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We have had a recent flurry of agent marketing flyers emailed to the NNRMLS office. We have also received calls from agents wondering why and how they are receiving marketing flyers from their fellow agents as well. This activity has prompted our staff to write this article.

While using the Paragon database to look up a fellow agent’s email to send correspondence is a common and accepted practice, sending out mass emails to all names in the database is a frowned-upon practice. Additionally, some of the email addresses in Paragon are used only for MLS billing, and not intended to be active email addresses. They were created to avoid what can be considered spam from other agents.

It is not necessarily illegal to spam your colleagues with the latest hot listing, however it is important to remember that it is outside the original scope of the Paragon Membership Roster. It is also important to understand the federal regulations regarding sending email messages. The CAN SPAM Act of 2003 outlines specific guidelines for mass advertising using email. Information on the CAN SPAM Act of 2003 can be found in MLS Docs of Paragon or by visiting the FTC website.

Sending mass emails has a much more noticeable effect on both agents and clients. Too many mass emails tend to become “spam” and have the potential to be filtered to a spam or junk folder. Large companies like AOL, AT&T/Yahoo!, and Charter have noticed a trend in the amount of real estate-related email messages and are tightening their filters on the real estate industry. When your advertisement email starts going to someone’s spam folder, it is just a matter of time before an important email is filtered, too. The cases of legitimate agent-to-agent communication being stopped by a spam filter have increased, because of the amount of advertising email messages.

NOTE: NNRMLS will never distribute lists of our members’ names and email addresses for the purposes of one agent, or group of agents’ email marketing to another agent or group of agents.

Marketing your properties to your fellow agents has the potential to provide great returns, but incorrectly marketing will spoil email communication for everyone! If you must market to other members, be smart — follow the rules — and everyone will prosper.