Bandit Signs - Everything You Need to Know

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Bandit signs have been a method used to generate motivated seller leads for decades. Although they're frowned upon by code enforcement and the "Karen's" of the community, they still serve a purpose. They're an inexpensive and effective way to get your message seen by many different people.

What is a Bandit Sign?

A bandit sign is a small sign, usually made of corrugated plastic or cardboard that is used for advertising. The signs are usually placed on the side of the roads and highways so they can be seen by passing traffic. In most cities, these signs are code violations. Users face the risk of being fined.

Are Bandit Signs Illegal?

Road side signs and telephone pole signs are a violation in most cities across the United States. Putting them out, either in the ground or on telephone poles could result in monetary fines. Use them at your own risk. 

We Buy Houses Bandit Signs

The market is getting crazy out there, and real estate investors are using yellow bandit signs as a marketing tool to generate motivated seller leads.

You should never put all of your eggs into one basket. Especially when it comes to marketing.

Test different messages, colors, media types, and markets to find out what delivers you the highest and best returns on your marketing dollars. Just blasting out a campaign without split testing different variables may leave you short changed in the end.

How to Make Bandit Signs

There are many options when creating your signs. They come in different colors, sizes, and shapes. The most common type is a sign that is on metal stakes and is placed in the ground.

What size should I use?

The most common size for a bandit sign is the larger corrugated plastic signs that measure 24" wide x 18" high. You can run these in either direction, or get creative and make two signs out of one.

When you design your sign online, create 2 signs on 1, so that it can be cut down the middle.  Make sure it’s nice and centered so that when its printed on the sign, you can cut it right down the middle and get 2 signs out of it.

Here's a video that explains how to order signs from Dirt Cheap Signs, getting more bang for your buck by cutting the signs in half.

Which Font Gets the Best Results?

Use a handwritten font. It's ugly, unprofessional and it works. And despite what some people say, normal people like to do business with normal people.

bandit signs

If you use Dirt Cheap Signs, they have several different handwritten fonts that you can choose from that look pretty good on signs.  The names of them are " AKBAR", "YELLOW JUG". I've included a sample below of what they look like so you can see. It's definitely good enough for a sign.

You also have the option of ordering blank yard signs and writing your own message using a permanent marker. This will save you some money.

What Should My Message Say?

There are plenty of variations of Messages that you can use on your signs. Dirt Cheap Signs has 43 templates that you can choose from. You can also write your own message using a blank sign and a permanent marker.  Test out different messages and see which one gets the best results in your market.

Do Not Use Your Real Name on Your Signs


What Phone Number Should I Use on my Bandit Signs?

Since you're taking a risk of getting fined by the city, it's best to use a Google Voice number or a trac phone on your signs. Don't publish this number anywhere on the internet. Everything leads back to you, and you will end up paying big fines. Code enforcement officers are getting real sneaky posing as sellers, tricking you into revealing yourself.

Send Calls to Voice Mail

When potential leads call your number, send them to voice mail. Ask them to leave some very specific information in their message.

  • Property Address
  • Their first and Last Name
  • Their Phone Number
  • Best Time To Reach Them

When you return calls for pre-screening, be careful about getting tricked into telling anyone your real name until you're confident it's a real seller.

How Much Do Bandit Signs Cost

If you order just one bandit sign, you'll pay about $15.00 for it. If you oder 100 it will run you about $1.55 per sign. The cost varies, of course, based on size, color, etc. There are plenty of companies that offer cheap bandit signs.

How Many Real Estate Signs Should I Put Out?

The most important thing you can remember about marketing with Bandit Signs (or any form of marketing, for that matter) is consistency. The more signs that you put out, the more leads you will get. 

If you're just starting out, put at least 100 signs per month (25 per week). Put them out on Friday after 5 pm.  If you're unable to be consistent with this schedule then hire someone to do it for you.

Where to Put Bandit Signs

Signs are typically placed in locations that get a lot of traffic. Busy intersections, shopping centers, stop signs in "bread and butter" neighborhood, sporting events and movie theatres. Be sure not to place the signs on private property. Order signs that have vertical flutes and use wire H stakes to install the sign into the ground.

Places to Put Bandit Signs

  • Stop Signs
  • Traffic Lights at Busy Intersections
  • Yield Signs
  • On Ramps to Highways
  • McDonalds
  • Targets/Wal-Marts
  • Movie Theatre Parking Lots
  • Pawn Shops
  • Telephone Poles (if you hammer them up)
  • Places where OTHER Signs are (they get attention)

Places to Avoid Putting Bandit Signs

  • Private Yard
  • Subdivisions
  • Really nice neighborhoods
  • Mechanic/tire shops 

How to Order Bandit Signs

When you are ready to run a sign campaign, have your sign drawn out. Know the color, font and size that you want to order. Do your research on various websites that offer snipe signs and choose the one that like the best.

Once you get your signs, get busy putting them out on a schedule and wait for the calls to come in.

Good Luck!

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14 comments on “Bandit Signs - Everything You Need to Know”

  1. So what do they think women are going to be soft on them or what?

  2. Tara Brown says:

    According to your 2015 report it was all direct mail and website....no signs??

  3. Tara Brown says:

    Wanted to let you know we did what video said and tried female name on signs...put 50 out Saturday and 10 calls so far!! WOW

    Great info!

    1. mallory0331 says:

      TOTALLY AWESOME!! Congrats

  4. Hey guys is there a link somewhere to buy the bandit sign training?

    1. Mallory Caywood says:

      Sorry about that! Everything in that link is now in this blog post. 🙂

  5. Hi Mallory! I'm new here and getting a feel for this. I've done bandit signs for an MLM before. I forget the exact numbers as I was a newbie and not tracking cost per lead. So if 400 signs are placed and 52 leads come in, here's the math/average I got that we should be expecting to invest per lead. Assuming the 400 signs were cut in half, you guys ordered 200 signs at $200 (it seems they are $1 each in bulk) and paid $1.25 per sign to have them placed (definitely time saving!) That would be $200 + ($1.25 x 400) 500= $700 (at least) / divided by 52 leads= $13.47 a lead (on the lower end) Is this about right? I definitely realize that 1 good lead can close and be a potential $5,000-$15,000. About how much would you tell new investors is the norm to "pay per lead"? LOVE this blog!

  6. AWESOME. Thanks for breaking this down, Tracy! And if I'm correct, it's the norm that one out of about every 20ish leads ends up being a deal?

  7. what about using the google voice app and the google voice number on your cellphone to call sellers, can they still track your phone?

    1. The Flamingo says:

      As long as you dont publish your Google Voice number anywhere online, then yes you can do that. Google VOice numbers arent published with account holder names

  8. Okay good. I have two numbers and ill use one on my bandit signs and the other on my car signs.

    If the city cant track you down, what is the most they will do? Just remove your signs right?

  9. George Jaggy says:

    Hey Tracy,
    The blog contains all the of info on the prior course?
    Just checking... Can I give you a call?

    1. The Flamingo says:

      You can reach out to live chat with any questions. Thank you

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