The Perfect Workspace According to Science

An interesting article from 99u discussing how to organize and optimize your workspace in the most beneficial ways possible. When it comes to building your workspace you can aim for the trendy look and flick through some interior design mags, or you can let science guide the way. Based on recent psychology and neuroscience findings, here are some simple and effective steps you can take once to improve your productivity for years:

Take ownership of your workspace 

The simple act of making your own decisions about how to organize your workspace has an empowering effect and has been linked with improved productivity.

Craig Knight, Director of the Identity Realization workplace consultancy, showed this in a 2010 study with Alex Haslam involving 47 office workers in London. Those workers given the opportunity to arrange a small office with as many or few plants and pictures as they wanted were up to 32 percent more productive than others not given this control. They also identified more with their employer, a sign of increased commitment to the team effort and increased efficiency.

If you are an office manager this suggests you should give your staff as much input into the design of their office and immediate workspace as possible. Many companies even give their employees a small amount of money to furnish their space. Alternatively, if you’re a creative in an open-plan office, try to find ways to make your mark on your immediate environment. Even the simple use of a pin-board to post your own pictures and messages could help you feel that the space is yours with consequent benefits for your work.

Choose rounded furniture and arrange it wisely

If you have the luxury of designing your own workspace, consider choosing a layout and furniture that is curved and rounded rather than sharp and straight-edged. Creating this environment has been linked with positive emotions, which is known to be beneficial for creativity and productivity (added bonus: there’s also less chance of knocking an elbow or knee on a sharp corner).

In a 2011 study, hundreds of undergrads looked at computer-generated pictures of room interiors and rated those filled with curvilinear (rounded), as opposed to rectilinear, furniture as more pleasing and inviting. Another study out this year found that people rated curvy, rounded environments as more beautiful than straight-edged rectilinear environments and that the rounded spaces triggered more activity in brain regions associated with reward and aesthetic appreciation.

This contrast between straight edges and curves also extends to the way we arrange our furniture. Apparently, King Arthur was on to something: sitting in circles provokes a collective mindset, whereas sitting in straight lines triggers feelings of individuality – something worth thinking about at your next meeting if you want to encourage team cohesion.

Take advantage of color, light and space

Choosing the right color and lighting scheme for your office is one of the simplest ways your environment can enhance your performance. Different colors and light levels have different psychological effects, so the ideal situation is to install a lighting system that allows you to alter the hue and brightness of your room to suit the kind of work that you’re engaged in.

For instance, exposure to both blue and green has been shown to enhance performance on tasks that require generating new ideas. However, the color red has been linked with superior performance on tasks involving attention to detail. Another study out this year showed that a dimmer environment fostered superior creativity in terms of idea generation, probably because it encourages a feeling of freedom. On the other hand, brighter light levels were more conducive to analytical and evaluative thinking.

Not as easy to modify, but ceiling height has also been shown to have psychological effects. A 2007 study found that a higher ceiling was associated with feelings of freedom, together with a more abstract and relational thinking style that helped participants see the commonalities between objects and concepts.

Make use of plants and windows

If you only do one thing to optimize your workspace, invest in a green plant or two. Research has repeatedly shown that the presence of office plants has a range of benefits including helping workers recover from demanding activities and lowering stress levels. As a bonus, there’s also evidence that plants can reduce office pollution levels.

Another feature of an optimized office is a window with a view, preferably of a natural landscape. This is because a glance at the hills or a lake recharges your mind. Obviously a view of nature isn’t possible for many people who work in cities, but even in an urban situation, a view of trees or intricate architecture have both been linked with restorative benefits. If you can’t negotiate a desk with a view, another plan is to choose an office in your building that’s the shortest stroll from an urban park. A visit here will revitalize your mind and compensate for your lack of a view.

The benefits of a messy desk

There’s a lot of pressure these days to be organized. How are you supposed to get your work done if you can’t even find a clear space on your desk to roll a mouse or place a plant? But new research suggests Einstein may have been onto something when he opined: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

Kathleen Vohs and her colleagues at the University of Minnesota found that participants tested in a messy room at a desk covered with paper came up with more imaginative uses for a ping pong ball than participants tested in a tidy room. This matches the views of consultant Craig Knight who has argued against the modern trend for “lean” workspaces. “We don’t understand psychologically why putting someone in an impoverished space should work, when it doesn’t work for any other animal on the planet,” he said recently.

It also fits with the advice from Eric Abrahamson – co-author of A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder – who says people with highly ordered desks often struggle to find things because their filing systems are so complicated. He also points out a key advantage to a mess – you can find things in it that you didn’t expect. Discovering that ground-breaking idea you scribbled on a piece of paper two years ago could be just the spark to get your next project off the ground.

It’s easy to neglect the importance of your workspace, especially if you’re under pressure of deadlines and not so into interior design. But hopefully this review has convinced you that the spaces we occupy really can affect us psychologically. It’s vital that you choose an office space that you feel happy and comfortable in. If your freedom is restricted, shape the space as much as you can to make it your own. Get your surroundings in order and the rest is sure to follow.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Do You BYOD To The Office?

A recent article from Steelcase discusses the pros and cons of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to work. The workplace is changing; employees are no longer tied to their desks or offices. As the trend of remote and mobile working continues to grow, it’s important for organizations to allow their employees to make personalized choices about the technology they use in remote and mobile settings. That’s why BYOD  has become an essential element in how we work.

On the positive side, BYOD can encourage teamwork and collaboration activities, which are often spontaneous in current work settings. Having personal devices handy makes it easier for employees to share information, call up documents on demand, and make changes to documents on the fly. It is also important for employees to be comfortable with the technology they are using in order to reach their full potential as a worker.

This growing trend doesn’t come without its challenges. For example, there’s a greater range of devices with a greater range of applications and content sharing approaches. This has led to more security and compatibility issues and overall governance for the IT support professionals. From the employees’ perspective, there is also a perception that if they have 24/7 connection to work through these devices, they must answer when a call or email comes through. This has even sparked lawsuits over the value of employees’ time.

Despite these potential pitfalls, BYOD is a great tool for companies who want to motivate their employee base, promote collaboration among teams, and offer flexible work strategies, especially for top performers. Additionally, companies can put in place smart and strategic guidelines to help mitigate these risks.

At Steelcase, we’ve seen great success with our BYOD program. We’ve approached our BYOD program as voluntary, meaning employees can choose to use the BYOD program and receive a stipend but buy their own handset hardware, or they can choose to have a standardized hardware device that’s company issued. In our Americas region, almost half of the mobile phone users have chosen the BYOD program. They’re enthusiastic about choosing their own technology for mobile phones.

Additionally, almost all of the people choosing the BYOD program select SmartPhones as their technology of choice. Frequent travelers consistently comment how much productive they can be with a SmartPhone as they travel.

In an ideal setting, people in the workplace have choice and control when it comes to the technology that they use and therefore want to purchase their own technology, perhaps partly from a personal technology budget provided by their employer and partly from their own pocket. It’s important that organizations adapt to these trends and insure that personal technology seamlessly integrates with corporate business systems and networks. This will be a substantial challenge for global IT organizations to face.

 

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Commercial Real Estate Forecast: Vacancy, Rent Improvements

Falling vacancy rates and modest rent growth are predicted for each of the major commercial real estate sectors, according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) quarterly commercial real estate forecast released last month.

NAR is forecasting commercial vacancy rates nationwide to decline 0.2 percentage points in the office sector and 0.6 points in both the industrial and retail sectors. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the multifamily vacancy rate is not expected to change much as the sector will continue to have the tightest levels of availability.

“Office vacancies haven’t declined much because total jobs today are still below that of the pre-recession level in 2007, but rising international trade is boosting demand for warehouse space,” Yun said. “Consumer spending has been favorable for the retail market, and rising construction is keeping apartment availability fairly even, though at low vacancy levels.”

Lower vacancies are continuing to have an especially pronounced effect on the multifamily sector’s rental rates, according to Yun.

“That, in turn, is pushing apartment rents to rise twice as fast as broad consumer prices and average wage growth,” he said.

Average apartment rents will rise 4 percent in 2013 and another 4 percent next year, according to NAR’s forecast. However, NAR said that with new construction rising to meet increased demand in the multifamily sector, it will likely see vacancy rates edge up only a tenth of a percentage point, from 3.9 percent in the third quarter to 4.0 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

NAR is estimating that vacancy rates in the office sector are expected to decline from a projected 15.7 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to 15.5 percent in the third quarter of 2014. The industrial vacancy rates are projected to fall from 9.3 percent in the third quarter of this year to 8.7 percent in 2014. Retail vacancy rates are expected to decline from 10.6 percent in the third quarter of this year to 10 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

When it comes to rent growth in the other sectors, NAR expects office rent to increase 2.5 percent this year and 2.8 percent in 2014. Industrial rents are expected to grow by 2.4 percent this year and 2.6 percent in 2014, and retail rents are likely to increase 1.5 percent in 2013 and 2.3 percent in 2014.

Article courtesy of reit.com.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

The Evolving Face of Commercial Real Estate Technology

A recent article from Opinion of Value discussed some new commercial real estate technology showcased at the CRE Tech Intersect. CRE technology is an impossibly broad term that touches really every facet of a complex industry. Occupier services. Search. Data Exchange. Analytics– and more. The CRE Tech Intersect conference pulled these diverse items together in a setting that provided attendees with some great cutting-edge information, but still reminded everyone that personal interaction was still our industry’s most important tool.

COMPSTAK: Brokers have been using data on recent completed leases in the marketplace as currency forever. A lot of veteran brokers have regular meetings with colleagues from competing firms to trade lease comparables. We’ve been crowdsourcing comps for years, and pretty effectively at that.

CompStak CEO Michael Mandel says that they have close to 100% of lease data in New York, the first market in which they rolled out the service. Compstak’s comps are available to brokers essentially on a barter system– you give comps, you can get some. Again, not terribly different from how brokers operate amongst themselves already. Mandel sees a strong market for their data with institutional investors and major developers. CompStak’s aggregated data could supplement information that these entities now get for free from their broker.

This brings up a new take on a conversation that’s been going on in commercial real estate circles for a long time. Not the case everywhere, but it has been a very, very long time since information on something as mundane as available spaces has been considered proprietary.  Brokers that base their business model on hoarding information at their desk are going to be forced to change. This applies to lease comparable data, too. Commercial real estate data is a commodity, and it’s getting cheaper and more readily available. Knowledge, information, and the ability to synthesize both into a real understanding of the market, though, has value. Smart brokers know this and welcome new players like CompStak.

LIQUIDSPACE:  LiquidSpace is focused on booking immediate-need meeting space, short term conference rooms, etc., by taking advantage of an increasingly mobile workforce and the growth of co-working space. CEO Mark Gilbreath has an even bigger vision, though. From a real estate perspective, the biggest challenge facing start-ups is appropriately scaling a young high growth operation. What if these early stage players had an efficient method of ordering their office space à la carte instead of in bulk?  Office space needs can be responded to real-time and based on immediate need.  A more dynamic team with the flexibility to respond to the immediate needs of key employees. Bottom-up facility planning.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

BOMA Survey: Office Tenants Optimistic About Future Staffing, Space Needs

A recent article from the CoStar Group shared the results of the first survey of tenant sentiments and needs by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International since 1999. Despite the recession and changing workplace trends, the walls aren’t closing in on office space requirements just yet, according BOMA.

BOMA found that, as a group, office tenants are optimistic about the future — more than 75% of respondents in the 2013 BOMA Global Office Tenant Survey plan to increase staffing levels and space requirements, or at least retain their current employee headcounts and office footprints.

“Clearly, tenant space configurations are different – they need to be friendly and collaborative, with such features such as a work bench, a fun room or multimedia room – but the need for more office space is not going away,” noted John Combs, principal of RiverRock Real Estate Group, a West Coast-based CRE management and leasing firm providing property management for industrial, office and retail assets.

“[Requirements] can’t shrink too much more,” added Combs. “Those companies that are leasing are taking the same or more space. It’s reconfigured and it’s denser, but many people are hiring.”

Atlanta-based Kingsley Associates conducted the survey of nearly 1,300 office tenants between March and April, revisiting attitudes, priorities and needs of office tenants for the first time since a January 1999 report by BOMA and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Kingsley vice president Phil Mobley gave an overview of the “What Office Tenants Want: 2013 BOMA Global Office Tenant Survey” at this week’s Every Building Conference and Expo before several thousand attendees at the San Diego Convention Center.

Michael Prabhu, managing director Jones Lang LaSalle’s property management portfolio in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, also noted that the outlook among building owners was positive, with improving economic conditions and fundamentals trending in their assets trickling down to the property management level and interactions with tenants.

“We feel the corner has been turned and the economy is moving along, albeit slowly, but in the right direction,” Prabhu said. “Tenants in our buildings are feeling more comfortable and confident, which is driving some of their space utilization decision making. It’s a more optimistic environment.”

As expected, the survey results reflect the major changes in office tenant priorities since then.

In 1999, barely half of respondents to the previous BOMA survey were located in assets with “intelligent building” features and systems almost taken for granted today such as HVAC, fiber optics, cabling for Internet and high-speed networks, and LAN/WAN connectivity, and strategies such as coworking, hot desking and hoteling were mostly outside the office workplace mainstream a decade and a half ago.

While the updated survey found no universal “next big thing” comparable to the rapid changes in technology and alternative workplace strategies that swept building management in the 2000s, Mobley said the latest study showed that three of the top five factors influencing overall tenant satisfaction are service-related.

One relatively easy way to add value to a building is the addition of health and hygiene amenities such as anti-bacterial dispensers.

“Such amenities are comparatively rare in buildings occupied by survey respondents, but they are rated highly when present,” Mobley said.

The full results of the BOMA study will be released next month, including data on tenant attitudes about sustainable building programs and features space usage and telecommuting trends.

About The Sundance Company

Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Commercial Real Estate Professionals Embrace New Technology

An NREI article discusses how technology can be a huge boon to busy commercial real estate professionals in creating efficiencies and delivering faster and better services to clients. Yet for many the challenge is sifting through the deluge of new tools without getting caught up in a race to have the shiniest new toys regardless of whether they help you do a better job.

Commercial real estate professionals are gravitating to technologies that can assist with key functions such as file sharing, client relationship management, analysis and marketing. “What we hope to use technology for is that we can provide better services for our clients, not just for the purpose of deploying technology,” says Mike Kamm, president of Cassidy Turley in San Francisco.

For example, Cassidy Turley is in the process of implementing a new customer relationship management (CRM) solution that it calls “eClient.” The solution will allow professionals to track their individual client relationships and provide a broader look at who others in the firm are working with. “That is going to be a major improvement in our productivity, and also allow us to provide better client services in a more coordinated fashion,” says Kamm.

For small and mid-size firms, technology has the added perk of helping level the playing field when they compete head-to-head with larger firms. “Our view on technology is that it is only going to make us more efficient in the long run and we are trying to embrace it as best we can,” says Scott Burns, president of Wilson Commercial Real Estate in Los Angeles

Wilson Commercial has 75 shopping centers in its portfolio. “We get calls all week long from people wanting to get in and tour the space,” says Burns. Often, people want instant access to the properties. So Wilson Commercial has posted YouTube videos that provide virtual, 360 degree tours of its spaces. The firm still wants to bring prospective tenants to the physical space, but giving them a sneak peek eliminates some “tire kickers” that just want to check spaces out with no serious interest in signing a deal, adds Burns.

A quick virtual tour can also help tenants form detailed questions about a particular space or shopping center. It is not going to replace the physical walking and touring of the space in any way, but providing that video snapshot of a space on demand to prospective tenants is becoming part of the marketing tenants are expecting, notes Burns.

The next stage videos is 3D models, such as those created with the Floored app.  The tech firm scans spaces with 3D cameras, refines the data and produces models that are available online to be shared with prospective tenants.

Proliferation of CRE apps

There is an app for just about everything these days, and commercial real estate tasks are no exception. Commercial real estate professionals  are utilizing apps that assist with everything, from converting voicemails to text messages to providing immediate access to research reports and property listing services and databases. Apps for property information sites such as CoStarGo and LoopNet Mobile are increasingly popular.

Such technologies can help commercial real estate professionals in the field save time when scouting for investment sales or leasing opportunities. In the past, when they saw an interesting property and wanted to research ownership, they had to phone the title insurance company and ask for information. Now there are apps that provide that same info on demand.

For example, Fidelity Title has an app called Commercial Pro 24-7 that allows users to touch the image of a property on an aerial map and receive title insurance information on terms of ownership, parcel maps and other recording documents.

In the past, it was a challenge to track down ownership information behind properties held by an LLC or other private entity. Now commercial real estate professionals can use apps such as ProspectNow Mobile to find the names of owners behind those companies by conducting a search with a building address or contact phone number. ProspectNow is an online database that claims access to a commercial real estate database of 6 million building owners and 30 million tenants, including phone numbers, mailing addresses and building details.

The process of finding ownership information can now take a commercial real estate professionals four to five minutes compared to several hours of deep digging.  “It makes us much more efficient and lets us leverage technology and apps that literally save us hours of our time,” says Burns. “Where we used to research things manually, we can now click a few buttons, wait 10 seconds, and the information pops up.

Challenges of dealing with technology

Implementing new technologies is not without its challenges. Certainly, making sure you are deploying the right software and technology for what you really want to do takes a lot of vetting. “Obviously, technology is very expensive, and you don’t want to have to redeploy new platforms any more often that you have to,” says Kamm. Technology also is changing very quickly, which makes it more difficult to stay abreast of the latest and greatest tools.

Getting commercial real estate professionals and staff trained and using the technology effectively is another challenge. “You can buy and deploy a lot of software, but if people aren’t using it properly then it is not going to generate the kind of returns that we all want,” says Kamm. Even once people go through the training, there is no guarantee that they will actually use it, he adds.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Recent Survey on Tech Trends in Commercial Real Estate Yields Surprising Results

A recently conducted a survey at The News Funnel gauged the commercial real estate industry sentiment as it relates to technology trends. Some of the results were not so surprising, but one thing really stood out. The main takeaway from survey was how many exciting new websites are being launched on a regular basis creating a real tech revolution in the industry. Another things that was really surprising was the amount of respondents who said they are still getting the majority of their news and information from their desktop devices as opposed to mobile. It’s completely contrarian to what’s obviously happening in the tech sector in general as mobile is taking the tech world by storm. Old habits die hard, but if someone can get the industry to adopt to a mobile solution, they will have the field to themselves.

Here were the major findings of the survey:

Which data and information website is used the most by industry professionals?
CoStar was chosen by 60% of the survey followed by Real Capital Analytics and LoopNet in a virtual dead heat for second place.

Which new real estate tech site are you most impressed with?
A virtual tie between View The Space and OfficeSpace.comCompStak was selected as the third most impressive site. Other sites that were chosen were RetailMLS, 42Floors and TheCapRate.

Which aspect of the industry is experiencing the most exciting innovation?
More than half of the survey respondents selected “news”, followed by “marketing” and “space search”.

Which area is lagging the most in regards to tech innovation?
“Data analysis” was the answer most given followed by “marketing” and then “property management”.

When asked which sector of the industry is experiencing the most innovation residential or commercial?
Almost 70% of the survey said “commercial”.

Finally, and most surprising, What type of device you use to access real estate information?
83% said their desktop while only 17% said mobile.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Can A Company Use Instagram To Share Their Story and Build Their Business?

Instagram is a photo sharing service available as an easy to download application for any Android or iOS powered device. The photos captured can be shared on Facebook, Twitter and even Tumblr too. It is time for businesses to understand that this social sharing platform is here to stay. So how can a business use Instagram to share their story?

Build an Identity
Start snapping photos of your business. Once you’re ready to post your first image, you’ll be able to add a location if it is not already listed.

Try uploading photos of interesting aspects of the store or products, or share images of things the people who shop your business care about. You’ll be amazed at the response when you start sharing your perspective. Visuals speak louder than words.

Use Hashtags to Build a Following
What’s the point of taking a great photograph if no one will notice it? Celebrate your active brand advocates by deciding on a short, easy to type phrase that people can include in their tweets. For example Adidas used the hashtag “#thereturn” to celebrate the return of Derrick Rose. They even made it a predominate design element on their website for D Rose.

With the use of these hashtags you can monitor conversations focused around your brand by using the Twitter search feed or directly displaying these photos using the Instagram API on your website. Make sure to include any legal terms and conditions related to the use of the publically shared content. In the footer of their website, Adidas informed people: * If you send us a Tweet, or use our hashtag “#TheReturn” on Twitter and Instagram, you consent to letting adidas and Derrick Rose use your content and handle, in any media. If you opt in to our Facebook application All In For D Rose by adidas you also consent to letting adidas use your customized Facebook image in any media. Fan based media can be shared cross-platform allowing you to successfully use Instagram for marketing and to increase brand loyalty through the instant gratification of social likes.

Find Your Advocates
Snap a photo using Instagram and then select that you’d like to add a Photo Map. You’ll be prompted to “name a place”. This is where you’ll see a list of available locations based on your GPS location. Once you find your business, select it as the location and then upload your photo. Once uploaded you’ll be able to click on the location as a hyperlink and browse the gallery of photos other people have tagged for that same location.

Find anything interesting? Follow that individual and you’re on your way to building your community.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

The Importance of Real Estate Signs

CRE Outsider offered some great tips about real estate signs. The majority of the article is below but you can visit their website to read the entire post. Commercial real estate signs are a constant, visual reminder that reinforce awareness and provide name recognition.  Consider the fact that the average person passes by at least 40 signs per day and that 97% of the people in any given market will see a sign each day.  You can’t turn them off.  They just sit there as the market circulates around them waiting for the moment a consumer has a need. Signs have the lowest cost per impression and highest awareness/recall than any other form of advertising. Here are some suggestions to get the most out of your signs.

1 – Design: Don’t jam lots of text onto your signs.  Besides the listing type (sale/lease/available) your company name, logo and phone number are all you need.  Most brokerages put a web address but it’s really not necessary.  If they can read your company name, they’ll search for it online and get to your site. Some brokerages feel it’s  necessary to put the agent’s name/direct phone number on the sign.  Unless the agent’s name is easy to remember (because the phone number sure isn’t) it may not be worth the extra cost.  If you do want to add agent names, put them on a rider to not only draw attention to the name but so you can re-use the base sign.

2 – Contrast: Make sure your signs contrast with the background you intend to place them on.  You’ll also want to make sure your signs contrast with competitor signs – or that your competitors aren’t blatantly ripping off your design. If everyone seems to be copying your solid red signs, break it up.  Keep the red prominent but put your logo or phone number in a white or other secondary color block.

3 – Consistency … and Change: There’s something to be said for consistency when it comes to branding so don’t go changing your signs or logo all the time.  But you do need to be on guard for changes in style.  Review your sign design to keep it visually up to date and distinctive enough to stand out.

4 – Placement: Billboard advertisers place signs based on traffic counts and demographics but you don’t have that luxury.  The sign’s got to go where it’s got to go.  For primarily foot traffic areas, you’ll want them at/near eye level.  Signs viewable from highways should be placed facing traffic or multi-sided/multiple locations if you’re trying to attract commuters from both lanes.  If the sign is on a building, place at heights similar to billboards so they’ll catch the eyes of drivers on the approach. Also consider placing signs in areas where people tend to fixate their gaze such as bus stops or signaled intersections proximate to buildings you have listed or just for branding purposes.

5 – Measurement: Don’t just put up signs and forget about them.  Set up a system with the address, alternate addresses, nearby intersections, highway markers and any landmarks for each sign so when people call, you’ll be able to determine which property they’re calling about.

There’s no way you’ll know who visits your website after seeing a sign, but do keep track of sign calls.  And, make a note of deals that originated from sign calls.  Your results may vary, of course.  But if you don’t have the data, you’ll never know  that signs do work.

 

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Mobile Marketing: What You Should Know

Here is a nifty and informative infographic that clearly illustrates just how much people rely on and use mobile phones and smart mobile devices. The information shows that we use our phones for pretty much everything. More than 1 billion of the world’s 4 billion phones are now smart and 3 billion are SMS (short message service) enabled. It is widely predicted that by 2013 mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage, and in 2012, more than 60% of all local searches are done from a mobile device. To better illustrate the growing mobile marketing opportunity, take a look at this infographic showing the size of the mobile market.

 

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.