There’s always something to howl about

Black Pearls: Custom directional signs can draw buyers to your listings — and make your listings seem to multiply

Okay, here’s a Black Pearl made from sandy irritants we picked up at the StarPower Conference.

First, one of the Stars is making custom signs featuring photographs of the listed home. I’ve been writing about custom yard signs for more than a year now, but, so far, I haven’t heard from anyone who is doing them — other than us, that is. What the Star is doing is not our way of making the signs. He’s putting up his regular brokerage sign, then supplementing it with a separate sign that features photos of the home.

Second, another different Star is using directional signs to direct buyer traffic from main thoroughfares into the subdivisions where her listed homes are to be found. These are the size of an Open House directional, but they’re mounted in the yards of cooperating (or compensated) neighbors.

This idea I liked a lot for two reasons. First, it would tend to bring more buyers to the listed home. And second, using these directionals would tend to make it look like you had half-a-dozen listings nearby, rather than just one or two. You could be half the signs in the neighborhood with one listing. If you list in that subdivision frequently, the directionals need never come down, and they could serve more than one home.

Where’s the Black Pearl? Put the two ideas together in custom-made directionals:

These would be coroplast signs mounted on wire H-frames. Any sign printer can do them. Any Kinko’s can do them. They’re cheap to print in bulk, so you can hold out some replacements for stolen or damaged signs. Meanwhile, the photos do some of the jobs we expect from the custom yard sign: They stop traffic and preview the house. At the same time, they radically differentiate you as a lister.

This is pretty simple compared to some of the ideas we’re playing with, but it seems like a sweet little supplement to the idea of custom yard signs.

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Related posts:
  • Stopping traffic in Northern Virginia: is building custom yard signs for its listings
  • Wagging the dog at the Carnival of Real Estate
  • Nest Realty, Jim Duncan’s new broker, joins the custom sign club


    6 Comments so far

    1. John L. Wake July 31st, 2007 7:52 am

      Sam Miller, the guy with the photo yard sign, also said that he makes one or two photo directional signs. The directional is basically the photo of the exterior of the home with an arrow in the bottom or top of the photo.

      Sam is in a small town in Ohio where I guess it’s customary to use semi-permanent directional signs that stay up until the home sells.

    2. Greg Swann July 31st, 2007 8:07 am

      > Sam is in a small town in Ohio where I guess it’s customary to use semi-permanent directional signs that stay up until the home sells.

      Tim Mullan is using very small directionals in North Central Phoenix.

    3. Derek Burress July 31st, 2007 10:18 am

      Around here, we just post red arrows on stop and warning signs and everyone just gets bored from being stuck behind John Deere tractors and decide to take a detour and follow the red arrows. Sometimes it’s a house for sale and others, it’s nothing more than a garage sale.

    4. J. Ferris August 6th, 2007 10:35 am

      I like Sam Miller’s idea and it’s a toss up as to which is better but from what I’ve seen Greg’s sign is more pleasing to the eye.

    5. [...] I wrote about this before, but I don’t think I have what I want even yet. These will print 18″x12″, but I may go to 24″x18″ the next time. My design skills are not the best, but I arrived that this because I wanted three things on the sign, and this seemed like the best way to get them. I wanted the name of the brokerage, the web address for the house, and the maximum amount of photo I could get. This is what I ended up with for a first attempt: [...]