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 AmazonBad 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.