Episode 125 – Brent Bowers on The Military Millionaire Podcast

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Brent Bowers on The Military Millionaire Podcast

Episode 125 – Brent Bowers on The Military Millionaire Podcast

00:00 - 05:00

David:

What's up military millionaires. I'm your host David Pere together with Alexander Felice, who is on the road doing cool real estate stuff today. And we have Brent Bowers, who served in the Army for eight years, and has transitioned into buying and selling and investing in land, which is just a cool asset class to me, because for one, I'm not an expert in land investing.

And for two, I have never owned a property that doesn't involve some land. So I feel like I should know more about it. And so I like talking about the subject and learning about it.

Intro:

Welcome to the military millionaire podcast where we teach service members, veterans and their families how to build wealth through personal finance, entrepreneurship, and real estate investing. I'm your host, David Pere. And together with my co host, Alex Felice. We're here to be your no BS guide along the most important mission, you'll ever embark on your finances.

Roger Vick Oscar Mike.

David:

With that being said, Brent, welcome to the show.

Brent:

Thanks, guys. Thanks so much for having me. Appreciate it. What's up military millionaires?

David:

There you go. That's it.

Why don't you give a little background about yourself and how you got into this rather small niche in the real estate world that I think is pretty cool.

Brent:

Yeah, it's a long, boring, sad story. But I'll give you the, the kind of the Reader's Digest.

You know, I graduated high school 2004 and got my real estate license. 2006 purchased my first property, my first home in 2007, had to borrow money from Great Grandma. And my plan to pay her back was I was going to get a real estate commission when I purchased this house. And everyone knows what happened in 2008.

So I pretty much purchased the house at the top of the market, paying my great grandmother back had just gotten my real estate license. And then pretty much moved to the coast to work that real estate license and rented that house out for 900 a month. My mortgage was 750. I thought I was doing great things. I was no landlord, I rented out at the top of the market. And the person's credit wasn't that great. I learned the hard way that if you're going to get top top dollar for your your rentals, you're probably not going to get the best tenant because the best tenants don't have to pay the most so I kind of learned through the the school of hard knocks with that and real estate was sucking in 2008. So I knew I needed something different so I tried to join the Air Force and don't laugh too hard. But they wouldn't let me in.

So thank god there was an army recruiter nice enough next door to take me in.

David:

They will take anyone.

Brent:

Yeah they will take anybody so I'm waiting for the jokes. I can take them.

I worked with a couple Marines on my cruise. I do some houses too. And they're all Marines. So I take it on a daily basis, the jokes.

But anyhow, join the army for I knew it. I was in Afghanistan the first time. And then I always had this passion to get back into real estate. So I was in Europe for a couple years. And then when I got back to the states in 2013, I hit it hard, and bought another rental property, ended up house hacking that one and then purchased another one and in the army, it kind of took its toll. And I was always gone away from my family, starting a small family and having our first baby. And I knew I needed to kind of get out because I just just went so much. So I thought I was going to do it by wholesaling houses. And that was pretty tough.

And I was thrown away all the vacant land. The vacant land that was on my list because my mentor told me to. And then one day I heard this guy on a podcast talking about buying these, these pieces of land super cheap at the tax auction. I knew that was way too complicated for my nature. But I knew I had thrown away the land, the vacant land records. So I was like, heck, I'll just mail those two, and I mailed 672 of them. Maybe 678 one of those numbers in my phone must have Rang 100 times.

Out of those 100 calls, I bought two parcels of land, made some quick cash, and then just kept rinsing and repeating rinsing and repeating. And here we are today 100 about 100 notes and passive income has on average somewhere around 41,000 a month on land payments, and we haven't looked back yet. So that's my short story compacted.

David:

Like how casually he was like yeah, you know, 41,000 a month and you know, like it's just kind of it's pretty solid return for some land.

So I guess my first question off the bat would just be, you mentioned notes. So does that mean like you're trying to buy cheap and seller finance off? Is that kind of the game plan?

05:00 - 10:00

Brent:

You just hit it on the head, that's it. That's my land store in a nutshell, we buy massive discounts. I say we buy, I have a team, I can't take credit for this, my team is amazing. We buy land at a massive discount, and we turn around and sell it at a premium because we offer seller financing. So that opens up our buyer pool, you know, pretty much everybody can afford monthly payments.

Alex:

Hey, Brent, at first you had said something about people who can afford more won't pay more or something like this. You said, the good tenants won't pay the higher price. That kind of caught my attention. I know, that's not really where that story ended. But I'm curious what you meant by that. Because in my experience, you know, A class tenants pay the most. It's not the least.

Brent:

Yeah, so what I meant by that was, and I was trying to keep that story as short as possible. I actually went through three terrible tenants in my first house. And my first wife, you know, I got back from right out of a year long deployment in Afghanistan, and she was so mad at me because, you know, we had this tiny little savings on my E three salary. And it all went to fix up that rental property.

So the first one trashed it. And then about a year and a half later, the second one trashed it. And I was basically getting more per month than what I should have for that house, because I was renting it to people that, you know, didn't have the absolute perfect credit. So they were willing to pay more.

Now that I own many, many, many more doors, I've gotten property management. And it was against my property manager when against what I wanted to do. But he rents out to like doctors, guys like 750 plus credit scores, but he rents it out a little less. And what I've learned from him, and I didn't, I didn't come up with us myself was he always told me he was like, Listen, the guys that have perfect credit, have the whole world to rent, they can choose whatever they want. So they don't have to pay the premium.

So if you want to have a better tenant, and I kid you not he's been right. 100% of the time, I'm like, geez, at least 10 doors, not one of them have ever left my house worse than what they found it. So that's just my experience.

Alex:

Yeah, so there was something I kind of, I like that. So there was something interesting in the car business where the janky tenants would be a sign up. They are the junky car buyers, they sign up for any payment, because somewhere deep down inside, they're like, yeah, I'm not gonna make this payment anyways.

Brent:

I can't believe this guy's extending this credit type thing.

Alex:

I'll sign for whatever.

So what you're saying is you're asking a bunch, and they're like, yeah, and they just weren't qualified. So like, you know, you were thinking they were gonna pay.

Okay, I got you.

David:

Like the old too good to be true, right?

Brent:

It was too good to be true. It really was. And, you know, one time I was like, this guy's paying $150 more a month for my house. And yeah, I paid for it dearly.

Alex:

That's a really interesting lesson, though, I have a saying I say the most, the cheapest way is usually the most expensive. And it's kind of in reverse where you're like, you know, don't don't ask for that big premium, because you might get nothing. Especially from that janky tenant. So I didn't mean to just share the conversation. But I thought that was an interesting thing. We that's what you lead with.

Brent:

No, it's good stuff. And I, I hope this you know, for the military millionaires, the guys that are PCS and, and they want to get top dollar or maybe break positive cash flow on a house, you know, they might rent it to that tenant that may have a felony.

Well, I read the tail fella, one time, they busted out six of my windows. So it's just, you know, learn from my mistakes. You know, smart people learn from their own mistakes. Wise people learn from other people's mistakes.

David:

Thank God, you got an extra 50 bucks a month for those windows, though, right?

Brent:

There you go, right? Exactly!

David:

Like the old what's the adage? Good works, not cheap, cheap works. Not good. And so yeah, it works. The people I mean, in the real estate world, right? It's the people who chase like two, two and a half percent rule houses. They're like, Oh, man, this house rents for a $200,000 house and rents for two grand. This is awesome. Well, there's probably a reason like that it's not more valuable as a whole.

Alex:

Yeah, I think this is a I think this is something everybody goes through or when you're new to, you know, you're new and you're like, I want to get top dollar. And so I'll take anybody or I just want to get the thing rented. So I'll take anybody and you learn after a little while, like don't just go take anybody do tenant quality, tenant quality.

Brent:

So true.

David:

Yeah, 100%

Alex:

Yeah. But now you don't really have to worry about that because you don't have tenants, yes?

Brent:

We still have some doors but I worry about it a lot less the worst thing that's ever happened to me with one of my land buyers was you know, we helped one of them move my land specialist. She sells my land.

She had helped one of our land buyers move. She's a little little lady so I ended up coming pitch in help. And come to find out we were moving her onto a piece of our land we didn't realize we thought we were moving her to a storage shed she moved on the land, and then the HOA called me and really mad. We had to kind of a victor off the piece of land. But that's like the worst I've had to deal with with any of our land buyers.

So way easier than tenants. No leaky toilets, no termites, the roaches, none of that stuff. Just land.

10:00 - 15:00

Alex:

Well, you can't come out of this business unscathed.

Brent:

Oh, yeah.

Alex:

That doesn't exist.

Brent:

You got to get a beat up somewhere.

David:

What are some of the pitfalls with land?

Brent:

Yeah, I'm glad you asked. I'll tell you about some of the pitfalls I've come across.

You know, I talked to you about those couple land deals. And after I hit about five or six, and I was still active duty. You know, I couldn't really take phone calls, we were in the field quite a bit. And my soldiers would see me in the bathroom, like taking phone calls. And like, Oh, yeah, he's doing another land deal, because they knew what was going on.

But I got a little cocky, I got a little too confident. You know, I made some quick money with land. So I just started saying, Oh, well, the assessed value is this much. And I'm only paying like half of that. I would just send the check, get the deed sent to me. And I kind of skipped the due diligence phase like, hey, am I buying a junkyard? Or did they buy this land on a treasurer's deed? And as the title clouded for the next nine years. Is this a huge crater in the ground? Could anybody even build on this piece of land?

So I kind of bought like three or four right in a row, that bit me. So I ended up having to put systems in place, you know, make sure that due diligence is all done. I've got like 15 things I do on due diligence, you know, is it buildable? Is there access? Is there 15 cars, on the lot, things like that.

And then I also run title checks, I do title checks, I've got a title guy that does all of them. And if there is a certain dollar amount over $5,000, I buy title insurance now. So those are some of the pitfalls, and I didn't lose money on any of those deals. But you better believe I had to offer some amazing seller financing like low money down and 0% interest.

Alex:

This is a good insight though. Because people in this business, you know, when they're new, they're like, they're worried they're gonna lose money, and which is a good worry. But in reality, in my experience, and like I don't have the most experience, but in my experience of business, I've learned that it's way worse for a beginner to make a lot of money from the out of the gate, then lose money. Because you make money. You're like, Man, I'm so good. I'm untouchable. I can do no wrong. I have the golden touch. And then now you're like, Well, now, you're gonna get cocky, instantly. She'll start, oh, this is easy. I'll just buy everything and the next you know, you're like, Oh my god, what have I done to myself?

Brent:

That's wisdom. That's total insight right there. That could be the most true thing I've ever heard. I think what Tony Robbins or one of those speakers said, if you make tons of money you party if you lose money, you ponder, it might have been Jim Rohn. But yeah, when you lose money, you really ponder, but when you make tons of money really quick, like it's the worst thing success is sometimes bad. Especially too fast.

Alex:

Yeah, it doesn't make you second guess your process. It doesn't make you have to worry about efficiency. The other one I got since we're since you're telling me since you give me flour with confidence, content.

The other one is I like starting broke. That's a really good one. Rather than starting with too much money, because it makes you grind every every if every dollar really efficiently. Rather than if you start with a bunch of money, you start with a flip and you're like, Okay, I'm gonna do a $100,000 flip, but I have 200 grand in the bank. Anytime you have a problem, you're like, I can throw money at it. Same reason why lottery winners go broke. They're like, Oh, I'm gonna go buy this car dealership in Florida. It's like you don't know anything about cars or Florida. Doesn't matter. I'll throw money at it. It's like, guess what, you only have so much.

But if you start with a fixed amount, and you're like, bro, we only got a budget. And it's not just a paper budget. It's the dollar amount I actually own we got $100,000 to do this flip. And so if it cost me 100 grand, fine, but if it cost me 110 we're in trouble.

Brent:

Big time. Starting broke. You know, that's going to be the name of my book. When I come out with it one day.

Alex:

Well, you don't mess up now because we have this as evidence. So roll 5% gross. Thank you.

Brent:

I’m sorry, you planted the seed in my mind.

David:

I look forward to the face on or the look on Alex's face when that book comes out. And it's neither of us it's gonna be someone's gonna be about the show and is like, ooh, me first.

Brent:

It'll be about three pages if I write it so don't worry, it won't be long.

Alex:

Hey, Alex is about to get paid. I'm cool.

David:

You Should Start Broke one word per page.

15:00 - 20:00

Brent:

That's so true.

But you talked about buying a car lot. I got into the trucking company with a childhood best friend, we bought a semi trailer 3500, dually, Duramax, four door, we lost a ton of money. Like, we had no business jumping into the trucking company. But as a little bit of confidence, we're both making money and we thought we can make money in anything which was wrong.

Alex:

Yeah, I've done that every time, I should say every time but many times after, I'll do like a big deal. And I'll have a bunch of cash. I do this thing where it's like, let me go try these. Let me go try my hand at some things that maybe I'm not really good at and I get frivolous. And then they don't work out well, because frivolous investing is just a lousy ask approach in general.

So those are good lessons to learn.

Brent:

So true.

Alex:

Yeah.

Brent:

Someday, maybe a book, write it down. Baelish it, talk about it and put it back there on the bookshelf for someday, maybe, you know, so many opportunities. And the more I think the more successful we come, the more opportunities come our way. So we just have to say no to most things.

David:

Yeah. Not the truth. Emails. Oh, it's like to the point where I, some of them, you're just like, how do I like, even respond to half of these? I just like, maybe they'll if they don't email me a second time, it wasn't that important. I'll just pretend I didn't see it. I try not to do but granted, half those people are you know, like, Oh, I read your article. Can you link to this article? It's awesome. Go away, go. Like, no, no, I'm not spamming links to you, sorry.

But anyway, actual opportunities start coming forward. It's easy to get distracted. But I agree with what you guys are saying. I mean, Alex knows I lost like 30 grand on a flip at the beginning of this year. Part of that's because I partnered with someone for one or two flips in Hawaii, and I get to see very successful stuff. And I know, I gotta have a hand in that they went very well. And I got very confident and even though it wasn't necessarily my deal all the way I was like, Oh, you know, these are, these are 78 $900,000 deals in Hawaii. So what's, uh, what's the house I buy for 12k? Like, what's what's the most I can lose? Well, it was a lot bigger renovation than it needed to be. And it shouldn't have been the first flip I ever did solo, right.

And there were other things, right things that were totally unforeseen, that you know, whatever, but that's normal. And yeah, you know, it is what it is. I got confident, probably didn't need to. And well, good lesson learned.

Brent:

Good education, you pay good money for the education.

David:

Absolutely.

So what do you know, I mean, I guess the question I would ask a lot of people is to get into real estate. And as they grow, they grow, the scale they want to whatever, like with land, is there a scalability factor as far as like you buy a bigger acreage? Or do you buy more deals? Or is it just kind of, like, I guess you could probably go at whatever your own pace is. But I'm curious if somebody wanted to get into land, have they started having success? Like, what would scaling that look like?

Brent:

Yeah, you can scale it. That's a great question.

Actually, you can scale it in multiple ways. And that's really why I like scaling, or really why I liked land, because it was so easy to scale. You know, when we're wholesaling houses or flipping houses, every property we sell, after we sell it, we lose that leave that closing table with that check or that wire, we start over again. But the good thing about our land is now where we are, well, let me backup a little.

The good thing about land is when we sell a parcel of land, we're going to get payments for a certain amount of time. So our average was five years. Now we're doing some bigger deals, and we're doing 30 year mortgages on them. So I know that every time my team or I do a land deal, I'm going to be paid for the next 35 - 30 years, three, 3 to 30 years, basically.

So as if we do let's just say one a week, and at the end of the year, we've increased our business by 52 land sales, we have 52 more notes paying us anywhere from 100 to $900 a month. So each one of them allows us to scale that income and you know, what's crazy is, land got a little bit more difficult to buy when this whole COVID-19 thing popped out. But it got easier to sell.

So it's almost the same thing as the housing business, you got a buyers market or you got a seller's market, or you got a land buyers market or a land seller's market. So it's almost like they reverse opposite each other basically. So as far as scaling, the second way is to buy bigger deals partner with people when people hear what you're doing, they come at you like I want to partner with you or I've got money sitting in this home equity line of credit. We're not touching. You know, you say you earn 300% ROI on that one deal. Would you pay me 6% and it's like sometimes it's like, I got to kind of call myself a little bit heck yeah type thing. So.

Alex:

Yeah, David, he said $47,000 a month. What kind of scale do you need out of this that will, how much more do you need?

20:00 - 25:00

David:

It wasn't, it wasn't the dollar.

Alex:

Greedy.

David:

It’s just a dollar value. It was, how do you scale? Do you go acreage? Or do you go parcels? Right? You know, that kind of thing. And he answered that. So thank you very much.

Although my next question off of that, which has nothing to do with money, since apparently I'm the selfish prick over here, says the guy wants to be paid for this thing I've done for free for two years called hosting a podcast.

Anyway, just shut off Alex's screen and mute him.

Anyway, I'm gonna distract myself here. My next question was, do you have zoning preferences? Right? Like, is there? Is there a certain type of land use that you find to work better for this? Or? Because I mean, I could imagine writing like, it's a rural wherever, right, like, farmland could be just as valuable maybe if not more than commercial? I don't know. I'm curious if there's zoning types that you prefer, or, you know, if it's just kind of every zoning type has its, like, method, I don't know.

Sponsor:

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Brent:

Yeah, for me I prefer rural land. I like it super simple. I just got off the phone or I got off a podcast today with Brent Daniels. He prefers infill lots, you know, lots in the city in areas that are growing because you know you can wholesale those really easily, get them under contract, sell them to your cash buyers really quick and make a huge pile of money. Some guys focus on commercials, I've got a student that purchased six lots in the last six months and two of them netted him $150,000 net profit. And they're both commercial.

You know, I will buy the infill lots, I'll buy the commercial lots, I'll buy anything, I can get a massive discount on another asset or another zoning would be agricultural land. You just mentioned that.

Most of the time ranchers that have cattle and or farmers that are farming the land, using the land making money with land, that's their livelihood, they're never going to sell it at a massive discount, they're going to sell it at, you know, 10 times what it's worth for development. But if we find there, there's an area 50 acres 120 acres that's not being farmed or grazed for cattle will make a massive discounted offer. And sometimes we get it so that's probably what I do the least. And then there's industrial land, I have never touched it. I don't know anything about it.

David:

Fair enough.

Alex:

So let me ask you the difference between really stood like really strategic asset purchasing versus, like spray and pray? Because I assume you're doing massive mail campaigns and you're like, bro, I'm gonna, I'm going to essentially lowball you and I'll take what I can get.

But where's the balance between like you said, Hey, I'd really like to get this discounted agricultural land and I'll take what I can get it, but how much do you focus on like, had we liked to get something in this area? Versus it's just kind of, I don't want to say luck of the draw, but you know what I mean, where it's, there's a balance being targeted, and also like, hey, you're gonna get what you get.

25:00 - 30:00

Brent:

Yeah, and I do try and target an area. So for instance, that recreational and I've got, I've got about seven counties, I kind of target and they're, they're really recreational here's a definition of it's like, you know, one to 10 acres about an hour outside of the city, you can build a cabin or tiny house or camp on it or four wheeler and dirt bike on it. But I get targeted with those and I send what I call the LOL the land offer letter. The reason why I call it the LOL is when every time I get one back signed, my team laughs out loud or the seller laughs out loud because they're offended by my offer. I don't really do math. Go ahead.

Alex:

I'm sorry, real quick. Do you offer in the initial? Do you put the dollar offer in the initial correspondence?

Brent:

To the penny. Yes, initial. And then the guys that don't answer that I send a postcard pretty much a handwritten postcard cheaper, less work and the front end, but a lot more calls to my acquisition manager.

Alex:

But so you do the lowball and if they don't answer you send them again. But say, let's have a conversation?

Brent:

Exactly, exactly. And that's where we get those other lots like, you know, those commercial lots of those infill lots. So it is kind of the first one is more of a targeted approach, hey, here's what we'll pay. And then it's not. It's not a massive campaign. It's nothing like these guys that send 5000 letters a week out for houses. I mean, we're mailing about 300 a week. Like, it's what does that work out to, for something a day, 40 letters a day, it's just nothing. And then I try and be at a half percent acceptance rate.

So if I send 200 letters out, I get one accepted offer. It's not always that good. Lately, it's slowed down a little bit more. But it's not really massive mail campaigns. And then we'll do the infill lots too. And we just generally just send them a postcard because it's impossible to figure out like the growing area. So we just want to have a conversation.

Alex:

Well, what about geography? Where are you guys located?

Brent:

I'm in Colorado. That's my favorite state.

Alex:

Everybody from Colorado loves it there. I know. But is that where you guys are buying?

Brent:

Yeah, I'm buying in Colorado, Arizona, and Florida. And we're heading to Florida Friday. So the whole time we're driving, we're looking at land. So we're gonna be on a three week trip out there. But Florida is pretty good, too. You know, during the building, boom, they subdivided pretty much the whole entire state. So you can get land at pennies on the dollar out there in some areas too.

Alex:

Fascinating.

David:

You say pennies on the dollars? Is there a like what are you your initial offer? Right? Are you aiming like, what is this like? 20% 15%? What are you?

Brent:

20 to 30 is my sweet number. It seems like my average across a lot of areas, like there's some other areas like, you know, down South Colorado will offer like, you know, like 19 cents on the dollar.

And then how we, how we figure that out, if we're in the ballpark, we track that acceptance rate. So after we've sent out 1000 letters, and we haven't even got three accepted, we know we're offering too little. So we have to kind of, you know, go up 5% 10%, something like that.

So sometimes we'll get crazy and just offer half the assessed value just to kind of, you know, just throw it out there and see what sticks. But generally, we try to be a little bit more calculated with it.

Alex:

Yeah, it's kind of still a tough business, because I'm sure you get a lot of, you know, fuck you, leave me alone.

Brent:

Yeah, we do. You know, sometimes they'll write that on the paper and fax it back to us. It's like..

David:

So Alex got a petty.

Alex:

Yeah.

David:

You went out of your way to fax this to who even how hard was it to find the fax machine to send me this letter?

Brent:

With faxes. I swear they do it though.

David:

We're in McDonald's like, Hey, can I borrow your fax machine real quick? Fuck you.

Alex:

That’s awesome though.

David:

I've used a McDonald's fax machine before to make something happen. That's how I know it works.

Brent:

That's awesome.

David:

Oh, man, that's terrible.

All right. So what's what would you say? Somebody's looking to get into land right now. Obviously, like, you know, someone's listening to this podcast. You know, the right answer is not alright, cool. Right? 300 offers on the back of a piece of paper and mail them to random addresses is probably the wrong, go to. So what would you say like, where would someone look to get started in this?

Brent:

Let me give some action steps to the military millionaires.

So kinda like I did when I first started. You know, I heard a podcast and I was like, I'm not going to go to the tax auction sale. That sounds way too complicated. And scary. I'm going to mail the list I already have and that was a tax delinquent list. I was already mailing the tax delinquent list.

So call the county. Talk to the county treasurer and ask Hey, who's in charge of keeping track of all the people, the property owners that don't pay taxes on their house on their properties?

30:00 - 35:00

Brent:

So once you get in contact with, you know, Suzy that tracks that list, ask Suzy how to get a copy of that. And she might say, Yeah, you're gonna wait till October when it comes out. No, Suzy, I want last year's list, it's okay, I am looking to purchase land from these owners and get the taxes caught up. I'm a land buyer, I don't want to buy the tax lien or any of that stuff.

You know, get that list. And it might be hard to read it. So ask him how to read it, ask him how to figure that out. And then we go to the assessor's office, we get the name of the owner, we get the property address or the location, a lot of times it doesn't even have an address. And then the mailing address and we sent him a letter and the easiest way to get started is send them a postcard, hey, I'd like to buy your land and watch you lalaine or whatever, call me. And then start talking. Just talk to people and strike up a conversation.

You know, most of these land sellers. They're not like house sellers. They're not super uptight, emotional, they haven't laid their head there at night they've inherited or have been paying the taxes on it. Get it under contract at a massive discount. How do you know what it's worth? Call a realtor? It's that easy. There's no there's no house, there's no electricity to worry about. There's no septic systems, there's no plumbing, there's no pipes that freeze and sewer lines need replaced. It's so easy.

Everyone's running after these stinky old cat pee houses. And they got to sit there with the seller, your kneecap to kneecap, dig through the filing cabinet, try and find a death certificate or whatever. What do you owe on the mortgage? I don't know. Frank paid it and he passed away. Like we don't have to deal with that stuff with land. It's, you know, it's so easy.

Alex:

Yeah, the flip side of that? Well, I like that. Because when you said there's nobody's emotional, right? Nobody's, with my grandma's house or whatever or sometimes I know, like, people don't even know they own the house that the land rather, you know.

So there's no emotional attachment at all whatsoever. But also, what about on the sell side? Right? You're selling to people? It's a highly speculative market, right? What I do is, I only care about cash flow. I only care about cash flow, I know that I can get day one. I don't care about anything speculative.

So now I'm assuming your buyers or excuse me, the people who buy these properties from you? What's their deal? Like? How are they? What do your buyers look like? Because you're going to get the same problem, right? It's speculative. Yeah, maybe they can build on it or maybe they're going to try to flip it like you're flipping it.

Brent:

Yeah, you ever seen Breaking Bad, like Walter White, you know, they're driving that RV around looking for their place to cook meth and like, that's my buyers like they're looking for something in the middle of nowhere that no one's gonna screw with them. And they could pay a low monthly low downpayment low monthly fee. That's only selling my buyers, but the buyer so here's why I love recreational land, is because usually I buy it so cheap, my down payment almost covers what I paid for that land. So I get my money back really quick. So I get my risk out of it. And I'm almost, you know, I'm almost breakeven, like within the first you know, two months of me owning it, so selling it, you know, we're selling it on like Facebook, and Craigslist and all the land sites.

So people put a low downpayment and a low monthly payment. And these buyers are just kind of looking for places to shoot their guns and get away from the city and camp and look at the stars, take their children out on camping trips, and fishing trips and all that.

So my buyers just kind of, you know, they just want to have something of their own. For a while there it was truck drivers, I don't know what it was. And then we hired a Spanish land sales agent. And then for a while there it was, it was a Latino construction worker. And now it's like grandmothers and grandfathers buying land because we have retired land sales lady, so it's really kind of crazy to see the evolution of our buyer avatar, it's whoever we got that seat, really, it's really crazy. It's really weird.

Alex:

I'm actually really, really surprised to hear that you have people that want to use the land for what it is. I did not expect you to say that I expect you to say oh yeah, the next guy's gonna flip it to and it's gonna go on the line. Oh, no, they don't want to, they're like, Oh, we gotta shoot guns or we want to park our RV or we want to go hunting or whatever the case.

Brent:

Yes, sir. Yeah, yeah, Alex, we're actually selling to the end user, the retail buyer. Now granted, when we sell those buildable lots like in town, when we get those, it's usually like a builder or a flipper. That's so sick and tired of flipping houses. I was like, I'm gonna build one from stocks, like from the ground up, which is actually harder, because I want to control the whole process. That's that's this, you know, the speculative buyer that I have, however, they've done well.

Alex:

But what about um, yeah, that's actually interesting.

David:

That makes sense to me because I grew up in the Midwest.

So like, I have friends who bought land for whether it was hunting or even mudding, right. Like I had a buddy who owned like 50 acres because he and his dad and whatever had big trucks and they got sick of getting kicked off places where they wanted to go play around and four wheel drive, so they bought like this monstrous piece of land with a pond and, you know, whatever.

35:00 - 40:00

Brent:

That is awesome.

Alex:

What about repeat buyers? Do you have somebody that bought a piece of land from you? And then they're like, bro, do you mean you have like a list of regulars?

Brent:

Yeah, we do. And I love those guys. And they're actually buying it for investment, like their plan is not to just go and build a house one day. And you know, what's funny is those repeat buyers are usually like college students. And sometimes real estate brokers.

I just, we just sold a parcel of land to these three college students. They drive their RV across America. And each place they go they buy from a land investor, like myself, and the next one they're buying is in California. So they're, they're already trying to get their next one. And what's cool is referrals. Once you make a happy land buyer, like once you transfer that deed, like they tell their friends, like that's the ultimate success in this business.

Alex:

So some people are sitting on real speculators, like, in 20 years. You're gonna want to build a Walmart here and I got them.

Brent:

So true. I mean, we've got some stuff on Route 66. Like, which is cool. So one day, something's gonna come through there. There's nothing out there right now, nothing.

Alex:

Do they know that route 66 like is in decline? Like it's not.

David:

Speculation, Alex.

Alex:

Yeah, I hope they don't listen to the show. And like, oh, killer.

David:

Oh, man. And I'm glad you mentioned things like Facebook and Craigslist and stuff I was gonna ask where you're, where you're finding where you're listing or selling. Because I see. Now I'm thinking, I see Craigslist ads all the time in my area about land. And I'm always like, Wow, that's cool. I wonder who's selling then now I'm thinking like, oh, there's probably a certain it's probably the same guy in my area who's selling all those yeah.

Alex:

I would have thought developers, for sure. Or like, the next, the next land flipper. But yeah, that's an interesting demographic you have there.

Brent:

Yeah, yeah, there's plenty of people out there that don't mind paying a monthly payment. And you know, just going back to my childhood, we never had any land growing up, my parents bought 21 acres when I turned 18 years old. And it was like the, you know, a dream come true. Like, I was like, Oh, my God, we got this land, and they built the house. And too bad, they did it when I'm about to move out.

But it really changed my family's future. Like, now that my, my sister has two children, we have three kids, you know, we go out there and, you know, they can just run like crazy, you know, on this piece of land, and don't have to worry about anything, they're not gonna get hit by a car or, you know, go in the neighbor's yard. Like, it's just, I don't know, I always wanted that grown up. And then my parents finally did it. And I see a lot of people that kind of want the same thing.

Alex:

Yeah, my brother's like that, like I'm from up north where, you know, not that much land sitting around waiting to get scooped up. But you know, he's like, I just want to buy a plot of land, and then I'll figure out how to buy it and build a house on it later. That's just not something I would do. But I, you know, he's not the only one. So I get that.

Brent:

So many of our buyers are like that, you know, we've got this Latino, one of the Latino couples, like, they bought seven acres from us, just south of Fort Carson, Colorado, and he's gonna pay it off. And then he's going to build his dream home on seven acres, and it's just really cool seeing that, and we've got some guys in Florida that they had just gotten their American citizenship and then purchase land from us. And that's when like, you pray, like, please God, let them never default on these payments. Because, you know, that's the ugly part about this business. You know, we talked about the car sales, you know, no credit check, no background checks. So I'm gonna come and put a low down payment, and a low monthly payment affordable, we tried to make it affordable. But sometimes, you know, things happen. So, you know, people will just raise their hands and just stop paying after like six or eight months, and we're already positive cashflow on it. So we'll sometimes renegotiate if they're willing to, you know, we drop one down from 399 a month to $80 a month, but some people won't even do that. They just let it go. And we resell the land, which kind of sucks but it really, really brings up our ROI as well. And if they ever come back, we would credit them towards another land. But you know, that's the ugly truth about this business too.

David:

Yeah maybe that's cool, though. Because if you already made all your money back, yeah, essentially the place whatever like, yes, that's, I definitely would check your ROI up which is awesome.

And the cool thing is, you know, if you're buying at such a discount, I'd imagine you might sell retail, but with the seller financing like you're probably selling the home, at least at something of a discount to the end user too. So it's not like you're not asking 120% of ARV or whatever and hoping it sells like, you're flexible, because, like, I don't have any money in this thing anymore.

40:00 - 45:00

Brent:

Yeah, you can totally be flexible. And it's like, you know, we might be asking for $500 a month for this piece of land, someone who can only come up with 299 a month, you better believe that we will sell that land. And we'll just extend, you know, okay, we were gonna do it for 0% interest, we'll do it for 2% interest or 5.5. And we'll extend your payments out type thing or, heck, you can only afford that much. So we'll do it for 0% interest, we're just going to extend your month so we can get the goal of what we wanted to sell this property for.

David:

Yeah.

Brent:

And it works out.

David:

That's cool. I like that.

Alright, so I got a few questions that I asked every guest.

Brent:

All right. I’m ready.

David:

The first one being that if an E one or E two or a young 18 year old walked up to you and asked you for advice, life advice, or real estate advice, or you know, whatever, like, what's the one thing you wish you knew, when you were 18 about life?

Brent:

I just read this book called The Wealthy Gardener. And I wish this is like the Book of the Year for me. You know, I wish somebody would have forced me to buy that the day I graduated high school, like someone would give it to me, because then it wouldn't be worth it. But I paid for it. Like, Brent, go out and buy this book right now. You've now graduated high school, you need to read this book. So I don't want to force that on me.

David:

Actually, I just saw that on a list. And I want to say it might have been an Elon Musk list. I don't know if it was on a list of like that was a book that came up on a list of someone fairly high profile is like an interesting sounding book.

Alex:

Cut out for me. I didn't hear it. What was the name?

David:

The Wealthy Gardener

Brent:

Yeah, me and Elon usually talk about that list about once a month. That was on his list.

David:

I wish I'd meet that guy one of these days. Oh man.

All right, number two resources, right, what's up? What's a good resource, book, course, website, you know, whatever that you would recommend anyone looking to get started in land investing?

Brent:

Well, obviously, I'm gonna say myself because I teach people how to do this. But you know, there's, there's so much out there there. There's books on it. There's other people out there teaching this, you might not like the way I talk. There's other guys out there. There's not a lot of people in this space. Because I feel like you know, a lot of people still don't really realize how to make money in land.

So I would say, me, you know, I teach people how to do this. And I just recently started in June about six months ago. But there's also other guys out there and I'll even name your names. You know, you got the Land Geek. You got Jack Bosch. You got the land Academy. All great, great, guys. So there's people out there teaching it, there's podcasts. I mean, golly, go out there and take some massive imperfect crazy action. You know guys to take action, pull the trigger, readjust. Aim again, pull the trigger, and eventually you'll get it right.

David:

And of course, my final question was, where can people get a hold of you? And in this case, where would people reach out to you to learn more about land?

Brent:

Thanks, David for asking.

Yeah, um, you know, you could check me out on Facebook Brent L. Bowers, Brent L as in Lima, Brent L. Bowers, or, you know, go to Thelandsharks.com. Thelandsharks.com. You know, I'd love to get on the phone, see if I can answer some questions, see if it's a good fit. And, you know, I wish I would have started this when I was at E one or E two. Because, I mean, my first piece of land was $285. Like, I had that as an E two. Maybe not E one though.

David:

Maybe once a month.

Brent:

Yeah, the Mustang by the land.

David:

Oh man, especially like with the note piece. I really like that aspect of this. I've been reading some books on seller financing and notes and note investing and stuff just cuz I like the way that you can play with the numbers. So I think that's, that's really cool. A lot of cool opportunities there.

Brent:

So true. Yeah, you can pretty much and I don't usually go, you said something about selling land. 120% There have been a few parcels that I've sold for about 120%. But because I created the financing.

I mean, geez, look what we pay for a $200,000 house over 30 years, we're gonna pay 460,000 I mean, these banks have these mortgages figured out.

Alex:

The government takes the risk. So that helps.

Brent:

So true.

David:

Yeah, well, I mean, if you're taking the risk there, Brent, I mean, that's, you know, all the reason to get some reward off it right. Like if you own this thing, cash. No one else is at risk for this thing. So yeah, except that, you know, you get the bang for it. So I like it.

Well Brent thank you so much for joining us this evening. This has been, you know, I should start saying morning because the shows come out in the morning even though it's dark outside. I don't know.

Anyway, thoughts for anyone in the comments on this show who wants to tell me which one sounds more authentic? But.

Alex:

Oh, you don't lie to your listeners. How about that?

You can say morning, but I'm gonna say night because it's nighttime. So I'll never lie to our listeners.

David:

Assuming you still get to talk.

Brent, what I was saying is, this has been awesome. I actually really enjoyed this. So I find land to be a very interesting asset class to talk about. And you have done a very, very, very good job of breaking down a lot of stuff that I did not know or haven't had the chance to talk to people about.

So I really appreciate it. I think this has been a really solid breakdown. I know that our listeners got a lot out of this. And I'm certain that especially Mike, who I just gave a shout out and he knows who he is. Might hit you up. But no, there will be people who reach out to you from the show for sure. So.

Brent:

I love it. Thanks so much for having me on The Military Millionaire such an honor. Great show. You guys are doing awesome things. I appreciate it so much.

David:

Absolutely, brother have a great evening.

Alex:

You too.

David:

Not morning like Alex wants to say.

End:

Thank you for listening to another episode about my journey From military to millionaire. If you liked it, be sure to visit Frommilitarytomillionaire.com/podcast to subscribe to future podcasts. While you're there, we'd love for you to rate the show. Give us a review on iTunes. Now get out there and take action.

Brent Bowers quote about losing money

Episode: 125

Brent Bowers

Join your hosts, David Pere and Alex Felice, with their guest Brent Bowers, as they talk about how he went from serving the military to purchasing, selling lands, and now earning about $41,000 in an average of monthly passive income.

Brent purchased his first property in 2007 and rented it out high on the market, but with what happened the next year, Brent knew he needed to do something different – he entered the military. Although even during his service, Brent’s passion for real estate stayed with him.

Brent now buys various land at massive discounts with his whole team and sells it at a premium with seller financing. In this episode, Brent lays down his process and methods of dealing with potential properties. He also shares what he believes to be a golden lesson he learned from his experience with tenants, those, and more as you tune in with us.

About Brent Bowers:

Brent is a transitioning United States Army Officer with a passion for helping sellers eliminate burdensome properties by figuring out their particular situation and seeing what works best for them.

He mostly will purchase the property fast to relieve them of the situation or recommend certain repairs so they can list with a Realtor and receive the highest and best possible price.

Outline of the episode:

  • [02:46] Buying houses at a low price and selling them at a premium.
  • [05:27] On why good tenants don’t pay the higher price.
  • [08:05] Why it’s not wise to have just about anyone rent your property.
  • [10:17] The common pitfalls of buying land.
  • [11:57] How do closing deals and losing money affect a beginner?
  • [17:17] Different ways you can quickly scale land.
  • [20:48] Zoning preferences, the factors that make them viable, and how to scout them.
  • [22:07] The process of sending out a land offer letter (LOL).
  • [27:22] On the steps Brent took when he started out buying properties.
  • [30:10] The varying demographic of buyers.
  • [33:07] On repeat buyers and the value of word-of-mouth.

 Resources:

Advice to an 18-20-year old:

Read The Wealthy Gardener

Recommended resource(s):

The Land Sharks

 

Website:              http://thelandsharks.com/

Linkedin:              https://www.linkedin.com/in/brent1

Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/brentlbowers1/

Instagram:          https://www.instagram.com/brentlbowers/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brentbuyshouses

 

The Wealthy Gardener by John Soforic:

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/42071647-the-wealthy-gardener

 

The Land Geek – How to Invest in Real Estate with No Money?:

https://www.thelandgeek.com/

 

Jack & Michelle Bosch Real Estate and Business Coaching Experts:

https://www.jackbosch.com/

 

Land Academy – Learn How to Buy Undervalued, Vacant Land & Quickly Sell It Online for More:

https://landacademy.com/

 

Follow our journey:

 

Blog:                      https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/

YouTube:             https://www.youtube.com/c/Frommilitarytomillionaire/

Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/groups/1735593999901619/

Instagram:          https://www.instagram.com/frommilitarytomillionaire/

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My name is David Pere, I am an active duty Marine, and have realized that service members and the working class use the phrase “I don’t get paid enough” entirely too often. The reality is that most often our financial situation is self-inflicted. After having success with real estate investing, I started From Military to Millionaire to teach personal finance and real estate investing to service members and the working class. As a result, I have helped many of my readers increase their savings gap, and increase their chances of achieving financial freedom! – Click here to SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/2Q3EvfE to the channel for more awesome videos!

THIS SITE IS INDEPENDENTLY OWNED AND OPERATED. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE MY OWN. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS SITE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR OR THE AUTHOR’S INVITED GUEST POSTERS, AND MAY NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE US GOVERNMENT, THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, OR THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS.

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David Pere

David Pere

David is an active duty Marine, who devotes his free time to teaching personal finance and real estate investing for service members, and the working class!

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