A few basic items are worth noting. Less is better. That means that you want to make the message short and simple, so drivers can actually read it as they are driving by. Messages like “We buy houses for cash” or “Sell your house in 9 days” will work fine. Of course, it is best if you can find a telephone number that is easy to remember. Busy intersections provide the greatest number of eyeballs on your signs. The key is to space them out so they are not obnoxious. Posting too many signs in any given area is inviting problems and complaints. Last, hang them as high as possible, so they are not easily taken down or vandalized.
To get started, you need to figure out where are the best areas to hang signs. The obvious answer is to hang them where the highest number of potential distressed properties might be. I suggest doing some on-line research to track the following two metrics: 1. Identify zip codes with the lowest DOM (days on market). This is where homes are selling fastest. 2. Identify zip codes where the median home price is below the city’s median home price. If you can narrow down the zip codes that match these two criteria you will have the best chances for finding motivated home sellers. These are the neighborhoods where you want to start hanging your signs.
I can promise you that hanging bandit signs is not something you will want to do for any length of time. In my case, I did it for about 5 weeks (hanging signs weekly), until I decided to hire somebody to do it for me. After making maps of all the places I wanted my signs posted, I used Craigslist to find a young person willing to hang signs weekly. I pay him a reasonable hourly wage + mileage allowance. Some people recommend making this person take a picture with their phone of each sign they post. I never did that, but it may be a good idea depending how much you trust the person.
Depending on how much freedom you have to take calls during days, you can have the call either go to your phone or use an answering service. I suggest using an answering service if there is the probability of missing more than 75-80% of the calls that you will receive at random times. The reason is that a high percentage of people will not leave a message, and you have then lost a possible lead.
Now, back to why they are called “bandit” signs. Most cities have ordinances that prohibit individuals from posting private signs on public property. Of course, by looking around at most street intersections, you would never guess that it is illegal in many places. The key is to hang your signs sparingly, and you will most likely not be bothered. After a warning, you can be fined for signs that city code enforcement officers have requested to be removed. I suggest that if you get a warning, you immediately remove signs and move on to another area (preferably another city).