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How the U.S. National Do Not Call Registry Impacts Real Estate Prospecting

Ah, the dreaded telemarketing call! Don't we all know that feeling? Just when you're settling into your evening, your phone rings with an offer you can't refuse—or rather, one you'd really like to refuse. Enter the National Do Not Call Registry, a glorious invention by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). But how did we get here, and what exactly does this registry mean for you and, let's say, real estate agents who might be dialing your numbers? Sit tight, as we delve into the details of this legistation.

FTC National Do Not Call Registry logo with a phone crossed out, symbolizing consumer protection against telemarketing calls.

State-Led Initiatives: The Original Safeguards and Their Limitations

Before the federal government stepped in, it was up to individual states to ward off intrusive telemarketing calls. They concocted their own lists, but these localized efforts had their limitations. They didn't provide a comprehensive solution but served as a patchwork of regulations, leaving consumers susceptible to persistent telemarketing annoyances (

Now, why should you, as a real estate agent, care about this history? Because understanding the roots of the Do Not Call Registry helps you appreciate its present intricacies, ensuring that your prospecting efforts are both effective and compliant.

Company-Centric Lists: A Cautionary Tale

Several corporations tried to solve the issue by deploying their own internal 'do-not-call' lists. Although commendable, these attempts were more like placing a band-aid on a bullet wound. A consumer blocking one company merely opened the floodgates for another to step in. This transient fix is precisely why a nationwide system was needed, and yes, this system impacts how you gather and approach seller listings.

The Rise of the U.S. National Do Not Call Registry: What It Means for Your Prospecting Game

The Telemarketing Sales Rule: Changing the Landscape

In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) introduced the National Do Not Call Registry as an amendment to its Telemarketing Sales Rule. According to the mandate, telemarketing companies must first consult the registry before initiating any cold calls ( For you, the real estate agent, this rule serves as a crucial compass in navigating the landscape of seller leads.

The Objective: Understanding the Scope and Limitations

The primary goal was straightforward: offer a seamless way for consumers to escape the clutches of telemarketing calls. By understanding the purpose and the rules that govern this registry, you can tailor your lead generation techniques to stay within the law while maximizing reach.

Keeping Up: Registry Updates That Matter for Real Estate Agents

Making Registrations Last: No More Expiry Dates

Originally, consumers had to renew their listing on the registry every five years. However, in 2008, this changed; the listings became permanent ( For you, this implies that once a number is on the list, it stays there, making it essential for you to cross-verify your prospect lists rigorously.

Bringing Mobile Phones into the Fold

With the ubiquity of mobile phones, the FTC expanded the registry's reach to include mobile numbers. This development is particularly crucial for real estate agents, as mobile phones are often the primary mode of communication for potential sellers.

The Current Framework: What You Can and Can't Do

Exceptions to the Rule: Understanding the Loopholes

Despite its comprehensiveness, the National Do Not Call Registry has exemptions. Charitable organizations, political groups, and survey companies can still call listed numbers. Now, what about real estate agents? You can make calls under specific conditions, such as having an established business relationship or written consent from the consumer (

Violations and Repercussions: Why Compliance is Key

Non-compliance isn't just unethical; it's costly. Violating the Do Not Call Registry can lead to substantial fines, highlighting the importance of maintaining a compliant approach to cold calling.

The Complex World of Real Estate Prospecting: Navigating with Care

Outsourced Leads and Third-Party Services: Tread Carefully

If you're using third-party services for sourcing seller leads, ensure that these vendors are also compliant with the National Registry. Non-compliance could leave you open to fines and legal repercussions.

State and Local Lists: The Extra Mile of Due Diligence

Apart from the federal registry, be aware that some states maintain their own 'do-not-call' lists. It's advisable to consult these databases too, as they might have additional restrictions.

Business-to-Business Exceptions: A Grey Area

When it comes to commercial real estate, some leeway exists in the form of business-to-business calls. However, being well-versed with the rules is non-negotiable to avoid legal fallout.

Wrapping Up: Real Estate and the National Do Not Call Registry

The National Do Not Call Registry may seem like an obstacle, but consider it as a framework that helps keep your prospecting efforts ethical and lawful. It adds a layer of responsibility but also brings credibility to your practice. Isn't it better to approach potential sellers knowing you're fully compliant with the law?

Frequently Asked Questions for Real Estate Agents

  • Is the U.S. National Do Not Call Registry permanent?
    Yes, registrations made post-2008 are permanent.

  • What about state-specific 'do-not-call' lists?
    Additional state lists exist and should also be checked for compliance.

  • Are mobile phones part of the registry?
    Absolutely, mobile phones were added to broaden the scope of consumer protection.

  • How does The Share Group handle DNC Records?
    • Omission/Removal: If you prefer not to have DNC numbers in your database at all, we can completely omit or remove them. This ensures that these numbers are not contacted inadvertently.
    • Flagging: Alternatively, instead of removing DNC numbers, we can flag them in your leads. This means that while the number will still be present, it will be clearly marked as a DNC number. This approach allows businesses to be aware of the DNC status while still retaining the number for reference or non-telemarketing purposes.
Talk to your Share Group representative if you have any questions.  Call us at 402-235-4556 or email


With the right knowledge and preparation, the U.S. National Do Not Call Registry becomes less of a hurdle and more of a guideline for responsible and effective real estate prospecting. Happy selling!

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