Bandit Sign War... Shots Fired!!!

30 Replies

Today I was driving past one of my bandit sign locations. In passing, I noticed that another investor had curb stomped my sign and put three more signs of their own in its place... Not cool! How does one deal with this in a tactful manner (or perhaps untactful)?

*Disclaimer* I know there are mixed opinions about bandit signs here on BP. I always keep my signs out of neighborhoods, clean up old yard sale/election signs as I plant my signs, and plant them in a non-belligerent manner.

This guy is creating enemies that will want to remove his signs. If you do retaliate, don't make it obvious that it's you, or you just motivate others to take your signs down. 

Honestly I would call them to an address that I now they will have to pass those signs. I’d be waiting for them dancing on the side of the road with my sign. This is the best kind of retaliation.

Road side curb is often a violation, call city and ask if there is a fine. If so submit these signs to city compliance.  In my town solicitation without a permit can be fined up to $350 a violation.  I stopped a new realtor who is leaving trash in front of everyone who have a NO SOLICITATION sign. 


@Padric Lynch If it’s municipal land, the answer is obvious, but when they go by I’m sure they’ll stumble on one of your signs too. So, ummmmm, yeah 🤷🏻‍♂️

And if yours are pulled out I’m sure there’s some fine for littering if there’s a separate fine for putting those up.

One other thing to keep in mind is that there’s a good chance it’s not the person, just someone that they’re paying hourly to do it. Who knows, but the point is that now there’s two levels of communication and odds are you’ll get “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I can’t imagine a “perfect” option here. More of a “pick your poison”.

As painful as it may be, I would let karma take care of him and just move on to another location. It’s hard to do sometimes but you want to spend your time with a positive mindset and moving forward. Not stuck in a petty battle with a loser. Believe me, I have plenty around my area.

Declaring war is bad for both parties. Although the neighborhood would look nicer with you guys tossing each others signs all the time. Call his sign, see if you guys can reach some kind of peace treaty, or at worst an armistice. 

Just to clarify, no war has been declared. This incident will be handled on the lowest level. @Mark Fries That is beside the point, but I agree. Different budgets I guess..

Hello @Padric Lynch !

This has happened to me before, don't worry! I'm sure it's pretty common. 

You have a couple options:

1. Call your competitor and tell him/her that you noticed what they were doing. Be sure to be calm and professional. If you call them with an aggressive or defensive tone of voice, the likelihood that the activity will continue, or even increase, is strong. Fight the urge to retaliate. Don't turn this into a war. Call your colleague (you are in the same business after all), have a civil conversation between two professionals in the same field, have a laugh, and move on. There are plenty of corners in North Carolina, I'm sure.

2. Don't compete (with signs). STOP putting them out. It's amazing: my company has recently made the move to start eliminating sign-throwing nationwide, and we're having the same success, if not more, than before. Let's face it, bandit signs are not professional, and in most areas, they're not even legal. Have you ever called on any of your competitors' signs? The lack of competence on the other end of the phone 99% of the time is astounding, that's if you EVEN get an answer. Who takes the time to purchase & throw signs, and doesn't answer their phone by the way?

It's not my place to tell you to throw, or not throw signs. I've actually done a lot of that in the past, and achieved much success. However, there are many other ways to find and buy homes. Whatever you do, stay professional!

Hope this helped.

Someone moving your sign should be the least of your problems. I put out on average 10 signs per week in my city and they get taken down all the time, mostly from teenagers or city workers. It's just the name of the game. You can't become emotionally attached to anything in this business because that's when you lose out on opportunity and money.

You should call code enforcement on him. Or even law enforcement. Tell them that you have expended energy and hard earned money to litter the streets with your signs. Its just not right that someone else can just tear down your litter and replace it with their litter. 

I want to follow this thread just to see who wins the "Battle of the Serial Litterbugs." 

Bandit signs don’t even work and they clutter up the highways and street corners . you’d have to be really really desperate to call a bandit sign to buy your house 

Originally posted by @John Thedford :

Offer $100 each bounty for his signs. That will get them down quickly without getting your hands dirty!

 LOL! I bet the homeless guys that pan handle on all the corners around here would jump all over that for $5/sign

copy down said number.......... make up approx 100 "free items for pick up" and list them on craig's list etc....  He want's people phoning him.... give him what he wants... lots and lots of phone calls.... 

@Steve S.

That's some wise advice to remember right there. Part of me feels disgusted with myself that I didn't think of that years ago. Part of me is relieved I didn't. The longer I stay in real estate, the more the nice part wear away. 

I spoke with a guy that does really well in real estate.

He told me that printed bandit signs are not very effective, that he hand writes everyone.

He told me that hand written signs are 10 times more effective, so that it what I am now doing.

And I just let karma handle the rest...

Originally posted by @Steve S. :

copy down said number.......... make up approx 100 "free items for pick up" and list them on craig's list etc....  He want's people phoning him.... give him what he wants... lots and lots of phone calls.... 

Notice to all: I will be doing this with all Bandit Signs seen littering my community.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you