Could your cold calls get you into legal hot water?


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Each week on The Download, Inman’s Christy Murdock takes a deeper look at the top-read stories of the week to give you what you’ll need to meet Monday head-on. This week: What can Keller Williams’ latest legal battle tell you about the way you’re cold-calling leads?

When inventory is low and the market is tough, it’s natural to turn to some of those tried-and-true, old school methods of generating leads, including door knocking and cold calling Expireds and FSBOs. But one agent in Las Vegas has become embroiled in yet another Keller Williams legal battle over her “relentless” calling — allegedly at the behest of her superiors at KW.

Of course, we’ve been back and forth in recent days over the dos and don’ts, wills and won’ts of door knocking. While it has its enthusiastic adherents, it also brings with it a host of safety and privacy concerns that, arguably, apply equally to cold calling.

Just months after Keller Williams Realty agreed to pay $40 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging its agents made unsolicited, pre-recorded calls to consumers without their consent, the major real estate franchisor is facing another, similar suit — along with one of its agents.

On Monday, Las Vegas resident Wayan Garvey filed a complaint seeking class-action status in the U.S. District Court of Nevada against KW and KW agent Britney Gaitan. The complaint alleges KW and Gaitan violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which prohibits making unsolicited, pre-recorded telemarketing calls as well as telemarketing calls and text messages to phone numbers registered on the National Do-Not-Call Registry.

The complaint calls out allegedly “relentless marketing practices” from Keller Williams and its agents, including a partnership with lead provider Landvoice Data, which generates personal phone numbers associated with expired listings in multiple listing services (MLSs) as well as for homes near those expired listings.

So what do you think? Do you swear by the power of cold calling or are you constantly looking for alternatives? We dug into the best advice from our Inman contributors to help you generate leads no matter what your personal preference may be.

Is cold calling dead?

When people say cold calling is dead, perhaps they mean the old version is dead — and luxury real estate agent Amie Quirarte agrees with them. But, in its place, is a type of calling that is effective and useful to the people on both sides of the call. The goal of every agent should not only be a sale, but to provide value to their clients. She offers a step-by-step guide to creating a cold-calling plan. (Protip: Don’t forget to check the Do Not Call registry and respect people’s boundaries.)

EXTRA: To call or not to call: What if FSBOs are on the Do Not Call list? 

Master the art of cold calling with these 8 can’t-miss strategies

Cold calling can be an intimidating prospect for many real estate agents, but it doesn’t have to be, coach and trainer Darryl Davis writes. Turn cold calls into warm leads and drive more sales for your business with his guide. It’s guaranteed to help you think through the process ahead of time so that you’re spending less time dreading the process and more time connecting with potential clients.

5 effective prospecting strategies to take you beyond cold calling

Marketing consultant Diana Zaya writes that, while cold calling has been a “necessary evil” for most sales professionals, there are newer options available to allow the cold call-averse to avoid this dreaded chore. Rather than spending hours each day doing something you hate, check out her list of alternative marketing solutions and create a plan that works for you and your style.

3 Instagram alternatives so you never have to cold call again

In a world full of spam calls, robot telemarketers, and scams, how can you connect with people without having to rely on picking up the phone to call them with zero connection beforehand? Michelle Berman-Mikel is a social media strategist who believes that Instagram can create not only a more effective but a less salesy approach to active prospecting. If cold calling just isn’t for you, follow her guidance to find an Instagram strategy to replace your daily phone sessions.

Christy Murdock is a freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. Connect with Writing Real Estate on Instagram and subscribe to the weekly roundup, The Ketchup.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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