Regular readers of this blog will know that I’ve railed against this in the past. I’ve worked in agency settings before and even had a couple of stints as a freelance marketing communications consultant, and so have had exposure to a number of different industries – but never in my career have I seen an industry as universally design blind as real estate.

Graphic design in real estate generally ranges from the mediocre to the truly horrific. Especially advertising and print design.

Personally, I blame Microsoft. And not just because it’s the trendy thing to do. No, I blame them for unleashing the scourge that is Microsoft Publisher.

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I hate Publisher. Not just because it’s a awful, unwieldy and cumbersome program. Which it is. If you’re serious about doing your own graphic design and desktop publishing, I would urge you to consider InDesign, PageMaker, Quark or even CorelDraw before you buy Publisher.

No, I hate Publisher because it comes loaded with some of the worst templates and clipart I’ve ever seen.

But I’m not one just to rant and not provide you with any alternatives. I’ve already pointed you to a great source of free, high quality stock photography. Today, I thought I’d share a great source of templates.

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Stocklayouts.com provides a number of great templates for many industries, including real estate. Their templates are attractive and professionally designed and very affordable. Most templates cost less than $100 and you’ll find templates for newsletters, brochures, flyers letterhead and much more.

All come with all the artwork and layout complete, so all you have to do is plug in your own marketing copy, logos and contact info and you’re on your way. What could be easier? I think this is a great option for a small broker or a new realtor who wants to start out on the right foot with a smart, professional image.

Please, please, what ever you do – think about these options. Before you buy Publisher.

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Finally, if you’re interested in joining my fledgling campaign, consider displaying this badge on your web site. Let’s start a movement!

(Right click and choose ‘Save Image As…’)

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