many people that are disenchanted with the Realtor ® profession and Trulia.com that just come to Trulia.com to post inflammatory questions. Either to get a rise out of people or to get their otherwise non-existent voices in the real world a platform of some sort. We have never heard from Frustrated again, eh?

John Sacktig
Broker / Manager
Orange Key Realty
Direct: 732-213-1409
JSacktig@orangekeyrealty.com
2 votes
Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Thu Jan 6, 2011
Question has been answered ad infinitum!! Enough already! Repeat after me--I will NOT add to a question after the 20th answer has been given!! :-)
2 votes
Vassa Olson, Agent, Locust Grove, VA
Thu Jan 6, 2011
Dear frustrated buyer in San Diego,

If you are a " willing, able and ready" buyer you should select one, a Realtor of your choice to represent you in any/all of your searches and ultimately the purchase of a home. You are doing yourself and Realtors huge disservice by pinging from one Realtor to next with questions.

Try the up front and honest approach starting with telling a Realtor your goals and your interests in buying a home. See if there is a connection. If there is, then you should stay and work only with that with that Realtor until you find a home of your choice. You want honest professional advice from a hard working committed Realtor - you must offer them your honesty and commitment as well. You should focus on creating a Principal/Client relationship with your selected Realtor. Until yo do, you will be doing and receiving more of the same ad keep getting frustrated.

Please take my advise,

Sincerely, a Realtor of 19-years in VA.
2 votes
Bill Hays, Agent, Cardiff, AL
Mon Jan 3, 2011
2 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Sun Jan 2, 2011
I am sorry. I made a stupid mistake in a posting here a few minutes ago, on a post that began:

"I decided 3 years ago to NOT post my contact information directly on the threads because I read that doing so was a violation of Trulia's "Terms of Use" Instead, In order to comply with Trulia's (then) rule, I asked the consumer to click on my profile to access my contact information."
*

Posting your contact information is no longer listed as a violation in the community guidelines or terms of use. This was just pointed out to me. I apologize for an earlier post that claimed that it was still a violation, and to the man who was insulted by my erroneous accusation. If I had taken my own advice and read the http://www.trulia.com/guidelines/ before posting, I would have avoided this embarrassment. I am emailing an apology directly to him as well.

So many agents were posting their contact their contact info directly onto to the threads that Trulia gave up on enforcing the rule, then finally gave up on including the rule in their guidelines. I think they made the right decision.

My advice to frequent posters: Read the terms of use. Read the Community guidelines. (Especially before making a claim about what it says, since it can change)
2 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Sat Jan 1, 2011
I think you hit the nail on the head Mack - an integrity check now and then keeps the train on the track.

If the original poster is still tuned in, I would say just make your wishes known and they should be honored.

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
2 votes
Bill Hays, Agent, Cardiff, AL
Fri Dec 31, 2010
Just because an agent 's style doesn't appeal to one type of person doesn't mean (s)he is less of an agent or broker. Some people like the salesy, hustler approach or other approaches that to others aren't appealing. Bottom line, you should work with an agent who has a style compatible with your style and needs.

I went incognito as a buyer via Trulia to the adjacent county market to see how agents would respond to my inquiry. One of them, whom I never subsequently contacted after the initial inquiry, still is sending me listings. There is nothing personal there at all and it feels very shallow.

I really like Phyllis' simple logic in stating the obvious....there's your answer FHB.

As far as the self appointed Trulia Police Deputy(ies) on these forums. Hit the report button if you think someone is out of line in self promotion; otherwise stop throwing stones. Let Trulia be the judge.

FHB never called me and I would have gladly shown him(her) the home on Weds. I think many of these questions are a combination of ranting (with no real interest in hearing answers) and jokers who just want to see the "dumb realtors" work themselves into a frenzy. We never seem to let them down.

Have a great New Year.

BeachBrokerBill
DRE#01775528
2 votes
Phyllis Cros…, , Tampa, FL
Fri Dec 31, 2010
Why in the world would you contact the sellers' agent. You are creating the spam. Find a good Buyers' agent to represent "YOU"!! They will make all the contacts for you!!

Phyllis Crosby, Realtor
REMax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, Florida
Serving all of Tampa Bay
PHYLLISCROSBY@TAMPABAY.RR.COM
2 votes
Patrick Thies, Agent, Anytown, IL
Fri Dec 31, 2010
If you want to beg.. beg away.
If you want to answer questions in a stupid fashion.. do so.
If you want to be funny, be funny.
If you don’t like it.. move on to another thread.
______________________________________

Some of us still have respect, care and concern for our clients and industry as well. You may not care if it becomes a sleasy salesman type industry, but I and many others do. You can do business any way you like, All I ask is that people take their snake oil sales somewhere else.
2 votes
Patrick Thies, Agent, Anytown, IL
Fri Dec 31, 2010
It's not a matter of moving on, rather more getting back to the way questions and advice used to be. People came here for answers to questions or problems they had and agents would answer them. Now people come here for answers and they get "I'm so sorry to hear that, why don't you call me". That's not an answer, that's a solicitaion for business and I think that's what many object to. (Which is in the Trulia guidelines as something NOT to do. Why they don't enforce it more is another issue).

Most posters appear to already have an agent and seem to be asking questions to validate what is being told to them. They are not here looking for agents. I don't know how other areas do this, but in my area it is against the board rules to solicit a client that may already have an agent. Yet here, it's done all the time. If someone is looking for an agent, they can click on a profile or go to Find a Pro. You can put all the brag stuff and contact info you like there, that's what it's for. This is the Q & A section.

More importantly, it's about looking professional and being helpful. It doesn't look very good when people come here for answers and get hit with a dozen call me responses and no answers. It doesn't help them when 23 people answer with the exact same answer as the other 23 and end it with call me. They already have 23 other call me's with the same answer. What makes number 23 so special? It doesn't help them and they get frustrated with us on a whole.

The posters name is Frustratedhomebuyer not Happyasaclamhomebuyer. That should tell you somethng. Answering this question with a bunch of call me responses only proves their issue. I don't think that they take a way a positive attitude when they have to weed through all the posts soliciting business.

This is more then just a sales job. We provide a service and we want people to come to us and trust us. You can take out ads or have websites to solicit business. People expect that when they search you out. Here they just want answers. Lets provide that service and maybe if they like what you say they will come to you without you having to beg for it.
2 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Fri Dec 31, 2010
"Regarding spam, I suppose agents actively attempting to solicit business from someone asking a question, especially someone expressing displeasure at the actual spamming they have been subjected to, and agents putting their contact information (and in some cases every glowing self-serving description and designation they can think of) in their answer doesn't actually meet the definition. So, I stand corrected. "

If this is such and issue for you, then go to another site.. "change the channel". It is not like you pay to be a member of any website anyway.. go log onto any other free Real Estate website and yodel away. But, no... although you hate it here, you still visit and post.. why?

Because you think that someone will read your posts and say.. oh gee.. Joan is a great Realtor! She does not like what she "is now calling spam" and fights for it... Yay Joan! Ugh, please.

People come to these Q&A sites for answers to questions, find out about Real Estate and to meet, review and contact Realtors.. it is a 50-50 thing.... some do, some don't

Life is too short and the world is too easy with this stuff.. change the channel and move on if you do not like it.

John Sacktig
Broker / Manager
Orange Key Realty
Direct: 732-213-1409

Email: JSacktig@orangekeyrealty.com
2 votes
Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Thu Dec 30, 2010
Well said Patrick. I have come to expect no less from you.

Regarding spam, I suppose agents actively attempting to solicit business from someone asking a question, especially someone expressing displeasure at the actual spamming they have been subjected to, and agents putting their contact information (and in some cases every glowing self-serving description and designation they can think of) in their answer doesn't actually meet the definition. So, I stand corrected.

It isn't spam. It's simply obnoxious and does reputation of the RE profession no favors.

That being said, I hope Frustratedhomebuyer has learned to turn off his/her email alerts a long time ago because we are filling up this poor person's email with this nonsense and I guess I am as guilty as all others on this thread.
2 votes
Stephanie K, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Dec 30, 2010
Hey Frustrated HomeBuyer, You sure opened a can of worms. Are you still opening all the answers that are coming in your email? You've gotten some great advice. I loved the advice about setting up a separate email account for your home search. That still won't make an agent contact you though. And what an "AHA" moment it must have been to learn that we are marketeers, in this endeavor, trying to attract business by putting our faces and contact information out there only to put you on a email chain mail list of useless information and not returning your serious calls for help, and a simple appointment. Business must be hopping in San Diego.

Seriously, when I sign up on any website, I expect to be added to their marketing campaigns. There is usually an opt out place if I don't want their emails. I scroll through hundreds, if not thousands of emails daily, because there might be something useful. After a few days, its easy to see which ones are the same stuff over and over and I opt out - its really a no brainer.

If you really want to search for and find your house all by yourself, without a buyers agent, give the listing agent a break. I know that our team takes every email we get seriously. Occaisionally, one may fall through the cracks, but we try very hard for that not to happen. We try to respond within minutes of getting an email, but if the email comes in at midnight, it may wait until morning. If you give us a phone number, you run the risk of having us call you, but then, you did want to see the house. Give the listing agent your question, the address, the time you want to see the house, whether or not you are prequalified and a phone number and time to reach you. You will probably still go on the mailing list, but you just upped your chances for getting a quick call back. If you don't get a response then, You can text us, call us, tweet us or find us on Facebook.

Sorry, I am not in San Diego, but if all this fails and If the house is listed in MLS, most agents could probably answer or find an answer for you, and do you really want to work with an agent that won't call bacK?
2 votes
Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Wed Dec 29, 2010
John, Dunes is highly respected on both sites. He is an avid consumer advocate and yes, became a thorn in Trulia's side. His banning was a detriment to consumers who visited this site. By the way, you can't spam if by definition you aren't selling anything that would benefit yourself.

I am not doubting your ability to do your job. I do wonder, however, why you are acting as if blatant solicitaton on a website where consumers are seeking advice is an okay thing? How is that helping people?
2 votes
Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Wed Dec 29, 2010
Mack, you're right. I admit I don't like to consider myself a salesperson yet obviously I'm in the business to sell houses. I am hungry for business just like all other agents. I also happen to believe there are different ways to get business other than annoying people. I never came to Trulia with the intent to solicit business. I truly believe that if people like my answers then maybe business will come but if it doesn't happen through Trulia or Zillow or other sites, I'm okay with that because I would rather know that I am treating consumers the way I want to be treated and trying not to perpetuate the pushy agent stereotype.

You know, maybe I will fail in this business. Maybe trying to do what I feel is right isn't good enough. Maybe I am just not pushy enough, in your face enough, But that will not stop me from trying to conduct business that is respectful of people who are looking to use me for such an important sale in their life.

I understand that my answers (which have been referred to as "snarky" and other descriptive colorful words by others) may rub some people the wrong way. It isn't my intent to pick fights or pretend to be superior. I am sure many agents here, including some on this thread, are fine agents who do right by the people who hire them. Its just that I am not sure everyone realizes how they come across to the general public and how much some of these "pick me!" answers feed into the negative stereotype of RE agents.

I just don't want to be lumped into that group just because I am, as Mack says, a salesperson.
2 votes
Dan Nolan, S…, Agent, Hammond, IN
Wed Dec 29, 2010
Since emailing is an issue, just pick up the phone and ask.
2 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Tue Dec 28, 2010
The best advice is to get your own agent. He/she will serve as a buffer between the spammers and you. And never, ever deal with the listing agent directly.

It's possible that when you fill out an online form, there's some fine print saying you agree to that site's terms and conditions. I'll bet if you look there, you'll see that it says that it can contact you with other leads. Essentially, they're saying that if you fill out the form and check "agree," then you're agreeing to be spammed.

One service I love is called "Spam Gourmet." See http://www.spamgourmet.com It lets you set up a specific e-mail address that forwards e-mail to you. You can "kill" it at any time. I use it all the time when I'm requesting information online and don't know if I'm going to be added to someone's spam list. It's free. I highly recommend it.

Meanwhile, turnabout is fair play. In most e-mail programs, you can set up rules on what to do with incoming e-mails. For instance, let's say you're being spammed by JohnSpammer@SlimeySanDiego.com. You probably can set up your e-mail program to send all those e-mails directly to your trash. Or call John Spammer's office and get his broker's name and e-mail. Then set up your e-mail so that all of John Spammer's spam is forwarded to his broker.

Hope that helps.
2 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Dec 27, 2010
No, Frustratedhomebuyer, it is not common for someone to have not bought a house because they've received too many emails.

Real estate brokerage is a business, not a public utility, and the men and women that you contact offer information as an excuse to make contact with you.

All the best,
2 votes
Lauren Gross, Agent, La Jolla, CA
Mon Dec 27, 2010
Hi "Buyer", and I use this term carefully...

This market is bringing out the worst in buyers, sellers and agents, period. Agents have become desperate in their attempts to connect with an actual, qualified buyer. Buyers are using and abusing agents and working with several agents with no loyalty and will drop them and the efforts that they have put forth. I have a listing Downtown San Diego and got a frantic call from a poor agent that told me she had a "buyer" that just HAD to see my listing, that she saw it on line and she was ready to make an offer. This poor agent practically begged me to let them in last minute and clear my seller out of his condo to make this happen. Well, I did and to my disgust, recognized this "buyer" right away. When I told this "buyer" that she looked familiar and asked if she had been to my listing, she said "no". The poor agent piped up and said "Oh NO! She JUST flew into town and has never been here!". I called that poor, dish rag agent and told her that her 'buyer" had been through with another agent and she wasn't surprised, but very disappointed, to say the least.
This is the sort of odious behavior that agents are dealing with right now. I do agree that sending immediate spammy emails to a "buyer" with just a question is out of line, but this market is bringing out the WORST in most everyone. Hopefully we will see an improvement in eithics in 2011. Agents, as you can see from the answers to your question, are desperate to connect and are taking chances every day when thinking they are "working" with someone that appreciates their hard work and efforts. When "buyers" contact me, I answer their questions, but by no means do I waste my time with "buyers' that don't want to hear from me again. They will contact ME when they need me. If they want to get emails from me, they will ask for them.
We are ALL looking forward to a New Year and new respect for each other in 2011!!! BELIEVE IT!!!!
2 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Tue Jan 18, 2011
Klaus -some qestions just keep on going - why some people feel the need to pile on the same redundant responses over and over, I just don't get.

Tthe only person who can "end" a thread is the poster - they have to delete it in its entirety, and that rarely, if ever, happens. It would be nice, imo, if the poster DID have the option to say: "Gee, I have enough answers already, time to end this to new responses".......but they can't.

You, however, can click on the "email alert" option under the question and turn off future alerts from here.

That's exactly what I am going to do as soon as I post this response!

Bye.......
1 vote
Christine M…, Home Buyer, Prescott, AZ
Tue Jan 11, 2011
Well, at least you got replies. I have expressed interest in homes, used the contact agent feature, and have not gotten any replies almost two weeks later. Your best bet is to contact a local agent and work with that one person. I did that and am much happier and getting good service.
1 vote
Christopher…, Agent, Methuen, MA
Sun Jan 9, 2011
I agree that this is not acceptable behavior. I am always very sensitive to both my buyer and seller clients. Agents should not be selling client email addresses or spamming. If someone asks me not to email them any more I make note of it and I make sure that I don't email them any more, period. Sorry that you are having so much trouble.
Web Reference:  http://www.teamlefebvre.net
1 vote
Suz A, Agent, Longmont, CO
Sun Jan 9, 2011
Obviously, you have struck a nerve, Frustrated!

For as many years as email has been with us, it is hard to believe that someone has not produced services that are far less intrusive. When I signed on with Trulia, for instance, the first thing I did was a test of its email to see what was presented to people who request information. I haven't had any complaints - knock on wood.

Some agents may market more aggressively than others, but I don't believe they want to create an annoyance for a prospective buyer.

This might be helpful to others:

1) Go to an agent's web site to request information. They likely have set up an auto response, too. Why is that better? The agent has a phone number that you can use if there is no opt-out. Please look for an opt-out on the emails before calling, though. Some web sites require your email information for access to their listings - as if it is proprietary information. This isn't a problem until the requesting person becomes disinterested. In other words, the information was not helpful or they acted on the information. Yet, the emails keep coming. These web site owners need to review their marketing practices.

2) Email the webmaster or the contact at the web site. It takes a few extra steps, but if you can't find an opt-out link go to the web site. You sometimes can learn the web master's email and you can follow up in any way you like. I hope you will give them a chance to fix the problem before resorting to using a sternly worded email.

3) The straw man's solution: Get creative. If you can't get the web site to turn off the tap, you sometimes can misdirect emails. I go over to hotmail or yahoo and create an email address. Then with that genuine email address that I never intend to use - I change the email address at the offending web site. Eventually, the email account will automatically close.

4) Always be civil in making your request. I might not care about the feelings of someone who is making my life unpleasant, but raising the level of tension in commerce works something like karma. Often, civility gets your request addressed right away.

I hope your home search goes better, Frustrated.

Best,
SuZ
1 vote
The Roskelly…, Agent, Gambrills, MD
Sun Jan 9, 2011
I don't blame your for being frustrated. Agents who advertise on-line should be respectful of buyers wishes and answer e-mails promptly. Shame on them. Connect with one pro and get on their website. Use them for all your communication and you can completely avoid this problem.
1 vote
Derek Rotzin…, , San Diego, CA
Sun Jan 9, 2011
It's odd these agents ignore a request to show potential clients a house when the whole reason an agent would send out mass emails is to get someone to reply saying exactly that - wanting to make an appointment to get together.

If you want to see any house in San Diego, I will help you out without the frustration or spam!

Derek Rotzinger
Prudential California Realty
858.344.5731
1 vote
Bill Hays, Agent, Cardiff, AL
Sat Jan 8, 2011
@Oggi - You have probably brought up the best point of this entire worn out thread. If we could only have a dime for every bogus buyer email we receive......it would be like winning the lottery.

BeachBrokerBill
DRE#01775528
1 vote
Gerard Carney, Agent, Spring Hill, FL
Tue Jan 4, 2011
Sorry that you are being Spammed by ignorant Realtors. There are Realty Companies like zip that have their people treat anyone that contacts them as being active business clients and then sends constant auto response email to them. First email back that you wish it to stop, it may take a day or two to stop. If it does not then you need to find the Realtor Association for that area and you need to file a formal complaint! Again sorry for the trouble something as pleasurable as house hunting has caused you due to your choice in Realtors or Real Estate Agent!
1 vote
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri Dec 31, 2010
It is not uncommon for agents to include pull email contacts into drip campaigns, like newsletters, in an effort to stay "top of mind".

I have to agree with Phyllis though and recommend that you find yourself a good buyer's agent to assist you - the best searches build on themselves and when you approach it piece meal, one listing via one listing agent at a time, you never achieve that benefit. I find that for my buyers, the target comes into focus as we move through the process - all of that is lost when you go from listing agent to listing agent.

Plus, you work too hard -- that is what we do, it is how we make our living, by building relationships and adding value that ultimately results in a close sale and happiness all around.

Happy New Year!
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
1 vote
Cory La Scala, Agent, San Diego, CA
Fri Dec 31, 2010
Re: Buyer's agents - we're not all the same, and will have different ways of dealing with clients. I'm pretty flexible, and am happy to answer questions over the phone as opposed to meeting you in an office. Heck, if you've already been qualified for a loan, we can even meet at a property you like. The first meeting doesn't always have to be so formal, if we're able to get the right information. Even email is fine, as long as I know you're qualified to buy, and even if you're not, I can email you a list of lenders that you can contact. We have to ask about your financing, as that can affect the properties you submit offers on. If an agent finds you're not qualified at the first meeting, a good one, along with your lender of choice if applicable, will help you know what you need to do to buy. Sometimes it's just paying off a bill, or producing a document.

So - all buyer's agents aren't the same, you just need to choose one you trust and suits your style.
1 vote
., , Outer Sunset, San Francisco, CA
Wed Dec 29, 2010
Too bad I wish you and I were in the same market. I would love to recieve and respond to your email and the answer would be, what time would you be available to see it? Naturally I am a Realtor but in Westchester county New York! Let me know if you ever look up this way!
Web Reference:  http://www.andrewsilfen.com
1 vote
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