Which type of phone numbers are best suited for real estate companies?
There are many debates over which type of phone numbers real estate companies should use. Real estate agents and investors use a wide variety of different phone numbers and strategies. However, the looming roll out of the new 844 prefix is guaranteed to add more confusion to the mix. So what’s the best move and what are the real pros and cons of the different options out there?
At the very least, there is a choice between personal and business numbers. It may be redundant for most, but just in case; real estate professionals should never give out their home phone numbers. It is often very wise to hand out personal numbers with discretion. This will require you to get an official business phone number, even if you are a solo Realtor or real estate investor working from home.
This, of course, leads to our current dilemma. Which type of phone number should you get? It may be surprising that some top real estate investment gurus have actually continued to recommend using local numbers. There can be some good arguments for this. It may help with SEO and Google search engine rankings. It can also help to stand out as the local option, as local sellers are more inclined to contact a number they recognize.
Those looking for affordable local number options should consider Skype or Google Voice, each of which can offer some of the same benefits as toll free numbers.
So why do others religiously insist on only using toll free numbers for their real estate businesses?
There are many advantages that come with toll free business phone numbers. The first is perhaps personal privacy and security. While you want your business to be found, you don’t necessarily want everyone knowing when you are taking calls on vacation or that you are forwarding calls to be pre-screened in India. There are definitely cases in which you don’t want your personal number and location out there.
This is where call forwarding comes in handy. It not only helps solo investors if they are out of the office, but remote phone agents can can handle some of the workload.
Besides presenting a professional, credible appearance, call capture capabilities are one of the best advantages of toll free numbers for real estate companies. Use these numbers on your bandit signs, yard signs, billboards and online advertising and they will automatically capture caller ID, regardless of blocks. No lead is ever lost, even if they don’t leave a message.
There are both numeric (generic) toll free numbers and vanity numbers with spell out words or phrases. These can be particularly beneficial in the real estate industry. They are catchy, easily memorable, boost branding, aid in positioning, add trust and have been proven to increase marketing response and conversion rates. On December 7th 2013, a new ‘844’ toll free prefix is being launched which will give real estate investors, agents and companies even more vanity number options.