If done right, leaving real estate business cards in the right places can be a great way to promote your business and 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 ways you can do this right and also wrong. And one question that comes to mind is where and how to leave your real estate business cards.
Before you leave them, you should prepare them and your contact points (e.g., dedicated landing pages, phone numbers, etc.) so you can track them.
Then you want to leave them in places that are related to your real estate business.
This is the short answer, and if you want the longer one, you may want to keep reading the rest of my article.
Facts & Stats about Real Estate Business Cards
Before we dive deeper into where and how to leave your real estate business cards, let’s check for a moment the facts and stats about them.
I have already discussed how you can create better real estate business cards in this article of mine, where I mentioned that 88 percent of business cards you give away land in the trash within a week.
To put it differently, 12% percent don’t end up in trash and likely lead to a response. This means we can assume a 12% business card to lead conversion rate response rate.
That’s not bad at all.
What can be said about the business card to customer conversion rate?
Of course, not all the people 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 conversion rate of between 30-50%.
So, for further calculations, let’s go with the average, which is 40%.
What does this mean for our business cards we leave in certain places?
When you leave them, you can likely assume that 12% lead to a response, and from this 12%, you should be able to convert 40%.
This last number, of course, can vary, should you have above average or below average phone skills.
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 to “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 that you need to leave 10 divided by 4.8% business cards in each place, which is roughly 208.
I don’t know about you, but this quantity is borderline overkill and may be too much for the respective places you want to leave them.
Not every business owner 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 would need to leave 2 divided by 4.8%, which is roughly 42.
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.
Prepare Your Real Estate Business Cards Before Leaving Them
Before you let your real estate business cards be printed and then leave them in the right places, you also want to make sure that you do it in a prepared way.
In my article about creating real estate business cards, I already discussed this.
And in order to have an effective business card, you not only want to use a well-designed physical business card but also add a QR code on it.
What is a QR code?
Here on the top right you find one, which will lead you to my website hackingrealestatemarketing.com once you scan it with your phone.
So as you can see, it’s black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background and a type of “matrix barcode” that can be read by devices such as cameras on your smartphone.
It’s an optical label that has information about the item attached to it.
The common practice is to use it to link it to a website or an application.
So when you combine your usual content of your real estate business card with a QR code, you will appeal not only to people who are not that tech savvy but also to people who are.
For the tech savvy ones, it means less friction to get in touch with you.
There are two websites you can use to generate QR codes for your real estate business cards worth mentioning:
Why to Leave Your Real Estate Business Cards?
Real estate professionals, such as realtors, leave business cards in houses where they had a showing and also in different places for marketing reasons.
The latter is what this article is about.
The other reason is only indirectly for marketing, but it’s rather for customer service or courtesy reasons to the homeowner..
By doing that, the owner or occupant of a particular home is informed that a showing has taken place and is now complete.
Leaving real estate business cards in places that have somewhat a relation to real estate is mostly done with the aim of generating real estate leads.
Handing out business cards proactively to potential clients can rather be considered push marketing.
Leaving them in strategic places is rather pull marketing.
The advantage of pull marketing and just leaving real estate business cards in certain places is that potential clients only take one with them if they show basic interest.
But when you hand them out and do “push marketing,” you may give them to people that may never be interested in your services.
Of course, this is different when you have a nice conversation first and can already sense that your conversation partner shows basic interest.
In this case, it is kind of in between push and pull marketing.
Another benefit of leaving your real estate business cards is that you can scale your business card marketing campaign a bit better.
Imagine having to hand out 1000 business cards manually. I doubt this would be very effective.
But when you divide them into 10 different places and leave 100 in each one, your chances of having success with them becomes much better and less time-consuming.
Best Places to Leave Your Real Estate Business Cards
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 for 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 there are, also covered in this article of mine.
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 doctors’ 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, and there in the separate sections for business banking
- Community centers
- Local gyms
- Art galleries
Don’t Forget to Track Your Real Estate Business Card Campaign
One thing you might forget when leaving real estate business cards with the aim of systematically generating leads is to track the whole thing.
As I have often written in my articles, tracking a marketing campaign (which also includes 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 want to find out over time which places will give you the best results.
Meaning you want to ask yourself the question: what 20% of the places I leave my real estate business cards will give me 80% of the leads.
In order to find that out, you can go with two ways of tracking that you also can combine with each other if you like.
1) 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 the ones you leave at the dentist’s office or waiting room.
You will automatically know where they picked up your business cards by the number that is called.
Of course, you could go even further down this route when you would also use a different QR code for each place.
In this case, you could prepare a dedicated landing page, depending on the place they picked up your business card.
For example, if someone picked up your card in “Jenny’s Coffeeshop” and scans the QR code, she or he could arrive on a landing page that says something like “I hope you enjoyed your coffee at Jenny’s Coffeeshop…” and then you could even have already a collection of properties ready on this page that are close-by to that location.
As you can see, there are many ways you could play with that and individualize the experience of a potential customer on such a landing page, depending on the place they picked up your business card.
The same thing could be done with dedicated email addresses you have on your business card for each place.
But for the start, the least work would be to just use different phone numbers.
2) 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.
On a website contact form, you could ask this question via a drop-down field, and you can ask directly on the phone.
The risk that you need to consider is that your potential customer might not remember well enough where they picked up your business card.
So tracking won’t be that on point with this method.
And if you want to really go the extra mile and make sure you took advantage of all the tracking options available, you could combine them both.
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