land investing nomads
 


Today I’m talking with Daniel Bear and Quinn Bilodeau.

Daniel was one of the early members of the Land Investing Masterclass and has been an active member of our forum for a long time. I’ve seen him post all kinds of interesting stories, ideas, and suggestions for the community to mull over. He’s someone who, I can tell, generally puts a lot of thought into what is and isn’t working, and he’s able to convey it in a way that is genuinely helpful to others in our community.

In this interview, we’re talking with these guys to see what we can learn from their experience in the land investing business.

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Episode 95 Transcription

Seth: Hey, everybody. How’s it going? This is Seth Williams with the REtipster podcast. Today, I’m talking with Daniel Bear and Quinn Bilodeau. Daniel is somebody I’ve been aware of for a long time now. He was one of the earlier members of the Land Investing Masterclass. He’s an active member of our Members Only forum. I’ve seen him post all kinds of interesting stories and ideas and suggestions for the community to mull over. He’s just somebody who I can tell generally puts a lot of thought into what is and isn’t working at to what he says for the community to think about. It’s just been genuinely helpful. I’ve even gotten a lot of just checking out the stuff he says.

And Daniel has been at it in his land flipping business for a number of years now, but the truth is I don’t actually know a whole lot about his story or where he’s at. But given what a good contributor he’s been over the years, I know there’s something we need to hear. I wanted to get on a call, just find out where he’s at, where he’s been, where he’s going.

In terms of Quinn, Quinn is actually pretty new to the land business, from what I understand. He’s in the process of doing this internship, working under Daniel’s wing, trying to learn what he can and get studded in his own journey in the land business. 

So, Daniel and Quinn are actually traveling across the country right now, kind of running their land business as nomads, which I thought was pretty interesting. So maybe we can talk a little bit more about that too. But Daniel and Quinn, how are you guys doing? Welcome to the show.

Daniel Bear: We are doing great. Thanks for having us, Seth. I appreciate it.

Quinn Bilodeau: Thanks for having me.

Seth: Yeah, you bet. So, I guess, Daniel, we’ll start with you. Why don’t you just tell us your story? How long have you been pursuing real estate and what made you decide to get into the land business specifically?

Daniel Bear: I really bought a piece of property, like right out of high school. I got this property from a couple that went bankrupt. They had a mobile home on it. And then after like six years, I was just collecting rent from that. I guess it didn’t really dawn upon me until I was like, “Man, I’m way below the market value for rent.” So, I jacked it up and then just kind of realized I could probably do this more and more. And that’s kind of when I started looking into doing land. 

I came across your podcast, which was about five years ago. So, in 2015, I had just started digging up that material. I was substitute teaching at the time. So, I was just working at the high school, like I had time to read a lot. I was able to really just start seeing that I could do it online and do it work remotely. I was also flipping mobile homes with John Fedro at that time in Delaware. Just realizing that I could do this business remotely, it was very, very attractive. And so, I’m kind of just getting to that point now where I’m doing the traveling component of this business and running it efficiently.

Seth: Yeah. It is kind of funny that the different life events that happen that kind of steer our future and where we end up going. And I don’t know, sometimes a curse can turn into a blessing and a blessing into a curse. It’s funny to see when you look back and see where things ended up going.

Daniel Bear: Yeah. It’s all about how you look at things, I suppose.

Seth: This is 2015, or at least that’s when you started just digging into it and figuring things out. So, what does your business look like today? You’re doing this full-time, right?

Daniel Bear: Yeah. So, I took off 2019, summer of 2019 I ended up taking off full-time. I went on to sabbatical as a teacher just to see if I could do it. And I was planning on coming back to the elementary art teacher, but I never ended up going back. So, the more time I could put into it. Just the returns were… I mean, I’ve done several deals where it’s like, I make my salary on land flipping. And I’m not saying I don’t ever want to go back to teaching, but for now, I feel like it’s a good time for me just to invest my time into that long-term wealth.

Seth: It’s kind of cool just to know that land is there. I mean, even if you want to do part-time, like “I could use an extra $10,000 or $20,000 this year, let’s just do a couple of land deals and we’re done.” Whereas if you just didn’t know about that, if you were just limited to your teaching career, it would be a lot harder. Right? 

Daniel Bear: Yeah. And it also can be quite a blessing for others, like my friends. Some of them are wanting to get a farm. And so, I thought it was just great that I can have that expertise to kind of help them find a good deal or worthwhile pursuit and just making sure they’re not overpaying for something. There’s a lot of side benefits to knowing how to spin the market value of land. 

Seth: Yeah, definitely. This idea of going full time. I know for a lot of people, including myself, it’s a big obstacle. In some ways, it’s almost like a mental obstacle, like fear of the unknown. And you’re like, “Am I going to have enough? How do I pay for health insurance?” All these things. Did you wrestle with that at all or was it easy to just be like, “Nope, I’m done. I’m just going to give this a shot and see where it goes.”

Daniel Bear: Yeah, yeah. I mean, that’s why I took the sabbatical just in case. Like it does have a safety net for me to fall back onto. So, I was going to take off, the last year I was going to take off and just do the business, and well I did. But before I was going to start traveling, I ended up kept cutting my hand in the table saw. And so, that put me back a little bit. So, I was not able to travel last year because I was doing so many doctor’s appointments. But man, if I didn’t have the land business financially, it would have been a huge burden. I mean, that was probably like $40,000 just in health payments and insurance. Having the land business in place just financially was awesome for that reason.

Seth: Is your hand okay now?

Daniel Bear: No, I mean, my middle finger is pretty stiff. So, it’s permanent.

Seth: Oh, man. That’s crazy.

Daniel Bear: Yeah, it’s all good though. It’s all good.

Seth: Geez man. Sorry to hear about that. The cashflow or just the predictability of the income is one of the things that kind of holds people back. Are you doing seller financing or what’s your monthly deal flow look like? How reliable is the income from your land business?

Daniel Bear: It’s very reliable at this point. I mean, I don’t have many notes. I probably only have like five seller finance notes. I’ve really got into a lot more just cash flips. And early on, I really started to work with money partners, which kind of made me veer away from doing seller financing because it just seems a little more complicated than I’d like it to be when doing seller financing. I feel like I was able to scale up pretty fast, doing larger deals on that. Especially if you’re splitting that money with a money partner, you can kind of want bigger cash profits on there.

Like this year so far, I’ve only done probably around 11 deals, but they’re quite a bit bigger. That’s kind of where I want to continue to steer my whole business is just doing a handful of land flips that are just larger scale and doing a lot of the little ones, like having Quinn on. Quinn wanted to see the full life cycle of one deal. It reminded me of where I came from. Like the first deal I did. It’s just not worth it for me anymore. Like this feels like a thousand-dollar profit on it. Like a thousand dollars in, thousand dollars out. It’s like doing in house closing. There’s a lot of little pieces and like time-sucks here. Yeah, just trying to get rid of that.

Seth: Yeah. And that first one, it’s really just about learning, like how does this work? And can I do this? The money, I mean, obviously you want to make money, but it’s for me anyway, it was a lot less relevant. It was just about “Can I prove the concept to myself?” But yeah, you don’t want to be doing those forever. That gets kind of old. That’s where burnout comes from in my opinion.

Daniel Bear: And it’s kind of boring too. I really like just being in areas that excite me more, more attributes all around. And that’s just why I like diving deep into one certain particular parcel rather than trying to do a large volume.

Seth: In terms of how much time it takes you per week to work on this business. Is this a super time-intensive thing or is it a few hours here and there? What does that look like?

Daniel Bear: Yeah, me and Quinn right now, we work full-time. Eight hours a day for sure during the week. Yeah. I feel like I’m trying to push it really hard during the time right now. And then we’ll continue to maybe take ease back a bit.

Seth: Are you working in multiple states all over the place or do you have a couple of pockets of the country where it’s like, “Nope, this is where we do it.” Like, how does that work for you?

Daniel Bear: I continued to try to focus on more states. I’m kind of tired of spreading myself too thin. So, I’m trying to really identify those counties that I want to continually work in and just improve my accuracy on my pricing, the blind offers as well. So just working in probably four states at this point. But even that’s a lot. You really need to work in one state to really just tune your skills in.

Seth: You mentioned earlier about working with financial partners. That’s kind of interesting to me. So where did you find these people and what does this look like? Are you the guy doing all the work and they’re putting up the cash and then you like split it somehow? Or what does that arrangement look like usually?

Daniel Bear: Yeah. So, to date, I’ve done 70 land deals total. I’ve been around 50 of those. I have money partners. So, I’ve done it quite a bit. They would come forward with the money. So, they would pay the total expense of the property in addition to any other expenses, like closing costs. And then from that point on, we would just split the profits. We started out doing 50/50. At this point, I do more of a 75% to me, my business, and then 25% to my partner. I guess my perspective after doing that many flips is that is more of a sustainable way of operating the business. The 50% model, it’s a good way to maybe get started if you don’t have much experience. But I think the sooner you can get away from using money partners, the better in my personal experience.

Seth: Is there some filter through which you decide, “Okay, I need a money partner on this one, but not on this one.” Does it just boil down to, “I don’t have the money personally” or are there certain deal sizes that justify a money partner?

Daniel Bear: Yeah. I feel like there’s a handful of different financing options that I use and it goes per basis. Sometimes I’ll have, we also do like a debt pool, similar to Jay Thomas. I don’t know, he spoke about that on his podcast. I might have that in place. So, I’ll use those funds. I’ll use some of my own capital and then do the 25% split as well. And then also using the funding growth option. So, there’s kind of a handful of different little weapons we have to attack each deal. My personal favorite is just using the money pool or using my personal capital.

Seth: Are you at all familiar with the infinite banking concept with whole life insurance? That stuff?

Daniel Bear: Yeah, I’ve heard about it. I haven’t jumped into it too much.

Seth: There are mixed thoughts about it. I don’t even know what I think about it honestly, but I did an interview with M.C. Laubscher in episode 25 where we talked all about this. And it’s basically this idea where you got to get a very specific type of whole life insurance policy with a specific kind of insurer. But the idea is once it is fully funded, you can then borrow against that money. The idea is to pay yourself back, but in the process, it multiplies the value of that insurance policy because you’re borrowing from yourself instead of from a bank. It takes a little bit of explanation. I’m probably not explaining it that well right here, but go check out episode 25, retipster.com/25. If anybody out there is hearing this and they want to learn more about that, it’s kind of a cool thing.

I don’t think it makes sense for a lot of people actually. In my mind, it almost makes sense for people who are already wealthy and they have a bunch of cash to throw somewhere. If that’s you, it could make sense for you, but kind of an interesting option to know about anyway.

In terms of the money partners, what is their involvement in the deal? Did they just kind of blindly give you money and say, “All right, make us more money” or do they underwrite the deal with you and get involved in some way? Or is all of the work squarely on your shoulders?

Daniel Bear: I would say that’s probably one of the reasons I feel I’ve been able to scale. I’ve got on that right now, just because the money partners that I did work with had invested interest in the deals. And so, I feel like I was able to capture just a lot of knowledge from working one-on-one with them and they do things that I would never see. So that’s where the value for me really came from. It was just looking at how to tackle different properties in different ways.

Seth: Were these people that you had somehow found? Were they other land investors you found? Or were they people who were not at all involved in the land business?

Daniel Bear: Yeah, they’re involved in the land business.

Seth: So, they kind of get it.

Daniel Bear: And you just put it in a forum. Like a Google forum or your forum. I probably had 25 of my partners that I was working with. We had a Trello board where we would put the property up and people could review it and then we’d put it out there and everyone to get a notification. And at that point, they could grab the deal if they want to do it. So first-come, first-served. It was good. It was a really great option at the time.

Seth: That’s pretty cool. I applaud you for putting all that together. I know that takes a lot of thought and organization, and it sounds like you had a lot of people who are interested in that. I mean, it makes me wonder, because I know there are lots of people out there who have money and lots of people who don’t have money, but they need it and they’re willing to do the work. Do you think, from what you’ve seen, are there more people with money who don’t want to do the work than there are of the other kind? Or maybe haven’t seen enough to know that?

Daniel Bear: In my opinion, a lot of people that just have the money would rather just hand it over and get a 50% return on the profits. I think you can scale that business model a lot quicker. I see a handful of people that are just going that route. I know it’s really profitable for them.

Seth: Is this some kind of profit-sharing agreement you fill out with them or did they literally hold title to the property with you or how is that set up?

Daniel Bear: That was pretty flexible with it, for the most part. I would like to just keep it in my name and they have a partnership agreement in place. That just makes it a lot easier for me when I go to market it as well. Like sometimes the buyers would go and look at the back and then get kind of confused on who was selling the property and then they would kind of feel like it was a scam at some point. Yeah, personally, I want everyone to feel comfortable when they’re working with me. I’m open to putting it in their name, but it does make it easier just to have it in my name.

Seth: Has that ever gone sideways or gone south? Have you ever had a deal like that where you broke even, or didn’t make money, or lost money? Or has it all always worked out?

Daniel Bear: No, we never did not make money doing that that I can recall. There has been a time where we have just made a couple of hundred dollars on return. Other than that, it was all good. And also, just when you outline, everything should be in writing. There were some unforeseen events that happened with the money partners that I’ve worked with in the past and yeah, just trying to navigate that. So now, it gets easier as you start to understand what to expect.

Seth: It probably helps to have people who understand the land business. It’s not like it’s just some random person with money because when they get into the land business, they probably understand some of the tricky things about land, like valuing it and taking a long time to sell. In some cases, that kind of thing. So, I’m sure it helps to have that kind of mutual understanding instead of somebody who is just clueless about how the land flipping business works.

Daniel Bear: Yeah. Well, sometimes, the other people that do know the land business, they’re sometimes a little more pushy about too. Like “I know this could sell in three months.”

Seth: That’s true. That’s a good point. Are there certain qualifying things that you use personally to be like, “I don’t want to work with that person anymore. They were too much of a pain. Nope. No thanks.” Or did you just kind of take anybody who’s willing to throw money at you?

Daniel Bear: No. I really want to work with people that say I can trust them and they feel that they can trust me. Out of that handful of my partners, definitely, I kind of pick through them and work with only a few of them at this point. Because I do want them to feel comfortable working with me and being able to trust me. I mean, that’s what partnership is.

Seth: So, Quinn, what role do you plan in all this? Because you’re fairly new to this internship you’re dealing with Daniel, right? What do you do for his business?

Quinn Bilodeau: Well, primarily what’s going on with me is, I ended up going through a process in Daniel’s business and then kind of developing a procedure, writing out the procedure for that process. Daniel’s hope is to eventually bring on employees and kind of scale the business somewhat. So, it’s like I write the procedures and that helps Daniel. I feel like trying to teach a concept is the way to learn a concept, but it really helps me organize my thoughts and really understand that aspect of the business.

Seth: So, are you personally doing your own deals along the way, or is it kind just like you’re a hired hand to help organize ideas for Daniel?

Quinn Bilodeau: I’m pretty much a hired hand of Daniel’s. We’ve had a friendship since high school. So, I think that our history together has kind of opened that door. I think eventually my plan, I kind of got into this back in April of 2020, I was laid off like a COVID related lay off. So, myself, I want to get out of the rat race. I just read the Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant book from Robert Kiyosaki. That’s kind of my mindset. So eventually I want to not be an employee. I definitely want to have my own business system. So, this has kind of been like training wheels for me. A lot of the time, the benefit I get from Daniel is just how to go about a problem that really doesn’t have the right answer. I’ve been an employee all my life. So, it’s been a big mind shift and a lot of what I do with Daniel is realigning that thought process.

Seth: So, Daniel, I know just given the use that you’ve done this as everybody probably experiences this when they’ve done this long enough. You sort of start out doing things a certain way and then you realize, “Oh, that’s not working that well. I’m going to pivot a little bit and do it this way.” Can you think of anything off the top of your head that you’ve changed over the course of time? Like other ways that you used to do things that just weren’t that effective and you changed and now it is working better.

Daniel Bear: Yeah. Looking more at the pricing, like how we go about pricing our mail campaigns. Before we would just shoot out just a blast by looking at land. I felt like we were sending out just so much inaccurate offers. So just recently I got Parlay 2.0, and it’s just like, why did I never get this before? It’s an amazing tool. 

Seth: It’s pretty helpful.

Daniel Bear: Yeah. So, just being able to price more accurately is a great new attribute.

Seth: What role does Parlay play in the pricing process?

Daniel Bear: Just like locating, like subdivisions, seeing the subdivisions out there. Looking at counties. Sometimes Parlay also provides sales data. It’s right there. And so, having that at your fingertips is huge. Just seeing the layout of certain counties, it’s really been a huge benefit. And also seeing if things are on slopes, like a lot of properties are just on a hillside and look at it and kind of see the different attributes of where that particular subdivision might be. That’s been huge, I mean, I know you’ve advocated Parlay 2.0. I don’t know why I never got on that ship sooner. It’s just like, why?

Seth: Yeah, I know. Sometimes you just kind of have to see it work for you. Like how can this help me in this specific situation? And I don’t know, I was able to see that a while back and yeah, I’ve never turned back. It’s really nice thing to have. For you Daniel, when you were getting started at it, I assume you sort of started on a part-time basis. Is that accurate? Like you just sort of plugged away as you had spare hours. Is that accurate?

Daniel Bear: Yeah. I just moved to Utah at that point. It was June of 2016 and that’s when I really jumped into your course, like when I bought the course and started really like hunkering down. So yeah, I was teaching full-time and then after that, like two years ago I bought a house and I did a full rehab. So, I was teaching, doing a full rehab, and the land business.

Seth: Yeah, that’s a lot.

Daniel Bear: It was a lot. Yes. It’s absolutely a doable thing. But yeah, I think the more time that you can give to it, the better.

Seth: Just doing it when you had time, how long was it until you felt like you had a pretty good handle on things? Like you know what to expect, you know what to do? I know for me it was like a solid year. Do you have a different experience?

Daniel Bear: Yeah. I would say a little over a year just because I wasn’t able to put so much time into it. Just constantly improving systems. Like it blows my mind. The more you do this, the more you find an exam and you’re able to increase your returns substantially.

Seth: I know we talked a little bit about seller financing earlier. It sounds like you’ve dabbled in that a bit, but it’s not like a major thing where you force every deal that way. Do you openly advertise that seller financing is available? Or are you trying to not do seller financing? Where is that at right now for you?

Daniel Bear: I don’t advertise in seller financing. I feel like the price of the deals we’re doing is just got a lot to do with the cash, the cash flows. That’s absolutely where I’m at. Sometimes if we come across a smaller deal and it makes sense do to seller financing, we’ll advertise it that way. But also, I’ve really gotten to just listing with realtors. I just really tried to fine-tune how to find a good realtor, how to work with them. They can really add so much value to your decision before buying. Having them go to the property. They have their own connections as well that they’d tell you, “I know this guy that knows this about the area out there.” I mean, I had that just recently happened. They’re like, “Don’t buy that lot. It’s an infill lot. You can’t even access it.” So, it saved me. That was a $15,000 deal. I feel like they can really save you from tripping up.

Seth: Has it been hard for you to find good ones? Like, has it been sort of a “hit or miss” or have you developed a way to be like, “This person will probably be very good.”

Daniel Bear: Yeah. I feel I’ve been able to fine-tune how I go about choosing a realtor. I know Jaren did a video on that. So, I know he did a great job using that process to identify that person.

Quinn Bilodeau: Having some good communication.

Daniel Bear: Yeah. Good communication. Just respond quickly and write full sentences in your emails. It’s a big one. Punctuation.

Seth: I think If you can have an email back and forth and or a phone call, you can usually figure it out pretty quick. Just make a judgment call on if this person’s serious or they’re not, or they’re somewhere in between. It’s usually a lot of little clues you can pick up on. So yeah, it’s probably not as hard as you think, if you just know what to look for and have some kind of standard that you need them to live up to.

Daniel Bear: At this point, I really provide them the images as well. I’ll take the images, I’ll edit them. And also, I feel like I’ve advocated for that as well just like giving it to them. So, it makes their lives easier.

Seth: What kind of a commission do you have to pay them when they sell the property for you?

Daniel Bear: Yeah. Between 6% and 10%. It depends on the price point. Absolutely I feel like that changes where that number is. I’m not making a ton of my commission when you look at it, like not a $40,000 deal, but that’s kind of where I started. I started bringing a realtor about that price point about $40,000. Anything below that I’ll try to sell it myself. But even that at 10%, that’s $4,000. I feel like our strengths are in the buying. Like when you are able to buy a property. So, that’s like where I’m just trying to focus and not trying to focus so much on the selling.

Seth: With the pricing on the blind offers, it sounds like that’s been something you’ve gotten better at over time. So, how much time does it take you to price out a blind offer campaign? Are you spending just hours and hours and hours? Or how granular are you getting? Are you filtering them by size and zip code or subdivision? Tell me how that process looks for you.

Daniel Bear: Yeah, so we’re doing one right now to be about a 2,000-letter campaign. We’re about almost a whole week of just focusing on pricing. It’s very granular. We are going about that, just trying to identify all the comps and then also just pricing based on those areas more specifically.

Seth: Are you looking at sizes as one little apartment and then like zip codes? What exactly are you looking at to decide, “Okay, now we should adjust the offer price over here?” What causes you to do that?

Daniel Bear: Yeah. Subdivisions. I’d like to find certain subdivisions that are more so unlike these small clusters that are organized. There are some that are just outliers and they’re just all over. But I really like where they’re organized and they’re grouped into subdivisions that are really cookie cutter. So that’s typically how we go about that.

Seth: There are a lot of online tools and resources and websites and stuff that most of us are familiar with if you’re in the land business. As you think of all the different things you use, I know we talked a little bit about Parlay and stuff like that, but is there any other like two or three things that stick out to you where it’s like, “I would be in big trouble if I didn’t have these?” Or things that have been like huge game changers and making your life a lot easier?

Daniel Bear: Yeah. NeighborScoop is a pretty awesome product. I don’t know if you used that or not. 

Seth: No, I haven’t.

Daniel Bear: It’s really nice way to get neighbors’ phone numbers. And just also just export in the PMZ files or the KML files and drop those directly into Google Earth rather than going in, like using the parcel and clicking around. It just gives you all that information right there. That’s just really time-efficient. It’s $75 a month, but that’s a good tool.

Seth: Yeah, I’ve heard of it. I’ve never used it myself though. I’ll have to check that out. It sounds kind of interesting.

Daniel Bear: Yeah. And also, it shows you for sale data as well. Not everywhere, but it presents it in a way that it’s the same across all counties. So, it’s a consistent tool.

Seth: Cool. Awesome. Anything else?

Daniel Bear: Is there anything else you’ve seen?

Quinn Bilodeau: Yeah, nothing off the top of my head. I don’t know. I will say it’s really frustrating just how the same information can be organized in so many different ways under listing platforms. That’s a battle. I don’t know. Daniel just sweeps it and pulls it right out and I’m still reading through it.

Seth: Are you talking about when you’re trying to generate a direct mail list? Is that what you’re referring to?

Daniel Bear: No, just the comps online. Like the difference between Lands of America versus Realtor versus Zillow, how the actual data is being shown.

Seth: Have you guys looked at prices at all?

Daniel Bear: Yeah, I haven’t used it at all. We actually just met up with Carl James.

Seth: Oh, cool.

Daniel Bear: We had lunch with them.

Seth: Man, you are lucky. I wish I could meet up with him.

Daniel Bear: He’ll buy you food.

Seth: Sweet. Did you guys learn anything significant there or was it just catching up saying hi?

Daniel Bear: He loves this business. It’s awesome. He loves doing all these deals. And he kind of has a different approach to it too. Like he works really local, which I thought was great. He really works directly with builders. Yeah, it was a great opportunity to meet up with Carl.

Seth: Yeah, I know. He seems like one who knows how to think for himself. Like he can take lots of different input from lots of different places, but at the end of the day, he kind of knows what he wants and he can figure things out and even come up with new stuff that nobody’s ever thought about. So that’s pretty cool.

Daniel Bear: Well, he’s always kind of in there on the forum. We definitely thought it’d be great to just meet him. He’s always added really good responses to some of my questions.

Seth: Yeah. He’s one of those MVPs of the REtipster forum for sure. If somebody is listening to this and they’re like, “I want to be where Daniel’s at. I want to be doing this full-time or I want this kind of freedom and autonomy.” Do you have any advice or input for those people?

Daniel Bear: I think it’s just the whole idea of being persistent with it. I think there are so many details in the business that it can get frustrating over time. So, you are going to put in a lot of time, but the payoff is so worth it.

Seth: Has there ever been a time for you where you’re like, “Man, I don’t know if this is going to work. I had a campaign that bombed or I don’t have time for it.” Has that thought ever entered your mind? And if so, how did you get past that?

Daniel Bear: It was about a year ago. I probably sent like 12,000 letters and I didn’t get any responses. And I was just like, “What is going on?” I was like, “Is the competition that high, that there are no more deals to be had out there?” No, I never thought about quitting, but just like, how can I adapt to that? So, trying to find counties that there’s not so much activity, places I was originally going and getting deals had to kind of veer from there. But even now I still go back there and I just try to do things better and more accurately. So, I would not say there was ever a time though I totally wanted to just drop what I was doing. I feel very confident in the business.

Seth: I’ve seen and talked to lots of people who have sort of had an experience like that, where there was a dry spell or they couldn’t get a property sold and they were kind of just like “I just need to step away.” But inevitably a lot of them will come back to it like a year later when they realized like, “No, there was something there in that land business. It was a lot more doable than a lot of other things I’ve tried.” I mean just because the land business is lower competition and easier than other things, it doesn’t mean it is easy or competition-free. Like there’s still plenty of hassle, plenty of things that you have to slog through, but it’s still pretty good all in all. I mean, when you sum it all up and tally up all the pros and cons, I still think it beats a lot of other things out there, most of the things that I’ve experienced.

So, when you look at your life today versus when you were a substitute teacher or doing other things, where would you rate your level of life satisfaction now? What is it like to just be able to call the shots? Is it just total euphoria or is there anything about this side of the fence that’s harder in any way?

Daniel Bear: I feel like I went beyond my own expectations of maybe just five years ago. So, I feel like I’ve arrived at a place that I never thought I’d really be in before. So that’s good to be here. I do feel that I have a passion to be in the schools and teaching with kids. That’s a very life-giving activity and this is kind of a computer-based job. So, you are kind of behind the screen and you’re not interacting. And I suppose that’s kind of what I’m trying to get away from, like, with this trip is to visit and to make more connections with other land investors or people. So yeah, that’s definitely a component that I want to continue to grow in my own life.

Seth: Well, is there anything I should be asking you guys that I haven’t asked? Have we covered all the basics here? Anything else interesting or exciting that you want to share about where things are going in the next one to three to five years? Or where do you think you’ll end up going forward in the future?

Daniel Bear: Yeah. So, I think we’re going to do this until the summer. We’ll keep going for the summer. And then after that, Quinn, he’s just doing an intern for five months, and then beyond that, I’ll probably bring on an employee.

Quinn Bilodeau: Back to the cold, cold world.

Seth: Why don’t we talk about that a little bit? So, you guys are doing this little nomadic adventure. But what is it that you guys are doing? You’re just kind of traveling the world. Is it because you want to just see other parts of the country or meet up with people that you wanted to meet up with? Or what’s the goal behind what you’re doing?

Daniel Bear: Yeah. Just meeting with other land investors. Yeah. I feel like there’s been a handful of people, especially using money partners early on that I was able to kind of build really great connections with, and I just wanted to reach out and go be in person. Like last year I met with Harry from Wisconsin. We just have a great friendship that grew out of there. Also, my old business partner was Miriam. So, I met with her as well. Yeah. And it just turned out to be great friendships. So, I just kind of want to see where that goes if I have to put myself out there a little more.

Seth: Yeah. Is it weird to see them in person after seeing them on screens for so long or not even seeing them at all?

Daniel Bear: It totally is. Me and Marianne are business partners and we never met in person. We own like half each of the LLC. And it’s for probably three years we were doing the business but until after that we never met in person. 

Seth: Yeah. It’s funny though. I had a relationship like that. Well, not exactly, but Renee and we actually interviewed her in episode 30. We weren’t like business partners per se, not really, in any business that was actually making money. But man, we had spent just hours and hours and hours and hours on different mastermind calls and helping each other figure out what was working and for like eight years, at least. And I hadn’t even seen her on the other side of like a Skype call. I was seeing a picture of her, but we never talked face to face. And the first time I saw her in person, well, over a Skype call was when I interviewed her. And I was like, “Whoa, weird. You’re a real person.” So, it’s kind of a trip to see people like that after so many years.

Daniel Bear: Yeah, I feel like one thing for me, it’s always like, “You’re a lot taller than I thought you were going to be or shorter.”

Seth: Yeah, that happened with Jaren the first time I saw him. I was like, “Oh, I didn’t realize you’re so tall.” Quinn and Daniel, I appreciate you guys coming on the show and letting me know what’s up. Hopefully, the audience out there got some good insights from this. If people want to reach out to you or anything, you don’t have to share this, but if you want to, is there a website they should go to or social media or anything like that?

Daniel Bear: Yeah. Facebook is probably the best. Just Bear Daniel, just shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to help where I can.

Seth: Awesome.

Quinn Bilodeau: Yeah, for me, probably just Instagram, Quinn Bilodeau. Look in the show notes how that’s spelled out, I suppose.

Seth: Yeah, this is episode 95, by the way. So, you can find the show notes, I’ll include links to a lot of the stuff we talked about. retipster.com/95. You can find it there. So, thanks again, guys.

Quinn Bilodeau: I would just say if anybody is looking to dive into something new, if I can inspire that, then go for it, try it out. I really think this trip has been great to just see a lot of different possibilities with different people. Just go for it.

Seth: Do you guys have a long list of people you’re planning to meet up with or is it just kind of an evolving thing as you travel around?

Daniel Bear: Yeah. There’s a handful of people that I really want to meet up with. And actually, John Fedro, that guy, he lives here in Austin. So, we were hoping to meet up with him pretty soon. That’d be great. I’ve never met at hand, but he was kind of my first real estate mentor.

Seth: I had that over the past few years, I’ve been going to different conferences and stuff. And some of the people I meet up with are just regular people, other people are those who have like YouTube channels and they’re sort of like tiny celebrities in their sphere of influence. And it sounds crazy to meet him and just realize like he’s just a normal person. Like he had the same insecurities and imperfections and human-ness that I do. And it’s kind of cool. I like it. Thanks again, guys. I appreciate it.

Quinn Bilodeau: I really appreciate all your content on YouTube. You do a great job.

Seth: I appreciate that.

Quinn Bilodeau: It’s really cool to talk to you on a video to interact with Seth Williams, so strange.

Seth: It’s cool. Like the internet age we live in, because a lot of this stuff, it wasn’t an option 20 years ago, like making videos. I don’t know, it’s been a really fun experience and I didn’t even really realize this until I started writing blog posts, but I really enjoy just taking complicated stuff and just trying to serve it up in a way that’s digestible and it’s caught on. It’s been really cool. I’m really glad that both of you guys have been able to get something out of that. It’s awesome.

Quinn Bilodeau: Keep at it. Keep at it.

Seth: Yeah, thank you. I’ll try it. Thanks, guys.

About the author

Seth Williams is the Founder of REtipster.com - an online community that offers real-world guidance for real estate investors.

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