Let’s face it. Most people are not cut out for wholesaling. Successful real estate investing is about hard work, persistence, and having the right knowledge at hand.
…and keeping it simple!
Today on the Wholesaling Inc. podcast, Brent Bowers and Josh Sloan sit down to discuss how Josh went from a traditional real estate broker to generating $150k in 6 months with land flipping. Learn how he did it and hear about his tips and tricks to success within the wholesaling space.
Josh also shares everything from having no idea how to start in a new market, how he had seen a huge opportunity in land, and his unique real estate story that will turn your passion for wholesaling into a profitable business!
From Traditional Real Estate Broker to Generating $150k in 6 Months with Land
I’ve got another great guest on the Land Sharks. This guy is crushing. He has been a realtor for twenty years in traditional real estate. He has come over to the non-traditional land side, the side that no one else is looking at. I’ve had many conversations with this great guest. His name is Josh Sloan. How are you?
I’m doing wonderful. Thanks for having me.
Where are you in the world?
I am sitting in Meridian, Idaho, which is outside of Boise.
When I picture Idaho, I picture a beautiful country, and there’s not much going on. What are the surroundings like? Are you in a city with a super dense population? Are you overlooking the beautiful landscape?
I was in a beautiful landscape with the mountains in the backdrop. I’m to the East of Downtown Boise, and things are booming over here. I’m surrounded by new developments popping up everywhere. If you can imagine looking one way and seeing flat farmland everywhere, and then looking in the other direction and seeing houses everywhere.
You are right in the middle of things, farmlands and houses.
It’s booming. Homes are popping up all over the place.
I appreciate you sharing that. Family man, kids, wife, what’s your situation look like? Are you a retired guy? I want to know about you. Tell me your story.
I’m married for a couple of years now. We’ve got two kids. I’ve got a stepson and a daughter who’s about to turn three.
I got a three-year-old daughter too. She is fun. She got to go out all by herself and mommy. They had ice cream, lunch, and she got to ride with her grandpa with the top down. She got to sit up front and hair blowing through the wind. It was all about her. She came home fired up about that. You got to give them their only time as well.
Their energy is so awesome and they’re so sweet. We have a daughter too and they’re happy about life. Everything is amazing.
If you can do renovations in a market that’s hot and margins are thin, that means land is really just so wide open.
We can always take lessons from children. Let’s get into your story. You told me that you found us on the Wholesaling Inc Podcast. For our audience out there, I was telling Josh, “You don’t have to prepare for this. This is all about you and your success. We’re going to deep dive some deals just like you heard me on the podcast.” You only heard one episode. Is that true?
That is 100% true. We had come up here to Idaho from Southern California where I was a broker. I got my broker’s license here as well. After I got it, I was sitting around for a couple of months and I was like, “I don’t want to start over again in a new market.” I was playing around. I’m like, “Maybe I’ll try to find some podcasts.” I started flipping through stuff. Somehow somewhere, I can’t even tell you how I came across your podcast. It’s something about land. I remember the title said something about the land and residual income. I’m like, “That’s why I got into real estate in the first place. Let’s look and listen to what this guy has to say. What’s more American than land?”
I listened to the podcast and I loved what you had to say, the type of person that you were, where you were coming from, you had gotten your heart and all this stuff. I was like, “This guy seems like a good guy to follow and listen to what he has to say.” I have signed up pretty quick.
Thanks for sharing that with me here. A lot of people that come in have heard me on other podcasts and listened to all the do or die episodes. We’re thinking about doing another do or die episode, which is going to be cool. A lot of people have that same story. I have at least 10 or 15 episodes. You listened once, which is why I feel like you’re doing so well on land. You pulled the trigger and took action. You’re not analysis paralysis.
I told you this too before, Josh. I was a little worried about you. You are a traditional real estate broker. That’s no small feat. You worked hard to get that continuing education and all these guidelines and things you have to abide by, and here we are in wide-open land. There are no rules. Some people can’t get over that. They’re like, “What contract do I use?” “Just use a napkin. It doesn’t matter.” You went out there and pulled the trigger. That’s why I’m super excited to see the success you’re having in this. I appreciate you jumping on with me. We’re going to have a lot of fun here. What’s coming to your mind? I see your wheels turning.
I appreciate you. It has been an amazing ride. It’s amazing how things have transformed over a couple of months. You go into things hoping for the best, but my mind has been blown. The potential for the future is wide open. It’s easy to think, “There are so many people doing it. I’m not going to get a deal. There are so many others and there’s so much competition to go against, this and that.” No matter what you do, there’s going to be competition.
I noticed that Marcus Lemonis started a new show called The Renovator, where he’s flipping houses. I’m like, “Look at this guy. The real estate market is crazy now, and to jump in to buy houses, the margins are thin.” This guy started a TV show talking about renovations in a market that is hot and margins are thin. If he can do that on the residential side, that means that land is so wide open and so much opportunity.
Most people don’t realize how to make money on land. They drive by it every single day and never look twice at it because there’s no house, mobile home parks or storage units on it. The key to making money fast is we give it at a discount, turn around and sell it for a profit. It’s that simple. We can do this with bicycles. You find a bicycle on the side of the road, get two new tires, clean it up a little bit, and sell it for a profit.
That’s it. Keep it simple as possible. One of the things I’ve learned in real estate over the years is there is so much stuff flying in your inbox and text messages every day. Your phone number and emails get bombarded with sales and all the new stuff that’s coming out. You can get lost quickly and never even close a sale. One thing I learned is you got to find out what that thing is, make your decision and go. Keep it simple. We’re sending mail.
I love how well you put that. That’s brilliant. I don’t want anybody to gloss over that. Find out your niche and what your product is going to be. You dive into it and go with it. Stay out of the weeds, focus on one thing, and make it work. That’s what you did. You’ve mentioned you’re twenty years in real estate. You came from California and were about to start over again. How long have you been on land?
I signed up with you at the end of February 2021. It took about a couple of weeks to watched the videos and stuff like that. I was like everybody else, “Can you hurry them up?” As you mentioned, “Follow the steps, do this, make the decisions, and go to the next one.”
Let’s get to what our audience wants to know. How the heck did Josh do this? We haven’t even talked about how many deals you’ve done and how much money you’ve made. Let’s get to the point. Let’s deep dive into a couple of deals and talk about what you’ve done. Let’s pick your favorite deal. Let’s also not forget to talk about the uphill battle. You had a couple of things come at you as well. You took a couple of punches and got through it because it wasn’t all perfect sunny days. There were a few rainy days too. I remember talking to you about it. Let’s talk about the good stuff and deep dive into the deal. Let’s start with your favorite deal. Do you want to talk about that one?
You probably know what it is.
I know a little bit but I want to hear the nuts and bolts. How the heck did you pull it off? When you called me, I was like, “You’re having a better month than I am.”
It was two transactions that I had. I’ve only been on this for six months and I’ve only closed six deals. I compare myself to you and I’m like, “I’m so far to go.”
The thief of happiness is comparison. I’ve got some students that are doing way better at land than I am. Sometimes, I find myself in the same shoes and I get myself right back out of it. The thief of happiness is comparison.
It’s always so easy to compare yourself with everybody else and go, “I’m not good enough. I’m not doing hard enough.” Thanks for bringing that up and reminding me of that.
Let’s talk about those deals.
The one that I closed was not so long ago. I had sent out a group of letters out to the county that I was interested in. I received an email back from a gal out of another state. She said, “I received your letter, and I would like to talk to you more about selling my land.” I gave her a call on the phone and we had a nice conversation. In the phone call, I realized that the offer letter that I had sent her was way more than I could possibly buy the land for and wholesale it.
I had a conversation about it and told her I was going to be reselling it. She asked me and I said, “I couldn’t pay that price.” We ended up negotiating and I sent her a letter for $151,000. We ended up negotiating $89,900 or $89,400 and paid our closing costs. It was a 90-day closing on that one that I got.
Why is it such a long closing time?
I didn’t have a buyer for the property at all. I came into this with no buyers list. I had to get out there and find someone. I want to make sure I gave myself enough time to go out there and find a buyer based on the time it’s taking to sell. That’s why I gave myself 90 days. I don’t go less than 60 on any deal I have done.
I love that you’re throwing that out there because people think, “I got to close in seven days.” There’s not as much emotion. How many other offers did that lady get? Was she getting her door beat down by other buyers?
In real estate, things can get really hectic and you may never even close a sale. So just make your own decisions and keep it simple.
It didn’t sound like she had received any offers.
You’re playing on the field by yourself.
Possibly. I have certainly gotten those calls from people that said, “I’ve gotten 30 letters or whatever.” We got fifteen then.
You got it for $89,000 and a 90-day contract.
Now it’s time to go to work. I was nervous because I was like, “How am I going to come up with $90,000?”
That will get you out of bed in the morning.
Yeah, because that was the only one that I have on the board. That’s fire.
What’s the land worth?
I wasn’t doing it in a non-disclosure state. There was a lot of guessing going on. I was guessing around $125,000. My offer was $151,000 and I was freaking out a little bit, but with $89,000, I’m good with that. If she’s good with that, I’m good with that. That’s a good profit from the work that takes to find a buyer and close an escrow on it. I went straight to work and ended up on Land.com, Land Watch, Lands of America, Craigslist and Facebook marketplace.
I started putting it out there for sale for $149,000. My phone was blowing up and I was like, “This is crazy.” I didn’t have any offers but I was getting a lot of calls. Getting into real estate, I know that this is a hot property. This is such a hot area. This was such high demand. I’m going to get more money for this property.
When you get that many calls and texts coming in, that tells you right there, “I might have priced this a little too low.”
I stripped it off from all the sites, marketplaces and Craigslist. I changed my price. I put some pictures up and put it up for $180,000. I went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of signs. I bought some of those orange stakes. I went up there, took my maps, walked it off, put stakes on the corners, and put “For Sale” signs in the yard. As I was getting ready to drive away, I noticed two people in a truck in the drive. I was like, “I’m going to come and say hi.”
I walk over and talk to them. It was a mother and son. She was excited. I told her, “If you’re interested, let me know.” She ended up writing me an offer the next day. I said, “I’m not going to respond to any offers until Tuesday morning because I’m getting a lot of calls, and I want to get the best price on this thing.” She’s like, “I’m not happy about it but I understand.”
That takes some courage to hold tight for a couple of days. That’s probably one of the hardest things we sometimes do like, “Don’t make a decision yet.” I’ve gotten on planes and accepted an offer before it takes off. I landed and had $8,000 higher offers. I’m like, “No.”
It can go both ways because that buyer could get cold feet and go, “I’m not going to get in this bidding game,” or you accept their offer and then they still say, “I think I paid too much.” It’s a little anxiety and rollercoaster over those days.
I can tell you this now, it’s going to get even easier. The rollercoaster will stop affecting you. When it stops affecting you is when you got a team and let them ride that rollercoaster. You stand at the bottom and wait for the phone call, “Here’s what we did.”
I waited the weekend and ended up getting three offers on the property. She wasn’t the highest offer. She was the cash offer but I had two other offers to finance. One of them was for $195,000 and the other one was for $185,000. She was at $170,000 or $175,000.
I’m seeing over six figures if anybody’s following the math. You got it under a contract that is around $89,000, and you’re getting offers at $195,000.
I was pretty excited. I was like, “What do I do? Should I take the cash? Should I take the finance?”
Everyone is wondering, what did you do, Josh?
We thought long and hard about it. We thought about why we got into this business. We thought that we fell in love with the land ourselves. I took my wife up there and we’re like, “This is amazing.” This is 6 acres of beautiful land and mountains. We could come up with all these plans.
There was not all the building going on. Was it on the outskirts in the middle of nowhere?
Once you got off the highway, you went up into the mountains on a gravel road for 35 to 40 minutes.
The thief of happiness is comparison.
I’m glad you’re telling me this because people ask me all the time like, “That land is in the middle of nowhere. How are people going to find it? Why would they want that? It’s too far from everything.” How far was it from a store?
It’s probably an hour or so. It’s not going to be a store like Walmart. It’s going to be a convenience store on the side of the road. It isn’t going to have much.
You answered a lot of limiting beliefs for people right there.
Cows were crossing the road. We had to stop and wait for the cows to cross. They were roaming free. There weren’t many people around. It was very out in the middle of nowhere.
Which decision did you make?
We chose to close the transaction on the cash deal. I countered her back. I thought about this long and hard. I could counter her back and say that I’ve got offers at $195,000, and that’s what I want to get from her cash. I didn’t want to lose my buyer. I already had talked to her and she told me verbally that she wasn’t that comfortable getting up that high already because she initially contacted me at $150,000. She was following me all along, even though I increased the price to $180,000. She even asked me, “Did you increase the price?” I said, “I did.” She’s like, “I don’t like that.”
I went back to her and said, “I’m at $180,000 on my list price. I want to go with your cash offer. I want to make this fair for everybody. What if we agree at $177,500?” She said, “Yes.” That’s what we did. We went into escrow with her at a $177,500 cash deal and closed it in under 30 days. I mentioned at the beginning that I didn’t have the $90,000 laying around to pull in 30 days and pay for that land, so I ended up getting a transactional funding loan from my father-in-law and adding some interest for it.
He made money and your seller got rid of the land. You had it under contract for $89,500 or so, and you sold it for $177,500. I’m looking at an $88,000 profit on that deal, not including what you paid your father-in-law and the signs you bought at Home Depot. That’s not bad on your sixth deal. That’s amazing.
The buyer was a real estate agent and I paid her a commission too. She represented herself. I paid her 2.5% or 3% on that $177,500. After escrow and whatnot, I ended up with $86,250. It’s not a bad day.
People will sometimes work a couple of years to make that. You just did it in six months on one transaction. That’s phenomenal.
If I can do it, anybody can do it because it was a letter in the mail. It’s a numbers game.
Why did your seller want to get rid of this piece of land? It sounds like a great piece of property. Why would she want to sell?
She said that her previous husband who had died was a real estate agent. He had helped divide that whole subdivision up there. He kept that parcel. When he passed, she kept it but they never went there. This was in Idaho and she was in California. She was in her 80s or 90s. She’s like, “We don’t have any plans to go there or visit it. I would rather have the cash.” It’s a win-win all around. The seller won because she made money for whatever she needed it for in her life. My father-in-law who I borrowed money from made 10% on the deal.
That makes things a little bit more interesting. I bet he comes back to you again and says, “Let’s do it again.”
He already did. He said, “Can I leave the money with you?”
Did you realize your father-in-law was walking around with $90,000 cash?
I didn’t borrow all of it. I just borrowed a portion of it from him. I borrowed $30,000 from him. The rest I took from different places and paid for it myself. I gave him 10% because he gave me $33,000, and I gave him $3,300. Those are the exact numbers.
He made 10% per annum on 30 days.
He made that in a week and a half.
I bet you he’s addicted to this now. The reason why I ask is it’s the same situation with my mother-in-law. I didn’t realize they had that much cash. Lending comes out of nowhere, and they see what you’re doing with it. It’s like a speeding train. Everyone wants to jump on. It’s cool to do.
Many people have mentioned to me, “I want to get down on that. How do I do that? Can I buy the property?” I’m like, “No, but you can give me the cash.”
I find a lot of people want it like, “I want to be a 50/50 partner.” You’re like, “I’m just looking for funds. I’ll pay you 10%.” “Can I leave the money with you?” just like your father-in-law. He wants to see that money keep turning. You should have kept it because you already gave him the 10% for the whole year. It’s not a bad gig.
This is a question I and others want to know. I buy houses as well. I buy houses for tax purposes. We buy rentals, but I have to send a lot of mail. I’m sending to the tunes of almost 6,000 or 7,000 letters to get one house deal in my market. We call them LOL, land offer letters. How many LOLs did you send in those six months to get that deal that led you a ton of money?
That’s oversaturated for the houses. That’s crazy. I have sent a total of 4,207 letters.
You take the cash deals over the passive deals so that you can use the cash to hire people. Those people can then bring in the passive deals.
That’s an amazing return on investment. It’s 4,000 letters and you’ve done six land deals out of that.
There were six transactions, and we’re sitting at about $152,000 for the last couple of months. That’s net profit, not subtracting the marketing expenses, which I have wrapped down here at approximately $1,800. Plus, I bought another set of stamps. That adds another $5,000.
I did some quick numbers. I’m not a huge numbers guy. I like to keep it super simple. I took the $152,000 net that you made, and you sent out 4,200 letters. For every letter you send, you make $36. If most people looked at that and tracked their numbers like you are, and you’re keeping it simple. If everyone knew that, “Every time I send a letter, I’m going to make $36.” They wouldn’t be so scared to mail. Every 700 letters you send, you get a deal.
I own this spreadsheet that I’m looking at because of you. You gave us this format on how to track. You said, “Watch this so that you know what you’re doing.” I’m like, “Follow the leader.” It’s amazing that you can break it down like that and say, “Every time you put a stamp on a letter and send it out in the mail, you make $37.”
That $0.50 stamp made you $36. I’ll trade $0.50 all day long for $36. It took a little work to get there, but how long do you think until you can delegate it to someone else? Have you already done it?
I’m in the process now of training a VA for the inside office stuff. I have a sales guy coming in the coming months. I’ve got some work to do before then. That’s why we took the cash on that deal. I was trying to look forward and go, “Why did we get into this?” We got into it for passive income. “Why are you passing up the passive deal?” It’s because I want the cash to be able to hire the people to bring in a lot of passive deals.
It’s a fine combination. I wish I could take 100% of my land deals and have passive income with them. Sometimes, I flip them for cash. Sometimes we get it under contract and sell the contract. We’re basically wholesaling that contract because I run out of money too. I’ve got to get the funds to pay the team, buy the land, and send the letters. I wish I could do 100% passive but unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
Now, 7 out of 10 were holding the financing. The rest will sell for cash and make some money. Sometimes, my team will push against me. They’re like, “We should seller finance this one.” I’m like, “Look at the bank account.” A lot of people ask me all the time, “How do you figure out if you’re going to seller finance it or sell it quick for cash?” It’s quick. I look at the bank account. If there’s money there, we can buy it. If there’s no money there, I know the answer right away.
I got excited when you said that right there because I realized that I get excited when I look at my bank account and it’s empty. I noticed that there’s a ton of stuff that I want to buy that can make me a crapload of money. That is a pretty darn exciting feeling. You’re like, “I’m out of money.” That’s exciting. I love that.
The money deployed is an asset. Usually, we can seller finance deals quickly, and that’s going to pay me now for the next 5, 10, and sometimes 30 years. I was approached by a major note buyer that wanted to buy all the notes. I can cash in now, go out there and buy them bigger land. It’s very tempting to take the money now.
It’s because you see all the huge possibilities out there. That’s motivating and exciting. It gets you out of bed.
It all started with me. Your six deals are huge. My first 3 to 5 deals were $200,000 to make $5,000. You’re doing cool stuff quickly. Hats off to you for pulling the trigger and taking action. If there’s anything you can share with Josh Sloan twenty years ago that you know now, what would you share with him just starting in real estate?
Keep it simple. We get bombarded with so much stuff. I’m a nerd when it comes to technology. I have built my IDX platforms for real estate. I’ve built many websites, this, that and the other. I’ve done my pay-per-click. I know Facebook marketing. I’ve dove into that stuff deep and into the rabbit hole. You can go and spend your entire day trying to learn all that stuff. It’s not going to make you a dime or a penny, but if you put a piece of paper in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and send it out, you can easily make $82,000.
It’s just talking. We are just matchmakers. We’re getting a piece of land at a discount and selling it to someone for a profit. It doesn’t always have to be a $70,000 profit. It could be $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000.
Some of the small deals are exciting too because you hear their stories and they’re telling you, “I need this money for some medication. I need this money to pay my bills because I’m at the age now where I’m only getting a Social Security check.” You’re like, “I’m able to help this person out.” They didn’t know where to turn before. They were sitting in an empty lot. That’s exciting that you get to help people.
I wouldn’t doubt that is the only time anybody’s ever reached out to them to buy that land. She might have died with that, or the children might have inherited it.
Some of these guys don’t even have kids. We deal with this all the time. It’s waiting to go to the auction.
Thank you so much for sharing all this. You’re in Idaho. How can people reach out to you? There are people here in this show all the time who are like, “I got a deal. Josh has a buyers list.” How can people get in touch with you?
You can reach me at my email, Josh@USALandGuy.com, or feel free to give me a call at (208) 600-1215. I’m happy to help anybody.
Thanks so much for being so open in sharing and deep diving into this thought. It’s going to help a lot of people. If you’re thinking about getting started in real estate, go to the website. That’s WholesalingInc.com/land. Schedule a call. You’ll talk to one of our team members, and we’ll see what your real estate goals are. I would love to coach you. We would love to see your goals and see you do what Josh is doing, $152,000 in six months. I’m excited to see where you are six months from now.
You’re getting an awesome coach with Brent. Invest in yourselves. You won’t be disappointed.
Thanks, Josh. That means a lot. I appreciate it. Until next time. Keep crushing it. Keep moving forward. Keep pulling the trigger, and build something. Have a great day.
- Josh Sloan
- Land Watch
- Lands of America
- 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 in