The Good Life in Austin Texas


The Trials & Trepidations of picking a…Business Card?

I recently had an agent visit my office to drop off a contract offer. The receptionist called me and I went to the reception area but could not find the agent among the half dozen people in the sitting area. Returning to my desk, the receptionist called me again and said "Russell, are you going to meet with this agent?" I explained to her that I had already been up front but did not see anyone resembling the lady who was supposedly in the lobby. Our receptionist lowered her voice and said, "Well...she does not look a thing like the picture on her card!" Okay, I said, just discreetly point her out when I come back up to the reception area! Arriving again, I met a person who had no resemblance to the photo on her card, website or blog!

Business cards can be a big deal to people in any profession, especially when starting any new venture and I was reminded of this when I recently read a post by Active Rain newcomer and fellow Austinite Daren Krause about the subject of business cards. So many people (including myself many years ago) go to such extremes trying to decide what type, shape, size and style will best represent them to the world! In Daren's post he included the following YouTube clip and I have to say it is hands down the most over the top sales pitch for a business card that I have ever seen. Go ahead, it's only a couple of minutes long and you really need to see this commercial for the "ultimate" business card.

See what I mean? This guy is the most incredible huckster I’ve seen in a long time and that card?!?! OMG! (as my 16 year old daughter would say) a fold out, flip up, die cut piece of “art” at four dollars apiece and took TWENTY FIVE YEARS to develop? So cool that we would want to keep it and maybe even frame it for posterity? I still do not know what he does except that he somehow builds crowds?!?! Well…so did the Frankenstein Monster, of course those crowds were angry torch wielding villagers! There must be a market for this sort of over the top business card but I am not always the sharpest knife in the drawer and I must be missing something! I thought his statement that “Life is not about being liked” was interesting; he appears to be on the road to phenomenal success in that department!

So that brings us back to the business card that works best for an individual. For me, I do not use a picture and yes, I actually look like my photo! My card is of good stock, I guess and is designed to fit our company logo and style but it really is just for contact info. Name, numbers, email and web address all in a pleasant style and quality that reflects a positive image for me and my company. Again, I think it is an individual choice and will only say that if you do use a picture, make it one the rest of us will recognize and if you pick one of the $4 super fantastic works of art, don’t bother leaving one with me, I usually use extra business cards to mark interesting recipes in my favorite cookbooks!

In the meantime, if you or anyone you know is anticipating purchasing or selling real estate anywhere in Central, West or Southwest Austin or the Westlake/Eanes School District area, I would be happy to be of assistance. Let me put my nineteen years success helping upscale buyers and sellers in Austin's finest neighborhoods to work for you. Contact me for a private consultation at your convenience!

Mobile 512-657-8769


Russell M. LewisPage copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

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Russell, I loved the story about not recognizing the agent. I have had this happen to me before, I keep looking at the card & the person & thinking to myself "time for an update perhaps?" :D
Posted by Kristin Moran, San Antonio,TX~Real Estate 210-313-7397 (Owner - RE/MAX Access - about 1 year ago
That is very funny and the man selling the Ultimate Business Card is something else. I can attest to the fact that you DO look like your self because you keep your pictures current! BTW did you forget to post your copyscape and subscribe buttons at the end? Just curious!
Posted by Mattie Lewis (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Russell, by chance did you ask her the reason for putting another person's face on her card?  Sounds rather odd to me. I would suggest no photo at all.  Interesting post.


Posted by Tim and Pam Cash - Clarksville TN Real Estate Professionals (Crye-Leike (Sango)) about 1 year ago

Russell~ I hear you!  I have seen some  recent photos of some Rainers on here at "gatherings," and they do NOT look anything like the photo they use on here!

Posted by Owensboro KY Real Estate Agent Vickie McCartney Broker Owensboro Ky (Maverick Realty) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell  "OMG" is right!  Because Driver's licenses are good for 10 years - I had a hard time recognizing people when I notarized documents, too~~hard to keep from staring at the photo then the person!  We do change over time, and our business card photo should definitely look like us!!  Funny, but true.

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR ®, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty) about 1 year ago

Quick FYI: Joel Bauer does build crowds, helps people improve their business, and is one of the most amazing speakers of all time.

While his statements are usually over the top, and his in your face style rubs people wrong, his bottom line message is usually spot on. (Keep in mind that he is an infotainer, and a very successful one)

A business card is much more than just a "contact vehicle" as stated, it defines who you are to a prospect. The basics of what he is saying is that a fancy title, or boring professional corporate message, is not going to impress people, or allow you to be remembered.

There is nothing that frustrates me more than a poor quality business card. This is the one 'marketing piece" that you can get into the hands of others that has the highest percentage of being kept by the contact.

Think of your business card as the extension of your first impression, and we all know how important that is.

The #1 rule in marketing is to make yourself stand out in a very competitive crowd. You must ask yourself this question: Does your card stand out, or is it getting tossed into the Sea of Average?

If you hand me a poor quality business card, it goes in the "Round File".

Not only would I keep a card presented to me like Joel Bauer's, I would be contacting them immediately to see if there was some opportunity to do future business. 

Think about it.....

Have a Profitable Day Everyone!

- Harrison

Posted by Harrison Painter New Media Consultant (GoGladiator Media) about 1 year ago

Russell ! This guy is hysterical ! Totally hokie but I love his no frills delivery ! ...for entertainment value of course ! "This guy's a Chief Strategic Officer??? That doesnt mean CRAP !!! "" LOLOL

... oh and there's a Realtor in my town who I STILL cannot recognize from her card and I do business with her quite a bit !!!

Posted by Sheldon Neal ~ That British Agent ~ Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) about 1 year ago

I try and keep my picture current as well. After all we want the peope to be able to identify with us.

I got the award at my 25 high school reunion for the member who still looked the same...LOLOL!

Posted by Karen Monsour,REALTOR® Broward,Palm Beach,Miami/Dade! 954-464-4194 anytime! (Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach) about 1 year ago
Russell - I must admit that I NEVER respond well to pitches like this guy in the video. I am trying to imagine how that tone would fly on a listing appointment: "You have a bay window overlooking the pool and hill country? So what? The rest of the house is crap!"
Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 1 year ago

I'm updating my photo next week for my card. The photographer really went overboard with  the airbrushing on the current photo. I'm 54 and have frecklesl....I do not think that photo looks 54, more like 34 maybe!

I personally think it's very important to have a photo on your card but it needs to look like you.  I'm recognized because I do a weekly TV show but I also put my photo on my card so that people can put a face with the name. I have 2 cards, 1 I give to agents and another to non-agents, clients and potiential clients(this one has a tip chart on the back and is plastic). I always leave a card on the table when I go out to eat. I hand out at least 10-15 cards a day. My name they may not recognize but my face they's on tv several times a day. I did not really want to be a celebrity and it's taken me quite a while to get use to being recognized BUT it's increased my business 10 fold. I never put a photo on my card until 3 1/2 years ago...first 2 years it was a caricaturecaricature.

Eighteen months ago I switched to a photo. Next week the new photo will look just like me at 54 and not me at 34.

On a side note....saw a great card this past week. The agent has 3 separate pictures, different poses and different outfits, It says something about Your complete real estate team...was very unique card.

Thanks for the blog...I'm always interested in agents take on advertising in any form.


Posted by Laura Parris (Real Estate Professionals) about 1 year ago

Kristin This appears to be more prevalent than I originally thought and I probably need an update myself!

Mattie Thanks, and yes, for some reason, I have been unable to edit anything in the post since yesterday, Must be a temporary glitch!

Tim & Pam Oh...y'all are funny and that's a great line!

Vickie I wasn't going to mention that but it's true, I have attended several gatherings and looked at pics of other gathering and had to look twice!

Mary Ha Haa! you are right and I am sure it was even more awkward in your situation

 Harrison   SEE BELOW

Hi Sheldon So good to see you my friend! Somehow I figured you would get a kick out of this post!

Karen at least you try and actually that's really cool that you have not changed all that much, In fact from here you look great and thanks for stopping by!

Jason You and I have discussed this in the past having gone through the same experience. I figured you would have the same reaction to the sales pitch and thanks for your comment, as usual you crack me up!

Laura Thanks so much for your in depth addition to this dialogue. I really like your caricature and also you have some excellent ideas regarding cards. Let me also say that freckles are definitely cute and that at 56 myself, I buy into the idea that these days the 50's are the new 30's! Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell-That guy on the video is so full of himself it isn't funny. He can keep his 25 yrs $4.00 bus card. I'd rather have a regular bus card with a sincere person who is warm, caring and knowledgeable and it does help if you are recognizable. Great post. I have seen pics of you from Liz Moras blog and you indeed look like your profile. Very cool. Enjoy your Week. <SMILE>

Posted by Sharon Lee (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) about 1 year ago

Harrison, I am sure his "style" appeals to a segment of the population out there however, it's not my cup of tea. As far as the card it only goes so far and as soon as we open our mouths we reveal who and what we are really all about and that's where we either flourish or are shown the door. I still think his attitude does not do much for building business in my small part of the world but whatever...Different strokes for different folks. Thanks for presenting an alternative viewpoint!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

I am pretty sure that about half of the agents who have photo cards do not look like their of my pet peaves next to bad MLS photos!  If you are 30 something, your high school photo is not a good choice for your current business card!  :o))) 

Posted by Jeani T. Richie-Broker-SRES-GRI-SFR-e-PRO-EXIT Hill Country about 1 year ago

Dear Russell,

Your photo is perfect because you have a genuine smile from the heart and it shows. Or at least your faking better than everybody else. I prefer to go with the former impression. As for the clip, that guy is something else. I would not use a huge goofy business card like that, its OVERKILL...

Posted by Betina Foreman-Serving Lake Travis, Lake Austin and the greater Austin area! ((512)771-6318 Prospect Real Estate Solutions, LLC) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell! do come back with flare!  I can't believe that pitch...20 years just tells how ... know!  Anyway, we have gotten a lot of compliments on our business cards. They are solid blue with silver embossing and a tent style (which is really cool when you leave them at an open house).  We do have full color photos of ourselves on the inside.

As a side point, our grievance committee has had to cite a few agents who write on the back about how great they are. This isn't a problem until they leave it at someone else's listing.  If an agent wants to do this, be sure there is another card that is blank on the back!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunnigan, REALTORS (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) about 1 year ago

I belive your card ays a lot about you.  I get mine from they are very heavy card stock and printed on both sides.  One side color and the other black and white.  When i hand out my cards the complements are ongoing. And I tell you this because not only does he do a great job he is so cheep it is insane!  I think it is around 60 something for 2500 cards and no setp up fee. I was spending 150 in town for cards that bend and had nothing special about them, now everyone in my office uses the same supplier.  Take a look you wont be disappointed!

Posted by Melissa Mckinney~Fayetteville NC Home Finder (Keller Williams Realty) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell-That guy has LOTS of hot air. 25 yrs to perfect a biz card. What a moron. I change hairstyles so often I'd be broke. LOL I'll take a card of that handsome mug of yours anyday. It is warm, sincere and a very winning smile. A real silver fox . :-) Have a great week my friend. Hope you are doing well. I see you pulled that sexy bear costume back out. Great cause. Take care of yourself my friend.

Posted by Pat Preston (RE/MAX 1st Olympic Lynchburg Va) about 1 year ago

Many folks thought this was a sales pitch, but it is actually part of a documentary with a positive message. It took me a while to find it, but I will share the links to it below.

The clip above has been edited a bit out of context to be more viral. Joel created this character based on the stereotype of the arrogant salesperson. (Now, he is kind of that guy, and from what I hear a real ass, but I am only interested in the content.)

>>> Click Here for the actual 30 minute documentary <<<

If you have some extra time, please watch it. You will get the full context of the positive message they were going for.

The comment about "Not having to be liked, but to be effective" should really hit home to Realtors. The cold hard fact is that you are not liked in the general consciousness. It is a battle you face everyday! The cards in the deck are stacked against you from a national PR standpoint. However, it is your authenticity, ethics, and effectiveness that allow you to break through those barriers and become a successful real estate professional.

Have a Profitable Day!

- Harrison

P.S. Here is a bonus commentary of the video from the director:>> Click Here



Posted by Harrison Painter New Media Consultant (GoGladiator Media) about 1 year ago

Russell, $4 a business card? This guy is a nut. Realtors started that picture on a card but other industries never do that. Must be all the big egos here.

Posted by Gary Woltal - Assoc. Broker REALTOR® SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 1 year ago

Russell, this is one of those dilemas that I'm undergoing right now.  I just can't seem to get it together and order the right business card.  Don't like the standard one that we have, some are too fancy.  Must do this week.

p.s. - love the way that you end your blog posts, classiest that I've seen!!

Posted by Kate Bourland Debt Settlement - Mortgage Acceleration (Financial Solutions Inc.) about 1 year ago

Russell, for women it is hard to keep our business card current with our look! Dang it, my hair hardly ever looks the same way twice! Ever changing! I do update it every year or so, but I also know of some archaic agents who don't look at all like their 30 year old picture!! LOL

Posted by Caren Wallace-Portage Lakes Real Estate Agent (Stouffer Realty, Akron, Ohio) about 1 year ago

Sharon You are absolutely right, a fancy card will never cover up a glib, insincere salesman's personality. I appreciate your comments and I do actually try and stay current with my own picture! LOL

Jeani  Oh now that is very funny, I agree that MLS pictures are often misleading but a High school photo! WOW!

Betina Thank you so much.. and no I am not faking it, if you look a little closer I appear a bit crazed which of course is the truth! Have an excellent week my friend!

Paula I have been so busy lately that I have not had time to just "let it fly" but the agent meeting and seeing Daren's post was just the thing to kick start me! Don't get me started on agents self advertising when they left a card at a listing. There were several here that had a special card that as only to be left at listings that was so self prompting it was just a blatant appeal for the listing! WOW!!!

Pat Hello my friend! Ha Haa! Yes he has that hair piled high! Can you imagine the pick-up lines he might employ? Thanks for dropping by, I guess my Bear costume does not look like but it's still the same old Russell inside!

Gary I never realized it but you are correct, we do not see pictures in other professions cards, only in ours!

Hi Kate There are a lot of choices so it's best to pick a card that fits you and your personality and style! Thanks for the compliments and come back again sometime!

Caren Dang! (I use that word often myself) I do think you are right, for women it could be more of a dilemma, Hairstyles and clothes change yearly and I never really considered that! Like you I try and update mine every couple of years and I am just happy to still have hair! LOL

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

OKAY!! I just got a very good email from Harrison and now realize that he was not intentionally spamming my post!

below is some of my original reply:

Harrison First off, oh no you didn't just spam my blog?!?!!? I was happy that you contributed to the dialog on this subject and am a great proponent of alternative points of view but continuing to post more rationale for this school of thought and embedding links to try and justify your position is not allowed!

I have deleted the majority of my previous rant about his including links and want to welcome him to the discourse again! I made some of the same mistakes myself in the past and appreciate the candor exhibited in his email to me earlier this afternoon! Thanks for contacting me to set the record straight!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

This site actually has some of the biggest perpetrators of your story. Looking at the main picture of some people and then seeing them in some Real Estate gathering is like night and day. I think it is important to represent yourself accurately.

Posted by Bill Gassett Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 1 year ago

Russell - Though the comments made by the video personality are over the top , and he definitely has an "In your face" style. His point is basically , make it memorable , the business card that is.

But he his canned approach does not really work for a belly -2- belly business such as ours. If you meet a client and the first impression is not well received ,it doesn't matter what your business card look like.

Posted by Laura Gray (RE/MAX Realty Group) about 1 year ago

My pet peeve is info overload - mailing address, 4 phone numbers, a fax number, email, at least 1 website. Then add lots of designations, awards and club levels. The typeface is so small that I now need a magnifying glass to figure out which phone number is "primary." Business cards should not be resumes!

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) about 1 year ago

You are going to need a lot of B-B-Q this first thursday.  Call me if you can go.  Heck, I avoid looking in the mirror.  I still think I am that 20 something from 40 years ago.

Posted by david bieser about 1 year ago

Well the word EGO does come to mind but there is validity to the message.   If we are going to use a photo then it should be current.  If we want people to remember us by a logo or slogan then use it effectively.  I don't use a photo by personal choice but have had the same experience you have with looking for an agent who didn't match their card.  I'm actually in the process of ordering new cards so have to figure out what I want them to say about me. 

Posted by Cindy Jones-Northern Virginia Real Estate & Military Relocation Services (CJ Realty Group, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Interesting! It's funny because there are a few agents I used to work with that have been in the business for 25+ years and still use the same picture on their business card from when they get started! I know for marketing purposes I've always heard you ought to keep the same "image," however, I think after so many years you need to change that image to reflect what you look like!!

Posted by Chad Janusa, MBA - New Orleans Real Estate (Avalar Realty Louisiana) about 1 year ago

You all have been duped. . 

the underlying message of the $4.00 card is the marketing aspect of it. 

This is what I called camouflaged marketing. . you get people to talk bout some insane proposition while a vast majority of them shake their heads incredulously and off they go to their website to learn more about this crazy offer.

Your business card is a reflection of your business. .simple, flashy. . with pictures or pictures of your children. .it does reflect on your personality. As far as a business card getting your the business by itself. is a BIG NO

A bussines card is a a PART of your total package on your overall  presentation  . .just make it match.

Posted by Fernando Herboso Broker: Check All in MD & VA (Herboso & Associates LLC- Broker 240.426.5754) about 1 year ago

Great post. I use a pic because I can at my age. I believe people want to see a face they can trust. On the other side I market my radio show.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, CSSN Radio Coach, REOs, Networker, ePRO (AZCO Properties LLC) about 1 year ago

Good one. I heard this happening to many agents and they all talk about it. I should keep that in my mind , fo rmy future cards :-)

Posted by Suma Kakani (Northern IL Realtor - Keller Williams Success Realty) about 1 year ago

Bill I was not going to mention that but I have seen the difference in the profile pics and the gathering photos! LOL

Laura Well said, a card is an introduction and as you say belly-belly (I sometimes say nose-nose) as soon as we begin to speak the card is forgotten and we are making  a real impression.

Irene excellent point, so much info it just confuses in not efficient at all.

Dave Thanks for the reminder, I do need some of that BBQ and my montly visit with my friends, see you Thursday!

Cindy, that does say a lot! I have a friend who uses the phrase "Your ego is NOT your amigo" but obviously the salesman did not seem to have a problem with his! LOL Good luck on choosing your new card!

Chad Okay you made me laugh, I onluy wish i could look the same as say...15 years ago but though the picture does not change the rest of us do! Thanks for you comment!

Fernando Nah...not really, I was just surprised at the overall, over the top video. However, I certainly agree with your point of view and especially the idea that, "A business card is a  PART of your total package on your overall  presentation...just make it match." You are on the money and thanks for stopping by!

Harry Good point and I like the way you use your card to effectively promote yourself AND your radio show!

Suma I have to do the same thing and remember to update my card on a regular basis!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

An effective card can be one of the most important tools for branding unless of course it is misleading (picture doesn't look like you) or too similar to everything else.  If your company allows it, I'd shy away from the corporate cards...there's too many and it's impossible to set yourself apart with those.

Posted by Shannon Lefevre, PA (John R. Wood REALTORS Inc.) about 1 year ago
Russel - What about the cards that STILL have the glamour style photos. Using a photo is personal preference, but it should at least be reasonably current.
Posted by Judy Jennings - Realtor® Serves Plymouth & Barnstable Counties MA (ERA Belsito & Assoc Inc) about 1 year ago

Lol, looks like crap, it IS crap! Funny, mine is contact info and logo, nothing fancy. Only difference is mine is printed on the narrow portion, not lengthwise...

Posted by Get Us A Home Realty Atlanta Country Club Homes Sale Golf about 1 year ago

He also makes a good point about the card not fitting in a Rolodex.  Why do we assume that being filed in someone's Rolodex will bring us any business?

Posted by Brian Schulman - Your Lancaster County, PA Real Estate Agent (Coldwell Banker Select Professionals, Lancaster PA) about 1 year ago

Russell, you see, if you posted more, you wouldn't be inundated with comments from those of us who are yearning to read you and have so much enthusiasm pent up for commenting!  $4 a card, even when I was making big money, is riduculous.  But I am missing being able to order them if I wanted, just becuase I loved not worrying so much about money.  Here's to life getting back to those carefree days when I was overworked and got paid for it as opposed to still being overworked and well, getting paid... not so much!  xxoo

Posted by Susan Mangigian, West Chester PA Realtor RE/MAX Preferred, ABR (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) about 1 year ago

I have seen this video before.  I don't know if this guy is confident or arrogant.

Posted by Tony Toto Real Estate Information Gurnee, IL (Real Estate Education & Information) about 1 year ago

Morning Russell, The end product reminds me of a mini 'Pop up Book' my daughter had has a child. And I can assure you, I do look like my current avatar...only a bit taller ;)

Posted by Cynthia Bartch ~ Redesigned Spaces ~ all round nice gal... (Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio) about 1 year ago

Russell, this guy is making a valid point that you have to brand yourself and a unique business card will help with that objective. However, saying everyones' business cards are "crap" is in poor taste in order to sell a product.

Posted by Michael Setunsky (Michael's Commercial LLC) about 1 year ago

Shannon I agree that corporate cards can all look alike but you are also on the money when it comes to anything that can be misleading. I appreciate your comment!

Judy I still chuckle when I see the "Glam" shots, frankly, I do not think folks ever get made up that way EXCEPT for a photo shoot! Too funny!

Frank & Jodi me too, the card is simple and elegant and also printed in the same style as yours (Great minds must think alike!)

Brian I do not know you got me on that one too!

Susan Well Thank you snd THANK YOU again! Alas we are both overworked and sometimes we get paid for our efforts and sometimes ...not so much. Soo good to see you here, I need to stop by your blog and see waht's new!

Tony If I were guessing I would choose the latter!

Cynthia We still have a bunch of those incredibly cool popup books and they really ARE works of art! And I have to tell you that I really LIKE your avatar because it speaks all sorts of good things about you! Thanks for your comment!

Michael I think you have nailed it because we do need to brand ourselves but as you stated "saying everyone's' business cards are "crap" is in poor taste" I completely agree!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell-You popped back up on the blog roll and it has todays date which generally means you got a feature but I think they forgot the gold star but I will say CONGRATS ANYWAYS cause it is worthy of that star. Great job. <SMILE>

Posted by Sharon Lee (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) about 1 year ago

Why wasn't this blog hijacked? Very rich material indeed. Dang it, my current card can to laminate them all.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch ~ Redesigned Spaces ~ all round nice gal... (Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio) about 1 year ago
So are you getting new cards ;-) Hey, I thought he was pretty obnoxious too and wasn't much impressed with his $4 card.....he would be very hurt to know that I would throw it in the garbage. Like you, I don't use a photo and do use good stock, full color bleed, etc. About the picture, ah well, one of these days I'll get around to getting a new one. Funny thing about people who are always behind the lens...........
Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County ( about 1 year ago

Russell - If you're good enough the customer will ask you for your card to get your contact information, not to have a souvenir photo.  The card is a tool - make it clean, professional, and informative.  I give customers several at a time when they ask so they can distribute them to friends and family.  I'd hate to think, "that's $12, or $20 worth of cards" ... and we are running a business, not a public relations campaign.  Sales results are what count.  I've seen many "image" agents starve and go out of business, but they had a great public image.  Stick to basics ... they work.

Posted by Jim Valentine (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) about 1 year ago

Russell - But it's got a pop-up book stylized picture of him.  Although the card's large an unwieldy, the pop up is awesome.  I want one now!  Of course, I was reminded of one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite films: Business Card Scene.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (RE/MAX Access (210) 646-HOME) about 1 year ago
Oh Russell! You are such a HOOT! It's great to see you back at it again! I don't really know HOW to respond to the card salesman! Way to funny and cocky to take seriously!
Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago
Hey Russell, in case you did not know. this post got featured at the Art of marketing group! congrats, I know you are a big fan of Marti's and your Blog Header is still one of the coolest around!
Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago
I see you are back to your old mischievous self and must say that you have picked a doozy this time. This peculiar sales pitch is so off the wall I can hardly think of what to say. However, I am with you on the subject of looking as much like your photograph as possible, the number of glamour shots floating around on cards and website profiles these days is appalling!
Posted by Scott Harvey (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago
I do have my photo on the front.. But also just as important is the information I put on the back of my card.. If they are not enamoured enough with my picture, at least they will keep the card for the info on the back.. I list all the local public and private golf course names and phone numbers.. Just remember when you hand something out, "Make it an item of Value." Also, I like putting a face to a name..
Posted by Buster Spillar, GRI about 1 year ago
That card and the salesman are certainly about as extreme as one can get. I do not care for such garish marketing and sales tactics and prefer something elegant and tasteful. My card does not have a picture and I am fine with it! Thanks again for helping get my profile corrected!
Posted by Jeannette Spinelli (Avenue One Properties) about 1 year ago

Russell, This is clearly a topic that has touched a nerve. Clean and professional is the way to go. Yes, you do look like your photo.

Posted by Robin Scott - Broker CRS ABR SRS Austin Texas REALTOR® (Robin Scott, REALTOR®) about 1 year ago

Hey everyone, I have been very busy today and again realize that this post hit a point that lots of us think about! I appreciate all of the comments and promise to return this evening and reply!

Thank you! 

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

hahahahaha!!!!  "Huckster?"  ROFL..... 

it took him 25 years to get it to look like that, however in 25 more, it may look like mine......

BTW - want to build a croud?  Just stand in a busy city somewhere and look up in the sky for 5 minutes pointing... lol~

Posted by Brad Andersohn (Industry Outreach Manager - about 1 year ago

Now THAT IS the best business card I have ever seen!! LOL

Thanks Brad!

- Harrison

Posted by Harrison Painter New Media Consultant (GoGladiator Media) about 1 year ago

haha!  Thanks Harrison  :-))

Posted by Brad Andersohn (Industry Outreach Manager - about 1 year ago both of you guys have Hijacked my blog! LOL and that is just fine! Thanks for continuing the conversation!

And for everyone, here is a very funny video:

 Your business card is crap youtube response 

that you will also enjoy! Thanks again, Russell

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago
Russell, It took me along to decide if the real reason people keep their high school picture or wedding picture is so they can use them on thir business. picture is never more than three years old - I didn't have white hair in high schools. Karen
Posted by Karen Kruschka - Prince William, Fairfax ,Stafford County VA Real Estate Service (RE/MAX Olympic Realty) about 1 year ago

LMAO@ the link #49 Matt Stigliano left! Russell this was a find my friend. 25 years, really? Come on.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch ~ Redesigned Spaces ~ all round nice gal... (Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio) about 1 year ago

Russell:  I'm laughing so hard I'm crying!  This guy is too full of himself.  That card would go right in the trash because I didn't have anywhere else to put it. 

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker (Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 1 year ago

The hijacking wasn't intentional Russell, so I've decided to write a post about this myself....   lol~  Thanks buddy! :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn (Industry Outreach Manager - about 1 year ago

That was a good video, made me latugh. I prefer clean and simple cards with a little thought and design put into them.

Posted by Eva Aliaga - Delray Beach, Boca Raton & Coral Springs Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty of Boca Raton) about 1 year ago

I got so far behind working in the Austin Real Estate world yesterday that I was Too Busy to Blog, But I Am Not Complaining... and too busy to reply to everyone...

Thanks to all for all of the excellent comments , I appreciate you dropping by but I have to go to work early again...Tha's okay, it's a good thing! Have a great day!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Great post Russell.... As an former mortgage professional for over 13 years and now in the Real Estate Video market, I could not agree more with you. I am absolutely shocked sometimes when I see the pictures / glamor shots of some Realtors I meet. When I was visiting Realtors when in the mortgage business, I would actually right notes on the card as to the description of that agent.

I have to admit, I sort of agree with that guys video on some level. I love when I see some of these cheap and "crappy" cards... They really do stand out! But, I do think his card as well as his condescending attitude is a bit over the top BUT, it works... I personally feel his card is too much but, it must work for him.

I have heard that in Korea when you meet someone you exchange business cards and this is the way you understand who the person your speaking to really is. This is a really a big thing in their culture, so imagine giving a card to someone from Korea and the person can not recognize you?

Posted by Greg Afarian (Virtual Media Realty & ZIPVO) about 1 year ago

Ummm...better take another look at my card!!!

Posted by Anonymous about 1 year ago

Great info Russell, Luckily my company card was already all picked out for me.  Heavy stock, foil lettering, no picture... its great for me.

Posted by Elsa Decker (Heritage Title Company of Austin) about 1 year ago
Russell, I love the way you seem to stir things up and the video is so absurd that it is funny. I'm with you, no picture on my card and when I do use photos, they are current!
Posted by Anne Giles (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

business card

Russell, just a sampling of my new business card.  Yes, it is the same size as everyone else but it still seems to be the card that stands out among a pile of cards in a house!  The guy in the video is hilarious though!  I also use this picture in my advertising.  I can stick anything in the white space, a story, a picture of a house, Real Estate advice...just about anything you can think of can be inserted to look like I am pointing at it!

Posted by Rhonda White (Lyle Campbell & Son Realtors) about 1 year ago

Wow Russell, sure is a hot topic - them there business cards!!!  Now I have to admit the gent in the video was a bit irratating to say the least but his point is well taken.  Business cards like anything else we put out to the public needs to be current, professional, and yes if you are going to use an image - it does have to at least resemble you!  Fun reading - thanks for posting!

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter ~ (919) 645-2522 Raleigh NC, Realtors®, GRI,CRS,ABR,ePro (Prudential York Simpson Underwood Realty) about 1 year ago

Greg I have to admit that it probably DOES work for him, you have certainly had some good experience in dealing with people and their cards and your comment about the Koreans was interesting. I cannot imagine how that would work! Thanks for some great insights!

??? Okay? maybe even add a name or something! LOL!

Elsa Your card is as classy and cool as both YOU and your company!

Anne Yes, yes...I know, I do that now and again and like you said the video was pretty outrageous!

Rhonda I like your card and what a clever idea to make it fit whatever situation (or even mood) you might be in at any particular time!

Lee & Pamela Thanks for stopping by and I am glad you enjoyed the post. YES we should at least resemble our pictures and also be mindful of the image we portray! have a good evening!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Everytime I hand my card to someone, the initial response is always, "I've never seen a card like that."  And I say GOOD!  I don't wanna look like everyone else because I'm nothing like everyone else.

I wonder if the lady noticed you came out looking for someone.  How did you explain that one?

Posted by Donna Harris, REALTOR® & ASP - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes (RE/MAX Austin Skyline) about 1 year ago


That is hilarious. 

 There was an agent I met at a one of my GRI classes and from seeing her in advertising, I literally had no clue who she was. Now, that was an old picture!

Kathy B

Posted by Kathy Baker, GRI Tennessee Realtor (Realty 1) about 1 year ago

Russel, This is a timely post for me as I just ran out of cards and I'm trying to decide how I want my new one to look. The first that I know I'm doing is getting rids of the picture. In 15  years it was only my last batch that had a photo and I really do not like them at all.

I saw a post recently that had biz cards that were book marks. I kind of like those since I do a lot of mailers. I mean who doesn't keep book marks?

I also like the "google me" cards.

So many decisions!!!!

Posted by Bryant Tutas-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc about 1 year ago

Haha, this is so true. You have to decide eventually what type of client you want to attract and frankly, if a client only wants to deal with you because of your flashy card then they aren't the client for you :)

Posted by Rochelle Edwards (J. M. Edwards Associates Inc.) about 1 year ago

Great post - it always makes me wonder why our industry feels the need to have our pictures on our cards.

Posted by Mike Kelly Jr. Hickory NC REALTOR/Broker/Owner (HICKORY REAL ESTATE GROUP) about 1 year ago
Russell, you must know how to time your blogs too as the response to this one is great. I'm guilty as a I have an airbrushed photo but it's recent.
Posted by Teral McDowell Plano Real Estate 972-795-2571 (Posey Properties ) about 1 year ago

I think the next one I do will be plastic. Bendable plastic .... something they won't throw out lol

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman HAWAII Real Estate & Relocations (Century 21 Liberty Homes) about 1 year ago

It should be a state licensing law that you picture on your business card MUST be a recent picture.  There are a lot of agents out there that cannot seem to let go of their younger years.

Posted by Christine Stalsonburg (EXIT Realty Paramount) about 1 year ago
As everyone else said " that guy was crazy". I am sure he makes millions though... maybe not from selling re, but prob from selling $4 business cards. When I do get some sales under my belt, I will be getting a better card, clothes, car, house, 2nd home, and... Good luck out there.
Posted by Matthew Hans Delaware Real Estate (Exit Central Realty - Delaware Home Sales) about 1 year ago

What an excellent post. I am laughing so hard along with everyone else. I am going to have to agree with Sally above on the "bendable plastic" for my next order.

Posted by Covington, WA. Managing Broker (Keller Williams Realty) about 1 year ago


How do you keep getting a new posting time for the blog post? Just wondering.

Posted by Richard Weisser Coweta Fayette Real Estate about 1 year ago

I have seen a lot of business cards with glamour shots and they did not look like the agents at all.  I heard one agent had her photo airbrushed five times so she looks like a movie star but when you see her in person, those wrinkles show up. 

Posted by Rosalinda Morgan, "The Rose Lady", Brookville NY Real Estate Professional (Laffey Fine Homes, Licensed Associate Broker) about 1 year ago


Great post and one that we should take seriously. I couldn't but laughing at the picture of you in that agents office and not being able to recognize her!

Posted by Dorie Dillard: Canyon Creek & NW Austin Living (Coldwell Banker United) about 1 year ago

We now have a few sets of cards lol and we pick which ones to use depending on where we use them e.g. magnets etc. A client of ours laughed because we have our twitter listed on the card and they were like (younger couple) you twitter????? LOL it was hilarious. Seriously though, we are trying something a bit more memorable. We do have current pics. But the back side of the card is where we experiment :) ~Rita

Posted by Kenna Real Estate about 1 year ago

Well, this one brought members out of the woodwork, didn't it?  I feel your pain in trying to "identify" the agent from the photo she uses.  There is one of those in my area too--photo is at least 15 years and 30 lbs. ago!

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) about 1 year ago

Donna Now that is the best observation yet! So funny but here is what happened, there were six people in the lobby, 5 of them women and when I peered around the corner everyone was engrossed in their smart phones either talking, texting or email (I presume). I should have spoken the name but did not and just gazed intently and could not even fathom a guess. I will say I do look like my card except that my hair is probably a bit more silver these days LOL! Thanks for the comment and thanks for the chuckle. I hope you are moving in and getting settled and will call you soon!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Kathy I am laughing at your comment, it appears to be something that many of us confront every day...Either as a person with an outdated card or someone who is trying to figure out who the person on the card is! HA HAAA!

BB Now that's a cool idea, bookmarks, like I said in the post, I use old card to mark recopies in my favorite cookbooks! And something about Google me always makes me giggle!

Rochelle Excellent point, we do want to attract clients that are compatible and I wonder what sort of clients the ultimate card guy attracts? Whoops!

Mike I have never figured out why we are the only business that has bought in to this picture card deal either! Good point!

Teral I think the response is due to the fact we are all confronted with this every day! I like your candor and a little airbrushing is cool as long as we can still recognize one another! Thanks for stopping by!

Sally WOOO HOOO! Hey it's great to see you here! Bendable plastic works! Hah and you can use it to open a door if the key does not work..No wait, never mind! HA HA!

Christine Now THAT is funny and though I still "think" like my younger years I don't mind looking older!

Matthew I agree with you and the majority of other comments here and Good Luck out there yourself my friend! Just keep at it!

Phiroum Thank you so much for your compliment! As absurd as the video is it did provide us with some great laughs! I am also a fan of Sally, she is pretty cool!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Richard Thanks for the comment and thanks for your email, I appreciate you dropping by!

Rosalinda Movie star! That is hilarious but there is not enough make up in the world to cover all the wrinkles! Thanks for the laugh!

Dorie Great to see you here! It was funnier when I came back up front and had to keep a straight face while talking to the agent!

Hi Rita I hear you and it's funny when "younger" people are amazed that we actually "Twitter" BTW, I follow you and Brian on Twitter too!

Cynthia Out of the woodwork! LOL you got that right! It's because we all have dealt with it at one time or another! Good to see you here and I need to drop by your blog today! Thanks!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

I'm just cute. That's all I need on my card... HAHAHAAH!!! OK. I know. I'm in a mood today. LOL!!!

Posted by Lisa Hill (Daytona Beach Real Estate) (Florida Property Experts) about 1 year ago

Hey Russell....great commentary going on here.   Since you missed me above I figured I'd come see you again so you would know I was here...what are friends for!  BTW there is an updated WW picture today, you might want to see it...heeheehee

Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County ( about 1 year ago

I admit, I often get a "feeling" from a person't pic/presentation, and will "spy" if I have to until I find someone I feel comfortable working with. I don't like surprises and I don't can't seem to express how I feel to someone that I am not comfortable with. They want logic & I have sometimes felt pushed into a proverbial corner. It's not about logic. It's about trust. I don't care what they SAY, I care about my gut feeling. That's why referrals are wonderful, because they remove a huge stress factor. So I do like photos (but I was pretty surprised when I returned from RETech South in March & wondered why I hadn't met someone who I thought would be there...turns out I had, and never recognized her for the photo!) But I also had people recognize me for the first time because of my photo. That was a huge icebreaker for me. An amazing phenomenon to me. I've come to find that my photo is my best intro and association with my online presence.

Posted by Mara Hawks, REALTOR®, Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL (First Realty Auburn ) about 1 year ago

WOW! This post really did stir up a lot of opinions and I am with you...a picture is fine but make it current!

Posted by Mattie Lewis (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell,   This is one of my pet peeves.  Business cards that don't look like the person.  As I get older though, it is harder to get a good picture, so maybe I understand some older folks wanting to use younger photos but the public doesn't care what you look like.  They want a good agent to represent them and a little age can also be beneficial in this business, at least here in Kerrville.  :)

Posted by Ricki Eichler,Broker,GRI,ABR,TAHS,ePRO your Texas Hill Country connection (Ricki Eichler Real Estate LLC) about 1 year ago

Lisa You are indeed CUTE and completely crack me up! And I do like it when yo are in a "mood" thanks again for stopping by!

Gail Ha HAAA! See what i mean, the first time I miss a reply and comment...I get busted! LOL I did just check your blog and it was indeed psychedelic!

MaraI agree with you on the comfort level of meeting and working an you sre right when you mention the intuitive aspect of a working relationship! A photo can be an excellent icebreaker if, as discussed it's current and realistic. I did start laughing when I read your comment about meeting the person at the gathering, hanging out and still not realizing it was someone you knew but did not realize until you got home! That happened to me at ReBar camp and I was surprised to say the least!

Mattie After all of this discussion, I am considering a new picture, I still look like mine but am a little more silver these days!

Ricki You make TWO great points, it IS harder to get a good picture as we get older but on the other hand many of my clients want someone who is more experienced!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Well Russell, you really did create an interesting discussion here and I still cannot get over the character with the $4 Card!

Posted by Jeannette Spinelli (Avenue One Properties) about 1 year ago

Humm... I think I will  be looking for thinker stock... : 0 ~ JC

Posted by Janice Cooper, Broker Associate, ABR, ASP (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. ~ C: 609-694-3622 New Jersey) about 1 year ago

Jeannette I think that a lot of folks have had the same experience with business card pictures and the video was so over the top that it also created a lot of discussion.

Janice That's funny, now we are worried about our card stock as well as our FONTS!!!  Too funny!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

WOW!  What fun reading the comments!  The guy is sure full of himself! I really do not like business cards that don't fit in my case.  I never keep the over size cards.  $4 a card-must be nice!  Thanks for an entertaining Friday night!!  Loved your video response youtube!    

Posted by Cathy Lee ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging) about 1 year ago

Cathy I am so glad you enjoyed it, The post and especially the video generated a lot of response and I am happy that most everyone was entertained!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

One's business card is one's smallest advertisement, and usually the least expensive, too. Don't let them sit around on your desk. Give them away!

If one has no clue about business cards, read "It's In The Cards! Getting the Biggest Impact from Your Smallest Ad," by Ivan Misner, Candace Bailly, and Dan Georgevich. Dr. Misner is the founder and CEO of BNI. Many of the ideas in the book can also be adapted to stationery, envelopes, flyers, web sites, etc.

For those who might like something unique, try a card made out of real wood. Fits in perfectly with the real estate profession. See You can also get real wood stationery, postcards, etc.

Posted by Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer (Russel Ray) about 1 year ago


First, wow, 103 comments. Too many to read tonight, if I expect to get to bed any time soon.

The video -- hmmmm -- the guy certainly didn't hold back on his thoughts. Some points were good. I'll leave it at that.

I think business cards have become so ubiquitous as to be worth very little. But, I have one, anyway, because so many people expect it.

Then, there is the protocol around business cards in Japan. It is a very formal matter to present and to receive a business card -- not something to be taken as casually as it often is in the US.

Posted by Andrew Haslett, Heartland of Kentucky's Best Home Inspector, (Van Warren Home Inspections, NAHI CRI) about 1 year ago

Russel you are so right "One's business card is one's smallest advertisement"and should be used accordingly. Thanks for the tip on the book, I am going to check that out! I like the idea of a wood card and something funny that did not get included in the comments was a site that was emailed to me that makes cards on beef jerky! I could not stop laughing!

Andrew Thanks for stopping by, this post did generate a lot of good discussion. I like your observation that we all have them and they are just part of our business, as I said previously, once we open our mouth, the truth is revealed and the client either accepts or rejects us based on our knowledge, poise and style. A $4 card does nothing to help that! Thanks for the tip on business card etiquette in Japan, it's different in many cultures and the big card would never fit there for sure! 

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

I am very particular about my card too.  As much info I can get on two sides with decent card stock.  HOWEVER it isn't $4 special! 

My card is a special thing that isn't just handed to anyone.  I only hand it to special people who deserve my services :)

Posted by Renee Burrows - Las Vegas Real Estate (702-580-1783) (The Force Realty -Realtor>Estate>Probate>REO>Short Sale) about 1 year ago

I am very particular about my card too.  As much info I can get on two sides with decent card stock.  HOWEVER it isn't $4 special! 

My card is a special thing that isn't just handed to anyone.  I only hand it to special people who deserve my services :)

Posted by Renee Burrows - Las Vegas Real Estate (702-580-1783) (The Force Realty -Realtor>Estate>Probate>REO>Short Sale) about 1 year ago

 Renee You have an excellent attitude, I don't realy fit the "realtor to the world" mode. We both work very hard and put too much energy into our clients to ne taken for granted!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell, I was so pleased that you were not endorsing this guy and his fold out card, :-) An interesting post. I intend to stop by again. Love Austin Texas. I lived in Dallas a few years and it was great but Austin is where it is happening today.

Posted by San Diego Real Estate Voice authored by William Johnson GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) about 1 year ago

William The first time I saw this character, I was floored by the completely outrageous display of ego and I was amused to find that that he actually has a few fans! Funny but I guess it takes all kinds! Thanks for dropping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago
Not only do they try to rip you off, they send your email out and you get a ton of junk mail. I am from Sao and learning to read in English, give true I wrote the following sentence: "Minimum buy in this is the amount set to be the minimum entry fee.In the wake of this recent decision, more bingo clubs have announced that they would be closing their doors." With respect :P, Melvin.
Posted by Adara about 1 year ago


What does the graphic say?