Should I put up a sign outside my holiday home or vacation rental?
This is a question which many owners ask and have probably received varied answers. If you ask me, I think a signage placed on a strategic direction is a great way to attract travelers and can be a splendid way of advertising. In many occasions when travelers are passing by your property to a destination hours ahead of your, there are chances they may plan to stay while on their way back. A good sign can also be a great way to get walk-in guests. Many travelers who had planned a day-long trip in your city/ town or area, may end up staying at your property because your sign promised them a great stay. Many travelers on the other hand, travel without pre-bookings. There cannot be any better way to cater to this segment of travelers other than a good signage.
Now to the question of ‘what is a good signage?’ Well, in short a good signage is the one that catch the eye of a person passing by; it lists the USP of your property without making it look cluttered. Because travelers will be passing through in a vehicle, it should be such that they can read it easily; if not entirely, at least what you think best define your place. So basically a good signage will have:
(i) Name of your property and phone number – prominently displayed and readable
(ii) Logo (if you have one) displayed prominently
(iii) Couple of your amenities (pool, bar, Jacuzzi, hot tub, etc.)
(iv) Website address
(v) Email address
(vi) Any particular house rules (like families welcome, pet-friendly, etc.)
SIZE OF THE SIGN: About size it will depend on how much space you have. Ideally the sign should be big enough to use three font sizes for the text. A bigger size for the name of the property, a slightly less smaller size text for the amenities and a slightly smaller than this for the contact details. Based on this, decide on the size. Also before you decide on the size, make sure that the font size of the text to come in the sign is readable to a person who will be driving down the road. So using a very small sign will actually be of no use. The best way to decide on what size is best for you, go for a drive in your locality at the speed in which cars usually drive and look at the signage around of the commercial establishments. Choose the one that you could read fast and more.
MATERIAL: Meanwhile when it comes to choosing the material of the signage, choose one depending on your needs. There are a huge range of material available in the market including, vinyl, aluminium, acrylic glass, fibreglass boards, wooden, etc. However if you feel that you need a sign only to be hanged outside when the property is vacant for a certain period of time and would remove during full occupancy, then I would recommend the vinyl variety. It is not only cheap, but also can be easily stored when not in use. Many vacation rentals use the self adhesive vinyl varieties and are quite happy.
WHERE TO PLACE IT:Before you place the signage make sure that you contact the local authorities to know if any permission is required. On many occasions authorities do not allow signage on the roadside because they are considered distractions and thus hazardous to drivers. Also if your property is inside a gated community, you might have to take permission from the homeowner association.
Once you are clear on this, analyse how you want to put it. If the sign rests on your boundary wall or fence then you need not print on both sides, but if you feel you would like place it on poles perpendicular to the road (see image on right), then you need to print it on both sides so that people coming from both sides of the road can read it. When you choose the place to put up your sign, make sure there is no obstructions – creepers, branches of trees, if any, need to be removed. Additionally make sure that there is enough light on the sign during the night too.
I would also like to point out a few downsides of putting a sign outside your property:
1. It makes it obvious that you are using your residence as a commercial entity.
2. It makes focused marketing difficult as anyone passing by could walk in, knock on the door etc.
3. Security Risk if you don’t live there all the time: Essentially if you don’t live at your property all the time, the risk is that someone could try to knock on your front door and if you answer the same could just enquiry about ‘Rooms available’ – Imagine what this person could do if he realized you were not home and your sign said – HD TV, Internet etc. available.
I hope this article has made you aware of the benefits and some disadvantages of having a signage of vacation rental. Share with us how a signage helped you in getting guests and also the funniest stories you have had of walk-in customers!