Posted on: February 11, 2022
WI 883 | Land Deal

 

Making a big income in so little time for sure guarantees the financial freedom to be able to spend your time the way you want to. Here’s a guest that executed just about that, and is still continuing to grind on value-add techniques for his extensive investments.

Trevor Probandt, the founder of Go West Lands LLC, narrates his agendas as a raw land real estate broker and investor in this episode. He talks about how he worked his way from growing up on a small-town Texas farm to closing a $1,790,000 land deal in just over three months.

Continue to the podcast episode to learn more about Trevor’s strategies for land value appreciation.

The $1,790,000 Land Deal That One Wholesaler Closed In 97 Days! With Trevor Probandt

Episode Transcription

I am sharing my experience and modeling my message of what I have been able to build with the land business and what’s allowed me so much financial, time, and geography freedom. I got an amazing guest for this episode. He’s doing some amazing, crazy, and wild real estate deals and land. This guy’s going to blow your mind. Let’s get right into it. How are you doing, Trevor?

I’m good. How have you been?

I’m good. Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are at in the country. Are you a family man or are independent millionaire out here doing this on your own? What does life look like for Trevor Probandt?

I have got a wife of twelve years and I have got two boys that are 10 and 11. We play sports all day, every day. We also hunt, fish and everything else. My oldest set in the blind by himself for the very first time and shot his first deer all by himself.

That’s a major accomplishment. Was this the first time he has ever been by himself and got to set by himself?

He was all by himself. I dropped him off. He went into the blind. I was also going into the blind, and he shot one. I gave him my extra phone because we don’t allow them to have cell phones yet, but he sent me a text message before he even got into my blind. He was like, “I got one down.”

My dad and I had been hunting for years, and I think I was about twelve or so as well. They were building a dock at the camp we were at and my dad said, “Go by yourself. If you shoot something, don’t leave the stand.” I did not even make it to the stand and I got my first buck, so there’s something special. There’s something powerful about going for the first time by yourself. However, for the rest of the time in his hunting life, he’s going to think that he’s going to get a deer before he even gets to the blind, so he’s messed up. He’s ruined because it never happens again.

Here’s the deal, you cannot give self-reliance. That has to be earned, and that’s only through experiences. That’s something. Win or lose, let them go.

You cannot give self-reliance. There’s so much I want to unpack. I was scribbling notes the whole time you were talking there. I was going to ask how you got started, but you told me. Since 1929, your family has been investing in land. Buy by the ranch and sell it by the pasture. That’s phenomenal. I have got a couple of quotes here from you. You said, “Dirt rich and cash poor.”

Most of the time, people think, “These guys are these huge landowners. They must be sitting on a pile of cash. They drive these big, old diesel F-350 Dually,” but that’s it. They are paying payments for that truck. They own the land free and clear with nothing else probably, or it has been passed down. Sometimes, they even have debt on it. We always hear about Rich Dad Poor Dad. You were blessed to have a rich dad and a rich grandfather. They might not have been wealthy with money, but it sounds to me like they have instilled into you the rich dad quality.

They are tight SOBs, and that comes from the ranch inside. That’s how I found out about doing the owner financing and things like this. We had done a deal in 2016 or 2017 and made a bunch of money, but we were like, “You have to pay all the taxes. You got to find another one and do all this other stuff.” We were small-minded. My dad was like, “They have been in owner finance out in way West Texas, and dirt was new. Why don’t you figure that out?” That’s when I got on Google and started to learn about sending direct mail and all this other stuff. I have done a bunch of all of it, but again, at this time, these bigger deals are taking more of my time.

We are still blessed to have you in the Land Sharks course because you get on the support calls and talk about these ginormous deals. Sometimes, we have got guys whom you have coined as ask-a-holics. They are like, “Should I buy this piece of land for $5,000? It’s worth $15,000.” It’s like, “Are you kidding me?” You are buying $3 million to $5 million parcels. I know more people want to hear about that. I got so many questions. You are turning hunters into revenue, and you are shifting with the times. COVID has also changed my land business, but I had a question that I wrote down. You subdivided and made it affordable for $500,000 or less for a piece of land. Are banks lending on land that’s $500,000? How are you pulling off the finance?

There’s something powerful about going for the first time by yourself.

They love it. There’s a misconception that banks don’t lend on dirt and houses that are under $100,000. That’s why the only reason that we are able to buy stuff at $0.30, $0.40 or $0.50 on the $1 is because there’s no liquidity in the market.

That’s game-changing. You have got to get it to the point where they want to lend on it.

Go to any Capital Farm Credit. They are all over the place. They are the best lenders. Go find one in your neck of the woods, talk to them about what they want to lend, and then go fill that market.

There’s a Capital Farm Credit right down the road. I drive by them every single day. I look at that and I’m like, “I bet you they lend on land.”

I’m able to buy stuff at 15% down.

On a $100,000 property, you come up with about a $15,000 down payment.

It can also be that on a $3.4 million property, you come up with $500,000.

Let’s talk about that. I know you have got several big deals going on.

We got $6.2 million under contract.

You are buying a ranch for $6.2 million and then you are going to subdivide it.

I have got three of them. I guess maybe $6.2 million. One of them is $2.4 million, one is $2.9 million, and the other one is $1.3 million.

Is one not enough for you? Do you have to go for three?

2022 is the year of throwing up on your shoes.

Break that down. What does throwing up on your shoes mean?

It means making yourself so uncomfortable and forcing yourself to grow so hard and fast that you want to throw up on your shoes every single day.

You are pushing yourself every day and getting that uncomfortable where most people don’t even do a deal in their lifetime that will make them throw up on their shoes. It sounds to me like you are doing three right now in a couple of months’ time.

My family has been doing this for a long time. They did not help me with the first one. They did not help me with any of it. It was me and knowing the market. If you have a plan to force appreciation on land, which is our game, here’s another fun fact. You can pay 120% of the market value if you want to.

That’s key. There are two things I want to ask you about. One is to define force appreciation in your mind. You correct me if I’m wrong, but I would say since COVID, land turned into a seller’s market for many of my locations.

We will talk about it on the deal. You still have to understand your buyer and you got to understand your product too. Just because you want a price does not mean you are going to get a price. There are still lots of that.

You want one hand and something else in the other.

WI 883 | Land Deal

Land Deal: Throwing up on your shoes means making yourself so uncomfortable and forcing yourself to grow so hard and so fast that you literally want to throw up on your shoes every single day.

 

When it comes to forcing appreciation, we do simple subdivides. We are not building a subdivision. Three tenants of what we do are access, power, it has to have power or we bring power to it, and it has to have water, whether that’s rural water or groundwater. There are certain places in the wonderful Republic of Texas where there’s no groundwater. If you don’t have access to a rural water system that allows you to have a certain number of taps put into it, there’s no way. It’s not a viable exit strategy.

You can also look at a deal that is 30 acres down here. It’s that deal that I showed you with the mixed-use commercial and residential. You go through the county or city, come in, and get an annex, then you get an engineering survey. You get all entitled. The guy that’s going to do it that I’m probably going to buy it from, he’s going to make $1 million. He went to three city council meetings and spent $15,000 on some engineering. It’s not a bad way to make a living.

Did he subdivide it or are you going to subdivide it?

That’s what we are negotiating, but again, he improved it on paper.

When you say subdivide, what does that mean? For a lot of our readers, this might be the first time they are ever heard about land. What does subdivide mean? You are buying a ranch and turning it into a pasture.

That’s exactly right. We will have 4,000 acres under contract. What we do is we take 4,000 acres and turn them into 250 to 400 acre lots. We do that because we want to mix prices as far as our buyers, but we don’t want all 200-acre parcels. Also, I’m a huge proponent of allowance topography. I always let the land talk to me. I know that’s a woo-woo thing, but I let the topography tell me what’s going to happen there. I want to put this road right here, but there’s a big hill right there. I’m probably not going to put the road over the top of that thing.

You are going with the land flow.

That’s what we do on that. I think as far as your readers getting a hold of some of this stuff, especially in the sunshine states or places where these road jobs are coming, especially central Texas, it does not have to be 5,000 acres. They can be 50 acres that you turn into 10-acre tracks. You took it from $15,000 an acre to $30,000 an acre. Let’s say you spend $100,000 running power. There are one million different ways that you can add value to it, but if they are not building any more dirt, what we do is build more APNs.

APN, Assessor’s Parcel Number. That’s part of the subdivide. I’m super interested. I want to get to a favorite deal that you have done, and I want to get to what you have got going on because I understand that there’s some ability for partnership with you as well. I want to talk about that and how to get in touch with you. I got to keep asking some questions because I’m super interested in this.

I’m going to go approach a landowner. He’s got 5,000 acres and I’m going to turn it into 150-acre parcels. These 5,000 acres is $5 million and I’m going to turn them into $500,000 parcels. Can you walk through from the beginning to the end? Let’s not talk about how he found it, but we got someone that wants to sell these 5,000 acres. How would you do that? Would that seller stay on board and you would do a takedown or would you buy them out and get them the heck out of there?

There are one million different ways, and we will discuss the deal here in a little bit and I will explain exactly what I’m talking about. On this big deal, step one, you need to go to your county that you are working in and you need to get ahold of the rules and regs when it comes to subdivides. They will have it on the board or you can call the county and they will tell you how to do subdivides. This is stuff out of city limits is out of the extra-jurisdictional territory too. It’s out of town. This is not going into town. This is out in the county.

What you are going to do is you are going to call the county also and you are going to ask them who the county commissioner is for that area. You are going to talk to them. You are going to be like, “I’m looking at doing a simple subdivide out here. What are the steps I need to do in order to get that done?” In Colorado, if you keep it above 35 acres and it has access, you can do whatever you want to do with it. If you are in Texas, sometimes you are going to have to go in front of the county commissioners and you are going to have to follow the rules and regs. You are going to have to get a plan, a new survey, and a new plat done.

You got to go in front of county commissioners sometimes in multiple meetings, but usually, as long as you follow all their rules and you talk to your own individual county commissioner for that area and you play nice, you smile, shake hands, and kiss babies all the way through, there’s no problem. In other places, all you are going to need to do is you are going to need to come in and get a new survey done and they will put in the new plat for you. A plat map or a new survey, and then you get that recorded with the county. Those are the super-easy ones.

You cannot give self-reliance; that has to be earned.

In Texas, in lots of counties, I know you can do that as long as you have access to it. Anytime you build an easement road, which I have done a bunch of those, that’s usually when you had to go in front of the county commissioners and talk to them. If all parcels have access to a public road, you have to make a new survey or a new plat and record it with the county.

It sounds like access is very important. Ingress or egress is basically legal access to and from the property. For those of you who are like, “What is access?” You said an easement road. Is that for power lines and water?

All of the above. I will use it for access, and then depending on what county you are in, you are going to have to do a certain wit, and you are also going to use that for utility.

Are you getting this all on paper or are you physically throwing up the roads and the ditches?

In a lot of the roads, at least out in the county, it’s not like you are building roads a hardtop. You are not doing anything like that. You are coming in and you are building your all-weather roads. We call it caliche out here and things like that. You are building your all-weather roads through it. For this one that we did, we spent $130,000 running power lines. We spent $80,000 building roads. Depending on where you are at, you may have to build water wells as well.

I assume you have this under contract with this landowner while talking to the county commissioners and the rule and regs subdivide department before you pull the trigger of purchasing it.

In a couple of counties that we already know, we will go ahead and buy it.

You are not only figuring out what the lenders want to do. You talk to the county commissioners and see what they want to do.

Also, the county judge and the county attorney. You go in there, kiss babies, shake hands and make money. I suggest not buying it. I suggest putting it under contract as an option, and that’s a very common deal in commercial buildings in any kind of development deal.

You get it, and then now, it’s time to purchase it. All the Is are dotted and Ts are crossed. Where do you get the $5 million to get the landowner out of there, so he’s no longer dirt rich but now cash-rich?

Hopefully, you got him to partner with you.

He’s going to stay in on the deal and make even more.

Then, he’s going to do an individual release on each parcel as I sell. I will bring the capital and everything else.

Why would a landowner want to do this? This guy works cows. They are ranching seven days a week. Is he too busy working to go and kiss the babies and shake their hands?

He’s dealing with it. He is not getting money anyway.

He does not have the money to figure out how to get access.

Most people don’t even want to mess with it

Is it because it’s so outside of their experience? Is that what it is?

Yeah. Most people would rather die than have to stand in front of a county commissioner meeting. A lot of agents and a lot of brokers don’t want to do it either.

WI 883 | Land Deal

Land Deal: Instead of going bigger, try to really focus on going better as far as higher dollar properties are concerned.

 

They go with the easy route. They just get the little crumbs and you are going out there and creating a market. It sounds to me like you are being resourceful in solving challenges.

If they don’t want to do that, then you come in and buy it with your bank. Put it under contract, whatever, and then you buy with your bank. The big key with this is I always do annualized payments. It means you get one, accrue your interest and principal, and only make one yearly payment.

I assume that’s after you sell some land.

That’s the key. You got to pay attention.

Ultimately, you are aligning yourself not with the flow of the property but also with the flow of the county commissioners and the land seller that he can be cash-rich rather than dirt poor, and also, you are aligning yourself with the farmer’s credit bank because ultimately, they’re going to do multiple other loans and get multiple originations.

They want long-term loans. The banks love us and hate us because usually, these deals turn so fast that they are like, “I need a loan.”

Is the same bank lending you on the ranch’s initial purchase and then on the final purchases of the pastures?

They can, for sure, but a lot of the buyers have their own bankers, but I do try to push them any way I can. That’s what I love about these people. These people are either business owners, professionals, and they have got money. On these higher dollar prices or these higher parcels, usually, the financing is not a problem for them.

Let’s turn it a little bit. What was one of your most favorite, most interesting deals that you have ever done? Let’s talk about when you are doing now where there’s some opportunity.

The one that we talked about that we got everything closed out. We sold all 2,400 acres. We sold all of it from when it went on the market in 97 days.

Did you split it up into 100-acre or 150-acre lots?

No. I think the biggest one was 280 and the smallest one was 115. Everything worked out. We made $1,790,000 in 97 days.

It’s no wonder why all you do is play sports all day long because you do one of those a year and you are good.

We are going to get big rich. We are going to throw up on our shoes for the next couple of decades, and then we will hang out.

Let’s break it down a little bit more. You made $1.7 million in 97 days.

It was a little bit longer than that because we had to go through the whole process of getting everything approved through the county. We closed on that before because we knew the county. We closed at the end of April 2021, and then we finally got everything closed out on the sales side. It takes a while because they are using banks, but everything was under contract in 97 days from when we started marketing it.

Just because you want a price doesn’t mean you’re going to get a damn price.

How long was it from the time of your first conversation with the seller like, “Do you want to sell the land? I want to buy our land.”

Six months total, and that’s negotiating after a while and everything else.

I got to get my calculator out. I like to see the numbers. $1.7 million divided by six months is about $283,000 a month. That sounds like a pretty good living. Let’s say you got to split it with grandpa and dad, so you are making about $94,000 a month doing land. You are in a niche within a niche. A land in real estate is a niche, but you are in a whole other niche of it. I love going out and buying parcels of land on the outskirts for $0.30 on the dollar and then seller financing. A lot of people say, “That’s a really special niche within a niche.” It gives me passive income, but you are going out and doing these more niche products.

There are even some guys that I know are getting cool with this. They go ahead and do the mailers as we do and then they will buy 100 acres and buy $0.50 or $0.60 on $1. They use a bank to buy it, do individual surveys of each of those lots, and use owner financing to wrap around them. The bank will allow them to wrap with owner financing around that deal. 1) You buy it low. 2) You force appreciation to the subdivide. 3) You force even more appreciation if you can sell it at a higher price or a higher interest rate with the owner finance.

They are surveying it, so they are putting even more appreciation in. If all hits the fan, they bought it at $0.50 on the $1, they surveyed it and subdivided it. That land might have been worth $100,000. Now, the land’s worth about $250,000 to $300,000 as it sits.

When you sell your enterprise value for whatever, you can get 110% of market value because you are allowing owner finance.

Let’s explain that wrap. All you are doing is wrapping your mortgage around the bank, so the banks got all the risks. At the end of the day, it’s not your money doing this, and you are turning around and creating 10-acre lots. Now, they are going to have ten mortgages or notes where people have to go to work to pay for that land.

It’s a way that you can make $10,000 or $15,000 a month on notes that you put 15% to 20% down on.

Let’s say it’s 20% down on $100,000. That’s $20,000 to make $10,000 a month. I want to go to where they are like, “I don’t have $20,000.” You have your mother-in-law or father-in-law. I found out my mother-in-law had cash sitting there, doing nothing with it. It was not even in a savings account, earning .001%. It was earning negative. Cash is worth nothing now. People are putting it into to land. It’s called land banking. We get a lot of flippers on the show. They are guys that will buy houses and renovate them. Contractors steal from them. When we are talking about land, what gets stolen off your land besides the survey stakes? Is there anything else that could be stolen?

Some of these have houses on them, but they are so far away from the main gate. They are out in the middle of nowhere. They have nothing to worry about. They sleep well.

For time purposes, let’s talk about a deal you have got going on or some opportunities you were talking to me about, and then how they get in touch with you.

We always talk about off-market deals and all this other stuff. I think the big opportunity is to bring win-win situations to on-market deals that have been on the market for a while. Those are stuff that’s been still. As we know, dirt does not usually move as easily as single-family homes or things like this. I came to the property owners, and the thing is, there are four of them. Anytime you get a whole lot of cooks in the kitchen and their family, there are lots of fights a lot of times.

It had been on the market for nearly three years. It had not had any offers. I had looked at this thing probably 150 times on Lands of Texas because that’s what I do to chill out. I look at lands at LandLords.com. I was like, “That’s way too high.” On a nearly 2,000-acre ranch, they ask what the sales price would be on a smaller parcel. You are like, “The heck was it?” I put the ranch next door under contract at a much lower price.

I came to them and said, “If you would like to partner or owner carry all this thing, I can get you your number.” They said no, but I talked to the broker and she was like, “I don’t know if they are going to go for that, but shoot me a cash offer.” I’m like, “You are not going to like the cash offer.” I have my underwriting and it’s pretty detailed, but I was like, “Okay.” This is where I know I can’t lose. Lo and behold, I take it to them, we negotiate a little bit more, and we are under contract for $900,000 less than what it had been marketed for nearly three years, and we will make $1.2 million on that.

It’s not a bad day at the office.

I had no idea. If they had owner carried, they could have made a lot more money, but nobody fights like a family.

WI 883 | Land Deal

Land Deal: It’s funny how you realize there are a lot of holes in the world, and sometimes, you just got to get your hands dirty and do it.

 

Sometimes, the family does not want to have to go any further. They don’t want to have to ask the brother. Sometimes, the family does not want the sibling to make any money whatsoever, so sometimes, they will even lower the price. If you divide that $900,000 by four family members, that’s not such a big number. $900,000 divided by four, they are only dropping their price that they are going to get $225,000 each.

It was less than that because there was no way that anybody would pay that price they were asking.

What does it look like on that?

It closed on December 15th, 2021.

If people wanted to get in on this kind of tuff with Trevor Probandt, how does that work?

Give me a shout, send a text, or one way or other. I will give you my cell phone number. It’s (940) 736-8797. I’m always willing to help out. I have got banks that are willing to do improvement deals. I have got a little bit of everything, but what I’m looking for are people who want to grow, and a lot of them are more on the passive end where they don’t squat and put their money to work. That’s where we are at now. Instead of going bigger, I’m going to try to focus on going better as far as higher dollar properties. You will also find out that when it’s a larger price per acre, whenever you force that appreciation, it really shoots your overall numbers. The percentages might say the same, but if I buy a bunch of properties for $2,000 an acre and it’s worth $4,000 an acre. 100 acres is worth $10,000 an acre. I turn them into tens and they are worth $20,000 an acre. It’s the same percentage, but you are making a heck of a lot more money as far as your rate of return.

Thinking back, I have taken a lot of my land income and put it into residential apartments. We have a nineteen-unit apartment complex. We got an office building, and some of the pain that I have gone through to renovate these buildings talking about numbers like this, the bigger numbers, it sounds so much easier taking my land income and doing bigger land deals with it.

You have made it sound unbelievably easy. I appreciate you dumbing it down for us. You also have a podcast that a lot of the Land Sharks community keep saying, “Have you heard of Trevor?” I’m like, “Yeah. He’s with us. He has done the calls.” How do people find your podcast as well and some of the deals you are making out of it?

It has zero production. I do no editing. I do nothing, but it’s called Land Investing, The Dirt Road to Wealth with Trevor Probandt. I bought a mic a couple of years ago, or whenever everything went sideways in the world and we all had to stay inside. I did it as a fun deal, but did I have to join Wholesaling Inc? I knew this stuff, but the reason that I joined is that I have seen you in other groups, and this is a little bit different than what we have been talking about, but I’m interested in the whole delegation thing, and I’m not even close to that yet.

There’s always someone else out there that would do that job and take pride in it.

Just because you are part of another group or part of this, you can’t learn something from anybody. The meetings or the calls we have once a week and the Facebook group and all this other stuff are awesome. It’s funny how you realize there are a lot of a-holes in the world, and sometimes, you got to get your hands dirty and be like, “I don’t know what I’m doing yet, but I’m going to do it.”

Do it and fail forward. We are falling every single time we take a step. I’m going to set up a calendar reminder on my phone. I’m going to call you and see what you delegated. People make a big deal out of delegation. Who do I hire first? I don’t have a budget to hire people. You can always bring people on board that want to learn for free. It’s called an internship and/or they are probably better than that for you.

I always say, “Do what you do best and hire out the rest or contract out the rest.” If there’s something that you don’t like doing, whether it be scrubbing your list, sending the mailers, writing the letters or calling the surveyors, there’s always someone else out there that would do that job and take pride in it. There are plenty of Military spouses who move every three years looking for something they can do from home.

The whole world is pretty much working from home, and you can hire amazing talent overseas. I wish I could have done this when I was in the Military. I would have outsourced all my Military stuff, but I had to have clearances and all of that, but there’s nothing proprietary in my land business. There’s no secret information, so I farm $5 an hour stuff out. Scrubbing the list is $5 an hour. Sending the mailers is $5 an hour.

I have spoken to your acquisition folks. She’s awesome.

She’s amazing at what she does. I can’t do this stuff without her.

I hope she hears this. She is a stud. I’m like, “I know there’s more out there.” The whole control thing, you got to let it go.

Mark my words, and tell me if I’m wrong. Someone prove to me that I’m wrong. You will find that there are people out there that do it better than you, AKA, Jen. It’s the same thing for you. Trevor’s a go-giver. We have reached out to him. We had 1,500 acres we were looking at in Colorado like, “How the heck do we do this?” You worked with us on it. We still have not done anything with the gentlemen.

We are going to find one. We are going to do one in Colorado pretty quickly. It will be fun.

Thanks so much for reading. I hope Trevor brought value. I know he brought value to my life. I took two pages of notes. If you are thinking about getting started in real estate and want to see if this would work for you, go ahead to WholesalingInc.com/Land and schedule a call with our team. We will see what your goals are. If we feel like we are a great fit, we would love to bring you into the Rhino Tribe. Once again, Trevor, how do people find you?

Give me a shout on my cell phone. It’s (940) 736-8797.

I love it. God Bless. Talk to you later.   

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About Brent Bowers

WI 623 | Wholesaling LandBrent 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
land investments.

 

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