People go through certain things in life in order to comprehend what it is they truly value. Consequently, we make decisions based on the circumstances. Getting into the real estate business has its ups and downs, but if you have the tenacity then you’ll be successful.
In this episode, Brent Bowers, an Army veteran turned real estate investor, talks about his journey on how he got started as a land investor in real estate. Also, the strategies on how to manage the learning curves towards financial freedom.
Listen to find out Brent’s 5 reasons as to why land is a gem in the real estate industry.
5 Reasons Why Land Is The Best Kept Secret In Real Estate Investing
Before we jump into it, I want to share with you some exciting news about a new Wholesaling Inc partner. Let’s face it, there are only so many hours in the day. The most valuable asset you have is time. Ask yourself, “Wouldn’t it be great to offload all the menial tasks on your plate, free up more of your precious time, and grow your wholesaling business faster than ever before?”
Chances are, a large portion of your daily activities are things you can outsource to a virtual assistant at a price that is way more affordable than you think. I’m talking about stuff like cold calling, lead scraping, data entry, appointment setting, many things. Almost any tasks done on the computer or phone can be delegated. Ultimately, it’s giving you more of the time freedom you want, time to work on your business instead of in your business, and more stress-free time to spend with your family and friends.
The one catch here is that you need to make sure you hire the right VA for this thing to work, someone who is highly-skilled, productive, and doesn’t add more work to your plate. How many horror stories have you heard from friends and colleagues who brought on the wrong people turning their businesses into a living nightmare? It doesn’t have to be that way.
That’s why we are excited to announce our partnership with one of the best virtual assistants staffing companies in the real estate industry and that is REVA. REVA is by far one of the best VA staffing services we have ever worked with. They specialize in training virtual assistants for real estate businesses and do everything they can to set you and your new VA up for immediate success.
If you are on the lookout for a fantastic VA who will make your life easier, head over to WholesalingInc.com/reva. Schedule a free discovery call to discuss your business needs and see how REVA can help you. The team at REVA will help you find the perfect VA with the right set of skills to help grow your business.
For a limited time, for scheduling your discovery call, you will receive a free gift. I’m not going to tell you what it is, you will have to go to the page to find out. Trust me, it will be worth your time. Head over to WholesalingInc.com/REVA and schedule your free, no-obligation discovery call and receive a free gift for scheduling the call. That’s a pretty good deal. Good luck and let’s get into the episode.
The Wholesaling Journey
Rhino Nation, I’m going to tell you more about my story, where I came from, how I started, and then how I ultimately found the Holy Grail of investing. Early in 2007, I purchased my first rental property. I had wished for my real estate license since 2004 when I graduated high school. I always wanted to be a real estate rock star. I always enjoyed being an entrepreneur, starting businesses, sales, all these things. I had started a lawn and landscape company in the sixth grade. By the time I graduated high school, when I was in twelfth grade, I needed to hire someone to get it going.
Here I am, it’s 2007. I graduated high school in 2004. It took me three years to finally accomplish the dream that I went after and that was getting my real estate license to ultimately become a real estate investor. I thought that I needed a real estate license to be a good real estate investor. I was wrong about that. A real estate license was a tool to help me get there but I didn’t need it and I was focusing on the wrong thing.
We’re big on giving the instruction so you can take the action and get the result.
You learn as you go through, start pulling the trigger, taking action, and then that gives you the result. The result is either buying real estate, selling real estate, making money, and then that’s where the education eventually comes from. That’s what we do at Wholesaling Inc, it’s student-first. It’s instructions to get you to take action, and that action is going to give you some type of result and that’s ultimately where the education comes from. All of us coaches out here at Wholesaling Inc are big in giving the instruction so you can take the action and get the result.
A Humbling Experience
Going back to my 2007 experience, I became that realtor. Soon after that, I joined a real estate brokerage. One of my sister’s agents listed a house and I made an offer on it as soon as it came across my desk. They accepted this offer. I didn’t know exactly all the answers. I didn’t know how I was going to finance this or afford it, or how much I was going to rent it out for. I just started taking action.
I’ve got approved for a loan. I had to come up with a $1,000 earnest money deposit. I went to my great-grandma and asked her for a $1,000 loan to put this earnest money deposit down. I remember her telling me, “Brent, if you don’t pay me back, it’s coming out of your inheritance.” I said, “Don’t worry, great-grandma, I’m going to pay you back. I’m getting paid a real estate commission for buying this house.” It’s cool. I get to buy real estate and get paid to do it. I did pay her back but I never saw that inheritance that she was talking about. She was a pretty sharp lady.
In 2007, I rented this property out. My wife and I moved to the coast to where I’m going to be a real estate rock star and start buying all these houses. I’m going to help other people buy houses and that’s how I’m going to fund my real estate investing transactions. Everyone knows what happened in 2008. It’s like someone pulled the carpet out from underneath me. Here I am, a business owner, a real estate agent, I have a rental property, I’m married and getting behind on my bills. I could barely pay the electricity, my rent, and all these things.
Ultimately, I had to get humbled. I ate humble pie. I called my landlord and said, “We can no longer afford this. I’m going to have to move out. I need to break a lease.” We broke the lease and ultimately moved in with my in-laws. My wife’s grandpa is no longer with us. God bless his soul. He had a great influence on my life. He introduced me to Jim Rohn, not personally but through the cassette tapes that he had purchased. I took these cassette tapes and transferred them over to CD. I would listen to these things every time I was driving in my truck. I was taking all this in and learning all this wisdom from Jim Rohn.
Another thing that my grandpa told me was, “Go back to school. Start over. One of the best places you can do it is in the military. You could do twenty years in the military, retire, and have a great pension.” He had such an impact on my life that I took action. I went straight to an Air Force recruiter and they were not willing to take me on. Luckily, that Air Force recruiter was kind enough to say, “Go next door to the Army. They will pretty much take anybody.”
I’m a coachable person. I take action. I went straight next door to the Army and talked to the recruiter. Before I knew it, in a couple of months, I was headed to basic training as a 24-year-old adult and starting out as an E-1, as low as I could possibly start out in the military. I’m in basic training and got through basic training, which sucked. I then went to AIT in Fort Gordon, Georgia for six months.
I was away from my wife this entire time. I hadn’t seen her for almost nine months. I’ve got my duty station location, which is Germany. We are off to Germany. I’m there for about two months, get settled in, and get told on deploying to FOB Shank Afghanistan for exactly one year. I get to that one-year deployment, and then I’m home for exactly one year.
Half the time I’m home we are training for the next deployment. I have gone again. During this whole time, I was putting in packets to become an Army officer. I wanted to keep excelling. By this time, I’m an E-5. I’ve got from E-1 to E-5. I’m excelling super quickly. This whole time, I’m taking a break from real estate because I’m out of the country. I’m training. I’m deployed. We are always gone, away, doing what somebody else is making me do, telling me what to do and where to be. I knew things needed to change but I wasn’t sure how to do it.
On my second deployment, I’m in Afghanistan this time. I’m there for about two months. My wife decided that she no longer wanted to be with me. She was tired of me being gone, always away, deployed, training. That hit hard. About two months later, they pulled me out of Afghanistan and told me that I was accepted to be selected into the Green to Gold program where they choose about 150 active-duty soldiers a year to send to college to be an officer. The Army sends me to Florida to go to college in Melbourne, Florida. Who’s back in the real estate game? I am.
In 2013, I bought a house located directly next to the college and started doing something called house hacking. I didn’t even know what it was called. I didn’t know that’s what they call it. I started renting out the rooms and I was making pretty good money doing it. I built up a lot of equity quickly in this house in a short time. I did what’s called a VA streamline loan and pulled $55,000 out of this house hack that was paying me $100 a month to live there because I had some amazing roommates. I’m also doing the college thing and I’m getting my E-5 salary, plus the basic allowance for housing. I had a ton of money coming in.
Touching Base With Wholesaling, Inc.
I purchased the house right down the road as another rental. Now I bought my third rental and things were going great but I started having to pay for all these college courses as well because I chose to go to a private school. I started racking up all these debts. I found a guy named Tom Krol with Wholesaling Inc and I’ve got him to personally train me on building my wholesaling business. A lot of you probably found him through the Wholesaling Inc show.
I started building a wholesaling business and that was going okay but I was limited in time. I couldn’t go out and meet these buyers and sellers. Ultimately, I was still searching for answers. It’s now time for me to travel again. Here’s what’s crazy, I met a new, beautiful woman, the girl of my dreams. Emily, my wife, we started dating. She started coming with me to these locations. We’ve got sent to Colorado Springs, Colorado, Fort Carson. We’ve got married, got pregnant, got our first baby on the way, and that’s when it hit me. I must change what I’ve got going on.
I found that huge, massive why. I didn’t know what my why was up until then. Looking back, I was afraid of history repeating itself and happening to me again, another wife leaving me because I’m always gone, away, deployed, training. Now, I had a baby on the way. Things started affecting me and making me think differently. What did I do? I came up with a plan. I need to earn $6,000 a month to cover all my expenses and I will be financially free.
We’ve got out to Fort Carson, Colorado, we are in Colorado Springs, and I started mailing the vacant land list. I was like, “I’m going all out. I’m going to mail everything including houses and mobile homes.” I focused on mailing vacant land. I was able to do a couple of deals shortly within the first mailer. I sent 687 postcards to the county tax delinquent list. This land was inefficient. It wasn’t buildable. It wasn’t accessible. It was too small to build on all these things. I didn’t care. I mailed 687 postcards. I used the exact tribe postcard.
I’m going to give you a link for that postcard and that link is TheLandSharks.com/postcard. That’s the exact postcard that I was using when I mailed out that first batch. About 20-something phone calls came in out of those 687 mails. Out of those 20 postcards, I did 2 deals within a couple of weeks’ timeframe. That first deal, I bought it for $289. A piece of land for $289. I had no clue what I was doing. I went and looked at the land. I called a real estate office close by and I asked the realtor, “What is the 30-day blowout price of this land? What’s the get-it-done-now price?”
Wholesaling is so simple and easy. You don’t have to overcomplicate it.
I needed to sell this quickly because I had some expenses. I moved to Colorado. We bought a house that we were fixing up and I was also still purchasing rental properties. I ended up getting into a triplex that needed so much work. I almost felt like I was in an uphill battle. I was buying these rentals, which they say that’s the way to accumulate long-term wealth but I wasn’t doing it correctly because I was taking out all this debt. Every month, I felt like I was going further and further in debt.
The Path To Financial Freedom
Going back to the land, that realtor that I called to ask, “What’s the 30-day blowout price? What’s the get-it-done-now price?” Do you know what she said to me? She said, “Brent, what if I bought the land from you?” She made an offer of $5,000. Right after, she told me I could probably get $10,000 for it on the MLS. I had it under contract for $285. That was a massive profitable deal. I was going to profit over $4,500 in less than 24 hours. I said, “Let’s do it.” She ended up buying it. Within about four days, I made a $5,000 check, and then I did a second one the next week.
The next property was $500. I was paying $500 for this piece of land. I sold it on Craigslist pretty much that night that I’ve got it under contract. I sold it on Craigslist for $500 down and $400 a month. That’s the deal that changed my life forever. That was the Holy Grail of investing and it’s because I created a note. Here’s what’s powerful about this, that $500 down that I’ve got from my buyer, got my money completely out of the deal.
That gave me financial freedom on the next payment. That first payment that I’ve got at $400 started my financial freedom. I saw that if I can continuously do this, scale it, rinse and repeat this, I could accomplish that $6,000 a month quickly, and I did. In about nine months’ timeframe, I’m now making almost $9,000 a month in land payments by buying a piece of land at a discount, turning around, and seller financing this land.
5 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Land
You might be thinking, “Where did you find the money?” sometimes I would flip the land. Sometimes I would assign the contract to get some extra money. Sometimes I would partner with a friend that had a self-directed 401(k) and he would lend me the money. Whatever it took, I would do the deal. What’s powerful about this is all these rentals I had purchased already. I was up to five rentals at this time and one of them being a triplex. I was not netting $400 a month on any of them. You probably could have taken them all together and I still wasn’t netting that much.
Here’s what was powerful. I’ve got my money back out of the deal quickly on all these land deals. That gave me the five things that I love about land. 1) Financial freedom because I’ve got $9,000 a month coming in, whether I go to work or not. 2) Is time freedom. Time freedom is powerful if I’m making $9,000 a month every single month coming in like clockwork.
I was doing this by using something called EasyNoteTracking.com. That tracked all my payments that would come directly into my bank account every single month. I wasn’t going to the mailbox, collecting checks, driving down to the bank, and depositing. I wasn’t doing any of that because it made it easy for me to be able to have a passive income. That gave me time freedom.
Number three is geography freedom. Eventually, I’ve got out of the military. May 2018 was my last month in the military. I now had geography freedom. I can move anywhere I want to in the world. I stayed out in Colorado Springs for a little while longer, and then we ultimately moved to Florida where our families are at.
Number four, this stuff is simple and easy. You don’t have to overcomplicate this. It doesn’t have to be hard. At the end of the day, we are buying land at a discount, turning around, and selling it for a profit. That’s all we are doing. Number five is this business has virtually no competition. There’s no competition in land. Let me tell you why there’s no competition in land.
We mostly drive by land and we never look twice at it because there are no houses on it. There’s no house to wholesale, a house to flip, a mobile home park to buy, a multifamily property to buy and rent out, storage units, none of that. There’s nothing on this land. How we make money with it is we get it at a discount, turn it around and sell it for a profit.
I hope you found some type of inspiration in my story of why I needed financial freedom, time freedom, and geography freedom. My huge why was I didn’t want history repeating itself. I wanted to be home more often. After 8.5 years of military service, I was only sleeping in my bed probably less than four years of that time. I was gone over half that time. I was shackled to my W-2 job and I had no choices. I was running on the treadmill of someone else’s plan for my life.
I hope you found value in this episode. If you did, please share it with a friend, a family member that’s going through something like what I went through where they didn’t have freedom. It might be a brother, a sister or a best friend. The algorithm loves it when we get ratings and reviews for this show. Please give us a five-star rating and a quick review if you haven’t done so already. If you are following this on iTunes, please do that. That will get our message out to more people and help more people.
If you are interested in seeing if land investing is a fit for you, head on over to WholesalingInc.com/land. Maybe you want to learn more about land, check out my YouTube channel, Brent Bowers. I talk about this stuff five days a week on my YouTube channel. If you go to YouTube, look up Brent Bowers. God bless. See you soon Rhino nation.
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- Brent Bowers – YouTube
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About Brent Bowers
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.