If you’re reading this, landlord, comment on this post with your real phone number.
For the last several weeks, I’ve received dozens of phone calls from interested renters regarding a house in downtown Baltimore. If I were looking to rent a property in downtown Baltimore, I’d be thrilled. However, seeing as how I don’t own or manage any house, condo, apartment or bungalow in downtown Baltimore, or elsewhere for that matter (unless someone is looking to board in my guest room), I pretty much have viewed all the phone activity as wasted time letting people know they have the wrong number. “But isn’t this 4-1-0…?” they all say as they recite the number displayed on the advertisement they clutch in their hands as they wonder with hope if they’ve just found their next home. “Yes, that’s this number,” I tell them. “But that’s still the wrong number.”
Despite my frustration with answering calls for someone who may or may not know his own phone number, I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind all you readers that whether you are placing an ad in the classified section of the newspaper, through a Google AdWords campaign, or on the side of a city bus, proofreading your point of contact is the absolute least you can do to ensure success. One wrong digit of a phone number or one misplaced letter of a URL, and your customers may never find you.
Better yet, after you’ve proofread your own work, enlist help from a friend, colleague or professional editor to make sure you didn’t miss something obvious. After staring at a particular string of text for too long, even your own name can look like there might be a mistake in it, so you can’t always trust yourself.
I’d really like to get in touch with the owner of the Baltimore home, mostly so I can stop screening potential residents for him, but also so that he may actually find someone to rent his space. But, like the others trying to get a hold of him, using the number on his listing would just put me on the line with a slightly annoyed proofreading snob.