You want to have a lot of leads and your marketing will bring them to you. Drive those leads into a local number even if you are not local to them. They are going feel secure. The prospect list that you are mailing to is going to feel more secure if they are calling a local number than if they are calling an 800 number. The perception of an 800 number is that it is a big company, but if it is a local number then it just must be the guy down the street that buys houses.
I also recommend using an answering service. If you have people go to voicemail you will lose 50% of your callers. Understand that motivated sellers are really hoping that nobody is there that way they can say well I called but nobody answered the phone. You have to have a live person answering the call. If you have a voicemail 50% of them will not leave a message. The other thing about an answering service is you are going to get seller phone calls at all times of the day and the night. And it’s not always going to be the most convenient time for you. You could be at a nice restaurant and all of a sudden you get this seller call and it is just not going to be appropriate. Or like me, I’m working on something and all of a sudden I get a seller call and it is hard to switch your mental thought process to get ready for this seller call. It is easier if somebody else answers it. One great answering service I recommend to my students is weanswer.com.