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Creating Flyers for Real Estate Agents

Published: 15/06/2017

Rhett in VA asks:

My clients are wanting to print some flyers for brochures but the pdf files take way too long to print. Is there another format that is quicker? I know PDF files are good for web. Also, should I change settings in camera from large to a different size?

I've been creating flyers for my wife's listings for longer than I care to admit. The flyer above is the front page of one of them. I've always used PDF files. Frankly, they are ideal for flyers and brochures. Here are a number of guidelines for making and printing flyers:

  1. Use software like Photoshop or InDesign to create flyers. These professional programs have features to compress the PDF files when you are outputting them.
  2. Keep the JPGs that you use to create flyers small. Notice that the flyer example above is only 3 MB. If you don't work at keeping the file size small this same flyer can get up to 30 MB. Bigger PDF files take longer to print. However, bigger PDF files result in higher quality. It's a trade-off but flyers are not typically expected to be high quality.
  3. If you are going to print flyers do it on a laser printer, not an inkjet printer. Inkjet flyers smear when they get wet and inkjet printers are generally slower and more expensive.
  4. If you are going to design flyers, come up with a unique design that stands out. I found that a popular format was the exterior shot as a background, with text, floated on top of the background (see example above).
  5. I recommend delivering (emailing) the PDF to the listing agent and letting them do the printing. Almost all real estate offices have laser printers. In many offices, there is no cost to the agents. Besides, you don't want to deliver more flyers every time they run out.
  6. A second reason to not get in the flyer printing business is that if you track what it costs you per page to print flyers it is way more expensive than you think! And it takes a lot of time.
  7. There is an argument to be made against flyers. Anyone with a smartphone App like Zillow can get as much and more information about a listing than is available on a flyer. In today's smartphone world flyers are obsolete although most listing agents in my area are still making them because it gives listing agents a direct connection with potential buyers.

In conclusion, be careful how you get involved in supplying flyers because there are many aspects of this service that can be an energy and time sync. Make sure you are charging enough to recover all your time and expenses.

Larry Lohrman

7 comments on “Creating Flyers for Real Estate Agents”

  1. I design two page/4 sided 8.5x11" color brochures for my clients with indesign (photoshop works too) and export pdf to be
    printed. I use good sized jpgs for the flyer (shoot in raw) for good quality and email the pdf to one of 2 different UPS print
    shops (depending on client's location). The UPS shops charge $25. for 25 copies and the printing is beautiful. Clients pick
    up and pay for their printing.

    I charge $50. to make an initial custom template for my clients (they can choose from one of my 3 templates and choose
    any background colour they want - usually white, black or light grey. Then each new listing I charge them $25. to update
    their template to the new photos and details (takes me about 15 minutes).

  2. I agree that PDF flyers are the way to go. However Photoshop or InDesign are not the best for occasional users like RE photographers. MS publisher is. Most of you should have MS office subscription anyway and it comes with MS office.

    I create templates for clients and use those over and over. The cover page has a BG image of the shoot and agent information as well as the address of the property. The mid pages contain only the address and the images. The final page contains a few images and the property info.

    When I make a new one I only have to drag and drop the images onto the old images and bam Publisher sizes and positions it automatically. For the property info I go to the Agency listing sit and screen capture only the property data then bam paste it into that section on the last page.

    I can make a 4 page custom flyer for and agent in 15 minutes and I charge $50 for it. They can email it or print it if they want or post it to their own web sites. It's great value for them and easy money for me.

    Here is an example of one I created for an agent. It's 6 pages and 8MB in size. I charged $70 for it because I charge $50 for the first 4 pages and $10 a page after that. This took me about 20 minutes or so to do in Publisher.

    You can't work that fast in PS or InDesign and InDesign cost more than a subscription to MS Office that you may already have.

    As far as size goes publisher allows you to compress the images before you print into web, desktop or commercial publishing sizes.

  3. has built-in flyers that auto-populate when you buy a tour. The only thing you have to do is choose the template, the images and the order you want the images to be in on the flyer. Then it creates a PDF for you or your agent to download and print. Very little work involved. It's a great incentive for your agents to buy a tour, plus they have the best looking tours and flyers out there (IMO). I use them all the time and charge my agents $50.00 for a tour (cost is $19.00).

  4. @Frank...One thing to be aware of, Office on a Mac excludes Publisher and Access. While I have both Mac and PC, it has been a while since used Publisher and may have improved with recent versions. The big advantage to Publisher is the lack of a learning curve as it has similar commands and structure to other Office products such as Word - much more so than Adobe products have to each other. Corporations love it as it reduces training cost when personnel already know Word, while commercial printers despise the bloated coding that Microsoft uses, but that is transparent if printing your own. While it may have been improved with recent versions, rigid placeholders in InDesign vs resize every time in Publisher is a huge timesaver, particularly with a single selection of multiple photos, and what makes InDesign my goto when I have a choice of both. While I have looked at how to reduce my $49/mo to Adobe, InDesign substitute is the big problem on the Apple side as about the only one, other than lightweigts like Pages, is the higher end and more expensive Quark Express. Serif's rumored/potential competition has been delayed for several years.

  5. @Larry... Publisher is in the Office suite for 5 devices Including PC Android Mac etc. The cost is $99.99 a YEAR.

    It is much improved> No you don't have to resize things. If you Have an Image in an existing template, for example, you can just drag and drop its replacement from a folder to the placeholder image. Bang it's done. You can compress all the images in the Publisher document with one click. You can also select a group of images and resize them all using various means. It is fast and easy.

    There are a few adjustments that are both in PS and InDesign that allow for subtle image improvement etc. However we are talking RE brochures not High end Glossy Magazine ads.

    I have done adverts in PS and InDesign and now default to Publisher.

    Look it over you may be surprised. Furthermore you can just subscribe for one month if you like. Cost you $9.99 to try the whole MS Office suite On all your devices. In fact I believe each family member can have up to 5 devices active.. (I may be wrong about that) It's an amazing value.

  6. I find flyers are a lot of work unless you have an agent that has everything - the listing description, and the data they want on it - ready for you. Then there is the back and forth of swapping out photos or price changes. When I did do flyers, I found ( Very easy interface to work with. You can start with their template and customize it. It creates .pdf and.jpeg files for print. (.jpeg files are much smaller). Plus there is an online URL for the flyer too! Great for online sharing. You can also put that URL into Tourbuzz for the branded flyer link. Now I just suggest flyerco to agents when they want a flyer. A single flyer is $20, which you need to design and print yourself. There are also monthly and yearly plans.

  7. "Is there another format that is quicker?" - No. PDF is the best format for portability and quality. It is preferred by virtually every printing company for delivery of camera-ready artwork and has eclipsed EPS and other legacy formats due to its abilities to package files in a way that renders consistently across various platforms, allows fonts to be embedded, retains vector graphics without rasterizing, and includes color profiles with a great deal of flexibility.

    OP, When you say they take too long to print, you mean they sit there and process, or take forever to download? If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat, you can optimize the PDF in terms of both resolution and other features to manage the file size. For example, if you don't check this option during export from Adobe InDesign, any images you have placed are not actually downsampled when a PDF is produced, and if you crop the images as displayed on the brochure, the parts that are cropped off remain a part of the PDF file in case you decide to edit them later. These are both options that will save a huge amount of file size.

    Also, this is my personal opinion but I would never use Publisher for anything. It's very non-standard and, as of the last version I used, lacks the ability to even handle EPS files (very common for brokerage logos) without a special add-on or extension of some sort.

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