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Are you using your business cards to full advantage?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

I know, there are a whole lot of agents who are so caught up in today’s technology that they believe business cards are about as relevant as buggy whips. They say that they don’t use them – choosing instead to trade contact information with their smart phones.

If that pleases them, fine. I won’t argue, but I do think they’re missing opportunities.business cards

Will the waitress who served your dinner, and for whom you left a generous tip, pull out her phone and take down your contact information? How about that favorite grocery store checker? Would the store manager appreciate it if she (or he) held up the line for such a purpose?

Not likely.

These are people whose contact information you won’t have unless (or until) they call on you for assistance or send one of their friends or relatives to you. You might not even know their full names. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let them know just how to reach you when you’re needed.

With the exception of other agents, I believe you should be handing a card to everyone you interact with during the day - even if you've given them one before. If they ask why, tell them it's so they'll have one handy when they want to give your name to someone. That, by the way, is a subtle request for referrals and just might make people realize that you do appreciate it when they tell others about you. (When they do refer someone to you, remember to say Thank You!)

Photographs: While it has become common practice in real estate now, there are still those agents who believe it is “unprofessional” to include a photo on their business cards. They say doctors and lawyers don’t use photos.

I think that’s silly. Real estate agents aren’t doctors and lawyers, and they don’t gather clients in the same manner that doctors and lawyers do.

You’re out and about, meeting people and gathering clients wherever you go. You need name and face recognition, and face recognition is easier for most of us than name recognition.

Many of the people you talk with in your day to day travels either don't know your name until you hand them your card, or won't remember your name later. But if your picture is there, they'll remember your face. More importantly, when they see you smiling at them, they'll remember that they liked you!

The picture on your card is also important when you attend networking events...

Think about how many people you might meet in a single day, and how little time you have to actually get acquainted with any of them. How can you keep track of which of them impressed you as someone you might want to do business with?

When you hear 50 or 100 names you have to have a darned good memory to remember what you thought about each of those people when you met them. But seeing their faces on a card will cause you to recall how you felt about them. You might see one face and think "She was sure friendly and informative," while another face will cause you to think "Boy was he an arrogant jerk!"

So hand out your card with your smiling face - so other people can think "That's someone I want to do business with" every time they come across the card.


L. Scott Ferguson
Ask4Ferguson - Your House-SOLD Name in Real Estate - West Palm Beach, FL
Sunny Florida Real Estate Professional

Well written Marte!  Yes business cards are and still will always be imperative to our profession!  I make sure myself, my staff and my clients that I coach all have business cards at the ready!



Dec 11, 2017 07:34 PM
Marte Cliff

L. Scott Ferguson - sometimes the old fashioned tools work even better than the new ones.

Dec 11, 2017 09:07 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

So many people don’t use them anymore but the ones who stand out all the more. So many people don’t use them

@L scott

Dec 11, 2017 08:30 PM
Marte Cliff

Laura Cerrano The ones who are counting on using phones to trade contact information are forgetting all about the people who can't trade at the moment - and forgetting about leaving your card with a nice tip, etc.

Dec 11, 2017 09:13 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Listens to all your customers and homes. You definitely make an adjustment I need it very well

Dec 11, 2017 08:31 PM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


You pose a very interesting regarding business cards.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Dec 11, 2017 09:33 PM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Congratulations on receiving a feature for your post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Dec 11, 2017 09:35 PM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Lou Ludwig 

Dec 12, 2017 08:48 AM
Sharon Kowitz
Cary, NC Relocation Specialist ~ Buying or Selling

Great post! I think you need to report #15 it seems to be a spam....

Dec 12, 2017 04:30 AM
Chris Lima

Ya think?  LOL

Dec 12, 2017 05:48 AM
Marte Cliff

Sharon Kowitz - I did report it and now I've deleted. I had that same message on 3 different posts. When will people learn that this is NOT the place?

Dec 12, 2017 08:49 AM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

I agree. Your business card is one of the most important marketing tools. Make sure you spend time for a great design/concept. Distribute at will. 

Dec 12, 2017 05:26 AM
Marte Cliff

I agree, Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR - we should take time to make sure those cards look good.

Dec 12, 2017 08:50 AM
Chris Lima
Turtle Reef Realty - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Thanks for posting, Marte.  I have always been in the "no photo on business card" camp, but you have made a very valid point. 

Dec 12, 2017 05:50 AM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Chris Lima - I do think it's important.

Dec 12, 2017 08:50 AM
James (Jim) Lawson, DBA
DomainRealty.com LLC - Bonita Springs, FL
Broker Associate, RSPS, BPOR, HI & PE

Well said Marte. My postal carrier tells me that on average she has to tell her name three times to new patrons before they remember it. Guess who's business card she got?

Dec 12, 2017 06:35 AM
Marte Cliff

That's interesting, James (Jim) Lawson, DBA, and it makes sense to me. When you hear a name briefly, it sometimes doesn't even register the first time or two.

Dec 12, 2017 08:52 AM
Ben DeHaven
Haven Realty & Investments - Lakeland, FL
Proudly serving Winter Haven & Lakeland, Florida

Great post Marte. I reluctantly put my face on my card this time around. 

Dec 12, 2017 07:17 AM
Marte Cliff

Good for you Ben DeHaven!

Dec 12, 2017 08:52 AM
Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Guy

Great advise, a picture is worth lots of words, or names or something. I'm starting to have small batches of cards with my listings on them to have sellers give to there SOI.

Dec 12, 2017 11:01 AM
Marte Cliff

Good idea Michael Eisenberg 

Dec 12, 2017 11:07 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I don't have a photo on my business cards. Just like I don't have my photo here. I made the change after I met a woman while shopping for client Christmas gifts. A woman at the counter of a local merchant was ordering an item for me. We had talked for 10 minutes with no mention of recognition at all. That is, until I handed her my business card. My card doesn't have my photo just my logo and contact info. When she saw my card, she immediately told me she visited my website often and absolutely loved it. Anyhow, all this to say that she didn't know who I was by looking at my face (I do have a photo on my website) but she immediately recognized my logo. After that revelation, I changed all my profile photos to my company logo. All my direct mail has my logo on both the front and back of my postcards. As you said, they may not remember a name but they definitely remember my logo.

Dec 12, 2017 09:51 PM
Marte Cliff

Tammie White, Broker Why not have both?

Dec 13, 2017 09:14 AM
Tammie White, Broker

There’s limited space on a business card. My logo is the more recognizable choice.

Dec 14, 2017 03:05 PM
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

Great advise Marte Cliff . I always order 5,000 cards with my photo on them, much cheaper that way. What I am not doing is handling them out on a daily basis so as a new goal of mine, I will do just that as a New Years Resolution.

Dec 13, 2017 05:44 AM
Marte Cliff

Good for you Eva B. Liland with Century 21 Doug Anderson - that's a resolution that should be easy to keep.

Dec 13, 2017 09:15 AM
Steven Beam
RE/MAX Alliance - Parker Colorado Real Estate. - Parker, CO
Parker Colorado Real Estate

A photo on a business card is fine ( I personally don't do it) but they need to be current photos. Most of the photo cards I see left on the counter of homes that are being shown have photos of agents that I 100% know for sure that the photos are 10+ years old. 

Dec 13, 2017 11:06 AM
Marte Cliff

Steven Beam - I recall a real estate instructor telling the class to keep their photos up to date. He said: You don't want to be standing at the airport with a sign for an arriving client and have them walk up and say "Is your granddaughter here?"

Dec 13, 2017 11:43 AM
Ann Nguyen
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Truckee, CA
Lake Tahoe Truckee Homes For Sale

Very helpful tips out there, thanks for sharing Marte.

Dec 13, 2017 01:29 PM
Marte Cliff

And I thank you for reading, Ann Nguyen 

Dec 13, 2017 02:11 PM
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Probably not although I hand out plenty. Thanks for the reminder!

Dec 13, 2017 01:47 PM
Marte Cliff

You're welcome, Paul McFadden - I'm nothing if not a good nag!

Dec 13, 2017 02:11 PM
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

These are great pointers. I impliment quite a few of the techniques you mentioned. There are a few points a may tweek, however. Thanks for sharing!

Dec 13, 2017 06:24 PM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Corey Martin - and I thank you for reading!

Dec 14, 2017 01:04 PM
Dan Dee McGinnis The Pumpkin Man
HomeSmart - Phoenix, AZ
The Pumpkin Man


very good material Merry Christmas

Dec 13, 2017 11:26 PM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Dan Dee McGinnis The Pumpkin Man - and Merry Christmas to you too!

Dec 13, 2017 11:47 PM
Samson Properties - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Marte I have never really gotten any business from my business cards. But I still hand them out when I go out to eat at a restaurant or go to the bank. You just never know. Hopefully I will start business from it soon. Happy Holidays to you and your family. 

Dec 14, 2017 12:17 PM
Marte Cliff

How do you know, Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan? Success in real estate comes from a blend of many marketing methods working together, so who is to say which one thing tipped the scales and caused someone to choose you?

That card may have been that extra push that someone needed after seeing you and your name in other places.

Dec 14, 2017 01:07 PM
Anthony Kirlew
Group 46:10 Network @ eXp Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Real Estate Deals!

Great advice... some people just don't understand the basic of marketing and I would consider the 3 foot rule one of those (everyone who gets within 3 feet of you gets your card). And the picture... YES! I even encourage non real estate professionals to use pictures. Why? How many times have you come home from a networking event and you can't recall whose card you are holding? A picture can often solve that.

Dec 21, 2017 10:43 PM
Marte Cliff

Anthony Kirlew - I agree. I recall being at a copywriting conference and not being able to put cards with faces (or impressions) even the same evening.

Dec 23, 2017 09:12 AM