All successful real estate agents have something in common. They know that their effectiveness hinges on core promotional elements that any and every small business must have to thrive.
The necessary promotional elements for your real estate business revolve around how you interact with your client – inbound promotion, outbound promotion and communication. To start visualizing the ingredients for promoting your business, imagine a business card that is completely blank. What information should you add?
You’ll find that many of these elements require a good deal of work to set up or maintain. That’s good! That means that you are treating your real estate business like a real small business (which it is, by the way). The sooner you do that, the sooner you’ll see success.
This isn’t here to insult your intelligence – it’s easy to get this one wrong. When listing your name, it’s important to list your preferred name. For instance, if your legal first name is “Elizabeth” but you go by “Beth”, save yourself some trouble and write, “Beth”.
When listing your job title, be sure not to put anything too vague like “CEO” or “Founder”. If your business is “John Doe and Associates” and you put “CEO” as your job title, you may create a real estate business card without the words “real estate” on it anywhere! For the purposes of this article, you should probably write something like, “Real Estate Agent”.
Consider adding your office address to the card if applicable and if there’s ample room (see “White Space”). We don’t recommend using your home address.
If you don’t want a special logo, using your name for your logo is just fine. An agent’s name is often the most memorable and unique foundation for building the brand. However, whether you go with a distinct logo or use your name, don’t forget about the design.
A poorly designed logo is nothing short of a visual disaster for your business. On the other hand, there’s nothing more boring than a logo that is text-only and looks like an attorney’s letterhead. Be sure to hire a designer to create this powerful, long-term representation of you and your business. Once the logo is done, a whole world of promotion opportunities is available.
Business Email Address
In this day and age, nothing screams “unprofessional” or “amateur” quite like an email address ending in AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail. Fortunately, professional solutions are readily available and affordable.
Find a domain name, register it (see “Website”), and get it connected to a professional email platform like Office 365 or Google Suite. Both Microsoft and Google offer sophisticated mobile apps that will allow you to process emails and have access to your files while you are out of the office.
Business Phone & Fax Number
Answering your phone is great. Clients having 24/7 access to your cell phone? Not so great. Answering your phone 24 hours a day will exhaust you and is just not effective for building a business. You need downtime and control over when your clients have access to you.
Agent SITE uses a service called RingCentral that provides us with a business phone number for customers to call (404-465-3500). This number rings our office phones and cell phones without giving away any personal contact information. Another huge benefit to a service like RingCentral is that it provides a number with a local area code that’s easy to dial. The local area code conveys a sense of stability and credibility to our customers – unlike an unfamiliar area code or 1-800.
Even though it sounds very antiquated, a fax number may still be necessary to work with title companies and financing institutions near the close of a deal. However, you probably don’t need to get a separate fax number. A service like RingCentral can also equip your business phone number with fax and text messaging capabilities.
Your phone and email address are probably the most important elements of the business card, but a website is also very useful for the savvy real estate agent. Due to fierce competition and limited availability for website domain names, securing your website is crucial.
To purchase a domain name, use a registration company like GoDaddy that is both affordable and widely recognized. Consult with a web designer or developer before purchasing additional services – the bells and whistles may not be worthwhile until you know how you will utilize your website long-term. Here’s more about setting up your website.
Active Social Media Handles
We recommend that you plan to utilize social media to connect with your client base. If you do, be sure to secure a desired username for the five big social media platforms for real estate agents: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. Maybe even Snapchat.
Only list 2-3 social media handles that you use (active) on your business card. Even if you don’t start utilizing all five today, it’s important to secure your desired username before it gets taken (you’d be surprised how many are taken already!). Once they’re gone, they’re gone for good!
Even if the background color of your business card isn’t “white” per se, you need to have empty space on the card so that it doesn’t get too cluttered and so that it is pleasing to the eye. If you want to make sure that it’s done right, consult a designer (the group that did your logo, probably) or use a professional template.
A tagline is a memorable, snappy line with around three to ten words that encapsulates the benefit and uniqueness of you as a real estate agent. A tagline can be a great addition to your business card, providing that there is room on the card (or perhaps on the back). Consult a copywriter (here is one we recommend) to create a succinct, compelling tagline that’s both professional and original.
Final Thoughts on Formatting
There was a time when leaving the back of a business card blank could be wise. This would enable the recipient of your business card to make any relevant notes. However, in the world of instant information and websites, this tactic has become obsolete. Be sure to feature your key information on the front (like your phone number and email address), but use the back for your tagline and/or relevant information that didn’t aesthetically fit on the front of the card (like additional social handles).
We hope that you can use these guidelines to create a useful, visually appealing business card that paves the way for long-lasting client relationships.