Car magnet -- a bad idea? - Posted by Russ

Posted by John B. Corey Jr. on September 11, 2005 at 09:54:01:


I love the lecture. It is always good to hear from someone who knows their subject and can share war stories about what happens when you get it wrong.

In particular I like the suggestions about how to fix problems once they happen like the milky clear coat!

John Corey
Chelsea Private Equity LLC

Car magnet – a bad idea? - Posted by Russ

Posted by Russ on September 09, 2005 at 20:57:58:


I want to use car magnets to advertise about my business. However, I hear stories about both good and bad sides. I heard and read in many places that it is a great way to get motivated sellers to call you, also I heard from the other camp that it was a bad idea and it is just inviting trouble. For example, people might think you have a lot of money because you buy houses and you may be exposed to unnecessary litigations.

Please let me know your thoughts.


Re: Car magnet – a bad idea? - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on September 12, 2005 at 17:41:04:

I’ve had car signs for 3-4 years. Have never received a ‘good call’ from them. Only calls I get are from subcontractors looking for work, wholesalers who want to add me to their list and guys wanting a date. I even had problems in Hilton Head, SC - most of the island is only accessible through gates. They wouldn’t let me onto the island because of my signs. I can’t take them off, because they’re pulling off the paint, since they’ve been on for so long.


Re: Car magnet – a bad idea? - Posted by rm

Posted by rm on September 12, 2005 at 10:46:59:

I tried vehicle signs for awhile.

Can’t attribute any deals to having them on my car; however, my carpenter put them on his truck, and he got several leads while at the home improvement stores.

Re: Car magnet – a bad idea? - Posted by Sean

Posted by Sean on September 12, 2005 at 09:54:01:

Cheapest, simplest advertising out there… $10 or $20 one time, and it keeps giving forever… of course it HELPS if you have a vehicle that also draws attention naturally.

I have them on my car and my full size conversion van… the VAN gets far more attention… and the signs are RIGHT at eye level in the back too… so if you are behind the van at a stop light you can’t help but be exposed to it.

Its amazing, telling people what you do… who would have thunk it?

As to additional liability? I think the only person pointing that out as a negative is probably someone who doesn’t do real estate day to day, but is a seminar jukie… or no background at all.

You have hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars of capital in the hands of folks that can barely pay their bills, and you are worried about liability from a car sign? Be serious… that just screams poser as an argument.

Re: Car magnet – a bad idea? - Posted by Caseygump

Posted by Caseygump on September 10, 2005 at 22:25:26:

I use car magnets. I have gotten leads from them when I am parked at a property I am buying (the neighbors will call me sometimes). People ask for my business card when they see me in parking lots occasionally. It is also a way to find contractors and subs, they will offer their card to me when we cross paths. I ask them to keep an eye out for vacants for me and they want me to call when I get a property. As far as the other posts on what vehicles work best to meet the seller in, I don’t drive a high dollar vehicle because I’m afraid I will alienate my seller. I have a 2002 middle of the road vehicle. But I do have a investor buddy that drives a huge expensive SUV and says it doesn’t deter her transactions. She does a lot more deals than I do.

Re: Car magnet – a bad idea? - Posted by Jack

Posted by Jack on September 10, 2005 at 12:52:20:

No, I do not take and deface car magnets.

No, I do not use car magnets.

Yes, I have seen car magnets, about a dozen “I buy houses” type magnets in my lifetime. An interesting observation I have made about car magnets users is that the magnets are always on junky or at best ‘average’ grade vehicles. I have never seen a car magnet on a Mercedes or other high end vehicle. Just an observation, draw what conclusions you want from that observation. But, if I am using my vehicle as a means of advertisement, I am going to want to have my ad on a vehicle that is likely to impress the prospective customer.

Re: Car magnet – a bad idea? - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on September 09, 2005 at 22:21:41:

I think in theory the more aggressive you are in advertising to the public, the better the potential opportunities you may find. If you’re concerned with litigation (everybody certainly should be), you can purchase an umbrella liability policy for a very reasonable rate. You can also seperate your assets in different business structures. You could spend a weekend searching the archives on this subject, and not read everything there is.

Re: Car magnet – a bad idea? - Posted by Russ

Posted by Russ on September 10, 2005 at 22:45:21:

Thanks everyone for your response.

Caseygump, I was reading another post that use of magnets makes your car a commercial vehicle, therefore you should let the insurance company know about it. Do you have your car insured as a commercial vehicle? Thanks.

Re: Car magnet – a bad idea? - Posted by John B. Corey Jr.

Posted by John B. Corey Jr. on September 10, 2005 at 22:04:44:


Two alternative views about the image the car projects.

  1. If you have a flash car that costs a fair amount you might be putting off people who are not comfortable around rich people. I know one guy who tends to dress like the people he buys from and therefore shops at Walmart.

  2. If you have an expensive car you are sort of saying that you have a lot of money so the smart seller could decide to start high and hold out for more given the car says you can afford it.

I think more important than the value of the car is the condition. You want to come across as someone who can perform but not exactly as a fat cat who can afford to over pay.

John Corey
Chelsea Private Equity LLC

Re: Car magnet – a bad idea? - Posted by Caseygump

Posted by Caseygump on September 10, 2005 at 23:23:17:

No I don’t, I’ll have to look into that. But I do know, make sure you put CLEAN magnets on CLEAN paint. If you don’t, you will find rust. This includes those ribbon magnets you see that say “Support our troops” and such. I learned the hard way. And take them off when you go to movie theaters and high school football games and such, teenagers will take them.

Re: Car magnet – a bad idea? - Posted by Jeff

Posted by Jeff on September 11, 2005 at 07:51:46:

Your car’s finish often suffers, especially on darker colors. Sand and especially iron grit from the road works its way up under the sign and the vibration and water cause dulling and rust stains from the iron grit. Remember putting a magnet into dirt as a kid, and having lots of little particles stick to the magnet? They like magnets, and consequently your car too. It used to be that keeping the part under the sign out of the sun would mean different fading and leave a darker area where the sign was. This is not a problem now, if you see a change, just buff the area, clear coat polishes up just fine. If you leave the sign on too long with water behind it the water can be asorbed into the clear coat making a strange milky stain. You can get this out with heat from a hairdryer. Buffing usually takes care of the rust and the scratches. It is very important to place the sign on a clean vehicle, and to clean the junk off of the sign each time you remove it, placing it back on the cleaned car. If you get in a hurry and place it on a dirty surface, it might just fly off the car, especially if the car has ever been repainted, becuase the thicker paint means less magnet hold to the steel door. Sorry for the lecture. I used to be a sign guy and then an autobody guy, now I try to dabble in RE. ;o)