The Real Estate Law Podcast

Becoming a Land Investment Tycoon with Land Shark Brent Bowers

June 21, 2022 Jason Muth + Rory Gill Season 1 Episode 55
The Real Estate Law Podcast
Becoming a Land Investment Tycoon with Land Shark Brent Bowers
Show Notes Transcript

How much have you thought about land deals as a means toward huge financial windfalls?

That's what we're talking about in this episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast!

We went right to the expert - Army Veteran Brent Bowers, real estate investor, coach, and founder of The Land Sharks, where he teaches his students about buying and selling vacant land.

Learn where Brent is investing in land, what value adds he brings with a different marketing approach, why he loves "in-fill" lots, the benefits to seller financing deals, and how he approaches a territory to farm, starting with one hot zip code within a county and expanding outward from there.

Also hear how Brent started The Land Sharks, and what he learned first about giving away his systems and teaching for free created fewer successful students than when he started charging for his coaching program (hint - it's because people weren't taking action!)

Things we discussed in this episode:
- How Brent turned early failures in his real estate career into major success
- Why Brent joined the Army and how that started him house hacking
- What made Brent find land as a major part of his portfolio.
- How wholesaling houses led Brent directly to purchasing land using a tax lien list
- How does Brent  vet and value of the land that he purchases?
- Why Brent started The Land Sharks and his 1-on-1 coaching
- The importance of valuing one's time
- How to get started reaching out to land owners
- Why seller financing is the secret sauce behind land deals.

Fun fact - we learned that Brent's own un-tech savvy, manual laborer father is also a student of his, now having completed over 50 land deals himself!

Get in touch with Brent:
The Land Sharks website - https://www.thelandsharks.com/
Wholesaling Inc. Podcast - https://www.wholesalinginc.com/podcast/
YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX4sxJwiz7ET7AKTXD9SA8A
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/brentlbowers1
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/brent1/
Zech Buys Houses - https://www.zechbuyshouses.com/

Join Jason Muth and Attorney / Broker Rory Gill of NextHome Titletown and UrbanVillage Legal in Boston, Massachusetts for another episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast!

#realestatepodcast #nexthome #humansoverhouses #realestate #realestateinvesting #realestateinvestor #realestatelaw #realestateagent #landshark #wholesalinghouses #buyingland #puchasingland #taxlieninvesting #landinvesting #sellerfinancing 
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The Real Estate Law Podcast is hosted by Jason Muth and Attorney / Broker Rory Gill.

This podcast and these show notes are not legal advice, but we hope you find both entertaining and informative.

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Brent Bowers:

Get out there and take action, pick your playground, like grow where you're planted. Like I started in my own backyard. That first land deal was about an hour and a half away. The second one was maybe 45 minutes away. So I see a three hour radius max that we can drive to on the weekend and start getting in touch with land owners.

Announcer:

You found The Real Estate Law Podcast, because real estate is more than just pretty pictures. And law goes well beyond the paperwork and courtroom argument. If you're a real estate professional, or looking to build real estate expertise, then welcome to the conversation and discover more at realestatelawpodcast.com

Jason Muth:

Welcome to The Real Estate Law Podcast. Thank you again for listening to us. We really appreciate the fact that you're sticking with us and continuing to listen to all the great facts and guests that we have here. I'm Jason Muth and we're here with an amazing guest which Rory will introduce, we're going to talk about a subject we have never spoken about on this podcast, that which will be land. And purchasing land and the ins and outs of how to make tons of money through land investments. We're going to welcome Brent Bowers to the podcast in a second. But Rory Gill attorney with UrbanVillage Legal NextHome Titletown Real Estate in Boston, what's going on Rory?

Rory Gill:

Not much. I'm excited to have a conversation with Brent because it's a topic a little outside of my wheelhouse. And we're going to be talking about land investing today and how to make money in there. So you know, we've explored condos, Airbnbs, multi-families and the works. Some things that are, you know, our Boston focus kind of leans us toward but now I'm excited to talk about land investing another avenue out there because I know a lot of our listeners are thinking about different creative ways to get in there. In a very competitive market right now, I know a lot of our listeners are thinking of alternate ways to get to get into investing and having all these different ideas, you know, bills are a bit of a bigger toolkit for you and your investing future. So I'm excited to explore land investing with Brent. Jason's do you want to introduce Brent formally and bring him on?

Jason Muth:

Brent Bowers. He is done in Florida right now in a much warmer climate than we are. He is an Army veteran. He's an officer. He served for eight years and he's the owner of The Land Sharks. He is an investor himself. He's a real estate coach. He is a podcaster. He is involved with Wholesalers Inc. Is that right? Did I get that right? Wholesalers Inc. or Wholesaling, Inc.?

Brent Bowers:

Wholesaling, Inc. You got it!

Jason Muth:

Wholesaling, Inc. Yes, Brent, welcome to the podcast.

Brent Bowers:

Hey, thanks, guys. Thanks, Rory. Thanks, Jason. Amazing intro really appreciate that. And great to be on here today.

Jason Muth:

You know, you got the best background we've had so far with a rhino charging through it. And you got it. We talked about that a little bit off camera, but you got to talk about that as well sometime during this episode.

Brent Bowers:

Absolutely. That's really my favorite thing to talk

Jason Muth:

The rhino! Alright, we'll go right into it. about

Unknown:

Well, you know, it's a it came from a great book by Scott Alexander called Rhinoceros Success. And you know, our tribe with Wholesaling Inc, we call it Rhino Nation. Because we're not cows, we're not sitting around just chewing and we are just charging every single day that from the second we wake up to the, to the second we go to bed, we're going to take torpedoes, we're going to get those people that tell us no, we're gonna get those sellers that back out of deals. And we just have to continue to charge with our, you know, three inch thick skin and keep moving forward.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, you know, sales requires a lot of thick skin. You know, I've been involved with sales my whole career and you know, the salespeople that are really successful. Boy, they're the ones that just keep going forward. They really are just like that Rhino that's in your background, and they'll accept nine no's until they get that tenth yes. And then if they get a tenth no, they'll keep pushing until they get a yes. And the good ones are really good at that.

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, that's so true. So true.

Jason Muth:

So Brent, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you worked your way into investing in land being such an expert in this field?

Unknown:

Yeah, so really, I found land by you know, just failing forward, literally, I just kept getting, you know, beat up and then I just had to kind of just pivot. And I really kind of stumbled on it. It was searching for answers, kinda like The Real Estate Law Podcast just out there searching. And I was.... so I bought that first house in 2007, got my real estate license just before that, because I thought it would really help me become a better investor. And then 2008 happened and I pretty much had to throw in the towel early 2009 because just things weren't looking good for me and I had just gotten married. I literally had a real estate license a rental property a business and then moved to the coast to sell real estate and it wasn't going too well in 2008. Ultimately had to move in with my in laws. So I was in my mind, I was a total failure. I was paying credit cards with credit cards, that whole game and you know ended up having a break lease with my partner that we're renting out and had a huge like, you know, had to pay like to get out of that thing. And I remember my now ex wife's grandpa, I really looked up to him. He actually introduced me to Jim Rohn. Not personally, but via cassette tapes, and I didn't have a cassette tape player. So I was able to get them transferred. And I listened to this guy, Jim Rohn, over and over and over. And it really had an impact on my life. And my wife's grandpa said, you know, go to the military, go back to school kind of start over, you'll do 20 years and you retire, comfortable living. So I tried to join the Air Force got told no. Luckily, that Air Force recruiter was kind enough to take a little bit of time to say, hey, go next door to the Army, they'll pretty much take anybody. And I'm coachable! You tell you give me the direction I go. And I was in basic training a couple of months later, in Afghanistan, a couple months after that, pretty much out of the country for three years, I took a break from real estate, till about 2013, I was gone so much, me and my my first wife kind of, you know, just separated on those multiple deployments. And I'm now single, and the army pulled me out of Afghanistan on the second deployment and said, We're gonna send you to school, become an officer, you're gonna go to Florida Tech in Florida, Melbourne, Florida. So I bought a house and started house hacking. And that's when I got back into that real estate game. So long intro, but I can tell you how I stumbled on land. But you know, that's my story.

Jason Muth:

What year did you come back? You said it was 2013? Or you went to college in 2013? You have to get a degree so that you were there till 17? Is that right?

Unknown:

Yeah. So I got in Florida in 2013, the army pretty much gave me 21 months to get a four year degree. Well, I just came off of a deployment cycle where I'm working like 15 hour days, seven days a week. So school was no problem. I was taking, I think, nine or 10 classes. And I had time to buy rentals on the side. So I was fixing up properties. And in 2015, they moved me to Fort Carson, Colorado, where I started wholesaling houses and then stumbled on land.

Jason Muth:

Rory, we've heard from a lot of people who have had that pivot at 2008 or 2009, around when the economy collapsed. We haven't had anyone to go join the military since since that happened. A lot of people just you know, reinvented themselves and whatnot. But, you know, Brent, that's another great example of what happened after the terrible economic collapse that happened at the latter part of the last decade, like, you know, Rory what do you take from that story?

Rory Gill:

When things are easy, you have a lot of people that come into the market and find kind of success without a lot of creativity without a lot of effort, not saying that people aren't working hard, during the good times. But it takes those kind of moments of crises where it's not so easy for everybody to kind of be forced into being a little bit more creative with their future, what they're going to do, and to really double down on the good practices that build a business and the people who do that come out of the tough times in the strongest position. So that's why I think a lot of the people we've spoken to found does need to be really pivotal time in their stories. And, you know, we've had as many different stories and responses as we've had guests, but the 2008 period seems to be a pretty critical time for a ton of people. But you know, coming back into it leads me to ask you started off with a couple dare I say conventional ways of getting into real estate, you know, house hacking, kind of taking the first steps, but not everybody finds land. What made you find land as a major part of your portfolio?

Unknown:

No, that's a great question. So when I got to to Fort Carson, Colorado, I was like, Okay, I'm going to start wholesaling houses. Because what I did was I racked up a bunch of debt, buying rentals like that needed fixed up and my credit cards are maxed out, my Amex is maxed out, the Home Depot accounts maxed out, but I created a couple of nice rentals, I'm up to three now. And I kept actually house hacking with those those tenants, I've kind of had a three unit really kind of that was I was really starting to get good cash flow, but I was like, man, this debt is not going anywhere. So I'm going to wholesale some houses. So I started wholesaling houses, and everyone talks about, well, you don't need any money you don't, you don't really have to buy any real estate. It's a lot of work. And it's very expensive to get that mail out the door. And then here's the thing where, you know, it didn't work for me. And I just flexed and hired a team but was what was so hard for me I shouldn't say didn't work because I was doing about a transaction a month making a wholesale of about $10,000. I had to leave base. So I'm on base at 6am till about 7pm each each day, so about 13 hour days, and I would have to leave and like basically sneak off base to go meet a seller and then you can't just go and meet a seller and be in and out in 15 minutes to get a contract. Like it takes at least 15-20 minutes to see what what problem they're trying to solve because why would they sell you their house at a discounted price or trade a portion of their equity, if you're not going to solve some major problem for them. Speed, convenience and either rent back or you name it all the above. So I was searching for answers. And I heard about a gentleman buying land and then overnight he was selling it and like doubling and tripling and quadrupling his money and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was like, I literally just mailed the tax delinquent list for houses only, why not mail the vacant land too? so called the tax collector, I got all the records again, re scrubbed it and ended up sending sending 687 postcards to people that were behind on their taxes for their land. And one thing that I realized a couple of years later, I had actually sent it to the list, that was the county held tax lien list. This is stuff that people the tax lien investors didn't even buy, like because it was inefficient, not buildable, not accessible, you name it, there was a problem with it. So these people have never seen a postcard. They've never been solicited, they've never been called or texted. And they received my postcard saying I'll pay him cash for their land, my phone exploded. And out of you know, I've received like, almost 80 phone calls, I've only had time to call maybe 20 of them back. And I did two deals, back to back within a week's time.

Rory Gill:

I was gonna say we have you know, a ton of questions about how you run the business and everything. But I have a really kind of basic one up front. Is the land investing, is this a buy and hold investment? Is this a cash flow investment? Or is this kind of an active work investment like wholesaling?

Unknown:

Both, it just depends. So it really depends on what my bank account looks like at the time, I prefer to buy it and hold it and seller finance it. That way, I have passive income time freedom, and I'm buying it at a obviously a discount, and I'm turning around and selling it for retail. But I'm allowing people to make payments because what do Americans think? What is it going to cost me each month? And then I can put an interest rate on it. Now if I don't have the funds, I will just get it under contract and assign that contract for bigger parcels, build up my bank account again, and then buy some more parcels at you know, 30-40 cents on the dollar and then seller finance them.

Rory Gill:

So I just wanted to kind of underline that for people exploring this as a possible way that there's a way to make this a cashflow investment. And there's a way to make this a kind of an active wholesale type investment. That's where you just want to start as a basic question. Before we get too deep into how you were in your business.

Jason Muth:

Where were the lots? Like are they in residential areas? Are they industrial? Or are they in the middle of the woods? Like what types of land are you buying?

Unknown:

Yeah, I really just mainly focus on vacant residential land. And when I first started out, it was kind of the stuff on the outskirts of the city. And then it's like, okay, you run out of that really quickly. So now I'm mailing the whole entire county, and then I run out of that. And now I'm having to mail the sister or the neighboring county because if I get a cash buyer or a land buyer in this county, they'll probably go to the next county. So what my business has has morphed into now is when we pick a new county, we're gonna pick like the hot zip code, like where the land is selling the most. And then we're going to hit the hot land parcel size. So in some of these areas, it might be the buildable, infill lots is what we call those, you know, basically where it's shovel ready for a developer or builder. Like they love that stuff like you can hand this stuff over to them on a silver platter, they'll pay darn near retail, and it's a quick assignment fee. I also love the land on the outskirts still, because that's where I get most of my passive income. We have a little over 100 notes now paying us every single month on this land that we have seller financed, and most of that stuff like in the woods in the mountains on the outskirts of town.

Jason Muth:

Do you have a hard time finding buyers for those types of properties?

Unknown:

No, not at all. There's there's multiple ways to do it. And I find that each, each area has their best way like I've got a pocket in Florida, all we have to do is put it on Facebook Marketplace, another pocket in Colorado, Colorado Springs. Pretty much all we have to do is put signs out, you know Pennsylvania? LandWatch.

Jason Muth:

Would you say that a lot of the what you're doing is you're identifying the lots and the lands and you're doing the hard work of tracking down the owners and then offering up you know, cash deals to get this under contract, take it off of their balance sheet, solve a problem for them. And then you're going about the work in remarketing those properties on a retail level to you know, potential buyers that might not want to do all that pre work that you just did.

Brent Bowers:

That's exactly right. 100% and I still pinch myself like wait a minute, this person all they had to do is go and put a sign out. But most people like they know what to do but they're not willing to do it or maybe they just don't know what to do or where to start. That's all we're doing is we're just marketing it a little bit better.

Jason Muth:

I mean it it's why you go out for dinner right? Sometimes you just don't want to cook or sometimes you don't know how to cook and you have someone else cook for you. But you know Rory and I went out last night, we probably could have made what we had at home. I've made short ribs before. And they're actually last night was pretty good. But like, you know, I make pretty good short ribs, right? But we just didn't want to do it. We don't want to do all that work. So we went out for dinner, we paid retail, you know, they probably made a ton on our on our meal had the experience of it, though, you know, putting in that work, I think there's a lot of value to what you're adding that maybe doesn't get recognized in this space. And that's why we should probably just underscore for a second because you've identified how to find these properties. And you have put in the time to contact owners negotiate with them. I mean, like those are, those are important value adds, right?

Unknown:

Absolutely. And let me just put this out there for the listeners thinking, Well, I don't have a bunch of cash. I didn't either. When I first started. My first land parcel was $285, that a realtor bought from me literally the next day for $5,000 cash that gave me my oh my gosh, this is possible. But there's no way it can keep going like this. The second one literally the same week $500. I purchased that one. And these are both not buildable not accessible, like why would people want this land, right? There's a buyer for every piece of land, like, I can absolutely guarantee that as probably one of my only guarantees, there's a buyer for every piece of land at the right price. Well that that buyer that I sold that $500, parcel of land to? I found him on Craigslist, he gave me $500 down, and then $400 a month cash for nine months. So I sold that one for five grand as well. But you might be the listener might be thinking, well, I don't have the money to like land is way more expensive in my area. Well, I've also had to buy land for more than what I wanted to pay. But they gave me the terms the seller gave me the terms. What does that mean? They allowed me to pay the 75,000 or the 100 105,000 that the seller wanted. But it was on my terms, and I paid a little higher payment, but it's called principal only payments. So every time I paid a payment of 1000 bucks. Guess what happened with that $75,000 balance every month took me 75 months to pay for that land? Well, I went and found a buyer willing to give me a little bit more at 12% interest, and I just did the arbitrage. And I'm still getting that payment today.

Rory Gill:

How do you vet or really value of the land you're about to buy? Because I imagine the zoning conditions of land really dictates what's buildable and what you can do with it. Environmental considerations and everything. How do you vet and value the land?

Unknown:

Yeah, I just I just do it. I mean, it's it works exactly like comping a three bedroom, two bath house on this side of the railroad tracks. You know, we're looking at the comparable property. So if it's a half acre within a mile, you know, we do everything we can to figure out like exactly what it's worth by looking at Zillow, looking at Redfin, looking at what's sold, you know, the solds, the biggest thing, and in some states, you know, these non disclosure states, like it takes us calling a realtor that's familiar and sold land in that neighborhood to figure out what, what what it is per acre, and you could do it by square foot as well. And then a lot of times you get these huge like outliers. It's like, we're looking at it right now in a mountain town in Colorado. It's like, why did that parcel sell for $250,000. And everything around the one I'm looking at buying is only selling for $55,000? Well, we start looking at pictures and read the description and you seeing your land specialist realtor, we're all scratching our heads. But it showed it right in the pictures. There was stubs right on the property, sewer stub, a electric meter, like literally ready to go. And also the water stub already there. It made that developer or that builder, whoever bought that parcel land a couple months ago, pay, you know, literally $200,000 more.

Jason Muth:

Rory can we tell our land story? I have a land story.

Rory Gill:

Go ahead with the land story. Yeah, so we had this 10 year look back, and instead of

Jason Muth:

So we bought some land a couple years ago next to I was telling you that we have an Airbnb up in New Hampshire. waiting it out, we decided to just pay them. They had no claim So we bought the lot next to it. Right it was for sale was private sale. So I sign up on the on the property and I'm like, hey, if if anyone's gonna buy this thing, it should be us. they would have held up, but no title insurer would allow a So we bought it. And we were gonna sit on it. We're gonna build on it. We decided to wait. And it's good thing we did, because the lot behind it. The town put for sale a couple years later, it was taken in a tax taking and then we merged the two lots. And then there were some title issue because in New Hampshire, I think there's what was it a 10 year look back period, Rory, where we had to go track down the old owners that had the land taken from them and somehow pay him off or something like that. construction loan on it. So we had reached out to them, tracked down actually the descendants of the old owners and they were cooperative. They were great. Give them a token for their troubles. And yes, that allowed us to build a little bit faster. And we discovered this during the title process where we actually were going down a construction loan, because we decided to build on the land, which we're doing right now. There is a the foundation there and everything. And I know where you're going with this whole, you know, there's electric there, if there's sewer and everything, it's worth more than 100% is. I mean, this land did not have septic did not have a workable well, it had a 50 foot well on it that I couldn't use. So we had to just drill another well, and I just learned that we have like a 300 foot. Well, now they just I think the well guy was just there. But it wasn't ready. It was just it was raw land. So like if it was ready to go, there was a slab there or basement. If there was a septic system already installed. Yeah, that would be worth a lot more money, because now I'm paying for that right out of our construction loan. But you know, it's just been an interesting process, like what to do with that land. And you know how we acquired it. One was a private sale. One was through the town, I tried negotiating with the town. They wouldn't negotiate either. I don't know if you've experienced that.

Brent Bowers:

I don't I don't have luck buying from cities or towns. I was like, Are you buying all this government? No.

Jason Muth:

Yeah. You know, the town came back to me, and they rejected the offer. And I'm like, Alright, what do you have other offers? They said, No. And they said, well, they can't. What was it? They just, I mean, it was a $7,000 lot. But like, I offered him like four? And they said no, I said, Alright, fine here's seven. But they didn't want to negotiate at all, even though they had no other offers, because I think it was publicly available. And they had put it up to the board to accept or something stupid like that.

Rory Gill:

Yeah, they were in order for them to entertain the offer, they would have to take it to a public hearing. Since you know, they're making a determination using the town's finances. So it had to go to public meeting and they were willing to weren't willing to do that just for a couple thousand dollars.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, we were thinking, you know, hey, listen, like we want the pretty woods across from our house. And if there's going to be a house there, I want to own that house as well. And that's what we've decided to do. So now we're building a house there. And the construction loan process was also very interesting. I don't know if you've ever built on the land, Brent, that you've purchased.

Brent Bowers:

We build. So me and a partner. Well, one of my land students, actually he did 70 deals, his name is Dan Haberkost in the last like 18 months, and we actually started building houses together. So it's been a fun, fun experience. And it's a way to get way, like where we might have gotten $20,000 from the lot. Now we're gonna get $100,000 by doing the build, we partner with the general contractor that does all the work.

Jason Muth:

I don't want to spoil anything, but we have Dan scheduled for next week on the podcast.

Brent Bowers:

Oh, wow!

Jason Muth:

Yeah. Actually, I saw him comment on something on your Facebook when I was looking through it. I'm like that names looks really familiar. And I took a look at our schedule. And I said, Oh, wait, he's he's scheduled for next week. So I just sent him a message today say that we're recording, so.

Brent Bowers:

He's a rock star

Jason Muth:

Is he?

Brent Bowers:

Brilliant. The kids, the kids, brilliant.

Jason Muth:

So he's a student of yours? Like, you're the mentor? Tell us about your coaching. That's a good segue into that.

Brent Bowers:

I shouldn't say I'm his mentor anymore. Because roles have changed. He he learned the land business through my course, I actually built my course around him. So he was one of the 16 people I 1-on-1 trained about 18 months ago, that's how the Land Sharks course was built. And Dan did so well with it. And it's funny how our relationship a building together started, he had a piece of land just wouldn't sell. And I was like, well, there's snow, there's snow in your pictures. Just build on it. It's on a golf course. And he bought this land for $1,000 bucks. And he asked, Well, do you want to build on it together? I said, Let's do it. Because I know that he builds spec homes, so why not partner with someone that has a skill that you don't have. So we actually made a few mistakes on that property, we sold it too quickly, we blew budget because because you know, material prices just went crazy. We sold it too quick, we accepted the first offer. But we still we both we both put 20 grand each in our pockets. And I might have put three hours into the build because I thought we had an accounting problem. So I was literally like going through everything by the penny and Dan might have four hours into it, just talking with the contractors. So Dan and I have been building houses together, we're doing another one right now together. And it's been phenomenal. So you asked me to talk about the Land Sharks, basically, with the Land Sharks is I teach people how to buy and sell land, create a business around it, just like I have, you know, it's what allowed me to get out of the military. And I show you exactly how to do it, when to do it. And I'm there to answer the questions.

Jason Muth:

Can I dig in a little bit more about kind of that program that you have? Because there's a lot of real estate programs out there. We all encounter them online. A lot of people want to teach kind of their their learnings and their findings. What made you want to start the Land Sharks? Like had you been working with people one on one and then you kind of formally made a course around it and what's your experience been like in doing it? Like, how have the students been coming through? Like, you know, just you just described a situation that adds a lot of legitimacy to the program, right? Because you're doing deals with some of the students but you know, tell us what that experience has been like.

Brent Bowers:

Well, thanks for asking actually. And you know, who inspired me to do it was Tom Krol. He's the original he's the one that founded Wholesaling, Inc, and I was a student of his, and I just really loved how he showed me how to build a wholesaling machine, like how to find deals, and then sell deals. And he just kept approaching me like, Brent, you're doing so well on land, you need to coach people, you need to coach people, you need to coach people. Well, I was already coaching people for free. Me and my real estate broker started a Meetup in Colorado Springs, and I was just, I was just literally always meeting people for coffee, always give them my secrets. But here's my problem. No one was taking action. Like, I'm literally giving you what I've spent like yours to figure out and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on mentors, and they're not taking action. And Tom Krol told me why he's like - because it's free. Like, you can go on YouTube and watch it for free. So I literally Dan, I think was like my second or third student to charge them three grand, the guy's done seventy-something land deals that I know about, and just straight crushing it. So when someone puts in an investment, they actually start doing it. So fast forward, about 18 months, I've trained about 311 people now. And I get text messages every single day with people, you know, doing big deals, I'm partnering on another project with another student that got 28 deals. Another one of my students literally made enough profit to buy three single family homes in Colorado Springs without using a bank. So things like that. And that's like, holy cow that gets me excited for one, my business and two just to know that, wow, like, they were, you know, yesterday, I just got a new student. He said, I'd never want to talk to my boss again. You know, and I'm helping people with that.

Jason Muth:

I think that's a great lesson and valuing your time and your experience. And Rory, I remember back in the day, when you were just doing the law stuff, and you were taking these nominal, you know, these nominal fees for a consult? It was a good idea to do.

Rory Gill:

Oh I sure do. It's, I mean, now one of the best advices I had early on, when I just had the law practice was to charge for consultation. I know. And whenever you see ads for attorneys, you see people saying, you know, free consultation come in no obligation. But you end up getting a lot of tire kickers, people that want to expect to your advice for free and charging something it didn't amount didn't matter, it wasn't a revenue stream really qualify that your clients for you and got you the clients that would value your time. So and you know, there are excellent programs out there, I'm sure it for pro bono work. But I remember not vetting some of those programs early on. And some of the people who didn't pay anything didn't appreciate the work were very demanding and difficult. Whereas the people who are willing to put up and pay something they listen to you, they took your advice. They did what that what you asked them to do, and they value what you're doing for them. So I think that that exchange matters. And sure, when we look at different things, when I think about how I coach agents within my within my office, I'm not necessarily taking money, but I'm asking other things of them. That's some way for them to buy into the programs that we have.

Brent Bowers:

Absolutely. Rory, if I can further expand on that. I remember that first attorney I hired I think it was like 2016. And I actually had to send this guy to a prison a couple of times to get signatures because this guy was in prison that we were buying a property from. And you better believe it. I did not waste his time. His name was Tim Praybe a real estate attorney. Like, I wouldn't send him the stupid email, like because I know that's it's cost me $350 an hour. So like, we're going to be in business. And I'm going to do exactly what he says. And like, yeah, that's I mean, you just like made me have it like a light bulb just went off. Because I was like, I don't want to cost myself another 350 here.

Jason Muth:

It's like, the gym that I paid more for, I went to more, because I knew I was spending money on it. But so true. No, no offense to the discount gyms that are out there. But part of their model is just to sign people up knowing they're not going to show up because it's so nominal, right? So you charge an amount that is painful if you don't use it, but not life changing money like you're doing. And you'll get people who are serious about doing this. I mean, like 311 is a lot of people that you've coached. And you know, you've cited a couple, you know, great examples so far as to how people can really, you know, apply this knowledge.

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, I won't say the name of that gym, but I had a membership for like a year and a half. And I might have went once or twice. It was like $29 a month. Yeah, we've all seen the billboards.

Jason Muth:

We have, yes. Let's go back to the land a little bit and then we'll we'll start to work toward our final questions. But how does somebody start with this, you know, besides you know, reaching out and contacting you and becoming, you know, one of your students. Let's say somebody wanted to just kind of start kicking some tires on their own. What's some good advice that you have?

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, I'll say the first one is I do a YouTube video at every single day of the week, Monday through Friday, and I'm teaching people how to do this. Second way is, well, actually, here's the first way, like, get out there and take action, pick your playground, like, grow where you're planting, like I started in my own backyard, that first land deal was about an hour and a half away. The second one was maybe 45 minutes away. So I say a three hour radius max, that we can drive to it on the weekend and start getting in touch with land owners, people that own land, how do you find that there's lists out there, you can go to Listsource.com, or Propstream or priced.com. All these places the pull land lists, and start communicating with this land list that you pull. Like, literally, you can write a note and put it in the mail and say, Hey, my name is Jason, my name is Rory, I'd like to buy your land. If you're interested in a fair cash offer, call me or text me. And just, you know, know what you're looking at when that person calls, you know, obviously get all the information and ask them for permission to do some research and call him back. You see what it's worth, by seeing what people are paying for it. You just got to get it under contract for lower and find a buyer willing to pay a little bit more than what you've got it under contract, and you're guaranteed to make money on every transaction.

Jason Muth:

Do you think this is something that anyone can do in any state? Or are there exclusions in you know, the Pacific Northwest, the Northeast where we are, you know, a lot of what people hear on podcasts seems to apply in, you know, growing areas like the Sunbelt or Florida or the Rust Belt, because properties are cheaper. What are your thoughts on the geography of this?

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, I'll say, you know, in the in the northeast, you know, things are a little bit more dense out there. But here's the thing, you still have vacant raw land, I was just up in New Jersey, and I was I always thought I had this picture of New Jersey like no land left. While I'm driving through all this farmland, it's beautiful flowers, it's like springtime up there right now. And I'm looking at like, holy cow, these lots are expensive. But here's the thing, when it's really expensive, a five or 10% discount on let's just say, like easy math, but a million dollar parcel - 10% that's 100 grand off. Let's just do easy numbers though. $100,000 parcel of land. If you get it under contract at let's just say 73 cents on the dollar that's $73,000 for the land. If you offer that land to a builder or developer at a discount of 90 cents on the dollar, you got it under contract at let's just say 70 cents on the dollar. At 90. That's 20 grand you can put in your pocket. So yes, this works anywhere. There's there's vacant raw land. My father for, for instance, he's done manual labor his entire life. He's not tech savvy. He's now done about 50 land transactions. If my old father can do this manual labor his entire life, anybody can do this.

Jason Muth:

So your dad is a student?

Brent Bowers:

Yes, my dad is kicking butt. He's not a student anymore. He never calls me about land anymore. But every day we talk to you and he doesn't remember this is like I tried to I didn't really bother you ever, every morning that 6am days a week, and I hope he hears this podcast. But he literally just trained the owner of his title company, how to mail for land, and they just did a joint venture together. And my dad sold the land in one hour. So you know, just like now he's joint venturing with others, which is really cool.

Jason Muth:

Yeal Rory like the things you've heard here. I mean, like you've done some land deals yourself also, like were you Representative lamb? Like, is this something you know, is this an asset class that you'd consider or that you've talked about with a lot of your, you know, your network? Or is this all kind of interesting news to you as well?

Rory Gill:

If you're gonna do the wholesaling route, it depends on whether you know how legal wholesaling is. Here, it's legal, you can wholesale in Massachusetts, it's challenging, but if you can do it, it's legal. So there's that obstacle. But I also think having a good understanding of particularly if you're looking in the denser areas, the the cities, the urban areas, the suburbs, you want to have a sense of what a buildable lot is and everything because it's really going to inform your business. I know there's a buyer for for everything, but much narrower buyer pool if your lot is unbuildable or undersized or something like that, to want to have a good understanding of that. But I mean, I look it is what I'm more intrigued by is the actual seller financing and having kind of a longer term investment, a longer term cash payout for something like this. There are tax advantages there. I don't want to like jump into to that discussion, too much. purchasing land getting a selling it with seller financing, you probably have to be willing to subordinate that to a construction loan, the ultimate buyer is going to build on it but that's the investment path that intrigues me personally and you know, this podcast isn't just about me, but that's that's what catches my attention.

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, I love that because we actually just had someone pay off their loan because they were getting a construction loan and the bank was like, nope, we're going to take out this junior lien because we want to be the number in the first position. So I got a huge chunk of money I was not expecting. Yeah, the seller financing is that that's like, literally the secret sauce behind this. And I hate to say secret sauce, because it's the thing that drives us sales, because if someone can come up with $1,000 down, and $500 a month, it's way easier than coming out of their pocket for you know, $20 or $30,000. You know, even though that that $7,000 lot that you talked about in the beginning, I would buy these laws for like $2,500 and sell them for 8500. And seller financed them, and I would sell super quick. I mean, we just had someone go on our website on Saturday night, and put his down payment and his dock fee. And my land specialist was on vacation. So he he called and said, Hey, I'm on vacation, I just saw the payment come through, can I call you in a week? And we'll type up your contract for deed? And the lady was like, Sure, absolutely, so.

Jason Muth:

Do you have a hard time collecting from people sometimes? Or what's your rate?

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, I'm about one out of every 15 or 16 will default. And we're starting to put in some measures to decrease that. Because it's really sad when that happens. Because a lot of times we're already profitable on the land, and someone will just walk away from it. Because either A) They're not moving there anymore. B) They lost her job. And we will definitely modify the loan because most of these parcels we have zero debt on these things, you know, so we could do whatever we want, you know, so we, we modified someone's loan, because there was like a, something happened with his contract. He was out of work for three and a half months. And we just pause his payments. And then he came back from a $391 payment to $91. But here's what's the thing. He was so embarrassed, he didn't think we're going to work with him. So he wouldn't take our phone calls. Like fifth or sixth phone call, he finally answered. And he answered me and he's like, Yeah, you guys could just have it. And I was like, No, I mean, you got money into this. You had like $5,600 at this time. And he just like, well, I didn't think he would work with me. So that's why I wasn't answering the calls.

Jason Muth:

So Rory, I'm gonna ask a law question right here also like so this is the arbitrage part, I think if I understand it correctly, where like, maybe Brent is taking, you know, he's buying a lot, maybe taking out a loan on the lot. Alright, let's just say that you are, but then reselling it, and then you're holding the note to the new person you sold, that's allowed?

Rory Gill:

No, you're not going to be able to keep. It's different, usually difficult to acquire a parcel of land using a loan. So that's why you're offering the service as seller financing is enticing to potential buyers. But if you even if you were able to get a loan for the purchase, once you sell it to somebody else, that's a transfer of ownership. And now, at best it's a subject to situation. But that's there's no arbitrage to be had in that sense. But you know, if you're arbitraging mentally the you know, the purchase price and the opportunity cost against it you're getting it can turn into a longer term investment. But you know, if you're doing enough of these, you're end up in the seat of a lender, and you have to start complying with some of the same requirements that bigger banks have have to abide by once you have a certain number of these loans outstanding, you have to actually now operate under the regulations of a lender.

Jason Muth:

Right? It's fascinating stuff. There's so much I'm sure we can go on and on about this, Brent, but you know, we have to get people to sign up for your course and become one of your students so they can learn it all and give you a little bit of money as well. So they could you know, be so fortunate make millions later on.

Brent Bowers:

Like, I must have a disclaimer, they're not going to learn at all, I'm still learning to this day, Rory, we kind of made a huge mistake. We had a lender, a private lender, he's actually a hard money lender. But we bought a piece of land, it was 27 acres, we divided it into three parcels we subdivide it, we got all the permissions. And then we sold each one of them. They were supposed to sell for $40,000 down each step. That way it pays the lender off. Well, there was a little miscommunication with me and my land sales specialist. So one of them we took a smaller down payment, as well as the realtor that listed it. It went through the closing process and we transfer the deed, we were supposed to sell them all contract for deed. So my lender calls like wait a minute, we just put our our money person in jeopardy because now there's no security that the property is sold. So I had like, come up with like 40 grand cash quick to get it paid off. But yeah, like, that was a mistake I just made. It's like, oh, man, I just screwed my private lender. Now granted, I was not gonna leave him hanging. But he no longer had his he no longer had the first position on the land.

Jason Muth:

Expensive lessons out there. But you know, yeah, it happens sometimes.

Rory Gill:

You can fix that one. Yeah, I understand that debacle.

Jason Muth:

So let's get to our final few questions. And then we'll let Brent tell everyone where they can go watch all his great videos and sign up for his courses and learn more about Brent. So these three questions we asked all of our guests and they're the same three questions that we asked for each person who appears the podcast. First question is if you could appear on stage for about a half hour and talk with no preparation about any subject in the world, what would it be?

Brent Bowers:

How to take action, how to do it, how to time block, and how to keep doing it? I love talking to people about that.

Jason Muth:

Just like the rhino charging forward, right?

Brent Bowers:

That's right. You don't have to be smart. You just got to a Rhino.

Jason Muth:

It's like the Kool Aid man. You remember the Kool Aid man that would go through the commercials?

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, yes. That guy busted through my house. I've pulled out a shotgun.

Jason Muth:

Question number two, tell us something that happened earlier in your life or career that is impacting the way that you're working today.

Brent Bowers:

You know, I kind of shared a little bit of it already, you know, just going in the military going through the hard times, you know, door knocking and wearing those shoes out, you know, having those financial difficulties at a young age while already doing good. So I'm really glad that happened to me, because it just showed me it's like, and you can pull out of anything, you know, just got to tweak a couple things. Change your mindset a little bit. Listen to the right people. Don't listen to the wrong people. But yeah, that was just happened to me early. And, you know, it was embarrassing and humbling at the same time.

Jason Muth:

yeah, it's it's making a couple of positive changes. And they will, you know, lead people down different pathways all the time. Like I think it's, it's great that you're able to find your way through the military and into this career after, you know, the terrible financial time that we had about 13-14 years ago. Final question, tell us something that you're watching or listening to or reading these days.

Brent Bowers:

You know, what? A book I read just recently, Who Not How just incredible like, it's, it's pretty much the book that says the title says it, if you got something that you want to do, don't worry about the how fine the who?

Jason Muth:

I think Rory, you have that audio book, right?

Rory Gill:

I'm actually not sure. But I've heard that one recommended to me a few times. And it's probably very pointed, because the other thing we didn't really get into a big discussion with you with, but maybe in a future conversation was just taking your business and scaling it and hiring a team. And that's always been a challenge for me is taking those things that I've been used to doing for a decade, and then training and trusting somebody else to take on that task, even if they're better at it than I am. So that book is probably a personal recommendation to me. So I appreciate it.

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, get it right now. I mean, like I talked about sending the attorney to prison. That was my who I couldn't go into that prison. Like they weren't letting me in there to get signatures, but they'll let an attorney in there. There you go.

Jason Muth:

So Brent, we're gonna put all this in the show notes. But tell us how people can easily find you and learn more about you on the internet.

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, probably the easiest way is head on over to YouTube, search my name Brent Bowers, or I'm also on Instagram. brentlbowers.

Jason Muth:

And you have a great YouTube page with tons of amazing videos, all snackable content that you can find yourself listening to, you know, next thing you know, you've watched five or six of them.

Brent Bowers:

Wow. I'll take that that just made my entire week.

Jason Muth:

Wow, there. Yeah. That I think our job is done right now. Rory, where can people find you?

Rory Gill:

Just search me online. I'm at UrbanVillage Legal, urbanvillagelegal.com, or at NextHome Titletown. Nexthometitletown.com.

Jason Muth:

So thank you for listening. If you've enjoyed this, please subscribe to this episode on YouTube or on whatever podcast platform you're listening to. We do read all of our comments, if you want to reach out to me directly want to be on the podcast. You can reach me at Jason@nexthometitletown.com. Or you could just shoot us a message on Instagram. We're pretty easy to find. And we'll get you all set up. So Brent, thanks so much. It's been a pleasure to get to know you and to learn more about how we can make tons of money on land. And I'm gonna go try to find some land deals this weekend, I think.

Brent Bowers:

God bless gentlemen.

Jason Muth:

Yeah. Thank you guys. Thanks for listening.

Announcer:

This has been The Real Estate Law Podcast because real estate is more than just pretty pictures. And law goes well beyond the paperwork and courtroom arguments. were powered by NextHome Titletown, Greater Boston's progressive real estate brokerage. More at nexthometitletown.com. And UrbanVillage Legal, Massachusetts real estate council serving savvy property owners, lenders and investors more at urbanvillagelegal.com. Today's conversation was not legal advice, but we hope you found it entertaining and informative. Discover more at realestatelawpodcast.com. Thank you for listening