If done right, using real estate business cards and leaving them in the right places can be a great way to generate leads.
With an average response rate of 12%, this marketing method shouldn’t be ignored and can actually compete with digital marketing methods.
But as always, there are two possibilities either you do it right or wrong. Therefore this article will cover the following questions and topics:
- What should go on a real estate business card?
- Can you put realtor on your business card?
- Should real estate cards have pictures?
- Samples of real estate business cards
- Real estate quotes for business cards
- Where to leave real estate business cards
Facts & Stats About Real Estate Business Cards
Before diving deeper into where and how to leave your real estate business cards, let’s briefly check their facts and stats.
I have already discussed how you can create better real estate business cards in one of my articles, where I mentioned that 88 percent of business cards you give away end up in the trash within a week.
In other words, 12% percent don’t end up in the trash, likely leading to a response.
This means we can assume a 12% business card to lead conversion and response rates, which is not bad.
What can be said about the business card-to-customer conversion rate?
Of course, not all those contacting you from your business cards will become your real estate clients.
So we need to use an additional marketing number, the inbound call conversion rates.
According to this study, they have a 30-50% conversion rate.
So, for further calculations, let’s go with the average, which is 40%.
What does this mean for the business cards we leave in certain places?
When you leave them or hand them out, you can likely assume that 12% leads to a response, and from this 12%, you should be able to convert 40%.
This last number, of course, can vary depending on if you have above-average or below-average phone skills.
What Should Go on a Real Estate Business Card?
Respecting and taking into consideration the copywriting formula AIDA, your business card should include the following:
- Attention-grabbing elements
- Your name (under which you are licensed) and photo
- Your USP (unique selling proposition)
- A QR code
- A call to action
- A testimonial
- Relevant accreditation or trade association memberships
- Content on both sides of the card
- Space on the card. It shouldn’t get stuffed. The information you store with the QR code helps with that.
What do we expect from the prospect when giving out a business card?
The first is to not throw it away, and second, to contact us for potential business, so you can sell something to them.
Usually, when you give out a business card, the person receiving it stores it somewhere.
With some luck, the card doesn’t get washed when doing the laundry because they forgot to take it out of their pocket.
Afterward, it gets stored in a tray on a table in the office or another room.
Suppose you have an attention-grabbing copy on the business card that meets your needs.
The person might make a mental note to not store the information somewhere where it could get lost.
The next step for this interested person would be to use an app to store the information.
This app could be some sort of contact database or CRM (customer relationship management software).
The traditional way would be to type the contact information in a physical address book.
So, ideally, we deliver these steps that your new contact usually follows:
- Receiving the business card
- Storing it temporally in their pocket, handbag, or wallet
- Taking it out of the temporary storage and passing the contact information over to a sort of contact database (e.g., Google Contacts, MS Office, etc.)
To increase the conversion rate, you need to make those steps as easy and smooth as possible.
So to have an attention-grabbing real estate business card, what you can do is:
- Put your name and photo on it.
- Putting Your USP on it (unique selling proposition)
- Use a QR code
- Put a call to action on it.
- Put a testimonial on it.
- Add relevant accreditation or trade association memberships.
- Use both sides of the card.
- Don’t be afraid of space on the card. It shouldn’t get stuffed. The information you store with the QR code helps with that.
If you want to store important contact information with a QR code, I recommend two websites. The first one is not free, but the second one is..
There is a sort of debate going on between two factions.
One wants to stay with the traditional business cards, and the other wants to go completely digital.
Yes, you could do it only with QR codes, save one as a picture on your smartphone, and then let the new contact just scan the image with the code.
I can’t back it up with A/B tests and statistics, but I feel that a flexible hybrid solution will be the most effective here.
So, you still use your well-designed physical business card but with your QR code on it.
By doing that, you can still have a picture of your QR code on your smartphone (you generate it for your business card anyways).
You can use one of the two according to the social situation and your target group of potential clients (e.g., a young real estate buyer working in the tech industry in Silicon Valley vs. a real estate buyer in her sixties).
And to have an effective business card, you want to use a well-designed physical business card and add a QR code.
The common practice is to use it to link it to a website or an application.
So when you combine the usual content of your real estate business card with a QR code, you will appeal not only to people who are not tech-savvy but also to people who are.
Can You Put “Realtor” On Your Business Card?
You can put “Realtor” on your business card, but with limitations, because of potential trademark issues with the National Association of Realtors.
Besides, using this element is pretty unlikely to have much influence on your real estate business card conversion rate.
I researched this topic quite a bit and found that potential trademark issues could arise with the National Association of Realtors.
Have a short read about what they have to say on this question (source):
“The REALTOR® marks include the terms REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, as well as the REALTOR® block “R” logo. These marks are all federally registered collective membership marks owned by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).”
“Members are authorized to use the REALTOR® marks; however there are still certain limitations established by the Board of Directors to preserve the value and meaning of the REALTOR® marks for all Members.”
“…please note that the REALTOR® marks should not be used in conjunction with a description of any other occupation or vocation of the Member, even if the other occupation or vocation is part of or related to the Member’s real estate business.”
Should Real Estate Cards Have Pictures?
Real estate business cards should have the real estate professional’s photo.
Because pictures are part of the first element of the AIDA copywriting formula, which is attention, and thus can increase the conversion rate.
Of course, you don’t want to stuff your real estate business card with pictures and sacrifice other important elements necessary for your conversion rate.
It’s enough to have just one picture – a picture of you close to your name.
Samples of Real Estate Business Cards
You can find and get inspiration from different samples of real estate business cards.
One of my favorite design tools on the web, Canva, has more than 100 samples of real estate business cards that you can use and tailor to your individual needs.
You can access all different samples if you choose the paid Canva version. But the free version also offers access to a good number of them.
You can find them here.
You can find additional inspiration with a collection of 519 real estate business cards on Pinterest.
Here are some samples of the best and worst real estate business cards of 2019. I like number 16 best, although none have a QR code.
And here, numbers 1 and 3 are my favorites (they have a QR code).
More inspiration you can get on these websites:
But no matter how nice the examples and samples you find, you want to focus on the layout principles and the elements that help you with your conversion rates.
Therefore I also prepared a real estate business card layout template with the previously mentioned elements for a better understanding.
It first shows the front and then the backside.
Real Estate Quotes for Business Cards
To make the call to action on your real estate business card even more persuasive, you can combine it with some strong real estate quotes.
So within the layout, the best place for that would be in the call to action area.
I researched several quotes for this and filtered out the ones that make the most sense to combine with the call to action.
There are many good ones, but only a few qualify to cause the desired effect.
The sources for the quotes were this, and this website.
Unfortunately, the author’s name of the quotes wasn’t cited, so the origin is unknown. With further research, I found other quotes with cited authors.
And these are the quotes you may want to consider combining with your call to action:
- “Home is where your story begins.” B.K. Robinson
- “Whenever you invest in yourself, you’re investing in your future.” -unknown
- “The best time to buy a home is always five years ago.” – Ray Brown
- “Don’t wait for the right opportunity; create it.” – George Bernard Shaw
- “Find Your Place” – unknown
- “If time is of the essence, call.” – unknown (quite generic though)
- “The hunt is over.” -unknown (quite generic though)
- “If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.” – Jim Rohn
- “Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate.” – Andrew Carnegie’s
- “Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait.” – Will Rogers
Where to Leave Your Real Estate Business Cards
You want to leave them in places related to your real estate business.
To determine the best places to leave your real estate business cards, we get into the territory of real estate cross-marketing, which I’ve already covered in this article.
Cross-marketing means that two or more businesses in a similar or the same industry or niches collaborate to attain a common marketing goal.
In this article, I used 5 examples of cross-marketing in real estate:
- Cross Marketing with Contractors
- Cross Marketing with Home Insurance Agents
- Cross Marketing with Mortgage Lenders
- Joint Advertising Campaigns
- Cross Marketing with Realtors
To get ideas for places to leave your real estate business cards, you can also check the different real estate niches covered in this article.
But the overall idea is that you find places for them that have some sort of relation to real estate.
Besides the places related somewhat to real estate, this often means local businesses in your particular neighborhood.
Now I will give you 21 further concrete examples of such places so you get the idea:
- The reception desk or waiting room of your dentist and doctor’s office
- Vets’ offices
- Bulletin boards or, again, the reception desk of child care centers
- Schools & colleges (for respective parents, of course)
- Auto repair shops
- The checkout counters of restaurants
- The reception area of hotels
- Bookstore lounges and libraries
- Hair and nail salons
- Local government buildings (e.g., municipality, city hall, courthouse, etc.)
- Apartment buildings with reception areas
- Apartment leasing offices
- Coffee shops (e.g., checkout counters)
- Ice cream shops
- Clean corners of the counters of good restrooms
- In the bank, in the separate sections for business banking
- Community centers
- Local gyms
- Art galleries
How Many Real Estate Business Cards Should You Leave in Each Place?
Here we can do some data-based marketing and crunch some numbers. I really like this marketing numbers stuff and “nerd-out” about it.
So, by having a response rate of 12% and a call-to-customer conversion rate of 40%, we can calculate the business card-to-customer conversion rate. It is 12% x 40%, which is 4.8%.
Now we will need to get back to your goals.
How many customers do you want to generate by leaving your real estate business cards?
Let’s say you want to generate 10 new customers from each place you leave them.
This would mean you must leave 10 divided by 4.8% business cards in each place, roughly 208.
I don’t know about you, but this quantity is borderline overkill and maybe too much for the places you want to leave them.
Only some business owners would let you do that.
So let’s go with the minimum. Let’s assume you want to generate 2 customers from each place.
In this case, you need to leave 2 divided by 4.8%, roughly 42 per place.
That sounds much better, and I think it would be more acceptable for the people in charge of the places you want to leave them.
Bonus: Don’t Forget to Track Your Real Estate Business Card Campaign
One thing you might forget when leaving real estate business cards to systematically generate leads is to track the whole thing.
As I have often written in my articles, tracking a marketing campaign (including leaving business cards) can make or break a campaign.
But how could you track a campaign like that?
Speaking in terms of the 80/20 principle in real estate marketing, you will definitely want to find out which places produce the best results over time.
So you need to ask yourself: what 20% of the places I leave my real estate business cards will give me 80% of the leads.
To find that out, you can go with two tracking ways that you can combine if you like.
Making different versions of business cards for each place you leave them
This doesn’t mean you need an individual design for each place, but at least different dedicated phone numbers.
So the business cards you leave in the coffee shop will have a different phone number from those at the dentist’s office or waiting room.
It’s similar to track, for example, a “bandit sign” campaign or a direct mail campaign.
You will automatically know where they picked up your business cards by the number called.
Of course, you could go further down this route using a different QR code for each place.
In this case, you could prepare a dedicated landing page, depending on where they picked up your business card.
For example, suppose someone picks up your card in “Jenny’s Coffeeshop” and scans the QR code.
In that case, they could be directed to a landing page that says something like “I hope you enjoyed your coffee at Jenny’s Coffeeshop…” and then you could even have a collection of properties ready on this page close by to that location.
You could play with that in many ways and individualize a potential customer’s experience on such a landing page, depending on the place they picked up your business card.
The same could be done with the dedicated email addresses on your business card for each place.
But for a start, the least work would be to just use different phone numbers.
Rigorously Track Each Response
If the first way feels like too much work, you can just implement a way to ask each new lead you get where they heard about you.
You could ask this question via a drop-down field on a website contact form and ask directly on the phone.
It would help to consider that your potential customer might not remember where they picked up your business card well enough.
So tracking won’t be that on point with this method.
And if you want to go the extra mile and take advantage of all the tracking options available, you could combine them.
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.
Author & Founder