grassy land at sunset

What Types of Land Investments to Make and How to Market Them for a Profit

If you’re thinking about investing in real estate, investing in single-family homes or commercial properties in particular may instantly come to mind. However, sometimes, the treasure that can buttress your bottom line may not be the building you’re looking at buying—it may be the earth sitting directly underneath it.

 

The reality is that land is an often overlooked yet potentially lucrative asset if you know what to buy, where to buy it, how to maintain it, and how to market it. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to have a mixture of land and properties in your real estate investing portfolio.

 

Here’s a glimpse at a few land investment options and how to market them for a profit.

 

Option #1: Infills

These are small properties that often exist on undeveloped pieces of land that are a couple of hours or less from suburban areas. If you’re looking at an infill when buying land for investment purposes, be sure to take into consideration how easy building on the property is. Also, is the location of the infill a desirable one?

 

The great thing about infills is that they offer builders a simple and fast way of generating a profit if they can build affordably and sell their properties quickly. So, if you have an infill, you have an asset that builders may be eager to buy from you. An infill can be particularly attractive if it has some or all utilities already available. However, even if an infill lacks utilities, don’t skip over it. A number of alternative water sources and systems that produce power are now easily accessible to the public and will appeal to consumers seeking green energy.

 

Option #2: Commercial Land

City property is another excellent land investment option, as it can be transformed into a shopping space, storage facility, factory, or warehouse. It could even be used to hold a doctor’s office, restaurant, or mechanic shop.

 

When you are evaluating commercial land’s potential, think about what type of development would work best on that piece of land and if there are any zoning restrictions. For instance, if you think the land could be used for building a shopping center, is there convenient road access? Do potential shoppers live nearby? Asking these kinds of questions now may help you make a larger profit in the future.

 

Option #3: Subdivision Land

A subdivision land tract can be relatively large and carry a great deal of promise for building a housing subdivision. So, how exactly do you know if you have a piece of land on your hands that’s worth investing in?

 

For starters, check with your county zoning and planning authorities. They can help you to determine if you can extend services to the land in an affordable manner. This is an important step because some sizeable subdivision developments across the United States have been stalled since county services could not be affordably extended to them. Also, take a look at the by-laws to determine if you can subdivide the property.

 

Option #4: Recreational Land Investment

Remember that not every piece of land actually needs developing. You could purchase land that could be used for your or another party’s personal enjoyment. In fact, this happens to be a very common and legitimate reason for investing in land.

 

If you’re interested in investing in land to be used for recreational purposes, consider whether you will be permitted to fish, hunt, or erect a cabin on the land, and if other people could do this safely as well. If so, you may have an attractive asset that you could sell for a profit to someone who loves doing outdoor recreational activities or even wants to live off the grid.

 

Option #5: Farmland

In years past, investors were discouraged from investing in agricultural properties due to their large upfront costs, combined with the investors’ lack of knowledge about these types of properties. However, research shows that farmland is one of the best investments out there, with the market being worth more than $2.5 trillion in the United States alone.

 

So, why is farmland so hot right now when it comes to land investment? Because it’s a relatively stable investment that doesn’t carry much volatility, especially if you invest in an area known for its high production, you can experience substantial profits. On top of this, it has a negative correlation to other classes of assets, which means that the prices of land usually increase when bond and stock prices decrease. For this reason, it’s a wise asset to add to a diversified portfolio of investments.

 

Appreciation

One of the biggest reasons for the popularity of land investment is that you can’t produce land in a factory. In other words, the supply of land is fixed, so the sole economic factor that fluctuates is demand.

 

What does this mean for you? It means that you as a farmland investor could find yourself in an extremely beneficial economic position. That’s because you’ll be controlling the small amount of a commodity that is in high demand—the dream of every investor. Of course, purchasing farmland does require a large amount of capital upfront, but this type of land investment will pay dividends down the road. Over the past 20 years or so, farmland has risen in value by a few percent each year.

 

How to Market Land for a Profit

For land in residential areas, consider speaking with neighbors directly, as they may be interested in expanding their properties into the spaces you own. You can also contact nearby builders to see if they’d be interested in your residential or commercial land tracts. Also, feel free to showcase your residential, commercial, farming, or recreational property on eBay, Facebook, Craigslist, and Zillow.

 

In addition, be open to marketing your land for a variety of possible uses. Whether these involve farming, developing an energy farm, or hunting, you don’t know what may ultimately attract buyers. Just be sure to find out what your property is zoned for to avoid misleading buyers with improper information.

 

Start Buying Land for Investment Purposes!

Now’s a great time to get your feet wet with buying and marketing land for a profit. You can learn how to raise money to invest if you set up a planning session with me, Joe Fairless. If we’re a good fit, we can sit down and discuss your strategy for your future land investments.

raw cotton land

Advice for Raw Land Investing: How to Sell Raw Land at 300% to 1000% Profit

 

Last week, Mark Podolsky, who has completed over 5,000 raw land transactions in his 14-year investment career, taught us how to consistently buy raw land for $0.20 to $0.30 on the dollar. Here’s a recap of his raw land investing advice, which he calls “The Best Passive Income Model”:

 

  • He purchases the lowest hanging fruit, which is land that’s owned by investors who live out-of-state or owe back taxes.
  • He sends the owners an offer for $0.20 to $0.30 on the dollar.
  • A small percentage of those people accept the offer.
  • Once an offer is accepted, Mark conducts due diligence, purchases the property, and quickly resells it at 300% to 1000% return on investment.

 

Now, Mark is back for part 2 where he explains how to sell the land at a price that is 3 to 10 times higher than what he originally bought it for.

 

Mark has 5 main methods for finding potential buyers for his raw land investing deals, which are ranked from highest to lowest in terms of the number of overall deals closed:

1. The Neighbor

“We have a built in best buyer, the neighbor,” Mark explained. “The neighbor is going to give us a lot of good information on that property.” There are three typical scenarios when approaching a buyer, Mark said.

  • “Number one: they’re going to want to buy the property because [they’ll think] ‘hey, I don’t know who my neighbors going to be, so I want to control it.’”
  • “Number two: they’re like ‘hey I don’t want my property either’, and they want to sell it. Now we’ve got a larger asset to sell to somebody outside or to another neighbor.”
  • Number three: the neighbor isn’t interested in buying the land or selling theirs.

 

This is the most effective method for selling during raw land investing deals.

2. Buyer’s List

If the neighbor isn’t interested, the next best option is to go to your buyer’s list. “What I like to do every single day,” said Mark, “is [to] do something to create some value or educate people on the benefits of owning raw land.” Then, he will end the content with a call-to-action. Two example of calls-to-action would be, “If you want to learn more, just opt-in here” or “Get $250 off your first land purchase.”

 

This opt-in function is how Mark builds his buyer’s list. Then, he said “every week, I send them a promotion on a piece of raw land. Every week, I sell land to my list.”

3. Craigslist

If Mark has more than one piece of land to sell per week, or if he has exhausted his buyer’s list, he posts raw land investing deals to Craigslist. “Craigslist is the 10th most trafficked website in the US,” he said. “We use a program called Posting Domination. I’m able to automate 124 postings a day, all at the click of a button. It’s unbelievable. So we sell everyday on Craigslist, and we are building our buyer’s list everyday on Craigslist.”

4. Buy/Sell Facebook Groups

If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to use Craigslist, another option is Facebook. Mark said, “right now, people are selling all day long on buy/sell groups on Facebook.” However, these are not the typical raw land investing or real estate buy/sell groups. “They’re going to Craigslist buy/sell groups, recreational vehicles buy/sell groups, hunting buy/sell groups, or fishing buy/sell groups.”

 

This, like the previous methods of selling raw land investments, can be automated as well. “Using a tool like Buffer, which is free, or Meet Edgar, you can automate your Facebook postings in these buy/sell groups.”

5. The Lands

If the free platforms, like Facebook and Craigslist, don’t pan out, you can go to what Mark refers to as The Lands. “We can go to landfarm.com. We can go to landofamerica.com. WE can go to landflip.com. We can go to landwatch.com. We can go to landhub.com… There’s no shortage of them, and these are people looking for raw land.”

The Secret to Raw Land Investing

raw rural land

According to Mark, he has never been stuck with a piece of raw land. Every time he buys land, he is able to sell it. How has he accomplished this, selling 5,000 pieces of property and never getting stuck with a single one? Because Mark says, “I make it irresistible.”

“Just like a car payment, if it’s a car payment that everyone can afford – a low down [payment], a low monthly [payment] – it’s irresistible.”

 

Mark continued, saying, “I’m in the pulling business, not the pushing business. I’m not sending people [opportunities] or advertisements to get traffic. I’m going to places where people are already telling themselves a story that it’s very valuable to own raw land, even if they aren’t going to use it one day. It’s just a good asset to have.”

Example Raw Land Deal Structure

The reason why Mark calls his raw land investing strategy the “Best Passive Income Model” is because “it’s a one-time sale. Then you get recurring income without having to deal with a renter, rehabs, renovations, or rodents.”

 

How does he get recurring income? Let’s say that Mark has a 40-acre parcel in Nevada that he purchased for $25000 and is selling it to you for $25,000. You likely won’t have $25,000 in cash lying around. Therefore, at that point, here is a simplified example of a conversation that will occur:

Mark – “Hey, why don’t we do owner financing on a land contract.”

You – “Great. Let’s do it.”

Mark – “How much do you want to put down?”

You – “Well, I’ll put 10% down.”

 

At a 10% down payment, Mark will get his original $2500 back at closing. Then, you’re going to make payments to Mark over the duration of the loan, which is the passive income aspect of the raw land investing strategy. He gets monthly income without having to maintain or protect the property, because, after all, it’s just a piece of dirt.

Conclusion

Mark’s investment strategy is to purchase raw land at $0.20 to $0.30 on the dollar and quickly resell it at 300% to 1000% profit.

 

Mark’s top 5 sources of buyers are:

  • The neighbor
  • His buyer’s list
  • Craigslist
  • Facebook
  • The Lands

Mark has never been stuck with a piece of raw land because he always makes the deal irresistible. When selling the land, the typical deal structure is seller financing. Mark gets an initial down payment, which will usually cover his current out-of-pocket costs. Then, he gets monthly passive income in the form of a payment based on the seller financing terms.

Raw land investing can be hugely profitable, with few risks to you. If you have any questions or feedback about Mark’s model, please post them in a comment below.

raw land

How to Consistently Buy Raw Land at $0.20 to $0.30 on the Dollar

 

Ever wonder if buying raw land is a good investment? What if I told you there’s a land real estate strategy that allowed you to consistently purchase properties for 20% to 30% of the current market value and you could flip them for 300% profit on average? Well, Mark Podosky, who has completed over 5,000 raw land real estate transactions, has been doing just that for over 14 years and completed 192 of these transactions in 2016!

 

In our recent conversation, he walked us through a step-by-step process for buying raw land and at $0.20 to $0.30 on the dollar.

wheat field under blue sky

Raw Land Real Estate Strategy #1 – Low Hanging Fruit

Mark’s go-to strategy is to go after low hanging fruit which, in the raw land game, are parcels whose owners owe back taxes (if you anxiously ask, is raw land a good investment, then pay close attention here). “Let’s imagine I see on the tax roll Joe Fairless owes $200 in back taxes on a piece of raw land in Texas,” Mark said. “So I send you a ‘top dollar’ offer, 20 to 30 cents on the dollar.”

 

Mark obtains the tax roll from the county treasurer’s office. Once he obtains the tax roll, he scrubs the list, first by filtering it by the use code VL (vacant land). Then, he batches it by sorting by acre, because “you don’t want to send an owner that has 40 acres the same offer that has 5 acres in that same county.” For example, if Mark is wanting to make two offers, one on 1.5-acres of land and another on 40-acres of land, he’ll want to find two separate recent comps. “The 1.5-acre is going to get more money per acre than a 5-acre, 10-acre, or 40-acre would,” Mark explained. “It’s always better to go to a recent comp on a 1.5-acre and divide by four,” as opposed to finding a 40-acre recent comp, dividing by 40 to get a per acre price, and multiplying by 1.5 to get a 1.5-acre value.

 

Next, Mark needs to calculate an offer price, which involves a recent sales comparable. Mark said, “I’ll look at the comparable sales for 6 to 12 to 18 months, get a median value – I might take even the lowest value and I’ll divide by 4. That’s going to give me a huge margin of safety.”

 

To obtain the sales comps, Mark goes to the county assessor, who records all the recent sales. He’ll use this list to find recent sales similar to the parcel he wants to make an offer on, use the median or lowest value, and then take that and divide it by 4 to get his offer price.

 

Next, Mark will send the owner an offer via direct mail. Mark’s message is simple and to the point: “I’m interested in buying your property at this amount.” The letter also includes the legal description and acreage of the property, a section that reads, “accept here, sign here, and mail it back.” To end the letter, Mark says, “It might have a little line for a counter offer. Then it will have some legalese saying ‘based on this this and this, it has an out clause’ so we’re always having a way out.”

 

When sending offers, it’s basically a numbers game, because obviously, a very low percentage of these offers will be accepted. “Three to five percent of people will accept that offer,” explained Mark. “If it’s under 3%, I know I got my numbers a little low. If it’s over 5% – everyone is accepting my offer – I’m probably a little high.”

 

When sellers return the letter after accepting an offer, Mark says, “they send it to my mailbox and then we have it scanned. I use a service [called] Smart Scan Alert. I don’t even touch mail anymore. It would go to them, they’ll scan it, and for the scan, I’ll have my VA (virtual assistant) team contact them and [say], ‘hey we got your returned, signed agreement to sell your land. Mark and his team are going to take 7 days of due diligence and we’ll let you know within the next 7 days how we’re going to close.’ Typically, what we’ll do is email them a deed for them to sign, notarize, and send back to us. We’ll record it and then we’ll send them a check. That’s [our process for land that’s] $5,000 or less. If it’s more than $5,000, we’ll close through a title company.”

 

How does Mark and his team perform due diligence? “We want to call planning and zoning for our due diligence,” he explained. The goal is to determine, “what can we do there? What can’t we do there? Can we build? What are the roads? What are the easements? Are there any utility easements?” These are some helpful points of consideration in answering, “is raw land a good investment?”

 

Since the owner owes back taxes and has been receiving notices from the treasurer all this time, in combination with the fact that it’s a piece of land and not a property, so they’re not emotionally attached, it’s likely that they’ll accept such a low offer.

 

This is Mark’s go-to strategy for how he approaches buying land for $0.20 to $0.30 on the dollar. The next strategy is very similar. The only difference is how Mark obtains the original list of vacant land.

green field with sunshine

Raw Land Real Estate Strategy #2 – Obtain Entire Property Roll

 

Mark follows a second strategy if, for one reason or another, he can’t get the tax roll from the country treasurer. When that is the case, Mark says, “the best thing to do is [to] go to the county assessor and get the entire property roll, which is public information. Get that in Excel, [and] then start taking out all the commercial properties, industrial properties, and residential properties, by use-code. You can get all the vacant land in that county. Then start batching it by size (i.e. acreage) and get your valuations correct per acre and send out offers that way, always dividing comps by 4.”

 

In general, Mark says getting a good list in excel format is a challenge. Besides following the method above, here are a couple other ways to obtain a good list. “My favorite way is just go directly to the county,” Mark explained. Also, “you can pay for these lists. You can go to agentpro247.com and buy a list and scrub the list. [Or] you can go to your local title company and ask them for a list.”

 

Once you have a list, follow the strategy laid out in “Raw Land Real Estate Strategy #1.”

 

Raw Land Real Estate Strategy #3 – ‘Deed Grabber’

 

Mark’s final strategy is called a ‘deed grabber.’ “Let’s say, for example, you’ve been getting these back tax notices for years and all of a sudden you know next month, you’re going to lose your property to tax auction,” Mark described. “You know this is going to happen so a deed grabber situation would be ‘I’m going to send you an offer letter right before that property is going to go to tax deed auction and buy it from you and record that deed and pay the back taxes so I don’t have to go into a competitive situation.”

 

Mark continued, saying, “you time it by going on your calendar and looking at all the tax sale dates for those counties that you’re interested in and you plan out your mailings based upon when those tax deed sales will occur.” To find that information, go to the county treasurer, either online or by sending them an email.

dusty road through field

Conclusion

 

Mark has three strategies for buying raw land at $0.20 to $0.30 on the dollar (and that can help you answer that nagging question, “is raw land a good investment”).

 

First, he targets the low hanging fruit, which are pieces of land real estate where the owner owes back taxes. Mark obtains the tax roll from the county treasurer or purchases a list online. Then, he goes to the county assessor to find recent comps, which allows him to determine the land’s value. Finally, he divides the value by 4 to get to his offer price and mails the owner a one-page offer letter.

 

Mark’s second strategy is when the treasurer doesn’t have or won’t give him access to the tax list. When that’s the case, he goes to the county assessor to obtain the entire property roll. At this point, he will follow the same process as strategy #1.

 

The third strategy is called a deed grabber. For this strategy, Mark sends an offer to an owner right before their land real estate is scheduled to be sold at a tax deed auction.

 

Do you want more information on buying and selling raw land? Perhaps you have a business strategy you would like an expert opinion on? Apply for a planning session with me, and we might be able to work together on your own strategy that implements Mark’s.