3 reasons why the “For sale” sign will be an effective tool in 2021
The effect of real estate “For Sale” signs can be like an impulse buy in a supermarket. You never thought about snickers, but there it is in front of you and now you want it. The same principle can be applied to the real estate “For sale” signs. It is still an important tool that could help generate calls from someone who happens to be driving through and just sees it.
But the question is – are for sale real estate signs still effective tools (and are they going to be in the following years)? This question is very important especially if we consider that the majority of property buyers gravitate towards online real estate portals. The speed and efficiency of search engines like Google, Bing, etc, have transformed the process of property hunting.
But, despite the complete transformation of the house-hunting process, putting up a “for sale” sign is still not a lost cause, in fact, if done right it can be a really effective tool to capture new buyers.
How is it possible?
Here is an example. Move Croatia is a real estate agency specializing in luxury properties, and the targeted audience is foreign citizens who are interested in living or investing in Croatia. Most of the new leads (and clients) come from the website and through affiliate sites. Despite the fact that online presence has become the “front and the center” when it comes to marketing strategy, it is fair to say that printed marketing materials (such as leaflets, posters, brochures) supported the entire strategy as well.
In 2019 and 2020, thanks to the relevant placements of printed materials in popular tourist locations and resorts, our real estate agents received more calls and got new leads than years before. And there are 5 reasons why offline real estate marketing efforts support online marketing well.
- There is still a tradition in Croatia to sell properties by word of mouth
- Most of the property sellers in Croatia respond better on personal connection rather than online communication
- Property buyers like to have personalized printed brochures of the house (printed brochures are kept for future reference)
- Foreign property buyers tend to believe more agencies with professional materials that provide all necessary information
- Property buyers are considering brochures as a credible source of information
However, the tool that had a great influence on getting new leads from new clients is real estate for sale signs. Not many real estate agents in Croatia had a tradition of using for sale signs, especially when online advertising took precedence. Since competitors didn’t concentrate on putting real estate for sale signs, there was a huge opportunity to dominate the channel, and the results of that decision were very positive.
So at the bottom line are there any reasons to start using real estate for sale signs and what are they?
1.Tracking results easily with real estate for sale signs
Your first question might be how is that possible since you can’t measure the ROI of real estate for sale signs (and other printed materials)? Well, there actually are metrics to support that, and it is one of the reasons to consider using for sale signs when selling a property. Each Move Croatia Real Estate sign (and brochure, pamphlet, etc) has a trackable QR code. When you scan it with your smartphone it will lead you directly to the property ad on the Move Croatia website.
If a potential property buyer is passing by your property, with a QR code he/she can easily scan it and get access to all of the information they need, including things like the number of bedrooms, the number of bathrooms, the school district, and perhaps even photos of the home’s interior. This can save both agents and buyers time. If they like the information they see, they can schedule property viewing.
How can it help real estate agents?
Having QR codes on the real estate for sale sign can help agents efficiently deliver instant information about property or real estate agencies. QR code can redirect potential buyers to a mobile-optimized landing page, which includes the agent’s contact information, agent listings, events, and more. On the other hand, every time a potential buyer scans a code, agents can acquire insights on buyers’ location, date, and time of the scan, and this information can be beneficial if agents decide to create a custom audience list.
2. Real estate “For sale” signs will drive attention to your property
As mentioned before, it is not common for sellers in Croatia to put a “For Sale” sign on their lawn. They usually list their property online and wait for the response of their agent. Because there is not so much competition, this may be a great time to think about changing the trend and start using the signs in front of your house or land.
Let’s say that someone is casually walking or driving through your neighborhood. There might be a chance that they have not come across the neighbourhood on their online searching. If the people notice the sign, and they actually like the house (and the neighbourhood), they can easily use the information on the sign to make a call. Just like that, you have a new lead, and possibly a new offer.
How can it help real estate agents?
For many real estate agents, the for sale sign can act as a way for potential buyers to directly contact listing agents or to broaden their boundaries into neighborhoods they hadn’t considered before. Also, if you live in a busy or crowded street, a “For sale” sign can either drive more potential buyers or deter clients to contact you further.
3. “For sale” signs will give you more exposure
Although “For sale” signs might be considered as a vintage marketing tool in this digital age, it is important to recognize the effect that the sign could have. It is one of the most effective ways of telling people that your property is available for sale. Having a sign in front of your property won’t only drive attention, it can elicit quick responses from your neighbours or other residents from your town. When the person sees the sign, he/she can notify someone they know (a friend, a neighbour), and pass on the information about your property when it crops up in conversation.
It’s fair to say that real estate “For sale” signs might not have the largest impact as your online real estate listing, but that is not a reason not to include it, especially when it’s a simple tactic that shows people that your property is for sale. They remain one of the most cost-effective types of outdoor offline advertising, that adds value 24 hours a day.
What should a professional real estate for sale sign include to be effective?
“For sale” signs are not only responsible for leading potential buyers to your property. They can help real estate agencies to build a recognizable brand and build trust through the real estate network. That is why every for sale sign has to look professional and appealing and to achieve that these are the things you have to have in mind before making one:
- Many people forget this, but it is important for a sign to be durable to withstand all weather conditions
- Label all your details very clearly. Place only relevant text (contact, property details, agency logo), and try to be concise. Typos and non-relevant information could easily confuse a potential buyer
- Can your sign be visible easily? Before permanently setting up the sign, test the area well so you will be assured that the sign could be visible from all angles without any view obstructions
Is having a real estate “for sale” sign worth it?
Having realtor signs in front of the properties definitely have benefits, especially in Croatia and its coastal parts. Even though property buyers find their ideal homes in Croatia mostly through an online search, the increased traffic the signs generate is enough to outweigh the potential flaws.
At Move Croatia there were successful transactions in situations where the buyers didn’t have the agency and negotiated the whole transaction based on the fact they were driving through the neighbourhood and saw the for sale sign (*the buyers already had the idea and a plan of having a house in Croatia).
A Real Estate sign may look like a “relic”, but with the help of new tools and technologies (such as QR codes for example), it can still be an effective tool that could secure a seller’s success, even in the future.