Real Estate Agents, Stop Calling Me Darn It

Stop bothering me

Are there no ethics in the real estate profession?

Ok, I need to vent. And you, my fine readers, can listen, or rather read. Or not. Whatever.

First, I am an ethics lawyer. In my profession, we have a lot of very serious rules. Failure to follow them can get us in a lot of trouble. So I am having a lot of trouble understanding the behavior I am encountering with realtors right now.

Realtors Are Harassing Me

So here’s the deal. I decided to put my house on the market. After about a week, I changed my mind, and decided to take my house off the market. Since that time, real estate agents have been calling. And calling. And calling.

Day One – It Begins

The first day, I just found it odd. The agent told me that he was calling, essentially, because he was a better agent than the agent I had before, and he could help me sell my house. I told him thanks but no thanks. Changing my mind had nothing to do with the agent I was using. She is great.

The next agent, without introducing himself, started quizzing me. I said, I have no idea who you are or why you are asking me personal questions, but it is highly inappropriate, don’t call me again.

Day Who Knows – It Continues

Now, my house has been off the market for a little while. Today, so far, I have had 6 calls. Six Friggen Calls. One literally came in while I was writing this post. I just snorted and hung up on her. Yes, I actually snorted. Like my dog Millie. She likes to snort. It is adorable.

Princess Millie

Millie is very cute when she snorts. Me, less so.

The first one came at 8:00 am, today. Today is a Monday. I am a night person. I am not a day person. I do not want people calling me at 8:00 in the morning.

I really don’t want people calling me at all. Unless they know me. People who don’t know me? Send me an email. Or a letter. Or a post card. That is ok.

Here We Go Again

Great. It continues today. I gave this one a lecture about the do not call list and his ethics.

Where Did they Get My Number?

The other thing is, I have absolutely no idea how these people got my phone number.* I asked my current agent. She didn’t know. I looked online to see if my number is listed with my address. It isn’t. My number is not listed. So these people are using some tool, finding my number, and calling me. They are going out of their way to disturb me, without any thought whatsoever about what I do or do not want.

*It turns out that there are companies that sell the lists. They gather your number from every source they can. My research tells me that these companies mark the numbers that are on the do-not-call lists, which I am. So the realtors calling me are violating the law. I am reporting every call to the FTC.

Here are the numbers of the realtors who have called me since 10/16/17 (I didn’t track before that date.)

  • 610-640-9325 – 10/17/17 11:12 am – This one has a real estate firm connected to the number. I called corporate to complain.
  • 267-281-6025 – 3:50 pm 10/16/17 (When I hung up on her, she texted me)
  • 484-832-5697 – 2:06 pm 10/16/17
  • 484-290-0328 – 11:27 am 10/16/17
  • 484-297-9703 – 10:30 am 10/16/17
  • 610-316-5725 10:06 am 10/16/17
  • 610-283-6828 10:02 am 10/16/17
  • 484-416-0715 8:06 am 10/16/17

Is your number listed here? Are you embarrassed? You should be.

I Get to Decide What is Harassment

Today, I said to one guy, why are you people harassing me? He responded that he isn’t harassing me. Really? Don’t I get to decide whether you are harassing me? I think I do.

This is Not Ok

Realtors stop call me

Realtors – Leave me be!

If lawyers did this, people would get very angry. It is called solicitation and it is against our ethical rules. I have no idea why realtors think it is ok to call some poor soul out of the blue. Does it not occur to you realtors that we are getting call after call? That we might get annoyed? That there is no way in hell I would hire you after you disturbed me?

Texting Me? Really?

OMG someone just texted me. It read “I am sure you are getting a lot of calls. Is the unit still for sale.” What is she friggen blind? It says right online, not on the market. I responded thus:

Leave. Me. Alone.

In Conclusion

Realtors:

Stop. Calling Me.

Stop. Texting Me.

Forget. My. House. Exists.

*mutter*

I think I may buy an air horn.

Transitioning to Private Practice After Public Interest Law

Question: I have worked for public interest law firms for nearly 20 years.  It is possible to transition to private practice, or do I have to hang up my own shingle?

Answer: I think that anyone who has worked in public interest for 20 years has the ability to do whatever they want going forward.

The key, whenever applying for a law firm job (or any job) is to show the potential employers what you can do for them. How you can be successful at the job. How you can bring in money. Why the partners should hire you.

Your next step will depend very much on what kind of experience you have and what you are hoping for. It will also depend on what kind of contacts you have developed and what kind of rainmaker you can be.

I think what you need to do is sit down and look at what is expected and needed in a private firm, and see which of those things you already know how to do. Are you a litigator? Did you litigate in a specific area? Does your experience move well into a specific kind of firm? Is this the kind of firm you are interested in working in going forward? Are you more of a transactional lawyer? What kind of deals did you do. I bet you are very good at dealing with interoffice politics. Never underestimate the value of someone who knows how to deal with problems as they come up and can be a good manager. Skills many lawyers lack.

If you follow up with me and tell me a little bit more about your background, I will be happy to give you some more specific advice. But in the end, I see no reason you cannot find a job in a private firm. You simply need to figure out what you bring to the table and put your best foot forward to the firm(s) you want to join.

 

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