In the 41 years that Studio 4 has been serving the real estate industry, one of the most frequently heard issues and/or complaints has been: What is an agent to do with their existing open house A-frame signs when changing brokerages or rebranding? If an agent is fortunate, they are able to locate someone in their previous brokerage who is in need of a good bargain and will offer to purchase their open house signage for a substantial savings, but in many cases, as we have heard back from our customers, is where the sandwich boards simply become clutter in the back of the garage or the individual must try and resource out a church group, a charity or an eager garage sale host.
The worse case scenario though is that the A-frames eventually make their way into the landfill sites. “Garbage is a local and a global issue. “Whatever we disgard has to be buried, burned or recycled, and nearby is almost always most convenient.” Imagine, if you will, in the City of Calgary alone, with over 5,000 real estate agents; each having an average of 5 to 10 open house A-frames in their signage arsenal and with that, the tremendous potential of a substantial number of those sign boards threatening to increase our landfill burdens.
In not understating the importance of contributing further to our landfill situations, another very valid and worthwhile reason to try and solve this issue involves the pocket book. The cost of recovering versus buying new, can be reduced from a third to a half, especially if the agent does not require the new listing portion of the graphics to be completed on all sides along with the open house. Often an agent requires only 2 or 3 new listing signs at a time; while needing 8 or 10 open house signs. With this being the case, it is an economical decision to recover only two of the four sides, placing the new artwork to the interior of the sandwich board, which in turn, provides protection for the graphics as they travel and slide around in the trunk of the agent’s vehicle. You can always prime out the reverse side to reduce the visibility of the previous graphics.
When researching out the best solution, we have chosen to approach this problem with two different offerings: The first involves shipping the decals direct to the customer and the second involves the client bringing their old sign boards to us for assistance in recovering.
In the case of the first offering of shipping directly, we had to investigate what vinyls would best suit this scenario. Those vinyls would have to have certain features that would provide certain assurances and also the highest chance of success for the customer to achieve the results they are hoping for. The main assurance was that we were utilizing vinyls that had three main features:
- The decals are pressure sensitive; meaning that they allow the customer the ability to snap them back off and reattempt to position them until such time that adequate pressure is applied, making it final.
- The vinyls have to have air egress features which basically means that there is a small dot pattern on the backside of the vinyls that allow for the passage of air. When vinyls do possess this feature, it means that should an air pocket become trapped between the vinyl and the board, you can apply pressure and slowly move the pocket out towards the edges to allow the trapped air to escape. Regardless though, it is still important how the process of applying the decal is undertaken because if a person takes the decal on all at once, rather than in stages, as recommended in the video we provided on our website, you will still encounter difficulties that could have been avoided.
- It is imperative that the decals have great grey “block out” coverage ensuring that none of the previous graphics are visually apparent after applying your new graphics.
All of the features I’m speaking of here, are found in great quality vinyls that get the job done.
So, now when you are seeking out a worthy home for your used A-frames, your options of recipients are endless; gone are the days of being restricted to finding someone bearing your own brokerage branding. If you are retiring or hanging up your real estate hat for whatever reasons, consider giving a fellow agent, just setting out in his or her business, your existing A-frames that are in good condition, to aid him or her with some of those heavy start-up costs and still know that you have made a good decision in helping the environment.