The Realtor’s Guide to Graphic Design: 5 Tips to Save Time, Money and Your Sanity
Take a moment and reflect on what makes you competitively unique in the space of real estate.
Is it personal networking? Attention to detail? A level and hustle unmatched by no other? No matter what your competitive edge is – I can guarantee there are far more areas related to business that fall outside of this space. “Jack of all trades master of none,” as the saying goes.
As someone who has worked with hundreds of small business owners – and many of those in real estate – it is surprising how many of these other areas of day-to-day business we try to navigate without any previous experience, training or education to support us. More often than not we end up wasting time, money or more often than not, both.
Some examples include managing our social media, writing a press release or doing our own accounting. The worst culprit of these black hole responsibilities is when we self-manage the day-to-day graphic design our business needs from a sales brochure to business cards or a sign for an event. These seemingly small things often become more complicated than the most difficult negotiation.
It is not entirely our fault. For the last 30 years we have been subjected to amazing graphic design from incredible brands. Apple, Starbucks, BMW, the list goes on. When we look to create our own marketing materials we think to ourselves – how hard could it be!?
Then the truth blindsides us with the steps, revisions, questions, calls, emails and bloated invoices that can pop up out of nowhere.
Good news! There is hope. Below are 6 graphic design tips I’ve collected over the last 10 years of being in the industry. Use just a few and you’ll see how your graphic design projects go faster, better and more cost effectively than ever before.
1. Provide the design files to your printers or promotional vendors
One way to minimize complexity when creating printed or promotional materials is to provide your partners the design files yourself. This might seem counter intuitive so let me explain. Most on-staff designers with printers or production vendors are there to manage the files into production for your final product. Stopping that process for creative design slows the process down tremendously.
More often than not, you end up spending more time and money with your printer designing than if you hired an independent designer to complete the files in advance. Design Pickle is a great resource for this because they have unlimited design services for a flat monthly fee. You never have to worry about hourly charges and the printer gets exactly what they need.
2. Document everything in writing
Yes you’re a fast moving, fast talking machine that lives through texting and phone calls, but rediscover the art of a well written email when making any requests around your graphic design projects. Spend an extra 5 minutes reviewing your email, making sure it is clear and that your request would make sense to someone else.
3. Relax on the critique Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was known for his almost bipolar nature to his team when it came to design critique. He also built several billion dollar companies. Your strengths are best spent in the areas of your business that drive revenue. Finding the perfect shade of a color for your event invite is very low on that list. If you put your trust into your graphic design team, be confident they are working in your best interest and go with their initial recommendations.
4. Never edit your own work
More errors are made when we fail to let another set of eyes look at what we are creating. This step can literally save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars by stopping and letting someone outside the project read over your files before they are sent to production. Don’t skip this step!
Related: The Importance of Designs.
5. Have some fun!
By nature, realty is a very flat industry when it comes to creative thinking. Mix it up and have some fun in a way that is authentic to your brand. Introducing creativity into your marketing and messaging is only going to help you stand out in a saturated marketplace. Do it with style and class to create a brand around you and your business. Then use that brand in creative ways as a sure fire way to propel your business forward in 2015!
About The Author
Russ Perry is an Arizona native and has spent the last 10 years working with brands such as Apple, LG, Morgan Stanley and the Harlem Globetrotters. In 2014 he founded Design Pickle, a startup that provides unlimited graphic design help for only $195 per month. Russ believes there is a better way to get your day-to-day graphic design done and it doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune or even worse – take up all your time. Learn more about Russ and his startup at DesignPickle.com/print