What are the most effective marketing channels to achieve footfall for your marketing suite?

The days of the deals-on-wheels style portacabin as a place for negotiations have well and truly vanished. And the property industry is leading the way in developing beautifully designed marketing and sales suites to create a customer experience that reflects a new housing or apartment development. Developers are essentially selling a lifestyle and to do this, they need to make their customers feel special.

Marketing suites play an essential role in communicating the look and feel of a finished site; ensuring all touchpoints are spot-on by creating an immersive and interactive experience. They can also incorporate show apartments, 3D models, private meeting rooms, refreshment areas and closing rooms. An effective marketing suite makes potential buyers feel a connection to the development and its surrounding environment, as well as gaining trust in the developer and their service levels.

We recently conducted our annual customer satisfaction survey; essential to us to ensure our reputation and service levels remain strong. Our customers include nationwide and local property developers, housing associations, construction companies and creative agencies. As part of the survey, we also asked them to share insights into the channels that achieved the most footfall to their marketing suites. Here are the top three results:

Online and signage top the charts

First – Website (29%)
Second – External signage (24%)
Joint Third – Hoarding and Social media (both 17%)

The top spot isn’t entirely surprising, since we’re naturally used to interacting with digital technology for research and other practical purposes. Marketing focus is now, crucially, targeted at digital channels and making sure your website and social media channels are optimised and regularly updated is critical to maximise conversion rates.

It’s also interesting (and of course pleasing to us!) that one of the oldest forms of marketing – signage – is still considered vital in prompting the desired audience action… getting people through the door of your selling space. It shows that offline brand touchpoints are just as important when creating a marketing strategy across multiple channels.

If you’d like to find out more about creating a great customer journey, please visit our marketing suite page, our site signage page or our site hoarding page. If you’d like to discuss a project, please get in touch on 01252 336000 or email [email protected]

Five steps to the perfect marketing suite

Marketing Suites

Most new developments will require a dedicated marketing and sales space in which to engage with potential buyers. A marketing suite is your showroom – possibly even before you even have anything to show. We know that creating the perfect environment and optimising selling space is central to generating more leads for a new development, so we’ve put together our top five steps to creating a relaxed and comfortable environment for prospective buyers:

1. Start with the customer journey – during the planning phase, carefully consider how you’ll lead potential buyers through to your marketing suite. Elements like clear external signage and hoarding, the path around the site, inviting directional signage, a convenient car park, external lighting and landscaping can all be used to lead people in. 

Once inside, incorporate a reception and refreshment area with development models, interactive displays and brochures. When people are further along in the customer journey, they’ll want to view finishes, such as kitchens, carpets and tiles to get a taster of the style of the development and help them in their selection, so make sure you include space for this. 

Consider the route you’ll take to get people to the show house or apartment when it’s ready – this needs to be just as appealing to make sure they don’t feel like they’re stumbling through a building site. Finally, make sure you have an appropriate space in which final negotiations can take place.

2. Showcase the development’s brand – for a great first impression, the interior décor must be warm and comfortable – as well as an attractive and aspirational environment – to appeal directly to your demographic. Whether the finish of your marketing suite is luxury or affordable, or has quirky or traditional styling, will depend on the target audience. To maintain brand consistency, the choice of elements like furniture and technology should also reflect the development.

3. Tell your story – alongside your website, a marketing suite is a crucial tool in telling your development’s brand story. Make sure you do this with clarity and consistency. Intrigue the audience with informative wall graphics, interactive displays with CGI images, or a 3D development model to answer key considerations. You’ll need to communicate information like: the size of properties, how many are available, what the site plans look like, how far the nearest station is, what schools are in the area, the selling points of local amenities and restaurants, the development story, or the history of the area. 

4. Function as well as form – marketing suites aren’t always the largest spaces, so don’t forget about practical considerations to working effectively. If your sales team has a good experience of working in the space, this will translate to buyers. Avoid clutter with built-in storage for bags or brochures. Think about formal and informal areas – you may need a relaxed seating area, as well as a private room for sales negotiation. Keep staff facilities, like the cloakroom, kitchen or toilet out of sight. You should also provide hi-vis jackets and hard hats and keep them in a tidy area.

5. Meticulous project management – working on a live construction site is not always easy, so excellent project management will be key to the success of your marketing suite build. Depending on the size and scope of the marketing suite and fit-out, from instruction to design, survey, artwork, production and installation can take anything from three weeks to six months. A good project manager will build strong relationships with the site and construction teams and maintain clear channels of communication. 

This will be a public space within a building site, so make sure you work with a company that adheres to strict health and safety guidance for peace of mind. Finally, it’s important to choose a consultative partner you can trust to find practical and cost-effective solutions to any issues that occur – rather than promise you they won’t happen in the first place.

Reade Signs project manages the design and build of marketing suites to help customers visualise their new home. We do this for leading housing associations and property development companies – both one-off projects or nationwide roll-outs. Please visit our dedicated marketing suite page if you’d like to find out more. If you’d like to discuss a project, please call us on 01252 336000

 

How to make an impact with extra height hoarding

Extra height site hoarding is a great way to help your new development stand out on a busy street. 

Each standard site hoarding panel is 1220mm x 2440mm. However, adding height at high footfall points and corners is a great way of achieving additional stand-out, especially alongside flagpoles and gantry signs.

Using materials like Foamex to extend the canvas of the hoarding up to double height really helps to highlight messages above daily traffic and is very cost-effective. Make sure you consider factors such as health and safety, wind loading and structural calculations.

If you’d like to find out more about extra height building site hoarding and any considerations that need to be taken into account, please call us for a chat on 01252 336 000.

Top ten site hoarding design tips

construction site hoarding
When it comes to advertising hoarding, simple messaging and bold design is the key to attracting attention and generating enquiries. We’ve put together our top ten site hoarding design tips to help you maximise awareness of your new development and boost visits to your marketing suite: 1. Establish a budget – this will help to guide your creative team from the outset and means your designers can tailor the hoarding design to make the most of your budget. It’s also important to consider which cladding you’ll use to reflect your development. Dibond cladding is ideal for most developments and vinyl wrapped ply is excellent if you want to achieve a more polished look. 2. Site survey – to make sure the hoarding fits in well with the surroundings, we recommend you have a site survey. This will consider gradients and permanent elements, using exact measurements that can be built into the design: you don’t want a web address obscured by a post box, and any horizontal designs might look messy on a hill. Make sure your survey also incorporates factors such as health and safety, wind loading and structural calculations. 3. Consider the target market – awareness of the target audience for your development will guide any imagery and graphics you select to represent your brand and help them visualise themselves in their potential new home. 4. Less is more – your key messages should pop out of the hoarding from a distance, so it’s important not to clutter hoarding and leave some space. Great images will support your brand and make sure you include key contact information and a call to action. You will need to convey messages in seconds, especially if people are driving past. 5. Brand consistency – keep hoarding design consistent with other channels and marketing, such as site signage, flags, gantry signs, your marketing suite, website or advertising. 6. Keep it fresh – refresh hoarding periodically with bold colour changes to emphasise development phases, such as plots reserved, or sales achieved. Make sure it’s kept well maintained and repaired if it suffers any damage. 7. 24/7 advertising – consider day and night-time passing traffic – both on foot or in vehicles – and make sure your hoarding design works hard at all hours and drives people to your website and marketing suite. Header and kicker LEDs can help this, as can lightboxes that showcase the décor. 8. Spotlight your logo – whether you’re a national developer or specialise in high-end bespoke builds, you need to make sure your logo is at the right scale to aid recall. As part of the design, you may consider having your logo in illuminated letters or a light box, both of which are very striking. 9. Sell the location – being sympathetic to the local area and considering the surrounding buildings when designing your hoarding is also important. Complimenting the neighborhood through your creative – whether the development is in an urban location or set within a historical market town – can help to sell what’s unique and attractive about the area. 10. Reach for the sky – standard site hoarding panels are 1220mm x 2440mm. But within your design it’s worth considering adding height at high footfall points and corners – a great way of achieving additional stand-out, especially alongside flagpoles and gantry signs. If you’d like to find out more, we have a dedicated page about building site hoarding. Please call us for a chat if you’d like to discuss a project on 01252 336 000.

How can I use lighting with my site hoarding?

Sign installation at Royal Exchange, Kingston-Upon-Thames

Clever use of hoarding lighting is a superb way of making the most of the best vantage points, highlighting messages and maximising the impact of your site hoarding. With one in eight people working night shifts, and darker winter months, great lighting means you can make the most of your marketing 24/7 for all passing traffic. Lighting elements include lightboxes, strip lighting and halo-illuminated lettering.

LEDs are available in many variations and can be used with timers in sensitive residential areas, also making it more cost-effective. LED header and footer hoarding illumination is low cost, great as a design feature and provides a subtle wash of light rather than illuminating the entire hoarding. Halo-illuminated lettering is great for highlighting your new development name or brand.

Lightboxes used within hoarding can be very effective. The use of shallow lightbox extrusion and printed flex-face panels mean the hoarding can take extra weight without compromising the structure. We always recommend getting the structure of the hoarding checked by a qualified engineer before adding any additional weight to it, such as light boxes, flagpoles or extended height sections as these all add extra wind loading to the hoarding. All these elements help draw attention to your advertising hoarding messages all year round and, if correctly designed, are very cost-effective.

If you’d like to find out more about how lighting can enhance your building site hoarding, please call us for a chat or if you’d like to discuss a project on 01252 336 000.

What is the lead-time for hoarding?

Beaufort Park site hoarding

Commissioning advertising hoarding panels often gets left until the last minute, but you can get the most value and impact by considering your hoarding cladding design and materials as early as possible to make the most of the pre-launch window. Allowing for different milestones such as ‘site acquired’, ‘under construction’ or ‘plots reserved’ throughout the life-cycle of the build can engage the community and build interest from the outset.

Advertising hoarding panels are a superb way of generating valuable word-of-mouth advertising in the local area, selling the future vision of the development and driving marketing suite visitors. Turnaround time for site hoarding will very much depend on the size of the hoarding project, but from final artwork, our average lead-time to manufacture, print and install 20 metres of hoarding panels in a single location is just three days.

Before you get to final artwork stage, we take the initial briefing and come up with recommendations for potential materials, styling and lighting options. We conduct a professional site survey and then agree the final design – either with our in-house team or with the client’s designers. It’s important to look at creative solutions for your budget, make clever use of manufacturing techniques and position key messages at high footfall points to maximise stand out. Leaving enough time means you can take these elements into consideration and create hoarding that stands-out.

Find out more about building site hoarding on this dedicated page. If you’d like to discuss a project, please call us on 01252 336 000.

Hoarding – Top tips for being bold on a budget

Hoarding – top tips for being bold on a budget

Every new residential or commercial development is different and requires tailored marketing to attract different audiences. But what are your options with advertising hoarding if your budgets have been squeezed, but you still want to make a big impact? Here are a few solutions we recommend…

I love the look of built up letters but don’t have the budget for stainless steel:
Instead of fabricated built-up stainless-steel letters, we suggest 20mm thick painted Foamex letters to highlight the development name.

Brass letters would set off my high-end development, but the costs are prohibitive:
Instead of using expensive metal materials – we can create metallic text in bronze or gold-cut vinyl to achieve a high-end effect.

The designer’s hoarding concept uses a spot-UV effect we love, but we can’t justify the additional cost:
Using a combination of matt and gloss laminate creates a superb spot-UV effect.

There are a huge number of competitors in the local area, and I want to stand out above the traffic:
Extra height sections of hoarding manufactured in Foamex are a great, low cost way to maximise impact at key footfall points and above the height of the traffic.

I want people to look twice:
Using different depths of hoarding can create an effective look – by building out parts of the hoarding or creating recesses, you can add interest.

I’m looking for a cost-effective industrial look and feel:
Vinyl applied on sterling board with Foamex built-up letters gives an original, contemporary industrial effect.

There are so many options and our team are great at coming up with creative solutions to suit any budget. Find out more about building site hoarding on this dedicated page. If you’d like to discuss a project, please call and speak to one of our hoarding experts on 01252 336 000.

Which hoarding is best for your housing development?

Which hoarding is best for your housing development

Hoarding is a temporary structure installed around the perimeter of a construction site for the safety and security of the site, construction workers and members of the public. It’s also a highly cost-effective advertising space to showcase a housing or commercial development, communicate the brand and attract sales.

For advertising hoarding, we recommend cladding the base ply hoarding panels with either digitally printed Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) or a direct vinyl wrap to the ply*. Both options will carry your message and images in high resolution full colour digital print and images can even be illuminated. We recommend headers and kickers be added to give a neat finish and again these will allow for lighting to be fitted beneath the header, which will provide a wash of light to illuminate the entire hoarding at night. They suit both short and long-term use and are easy to install, strong and secure.

Which material is best for my hoarding project?

ACM sheets – also commonly known by the brand Dibond, ACM is secured onto plywood. It’s made from two thin coil-coated aluminium sheets bonded to a non-aluminium core (polyethylene or foam). Printed ACM can be applied straight onto hoardings.

It’s a superb material for hoarding because it flexes and is very durable, offers sound reduction and is fireproof. The overall affect is a streamlined, professional look and feel. Individual panels can also be easily updated and replaced and is less expensive than vinyl wrapped ply.

Vinyl wrapped ply hoarding panels – comes with different effects and can be laminated or wrap sealed. Vinyl wrapped hoarding is popular with luxury, high-end building developments. This type of hoarding gives a very high quality of finish.

Site hoarding lasts for about three years, although it can be updated and refreshed at any point during the build. For extra longevity, hoarding can be coated with anti-graffiti laminate.

Our team takes a consultative approach and can provide advice on the best option for your development, based on the brand, location, site life-cycle and expected frequency of message changes. Find out more about building site hoarding. If you’d like to discuss a project, please give us a call on 01252 336 000.

*Vinyl wrap to ply requires a specific grade of ply, please ask for further details.

A guide to cost-effective advertising hoarding for new developments

Building site hoarding is essential to keep both construction site workers and members of the public safe. It’s also one of the most cost-effective advertising spaces for your new housing development and vital to drive marketing suite visits, enquiries and build a database of interest pre-launch.

If you are responsible for marketing, you’ll no doubt be looking across multiple channels at the most cost-effective ways to raise awareness of your new development. Advertising hoarding panels are a superb communications channel since they are exceptionally good value. A 48-sheet advertising billboard is likely to cost over £1,000 for a month’s advertising spot. Whereas, the equivalent hoarding in square metres will cost around half that price. When you consider that hoarding could be in place for 12 months or more, the comparable savings are easily more than £10,000!

Additionally, you can also refresh your hoarding panels in that time and adapt messaging based on interest and sales, or even advertise other developments and still make significant savings.

Making the most of your hoarding space

One of the key elements to get right is a professional site survey as this ensures messages work across numerous panels, which may have to be professionally installed at a gradient or around street furniture.

To maximise advertising hoarding and build awareness, make sure your design keeps to the development’s brand and incorporates bold colours, striking graphics and photography. Keep your hoarding design simple; you can say so much with a visual. Consider the best places for your messaging, taking into account the sizing of text for pedestrians and passing traffic. As a rule-of-thumb, one great image, a short headline of five to seven words, a call to action and your logo is ideal.

Find out more about building site hoarding on this dedicated page. If you’d like to discuss a project, please give us a call on 01252 336 000.

A guide to signage materials and formats

Signage can be created using a wide range of materials and formats that all deliver different effects and make brands shine and messages pop out. We work with clients right from the start of each project to consult on how to bring designs to life. Here’s a little taster of the different materials and formats on offer:

ACM clad – This stands for Aluminium Composite Material, but is also commonly known by the brand, Dibond. It’s made from two thin coil-coated aluminium sheets bonded to a non-aluminium core (polyethylene or foam). Printed ACM can be applied straight onto site hoarding to promote new developments, while adhering to health and safety regulations. It’s a superb material for hoarding because it flexes and is very durable, offers sound reduction and is fireproof. The overall affect is a streamlined, contemporary look and feel.

Acrylic – Perspex® is a well-known brand of acrylic sheeting. It is a tough, transparent, versatile thermoplastic used in many applications, particularly in visual communications, design and architecture. Acrylic is very resistant to shock, flexing, scratching and weathering. It comes in many colours and finishes and is totally recyclable. We apply acrylic shapes to hoardings to bring them to life, as well as for use in general signs and wall installations. It can be sprayed in different colours and makes brand logos stand out. We often use it self-coloured or reverse printed acrylic for stand-up letters, CGI pictures on hoardings and building exteriors.

Aluminium – A strong, light metal used widely in industry, aluminium is the most abundant metal on the planet. It’s malleable, so it’s easy to make into whatever shape we need, and it’s resistant to corrosion. We use aluminium for architectural features and walls, fingerposts, desk receptions, built-up letters and extrusions for banner frames.

Correx – Also known as fluted, or corrugated, polypropylene board, Correx is an inexpensive and efficient way to produce temporary signs or displays. Tough and lightweight, it’s easily cut to shape and comes in any number of colours and thicknesses. Correx is fully recyclable and is used a lot for outdoor signs such as estate agents’ boards.

Films and finishing – The effectiveness of our products is down to the materials and the finish we give them. Whether they need to weather gracefully to blend into a historic or rural environment or endure harsh conditions, the surface layer needs to do its job. The vinyl film or laminates that goes over our hoardings add to their longevity.

Foamex – A versatile, lightweight PVC foam sheet, that’s durable and easy to cut and shape. Foamex also has low water absorption, making it suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It comes in a range of colours and is a popular material for signage and displays. We can print directly on to foamex and it can be sprayed in different colours. We like to apply it to hoarding to bring it to life, adding a stand-out, 3D affect. We’ve even created an entire Santa’s grotto from foamex!

Glass – A hard but brittle fusion of sand, soda and lime, we’re surrounded by the many applications of glass and we use this canvas to apply graphics for signage and marketing purposes. We can create messaging on glass for marketing suites, using frosted messages, and apply crystal edge window manifestations to make subdivisions of internal spaces clearly visible.

Glass signage is also good for external architectural projects and we supply optically clear vinyl for windows. Toughened, low-iron glass is extra clear, noted for its higher light transmittance and reduced green tint. This glass is used with wayfinding architectural signage where information may change.

Graffiti proofing – We can apply a special anti-graffiti laminate seal to hoarding and signs to ensure they last. This is a special coating that makes it easier to clean your signage if it’s vandalised.

Green walls – Also known as a living wall, this is a vertical surface partially or completely covered with living greenery, complete with a growing medium and integrated watering system for interior spaces. Green walls are great especially if your external or internal space has a green and environmental theme.

Lighting – Signage can work for you 24-hours a day if it’s illuminated well. Here are some of the methods we use to spotlight your brand:

  • Illuminated lettering and lightboxes – These are additional ways to light up a hoarding and highlight your key selling points. Internally illuminated, they’re hard to miss, especially at night, and colours look bright and crisp. Lightboxes, with opal acrylic inlays for exceptional illumination, can be single or double sided, wall mounted, projecting, hanging or free standing. We can even fit them to hoardings, which we rout out and light up from behind.
  • LED, ribbon or strip lighting – A flexible product, this can have self-adhesive backing for use on any surface. We use this lighting in the headers and kickers of hoarding, to accent the design and draw attention to key elements, rather than trying to light up the whole hoarding.
  • Neon – These are luminous, gas-discharge tubes that contain inert gases, usually neon. Neon lighting can light up your logo or wayfinding signage in a bright and colourful way. Neon has a classic, retro look but we’ve also used it to add urban chic ambience to an ultra-modern setting.

Powder coating – This is applying paint in dry powder form to a metal surface, using a spray gun. The powder bonds electrostatically to the surface and then it’s heat treated to produce a tough coating that looks like a traditional liquid paint finish, but it doesn’t run and it’s more environmentally friendly. Powder coating is good on wayfinding signage because it’s both protective and decorative.

Printed manifestations and digital wallpaper – These are large-scale printed materials applied to walls, glass and even floors. They act like murals and can be used to add any design to your interior. Digital wallpaper – or super graphics – is artwork printed onto large areas to transform office walls, whether to support your corporate identity or brighten up the office space with some bold pop-art.

Reflective or pearlescent vinyl – This has a base colour and an accompanying colour. It is reflective and appears glossy, so we use it for hoardings and for vehicles.

Steel and stainless steel – Strong, durable and versatile, this long-established construction material is made from mixing iron and carbon in the right proportions at high temperature, but other additives give it particular qualities. Adding chromium creates stainless steel, which is highly resistant to corrosion. We use steel mainly for architectural and industrial signage, but stainless-steel fret-cut letters add an eye-catching element to signs and even hoarding.

Stone – Whether a natural-look stone or slate, we can cut it to size and shape, including bespoke lettering. This material is great for traditional architectural signage where the natural surroundings can blend around it. Stone signage also gives a sense of permanence and solidity to any environment.

Textured wall coverings – A technical name for wallpaper, it adds depth and interest with a huge range of aesthetic looks and feels. It’s tactile, encouraging interaction, so it works well in marketing suites.

Verometal – A thin, metallic coating containing bronze that’s sprayed onto a surface, verometal gives your signage the appearance of solid metal. We can create a matt, satin polished, high polished, rusted or patinated look to fit your requirements. Verometal is ideal for wayfinding and permanent outdoor signage.

Vinyl and painted wall graphics – These can be used to create bright, colourful and creative designs. They are adhesive, and can be applied directly to walls so we mainly use them for internal branding and wayfinding.

Vinyl wrapped ply – This can be added to hoarding to make it more rigid and it is popular for luxury building developments.

Vitreous enamel – This is made by fusing powdered glass to a surface by firing at high temperatures and can be opaque or coloured. The technique is more than a century old and has immortalised London street names as well as London Underground’s signage. Vitreous enamel is ideal for exterior heritage signage, standing the test of time beautifully.

Wind mesh PVC – Perforated PVC is used to make wind mesh banners. There are tiny holes in its fabric to avoiding wind damage, so it’s ideal for advertising large, new-build developments, such as apartment blocks.

Wood – Good quality wood can have excellent durability and looks high-end, ageing well when looked after. We use wood when it’s important to match the surroundings, such as the ply plaques we installed for a wetlands project. Timber frames are also used for gantry signs.

3D models – working with 3D technology specialists, we can develop a 3D printed masterplan to showcase housing projects. These are made from resin and printed through a process known as stereolithography (SLA). They depict with great accuracy a 3D visualisation of a new development for use within sales and marketing suites.

If you’d like to find out more about how we work with any of these materials and formats to make brands come to life, please email [email protected]