Stay Out Of My Yard

June 15, 2012

It’s not election season yet, but nearly every lawn in a neighborhood near my home is littered with yard signs. I’ve never seen anything like it. There’s the wind and hail experts, the landscaping guys, the lawn care services, the remodelers and more. Ironically, these companies hired to beautify people’s homes are causing a bit of an eyesore by stacking signs practically on top of one another.

As a marketer, I get the value of the signs for the service folks, but what about the homeowners? Some of these yards, especially the coveted corner lots, offer prime advertising space. But many homeowners are missing out on an opportunity by allowing advertising on their property without receiving anything in return.

Curiosity got the best of me during a morning run last weekend as I saw someone doing yard work around one of these signs. I stopped and asked if he was getting a discount, but sadly the answer was no. He said the contractor explained that the sign would help let his neighbors know they should expect workers in the area. Seems like a branded truck parked in front of his house would do the same. And I’m not sure the company’s telephone number would need to be prominently displayed on the sign to serve that purpose.

At least the workers asked for his permission. I had a run-in a few years ago with a landscaper. I came home to a giant sign — a heavy-duty metal version — stuck right in the middle of my lawn. I promptly took it down and tucked it away in my garage. Next day, new sign. Fortunately, we managed to come to an understanding following a terse email.

Here’s my philosophy: If you do a great job for me and you’re proud of the work, feel free to feature it on your website or in a brochure. Heck, I might even serve as a reference or offer a referral if you provide me with great service. But unless you’re coming to me with a fist full of cash, stay out of my yard.

Is that unreasonable?