At home, Catherine and I do quite a lot of printing. In fact, this month alone, we will be printing over 400+ envelopes containing a 4-page “I have a buyer for your home” letter. This is just one of several listing funnels we’re implementing in the new year that targets absentee and vacant houses throughout the Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Culver City, and Beverly Hills areas.
When we worked out the numbers, we realized that our current HP inkjet printer just wasn’t cutting it. We needed to take a step back, evaluate our needs in the coming year, and figure out a cost-effective mechanism to print what we need to print.
What To Look For in a Printer for Real Estate Marketing
Before making the decision to spend money on a new printer, especially when we already had two (an HP and a laser printer), took a bit of research beforehand. After we put together our annual marketing plan, we sat down and discussed what was most important to use when researching the right printer setup to purchase. Here’s what was important to us:
We want to find a printer that was affordable and something we felt had a lot of value.
We wanted a multi-function printer that we could use over our home WiFi network.
Compatibility with Continuous Ink System
The printer absolutely must be compatible with a CIS for the ink savings.
Ditch Messy Refillable Cartridges – Get a Continuous Ink System (CIS)
Before I tell you more about a CIS, let me ask: does this sound like you?
“I hate buying ink – it feels like a ripoff.”
“I don’t have time to deal with messy refillable ink cartridges.”
“My broker charges too much to print so I have to print at home.”
“Commercial printer companies aren’t always cost-effective nor convenient.”
If this sounds like you, then you absolutely MUST investigate a Continuous Ink System (CIS).
How a CIS Works
Have you noticed how cheap inkjet printers are compared to the cost of ink? Some cartridges can run from $20, $40, and even as high as $60 for a new cartridge. And before you know it, a few weeks of printing have gone by and it’s time to fork over your credit card for yet another round of ink.
And because printers are in the business of making money on the ink and they see retailers who offer refill systems as a threat, they’ve started to put chips on the cartridges. These chips are there to make your life difficult. They can prevent you from refilling an OEM print cartridge and pop it right back into the printer. They do this by remembering which cartridges you’ve had in the printer and remember what its last ink level was before you took it out. And when you go to put it back in, it will still think the cartridge is low on ink and not let you print.
If you’re a newer agent still trying to establish your business, every penny counts. That’s why I see these attempts by printer manufacturers as anti-small business. American’s spend $24 BILLION on ink and toner cartridges yearly.
But there is a solution. The guys over at inkproducts.com have designed a system which counters the manufacturers attempt at preventing you from saving money on ink.
At a high-level, a CIS is a system of plastic cartridges with an integrated circuit built-in to trick the printer into thinking the cartridges are authentic. The cartridges are connected to some plastic tubing which lead to four, easily-refillable ink tanks which live right outside of your printer. Basically, you never have to buy a set of printer cartridges again!
As you print, ink is siphoned from these external tanks, through to the false cartridges, just as if the ink came from the cartridges to begin with.
When the ink runs low, you simply need to purchase bottles of ink (black, cyan, blue, and/or magenta) and refill the tanks.
Because you are buying aftermarket ink in bulk and you aren’t having to buy cartridges each and every time, you can literally save up to 65% on the cost of ink.
What Is The Best Printer for Agents?
After doing extensive research, we decided it was time to switch from HP and go with an industry workhorse.
In our experience, the best printer for agents is the Epson Workforce WF-3640 printer.
The Epson was the right choice for us because:
- It was affordable at a price of around $120-140 online
- It was multi-functional – it prints, copies, scans, and does envelope printing with EASE
- It was moderately fast at printing – important when you are printing hundreds of pages a week
- It was compatible with several CIS systems
In the picture to the right, you’ll see our setup. Notice the little container to the right of the printer. That is a little box we had lying around from Ikea. I thought it might be a good idea to put the ink reservoir tanks in this just in case there was ever any ink spillage. Notice also how the lid doesn’t close all of the way down anymore. This is because there are clips inside that had to be added to allow for the ink tubes to move freely inside of the printer. We have found that it doesn’t really inhibit any of the printer functionality and still looks fine.
At the end of the day, it’s a small price to pay for saving so much money on buying ink cartridges.
Review of Epson WF-3640 Features
What Makes the Epson WF-3640 the Best Printer for Agents?
We love the Epson WF-3640 for a number of reasons. We found it super easy to setup on our MacBook Pros. Once we configured the wifi through the easy-to-use touch screen located on the printer, our Macbooks found the printers “nearby” and it automatically installed the drivers.
We also think this printer is best for agents because for the cost, it really covers all aspects of our printing needs (print, scan, color, great quality, speed, etc). We print on a lot of different size envelopes and so far, it has been able to handle this without any issues.
It has two trays for holding two different types of paper, which is great because we can have envelopes in one tray and regular paper in the other. The printer is smart enough to know which tray to use based on the incoming print job.
When you combine all of these features AND the fact that it is super affordable AND it supports a CIS AND everything else that saves you time, I think this printer would be a great addition to any real estate agent’s toolkit for printing their marketing materials.
I hope you found this post helpful. If you have additional thoughts about which printer setup is best for printing your real estate marketing, I would love to hear them so that I may share your tips with other readers.