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Guerilla Marketing: The Bandit Sign Sneak Attack

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gorilla1Hey Moguls, JP here with some great tips about an REI tactic you may have forgotten about or even steered away from. But you need to turn the wheel back and get on board with Bandit Signs.

It may sound like a bad word, but using Bandit Signs the right way can bring in loads of leads and help you close deals.

Simply put, Bandit Signs work.

This info I’m about to share with you mostly comes from the super awesome training call we had with REIer Dwan Bent-Twyford, who really got me thinking about Bandit Signs in a whole new way. Read on and you’ll see what I mean…

No Guerilla Warfare Here – Only Good Deals

When I asked Dwan, who, by the way, has closed 2000 deals with her husband, Bill, in their REI business: What’s the one thing that’s working for y’all to bring in leads and deals?

Just one… yep, she surprised me and said Bandit Signs. And it’s all because of the new strategy they use with the signs.

Look, we all know why Bandit Signs get a bad rap and investors hate ‘em…

Because the signs are technically illegal (hence the Bandit name), you may get fined by code enforcement; it sucks getting up at 4 am under the cover of darkness to pepper neighborhoods with the signs; since code enforcement doesn’t operate over the weekend, you might place them on Friday night but then have to go back out on Sunday night to pick them up to avoid code enforcement - it takes extra time that you probably don’t have.

Enter Dwan’s and Bill’s frickin genius Bandit Sign revamp!

First, they scope out the neighborhoods they want to work in and specifically look for vacant homes.

For sure you’re familiar with some of the vacant home giveaways:

  • Grass isn’t mowed
  • Telephone books lay unopened by the front door
  • Newspapers are piling up in the driveway

gorilla2So, once you’ve found vacant properties in your neighborhood of choice, here’s what you’ll do…

You’ll spend only one day per month putting out about 50 bandit signs, and then you’ll hold tight ‘til the calls start pouring in… and they will.

That’s right, just one day. In fact, Dwan and Bill give themselves a goal of wrapping up their bandit placement day by Happy Hour so they can go and celebrate their day of good work.

One of the reasons this plan is so smart is that you won’t get in trouble with code enforcement because you’ve placed signs in the yards on private properties, not on telephone poles, so you’re not breaking the law. That makes you a pretty slick bandit, huh?!

Okay, you’ve gotten around the code enforcement issue (great!), but where are the leads and deals?

Well, you’ll get them from three different sources:

  • Neighbors
  • Vacant Properties’ Homeowners
  • Investor Buyers

Like A Good Neighbor

More often than not, your phone will start ringing, a lot, from all the neighbors around the vacant houses. They’ve seen your signs all over the area and they think, ‘Wow, this guy means business, I’m gonna call him and see what he’s about.’

When they do call (and they will) you’ll briefly tell them you’re interested in buying houses in their neighborhood and you’ll ask if they have info about the vacant properties. And sometimes, they’ll actually tell you they’re interested in selling their home.

Home Sweet Home

Eventually, the homeowner might call and say they’re ready to sell. Awesome!

Or, they’ll ask why you’ve put a sign in the yard. You’ll tell them you buy houses and you’re interested in buying their house. You’ll politely say you had trouble getting in touch with them so you tried to reach out by using the sign, and well, it worked…  once you tell them you are a cash buyer, they’ll probably keep talkin’.

gorilla3REI Buyers’ Club

While you’re fielding all the calls from neighbors and homeowners, you’ll definitely get calls from investors who want to buy. Tell them you’re finalizing a few details for the deals and make sure you get some info from them…

Once you do get the property under contract, call them back and sell it to them.

Just like that you’ve now got buyers already lined up and ready to close.

From the same process, you’ve been able to find motivated sellers and buyers at the same time, link them together in a deal, and come out of it with some money.

A Few More Bandit Sign Tips

  • Pick the right neighborhood: a relatively nice, middle class area
  • Think about outsourcing: have a couple of people (maybe teens looking for an extra buck) place signs in a few neighborhoods so you have several areas with your signs, which will likely bring in more bang for your buck
  • If you use direct mail methods and a letter gets returned to you because the house is vacant, head over there and drop a sign in the yard
  • Don’t use skip tracers: they’re expensive and don’t work as well as signs
  • Use simple, inexpensive ‘For Sale’ signs with your phone number written on them; you can easily and cheaply buy them from stores like Walmart, Target, or Staples

Well, hopefully by now, you have a whole new appreciation for good ole Bandit Signs. Thanks to this awesome new way of utilizing them, I certainly do.

So, grab some signs, spend a day placing ‘em and make sure you’re cell is charged because it will start ringing off the hook!


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Lay the Groundwork – First things first, listen to Dwan’s super helpful training call to give you a great foundation. And take notes! The numbers and stats she shares will blow your mind.

Choose Wisely – Scope out neighborhoods looking for vacant houses, and spend just one day placing your signs.

Answer the Phone – Neighbors in the area, homeowners and interested buyers will all begin calling you. Match the investor with the appropriate seller, close the deal and then count your nice profit - all from just one day’s work.

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