First: Read the county ordinance on off premise signs and understand them. Once you know the spacing from other signs, churches, or whatever other regulations your county has in place go to google maps. Click the measuring stick and work your way down the road until you find a site that you believe fits within the ordinance regulations. If the measurements are really close you should go out and measure it more accurately. Then go to your county GIS and look up the property, this will give you the property owners name and address. Since you are targeting one individual land owner at a time, I make a hand made letter and seal it with a wax seal. This gets the owners attention. I have just sent out 6 letters and had five people respond and of course some owners will jump on it, some you will have to caress, and others will not be interested. But you never know unless you ask. That seems to be the hardest part - just ask for what you want. Once the owner is interested get them to sign a permission form allowing you to pursue permitting from the state and county include the tam map #, owners address, etc. Or if you are sure about the property go ahead and get a lease signed. This is just how I do it and I hope this helps anyone who is interested.
Thanks. This is essentially what I do as well. I like the wax seal idea.
Are you hand writing the entire letter, or just the address on the envelope?
What are you saying in the letter?
What comes first - getting the permit or signing a landowner to a lease? If you don’t get the permit first, can’t the landowner shop his spot to the highest bidder?
You have to get the landowner on board first. In most states, it’s illegal to pull the permit until you have the landowner’s permission (in Texas you have to get them to sign an affidavit that they give their permission when you file the permit). Can they shop you? Absolutely. Do they actually do it? Not normally, as most are not even aware that there are other sign companies out there, or that they might pay more. But sophisticated landowners can sometimes escalate it to open bidding. You just have to do the best you can do.
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