TCPA Compliance and Cold Calling in 2021: To Call or Not to Call?
Cold calling is a hot topic when it comes to TCPA Compliance.
It's also one of the most popular lead-generation strategies for motivated sellers historically, so it's more important now than ever to understand the rules as they're outlined in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
As a real estate investor, any cold calls you make to a consumer are considered telemarketing calls and there are strict regulations you must adhere to in order to avoid costly mistakes.
In this article, we're going to make sure you understand everything you need to know about how to stay compliant when cold calling.
Registering for a Subscription Account Number (SAN)
If you are doing telephone solicitation for your products or services of any kind (which, as an investor offering a service to sellers/buyers, you absolutely are,) you must first register for a SAN with the National Do Not Call Registry.
According to the DNC website and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC);
“Every Seller should subscribe, pay the appropriate fee, and agree to the certification requirements to receive a Subscription Account Number (SAN) with the National Do Not Call Registry.”
(Click here for a step-by-step walkthrough of how to get registered.)
Once you have registered, you will also need to subscribe to every area code you will be calling.
Your first 5 area codes are free. After that, you will be charged on a per-area code basis.
You must also register your campaigns with information about use case and examples of calls/messages you'll be sending.
Scrub Your List Against the National Do Not Call Registry
You must scrub your list against the DNC.
If you call or text a phone number on the Do Not Call list, you can be charged anywhere from $500-$1500 PER infraction.
Maintain an Internal Do Not Call List for your Company
Maintain an internal list of anybody who has opted out of receiving text messages or phone calls from your business (and honor it for the next for 5 years).
Observe Federal and State Call Times
As a general rule of thumb, do not call a telephone number before 8AM or after 9PM in the consumer's local time zone.
It's important to note that certain states vary a little with their rules around call times.
Disclose Information About Your Business
When making phone calls to consumers, make sure you or your sales rep provide the following information:
- Your name
- Company name
- Phone number or address where the consumer can reach your company
Make Sure You Have Consent for Prerecorded Messages
If you are using automatic dialing systems or artificial or prerecorded voice messages of any kind, you must first obtain prior express written consent from the consumer.
(This goes for sending text messages of a marketing nature to cell phones as well.)
Pick Up Within 2 Seconds
If you are using an automatic dialing system or prerecorded message as a greeting, you must transfer the line to a live sales rep within 2 seconds of the consumer answering the call.
Know When to Disconnect the Phone Call
Disconnect the call if nobody picks up after 15 seconds or 4 rings – whichever is sooner.
Keep Call Abandonment Rates Low
Your abandonment rate for calls answered by a live person cannot exceed 3% in a 30 day period for a single calling campaign.
Stay in the Know
Check updates to regulations at least once a week either through a trusted blog, newsletter subscription or legal council.
To Wrap It Up…
As long as you observe the above regulations in your outbound marketing, you can avoid some very costly mistakes.
But if this all feels overwhelming to you (or if you'd simply like to play it that much safer,) consider using an inbound marketing strategy for your lead generation like direct mail.
Profit Drive is an excellent way to manage, automate and scale your direct mail strategy.
What You Should Do Now:
- Get started with REI Blackbook for FREE: Get 14 days FREE access to our software and start converting more leads into deals.
- If you'd like to learn the exact strategies our power users are implementing to generate motivated seller leads consistently, check out our Motivated Seller Guide.
- If you'd like to learn how our team can build out your REI Blackbook system FOR you, head to our implementation page.
- If you know another real estate investor who'd enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook.
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