Properly managed outdoor advertising can be a valuable source of passive revenue to the owners or custodians of large property portfolios, such as listed property funds, property owners, property managers and government departments.
Keeping track of the performance of an outdoor portfolio is, however, not that simple, especially when it consists of hundreds and even thousands of sites.
Aspire Solutions, in collaboration with Property Development Services (PDS), is revolutionising this management process by combining GIS technology with outdoor media knowledge in their development of Signage Management Systems.
“To manage your outdoor advertising portfolio properly you need to know exactly what is where, what it’s worth, when it’s sold and when you should receive your income,” says Rachél Mc Dermott of Aspire Solutions.
Signage Management Systems are no different from the systems used for property management. By storing the data, or attributes, of advertising assets in a geodatabase users don’t only store physical feature data such as GPS locations, formats and sizes, but also financial information from which one can then efficiently respond to briefs and prepare management reports.
A Signage Management System is of immense value to media and property owners, as well as government departments.
To a media owner, the value lies in rapid responses to briefs by the automatic generation of availability reports and rate cards.
To any property owner or manager, the important issue is effective and efficient asset management and the system allows for that with press-of-a-button availability reports, vacancy schedules, format comparisons, year-end financial reports, financial projections based on past quarters or fiscals.
These can be developed in standard report or table formats, or they can be illustrated spatially by way of bar or pie charts on maps.
To government departments, the value lies in keeping tabs on approvals, or as in the case of the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport (DRT) in ensuring that it receives what is due to it as a property owner.
A recent audit of all outdoor advertising opportunities carried out for the DRT by Property Development Services (PDS) and Aspire Solutions, identified a total of over 3 000 signs including around 400 billboards. Each sign was plotted on a map along with information about its format, owner and value and from that what income should flow to the Department.
“The Department is a landlord like any other and is entitled to rental income from signage on its land,” explains Ilone Collins from PDS.
“Mapping all the existing sites and linking them to their contracts, approvals and financial information will enable the DRT to determine who is paying and who is not. It also enables them to plan where new signs can be erected.”
In essence, the DRT Signage Management System will allow for the proper management of existing signs and the phased addition of new ones. In future, says Mc Dermott, the Department may be able to manage its signage properly from the GIS database.
“With a management system based on the spatial information they’d be able to map signs of which leases are due to expire, or map income distribution.”
The same system can be applied to private property portfolios. Underlying a profitable out-of-home media portfolio is a collection of sites that are marketable and legal. The system allows for the development of such holdings and with legislation becoming increasingly restrictive it will over time prove to be invaluable.