Billboard Lending

An out of home banker looks at 2024

Ken Atlena, Partner, Billboard loans

Wishing everyone the happiest holidays and best New Year from Billboard Loans.  It has been almost 6 months since retiring from my 40+ year banking career, and I have to say working with billboard people is more fun.  I’ve become a billboard nerd like my partner, Dave Westburg.  I read about the industry every day, I take note of billboards around town and while traveling, and I love talking with people about their billboard projects.  Looking into 2024, I offer the following thoughts: 

  • Digital faces are the name of the game. If you have the site, if you have the advertisers, if you can get the necessary permits, you need to consider going digital. The payback is almost always going to be there. The public companies understand this and are actively converting signs to digital. There is a potential upside to converting a sign to digital before selling it that needs to be considered. 
  • Interest rates have peaked. At the last Fed meeting, rates were left unchanged, again, and now the financial community is betting on 3 quarter point drops in 2024 (.75%). This is great news for borrowers and people looking to borrow. 
  • Bank credit will remain tight because it takes banks longer to loosen up than to tighten up. However, money continues to be available for good projects. If you need a lender contact me or visit Billboard Insider’s list of out of home lenders.
  • Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) will not go away. Figuring out how to use it makes more sense than figuring out how to avoid it. Look to our trade groups such as IBOUSA and OAAA for help.  
  • Finally, the topic to avoid at most parties, but the best growth driver in advertising for 2024 will be politics. It should be a wild ride in 2024, but hopefully out of home can tastefully and successfully capture an increased share of the advertising spend. I am sure the power and reach of our media medium will be on full display throughout the new year. 

If you need an out of home loan of $1 million or less contact me at [email protected], 206-636-8478.  No loan is too small.

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