Yay for Yard Signs

They’re more than a stick in the mud

There are only so many ways to catch foot and motor traffic. Outside of full-size billboards, advertisement on service vehicles and signage at a company’s physical location, many companies use lawn signs.

Lawn signs are a simple and direct strategy for advertising in the most visible area of a jobsite. Information as simple as the company name, website and a phone number on a yard sign may quickly pay off in leads for additional service or construction referrals. Yard signs are also useful advertisement for companies that primarily rely on unmarked vehicles to move to and from service calls or construction projects.

“We use yard signs for construction exclusively,” says Chris Bowen, president of Bowen Pools in Flower Mound, Texas. “We leave it up during the entirety of construction if allowed.”

Bowen says signs work. His company regularly receives calls from consumers who have seen its signs. Seeing the signs can pre-establish trust for other homeowners nearby, since they know a neighbor already uses the company. Passersby are also exposed to the name of a company they know operates within the town or general area.

Bowen doesn’t have an exact figure for the return on this investment, but he had nice metal signs made and spent about $300 for eight of them. Many yard signs are lightweight and do not take up much space.

Not all home or business owners appreciate the use of their personal property for advertising purposes. Some companies offer small discounts or other incentives to homeowners for allowing the advertising space. Others, like Bowen Pools, simply include the placement of the signage as a requirement for its services.

“We don’t offer discounts for signs,” Bowen says. “We actually have it in our contract that we require one to be in during construction if HOA allows.”

One of McMorrow’s lawn signs

Myles McMorrow, owner of Pool Services Network in Arlington, Virginia, says his company also uses this approach. “Placing signs is right in our service contract,” McMorrow says. “We place one anywhere we have a job, HOAs permitting.”

Homeowners associations have been perhaps the closest thing to a hang-up McMorrow has encountered. Pool Services Network mostly operates in Northern Virginia, just across the river from Washington, D.C. For this reason, McMorrow frequently encounters historic neighborhoods or streets on his jobs.

“One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give concerning yard signs is to make sure you are in compliance with HOAs and municipalities,” McMorrow says. “Lots of cities and counties have sign regulations. If you aren’t careful, the homeowner could even incur fines.”

McMorrow says his company typically leaves the signs up through the entirety of the project, up to a week or so. “To track where our signs are, I actually drop pins on Google,” McMorrow says. “That way, I don’t have to spend unnecessary time driving around looking for them all.”

Some companies may even use signs they consider to be disposable, leaving the sign in place and allowing the owner of the property to do with it as they choose.

If a yard sign leads to a service or construction referral, it appears likely that the return on invested time, space and cost will be worth it for many companies. Just be sure to be in compliance with city codes, the customer’s wants for their property and those HOAs.

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