The Reality of Real Estate (BlueRoof Blog)

Thoughts, opinions, and truths about real estate and life as I see it...

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

I like long walks on the beach holding hands and.... oh, wait- that's a different site.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Inman's Real Estate Connect is a Blast

Thousands of people from the real estate, mortgage, title and tech fields descended on San Francisco this week for the Inman News Real Estate Connect event. I arrived Tuesday night and it's been a blast every day (and night!).

Mike and I came with the goal of meeting some interesting people, learn, and have some fun. Mission accomplished. We're here until Sunday, but the rest of the trip will be vacation more than work.

Some things I'll take away from the event-

Some people are much more interesting than you think they might be- like Michael Arrington of TechCrunch who kicked off the event with a rousing presentation of where the industry is heading and some of the challenges it faces.

Redfin's CEO, Glenn Kelman, is a great speaker- very engaging.

Some of those Canadian guys can party.

The Palace hotel needs to staff up when they host an event.

Before you announce that you have FSBO properties and MLS data on the same map- make sure your local MLS representative is not in the room (apparently we're not supposed to do that).

Mike, the president of BlueRoof, showed me that if a girl takes you to a club and upon arriving you ignore her and hang out with other girls- she won't like you very much (go figure).

San Francisco cab drivers can actually defy the laws of physics (and gravity) if there's an extra $20 in it for them.

Perceived value doesn't apply to $12 jack-and-coke's.

The Wasatch Front Regional MLS (Salt Lake City's) is just as control-hungry as ever.

Re/Max doesn't have a clue about the internet's influence on the real estate industry.

I'm leaving this event with some great ideas for BlueRoof and some new friends- what more could I ask for?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Business Card Design Makes an Impact (or not)

Tomorrow morning I fly out to San Francisco to attend the Inman Tech conference. I really enjoy these types of conferences because it gives me a chance to get away, meet some interesting people with interesting ideas, and enjoy a tax-deductible vacation. Sweet!

When I return home I will surely have piles of business cards from all sorts of people from different companies and positions. Some I will want to keep in contact with, and some I will want to remember the conversations we had. And while I am perusing the assortment of cards I will, no doubt, be impressed by some of them and disappointed by others.

I offer my suggestions...

Use a high quality paper- flimsy cards just suck. Spend the extra ten dollars and get good paper.

No standard clip art- Using images that come from standard clip art makes your card look generic, but even worse, it makes it look like you were trying to not be generic and failed.

Have a credible email address- If your business email is or or even you really need to get with a company that will provide you with a company account.

Watch for typos- If you can't spell your name right you need to go back to school. Pre-school.

Use Color- A bit of color makes the card much more pleasant. Tie-die or rainbows aren't necessary, but some color can really give your card some punch, or at the very least it won't be as boring as monochrome.

Have a blank back- When people receive your card they'll want to write notes on the back about you or your company or your conversation. Or maybe you can write the address to a great local bar so if that person ever makes it to your city they'll know where to go.

Have a URL- In today's business world you should have a website to send people to. Whether your business is plumbing or software, have your URL on your card.

No fold-overs- Cards that fold over get caught on things and take up extra space in my pants pocket. Remember the first rule in marketing, which is my next thought...

Keep it simple- We don't need to name call here, but keep your message simple and clear. Have a clean design that is easy to understand and makes a statement.

Readable Fonts- Lettering should be easy to read and, with the possible exception of the heading or logo, consistent throughout the card.

Have an actual designer create your card- Don't jump on to Publisher and draw up a design. You want it to be polished and look good.

No stupid titles- We've all see the start-ups where every employee has some "cool" title like "VP of Fun" or "Director of Computer Stuff". Having something clever to say is good, lame titles are just lame.

Most of us have heard of Matt (creator of Wordpress) Mullenweg's business cards that simply say: "1. Go to Google. 2. Type 'Matt.' 3. Click 'I feel lucky.' " That's pretty cool until your google ranking crashes, like Matt's did for a while.

Have a card that shows your image and has some fun, but just remember that good design makes an impact. Well, so does bad design, but good design makes the impact you'll want.