In real estate, image is everything. Your name and face are arguably your most valuable assets.

Over the years, agents and brokers have single-handedly kept thousands of print shops and promo item manufacturers in business, as they've thrown millions (if not billions) of dollars into fridge magnets, calendar mailers and postcards to prospect for and keep in touch with clients.

It's been estimated that the average American gets 10.8 pieces of marketing-related mail per week (compared to only 1.5 personal letters in the same timeframe). So, in this sea of paper, how are you going to make yours stand out from the rest?

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Here's a great marketing tip to make your next mailing a little different. Zazzle.com is a web site that allows you to print your own images as legal U.S. postage. Here's an example of a stamp I made recently for some family friends, welcoming their new son to the family.

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My point is, why not customize your next mailing with stamps bearing your own likeness or your company logo? It's guaranteed to at least make people stop and take a look. Well that is, until everyone starts doing it, of course.

Now, this isn't technically a new idea. More like deja vu really.

A couple of years ago you could also make your own stamps online, but the program was canceled abruptly in 2004 after some Internet pranksters started printing stamps using images of controversial figures such as Ted Kaczynski and Slobodan Milosevic.

Only last year did the US Postal Service once again allow customized postage to be printed. Presumably with stricter safeguards in place this time.

In any case, Zazzle is a great site and it was very easy to walk through the steps to design my own stamp. Once I was happy with the result, I placed my order and received the sheets in the mail several days later. Our friends were thrilled with the result.

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