Everyone Raves About Bandit Signs, Should They?

Scott Costello All, Blog 30 Comments

One of my action plan items for this week is to purchase 200 bandits signs.  I’ve always been a bit afraid to put out bandit signs around my area because to be honest I’m afraid to get fined.  Some say that is the cost of business, but that is tough to swallow when you are just getting started out and money is tight.   Non the less, I’m going to do as my coach suggested and try and some bandit signs down in my new target area in mercer county.

I don’t know about all of you, but I can’t think of one person who hasn’t said bandit signs work better then any other form of marketing.  My reasoning for this is that when you are sending out direct mail, it’s almost like you are forcing your marketing in front of a lead.  Saying “Look Look Look at this!”  On the other hand having a lead discover one of your bandit signs on the side of the road seems less intrusive and more of a choice.  Which do you hate more, junk mail or billboards?

Great places to buy bandit signs

I can’t vouch for any of these places from experience though.  I can say that banditsigns.com is run by David Alexander who is well regarded over at flippinghomes.com.  I am trying customsignbanner.com on the recommendation from Jon so I will let you know how the experience goes.

How many to order?

The simple answer is that you should order enough to effectively test out your target area.  It was suggested to me that I order 200 of them per month and at this point I can argue.  Unfortunately this will greatly increase my monthly budget for marketing, but if it gets me a deal quicker then so be it.

Ideas for avoiding fines

I’ve done a lot of research on bandit signs in the past and have found some good suggestions for avoiding fines for putting signs up in towns that don’t allow them.

  1. Put them up Friday night and take them down Sunday evening.  Most code enforcement police don’t work on weekends.
  2. Buy a track phone and use that number on your signs.  This number can’t be traced.
  3. Avoid towns where you don’t see any bandit signs

What is the best design for your Bandit Sign?

Have you ever driven by a sign on the side of the road and just couldn’t make out what it said?  or needed to drive by it a few times just to get the website address or phone number?   If you go over to David Alexander’s website he has some free downloads on how to properly use bandit signs.  The quick hits on what he has to say are…

  • Keep them simple
  • Use large letters
  • Use black letters on a yellow back or blue letters on a white back
  • don’t use websites on them.  If you do use a website address, leave off the http://www
  • put your phone number in an easy to read area
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Comments 30

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  2. Scott –

    I know folks that use them and say they have good results. But like a lot of other people, I wasn’t consistent. I hate putting them up! I know some investors hire someone to put them up. If they are effective for you that might be an idea for the fluture. I will be interested to know what your stats are after a couple of months of continual use.

    I did have good results with a hand written bandit type sign when trying to wholesale a deal. My buyer ended up coming from another source, but they were very effective for putting investors on my buyers list.

        1. Hi Sharon,

          I use them all the time to sell deals. They are my #1 source for finding new buyers, by far.

          Like Shae said- they suck to put out, but they work really, really well.

          I use the smaller ones (12×18) and just write something like:

          CHEAP HOUSE
          25k
          CASH ONLY!!
          123-4567

          They always get my phone ringing!

  3. Hi Scott,

    Keep us posted and good luck. I have avoided bandit signs for the same reasons you mentioned. I suppose at some point I’ll need to break down and do it, but it’s not something I am willing to do – just yet.

    I’ve done some pull tab flyers and business cards that I’ve been leaving at stores and such. That’s my solution in the meantime.

    Steph

  4. Hey Scott, like you I’m coming up with a plan to expand my marketing to bandit signs. So far my other forms of marketing are working for me, but I’m ( I mean my bandit sign guy is) ready to litter the city with bandit signs soon. Keep us updated with your progress.

    1. I’m definitely going to have to hire someone to put them up for me. It’s to far away to do it myself. How about you start putting some out and we can compare notes.

  5. Scott,

    I have read where the officer will call the number and have you meet them with a “deal” and hand you a ticket. The track phone may not work. I would suggest having a different number for each of your marketing leads to get a better idea of results. (or just ask the callers)

    Jason

    1. I’ve heard about a similar ploy by the officers. I guess if you really piss them off they will get you, so flooding an area might not be the best idea in the world.

      1. Yeah, it really depends on the city Scotty…there are cities in my area that seem to have no problem with them but others where they even have “code enforcement” people out on the weekends to pull them down and pretty much have a zero tolerance policy.

        I don’t use them myself anymore, but when I did, my phone rang pretty consistently!

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  7. I haven’t used them in a while, in my area we put them up on weekends and took them back up on Mondays. After I got 2 code enforcement calls, and read about some of my other investor friends actually getting over $5000 in fines I stopped. I have considered doing it again, they were very effective. My yellow campaign, and daily paper are just as effective without the code enforcement calls. When I do bandit signs again, I’ll be asking the owners of some of the small business and gas stations in my area to let me pay them for a weekend to put up the signs.

  8. I haven’t used them in a while, in my area we put them up on weekends and took them back up on Mondays. After I got 2 code enforcement calls, and read about some of my other investor friends actually getting over $5000 in fines I stopped. I have considered doing it again, they were very effective. My yellow campaign, and daily paper are just as effective without the code enforcement calls. When I do bandit signs again, I’ll be asking the owners of some of the small business and gas stations in my area to let me pay them for a weekend to put up the signs.

  9. Well, I have gotten some calls from the pull tab flyers but no deals from those yet. I just was at the store and checked one I put up and a few tabs were pulled, so maybe I’ll get more calls. I do need to put up more, though. I do leave out business cards wherever I can, too.

      1. John,They are flyers that you hang in places like bulletin boards that you would cut slits in the bottom and write your number on each slit. Those would then be torn off if someone was interested.

  10. Follow your mentor’s advice without question a this point. If they are successful, then follow their lead. Don’t reinvent the wheel until you have made a few wheels.

    Bandit signs take a fair amount of time to put up and take down. Also, the issue I have with them is in addition to the cost to purchase (nominal), and the time to put and take down, you are going to be spending a lot of time on the phone. That is because they work.

    So lets look at the positive, they work. You will be getting calls. Prepare yourself though, just because you have a sign up that say ‘I buy houses’ or the like, does not mean that you are talking to motivated sellers. It does not mean you are even talking to any type of seller. A fair portion of the time, you will be talking to buyers as well, not a bad thing though.

    I am sure your mentor is preparing you for some sort of system to manage your time with this marketing model.

    Me, I prefer direct mail. Now some people say, oh you only get 1-5% response rates. I average around 5-10%, but even on the infrequent rounds where I get 3%, there is a key here. I spend most of my time targeting my list, scrubbing it, rescrubbing it, comparing it to last lists used. So even when I get 3% the person that is calling me, even though they may not be motivated enough, I know 100% that they meet at the least the minimal criteria. So even then most are not motivated enough, even with ultra targeting. So when I talk with the seller I dont feel like I am wasting my time.

    Follow your mentor’s advice, try the bandit sign marketing, be consistent, you will get calls. And track them, this is key. Track every call you get on spreadsheet. If the call is for a buyer, track it, mark it categorize. This way after 3 or 4 weeks you can have a discussion with your mentor. “john, out of 55 calls, and 4 hours on the phone, 65% were x and 20% y” this will allow you to move forward.

    I will say this though in defense of bandit signs, when you don’t have enough money, time is your currency. So based on past posts, you had mentioned about $200/month on marketing. For direct mail, that would be around 400 post cards a month, so you would get anywhere from 4-40 calls based on the success of your list and marketing message. I do believe you will get more calls than that from an equivalent dollar amount in bandit signs, but you will spending way more time, putting them up, taking them down and field a lot more calls from unmotivated seller. But….. do you have a choice.

    Go with it, trust your mentor. You may find that bandit signs work for you and then when deals start coming in, you hire somebody, to put them up. Building a business, that’s what this is.

    1. Great advice for keeping track of my marketing. I do plan on hiring someone to put out the signs for me because the area I’d be putting the signs is over an hour away from where I live.

    2. Great advice for keeping track of my marketing. I do plan on hiring someone to put out the signs for me because the area I’d be putting the signs is over an hour away from where I live.

  11. I have had awesome results with bandit signs in the past, and they will continue to be a large part of my offline marketing strategy for years to come. Another great resource that you might want to consider adding to the list is SpeedySignsUSA.com. They do great work and have awesome prices.

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