People have been placing For Lease signs in front of houses for almost as long as they have been leasing houses and printing signs. Certainly for much longer than they have been advertising houses for rent on realestate.com.au.
Since most tenants find their homes online, there is some question whether or not putting a For Lease sign out the front is worth the trouble. I can certainly understand the temptation of just using online advertising. First of all there is the cost in both time and money to have the sign printed, and then someone has to put the sign up then take it down once you find tenants.
Are they worth the cost?
A good sign is going to cost about $60, and you are going to have to put it up yourself. Sixty bucks is a big enough chunk of change to notice against the bottom line, but if you think about it, that is about one days rent (at $400 per week). So if the sign helps you find tenants just one day sooner, it has paid for itself. Plus, you can reuse the sign again next time you need to find tenants.
Do They Create a Target for Vandals?
There is a concern that the For Lease sign could attract vandals or thieves. After all, the sign on the lawn tells everyone going by that the house is possibly empty, which makes it an attractive target for thieves. Or does it? If the house is empty, there is no one to stop a thief from breaking in, but since there is nothing for him to steal once he gets inside, why would he bother?
Attracting squatters might be a worry, but I have never had a problem with this, especially with well maintained properties. If the property is on the market for months on end with no inspections and the grass getting up to your knees, this creates the target for squatters, not the sign.
Some owners think that putting up a For Lease sign raises privacy issues. This might be true if there is a stigma to renting out your house. With the number of people who rent because their job keeps them moving this is not much of an issue. If the neighbours are even the least bit nosey, there is already less privacy than you think.
The disadvantages of putting up a For Lease sign are debatable, but the advantages are not.
Make Your House Easy to find
The sign is going to help people find your house. Even if they find it first online, when they pull up for the first time the sign tells them that they have found the right place. This means that instead of worrying whether they have the right place and looking for the address, they will be looking at the house itself and imagining what a nice place it would be to live in (and not turning up late or missing the open home).
Generate Local Interest in your Open Homes
The sign will tell locals who have not seen your ad online that the house is for rent. Of course, if they are already in the neighbourhood they may not need a place to rent, but they may have friends who are looking.
When all is said and done, the sign will help attract more people to your open homes. A busy open home not only means more applications, it gives the message that a lot of people are interested in your house.
Show that you are a Professional Property Owner
A professional appearing For Lease sign tells tenants that you are a professional property owner. Affluent professional couples prefer to deal with property owners who know what they are doing, it saves hassle and is an all around better experience.