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Today’s world is packed full of amazing technological tools for everything from learning ABCs to ordering groceries to stealthy satellite surveillance from space. Yet in spite of all those hi-tech gizmos, the humble yard sign remains one of real estate’s oldest and most effective ways to build a reputation and attract leads. A prospective client might never engage with your listings on Zillow or turn on your Twitter feed or bookmark your website, but they will drive by the house with your for sale sign on the way to work every day.  

They are simple in appearance and made of only a thin sheet of wood, metal, or plastic but a well-made sign very effectively plants your name in people’s minds. They see the same eye-catching sign on tidy front lawns all over town and pretty soon they are familiar with you and/or a particular real estate company. “Hey, there’s Lisa again on that sign over there. She must be selling another house.”

That’s great branding at work—the more recognition you have for your personal logo and colors, the more familiar they become with you, the agent; the business you do; and they naturally associate more and more with your specialty market and neighborhood areas.

Seven Seconds

In a job interview, first date, or your custom real estate yard sign; you have roughly seven seconds to make a first impression and you want it to be a good one. You need to be sure your sign does as good a job attracting buyers as the home itself. If you are a seasoned real estate professional or working on your first listing, connecting with buyers is the most critical element to success. Your sign in the yard must simultaneously invite them in the door while inspiring confidence in your skills as an agent.

And you have a space of about two feet wide and a foot and a half tall in which to do that. That is the size of an average real estate sign but of course, they can vary and be larger. Bigger doesn’t always mean better but when it comes to real estate signs, potential customers need to be able to clearly read from the road what you are presenting. Small, cramped text in decorative fonts might look good on paper but detracts from your intended goal in the field.

Keep it Simple, Make it Count

A real estate For Sale or For Lease sign is your first chance to make a memorable sales pitch. You want your information out there big and bold, in a way that reflects your personal and company branding. Include the most important information about the sale, telling potential customers who you are, what you have to offer, and how to reach you.

To catch the eye of a buyer, include the following on your sign:

  • Personal and/or brand or brokerage logo
  • Your name and contact phone number
  • A quality photo of you
  • Website address

The simpler the main body of the sign, the better. You can share details with buyers later. But your sign can be used for multiple purposes. Think of it as the Swiss Army knife of real estate, starting at the top of the sign.

Toppers and Riders

Aptly named, “toppers” are smaller signs communicating additional information about the sale such as:

  • For Sale
  • Sale Pending
  • New Listing
  • Open House
  • Price Reduced
  • Asking price

Sign Riders” are signs which often hang from hooks below the main sign panel. Some verbiage includes:

  • Your cell phone contact
  • Specific home features
  • Texting options
  • Co-agent contact

Sign Placement

Your real estate sign must be easily visible from the street, preferably in a place that stands out in a yard or complements the property’s existing look. Naturally, you want to avoid posting the sign in a place blocked by parked cars, giant telephone poles, or thick foliage.

It is typically more approachable to place signs closer to the street than right up next to the front door; signs can blend in with a home’s paint color and make them difficult to read. If selling a corner house, take advantage of the natural advertising space and post signs on each adjoining street. Homes in the country on secluded streets don’t see much traffic and in these cases, it is wise to post directional signs in appropriate locations.

Bonus tip

In addition to traditional real estate signage, some agents use cheap bandit signs to attract leads. Bandit signs are low-cost marketing signs placed in various locations to increase spontaneous client leads. Their effectiveness varies but always be sure to check local regulations for posting.  

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