Why Apartment And Condo Buzzers Require A Local Number And How To Get Around It

Learn how to get a local number and forward calls to your personal phone if you don't have a local number to use with your buzzer

We know the pain of moving to a new apartment or condo which requires having a local phone number to use the buzzer.

In this blog post, we'll explain why some apartment or condos require a local phone number to use the buzzer, and our (we hope!) elegant solution to get around this issue.

Why Do Apartments And Condos Require Local Numbers?

Most buzzer systems have limitations on how many non-local numbers can be configured in the buzzer system (usually a maximum of 5-10 numbers) to avoid incurring the cost of frequent long distance calls. This forces most residents to use a local number.

This requirement is often a major pain for residents who are new to the area or who don't have a local phone number.

Next, we'll get into the ways to solve this problem.

What To Do If You Don't Have a Local Number

To fix the problem, you need to do two things:

  1. Purchase a local number
  2. Forward calls from the local number to your personal phone number

The best way we've found to accomplish this is by using Twilio Virtual Numbers and a backend web service which responds to Twilio webhooks to forward incoming calls to a personal phone.

Unless you're a software developer, obviously this isn't a reasonable solution. (And if you are, here are a few valuable open source resources to get you started!)

Is There An Easier Way?

If you're looking for a simple and non-DIY solution, (full disclosure!) we built the Lowkey app to solve this exact problem.

Originally we built it just for ourselves, but eventually released it since we figured others are having the same problem too.

The app will handle purchasing a local phone number for you and forward calls to your personal phone.

See how it works for yourself in the video below.

Lowkey is available on the App Store and Google Play, give us a shout out if you find it as useful as we have!

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Jamie Larson