Posted on: May 02, 2022
WI 941 | Land Deals

 

You could never go wrong with a #Replay episode!! Today, let’s take a trip down memory lane and listen back to this ALL-AROUND wholesaler who raised money for marketing with zero money involved! Catch Ray Zhang as he gives us strategic tips on how you can move your way from rags to riches. Make sure to listen to him the second time around, and grab your pens and papers.

Classic #Replay – From Living In His Car And Broke To 57 Land Deals In Just A Few Months With Ray Zhang

Episode Transcription

We have an awesome episode with one of my coaching students. He was one of my first coaching students. His name is Ray Zhang and he is based in Honolulu, Hawaii. He wanted to take his business virtually. He was already doing some land deals previous to meeting me and he came to me to help him put some of the pieces together. Let’s warmly welcome, Ray. Thank you so much for being on the show. How are you?

I am good. How are you? Thank you, Lauren, for inviting me here.

I am doing good. Tell me a little bit about yourself. You live in Honolulu, Hawaii. That is amazing.

I started doing cars. I was a car dealer by trade and I started to rent cars and buy and sell cars. A couple of years ago, I was tired of doing cars alone. I want to do something else. I started to Google, “What else can I do about my real estate?” I came up with wholesaling and started to learn about it. Later on, I joined your program and things started to take off after that.

Did you use to flip cars?

Yes. I am still doing that now.

How do you flip a car? What do you do? Do you buy an old car? What type of cars? Do you have a specialty?

We buy cars after the year 2000 and we sell them slightly higher than the price we bought them for. I used to buy, fix and flip, but now I just buy and flip. I do not have time to fix it anymore.

You then decided to get into flipping houses?

Yes. They are the same thing, but a different product.

What intrigued me about you as a student is that you are investing in land and I do not have a ton of experience investing in land. I did develop some homes, but I do not have the experience that you have. Tell me about your land investing strategy.

There are people who want to buy in the middle of nowhere and they want to live there. I do not know why, but it is not me. There are people who like doing that. I started to do that in Colorado and then we started in Arizona. We bought five acres of land cheap for less than $2,000.

I want to get granular. Is this in Colorado or Arizona?

Colorado. Arizona is even cheaper.

Let’s take Colorado as an example. You buy five acres in Colorado. Can you give me a city name in Colorado?

It is a county called Costilla County.

WI 941 | Land Deals

Land Deals: Land is generally slower than properties, and very few people know about it, but there are deals out there.

 

I never heard of it. You are buying five acres for $2,000 or $2,500.

We can sell on terms of $150 for 50 months.

Where are you finding these land deals?

We send mailers to the homeowners, the same thing with wholesaling properties.

You are sending mailers, maybe postcards to these owners that own these little parcels and land or five acres of land and you buy it for $2,500. You turn around and you are selling the land on terms. If you are not familiar, it is seller finance. Ray is carrying the note. You’re turning it around and selling it to someone who wants to live in the middle of nowhere and maybe put a trailer on it. They can build a shed, a shack, a log cabin, or whatever. How are you finding the end buyer or the end-user?

We can go to Facebook, and we do Craigslist marketing too. There are some other land websites we can post the property at. What I found is it is pretty slow to find the end buyers, and also, they back out a lot. They pay a little bit and they are gone. You cannot find them.

They don’t perform on the terms.

Correct. That is why I started thinking either a better way. I listened to your coaching call with us and something you said inspired me to do something else, which changed my land business and everything.

Enlighten me. What was that? I say a lot of things. Some of it baffles me, to be quite honest.

You said something about wholesaling because what I was doing with the land was not wholesaling. I was thinking, “Why don’t I do wholesaling with land?” I start to send a postcard to the landowners who own more than two lots. I got this guy who has 280 parcels in Colorado. I got another guy in Arizona, and he has seventeen properties. They wanted to sell them right away, so I bought them all. We wholesale land.

You are buying, closing on them, and instead of doing the terms, you are selling it outright to someone else?

Yes. I sold five properties.

Who are those people that are buying random pieces of land, all cash, in the middle of nowhere in Colorado or Arizona?

This time, it is those guys who are doing what I was doing. They try to find the end buyers. Instead of selling to the end buyer, I change my approach. I reached out to the land investors, “This lot is here. It is cheap. You can sell your end buyers for how much on terms. How much would you do for it?” Because they are airline investors, so they buy a lot. I sold 40 parcels total of 200 acres in three weeks.

Since joining my program, you have sold 40 parcels?

I sold a total of 57 parcels.

We learn by doing, not by sitting behind the desk and analyzing.

Most people think of wholesale houses but you took it and applied it to a different product. I say this in my actual course that my virtual course is teaching you how to go virtual. Whether you want to change up your disposition strategy, maybe you want to be one of those BRRRR investors, the Buy, Rent, Rehab, Refinance, Repeat, all those Rs or you want to be a landlord buyer.

In your case, you are the only person I have met that has taken my course and done land with it. I am excited because it is something new and different that I have never explored. I love that you have got this scrappiness to you where you do not overthink. You just do it. That must have come from your buying and selling car days. You do not overanalyze and you do not get analysis paralysis. In some of our calls, I am like, “You need to do this. Why are you doing it?” You are like, “Okay.” The next day you apply it, and you do not overthink it.

We learn by doing now by sitting behind the desk and analyzing.

Why do you live in Hawaii? Have you always lived in Hawaii?

I was a student here in Hawaii and I love Hawaii. There is no better place, I believe. It has good weather. Everything is cool. The people are helpful and lovely.

Why don’t you invest in Hawaii?

Everything is super expensive. I did one deal, but that took me a long time. In wholesale business, it is better to have a lot of deals than one deal in half a year. I am always fascinated by virtual, and one day, Tom introduced you to me. I thought, “This is perfect.”

I am glad we met, and I was happy to have you in the group, especially because you bring on this different angle of land, and it opened up people’s eyes that we do not have to invest in houses. You can wholesale land or commercial property. There are other avenues out there in real estate investing that a lot of people do not think about. We traditionally go to single-family residences. You are here to say there are other things you can do that are probably even less competitive because everybody goes right into the single-family residence space.

Your program works either on houses, land, or everything else. It works on houses. We have already closed another land deal in Oklahoma. Your program works perfectly virtually. You can be anywhere you want. You do not have to be in your territory. You can wake up any time you want. By the time I wake up, it is already noon in a minute. It will work anywhere.

You are the silent killer because, in the group, you are not bragging about how many deals you are doing. I did not know that you were successful with my program. There is something to that. You hear a lot of people. They brag when they close 1 or 2 deals if there is something to the guy that sits quietly on the sidelines that are secretly failing 57 land deals in four months.

Even though I was not on your coaching call live, I always listened to your coaching call afterward. I never missed one.

I think a lot of that is because of the time difference. I remember at one point you were in China doing this business. The time difference is completely different. That is not the definition of, “Live anywhere, invest where you want.” I do not know what it is. You were in China for a while doing these deals.

My first deal is in Oklahoma. It was a land deal and I contacted the seller when I was in China. We have been talking for a while. He said he wanted to sell his properties. I said, “This house won’t work. Do you have any other properties for sale?” He said, “I have a land for sale in Oklahoma.” I said, “Let me see it.” After that, I bought it in China, and I sold it when I came back. I sent it to my cash buyer list and one realtor contacted me. She wanted to buy it. We closed it two days after I came back to the US.

How are you financing these deals or how are you funding them? Is it your own money or do you use any financing?

If the deal is pretty cheap and the number makes sense, I will buy them all with cash.

What if somebody did not have money like you do? What would you recommend?

WI 941 | Land Deals

Land Deals: With wholesaling, you don’t need to put a lot of money there. You can secure the property, sell the contract, and save a lot of sweat. There’s no risk, basically.

 

There is something I am passionate to share. No business is about money. If you have a good enough deal, people are going to buy it. That is the beauty of wholesaling. You do not need to actually buy it. You can put it on the contract and sell that contract.

You do not even need money. You can assign your contract with land deals the same way people are assigning wholesale deals with single-family residents.

There are people also saying, “What if I do not have even the postcard money?” This is an excuse if you do not want to take action. When I first came to America, I did not even have a place to live. I have lived in the car for a couple of months. What I did is I went to Craigslist, and there is a section called Free. You can go there and find items that are free. You can sell it and collect your marketing money. I start from there. Once you get your first deal, you are good to go.

I have never ever thought to suggest that to a student with no marketing money, but that is amazing. It comes back to your car-slinging days. Is that how you would buy cars sometimes?

Several years ago, I got a car for $100. Some people want to sell their property, cars, or items for free. Why do they do that? You do not know why. You just do it. They gave up something for free. You can sell on eBay for $100 that you do not know why. I saw there was someone giving an iPad for free. You never know why they do it, what they do, but you do it, but the key is you have to be on the lookout. You have to go out and find it.

We are going to do another episode on raising money for your marketing budget by buying things for free or selling things that you got for free on Craigslist. That is going to be a 2.0 to this because I hear it all the time that my students do not have money for marketing. I got a credit card, and I made sure I had an $11,000 limit. I put my marketing budget on my credit card. That is risky because what if I could not pay it back? What if, for whatever reason, this did not work out for me? The thoughts in my head are, “You need to make sure you can pay that back. You might get into credit card debt.”

I had that pressure behind me, which made me work hard to get a deal to be able to pay off my credit card. In the end, I did, but I get nervous recommending that to students. I do not say it as, “I am being honest with you. I am real with everybody. This is how I started. I started with a credit card.” I don’t like to recommend that because not everybody is like me, and not everybody is going to keep going. A lot of people don’t have that tenacity.

This is a way where you are not in debt. It takes a little work, a couple of hours out of your day, gets things for free, sells them, and makes your marketing budget. Have you heard of Gary Vee? He is all about garage selling. This is the same thing and he does it for fun. He teaches people how to make money off of buying things from garage sales and reselling them on eBay.

Even though he is super successful now, he still enjoys going to garage sales on Saturday. Another thing about credit cards is some people do not even have a credit history. I am Chinese and when I first came to America, I did not have a credit history, so I could not even get a credit card. You can start from there.

You are single-handedly in this episode squashing every excuse I have ever heard anyone make. He came to the country with no money, lived in his car, had no credit, could not even get a credit card, and had to sell things that he got for free on Craigslist. Give me an excuse. I dare you.

I used to get their mattress for free, and I can sell them for $50. There are a lot of people buying it.

You did that to be able to support yourself.

Correct.

What was going through your head at that time when you moved and you were in this space of living in your car? How do you keep going?

I was thinking, “I am already at rock bottom. Where else can it go? There is no way down, so the only way is up. One day, I am going to be rich.”

I always say that because there was a rock bottom point in my life, and I am not going to lie, it is not nearly as rock bottom like yours. I am not even going to act like it. It was not. I was born fortunate. I was born in this country, and my parents are middle-income people. I did not have any of these inherent struggles. When I was in that version of rock bottom, I said, “There is only one way up. If anything, it is exciting. I have much to be excited about.”

When you’re at rock bottom, where else can you go? There’s no way down, so the only way is up.

I take comfort in rock bottom because you know there is only one way to go, and that is up. Whereas when you are up there already, and you are high flying, there is always this fear in you that you could go back down, so you got to keep climbing. I had no idea you had this story, and I did not know that this episode would go in this direction, but it is cool. When did you first get into the land and real estate space?

I got it a couple of years ago. I started the deals here and there, but not too much value because the land is generally slower than properties. Few people know about it but there are deals out there. When I listen to your coaching calls, that is when everything starts to take off.

It started ramping up once you got mentorship and coaching.

Correct.

I know that you were involved in some coaching programs prior, but were there some missing links, and that is why you chose to get virtual coaching?

I have tried Hawaii to wholesale. That was frustrating because I sent a lot of mailers, and few people called. Even those people called, they cannot sell the properties because some of the island properties are protected. They can only be sold to Hawaiians, not outsiders. I have been doing a lot of stuff for nothing. I thought I needed to do something virtually, but I didn’t know how to do that. Something is blocking me from going forward. One day, miraculously, you showed up. You saved me.

That was my story. I lived in Southern California, which is a very high price area. I live in Orange County and the average house price is $750,000. I used to be able to flip houses around here or LA, Inland Empire but as the markets started climbing up, the deals started drying up. The margins were going lower to where it became risky to buy a flip deal because if you had any of your numbers off, whether that was your ARV or your repair, you were losing money on that deal. I like sleeping at night personally, so that was not my jam. I was like, “I do not want to live like this personally.”

There is also this feast or famine where I would go 3 to 4 months and not get a flip deal. I was traditionally flipping, my deals were bigger, but I would go 3 to 4 months and not have anything in the pipeline. I would be up at night sweating because I spent all this money on marketing and postcards. I have no deal lined up to pay me back, and I did not want to live that way.

That was when I decided to go virtual. It is a similar story to you. I could have a consistent deal flow. The deals were smaller because I was wholesaling them and the property values were a little bit lower. They were smaller deals, but I would rather get a check a week versus a check every four months.

That is why I love wholesaling so much. You do not need to put a lot of money on there. You can secure the property and sell their contract. It will save you a lot of sweat for sure. There is no risk.

Ray, I loved having you, so we are doing a second episode on how to raise money for a marketing budget when you are broke. Stay tuned for that episode because it is coming, but for now, how can people get ahold of you if they want to learn more about land investing? Maybe you can partner up with people. Are you on any of the socials like Instagram or Facebook?

They can add my Facebook, or they can email me. My email is Ray@LandProUSA.com.

Ray, thank you so much. This was an amazing episode and extremely inspirational, not only for our readers but for me as well. I can’t wait to have you on again.

Thank you, Lauren, for having me on. I will talk to you soon.

That is all I have for now. If you guys like what you read, please subscribe. If you want to learn more about my coaching on virtual investing, I want you guys to go to www.WholesalingInc.com/Virtual, and apply there.

 

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About Lauren Hardy

Lauren Hardy is a Virtual Investing expert and Real Estate influencer who owns multiple companies in the real estate industry including real estate investment, coaching, and software companies. She is also a Wholesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Wholesaling Inc Podcast.

Her experience in the last decade has been focused on real estate investing and creating products and services to serve the real estate investing community. If you are interested in investing in real estate virtually, house flipping, or virtual landlording, Lauren’s your girl.

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