How Do You Deal With Sign Ordinances With Bandit Signs?


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Read Transcript for “How Do You Deal With Sign Ordinances With Bandit Signs?”

Putting up signs is one of the most effective marketing techniques that you can use to buy and sell properties – here’s how to go about doing that successfully (and cheaply).

“Nix the video. It’s the content, not the format that’s important.” – Thomas Steele

Joe: I sent out some emails asking if people are interested (that’s how I got all these questions). Thomas, I’m going to answer your question in a video anyway because it’s a really good question.

“Give us some ideas on how to deal with a city that has a strict sign ordinance.”

Joe: One of the things I teach is to use what are called ‘bandit signs’. There’s a reason they’re called bandit signs; it’s because they defy sign ordinances (if you’re in a city that automatically plucks them up).
Joe: Around the areas that I work, there are certain places that I know that if I put out a sign, it’s going to be gone tomorrow. They have sign police that are out and they take them and pull them up.
Joe: There are other places I put them up where they’ll call me and try to find me, and that happens, too, so you need to be aware of the type of neighborhood you’re working in.
Joe: If you call the city, they’ll tell you there’s a sign ordinance, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to enforce the sign ordinance, so test it to find out. Sometimes its better to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission. Most of the time, I’ve seen that if they’re going to give you a hard time about the signs, they’re going to call you up – you’re going to get a call from the police saying, ‘Please come and take down your signs or we’re going to fine you.’
Joe: I had one guy in Wisconsin who put up 100 signs in a very small town and he got fined, but they only charged him for one sign. It cost him $60 and he had to go and take down the rest of them. If he had left them up, they could have fined him for every single sign (and they could have done so anyway). But most cities aren’t going to do that type of thing. What they’re going to do instead is ask you to come take them down.
Joe: Also, most cities have ordinances that allow you to put signs up during specific times, and if you look at an area, like if you look for new construction signs (if there’s new construction in your area at all) – look for homes that point you or directional signs to new constructions.
Joe: You’re going to see these signs on the weekends – they’re the little signs that are sticking next to the stop lights – look for those during the weekend, and take a little piece of paper and write on the back of it, ‘Hey mister sign man, I’m looking for somebody to put signs out for me’ – stick it to the back of one of those signs (or to a dozen of those signs) and you’re going to get a call from the guy who does it, and he’s going to tell you, ‘I charge a dollar to put these signs out and to pick them back up.’
Joe: I’m paying $1.50 right now. I’ve heard people pay as much as $2.50 to put those signs up and take them down. They put them up on Friday night, take them down on Sunday night and then you get calls during the weekend from them. It’s a very effective way to do it.
Joe: So if you put out 100 signs, and its costing you $1.50 a week, that means its costing you $150 a week to put out those signs. You’re also going to lose a certain percentage of those signs even though you’ve got people picking them up and you’re following those ordinances, so be prepared for that expense. Still, that’s not a bad advertising cost compared to what it could be if you were doing classified ads. So, use this technique – it works really well. Good luck, Thomas. I hope you enjoy the videos. Take care.

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