How to choose a sign board management company

Sign board management is still a very important part of any estate agent or real estate agents, marketing armoury. To have your 'for sale' and 'to let' boards out in the field, is one of the cheapest and most cost effective ways of marketing a property and your company serives. It is imperative that the sign boards are active and not just sat stagnent. People will notice your sign boards, but they will also notice if they've been there for 3 months and the property hasn't been sold or let. Sign boards can create a good and bad image of your agency, but it is not that easy to control, without getting out and about on the streets. There are obviously two solutions, 1) you get out there and do it yourself or 2) you employ the service of a sign board management company.

There is a lot more to providing this service than initially meets the eye, the company need to, create, erect, manage, amend, move and store your sign boards on a regular basis.

So if you decide to go and find a company to do this extremely visible job, what things should you consider in choosing such a company.

How many sign boards do they erect and who do they supply for?

An obvious question really, pertaining to the experience and background of sign management. A one man solution company is likely to give you better service unless over strecthed, whereas a large sign company, you may find you are a small fish. You can always ask ask who else they work for and check out their references.

Are they fully insured?
One of the most important questions these days in the libelour society we live. If you erect a sign board and it falls on someones head you are libel to be sued. Insurance is a must for any company you use. They must have a public liability insurance, and check out how much for.

Are they able to provide next day supply and installation?
Whilst it might sound obvious, it is important that they respond immediately to your request for erection of a sign. A house seller will be very impressed if the sign appears the following day and less likely if a week later. Status changes to that board also need to be actioned quickly - 'sale agreed', 'let agreed', 'sold', '4 bedroom', all create an air of movement and a perception of professionalism. Your boards must not stay static, although it is common to see boards left up long after a sale or let is agreed, this is to perpetuate free advertsing by the agent.

Control your signs via the web.
Requesting sign erection and change is now best acheived via software and the web. You may be managing 50-100 live signs at a time. Choose a company that allows you to monitor manage, add, delete and amend your boards online. This should allow you access from within the office and on the move via a mobile phone. The solution will improve speed and reduce staff time on the phone and documenation which will ultimately lead to cost savings.

Cost effective for your agency
Without doubt a web based solution will improve speed, accuracy and reduce documentation. But will it be cost efficient for you. A very rough estimate is that an individual printed sign board and post will cost £15-20 you will still have to travel to and erect it yourself. A fully installed and managed board may cost you £30-50. Your sign board managment company should be cost effective for you and so it depends on what you require in terms of sign board supply, install, erection, amendment and movement services. 

Sign Board Storage and re-use
One benefit is to provide a stocking solution of your boards that that they can stored and be erected the following day following your request. They will be able to provide a re-stocking service as and when required. See if they also provide a collection of your old sign as this may help reduce the long term cost of the service if the boards are recovered.

How do the sign board erectors perform
The sign board erector are in essence representing your company. Anybody associated with your brand should act in the same professional way as your own employees would. It is important to create the right perception to the public so choose a company with smartly
presented and polite sign board erectors. On many occassion people will ask questions of the erector as the boards are installed.

Pick and mix solutions to suit
There are a variety of different service elements (create, install, amend, remove, manage) to sign management and you should try and select one to suit your requirements in terms of your stage of development and price. 

Check them out

Make sure you check out the sign board management company out, check the signs are actually placed where you requested and the speed at which they are installed and updated. Just because it says so on the web it doesn't mean it has happened.

One of the things I find my bizarre is that no sign board mangement company actually advertises itself on the sign board, I mean whilst advertising a property for sale or let it wouldn't be that difficult to put a little sticker on the post, now would it!