Stay in Compliance: Understanding The Do Not Call Registry…

By
Real Estate Services with Arch Telecom

 

There is a lot of misinformation regarding the Do Not Call (DNC) rules and how they apply to real estate agents.  This isn’t surprising considering there are two federal agencies, The Federate Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that regulate telemarketing compliance; certainly guidelines from two federal agencies can be confusing.

Real estate agents are subject to both the FTC and the FCC regulations and must comply with all of the DNC rules. 

 

The following post is based upon Arch’s understanding of the rules as they exist today and with respect to how agents can remain compliant when calling call-captured leads, for sale by owner and expired listings. 

DISCLAIMER:  As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for advice of competent counsel.  Further, the content is only general information, which may or may not be correct, complete or current at the time of reading.  Arch Telecom expressly disclaims all liability relating to actions taken or not taken based on any or all contents of this article.

Question: Can sales calls be made to consumers on the DNC list?

Answer:  Yes, when there is an exception.  The rules:

  • When there is an "established business relationship" exception to the National DNC provisions so that an agent may call a consumer with whom it has such a relationship, even if the consumer’s number is on the Registry.
  • When a consumer has given the agent express written permission to call, even if the consumer’s number is on the Registry.

Question:  What constitutes an “established business relationship”:

Answer: A relationship between an agent and a consumer based on:

  • The consumer’s inquiry or call regarding a product or service offered by the agent, within the three (3) months immediately preceding the date of a sales call; or
  • The consumer’s purchase, rental, or lease of the agent’s goods or services or a financial transaction between the consumer and seller, within the eighteen (18) months immediately preceding the date of a sales call.

Question:  If a third-party pays for an agents services, can the third party make telemarketing calls relying on the business relationship exemption? 

Answer:  A third-party may make telemarketing calls on behalf of the primary business, about the products and services the customer inquired about.  However, they may not make telemarketing to consumers on the DNC list regarding unrelated products and services.

Question: Is it permissible to call back leads generated by call capture?

Answer:  Yes it is legal and acceptable business behavior subject to certain restrictions.  Call capture is intended to generate business relationships with prospects by providing a service to allow potential customers to request information 24 hours a day and also documents the inquiry.  This establishes the “business relationship” and therefore can safely be called back even when on the DNC.  The spirit and language of the regulation make it clear that the call is allowable AS LONG AS the resulting sales call is in regards to the services the consumer inquired about.

Question:  Can an agent make calls to for sale by owners on the DNC registry?

Answer: Only when the agent is calling to discuss the potential sale to their represented buyer.  In a February ruling, the FCC, despite significant lobbying by the NAR, denied the petition to make Realtors® exempt from the DNC rules with respect to for sale by owners. 

Question:  Can an agent make calls to for expired listings on the DNC registry?

Answer: In the same February ruling, the DNC rules only allow the agent to call his own expired listings for up to 18 months following expiration if the seller is listed on the DNC.

 

Question:  Are there other compliance issues to be aware of?

Answer:  Yes.  Beyond DNC issues, any sales calls are limited to between 8am and 9PM, and the seller must promptly identify themselves and the nature of the call.  For more information, visit the FTC site at:  http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/telemarketing/tel13.shtm

In summary, any business selling to consumers must remain aware and compliant with the spirit and specific regulations of the National DNC list as well as the Telemarketing Sales Rule and state-specific regulations.  Call Capture, by helping to generate customer inquiries and business relationships, can effectively increase an agent’s ability to appropriately market their products and services.  Additionally Arch will provide fsbo and expired lists (in some areas) and scrub all lists, expired, fsbo or sphere of influence against the DNC.  For information please visit www.archagent.com

 

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Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Tags:
call capture
do not call compliance
fsbo
expired

Comments 21 New Comment

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Rainer
6,088
Donna Patton
Real Estate III

Thanks for posting this, I teach this in my legal updates class and so many people still don't know the laws.

February 21, 2010 06:34 AM
Rainmaker
380,067
Elva Branson-Lee
CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent
Solid Source Realty GA

Thank you. So many brokers still hammer on their agents to dial for dollars. It's good to know the rules. I didn't know the one about FSBOs. It will change the way I make "Power Hour" calls from now on.

February 21, 2010 02:05 PM
Rainer
43,009
Arch Telecom
Arch Telecom

Thanks everyone for your comments. This is can be a tricky subject, but typically the compliance laws are pretty clear.

 

We know a lot of people still consistently prospect FSBOs and Expireds with great success, but it is important to know whether or not the person is on the DNC and understand the contact rules.

 

Kathy, I think that in today's world of canned responses and spam a personalized letter can go further than you could ever imagine.

 

Debbie, we offer several inexpensive and effective methods to ensure you are in compliance while prospecting. Please check our website at www.archagent.com or contact us at 800-882-9155.

 

Gene, in terms of the DNC and contacting older prospects there are definitely time constraints based on the EBR rules.

 

Terry, very true and great point.

 

Pam, yes you certainly can contact sellers if you have an interested property.

 

Elva, good luck with your prospecting!

February 22, 2010 09:16 AM
Rainmaker
124,583
Matt Robinson
Pensacola Real Estate (850) 292-4000
ERA Emerald Coast Realty

Does anybody in this business actually cold call anymore?  If you do, you probably should be fined for just being out of touch with today's technology.

February 28, 2010 08:50 PM
Rainmaker
568,677
Phil Leng
Phil Leng Team - Residential Real Estate Experts &
Keller Williams Eastside Market Center

Hi Arch,

These laws are good. Very good in fact.

Our meal time calls have virtually dissappeared. It was horrible at one point.

As agents we can still make a great living and work in full compliance with these laws

Phil

January 13, 2012 09:00 AM
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