I don't go in to town often - I don't have to because copywriters get to work at home and my husband is pretty good at bringing home everything on the grocery list - plus a bit more, of course.
But today I did go, and the trip put me on my "Sign rant" again.
When I opened my real estate office there were other brokers who chuckled at my signs. They weren't fancy. White, with black and red lettering. But guess what - anyone driving by could read them. And if they weren't going too fast, they could catch a phone number as well as the name of the company.
The signs I saw today - and in fact the signs I've been seeing for the past few years - don't do that. The names are hidden between the graphics, or the font is so fancy that you have to stare at it a minute to figure out the letters, or the name is so small that there's no way to catch it without stopping the car.
That might be fine on a quiet residential street where stopping is not a problem. But driving down the highway it usually wont' work. Drivers in cars behind you don't appreciate it when you suddenly slam on the brakes.
Our rural area is often "invaded" by agents from neighboring communities - some as much as 60 miles away when the pickings get slim in their home territories. Thus we get new signs cropping up, and it becomes a phone discussion with a friend later.
"Did you see the sign about 4 miles out on Highway 41? Did you catch the company name? Me either. Wonder if someone has new signs or if it's a new agency."
I think the worst ones are the black or navy signs with white print. They're as annoying and hard to read as reverse web pages.
Why is this one of my rants? Because those signs break one of the basic rules of marketing: "Make it easy for people to do business with you."
While those other brokers were laughing at my signs, real people (as in customers and clients) were noticing and reading them. At first we didn't have more signs out than the other agencies - we had fewer. But people came in saying things like "You must be doing well. I see your signs everywhere."
And of course, humans being the herd animals that we are, that was one of the factors that swayed them to list with us. They had to do "what everyone else was doing." So we got more of those ugly signs out, and then more.
All the marketing pieces work together, of course. And one adds to the effectiveness of the next. But I believe our "plain jane" signs helped us greatly. So, my advice to agents who want more customers is this: If you're stuck with a fancy, unreadable company sign, at least put a clear rider on top, with your name and phone number in large print.
If you want help putting all your marketing pieces together, get in touch!