Is your business card working for you or against you?

Real Estate Agent with HRC Properties, LLC

Have you ever taken the time to consider whether your business card works for you or against you?  Regardless of what you do, be it self employed or working for someone else, chances are you have a business card.   If used right they can be a great marketing tool.  They don't just come in a standard size anymore,  there are all kinds of options open to you.  Some people have them made slightly smaller or larger than standard so they stand out from the crowd.  They can also be made in different shapes than the standard oblong.  I've seen them round, triangular, square, you name it.

Speaking of pictures this has also become a popular fad especially with real estate professionals.  I'm of mixed opinion on this myself.  Well I certainly can see why they do it, it's just not my thing.  In lieu of your picture you could put your logo, or some kind of picture relative to your occupation. 

You can choose to go with standard white, or in just about any color there is.  The printing can be done flat or raised.  Cheap card stock, more expensive heavy stock,  linen look, flat or shiny.  When it comes down to it there's almost no end to the choices you can make and the final decision really just comes down to how much you want to spend.

The reasons for all these options is of course you want your card to stand out from the all the others so people remember you.  That said it surprises me how many people go to all this trouble then overlook the most simple thing.  Most important in my mind is make sure you're clear on your card exactly what it is you do.  Don't make it a guessing game.  

This has come to mind is this week because I've been going through all the cards we've collected the last several months and putting them into our new data base program.  If you're like me you've probably got hundreds of cards you've collected as you come into contact with people.  Problem I'm having is that I would say with at least 1/4 of them I have no idea what it is these people do.  Its just not clear on the card.  Are they a Realtor, lender, appraiser, home inspector, financial planner?  Don't know, the card doesn't say, and the business name is no help. Its either too broad, or too generic, say Jones, Inc.   So what ends up happening is those are not going to make it into the data base.  Why bother if I have no clue what they do or what use they could be to me, or me to them.

After awhile you just don't remember everyone you've met and collected a card from, and if they can't be bothered to put on their card what it is they do I'm not going to hang on to it hoping I figure it out later.  Some of these cards are really nice and you can tell they were expensive.  What a waste to put all that expense into a card only to have it do the opposite of what you were going for.  Instead of hanging on to it, I'm just going to end up chucking these.  It wouldn't have taken much, simply adding a line under the name with their job title, or under the business name with its purpose.  That one line would have put them in my data base and who knows, maybe brought them business or referrals.  Instead its off to the circular file. 

Just a thought but if your going to go to the expense of cards, and the trouble to network and hand them out, at least make sure that they work for you, otherwise, why even bother.

Comments (5)

Jeff Rogers
retired - Manchester, TN

Have to agree, thanks for the post.

Oct 02, 2008 03:24 PM
Jeremy De La Garza
Corpus Christi Realty Group - Corpus Christi, TX
Corpus Christi, TX

I think it helps to put a face on the person. I have both my photo and company logo on mine. Sometimes its a year after I've given the card out I get a call from a client. Good Luck

Oct 02, 2008 03:32 PM
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate

Lori, it's true - some of the cards I come across look at first glance as though the individual on the card is in the entertainment industry rather than a professional real estate agent. Must be confusing for the public too.

Oct 02, 2008 03:36 PM
Sergio Rebollo Jr.
Real Estate TeamMates - Miami, FL

You'r so right Lori.  I agree with Jeremy.....a picture helps.  You then need to identify what you do!!

Oct 02, 2008 03:46 PM
Lori Ginter
HRC Properties, LLC - Alexandria, VA

Thanks for the imput, I really appreciate it.  I had the best one yet come across my desk today, the gentleman was bald, and whoever resized the photo did not do it right, and so the final result made the poor guy look like he had starred in the movie conehead. 

Oct 03, 2008 11:06 AM