How Commercial Real Estate Professionals Can Increase Occupancy with Better Sign Design

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Despite the overarching grim news about the real estate market, recent reports suggest that retail tenant demand is up. Is your property signage helping or hindering your ability to capitalize on this golden opportunity?

Commercial real estate (CRE) is a highly competitive market, especially for retail spaces. With so many options available to tenants, property managers and developers are always on the lookout for ways to make their properties stand out. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore how better sign design can help you increase occupancy rates and keep tenants in the space for longer without breaking the bank.

Time for CRE Professionals to Innovate and Adapt

More than 2,000 experts were recently interviewed and surveyed for the 45th edition of the annual industry trends report, which was issued at the Urban Land Institute’s fall meeting in Los Angeles. Anita Kramer, senior vice president of ULI’s Center for Real Estate Economics and Capital Markets, said, “It’s a turnkey moment for CRE industry professionals to innovate and adapt to shape a resilient real estate landscape for the future.”

By focusing on innovation and adaptability in signage design, you can create a more engaging, efficient, and appealing environment. This approach not only enhances the aesthetic and functional aspects of the property but can also play a crucial role in attracting and retaining tenants.

Here are several ways innovative sign design solutions can help you win the occupancy race:

  • Strategic Digital Sign Design for Simon Program at King of Prussia Mall

    Digital and Data-Driven Signage: Embrace digital signage technology, which can be updated easily and remotely to reflect changing tenant information, promotional content, or interactive elements. Use data analytics to understand foot traffic and audience demographics. Tailor digital display content to the time of day, events, or the specific audience present at different times, making the signage content more dynamic, relevant, and engaging.
  • Interactive and Informative Displays: Implement interactive kiosks or screens that provide information about available spaces, tenant businesses, or local area attractions. These can also include touchscreens for interactive engagement.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) Integration: By using mobile apps or AR-enabled devices, potential tenants and visitors can engage with signage in a novel way, such as viewing 3D models of available spaces or interactive maps.
  • Customizable Signage Spaces: Offer tenants customizable signage options. This flexibility allows tenants to feel more in control of their branding and can be a unique selling point for the property.
  • Lighting: Effective lighting is essential for signs to ensure they are easily readable at all times of the day and night. This is particularly important for outdoor signs and those in less well-lit areas. Additional architectural design elements and lighting fixtures can illuminate your property and inspire new tenants.

Innovation without design expertise, however, can come at a risk. A lack of understanding of how all the parts come together can result in a frustrating loop of revisions, escalating costs, and missed deadlines, ultimately leading to a compromised end result. That’s why it’s vital to select a design partner who combines a strong creative vision with a well-rounded understanding of what it actually takes to build and install the project.

Achieving Curb Appeal in the Digital Age

Though the retail sector has challenges, some Class A and trophy malls are reporting high occupancy rates, luxury retail demand has increased, and hybrid working means people are home more and visiting strip centers, power centers, and grocery-anchored shopping centers more frequently.

Additionally, the report suggests 2024 will likely see about 45 million square feet of new product come online — yet another reason to differentiate your property offering with better curb appeal — physically and digitally.

Sign Design Remake for Morgrantown Mall The photography on your commercial real estate website provides the first critical impact and can make a deal-maker or breaker impression on potential and existing tenants. If you want to attract anchor tenants and national credit tenants like Starbucks or another brand-name tenant, first impressions matter, and your property’s signage is often the first thing potential tenants will see. 

The smaller your retail plaza, the better suited you are to target service tenants such as restaurants, salons, and convenience stores. This type of tenant is attracted to and will benefit from a retail plaza with visibility from the street. Designing your signage for enhanced visibility will show these prospective tenants you have their best interests and brand awareness in mind.

How to Refresh Your Sign Design on a Budget

If you want to refresh and enhance your building, elements like signage, large format graphics, lighting embellishments, and digital displays can make a dramatic impact. In many cases, however, it’s neither financially feasible nor practical to hire multiple companies to deliver one comprehensive solution.

For these reasons, numerous Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) in the US and local strip center owners turn to a company like Gable to do it all, turnkey.

Gable serves the real estate development and retail community through our flexible design-build program. We design with the end goal in mind and can provide a fixed budget not only for the design package but the entire scope of work upfront. A single contract and team means greater efficiency and value from design through installation.


Fresh Sign Design at Towson Town Center

A well-designed sign can communicate professionalism, quality, and attention to detail, which are all important factors in attracting new tenants and obtaining long-term leases. A poorly designed sign, on the other hand, can turn tenants away and damage your property’s reputation.

By investing in professional, high-quality sign design, you can improve the overall visitor experience, increase exposure and revenue, and stay competitive in a crowded market.

To learn more about Gable and our design process, please contact us using the form below or by calling 800-854-0568. We’ve worked with real estate developers for over 40 years and are happy to share examples of our successful collaborations.

About Gable

Gable has been a leader in visual communications for 40+ years. We are passionate about elevating the way people perceive, interact with, and remember brands, buildings, and places. With a rich legacy in blending the timeless artistry of traditional signs with the dynamic possibilities of video displays & integrated AV systems, Gable continues to shape the future of visual communications. For more information, visit or call 800-854-0568.

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