There’s always something to howl about

Say “Cheese!” It’s time to play Business Card Monte

We’ve all seen them. The usual suspects on a line-up across a counter in an empty kitchen. Gathering dust on a convenient window sill. Spread out like an abandoned poker game on a dining table. Ah yes, the real estate business cards left behind at showings. Black, white, red, blue, cheap, shiny, standard issue, each one with a Friendly Neighborhood Expert (FNE) smiling earnestly or stupidly grinning, depending (see tiny mug shot, above). My clients notice them too and they kind of scowl over the line up. When I toss mine onto the pile they say, “Hmm. Yours is different.” At which point I flash my own killerwatt smile and say, “Because I am.” They grin back, we move along.

Business cards are pretty awesome when you think about it. Palm-sized advertisements that you can carry about. A potentially effective way to get your message across, but it seems mostly wasted in the world of real estate.

Recently I saw a business card that was left behind with a printed thank you message: “Thank you for allowing us to show your property.” That’s nice. The message was printed next to the full length image of Mr and Mrs FNE. I wonder if it would be useful to have a showing-specific business card, with space to write a note on it? “Love the floor plan!” “Great job with the kitchen.” “Sorry we accidentally let the cat out.” “What the hell is that smell?” You get my point. Someone more experienced can fill me in on why that would be a disastrous idea for their client.

I’ve had property-specific business cards printed up, that’s an easy item to hand across a threshold if you are door knocking, and I have all purpose business cards I use, (see blurry photo, below) they feature The Brick Ranch logo from my website, and it does stand out in a sea of tiny FNEs splashed across the Formica, but business cards are so cheap, why not have a few on hand for a multitude of purposes?

I remember Russell Shaw commenting on one of the BHB business card posts that your face had better be on the card at Realtor networking events. Okay. I can get those printed for cheap at $18.00/thousand. Done. And at the rate I attend real estate networking events, they’ll still have to throw out the bulk after my funeral.

If I worked heavily in short sales, I’d have all sorts of info on the back of a Short Sale specific card. First-time buyers, luxury market, property management, anything could have its own card with information pertaining to that segment of the real estate world.

For the record, here’s my all-purpose business card, but I’m thinking of diversifying. Real estate business cards are notoriously boring, but tremendously cheap so why not? What about you? Done anything interesting with your business card lately?


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