Remember, a fancy program won’t magically create amazing materials! You need a professional designer to at least build a brochure template.
1) Adobe InDesign + Photoshop – These are you two most powerful programs to creating brochures, templates, really any marketing material you can imagine. Good stuff: Most powerful layout and photo editing programs available. Create anything you can image. Excellent print quality and creates high quality PDFs easily. Bad stuff: These programs will cost you an arm and a leg: Adobe Cloud for $30 – $75 per month. You also have to consider either hiring a graphic artist or learning the software yourself. Learning the software may cost you additional money and time in classes, books, and tutorials.
2) Microsoft Publisher 2013 – The most common brochure software for real estate agents (both commercial and residential) is the popular Publisher. Good stuff: Easy to use, very user-friendly. If you can navigate Word and PowerPoint you won’t have much trouble with Publisher. Also this option is an inexpensive Amazon. Bad stuff: Versions 2010 and below have extremely poor print quality for photos.
3) Adobe Photoshop Elements – Sometimes this program will come free with certain brands of computers. Although Photoshop is technically a photo editing tool, quite a few people use it for brochure layout. Good stuff: Property photos will print in high resolution and nice colors. Once you learn to use Photoshop Elements you can move up to full Photoshop. Bad stuff: If you have no graphics background this program can be very difficult to learn. Expect to be in the tutorials for 2 weeks before you successfully build a brochure. Also, this program has a hard time printing small text, it may print fuzzy on both print and PDFs. This option is inexpensive on Amazon.
4) Online Brochure Creators – On a serious budget? There are options for you too, my friend! Thanks to something called MAM Software (Marketing Asset Management) there are web-based printers that will allow you to select a template, drop in your images and text, and print as PDF. Good stuff: They’re very easy to use, even a newbie can follow the steps! Bad stuff: The templates are limited and cannot be edited – if your photo is wide and the template requires a tall photo, you’ll have to squish it. Although a cheap option – My Creative Shop sells templates for $23 – your company will out-grow this software quickly. It’s a good band-aid if your company is new and can’t afford much! Don’t depend on this option for the long haul.