Courtesy Compass

Fast Company's Ainsley Harris takes a look at real estate startup Compass' move to redesign the "for sale" sign that's punctuated lawns for several decades.

Shaped like a magnifying glass, the matte-black sign contains embedded technology that offers interested buyers much more information than a printed sign could.

In the presence of this final prototype, after months of development, Matt Spangler, Compass chief creative officer, can barely contain his excitement. In jeans and a denim shirt, he detaches the ring from its base, to show how they connect. “The whole thing is modular,” he says. “This piece right here—this slides out.” With the click of a button, he animates the LED lights, which cascade down the sides of the ring. Turning the sign around, he demonstrates how to detach the printed piece in the center, using subtle tabs. In the future, if cost allows, he envisions a fully digital version that agents can update in real time. Right now, Compass’s mobile development team is making plans for an augmented reality iteration.

“Say it was just a plot of land—you could see a house modeled on the land, you could change the color of the house with paint, you could see all the neighborhood data, you could see restaurants that are recommended,” Spangler says, painting the vision.

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