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Advertising on The Move

Vehicle signage can be one of the most beneficial advertising investments your business can make – and it may be easier and more affordable than you thought. Compare a $180 per week vehicle allowance with a $150 per week* lease including signage. Story by Jess Wheeler.

If done well, vehicle advertising can provide an unobtrusive presence in your local community. That is of particular benefit to a business with a geographically based target market – like a real estate agency.

It’s a wrap
Many businesses don’t realise the impact of vehicle signage and end up wasting money on advertising that lacks impact. Vehicle wraps are a lasting way to promote your business, and will reinforce your team’s professional image in your local area. This is one of the few marketing tools that will work hard for you all the time – whether you are in the office or out and about, your vehicle is constantly generating leads. You can even move your vehicle to where your potential customers are going to be, for example, a local community event.

Grant Bowden of Signature Tinting & Signs explains how a vehicle wrap works and gives some tips on creating the best finish-First a design needs to be approved and it is better if the designer and vehicle wrapper work together on the design. The reason for this is to discuss any areas that may distort the printed image. You’ll need to keep critical logos and text away from deep recesses and curves.

The next step is printing the graphic onto film. The film used is a high quality cast vinyl that can be heated and stretched into recesses and around curves like bumper bars. The printed image is protected by a thin overlaminate. Without the overlaminate the ink will fade and scratch. Setting up the print onto the car before starting the application allows you to see any potential problems.

The film has an adhesive that must be applied without water and all air bubbles must be pushed out as the film is applied. Trimming the film is critical to the end result as some edges are wrapped around the panels whilst others are better cut to the edge.

After the film is applied it must be post heated. This process relaxes the film and sets it to its new shape. Without post heating the film will shrink back to its memory, which is flat film. Clear Focus (dot media) film can be applied to car windows. This way a design can carry over both panels and windows. This film allows clear vision with the benefits of signage.

With vehicle wraps the results are only limited to your imagination, although other types of vehicle signage can be more cost efficient. For example, computer cut vinyl signage is a common way to advertise your business, but does not have the eye catching effect that a well designed vehicle wrap can achieve. The aim of any signage is to give you maximum exposure, so the more eye catching the design, the more people notice you. Vehicle wraps can range from about $2,000 to $5,500 depending on design. When deciding on your signage choose a graphic designer you feel comfortable with, one whom will obtain the result you will feel happy to drive around with.”

If you still think vehicle wrapping is too expensive and not worth the hassle, then read on, you might just be surprised. Are you currently paying your Property Manager a vehicle allowance? Chances are you answered “yes.” So let’s say you are paying your Property Manager a $180 per week allowance. What if you could lease a branded wrapped vehicle for as little as $150 per week*?

A case study
Raine & Horne Dee Why/Collaroy is currently providing their Property Manager with a branded vehicle on a managed operating lease. Lachlan Yeates, Principal, explains-It was a no brainer really. We are always looking for clever ways to make our marketing dollars work harder. All businesses demand more value from every marketing dollar, and vehicle branding is becoming increasingly popular with real estate offices.

Fortunately for us, our franchise group had already designed the vehicle branding and negotiated the managed operating lease with a car dealer. This meant we didn’t have to worry about design costs and we were able to access a National Fleet pricing structure, even though we were just leasing one vehicle.

The vehicle arrived fully branded with our brand’s distinctive signage. There was nothing we had to organise other than the vehicle’s comprehensive insurance. This might not suit everyone, but it is definitely worth looking into.

Admittedly, a managed operating lease doesn’t include the cost of petrol or comprehensive insurance. Let’s say you need to put $55 a week petrol into the vehicle, and let’s allow $25 a week for comprehensive insurance – this now brings the total to $230. Who wants to pay $50 a week more than they have too? Well just think about what the extra $50 a week will give in you advertising – surely this is money well spent. How much are you paying for promotional ads in your local newspaper? Or how much did your last letterbox drop cost you?

Raine & Horne Dee Why/Collaroy are also going to receive a brand new set of replacement tyres during the life of the lease, which is of great benefit given the distance their busy Property Manager clocks up.

The registration, CTP (compulsory third party), repairs and maintenance are also part of the deal, for the life of the lease. They are only out of pocket for the petrol and the comprehensive insurance. And at the completion of the lease in two and a half years time, the vehicle is handed back to the car dealership with no further obligations.

Our Property Manager loves it too. In fact, I am sure the vehicle has helped us attract and retain good staff – it has definitely bred loyalty. I would definitely recommend this as an alternative to anyone who is currently paying his or her Property Manager a vehicle allowance-adds Lachlan.

The basics
What does a vehicle wrap/managed operating lease include?
A new vehicle is leased by the business for two and a half years or 50,000kms (whichever comes first) at $150 per week*. Lease includes a vehicle wrap, full maintenance, tyre replacement and registration.

What happens at the end of the lease?
At completion of the lease the vehicle is handed back to the dealer, with no further obligations, provided the vehicle is returned in accordance with kilometre usage and fair wear and tear conditions.

What are the benefits?

  • Inexpensive local advertising – not only can you build awareness for less, but your ‘reach’ is greatly extended
  • Money well spent – your marketing spend is working harder
  • Reinforces your team’s professional image
  • Target particular events or areas at specific times
  • Breeds loyalty/staff incentive
  • No liability or asset is shown on the balance sheet, freeing up capital for other business investments.

The information for this article on leasing a branded vehicle on a managed operating lease was provided by Ross Martin at Bill Buckle Autos (phone 02 9939 1500).

Actual lease price based on vehicles as follows:
3 door Toyota Yaris YR = $147.35 including GST per week
5 door Toyota Yaris YR = $150.79 including GST per week

(Price does not include fuel or comprehensive insurance)
This article is not intended to be financial advice. For advice on vehicle management talk to your tax advisor or accountant.

Jess Wheeler is a Marketing Consultant who specialises in delivering creative marketing solutions to a diverse range of industries, including ecommerce, finance, real estate and automotive. Jess was recently the Marketing Communications Manager of a well-known Australian Real Estate franchise, and is currently the Managing Director of outsauce.

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