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Create Flyers, Postcards and Brochures Like a Graphic Designer

Published: 27/04/2009
By: larry

I believe anyone doing real estate photography that doesn't also have a real estate flyer, postcard, brochure and online tour product is missing an opportunity to add profit to a shoot. Listing agents need a flyer for each property they list. Most will mail between 100 and 300 postcards to the neighborhood where the listing is. If it's an upper-end home ($800,000 and above in Seattle area) many agents do a 4 page fold-in-half 11x17 glossy brochure.

I know, what's holding you back is you don't feel that you have the graphic design skills to create flyers, postcards and brochures. Well guess what, there are companies like Imprev that make professionally designed templates, so creating a elegant postcard, brochure or flyer is little different than creating a do-it-yourself tour. You just plug-in the photos and some marketing text and you've got a print piece.

There are many companies like Imprev that have flyer, postcard and brochure templates but I am pointing out Imprev because I've used their service several years ago and think they do a particularly good job of graphic design. The way they work is you pay a yearly fee to use their templates. Here's the Imprev price sheet. They have many more products than just print templates.

Can agents do this for themselves? Sure, some do but they are in the minority. 99% of agents would rather have someone else do this for them than do it themselves. Also, the agents that are likely to hire a photographer are the same ones that are likely to pay a premium to have high quality flyers and brochures. Adding this to you product list could easily add several hundred dollars profit to your shoot.

9 comments on “Create Flyers, Postcards and Brochures Like a Graphic Designer”

  1. It obviously varies with region.
    Most of the agencies I know do low-volume stuff like this in-house, thereby maintaining continuity of presentation, and the card stock it's presented on. Usually it's the IT/Front Desk/Tech person that does this to fill in their day. Either that or they outsource it to an established print company that can do amazing rates with bulk runs and other jobs.

    Why would they want a middle man involved?
    I wouldn't.

  2. I think photographers should take pictures and designers should do design. You can't fake your way through everything. You might end up with half assed jobs that will hurt your business.

    This is the equivalent of a design blog telling designers, hey you can just buy a point and shoot and start offering photography services, no one will know the difference!

    If you're a photographer with some designing skills, then it's a great idea to broaden your services but if you're just going to use some website template, you might as well leave it to a designer or printer.

    My 2 cent.

  3. @anon#1- Yes, the front desk receptionist person makes flyers but they are BAD because their skills are very basic and the top agents that want to stand out don't use them.

    The actual printing is a separate subject from flyer creation. Some brokers subsidize the printing for agents (provide free color printing) so you can't compete with that.

    @anon#2- You've missed my whole point... I'm suggesting that you can use top graphic design services. Each flyer or brochure doesn't have to be a custom design.

  4. Larry: Great idea, just got off the phone with this company, they will NOT let us use the system for "re-selling" to other agents.

    Each agent would need to have an account with them. The guy I talked with said like example most major Realtor companies have their services now in office, like Remax has all 80,000 agents signed up.

    Great Idea, in fact one I may take a step beyond an make available to all us Photo dudes, a set of similar templates everyone can use.

    But for now they will not give me an account as a "company" for re-selling to agents, without being an agent !!

    Russell

  5. Russell- Thanks for the feedback. I didn't encounter this because when I used Imprev I was an agent. I'm surprised they care. However, Imprev is just an example of a whole class of graphic design companies that supply flyer, brochure and postcard templaes. Googling (real estate flyers) gives hundreds of other examples.

  6. I am a RE/MAX agent and do get Imprev access for free. I do not use them however, as I have other sources for better brochures. One such template that I use is from:
    http://www.stocklayouts.com
    I really like their templates, and I can control where everything goes.

  7. I agree that it varies with the geography, as it does with the specific broker.

    I shoot independently for several different realtors here in the Bay, several of whom belong to one broker location. The broker has his own graphics person onsite, who does website work in addition, plus layouts for flyers, business cards, ads in Realty publications around S.F., etc. The firm retains the branding (and of course insists on its being used in all publications, as it should be insisting): specific color hues, specific fonts, specific logos, and even some consistency across all of the agents’ listing materials as to the general lay-out of the front and back (not a specific template, but specific margins, headers and footers, etc.) Printing is either done in-house or out-sourced to the primary person of their choice.

    While I do have layout skills, own a CMYK laser printer that does near-photographic reproduction and have lots of proper software, I stick to doing flyers for MY business (including for the recruiting of more agents for whom to photograph), and ‘just try to be as flexible and user-friendly as possible with the graphics person already onsite. That said, it is great for one's photo-business to know as much as possible about what the other side requires (CMYK ?? RGB ?? White balance on a Mac or on a PC ? What final dimensions do they require for the window display posters ?), and to anticipate layouts when shooting (for example, photos that will be more than likely used side by side need to have compatible framing, lighting, and sight-lines or angles that lead the eye well...stairwells in a photo can be great in a single shot but disruptive at times when placed adjacently to another room-shot). Similarly, if the house flyer has a cream background and the property has cream walls, photos whose edges fade out without an accenting wall-hanging or small vase near the edges, etc. will look terrible once printed on such a flyer...I therefore often mimic the graphic layouts here at home and propose photo-groupings to the agents to best showcase their work, enable them to have a fast turnaround graphically, and of course, to allow my own work to be best represented whenever possible.

    Lastly, it’s imperative to know the graphic deadlines when doing a shoot (or accepting the schedule imposed)! There are times that one thinks correctly that there’s plenty of lead-time for the MLS web-postings only to discover that the flyer for the open house is a 12-Noon deadline the day before, the ad was 4 p.m. the afternoon of the shoot, and the advance postcard targeted mailing for the first Open House was the morning of the shoot itself ! 🙂

    Good ideas from all; thanks !

    Franck

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