Anatomy of a Business Card
There aren’t many things more important than old–fashioned networking in the real estate industry. You know—the good old handshake, elevator speech, and phone number grab. That’s because, as we industry professionals are all aware, in our business, who you know can be as important as what you know. Good networking can lead to good contacts, and good contacts can lead to good business. So while there may not be many things that are more important to your real estate success than networking, there is one thing that might at least come close: the business card. A business card is one of the most important aspects of networking. If your business card isn’t solid, you put your networking capabilities at risk, too. Make sure that your networking and business card game is up to speed with the tips below.
Have a Photo
When I first started off in the real estate business, I didn’t put a photo on my business card. I was so young that when people received my business card and saw my photo, their immediate perception based on my picture was that I was too young and too inexperienced to work with them on a listing. So, instead, I just handed out photo-less business cards with simply my name, contact information, and the company that I worked for. However, as I got older and added a few years of real estate success under my belt, I realized that not having a picture was no longer helping me. It was hurting me. By not having a picture of myself on my business card, I was making it more difficult for people to remember who I was after I had handed a business card to them.
Networking is often a brief interaction, and, in real estate, it is something that we do daily. People are generally better at remembering faces than they are names, so keeping a picture on your business card will make you more identifiable to someone with a pile of 15 business cards on his or her desk as opposed to just a name.
Have an Updated Photo
While we’re on the subject of photos, let’s talk about them in terms of relevancy. You may have looked better 10 years younger and 20 pounds lighter, but if your photo on your business card does not look like you do now, then it isn’t serving its purpose. As I just discussed, the purpose of keeping a photo on your business card is to remind people of who you are. But if you don’t look like you in your picture, then what is the point? If anything, this will just serve to confuse the person holding your business card even more. Make sure that every time you change something physically—dying your hair, growing a beard, wearing glasses, etc.—that your business card changes with it. As you age and change, so should your business card.
Have a Logo
Yes, the company that you work for probably has a pretty cool logo already. Many people may come to you because they know the excellent reputation of your real estate group as a whole, but some clients and fellow real estate agents will want to come to you specifically. Be a team player, but don’t be afraid of a little self-branding, either. Spending a little bit of time and money shows potential clients that you take pride in your own personal work that you do, and also helps make your business card stand out and be more memorable in an industry filled with business cards.
Include Social Media Handles
This tip might not be applicable to everyone, dependent on how active you are on social media and how crowded your business card already is. However, if you are a social media shark who consistently posts solid, high–quality content on your social media pages, it might be worth a consideration to include your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook handles on your business card.
People are innately curious and are likely to take the initiative to look you up on these sites. Adding a personal social media element to your business card will make it easier for people to look you up, and will make your clients feel more comfortable knowing that you have nothing to hide. If you’re using your social media the right way, including the handles and URLs on your business card can be a good way to show off the community that you love living and working in to social media visitors, as well as introduce them to your business through some of your real estate related posts. It also adds an additional way for people to contact you on top of the traditional phone number and email.
Keep it Simple
With all of the above tips in mind, remember to keep your card looking clean and simple. Too much clutter makes a business card unattractive and can make the important information on the card difficult to find. The above elements are very manageable to include on a business card, but it may be in your best interest to hire a professional to best figure out how to do so. Hiring a graphic design professional to help you pull all of these elements together may cost a small fee up front, but once you have a beautiful card design it can be used for a long time. Having a card you are proud to give out and that people will like to look at is an important part of networking and can lead to more business in the future. Though a business card is tiny, it is extremely important and worth putting a lot of thought and a little money into.