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Real Estate Signage: designing signs that sell

  • Date18 June 2020
  • Reading time 5 mins read

We may have entered the era of QR codes, digital advertising and online searches, but traditional signage is still a driving factor behind real estate leads and clients. Every yard sign, banner, frame and colonial post translates into brand exposure. However, designing effective real estate signs is key. 

Even passers-by who aren't looking to buy or sell a house at the moment could become future clients. If they've developed a rapport with your brand and agents, you'll be their first call! By developing a consistent, professional branding scheme, you've planted seeds that will generate returns. 

On the other hand, ineffective, confusing or unappealing signage can do a lot to damage a business. The client-agent relationship doesn't start with the phone-call or the handshake; it begins with the impression your signs make. This happens so quickly! One glance as people walk past, a quick look as they drive down the road, and they've decided how they feel about your business. 

Designing real estate signs that are guaranteed to elicit a positive response can feel a little bit like alchemy, but there are a few established tricks and tips that can help you on your way to creating signs that sell. As long as you consider these guiding principles, nothing is stopping you from creating real estate magic!

Keep it Simple

Passers-by need to be able to understand and absorb your sign within seconds. If they're overwhelmed with information and graphics, they'll simply look the other way. Keep your text simple by sticking to the essential information:

  • for sale, rent or lease; open house
  • nature of the property
  • agent name + phone number
  • a website where prospective buyers can learn more about the property

Branding

Your signs should say a lot more about you and your business than they do about the property in question. By developing consistent branding throughout your signage, you're expressing your professional identity to potential buyers and making yourself recognisable and memorable.  

Logo, Logo, Logo

Without your agency logo, a retail sign has no exposure value. Make sure your logo is the same across all your signs, business cards, website and listings, down to your custom stationery! Your logo should be unique, impactful and eye-catching, without being fussy and over-complicated. Place it prominently on your signs, so buyers know that it's you!

Your Colour Story

Trademark colours are a great way to become easily identifiable and recognisable. Draw the colours from your logo into the rest of the sign, and use the same colours at every marketing and branding opportunity. People will come to associate you with anything in that shade, and recognise your signs from afar without even having to read them! 

Readability

Signs have literally milliseconds to make an excellent first impression. This goes beyond aesthetics: passers-by need to be able to glean the relevant information quickly and effortlessly. Making sure your sign is easy to read is one of the most important ways you can attract potential clients. What fonts have you used? Does the information stand out? 

It's always a good idea to ask for a proof of your design from the print company and test it yourself!

No-frills Fonts

Fancy, flowing fonts are beautiful for logos, but not so much for facts and figures. Keep your fonts basic. Sans-serifs types are easier to read from a distance, and wider spacing between letters is better than narrow typography. 

Negative Space is a Plus

Text, logos and images stand out more against negative space - that is, space where no text or images appear. While it's tempting to fill signs out with as much information as possible and graphics galore, less is always more when it comes to design. Remember to use negative space to your advantage, helping to make your text and logo stand out. 

Contrasting Colours

For your logo to stand out, it's a good idea to pair it with white negative space, or negative space in a contrasting colour. However, there's a science to creating complimentary contrasting colour pairs! Stick to two or three colours maximum, and pair colours from opposite ends of the colour wheel to create vibrant combinations.  

Using Photographs - let the property sell itself

If you've got the space, it's always a bonus to include a picture of the agent or the property itself. People are more comfortable when they feel like they know a person or a place. Of course, there's limited real estate on signs, so why not add a brochure basket to your posts, featuring information and images of the property and a bio of the agent? 

Let There Be Light

Thanks to modern technology, we don't have to rely on sunlight to make our message visible! Adding lighting to your sign so that it can be read at night will help it stand out, and create positive associations in the minds of people walking or driving home later in the evening. 

Durability

While it might be tempting to choose cheaper materials, remember that your signs are a prospective client's first engagement with your business. If a sign looks shoddy, uncared for and weathered, clients will move on to the next one. To avoid having to replace or repair your sign frequently, choose more durable, higher quality materials that will look better for longer. The longer your sign looks new, the better!

Call to Action

An audience responds well to being engaged with on a personal level. The call to action is, therefore, one of the principal elements in marketing! Invite potential clients to look up your website, grab a brochure, text or call with a question or turn up to the open house. This will leave them something to think about, rather than just passively absorbing your sign. 

For some examples of well-designed signs for our past and current jobs, have a look at our Instagram.

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