Outdoor Advertising: A Revenue Stream for Commercial Property Owners 

Neil Vlaming of Epic Outdoor is uniquely placed to discuss this topic: prior to entering the advertising industry, he was (and still is) a property developer himself. His experience spans a wide spectrum of the market, including high-density residential, commercial, and industrial complexes, and several well-known retail centres. In this capacity, he has engaged with most South African REITS, in both development and transactional capacities.

In this article, Vlaming discusses how the strategic integration of static advertising and digital LED displays offers a solution to property owners, large and small.

The South African commercial property market has faced significant challenges in recent years, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, hybrid working models, rising interest rates and other associated economic challenges. These factors have led to increased vacancies in the office space, a drop in rental rates and overall financial strain on assets, making it crucial to explore innovative solutions to enhance yields and generate additional revenue.

For commercial property owners navigating the challenges in the current landscape, the integration of advertising and digital LED displays offers a promising avenue for enhancing building aesthetics and unlocking new revenue opportunities.

Many property funds have already put divisions in place to actively pursue this revenue stream. As Engelbert Binedell of Growthpoint Property says, ‘By incorporating advertising revenue as an additional income source, property funds can improve their yields and overall fund performance”.

The opportunity now needs to be extended to individual investment property owners who might not be aware of the potential yet to be realised. They are focused on selling or renting their horizontal space but may not yet have considered the value of their vertical spaces.

While outdoor advertising can enhance the facade of existing buildings that meet the requirements, developers looking to improve the viability of commercial projects and mitigate against current shortcomings should be considering how to incorporate these elements during the design stage. Architects can then create visually appealing environments that captivate tenants and visitors while generating additional income.

Value proposition

Advertising integration acts as another tenant and revenue source within those assets where the advertising is placed. When the revenue derived from advertising becomes predictable and sustainable, it directly impacts the asset’s value. This predictable income stream allows property owners to capitalise on the advertising revenue, further enhancing the overall value of the asset.

This is what Dr Willem Kearney of Smilecare Dentistry discovered. “The addition of a digital board to our property has provided awareness of our dental practice and services as well as provided excellent additional income, which also increases property value,” he says.

As such, advertising integration should not be viewed in isolation but rather as an integral part of the property’s revenue-generating potential, and potentially as an avenue for yield enhancement.

Early adoption

The early consideration of advertising during the pre-development phase can assist in creating cash flow to fund the development. By structuring the different types of advertising, and offerings, and planning for both pre- and post-development stages, property owners can generate revenue that can be used to assist with construction costs and other project expenses.

Outdoor advertising options

Digital LED displays have emerged as a game-changer in modernising older buildings, and locations. Their versatility allows for both internal and external integration, revitalising the aesthetics of older structures and creating visually dynamic spaces. By embracing digital LED displays, property owners can upgrade internal and external areas into engaging visual experiences that stand out in today’s competitive marketplace, whilst generating income.

Large-format external advertising can transform the external facades of buildings into eye-catching displays that capture attention and leave a lasting impression. This form of advertising utilises the available external shell of a property, effectively turning it into high-visibility advertising spaces. By incorporating large-format external advertising, property owners can convert their buildings into iconic landmarks that not only enhance the aesthetics of the surrounding area but also attract brands looking for prominent advertising platforms thereby ensuring a constant, alternate revenue source.

As you navigate the ever-evolving property market, and actively seek to explore alternative revenue sources for your property consider the potential that advertising integration holds for your properties. Explore the various models and partnerships available, including the expertise and services provided by recognised industry players like Epic Outdoor, to maximise the value and revenue potential of your assets.

What is the process?

Different outdoor advertising companies have different processes and models.

When a property owner gets in touch with us at Epic Outdoor, these are the steps that follow:

●     We evaluate the asset – would it support digital or static advertising?

●     Next, we consider position – is it on a main highway, secondary road, or major intersection – what is the volume of passing traffic?

●     We then analyse the audience that would see any advertising on the building and do a competitive analysis of other boards in the area.

●     With all this information, we decide on the best use of the site and make a turnkey proposal.

From there, Epic Outdoor runs the entire process: from dealing with the council to construction and maintenance, from marketing the site to selling the space. And from then on, the property owner is earning annuity income they can rely on and build into their forward focus.



Epic Outdoor, is a niche out-of-home media owner that specialises in large-format, high-impact advertising.

Epic Outdoor was founded in 2016, with no inventory, but with a clear vision to develop inventory to rival some of the largest advertising sites in the industry. Through significant good fortune and much perseverance, we are proud to boast a portfolio that is unique among South African media owners. We offer turnkey solutions from conceptualisation and site development to marketing and securing of revenue-producing sales. We are constantly looking for new opportunities.

With years of experience, in large-format site development and sales, Epic Outdoor is well-positioned to convert your high-profile building, vacant property, or site into a large-scale advertising opportunity. If you believe your property may have Epic potential, please get in touch.

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