How to Create the Most Effective Real Estate Bandit Sign

Bandit signs are one of the most effective marketing tools in real estate. They serve as a simple yet effective way to market yourself without compromising your budget. The key to creating the perfect real estate bandit sign is simplicity. After all, why spend a fortune when the average person only has a few moments to glance at your sign anyways? In this article, we will teach you what real estate bandit signs are, tips for creating these signs, rules and regulations, and—perhaps most importantly—how to stay on budget. Keep reading to become a bandit sign expert in no time!

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What Is a Bandit Sign?

Contrary to the name, bandit signs have nothing to do with bandits. They are simply signs that attract the attention of real estate investors or sellers. You may be thinking, “what could be so important about a sign?” and that’s the point! These signs may be seemingly simple, but a lot of complexity goes into them. Think about it: real estate bandit signs are often the first point of contact for a real estate transaction. They have to be disguised as something as simple as a sign yet be creative enough to captivate your attention and entice you to take action. That’s brand awareness in a nutshell! A slight variation between two signs that say something along the lines of “we buy houses” could make all the difference in the profitability of your business. Who knew that a smaller version of the common billboard could hold so much power? Well, now you do! Let’s dive deeper into these signs and how you can get started using these bad boys (pun intended).

Creating a Bandit Sign

Now that you’re aware of just how important these little signs are, you’re probably wondering where to begin. This is where your creative juices come in! For instance, think about all of the billboards you pass driving on the highway. Now, think about which ones you read and how many out of the hundreds caught your eye. We’re guessing that only a fraction of the total number of signs you saw come to mind. That’s the key here: you want your bandit sign to stand out. There are a few different ways that you can achieve this goal:

  1. Color: Color is an obvious aspect of real estate bandit signs. Consider going for bright, vibrant colors that will catch the eye but aren’t so bright that they become blinding after a few seconds of reading. Once you’ve found the perfect color for the sign itself, you can also play around with the color of the words on the sign. The opportunities that stem from color alone are endless, so be sure to devote a solid chunk of time here! After all, it’s the little things that make a big difference

  2. Text: This is another important detail. Make sure the text on your signs is not only legible but aesthetically pleasing to the eye. After all, no one wants to read a long paragraph on a tiny sign. Keep your text concise and straight to the point. Another important thing to consider is the font you choose; avoid cursive or any other difficult font to read from a distance. Additionally, make sure your text is big enough to read without forcing the viewer to strain their eyes just to read your message. Here’s a secret tip: Bigger signs are not only easier to read, but they’re usually cheaper. You’re better off making fewer, larger-sized signs than a bunch of small signs that are difficult to read.

  3. Design: Keep in mind that your sign doesn’t have to adhere to any specific form of a traditional sign you may be imagining. Signs in the form of banners, posters, or even business cards are all perfectly acceptable methods of bandit signs that may even be more effective. At the end of the day, you may have to test a few different ways of advertising your sign to see what works and what doesn’t in your market. It’s all part of the process!

  4. Third-Party Designers: You heard that right, there is nothing wrong with hiring and paying someone to design your sign for you! There are dozens of designers and printing companies that are experts at doing just that. However, if budget is a concern, this might not be the best route to take.
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Once you’ve played around with different variations of your bandit sign and you’ve decided on which one to use, it’s important to consider the sign’s location. You want to place these signs in strategic and highly trafficked locations that will create highly targeted leads. This might take some research and testing, but it is vital to place your sign in a location that will gain proper exposure. Once this is done, all you have to do is wait! Your sign should have your contact information included so prospects can contact you. Be sure you’re checking your phone, email, social media, or wherever else people are instructed to contact you frequently, and if you miss a call, follow up promptly.

Rules and Regulations of Bandit Signs

Like most things that seem too good to be true, real estate bandit signs do have a catch. Before distributing your bandit signs for use, you must always research the location you’re interested in to make sure you are aware of the regulations they have in place for sign placement. These rules and regulations differ based on the area, and some areas are stricter than others. Those in violation of local codes are often fined for a certain amount, and that’s about the extent of the consequences. However, bandit signs are proven to be highly effective, so some real estate investors are willing to take the risk with confidence that the benefits will outweigh the costs of fines. This decision is totally up to you and your risk tolerance, but we recommend carefully weighing the benefits against the risks before you make a decision.

How Can I Stay on Budget?

Budgeting can be a tricky component of any real estate project, and that holds true when it comes to bandit signs too. As we mentioned earlier, the easiest way to avoid additional costs is to create bandit signs yourself rather than relying on a third-party service.  We recommend setting a total project budget before you do anything else and then breaking that budget down into weekly amounts. This budget should include all project expenses including supplies for the signs, marketing materials, and an additional amount set aside just in case you incur fines down the road (better safe than sorry). Staying organized will be your best friend here, so make sure you’re checking your budget often and if you go over, adjust your expenses accordingly so that you don’t go over budget.


As you know by now, real estate bandit signs are an effective way to generate exposure without breaking the bank. The best signs are simple, but don’t let this stop you from getting creative and creating something unique that stands out! As long as you budget properly and pay attention to city ordinances regarding sign placement, you’re likely to be rewarded with long-term success. We’ll catch you next time for more tips to help you achieve all of your real estate investing goals. Until then, good luck and happy (and profitable) investing!

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Posted on Aug 6, 2021

Author: Alex Farris Soares

Alex is President of MyHouseDeals. Since 2006, he’s worked with real estate investors to bring them the marketing services and training they need to elevate their businesses and reach their goals. Alex is an avid customer advocate, enjoys affecting change in the REI and digital marketing industries, and promotes the values of entrepreneurship and innovation.

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