• Home
  • |
  • 864 » How To Create Leverage To Accelerate Your Land Investing Business with Howard Zonder

The three keys to success are marketing, automation, and delegation. Using automation requires you to find the best tools to streamline your business, so I’m really excited today to talk about the automation that Howard Zonder has created with his Land Speed business.

For new investors who are just getting into land investing, Howard and I talk about some different strategies for figuring out where to buy. Howard’s had great success in Colorado and Utah, but you might be more interested in infill land. Infill land is smaller lots in a town or around a town in the “doughnut” area. Howard gives his thoughts on this as a long term strategy.

If property taxes are really high, that may not be the best place to start your land investing journey. If property values are really high, or bureaucracy is common in that area, those also might be signs that that’s not a great place to start. There are a lot of lands investing courses out there that tend to focus on the same handful of counties. There are tens of thousands of counties across the U.S. where you can turn a profit. Howard and I talk about our criteria for where to look for empty lots.

Constantly mailing in small batches creates some good business flow for Howard. He talks about how this strategy allows him to adjust bad offers or rely on data instead of blindly mailing out thousands of letters with no feedback. And because his software Land Speed Price Boss pools together all of its mailings, he can still save money on the bulk mail price.

This attention to data is why Howard created Land Speed. Hard numbers don’t give you a rough idea. Hard numbers give you solid data to make good business decisions, and to help you find the best place to invest inland.

Watch and learn:

Listen and learn:

What’s inside:

  • Do tax assessed values play into land comps?
  • How I teach my boys to find comps for vacant lots.
  • Your offers are only as good as your data, and outliers will wreck that data.
  • Everyone figures out investor comps a little differently, and Howard walks me through how he comes up with his comps.
  • Break away from the land investor pack by investing in different counties.

Mentioned in this episode:

Transcription:

Download episode transcript in PDF format here…

Joe: Hey, what is up, everybody? How you doing, Joe McCall here, this is the Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast. Got a really good guest here on this episode. We're gonna be talking about land there. We're gonna be talking specifically my love language. I love talking about technology and tools. And Howard Zonder from Land Speed is here and going to be talking about how you can use technology and tools to accelerate and help you in your business. I've always said the three keys to success in business, no matter what kind of deals you're doing, wholesaling, short sales, foreclosures, land lease options. The three keys to success is marketing, automation and delegation. And you need to learn tools. How can you use tools to serve you and your business to help you automate? And then whatever you can't automate, you delegate out to virtual assistance. And so we're gonna be talking about that specifically as relates to the land business. We're also gonna be talking about how this can relate to housing, housing and whatever else type of business that you do. All right. A lot of good principles in here. And I love land investing. We'll be talking about that here in a minute.

Joe:But first, I want to announce two things. Number one, if you're listening to this show right now, we're broadcasting a live to Facebook on YouTube. We also rebroadcast this as an audio podcast to podcasting world. I'm super excited about the podcast. It's really been growing leaps and bounds over the last, geez, six to 12 months. Audience keeps on getting bigger and bigger, bigger. So if you're listening to this podcast, I want to encourage you to please subscribe. If you're on an Apple device, subscribe to us on the podcast app. If you're on an Android, you know, there's Google Play there, Stitcher, there's Spotify. There's I Heart Radio. Tune in radio. Whatever podcast player you like. You can subscribe to the show that way. We released three episodes a week and you'll be notified every time a new one comes available. So if you're watching this on YouTube and Facebook right now, you can subscribe to the podcast, because sometimes with technology, especially with the Internet speeds going on right now and everybody's working from home and a lot of people are doing video conferencing and stuff like that, sometimes my podcast cannot be broadcast outlive or its stuttering or its, you know, skipping or whatever. So just subscribe to the podcast. The second announcement I want to give you real quick. This podcast is brought to you by my book Wholesaling Lease Options. This is one of the easiest and fastest ways to make money in real estate today. It's by flipping lease options and you can get this book for free at WLOBook.com. WLOBook.com. And I'm going to tell you right now, I'm going to announce something real cool. We just released this week an audio version of this book, so stay tuned. That's coming. Hopefully if you're on my email list, you'll see an e-mail today or tomorrow about that. But you can get this book for free at WLOBook.com It takes you a couple hours to read. It's pretty thin quarter of an inch thick. But that's what I used to quit my job at the height of the recession when in 2009 people were not quitting their jobs. People were like clinging to their jobs, hoping that they wouldn't get fired because everybody. The economy is falling apart. We're starting to see that again a little bit here. I don't know what the future holds. I'm not going to predict anything. But it's important to understand different alternative creative strategies to offer sellers. So you're not just a one trick pony doing just cash offers on deals, which is why I'm excited to bring our guest today on as well, because we're going to talk about how to do land deals. So again, if you own my book, go to WLOBook.com. Up to bring my guest on. His name is Howard Zander's from a company called Land Speed. Howard, how are you, sir?

Howard: I'm doing terrific, Joe. Great to be on the show.

Joe: Nice. You've got some real nice, fancy looking degrees there. And that tells me that you're a deep analytical. Mathematical. You like numbers? Am I right? Am I guessing you? Am I reading you right?

Howard: I like my data. I like my spreadsheets. Yes. But mostly what I like is using them to make money.

Joe: Yes, I can. All right. I love talking spreadsheets and I love talking numbers like that because I love spreadsheets. The thing I found the spreadsheets is you've got to be careful because sometimes you can have spreadsheets tell you anything you want it to tell you. Right. But sometimes people who are running around rudderless and they have no idea what their numbers are. And I've said this over and over again, if you don't know your numbers, you don't have a real business. And so while it's important not to be too analytical and diving deep in the numbers, you need the numbers, you need the data to help you make better offers to help you follow up. So no leads fall through the cracks and all that. Good stuff. Right.

Howard: So that's exactly right. I just posted some of me on one of my Facebook pages that it was a quote from Warren Buffett where he said, if you can't control your emotions, you can't control your money. And my comments on that was that that's true. But there's a piece that's missing, which is you have to have confidence. If you don't know your numbers and you don't understand what you know, what the market is, then how could you not do it with emotion? You've got to have the knowledge that you can remove your emotion.

Joe: Very good. So we're talking about some things that Howard is doing with his business. He's got some really cool tools out there that I've used before. So I'm hoping that we get to talk about that and I'm sure we will. First of all, though, let me say, too, if you're watching this on YouTube or Facebook right now, type in something in the comments, in the chat, say hello, we've got somebody here. I'm just going to guess Yosef ben Israel. It's a cool name. It's a really cool name. You're watching from where? I'm just curious. So hello to you. If you're on this if you're on Facebook, on YouTube, just type in. Hello. Tell us where you're from and if you've got questions for Howard. This is the time to type them in. And I will make sure we get all of your questions to Howard. OK. Howard, let me just say to you and to everybody else, kind of put a story behind this. I love land investing. You know, it's something that I've been doing so for about three years now. I found some good friends of mine from church and we started doing land flips together. We get about 30 of them. Life got busy. They had kids. They moved into a new house. I got busy with a bunch of projects. We kind of put it on hold, but we're still we just did some marketing with one of my two sons are 14 and 16 years old and we've been starting to ramp that up again because I want my boys to do something. And the thing I like about land that's different than houses, especially for my 14, 16 yearolds, is they don't have to talk to as many sellers. Right. You don't have to negotiate necessarily. And, you know, they're mature. Maybe I'm not giving them enough credit, but I love land because, like, you just make offers. Right. There's no emotion involved. There's no, you don't have to negotiate or try to build rapport with sellers. You know what I mean? Is that right?

Howard: Well, so on the one hand, I'm the guy that negotiates at Walmart Right. Yeah. I negotiate everything. You know, when you're sending your initial offers out. So there's two ways to send offers out of the land. You can send blind offers, in which case it's like a purchase agreement. It's got an offer value on it. Or you can send what they call neutral offers, which basically says, hey, I'm Joe, I'm looking to buy land in your area. Let me know if you want to sell and then you follow up with an offer. Yeah. In the first case, you know, if you're sending out hundreds or thousands of offers, you can't really go deep, deep, deep into the pricing analysis of everyone. The goal is to get as accurate as you possibly can within reason, because you know that only 1 to 3 percent of your letters are going to convert. So you don't want to kill yourself on the front end. And then when you get into the due diligence of the property after somebody says they want to sell it to you, then you're looking deeply to the property. Maybe you're going to find out that, oh, maybe I missed price this a little bit. Or even if you don't, you might just say, you know what? Every time I get past the due diligence, this is my last opportunity to negotiate. So let me see if I can get another hundred dollars off the price or two hundred dollars off the price. So I think there's always an opportunity at least to negotiate on both the buy and sell side.

Joe: You're absolutely right. So talk about what do you prefer, blind offers or neutral letters?

Howard: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I don't think there's a right or wrong. You know, I think are different schools teach it different ways. And one thing I found is that when I send a blind offer, what I like, I said, what I really want is I want to have some degree of confidence that that offer is correct because, you know, there are some people out there who know it. Price is hard, right. So they just say everybody gets a five hundred dollar offer or everybody gets a two hundred and fifty dollars per acre offer. That's a one size fits all. But the reality is that the value of properties can change drastically from one side of accounting county to the other. So if you have some schools and you've got you put forth the effort, you can get pretty accurate with your offers. Now, that said, if a property is inside an established subdivision and there are good comps there, then you could feel pretty confident that you understand market pricing. From there, you can develop offers. There will be other pieces of lands that are out and what I call unincorporated county lands and there are far fewer comps. And so the confidence level goes down. So sometimes what I'll do is I will send out blind offers where I've got confidence and I'll send out neutral offers where I have less confidence. And I can mix and match them in the same campaign.

Joe: If you've got two boys working for you, send out all neutral letters. Right. And make them do the research on each of the responses that come back. I love it and have them. So this is what, that's what I do.

Howard: And just think of a competition between them.

Joe: Well yeah. Then they get a bigger percentage of the they get. Well yeah. If it's one of their deals they get a bigger split. But it is pretty cool. But let's talk about your business. How and how did you get interested in land.

Howard:So I was a corporate guy for a very long. Well let me even back up before that. Before that I was I was a Marine. Right. I was a Marine for quite a while. I got out of the marine corps, and went to graduate school. When I was in the Marines, I was in communications and I got out. By the time I got out of graduate school, I was nineteen ninety six. That was right when they backed and the Telecom Reform Act is coming out in nineteen ninety six, I say oh I'm a communications guy, telecommunications. I'm going to be good for thirty years. I'm rock solid, which just shows the level of ignorance that I had back then. It was a complete roller coaster of an industry. But I did enjoy it. So I did telecom, I did software and then in the last five years I actually switched. I was in the events industry for five years. I was chief marketing officer for part of the second largest of any company in the world with, you know, marketers and staff. You know, far and wide from Istanbul to Amsterdam, London, L.A., Sao Paolo, all over the place. Lot of time on airplanes. Did that for five years and that was coming to an end at the end of 2015. All good things must come to an end. And I just the idea of going back to another soul sucking corporate job was about more than I could bear.

Joe: Howard, I had a dream last night. I had a dream last night that I was at the corporate offices of my former employer, walking around trying to find my cubicle. I was like, it was a nightmare or something wasn't that bad. I mean, I was freaking out when I woke up. Like what I was dreaming, I was walking around looking for my cubicle cubicles. I remembered that I call my cubic-hell.

Howard: Well, I think I did what so many other people that get into real estate did. I started listening to a lot of podcasts. And I'm like, all right. You know, I don't know what else I want to do.

Joe: What year was this?

Howard: This was the end of 2015. OK. So I start to listen to a bunch podcasts and I stumbled upon lands amongst many other things. But the land proposition just kind of resonated with me. But I didn't take action on it. I had to hear it a few different times from a few different people. And suddenly I'm like, you know what? It's actually kind of makes sense to me. And so I said, I'm going to I'm going to dive into this a little bit. You know, a risk, a little bit of money. If it works out great. If it doesn't work out. You know, you don't learn if you don't try. So I tried it. And sure enough, you know, the business model is legit. It was working and the ROIs were pretty tremendous.

Joe: Now, how did you find out? What area did you go into and what did you do?

Howard:Well, I started with a program and I just followed exactly what they told me to do. And I started sending out these blind offers. I started out in Colorado and Utah. And the first property I ever bought was in Utah. It was such a piece of crap. It was a quarter acre in south eastern Utah in the middle of nowhere. When you look at it on a map, there are roads. But when you look at it from satellite view, there actually aren't any roads at all. And I paid too much for it. And after it was all over, I'm thinking, oh, my God, how am I ever going to get rid of this thing? And it actually took me six to seven months to get rid of it. I made an 83 percent ROI on it. It's the worst deal I ever did. OK.

Joe: This is amazing. This is why I like land.

Howard: You bought it for how much was a long time ago? I don't quite remember a problem. It was well under a thousand dollars. Maybe I brought maybe seven hundred dollars. And then you sold it for about how much? I probably sold it for over. I don't remember the numbers. It was sold for cash. Probably sold it for get absolutely sold it for cash. There's a little over 2000, I would say.

Joe:So let's say you did make a mistake and you couldn't sell it. Right. You're out. Seven hundred. Eight hundred bucks. A thousand bucks. Right. Not a big deal. So then what did you do?

Howard: I wouldn't be out of it. What I would do at that point is I would probably put it on eBay on an auction starting at zero with a three or four thousand four hundred ninety-nine-dollar dock fee. Yeah. So if somebody bought it for $1, I'd still make $500 on it. And we'd be down to $200.

Joe: Or you could sell with owner financing, couldn't ya? 50 bucks a month.

Howard: If I could find a buyer for it, if it was kind of a weird property. And the interesting thing was, is the woman who bought it for me about a year and a half to two years later, she reached out to me and asked me if I had any other property in the area which completely blew me away.

Joe: Wow. Wow. All right. So then what do you do after that?

Howard:So I while I was waiting to sell that, I continued to work the process. I bought other properties. I did have an early home run, which was fantastic. I bought a property, 40 acre property in Colorado. And I didn't really know how to do pricing back then. So I priced I was doing what I told you shouldn't do, which is everybody sort of gets the same offer. And I priced this one extremely low for what it was worth. And the gentleman who owned it was in Michigan, in his 70s. And, you know, he called me up and said, hey, I got your letter. Yeah, let's do the deal. I was take a little aback. I'm like, okay. I'm trying to be really cool about it. OK, great. You okay with the price? Yes, I get the price is fine. This is great. So it turns out this is a classic story in lands. They lived in Michigan. They went on a vacation to Colorado. They loved it. They said, let's buy some land. We'll put a cabin on there. It will become our vacation property. They go back to Michigan. Life goes on. Life gets in the way. They never built a cabin. They were responsible. They always paid their property taxes. And then they got old. And then sadly, at that time, I talked to him. His wife had passed away about five years earlier and he had no interest in the property and just wanted to get rid of it. He was happy to give it to me. So I picked up this 40 acres for nineteen hundred dollars and I thought, hey, I got 40 acres for…

Joe: 40 acres for nineteen hundred dollars. That's one thousand nine hundred dollars. That's right. Was this in a flat desert or the foothills or where was this?

Howard: It was in. So people who are on land all know Kosti, a county that's right on the New Mexico border. It's not the prettiest county. It's the poorest county in Colorado. But there is a ton of land there. A lot of land. You see the mountains. You know, you can see you could see a Blanca Peak, which is the fourth highest peak in Colorado. This happened to be in an area that was a little bit more hilly than much of the flatland there. So it wasn't bad. So it was OK. I mean, it is 40, 80. They get a lot of five acre down there as well. So I marketed it and I found a buyer and I sold it on owner financing. And then they reached out to me and changed their mind. But they didn't say, can I have my money back? They said, you just let me out of the contract. I said, sure.

Joe: Do you remember what price you sold it for?

Howard: That one I don't. But I'll tell you what I thought ultimately sold it for. So I got the down payment and the doc fee. And then I put it out there again. And the same thing happened a second time. So now I've collected two down payments to doc fees. Put it out there a third time and I sold it and it's stuck. And I sold it for. Well, I don't remember the dollar value, but basically I got the third down payment doc fee. So the property was completely paid for by that point. And I get about $500 a month for 10 years. So when you add it all together, my total my total price or revenue was about $54000. Beautiful. Out of a nineteen hundred dollars investment.

Joe: Five hundred dollars a month for ten years. So sixty thousand dollars and you paid nineteen hundred for it.

Howard: That's it. That's what landed, right. I was hooked. Yeah. You didn't go look at the land. I've never seen any of the land I bought or sold.

Joe: You didn't get it inspected. You didn't have to pull in permits or worry about tenants. None of that's none of the above. All right. So what does your business look like today?

Howard:So I still am an active land investor, but I do less on the active land investing. I do some, but more likely I'm investing with other land investors, and primarily because the majority of my time has been sucked up into my other business, which is land speed. So that's my land business. Land speed is the. Is the CRM and automation program that I've developed for land investors. And what happened was, after about six to nine months in the business. My deal flow got to a point where I just couldn't manage it on spreadsheets and Post-it notes anymore. And I said, you know, I got to do something here. And the amazing thing is I'm a little embarrassed to say this, but I was still mailing out of my house. Oh, that is embarrassing. It is. I was printing my letters. I was printing my envelopes. I was folding and stuffing and licking stamps and probably spending four to six hours a week. Just I mean, I didn't have a 14 or 16 year old I could pass it off to. So. So I did. And you use click to mail now. I do. Yes.

Joe: That's why I want to talk about that. All right. First, because because we've got some good questions here. Frank says hello. What's up, Frank? Phillip from Pennsylvania. What's up? Frank is from Daytona Beach. Yosef is from North Carolina. Tom, what's going on? Alexander just bought the book. Nice. Marlin's from Kansas City. Now, I've got this question a couple of times here. How do you get comps on land? We're gonna talk about this. Somebody else said, Marcus, I would also like to know how to get comps from land. And how do you value the land based on little to no comps? And then Alexander said, I think Joe uses Zillow to look up comes from land most of the time. Kind of true. And before we talk about land speed, because you're really good at software and this is something that I'm excited to talk about. You developed a software that helps people come up with comps before land speed, am I right?

Howard: I developed land speed, first. And I developed the comping tool called…it's called Price Boss.

Joe: That's right. Because that's what I've signed up for and I've used that. Can you talk about what price boss does real quick? Or maybe you don't want to. That's fine. You just want to be happy, too.

Howard: OK. So it really it started with a customer of mine. So I I was doing all everything that that's done in price boss, I was doing it on spreadsheets just because, you know, I know spreadsheets. But the fact of the matter is the kind of formulas and tools and thing and pivot tables and the kind of things that I was doing, it spread to tables. Not what the average person knows or wants to know how to do. And so my customer wanted help in this area. And I started to show them how to do this on a spreadsheet. And I said, this is not the way to do it. Let me create a tool that you don't have to know anything about spreadsheets. And it'll work great. And so what Price Boss does is there's there's three different sections to it. So the first section is where you recollect an aggregate comps. And the way it works is you'd go to a Web site like Land Watch or Zillow or Craigslist and you would put in this search for the kind of land that you want to buy. And then when the results come up, you can just scrape the results. You highlight them all? Yeah, highlight them all. And then just copy and paste it into the tool. Hit a button and it'll take all of that data and it'll give it to you on a set of lines and says, OK, this property, this is where it is. This is the cost of the properties of the acreage of the property. And then it does a little bit more than that. And so you can collect all this with with Zillow. Zillow, Craigslist laid watch. And then there's a nice area where you can use Redfin. You can use data that you got from the county so that you can bring a lot of comps in from different areas and you can do both sold comps. So we sold comps from the county or potentially Zillow or for sale comps. After you've collected all your data, then you can. You hit a button and it aggregates it all into one list and it calculates the price for acre of all the properties. And you can put there's a little spot or you can put in a discount factor. Now a sold comp is sold. That's what it is. That's what it's worth. But a for sale crop, you might assume that the final negotiated price is less than the asking price.

Howard:So let's just say you think the final negotiated price is going to be 20 percent. So you put 20 percent in just one time and then all the for sale council will automatically be adjusted minus 20 percent. And then finally, once you've got all your data right, then then you go into the analysis section. And it does. Some interesting thing is it gives you a scatter plot diagram. So you can clearly visually see when you're outliers are. An outlier is data that doesn't make sense. And you've got to get it out of your analysis or it's going to screw up your results. So it makes it really easy to identify outliers. And you can delete that and then you can say, I want in a little box to say I want my offers to be 20 cents on the dollar or twenty five or fifteen, whatever number you want. And it creates a grade for you and it'll create a list of subdivisions on one side and a list of acreage splits on the other side. So it might be zero to one acre, one to three acres, three to five acres, whatever. And then it'll just tell you what your offer should be in each of those categories and how many counts it's based on.

Joe: This is so cool. Guys, you've got to just see it. And if we have the time, I would ask Howard to demonstrate it. And you can if you want, but where can people go? I don't get any commissions from this. I just want to let people know if they want to see you do a demo of this, where can they go to see that?

Howard: Well, they can do better than a demo. They can download a 10 day free trial. OK, just go to land speed tech. That's LandSpeedtech.com/price-boss. And you can sign up for a 10 day free trial. And there are training videos in embedded into the tools so you can figure out how to use it.

Joe: If you have any questions, you can always reach out and off the and answer LandSpeedtech.com/price-boss. That's it. And if you're listening to the audio podcast of this, the links that we give to you will be in the show. Notes at Real Estate Investing Mastery dot com. Come first. I want to before we move on, I want to give a shout out to my good buddy. Corey Kilborn in the house. Good friend. Back from years and years ago. And he's watching on Facebook. How you doing, Cory? Say hi to Natalie and your two daughters. We got Chris from Tampa. Dale from New Orleans. What's up, Dale? And a quick question here from Yosef. He's got two questions. Just tax assessed values play a part in land with little to no comps. And if you get a land deal, a 50 percent of the tax value, would this be a good deal?

Howard:So this is a question that frequently comes up. And my stock answer to this is that the only state that I really value assessed values is Florida, really Florida data is phenomenal. And you can. But you've got to contact the county and you've got to figure out what the correlation is between assessed value and market value. But once you do that, then you can use assessed value to figure out your offers. In any other state, I would not trust assessed values. Figure out what would it assess value is. It's something that they use in order to be able to figure out how much property tax you should get. Right. So the goal of assessed value has nothing to do with market value. They may in some way figure out based on market value, but maybe not. You know, maybe it's just what they get. And typically in most states, they only do assessed value every other year, which means that it's not very current as well. So I much prefer to go get comps and using it to like Price Boss you can scrape all these comps off these different sites and you can get enough comps to feel confident in your pricing.

Joe:So let me ask you this here, because this is this is something that I'm always struggling with with my boys. Right. So we get to land. You send out a letter, we get about 10 percent response rate on our letters right now. Great. This year from these are just neutral letters, got 10 percent response. So we sent out a campaign a few months ago. Fifteen hundred letters. We got 150 calls and we got seven properties under contract. So I'm not sure what the numbers are, but that's pretty good. It's much better than houses. And so what we do is they call they leave a voicemail. The voicemail says on your letter, there's a reference I.D. number. Please leave on the voicemail, your reference I.D. number, and we will send you an offer. That’s all the voicemail says. The voice mail comes in, my boys get it, and then they go into we use data tree to pull up data. Right. So we see sometimes comps all over the board. But what I've been telling them to do is all right, because there's a way you can, like, pull up that actual property because we know what the APN number is. And there's a little button that looks like a crosshair and you click that and then centers that property in the center and then you can go out, you know, one mile, two mile, five miles. And I show them. All right. So now go to like if it's a two acre lot. Look for, you know, one to five acres that have sold in the last year in a five mile radius. Now we'll see different kinds of. You see some investor comps and you know, these are investor comps because there are like a thousand bucks an acre. And then you'll see maybe retail comps and something in the middle. So what do you recommend? We were calculating an offer. What do you recommend? You recommend taking the average. You recommend looking just at those investor sold comps and then offer that. What do you say? And then I have a part two to that question. But please go ahead.

Howard:So first thing, a quick comment on Data Tree. So I use data tree, too. I think it's a fantastic tool. But whether, you know, it's data tree or a real quest pro or agent pro 24/7, whatever your data aggregation program is. It's only as good as the data provided by the counties. Some counties will provide sold prices some low. If it's in a non-disclosure state, you're not going to get any prices out of data tree. So it's one source of data, but I'm not sure I would use it as my only source of data. Then there are a couple different approaches to doing this. One approach is you can take all of the comps that you've got. I typically try to weed out all of the investor comp. Really. I mean, it's interesting. I might look at it just to see what other people are offering. But what I really care about is what's the retail market? Because my prices should be based upon an honest retail market value. So I actually try to weed out the investor comps. I weed out all of the outliers high and low. And then what? Sometimes that I do and somebody told me this is good is what I'll do is I'll find the median And a lot of people know this. But let me just say this, because it's really kind of important, the difference between the average and the median.

Howard: This is really accurate. Yes. So average takes all the properties and says, what's the average price? Let me add up the value of all of it and then divide it by the number of properties. That's the average. The median says, give me the point at which half the properties are above it. And the other half of the properties are below it. And the median will also help you get rid of false information based upon outliers that maybe you missed. Right. It just gives you the halfway point. And what some people do and I've done this and I think it's not a bad way to do it, is they they find the median and then they delete all of the more expensive properties and then they take an average of the bottom half.

Joe: Interesting, really, is there a fancy statistical term for that?

Howard: I don't know. But the guy who did that was a customer at Lancey who has spent 40 years as a doctor. So he's a science guy and he was killing it. He was killing it. He's now killing it in the marijuana business. But, you know, I'm absolutely terrific guy, a very, very analytical approach to how he did this.

Joe: Okay, so let's talk about this. You take the median and you remove everything above it and you just take them the average of what's below it. Right. And that's what you offer.

Howard: Well, so that gets you to the average market value that you're going to use. And then what I do is I convert that into a price per acre. And then I'll multiply that times my offer value. So if my offers are going to be 20 cents on the dollar, I take my average price per acre and I multiply it times 20 percent. And then I go onto my list and I just multiply just in one cell on my spreadsheet. I multiply that times the parcel size and I just pull it down my entire list and it prices all my properties for me.

Joe: Okay. This is really good because just getting my wheels turning everybody has different ways of doing it. You know, one of the things that I like to do, though, is I like to look at those investor comps. And I said, right. So investors are offering a thousand bucks an acre. That's what I'm going to offer. These are probably guys that are doing well, you know. And so I'm gonna offer the same. That's kind of what I've been doing. But I like the idea because sometimes I'm like, man, if I average median or if I don't know. And then, okay, once I get a number. Do I do twenty five percent of that or 20 percent of that? And then I just kind of lost and confused. So like when do you, do you actually then go look at what properties are actively listed for in that county and see. All right. So if I'm going to buy this for two thousand dollars an acre, what is my competition out there currently advertising their properties for? Am I going to be, am I trying to be below them? Does that make sense?

Howard: Yeah. So the two times you do this pricing, the first time you do the pricing is when you're when you're pricing all your blind offers. The second time you would do it is when you're actually going deep into one property to say I don't really want to pay for. Absolutely. You are correct. You know, you want to see what other people are offering the properties. But when an investor sells the property, you would imagine that they're selling it in relationship to whatever the market value is. Now, if they're trying to undercut the market a little bit, that will be reflected in the average. So it's already incorporated in there. If you leave those, if you leave comps in. So I would leave in the comps when they're selling the property. I just don't want the comps and they're buying property. Yes. I'll look at this differently.

Joe:So if you see sellers are selling on average a 10 acre lot for ten thousand dollars. What do you think? All right. I want to sell mine for eight thousand dollars.

Howard: Well, I don't care what other investors are doing. Like I said, it just shows up in the averages. What I would probably do is I'll give you an example. So it depends on the quality of the GIS system in the county. GIS is the mapping system that the county uses. You know, different counties have different quality of. You know, one county that's a phenomenal GIS is Coconino County, Arizona. And the beautiful thing about it is by going to Coconino, I can hone in on my property. I'll zoom it out so I can see the whole map of the area. And there's a little button there. It'll give me all the recent sold data.

Howard: So not only can I see what properties have sold in the area recently, and it breaks it out by either just vacant land or with improvements. So I obviously only care about the vacant land. So what I'll do is I'll look at those sold comps that are just geographically right around the property that I'm looking to buy. Those are the ones that are most relevant to me. So if I can get away with that, I'm going to do that. If I can't, you know, like I said, you know, I figure out the averages and what I typically would. Well, this is a kind of an important topic. If you want to increase your deal flow, you got to create, you know, velocity of money. And, you know, there's math around this. That would show that it's better to have a lower price and sell quicker and turn that money over many times a year rather than get the maximum you can on every property. But every time you do that, if you if you price under the market, you know, you're contributing to bringing the overall price structure down. It can kind of destroy a county after a while. So what I typically would do is I figure out the median market price and I would undercut it by, you know, 10, 15, maybe 20 percent if I had to in order to shorten my sale cycle. And then I can turn my money over quicker.

Joe: Yeah, that's important. Do you prefer to sell on cash or terms with your own deals?

Howard: That's another great question. Yes. Yeah. So I think what tends to happen is when new people come in to land, invest and they start out in cash for two reasons. One, because it's easier. You know, it's a little more complicated to do other finance deals and two, because they may not be bringing a ton of capital into the game. So they need the cash to be able to purchase more properties and start growing their capital bucket. And then what will happen is as their capital increases, they'll start making a shift. OK, maybe now I'm going to try to do 20 percent terms and 80 percent cash and then over time, maybe it moves to a 50 50. And then they say, well, wouldn't it be great if I could generate enough owner financed deals so that my monthly recurring income covers my nut? And now I'm going to go to 80 percent terms and 20 percent cash. So there's not a right or wrong answer to the question. It really comes down to where you are in the journey.

Joe: I think my start. We've only done cash deals. We've just been thinking about doing terms. So we've made a lot of profit. What I've been telling my boys is, you know what? If you want to start doing real estate as a business going forward, you should wholesale anything you get. Houses or land. Wholesale them until you can cover your monthly overhead that you need for marketing and your own expenses. Anything above that, then just hold it. Sell it on terms or owner financing. And then eventually, you know, every month, that's what you do. You just wholesale the first couple of deals to cover your expenses. Anything after that you keep to sell on terms and build that up to where eventually you have enough money, cash flow coming in from your own financing deals to cover your monthly expenses. And then you can just decide whatever you want to do. Cool. I got some more questions here from people that are coming in. This is from Alexander. Howard, is there more value in doing land deals in town or out in rural areas? Can you talk to you? What do you recommend? And I have been seeing some people buying land in small towns, super ridiculously cheap and selling them and doing all right with them. What is your philosophy on this?

Howard:So whether it's in a small town or whether it's in what we would call the donut around, say, a fast growing city. They're often called infill lots. That's the terminiology that's used. And so the buyer of an infill lot would typically be a developer who would then buy that lot and put something on it. Whether it's a spec home, well, typically would be a spec home. So if the current economy is such that real estate's going well and and developers are active, it's a great strategy. I have customers that have made a fortune in the strategy, but I always say the same thing. Never put all your eggs in one basket because the economy can change that. That's the only strategy you've got moving right now. The economy changes. You're going to your whole business is going to dry up. And we're kind of at that point right now with what's the economic fallout from Corona virus could crash the real estate market. And then all the developers are saying that I'm not buying property right now. So you but you don't want to make that your only strategy.

Joe: I think I would recommend. Would you agree? When you're starting by rural recreational land, right. It's a little less risky. You can buy it cheaper than infill lots in the city. Would you agree?

Howard: Well, I like I always like to play. Whatever's in the news cycle is great. Play the news cycle. Right. So now you need what you call it prepper land or whether you call it, you know, you're bug out land, you know. So if you're if you're living in California right now and you're worried about what's going on, coronavirus, wouldn't it be great to have a 40 acre plot somewhere in Arizona that you could just grab your bug out bag and get out of Dodge? Exactly. So I always try to like leverage whatever is top of mind for people, you know.

Joe: And you know what I'm thinking about and I don't want to make this sound like I'm taking advantage of people in a difficult situation. Let me just be real clear that we're not talking about taking advantage of people or how to profit from people's unfortunate situations. But I'm thinking New York City, one of the reasons why there are so many cases of coronavirus there is there's it's like the most densely populated city in the United States, one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Everybody's living on top of each other. I think I'm seeing maybe I'm predicting a trend going where people are less people are going to be wanting to live in high density urban areas and are going to be wanting to be out in suburban areas and even out in the country. And I'm thinking people that want to be in the New York area, maybe we should start looking at rural vacant land in the New England area. You know, a couple, three hours away from New York City that people can go to. What's your philosophy on that? Do you think? You know, and it kind of relates to the question I wanted to ask you, that the current market shift that we're seeing right now. How do you recommend land investors start thinking about where they want to start looking for new opportunities? Makes sense.

Howard: Yeah, for sure. So I live in that area. So I live in Connecticut, right on the New York border. So, OK. Hi there. And you know, that's it's kind of already happens. Right. It happens in the good times, too. So if you're living in the city, you want your escape plan where you can go in there, breathe some fresh air and see some trees. And so all the way up the Hudson River Valley, up to, say, New Paltz. The land prices have been skyrocketing in the good times. Just because people want their getaway land. And that starts to get into that two to three hour travel range from New York City. So, in fact, we may have missed the window on it a little bit. You can go into the next county up, which is always an opportunity to get some cheaper land. For people who are first starting out. You know, one of my recommendations is keep it simple, because there's a lot to learn in any business and there's going to be a lot to learn in this business. So don't overcomplicate things. When I was starting out, I mean, I live in Connecticut. I could have purchased in Connecticut or New Jersey or all these places that I've lived. But I have certain knockout questions, you know, for new, new investors. One is, if property values are really high in your brand new investor, maybe not the best place to start. If property taxes are really high, maybe not the best place to start. If bureaucracy and litigiousness, you know, lawsuits are really high. Maybe not the best place to start. And finally, if it requires an attorney to close every single real estate transaction, maybe not the best place. OK.

Joe: Point well taken. Very good. OK. So what do you recommend, Howard, then? Well, what do you see? Well, where do you see the market going with land investing particularly? Are you bullish or bearish on on land?

Howard:So we live in very interesting times. And I don't think any of us has a crystal ball to say where things are going as a result of this Corona virus. But if we take that and kind of put it off to the side for the moment, say this snapshot of science today, you know, will the economy bounce back? What's going to happen? You know, I talk to a lot of landed districts all the time. And what I'm seeing right now is that things have not slowed down at all. If anything, response to letters has massively increased. And I attribute that to the fact that people are home and actually reading their mail. So that's good news. I just saw post today, this guy just said I sold six properties last week. Six properties last week. Last week. You know, so properties are still moving. And I think that conceptually what you were talking about is, you know, people living in these densely populated areas, they want to have, you know, this more rural land. I agree with that. So I'm always interested in that next donut around a fast growing, particularly tier two cities. I like better than tier one almost. So, you know, I don't know how you would define a tier to as but I might define it as, you know, an Austin versus a New York City. But even smaller than that is what is potentially two people come in, they work in the city, but they want their getaway land.

Howard: They want to go hunting. They want to go eat dinner or whatever they want do. So I think that's good. I think right now, you know, if you market it right separately, end no bug out land, whatever you want to call it. Absolutely. You know, if you live in a big city, if you live in Denver, Colorado, you know, I'm going to put up a cabin on it. It's going to be off grid. And, you know, when the zombie apocalypse comes, that's where I'm taking my family.

Joe: When the government comes to take all my guns.

Howard:Exactly. There's just there's always opportunity. And it's really about, you know, it's a very big country. And despite what we may think living in our cities, it's a very sparsely populated country. I think I've read that if you check every human being in the United States and put them right next to each other, they would maybe occupy Manhattan.

Joe: And I read, too, if you took the whole world and gave them a three by three foot square, they would cover the state of Texas. Yeah. Every major in the world would cover the entire state of Texas to be given a three by three foot. And, you know, I heard something else, too. If you took everybody in the world and gave them the same population density person per square mile as. New York City, they would cover the area of Los Angeles. I think I read something like that, but the entire population, the world, the same density as New York City, the entire like not just downtown L.A., but like the whole huge city out of L.A. County. That's why I think it was L.A. County anyway. Howard, people are thinking, I want to talk about your CRM because it's really amazing. It's called land speed. But first, you know, how do you compare? People think there's not that much land out there. Right. There's too much comp. I'm worried about too much competition. There's too many other investors now looking at land. I missed the opportunity. I missed the boat. Aren't there gonna be you know, aren't there gonna be too many people now competing, trying to find land deals? Can you talk about like how much land is out there? People don't even realize and compare that to maybe in the house housing market is. I make sense.

Howard: Sure. It's a big country. I mean, a billion or billions of acres of land in this country that's excluding Alaska, which is, you know, unto itself. There's so much land, there's so much opportunity that it and all the land investors can buy in their lifetimes couldn't match the opportunity size where people, I think, get this issue of, you know, is it oversaturated? It's not an illegitimate argument. What happens is a lot of the schools that are bringing people into the field are teaching this cheap rural lands model, which is fine. I mean, it's a legitimate model, right. But it always leads you into the same areas, at least in these Sunbelt states, in the Sunbelt counties. And so all these new people are coming in and they're working in the same counties. And what happens is an amazingly they're still actually money to be made there. It's just not as easy it was when I started in the beginning of 2016. But it's like I lost my train of thought there.

Joe: First something and you're talking about like states like Colorado and Arizona, Nevada, Nevada, New Mexico, like that's where everybody when they buy these courses, that's where they're focusing. But there's a lot of other opportunity around the United States.

Howard: And that's it. So  I would say that if you want to break away. Well, that's what I say, first of all. A lot of these people that are coming in, they're not going to survive because I'm just being honest. Not everybody is truly an entrepreneur. You know, an entrepreneurial journey is a very up and down journey. You've got to be able to weather the downs. The downside. In order to doubt to get the appreciation of the upside. And a lot of people, you know, they get to that downside. And emotionally, it's just too much for them. And they say, this isn't for me and they walk away, you know? Fair enough. But before they do that, they send mail and all this mail’s hitting the same people and they're getting. And so. So I think the we on the receiving in the property owners are getting a false sense of the value of their property. So it does cause a problem in some of these counties that are very saturated. So if you wanted to get away from that, if you want to break away from the pack, there are a few ways to do it. One is go to other counties besides those very commonly in counties where everybody starting, there's, you know, what are there 10, 20 of them that, you know, people really coalesce to currently talking like 1 percent of the entire counties in the United States.

Joe: There's over thirty-one hundred counties. You know, I was looking at one county the other day and I won't say where it had twenty-three thousand locks. Yeah. In one county. Yeah. Blown away. All right.

Howard: Well I mean you go to Florida and in Florida, you know, especially before 2008, these developers came and they bought this land, they planted it all out into these quarter acre lots so that everybody can either have a McMansion or a mobile. And then after 2008, it all just kind of died. But the platted, the platted land is still there. So one subdivision in Florida might have more individual lost than entire counties out west.

Joe: Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's a lot of opportunity out there. All right, Howard, land speed. Why did you create land speed? What does it do?

Howard:So as I mentioned earlier, I got to this point where my deal flow went up and I wasn't able to manage it on spreadsheets or Post-it notes. And I was mailing out of my house and I had lunch with a friend of mine who is a serial entrepreneur who I've worked for in a tech startup, he was asking me what I was doing as I was telling them all about land the best and how I was doing it. And he looked like put his foot down. He looked at me. He said, as men will say to men, Howard, you're an idiot. I'm going to paraphrase. He said, if you want to make big money, you have to solve big problems and you can't solve big problems if you're wasting all of your time solving little administrative problems like figuring out how to get mail out the door. And that was a big aha moment for me. And I immediately came home and I started the process of automating my mailing process. And I did that. And I got the bug at that point. And I said, you know what? I'm just going to process map the entire workflow of the land business. And I'm going to take it one step at a time. One chunk it it's not. So first did mailing that I'll do due diligence, then I'll do closing that do marketing. Then I'll do sales, then the funnel, and I take it one step at a time. And I went really, really? And time was on my side because I was just doing it for my own business. And I could I could apply my full ADD nature into this. And I did it. I built the whole thing out. And at this point, when I said, you know, I think I'm done. I shared it with some of my other friends in the business. And their reaction was, well, we want this. Yeah. And that's how Lancefield was born. And we started offering it to to the larger community in a summer of 2017. I wanted to do so. The goal was to automate everything that could possibly be automated in the workflow. Now, not everything can be automated in the workflow. Some things have to be done by humans. And oftentimes, as you mentioned earlier, we use virtual assistance. However, this is the key. While the content of a deal is always different from one deal to the next. The process is always the same. And so when it hits a certain point in the process, it creates a trigger so that you can automatically send a task to a V.A. with a script and do this. These three things and at the end of those three things said it to the next step in the process, which then will create that trigger for the next thing that happens. So even the tasking of your V.A.s is automated.

Joe: Did you build this from the ground up? Did you build it on top of podio or another platform or what did you do?

Howard: I built it on top of podio. And podio I find to be particularly adapted to to real estate because I find that the process in land is a very linear process. First, I do this, that I do this, then I do this. And because you can create these apps in podio, it just it just takes you overall along the process. Now, building something in podio is actually not that easy because you look at and say this is a very powerful tool, can do a lot of things, but it's sort of like looking at a blank canvas. You've got to figure out how to paint it. Right. So what are the apps? What's in the apps? What functionality or what information do I want to capture? So then you paste the app and then you add to it. Now you set something good like a painter and you start thinking like an animator, because now I want to automate things. And so now I'm going and I'm saying, OK, when I do this, I want all this data from before to flow into this app, because I certainly don't want to be repeating anything. And I want all of this to be available so I can just hit a button and create a legal document that I feel confident. And if it goes on and on and on. So you've got to paint it. Then you've got to automate it and refine it.

Joe:So talk about what are some of the automation that it does? Does visit send out, sends letters? What else?

Howard:So it does send letters. And perhaps I could just hone in on that one little piece because I think the quality of a solution determines it's based upon its functionality. So yeah, a lot of solutions can mail, right? What Land Speed does is you upload your entire list into land speed and then you can create a campaign and the pain will say something like I want to send 30 letters day through Friday to hurt anybody. Florida between today and June 30th. Go. And so every Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Monday through Friday, 30 letters are going to go out the door. There's nothing more you have to do until you know, July 1st. Yeah, that's good, but that's not enough. So the next thing it does is you can mix and match blind offers and neutral offers within the same campaign. So when you upload your list, if there's an offer value, land speed understands that that's a blind offer. You can use the blind offer template. If there's no offer, then Land Speed understands that that's a neutral offer. A little automatically apply the neutral offer templates. You got a match in the same guy. The last piece. Well, there's a couple more pieces. One is bit of strategy. I am a big believer in mailing every single day. Not everybody is, but I am. And there are a lot of reasons why.

Howard: One, it smooths out my business. If I'm always mailing, I'm always getting calls, I'm always doing due diligence, I'm always closing, I'm always selling. And so I'm doing everything in the business every day. Whereas if I sent out two thousand letters, three thousand letters at a time that I sit around with all my thumbs told the Atlanta people's mailboxes and then my phone's ringing off the hook and everything gets very spiky and I don't like spiky businesses. The other reason I like to mail every single day is because I'm a data guy and I like feedback. If I sent out 2000 blind offers, I have no opportunity to adjust my price. It's done. But if I mail those same two thousand and I break it, I'm selling city every day that I'm getting feedback from the marketplace. And if I'm getting fewer responses than I expect to get, that might indicate that my pricing is too low for that particular market. Or if I'm getting too many responses, that might indicate that my pricing is too high for that market. So within a campaign function and land speed, there's a little adjustment factor. So I can just go in and I can say put it two in there and then wait for all the subsequent mailings. It'll just increase all of my prices by 2 percent or I can put a negative 3 and in all, my subsequent mailings will decrease the prices by 3 percent. Nice. The only way that you can cost effectively and efficiently mail every single day is if you have really low mailing rates. One of the reasons people send in bulk is because it's the only way to get a discount out of mail houses like click to mail or letter stream or whoever. But what we did at land speed is we've aggregated the volume of our entire community and use that to negotiate. So everybody gets the low rates and it doesn't matter. And the important thing is that there's no volume. So it doesn't matter whether you send one letter a month or ten thousand letters a month, you still get the same low rates. That's why you can mail every single day.

Joe:So you've partnered with the mail house then to do the mail. Yes. Very cool. How can. All right, we're coming up to an hour here. This has gone by really fast. How can people see a demo of land speed and maybe see if there's something they want to be interested in?

Howard:Yes. So go to the best thing is to go to Facebook to my Facebook page. It's just Facebook.com/landbizautomation. And you can click the button and set up a 50 minute call. Let's chat. I'd like to understand where you are in the process. We've got a couple different solutions that we can cater based on what the needs are, and then we'll take it from there and I'll make sure we'll see whatever you need to see in order to make a good quality decision.

Joe: Good. So I'm going to type this in. You're right. Facebook.com/landbizautomation.

Howard: That's it. And Joe, if I could just make one last point. About a week or two ago, you interviewed Virga, Jeremie Van Stinkiess. Yes. So, David, I go way back. And he's been a landscape customer for over two years now. We're very good friends. And so we decided to take all of the educational stuff out of Landspeed and create a new company for this, which we call Land.mba. Thank you for putting that up there. I think the MBA is is pretty neat. So if you're coming into this business or if you're in this business and you really want to scale it, it's a one stop shop because basically the packages we've created include all of the education, all of the tools, all the community and deal financing. So everything that you need to be successful, you can get through these packages that we've created. And I would really encourage people to take a look. Because whether you're a new land investor or you just want to get to that next scaling point in your business. I think there's a lot to offer there.

Joe: You just updated your Web site you used to have a flyover of some really beautiful land and now you've got some dude.

Howard: Well, yeah, happy to work in factories. But yeah, the land was great if you want to build a land and a late investor Web site selling land. But what we're actually selling is, is knowledge.

Joe: For my two cents, whatever it's worth. I love those such beautiful land that you were flying over and you said on there, think big start small scale fast. I love that. Three things. That's really good. Excellent. Thank you. So land.mba Dave Van Stinkiess Yes. Yes. I interviewed him. I just released that podcast a couple days ago. And really good interview talking with Dave and how he does his land investing. He's partner with Howard here and they've created a really, really unique education program that's a combination of coaching and product at Land.MBA. And it looks very, very good. I am. I'm excited about it. I love getting there's a lot of different guys out there that have land courses and I've probably interviewed all of them. I always say, listen, when it comes to show I get this course or this course or this one. I say get them all because they all have different angles, different unique approaches. And I've learned things from different investors that teach different things, ways to do it. But I definitely check out recommend you check out land dot MBA. That's a good program. Howard and Dave are very active in the business. Cool. We got some more questions. Are you have time for one more question? Sure. This is from Jordan. Not sure if you talked about this yet. Our developers and builders are still buying land during the recession. I guess we're coming. We're assuming that we're coming into a recession with this question.

Howard: Yeah, I haven't seen the slowdown yet. I don't think the reality of our current economic situation has completely flowed through the psyche of Americans yet. And we're only what, two weeks into this quarantine. So I think we need to wait until the next set of statistics come out about housing starts and all of all of what's going on. To really understand what the answer to that question is, I think from the moment it still seems OK. But if your only strategy is to sell to developers, I would say now's the time to think of some additional strategies and not have all your eggs in one basket.

Joe: Very good. All right. So we gave three Web sites on this podcast. Landspeedtech.com/price-boss. If we want some more information about land speed, which is the price boss I'm sorry, is the software spreadsheet that helps you come up with comps. You just copy all of the Zillow data, right from the Zillow Web site. You just copy the Web site you like, you highlight it and then command C or control C to copy it. Go to a spreadsheet and command V or control V to paste it. And it takes that stuff and puts it into a table and analyze it. It's amazing. So check that out if you're interested in the land speed CRM. Go to Facebook.com/landbizautomation. Again, all these links will be in the show notes Real Estate Investing Masteries Web site. And if you interested in getting some education on it, go to land dot n.b.a. on the previous podcast with Dave. I called it land M.B.A. Dot com. So that was wrong. This is correct. It's land dot MBA. Cool. Thank you, Howard, for taking the time to be here. I really appreciate it.

Howard: Well, thank you, Joe. It's been a lot of fun and hope I provided some value to your audience.

Joe: Yes. Yes, you have. For sure. All right. So hold on one second. But we're gonna say goodbye here to everybody. Thank you, everybody. If you want the show notes again, go to RealEstateInvestingMastery.com, RealEstateInvestingMastery.com to get the transcripts. Show notes of this podcast. Until next time we'll see you around. Subscribe to the podcast again. Go to Apple podcast and subscribe. We will see you all later. Bye bye.

What are you thinking?

First off, we really love feedback, so please click here to give us a quick review in iTunes! Got any thoughts on this episode? We'd love to hear 'em too. Talk to us in the comments below.

Enjoy this podcast? Share the love!

Related Posts

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}