The importance of curb appeal for a residential building is obvious – the better the exterior looks, the quicker it will sell. It’s an age-old equation that has secured millions of homeowners the best deals, which is why there’s an emphasis on making the outdoor area of a house as eye-catching as possible.
However, your property isn’t a home, and you’re not attempting to sell to turn a profit, so why do curb appeal tactics matter to you? Although the same benefits may not be transferable for commercial and residential properties, they still exist for business owners. And, they are as essential as domestic cousins.
A building without curb appeal is going to lack attention. This is bad for a house on the real estate market, but it’s worse for a company whose success revolves around raising brand awareness and standing out from the crowd. Without an appealing exterior, it’s impossible to convert soft curiosity into a cold, hard sale, and that’s the most important way that curb appeal is different for businesses.
Of course, it’s not the only way, which is why you should continue reading. Underneath are the six ways curb appeal techniques differ from residential properties, and why they are vital for entrepreneurs.
Curb Appeal Is Health & Safety
Health and safety rules may be a little strict in some circumstances, yet there’s no denying that people have a right to feel secure when they enter a store. Once they step foot in the shop, it’s your responsibility to take care of them. However, you’ve got to get them in the store, which is harder than it sounds when your exterior is crumbling away.
Consumers spot the signs and think, “that’s not very nice.” Aside from the fact it doesn’t appeal to their aesthetic ideals, it’s a warning signal that informs customers to steer clear. After all, the outside of the property reflects the inside, and the latter is clearly in bad shape (in their eyes).
Repairing walkways and stairs, as well as adding ramps and access for disabled shoppers, highlights that you think about all of your customers and are welcoming. Too many businesses neglect a proportion of their base, which is a terrible long-term strategy since they’ll remember the poor customer experience for a long time. For companies, curb appeal is about showcasing that the area is secure and inclusive of everyone, regardless.
Also, it saves trouble from a legal perspective as anything that occurs on your property is your liability. Therefore, worrying more about health and safety is imperative to avoid notoriously high litigation fees.
Curb Appeal Is Brand Awareness
The average small and medium business spends around 1% to 2% of their yearly sales. So, if you sell one million products or services, you should invest ten-thousand dollars into your company the year after. This is a conservative estimate because research proves that firms need to spend a lot more than 2% to raise brand awareness and challenge the market leaders.
Thankfully, your property’s curb appeal does it without having to throw money at the problem. For example, the right signage is all it takes for businesses to offer consumers an idea of what they sell and why they should buy their services. Then, some tools incorporate professionalism, such as a logo. These features are incredibly powerful as people can see them from a distance and instantly link them to your brand.
And, it works on a digital level too. The importance of a virtual presence can’t be underestimated – it’s part of the reason apps and programs like Google Maps are integral to marketing campaigns – mainly as it integrates into your approach to curb appeal. Localizing advertising content to appeal to tourists and visitors is a fantastic way to increase foot traffic.
But, people won’t enter your store willingly if they don’t like what they see when they arrive. Therefore, the exterior has to be on point if it is going to work in conjunction with other marketing methods.
Curb Appeal Lures Customers
A successful company does the basics well, and the foundation of a long and prosperous career is a steady flow of customers. Whether they are old or new – you’ll need both – it’s vital that people like your brand enough to spend money so that you can turn leads into sales. Otherwise, everything you spend your budget on won’t matter.
This is partly why curb appeal is essential – it lures in customers. Again, it’s a form of marketing as the techniques you use will grab people’s attention, and if it’s convincing, it’ll encourage them to make a purchase. However, curb appeal does more than raising brand awareness. In this case, it highlights the best offers and promotions, which is vital as everybody wants to bag a bargain.
Without adding value, there’s no way of sustaining sales long enough to stave off your creditors, and that’s why it’s important to plug your promos. Of course, non-targeted ads aren’t very useful since they aren’t personalized, yet if passers-by are on the high street, the odds are high that they want an excuse to make a purchase.
Never forget the effectiveness of word of mouth advertising, either. All it takes is a single customer to walk through the door and tell a couple of their friends for your foot and web traffic to skyrocket. 70% of first-time sales happen due to this process. To do that, you must lure people in with proven curb appeal methods.
Curb Appeal Should Be Seasonal (When Necessary)
When you fix up a house to sell, the methods are pretty much the same all year round. If anything, they are almost generic because they are used by homeowners from around the country, sometimes the world. Whether it’s sprucing up the front lawn or adding new features, they always work.
Commercial curb appeal is different since the tactics you implement depend on the seasons. For example, during the winter, it’s essential to focus on Christmas since it’s a massive holiday people love and it drives consumerism. However, if you start too early, you’ll miss out on other events, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Plus, Christmas decorations make no sense in the summer when the weather is hot and the 25th of December is six to seven months away. As a result, curb appeal should always match the season or occasion. The key is not to appear if you’re pushing the holiday for your gain, which is what happens when stores begin selling Xmas products in October.
Also, you must be ready to be proactive and switch up the exterior of your building based on what customers want and expect to see.
Curb Appeal Needs To Be Practical
In many ways, curb appeal for homes is about ensuring that a property looks better than the competition. There is an element of practicality, but mostly it’s about standing out from the crowd. Commercial curb appeal should combine the two equally as customers can’t deal with style and zero substance.
A parking lot is a prime example. A shabby parking area feels dodgy, and customers won’t want to park their cars as they can’t trust that it will be secure. Therefore, the lot needs to be inviting and has to hold as many vehicles as possible, or else you can’t maximize interest. Providing parking is tough as there are lots of challenges, including the way cars ruin your curb appeal and present natural disaster issues.
Many companies invest in interlocking permeable pavers to swerve these roadblocks and guarantee access without impacting the business’s exterior. This is because they can go on top or underneath soft surfaces, increasing the ground’s stability. Plus, the material lets the H2O soak into the soil, meaning flooding and standing water shouldn’t occur.
Parking must be accessible for everybody as being able to park and walk into a store is essential; however, a parking lot can be more of a help than a hindrance, which is why style and substance need to be used in equal measure.
Curb Appeal Isn’t DIY Eligible
Lots of homeowners complete residential curb appeal projects without professional help. After all, some of the basic features aren’t as challenging as they appear on the face of it, and the internet is an incredible asset. YouTube has all the information a house owner requires!
Commercial properties are different, but it’s not because the jobs are more complicated – they’re usually not. Instead, it’s because you don’t have the time or expertise. Firstly, a sign isn’t as simple as it looks. A high-quality piece of signage is straightforward and to the point, yet it makes an immediate impact, which is why it’s better to hire a professional.
Secondly, it’s usually less effort and cheaper to outsource the tasks to a third-party. Let’s face it – you hardly have enough spare time to grab lunch, so changing the window dressings or cleaning the exterior of the building aren’t feasible. Although the urge to do it yourself will be strong, it’s better to delegate the job.
One thing that doesn’t differ from homes to businesses is that curb appeal is integral if you want to boost awareness and increase the chances of sales.