Dennis Henson

Reasons to Use an 800 Number
by Dennis Henson

There are many ways to market single family homes and I have more than forty of these ways in my arsenal. But the most productive marketing technique by far is the use of an 800 number.

Why is using an 800 number so powerful? Here are a dozen reasons…

Instant Buyers or Renters -- The most important reason that 800 numbers are so powerful for real estate investors is that they can provide you with a fresh list of ready buyers or renters. Current technology will allow you to use an 800 number to capture a continuous stream of buyers and renters for your properties. Having this stream of anxious buyers is invaluable when you find yourself with one or more empty homes because empty homes are very expensive. Having a list of fresh prospects is a great way to get your homes filled quickly.

Convenience -- If you're selling or renting a home, you definitely need a toll-free number to capture your prospects number so that you may contact them at your leisure. With an 800 service, you can accept calls 24 hours a day 7 days a week and the best part is that you never have to answer any of the calls. Because the 800 service captures and reports the numbers to you--so that you may return the call when you need to rent or sell a home.

Credibility -- People looking to find a home want to work with a trustworthy company and there's hardly a better way to establish a large, trustworthy presence than promoting your 800 number. Even if you work from a spare bedroom in your home, consumers often assume that an 800 number is associated with a large company.

Prestige -- Your 800 number puts you in the same league with some of the most prestigious companies.

Customer Satisfaction -- In the buyers mind, you're convenient and thoughtful and they will love the fact that they can call your 800 number--toll free and find the needed information at any time day or night.

Higher Response Rate -- A recent study revealed that 800 numbers improved consumer call rates in print media by 84% versus non-toll-free numbers. The response rate is definitely much higher when advertising homes with a toll-free number, than when just advertised with a standard business toll line.

800 Numbers Payoff -- If you haven't used an 800 number before you may think cost will be prohibitive. But surprisingly they are quite inexpensive and if you already have one you probably would not easily give it up. The reason you would want to hold on is increased profitability. Advertising costs money too, but people do it because the numbers make sense. The same is true with an 800 number. They can and will increase your profitability. When you measure the increased effectiveness of your advertising, you'll realize that the nominal costs of using an 800 number is worth the price.

Confusion-Free Calling -- As more and more area codes are introduced around the country, buyers are unsure of where their calls are going - and how much they will cost. 800 numbers assure the buyer that no matter where they're calling from, the call will be safe and free.

"800" Means "Toll-Free" -- To the home buyer the terms "toll-free" and "800" are one and the same. A recent study found that 95% of consumers recognize the 800 exchange as toll-free, but few connected with the other toll-free exchanges like 888, 877 and 866. These numbers are often confused with area codes and where consumers are concerned, confusion usually means lost sales. However, these "new" exhanges are gaining popularity and recongition among consumers and businesses.

"800" is the Most Widely Recognized Toll-free Prefix -- Test results confirm that 800 is by far the most widely recognized toll-free prefix among consumers, with a 94% recognition rate. Recognition of the 800 prefix is consistent from 2002 to 2007.

Your 800 Number Stays Active Even if You Move -- As your real estate business grows you may need to move to a larger facility. When you move it might not be possible to keep your standard phone number. Buyers who call your old number will probably reach a disconnected line or a recording. This is bad business and sending out postcards with the new number will cost you money and you probably can't reach all of your potential customers. But an 800 number continues to work regardless of where you locate your business. You can even move from one state to another and your 800 number will remain the same.

The Customer's Choice -- When given a choice, consumers prefer to use a toll-free 800 number to reach your real estate business.

I hope this article will help you in your quest to build wealth through real estate investing.

Dennis Henson
Dennis Henson is a full-time real estate investor, author and mentor in Arlington, Texas. He is president of Vanguard Marketing and Investments, Inc. and AREA real estate investor's group.

Dennis has a B.S. Degree in education from Jacksonville State University and a Master's Degree in Education from Mississippi State University. He purchased his first investment property in 1971 in Georgia and has taken numerous courses by real estate gurus including John Schaub, Robert Allen, Carleton Sheets, Wade Cook, Russ Whitney, Dolf de Roos, Mike Summey, Roger Dawson, Bill Barnett, and many others.

Dennis Henson enjoys investing in real estate, helping people find and purchase a new home, working with new and experienced investors and advanced teaching real estate investing techniques. Many years of experience, constant study, and love for teaching have made Dennis Henson an excellent author and mentor.

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