How doyou find people to put up your bandit signs? - Posted by DoubleA

Posted by TRandle on April 15, 2002 at 08:56:04:

Check out below, please…

How doyou find people to put up your bandit signs? - Posted by DoubleA

Posted by DoubleA on April 11, 2002 at 20:36:46:

Has anyone found people to put bandit signs up for them? If so, did you placed an ad in the newspaper? Under what heading would I place my ad? What should I write in the ad? How should I pay them? Are there so-called pros who do this for a living?

just went through it recently… - Posted by TRandle

Posted by TRandle on April 12, 2002 at 24:46:46:

I recently ran an ad on two occasions because I divided my territories up into cities. I’ve been putting out bandits for almost three years and had never run an ad before, but I decided to try something new. For the last two years I used the homebuilder sign guys, but that became less and less effective.

I almost had four guys and ended up with three. If one person flakes, gets sick, doesn’t feel like it, whatever, the others will probably be going out.

Ad went in the General Help Wanted section for one Sunday each time.

“P/T NightOwl Needed to Put Signs Out, Fri. and Sun, 6-8 hrs, need truck, 123-4567,

I think I had approximately 50 calls within the first two days both times I ran the ad. Invariably, the first people I spoke to wanted the job. I then got to call many, many folks back to let them know it was filled.

I pay for materials and I offered $1.25 per sign for putting the signs together, putting them out, and picking them up. I also offered a $200 bonus for any house I purchase off of one of their signs.

It’s a new gig and I have yet to have any of the sign guys earn a bonus, but I told them it may take 8 to 10 weeks before the repetition and recognition started to work. So far, each person seems happy with the arrangement.

well - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on April 11, 2002 at 23:34:26:

Ask the person who prints your signs if they are local.
Many printers either do this, or know someone who does.
the way I got someone to do this was by talking to many people.
I told almost everyone I knew that my time was just booked, and IF I could only find someone to place my signs out for a fee, life would become easier.
Someone I knew had a college aged kid with a small truck.
They are now my “sign guy”.

Should that fail, sure, run an ad in the paper, or place out a sign/flyer for the gig.

Jim FL

Re: just went through it recently… - Posted by JJ-Dallas

Posted by JJ-Dallas on April 13, 2002 at 01:31:50:

TRandle, I just got started after I left the Cre-online convention. I blanketed my area where I live here in the Dallas area with bandit signs and to my dismay someone I think the city took them all up except a few. I was very disappointed. I put them out during the week. Is it best to wait until the weekend ? I am finding out that some areas have sign patrols here and thats all they do during the week is collect signs that promote businesses. Does the fliers work better ? I haven’t a lot of cash to work with after the convention and signs I bought and not to mention all the effort I put into it while holding down a full time job. After 50 signs I got one call for someone wanting to sell me a mobile home.

Re: just went through it recently… - Posted by eric-fl

Posted by eric-fl on April 12, 2002 at 13:51:52:

Yet another great marketing idea from you. How do you think this would work along the lines of flyers? I’ve tried to find flyer distributors in my area, but all the ones I’ve talked to are commercial and looking for like a 5000-minimum distribution. That’s way too much going out all at once for me to handle, so I’ve held off, to my detriment I’m sure. I was thinking of putting an ad in the local college paper since, most of them have a car and are in need of a flexible-hour arrangement. Did you just put your ad in the general metro paper? How did you work out the logistics with them? Did you just have them come by your house to get the signs? What about taxes? Since they’re using their own car and working on their own time, I assume you’re going to be treating them as independent contractors?

Re: just went through it recently… - Posted by Randy_OH

Posted by Randy_OH on April 12, 2002 at 11:51:36:

For the $200 bonus, how do you work it? First, how do you know who put up the sign that the seller saw? And how would the sign guy know if you bought a house from one of his signs? Does he just have to take your word for it? If yes, I have to wonder if that would provide much of an incentive, because of the doubt that you would really tell him.

Re: well - Posted by ScottV-San Antonio

Posted by ScottV-San Antonio on April 12, 2002 at 12:43:25:

Jim, what is the fee you are paying? My kids and I are doing it now… I could use a break.

Re: just went through it recently… - Posted by TRandle

Posted by TRandle on April 13, 2002 at 09:12:10:

As strange as it sounds, putting signs out takes some trial and error. I live in Round Rock, Texas and the Austin metro area has about a million folks, numerous counties and cities. Each area is different.

Folks that pull or deface signs include Realtors, investors, concerned citizens, and city, county and state code enforcement. In most areas here the code enforcement folks are my least concern. I have been fined on several occasions by the state code enforcement, but the fines were minimal.

I do weekends only as it minimizes my losses and I feel better if I know my signs are being picked rather than being left out. Some areas are more strict in their enforcement than others. Some areas seem to not mind a few, but get upset if you blanket an area. You’ll get better a picking locations and knowing how, when, and where to put them out with time. I’m going through that right now since I hired a bunch of new guys to do mine. In time they will also learn to get better at it.

Are bandits a magic bullet? No. However, if you’re in for the long haul, they provide the best bang for the buck in most areas. The marketing is no different than the overall business. You need a plan and a budget. Figure out what that is and start to work it.

What if you put out 50 per weekend at an average of $3 per sign for 3 months before you bought a house? Assuming 13 weekends that works out to $1,950 in costs to buy (hopefully) at least 20k in profit. Is that worth it? Only you can answer that.

I guess that my averaqe cost per house is around $1,000, which I think is high. I know some folks who average around $300 to $400 per house and I think that’s about what it should be. You may find direct mail is cheaper and more efficient, I don’t know.

As with all marketing, you should test on a small scale before committing fully. I know some folks in some areas that would have to hire probably two employees to keep up if they did the same amount of marketing as I do. So, again, each area is different.

I’m not able to answer for your area. So, my two cents is to sit down, write out a gameplan, and begin to test and work it. I’ve found that holds true for many aspect of this biz.

P.S. I do understand the JOB thing as I did this part-time for about 18 months. Desire overcomes just about any obstacles. Good hunting…

Re: just went through it recently… - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on April 12, 2002 at 16:05:10:


I’d suggest you contact the student employment office at a local college or community college. Or there may be some other office in the administration or the main student union building. They typically have bulletin boards where you can advertise for college students. The students tend to be reasonably smart, so you are likely to get better performance than with run of the mill unemployed folk. At least it has worked for me. Once I used the son of the woman running the office at the community college!

Good Investing***********Ron Starr*************

not sure on this one… - Posted by TRandle

Posted by TRandle on April 12, 2002 at 15:32:30:

“Yet another great marketing idea from you.” Whether or not it was intended as a direct compliment, I think I’m going to pretend it was since warm fuzzies are nice and rare.

Okay, on to my somewhat limited flyer experience. I attempted flyers twice early on, both for only a couple of runs, and had no success whatsoever. I tried the cheapie deliveries for 7 cents per and got what I paid for.

In my opinion shotgun advertising hinges on the message and delivery. My earlier flyer attempts had a poor message and poor delivery. I avoided flyers for a long time.

That said, I’ve been doing 2,000 flyers monthly for about nine months now and am averaging a house about every two months. My message and my delivery are both much better.

I called the vendors who had flyers delivered to my house and asked who they were using, as well as called the folks in the yellow pages. Prices ranged from 12 cents per to 18 cents per and minimums were from 500 to 5,000. I went with the 12 cents per and 500 minimum and have been pleased with the service.

Yes, my ad was in the General Help Wanted section. Yes, they came by the house to get the signs. Yes, they will receive a W-9 when their income is going to exceed $600.

The problem I see with hiring this method out to strangers is delivery. You will have to choose your routes and know how many houses are in what neighborhoods. I used the tax rolls to hand-pick my various subdivisions so I knew how many houses were in each.

My current flyer service has fired at least two people working my route in the last nine months. They leave with 1,000 flyers to deliver to a neighborhood of 525 homes, come back empty-handed and say they performed.

I like the fact that the flyer guy calls me immediately to explain the situation and what he will do to remedy it. I like that I can just drop my box off at his door and the flyers will ALL be out within the next day or so. Previously, I had the sporadic “some here, some there, some tomorrow” syndrome.

To put things in perspective, I don’t necessarily think the small-scale effort you imply you want will be effective. As I said previously, my message is much better than it was and I typically get 10 to 20 calls out of a batch of 2,000.

Eric, I’d say go for it. If it doesn’t work, next. I do think you can find a reputable company to put them out fairly cheaply, and I think it’s worth it. It costs me about $300 to hit 2,000 homes.

I tried a Val-Pak special for about six months a year and a half ago. What a deal! Only $400 for 10,000 houses! During that four months, I think I averaged one call per mailing, and no deals.

Well, if you do go the 'hire-out" method, you’re required to come back and report your results. If you find it works for about half my cost, I might consider changing. Otherwise, I’ll leave well enough alone.

trust? - Posted by TRandle

Posted by TRandle on April 12, 2002 at 13:38:33:

I ask everyone who calls how they find me. Pinpointing the general sign location isn’t difficult. Yes, the sign guys have to trust me to pay them, just like I trust them to do their job. I only have to get them to trust me until their first bonus check and I set them up for that in the initial conversations by saying it may be a month or two. If they’re doing a decent job, I will probably buy a house from their efforts within that time period.

These guys are happy with just the sign fee. It works out to around $10 per hour, they have a semi-flexible schedule as to when they go to work and some choice in how much money they want to make this weekend. The bonus is just gravy.

And if they decide they aren’t interested, that’s fine. One ad will provide 50 other folks who are. I’ve already replaced one of the guys who started about six weeks ago.

Here’s an interesting side note, but I need to provide some background first. I do my best to maintain friendships with as many of my competitors as possible. Yes, I realize that’s not common. I go out of my way to help in any way I can so that they know I’m only a threat in head-to-head competition and that I won’t bad-talk them or backstab, etc.

One of my friendly competitors called me on another matter and then gave me some inside scoop on my signs that are blanketing his preferred target area. He informed that some were laying flat by Saturday morning and others looked like they had been stapled instead of nailed or screwed down. A friendly email to the sign guy for that city resulted in an apology and assurances that it won’t happen again.

I guess my point is that I do my best to present an attitude of abundance versus scarcity. Most investors in my area do not have the same mentality. I sometimes have to bend way over to get my point across, but it’s not that difficult for me to tap into that source inside that really does want everyone to be rich and happy. I’m a work in progress and always will be. However, attempting to find the balance for the child, parent, teacher, student, father, son, etc. and all the other roles I play is what makes it fun.

I’d say that I run a much higher risk of being taken advantage of here than the sign guys. Like everything I do, I’m sure I’ll tweak it some as I learn what works better, but I doubt I’ll ever be concerned about finding sign guys.

Geez, how I can ramble. I turned a simple issue of trust into psychobabble. I’m fairly exposed here, but I think I’m going to leave it as is, anyway. Hopefully, you can decipher my answers among the extraneous philosophies. Take care.

Re: just went through it recently… - Posted by JJ-Dallas

Posted by JJ-Dallas on April 15, 2002 at 02:09:49:

Thanks for the input. One more question: Has fliers worked well for you ?

Re: not sure on this one… - Posted by PJ

Posted by PJ on April 15, 2002 at 09:55:55:

Hey Guys!
What would I pay someone who is hired help to deliver the flyers? Thanks.


Thanks, TRandle. Good info. nt - Posted by Randy_OH

Posted by Randy_OH on April 12, 2002 at 14:01:43: