Better Business Cards?

For most of us, business cards are an indispensable way of providing our contact information to everyone we come into contact with in a professional capacity. It’s a “no brainer” that business cards are a fantastic way to help others get in touch with us when they need us.  Unfortunately, these valuable little tools are often overlooked as a means of advertising, and we rarely capitalize fully on their ability to communicate important and useful information beyond the typical name, title, address, and phone number, a fax number,website and possibly an email address. In fact, that little business card you carry around every day of your working life can serve as a:

  • Billboard
  • Mini-brochure
  • Networking tool
  • Recruitment tool
  • Appointment reminder

Ways To Squeeze Extra Mileage Out Of Your Business Card

  • Add a scent that supports your key marketing message. The possibilities are limited only by your own creativity. Avoid spraying oil or perfume directly onto the cards, because this might stain the paper. Instead, simply store them with a tissue or piece of cloth that has been treated with the scent, or place the cards in a box or bowl for a while with a nice subtle potpourri.
  • Use both sides of the card or, better yet, make it double the usual size and fold it in half after printing. Put all the usual general information on one side, and a message on the other. At our communities, the inside of the card includes a brief list of community benefits.
  • Use the card as a coupon to offer a special. For example, you might offer a $25 savings on the security deposit when the card is presented. Have the offer printed on the back of the card.
  • Make the card 1/8″ larger than standard size. It will be just slightly different from others in a pile, but not so much so as to be annoying. You can also buy a special punch tool to create a unique visual effect (I’ve even seen one in the shape of a house!)
  • Allow space to add a short handwritten note. This warm, personal touch will make the recipient feel special.
  • Place your card on every bulletin board you see. You’d be surprised at who looks at those boards. In some cities, there are even services that will put your card on all available billboards in the area (check the yellow pages under Advertising). You might also consider having a special flyer made to include small perforated tabs listing your community name, telephone number, and website address. This way people can just tear off a tab instead of having to write down the number.
  • Leave small stacks of cards with businesses that can be helpful in sending future residents to your community. A good marketer will have hundreds of little stacks of these miniature “billboards” scattered around town. Many businesses encourage this by providing a special location for the cards. Are you always prepared to market your community whenever an opportunity presents itself?
  • Make use of an instant camera (like 6an old school Polaroid) to take a picture of an available apartment or surrounding area and attach your business card to it. This very visual follow-up technique can increase your closing ratio dramatically!
  • Attach a couple of cards to all invoices, purchase orders, and payments that your community or company mails out. It won’t add to your postage costs, and the cards are inexpensive. When I have time (rarely, but nice when it happens), I like to add a hand-written post-it note asking the recipient to “Please pass these on to anyone who might be interested in finding a new home,” which can generate surprising interest and traffic from the often overlooked accounting end of your communications.

Visibility Test
Here’s a fun and free way to easily test whether or not you have a distinctive card design. The next time you see a bulletin board crowded with business cards (start collecting cards, and create your own board to run this test), turn your back and have an associate or friend place your card on the board. Take two steps away and turn around. If you can’t locate your card within 5 seconds, you should consider a redesign. Take another step away and see which ones catch your eye. Study the most eye-catching ones for clues on how your card can be made more visually appealing.

Creating Content-Rich Cards

Your card can contain a wide variety of information that’s of interest and use to the recipient. Here is a checklist to help get you thinking about how your card might be made more information-rich:

  • Community/Company Logo
  • Community/Company Name
  • Prefix to Your Name (Mr., Ms., Mrs.)
  • Your Name
  • Your Professional Designations (CPM, RAM, CLP, ARM, etc.)
  • Your Title
  • Business Phone Number
  • Phone Extension
  • Fax Number
  • Cell Phone / Mobile Number
  • Emergency Phone / Hotline Number
  • Mailing Address
  • Email Address
  • Website Address (URL)
  • Social Media Sites
  • Hours of Operation
  • A Satisfaction Guarantee Statement
  • A Mission Statement
  • A Vision Statement
  • Blank Note Space
  • 5-Digit Zip Code
  • 9-Digit Zip (Zip Plus Four)
  • Recruiting Statement (i.e., “Thanks for the wonderful service! If you’re ever interested in a career in property management, please call me personally!)
  • Appointment Reminder
  • Bullet-ed List of Community Features / Benefits

What other ways can you add interest and information to business cards?

Have you tired the paperless business card Dub?

Check out 42 Awesome Business Card Designs (With Links to 100s More)

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