Why Bandit Signs are making a Comeback

The two most popular methods to generate leads as a real investor are currently PPC and direct mail campaigns. As a result the space is getting crowded and it’s getting harder and harder to use these strategies and be profitable. So what can you as a real investor do to set yourself apart in today’s real estate market? Easy: do what other’s are not doing. Add strategies such as bandit signs and prospecting to your lead generation toolset.



The current state of real estate marketing


The two strategies that most real estate investors are using to generate leads right now are “Pay-Per-Click” (PPC) campaigns and direct mail campaigns.

PPC is paid advertising either on Facebook or on Google. It’s relatively easy to set up and while it may take some time dial in the campaigns and reduce their cost, it’s definitely worth it. Once it’s up and running you can simply sit back and watch the leads come in.

Direct mail campaigns start with purchasing a list, e.g. from Flip This Real Estate List and bulk mailing letters to the leads you purchased. You can either do it yourself or outsource it to a specialized service, which can send out large numbers of yellow letters in a short amount of time.

The benefits of both strategies are easy to spot: it takes very little time to get started, both are relatively inexpensive and you can set them up from the comfort of your own home.


Low barrier to entry = a lot of competition


One of the reasons why real estate investing is such an amazing business to get into is the low barrier to entry. Almost anyone can get started as long as they can purchase a list and are willing to put in the work to send out mail.

However, a low barrier to entry also means that there is a steady influx of new aspiring real estate investors and potential competitors coming into the market. The same applies to the marketing strategies they use. Since PPC and direct mail are so easy to set up and outsource, everyone ends up doing it.




This results in the continuous decrease in effectiveness of both strategies. More and more competition in PPC drives up the prices. It becomes harder and harder to run profitable campaigns. More people sending out tons of direct mail means that potential sellers get letters not just from you. The number of calls you will receive will start to go down. In other words: the space is becoming too crowded.

I don’t mean to bash these two approaches. Both PPC and direct mail are powerful and are here to stay. However, I believe that the time is right for bandit signs to make a comeback.


Want exceptional results? Do something different!


Most people are not prepared to put in the effort and do the difficult work. The masses will naturally gravitate towards what is easy. And that’s where your opportunity to stand out exists.

Doing the hard things means less competition. Even better, doing them thing consistently will result in exponential results. As our friend Dan Schwartz from InvestorFuse put it:

“The key is to diversify your lead gen across different levels of barriers to entry. For instance, don’t put ALL your marketing dollar eggs into the direct mail basket. Understanding this will put you in the position to rise above the rest. Focusing on the things that most people aren’t willing to do because it’s slightly harder to execute will win you exponentially more deals.”


The return of bandit signs


Right now, when everyone is focused on PPC and direct mail, is the perfect time to turn your attention towards both bandit signs and deal prospecting.




Putting up bandit signs used to take a long time. Real estate investors had to either spend all day driving around and putting up signs or outsource the tasks but with no real guarantee that the people they hired actually put up the signs.

Luckily, with SimpleCrew, it’s now easier than ever to automate the process. You can finally hold your team accountable. The person you hired to put up the signs will take a picture of the signs with their phone and thanks to GPS tracking you will know exactly where and when it was taken. Not only will you be able to check whether the signs have been put up but you’ll also remember where they were places so that you can take them down and reuse them.

You’ll set yourself apart from the competition by being able to be more consistent in putting up signs as well as by running more optimized campaigns than your competitors.


Prospecting: the return of “active” lead generation


Prospecting, unlike the marketing strategies we have discussed above, is an “active” form of lead generation. You target someone and qualify them to see whether they are a potential lead or not. It takes consistent effort and is definitely harder than e.g. direct mail.

This difficulty however is exactly the reason why it’s an opportunity for you. While most real estate investors are not willing to put in the work, you can set yourself apart by doing what they’re not prepared to do.

Skip tracing, driving for dollars and networking are all powerful tools and doing them well can set you apart from other real estate investors. If you’re interested to learn more then check out this post on InvestorFure.


Diversification is key


The key to successful lead generation is diversification. You want to have leads coming in from many different sources so that you’re not too dependent on any one of them. With everyone else doing PPC and direct mail right now, it’s the perfect time to start adding bandit signs and prospecting to your marketing strategy.


Alan VanToai

Alan is a Co-Founder of SimpleCrew, and manages SimpleCrew's marketing, distribution, and design.

This entry has 5 replies

  • Kevin Vincent

    In my experience Bandit Signs never really faded. It was the willingness to pay for marketing by some Real Estate Investors. I’ve been distributing Bandit Signs for clients for over 12 years and there has always been about the same effectiveness and response from them. BTW SimpleCrew revolutionized my business and has allowed me to deliver an extremely professional product to my clients.

    • Oscar from SimpleCrew

      Wow, thanks Kevin. Glad to hear that, especially from a 12 year bandit sign veteran such as yourself!

  • DirtyDoggg

    I take down real estate bandit signs. Every single one. Even the ones up high supposedly out of reach. In the dumpster they go!

    • Nate Dawg

      Well La-Di-Da! Aren’t you so special! Thank you Batman for ridding the world of those evil bandit signs!

      • DirtyDoggg

        I pride myself in frustrating the efforts of despicable losers who litter the community to try to exploit vulnerable people. I’ll fill up your voicemail, make phony appointments, and taunt you. You’re scum.