Today’s guest is quite special. He is the man Brent Bowers built the Land Sharks program for, but his story is even crazier. Chris Meeks went from being imprisoned to closing a half million-dollar land deal six months into wholesaling. Even crazier, he is now working on his third deal which will land him a seven-figure profit.
If you’re interested in learning from the same source Chris did, consider doing what he did and apply to Brent’s Land Sharks program.
- (1:08) – Beginning of today’s episode.
- (1:45) – Why Chris has given away over $100k.
- (4:00) – How Chris ended up in prison and how he overcame.
- (10:47) – Why Chris went from flipping homes to land.
- (12:20) – Chris will be making $500 per month passively for nearly a decade. Here’s how.
- (15:52) – Breaking down a half million dollar deal.
- (19:37) – A seven-figure deal, just three deals in.
- Want to learn more? Check out our Land Sharks program program.
- To speak with Brent or one of our other expert coaches call (281) 835-4201 or schedule here.
From Prison To Seven-Figure Deals With Chris Meeks
Are you a brand new real estate investor, and you’re not sure how to get started, where to get started, or a platform you can go and ask questions to? Over at Wholesaling Inc, we’ve started something called The Rhino Round Table, where the last Saturday of each month, me, Lauren Hardy, Brent Daniels, Chris Craddock, David Dodge, and Grace are there to answer your questions.
This is live. You can come in and put your questions ahead of time, or you can ask them live on the show. I, as a land coach, will answer your questions. Lauren Hardy, as a Virtual Investing Mastery, will ask your question. David Dodge is in charge of the BRRRR Program. Lauren and David have now rolled out the Rhino Roadmap. This is Wholesaling 101. Join us on the last Saturday of each month at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. For one hour on a Saturday, we’ll be there to answer your calls and questions about starting a wholesaling company, real estate, investing, buying and selling land, and creating a business around it. Join us. We’ll see you soon.
What’s going on, Chris Meeks? I’ve been waiting forever to get you on the show. You’re like a hard man to pin down. What’s going on? Where are you at in life? Just excited to talk to you.
First of all, thank you so much. You have been an inspiration to me for many years. You’re a great guy, and I’m glad we were able to finally get together and do this. Where should I start? There is so much going on right now.
I’ve been following you on Facebook, and I’m one of those guys. I have a firm belief. I don’t ever let myself scroll, but when Chris Meeks pops up, I always want to see what you’re up to. You’re doing a lot of great things in the community. Let’s start back. A couple of years ago, we met on Facebook somehow or another. We were Facebook friends. We went and met at a restaurant. You were doing all kinds of great things at that time. Why real estate? Family life, what does that look like? Share it with us.
I own a company called Hope Homes. The premise of the company started off with flipping houses, and I didn’t know much. I self-educated myself, watched YouTube videos, read a lot of books, picked people’s brains like yours, and said, “How do I do this correctly?” I flipped my first house. It was a family that their house was going into foreclosure. They had two kids, and I was able to acquire the house. I had to figure out how to get funding for it.
I was able to figure that out, and there’s a funny story with that. I got funding, and I was able to get their house, so they didn’t have a foreclosure. I gave them $20,000 to move on with their life and get a place. They had two innocent, precious children. In 90 days, I made $79,000 on my first flip, and I gave $20,000 to this couple with their kids to this family. That’s where Hope Homes started. For every house I flip, if I could give a minimum of 10% back to the community, then that would be amazing.
You looked at every property as a tie when you made a profit of 10%.
For the last several years, I’ve done that. Every single property and single deal I’ve done, I’ve given back to the community in some capacity, and I’ve been blessed. People are like, “You gave away $100,000 over the last several years. You could have used that for anything, but the blessings keep coming back. It’s amazing, and I’m not going to quit doing that.
I did not know that part. That is incredible. Keep going. I want to keep hearing more. It was $79,000 on the first deal. You self-educated and gave $20,000 back to the family to help them out and give them a fresh start.
I will say that it hasn’t been an easy road. Let me fast forward real quick, and then I’ll go back to that. After my first flip, the hardest part for me was getting the money. Here’s a guy who had zero money.
What did you do before that first flip, and what were you up to? Were you working? What did family life look like?
Instead of looking at the splinter in someone else’s eye, you need to focus on the log in your own eye.
I was incarcerated. Back in 2013, I caught an assault case. I took it to trial, and I had a public defender. Prior to that, I had no criminal record. I thought that it was going to be something that could be beaten. There were a lot of mitigating circumstances. I took it to trial, and I lost. The judge says, “Because of the way Colorado Law is, I have to give you a minimum of 5 to 16 years in prison.” My heart howled. I’m like, “I’ve had some speeding tickets.” The judge said, “I’m going to give you the very minimum, but it’s still five years.” Here I am, a guy with a house, a son, and trying to be a normal, regular human being, and off I went to prison.
That’s hitting you hard. I’m getting goosebumps. I had no clue. You’ve helped me build the Land Sharks Course by one-on-one coaching you, and I didn’t know any of this. It’s a revelation for me. I’m just going to tell a quick joke now. That’s why you’re so buff because you were in prison.
I just eat a lot of food. I’ll be honest with Brent. I haven’t shared my story. You’re the first platform or person I’ve shared my story with. I would say the majority of people, unless you’re on my social media or knew me in 2013 or 2014, you didn’t know this story, and I’ve been on the fence about talking about it. There’s a lot of ignorance in this world. I was one person who was ignorant prior to this situation. There are a lot of judgmental people. For me, it was scary. If I tell people about my past, I could jeopardize my business or what I’m working hard to do. At the same time, I feel like it’s an inspirational story of where I’m at now.
I went to prison, and on my very first day, I dropped the soap. It’s so funny, but that soap has no string on it. I swear, there’s a layer of baby oil. Nobody can hold it when water touches it. I was in the shower with six dudes and I dropped the soap. I was scared. I was like, “This is it.” They all turned around, looked at me, and there was soap on the floor. They did something weird as they all turned back around and kept showering. Nothing happened. I was lucky. I felt very happy about that. For a second, I was a little like, “Why they didn’t? Was I not good enough?”
Have you heard this story? I forget the person’s name in the Bible, but he’s in the lion’s den, and they didn’t touch him. You’re there in the lion’s den right there.
I was there, and nobody touched me. I was a little put-off. I picked the soap up again, and I’d throw it back down. I didn’t do the second part, but I’ll tell you this. My thoughts of what prison was like were completely molded by social media and movies. I would say about 85% to 90% of the individuals inside the guys inside are good and great people. They have their own journey and testament of what happened, whether they were in a car with someone, the driver shot at someone, and they’re doing life.
This one guy had a couple of beers at a wedding and drank with his brother. Something jumped in front of the road. They veered off, rolled his truck, killed his brother, and got multiple years in prison. He’s a great guy. He’s going to get out and have the hardest time finding housing and a job because that’s what I went through. Anyone with a felony has that stigma. It was a blessing for me to have to go through that because I’m now in criminal justice reform, and I’m trying to help. I see all these amazing human beings that have all this judgment from society.
You never know someone’s story. You’re going to look at the splinter in someone else’s eye, and you need to focus on yourself, the log in your own eye, like that car accident where he killed his brother. I’m sure that’s never going to go away from the thoughts in that brother’s mind that they survived. That’s his own prison right there. Stop judging. You never know the story.
If you’ve ever driven and had a couple of drinks or beers with friends, you got into an accident, and it wasn’t even your fault, you could go to prison. It could happen to anyone.
This is not a show about drinking and driving. We don’t promote that, but how many people have driven once with a drink and gotten away with it multiple times? They’re probably still judging that person, so stop judging.
To fast forward, I took as many college classes as I could. I became a GED tutor for the guys inside, and I helped those guys get their GED. I did about two and a half years inside, and then went to a halfway house. I did about a year in the halfway house, and then I did another year on parole. I was officially off paper in 2019 after going through that cycle of being incarcerated. It’s difficult.
I went to $1 billion apartment complexes to get housing. Nobody would let me live there. I had three job interviews. They hired me on the spot once they pulled my background throughout the process. Before I was supposed to start, they called me and let me go. They said, “We loved you, but you have a record. We can’t do it.” On my fourth attempt, I was very transparent with the company. They were on the fence, but they hired me. We still have a great relationship. I worked there for quite some time before I ended up starting Hope Homes. It’s a challenge.
You broke it down in a quick nutshell, and I’m sure there was so much more. It’s a life lesson. You were serving time, but also, you’ve got the heart of a servant. You’re giving, teaching, and educating while going through, as I could imagine, one of the worst things ever, like missing your son for two and a half years.
The hardest part is when you have kids and not being able to be there for your kids, especially at an age where I felt like he needed his father. It was depressing, sad, and emotional. That was by far the hardest, and it was very impacting on me. Prior to that, I was in foster care. I never had a father. When I went back with my mom after foster care, we were dirt poor. It was just her and me.
She died while I was incarcerated. We were best friends. She has been dependent on me throughout my whole life, and she passed away before I was able to be free. Everything I went through molded Hope homes and molded who I am for criminal justice reform. My mom would be happy with where I am at right now. I still regret some of the things I went through because I felt like I let her down, but I’m trying every day to make her happy.
She’d be proud. Let’s move forward. What things look like now? You flip that first house. You made an amazing profit, and you kept moving forward.
I kept moving. After that first one, the hard money lender I used, I’ll tell you it was hard for me because I had nothing getting out, and all the hard money lenders, except for him, denied me. They said, “No.” He gave me a chance, and they ended up funding the majority of my properties from there. I kept chugging and plugging. I kept doing more and giving it back to Make-A-Wish Foundation and Pro Football Camps, kids that want to go to summer camp. Hope Homes would sponsor that.
At some point, I was doing well, but contractors, finding properties, and everything in Colorado was difficult. It was a job in itself in a sense. That’s when you said, “If you wanted to diverse, you should look into land.” I was like, “Let’s do it.” I got to say, and I probably haven’t told you this, but you did a good job on your program or your classes. I don’t know how long it took you to do it, but you put a lot of time and effort into it. The fact that you were still available when I got stuck on things is much appreciated because you didn’t have to be that person. You could have been like, “I got your money,” or whatever. I think I told you, but in my first deal, I made $30,000.
I didn’t realize it was your first deal. That’s incredible. Let’s celebrate that win. If I haven’t sent you a victory bell yet, you’re getting what it says. We hang up here.
The guy who bought the land got ten acres of beautiful land in Colorado for him and his family. We’ve become friends. He’s going to be building a beautiful house there with amazing views. He’s paying me $500 a month for the next several years.
Your first one was a passive income deal.
I’ve been making $500 a month.
Let’s break it down. It’s unbelievable. That is a truck payment. That’s the difference between medication and food for a family, possibly, $500 a month. How did you find that deal?
I did everything you told me to do. I scoured certain counties, and I sent out a bunch of letters. I got one guy who lived in another state, and he was like, “I’m done with this land. I’ve been paying taxes on it for years. I don’t even live there anymore. I offered him $6,000. He’s like, “No way. I’ll do it for $12,000.” I said, “Can we meet in the middle at $8,000? He’s like, “Send the paperwork. We’ll get it done.”
Don’t stop. Keep mailing.
I got to get you on reading Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. That’s another story.
That’s what I hit you up. I was like, “This guy is in Mississippi. I need a notary.” You told me about a good website for notaries. I used it. She sent me the paperwork. I had a file. I sent him out a check, and I started marketing. I know there are ways where you can mark it first before you send out any money. I was blessed with the money. I wanted to make sure I had it in the bag. I started marketing it for $40,000 and made a deal for $38,000 where I would get $6,000 upfront. I didn’t quite get my $8,000, but I was sure close. Within four months, I was whole again. From there, every month, I get $500.
You were profitable after several months, and now you’re 100% profitable every single month, $500 a month. What did that deal feel like? I know you’ve done successful house flips. This one is a little different. How long are you going to be paid this $500 a month?
It’s for the next seven years.
Have you ever been paid for seven years on a house flip?
What’s even more incredible is some of the techniques and talks we had, I use that to do another way bigger land deal. This was in Pueblo, Colorado. There was a seller who was selling 96 lots. They were already approved and plotted. They wanted $600,000 for it.
That was your second land deal.
The flips in life, I have a four-year-old right now. I had a young kid, and everything got in the way. I was getting pulled in every direction.
You’re adopting a child too at that time.
Me and my girlfriend at that time were told about a baby who was in the hospital that was addicted to meth because of her mom. We were asked if we would foster her. It would only be just a little bit. We were like, “Absolutely.” At that time, we had a one-year-old son together. We took this little girl in, and we started fostering her. She still has her to this day. My son’s mom adopted her, and I’m still the father. She’s amazing. She’s this precious, beautiful little girl, and we love her so much.
I had to get that out there. I’ll be honest here. When you told me about those 96 lots, and it was your second deal, I was like, “This guy is crazy.” I feel his flames. What do we do? We give you the confidence and the motivation to keep moving forward. I was so proud, and at the same time, I was also a little nervous. You were the first guy I one-on-one coach to build the Land Shark. I was like, “Can I train other people how to do this type of thing?” Here you are going for 96 slots and I was ringing the victory bell. Even if he didn’t get it done, you win after it.
There were some slight setbacks and scariness to it, but I got it under contract for $600,000. I didn’t have $600,000 in the capital. They said, “Give us $50,000 in earnest money. You have 90 days to close.” From what I learned from you, reading, and different things, I knew that I had a due diligence period, and typically, that’s longer than 90 days. That’s pretty short, but I wanted the deal. On the first day of that 90 days, I Googled every home builder I could find. I emailed and called everyone. I said, “I got 96 lots ready to go. Shovel-ready. How do you want to do this?” I had a lot of home builders that were interested.
With my inexperience, I got put through the wringer a little bit and dragged on. I was under contract with one home builder, and they pulled out a week before I was supposed to close. I don’t know if it was on purpose, but I sure felt like they were trying to push me out of the deal. Once my contract was over with the 96 lots, they would swoop in. They were a big home builder. I got a hard money lender to come to the table, and they said, “We’ll give you a bridge loan.” I was able to get a bridge loan for another 180 days.
What’s a bridge loan, just so everyone knows?
It’s a hard money lender. We’ll buy the land. They’ll be first on the lien and lend out for it for about six months until I get different financing to buy them out.
It’s a bridge to where you can get a longer-term loan on it. It’s just a temporary solution.
The day that I closed with a hard money lender, I had two home builders. I don’t know how they knew, but two home builders called me that day, and they’re like, “Are you still under contract with that land?” I said, “I am.” They said, “Let’s make this happen.”
When you told me that, I was driving down 25 to hit Colorado Springs at the academy. You told me you had someone that was going to buy it. I almost wrecked my car.
I finally ended up going with a smaller local home builder. I liked him more. We agreed that he would buy the lot for $1.1 million and would build me a house for cost plus any admin fees. He’s building my house down in Pueblo. I picked a lot. We closed on it within 90 days, and I made about $500,000. Using some of the education and wisdom you had, plus some of the stuff I’ve taught myself, I was able to make $500,000 in six months from flipping land. That’s all I did.
That is wild, $500,000 plus a house. I’m sad I ring the victory bell on the $30,000 one. $30,000 is incredible, but $500,000 on one deal. How long did it take you?
It’s about six months in total.
Not too bad. It’s about $100,000 a month. You’re doing okay. That’s incredible. I didn’t know all the details, and about the house. I know you crushed it on that one.
Now, I have a third one, and I teamed up with a mentor of mine who I worked for prior to being incarcerated. He’s a great guy. He is a civil engineer. Together, we were able to acquire 1,000 lots in Castle Rock, Colorado. We are going through the entitlement and planning phase. We should be all approved through the town by the end of this summer of 2022.
We already have three major home builders that are going to pay nine figures for this property. We did it the same way. We got the land from a farmer, tons of acres, and we got an under contract. We put down some earnest money and we said, “Give us twelve months to get everything entitled, and then we will pay you what you want.” He’s like, “Alright.” “We didn’t put that much money into acquiring the land. We put our own money into entitlement fees and getting through the process.
Just be a good person. If you live your life that way, it will do you well.
The home builder is going to come to buy it for the price that we dictate, which is a lot more than what we’re buying it for. We’re going to do a double close. At some time this summer 2022, we’re going to make middle seven figures on this property. It’s life-changing money. This is my third deal. It happens to be land. All of your strategies and everything that you put into your course, this is it.
My hats off to you for taking action. I couldn’t imagine what your fourth deal is going to look like, and that’s crazy. How long have you been doing this total, the whole land deal?
Maybe two years in 2022.
I’m at a loss for words. I got to pinch myself sometimes on how good this business is. Does it take work? Did you have some sleepless nights? I’m sure you did. You take a lot of work and some sacrifice too. It’s not like you’re not working on this. How many land offer letters did you have to send to get these three deals?
For that first deal, it’s close to 700. I got 3 letters back, and 2 of them told me to kick rocks, but that one letter, that’s all it took.
I wanted the readers to know that, 700 letters in. Sometimes I get people that call me that was like, “I am almost 2,000 letters in, and I’ve only got people calling and yelling at me.” I was like, “Please keep going. Don’t stop. Keep mailing.” I don’t care if you have to write the letters in your basement after you put your kids to sleep.
That was me in 2016. I hated it. I wouldn’t even misspell words. Sometimes, I’ll be tired after my work day, but you don’t understand that it could be that 2,501 mailers that one person from Mississippi or Louisiana out of state, they call you like, “This is trash to me. I’ll take $6,000, and you sell it for $38,000 and get $500 a month for the next seven years.” That’s powerful.
Anybody reading this, Rhino Nation, please share this episode. This is by far what people need to know. We all have bad days. Sometimes we have bad five years, and you got through it, Chris. I appreciate you being vulnerable and sharing a story. God bless you for all that you’re doing with Hope Homes and getting children off the street.
My wife wrote her book called Mother Trauma. Some of the things that are in that book just touched me and what you guys do. Our goal is for children to have different capacities. I’d love to talk more about that with Hope Homes. If you’re reading this blog, please share it with someone that needs to know it. Any parting words of wisdom, advice, or motivation for anybody reading this blog right now?
The things that helped me are talking to everybody, not judging, loving everyone, and helping people out. You never know how that’s going to come back and if that person is going to remember you one day. He or she will and how they may help you. I would encourage you to be a good person. That’s how I’ve lived my life, and it’s done me well.
I appreciate that advice, and I had this idea pop into my head. Because of what you guys are doing with this, feel free to share a little bit about it. If anybody that’s reading this wants to have a part in that, how do they find you, Chris?
Thanks for your time, giving, Go-Giver spirit, and your attitude. If you haven’t read The Go-Giver book, you must read that book. Those of you are reading this blog who are sitting on the fence, thinking about land, or thinking about getting into real estate investing. I want you right now to go to WholesalingInc.com/Land. Fill out the form, schedule the call, and if we lack what you have to say, we might even invite you to the tribe, and I promise you, it will be the best decision you could ever make. Chris, god bless. It’s been great catching up with you. I look forward to talking soon. I can’t wait to hear what’s going on with these 1,000 lots. That’s wild.
Thank you so much.
- The Rhino Round Table – YouTube
- Virtual Investing Mastery
- BRRRR Program
- Rhino Roadmap
- Make-A-Wish Foundation
- Pro Football Camps
- Facebook – Chris Meeks
- Hope Homes
- Never Split the Difference
- Mother Trauma
- The Go-Giver
- Be sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
About Brent Bowers
Brent Bowers, is an investor and coach with a focus on buying and selling vacant land. As an Army Officer with over 8 years of service, Brent was spending a great deal of time away from his family, and he knew he needed to make some changes in order to be more present with his wife and children. In a short period of time, Brent was able to expand his business, hire a team, and (most importantly) spend quality time with his family while still working hard and helping others.
While Brent invests in many different types of real estate, his favorite investment strategy deals with buying and selling vacant land, and he enjoys sharing his expertise in this area with his coaching clients. Brent chooses to live his life based on Bob Burg’s quote, “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.” He is passionate about helping other people find success in real estate investing, particularly inland investments