Need to catch up? Go to Day 1.

This is a subject near and dear to my heart. I think 99% of commercial real estate agents DON’T UNDERSTAND the purpose of a lease or sale sign. Your commercial real estate signs should advertise the property for sale or lease. That’s it. No more.

Order of importance of information on your sign: #1 Contact phone. #2 Sale or Lease. #3 Building Info. #4 Logo. Are you freaking out because I left out your name? Sorry, that’s not important. Remember, the purpose of the sign is to bring in potential buyers or lessees, not promote you. If you want to brand yourself with signage, rent a billboard.



*I don’t want to hurt feelings, but this needs to be explained with real world examples for educational value.


Good Examples

nai signage

I think NAI has some of the best signage! When agents follow the branding standards of their corporate headquarters, these signs are effective. NAI didn’t waste space with agent names or focusing on the logo. The first thing that your eye goes to is the phone number, then the description of the building. This is an effective design!

grubb ellis signage

I love Grubb & Ellis signage. It’s simple, effective and to the point. This one has a sign rider for agent names, which is good! It’s very expensive to print out a new sign for every available property. This makes printing information like sale, lease, building info, square footage, and agent names onto a sign unfeasible for every listing. Instead, Grubb & Ellis has a standard sign with a simple “available”, office phone, and logo. Additional information like building info and agent names go onto riders. Although I would have rather seen the riders show information on the available building instead of agent names, this is still a very good example of an effective sign!

cbre signage

I think CB has some of the more beautiful signs available. They are definitely eye catching and all of them focus on contact phone and whether the property is for sale or lease. However, CB has one of the biggest budgets for marketing, so a smaller firm can’t keep up with CB’s strategy. Most CB signs are printed individually for the particular property, this becomes very expensive. The only negative thing about CB’s signage is that most focus on agent names instead of building info. The purpose of a sign is to advertise the listing, not an agent. This sign I would have liked to see the building info first and the agent name on the bottom. It’s a minor detail when considering the rest of the sign is perfect.


Bad Examples

bad signage

This is very typical in the fact that an agent will focus on branding him or herself before thinking about what the sign is supposed to be selling. If Dennis would consider removing his name and replacing it with “Commercial Land for Sale” or “±5 Acre Lot for Sale” I would have placed this sign in the good examples. If you were to drive by this sign, you likely wouldn’t know the lot is for sale. You would probably assume it’s an advertisement.

bad signage

I had to block some of the logo so I wouldn’t embarrass anyone too badly, but this sign had a very overwhelming logo at the top. The eye would stick on the logo and not move to the “For Lease” or phone number. Also, there’s no reason to place “for information call;” the phone number is enough. I would have rather seen space info instead of an unnecessary “for more info…”

bad signage

Here’s a great example of a confused sign. If I drove by this sign I would assume either Chris or his company is for sale since it makes no mention of the property. Another pet peeve of mine is different phone numbers on one sign. You may think it’s convenient, but it only confuses potential buyers or lessees. However, I dig the slogan at the bottom of the sign! Slogans give an idea of what kind of company you have and that’s important to potential clients.




If you hate me after reading this, I have a suggestion! Create a sign used for advertising yourself. Rick did a great job on advertising himself as a commercial real estate agent! I would prefer to see his specialty and the removal of the office phone number, but it’s still an effective sign!

Your listing signs should focus on selling or leasing a property…you do want checks, don’t you?! If you want to brand yourself, create a branding sign. The two should not be combined.

Day 8: Listing Brochure