Margaret Rome's Blog


You Don't Have To Give Me Your Name




Early in my real estate career, I remember being told, when on 'floor duty',  not to give out any information  such as the price,  the number of bedrooms, or the address.

You waited until  you got their information including their name, phone number, how much they made, how much they owed... etc.

That was before caller ID.

Do they still have floor duty? Do they still teach this?


Phone Duty


From the beginning, I did not follow the rules. I gave out the requested information and I still do.

When calls came in, I would actually say I am not going to ask for your name and number but I will answer your questions.  As soon as I would make that statement, almost everyone wanted to work with me.

That was the way I did floor duty The Rome Way. 


Margaret Rome 410-530-2400

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It immediately sets up an avenue of trust. No pushing, just "How may I help?" I don't push that stuff, either....better to establish a connection, a relationship.

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) almost 4 years ago

I suppose I better do away with "Cash or Dash Pal, whats it gonna be"?  LOL

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker GRI, SRES (Windermere/lane county) almost 4 years ago


It's all about being helpful and providing information as opposed to keeping it secret. There's something about that sharing that encourages a level of trust. And sometimes when you give people something there is a tendency to give something back


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) almost 4 years ago

That's the Lane Way too.  We also put prices in ads.  People want information.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Margaret.  If they are interested they will gladly give you what information you want.  If not, and you have to ask for it, they are just window shopping.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) almost 4 years ago

Thank you for the advice. I agee people do not like to give out their telephone numbers.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 4 years ago

Withholding this type of information nowadays is pointless. People can easily get it from online sources without having to reveal who they are. 

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) almost 4 years ago

Never heard not to describe the is that benefitting the wonder realtors are confused with car salespeople !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 4 years ago

No wonder you are a beacon of hope for Real Estate industry!!!

When calls came in, I would actually say I am not going to ask for your name and number but I will answer your questions.  As soon as I would make that statement, almost everyone wanted to work with me.

That was the way I did floor duty The Rome Way. 

Posted by Sham Reddy CRS, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) almost 4 years ago

Margaret, I was taught that too, but never followed the advice. If they trust me, that's great. Many are so afraid of us forcing them to purchase a house over the phone they can't hang up fast enough! 

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland ,

I love this post! So glad to see it featured! That's the way I did floor duty..the Dillard way...answering questions developing trust..the right way to attract consumers!!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Margaret, that's the way it should be done, people worth with those whom they trust. No reason to force their information. Well deserved feature!

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) almost 4 years ago

THIS IS AWESOME. Yes. Today is a new day. The callers (if any) already have every detail... I sincerely sometimes wonder why they even call if they aren't asking to get in the door. No piece of info is left out of MLS and generally speaking is well syndicated in DFW.

Posted by Kristen Correa, Broker, I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee! (Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services) almost 4 years ago

Hi Margaret.  Back in the day, Realtors were the Gatekeepers.  We had the information, and we would make a trade -- my information for yours!  I don't know how phone duty works today; I haven't done it since 2004. 

Posted by Dianne Goode, Realtor/Broker (Raleigh Cary Realty) almost 4 years ago

We don't have floor duty in my office anymore, but that's how I did it when I started as well

Posted by Jennifer Mackay, Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582 (Counts Real Estate Group, Inc.) almost 4 years ago

Oh yes, good advice indeed.  It establishes trust and a willingness to help.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 4 years ago

I draw the line when people are not willing to meet me at my office or in a public setting for a face to face meeting.

Posted by Raul Rodriguez, Looking out for the client's interest and not my p (Covenant Partners Realty) almost 4 years ago

Totally agree with The Rome way (:  If I was "forced" to do it the other way, I would have to hang my "hat" somewhere else.  

Posted by Alesha A. Wilson, M.Ed., Buy and Sell Real Estate with Confidence (Buy and Sell Oklahoma LLC) almost 4 years ago

Margaret, with all of the access to info today, we can know who we're dealing with before they tell us. I do eventually ask for information. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 4 years ago

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland Clearly your initial statement made prospects feel at ease with you. Great reversal on a policy that has backfired for so many.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc.) almost 4 years ago

I've always said that if I have to go take floor duty, it is time for me to retire.  I always tried to HELP people, not just capture their names and numbers. 

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, The most important home I sell is YOURS! (RE/MAX Southwest) almost 4 years ago

Yes indeed, buyers have a ton of info before they call you directly. I get that on the web too. They want info, but give me a fake name and email. Now how can I let you know the answers to the questions if I can't contact you. Oops, they didn't think of that one. Not all buyers are serious about making the connection, but if handled well, they will come back for more. They need someone so if they are making that choice a month from now, I want to be the one they call and move forward with.

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) almost 4 years ago

Sounds good to me - but I am not a fan of floor duty or caravans for that matter.

Posted by Gloria Laughton Allston, Realtor(NJ)/Broker(NY) (COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE) almost 4 years ago

I was told the very same thing by the old-timers on the office, when I first started... "if they won't give you their name and phone number, you don't give them the price of the house"...   

Really?  I told them whatever they wanted to know.  It was a conversation, not an interrogation.  If they were interested in "connecting" we did.  If they just wanted a price and wanted to hang up... they did.

I had good succcess on floor duty, and the old-timers wondered how.

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Jameson Sotheby's International Realty) almost 4 years ago

Hi, Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland. I wasn't told to not give out information, but I do remember some being upset when I didn't come away with contact information. As Alan May wrote above it's "a conversation, not an interrogation". Being difficult isn't going to get me many new clients...
Thanks for sharing,


Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) almost 4 years ago

I totally agree.  People want to have a question answered, not have to beg for info or provide their information if they don't want to.  With society and technology today, real estate has changed.  With the many phone aps and Google, we get fewer requests for information today from the general public. Just answer the question!  Great post.

Posted by Shirley Coomer, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az (Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living) almost 4 years ago

I always give the information and always ask for their info somewhere along the way.  They always get get the info they are seeking and I almost always get the info I am seeking.  Thanks Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland  for a quick and short reminder that how many of us do it is how other successful agents and brokers do it as well!

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) almost 4 years ago

Hi Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland It works for me. I agree that it lets those that want to work with you the choice to do so. They aren't "forced" to do anything.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

A very intelligent rebel from the get-go, Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland.   Drives me crazy when you see websites that won't provide any info until you "fill in a form".  99.9% of the time I won't do it .. and they lose a potential client. They'd be so much better off if they just used your business technique ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) almost 4 years ago

Nowadays, pretty much all information is out there already. But when they do call me for information, no problem giving out the information. Now I must admit that most of the calls come in for my own listings. And my goal is to get them to come to see the home! And at that point I certainly ask them for their name and email address--the phone number I already have from caller id.

Posted by Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®, Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea almost 4 years ago

We are a rural small town office parked up in the upper right hand corner of the country. Our videos, blog posts, website mediastreams reach round the globe. We don't ask for the surfer to sign in before getting anything, we don't make them give us contact information to get lots of hot and ready Maine real estate information. We deliver it all round the clock and they will be getting back to us if they like what we serve up. Don't make what you present skimpy and have an attitude of only taking them serious if they darken your door either. Too far away to keep trotting north to see what's new to the market.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 4 years ago

I answer questions also. At the very least, it's a chance to have a nice conversation with someone I never knew before. At the best, we'll wind up having an indepth conversation and setting up an appointment. It's all good.


Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) almost 4 years ago

Margaret, I've never been one to follow what the Guru's teach. There is no value in attempting to hog tie anyone.  Inspired cooperation works well for me too.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 4 years ago

It depends on the office.  Some of the bigger offices definitely still do floor duty because of all the calls that come in.  Our office just has a receptionist that helps customers by providing basic info and then taking their name if they want a showing. 

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) almost 4 years ago

An equitable exchange requires value for value. They called in requesting information, until they receive that why would they part with their valuable information, their identity? I suspect the old school way worked often enough, but I couldn't have done it that way for long either. 

Answer the questions first, ask your questions when they have reason to trust you with the information. 

Posted by Dan Tabit (Keller Williams Bellevue) almost 4 years ago

"I did it my way" comes to mind.  It's almost always better to go against the grain, people take notice that way

Posted by John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852 (Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA,) almost 4 years ago

I do it my way...Love that way...It works for me..

Posted by Ginger Harper, Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County! (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage) almost 4 years ago

The Rome Way would certainly work for me....I'm sure people felt much more comfortable without the pressure of revealing their personal information!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 4 years ago

Hi Margaret - We haven't done floor duty for years, but we follow a similar philosophy with our website and don't require registration. I know there are two sides of this, but we found that many people would just click away or provide bogus information, and we'd rather they hung around and became reliant on our site. Many eventually register to set up an on-going search, which does require a name and e-mail address.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 4 years ago

Hello Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland , The Rome way is of course the RIGHT way. Isn't it amazing that so many survived for so long from doing things ass backwards. They just had it wrong and houses can sell even with those that get it wrong. I am with you and did exactly the same thing. People would then say that I would be fun to work with after I teased them that my broker will kill me if I tell them without getting your name. But hey, what's in a name anyway? Of course I was also half imitating the agent that sat next me who always had fun together when we started out doing our cold calling together or floor duty.  Should I dare drop  his name? Brian Buffini.

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) almost 4 years ago

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland - and that's the reason I love the way you do business - ROME WAY!

You are always the best....and I am blessed to have known you, met you and have dinner with you.

Thanks, Margaret.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 4 years ago

Praful Thakkar You also have my admiration!

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 4 years ago

I like it! The Rome Way! Sounds like the right way to me...I have always done that too... I don't like people harassing me... so I don't harass people...

Posted by Debra Leisek ( Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska) almost 4 years ago

That's why free consultation works so well. People are invited to all you can eat without paying for it. As the one who does the counseling, I will get my due too

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 4 years ago

Hi Margaret --- I prefer to work with clients wo want to work with me --- if I provide information, some market insight and we develop a rapport, it's good.  If doesn't work, for whatever reason, what have I lost?  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 4 years ago

I am with you I always give them the information they want they called for a reason; if they don't get it from me they will get it somewhere.

Posted by Pat Champion, Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs (Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty) almost 4 years ago

I like your style. Always thought it was obnoxious and frustrating to the caller not to give out any info. How were you to build trust if you started out being cagey? 

Posted by Olga Simoncelli, CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management (Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Prior to becoming an agent, I would hate seeing ads that omitted price/ location. Looking back I now see the method behind the madness, but such practice still stinks.

Posted by Doug Rogers, Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent (Bayou Properties) almost 4 years ago

With that attitude, Margaret, it's no wonder most of your callers chose to work with you. Giving something of value (information) caused them to trust and respect you.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 3 years ago