Billboards for Rent?

Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:44 pm

Many years ago our family farm was split by a major interstate, I-85 very near Greenville, SC. My grandmother allowed someone to put up a small billboard for a few dollars a year. She and all the parties involved are now deceased. We haven't seen any income in quite awhile.

Since there is still a sign standing, the government now wants us to pay $20 annually for fees. If we don't want to pay the fees, we can pay them to remove the sign.

There is a local restaurant owner who has asked about renting the sign. I'd be happy to let him pay the $20 and give me some free food, but I'm wondering if there are other opportunities. Has anyone dealt with these companies putting up large billboards? It sure would be nice to generate some revenue to pay the taxes.

John

Re: Billboards for Rent?

Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:55 pm

John, I think you'd just need to contact several billboard companies and ask them about rental prices. The only downside to not renting directly to the restaurant is that you probably have no control over what ends up on the sign. I would think that you could charge substantially more than the $20 fee.

Bob

Re: Billboards for Rent?

Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:22 pm

John:

My brother-in-law builds and erects signs for two local companies plus Pattison and CBS. He has erected a lot of billboards over the years. Maintenance can be a devil though .. so you have to think about what kind of shape it is in and will it need repairs/what is the projected life remaining in the fixture. Ray uses both Douglas Fir treated telephone poles and steel H-beams for his sign structures depending on the sizes. The signs themselves are usually made out of 4x10 marine grade 1/2" plywood in whatever quantities are required for the total size of the sign. Marine grade will last about 10 - 15 years. (New Home For My Cubs - all of the sheathing is used sign faces) A lot of these signs are on private property. The sign faces can be poster paper and glue, vinyl or coraplex etc.. The property owner's usually deal with the sign companies and not Ray, but he does know what they rent the land for. A small sign can generate about $400.00 to $500.00 of annual income for the property owner and this is cheap advertising for whatever business is advertised. Larger signs bring in larger amounts. After artwork, printing and installation the only thing that has to be done is for the sign folks to fix flags (loose pieces of the poster paper/billboard materials). The sign faces themselves can last for a number of years.

Check with CBS and any of your local outdoor advertising companies. For two reasons. If it has good visibility they may be interested in leasing the land from you for a new billboard (which means you can get enough to pay the property taxes and maybe more depending on what your taxes are) or you can then rent the space yourself. I would recommend that if you do this, you put into the contract certain stipulations. If you are just covering your property taxes, then I would suggest you require the renter to pay for maintenance, upgrades, brush cutting as well as ensuring the sign is in good repair and does not become an eyesore. This is if you rent the land to a billboard company or if you rent it to say that restaurant yourself. If they pay you a larger fee then maybe you would do that.... don't know - depends on what you agree on. As Bob said, if you rent to a billboard company you have no control over what is advertised. If you want that control then you will have to rent it yourself.

Either way. Renting the land should bring you in a lot more than 20 bucks a year :!: Oh, a good way to figure out cost is to figure out what the footprint of the sign is in square feet as well as the footprint of the area that needs brush-cutting/mowing. Find out what the local ad companies or even leasing companies charge per foot annually for a basic warehouse space. That will give you a good idea of what is fair. Footprint is footprint be it for advertising or warehousing. It all costs.

Re: Billboards for Rent?

Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:57 pm

Ah - so much to think about. No wonder my mother asked me to handle it...

Thanks for the input. Since we live in another state, it would need to be pretty much handled by someone else - like a sign management company if such a thing exists. I'll keep researching.

John

Re: Billboards for Rent?

Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:08 pm

CBS is a very large company in the US and has taken over a number of Billboard Companies here in Canada.

Googled billboard companies in georgia

Re: Billboards for Rent?

Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:23 am

John C wrote:Many years ago our family farm was split by a major interstate, I-85 very near Greenville, SC. My grandmother allowed someone to put up a small billboard for a few dollars a year. She and all the parties involved are now deceased. We haven't seen any income in quite awhile.

Since there is still a sign standing, the government now wants us to pay $20 annually for fees. If we don't want to pay the fees, we can pay them to remove the sign.

There is a local restaurant owner who has asked about renting the sign. I'd be happy to let him pay the $20 and give me some free food, but I'm wondering if there are other opportunities. Has anyone dealt with these companies putting up large billboards? It sure would be nice to generate some revenue to pay the taxes.

John


I've always wondered how these signs work. Is the sign not on your grandmother's property? I guess I don't see why the government (state or federal?) should be able to tell you what you have to do regarding the sign.

Re: Billboards for Rent?

Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:51 am

cubguy47 wrote:I guess I don't see why the government (state or federal?) should be able to tell you what you have to do regarding the sign.
Web search for your state and "outdoor advertising" for regulations and information pertaining to bill boards.

In some urban areas, the scenery is the bill boards.

Re: Billboards for Rent?

Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:15 am

cubguy47 wrote:
John C wrote:Many years ago our family farm was split by a major interstate, I-85 very near Greenville, SC. My grandmother allowed someone to put up a small billboard for a few dollars a year. She and all the parties involved are now deceased. We haven't seen any income in quite awhile.

Since there is still a sign standing, the government now wants us to pay $20 annually for fees. If we don't want to pay the fees, we can pay them to remove the sign.

There is a local restaurant owner who has asked about renting the sign. I'd be happy to let him pay the $20 and give me some free food, but I'm wondering if there are other opportunities. Has anyone dealt with these companies putting up large billboards? It sure would be nice to generate some revenue to pay the taxes.

John


I've always wondered how these signs work. Is the sign not on your grandmother's property? I guess I don't see why the government (state or federal?) should be able to tell you what you have to do regarding the sign.

IIRC interstate highway beautification (i.e. billboards/junkyards) was the pet project of Lady Bird Johnson back in the '60's. There were a lot of rundown billboards on the state and federal highways of the day dating from before the interstates. They were very close to the roadways, also. Lots of regulation including setbacks from the highway. Your federal government at work. :big say what:


Check this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_Beautification_Act

Re: Billboards for Rent?

Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:04 pm

Your local zoning (if there is any) will also come into play with height, square footage, setbacks, etc.

Re: Billboards for Rent?

Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:31 am

Still learning about this. There are state regulations which come first; followed by county ordinances. We paid the annual state permit fee and found two fellows that previously used the existing sign for advertising, so we will see if the existing sign can be brought back to life. We wondered if we could put up a larger billboard, but there are too many requirements that we don't meet; such as proximity to commercial businesses and distance from residential neighborhoods.

Like the lady in the state office said - if we had suitable land for a major billboard, the advertising companies would have contacted us long ago. For now, it looks like we will keep our small sign (560 sq feet) and generate some revenue to offset the taxes....

Re: Billboards for Rent?

Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:35 am

I guess the definition of a small sign must vary. 560 sq ft is half the size of my house.

Re: Billboards for Rent?

Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:28 am

John:

I agree. 560 sqft is a rather large sign by itself. If you have that much signage space that is a 20' x 28' sign and that ain't small potatoes. That should work out to around a couple hundred a month on average around here and up to $400.00 to $500.00 on farmland beside the Trans-Canada (interstate equivalent). Depending on visibility, vehicle traffic and location it could generate more.

I googled average billboard rental costs and I got some rather interesting information:

how much does it cost to rent the average billboard sign wrote:It depends where you live.
Depending on size and location, expect to pay from $75 to $200 per month for rural sites, and from to $900 to $2,500 per month for city and interstate signs. If you're renting more than one billboard, negotiate a discount. The billboards on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood run $10,000 per month, whereas the monthly tab for the billboard in Jonesboro, Arkansas, is $525 entering town and $375 on your way back out.


So, John, I really would counsel that you look into this very well as that billboard may be worth much more than you originally hoped for. It is an income generator for sure. And if the income is enough to pay the taxes and the maintenance on the sign, then anything left over would be gravy.

Also, your billboard would fall into the Medium Classification for a 30 Sheet Poster (Medium Billboard): 22' 8" W x 10' 5" H - average rents for these types of signs can vary from 30 Sheet Poster (Medium Billboard): Range of $750 - $2,000 per ad per 4 week period
depending on market and location. Check out this link : Billboard Advertising in 300 Cities - Billboard Ads Company