Contrary to popular belief, one way of improving real estate property value is placing a billboard advertisement on-site when legally permitted to do so. From a business perspective, outdoor billboards are an excellent advertising medium during both good and poor economic times. From a real estate investor's perspective, billboards are an asset to property since current zoning laws in numerous cities across the United States limit or restrict construction of billboards.
One of the greatest advantages of billboards is the fact that the cost per impression is low compared to other advertising options. The cost vis-à-vis the effect on your business is low because if a billboard is placed in a prime location such as near a major freeway or highway, many people will driving by will see the billboard. In fact, billboards are cheap compared to other forms of advertising such as newspaper classified ads, television commercials, and radio ads.
Outdoor billboards are even more advantageous to real estate owners because there are very low maintenance costs especially if you're just offering a ground lease to a billboard company. The cleaning, improvements, and other overhead costs are handled by the billboard company in this case. Think of this like a triple net lease where the tenant pays rent and is responsible for the maintenance.
With a billboard investment, you, as the property owner, can still use the property on which the billboard lies for other purposes such as farming or a business along a highway. These billboards take up a very small footprint of the property and do not obstruct the tenant's or the customer's use of the property.
For a billboard operator or company, the return on investment is very impressive. Let's say the cost of putting up a two-faced billboard is about $30,000. After this initial investment, let's also assume you can rent the advertising for somewhere between $1,500 and $4,000 dollars per face per month. Once the structure is in place, a billboard will be used for many years and this means a very attractive return on the investment.
Now, let's imagine you have more than one billboard in your portfolio. The cash flow adds up pretty quickly. This is why individuals who get involved with the billboard business can retire from their job or put a child through college. Accumulating a portfolio of billboards that are rented out to advertisers can be profitable and fun provided you have the right information.
Outdoor billboards are well-known as a form of advertising. However, as a type of real estate investment or a form of business, they are relatively unknown and underappreciated. This also creates an opportunity for enterprising individuals who don't want to follow the herd and prefer to focus on a niche like billboards.