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Written by Rosalind Renshaw

As a sign of the times, orders of For Sale boards have reached an all-time low, while printing firms reliant on estate agency have also been hit.

Among the latter are Manchester-based Printing.com which prints material for its franchise holders around the UK. But the company said its franchisees are winning new clients as other small printers ceased to trade. Its shares are less than two-thirds of their value at the start of the year.

Meanwhile Kremer Signs, the market-leading boards manufacturer, has laid off 26 of its 64-strong workforce and says monthly production is down by almost 20,000 boards a month – and by 30,000 from peak.

The company, founded 25 years ago by Richard Kremer and Steve Gosney, was producing 80,000 boards a month at the height of the market.

However, it could be worse, says Steve Gosney: “Although sales are down, many agents have realised just how cost-effective boards are, and we are currently looking at updating designs for agents who are looking to be noticed in the New Year.

“And whilst we have seen hundreds of estate agency office closures, we have been able to keep our factories in Berkshire, Bristol and Lincolnshire running, partly because many agents have realised more than ever that buying a high-quality board with an eye-catching design is the most cost-effective way to promote their stock and themselves.

 “The advice we give our agents is never to get to the stage where you cannot erect a board on a new instruction, and worst of all, never erect a board that is past its sale by date, as this will only help wreck a reputation that you have spent a long time building up.

“With the cost of 50 new boards, including having them erected, often costing less that a standard half-page newspaper advert, there really is no reason not to get new boards as your existing ones come to the end of their life.”

Gary Gosney, office manager and son of the co-founder, said: “Most estate agents used to order at least 100 to 150 a time, but that’s now down to under 30. We’re also seeing a lot of office closures – agents simply disappearing off the radar. Things have definitely deteriorated within the last three to four months.”

He added that although demand for For Sale boards has plummeted, demand for rental boards and slips is up by 100%. The company has also managed to pick up new agency customers at the rate of six or seven offices a week as its competition has either gone out of business or switched operations. One major agent in the south-east has also recently signed to Kremer, impressed by the durability of its signs.



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    I use boards at 95% of my properties & increase my fee if the client refuses a board, as homes take longer to sell if you don't use all marketing tools. Also a board refusenik is probably not a serious vendor. 2 weeks ago I put a board at a remote barn down a lane (board at head of lane with arrow). Someone driving by, not even registered with us as a viewer, saw the board, booked a viewing and paid the full guide price of £435,000

    If there had been no board they would probably never have become aware of the property being on the market. They work. I agree, they are ugly too.

    • 05 September 2011 17:32 PM
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    • 17 June 2010 01:08 AM
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    • 09 June 2010 15:27 PM
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    Hello, far-out!

    • 30 May 2010 11:23 AM
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    • 16 March 2010 03:25 AM
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    I am new here..First post to just say hi to all community.


    • 26 February 2010 19:16 PM
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    delicate answers i like it

    • 21 February 2010 06:22 AM
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    • 14 February 2010 15:16 PM
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    Hello folks,

    Excuse me for posting in the this section but I only wanted to say hello and did not know where to post it ... ? My fellows call me Jat and I really love www.estateagenttoday.co.uk. The guys here are so polite and the forum offers lots of information. Until now I have only read on www.estateagenttoday.co.uk but I want to participate in the future.

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    • 23 November 2009 21:16 PM
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    • 03 October 2009 05:27 AM
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    Just what we need - an Estate Agent board supplier and not a very good one, jumping on the negative press bandwagon. Thanks Kremer Signs

    • 30 November 2008 10:17 AM
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    Is there any point to boards now. Nothing is selling. Sellers won't price to a selling price. The board shows an interest in selling but not a commitment to do so, as prices won't be dropped to suit the market.
    I've seen loads that have been around for more than a year. There's too many and they are getting unsightly. It's getting close to complaining to the council.

    • 19 November 2008 09:54 AM
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    brightmove, no wonder you shut your agency, I seldom look at these posts but you are always there. Sure you are not my wife, she has an opinion on everything as well,

    • 19 November 2008 04:38 AM
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    Thanks brightmove, I always wondered why estate agents put for sale signs up (sarcasm)

    • 19 November 2008 01:07 AM
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    An increasing number of keen Vendors are agreeing to For Sale boards being displayed at their properties. The usual objection to boards - not wanting the neighbours to know that the house is up for sale, is no longer so much of an issue. Boards as we know are an excellent marketing tool and a great way of promoting a brand name.

    • 19 November 2008 11:23 AM
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    Given the rash of stories about the new breed of reluctant landlords, surely the printing of 'To Let' signs must be taking up the slack?

    • 19 November 2008 11:17 AM
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    Even in these bad times i dont know how agents can not put up a board! It will only make things worse. In most cases we are raising our fees so how can you justify to a client that you cant put a board up? I msut say i have used Kremer Signs for a few years now and the boards and the people are excellent. Highly recommended

    • 19 November 2008 10:40 AM
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