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A toll free number is a telephone number that can be called at no cost to the caller, because the recipient of the phone call pays for the cost of the call. Originally toll free numbers used the area code "800" and are therefore are often referred to as "800 numbers". Because of the huge popularity of toll free numbers they are also now available with the area codes 888, 877 and 866. The area codes 855, 844, 833 and 822 have been reserved for future toll free use.
When someone dials your toll free number the call is simply forwarded to your regular local number. You need no special equipment or additional telephone lines. As the receiver of the toll free call you pay for the call as if you made it yourself.
Larger company image - Toll free numbers create a larger more significant corporate image, even for the smallest investor who is likely working from home. Having a toll free number gives investors more credibility.
Expanded marketing reach - If you are advertising your real estate business outside of your local market then you should consider a toll free number to make it easier and more convenient for buyers and sellers from outside your local market to reach you. In some communities an investor may have small towns that are close, but that require a long distance call when calling from or to them. Having a toll free number in areas like this could give you an edge over your competition.
Many real estate investors also advertise to absentee owners who may live in another city or state. Having a toll free number may encourage these absentee owners to contact you.
Portability - One of the most important benefits of toll free numbers for real estate investors is the ability to change the 'ring to' number. You can take your toll free number with you when you move! If you move your business or your needs change, it's easy to change the ring to number, usually by making a simple phone call to your toll free number provider. This portability allows you to control and change where your toll free calls go without having to reprint your business cards, letterhead, postcards, change your website etc. This kind of flexibility is important for growing real estate investment companies. This can also be handy if you are going on extended vacations and want someone else to take your calls while you are traveling.
Toll free numbers can also be used with Automated Voice Mail Systems
Scalability - A huge benefit for new real estate investors is that you typically just pay for the usage or calls to your toll free number. This means that when are are just starting out and your usage is small, your bill will be small as well. As your business increases and you have more calls and more call time, your bill will increase.
Collect caller information - Toll free numbers also provide additional caller information including the callers number even if the caller ID information is blocked.
Cost - Toll free numbers are so cheap and simple to set up that even the smallest part time investor can afford to have their very own toll free number. For example, Kall8 only charges $2 per month, plus your actual usage.
Privacy - Toll free numbers are harder to trace to the owner than normal business numbers. Investors who do a lot of bandit signs may like this feature since it would definitely make it more difficult for code enforcement to track you down. I'm not condoning the use of illegal signs, but I know of many investors who use this technique on their bandit signs.
There are situations where a toll free number may not be necessary for a real estate investor. For example, if you are in an area where your entire market can reach you with a local call, you do not want the toll free number to boost your credibility and you don't market to absentee owners, a toll free number may not be for you.
Some investors may use the lack of a toll free number as a "screening process". When people have a tendency to call and just kind of kick the tires. If a caller has to pay for a long distance call it may keep some people who are not very serious at all from just calling and wasting your time. The philosophy of these real estate investors is that anyone truly interested in their program would be willing to make that first call with their own dime.
Another option along these same lines is to have a toll free number that you don't advertise. You can then give the toll free number out to potential customers after they demonstrate interest and after you have determined they are worthy.
There is no difference. Calls using either 866, 877, 888, or 800 numbers are all toll-free calls. Since 800 numbers were the original toll free number, they are more recognized as "toll free" and should be your first choice if you can find one that you like. This is similar to domain names where .com is preferred over .net etc.
Vanity numbers are telephone numbers which also spell something on the
phone keypad. Vanity numbers are much easier to remember than a simple number.
For example, you can call the offices of InvestorPro.com by using our toll
free number of 1-877-444-website. 1-877-444-website is a "vanity number" which
is actually the exact same as 1-Toll Free - 877-444-9327
Direct - 479-986-9158, but website is much easier to remember. This can be very important for real estate investors who advertise on bandit signs etc. and need for potential customers to easily remember their number.
You can contact your long distance company or check out one of the toll free number providers listed below...