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Creating a Customized and Inexpensive “For Rent” Sign.

31 Jan

In anticipation of 2 new vacancies to fill, I’ve been preparing some marketing materials in advance. I actually have 2 signs for each unit: an arrow sign that will go at the entrance of the street with only the address, and a rectangular sign that will be posted in front of the property with the property website and my email address.

This short tutorial simply demonstrates my method of creating a homemade sign that still looks professional and is easy to ready from the road. I originally discovered this technique when creating driving direction signs for my wedding guests.

1. Purchase a blank “For Rent” sign from home improvement store. These are typically made from a corrugated plastic material. Measure the personalization space on the sign.

For Rent Sign 1 - Copy

2. Open Word, and type the text you want displayed on the sign – for example: a phone number, address, email address, or website. Thicker fonts tend to be easier to read from a distance – I used Arial Bold in my example. Use the ruler guides in Word to eyeball how tall and wide your phrase will be printed, and then adjust the font size up or down to make the font as large as possible while still fitting within the personalization space on the sign. Print and cut out your text.

For Rent Sign 2 - Copy

3. Now take a pencil, and scribble the back of the text paper – focusing particularly on the outline of the words. The smaller the font, the easier it is just to scribble on the entire backside. Your primary purpose is to create a thin layer of graphite.

For Rent Sign 3 - Copy

4. Flip the paper back over, and position the text where you want it to appear on the sign.  Tape the corners and some middle edges so the paper won’t shift while you work. Now take your pencil and trace over outline of the text. The light pressure of your pencil on the front of the text will cause a light outline of the word to get transposed on the front of the sign.

For Rent Sign 4 - Copy

5. When you’re done tracing the customization text, remove the paper and tape from the front of the sign. You should now a faint outline of your word.

For Rent Sign 5 - Copy

6. Trace the outline of each word with a dark sharpie, and then fill in the interior of the word. The sharpie is fairly forgiving, so you can effectively scribble in the filling of the text without regard to stroke direction.

For Rent Sign 6 - Copy

Wa-lah! A personalized For Rent sign. So far I’ve found the sharpie ink holds up well to the elements.

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Marketing Rental Vacancies with Inexpensive Door Hangers

13 Jul

cheap door hangerWhen I arrived home this evening, a door hanger was waiting on my door.

On closer inspection, I noticed it was created by hand as an affordable alternative to a printed door hanger. This method is ideal for low-quantity efforts (100 or less). Compared to online services that will print a professional door hanger for  about $.75/hanger, this can be made with materials you might already have around the house.

How to make a cheap door hanger:

  1. Print information on the front and back of a sheet of paper.  The beauty of this method is that you have complete flexibility on the paper weight, size, and color vs. black and white printing.  I believe the brochure on my door was created using legal paper, which provided a wider surface for content. 
  2. Fold the paper in thirds to create a brochure.  If I was using a thicker paper like cardstock, I would probably use a scoring board to make sure the edges were crisp. 
  3. Before stapling the door hanger together, align the rubber band in-between the prongs of the staple.

do it yourself door hanger construction

Easy peasy!  This could be a useful tool for creating some word-of-mouth by announcing a vacancy to the surrounding neighborhood.

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