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Steps Movers Can Take to Protect Consumers & Themselves

January 15, 2020

In today’s marketing environment, businesses using consumer data for marketing need to be aware of the new expectations of consumers for privacy and the changes in legislation. This includes movers and their lead providers. California is the first state to pass legislation to regulate business’s use of personal data, but other states are also considering some legislation and may use California as a guide. It is not a matter of IF but WHEN you will have regulation in your area. 

While most movers’ day-to-day business does not fall under data privacy regulation, if you are purchasing moving leads that contain consumer’s private data from a lead provider that is in violation, you could be exposing yourself to liabilities. 

What liabilities? The California legislation enforces penalties up to $2,500 per violation, and also gives consumers the right to sue businesses and be awarded $750 without having to prove damages. Now that we have your attention, here is how you can protect your business.

Keep Your Business Safe and Violation Free

At MovingLeads.com, we’ve become experts on consumer data privacy. We’ve been consulting with lawyers, building processes, and implementing delivery systems that will keep both MovingLeads.com and our clients safe from unintentionally violating any existing rules and regulations as well as future changes. 

Below is a quick checklist of the steps your lead providers should be taking to protect consumer data and your business. 


HOW PUBLIC DATA BECOMES PRIVATE DATA

Some lead providers think they can avoid privacy data compliance because they are working with public data, but that is not true anymore. Addresses are considered “public” data, but since many lead providers combine the observation of a consumer’s behavior (selling of a home) and the homeowner’s name, that merged data is no longer public. California considers homeowner names and addresses in the form of a moving lead to be private data and it can not be used for marketing purposes without consumer consent.  Again, most states are also considering similar legislation, so we treat all of our leads as private data. 

COLLECTION 

All direct mail lead providers start with the same raw real estate data, but where they source their data is very important. 

For most listings, the homeowner works with a real estate agent to list their property, and this agent belongs to a local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). A multiple listing service (MLS) allows its members, real estate brokers, to see all listings of properties for sale. Under this arrangement, both the listing and selling broker benefit by consolidating and sharing information. 

There are over 600 different MLS boards covering the United States, and each one of these boards have rules about the terms of use. For a majority, they strictly state that their data can not be sold or used for marketing purposes. 

If you are receiving leads from a provider that has direct access to the MLS board’s data, you should make sure that your provider is not violating the terms of use. Find your area’s MLS board here.

MovingLeads.com’s Solution: MovingLeads.com has developed our own proprietary software to collect data from over 400 sources nation-wide. These sources are one step removed from the MLS, so we never violate the rules of the MLS boards. Our data is still timely since our sources typically have the same data within 24 hours of the MLS listing. 

APPENDING DATA

Direct mail leads come from one data set of the addresses listed for sale, which is then matched to another data set of homeowner names. This is called appending data. 

There are many different sources for a homeowner’s name. Names can be appended using marketing lists, but these are not always accurate. Marketing lists may have former owner’s names, renters, or people that have never lived at the address. 

Or worse, some lead providers may not append a name and provide only “current resident” in place of the homeowner’s name. This is a sure indication that this is not a quality list since a homeowner’s name can be used to eliminate non-viable leads like businesses, new construction, empty lots, investment properties. If a marketing list is purchased to append homeowner names, the lead provider should be making sure that the consumer agreed to have their personal data sold on this list. 

Consumers today are very guarded with their information. While data like phone numbers and emails can be appended to direct mail leads from available data sets, most homeowners believe that this information is “private.” They expect to have the right to “opt-in” or give permission to be contacted by phone or email. 

MovingLeads.com’s Solution: We use only public sources to append a homeowner’s name. We can accurately append real homeowner names and eliminate non-viable leads from our lists. In the past, we tested appending phone numbers and emails to our direct mail lists, but found that it is not well received by consumers on our list, so we no longer include this information. Sending a postcard is a friendly, non-intrusive way to reach homeowners and is proven to work for movers. 

DELIVERY OF DATA

As a lead provider, we have an obligation to protect the private data of consumers. No consumer wants their name and address freely available on a public website. A responsible lead provider will have a safe method of delivering leads to movers.

MovingLeads.com’s Solution: You will never see homeowner data published on our public website or viewable to anyone on the internet. We do not email private data. Attachments can be removed from emails in transit, so our customers have an online account on our password-protected website that they must log into to receive their leads. 

SUPPORT

The new California legislation gives homeowners the right to contact the lead provider to request information or opt-out of the use of their data. Lead providers are required to have a website to collect and respond to these requests. 

MovingLeads.com’s Solution: At MovingLeads.com we are not only prepared to handle the requirements of the California legislation but also to honor any request to remove the homeowner from our data nationwide. We have a dedicated URL and phone number so that our customers can provide homeowners with a simple way to opt-out. 

CCPA-COMPLIANT POSTCARD FULFILLMENT

As mentioned before, California is the first state to pass legislation that specifically states lead providers must contact homeowners first and give the homeowner time to request to “opt-out” before their information is sold. If you are working with a provider that is telling you that their leads are public data, be cautious. As stated before, there will be steep fines for violations of the law. Click here to learn the details about CCPA. 

MovingLeads.com’s Solution: We have developed a CCPA-compliant automated postcard solution so movers in California can still send postcards to homeowners. Learn more about our program here. 


At Movingleads.com we know it is our responsibility to stay on top of the data rules and regulations to protect our customers. At the time of this publication, we believe that we are the only company to offer a CCPA-compliant pre-mover postcard program. 

Our goal is to help movers across the country market to their best potential customers while protecting their businesses and consumer data.

Do you want to learn more about MovingLeads.com or our efforts to protect our clients from consumer privacy violations? Contact us by clicking the button below.