Comparing Apples to Apples – Sign Packages

When shopping for a sign company to handle the next commercial real estate project, is your company comparing apples to apples? Shopping for the best bid package is wise for any developer, but be sure to know exactly what’s in the proposal. Does the bid include every aspect of the project? Are there hidden expenses or fees? Does the sign vendor provide a complete turn-key solution or just part of the solution? What is your company responsible for? Are taxes included in the bottom line? Are designs extra or are they included? Be sure to find out what grade of steel or aluminum is being quoted and what type of screws are being used. What’s the quality of the welds? Are the signs built to be easily serviced? What’s the quality of the EMC in the proposal?

Why is all this important? It’s important to know how long the signs are expected to last. It’s also important to know what the long-term maintenance and service costs look like. Saving money on the front end may not always look good when examining the overall picture, especially if the signs will need repaired or replaced sooner. In the long run your company may end up spending double a lower initial investment. In many cases investing in quality up front will actually save your commercial development company money.

Another consideration is the design of the sign. Is it being designed by an architect or a professional advertiser who understands how to drive business to your tenants? Is the site triangle being considered in the design or is the sign merely an afterthought?

Are the signs built to last? Are warranties offered? Does the sign company handle permit procurement or is that your company’s responsibility? Is the proposal truly turn-key and hassle free in the long run? What’s the sign company’s track record of safety and customer service? Are old signs properly disposed of or is your company exposed to legal risk? Your team has likely given great care to the choices made in the investment of your building, mall, or shopping center, be sure to use the same care when choosing a professional to handle your sign package. Your signs are the advertising beacon that draw business to your tenants and your investment. Is your team comparing apples to apples, or apples to oranges?