If you want to get ahead, you need to get things done and get them done quickly. The faster and more efficient you can attack your day, the sooner you can see the positive results rolling in. Action takers are money makers. To generate revenue and get that big fat check, you need to make things happen. But don’t worry if you’re still confused about where to start, this podcast is here to guide you down that road.
How a Successful Real Estate Agent was Able to Finally Achieve Freedom through Land
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I have a really cool episode for us. This episode is with a realtor that has done over 100 transactions on the MLS. He is doing the traditional real estate. He is working in serving his clients at the absolute very best. He is available for taking phone calls no matter what time of the day because it is a very stressful time buying, selling a home or moving across the country. You name it.
This guy came into our program, The Land Sharks course, via the Wholesaling Inc show, the exact show that you are tuning in to now. He had been sitting on the fence for a little while, looking for more freedom to be able to choose what he wants to do with his time each day and not to be continuously on that rollercoaster of transactions as we do as real estate professionals. He came into The Land Sharks course. I am so excited to share with you this episode. Let’s jump right in. We have Luke Marler. How are you?
I’m doing great, Brent. I’m happy to be here. Thanks for having me on.
I’m excited to have you. You came out of nowhere. I know you had started with The Land Sharks with Wholesaling Inc at the beginning of 2022. They randomly texted me out of the blue talking about all the success you have but before we get into that, I want to know who is Luke Marler. Where are you from, where are you now, and then eventually, we will see where you are going as well.
I will try to keep it quick. I was in Las Vegas for seven years doing commercial property management work. I was not too stoked about what I was doing for a living. I’m from Florida, so my wife and I knew that eventually, we were coming back to Florida. I had some goals, dreams, and things that I wanted to do when we’ve got back here. Not knowing exactly what I would do, I’ve got my real estate license while I was living in Vegas and figured out that might be a first step to wiggle my way into this thing that I’m interested in.
I’ve got that, and we moved back to Florida. I started going to as many real estate investing meetups as I could, trying to learn what was going on at Jacksonville. I’m lucky that Jacksonville has a really good investing network here. There are a lot of smart people doing big things and a lot of people that are helpful. I plugged myself into that and have been taking steps towards where I’m at now ever since.
We are not too far from each other as well, and Jacksonville is a huge county. I remember the first call we had together. I was pretty excited because the world is your oyster at Jacksonville. Everyone is flooding Jacksonville. It is a high-demand area. A lot of people say, “My area is too expensive. There are too many people and too much competition.” You are in the storm of competition in your area. Has it always been land? It sounds like you are also a landlord millionaire next door. What else? You also have a real estate license. You are a man of many talents.
When we first moved back, and I had my license, I started trying to sell houses. I was doing the whole real estate agent thing. I did a lot of that the last couple of years. I have over 100 transactions on the MLS just as an agent. I plugged in with some of the investors down here, and I was able to sell some houses that have been rehabbed. I’ve got consistent work through some of the investors down here. I did a ton of volume on the MLS.
I realized that being an agent is not for everyone. It is one of those things where you are always going to be a slave to that job. Real estate agents are great but you need to be very customer service-oriented. Your time is not yours. You are helping people out with the biggest decision of their life, so you’ve got to be available. I was looking for something with a little bit more freedom. That is how I tuned in to the show and found you guys. I’m trying to wiggle my way out of the daily grind of being a real estate agent.
You are right. You are dealing with the biggest decision of people’s lives. It is a very stressful time for them. They are moving, might be across the country or selling their house. You name it. You rang my bell when you said the word freedom. Providing freedom is one of the things I talk about on this show. My freedom was through finding land, which is the Holy Grail of passive income for me. We have a little over 116 notes now every single month, giving me the freedom to go on little dates with my wife.
We have gone on a little date before this episode, and then we are doing a date day again. We do not always get to do that. We try and make time for that, and also, I get to go on dates with my children. Land has given me not just financial freedom but my time and geography freedom as well. Why land? I heard freedom. Can we expand on that a little bit more? You are right. Being a real estate agent, you are always serving, and sometimes, there is not enough left to give for our families when we have given all day long every single day.
Taking action and putting out effort is huge in life if you want to get things done.
It is a high-stress job, too. Time is of the essence, as they say, in that job. Everything needs to be done when it needs to be done. It was taking a lot out of me. We do 50 or 60 houses a year. There is not much freedom involved in that, so I was seeking out something where I could have my time back. I had two land deals before I had even signed up for your course. They fell into my lap. They went so smooth and easy that I was like, “Maybe there is something here or I need to pursue this a little bit more.” That is when I specifically found your show, and that was when I decided to jump in.
How do land deals fall into someone’s lap? I want to know more about that now.
I was doing some wholesaling as well. From all the meetups I started going to, I was learning a lot about wholesaling as well. I started wholesaling some properties, and one lady reached out to me. She said she had a piece of land that was in a county in St. John’s, which is about 45 minutes from Jacksonville. I didn’t know too much about it.
I made some calls to some of my investor friends, and they said it seemed like a good number that she wanted for it. All I did was go over there. We stood in front of the land, looked at it, and I signed the contract. Two months later, it was closed. I didn’t have any communication with her other than I call her every two weeks and give her an update. The whole thing was so smooth and easy. I probably had an hour of time into it to get the assignment fee. There was not much to it.
Didn’t you send a foundation inspection company or a roof inspector? Didn’t you have to check any of that stuff?
Knowing what I know now, I maybe should have at least checked flood zones and other stuff but I didn’t do any of that back then.
There is a lot of room for error in land. There are only so many things that can go wrong. You get your little checklist, and that is it. You said something a couple of times that has stood out to me, and those were meetups and Real Estate Investor Associations or REIAs. Maybe at the beginning, you weren’t messing with land too much, but now, that you are the land guy in these meetups and Real Estate Investor Associations, do you ever notice that they will go out of their way to talk to you because you are not following the herd? You are doing something a little bit differently. You are more interesting. You are the most interesting guy in the room or is that just me that that happens to?
I love talking about real estate. I try to get all my family, friends or anybody that I interact with at the meetups. Now that I have done a few deals on the investing side, it is nice to be able to try to give back some of that knowledge. That is the cool thing about real estate. I have never met a group of individuals that all they care about is freedom and giving back once they made it. It is the best. It has been nice to get a few deals under my belt and try to help out others when I can but I’m still at the beginning of my journey for sure. It is not like I have done 100 deals. As far as investments go, I’m still very much at the beginning of this thing, in my opinion.
Keep leveraging those meetups and Real Estate Investor Associations because, at the end of the day, you are probably the only guy in there doing land, and deals are going to come to you. You do not even have the market for them. A lot of times, there is always a buyer in that room too because these house flippers, home renovators or spec home builders, a lot of times, the house flippers turn into spec home builders and they buy the land that you get under contract for a crazy discount.
Let’s talk about some of these land deals that you shared with me. Pick your favorite one. I know that you had mentioned multiple to me, and I do not want to steal your thunder but what have you accomplished in land so far? You are a very humble guy, and I appreciate that about you. I’m going to pull that humbleness out of you because I want to ring this victory bell.
I closed my first deal. I have a few in escrow but let’s talk about the one that I closed. I counted from the day I signed up for your course to the day that I’ve got my first check. It was 71 days. It is pretty simple. I copied and pasted the course. I know they are expecting them coming here with some groundbreaking story but I just did exactly what the course said to do. I sent out what you call, LOL, the Land Offer Letters.
I had a good idea of what land I was going for outside of the region I was looking in, which is about 45 minutes outside of Jacksonville. I sent out the letters, and within four weeks, I started getting them back signed. I’m like, “This is incredible. It does work.” The first one comes back and I’m shocked. I’m looking at this thing, and it is signed for the exact number that I presented.
I tried to call the lady immediately. She doesn’t answer and doesn’t call me back. The next day, I called her again and got her on the phone. She had owned the land for 25 years. Her husband had passed away a couple of years ago. The house had been sitting around, and she had been paying the taxes on it and not doing anything with it.
She said, “You sent me the number that I’m happy with, so if you want to close on it, you can have it for that number.” That was pretty much the gist of the conversation. Through my networking meetups, I already had a buyer in that county for land who wanted to build spec houses. I knew exactly what number he would purchase it from me, so after I’ve got off the phone with her, I gave him a call and he said, “I’m good with it as long as it is buildable and it is in a flood zone X,” which in Florida, we deal with a lot of flood zone stuff, so one thing to keep in mind is to check the flood zones. The house was in flood zone X. It was a 1-acre lot. I’ve got it for $19,800 and assigned it for $35,000.
That is incredible. How much profit was that?
It was a little over $15,000.
I appreciate you saying that you copied and pasted the course because I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that now when people do exactly what it says. They do not create anything else. They do not get creative. I’m not a creative person. Show me a system, and I will implement it. That is it. In the Army, there are two types of officers, the planners, and the executors. I’m not a planner.
I go with the flow type of thing. My wife is the planner. She packs us for all the trips, and luckily, she packs me for a lot of my trips but if you give me a plan, I can execute it because I do not ask questions. I’m like, “I know this works.” Every time someone says that they copied and pasted or did exactly what the course says, usually, they are making revenue within the first few months. You are the exception. A lot of times, it is 75 to 90 days but you did that in 71 days.
I was pretty happy with that turnaround time.
That is phenomenal. Also, you are already a successful guy. You have already done over 100-plus transactions on the MLS but what did that give you as far as confidence or proof of concept? You were like, “This works. It is super simple,” but what did that do? How did that feel?
There is nothing better. When you get a deal like that, it is a gift from the universe, God or however you want to say it. Taking action and putting out effort is huge in life if you want to get things done. Initially, when I tuned in to the show, I was like, “I’m tired of this thing. I’m going to go ahead and make this happen. We will see how it goes.”
Your course is so well-explained and well done. Anybody could go in there and at these land deals. Everything is in there, and the systems are great like the systems to send out the land offer letters and the systems to pull the lists. There is all that stuff that I didn’t know, and it is so helpful. You do what the videos say, and you should have success. It is not rocket science. I’m not super smart or anything like that. It is just the system is there, and you do it.
Action takers are money makers.
God bless you for saying that. That means so much. I appreciate that very much but you are right. Thank God that he blesses us for taking action. You helped this lady. Her husband passed away. She is going through a tough time. Also, you helped that spec home builder because what are builders good at?
That is right, and you provided him a piece of land on a silver platter. I love how you did it because you reverse engineer what that builder and that buyer were looking for. We are not going out and creating a product that we think somebody wants or needs. We are going out and finding what the need is. We are finding that product to give that person to serve. You are not just serving that seller. You are serving yourself. You are going to make a good assignment fee at $15,000-plus. Plus, you are serving that person in your meetup group that is going to probably be beating down your door for the next one.
I have got a couple of other ones under contract. I should have another one closing. It has been great and an unbelievable first 90 days.
Do you have a couple of seconds to talk about the next one that is closing?
Absolutely. This next one is a 5-acre lot in the same county. You said you want to keep it semi-local when you first start or somewhere where you can drive to if need be, so I found a county that was about 45 minutes to 1 hour outside of where I’m at in Jacksonville. That is where I targeted. I’ve got this one under contract for $49,000 and some change. The guy sent it back in first-class mail already signed. Everything was filled out perfectly. All I had to do was call him and explain how the process was going to work, which is not much to it. It is about cash transactions and opening the title. It is all pretty simple.
As soon as I’ve got off the phone with him, I called my builder to make sure the builder that I had met that was working out in this county saw if he was interested in this one, which he was. I assigned this one to him for $60,000, so this is about a $10,000 assignment. It is going to close soon. I probably have less than an hour into both of these deals combined as far as my actual conversations and talking with the builder.
I’m not kidding you that they are probably 2 hours total on these first 2 transactions. It couldn’t have gone any smoother. The third one that I have got, there were some oil rights issues and flood zone issues. My builder didn’t want that, so I have gone on a different route on that one but still, it is things that you work through. It is simple stuff.
How many LOLs are you sending each month to get this pipeline of deals you have got going on?
The first month, I sent 600.
It has closed probably two deals.
From the first 600, I’ve got these two off, and then I’m sending probably 200 a week after that.
You are keeping the pipeline full. That is phenomenal. Those are great numbers. You are dialed in. Take credit for that. Where did you meet the second builder or was it the same guy?
It is the same guy. He bought both of them from me. He is the spec builder that I have done a lot of wholesaling with. He is the guy that I had a good relationship with over the years that I made a real estate networking event here in Jacksonville.
For everyone reading this, Luke is giving you pure gold here. If this resonates with you, share this show. Share this episode with a friend, brother-in-law, sister, mother, brother or whoever might need this, and please, if you haven’t already, rate and review this show. It helps us with the algorithm. It gets this message out to more people like Luke to be able to help these guys.
Thank you so much. Luke is finding this amazing house builder through his meetup groups or his Real Estate Investor Association. He is sending 200 letters a week. He is putting the work in, and he is only working about two hours a week. It is what it sounds like. Luke, I appreciate you sharing all these golden nuggets and these deals. How many more do you have in the pipeline that you have under contract still as well?
Technically, the one that closes is still under contract, so that 1 plus 2 others are under contract as well, so it is 3 more but the phone has been ringing. I have voicemails when I get back. It is exciting.
We talked about passive income. Are you going to seller financing in any of these or are you going to keep building your bank account?
I have got to take that on a case-by-case basis. I have another one coming up that I signed up for. It is 1 acre for $4,800. That one would be a good one to try that out on. It is in a flood zone, so it is not going to go to my builder but I am interested to try that out eventually, so yes, to answer your question.
That more inefficient stuff, the stuff that is in the middle of nowhere or the stuff that is in flood zones, I would seller finance that stuff all day long, and you will sell it. A builder might not want it, and a builder could bring in a lot of dirt and still build a house but that is a perfect opportunity for passive income or seller financing. Luke, it has been a pleasure but before I let you go, what is the one thing that you could share with the readers that could help them get over their struggle and build a business that serves them, their families, and eventually others?
I would say to take action. I have a prominent investor here in Jacksonville. He always says, “Action takers are money makers.” If you are thinking about doing something, you have been on the fence for a long time or the market is too high, and you can’t get involved in it, there are plenty of deals out there. You are crazy to not get involved with the market like this. There is opportunity everywhere, so I would encourage people to take action.
You are a man after my own heart, that is for sure. There you have it, guys. If you are thinking about getting started in real estate, if you liked what Luke had to say here or if you know land has been intriguing you for a little while, go on to our website and schedule a call with our team. We would love to see what your real estate investing goals are and how we can give you that freedom that American land can give you. Head on over to WholesalingInc.com/land. Bye, Luke.
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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 land investments.