Estate Agent Signs And The Regulatory Landscape

Estate agent boards littering our streets are becoming a notorious eyesore. Before you order your estate agent signs in East Sussex or across the country, it pays to know the regulatory landscape, so you don’t fall foul of increasingly steep fines.

The code of practice, as laid down by the property ombudsman, is clear – you must not erect any form of for sale board at a property unless you’ve been instructed to sell it, and you must conform with the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007, which is very specific about the size of boards and the amount of time they may be displayed.

The problem with signs

Legislation restricting intrusive and multiplying signs is nothing new. In fact, London first introduced a law restricting sign boards in the 1700s. Although things have moved on since the days of every tinker, tailor and candlestick maker advertising their wares with gigantic hanging signage, there’s no doubt that a plethora of estate agent signs can be a nuisance and some councils have considered banning their use entirely.

Know the law

The legislation governing estate agent boards can be quite confusing, especially as it pertains to the permissible size of any temporary advertising. That’s why boards are created in standard sizes using low cost corrugated board, which in theory means that they are cheap to repurpose or start afresh. However, in areas where there is a high turnover of rented accommodation, signage can be left in place for months, creating a real eyesore.

The law states that estate agent signs must be removed within 14 days of a property being sold or let, otherwise a penalty charge notice of £1000 will be issued. Councils have traditionally been lax at enforcing PCNs, but recent changes to the amount they may keep from their enforcement means you could fall foul of the local planning office to the tune of several thousand pounds if you don’t remove your signs within the permitted time.

The problem with spam boards

Spamming has recently become a problem, with one London agent using local community events to erect advertising boards that flouted the regulations. These so-called ‘spam boards’ featured the agent’s name in large letters and looked just like a standard estate agent board. Many were even erected illegally outside properties without the owner’s consent.

In Bath and Brighton, total bans on estate agent boards have been implemented. A ban has also been trialled in other areas.

Why you need lawful estate agent signs

It’s not all bad news. Lawful signs that comply with regulations and are take down within the 14 day limit are still one of the most effective ways of advertising property for sale or rent. They attract the interest of buyers and remain the most obvious and appealing way to advertise.

At The Sussex Sign Company, we can help you create eye-catching boards that will attract passers-by and motorists to come and view your properties. Using the most advanced and cost-effective materials, we can help you create the impact you need to get that quick sale. Contact us via phone or email for more information and advice.

Why Estate Agent Signs Still Matter In The Digital Market

The world of the traditional high street estate agent is under threat from the rise of digital and DIY options. RightMove has long been a first port of call for property hunters, but now estate agents themselves are moving online, offering some significant benefits over their bricks and mortar counterparts. So how can your business fight back against the online giants? It’s time for the traditional estate agent to up their game, and that means investing in better signage.

Enhance your business profile

Competition between bricks and mortar estate agents in London remains fierce, despite the rise of the online aggregators and DIY home selling solutions. So how can you make your business stand out from the competition? Strong and well designed signage acts as the gateway to your business, conveying brand trustworthiness, dependability and identity in the blink of an eye.

Offline branding through the use of great signs can help to define your unique value propositions, setting you apart from the other high street agents. Be bold with your design and use the best of modern technology to create a sign installation that really differentiates your business. For example, an LED illuminated sign can give a strong and professional look to your premises.

Investing in estate agent signs

Investing in new signage is one of the smartest things you can do in the battle for business. A well designed sign will act as a 24 hour advertisement for your business, building brand awareness every minute of every day, year round. When potential customers need your services, they’ll remember the impression that your brand made. Research by FedEx revealed that 76% of people have entered commercial premises based on the sign alone.
Estate agent signs get potential customers on board

Despite the amount of property porn that we can see online, nothing is as good as seeing a property for yourself and that’s where estate agent signs or boards can give you the edge. They promote interest, provide clear visibility for a property that’s for sale, and are a clear call to action to potential customers who are thinking of buying, and selling.

Your estate agent boards should be designed to achieve a range of outcomes – to attract the attention of passers-by and neighbours alike, since you never know who has a relative who is looking to move into the neighbourhood. These referrals can be tremendously powerful in influencing a buyer’s vendor decision making process. A proliferation of your boards not only builds brand awareness, it drives the impression that your company is the smart choice when you’re buying and selling property.

Employ the professionals

When you’re looking to invest in estate agent signs and boards in London, we’re your first port of call. We offer an integrated design and print service that takes advantage of a comprehensive range of cutting-edge, modern materials and technology to produce stunning signs with a high return on investment for our clients. Contact us via phone or email today to get more information.

Choosing The Best Sign Material For The Job

If you need new signs, then the chances are you’re looking for a high quality sign making company to deliver on your concept. You’ll need to think about design, manufacture, installation and the type of material to be used.

Whatever the kind of signage you have in mind – whether that’s a shop window sign, wayfinding signage or signs for schools – it’s critical that you choose the right material for the job. Will you be wall mounting your sign, creating a car wrap design or covering up an existing signboard? Or will you be creating a new freestanding rigid sign or display? Is this an interior or an exterior sign, and for permanent or temporary display? When you have the answers to those questions, you can start making choices about available materials.

As with any aspect of the sign making process, a good sign company in Arundel or elsewhere will be able to guide you through the process, offering the right material for the signage you have in mind.

I want to cover an existing rigid sign

If you have an existing sign that you simply want to cover with a new image, then printed self adhesive vinyl is the savvy choice. This has a white surface and can be overprinted with your branding, slogans, or even a high resolution image. It’s a clever way to recycle existing signage without breaking the bank.

I want to put a sign in a window

Printed clear self adhesive vinyl can be printed on in reverse, stuck to your window, and then backed with white vinyl. The effect is crisp and smart and the vinyl is lightweight and can be easily removed when you want to update your signage.

I want something flexible

If you want to create a stunning wall display, or a car wrap design with plenty of impact, you need cut self-adhesive vinyl. This comes in a wide range of colours and is most often used to produce single colour text or silhouette shapes. Unlike using a wall stencil, it’s easy to unpeel cut vinyl, making it ideal for temporary displays or to add design accents for summer or Christmas promotions.

These types of cut stickers are often seen as single panels on a car, when a fully vinyl wrap is not required. They can even be used on display stands to spice up your exhibit, but remember to remove them if your stands are hired.

I need a rigid sign, after all

There are three main types of material that are used for rigid signage. These are usually known by their brand names: Correx, Foamex and Dibond. These are also sometimes known by other names and come in various thicknesses. Each has its particular strengths and weaknesses as a material, which your sign company will explain.

I want an estate agent’s sign board

The cheapest form of sign board is Correx and it’s ideal for estate agent signage. This is a type of corrugated plastic sheet that’s super lightweight, and it should be printed with weatherproof inks, then laminated, for superior weather resistance. Correx signs are often used when low cost temporary signage is required – on a building site or for a short term exhibition, for example.

For outside use, a Correx sign should be mounted to an additional wooden board for strength, as the material is prone to bending along the flutes when caught in a strong wind. Washers should always be used to stop the screwheads ripping through the board.

I want an outdoor wayfinding sign for a visitor attraction

PVC foam sheet is an excellent material for use indoors and out, and comes in 3mm, 5mm and 10mm thicknesses. Foamex offers good durability while also being cost effective and it behaves like a solid plastic sheet.

Foamex has an excellent strength to weight ratio, although the 10mm sheets can be quite heavy for larger signs, making Dibond a better option. Because this material is so easy to cut, it can be used to create really exceptional signage for indoor and outdoor use. It’s waterproof too, so it can withstand the worst that the British weather can throw at it!

Opt for lightweight 3mm for indoor boards that can be wall mounted with velcro, and use the thicker boards for outdoor signage that has great strength, resistant and durability – ideal for wayfinding signage. These outdoor signs are simple to drill and attach with screws.

I need a permanent display sign for a coastal café

You need Dibond, the longest lasting of the rigid materials. Consisting of a solid sheet of polyethylene at its core, sandwiched between two thin aluminium panels, Dibond is just 3mm thick, but can stand up to heavy wind and rain.

There’s no limit to the signage shapes you can create with Dibond, as it can be drilled, screwed and shaped with ease. It has a huge range of uses, from shop signage to exhibition and event signage and so much more. Dibond can also be clamped to metal poles for even greater stability.

Dibond is fantastically light and terrifically strong, making it the premium choice for rigid signage, especially where it needs to stand up to all weather conditions and stay looking good for years.

I need to find a good sign company in Arundel

At the Sussex Sign Company, we can help you create permanent or temporary signs for interior or exterior use that will make the best possible first impression. When your visual assets are so important, let us help you maximise your return on investment by creating signs that use the right materials for the perfect installation. Contact our friendly and knowledgeable team by phone or email for more details.

Estate Agent Signage: Still Relevant In A Digital Age?

If you’re trying to sell your property, you might have mixed feelings about displaying a for sale sign. In some parts of London, there’s a £1000 fine for estate agent signage that isn’t removed in a timely fashion, and some areas of the country are considering following Brighton’s lead and banning the signs altogether.

The pros and cons of estate agent signage

So why are estate agent signs so contentious? Critics say they’re an eyesore, with no relevance in the digital age where people search for properties online. They argue that boards can be actively off-putting, making prospective buyers query why a particular area might be littered with them.

Those in favour of estate agent signage respond that a For Sale of For Let sign remains the best way to advertise your property, and is a key marketing tool, even when compared to a website. Why, because nothing lets a prospective buyer know your property is for sale or rent more easily than a clearly visible sign.

Some buyers work on gut instinct and will make an enquiry there and then when they see an estate agent board. Boards also generate word of mouth interest in your property, and when buyers come for a viewing, that signage acts like a wayfinding sign, pinpointing your property.

Eye-catching design

When you’re deciding on the best sign company in Worthing, knowing that they have a designer who can create eye-catching signage is critical. It’s the same whether you’re an estate agent or your property is for sale or let by owner – great design and simplicity can make the difference between a sign that simply adds to the visual clutter, or one that stands out from the rest.

Colour and layout are key when creating standout estate agent signage, so work closely with your sign company’s design team to get it right. Avoid green if it’s likely to merge with the surrounding greenery. Likewise, a bold colour like red can get lost against brick properties. One simple trick to differentiate your sign and make it pop visually is to add a white border.
Giving your boards visual appeal if you’re an estate agent is critical if you want them to attract both buyers and sellers. An effective board will catch the eye of passersby who will then cross the road to note down the details. There are a few elements that need to be on your estate agent signs – whether the property is for sale or let. These are your contact details including website, and your logo. If you feel there’s value in QR codes, adding one that takes prospective buyers directly to more information on the property can be a useful addition.

A good design team will be able to advise you at every step of the process, so you get the right signage for the situation. For example, you may need additional information including details of any open house days or reductions in the price. Your designer will be able to come up with the best solutions for displaying additional information and will ensure full integration between your signage and your online presence.

Your sign company should also be able to provide a number of design, production and installation packages, utilising different materials to fit your budget. Estate agent boards need to be lightweight yet durable, so consider using foam board rather than longer lasting wood or metal. They should be able to offer T-boards, flag boards and even shaped boards to really help your signs stand out. Again, a good sign company will have flexible options to suit your needs.

Get the installation right

At the opposite end of the spectrum, your signage installation needs to be professional and effective in order to create the best impression for both buyers and sellers.

Estate agent signs should always be placed near the pavement, as proximity to the property can feel intrusive. If the building is in a corner location, consider using two signs – one on each street – to maximise interest from passing traffic. For out of the way properties, you’ll need a prominently positioned wayfinding sign that piques the interest of potential buyers.

When you’re looking for a sign company in Worthing, they should offer an integrated service that backs up the physical process of sign manufacture with the expertise of knowing how best to install and display your signage for maximum effect. If you also require signs for your office, then your sign maker should also offer a programme of preventative maintenance, so your signage continues to look smart and professional and creates a strong first impression.

Equally importantly, the company you use will have a good working knowledge of the rules and regulations governing the use of estate agent signage, ensuring that your signs don’t run foul of the local council. For sale and/or rent signs are an effective part of your marketing arsenal, so make sure they don’t contribute to the bad publicity around estate agent boards.

Dependability and fast lead times

When you need estate agent signs, you need them fast, as the property market moves so quickly. You won’t want to wait for signs to be printed and installed, as potential customers walk by day after day. At the Sussex Sign Company, we focus on dependability, fast lead times and maximising your return on investment, so you need never miss a sale. Call or email today to find out more.

Are estate agent sign boards still relevant in the digital age?

We’re often told that in the so-called ‘digital age’, many of the oldest and most traditional marketing tools have been rendered obsolete. Smartphones have meant that everyday life – from grocery shopping to banking, buying clothes and booking restaurant tables – has all moved online and onto the small screen, because it’s so easy to access via the gadgets in our pockets. The rapid growth of online retailers and service providers over the past two decades has also meant that many companies with a High Street presence are struggling to compete.

In the property sector, the sudden, unprecedented rise of online agencies and property search sites have put the traditional model for buying and selling houses under threat, with the likes of Tepilo, HouseSimple and Emoov muscling in and attempting to undercut the High Street agencies we’re so used to. So where does that leave the bricks and mortar estate agents, and are the traditional marketing tools of estate agent signs and estate agent sign boards still relevant in the digital age? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

Online/offline

While most people’s first port of call when they first begin house hunting might be Rightmove or another online property search site, chances are that when they start looking more seriously, they will want to visit a ‘real’ estate agency. We can all surf the web and dream, but the reality of parting with that much cash means that the vast majority want to benefit from the expertise, advice and guidance of an estate agent that they can talk to, one to one.

Just as competition with the online estate agencies is fierce, it’s equally competitive between High Street companies. Chances are there are at least two or three estate agencies in the area where you live, and all of them are chasing a steady stream of new buyers and sellers. Making sure that potential customers choose your estate agents over the one down the road is, therefore, crucial to the success of your company.

Even the most tech-savvy and modern of buyers and sellers are cautious when it comes to property, with most people taking their serious searching ‘offline’ and following the more traditional route of walking the High Street and looking in windows. You can have the best properties on the market on your books, but if you can’t catch the attention of that passing trade and encourage them through the front door, you’ll be missing out. That’s where estate agents sign boards really come into their own.

By prominently displaying those properties which are likely to generate the most interest from casual house hunters, you stand a better chance of picking up the passing trade. A bold, beautiful and creative display in your shop front window cannot help but get you noticed all year round, whether people are drawn by the warming glow of LED signs on a chilly winter’s afternoon or the vivid colours of the high-quality sign printing.

Why good signage matters

Having a window display which really makes an impact is absolutely key if you want to attract potential customers and persuade them to choose your estate agents over those of your rivals. Installing new estate agent sign boards which are well-designed and perfectly tailored to match your brand identity can make an immediate and lasting impact to your marketing campaign, putting you head and shoulders above the local competition.

Signage can be a fantastic way to capture your brand image and project it to the world, ensuring your company is the one which remains fixed in people’s minds even after days, weeks or months of searching for the perfect pad.

People are naturally drawn to attractive displays, and eye-catching window boards which showcase your hottest properties are highly likely to capture the interest of passersby and encourage them through the door to enquire about your services. Whether they’re keen to buy or sell today, or they simply remember your signage and come back at a later date, using your estate agents signs to make a lasting impression on them could be a real boost for business.

Traditions for the digital age

There’s no doubt that while technology has changed much about the way we live now, people still cling to the traditional, good old-fashioned ways of doing things when it comes to buying and selling the places we call home. We still prefer the human connection and the one to one experience over the impersonal online one, which is why keeping your estate agency attractive, welcoming and up-to-date is still so important.

Good estate agency signs reflect well on your company, and well-crafted, well-maintained signage shows potential customers that you take pride in the work you do and that you can be trusted to reach the highest standards at all times. People are far more likely to want to engage with you and enlist your services if you have a strong and memorable brand identity and a shop front worth stopping at.

The Sussex Sign Company specialises in designing, manufacturing and fitting the highest quality, bespoke estate agent sign boards for companies across Sussex, London and the South East. With more than two decades’ of experience in this field, we are ideally placed to help you create a stand-out display which is sure to catch the attention of all who pass by, setting you apart from the competition. For more information on the services we can provide, simply get in touch with our friendly, expert team today.

The Summer Property Boom: Why Your Estate Agents Display Matters

The summer months are a bumper time of year for many businesses, and for estate agents, there’s usually a boost in trade to accompany the nicer weather

We’ve just weathered a cold snap, but believe it or not, summer is almost upon us. The summer months are a bumper time of year for many businesses, and for estate agents, there’s usually a boost in trade to accompany the nicer weather. People are quite often reluctant to buy and sell over the autumn and winter months, as nobody wants the added stress of moving on top of Christmas, and houses never photograph as well on dark and miserable days at the tail end of the year.

Summer is often seen as the ideal time to go property hunting. People like the idea of finding a new home and being well settled before the festive season, and given the length of the process, the next few months seem like the best chance of finding a new pad and sealing the deal on it. With the nicer weather, you may see a surge of interest in your estate agents, so ensuring your estate agents display and the front of your premises are looking in top condition is key to getting people through the door.

Sunnier climes

Lots of people will be thinking about buying and selling their homes around this time of year. Houses photograph well in glorious summer sunshine, when the garden’s in full bloom and there’s plenty of light to flood rooms during viewings. It works well for those selling, but many people thinking of looking for a new home are also tempted out by the good weather – if they’re doing multiple viewings in one area, who wants to traipse around town in the cold and the wind of winter and autumn?

Good weather tends to bring more people out onto the High Streets too, so increased footfall means more people passing by your windows. Catching their eye with a high quality estate agents display therefore becomes all the more important, as this may be a good opportunity to capture the interest of people who might not often pass by. They might not be interested in buying or selling at the moment, but if your display creates a lasting impression, then they may well remember you and return to you when they do eventually decide they need the services of an estate agent.

This is also the time of year when there may be more tourists in the area, and tourists are often tempted to investigate houses and house prices in the area, if they’ve fallen in love with the place. If you’re lucky enough to have an estate agents in a tourist destination city, town or village, you might find there are more people making spur of the moment enquiries. Making sure they enquire with you rather than the agency down the road could all be down to how impressed they are by what they see in the window, so a standout display could really help you capture this whole new group of potential customers.

What makes a good estate agents display?

A good window display can make a massive difference to how people see your estate agents. Illuminated LED window displays act as great advertising for your business, and because they use very little energy, they can be left on all night, which means your window display is working for you 24/7 and 365 days of the year. A bold, bright window display is difficult for people to ignore, whether they’re currently interested in buying a new home or not.

Your window display could be used to promote your contact details or the most stand-out properties you have on your books – the ones which are going to generate the most interest and get the maximum number of people into your offices. Few people can resist the temptation of actually setting foot through your door, when they’ve seen that immaculate modern apartment in the window, or the spacious semi with the big back garden. Showcasing the cream of the crop with a visually stunning display is the ticket to attracting passing trade and getting people to stop for a closer look.

Time to act?

The time to act isn’t when the summer property boom is already in full swing. In order to be truly effective, your window signs need to be in place and doing their work well in advance of the boost to High Street footfall. It’s not just estate agents who can expect to see an increase in business at this time of the year – companies across all sectors and industries benefit from an increase in trade, and many of them will also be interested in upgrading their signage or window displays in the coming months.

If you want to beat the rush and make sure you’re at the front of the queue, the time to commission your new estate agents display is now. Having a new LED window display designed, installed and up and working ahead of the summer rush may well be the best way to stay ahead of the competition this summer.

For more than two decades, The Sussex Sign Company have been providing estate agents with the highest quality window displays. All crafted to your exact specifications, our expert team can design and install your new display well in advance of the summer property boom, giving you the boost you need to stay ahead of your rivals during the busy season.

For more information call us on 01273 417057 or contact us using the contact form.

How New Estate Agent Signage Could Help You Prepare for the New Year’s Rush

We all know there’s a dip in the property market in the run-up to Christmas. After all, nobody wants the stress of moving into a new home only a few days or weeks before the busiest time of year. However, the quiet period almost always ends as soon as the New Year begins, and people who have been delaying putting their houses on the market or holding off on the start of their search for a new home suddenly see the New Year as a new beginning.

If you own or manage an estate agency, this is one of the most important times in the calendar, and anything you can do to increase footfall and drum up interest can only be a good thing. With competition from other agencies and online agents so fierce, ensuring yours is the go-to agency can be a challenge. So what can you do to make sure that the New Year brings those much needed sales and success? The first place to start is with your shop front.

If you make one New Year’s resolution about your business, let it be that you’ll spruce up your estate agent signage and give the façade of your premises a little TLC as we enter the darker, gloomier winter months. When it comes to attracting new customers, there is little that can have so immediate and impressive an impact as a new sign above the door, so look no further and read on, to find out more about the benefits of sparkling new estate agent signage.

The perks of proper signage

There’s nothing like the dawning of a New Year to fill us all with good intentions and the get-up-and-go we need to make some big changes. After all the fun and indulgence of Christmas, this can be a month of transformations for the better, and that extends from the health kick in your personal life to the little shake up your business premises needs.

For most people, the New Year marks a fresh start, so it’s often the time when people spruce up their homes ready for sale, or begin to trawl Rightmove once again in search of the perfect property. That’s all good news for you, but now you need to capitalise on this sudden rush of interest. In order to attract as many people as possible through your doors, you need more than some nice homes on your books. You need to look the part to the casual passerby in the High Street and pull in customers with a winning shop front.

Giving your estate agents a new, well made and eye catching sign above the door will certainly give you an edge over the competition. People notice change, and seeing your estate agent signage go from tired and lacklustre to bright, bold and beautiful will definitely generate new interest in your business. At this time of year, when the evenings draw in early and the weather can be miserable, a well illuminated sign and shop front will offer a warm and inviting welcome to people out and about in the neighbourhood, encouraging them through your doors and onto your books.

Reaping the rewards of good signage

Giving your premises a little love and care now will pay dividends over the winter months. Poor weather can really affect old or poorly maintained signage, often causing it to look shabby and run-down, all of which puts off potential customers. We have all passed shops, restaurants and other High Street facades, where the signage is falling to pieces and looking a little worse for wear, and you wouldn’t want to join that particular club…

Installing and maintaining new signage will not only make the front of your agency more appealing, it will also speak volumes about your company and the work you do. Like the front door of your home or the clothes you choose to wear, the signage you have fitted reflects something much deeper. Good signage shouts ‘good company’, demonstrating that you care about and take pride in what you do. A bold, beautiful sign suggests that what lies beyond the front doors is similarly promising, whereas poorly maintained and outdated signage doesn’t bode well in any customer’s eyes.

A well made sign is also a memorable one, which is precisely what you need in such a competitive market. If your sign is bold and helps put your brand on a more visible platform, you’re already well on your way to garnering greater interest in your business. People like to see attractive shop fronts, and images including your brand name and colours will stick more clearly in their minds if your signage is distinctive.

A resolution worth keeping

Resolutions are hard to keep – just one last chocolate before the diet starts, just one more weekend before you hit the gym, just one more hour in bed before you start your novel. Whatever resolutions you might have made (and already broken) in your personal life, make new estate agent signage the one you keep for your company’s sake.

With many years’ experience providing bespoke and beautiful signage, the Sussex Sign Company are the number one choice when it comes to providing the best signage solutions for estate agencies everywhere. We can install and help you maintain the new signage your premises needs, so for more information on the services we offer, simply get in touch with our expert team today.

Could Estate Agent Signage be Banned? Here’s Why We Think it’ll Never Happen

It hasn’t been a great month for estate agents, what with the government announcing a ban on tenants’ letting fees in the Autumn Statement. While this was understandably welcomed by most citizens and homelessness charities across the country, the move triggered a wave of condemnation and despair from estate agents and landlords.

Agents are naturally concerned about any move that harms their bottom line, and landlords are worried that estate agents will seek to pass the costs on to them through higher property management fees, which as yet remain untouched by the government. The change has yet to be formally legislated and is pending a consultation process, but already the estate agent sector has seen a fall in share prices.

London-based Foxtons estate agents lost 13 percent of its value within an hour of the announcement, and this on top of a 23 percent slide since the Brexit referendum. Critics were quick to point out that administrative fees have been banned in Scotland since 2012, a move which the sector then absorbed without any serious problems. Nonetheless, industry blogs and forums were awash with consternation about the future.

Estate agent signage: an uncertain future?

Now, to add to these worries, proposals have emerged from Belfast City Council to ban the ubiquitous “To Let” and “For Sale” signs seen on almost every street in the country. The Council’s proposal is a response to complaints from local residents about the length of time that the signs are displayed and the effect that it has on the visual environment.

Estate agent signs are already regulated by the Planning Regulations (Control of Advertisement) 2015, a planning code which breaks down signs into three groups, each requiring different levels of consent from local planning authorities on behalf of the affected communities.

Nothing is yet set in stone, much like the announced ban on tenants’ lettings fees, and much discussion is likely to follow in the council’s consultation over which is more appropriate – additional restrictions or a blanket ban. Further restrictions may be the more palatable option with the potential to please all stakeholders, and proposals floating around include limits on the size of the signs, the amount of time they can be displayed and a rule that they must be attached flush to the surface of the building, instead of protruding.

Such a set of standards would, however, require continuous enforcement, which could be costly. There could also be additional costs for estate agents in seeking to meet the requirements of the new regulations. An outright ban, by contrast, would immediately lead to a visual improvement in the affected communities, but estate agents would likely require alternative channels for marketing.

The problem is reportedly a particular concern in predominantly student areas, where almost every house changes hands every year, leading to streets full of estate agent signage. If such a blanket ban were adopted and proved to be popular and successful, it could see widespread uptake across the UK.

In light of the arguments against its use, is estate agent signage an anachronistic and aesthetic blight on our communities or a vital and powerful marketing tool? In the age of Zoopla and Rightmove, do house hunters even look for the signs anymore? The question is divisive, no doubt, but finding an answer is particularly important, given the above pressures facing the estate agent sector at an uncertain time for the wider housing market.

Signage: a powerful and multifaceted marketing tool

To evaluate the future of estate agent signs, we first must consider its purposes. The primary function of ‘To Let’ and ‘For Sale’ signs is to drive interest in a property by marking it out to all who walk and drive past. As such, the signs act as a beacon for opportunistic house buyers who spot a house that takes their fancy and telephone to book a viewing on impulse alone. This can work wonders with those properties requiring a little additional exposure, such as those that have sat on the market for several months.

Not only can such signage drive interest among potential buyers, but it also works in conjunction with word-of-mouth referrals to spread news of the property much further than the initial group of people walking past the house in question. It’s a given that most people encountering the sign won’t be looking for a house, but they will likely subconsciously notice and remember the sign.

Then, at a later date, anyone from a colleague to a neighbour or friend may mention that they’re looking for a property in a given area. The person who subconsciously noticed the sign then remembers it and mentions it to the house hunter. This ability to start conversations is where the real power of promotional signage lies.

And the sign alone is often more than enough to get people talking. We’ve all heard or said something along the lines of “That house down the road is up for sale again,” and these conversations as a result of the sign itself boost the reach of your marketing significantly. This is particularly evident in villages and smaller towns where people come into contact with each other regularly, but has the same effect in neighbourhoods in cities as well.

Here to stay

As we can see, estate agent signage is here to stay for the foreseeable future. With over two decades’ experience, we can comfortably say that ‘we know signage’, and we know the power that estate agent signs have to spread word of your properties and your brand. If you’d like to find out more about what we can offer your agency, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 01273 417057

Is the quality of your estate agent signage letting you down?

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.

Window signage

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