Valerie Osterhoudt's Blog



You are a Realtor who has a cell phone, but won't give out your number to another Realtor?   How do you stay in business?get in touch with a local realtorI'm presently working with a client who is transferring from Minnesota to Connecticut for business.  She has a home in St. Paul, and is looking for a rental while she sells her house out there.  She flew in yesterday, and only has today and tomorrow to find something.

I had a few rentals to show her today, but non of them worked out.  There were too small, or had major issues (which will be addressed in my next blog) that the landlord did not know about.  Some were just too far out for her to travel to work.  So back to the grind stone.  It is hard to find a rental especially when you have a pet (dog) that is a member of the family and will be coming with you. 

With her permission we increased the monthly rent, and that brought in a 3 bedroom condo that looks ideal for her.  The condo allows pets.. but will they accept a dog, or just a cat?   It is also right near major highways and shopping.. she can't wait to see it, with the understanding that the owner will allow her dog.

I called the other agency and wanted to speak directly to the listing agent to get the pet issue clarified.  I was told this was not possible.  The agent doesn't give out her cell phone number.  WHAT??@@!#$  I explained that I had a client that has flown in for a few days, and doesn't have much time to wait around.  I would be glad to give them my agent ID, and my cell phone number to verify that I am a Realtor, and if they could give me her cell phone number.  Still it was a resounding "NO" "We've been told not to give it out".

Have you ever heard of such a thing?

Once again this brings me back to reminding people looking to sell or buy a home... INTERVIEW YOUR REALTOR.  Would you want to work with a Realtor that will not give out their cell phone number.  You need efficiency, and this is not the way to go... don't your agree?

I left a message with this agency for the Realtor to call me.  They replied that I would hear back within a hour... in this business that is too long.  Well, that was 2 1/2 hours ago.. and I am still waiting.  What do I tell my client without coming off sounding stupid.




Info about the author:

Valerie Osterhoudt is a Cromwell Connecticut Residential Realtor who can assist you with the purchase and/or sale of real estate in the Middlesex County of CT, which includes Cromwell, Rocky Hill, Berlin, Middletown, Wethersfield, Newington, as well as all other surrounding areas.  Please visit me at for all your relocation and/or local needs.  

For real estate.. all you need to know, is VALERIEO  

If you're thinking about buying a home in Cromwell CT area, there are plenty of great buys in today's market.  There is no better time than now to take advantage of these homes while interest rates remain at an all time low.  For more information on Cromwell CT real estate's homes and/or condos please visit Johnson Real Estate to access the newest listings.

 Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR - Johnson Real Estate, Inc. - 860.883.8889 cell -

 Copyright © 2011 - By Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR - All rights reserved...... ***YOU ARE A REALTOR WHO HAS A CELL PHONE, BUT WON'T GIVE OUT THE NUMBER??????***



Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR
(Accredited Buyers Representative)

Is a Full Time Realtor® with with Johnson Real Estate, in Cromwell, CT who specializes in Homes and Condos For Sale in the Middlesex and Hartford Counties in CT.


valerie osterhoudt

Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR ~Johnson Real Estate, Inc.
cell:  860.883.8889

email: Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR



Comment balloon 121 commentsValerie Osterhoudt • January 28 2011 03:29PM


This is always odd to me.  I have an agent in our office that wont allow her number to be given out.  I have never understood it.  I block my home number but from 7AM until 6PM my cell phone is on and I will answer during those hours or return a call within 20 minutes, and always always return every message by the end of the day no matter what my workload.  

Posted by Kim Sellers, Lake Arrowhead Realtor - BRE#01412099 - Lake Arrow (Lake Arrowhead, CA Coldwell Banker) almost 9 years ago

Valerie -  I would tell your client the truth.  I'm sure it won't make you look stupid, but I'm sure she will be questioning the other agent.   I don't know what else you could do. 

Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties ( Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816) almost 9 years ago

I can't imagine not giving out my number.  How does one contact her?  Wow

Posted by Cindy Justice, Synergy Realty Pros (Synergy Realty Pros) almost 9 years ago

Kim.. The cell phones are our business/ lifeline.  Why bother having a cell phone then at all?  I return calls and emails just as fast as I can.  I know that if I don't they will go on to someone else who will return their calls.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Jim... I even asked the woman/agent on the floor to just call the agent, then call me to let me know if they will accept a dog.  She would not do that.  Come on... how can they still be a realtor?

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Cindy.. I gather via emails and texts.  But do you want to hear this... they would not do that for me either.  Go figure.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Valerie, you're probably trying to work with an agent that still doesn't undrstand why the system has to be on a computer, and whay can't they still use the listing books?   Good Luck

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 9 years ago

Valerie;  I think any answer you give would sound stupid in today's world.  In reality, its the other agent who is stupid.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, -) almost 9 years ago

Ed.. I finally got a call from this agent... I now have her cell phone number... it came through on caller ID.  LOL.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Kenneth.. You are correct, it is the other agent.  However, I feel stupid because I can't get this resolved in a timely manner that I am accustomed to.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Valerie, wow... wow and wow. You just have to wonder how on earth people survive in business like that. But you also have to wonder do her clients know, or does she make up stories....

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 9 years ago

Andrea.. The woman that told me that she does NOT give her cell phone number out, was the agent doing floor duty.  Go figure.  I even had her double check to make sure... this is crazy, why not give out your number?  This was a first for me.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Valerie,  I had a similar situation about two weeks ago.  I had buyers that wanted to see a short sale and put in an offer on it sight unseen.  When I called the listing agen, his recording said, "If you are calling about a property please leave the MLS number and address, date and time you called and I will call you back within 24 hours!" 

I waited 36 hours and never heard back.  I called the office; they couldn't reach him either.  The buyers didn't see the unit, but still wanted to submit an offer, which I did yesterday by email.  I asked for confirmation.   I am still  waiting!

I feel sorry for the owners of this unit and the one you wanted to see.  They probaby don't have a clue that their properties aren't being shown or serviced.

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Valerie, As I was reading this I thought maybe the agent wasn't interested in giving another agent the cell number but maybe just to potential clients...Glad you received a call finally and hope you find your client a great place to live!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Prado Real Estate South) almost 9 years ago

Valerie that is nuts.  How in the world do some of these people stay in business?

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 9 years ago

Elyse.. I would call the broker at the listing agency and fill him/her in on how you are trying to submit an offer and have gotten no where with the agent.  Maybe this would help.

This is just so bizarre that in this age of technology there are agents that are behind the "blackball".

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Wanda.. Knock on wood, I have found my clients a rental property and they are in the beginning stages of the process.  We submitted and application and will now see where we stand on Monday.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

George.. That is my though.  How are they still in business?  These are the Realtors that should have gone out of business... YEARS ago.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

If I needed an answer quickly and the listing agent was unavailable, I wouldn't hesitate to escalate this to the broker. If the broker knew what kind of situations not giving the cell number was causing, maybe they could coach the agent and come up with a better solution.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) almost 9 years ago

Valerie, SO ODD, agent to agent in not giving out the cell number. When you reach her ask WHY???

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Valerie, I have in the past when face with difficult agent issues, have gone straight to the broker. After all it is their listing. Not only did my deals work out but I would only deal with them. 

Posted by Frank Rubi, (Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC) almost 9 years ago


First, I don't give out my cell phone number. Second, we spell out in the MLS what kinds of pets are acceptable, if any. Good MLS data entry helps.

I don't take calls when I'm with clients or in one of the many meetings I attend weekly. It's rude and inappropriate. Based on how I operate, you would wind in voicemail on my cell phone. I prefer to keep my voicemail on my main switch rather than in several places and voicemail gets sent to me via email so I can forward it to one of my staff to assist you, if necessary.

If you need something, feel free to call my office. If I'm available, I'll take your call. If one of my staff is available, they'll take your call and since they have access to my calendar, they'll forward you out to me if appropriate and they can't help you. If nobody is available leave a message and one of us will call you back or send an email.

We have systems in-place so selling agents can show our properties and download any disclosures, surveys, affidavits, etc. We alos provide instructions on how to submit offer on our short sale listings or how to properly submit a lease application.

We all don't work the same way and just because I choose to work differently does not make it wrong. 


Posted by Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador (RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs) almost 9 years ago

Crazy...crazy crazy...................

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) almost 9 years ago

I know of one agent who doesn't even HAVE a cell phone. Claims he doesn't like them. He never does much business. Wonder if he will ever connect the dots...

Posted by John M. Scott, Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area (BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties) almost 9 years ago

I used to to something like this.  I never gave my cell number out except to clients because I didn't want people calling me and using all my minutes.  However, I since added my cell number to the "do not call" list and publish it all I want.

Posted by Bryan Robertson almost 9 years ago

Unreal! This agent will not be in the business for very long with that type of business attitued.

 Amazingly Dumb!

Posted by Traci Ferguson, Realtor, EcoBroker, LEED AP (San Luis Obispo Realtor & ecoBroker with Patterson Realty) almost 9 years ago

Valerie - I have the same reaction as you.  How does she stay in business?  Wow.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 9 years ago

I'm on the other side of this issue because it is a PROPERTY MANAGER/LEASING AGENT. 

Property managers/leasing agents work 40+ hours a week and usually on salary.  They don't want to be disturbed on the weekends.  You/your client should have done more homework on the travel/dog issue BEFORE she left MN and the fact that she is treating her RENTAL trip like a SALES trip is more evidence she was not prepared.

HOME rentals are going FAST * NATIONWIDE * The fact that she did not know the area, was unprepared for the RENTAL rate sticker shock AND DOG ISSUE is evidence she needed to be asking MORE questions before she left home.

The MLS or Craigslist listing was available during the week - why wasn't there discussion then ESPECIALLY since it was a rental which could have been LEASED by her trip?



Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) almost 9 years ago

John... Please sit down for this one.  I did call the broker, and explained the situation and how time is of the essence to pull this together for all parites concerned.  The broker stated, ready "I back my agents 100%, and if she doesn't want to give out her number, email will be the best alternative".

I mentioned in my blog about of how does this agent stay in business... I'd like to know how the agency stays in business.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Something we take for granted, i.e., the cell phone number, and immediate access to the listing agent. Pets can be: dog, cat . . . or . . . iguana, ferret, gold fish . . . I think I'd be more concerned if my client had a boa constrictor, or something along those "exoctic lines."  My concern would have been the "weight limit" if any on the pet. 

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) almost 9 years ago

She must be married to some rich guy and doesn't really sell Real Estate. Seems a bit odd but I have come across people like this. One listing that said faxes..just email all responses and then the agent doesn't return the emails anyway. Finally...3 days later I get the agent on the phone to find out the listing was canceled. Most times you go to their broker...the broker doesn't seem to care either. I don't get why agents get their license and hang it at company and then does everything the wrong way.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) almost 9 years ago


The fact that they don't even "ALLOW" it to be given out?  Bad for business.  Two words:

Google Voice

Free service, local number, voice-mail, voice-mail transcribed into an e-mail, delivered to your inbox, or cell phone, or iPad, what ever.  It also allows the user to set up options for the caller to either page you, or leave a voicemail and, I can listen to the voicemail as it is being delivered.

There is no excuse, because the technology is available, if you know about it and, know how to use it.

Posted by Don Hintz (2D-enterprises / HAUS Design, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Gary.. I inquired when she called me back, as to why and, if she knew that the agency will not give out her cell phone number.  She avoided the question, and only answered mine about the rental property. 

After I hung up with her, I laughed.. her number came through on caller ID.  I promptly called her back to ask her the question again..Could I get her cell phone number? When she picked up I asked, but then said  "never mind, I got it... it came through on my caller ID".

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Frank, this is an odd scenario.. You mentioned the same thought as Gary did.  Which I did do, I spoke to the Broker.  He protected his agent and would not give me the number and only suggested to contact her via email.

I left a direct and to the point message on her voicemail at the office.  It still took about 3 hours to get a return call.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Personally, I LIVE on my cell phone.  That said, there are times I simply won't answer it or won't even turn it on. 

I believe that I'm entitled to some privacy on occasion, and take issue with the attitude some have that I must be available 24/7.  If you leave a message, I'll get back to you in a reasonable amount of time in a professional manner.

Posted by Jesse Skolkin (Independent New York State Certified Real Estate Appraiser) almost 9 years ago

Tom.. This sounds great, however in this case no one in the office would help, or could help me with the question.  Not even the broker.

I do like your idea of a good MLS system.  As a matter of fact I will be calling them on Monday to see about expanding this field to allow for more information.


Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Cindy.. I just doesn't make any sense.  One should be able to even text a Realtor if need be, this way they would not be disturbed if they were in a meeting. 

Aren't we all supposed to work together.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

John.. If this Realtor doesn't do much business.. are you sure he is still IN business?

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Just another example of bad customer service in Real Estate.  It kills me when agents don't post their number anywhere for other agents to contact them.  Are they that important or busy that they can't accept incoming calls?  This is why consumers rate our profession as low as they do.  I have a client from out of the country that I have spending a lot of time with lately and he keeps asking me "how do these agents stay in business when they don't answer their phones, don't return their calls timely and are never available?"  It's a mystery to me.    

Posted by Justin Bevins (BHHS - California Properties) almost 9 years ago

Bryan.. If it is all work related and you give out your number to a Realtor, who might bring you a deal, it shouldn't matter about going over your minutes.. You would have the money to pay for it... or you could increase your minutes, and that doesn't usually cost more than about $30.00 a month.  If a Realtor calls you about a million dollar deal, you're going to sweat the few minutes going over on your phone?  This is a job career that has unexpected turns at times.  You need to run with it or you will be lost. 

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Traci.. This is my reaction too.  Others here (not many) agree with her business ethics.  I just don't see her being around long.  Which is good for me. :)

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Jason.. What is bewildering is that the agency backs her decision on this.  OK, this works for them.  But how?  They just lost out on a rental.  Do you think they will tell their client this?

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Wallace... Homework was done PRIOR to her coming to Connecticut.  Rentals that allowed pets were only 19.  When it came to allowing a dog, and her size dog, brought it down to 5.  Which we saw all of them.

Since non of them worked out, we increased her price on rentals (no other choice since she HAS to relocate).  I found only 1 that allowed pets... but did NOT say if the unit would allow a cat and/or a dog.  This left me no choice but to call. 

I don't believe calling at 1:15pm in the afternoon, on a Friday is OUTSIDE the business hours for anyone.  Working as a property manager, you probably have a secretary that could have easily returned the call and clarified this question in less than 5 minutes.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Anyone who doesn't give out their cell phone number must still be on a really poor cell phone esrvice plan!  They are old school and don't recognize that by not sharing thier phone number they are really doing a disservice to their clients!

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) almost 9 years ago

Carla... Yes, that was a concern with most agents I called prior to my client coming East.  This is why the number of rentals with allowing pets (dogs in this case) went from 19 down to 5.

I think our MLS System needs to address/expand this field to permit more information for all concerned.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

That one is difficult. Maybe you could email the agent in lieu of calling or texting on the cell phone.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge almost 9 years ago

Valerie, while I understand fully what your dilema is, I also know that there are certain circumstances where not giving out a cell phone is totally acceptable. I still give mine out, but eventually I'll either (hopefully) be too busy to take a ton of calls every day or I'll be in the position to not need to, for instance as a broker of my own office. That being said, I really like your follow up comment to Tom about calling your MLS and seeing what you can do to expand the "pets" field.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) almost 9 years ago

Hello Valerie, I just read a post concerning your post and I have to say that we as realtors need to let others reach us when they need us.

Posted by Arleen Montford, Selling NW Florida Homes in Pace/Milton/Pensacola FL (KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY GULF COAST ) almost 9 years ago


I enjoyed reading your post and all the comments.

Posted by Lorraine or Loretta Kratz, Certified Negotiation Consultants (Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions.) almost 9 years ago

Neal.. That is my thought too, why be in this business it you don't take it seriously.  This is how Realtors get a bad rep to start with.  It is the few that make a bad name for the rest of us. 

Let me guess, they didn't "Cancel" the listing in MLS for you to know this way either.  Figures.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Don.. Google Voice?  Never heard of this.  Not for any other reason, but curiousity, I need to check this out.  You need to be tech savoy or you might as well be out of business.

Either that or not give out your cell phone number... which ever way you want to leave the business first.

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Jesse.. Exactly.  We all need down time, or have reasons not to answer the cell phone.  But giving out the number and allowing people to leave voicemail messages is an alternative that meets everyones needs.  Or so I thought until I read some of the other comments here.

Hope you enjoy your time off when you do get it. :)

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

I do not give out my cell phone to local REALTORS® (just a reminder that you should use the trademark symbol), because I have an electronic showing system that logs in the showing request and many don't want to use it. Too often I am with a client and I am interupted by other REALTORS®, and the client I am with deserves my full attention. If it is urgent and they call the office, it will be patched directly to my cell otherwise I get a text. Valerie, I agree that Google Voice is very cool.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) almost 9 years ago

This agent definitely needs Google voice

Posted by Markita Woods NMLS#196099, Queen of Mortgages - FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA (Fairway Independent Mortgage) almost 9 years ago

I was once told by a gentleman that "real estate is's the people that make it difficult". I think it's because this agent may have represented him.....KIDDING of course. I agree with @Justin "bad service". It is SO crazy that this agent would go to such lengths to not give out their cell and then call you FROM THEIR CELL.

Good post and good luck.


Posted by Craig Reeves, HIGH Information...NEVER High Pressure (Keller Williams Realty Jupiter) almost 9 years ago

 I think that it is unfortunate that you find it necessary to criticize another agent's way of handling their business.  I agree with (#22) Tom that I would consider it to be rude and unprofessional to take phone calls or have any unnecessary distractions while performing showings or other matters with clients.  I also make sure that all of the required information is loaded as an attachment on the MLS and it is located inside the home for buyer's convenience.

In reference to the information that you were seeking: in my area, the condo restrictions and bylaws are all located easily on the county recorders' site and I would consider it my due diligence to try to find the information on my own prior to contacting the listing agent.  You would have no cause to be embarrassed about your inability to "reach" another agent. 

I do not subscribe to the theory that I must be available 24/7 to other agents.  I do not exist to answer questions immediately to you.  However, I do believe that it is my duty to give my clients my full attention and awareness during my time with them.  If an agent has a team or a process that allows them to perform their business in a timely manner, they can choose to not give out their personal cell number.  Kudos to that agent's broker who "backed" their agent and respects their right to run their business to serve their clients. 

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) almost 9 years ago

I've been on both sides of this. My last batch of business cards has my cell. I have always been bugged by agents, many of whom do no business, who kept their cell phones a state secret, especially when  we had a deal going and I needed to reach them.

However, for 2 years I kept my own cell relatively obscure (never secret) and that had the advantage of people calling my office for picayune things instead of me.  

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) almost 9 years ago

Valerie, I share your frustration on this.  In this day and age of instant information, clients expect that we will be able to find out the necessary information so that our clients can make decisions.  From what I can see, you were well within business hours and business propriety, and the fact that the broker didn't fall all over themselves trying to help you is very telling.  Not Nordstrom school of customer service!

I am really disappointed in some of the comments here that attempt to defend this agents lack of responsiveness.  None of us wants to be available 24/7...but to be in this business means we must be available, or clients will just say NEXT!  That's just the way it is.  If some people have enough business that they can afford to not give out their cell phone, then they are on a different playing field from me.  When I can't get in touch with another agent, my first thought (warranted or not) is this agent is a joke...

Thanks for your post; it was very interesting!

Posted by Melissa Brown, Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale (Helen Adams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Everyone of us has a different way of doing business.  One way is not necessarily any better than another.  We have all become to accustomed to having to have an immediate answer to a question.  That's just not always realistic.  If that agents works out of her office rather than her home, I can see why she would not give out her cell phone number. 

Some agents and borrower's have no respect for time.  During our big snowstorm earlier in the month, my assistant had to work form home.  She left a VM for an agent and left her cell phone #.  The agent returned the call at midnight.  This is even after she identified the number as being her cell. 

Personally, I quit giving mine out a year ago. Too many people were calling it while I was sitting at my desk.  One VM is hard enough to keep up with, let alone two.  If I am at my desk and available, I will answer the phone.  If I am not in, then I am generally either in a closing, an appointment, or a meeting and would not be taking the call anyway, regardelss of the number called.  My VM announcement gives very specific instructions to follow for the fastest response.

Posted by Rodney Mason, Licensed in AL, FL, GA, SC, & TN (Guaranteed Rate) almost 9 years ago

I'm pretty amazed at the comments by people who think that it is good thing to have people always able to reach you. We sell real estate, we're not cardiac surgeons.

Most of the most senior and successful agents and brokers I know consider their cell phone number to be exclusive to clients and family. My main cell # is in 1000s of place, literally. I had to get a 2nd # for family and true clients.

Trust me, if you want to do business, I'll be easy to reach and you'll quickly have my personal #. If you want to sell me 100% guaranteed page 1 google placement then I'm unavailable. Text and email are always available and I monitor them carefully. If you are truly serious about your business (yes, a perjorative snap) then you have a smart phone and can communicate with me quickly in a way that makes sense for both of us.

Valerie I think a one hour response time is fabulous for a rental listing. You might need to plan better in the future so that your clients are better served. Here's the answer to your question: "I have called and left a message." Why would you look stupid one way or the other?


Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) almost 9 years ago

It's amazing what goes on behind the clients/sellers backs. They really need their property sold or rented and yet their agent makes themselves unavailable? Makes you wish you could just call their client directly, huh?

Posted by Larry Costa, Realtor, Carver MA Real Estate (Century 21 Classic Gold, Carver MA) almost 9 years ago

I love some of these responses to your post, fascinating.  I agree with Melissa. I have called agents who do not return phone calls, and sometimes emails when the listing says contact agent to show.  What a shame, perhaps an opportunity to sell the house is lost because of this philosophy, especially if information is needed so the buyer can make a decision of yea or nay.  We all do due diligence hopefully, and yet sometimes one needs to get an answer from the listing agent.  In today's market one cannot afford to be lax, but perhaps some do not care, that is not me however.  Indeed very interesting comments from different agents.

Posted by Mary Stewart, Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas (HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone) almost 9 years ago

I don't get it!  What's the point of having a cell phone...and being in BUSINESS, if you can't be reached???

Posted by Jayne Williamson, REALTOR, Broker, GRI (Keller Williams Realty Mountain Partners, Hendersonville, NC) almost 9 years ago

A cell phone doesn't guarantee that the agent will pick up.  But it usually guarantees that they will get the message.  And to me that's the point. 

If you are calling me from a 1-800 number or a blocked number I probably won't pick up either depending on the situation.  But if I have a new listing and I get a call from another agent, I will pick up that call if I'm able. 

It doesn't have to be phone.  Some agents are all over text or email. 

But pick a method and be fairly reachable to other agents

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) almost 9 years ago
This is the second post I've read about agents not posting their cell phone number. Wow!!! This blows my mind. Does the client(seller) know that their agent operates in this manner?
Posted by Jody Moore (Blue Shirt Photography | SendOutCards) almost 9 years ago

Hi Valerie -- I still run into agents that you can't get their cell #s, totally amazing in this day and age.  I would tell your renter you have put in a request via multiple communication modes and are awaiting a response, you can't control the entire process, but you are doing what you can and then some.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) almost 9 years ago

Valerie, This is a very true subject!!!  Why on earth would they NOT answer their phone???  It is so frustrating.  And then for the client to only be "looking" for such a short window.....  Interview the Realtor is right!!

Posted by Joan Valverde, GRI,CDPE,CNE,MRP,SRES Colo Sprgs, Blk Forest, Monu (Synergy Realty Group Inc) almost 9 years ago

Personally, I can see both sides of this, but I strongly resent this notion that agents should be available 24/7 and/or return calls immediately at all times. If a good staff is in place, the agent shouldn't have to field 99% of the questions that could come up, and if the agent on the other side has prepared well, this is generally a non-issue. If those two things are covered, then maybe the agent doesn't need to put their cell phone number out there for everyone.

If the agent has hired a staff, yet still fields all of the calls, then why have a staff at all?

As professionals, and with as many hours as most of us put in, we ARE entitled to some time off and some control of our schedules, within reason of course.

Posted by Ryan Hukill - Edmond, Realtor, Team Lead (ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite) almost 9 years ago

I see very strong opinions on both sides.  I don't even work with clients looking for rentals in my market area.  It does not pay enough for me to get in my car.  I sure hope it's different in your market area.  Property managers of rentals would rather work directly with clients who want to lease. 

I give out my cell phone number because that's how I want agents and clients to contact me.  I have known very successful agents who refuse to give out their cell number, and they continue to be in business.  I look at it if an agent doesn't return my call, or if there is no one at their office to answer my questions, then I move on for my client's sake.  It used to bother me that agents don't answer their cell phone or return calls.  Now I figure not everyone wants to conduct business the way I want to.  Live and let live, or answer your phone or not, same thing.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) almost 9 years ago

A great post Valerie!

Posted by Joshua Zargari, MJ Decorators Workshop (MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating) almost 9 years ago

I once had a transaction with an agent that would not give me his cell phone and the office never knew where he was...

complain to the broker?  Broker was his mother who thought that "baby boy" was perfect.

Luckily their office went out of made my day!!


Eve in Orlando

Posted by Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) almost 9 years ago

Valerie - Every agent runs their business differently and if your client has limited time then I'd move onto another listing.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) almost 9 years ago

A lot of interesting responses here. I believe that every Agent will have to decide what works for them. If one chooses not to give out their cell, but is a true Professional in all respects by making all neccessary Documents available, responding in reasonable time, or is fortunate enough to have a Staff to provide these things, they will remain in business and do well by both themselves and their Clients. If one happens to give out their cell and answeres it ALL the time, yet is unprofessional in all other regards, they won't. I personally make mine available. But if I am in a meeting, with a Client, or during after hours, I will silence my phone and only answere at MY choosing. However, should an Agent require additional information, it will be made available in the appropriate locations. Remember...we ARE supposed to be Professionals. I wonder how many people have the cell number to their Doctor, Surgeon, Lawyer, Psychiatrist...or ANYONE in a profession which they are responsible for managing. (Unless they happen to be a personal friend...and I suspect if you were to take advantage of this, you probably wouldn't remain so!).

Posted by Frank Van Dusen (RE/MAX Professional Realty) almost 9 years ago


I spent over 25 years in mortgage finance; and dealt with hundreds or even thousands of realty agents [not all were REALTORS®], and I've found that we are a pretty independent & opinionated group of people.  One of the things that makes realty agents tick is the freedom to do things "my way."

Once I had an agent "fall off the face of the earth" for a few days--it turned out that her mother had un-expectedly turned ill and died in another state.  She was devastated.  When a fellow agent learned of the circumstances, she handled the clients and calls out of love and concern.  To this day I cherish this "loyal friendship" and the clients we "teamed up and helped."

I spent 22 years working with an appraiser who carried no cell phone, and faithfully utilized an answering machine.  He returned every call, and continues to turn appraisals quicker than any appraiser I know.  I've received 24 hour service on serveral occassions, and I know it was because he concentrated on doing his job--including returning calls on his schedule.  Agents would gripe, but he always came through.

My conclusion is that returning calls and getting the job done are critical, answering the phone is not as critical.

Posted by Fred Cope, Looking For Homes With A Smile (Reliant Realty in Nashville, TN) almost 9 years ago

Answering the phone IS CRITICAL in this business. There's a prima donna I dealt with who refused to let agents call her at home or on her cell. She insisted that all calls only go to her voicemail. And she never picked up the phone. Frustrating!

Posted by Schuylkill Appraisal Services (Schuylkill Appraisal Services) almost 9 years ago

I can relate to your frustration.  Everyone who needs me has my cell phone number.  It's on the MLS and on everything I publish.  If I am with someone, I can't answer but I do get back to everyone same day, and as soon as possible.  I agree with you 100%.

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) almost 9 years ago

Cell phones and smart phones are great tools for the part time agent who works out of their car or home. The professional agent who keeps regular office hours shouldnt need one. But because there are so many of the former (and so few of the latter) I have a compromise to suggest. 

Why not have the office staff forward calls to your cell phone or set your office phone to do it automatically. As for me; I dont answer my cell phone unless I recognize the number as someone involved in one of my deals. I generally  listen to the message and return calls when appropriate. And I always adhear to the principle "Your lack of planning is not my problem"

Posted by Ron Parise ( almost 9 years ago

I think patience is the key here. We have to understand that our fellows Realtors are going to be unavailable from time to time. Working with another client, writing up offers, at the closing table and everyday life matters such as Doctor's appointments, kids plays etc.

The listing agent clearly stated that pets were allowed. That is pretty self explanatory.  I would have encouraged the client to go and see it anyway and if she refused than that is her fault, not the other agents.

For whatever reason the other agent did not want her cell number to be given out.  That is her choice and if it works for her great, if not she may be soon out of business.

Posted by Tammy Fullriede (Bale Realty) almost 9 years ago

I just read Tom's response to this post and I must say I see his point...a little. He has systems in place that would hopefully prevent the situation you encountered, and his method seems to work for him, but we still like to err on the side of being easy to contact. We give out our cell numbers like candy, but even if we didn't a blind man could find it with a simple Google search.

We've encountered a LOT of agents who don't publish their cell phone number, and at times it is frustrating. What's worse is when you get thrown into their VM and the VM box is FULL and you can't even leave a message. That's happened more time than I can count. Bottom line is, you need to reach us, call us. If we can answer, we will. If we can't, leave a message and we'll get back to you ASAP.

BTW, I wonder if those agents who don't give out their cells know that every time they call someone, their cell phone number shows up in the other person's caller ID (if they have that service)?? They have, in effect, just given out their number. Just sayin'...

Posted by Pat & Wayne Harriman, Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate (Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499) almost 9 years ago
Tell your client that the listing agent has gotten too big for their britches.
Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) almost 9 years ago

Ok, I was just browsing but with one comment #57, I just have to chime in.  Your suggestion is that instead of talking with the rental agent, who was too dense to put the pet policy in the rental info sheet, I should research the by laws at the county Registrar?  Really? Really?

I find this ludicrous and this from someone who does a lot of research at the Registrar.  Did you know that they generally record the initital docs and then may make major changes in things like pet policy without re-recording those docs?

Did you know that if an agent makes it too hard for me to get info on their listing/rental, I am just moving on to the next property?

Your kudos is to an office who "backed' the agent to the detriment of their client.  How about having the office taking the question, and calling back quickly with an answer?

I'm with Valeries on this one.  I'm also with Tom Branch, if you have systems that get a quick response, as he does.  I'm not with someone telling me to research a pet policy at the Registrar.  In other words, take my client's question and stick it in my ear.  Next!!!!!


Posted by Margaret Mitchell, Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty) almost 9 years ago

In a blog post I wrote last month: 

Who cares what Unethical REALTORS say?

I addressed this topic.

Here is an excerpt for your consideration.

A recurring theme running through posts here on Active Rain (both Public and Members Only) is the incessant moaning and groaning from some REALTORs that have the misguided belief that the only way to effectively communicate is to use the telephone.

They bang on and on about how agents who choose to communicate via email (for the written record it provides) are somehow "lazy", "arrogant" or some other variation of a derogatory term, without stopping to think that by behaving this way they are violating Article 15 of the REALTOR Code of Ethics.

They drag out their crystal balls and winge on about how agents who handle communication differently than they do will " be run out of town", "fail miserably", "be hung drawn and quartered for failing their clients", blah, blah, blah....

What a load of drivel!

What they studiously avoid is acknowledging that it's because of their own preference for using the telephone that they are petrified as more and more tech savvy agents find ways to make their businesses more efficient by migrating away from the telephone and towards other methods of communication.

I have no problem with agents who prefer to use the telephone.  I don't criticize them for doing so.  I don't however tolerate inappropriate and unethical behavior and let it go unchallenged!

In their "rush to judgment" they fail to realize that by spewing forth this unwarranted criticism they are displaying themselves for all to see as UNETHICAL REALTORS!

What makes them think that anyone gives a hoot about what an unethical REALTOR thinks!?

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 9 years ago

I found this through Tom's rebuttal....I can't understand why and agent wouldn't want to give out their cell, what if it's a potential client being told they can't reach the agent? how quickly would that consumer call someone who would give out a number?

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 9 years ago

Valerie: WOW, this one really has a few people hopping! My cell number is my business number. It's posted everywhere -- on virtually every post I make here, on my business cards, on every flyer, ad, marketing piece ... everywhere. I keep my voice mail cleaned out so someone can always leave me a message. Like Tom and several others here, I also attempt to post everything a potential client might need to write an offer on the MLS. I'm home based, but I do also keep some sense of business hours too. After 8pm or on Sundays, I tend not to answer my phone. If I'm with a client, I won't answer my phone, but make it very clear that I'll respond ASAP ... and I do. I've worked with clients who have come from other agents that say "we could never get ahold of him/her." How sad.

What I think is important here is not necessarily what an agent's cell phone policy is, but the understanding that our client relationship is only one part of the equation. The remaining part is the relationship we, as agents, have with other agents and other professionals in our field. If I've attempted to do business with another agent who doesn't return calls in a timely manner, I'm not able to serve my own client well ... and you can bet that the next time that unresponsive agent shows up in a listing, I'll hesitate before cracking open a door to do business with them. After all ... I want to do business with folks that want to do business with me. Isn't that the way it should be?

As customer service professionals, this business isn't about pushing everyone else around so that one can do business one's own way. It's about forming valuable relationships that foster healthy business practices all around.

Posted by Gabrielle Nemes, 206.300.8421, S King & Pierce County RE Advocate (RE/MAX Realty South) almost 9 years ago
no email? no text? Kristine
Posted by Kim & Kristine Halverson, Sisters, Realtors (Compass) almost 9 years ago

Like Karen, I came here from Tom's post, which I haven't read yet (got to the link to this and figured this one came "before" so.. ).  I see a few core issues here:

  1. The listing agent didn't put enough information in the post... easy to add the word dog along with OK or NO.
  2. The listing agent doesn't share her cell number, leave a message at the office... on the other end of that, say she shares it, and still can't answer (on the toilet, with a client, out of service area), leave a message.  What's the difference????  The difference is that it pisses folks off that she WON'T SHARE THE NUMBER.
  3. So you can't get enough info, SHOW THE HOME ANYWAY.  Isn't that what you are there for, and there's better than a 50/50 chance the dog's OK because "pets" are.

My cell phone is advertised all over the universe.  If our Oregon law didn't require that our office number also be displayed, I would never advertise it.  I too don't want to have to worry about checking more than one VM, and the one I have with me all the time is my cell. In fact, the people who answer the phone at our office know to give out my cell phone instead of transferring to voice mail.

That being said, I don't answer it 24/7.  I don't answer while on the loo, eating dinner with family, showing a home, or even when I'm just plain busy trying to meet a deadline of some sort.  Generally I don't answer a number I don't know on Sunday, at all, and if it is blocked or a toll free number, I don't answer that either. Before 7:00am is iffy, and and after 6:00pm is too... after all, I'm generally WORKING all those hours in between, so give me a break!

Posted by Victoria CB Trees, Principal Broker (Victoria CB Trees Real Estate Services) almost 9 years ago

I am sure with 90 comments - you are swamped - but wanted to say - perhaps same as some other comments - not a good idea if we can't even communicate and trust our own community!

Re-blogged your post, too.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 9 years ago

It sounds like Tom has a system that works for him, but I couldn't imagine not being able to be contacted if someone wanted to buy or sell a home. What about texting?

Posted by Don Wixom, "Looking out for your next move..."tm (RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID) almost 9 years ago

This is a double edged sword. If you're truly working this business full time, blocking time for prospecting, managing inventory, client follow up, etc. I believe receiving cell calls can be a tremendous interference and definitely work to your disadvantage.

That being said, the realtors out there who don't return calls for hours (whether on their cell or not) because they are working their "Real" job.... That, I have a problem with!

Posted by Paul D. Serwatka (Chicagoland Realty Network LLC) almost 9 years ago

I only have a teams but we usually carry on average of about 20-25 listings at a time. Right now we sold most of them but Like I clients or even potential prospects tell me that they called me because they prefer not to talk to a robot. And the fact that I'm pretty accessible most times and respond quick..most seem to like that. I'm sure there are others who would prefer not to talk to a live person. As far as the agents go...even if an agent writes a "FAQ" most do not read carefully but sometimes you need to speak to the agent directly. There are so many times when I have to get through a secretary or an assistant who might claim to answer all the questions...but it seems they always tell me they have to find out the answer anyway. I just had an assistant who basically was handling an offer on the listing side. The deal didn't work out because the buyer backed out in writting due to the properties poor condition. It was an REO...about a week ago I get a call from the escrow agent asking if we were ready to close. I thought it was odd that they didn't know that we sent in a withdrawal 1 day after the inspection...yet the listing agents office apparently never told the escrow agent we canceled the contract. It just goes to show you that sometimes the agent needs to get involved.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) almost 9 years ago

I don't understand how having the agent's cell phone number really makes a difference in the scenario you described.  Let's say for a minute you had their cell number.  You call, get their voicemail and leave a message.  They call you back when they're available...maybe in 2 hours, maybe the following day.  How is that any different than the result you got when leaving a message with their office?

Personally, I do give out my cell but if I understand why some agents, especially productive ones, would have a different system in place.  At some point in a growing business, you can't be one person taking all calls and answering everyone's questions...there has to be some delegation.

Posted by Damon Botticelli, Realtor - Las Vegas Real Estate (Silver State Realty & Investments) almost 9 years ago

I am one of those that does not give out my cell phone number unless it is very important. We own our brokerage and run it like a business. That means we have a full time receptionist who can answer most all of your questions, she can set up a showing for you, although I don't understand why agents don't just set them up via email through our showing assist in our mls, she can get your question to us and then call you right back with the answer, she can relay an email to us if it is something important and we can respond to you via email. This is professional. This is a a business not a social gathering. Coach Katerina 

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) almost 9 years ago

At my previous office, there was an agent like this. But he took it a step further....HE DID NOT EVEN GIVE HIS CELL PHONE NUMBER TO HIS CLIENTS!!! read that right!

All calls went to his voice mail (which was set to call him indicating he had a message) but I fielded many a call of people who were none to please with his business operation.

Everyone runs their business a different way, and the public may, or may not even know the difference.

I for one ONLY GIVE OUT MY CELL PHONE NUMBER!!! I don't want the calls going anywhere other than to me or MY cell phone voice mail. And my message states I will return the call as soon as I have finished with the current client I am with.

And don't call me at 10pm at night, unless you want to talk to me. I most likely WILL answer the phone. What if it's that West Coast Buyer (it's 7pm there) looking for an agent and they get one to answer the phone.

But that's just how I run my business.




Posted by Thom Abbott, Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale ( |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living) almost 9 years ago

I just wrote a blog post in regards to the outcome of this post, and I'd love your input: 

Cells Phones, Agents, Clients, Etiquette, and Priorities. What's King in Your World?

Posted by Ryan Hukill - Edmond, Realtor, Team Lead (ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite) almost 9 years ago

If that's the way she wants to run her business then she has that right. It's frustrating to us that want/need information quickly

Posted by Kerry Jenkins (Prime Properties) almost 9 years ago

If that's the way she wants to run her business then she has that right. It's frustrating to us that want/need information quickly  a

Posted by Kerry Jenkins (Prime Properties) almost 9 years ago

If that's the way she wants to run her business then she has that right. It's frustrating to us that want/need information quickly  an d

Posted by Kerry Jenkins (Prime Properties) almost 9 years ago

If that's the way she wants to run her business then she has that right. It's frustrating to us that want/need information quickly  an din

Posted by Kerry Jenkins (Prime Properties) almost 9 years ago

If that's the way she wants to run her business then she has that right. It's frustrating to us that want/need information quickly  an din this

Posted by Kerry Jenkins (Prime Properties) almost 9 years ago

If that's the way she wants to run her business then she has that right. It's frustrating to us that want/need information quickly  an din this day

Posted by Kerry Jenkins (Prime Properties) almost 9 years ago

If that's the way she wants to run her business then she has that right. It's frustrating to us that want/need information quickly  an din this day and

Posted by Kerry Jenkins (Prime Properties) almost 9 years ago

If that's the way she wants to run her business then she has that right. It's frustrating to us that want/need information quickly  and in this day and age being used to getting information as quickly as we can type a google search not hearing back from someone can affect our business.  I would have tried to get the information some other way, or just shown the home and then waited to hear back. 

Posted by Kerry Jenkins (Prime Properties) almost 9 years ago

Hi Valerie: I came in this backwards.. Meaning I first read Tni's post, then Tom's and am now going to the source!  Did you ever imagine it would cause this response!  I do not pick up if I am at an open house (and busy), in a meeting, and with a client as I feel it is rude..  other than that... my cell phone is available to all and I WILL return all calls. Best, Gay

Posted by Gay E. Rosen, As Real as Real Estate Gets! (Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hi Valerie~  I give out my cell phone number and I answer my phone if I am available. If I don't answer it and you leave me a message, I do return all phone calls. That being said, I have no say about what another agent chooses to do.  But, I do believe all calls should be returned in timely manner.

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) almost 9 years ago

Valerie:  I came here through Tom's post as well.  He pretty much gave you a "working over" in his post and in his comments.  I am sorry he did that, because in doing so, I lost some respect for him.

Anyway... I fully support your viewpoint.  And... here is the response I made to him on his post:

Tom:  I will admit that I only read about the first fifty calls on this post... BUT... if I had a listing, and you had an offer ON that listing... I would make sure that my seller knew about your policy of only being available during "business" hours... and also about not giving our your cell phone number.

Unfortunately, life does not contort itself around your personal business hours, and if, after informing my seller of your "business model"... my seller felt it necessary... any counter back to you would insist on you providing your cell number... so that you could be reached in case of some real, actual emergency. 

Of course, you are very much entitled to run your "business model" as you see fit, but when it is my seller's welfare and future that may be on the line... modifications are most certainly in order.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 9 years ago

If the other agent doesn't return my call, then that's exactly what I say to my client.  I say "I've been calling the other agent and leaving voicemails but they haven't called back yet.  They might not be motivated.  Let's also look at some other listings."

Posted by Robert Lei, Sunnyvale Cupertino Santa Clara, Palo Alto Mountain View Saratoga Campbell (Century 21 (SUNNYVALE, CA) - (408) 893-2410) almost 9 years ago

I'm here via Tom's post, which I haven't read yet.  I really think we CAN handle business without giving out our number to everyone.  I DO give mine to everyone, but if my assistant had a handle on all of my listings and was readily available, agents wouldn't need to call me, truly.

Even thought I DO give my number out, if anyone other than family calls while I'm out with clients, I let it go to voice mail.  It could take a couple of hours to get back.  I would prefer emails so I could read it on my phone and respond without being blatantly rude to my clients.  

I think where this agent dropped the ball is not having anyone that can handle the Q and A's from other agents.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, Huntsville AL MLS (Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)) almost 9 years ago

Valerie, I just read Tom's rebuttal before coming over here.  Although I do have my cell phone anywhere and everywhere, obviously if I'm busy with a client, a personal affair, etc. I have let my phone go to voicemail but the bottom line is that there is no cell phone # with this agent.  I have to agree that IMO if we didn't provide cell phone numbers or easy access, a buyer or seller will go to the next agent who did answer his/her phone.  

Posted by Gina Chirico, Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey (Lattimer Realty) almost 9 years ago

Valerie ~ I also came here via Tom's rebuttal. As real estate agents we all have different business models. That's one of the advantages of our profession that we get to choose how we do business. I think it's unusual not to give out cell phone numbers, but in the age of email and smartphones don't see it as a problem.

I didn't appreciate being called a pop tart Realtor in Tom's post for my accessibility and flexibility, but feel you also miss the mark. There are different ways of doing business and it seems this agent did get back to you and it was just 3 hours later. If you had been given the number and it had gone to voicemail, because she was with a client you probably would have waited the same length of time. So where's the problem?

Posted by Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices (Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268) almost 9 years ago

Valerie, I agree with you 110%, as Professional Reators especially those who take on 50, 60, 100 listings and are under the assumption that they're providing good service(based on THEIR standards) are just fooling themselves and their clients and as far as I'm concerned, they're not doing any justice to their clients, especially the sellers. Time is of the essence and in this market, we can't ignore what could be sales calls.

I have a great example that happened just this weekend, showed a rental, clients liked it, called the number that's in MLS, of course it was the office VM and 48hrs later, I'm still waiting for the return phone call. BTW, I also emailed the agent but of course no reply YET!! So I don't even know if the property is still available, since they are so busy, it does usually take longer than normal to change the status in MLS(based on MY experience).

Those with REO listings, do the banks know these sales calls are not being answered immediately? If I told the Asset Manager I work with that I don't publish my cell phone and the calls are answered during business hours, he will be looking for another Realtor who is less busy to handle his properties.

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) almost 9 years ago

A lot of people mention the systems Tom has in place. I'm not sure what I am missing, but if the systems are in place, why were you unable to get your question answered in a timely manner?

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) almost 9 years ago

Our motto is "IF WE ARE AWAKE, WE WILL ANSWER".  If no one is at the office the phones are forwarded to one of our cell phones.  If you are not responsive to other agents, especially if they have a buyer in town for only a short time, YOU ARE NOT SERVING YOUR CLIENT (THE SELLER) WELL.

When I am on a listing appointment I urge the seller to test us and any competing realtor on this.

Posted by House Sale Advisors Lancaster and Lebanon Counties PA (House Sale Advisors) almost 9 years ago


Valerie, I agree with you

Our motto is "IF WE ARE AWAKE, WE WILL ANSWER".  If no one is at the office the phones are forwarded to one of our cell phones.  If you are not responsive to other agents, especially if they have a buyer in town for only a short time, YOU ARE NOT SERVING YOUR CLIENT (THE SELLER) WELL.

When I am on a listing appointment I urge the seller to test us and any competing realtor on this.

Posted by House Sale Advisors Lancaster and Lebanon Counties PA (House Sale Advisors) almost 9 years ago

Very interesting post and responses!

Posted by CANDY HOLLEY (Middle Tennessee) (KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY) almost 9 years ago

Valerie -

One day I called another agent --- no joke --- and his message said, "Don't bother leaving a voice mail.  I don't return calls."  I couldn't believe it so I dialed again.  Why would he have his cell number published at all?

Isn't serving our clients the most important part of doing our jobs well?  As Broker at my boutique firm, ODAT Realty Serivces, Inc. located in Atlanta, GA, our company motto is "Real Estate is our product but SERVICE is our business."

Service includes all the possible details that our clients deserve - not just showing property.  We must respond promptly when called/emailed, keep detailed records, maintain knowledge with continuing education and be ready to refer a client to someone else if we are not the best person for that client's needs.

All the best, 




Posted by Lynn B. Friedman, Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers (Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ...) almost 9 years ago

Come on Valerie, what is more important, serving our clients or setting boundries to show everyone how important we are?  Unfortunately, as an industry we treat each other with more distain than respect most of the time.

I am one of those who do not answer their cell when they are with a client or in a meeting.  However, as soon as that meeting is over I return the calls, even if they did not leave a message.  I also return other Realtor's calls as soon as it is possible.

On one occassion I got a call at 6:15 AM from a prospective buyer on the east coast (I am in California) planning to move to our area and excited about a listing I had.  That was a bit much but I answered the questions and ended up lshowing them the house a few days later.

I do agree with you that clients should find out where a prospective agent stands on the communication issue before they engage that agent.  In this day and age the speed of communication is critically important.

Posted by Mike West, El Dorado Hills, CA CDPE, CNE, Licensed Loan Origi (Heritage Oak Properties) almost 9 years ago

I have a second cell phone that costs me $15/month to use for all of my advertising.  That way, my personal cell stays personal.  Problem solved!

Posted by Dawn Brenengen, Sales and Management (Dawn Brenengen - Trailwood Realty) almost 9 years ago

Valerie, I asked myself the very same question the other day. I tried to contact this agent for over a week to know avail. She placed her office phone # in both slots for contact #'s so all I had was the office line and of course, she is never there.  Very frustrating, agents who want to keep their cell phones private should get alternative contact numbers or a 2nd cell.  Great Post, took it right out of my head!

Posted by Malik Crichlow, Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate (GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist) almost 9 years ago

To each their own, what works for some may not work for others it is a business choice. We all set our business/personal boundaries as we see fit. You can find my cell number on my active rain, facebook,, website..... I have a smart phone too so I get my email on the fly. That is my choice and I love the freedom it affords me to do business where ever and when ever I need.

Posted by Karen Paris, REALTOR, ASP (Keller Williams Capital Properties Fairfax) almost 9 years ago

Each agent/brokerage works differently.  That is the beauty of this business, no two agents are the same.  I don't fault the agent who chooses not to give out their cell number or that cannot be reached immediately.  It just makes it better for us agents who do. It does make it harder for us agents who have the buyers/renters for their property but it just gives me more incentive to get more listings.

About 3 yrs ago I had to show a property in a rural area of my MLS.  I had to go to the office to get the key even though everyone else on our MLS uses lockboxes (that situation is for another posting).  I get to the vacant house with my client and it is the wrong key.  I call the office to ask them and they tell me it is the only key they have.  I ask for the listing agents cell number.  They tell me that they can't give it out.  "What ??... I just drove an hour to show one of his listings and I can't have his cell number ??... Have him call me please"... That was 3 years ago and I am still waiting for my return phone call... needless to say, my client found something else.  

Like I said earlier... Don't get mad at them for not giving out their cell number... In this day and age of instant gratification, be thankful that their are agents out there who don't believe in the same thing.  It just makes it better for us who do.

Posted by Thomas Reid (EXIT Realty Homeward Bound) almost 9 years ago

I can't provide excellent service to my clients of I receive 50 to 60 phone calls a day. My licensed sales coordinator handles those calls very efficiently.

Posted by Dave Halpern, Louisville Short Sale Expert (Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827) almost 9 years ago