The Trials & Trepidations of picking a…Business Card?

By
Real Estate Agent with Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate 0396717

I recently had an agent visit my office to drop off a contract offer. The receptionist called me and I went to the reception area but could not find the agent among the half dozen people in the sitting area. Returning to my desk, the receptionist called me again and said "Russell, are you going to meet with this agent?" I explained to her that I had already been up front but did not see anyone resembling the lady who was supposedly in the lobby. Our receptionist lowered her voice and said, "Well...she does not look a thing like the picture on her card!" Okay, I said, just discreetly point her out when I come back up to the reception area! Arriving again, I met a person who had no resemblance to the photo on her card, website or blog!

Business cards can be a big deal to people in any profession, especially when starting any new venture and I was reminded of this when I recently read a post by Active Rain newcomer and fellow Austinite Daren Krause about the subject of business cards. So many people (including myself many years ago) go to such extremes trying to decide what type, shape, size and style will best represent them to the world! In Daren's post he included the following YouTube clip and I have to say it is hands down the most over the top sales pitch for a business card that I have ever seen. Go ahead, it's only a couple of minutes long and you really need to see this commercial for the "ultimate" business card.

See what I mean? This guy is the most incredible huckster I’ve seen in a long time and that card?!?! OMG! (as my 16 year old daughter would say) a fold out, flip up, die cut piece of “art” at four dollars apiece and took TWENTY FIVE YEARS to develop? So cool that we would want to keep it and maybe even frame it for posterity? I still do not know what he does except that he somehow builds crowds?!?! Well…so did the Frankenstein Monster, of course those crowds were angry torch wielding villagers! There must be a market for this sort of over the top business card but I am not always the sharpest knife in the drawer and I must be missing something! I thought his statement that “Life is not about being liked” was interesting; he appears to be on the road to phenomenal success in that department!

So that brings us back to the business card that works best for an individual. For me, I do not use a picture and yes, I actually look like my photo! My card is of good stock, I guess and is designed to fit our company logo and style but it really is just for contact info. Name, numbers, email and web address all in a pleasant style and quality that reflects a positive image for me and my company. Again, I think it is an individual choice and will only say that if you do use a picture, make it one the rest of us will recognize and if you pick one of the $4 super fantastic works of art, don’t bother leaving one with me, I usually use extra business cards to mark interesting recipes in my favorite cookbooks!

In the meantime, if you or anyone you know is anticipating purchasing or selling real estate anywhere in Central, West or Southwest Austin or the Westlake/Eanes School District area, I would be happy to be of assistance. Let me put my nineteen years success helping upscale buyers and sellers in Austin's finest neighborhoods to work for you. Contact me for a private consultation at your convenience!

Mobile 512-657-8769

 

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Russell Lewis Luxury Real Estate Broker Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Not a real person 05/12/2009 03:05 PM
Topic:
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Location:
Texas Travis County Austin
Groups:
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Tags:
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business cards
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Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

Richard Thanks for the comment and thanks for your email, I appreciate you dropping by!

Rosalinda Movie star! That is hilarious but there is not enough make up in the world to cover all the wrinkles! Thanks for the laugh!

Dorie Great to see you here! It was funnier when I came back up front and had to keep a straight face while talking to the agent!

Hi Rita I hear you and it's funny when "younger" people are amazed that we actually "Twitter" BTW, I follow you and Brian on Twitter too!

Cynthia Out of the woodwork! LOL you got that right! It's because we all have dealt with it at one time or another! Good to see you here and I need to drop by your blog today! Thanks!

May 06, 2009 12:06 AM #90
Rainmaker
594,882
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

I'm just cute. That's all I need on my card... HAHAHAAH!!! OK. I know. I'm in a mood today. LOL!!!

May 06, 2009 07:47 AM #91
Rainer
215,890
Gail MacMillan
Titusville, FL

Hey Russell....great commentary going on here.   Since you missed me above I figured I'd come see you again so you would know I was here...what are friends for!  BTW there is an updated WW picture today, you might want to see it...heeheehee

May 06, 2009 11:46 AM #92
Rainmaker
261,273
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

I admit, I often get a "feeling" from a person't pic/presentation, and will "spy" if I have to until I find someone I feel comfortable working with. I don't like surprises and I don't can't seem to express how I feel to someone that I am not comfortable with. They want logic & I have sometimes felt pushed into a proverbial corner. It's not about logic. It's about trust. I don't care what they SAY, I care about my gut feeling. That's why referrals are wonderful, because they remove a huge stress factor. So I do like photos (but I was pretty surprised when I returned from RETech South in March & wondered why I hadn't met someone who I thought would be there...turns out I had, and never recognized her for the photo!) But I also had people recognize me for the first time because of my photo. That was a huge icebreaker for me. An amazing phenomenon to me. I've come to find that my photo is my best intro and association with my online presence.

May 06, 2009 01:24 PM #93
Rainer
9,822
Mattie Lewis
Student at UofH Go Coogs! - Austin, TX

WOW! This post really did stir up a lot of opinions and I am with you...a picture is fine but make it current!

May 07, 2009 12:53 AM #94
Rainmaker
438,402
Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, - Your Coastal Bend Home Source

Hi Russell,   This is one of my pet peeves.  Business cards that don't look like the person.  As I get older though, it is harder to get a good picture, so maybe I understand some older folks wanting to use younger photos but the public doesn't care what you look like.  They want a good agent to represent them and a little age can also be beneficial in this business, at least here in Kerrville.  :)

May 07, 2009 01:44 AM #95
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

Lisa You are indeed CUTE and completely crack me up! And I do like it when yo are in a "mood" thanks again for stopping by!

Gail Ha HAAA! See what i mean, the first time I miss a reply and comment...I get busted! LOL I did just check your blog and it was indeed psychedelic!

MaraI agree with you on the comfort level of meeting and working an you sre right when you mention the intuitive aspect of a working relationship! A photo can be an excellent icebreaker if, as discussed it's current and realistic. I did start laughing when I read your comment about meeting the person at the gathering, hanging out and still not realizing it was someone you knew but did not realize until you got home! That happened to me at ReBar camp and I was surprised to say the least!

Mattie After all of this discussion, I am considering a new picture, I still look like mine but am a little more silver these days!

Ricki You make TWO great points, it IS harder to get a good picture as we get older but on the other hand many of my clients want someone who is more experienced!

May 07, 2009 02:22 AM #96
Rainer
8,824
Jeannette Spinelli
Austin Portfolio Real Estate - Austin, TX

Well Russell, you really did create an interesting discussion here and I still cannot get over the character with the $4 Card!

May 07, 2009 10:24 AM #97
Rainmaker
16,468
Janice Cooper
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. ~ C: 609-694-3622 New Jersey - Medford Township, NJ
Broker Associate, ABR, ASP

Humm... I think I will  be looking for thinker stock... : 0 ~ JC

May 07, 2009 02:47 PM #98
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

Jeannette I think that a lot of folks have had the same experience with business card pictures and the video was so over the top that it also created a lot of discussion.

Janice That's funny, now we are worried about our card stock as well as our FONTS!!!  Too funny!

May 08, 2009 03:49 PM #99
Rainmaker
270,923
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA
ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA

WOW!  What fun reading the comments!  The guy is sure full of himself! I really do not like business cards that don't fit in my case.  I never keep the over size cards.  $4 a card-must be nice!  Thanks for an entertaining Friday night!!  Loved your video response youtube!    

May 08, 2009 04:17 PM #100
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

Cathy I am so glad you enjoyed it, The post and especially the video generated a lot of response and I am happy that most everyone was entertained!

May 09, 2009 08:59 AM #101
Rainer
321,367
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

One's business card is one's smallest advertisement, and usually the least expensive, too. Don't let them sit around on your desk. Give them away!

If one has no clue about business cards, read "It's In The Cards! Getting the Biggest Impact from Your Smallest Ad," by Ivan Misner, Candace Bailly, and Dan Georgevich. Dr. Misner is the founder and CEO of BNI. Many of the ideas in the book can also be adapted to stationery, envelopes, flyers, web sites, etc.

For those who might like something unique, try a card made out of real wood. Fits in perfectly with the real estate profession. See cardsofwood.com. You can also get real wood stationery, postcards, etc.

May 12, 2009 03:01 PM #102
Rainer
83,856
Andrew Haslett
Van Warren Home Inspections, NAHI CRI - Fort Knox, KY
Heartland of Kentuckynulls, Best Home Inspector

Russell,

First, wow, 103 comments. Too many to read tonight, if I expect to get to bed any time soon.

The video -- hmmmm -- the guy certainly didn't hold back on his thoughts. Some points were good. I'll leave it at that.

I think business cards have become so ubiquitous as to be worth very little. But, I have one, anyway, because so many people expect it.

Then, there is the protocol around business cards in Japan. It is a very formal matter to present and to receive a business card -- not something to be taken as casually as it often is in the US.

May 12, 2009 03:18 PM #103
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

Russel you are so right "One's business card is one's smallest advertisement"and should be used accordingly. Thanks for the tip on the book, I am going to check that out! I like the idea of a wood card and something funny that did not get included in the comments was a site that was emailed to me that makes cards on beef jerky! I could not stop laughing!

Andrew Thanks for stopping by, this post did generate a lot of good discussion. I like your observation that we all have them and they are just part of our business, as I said previously, once we open our mouth, the truth is revealed and the client either accepts or rejects us based on our knowledge, poise and style. A $4 card does nothing to help that! Thanks for the tip on business card etiquette in Japan, it's different in many cultures and the big card would never fit there for sure! 

May 13, 2009 12:36 AM #104
Ambassador
1,499,091
Renée Burrows
Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com

I am very particular about my card too.  As much info I can get on two sides with decent card stock.  HOWEVER it isn't $4 special! 

My card is a special thing that isn't just handed to anyone.  I only hand it to special people who deserve my services :)

May 13, 2009 02:10 PM #105
Ambassador
1,499,091
Renée Burrows
Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com

I am very particular about my card too.  As much info I can get on two sides with decent card stock.  HOWEVER it isn't $4 special! 

My card is a special thing that isn't just handed to anyone.  I only hand it to special people who deserve my services :)

May 13, 2009 02:10 PM #106
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

 Renee You have an excellent attitude, I don't realy fit the "realtor to the world" mode. We both work very hard and put too much energy into our clients to ne taken for granted!

May 14, 2009 12:05 AM #107
Ambassador
1,522,945
William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Hi Russell, I was so pleased that you were not endorsing this guy and his fold out card, :-) An interesting post. I intend to stop by again. Love Austin Texas. I lived in Dallas a few years and it was great but Austin is where it is happening today.

May 30, 2009 01:51 PM #108
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

William The first time I saw this character, I was floored by the completely outrageous display of ego and I was amused to find that that he actually has a few fans! Funny but I guess it takes all kinds! Thanks for dropping by!

May 31, 2009 11:23 AM #109
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