Real Estate Investor Bandits – The Ugly Side of Marketing
Guest Blog by Tim Herriage
As a Professional Real Estate Investor this issue has always been in the background for me, and kind of made me mad.
A lot of these “gurus” and “teachers” sell you this as a strategy because they want you to get your hopes up. Typically, they want to show you that they know a way around the system, and that you should do it.
The problem with bandit signs is that they are in large part, prohibited. Now, I understand you may be reading this thinking, yeah, Tim, easy for you to say, you have the money to advertise another way. OK, yes, that is true. BUT, I have never used bandit signs, even when I did not have the money. I saved and budgeted like a responsible business person. To me, a real estate investor that uses bandit signs in conflict with ordinances has no discipline or regard for this industry.
Here are some of the disgusting practices people use:
- Use Google Voice or a “burner phone” so the city can’t track you. REALLY? What are you, a spy? Are you hiding from your momma?
- They use some fancy extended staple gun to keep the sign out of reach from code enforcement. WOW! You like to play keep away with your little brother?
- Put them out late at night so we don’t get caught. Okay, so are you in high school?
- Leave them for someone else to pick up. HMMM, sounds like littering to me…
The bottom line is anything you have to do at night (hoping to not get caught) is a BAD thing.
If you are going to use bandit signs, here are some good rules to follow:
- Comply with local codes.
- If you are required to remove it by a certain time, do it.
- If it has to be on private property, make it so.
- Use your phone number. Look, if you do something wrong, just own up to it, and fix it.
- Act with professionalism. If someone calls to complain about your sign, address their concerns.
Look, they are called “bandit signs” for a reason. The definition? Noun A robber or outlaw belonging to a gang and typically operating in an isolated or lawless area.
At the end of the day, real estate investors get plenty mad about code enforcement issuing a red tag. What do you expect? Half of you run around town littering, and making them do extra work. I understand that it is hard to get started in real estate investing. Using illegal or prohibited means to get into a business is lazy, and undisciplined. In the long run, you will undoubtedly fail. Operate above-board, or get out of the business. This industry has a bad enough reputation, without having people litter and break laws.
What do you think?
I started at the bottom, worked hard and am now one of the top Real Estate Investors (REIs) in the business. I learned from some of the best, I am an active real estate investor, speaker, coach, author, father, and husband. I have purchased over 1,000 homes in my 11 year career. I enjoy buying houses, and teaching others to do the same!