Finding billboard locations in a different state

Does anyone have any strategies for identifying potential billboard locations in different states? I know I am going to move from my current state in the next 2-3 years, and would like to begin building billboards in the new state I will be living in. However, the states are not near each other so I cannot easily drive to the new state to scout for new billboard opportunities.

I’ve been trying to brainstorm for ideas around this problem and am wondering if others can provide any advice. All I can think of is using the Google Maps satellite function to try and scout for opportunities or putting ads in small town newspapers (I am focused on building wooden boards in rural areas).

Is there a way to identify locations and reach out to property owners from another state, or will I need to wait until I move to begin building boards? Frank, did you ever run into a similar problem?

Frank, any thoughts here? I believe you have said you managed billboards in both Texas and LA. How did you do it?

I’ve built and operated in three states at one time: Texas. Louisiana and California. It’s just replicating the same process. You get the state laws, a license for that state, the city laws, and start finding locations. You can definitely build and operate billboards in more than one state at one time. However, you have to be very good at managing your time. I used to set all my appointments in Los Angeles, for example, in the same week – both landowner and advertiser. I then went there for a week and had nothing but meetings for seven straight days. Fortunately, much of what you need to do as a billboard owner can be done from anywhere (call advertisers, talk to landowners on the phone, file permits, send direct mail on ads, get bids to build signs, etc.). The bad news is that you have to physically be there to close most deals (new sites to build, signing up advertisers, etc.). So you just have to be a great multi-tasker, and have the freedom to go there when necessary. You might be able to run a different state just on weekends, to not take away from your day job, but with travel time, it would mean only maybe one day of meetings, tops.

Thanks Frank. That’s very helpful. How did you identify locations for billboards in a state that you didn’t live in? Did you go there for a week or two and just drive around to scout for opportunities? I want to get started now, but I may not be able to go to the state I will eventually move to for a couple months. Is there anything else I can be doing now to try and find potential locations and new landowners?