Yard Sign Case Study: Preston and Shaw Realtors

August 30, 2011 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Company Overview

Gene Preston and Mark Shaw founded Preston & Shaw Realtors in 1991 in Dayton, Ohio. Since its foundation, the company has grown to be one of the largest real estate brokerages in Dayton. With over 30 agents and six offices, Preston & Shaw has developed a reputation in Dayton of being professional but friendly.

When the housing market took a dip, Preston & Shaw’s business did as well. There was no shortage of homes for sale, but finding qualified buyers that were willing (and able) to pay a decent price for a home was tough, especially when faced with competition from other brokerages. With a solid background in business marketing, however, Mark Shaw knew it was time to find something to set his agency apart.

Investment in Yard Signs

Until this point, the business had encouraged its agents to use yard signs but had left it up to them to place the order and choose the design. The only stipulations were that the Preston & Shaw name and logo had to be on the sign. Looking to make his agency more up-level, Mark created a variety of unique Preston & Shaw designs, incorporating new brand colors of Kelly green and white. Rather than let the agents order their own signs, he chose to purchase long-lasting metal yard signs and place them in real estate frames. “The material is designed to last a lifetime,” says Shaw, “so my thought was that I spend a bit more money now and let it pay off for years to come.”


Preston & Shaw’s total investment for the new real estate yard signs was just over $8,000. Each sign was customized with the specific agent’s name, and each agent received 20 signs to use for their various listings.

Just a few months after incorporating the signs, closings had increased by 30%, and showings had increased by 60%. “What I think the problem was before was that we weren’t sending a clear message,” Gene Preston explains, “But the new signs that Mark bought look professional and cohesive, which ultimately is helping to grow our business.”


  • When choosing a yard sign material, think about your budget in both the short-term and the long-term. If you need to save money now, go with a less-expensive material, like corrugated plastic, but be prepared to replace those signs down the road. If you can afford it upfront, consider metal signs, which are more-expensive but will last much longer.
  • Brand consistency is important for any business. If you want to capitalize on the power of your business name, slogan, reputation, etc., then make sure your signage and all of your other advertising is instantly-recognizable with your business.

Michael Allen works as a Director of Marketing in Boston, Massachusetts. He has worked with both large companies and small local businesses for over 20 years. His vast experience in the field of marketing positions him as an expert in helping businesses expand by using marketing tactics.

As a seasoned expert in Marketing and Branding, Michael has a wealth of knowledge in the use of retail signs and cheap yard signs. In his articles, he covers tips and techniques for the effective use of political yard signs, real estate yard signs and metal yard signs.

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