Attracting Office Tenants with Building Signage

Summer 2014
Monument signage is a valued amenity, but not an automatic one. Tenants should negotiate signage details before they sign or renew a lease.

For that tough-to-close tenant, offering space on a building sign may be just the thing to seal the deal. Perceptive property owners will make this part of their negotiation process with both new tenants and lease renewals. Tenants, however, must understand that exterior signage is rarely a “given,” and that it typically must be negotiated upfront.

“For most tenants, signage is important. A lot of savvy tenants who negotiate leases know to ask for signs during lease negotiations,” says Coy Davidson, a senior vice president with Colliers International in Houston. Davidson adds that there are generally four good building signage opportunities, as illustrated in the table below. 

head shot of Coy Davidson

Coy Davidson

The broker recently received a call from a doctor who wanted Davidson to negotiate with his landlord for a monument sign. When Davidson asked him when his lease would be up for renewal, the doctor responded that he was only two years into a 10-year lease. Davidson replied that this request for a sign should have been negotiated at lease renewal.

Davidson’s company recently moved to new quarters in Houston and received an exclusive 12-by-15-foot monument sign. When a competitor asked Davidson how he managed to convince his landlord to give Colliers such a big sign. Davidson responded: “It was easy, we asked for it when we negotiated the lease.”

table showing building signage choices for tenants