Not All Nametags Are Created Equal

Real Estate Broker/Owner with North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate

Do you have your very own nametag?  Do I need to get one?  Most of us end up at a multitude of networking and business events throughout the year.  Not to mention the nonstop company parties and open houses during the holidays.  And yet, what do all of these events share in common?  Nametags.  You have to wear nametags.  Typically, I create my own if provided with a blank and a Sharpie marker.  However, after some recent experiences, I am thinking about investing in one for my very own!

When you have your very own nametag, you are guaranteed that the name etched on the nametag will match the name on your birth certificate.  In the past,
I have been handed pre-printed nametags that don't even resemble my name.  Nametags that say something like “Corey” or “Claire” or “Connie." How does that happen?  Honestly, I’ve endured a lifetime of unique spelling variations of my first name.  (Kerrie … I know you feel my pain on this one, my friend!)  In fact, when I was in grammar school, I started spelling my own name wrong because I got tired of having to correct everyone else.  Well, I think I'm old enough to use my real name now.

When you're wearing your very own nametag, people seem to have better hearing.  At least, that’s what I think I may have discovered.  Recently, I was at an informal open house and since it was a smaller gathering, no nametags were provided.  I was approached by a gentleman I did not know -- he asked me my name and my profession.  I replied “my name is Carie and I’m a real estate broker and a real estate instructor.”  He turned around to some of his colleagues and said “Hey everyone, this is Sherri and she’s a schoolteacher!”  Whoa! Wait!  No! I didn’t say that!  Could it be that without a nametag, the person is trying so hard to remember your name that he or she doesn't hear anything you say at all?  Hmmm ....

There are many people in our business who wear nametags all the time -- and not just for special events.  To me, this seems like a clever and creative marketing technique.  Do agents get credible leads from wearing a nametag throughout the day?  Or, are people just seeking free advice when they see the nametag?  Kind of like finding out someone is a doctor and going on and on about this thing that's been growing for some time and should I be worried about it?  I'm not sure.  But, what I am sure about is that wearing a nametag is free advertising -- and how can that be anything but good!

Well, I'm going to get one anyway!  Besides, I really like the cool, state-of-the-art kind some people are wearing.  So sleek and professional looking.  I really do need to find out where I can get one of those.  Because right now, I sure feel silly walking around town with a “Hello My Name Is” sticker on my lapel.

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Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Judi:  Yes, a free advertising billboard with feet :)

Joetta:  Good luck!

Sam:  Yes, face to face is what it's all about.  And, the upside down nametag is a clever technique :)

Raymond:  Sounds like wearing one has worked well for you ... thanks!

Anna:  I'm sure your agents will be thanking you for the great advice when they see the results :)

Brian:  That's funny!

John:  With a personalized nametag we can be as creative as we want.

Kimo:  I guess that could be true.

Karl:  Yes, a great conversation starter, for sure!

Jirius:  I'm taking the advice to get more than one nametag, so I don't have to remember :)

Jim:  I'll have to check that out!

Marte:  That story about your agent's "Sold" pin is hilarious :)

Ann:  Thanks, I'll remember that :)

Linda:  I've learned here that I definitely need to get more than one ... just in case :)

Karen:  I can just see that happening ... that's hysterical!

Carmela:  Yes, you never know when you'll get a lead that way!

Mary:  You are the second person to tell me about wearing it on the right side.  I've been doing it all wrong ... can't wait to try it the correct way next time!

Bob:  That cracked me up ... thanks :)

Mike:  I think they look nice at professional networking events, too.

Lois:  Anytime :)

Steve:  Sound like it works well for you.  And with regards to generating a lead ... yes, there is always tomorrow :)

Tammie:  I know you can commiserate with me :)  Sounds like you've made good contacts wearing a nametag, too!

Woody:  Yes, seems to get the conversation going!

Margaret:  I so enjoyed our conversation ... it was real pleasure speaking with you!

Sonsie:  As you said, it would get people talking to you about real estate and that can't hurt!

Clay:  Thanks!  Lots of votes for the magnetic kind and owning more than one!

Bob:  Yes, a human billboard, for sure :)

Gene:  No problem :)  Merry Christmas to you too!

Monique:  Oooh ... your Swarovski crystal lanyard sounds beautiful :)

Winston:  Yes, I am going to get an engraved one -- or two or three :)  I'm with you ... I don't care much for the sticky ones either.

Dec 21, 2011 03:17 PM #82
Ric Mills
Keller Williams Southern Az - Tucson, AZ
Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge

I try and wear mine as much as i can.  Especially if I am out in the public eye.  it always get's me a couiple of customers a year.  I also make sure I have business cards to hand out.

Dec 21, 2011 04:15 PM #83
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

This is a great reminder, I need to add wearing my nametag more to my New Year's resolution list this year! I often leave it behind. If it makes people hear better, count me in! I struggle with unique name, too, so maybe that will help! Thanks for swinging by my blog!

Dec 22, 2011 12:25 AM #84
Jamie R. Bell
Bell Realty Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NEP - Glastonbury, CT
Your Central CT Realtor

Carie~I feel your pain my first name is always spelled wrong and yes believe it or not my last name too (not as often though). The nice engraved name tag is a wonderful investment, consider it your billboard. You too can be a walking billboard. Where it whenever you are out you will be amazed how many people actually notice!

Here's to a great 2012!

Dec 22, 2011 01:35 AM #85
Steve Facella
ReMax Prestige - Lake Worth, FL

Hi Carie. After reading your post and some of the comments I have changed my mind about nametags. There are lots of situations where having a proffessionally made one would be to my advantage.

I used to work in a cleanroom making computer chips. Picture the old Intel commercials wirth the folks in the funny jumpsuits and you have it, minus the candy colors. We had to have nametags since all anyone could really see of anyone else was their eyes. After a while you knew who someone was by their body and how they moved but that takes a bit of time.

Those name tags really helped when there was someone new in the room. Namely when a bigwig was in there. At least we could let everyone else know who it was and to be to their best behaviour.

I guess I'll be going to my local name tage store and gbetting one done up. Thanks for the post!

Dec 22, 2011 01:53 AM #86
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Diana:  Thanks for your comments.  The area your agent friend was driving through seems to have a strong "Neighborhood Watch" system in place :)  Sounds like it had an amusing and happy ending, though!

Geoff:  I have read a couple of comments above about this gentleman ... I definitely have to check him out!  He sounds fascinating!

Ric:  Sounds like you've had some success wearing a nametag ... that's great!  Yes, business cards are a must!

Sylvie:  Getting one is on my New Year's To Do List as well :)

Jamie:  I cannot believe people actually spell your last name wrong ... that is too funny!  Yes, here's to a great 2012!

Steve:  I love your story about when you were making computer chips.  Yes, I'm heading to my local nametag store too :)

Dec 22, 2011 04:19 AM #87
Kevin Hancock
Evergreen Home Loans - Poulsbo, WA
The Hancock Mortgage Team

Hi Carie,

Really well written post!  I wish I had time read all of the comments.  I have 3 nametags... all magnetic, so I dont' have to poke holes in my shirts.  One I leave in my car (so I have it when I need it) and 2 in my office that are different background colors, depending on the shirt or jacket I am wearing.  I try to always wear them to Real Estate related events, and I find that it makes talking to people easier because they don't have to worry about remembering your name or where you work.  I don't just where it around town...

Dec 22, 2011 08:08 AM #88
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Carie ~ I do have my own name tag and wear it everyday.  I completely understand the name spelling thing!  My last name never gets pronounce properly and even my first name, some  folks repeat back and say, "Don?"  (Really, am I guy????)

Dec 22, 2011 11:17 AM #89
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Kevin:   I've had a few comments about the magnetic ones -- what a great invention, yes?  Also, getting more than one seems to be the way to go, too.  I guess I'll have to approach nametags like reading glasses ... one everywhere :)

Dawn:  Sounds like you know exactly how I feel!  Don??  That's so funny :)

Dec 22, 2011 12:40 PM #90
Nina Rogoff
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Medfield, MA
Sells Real Estate!

Hi, Shari...I didn't know you taught school! LOL I have a name tag with a cloisonne RE/MAX hot air balloon on it. I tried to find one where the letters were large enough and clear enough for someone to read easily. It's also magnetic as others have mentioned. I, too, keep it in my glove compartment of my car. I wear it for Open Houses (it helps people find the person who's running the open house when it's crowded), and for real estate events. I know many who advocate wearing it everywhere for marketing purposes (supermarket, errands, kids' schools, etc.). I am not quite comfortable with that but I agree it's important. One of the commenters asked why we wear nametags when in other professions they don't. Well, if you go to the hospital, everyone is wearing a name tag, too. Same thing with many businesses. People like to know with whom they are doing business and they may not catch your name the first time. A name tag prevents them from having to say "what's your name again?" I say "go for it"!

Dec 22, 2011 01:46 PM #91
PRG Real Estate - San Jose, CA
VA Home Loan Specialist - SF Bay Area

First of all great blog. I read most of these comments and the AR crowd has spoke: Name tag it is. My first marketing purchase for 2k12!

Dec 22, 2011 05:56 PM #92
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Nina:  Sherri the Schoolteacher ... how about that? :)  Thank you for your thoughts.  Your nametag sounds very attractive and professional.  Whether or not you wear it around town all the time -- well, I still think it's a grand idea to have one for the other occasions you mentioned!

Jairo:  Thanks, my first marketing purchase too!  Happy 2k12 ... love that :)

Dec 23, 2011 04:39 AM #93
Steven Pahl
Keller Williams Tampa Properties - Tampa, FL
Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423

I have three name tags and wear them nearly 24/7, it's the easiest and most economical marketing that I am aware of because not everyone knows my name!

Dec 24, 2011 12:39 PM #94
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Steven:  Having multiple nametags is a good idea.  You're right ... wearing a nametag is like free advertising wherever you go!

Dec 25, 2011 03:24 AM #95
Dee Mayers
Covina, CA
San Gabriel Valley, CA

Don't know if it was mentioned but, If you are looking for a name tag, you can find some pretty cool ones at Badge Barn.

Dec 25, 2011 12:44 PM #96
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Dee:  Yes, Badge Barn was mentioned and I will definitely check them out!  Thanks for your comment :)

Dec 26, 2011 03:27 AM #97
Roger Newton
Roger Newton Real Estate - North Plains, OR

You can advertise with magnetic signs on your car.  You can wear a sandwich board on your body.  There are many things that you can do.  You should do the one that fits you and makes you successful.

Dec 30, 2011 03:36 AM #98
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Roger:  You're right!  There are so many ways to advertise ~ then keep using the ones that work best.

Dec 30, 2011 04:18 AM #99
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

10 years in, and haven't worn a nametag once, while consistently being a top producer in my office.  It's not that I don't think it would help...I'm sure it would generate a lead or 2.  I just think it looks nerdy to wear your nametag around town, and I guess I'm too vain.  At least I can admit it...that's step 1 to fixing a problem, right?

Jul 25, 2012 02:42 AM #100
Cathy Hoogeboom
Fort Worth, TX
Helping you Love the Life you Live
About to order some up. Pretty low cost way to advertise!
Aug 15, 2014 01:38 AM #101
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