Realtors and Real Estate Brokers need to be aware of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the risk associated with cold calling and even texting.
What Is TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) and what are the costs to Realtors for violation?
This act was passed in 1991 and signed into law by former President George Bush. It essentially restricts solicitation by use of automated telephone systems for calling, texting and fax machines.
The current punishment is $500-$1500 for each violation. Complete law on TCPA can be read HERE.
What Does TCPA Mean For Realtors?
There are many new lawsuits attacking Realtors and entire Brokerages for those who violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
These cockroach attorneys are targeting YOU. Yes real estate agents and brokerages in order to bring class action lawsuits against real esate agent and entire brokerages for alleged violations of the TCPA act.
In my research, it appears many of these dirtbag attorneys are jumping on the bandwagon as the next gold rush for their lawsuit mills.
What Can Realtors Do To Prevent a TCPA violation?
In order for Realtors to be 100% protected from this kind of frivolous Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuit, don’t make any calls or texts to anyone who you have not engaged with before.
Such data companies like RedX and Landvoice that provide phone numbers for FSBO’s and Expired listings are not providing consent for Realtors to call or text.
TCPA Frivolous Realtor Lawsuits
You know… I believe the TCPA law was put into place to truly protect people. To protect people from financial scams, identity theft and for their overall safety and wellbeing.
I mean, if you haven’t gotten a call from some middle eastern dirtbag telling you have back paid IRS taxes to pay, then you likely don’t own a phone.
These vermin are real and are out there scamming people of their money every single day. Preying on the ignorant and elderly. And truly violating the TCPA.
However, these TCPS Attorneys are now going after REALTORS, Real Estate Agents and Entire Brokerages. They should be spending their time going after the real threats and doing something good for US citizens.
Real Estate Agents Should Be Exempt to TCPA Violations
A Realtor calling or texting a For Sale By Owner or Expired Listing should be free game so as long as REALTORS are respectful. At the end of the day, 80%+ FSBO’s end up utilizing the services of a real estate professional.
Realtors are not scamming or hurting the public. Realtors are in fact helping. But, now we have these termite attorney’s sucking the time and money from Realtors due to TCPA violations.
What a shame…
What To Expect with Real Estate Brokerages and TCPA
I believe this is only going to get worse before it gets better. I think we will see a lot more lawsuits filed daily for Realtor & Real Estate Brokerages for Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations.
I think NAR (National Association of Realtors) should use their well paid lobbyists to fight Congress against these types of lawsuits. Not too mention clogging up our judicial systems fro frivolous TCPA REALTOR Lawsuits.
These TCPA attorneys are in it for only one thing. Money. And not necessarily money for the individual. But money for them, the attorney.
Only Way To Realtors can avoid TCPA Violations and The Do Not Call List –
The only way real estate agents can prevent TCPA violations and the Do Not Call List is the following:
- Must have an established business relationship. IE – Someone who came into your open house and you call or text to follow up.
- Have written consent from the person you are calling / texting.
- Calls from non-profit, political calls and non commercial purposes.
- Informational messages such as debt collection, airline notifications, school / university notices, bank fraud on your account, wireless usage, research / survey calls.
You can read up on the FTC site HERE to have a thorough understanding about this.
I’m a Realtor and Want to Cold Call without Violating the TCPA
Well, reread the last prevention above. “Research / Survey”
If you know of Mike Ferry, his scripts for FSBO’s start out “I am doing a survey of all the FSBO’s in the area and…” So as long as you get into the questions pertaining to the survey you might be OK.
IE – How long have you had it on the market? What kind of activity are you getting? What are you doing to market the property? How did you come up with the price? Why didn’t you list with a real estate professional? If you were to list, did you have an agent in mind?
However, be sure to talk with your attorney and real estate broker before making any cold calls.
But let’s face it, even if you follow the exceptions to a tee, it doesn’t matter as Realtors can still get sued for anything including violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act… We live in a litigious society, sadly.
Any other options for Realtors to prospect and not violate the TCPA act?
I think good ole fashion door knocking is extremely effective and does not violate Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Even though you still will want to check with local rules / laws against solicitation in your target neighborhoods.
I’d say this is the safest way to actively prospect if you are hungry for it.
Realtors vs. TCPA Attorney & Insurance
Be safe out there. These TCPA attorneys are not going anywhere. And I do not believe that many General Liability or Errors & Omissions Insurances will cover a Telephone Consumer Protection Act Violation.
Be prepared. Protect yourself.