Posted on: May 07, 2021

In today’s episode, Brent shares his story and how he discovered the goldmine that is raw, vacant land. We will learn how Brent went from working 16 to 18 hour days as an army officer to earning a whopping $60K per month in passive income! As a family man, he wanted more freedom and to be able to spend more time with his family. This fueled him to find a better way to earn a living and he knew real estate was the way. 

In this episode, Brent will share his turning point in the real estate business by finding the incredible niche that allows him to make passive income daily! He also reveals how he managed to leave a soul-sucking job to build his real estate business and how he generates monthly passive income from land notes. 

Learn about the niche that changed the course of Brent’s real estate business in this episode. Get tips and inspiration from Brent on how to make easy land deals to building up a massive monthly cash flow from wholesaling raw, vacant land. 

Key Takeaways

  • What led him to real estate and the fears and struggles he dealt with getting started
  • How he found his investing niche and why raw land is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make money in real estate today 
  • Breaking down his first deal with a vacant land seller
  • The system he uses to get consistent land deals each and every month
  • Building his passive income through easy deals with vacant land owners
  • Building his rental portfolio that started in 2007 
  • How he grew his real estate business and is now generating a whopping $60k+ per month in passive income through land 
  • How he spends his days now that he has a real estate business that is completely automated and produces truly passive income 

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Episode Transcription

Brent Bowers:
Today, I want to talk to you about myself, Brent Bowers, who I am and how I came across this incredible, incredible niche in real estate that allows me to make passive income on a daily basis. But you know what? It was not always this good. I didn’t always have all the time I wanted. I didn’t always have 59, $60,000 a month coming in in land payments. It had to start from a huge problem, and this huge problem I was having was called a job that was sucking my soul. I was in the military. I was in the military roughly eight and a half years.
I started as an E-1 Private and then I got to Sergeant E-5, and then the army saw something in me, because I was such a hard worker, they saw something in me they wanted to make me an officer. They selected me. They paid me two years to go to school to allow me to be an army officer. I went from having a lot of fun being enlisted to being an army officer and just getting just beat down every day by meetings and missions and planning for missions and executing missions. For those of you in the military, you know exactly what I mean. I’m preaching to the choir.
I did eight and a half years in the military, and I kind of calculated up, and this could be give or take a few days, but I was only home for about four years out of that eight and a half. That was two deployments to Afghanistan, multiple field exercises, Germany, Hohenfels, you name it. We were always in the field. My first duty station was with combat engineers. We found bombs on the side of the road. My second duty station was, thank God, it was Florida Institute of Technology to become an army officer.
And my third duty station was Fort Carson, Colorado where we have the baddest killers in the world. It is the infantry and that is who protects us from foreign threats. You name it. The thing about the infantry is they live in the field. Going back to 2010, my first deployment was exactly about three days shy of one year, and then I went on a second deployment pretty much a year later. My first wife left. She was tired of it, and she had every excuse. I don’t blame her. I was always gone. I’m sure some of you listeners can relate to this. You’re always gone.
You’re always at work. Me, I was always answering to Uncle Sam. In the military, Uncle Sam comes first, then your family. Well, that’s not my belief. I believe that God’s got to come first, your family, and then your work or your business. Just getting into it, I was getting my… Basically my soul was getting sucked out because I was working so many hours with the military. And while I was in college, I actually got to meet the woman of my dreams, Emily, and we’ve been married a little over five years now and we have three beautiful children.
Going back to 2013, 2014 after these deployments, I’m just getting to Fort Carson, I knew I had to come up with something different. My first son was on the way. I couldn’t relish the fact of always being gone. We were always in the field, and I wasn’t going to miss this little boy’s life, as well as all the time that me and my wife, Emily, could be spending together. I got it in my head that I was going to find a better way. I was out there and I was sending mailers for houses, trying to buy ugly houses. I was buying these lists, these houses that were behind on their taxes and just code violations.
And I was mailing these houses, and I was just working like crazy. I mean, I had to be at formation in the military at 6:00 AM. I would get up at 4:00 and I would start working on my real estate business up until about 5:30. I’d had the jump in the car and fly to the base. And then after I get off work at 6:00, 7:00 at night, I would then pick up on my real estate. I was building a real estate business, but I would pick up on my real estate duties is what I call it at that time to get that business off the ground roughly 7:00 or 8:00 at night after we would put my son to bed.
There’d be several nights where I’d just find myself still at midnight working to get this real estate business off the ground. And then I would have to do it all over again the next day at 4:00 AM. I went from working one job to now two jobs just to try and get this business off the ground. Well, I had little tiny successes. I’d wholesale a house and make a quick eight or $5,000, which was great money. It was like almost a month and a half’s paycheck in the military, but I knew there had to be a better way. This whole time on these lists, I kept coming across vacant land.
I didn’t understand it. It was just vacant land on this list. And one day, one day I decided that I was going to mail this vacant land. And I did. I sent them all a postcard. And within three days, my phone had completely exploded. I thought I had done something wrong. I start taking these phone calls. And lo and behold, these people wanted to talk to me. There were nothing like house sellers. These are land sellers. These guys did not have a major problem.
It was just land that they didn’t care about, or they had just never been to, or maybe they inherited this land 10, 20 years ago and they never stepped foot on it. They were so easy to deal with. Going back to the first one I dealt with, this was a man. He was a certified public accountant, a CPA, and he had treated some tax work for this piece of land back in the ’90s. Well, here I am. I sent him an offer, actual offer in the mail back into in 2016, and he’s been sitting on this land for quite some time. He just no longer cares about it. He just wanted to sell it for some quick cash.
I met him at a coffee shop. Got to know him a little bit. Build some great rapport. We had some things in common, and he agreed to sell the land to me for $275. Yes, you heard me right, $275 for a piece of land that overlooks national forest in Colorado. But there was one catch, this land is not buildable, and we don’t know when it was going to be buildable because they had to build another road over the railroad tracks to the firefighters could get in and out if there were ever a fire in that area. The city was stopping it from being buildable. Well, I didn’t care.
I thought $275 was a great price. I shook the man’s hand and asked if he’d give me a couple of days to go and look at it. I knew I wouldn’t be off until Saturday, so me, my wife, Emily, and our brand new newborn baby got in the truck and we rode and checked out this land. It was almost an hour north of our house. And this was the most beautiful, spectacular piece of property I’d ever seen in my life, and I could not figure out why this guy was selling it to me for $275. I just knew it had to be a scam, had to be a catch. You know, a grandma always says, If it’s too good…”
It says, “Sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” We go. We look it over. We sit on it. We taste the dirt. We play around. What if this is a real deal? We’re going back and forth, and it’s time to go home. We get back in the truck, me and Emily and Zechariah, and I see a real estate office not even a mile from this land. I told Emily, I was like, “You know what? If anybody knows about this land, it’s going to be this real estate office right here.” I call them. I’m not expecting someone to answer on a Saturday morning. Sure enough, the sweet lady answers the phone.
I forget the real estate company’s name. I actually even forget her name, but I know the property was on Lake Ave. I won’t forget the address. It actually did not have an address, but it was just on Lake Ave. I asked her, I said, “I got this piece of land. It’s a lot right on Lake Ave and here’s the city.” And she goes, “Yeah, yeah. I’m very familiar with that area. It won’t be billable. We don’t know for this foreseeable future.” I was like, “Well, awesome. What do you think I could sell this land for if I were to list it with you.
We need to price it right, because I don’t have a lot of money, and I’m buying this land here in the next couple of days. I’ve got a price for this thing for a 30 day blowout sale price. What do you recommend I list it for?” And I almost wrecked the truck when she said $10,000. I just had to think for a minute. I was like, “I don’t even know how to figure out that ROI, but that is a massive amount of money. I’m going to gain and earn and profit. I’m paying 275 for this piece of land.” So I said, “Okay, is it okay if I call you back? I got to talk over with my wife.”
I hang up and three minutes later, this real estate agent calls me back and says, “Hey, I had a thought, is it okay if I buy the land?” I was really just blown away. I was very well caught off guard. And I said, “Sure, what are you offering?” I’m a Polish salesman, so that’s the first thing I can think of. “What are you offering?” And she said, “I could pay $5,000.” I didn’t say anything. I just got this huge smile on my face. So I said, “Well…” After I choked a little bit, I said, “Well, when do you want to buy it?” And she said, “I could buy it next week.”
So here it is a Saturday, she’s offering to buy it next week for $5,000. So I said, “Sure, let’s do the deal. Can you send me a contract?” She got my email, sent me the contract for $5,000. I signed it and we plan for a closing on Wednesday. I called the seller and asked if we could meet on Tuesday so I can buy the land from him and get ownership of the land. I met seller on Tuesday, paid him $275 very nervously, and then went to the title company on Wednesday. It was a land title. I still remember the title agent’s name and picked up my check for $5,000.
I was hooked. There’s no way this process can be that easy. What did I do? I kept mailing. I kept mailing. I did another deal. I got another one under contract. This time it was two acres, once again, non-buildable. I didn’t understand the whole non-buildable thing, but I found out later on that I was mailing a certain list and it was like the problems of all the… It’s like the problem real estate list. And I talk about it more in other podcasts, but to keep this one short, I went and met this lady.
I was dropping Emily off at the airport and me and Zechariah were staying home for that weekend. Emily was going to Florida, so I dropped Emily off and me and Zechariah, we pull through Denver and met this lady at her house in Denver, Colorado, and paid her $500 for two acres of non-buildable land really close to NORAD. If you guys have ever heard of that, it’s like where they track Santa, but there’s a lot more to NORAD than that. But here’s the cool thing, this is beautiful land, but it turns out the only way you can get to it, we were trespassing on state property to get to this non-buildable land.
Well, I disclosed all that. I just wrote up a quick ad on Craigslist. I didn’t even think about using Facebook at that time, but I just wrote up a quick little Craigslist posts and explained it that it was non-buildable. You can’t get to the land without a helicopter or trespassing on state land, so you’re going to need an attorney to work all this out. And I sold it for $5,000. I 10x my money. I bought this land for $500. I sold this land within one week for $5,000. And this time it was on payments. The guy gave me $500 down.
I remember, he lived in Fountain and I would drive to his house once a month and pick up my $400 cash. But he paid me $400 a month until that land was paid off. And sometimes this guy would pay early. Roughly it took him, I think, maybe six months to pay the whole five grand, but I had just gotten hooked on passive income. I told him, I was like, “It can’t be this easy,” so we did it again and again and again. The next property that I bought was for roughly… We had about a thousand dollars into it and sold it this time for $35,000 on contract.
We got about $500 down, and we sold it for $534 a month. To this day, I am still receiving payments of $534 a month on this parcel of land. Here’s the cool thing about it, I have rentals. I thought I was smart buying rentals. Rich Dad, Poor Dad says buy the rentals. All these guys that are in real estate say buy rentals. It’s passive income. Well, there’s nothing like land passive income, but that’s okay. I listened to them. I bought my first rental in 2007 I bought this rental for $124,000. Well, everyone knows what was going on in 2007. The market was just turning.
This is at the top of the market, and I had just gotten my real estate license. This would be right before I joined the military, and this is part of the reason why I joined the military because I got my real estate license and tried to get into real estate in 2008 when everything crashed. I buy this house for $124,000 and I had just gotten my real estate license. I’m really smart. I get a commission as a buyer’s agent when I close on this house, so it was roughly like $4,000.
And the only way I was able to buy this house was I had to borrow a thousand dollars for the earnest money deposit from my great-grandmother. When I closed, I got that real estate commission and I was able to pay my great-grandmother back. And here we are, I’ve got this brand new house. Well, it’s not really brand new, but it’s brand new to me. It’s my own place. And then I move not five months later to move to the coast and start selling real estate. I buy this house for $124,000, live in it about four months, and it needed some fixing up. So I also took out a home equity line of credit and it was $12,000.
So now I’m in debt for like $126,000 or $136,000, 124 plus the $12,000 line of credit, and the payment is almost a thousand dollars a month for both this line of credit and this mortgage. Well, I rent this house out at the top of the market. I rent this house out at a thousand dollars a month. I may have been netting maybe $50 a month on this house. And I’ll tell you what, something always broke. There was never any cashflow. I finally sold this house in 2019. Still didn’t make a profit. Sold it for about $120,000. Never made a profit on it.
So here I had to take out debt for $124,000 plus a $12,000 line of credit and rent this property out, and I made roughly $50 a month net for almost, what, 12 years, 13 years. And then I cannot tell you how many evictions, how many times this place got trashed, because I learned hard lessons. You can’t rent things out at the top of the market because you’re getting people with bad credit. And these guys, they have to pay the most. I should have been renting it for lower and getting good tenants, but I didn’t know all this. But here, I’m on my fourth piece of land, and I have $1,000 into this piece of land.
This is where I’m going with all this. I’m going to wrap all this up. I have $1,000 invested in this piece of land, and I’ve now sold it for $35,000 on a contract that I’m getting monthly payments on of $534 a month. I was profitable on month three on that land. And oh, by the way, I don’t have to evict anybody. There’s no toilets to fix. There’s no roaches, rats, or anything. I don’t have to worry about this land. So what did I do? I kept mailing, and we kept buying land at massive discounts. We kept selling this land at retail value and getting payments and every one of these payments add up.
I fast forward almost two and a half years later of stumbling through this, hiring coaches, paying for education, and trying to build this business. We pulled in $59,000 last month and payments for land. I have a good buddy. He says, “Sawdust shavings make large piles.” Every time we sell a piece of land for $199 a month or $534 a month, or even $49 a month, they all add up. That’s my story and it’s changed my life. I went from working 16, 18 hour days and my wife wouldn’t see me for days at a time, because I’d be in the field. Zechariah, wouldn’t see me, my children.
I now have three beautiful children. And every once in a while, my son, Zechariah, I think he still remembers those days when I was working so much. He’ll ask daddy, “What time are you getting home tonight?” And I get the great pleasure of saying, “Don’t worry, son. I’m going to pick you up from school today, or when you get home today after mommy picks you up and you guys get home today, we’re going camping.” It’s just an amazing feeling of knowing that I now control my own time, my own schedule, and make the decisions I want to do.
Granted, I’m a hard worker and I love to work, but it’s so nice having that and the opportunity to do what I want to do when I want to do it. We just got off of a three week trip. We pulled the camper all over the United States, and we’d only planned on going one week and we just extended it by two weeks. It was just that easy. We were heading back from Wisconsin where my in-laws live, and we just decided we’re going to just head south and go to Florida and visit my parents and my friends and all that. Those little things.
And here’s the thing about children, they don’t care how many houses you own free and clear, how many dollars you have in your bank account. They don’t care what car you drive. They just care about the quality and the quantity time you spend with them. Obviously the quality, but children also want the quantity. That’s why I do this. That’s why I’m on a mission to shout from the rooftops about how great passive land investing is and how you too can build the system. If I was able to build it as an army officer working a minimum of 13 hour days, it’s absolutely possible for anyone to do so.
I’m Brent Bowers. I’ve started this community, The Land Shark community, and I hope you get some inspiration from the story. I’m not a polished speaker, but I’m here to serve. We’re going to make people successful buying and selling land and building passive income. Thank you so much for listening. Have a great day.

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