23: Why You Shouldn’t Trick Your Real Estate Prospects

So I get a call the other day from one of the big internet portal sites.  And they tricked me.

Here’s how they did it and why it makes me think less of them now.  Here’s also why I think we as agents should avoid this same type of behavior.

I was in a zone where I was getting things done and generally avoiding all other interruptions for a while (no email, phone, texts, etc.).  But my phone rang with the caller ID showing my local area code.  So, figuring it had a greater opportunity to be a real connection of mine than one that came from 10 states away, I picked up the phone.

23 home portal trick

“Hey John – this is Sammy from homeportalsite.com” (obviously, fake name and domain used here).  With a super-energetic voice, she proclaimed “I finally have zip code areas available for you to advertise in.  They’re in really high demand and they just opened up, so I wanted to give you the first opportunity at them.”

I’m not sure why anything in high-demand needs sales people to cold call you about it, but that’s a story for a different time.

Anyway, it was a short conversation as I explained that I do my own marketing.  But before the call ended, I remembered that the caller ID was from my own town so I asked “when did you get an office in Naperville?”

Her response was the basis for this whole article.

She said “oh, we don’t have an office there.  It’s just that our phone system creates a calller-ID number from the location where we’re calling to.  It’s helps in getting our calls answered.”

First, bravo for using technology in a creative way.

Second, I view this particular creative implementation of technology to be a trick.  Had I known who it was – or who it might have been – I wouldn’t have picked up the phone.

This, of course, is why they use it.  Because they know that I wouldn’t have answered the phone if it was a sales pitch for something that few people want.

This feeling of being tricked got me a bit frustrated.  The call was a waste of my time and, further, it makes me think even less of this company now because I know that their product is of so little value to most people that they have to come up with inventive ways to connect with me just to beg for my attention.

This got me thinking about the value that I provide to people:  

Is what I do of so little value that I have to trick people into talking with me?

I’m working hard to make sure that it isn’t.

I understand that prospecting is essential to stay alive in real estate.  I know that not everyone is going to want to hear from me at all times.  And I know that some people will see or hear me and think “oh great, another cheesy real estate agent” and not give me the benefit of the doubt.

But I also know that I’m not going to trick people into talking with me.

I feel that what I do has strong enough value that, if you’re in the market to be buying or selling, then you won’t be offended if I contact you in a straight-forward and transparent manner.  And I think we’re in a day and age where consumers are absolutely repelled by anything that has the slightest hint of shady sales tactics.

People don’t want to be tricked.  They have very limited time and so it requires us to up our game to make sure that when we do connect with them, they feel good about us when the conversation ends.

What do you think?  Is this just an arrogant rant or do you think that it’s right and good to employ any and every way to connect with possible new prospects, even if the method is a little devious?

Let me know in the comments below.

18: Why Open Houses Still Trump Internet Leads – Mark Allan Bua

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“Internet buyers don’t exist until you meet them.”  Learn how Mark’s team updated their approach to bridge internet leads with old school techniques.

Mark Allan Bua real estate agentProfile

Agent:   Mark Allan Bua

Market:  Los Angeles, California area

Steal His Ideas:

  • “Meeting” internet buyers
  • Open houses
  • Expired listings
  • Phone prospecting
  • Following up

18 - mark allan bua



Mark’s team initially betted too big on the internet.  But, with an adjustment to not count on them too heavily, they returned to more traditional approaches such as open houses.

They also evaluate the market to see where they can capitalize.  For example, his local market currently is in a position where prices rose too quickly.  As a result, there are many more expireds on the market.  So, they work expireds hard to get new business.  And, for their own clients, they work hard to make sure they keep their prices in line with where the market really is.

To find expired listings, they do research to find phone numbers, emails, and any other source of contact information they can find.  They then make presentations to discuss what they’d do differently.  They often find that the problem is not just price.

As a Keller Williams member, they follow their prescribed principles of lead generation such as shooting for 2 hours a day of prospecting.  They have no problem picking up the phone asking “who do you know?” that would be interested in their listings.

To try and keep people engaged, they use “mirroring” to emulate the emotions and demeanor of the person on the other end of the phone.

Of course, the key to all of this is to keep following up with people, such as the “33 touch” program.  Without follow up, you won’t close many deals.

Lightning Round

What’s the worst marketing you’ve done that others should avoid:  Non-targeted advertising

What keeps you motivated:  Giving back to other agents and the community at large

You have 30 days and $1000, what do you do:  Put on some good walking shoes and start knocking on doors.  Sit an open house in the neighborhood where you want to concentrate.  You don’t need the $1000.  All you need is the motivation.

How You Can Do What He’s Done

Don’t rely too much on the internet.  Don’t be afraid to fail.  Just go out there and start talking to people.

You have to meet people before they can become your clients.

Stick to the basics of open houses, door knocking, and cold calling and you’ll get to contact people who may end up being your clients.


Mark Allan Bua, The Home Front Group