Real Estate Agent with Johnson Real Estate, Inc. RES.0761759

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??????***


Posted by


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




Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ryan Case 01/29/2011 05:02 PM
  2. Jon Quist 01/30/2011 05:05 AM
  3. Praful Thakkar 01/30/2011 05:33 AM
  4. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 10/23/2015 12:08 AM
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Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

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. 

Jan 30, 2011 09:38 AM #105
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

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

Jan 30, 2011 09:47 AM #106
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

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.

Jan 30, 2011 10:47 AM #107
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

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.

Jan 30, 2011 11:54 AM #108
Robert Lei
Century 21 (SUNNYVALE, CA) - (408) 893-2410 - Sunnyvale, CA
Sunnyvale Cupertino Santa Clara, Palo Alto Mountain View Saratoga Campbell

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."

Jan 30, 2011 12:26 PM #109
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

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.

Jan 30, 2011 12:46 PM #110
Gina Chirico
Lattimer Realty - Fairfield, NJ
Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey

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.  

Jan 30, 2011 12:53 PM #111
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

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?

Jan 30, 2011 04:33 PM #112
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

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.

Jan 30, 2011 11:28 PM #113
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

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?

Jan 31, 2011 12:17 AM #114
House Sale Advisors Lancaster and Lebanon Counties PA
House Sale Advisors - Quarryville, PA

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.

Jan 31, 2011 03:01 AM #115
House Sale Advisors Lancaster and Lebanon Counties PA
House Sale Advisors - Quarryville, PA


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.

Jan 31, 2011 03:06 AM #116
CANDY HOLLEY (Middle Tennessee)

Very interesting post and responses!

Jan 31, 2011 03:11 AM #117
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

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, 




Jan 31, 2011 04:30 AM #118
Mike West
Heritage Oak Properties - El Dorado Hills, CA
El Dorado Hills, CA CDPE, CNE, Licensed Loan Origi

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.

Jan 31, 2011 05:31 AM #119
Dawn Brenengen
Dawn Brenengen - Trailwood Realty - Raleigh, NC
Sales and Management

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!

Jan 31, 2011 06:04 AM #120
Malik Crichlow
GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist - Maplewood, NJ
Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate

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!

Jan 31, 2011 08:04 AM #121
Karen Paris
Keller Williams Capital Properties Fairfax - Fairfax, VA

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.

Jan 31, 2011 10:07 AM #122
Thomas Reid
EXIT Realty Homeward Bound - Binghamton, NY

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.

Jan 31, 2011 10:41 PM #123
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

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.

Feb 02, 2011 11:25 PM #124
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Valerie Osterhoudt

ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889
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