In considering how to start a Realtor sign installation business, the first consideration has to be arranging for the production of signage materials. To print custom logos and colors you will need to set up arrangements with a silk screen printing company. This is a specialized process where the pattern is created on fabric with a resist material, then ink is pressed through in multiple color passes. You are also going to want to arrange for storage of the completed signs in a covered dry area with separators to protect their surface when not in use.
The signs themselves are almost universally mounted on four by four standard construction grade Douglas Fir posts, apart from larger commercial real estate signs which occasionally may require four by six posts. The plywood for lettering should be plywood with exterior grade glue and a smooth PTS “plugged and touch sanded” surface on both sides. Half inch thickness should suffice for most applications.
You will need a good knowledge of the area to accurately locate the sign placements. A GPS device is useful here, and you will also want to be able to read County Assessor plat maps if you are going to place signs on vacant land. You will also need to check local sign ordinances in developed areas. Know the restrictions on sign placement in gated communities, within homeowner association controlled developments, and in all areas with covenants, conditions and restrictions (CCRs) such as planned unit developments or town homes.
Once your production capacity and storage arrangements are in place but not yet activated, you need to secure your accounts. In addition to marketing to conventional real estate offices, you will also want to pursue the bank REO (real estate owned) departments that need to liquidate foreclosed holdings and the independent agencies that are selling foreclosed properties in bulk.
Establish your pricing and service by comparison with sign companies in areas adjacent to your service area. Much of your marketing will be establishing contacts in person with the real estate office managers in your area. Be presentable, be persistent, be cordial, and be businesslike. These people need to know they can trust you to promptly and reliably place and remove their signs.
Almost every business today can benefit from an online marketing presence. A digital camera can provide you with promotional photographs for your web site, and templates are available online to simplify the process of setting up your site. Be sure to include a call to action on every page to encourage your visitors to request an estimate by e-mail. Also obtain their name and telephone in your online form to follow up with them consistently. The forms can be found by searching online for reply forms.