Is making a fortune in real estate your goal? Then success is closer than you think! In this episode, Lauren Hardy talked to the brilliant coach of “Land Sharks,” Brent Bowers. Brent is Wholesaling Inc’s newest coach and specializes in land deals. A self-confessed practicing land investor, he shared how his real estate journey started, the exit strategies he focuses on, and the primary reasons he loves doing land deals. You’ll learn more about Brent and his land investing journey while picking up great tips in this episode, so don’t miss it!
The Fastest And Easiest Way To Make A Fortune In Real Estate Right Now!
It’s a big day because I am announcing that we have a new coach on the team. I’m especially excited because I’ve been so curious about this type of investing. I want to introduce Brent Bowers. His program is called The Land Sharks Program. Brent, welcome to the show.
Thank you so much for having me, Lauren. This is a huge honor, especially to have the VIM, the Virtual Investing Mastery Guru, talking to me. What’s up, Rhino tribe? I wish I would have already installed my bell. I’m going to put it right here. Tom Krol, the Head Rhino, sent me these a few years ago. I’ve got two ready to install. I hope you have your bell already.
I’m glad that we got to get together because we have very good complementary skills. I’m so curious about land. I want to know everything. I am going to get micro with you. I’m going to ask you all the details because the land is something that I know you can do virtually. I dabbled in it a little bit virtually, but I didn’t take it as far as I probably should have. I want to make that change in 2021. I want to do more land. I am stoked that I have access to you. It’s amazing. I’m going to ask you a million questions.
Bring it on. We’re going to sharpen each other’s steel because you’re the VIM Guru. That’s all land is. It’s all virtual. Your students will be able to pretty much adapt this so easily. I’m all for it.
Let’s start from the beginning. I want to get to know you a little bit because I don’t know you very well personally other than you dominate the land. Where are you from? Where do you live?
I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Do you have kids?
Yes, I have three children. A one-year-old, a three-year-old and about to be a five-year-old. He keeps telling me every day. I remember it. They keep my hands full. I’m a father, a husband and a practicing land investor.
When did you get started in investing in real estate?
My real estate began in 2007 when I got my real estate license. I thought I was going to go out and crush this. Everyone knows what happened in 2008. I bought my first investment property in 2007. I had to borrow from my great-grandmother $1,000 to make my earnest money deposit. I was like, “I will pay you back. I promise. I’m going to get a commission for this house,” and I was able to pay her back. I lived in it for a couple of months and rented it out. I then became a real estate investor because I was a brand-new landlord were the learning curves hard knocks.
You started in 2007 with one deal, then what did it evolve to? Where did you go from there?
We ran into 2008, then 2009, I was getting my butt kicked. I had a lawn landscape company. I left that. I was doing pretty well with it and then I was like, “I’m going to go set my path. I’m going to move to the Coast and start selling real estate.” I sold a whopping zero houses and I had to start driving people around and showing them rentals to pay the bills. That was pretty rough and it was not my thing. I didn’t like it. I got into real estate to buy the houses, to buy the land. Not to sell it for other people. I was not doing what I had planned to do. I was like, “How can I go back to school? I’m going to join the military.”
I went to the Air Force and guess what? They’re like, “We’re not taking anybody now but there’s a nice Army recruiter right next door.” I was sure enough. I went in there, joined the Army. I was at basic training a few months later, then shipped off to Afghanistan. It put my real estate business on hold. I enjoyed the whole military thing but there was always the calling, “Get back into real estate.” In 2013, when I came back to the States for my second deployment. It was literally like a slingshot went off and I started buying houses like crazy. The land then came in a short time after that.
You were on active duty, which a lot of my students are. You came back in 2013, which was a pretty good time to get in because now properties, bottomed out and the values were starting to go back up. It was an amazing time to be a house flipper. Is that what you did? Did you buy houses to flip or were you wholesaling them?
I started wholesaling haphazardly. I was like, “I can do this.” I got on PropStream. I know the tribe loves PropStream. I started looking up the houses where people were behind on their mortgage payments, the notice of defaults or the pre-foreclosures, whatever you want to call it. I would drive in my car and knock on these doors. The most intense, nerve-racking, gut-building thing you can ever do is go and knock on the door of someone that’s behind on their payments. I kid you not. I was in Florida doing this.
Land wasn’t a shiny object syndrome. It was literally the best addition to my wholesale business.
Every person that answered the door, I swear, they played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because they were all huge like linebackers pissed off every time I’d knocked. Guess what? Every time I knock, it got a little quieter and quieter, then no one answered the door. I would leave a little Sticky Note. That’s how I wholesaled my first two houses and paid for some of my college classes. I was also in school at the time and I was like, “I got to get a coach. I’ve got to start streamlining this.” That’s how I came right into Wholesaling Inc.
You were a Wholesaling Inc student and now you’re a Wholesaling Inc Coach.
That’s true. I followed the Wholesaling Inc program to the tee but I added land and did the same thing. It wasn’t a shiny object syndrome. It was the best addition I ever could have done to my wholesaling business.
I agree with you because it’s untapped. There are not as many people doing it. I have a couple of students that applied the virtual concept to land but they had an understanding of land prior to getting into my program. I don’t teach on land but they used my virtual concepts. It was easy to apply and it worked. It worked perfectly for land. I thought, “We need a land coach.” I want to do more land deals. Tell me, how did you start getting into land?
I love that you asked that because I haven’t taken a Wholesaling Inc. course since the beginning of 2016. I remember on one of those videos that Tom Krol himself said, “Throw all the vacant land records away.” I was listening. I did that. I was going down the road. It was still 2016. I had only wholesaled maybe four houses at this time and I was hustling. This was the hardest thing I ever could have done to wholesale a house because I had a W-2 job while I was an Army officer getting paid W-2. I would be at work, at physical training at 6:00 AM. I wouldn’t get to leave until no earlier than 6:00 PM. It was a minimum of twelve hours and I would get an hour-long lunch break.
While I was in Colorado on Fort Carson Army Base, that’s 30 minutes from all the houses. During my lunch break, I would zoom out, like speed, literally. Endangering everybody in my way to get to an appointment. Spend five minutes with a seller and then zoom back. How many deals do you think I was buying if I only had five minutes to spend with a seller? I would look at the house, give them an offer and not get the deal. I was searching for answers and I heard about this guy buying land super cheap at tax auctions. I didn’t understand all that stuff but I knew I had to nail the Tax Delinquent list at County Hill Tax Delinquent list, all these lists that were throwing away this land.
I sent all the land records to the tribe postcard. It was right around 687 people that were vacant land. I sent them the stupidest offer I possibly could’ve sent. They would call on that tribe postcard and I would give them the stupidest offer. Some of them were accepting it. Out of 687 postcards, I got almost 85 phone calls and purchased two pieces of land that both netted me over $4,000 net profit on each one. I was very hooked after that. I didn’t have to look at any of them.
Honestly, talking to sellers and going to seller meetings is draining. It’s a lot of work. It’s hard. That’s why I don’t do it. I tell my students, “Don’t go to seller meetings. You can do it all over the phone.”
That’s why I got to take your course, too. I still have the house side of things, even though I’ve turned that over to an amazing person that’s running it. I keep my finger in the land but we’re still going to physical kneecap-to-kneecap appointments. We’re going to implement the VIM course, the Virtual Investing Mastery course on our team as well.
I’m down to course trade 100%. I’m all about closing over the phone. That’s the only way I could have done it because I didn’t live in any of my areas so that I couldn’t go to a seller meeting. We figured it out. Why land? Why is land better than single-family residences? Why do you like it so much? I know you’re doing a little bit of the single-family wholesaling as well but why do you love land so much?
I will say my reason for loving land so much is, every deal we do have a 5-year to 30-year payout on every single one of them. For instance, let’s use an example. A couple of weeks ago, we had a pretty good week. We sold five parcels of land in one week. Each one of those parcels of land netted us an average of roughly $350 to $499 a month income.
Let’s say, for easy numbers, it netted us only $200 a month. We did five deals plus $200 a month. That’s an extra $1,000 a month going to my passive income every single month that I know I’m going to get paid on for the next 5 to 30 years. I love the fact that I’m only doing something once and being paid for a minimum of five years on it. That’s my biggest reason. My second reason, there’s no competition. It’s celebrity status like Chris Arnold talks about because everyone figures out, “Do you guys do land. What do you think about this?”
We constantly have deals coming our way now that we don’t need even have to market for. It’s cheap. It’s such a low barrier of entry. Those two land deals I told you about, I purchased both of those. One was for $285 and the other one was $300. I sold each one of them for $5,000. I got my money back so fast and I was pretty broke in 2016. I was spending rent money and we had had a new baby. I had to get that money back quickly. That was the whole thing behind it. Many people can get involved with this with very little money and risk.
What are the exit strategies with the land? Help me wrap my head around how does a piece of land makes money? I’ve got so many questions. What land are we talking about? Are we talking about it like, “I’m on my way to Vegas, I look out the window and there are the endless miles of desert land in Death Valley? Who owns that?” Is that the type of land we’re talking about or are we talking about small little parcels in a city? Help me understand all these things. I just asked you like ten questions.
Let’s start with the exit strategy. I like to use two of them. There are many other ones but I’m only going to focus on two that I do. I’m very confident in that. The second question, the desert land, that’s maybe 50%, 60% maybe of the bread and butter of what we do but that’s what I call recreational land or land in the middle of nowhere that, “What the heck? Who the heck would own this?” I own a ton of it. I’m getting paid every day and sometimes a couple of times a day, on land like that no one wants.
Funny story. I bought 117 parcels in Arizona in 2020. The scariest purchase because I had been investing in mountain property, Florida property. What’s cool about a mountain in Florida property? You got trees, it smells great, you got mountains, beautiful views. In Florida, you got water, green grass, pine trees and Oak trees. I purchased these 117 lots in Arizona, you had none of that but sand, no power, no electricity, no water, no nothing.
It took me a little while longer to sell that land, a couple of months to get a groove, a marketing strategy and all this. Once people started buying it, I took the mission to call these people, these buyers and saying, “How do you like your land?” I was like, “Brace for impact,” because I thought they were going to be like, “This stuff sucks! You can’t build on it. There’s no road to it. There’s no power. There’s no water.”
It was the reverse opposite. They were like, “We love it. We bring our four-wheelers. We’ve camped on it. There’s no one out here, no power, no water. There’s not a lot of people. We don’t want to be around people. We love going out, bringing our camper and our RV.” They were asking how to buy more and referring their friends. I was so blown away. Just because Brent Bowers didn’t like the land because it was desert, no trees, no water, no mountains, didn’t mean that other Americans looking for a piece of land that they can call their own didn’t love it.
There’s a coaching program for everything. Take advantage of this. The world’s moving fast, and we only have so much time.
I call this the pistachio buyer. In my group, we all know what that means. It’s this world that is going to reach the nation. This word, it’s trendy, the pistachio buyer, which I talk about like, “Who likes pistachio ice cream?” You go to 31 flavors, at most people are going for Salted Caramel, Chocolate or Mint Chip.
I always look at pistachio like, “Who likes pistachio ice cream?” There’s always one scoop in the pistachio. It’s like, “Who’s that one guy that likes it?” I think the thing with the land is that there are pistachio buyers. There are different strokes for different folks. I want to organize my thoughts here. Let’s talk first about exit strategies because then we’re going to talk about the types of land that go with that exit strategy. What are the main exit strategies that you use to generate income off of the land?
The number one exit strategy that I use that gets me more pistachio buyers than I ever thought possible is offering someone an easy down payment and monthly payments. This opens up the world of buyers because you’re allowing people that think they can never afford land, never buy land or have no clue how to get it affordable monthly payment that fits them. You’re offering the gold, which is the land, the product and a way for them to get financing with no credit check, no background checks, no citizenship needed.
Now let me put a disclaimer. This will not get someone citizenship if they own land in the United States but it allows them the opportunity. You’re creating an opportunity for people that didn’t even realize it happened. I sell 90% of my land on seller financing, where we get a down payment and a monthly payment. I try my best to get our investment out of it. If I paid $2,500 for the land, I try and get a down payment of $2,500 or at least close to it. We don’t always hit that but it’s something we shoot for and we get close to it from time to time. That’s my biggest exit strategy.
Number two is the land that’s a little bit more valuable and cities, buildable areas that call infill lots or buildable lots. We’ll get that stuff under contract at $0.50 or less on the dollar and we’ll flip it to our cash buyers list. These are guys buying flip properties. Cash buyers on your cash buyers list that buy the junky, dilapidated, cat-pee houses will also buy buildable lots all day long and to builders. Builders love these things. Those guys usually pay me in cash and get a quick chunk of money. Those are my two exit strategies. I prefer number one first. The seller financing because I’m paid monthly on those.
For exit strategy number one, what type of land are we talking about that works for the strategy?
Mostly the recreational stuff through Death Valley on the way to Vegas, mountainside property. I call that the recreational land. It’s 30 minutes outside of the city. It’s 30 minutes away from Walmart’s or McDonald’s. That’s what’s great. Here’s what’s cool about this. There are no rules. There’s no box. Take that box and kick it out of the way because you can also seller finance buildable lots because who’s going to pay us the most for this buildable lot? Is it that builder that buys fifteen lots a quarter? Is it that flipper that buys one lot a quarter? Is it the homeowner that has a dream of one day building their dream house in ten years are going to finance this piece of land from us at 9% interest for the next five years at retail or premium price?
When you are talking about what you call the land that you’re buying, there are buildable lots or infill lots? The other one is called recreational land?
You got it.
Even that, I didn’t even know the lingo. I even did this and I still didn’t know what I was doing. I was buying buildable lots. I was wholesaling buildable lots in Nashville for a short time.
You can make an absolute fortune.
That’s what I was doing. Number two, I was doing number two’s exit strategy for a while without knowing or putting much thought into it. What always fascinated me was your exit strategy number one of buying recreational land. My thought was like, “Who the heck wants that?” Now you’re telling me it’s these pistachio-buyer people that want that.
There are also two other types of land so let’s mention those quickly. There’s agriculture. I’m not buying too much agricultural land unless it’s not being farmed or ranched. I’m not going to send a farmer and offer on a piece of land he’s growing a crop, or running cattle or sheep on because that’s his livelihood. Now granted, let’s flip that coin over. You’ll come across those in places like Colorado, Nevada and Arizona that are zoned agriculture. If it is not being farmed or ranched, we’ll still offer on it.
The fourth type is industrial, which I have not broken into that yet. There’s so much residential vacant land and recreational, infill buildable lots. You can only do so much. It’s like, we’re sitting in a kayak, literally with a five-gallon bucket in the ocean filling it up. You’ll never run out of water. You’ll never run out of land. There are other types and commercials, too.
That’s exciting. I knew somebody who was buying recreational land and they were renting it to people that were putting mobile homes on it to live. What’s that called?
That’s a mobile home park. You’re never going to lose your land and you’re always going to have such demand. That’s so exciting. My grandparents used to have a mobile home park and I’m mad at my uncle because he let it go. I was like, “I would’ve bought that thing from him.” He didn’t realize what he pissed away.
You gave me a little education and hopefully, you gave our audience a lot of education. I wasn’t kidding when I’m like, “I’m going micro. I’m going to ask you all the details.” How can somebody like myself learn more about land investing?
I’m going to do like toot my own horn here. I’m now the official land coach for Wholesaling Inc. If you are looking to learn about land coaching, go to WholesalingInc.com/land. There are other ways, though, too. Check out YouTube. Go down that rabbit hole. We’re not the only ones doing this. There are other people out there doing it. They’re not as good as Wholesaling Inc.
Here’s the thing though, Lauren, I want you to think about this. It’s so less consuming, as far as time. It’s less risky. There are not as many things to think about like, “Is the roof falling in? Are there foundation problems? Has the heat been off for 30 years and all the pipes are cracked?” There’s nothing that can break inland. It’s much easier, much less thinking less due diligence. It’s not hard to learn, is all I’m getting at.
To comment on YouTube, I think YouTube is great to give people vision but it doesn’t give them any direction. I can’t tell you how many people I have met tell me they’ve wasted thousands and thousands of dollars on different marketing techniques because they saw something on YouTube. It never generated any profits because they had the vision, they got the idea, “I’m going to use text message blasting to get leads or I’m going to do a direct mail campaign to get leads,” but then they screw up because they have no direction. They didn’t know what type of list to pull and they pulled the wrong list. There’s so much direction that coaching programs give you.
What a coaching program does is shortens up the learning curve. My coaching program, it’s Virtual Investing Mastery. We focused on wholesaling but other investment strategies as well apply for my course. I went virtual about a few years ago and in those years, I’ve made a series of mistakes. My course is all of my solutions to all the mistakes that took me years to make and fix. You don’t have to go ahead and do that.
Would you rather spend thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars figuring it out or learn from someone’s few years of mistakes? That’s the thing. We only have so much time on this Earth. If we knew that we’ve only got two more New Year’s Eve celebrations to celebrate with our loved ones, we would probably look at life a little bit differently. We’d have a coaching program on how to be better to our children, our spouses, our bodies and maybe we could have four years of New Year’s celebrations. There’s a coaching program for everything. It’s like, “Take advantage of this.” This world is moving fast and we only have so much time.
I totally agree. I believe in having coaching or high-level consulting. Our programs with Wholesaling Inc. are very modestly priced for what you get compared to what else is out there. You have to do one deal and it would pay for yourself. I tell to all of my students like, “Listen to exactly what I say. Do one deal and you paid for the course.” Don’t deviate.
Trust me in this process.
“Trust me because I’m giving you the direction. Listen to the directions, don’t deviate.” You do one deal, it paid for itself. I am such a fan of high-level coaching. You mentioned other areas of your life. I have a nutritionist that helps me go over what I should be eating. I have a high-level COO, CFO, Executive coach. She’s teaching me how to think more like an executive and to sharpen my pencil a little bit. We should all be lifelong learners.
Take how much you made every year and invest maybe 10% in coaching or seminars. Anything that you can mark under education so, consulting, coaching, seminars. Take that 10% you made every year. If you made a $100,000 profit last year, take $10,000 that’s in your education fund, and invest in yourself and your education.
Most people don’t think like that. That’s one thing you put out there and try it. That $10,000 that you invested let’s say, you 10X that next year, you’re not making $100,000. It’s going to be $1 million. Imagine the compound effect five years from now. How would your life change if you’re making $1 million a year? How many other people’s lives can you change, making that and being able to give, and help people financially? One thing that real estate’s done for me is helped me with financial freedom. It allows us to help more people but it’s also given me more time.
You asked me why I love the land. It’s because it allows me time freedom as well. We took two three-week trips in the last few months. That has allowed me to look at things a little differently. See things about my children I didn’t know. It gets to me in better graces with my wife, especially when I’m home more. I’m one of those guys. If it were up to me, I would work seven days a week and go from daylight to dark every night.
What land’s allowing me to do is we don’t have to do that because I know I’m going to be paid for the next five years if I’m going to surf, ride four-wheelers, camp, whatever. If I want to do that or take time off for a couple of weeks at a time, it’s by investing in coaching that’s allowed me to do that. I surely am never the smartest person in the room or on the Zoom call but I know you can pay people a very small amount of money to get their education, systems, experience, their 5 years and 11 days.
If we knew that we’ve only got two more New Year’s Eve with our loved ones, we would look at life a little bit differently.
It’s crazy, Brent, to see how far you’ve come. One thing that’s relatable about you is knowing that in 2013, you were still struggling. In 2016, you were still figuring it out. You were buying coaching programs with the tribe. There’s a lot of people out there that will look up to you and go, “One day, I can be where you are.” It was not that long ago.
There are so many people out there that’s smarter than I am, way better looking, work harder. If I can do it, so can everyone else. That’s true. I appreciate you saying that because I take that as a compliment. Other people can do this, just follow the system.
You’re very approachable. I’m so excited to be able to welcome you to the team. I’ve said for a long time that we needed a land coach. I was stoked to see that you came on. Brent, how can people find you? What are your social handles? Are you on Instagram or Facebook?
Who’s not on Instagram and Facebook? @BrentLBowers, add me on Instagram or follow me. Add me on Facebook. I still remember calling you, Lauren. You took the time to tell me that it’s a good idea to go to Wholesaling Inc. They’re a wholesome, amazing company. They practice what they preach. I thank you for taking the time to tell me that this is a good decision or not. It’s awesome to be here. Let’s fast forward almost to 2020.
It was self-serving because, as I said, I wanted to invest in land. I wanted a land coach in my back pocket. I’m stoked to have you. I cannot imagine a better synergy between our programs. I’d love to have you talk to my students a little bit. If you don’t know who I am, I coach all things virtual. Virtual wholesaling, virtual investing. I’m the virtual coach with Wholesaling Inc.
If you want to learn more about my program, it’s www.VirtualInvestingMastery.com. That’s the website. If you go to either Brent or my website, you apply and somebody from the Wholesaling Inc. team will call you guys back. They will be able to tell you everything about the programs. Brent, why don’t you repeat the URL one more time and we’ll say goodbye.
Brent, I am so excited. I hope to be working with you more. Cheers to an awesome 2021. I’m excited for both of us.
Thanks so much for having me.
- The Land Sharks Program
- Virtual Investing Mastery
- @BrentLBowers – Instagram
- Facebook – Brent Bowers
- YouTube – Wholesaling Inc.
About Lauren Hardy
Lauren Hardy is a Virtual Investing expert and Real Estate influencer who owns multiple companies in the real estate industry including real estate investment, coaching, and software companies. She is also a Wholesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Wholesaling Inc Podcast.
Her experience in the last decade has been focused on real estate investing and creating products and services to serve the real estate investing community. If you are interested in investing in real estate virtually, house flipping, or virtual landlording, Lauren’s your girl.