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What Your Phone Number Says About You

March 01 2020

iphone email 2I can really relate to this article, like many of you, if you stop and think about it. The 717 area code of my phone number is for Central Pennsylvania, which I left 20 years ago. I got my first cell phone along with the number around 1995, and of course never changed it because so many people have it. I now live in Central Florida, which is a 352 area code, so many times when I call somebody or they call me, they question my location. I am perfectly fine with that for personal calls or even calls to local businesses about needing services, but what about the general public when you are courting local business as you are in real estate?

What does your out-of-the-area cell phone number say about you? Let's start with where are you located. If I see your phone number is out of the area, I wonder how long you have lived locally. Not seeming to be local (I have lived in the 352 area code going on 13 years), I'll wonder how well you know the area, the market, the prices and demands on local inventory. All of these points can be going through a buyer's or seller's mind when they see your number. In some cases, they may skip over you because of your phone number.

We have two main solutions you can use to get a local number:

Get a Second Phone

The first I am not a fan of doing: you can go to the store and buy a "burner phone." Yes, it brings to mind a vision of drug dealers, spies and other characters using the phone and trashing it afterwards. You can buy a prepaid phone, keep it stocked for minutes to have that needed local number—but now you are carrying two phones. Very inconvenient!

Use Google Voice

The next choice is Google Voice. I loaded Google Voice on my laptop and phone and signed up for a local number. Now I have a 352 area code number available. It works great for incoming calls, and I think I figured out the outgoing so it displays my 352 number. I recommend playing with it for a while before publishing your new number.

From what I've read, many times you will forget about the second line and end up calling them from your regular number. That might not be a bad idea once they've talked to you, if you are like me and use your main cellphone number as your business number.

Did I mention it's FREE? Yes, Google Voice is free for now, but you never know when they might decide to charge a few bucks. You can even port your Google Voice number to another mobile service.

More Options

There are paid apps available that offer many more bells and whistles than Google Voice. If you are interested, check them out: Sideline, Flyp and Cloud Sim. You might want to check your carrier also as they might have a solution for a second line, which could be your local number where you live today.

Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at