I don’t know that it’s an absolute must, but I do think using a personal brochure for real estate self-promotion is a good idea.
Your real estate bio is there on your website and on your social media accounts for all to see. But will the people you reach with your prospecting letters take time to go to your website for a look? Maybe. Maybe not.
Add your personal brochure to your postal prospecting letters…
The first time you mail to someone they don’t know you at all. They might be thinking of selling (or buying) but you’re still an unknown.
Over the next few mailings, they’ll begin to see that you’re the persistent sort. And, if your letters are written correctly, they’ll see that you know your business. At that point, they may take the time to visit your website and read your agent bio.
But why wait? Why not get the “Who you are” information to them with the first mailing? Then, since not all prospects will read a first mailing, why not send it again a month or so later?
If they are interested in real estate services, they’ll read it. Better yet, they’ll probably show it to their spouse, another relative, or perhaps a friend who stops by for coffee.
Your personal brochure will set you a rung above those agents who write “I’m the neighborhood expert. Choose me.”
How else can you use a personal brochure?
You can leave a few copies with friends, supporters, and business associates who will refer others to you. Wouldn’t it be nice if your favorite hairdresser had a few copies in his/her salon? How about your favorite lender, attorney, financial planner, dog groomer, or car mechanic?
You can send them to potential referral partners in other cities. Give them something to give to the people they would refer to you.
You can leave copies with the HR person at nearby corporate or school district offices.
Depending upon the situation, you can even hand them out yourself in lieu of a business card.
What should be included in your personal brochure?
Selected parts of your agent profile/ bio, including:
- Your business philosophy
- Awards, designations, and certifications you’ve earned
- Your niche
- Your volunteerism
- Your pets and/or hobbies
- A few testimonials
- Your logo
- Your contact information
NOTE* Some agents include information on their families, and it IS good to mention family as a way to connect with others who have small children, children in college, parents living nearby, a city filled with siblings and cousins, etc. However, some do skip that as a precautionary measure. You need to be the judge regarding the safety aspect.
A personal brochure is a brief, yet compelling overview of who you are.
It really is simply your agent bio – condensed and put into a different format. It’s divided into sections to make it easy and fast to read. The sections also allow readers to focus on what they want to know most.
To preserve continuity and recognition, your personal brochure should use the same colors that you use in your logo, on your website, and on your business cards. Add photos that support the message you are trying to convey.
If you don’t already have those other materials, take time to do a little research before choosing your colors. If you search for “Color in Marketing,” you’ll find a wealth of articles explaining how color affects perceptions and triggers emotional responses. Here’s just one of them.
Do include information about pets, hobbies, or volunteer work – because these all turn you into a real person that potential clients can relate to. You don’t have to say much, and in fact a photo might be enough to convey the message.
Use your bio as a guide and add or remove sentences and paragraphs as you transfer the text into your personal brochure.
You can get fancy or keep it simple.
It all depends upon your skill level or the expertise of the person you hire to help you. Some agents use a faded-out photo of houses or local scenery as a background for all the text. Many use a variety of fonts. Some get creative with colors.
If you’re going to create your own personal brochure…
You’ll probably want specialized software – such as Publisher. It could possibly be done in Word, but after spending some time helping someone with a newsletter done in Word, I think it would be frustrating.
If you’re going to have a graphic artist create it for you, have the artist give you the layout and/or the size of the spaces, so you can determine how many words will fit in each.
I’m not a graphic artist, but when I write a personal brochure I use Publisher to create a rough draft. It allows me to see how much room I have for each section of text. Then I supply my client with both a PDF of my rough draft and the text in Word for easy cut and paste.
Don’t try to include too much…
Some marketers use tiny fonts in order to squeeze in more words, but I don’t recommend it. Your goal is for people to read it – if you make it difficult, they won’t. Remember that you also need a blank line between paragraphs! No one wants to read a wall of words.
Following is an example of how a tri-fold personal brochure might be laid out…
Some prefer a different layout on the inside – such as this.
Another way / reason to create and use a personal brochure
Instead of making it all about you and your service, you can introduce yourself and your specialty, then use the inside to offer tips to your niche clients.
Do save a bit of room to mention the most important benefits you bring to your clients, then use the rest to convey helpful information. It could be for buyers or sellers in general, or it could be information specific to your niche.
For instance, if you sell waterfront lots you might cite some of the regulations that affect those properties. If you sell historic homes, you might talk about the National Register and how it affects home ownership. If you deal with probate, you could offer tips on how to negotiate that process safely and with less stress.
In other words – use it to offer information that is relevant to your core clients.
You can have more than one brochure…
If you prospect for expired listings or FSBO properties, you could choose to have a secondary personal brochure offering helpful information to those homeowners. Naturally it should be the kind of information that makes it clear that your services could get the job done faster and easier.
mailbox Image courtesy of Felixco, Inc. @freedigitalphotos.net
niche graphic courtesy of stuart miles @ freedigitalphotos.net
tennis player Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net