Looking to Sell? Don’t Underestimate the Impact of Custom Real Estate Yard Signs

home for sale real estate sign in front of new house.

In a previous blog post we discussed the lasting benefits of temporary construction signs. These signs are generally large format and used for substantial commercial and residential developments – like business parks and luxury condos. But what about real estate signs for single homes, modest apartment complexes and small businesses?

Even in today’s world of online listings and GPS delivered directions, a lawn sign is a significant part of lead generation. In fact, a 2012 survey by the National Association of Realtors® found that 53% of respondents considered yard signs as a resource when searching for a home. In comparison, only 27% stated that print ads played a part in their home buying process.

Why does this traditional method of advertisement continue to work so well? While online real estate listings are convenient, you can’t get the true feel of a neighbourhood by looking at a few pictures of a property. Understandably, many potential home buyers continue to drive around promising areas, in hopes of spotting a “for sale” or “for rent” sign. In addition, a sign can capture the curiosity of people who aren’t actively looking.

To avoid losing out on passing opportunities, you want to make sure your sign is well positioned and eye catching. So, what are the characteristics of an effective real estate sign?

Depending on whether you’re a real estate agent working for a well-known company, an independent realtor looking to build your personal brand, or a home owner determined to sell on your own terms, your design goals may differ.

If you’re an agent, make sure your name stands out. Even if you work for a popular franchise, adding a bit of your personality to your sign helps homeowners decide if you’re right for them. For instance, a professional headshot, or a short, catchy slogan, can be a great touch. You can also differentiate your name by size, font choice or colour, for a subtler approach. Bottom-line, when your name is boldly associated with multiple “SOLD” signs, it sends a strong message about your capabilities.

Set expectations with your sign’s design. If you specialize in luxury homes, your signs should also exude timelessness and sophistication. For instance, by featuring a logo that uses a beautiful script font and muted colours or by investing in quality materials for your signs, like an attractive wooden sign post. Whereas, if you are selling trendy condos downtown, bright, poppy colours and more modern fonts are a better bet.

Use multiple sign types to inform and direct traffic.

  • Arrow-shaped directional signs along a main road can be very helpful, if your property has an open house but it’s in an isolated location.
  • Brightly coloured feather flags can easily attract attention on the road, due to their size and how they move in the wind.
  • Indoor signs at an open house are useful as well. Use them to put visitors at ease by encouraging them to browse and ask questions.

A "for rent" sign is hidden by a fence - a yard sign mistake.

Pick the right location, or sign type, for the job. As you can see in the above example, unless someone looks over the fence, the “for rent” sign is completely hidden. If fencing, bushes or parked traffic will obstruct a lower sign, it is better to invest in a sign post of sufficient height or a tall banner. Yard signs are also more effective near the street, rather than by the house.

When you don’t have a lot of sign space, rely on colours and shapes. You need to make sure your yard signs are readable for people driving by. Therefore, it’s best to keep content simple and at a sufficient font size. This includes: your name, phone number, website address, company logo, and a brief description, such as “for sale”. Alternating background colours, or using horizontal lines, can distinctly separate pieces of information to allow for quick reading.

Check your signs regularly for updates and maintenance. Use sign riders – small signs that are added on top of your yard sign – to advertise open houses or post status updates. For example, if there’s a price reduction, a brightly coloured sign rider is a great way to direct attention to the deal. It is also a good idea to regularly check on your signs, to make sure they haven’t been vandalized or damaged by the weather.

As always, check local regulations before buying and installing any sign. City bylaws and Home Owner Associations can determine how many signs you can use, where you can use them, what content they can include, and what size they need to be.

And if you need any help during the process, give us here at Topmade a call. We offer expert signage consulting – all the way from design to installation.

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