Bandit Signs - Legal in Charlotte

16 Replies

Hello Charlotte Folks, 

Quick question - are bandit signs legal in Charlotte?

I'm thinking of putting a few to generate leads. Over the past couple months, deals from wholesalers seem to be less attractive. Additionally, when a deal comes up, I typically hear about it from 4 or 5 different sources, which suggests thin supply.

I'm hoping this will generate rehab leads, but won't do it if this is illegal. I've read a couple posts where people say they put them up on the weekend to avoid municipality workers. Sounds questionable from an ethics stand point. :/

Thanks!

Not sure the legality but I put a few up (about 30) near uptown a couple weeks ago and got zero responses. 

Yikes - what was your approach, Ryan? How long did you have them up?

I was thinking about yellow background with red lettering, ssomething obnoxiously "loud". I also was able to get a pretty memorable phone number to use.


Not sure of the legality but they are certainly EVERYWHERE in Charlotte.  I call when I see them (to be added to buyers lists) and usually don't get a response or a call back...if someone would actually follow up they might enjoy some success! 

@Dave Hurt -- They are everywhere. I'm going to call them as well, see if I can generate leads. Doesn't sound very fruitful though, from your experience. 

Most people who post bandit signs are trying to wholesale deals (at least thats what it sounds like). I'm really just trying to generate leads for my own rehab/flips. The "deals" that wholesalers send me as of late are pretty bad. They all send me the same properties as well. 

@Daniel Ramirez you're right...everyone and their mother is a 'wholesaler' in Charlotte right now...and most are looking to 'get rich quick' i.e. peddling the same 'deals' that everyone else is.  You really have to sort through a bunch of junk to find something good - but there are still deals out there.  There are a lot of people who start and don't stick with it, or don't follow up when a seller calls them (not sure what the point is in investing marketing dollars!!).  I send direct mail to acquire rentals and have spoken to bunches of sellers who were just surprised they got a call back...most are getting tons of letters and post cards (especially if they are just absentee high equity) and never get calls back...so I think there is a lot of 'false competition' out there.  I've asked sellers why they chose me to buy their house and literally the response is "You actually called me back"!

@Daniel Ramirez

Good luck with your efforts. Try direct mail, driving for dollars, Craigslist.

I personally think it's a crappy way to do business.
Ever notice that you usually only see those signs in lower income areas? That's because people with money and influence don't want that mess making their neighborhoods like crap.

But most so-called "investors" only care about the money they make, with really no consideration for the people in the areas in which they work. I also know that I'm not the only person who feels this way.
If you care about the reputation you're helping perpetuate about investors, then stop it with the bandit signs.

Limit sign use to places where you've gotten permission and on your own properties.

Good luck to you.

@David Cowan you're absolutely right.  Yesterday I was driving through my neighborhood thinking "Now if only we could convince the politicians of the same thing..."

Originally posted by @Ryan Battista :

Not sure the legality but I put a few up (about 30) near uptown a couple weeks ago and got zero responses. 

 you have to be consistent, just like any type of marketing. Also people tend to take these signs down. 

Originally posted by @David Cowan :

Daniel Ramirez

Good luck with your efforts. Try direct mail, driving for dollars, Craigslist.

I personally think it's a crappy way to do business.
Ever notice that you usually only see those signs in lower income areas? That's because people with money and influence don't want that mess making their neighborhoods like crap.

But most so-called "investors" only care about the money they make, with really no consideration for the people in the areas in which they work. I also know that I'm not the only person who feels this way.
If you care about the reputation you're helping perpetuate about investors, then stop it with the bandit signs.

Limit sign use to places where you've gotten permission and on your own properties.

Good luck to you.

 There are always 2 sides to 1 coin. Bandit signs are ugly but they do work. All an investor do is solve a problem. If someone is motivated to sell their home and if they call a bandit sign to sell their home then the investor is solving their problem and the banks problem. LOL

Why do you think they are called "bandit" signs? Those are illegal signs, why not call the city and ask? 

Doesn't really matter is something works or not, point is, those that break laws trying to do business are picking what laws they might follow, like they are special.

Don't know about you, but I don't deal with people that have that attitude, it's like they may or may not follow the rules in dealing with me.....or others! Knowingly breaking the law is unethical in your operations, just a fact.....

Thing is, you don't have to break laws to make money. Reminds me of some teenager trying to figure out how to get out of doing something when just doing the right thing would be a lot less effort. :) 

@Bill Gulley - I hear what you are saying. The minimum threshold for ethical behavior is obeying the law. If in fact they are illegal in the city of Charlotte, I'll definitely refrain from doing so.  I haven't received a definitive answer on the question, but to your point, the city will definitely clear this up. I simply figured I would get a quicker response on here. :)

@Dave Hurt - How has the direct mail for rentals worked for you? Would you mind sharing your strategy on this? I would assume you target the same type of lists that you do for rehab projects, but hold them? 

Thanks everyone for sharing their insights!

@Daniel Ramirez it has worked fairly well.  Because Charlotte is such a hot market, there are fewer motivated sellers...most folks have looked at Zillow and are dead set on retail...but it's a numbers game - gotta kiss a lot of frogs!  Basically I target absentee high equity owners and mail on a 6 month campaign - I hit the same addresses once a month for at least six months.  I don't send a massive amount of mail, just 2,000 letters a month right now to my target zip code.  Our ideal model is to acquire all cash, renovate, and then refinance into long-term financing.

Dave would like to talk some direct mail strategy with you.  I am also sending out 2-3k letters per month with mixed results. pm me if you want to link up, Thanks, Ryan

Bandit signs are illegal.  There are ways to be legal, like be at least 11 feet outside of the right away etc.  I don't remember, you would have to find the statue.  But my understanding is that the law isn't being enforced right now because of the way they wrote the law which may have exempted political signs and it was challenged from a free speech angle.  So, yes they are illegal, but not enforced for the time being, until you hang your signs, then they will start enforcing.

@Scott Patterson - haha...isn't that true?  "Until you hang your signs, then they will start enforcing."

I think I'm going to refrain from bandit signs for the time being. 

@Ryan Battista sorry just saw your post.  Would definitely love to chat strategy.  I'm available any time!

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