In December, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced new rules surrounding robotexts, robocalls, and lead generation.
At Happy Grasshopper, we know this is positive news for the real estate industry. After all, in 2023, there were 150 million leads for 4 million transactions. This means every lead you currently have in your database is also in the database of several other local agents.
But this is all about to change.
What the FCC Changes Mean for the Real Estate Industry
With the FCC changes, the number of leads in real estate will likely be drastically reduced in the coming years. Once the rules go into effect, lead sharing will be prohibited, meaning that consumer information cannot be sold to multiple agents.
For those who rely on leads from places like Zillow and Realtor.com, this may result in fewer leads and higher costs per lead. In addition, organizations purchasing leads will be required to obtain explicit, individual consent from each consumer before contacting them, eliminating the use of generic consent forms from mass marketing campaigns.
So, what does this mean for your business?
It’s time to go all-in on relationship building.
3 Steps Agents Can Take Now to Get Ahead of FCC Changes
While we don’t know exactly when the new FCC rulings will go into effect, there is plenty you can do now in order to get ahead of upcoming changes. Not only will this save you from massive overwhelm, but it will also help you get organized and make more meaningful relationships this year.
Here are three things you can start doing now to ensure you stay ahead of upcoming FCC changes.
#1— Clean Up Your CRM
Cleaning up your CRM is essential for maintaining its effectiveness and ensuring that you have accurate and up-to-date information. This is something you should be doing on a regular basis, but many agents often neglect to do it.
Here’s a list of things you can do to clean up your CRM:
- Review and Update Contact Information: Check for outdated or incorrect contact information (phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses) and update them as needed. In addition, remove duplicate contacts to keep your database clean and organized.
- Segment Leads and Contacts: Review your tags and segmentation criteria to ensure they are still relevant and useful, and re-segment your contacts based on their current status or engagement level.
- Notes and Interactions: Ensure that there are comprehensive and up-to-date notes for each contact or lead.
- Email Lists and Campaigns: Clean up your email lists by removing bounced or unsubscribed contacts.
- Data Backups: Regularly back up your CRM data to prevent data loss in case of technical issues or data corruption.
- Data Cleanup Schedule: Establish a regular schedule for CRM cleanup to ensure that it doesn’t become neglected in the future.
#2—Build as Many Meaningful Relationships as Possible
Once your database is all cleaned up, you can review your contact list to determine how many meaningful relationships you have.
To strengthen relationships with the people already in your database, do the following:
- Assess the engagement level of each contact. Review their interaction history, such as email opens, click-through rates, and responses to gauge their interest.
- Reconnect with dormant contacts. Identify the contacts you haven’t engaged with in a while, and reach out to them.
- Check in regularly. Establish a schedule for regular contact with each person in your database, whether through phone calls, texts or emails.
- Personalize follow up. In order to strengthen relationships, you need to personalize your messaging. This is why taking comprehensive notes in your CRM is so important!
Building meaningful relationships takes time and effort—but it leads to long-term loyalty, repeat business, and referrals. Consistently engage with your contacts and provide value to maintain and strengthen these relationships over time. For a free data communication plan to help you do this, complete this quick assessment from Happy Grasshopper.
#3—Ensure all Lead Generation Tactics Have Explicit Opt-Ins
This step is critical, as FCC guidelines state there must be explicit consent for organizations to call, text, and/or email individuals. This isn’t just for robocalls—it will apply to your business, too. Explicit opt-ins are crucial, not only to maintain compliance with privacy regulations, but also for building trust with every contact in your database.
Here’s how to proceed with this step:
- Examine all your current lead generation methods, including website forms, landing pages, social media campaigns, and events where you collect contact information.
- Incorporate clear and explicit opt-in mechanisms for each lead generation channel. Make sure that users have a choice to opt in or out of receiving communications from you, and make sure the opt-in language is clear about what users are signing up for, how their information will be used and what kind of communication they can expect.
- Consider implementing a double opt-in process for online sign-ups. After users submit their information, send them a confirmation email with a link to verify their subscription.
- Allow users to specify their communication preferences, such as email, SMS, or phone calls. Ensure that you only contact them through the channels they have explicitly consented to.
- Maintain a record of opt-in consent for each contact in your CRM. Document the date, time, and method through which consent was obtained.
- Include easy-to-find opt-out and unsubscribe options in all your communications. Honor opt-out requests promptly to maintain trust.
Real estate agents who are early to adapt to these FCC changes will position their businesses to excel in a more relationship-driven environment, paving the way for long-term success in the industry.