Leading, forward-thinking real estate brokerage group's exhaustive search for manufacturer to fulfill unique folder design ends with Folderprinters.
BY FOLDERPRINTERS WRITERS
May 10, 2022
As a leading national manufacturer of presentation pocket folders, we complete folder projects for companies and organizations across a multitude of industries. In our constant effort to improve, we started to reach out to those whom we’ve previously served —and who actually use our products — to gain valuable insight.
Insight which we can use to better our service, products, production flow, message and marketing. We believe such information could also be useful to others, and it is for this reason that we’ve decided to share them via a new section in our blog that we’ll call “Folder Focus”.
The focus of this inaugural entry is real estate brokerage. An industry prolific in its use of presentation folders.
With over 1.5 million realtors across the United States, to say that “the competition is fierce”, is a colossal understatement. Therefore, to have a good chance at success, it is imperative that a realtor stand out from his or her peers and competition. Customized pocket folders can be one of the factors that may be able to help in this regard. Furthermore, in deals involving hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars — not to mention the fact that for most, it is the single biggest transaction of their lives — folders (costing a minute percentage of the property price) are a relatively inexpensive yet effective way to present in a most professional light. Conveying a personal touch and an earnestness to help and be worthy of the client's trust, confidence and, ultimately, business.
After noticing their unique, well-thought and splendidly designed folder with saddle-stitched inserts (whose pages are shorter and positioned with an offset), we approached Coldwell Banker Heritage, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, and interviewed their Marketing Specialist, Amanda Martin.
FOLDERPRINTER WRITERS: What problems or challenges in marketing or selling do presentation folders solve for you?AMANDA MARTIN: In this highly competitive market, we want our agents to stand out. It is a huge asset to them to have a presentation that shows all the benefits of working with a Coldwell Banker agent. We have several listing books, that are customized based upon our key markets. Our listing presentations highlight all our unique marketing tools and processes, within a high-quality product that will wow our agent’s clients.
FPW: Do you use the folders mainly for actual selling or listing, or just advertising?AM: The folders are created with the intention of using them on a listing appointment. A listing appointment is a pivotal meeting between a realtor and a potential seller. This usually consists of a tour of the home, a conversation about the homes estimated value, comparable prices of neighbors and above all, what the seller wants and what the agent can offer. These booklets are a great asset to have at these meetings as they clearly illustrate the benefits of working with our company and our agents.
FPW: At what point do you hand them out during the selling/marketing cycle?AM: Our presentations are made available to agents to use throughout the year. They are available both in a digital format as well as professionally printed versions. Agents can take these with them on listing appointments to help showcase all the reasons the client should work with a Coldwell Banker agent.
FPW: What items do you put inside the folder pockets?AM: We leave this open for the agents. Our marketing team creates different supplemental materials that can be put inside the folders, such as marketing plans, profiles sheets, and market updates. Of course, they can put collateral related more specifically to the property as well, such as MLS sheets and comps.
FPW: Have the folders proven to be effective?AM: We have used these for a few years now and the agents seem to really enjoy using them and see a benefit in having them as another tool in their kit when selling.
FPW: Do you design them yourself?AM: Yes, our presentations are all designed in house by our marketing team. From beginning to end, we conceptualize all the materials that we think will be of the most use to our agents.
These booklets are a great asset to have at these meetings as they clearly illustrate the benefits of working with our company and our agents.
— Amanda Martin
FPW: Do you know if your competition also employ the same type of custom presentation folders?AM: Listing packets and folders are something we’ve seen our competitors offer. However, as our company is #1 in some of our key markets, we certainly have an advantage when advertising our brokerage and market share.
How did you find/learn about Folderprinters?AM: We previously worked with another vendor in the years past but the process dragged on too much and required constant followup. After our decision to switch, I was surprised at how few places would print presentation folders with stapled booklets. In my exhaustive online search I came across folderprinters.com
FPW: How was your ordering process experience?AM: The ordering process was easy as I could specify the amount of pages, die-cuts, etc. Once the file was sent in, a proof was sent and I could look it over and comment directly in the document on any changes that were needed. This was very convenient.
FPW: Were you satisfied with Folderprinters' service and how the folders turned out? If not, why?AM: We were satisfied with the final product as it was exactly what we wanted. Everything was high resolution and the paper quality was good as well. I do wish there was a better tracking during shipping process so I could follow what stage of shipping the package was in and when it would arrive.
I was surprised at how few places would print presentation folders with stapled booklets. In my exhaustive online search I came across folderprinters.com
— Amanda Martin
We spoke with Folderprinters Director of Production, Joe Anzai, to learn more about the challenges involved in the production of folders with stitched inserts, and why, as earlier mentioned by Ms. Martin, it is difficult to find manufacturers that offer such a product.
JOE ANZAI: Producing standard pocket folders is no easy task, even for most professional printers. It is a multi-process undertaking that involves, among others, printing, die-cutting, gluing and assembly. Throw in multiple pages that need to be stapled onto the folder’s spine, then you’re now dealing with a different creature altogether.
In the case Coldwell Banker Heritage’s folders, the added complexity of inside pages that are shorter than the folder itself — thus necessitating further positioning adjustments during the binding process — makes it a beast of an endeavor.
Other factors unique to the production of folders with stitched inserts include “crossovers” and color consistency.
In professional printing, a crossover is an image that is meant to appear complete, or continuous — crosses over — from the left page to the right page when viewing a book that is spread open, but is actually composed of images printed on separate sheets (or sections) of paper. It is therefore critical to properly align the two separate images when they are joined during the collating and binding process. Otherwise, you end up with a hideous distorted image.
Since the divided parts are printed separately, it is important to maintain color consistency, so that one side of the spread does not appear lighter, or darker, or of a different hue, compared to the other.
Yet another factor to consider with regard to color consistency is the difference in paper stock between the thick folder shell and the thinner inside pages. In almost all cases, they will have different brightness. Special attention should therefore be paid to ensure that the color of important elements (e.g., logo) does not vary dramatically wherever they appear throughout the folder or book.
Any one of these factors would be enough to dissuade most commercial printing companies from taking on orders for folders with saddle stitched inserts. Luckily for us — and Coldwell Banker Heritage — Folderprinters has invested heavily in equipment. Not just for printing, die-cutting, gluing, but more importantly, specialized machines for collating and binding. All operated by expert craftsmen and craftsladies.
As a result, we can complete a project like this with ease.