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How To Buy An Investment Property - Articles

A Sure Sign It’s A Deal

Date: 06/10/2014

First up, if you’ve never been to Tassie then you should make the effort to go. I’ve just returned from a two week vacation driving around and it has to be the prettiest state in the country by a large margin.

A highlight was the walk up to Marion’s lookout (at Cradle Mountain); a hard hike but as you can see by the photo below, well worth the view once you get there.

Marion's Lookout Tasmania

Now… down to investing business.

Quick Poll:

A lot has been written in the news press about the prospects for Aussie property. I’d like to know what you think though…

[poll id=”2″]


Very little has ever been written about the importance of good signage when seeking to lease or sell a property.

As you’d expect, the words are critical, but so too is the layout. On a recent trip to the US I came across a really bad example, and I was able to record a short video about it using my digital camera.



For your convenience, here’s a transcript of the video (and there’s more below the transcript!):

Updated Video Transcript

Steve McKnight here. Now I don’t know about you but I’m always after a saving, but sometimes there can be too much saving to be had. We have an example of that right now with this sign.

Bad Real Estate Sign
Look at the phone numbering. No expense spared!

Now I reckon my nine year old daughter could do a better job with her eyes closed!

Please, don’t shoot yourself in the head when you’re trying to sell or lease a piece of real estate by trying to recycle or go super cheap with the layout and presentation of the signage because cheap attracts cheap. Consider the positioning too. In this case, not only is the sign poorly displayed, it’s also abutting the property when it needs to be fronting the roadside.

Couple of classic rookie errors here, made by a rookie realtor selling this property; Smacks of a bargain.

I’d be making a phone call and saying, “Hey, how much do you want for the property” and I’d be wondering ‘How much can I make on this?’.

One final time, remember, do not go budget to the detriment of your bottom line.

My conclusion:

Don’t go budget on signage as desperate looking signs attract desperate looking offers.

Speaking of real estate agent’s here’s a joke submitted by Megan:

An agent was dismayed when a brand new real estate office much like his own opened up next door and erected a huge sign which read “BEST AGENTS”.

He was horrified when another competitor opened up on his right, and announced its arrival with an even larger sign, reading “LOWEST COMMISSIONS”.

The real estate agent panicked, until he got an idea. He put the biggest sign of all over his own real estate office. It read: “MAIN ENTRANCE.”

Profile photo of Steve McKnight

By Steve McKnight

Steve McKnight, the founder of, is a respected property investing authority as well as Australia's #1 best-selling business author.


  1. Profile photo of Mike

    Clarity of purpose and a call to action.

    Clarity: Are you selling or are you leasing…it seems simple but regularly not followed.

    Call to action: do you want the potential customer to visit an open for inspection, to call to get more info or to visit a website to do a virtual tour.

    Stick to these 2 principles and your are half way there!

    Rgds, Michael

  2. Profile photo of JULES1

    Show the prospective owner the “benefits” to them, using Colour, Quality Photos/Drawings, and Clear Information about the property and contact details, eg major label for warehouse
    “The Best Retail Space Available”


  3. Profile photo of ian kam

    A sign that doesn’t tell to much or to little, is big enough to see when driving past and place facing traffic!

    There is so many signage out there has so much clutter, it takes forever to find a contact number or I completely miss some signs because I don’t see them.

  4. Profile photo of MR Pink

    Agent’s name and mobile contact number. I want to be able to phone the agent immediately and directly about the property to answer my questions, so I can qualifying whether to pursue a deal or not.

    I also find it very frustrating when only an office land line is listed, only to call the office and have someone who knows nothing about the property, take a message and not have your call returned.

  5. Profile photo of jaffafal

    i think with how smick the sydney inner west signs are now univerally, a sign like that Steve might get you more attention!
    things it needs:
    – website link
    – address of property (sometime it’s the house isn’t clearly sign posted.
    – agents name and mobile/email
    – FOR SALE

    cheers joanne

  6. Profile photo of Robert

    The most vital thing a sign has to do is attract your attention. If you are able to ignore it, all its other good features become useless.
    Steve, your example seems to achieve this. You noticed the sign (granted, for being amateurish) but felt moved to call the number, looking for a bargain. The agent is probably far more interested in a fast turn-around than maximizing the sale price for the seller. So the sign works for the agent. Psychology is more complicated than logic.

  7. Profile photo of GH

    The most important feature of a good sign (in fact any sign) is the contact information. It doesn’t matter how good or bad the sign is or how amazing the property might be, if you can’t contact the agent or owner then you can’t go any further.

  8. Profile photo of christopher95000

    The colour scheme is very important – as Joel would say .

    Black writing on a yellow background is best.

    It has to be catchy , and use efficiency in words , so people can read it when they travel past at speed.

    Be direct , be clear and spell out exactly what the reader needs to know – what is for sale / lease and phone number .

  9. Profile photo of Manoj

    eye catching signage . To most things no matter how much information it can be immune to our eyes.we dont just look at a lotof sign out thre coz to our eyaes its nothing new… In my recent visit to local area I saw a realestate sign which I love ..what cathes my eye and not once but everyday is the clever idea of some brainy dude…Its a capital letter P which stands for property sale signage by a releaste with a colour of reflector similar to police refelctors ..any driver going past never misses this branding sign. quite clever sign ..Very creatve idea so far I have seen.I bet they sell more properties than anyone its eye catcher and the other it can be trusted with its branding matching Police sign lol . Now try craeting one with a medical colour OR medical sign ;)

  10. Profile photo of Paul Ewing

    The most important elements for Property signage are the 4 P’s.
    Presentation- does it look Professional? Clear and easy to read?
    Position- is it placed in the best position to be seen?
    Purpose – does the text and layout fulfill on desired outcome of sign?
    Personality- does the signs look and feel match the intended audience?

  11. Profile photo of Steve McKnight

    Thanks for contributing!

    And as a bonus, everyone who contributed up until now will be sent a copy of the book as an early Christmas pressie.

    I’ll get Mathew from my office to contact you for postage information!


    – Steve

  12. Profile photo of sogni1

    Communicate as quickly & effectively as possible.
    Focus on : Audience – who you want to attract
    Your message: location , attraction etc
    Elements : eg what’s in it for you
    The Sign: consider colour, height, size

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