Even with all the amazing tools available online, great signage is still one of the best ways to build your sphere of influence. Think about it. They may never see your listings on Zillow or follow you on Twitter, but they HAVE TO drive by your real estate yard sign every day. If you have more than one listing in the neighborhood, they may see your name and the words “for sale” multiple times per day. Who do you think they’re going to call when they decide to sell or buy?
While most realtors don’t need much convincing to get why signs are such a great investment, I’m continually surprised to see so many of them ignore the basics of good real estate signage. This article will get you started on the right path.
Once you have your real estate signs up, you’re going to start getting a lot of calls. Engage potential buyers and raise interest in your house buy regularly following up with these callers. The best way to keep track of follow-ups is by using a CRM like Contactually. Click here for a free 14 day trial.
Minimal, elegant, and the design highlights the agent, not the agency. Perfect!
Indoor signage is a great way to make house hunters feel welcome at your open house. Allthingsrealestate.com can also customize these signs with your brand. Gorgeous.
The custom text message shape, the great color, and lovely design all make this sign by Brick & Mortar’s Rolan Sereny pretty much perfect. It’s highly visible without being too brash, his name stands out, and it just screams professional and hip. You could very easily use a similar custom shape with a standard colonial post yard sign.
Part of their recent rebranding, Citi Habitats for sale signs really make a statement. They are highly visible, but not over the top. The custom shape also reminds me of an online icon which is a great way to attract millennial buyers. (Full disclosure: I used to work for Citi Habitats)
While I personally think his name should be a bit bigger, highlighting private beach frontage in Hawaii is never a bad idea. He also managed to pack in a lot of useful information and a QR code. Nice use of color as well.
Eye catching but not over the top, this yard sign from Coastal Property Group International probably catches Ken Rossi a ton of leads.
7. Deb Smith, Premier Sotheby’s
While the sign itself isn’t anything to write home about, putting the sign on the canal is a very clever way to draw attention from the neighbors. Remember, nosy neighbors = future clients. Perfect for client building.
Like Citi Habitats, ERA also recently rebranded. Note how their new identity looks great on every type of sign. Bright, bold, primary colors and clean design means these signs are easy to read from a distance as well.
Bold colors, great branding, and multiple riders (the bottom parts of the sign with the realtor’s name, phone number, and other information) make this sign by Ebby Halliday really stand out. My only complaint here is that the agent’s name should be a bit more prominent. Otherwise, it’s perfect.
10. Selliken Group
This bright orange sign by Portland-based realtors the Selliken Group really pops.
Lovely branding, gorgeous color palette, and and a headshot make Nancy Fong’s sign quite appealing.
With such stunning views and interiors, putting property pictures on the sign was a logical choice for Sotheby’s Summit Heather Peterson. Also a great way to drive traffic to the individual property website listed on the sign.
Perry & Co’s Karen Nichols also makes great use of interior pictures for her sign. The QR code means she can track visitors to her site as well.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a real wood colonial post yard sign. The original wood post, the custom shape, and the bright blue sign rider make this perfect for a historic neighborhood. Remember rule number one of marketing: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!
The high resolution picture of farmland looks really great here. This sign will definitely draw your attention.
Blu Realty uses a clever message to help draw attention to their signs.
Greater Rapids area realtors Icon Realty Group went with a bold black and white color scheme and a round sign for maximum impact. Love this one!
Houston realtor John Nguyen’s open house signage is pretty amazing. He uses an 8 foot feather flag and A frame combination which can be seen from blocks away. As you can imagine, he gets great traffic at all his open houses.
If the local HOA won’t allow feather flags or directionals, a simple, bold design will get the job done.
If you really want to impress your client, try one of these gorgeous post and sign systems from Quality Architectural. If anyone is using these, send me an email. I’d love to see what these look like in the field.
In some neighborhoods, particularly more upscale ones, understated works better than bold.
Sometimes even a small change can make a boring real estate yard sign look elegant. In the case of this sign from Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s, the grey signpost makes all the difference.
Another great sign from Colorado-based Perry & Co. Simple clean design, a real wood signpost, and text marketing = plenty of leads.
Another gorgeous subtle grey yard sign. This one is from Laura Koneval at Green Tree Properties.
With a bright and bold color scheme, Drew Scott’s signage definitely stands out.
How to Design Custom Real Estate Signs to Get More Leads
Before we get started on design strategies that will help maximize lead generation, you need to understand the basics of what a good sign should do. A good sign should:
- Attract buyer leads to a particular listing
- Attract buyer leads to your brand
- Attract seller leads to your brand
- Help build your sphere of influence
That’s it. If you’re considering any design changes on your signage, ask yourself if it will help you with any of these four goals before moving forward.
Have a Clear Message
To further these goals, it’s important to have a clear message. Like any advertisement, a good real estate sign has one purpose: to convey a message to your audience.You can use design in order to make sure you’re sending the right message. Here’s how:
For most signs, you will have 4 basic messages:
- Your name
- Your phone number
- Company name or logo
- Descriptive text e.g. “For Sale” “Open House” etc.
While they are all equally important, if you have the option, I think your name should stand out the most. After all, active home shoppers will slow down for any real estate sign, but casual buyer leads or seller leads probably won’t. If you could only make them remember one thing, wouldn’t it be your name?
Here’s a real world example. Glance at the sign below very quickly. Did something pop out at you? Now imagine you were driving by the sign. What would you remember about it?
Notice how the realtor’s name is in a heavier font than “under contract” and is separate from the rest of the sign. This sign does a great job of sending one message to people who pass it by: Melanie Mazzeo is selling a house in my neighborhood. What would you change to make this sign even better?
Use the Right Sign for the Job
Okay. Now that you have a better idea of how to send the right message with your real estate signs, let’s quickly go over the different types of signs on the market and strategy for each one.
For Sale Signs
For sale signs act not only as an advertisement for your listing, but also an advertisement for your services. Generally speaking, you want to make sure your sign is visible and readable from a distance, and that your name stands out.
Open House Signs
Believe it or not, there is a lot to cover with open house signage, so if you want an in-depth guide, check out my article on Open House Signs. For today, we’ll just go over the basics.
Like any real estate sign, the goal of an open house sign it to get buyer leads in to see your listing, attract future buyer leads and seller leads to your brand, and increase your sphere of influence. To do this well, you need to go big or go home. Below is my recommended strategy for placing open house signs.
If you’re looking for general open house tips, check out Placester’s great guide here.
Feather flags have two huge advantages over other styles of real estate signs:
- Height. Feather flags are often 6-9 feet tall so can be seen from much farther away than most signs.
- They move. Feather flags will flutter in the breeze, making them even more noticeable. Perfect.
Here’s a great example of a feather flag open house sign from Houston realtor John Nguyen. Pretty hard to miss!
How to Design an Open House Feather Flag
Your main “for sale” sign should have your name highlighted, so don’t worry so much about having it prominent on your open house feather flag. Instead, make “Open House” as large as you possibly can. We’ll tell you more below on where to buy feather flags and other types of real estate yard signs.
How Many Feather Flags Should You Buy?
If you’re just starting out on your own and are confident in your branding, I would order at least twice as many feather flags than the number of listings you expect to have. For example, if you have three agents working for you and expect them each to have two or three listings at a time, I would order at least 18 feather flags. This way, even if your agents get twice as many listings or you hire three more people, you will have enough for them all to hold open houses on the same day. You should also get a volume discount, so the more you order the lower the unit price.
Most modern signs are made of materials that should hold up to pretty much any weather. That said, if you work in a VERY hot and sunny area like Phoenix, aluminum might be your best bet. Plastic signs can fade and melt in very hot weather.
Where to Buy & Pricing
If you have the option, we suggest supporting a local business. That said, if there are no local sign companies near you, there are many options available online. While materials, size, and build quality can vary, you should expect to pay around $100 for one high quality colonial post signpost and sign panel, and around $75-$100 for a feather flag. Just make sure to ask what materials your sign will be made of before ordering.
Here is a chart showing pricing for some common signs at the largest online sign companies. Keep in mind that this is just to give you an idea of pricing, and that you might pay more or less depending on what options you choose.
|Company||Colonial Post Signpost||Sign Panel |
|Feather Flags||Directional Open House Signs|
|DeeSign.com||(10 aluminum) $62.10||(12 hardboard) $31.60||(7’ custom 12) $68.90||(25 custom w/ stake) $16.50|
|BuildASign.com||(12 aluminum) $73.14||(5 aluminum) $37.95||(8’ custom 10+) $149.99||(25 custom) $12.44|
|LowenSign.com||(5+ aluminum) $67.55||(10 steel) $33||(9’ custom 10+ ) $73.55||(25 custom w/ stake) $13.35|
|Signazon.com||(10 PVC) $95.99||N/A||N/A||(25 custom) $12.34|
|OakleySign.com||(10) $87.09||(10) $37.29||(8’ custom 10+) $68.79||(25) $6.37 each|
While branding is a big part of making your for sale signs and open house signs look great, you also need to use the right sign for the job. In my opinion, that means using a classic colonial post yard sign for your for sale sign and a feather flag and directionals for your open house signs.