Rules for CORE Agents #6: Stop Annoying People!

The real estate industry has become very good at annoying people.  Anytime there’s a new technology for communicating with people, agents seize on the new medium to inundate their clients, friends, and random people they don’t even know with information that those people don’t care about.

Take, for example, those emails that go out to announce your new listing to a thousand random people.  Face it – there are only two people that care about your new listing: (1) you, and (2) your seller.  No one else wants to see it clogging up their inbox or Facebook feed.  If I’m in the market to buy something, I’ve already set up email alerts to tell me about properties I might like.  If I’m not in the market, I couldn’t care less that you just got a new listing that’s 200 miles from me and not in my price range.

It’s become like an arms race: a new communication medium evolves, then agents start to abuse it with their annoying stuff, and then people find a way to block all those agents.  They get answering machines and Caller ID to screen out calls asking them, “when do YOU plan on moving.”  They open their mail over the trash can so they can throw out your “Just Listed” cards.  They set up spam filters to block your emails.  They set up their Facebook feeds to “ignore” your posts about your open house this weekend.

They tune you out.  Why? Because you’re sending out information important to YOU, not to THEM.  You’re not engaging them by providing them with something useful, you’re just using phones, emails, mail, or Facebook to promote and market yourself.  You’re sending them listings when they’re not on the market, announcing open houses that they don’t want to go to, calling them to ask them for referrals without offering something helpful in return.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t engage in marketing or lead generation.  You absolutely should.  My point is only that you’re much better off if you provide information that is engaging and useful, rather than self-promotional and annoying.  Stop making it all about you, and make it about them and what THEY need.

So call them because you have some information about the market you want to share.  Email them an interesting news article that they might like.  Post something on your Facebook page about design ideas, maybe using one of your new listings as an example of a great kitchen layout.  You’ll find that if you provide people with interesting and useful information, you won’t annoy them.  You’ll engage them, and the more you engage them, the more likely they are to remember you the next time someone mentions that they need a real estate agent.


This post is part of a series of what I call the “36-1/2 Rules for Client-Oriented Real Estate Agents,” a collection of short takes on the CORE concept that I’ve developed over the years of discussing and teaching the system.  We’ll count up to the 36th rule over the next few months, and then the 1/2 rule.  You can get the full list of rules by clicking on the “36-1/2 Rules for CORE Agents” category on the blog – scroll from the bottom if you want to read them in order.