Did you know that the most powerful tool in your real estate arsenal can fit in your pocket? It’s flexible, it’s small, it’s got all the information you need to make money and market yourself: it’s your business card.
If you don’t have a business card, you’re potentially missing out on thousands of dollars and dozens of invaluable people to network with. Making connections with other people – essentially, marketing – is crucial in the real estate business, and business cards are easily the cheapest, fastest, and most effective way to market yourself to others.
What Should My Business Card include?
The cardinal rule of business cards is to, first and foremost, keep it simple. The whole reason for giving out your business card is to convey clear information to other people, in hopes of doing business with them. Creating confusion by putting too much information on your business cards is probably the worst thing you can do. Simply put – don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Be creative, but not too creative. Business cards need to convey information, above all, so make sure the information on your card is clear, up-to-date, and easy to read.
Next, include your picture. This is called branding. It makes you stand out and helps other people remember who you are. This way, people are communicating with a face – an actual person – instead of just another e-mail or phone number. Remember that clients have dozens – maybe even hundreds – of business cards to differentiate from. Don’t make it hard for them to remember you – give them a picture of your face and help them out. Catchy graphics or a funky design can help clients remember you, too, as long as the design aids in giving information, instead of distracting. The most important thing to remember is that you have to like your own card – or else you won’t feel comfortable handing it out.
Catch phrases are brief, informative ways to let the client know exactly what you’re looking for, and exactly what you can offer them. Are you looking to wholesale? Flip properties? Assign contracts? A short, catchy slogan on your business card will let them know.
Finally, include your contact information, such as your e-mail, phone number, and web site. Only include current information that will allow the client to reach you directly.
How Do I Get One?
Many people get business cards through Office Max or Kinkos. These days, with the use of the Internet and sites like Etsy, getting a business card is easier than ever. And businesses constantly up the ante by creating more and more creative, eye-catching cards.
The place you get your business cards, the price, and the template is limitless. There are millions of different options, and different cards work better for different people. With that in mind, make sure you get a price estimate so you can compare costs with other businesses. Ask for the proof before your company sends the cards to print – the last thing you want is two thousand business cards with your name misspelled!
How Do I Give It Out?
Handing out your business card isn’t rocket science, but there is some general etiquette to be aware of when giving and receiving. First, even though you should give out your business card to everyone you meet, make sure you’re giving and receiving intentionally. When you give a card, ask for one as well. When you take one, give the other person your card, too. This way, you aren’t just throwing your information at people and disregarding theirs – there is a genuine give-and-take that the other person will appreciate.
Once you get a card, have a conversation with that person or set up an appointment. Write notes or other contact information on the back of that card. When talking with the other person, go out of your way to make him feel important and heard. Ask questions about his business and, most importantly, listen. This will go a long way, showing the other person you’re genuinely interested, instead of just shoving their card in your pocket. Most importantly, follow up on any appointments you make to show that you’re a man or woman of your word.
Real estate marketing is THE most important part of business, and business cards are the most important tools. For very little time and very little money (and very little space!), these cards make you look more professional, create priceless contacts, and let other clients know how special and unique your services really are.
Business Cards: The Most Important Marketing Tool You'll Ever Have by Mike Nelson