They’re a ubiquitous sight on streets, roads and lanes across the United Kingdom – brightly coloured boards outside properties advertising their sale, usually with the name of the estate agent responsible, together with a telephone number by which to contact them if you’re interested. Estate agents have long used these signs to drive interest in certain properties, particularly those requiring a little additional exposure.
For Sale signs also serve a purpose as a beacon for instinctive or opportunistic buyers who see a house that they like and phone to arrange a viewing on impulse alone. And then there’s the window adverts on the premises of the estate agents itself. Who hasn’t stopped to have a quick look at the local property prices once or twice?
However, in recent years questions have been raised about the continued usefulness of both of these forms of signage in light of the digital age in which we now live. With the online market the first port of call for many would-be buyers and sellers, are For Sale signs still relevant?
Combine this with the sales promotion potential offered by other commonly used formats such as the property supplements in local newspapers, and it might be easy to conclude that estate agent signage will shortly be a thing of the past. In this article we’ll examine this question, finding that not only is this form of signage still very useful, but that its sales and promotional power can be redoubled by ensuring that the quality of the signage is top-notch.
For Sale signs
In addition to drawing attention to the fact that the property is up for sale, For Sale signs also garner publicity via word of mouth. The sign is subconsciously noticed by someone walking past. Then, days or even weeks later, someone close to them – anyone from a loved one or friend to a neighbour or colleague – mentions that they’re looking to buy a property in a certain area. The person who noticed the sign might say something along the lines of “Oh, have you seen that property just off the high street, with the For Sale sign?”
The presence of a sign alone may even get people talking. Who hasn’t heard someone say something along the lines of “Have you seen that they’ve put that house down the road up for sale?” This increases the reach of your promotion significantly. However, this tactic is far more likely to have success in villages and smaller towns, where lots of people know each other and come into regular contact, and gossip travels much faster.
There is also a second permanent signage fixture used by estate agents. This takes the form of signage suspended in the window of the agent’s premises, displaying some of the property up for sale locally. These signs often take the form of A4-sized clear plastic pockets suspended from wires that are attached to the floor and ceiling. Recent innovations in window signage have led to the creation of slightly thicker acrylic pockets with LEDs embedded inside. The light bounces off the sides of the frame, making it appear as if the edges are glowing. This is a fantastic way to draw attention to the properties on offer, and even raise their profile a little.
The fact that light is involved also means that your signs will be viewable 24 hours a day, reminding people of your presence even if they simply drive past. Naturally, high quality window signage will make people reflect on your brand with more positive reactions, increasing the likelihood of referral to others via word of mouth should the issue of needing to buy or sell a property come up in conversation.
When people walk past the agent’s premises, many like to stop and have a look at the local prices and see if any interesting properties are up for sale in the vicinity, purely out of curiosity. If the signage is poorly maintained or hard to read, their attention will not be held for long and they will walk on. Even if they didn’t intend to buy a property, they will remember your brand as representing a particularly successful-looking estate agency, thus providing an excellent opportunity to use your estate agent signage to build brand familiarity and recognition.
Estate agent signage: more than just selling homes
In considering estate agent signs from the perspective of marketing, we need to take a more holistic and long-term perspective. This means looking beyond the immediate goal of seeking to sell a specific property. As touched upon above, estate agent signs also help agents to boost their brand familiarity and recognition.
As people encounter your brand more frequently, they will associate it with ideas such as ‘local community’, ‘trust’, ‘reliability’, and so on. Coming to be viewed as a part of the local community is perhaps one of the useful things that can happen to any small or medium business in terms of public relations.
Impressions of trust, reliability and effectiveness can be engendered by sticking a bright red ‘SOLD’ sticker over both the For Sale sign and the window advertisement, or you could even utilise multi-coloured LEDs to differentiate between sold and un-sold properties. These techniques use signage to promote you and your brand as being highly effective at selling properties, and can be used even if the property in question was actually sold over the internet or via a newspaper ad.
The last word
Estate agent signage is far from a has-been – it still offers huge marketing potential to agents and plays important roles beyond simply selling individual properties. At The Sussex Sign Company, we have what it takes to craft a tailor-made signage solution that perfectly responds to the needs of your estate agency. Don’t hesitate to get in touch today to find out what we can do for you. Call us today on 01273 417057