Business Cards: Paper or Electronic?

We’ve all been there.  You just bought your first,second, or Xth batch of several hundred/thousand business cards.  We start using them in our daily business and then one day…

BOOM!  You earn that new designation, change key contact information or even brokerages.  What’s left now is a pile of either note cards or fire kindling.  There are ways both online and offline for everyone to know how to contact you.  Personaly I prefer ways that are simple and cost-effective but you system may vary.

Paper:  When I worked as a RE/MAX agent I had to buy cards from an approved supplier due to franchise rules.  I found this annoying at the very least.  Now that I have my own firm I print business cards using Avery Business card stock, a color laser printer, and Microsoft Publisher 2003.  If you can and do go this route, the one thing I will advise is to make sure you include ALL required logos for your particular situation (especially those for equal housing opportunity and being a REALTOR).  The biggest advantage I find is the ability to easily change information as needed.  A good example is that I recently added my skype and twitter handles to my business cards.

Electronic:  I have found two very good systems for spreading your contact information when paper cards are either unavailable or inappropriate.

MyDropCard is a service where you can e-mail an electronic business card to any e-mail address by simply texting “drop <e-mail address>” from your mobile phone.  I find this convenient for on the go contact information sharing but I have yet to tweak the card to include the information I want to convey to other people.

REtaggr is a site I just service that was made for those who want their web presence known.  You create a business card that is online and interactive.  you can include ALL of your social networking profiles and they can be viewed from WITHIN the card itself.  Here is a link to my card.  Some of the services that can be accessed from within the card are digsby, twitter, skype, and flickr.  The card can also be made into a widget for you blog here is an example.  A simple email signature similar to the one shown below can be integrated into most email clients:

The way information is exchanged seems to constantly change.  We not only have to find a system comfortable for us to use but also be aware of how others that we encounter prefer to receive what we want to convey.

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9 Responses to Business Cards: Paper or Electronic?

  1. Jim Rake says:

    Matt – appreciate the reminder of REtaggr. Had taken a look at it briefly, will now, with a bit more time on my hands, take a second look. Another digital convenience that makes what we do a bit easier.

  2. Lorin Martin says:

    I’m just getting in to real estate and haven’t gotten my business cards yet, so thanks for the advice on other possible ways of goiung about it.

  3. The electronic way is going to become more popular as everything is becoming more digital and the mobile devices that people have can start to take email and have internet access. So I think that the digital business cards will start to become a mainstay as that will be the primary way of giving someone your business card and information.

  4. Erik says:

    Why would you print the cards yourself? Check out printingsignsshirts.com, This site allows you to buy a thousand cards on thick stock with UV coating for just $20 + shipping, and they turn them over in like a week. I think they may even be part of the remax program.

  5. We will always need paper business cards to leave at homes we’ve shown.

    On the other hand I don’t keep other people’s business cards anymore. After I receive one I keep it till I’m in front of my computer; then I copy the information into my addressbook, sync my phone, and chuck the card into the recycle bin.

  6. Matt Wilkins says:

    Jon:

    Leaving business cards at listings is customary in my market but I find the “tradition” a waste of perfectly good business cards. If the listing agent/broker is using an electronic lockbox and/or a third-party showing service, the showing agent’s contact info will be captured thereby eliminating the need to leavea a card at the property.

  7. JCL says:

    Excellent! Thanks for the dropcard link! I find it cumbersome to carry business cards everywhere… now (maybe) I won’t have to.

  8. nice! [IMG]http://rich-niche.info/cookie/img/smilies/happy.gif[/IMG]

  9. Serren says:

    Every time i come here I am not dissapointed, nice post

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