You have probably seen them, even without knowing what they were; they are the 12 X 18 inch bandit signs that are hanging from telephone poles or strategically placed in four way intersections. They are a great, inexpensive ways to find deals, and not to be overlooked. You can purchase a hundred of these signs for the cost of lunch and dinner. Simply flooding your market with signs everywhere will not guarantee success, however. You need to buy the right signs and place them in the right areas to get your phone to ring. If you are interested in running a successful bandit sign campaign, here are some tips you need to follow:
Get the right size: If people can’t read your sign, it doesn’t matter what they say. It will cost you more money for bigger signs, but it is well worth it. The typical bandit sign is 12 x 18 inches. To attract the largest audience possible, you should use 18 X 24 inch signs. The extra six inches may not seem like a lot, but it makes a big difference when you are in the car. You would be surprised at how many more deals a bigger sign can result in.
Be creative: It wasn’t that long ago when bandit signs were considered a new and different way to advertise. Over the years, local investors caught on that it was a cost effective way to market. Now, in any given area, you will see a half dozen signs on your way home. Most of these signs say the same generic message: “we buy houses”. While it is important to be short and sweet with your message, you also need to separate yourself from everyone else. Tweaking your message even slightly will make your sign stand out. Instead of “we buy houses,” you can try “quick, cash closings” or “sell your house in five days”. The message is essentially the same, but the way it is delivered can make all the difference.
Location: Anyone associated with real estate knows the importance of location. The same concept holds weight for bandit signs. Before you place any signs, you need to know the local laws. Just because you want to place a sign somewhere doesn’t mean you will be able to. Contact your local government and see where you are allowed to place your signs, and if there are any restrictions on size. Assuming there are no issues, you should turn your focus on sign placement. You want your signs in high traffic areas that will have the most eyeballs on them. Four way intersections, highway exits and busy stop signs are always good locations. Also, look for locations that don’t have much competition. If there are five other signs in a busy area, yours may be the one that is not read. Take the time to scout out the best locations before you place a sign.
Clear contact information: Along with your message, you need to have your contact information clearly visible. The average person in the car may only have a few seconds to process the information. You need to have your name, email or phone number displayed big enough. Less is more when it comes to the contact information. Putting your business name and tagline will just take up space and prove to be a distraction. A name and phone number are typically good enough to get your phone to ring.
Design and color: For a few extra bucks, you can have your sign stand out from the crowd. There is nothing wrong with a traditional white sign with black lettering. In the case of real estate investing, however, you can use any color scheme and design that fits your personality. A hot color sign may not work for a local election, but it can be just the thing to get your phone to ring. Most websites allow you to tinker with the layout before you buy. Don’t be afraid to stand out from everyone else.
Less may be more: Since you probably have a large quantity of signs, it can be tempting to flood the area and place signs on every corner. This is a good theory, but may have an adverse impact. If people see your signs at every light and every stop sign, they will eventually lose their appeal. It is better to focus on specific areas that you want, rather than trying to put a blanket on every corner. The only way that this strategy works is if you go off the beaten bath and put your signs in neighborhoods where you may already own properties. In the case of choosing the best locations, less may be more with your signs.
Bandit signs are a great compliment to your current marketing strategy. You never know who is going to see your sign and call. Even if you don’t get a direct lead, you may be able to reach local wholesalers or fellow investors. Before you purchase any signs, find out what you are allowed to do. From there, spend the time to develop a high quality sign that is easily recognizable. Bandit signs won’t break the bank, but they could yield quite a return.