Outdoor Billboard Investment Articles

 

Why Is McDonald's America's #1 Billboard User?

For decades McDonald’s has ranked at the top of billboard users in the U.S. Day in and day out, they are the benchmark of a strong user of the outdoor advertising medium. But why are they so aggressive with this form of advertising? And what lessons can be learned from this?

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Stacked Signs: A Primer

What’s better than one billboard? Sometimes the answer is two. “Stacked” billboards – like the one shown above – are a common sight on some sections of highway in the U.S. But why aren’t all signs “stacked”? And what are the things to watch out for with these unusual units?

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The Basics Of Winning At The Billboard Game

Monopoly has been a popular board game since 1935. Most every American knows how to play it, as well as the steps you need to take to win at the game (buy land pieces, build houses and hotels, collect rent, etc.). Really, most every endeavor in life is kind of like a board game: there are rules and you have to know how to play and what the ways to win are. And billboards are no different. Here are the basic steps to win at the billboard business.

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The Dangers Of Digital

Digital may be the future for media products – but is it a good idea for billboard signs? That’s a question that every billboard owner and builder wonders from time to time. Here are our thoughts on digital billboards at the moment.

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Hidden Billboard Acquisition Opportunities

American highways have attracted new business ideas since the 1920s. Many of these roadside attractions built billboards to let the motoring public know that they were there. And, over the years, many of these have failed and left behind some important assets that they don’t even know about.

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Why Even Build A Billboard Out Of I-Beams?

When you drive down the highway, you see all kinds of billboard structures. You see a whole bunch of steel monopoles, and quite a few wooden telephone pole units. But you also see these steel I-beam structures – but not so many of them. Why does anyone even build these old-fashioned looking steel units?

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How To Price A Ground Lease And Permit Assignment

So you’ve obtained the ground lease and permit to build a billboard, and you’ve decided to sell it to another billboard company rather than to go forward and build it yourself. It’s not an uncommon concept and one that I’ve done many times. But how do you come up with the price you’re asking?

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Bonding And Billboards

This is a photo of the very first billboard I ever owned. On Interstate 30 E in Garland, Texas it’s a giant 120’ tall with two 20’ x 60’ advertising faces. How did I get this deal? Through bonding. And it’s a powerful force that you can’t buy.

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Competing With Logo Signs: A Primer

In the mid-1990s, Lamar Outdoor started a program that has grown nationwide. Its name: “logo signs”. These little blue signs, positioned at most highway exits, allow businesses to direct traffic to their exit. And they allow for typically around six different advertisers to hold this coveted spot. So how can a billboard owner work around this competitor and actually harness this tool for even more successful advertiser satisfaction and retention?

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The Worst Colors For A Billboard – And Why

There are so many colors in the spectrum, and only a few that never work on a billboard sign. Yet some advertisers still have not figured this out (as shown in the photo above). So what are the forbidden colors for a billboard and why?

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That’s No Way To Rent A Billboard!

Driving down the highway, you would think that the standard way to rent a vacant billboard is by putting your phone number on it, just like the sign shown above. The problem is that this is perhaps the worst way to rent the advertisement space. So what are better ways to rent a billboard?

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Experimental Billboard Structure Concepts

Billboards have been around for over 100 years in their modern format. We all know that the industry standards are wooden telephone pole, I-beam or steel monopole structures in sizes of 12’ x 24’, 10’6” x 36’ and 14’ x 48’. But yet there are new ideas that come up periodically as billboard owners attempt to find even less expensive methods to deliver billboard messages, many of which are in ad sizes all their own. So what are these experimental billboard concepts?

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Why Billboards Have The Highest Rates Of Return Of Any Real Estate Sector

When you think of a billboard, what do you think of? Most people think of an iconic sign in Times Square, while others think about the clever ad they saw on the freeway. But what most people don’t know is that a billboard is a financial work of art: a high-octane performance machine when it comes to making money. In short, billboards have the highest rates of return of any real estate sector.

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How To Buy An Outdoor Billboard

The only thing better than building a billboard from scratch is buying a billboard that is already built and operating at a great price. When you buy a pre-existing billboard, you don’t have the stress of having to build it, or the risk of something going wrong. In addition, you can see exactly what you’re buying and, in some cases, actually buy the sign for less than it cost. So how do you properly buy a billboard?

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How To Determine What It Costs To Build An Outdoor Billboard Sign

A frequent question we get at OBUniversity.com is what billboard signs cost to build. That question is a little like asking “how many shingles does it take to cover a roof?” – it completely depends on the type of billboard that you are constructing. And, as in most things in life, you get what you pay for.

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How To Build Your Retirement With A Pile Of Wood

What is bigger than a bread box, made out of wood, and creates cash flow? The answer is a wooden outdoor billboard sign. No other pile of wood can create up to a 100% return on investment annually. So how does it work? Here’s the basic steps to building a wooden billboard.

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4 Things The Landowner Needs In A Billboard Ground Lease

he average billboard ground lease is 20 years. Since you only have one shot every 20 years to negotiate your ground lease, it is imperative that you do a good job at it. And it’s not something you are going to learn from experience – you will only do it about three times in your lifetime!

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How I Made A Million Dollars In The Outdoor Billboard Business

I started building billboards straight out of college, with no knowledge of what I was doing and not much capital to work with. All I had was the desire to make money and an almost equally powerful fear of failure. Starting from scratch, it took me almost a year to find my first location. And even then, nothing came easy since I had absolutely no idea how to rent the ad space or build the thing. But I “endeavored to persevere”, as Teddy Roosevelt would say, and I was able to stick with a pace of building two billboard faces per month for about 15 straight years. At that point, I had 300 billboard faces, which made me the largest privately owned billboard company in Dallas/Ft. Worth. And I did that despite the fierce competition – there were no less than 60 billboard companies operating in Dallas at that time. Every ground lease and every advertising lease was virtually hand-to-hand combat to obtain.

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How To Get What You Want At City Hall

For most billboard owners, your big boss is city hall. Without their permit and approval, you cannot build, or rent, or maintain your billboard. And because of their enormous power, it is essential that you have a good strategy for dealing with them in a manner that can get you what you want.

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Why A Small Investment In Billboards Is The Best Investment That You Can Make

We won’t even worry about trashing the stock market – it’s already trashed itself. If you are happy losing 40% of your investment as the end result of chasing after 8%, then stick with stocks. If you have higher goals, however, then a small investment in the outdoor advertising “billboard” business may be right for you. The upside is huge, and the downside is negligible. And the opportunities are all around you.

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What To Do When Your Billboard Is Damaged In A Storm

You can’t be in the billboard business and not have a storm-related accident at some point, unless you live in an area where the wind never exceeds about 30 mph. Many a time, in the middle of the night, I have headed out to look at my billboards after a really bad storm has blown through. I’ve done this because I know how important it is to get to the sign quickly after there’s damage to mitigate the situation. Here’s what to do if this should ever happen to you;

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How To Make Sure The Billboard You Are Buying Is Legal

You would be amazed at how many billboards you see advertised for sale that are illegal. Unless you know how the permitting process works, it is easy to get caught in this scam. Often it is not even a scam – the owner himself does not know that the sign is not legal. Often, illegal signs change hands several times until they are finally found out. By then, there is no chance for the unlucky owner to get any kind of return of their investment.

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How To Find A New Billboard Location In One Afternoon

It is very intimidating to look for your first billboard location. You feel like you don’t know what you are doing, and that you can’t possibly compete with the big companies. There is a simple exercise to cure you of these feelings, and start you on the road to building your own billboard company.

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The Anatomy Of A Billboard Structure

We've all had biology in high school, and can probably name some of the parts of a frog. But can you name the parts of a billboard, and what they do? Let's take a quiz and see.

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The Incorrect Assumption On Billboard Height

When I first got in the billboard business, I assumed that the taller the sign, the better the sign. When I was driving down the interstate and I saw a really tall billboard, I would think to myself “now there’s a valuable sign”.

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The Truth About Monopole Foundations

There is nothing scarier than digging your first monopole foundation. An augur pulls up and starts drilling a hole in the earth about five feet in diameter, and you have no idea what’s down there. Here are some ideas on what you’ll hit, and what it may mean.

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How To Create Winning Billboard Artwork

Great billboard artwork is a combination of simple concepts steeped in decades of research. As long as you follow these basic, time-proven steps, you will always deliver your client a billboard that is attractive and effective. And if you fail to utilize this information, brought to you by billboard company research beginning in the 1920s, your client’s billboard may be illegible and ineffective.

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When Dealing with Obstructions, Better Now than Later

So you're building a billboard but you're a little worried about some potential tree obstructions. The time to confront this problem is now, before you begin construction.

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How To Rent The Impossible Billboard That Nobody Wants

So you have a billboard that won’t rent. Maybe you need to change you attitude to get it sold. Here’s the deal: everyone would take it for free, right? Sure they would. Thank God you have a commodity that everyone wants.

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How To Build A Billboard The Correct Way

There is a right way and a wrong way to build a billboard. Unfortunately, the punishment for not building the right way can be crushing – from $10,000 to move the sign to total loss of your investment if property damage leads to expensive litigation. Building a billboard the correct way is essential to prospering in the outdoor billboard business.

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Renting the Ad Space on a Left-Hand Read

Every two-sided billboard has two distinctly different ad faces to rent -- the right-hand read and the left-hand read. The right-hand read is the side of the sign that is seen on the right-hand side of the street, while the left-hand read is the side that is always seen on the other side of the road, beyond the lane carrying traffic the other direction.

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