This is part two of the video series I did with Jerry Norton about a week or two before my heart surgery. In this segment, we look specifically at LandWatch.com and walk you through what we do there. I also talk about the importance of understanding your buyers and what they’re looking for. This is one of the keys to success in flipping vacant land deals. You have to understand your target market and what your buyers want before you start marketing.
We also take a look at Redfin and Zillow to see which counties have the most activity. I go into why it’s important to focus on states and counties with high land transaction activity and those that have the most solds. Jerry and I discuss targeting recreational land or small infill lots and some of the trends in what land is selling the best throughout the country. Don’t forget to check out my free land flipping tool kit by clicking the link below.
Joe: Hey, welcome, friends and amigos to the Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast. This is going to be a good episode. This is part two of the series I talked about last time. I took the audio from a video series that I did with my good friend Jerry Norton in Puerto Rico. A week or two before the week before my heart surgery. And on this podcast, we talked about the best markets to flip land in and this series of seven or eight videos that we're going to be releasing as audio podcasts here on my show I thought were really, really good. Now, there were segments of it where we were like looking at, for example, on this video, we were looking specifically at a website called Land Watch, and we're kind of showing you and walking you through what we actually do there. But I felt like this video series was really, really good. And I wanted to bring this to you on the audio podcast as I'm kind of on the road to recovery here and I'm going to be doing more audio only podcast just for you guys, my podcast listeners. I really do appreciate you sticking around.
Joe: So, you know, in this video that we're talking about and then I'm going to be letting you listen to hear me talk about, you know, the importance of understanding the buyers and what they are looking for. This is a key to success for successfully flipping vacant land deals. So we're talking about, you know, the importance of comprehending the target market that you're going into and what do your buyers want before you start doing your marketing. Right? And then we talked about land watch dot com and how that's a valuable place to start your marketing. And then we also looked at websites like Zillow and Rent said reticent to see you are these counties that are where there's a lot of activity which ones have the most sold. So we talked mainly about why it's important to focus on states and counties that have high land transaction activity rather than just spraying and praying and hoping that something sticks. Okay. We talk a lot about the advantages of flipping vacant land over flipping houses. We talked about targeting recreational land or small infill blocks. Okay. What do you do in some of the trends that are what land is selling best today in areas around the country where, you know, you should be focusing your efforts on? And we talk a little bit teasing on the next episode, some effective marketing strategies, and we're going to be talking about that in episode three, which is coming up soon. So anyway, I also want to let you know we're giving away as part of this thing my Land Flippers Toolkit. It's an absolutely free resource. It comes we're giving you a bunch of contracts and scripts and checklists and tools and software that I use to come up with offers, hacks and things like that, which sounds weird hacks, but it's like I call I think I call it the land watch hack or the realtor hack or something like that, but you can get it for free at JoesLandKit.com. JoesLandKit.com. Go there right now. JoesLandKit.com. Get it for free and hope you enjoy it. All right. Take care. Enjoy this video. Stay tuned. Part three is coming out soon. And again, I apologize for giving you the audio from a video, but I felt like it was so good. This whole series that we did, we spent over 8 hours recording these videos and we should be getting eight or nine videos out of this. So the audios are going to be good for you. Thanks, guys. See ya.
Jerry: The more you understand your buyer and there's a market of buyer, then the easier it is for you to do deals. Okay. Welcome back to Video two in this Land Flipping Masterclass series with Joe McCall. Joe?
Joe: Hey man, it's an honor to be here.
Jerry: You know, fun you guys can tell on the camera but his views? Oh my god. But we're talking all about land and land flipping. If you guys missed video one, we did a big overview as to why land is easier than houses in a lot of ways, why it's a massive opportunity. We talked about different types of land deals really was just a good overview that hopefully got you excited for wanting to learn how to flip land. And now what we're going to do is we're going to take this into a step by step process of how to actually flip land. And it was really interesting in video one, Joe, we talked about how, you know, normally you think of the steps are, okay, great, I want to do land. First thing I got to do is go find a land deal that makes sense, right? Logically, you would think that, but we're actually going to take this a little bit different direction. And before we go look for land deals, meaning owners of land that we can make offers on before we do that, first, we need to understand the market. So what we're going to do is we're going to spend the time on this video really showing you, okay, well, what are the land opportunities to who are the buyers? What are they paying, what are they like, what's going on? Because when we understand the market of land, now, we know, okay, well, these are the people that are buying land and what they pay and what they want. Now we can go find land owners and we know what to offer because we understand who our buyer is.
Joe: Well, you got to follow the money. You got to see where is the demand. And it's not that hard to figure out. Well, we'll show people here in a minute on the screen how they can find where are the properties, where most of the properties are being. And so, you know, I get this all the time with houses, but find, you know, in your backyard or find the hot zip codes, you know, where all of the recent buyers have been buying properties. Well it's the same for land except do at the county level now. And now when you figure when you find a good county where there's a lot of people buying land, then just go into there. You know, it's like, I don't I don't believe in the spray and pray approach to marketing. I want to be laser focused. I want to follow it Just it makes everything so much easier.
Jerry: You want the sniper approach. So what we're going to do then is, is what's great is Joe is actually going to pull up the exact resources he uses and teachers and where to go get this data. Yeah. So this is going to be fun, guys, because we're going to be doing some screen capture here and we're going to actually show you how to do this. It's not. Oh, go find the land buyer. No, we're going to show you, Oh, here they are, what they're doing. And so that's going to be really valuable because it's now what you need to do. Right.
Joe: And it's free. So, Jerry, here we are, land watch, land, watch dot com land watch. Okay. It's owned by the land icon websites. They have like two or three or four different ones. But the cool thing about this is land watch. The land dot com websites are the most popular websites for listing land. So all we're doing now is we're going to find what are the most popular states that that have had a lot of land transactions and which are the most popular counties inside of this.
Jerry: And if somebody was in a specific state and they wanted to do their market, they could just go straight to their market and in the county.
Joe: Well, yes or no. Right. Like if you would have somebody asked me once a student, can I do land deals in Ohio, I said, Yeah, sure. Do people go hunting and camping in Ohio? Yeah. You know, there's new home construction in Ohio. But if you look at the entire U.S., because we do all these deals virtually, we didn't talk about that before. We don't go look at the houses or vacant lots. We don't go drive. We don't do anything to them. Right.
Jerry: Yeah. There's nothing to go look at but a piece of dirt.
Joe: Yeah, right. And it's going to be the same. There's nothing there's no mold remediation, there's no lead based stuff like that. Well, so I'd rather you could do deals in Ohio if you wanted. But what if just makes your job a lot easier if instead you focus on the states where there's already a lot of activity happening? Okay. And so Land watch is my favorite place to go to look at this. So we if you just click on from Land Watch, you just click on this orange button, it pulls up the entire U.S. and you see all of the states here. Now, I like to I like the cheaper land. So sometimes I just go in here in this area, show me all of the land in the entire U.S. that's listed actively for sale right now for less than 150 grand. And you can see the states there ranked here. Florida's number one, Texas, North Carolina.
Jerry: These are active listings. Are these with all with agents or not necessary?
Joe: Not necessarily. Okay. So the thing that's interesting with land watch is just a place and people go to list. They're making land. So they could be by owner, it could be by owner. But also when you look at solds, if I go down here to the lower left and I click souls, these are all the properties that were marked as sold from somebody who listed it on land watch. Okay, so it's not sold from county records, so you just have to. Okay.
Jerry: Right, guys, catch that. So it's just the sold data on land watch. Yeah. So there could be additional comps and things that that happened.
Joe: And you don't know how long ago it was sold. Land watch doesn't have it. It could have been a year ago or doesn't tell you now but what I'm. All I care about here is actually I want to remove the solds. So now all we're looking at is in the entire U.S.. Every property that's currently actively listed for under 150 grand. And you can see Florida is number one than Texas north. So I like to focus on the top ten or 15% of any list that I'm kind of looking at. And again, all we're looking for here is data that tells us where land activity is happening, where we're going to go, pull a list of sellers to send marketing. Okay. Now, Texas is awesome. God bless Texas. But it's a non-disclosure state which makes it hard to do research, hard to get comps.
Jerry: Non-disclosure, guys, means that when a property sells, they don't have to put the list the sold price data. Which means now, if you go to, like, look on Zillow and stuff, you'll see it sold. But you all know the details, right? So there's like 12 nondisclosure states. Is there any other in that?
Joe: What's crazy is look at Arkansas, number five.
Jerry: Arkansas. Yeah. So people just want to go rural there.
Joe: Well, let's look at Arkansas. You click on the state, Arkansas. Now it takes you. And what you see here on the left are the regions. And then regions is not county. Okay. And then the counties and it in the thoughts, the counties by most active counties, what's valuable data right here. So like then do you know where Benton County is others. All right so this is crazy. We will go look at Google Maps here.
Jerry: I don't think that's on my top ten places to visit, Joe.
Joe: Well, it might be Benton, Arkansas.
Jerry: No offense if you live in Benton, Arkansas, but that sounds pretty rural.
Joe: All right. Benton, Arkansas. It's up in northwestern county and northwest corner of the state. Where is it? So there's Arkansas. There's. But you know where if you're a Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart's headquarters is in Benton County. You know what else? What a J.B. Hunt, the big trucking company and Tyson Foods are trying to pitch me to move to. So what's your where's your next biggest city from your bed. And Bill's big, right? But I don't know your next biggest one name out of little Alma Sally's way over there in Little Rock. Okay. Yeah, Yeah. But those are good. Two, 3 hours. But, you know, this whole area here is gorgeous. Like there's a bunch Ozark National. Yes, right. So there's a bunch of these beautiful lakes, a lot of natural fed, natural spring fed springs and rivers that are crystal clear. You can see down 15 feet. So it's beautiful out here. Lots of coves, very hilly.
Jerry: But so do you think people in these bigger cities are commuting for there?
Joe: And this is this is what's crazy about land is I like the areas where people will go to buy recreational land and maybe camp and like we talked about. But the crazy thing about this area is J.B. Hunt, Walmart and I think Tyson Foods, I hope I got those three right there. They're exploding. They're hiring a ton of people. A ton of people are moving there, you know, from the West Coast, from the you know, the New York area. It's incredible, beautiful. But it doesn't matter what I think, how beautiful it is or how nice it is. I'm just going again to the data and Benton County right now is telling me there's a lot of activity there. So the next thing I like to do is go to Redfin. You're a big Redfin fan.
Jerry: I love Redfin, yeah of all the free ones, they're my favorite.
Joe: Yeah. And so let's just look here. Benton County, Arkansas. And I like to look at sold activity here. And you're going to land only guys I'm going to hold while he's doing what land sometimes had to do it twice. But I don't care about the houses. I just want land. All right. And I'm going to go here to sold in the last three months. Done. We'd look at that very reason 621 vacant lots sold in the last 90 days.
Jerry: And that count and then those six months. I'm just curious, because of the land, I mean, you could go back six months in that still very relevant a thousand.
Joe: Now. We'll look at Florida next. I want to show you Florida, because I know what's crazy, what's gone on there. Now from here, you know, you can see what's being the purchase price of these properties. People are buying these lots for 712 grand, six, 12. So, you know, somebody was selling this one for 28. If it's an investor, you know, they're probably buying it for five. Somebody who's selling this, if it's an investor, they maybe bought this one for 500 or sometimes they maybe buy it for three grand and sell it for six grand an owner finance and give more payments. Right. So you may think, who on earth buys this land? I don't know. We'll find that out in a minute here. But the fact of the matter is, yeah, you can go pick your county that you like to go camping in in Ohio. But if I were to go into that county that you like, there's probably only maybe 100 vacant lots that have sold there. Why not follow the demand? So, you know, you could go through all these counties. What I like to do is pick a state and then look at each of these counties, write it down on a piece of paper, write down Benton County. And you see in the last six months, 1050. All right, then go to the next county, Garland County. I don't know where that is. Let's look at it here. I'm going to guess it's near that same area.
Jerry: And this is the second highest county for listings on land watch in Arkansas.
Joe: Right. All right. So you can see that we were just up there. Then to go, This is Little Rock. So this is an area probably people from Little Rock like to go on vacation not that far from Little Rock. Right. And, you know, one of the things we didn't talk about, there's a huge trend lately on glamping or hip camp. Have you heard of hip camp? Yurts? Yeah, Well, people buy land and they do like Airbnbs with it for camping. Yeah. They'll put out some facilities and places where you can put, you know. So I'm going to guess there's a lot of that going on here. You've got this beautiful lake, and normally I'd see the darker green. That usually means there's it's a national forest or parks and it's pretty out there. So. Garland County, let's see what kind of land activity has happened in Garland County, Arkansas. Here, Garland County, Arkansas, 300 and 278 vacant lots have sold in the last six months now, not as much before as Benton, but, you know, let's just pick another state. We'll get out of Arkansas here. I want to show you Florida as an example. Lots of listed activity here. If we click on Florida, you can go see some of the hottest counties. Look at the numbers here, 5600 active listings right now in Lee County. You know where that is? All right. Let's go into the Google Maps.
Jerry: It's right there, Fort Myers, Cape Coral. Where is it. Oh, Fort Myers. Okay.
Joe: A lot of activity going on in this part of Florida right now. There is a hurricane there just a few a year ago or something maybe. I love Fort Myers and Naples. All right. So let's look here on red sand, Lee County, Florida. And the cool thing about Redfin is that you can just keep on switching different counties. Look at you. 5000 actives right now, all told. Okay. Sold lab on six months on trading me for 52,000 rolls and vacant land. Now you could go on to more filters if you want to so a lot of these are infill lots right? These are. Yes, recreational lots really. So if you were to go deeper into the data, you would find that maybe in Benton County, Arkansas, the average is one acre. I'm sorry, put that filter and just put minimum on the acreage. Let's do Max, maybe half acre.
Jerry: Yeah, I was thinking the other way. Like how many?
Joe: So now it's 4900.
Jerry: So the golden minimum, one acre. I'm just curious how many of these are big, big parcels. So minimum one acre.
Joe: Yeah. So, you know, only if you're targeting this area. This is why this research you can do for free. You don't want to go into Lee County and pull list of all the one plus acres. All right. So you also what I do and I'll show this to you later is in Propwire. I don't go in and I want to do like point two acres to one acre maybe right. Is that's where most of the Yeah.
Jerry: What this is telling me is that most of these are going to be infill lots. And so the play here is someone wants to buy it and build on it because it's just it's just a hot market for growth. Yeah. So then all these lots are selling to probably builders and buyers that want to put a house up, you know.
Joe: Yeah. 4600 homes between about 0.2 acres and 25 acres. Yeah. Which is the majority which is a good price. 80% of them. But most of these are just like this out you know?
Jerry: A little lot this little infill lots.
Joe: Somebody's thinking about are you serious? Like how do you make any money on our average profits, about eight grand on a deal. So I like to shoot we'll talk about this more but talk about making offers. I try to get a minimum profit of ten grand on every vacant land deal. And then when I sell them on owner financing, I try to get a minimum of 100% cash on cash return in my first year. So if I put $1,000 into the deal, I want to get at least $1,000 back. So I get my money back in the first year, that's much easier.
Jerry: I mean, what is that, 100 bucks?
Joe: Yeah, well, okay, my worst case, I do 50% cash on cash return. Right. So I remember when I was reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, great book, but started to study real estate and I was happy. You're happy to get 10 to 12% right? Return on your money in the first year right. With debt and leverage and all of that. Well, what if you could get 50% or 100% cash return on your cash on these land deals? So I said most of these are being sold with cash. But again, you put this thing on the market for 15 grand with owner financing, you're flooded with calls. You know, people buy cars on payments. Yeah, people like that's how you advertise it. So anyway, the whole point of what we're sharing here is where is the demand? And it's so easy to get this for free now on sites like Land Watch or Redfin and Zillow, there's somebody I still get this student who says, Man, I live in Akron, Ohio, and I love going camping in this certain area. And I do land deals there. And I say, Yeah, but when you're looking at let's just look here again, All right, So North Carolina, there's 16,600 in the last six months, vacant lots. Well, if you go into Ohio, nothing wrong with Ohio. They only have 4200 in the whole state and the whole state that is sold last year. It's a beautiful state. Right. So you can do deals in Ohio. But wouldn't it be better maybe to go to a state like Georgia where there's maybe 7700 vacant lots.
Jerry: But go back to Ohio for a second? Because here's how I would respond to that. Here's how it much. On to that. So, you know, any market works for flipping as long as you understand the market and you have enough data to support it. Yeah. So like, look it up here, the north northeast, east corner. Yeah. That's the biggest cluster of activity. If you were like, you know what? I want to go play around in that market. Great. Just understand the numbers. Yeah. Get enough data to feel confident about what the market's doing, and you can play there.
Joe: Well, yeah. And so what I would do is I would go in to land watch and I would type in the northeast Ohio. Okay, so now I'm looking at Ohio.
Jerry: And just like we saw northeast region, that's the most populous.
Joe: And the most popular county, Stark County. I'm not sure where it is, but it just lists all the counties here. And if you click on Seymour, you can see all the counties where all the activity. So this is just a place to start from.
Jerry: Yeah. So here's a different thought, Joe, from what you're saying. I totally agree with you. Go where the action is. Sometimes if you go not where the action is, you've you've almost completely eliminated competition as well. But you're playing in a smaller pond.
Joe: There's fewer buyers, fewer realtors that can help you. And it's harder to get comps.
Jerry: So understand the trade offs.
Joe: It doesn't matter what I think of how beautiful the areas are. If I would want to buy anything there, I'm just looking at the data. Who's buying out there? What are they buying? And then I'm going to fish in the same pond where the fish are with the bait that is needed to catch those fish. That makes sense.
Jerry: You're not trying to catch the one off fish, swim and buy. You're trying to go to the fish in a whole area where all the fish are hanging out.
Joe: So maybe I can just wrap it up with this. Like, what I tell people is, you know, find a couple states. You know, people sometimes stress about getting the right market. I got to get the best market, the right market, and it takes some forever to pick the one county or whatever. I say no, listen just pick one or two states. No, you don't need to stressed out about picking the right market. Pick a state, pick five counties in that state and just go deep into those counties. Right.
Jerry: The more you understand your buyer and there's a market of buyer, then the easier it is for you to do deals. So I have people bring me people I like, I personally refer to this is like try to stump Jerry. Or what they'll do is I'll bring me just the weirdest thing. The weirdest thing, you know, like, Hey, I got this commercial space, but it's also got a residential house and then it's also got a barn that they're do. And it's just the weirdest thing and they're like, but I can get it for a great deal. And my question is always, who's your buyer? Is there like one buyer in the entire world for that property? Then you're going to have a really hard time selling it, you know, like go where, get to look at property where, you know, there's a really strong buyer market.
Joe: Here's the deal. The selling these vacant lots are lot easier than people realize. All you need to do is really just get on the phone. Well, I do I do a couple of things and we'll talk about this there. So let's talk about this. But like I will call realtors, I'll skip trace buyers, call buyers. I talked to one the other day who was driving in a car in New York. You know, you could hear the horns blaring and all of that. And he had just bought a property near one I was negotiating and I don't remember if I got that deal or not, but I was demonstrating how easy it is to find buyers. Anyway, I called the guy. I said, Hey, Jim, I think you just bought a property recently in this area is like, How did you get my number? Yeah, I said, Well, he looks like it doesn't matter. Are you looking for more properties like that? He said, Yeah, yeah I am. I said, I'll go, I know you're driving and I just I got your name and number here. I'm going to send you some details is that cool? He said Yeah, okay, great. Just with like that one phone there, right? Yeah. So it's easy to find those buyers call and call the realtors. I also have this letter that I send. Should I include this in the land kit?
Jerry: I mean, your land kit's like massive cool resources.
Joe: My goal is to have a better kit than yours.
Jerry: Yeah, you might have already done it, but.
Joe: All right, so I'm going to add something else into this kit I'm going to add. I have you know, you said a desperate, motivated seller, yellow, handwritten. I know I have one that I send pretending I'm this desperate, motivated. I call my desperate, motivated buyer letter. So I'm sending a handwritten letter to other buyers that own land in this area. This thing kills. It just says, Help. I'm desperate. I've got to sell this property. I've had it listed for some time now. I can't wait any longer. Take a look at it. Call me right now. Taxes are paid. Tile is clear. I need this thing sold today. I underline it. Put my name and cell phone number on it.
Jerry: And you're sending this to landowners.
Joe: Yes. This letter works like crazy. It's a desperate. Why do they call them? What do they say? Well, it's funny because I get a lot of calls that say, I know what you're doing right. I know you're an investor and I love this letter. It's so I'm going to use it. I get a lot of those calls, but they're also like to tell me about the property. It's works phenomenally well. I'll include the letter in the kit, if that's all right with you guys or.
Jerry: Yeah, Joe you're awesome. Thank you, guys. Click that link below. It's a it's Joe's land flipping tool kit. It's got a ton of resources, everything to help you get your first land deal in as little as 30 days. That's how quickly you can be doing deals. And this has been awesome, Joe, because we really I mean, you laid it out so well, how to understand where to go to find land deals based on market demand using land watch and Zillow and Redfin? To really understand what's going on with the market. So hope you guys got a lot of value out of this. I think I think you're so spot on with land. Houses a little bit less because you just know there's a buyer because it's houses. But with land, I think you really want to understand that land buyer, your ideal buyer, before you start going in and getting land deals. Yeah. Before they go, we talked about the market now and the next video. Let's talk about the buyer. I think that's powerful. Awesome. Check out the tool kit guys, link in the description. Thanks, Joe. We'll see you guys on the next video.