I first heard about Peter Nukasani when he was interviewed by Jessey of Pebble, where he talked about how he got 1,300 land deals without sending ANY direct mail.
Peter is a land flipper with a unique approach to the business. Rather than sending mail and buying properties directly from private owners, he buys land from other land investors at a wholesale price. Then he sells those properties to other land investors at a price closer to retail.
With this approach, he can streamline his acquisition process and do a higher volume of land deals with lower margins without dealing with the ongoing direct mail costs we're all accustomed to.
Peter has a lot of other unique ideas he's implemented in his business, and I’m excited to learn what we can from this interview.
Links and Resources
- @thelandinvestor on TikTok
- Fiverr (REtipster Affiliate Link)
- How to Build a Land Buying Website
- How to Build a Land Selling Website
- Google Sheets
- Google Optimize
- The AI Revolution Is Here: How Real Estate Investors Can Harness the Power of Chat GPT
Seth: Hey, everybody. How's it going? This is Seth Williams. Ajay Sharma is in the co-host chair today, and you're listening to the REtipster podcast.
Today we are interviewing Peter Nukasani. And Peter, I first heard about him when he was interviewed by Jessey of Pebble earlier this year when he was talking about how he was able to get 1,300 land deals without sending any direct mail. And as I was listening more to that conversation, I was like, “Wow, this guy's got a really unique experience, a unique set of skills that I think a lot of people could learn from.”
And there's actually a lot about Peter that I don't even know yet, but Peter was highly recommended to me by Jaren Barnes. You guys remember Jaren, right? Jaren was like, “Hey Seth, you got to have Peter on the podcast.” And I know Ajay actually knows Peter really well as well, so this should be a fun conversation.
Peter, welcome to the show. How you doing?
Peter: Wonderful. I'm ready to roll for this.
Seth: Yeah. A lot of times when we're having these land investor interview conversations, we kind of just start from the very beginning. What was your introduction to the land business? How did you learn about it and what made you decide to jump into this?
Peter: Yes. My third year of college, I actually had no idea about this land business, this whole industry that it even existed. And always on social media or somewhere else, you hear that there's a lot of wealth created through real estate and you always see these videos. And the thing was, being in college and being a college student, it's very hard to get any kind of loan and things like that. Because my plan was I wanted to just get into houses or rentals or something like that, but it was very inaccessible for someone who was 23 years old, third year of college, to get approved for those kinds of asset classes.
One day, I was on Spotify, I listened to this show, it's like a side hustle show or something and there was a land investor on there. And from there I listened to that episode, I was like, “Wow, this sounds very interesting.” And then I started doing more research on YouTube, other podcasts. And then I ran into REtipster. Started listening to every episode on the way home from school every day. This was a long time ago.
So literally just every day driving back from Chicago to the suburbs, I'd be listening to the episodes, learning about the business. And then one day I actually saw land for sale from Matt Nunn, from Nunn Land Sales. I called him and he was like, “Yeah, I've been doing this for a little while now and there's this whole little industry called land flipping, I guess.” And I bought my first few parcels from him directly wholesale. And yeah, that's basically the start and a lot has changed since then.
But that's basically how I got started.
Seth: What is your current deal flow? How many deals are you doing per month or per year? And then how many were you doing when you first got started? I mean, most people, they start in a certain place with certain expectations and as time goes on, they learn new ways of doing things. They get more creative. The market changes, they have to relearn certain things.
How has your business evolved from when you got started to how it works now?
Peter: Actually, the core of what we've done has not changed. Ever since the beginning, I never have sent mailers. I think the first batch of mailers I sent was earlier this year that didn't really work. So, from day one, all I did was call land companies and try to buy directly from them because I honestly didn't really know or fully understand the whole mailers process and how you take from mail to actually getting a closed deal.
So, when we first started, I bought three or four from Matt to start and then I went back and I actually did a land deal and that was a package. It started with 20 and then I went back to them, bought another 50. We did that like five times and then we were up to 300 over the span of six months. And then this year, acquisition-wise, we're north of a thousand parcels in 2022.
Seth: You might have just said, and I missed it, but this was all bought from other land flippers or you're buying these directly from the private owners?
Peter: Exclusively from land companies. Literally, I would just go on LandWatch, see who was selling land under 20,000 and who seemed like they had a lot of land and I would just call them and be like, “Hey. My name is Peter and I'm interested in buying land. Do you ever wholesale land to other investors?” And some people were kind of like, “Not really, but I'm open to it.” And then some people already were doing that and some people were just not receptive. But when you call enough people, you find a couple of people and that's all you really need.
Seth: Yeah. So, if a property is worth, I don't know, $20,000, how do the numbers work exactly? A lot of us are familiar with the way the formula would work if you're just buying directly from the private owner, but given that original buyer wants to make their profit, what are you offering them? And does this mean you have to sell it 100% of market value or does that margin ever get squeezed too thin for you?
Peter: It can, but usually how it works is, let's say a land investor bought a piece of land for $3,000 and they're selling it for $10,000. Basically, sometimes they want to get liquidated and they might sell it to me for $5,000. Basically, they don't make the full markup, but they still get it off their books quickly, and often it's not like a one-parcel kind of deal, it's more like I have 10 five acres in Arizona or New Mexico and sometimes it makes a lot of sense for them over 10 parcels to make $2,000 on each one at one go rather than having to list it wait and just go through that full sales cycle.
Seth: Yeah. Typically, is it their junk properties? Stuff that's been on the market for six-plus months and they can't move it and that's why they're selling it to you? Or do you ever get really good properties this way?
Peter: Honestly, sometimes they try to sell the junk properties or whatever, but most of the time, I honestly have gotten good inventory. Because what happens is it becomes such a strong repeat business. When you find a good wholesale customer, all the guys that I work with, I text them every week and anytime they get something new, I'm buying it from them.
So, their disposition pipeline or whatever you call it, is shortened incredibly. And the thing is, if they sell me something “bad,” they don't want to risk the business of losing us as a client. I don't know if that makes sense, but usually, I've never had any issues. I'm sure some deals don't go as you plan, but for the most part, there's definitely something there and it's been good.
Seth: And then when you're selling these things are you listing them with agents or putting it on Land.com? Or what's your process and who is eventually buying this from you?
Peter: Yeah. It's kind of crazy. The first two years of when I was in this business, and I got started in late 2019, early 2020, almost 95% was retail. We were buying all these properties from other investors and we would list them on our website and 95% of our business, it was actually retail.
So, one by one, we were selling them for owner financing to people, I don't know, who wanted to move out there with their RV or something like that. We used multiple marketing channels like TikTok, LandWatch, and all the other typical land marketing websites. But now, we've really transitioned, a lot of our business is actually wholesale now.
Seth: So, you're buying it from another land investor and then you're selling it to another land investor?
Seth: Really? Wow. So, what are the percentages? How does that work?
Peter: Yeah. Again, it's not as crazy profitable as a retail deal, but it's really nice because, for example, we just finished an acquisition a couple of months ago of 380 lots in Izard County. Out of the 380, we're keeping 100 of them just to sell on our website for retail. But then all the other remainder of the portfolio we're actually just selling to other investors and the margins are nowhere close on wholesale. It just depends because depending on the relationship we have with the investor, the volume, the size of their purchase, the pricing completely varies. But usually, we keep some for retail and then we sell the others so that we can always keep buying more properties instead of just being super flush on inventory and skipping on other deals because we have all of our funds tied up into inventory.
Ajay: Really wise. Peter, I think, dropped some wisdom bombs here that I don't want to neglect right away. First being the fact that he's recycling inventory is just such a good thing to look for, especially as the market's changing, people are talking about that. It's just good to stay somewhat liquid.
And Peter being a good friend of mine, I'll just share with everybody, he's given me some really good advice. I think it was one of the past times we hung out, Peter and I went to a spot together and he was telling me that I needed to have a five-year emergency fund. I was like, “Five years?” Because I've heard 3 months, I've heard 6 months, 12 months. I've never heard five years before.
I'm curious. And so, I asked Peter, “Okay, why do we need to do it that way? Why five years?” And he was like, “Ajay, when you have a five-year emergency fund, think about the level of clarity you have when you're making decisions. Literally, anything can go wrong and you're going to be okay. Any recession could happen and you could weather it unless something terrible happens and that's outside of our control.” But generally speaking, he's got a really, really good head on his shoulders when it comes to cash flow management.
I also just wanted to point out early on when Peter had said that he got on LandWatch and just saw everybody that was selling land consistently under $20,000. He's got great intuition for seeing opportunity. I don't know how many other land investors would get on and look at all these other investors and instead of being like, “Man, there's a lot of competition,” Peter says, “Great, there's an opportunity.”
And he went out and then played the numbers game like all of these land investors do. You make enough offers and somebody's going to say yes, and he just happened to do this with investors. And now he's essentially done it enough times where he's created his own marketplace in a sense. So, I just want to give Peter kudos and praise here because he has really done a phenomenal job these past few years creating something.
Seth: Yeah. That's really cool. Yeah, on that five-year emergency plan. I haven't heard that either, but I actually have enough money to last me for the rest of my life provided I don't buy anything. So, I'm kind of all set.
Peter: Now that's going to be hard.
Ajay: Yeah. Seth says if I don't eat for another 40 years, I'll be okay.
Seth: Sorry kids, no more food ever. We're done.
So, this is actually really fascinating. I was actually talking to somebody earlier today who does something kind of similar to you just in terms of dealing directly with other land investors. But this idea of buying from other land flippers and then selling to other land flippers or land investors of some kind, I'm almost trying to visualize the different arms of your business. Most standard land flippers have the buying arm and then the selling arm. Maybe a buying website and a selling website or two different brands for that. Do you have three?
On the selling end, do you have one that goes to retail people and one that goes to other investors? Or how do you divide up the ones that you intend to go one direction versus another?
Peter: For wholesale, we don't really use a website, and just say send the website to all the land investors. Maybe we should, that's probably a good idea. But currently, how we're doing it is we have one retail website and that is for someone who wants to buy one parcel of land, just a retail customer.
The other side is, our sales guy, Mike, who is just phenomenal, we actually just pulled a list one by one, one on LandWatch and created a list of 500 or 400 different land companies, got the emails and phone numbers and we just developed an outbound sales strategy.
So, there's no website or anything. We have a direct relationship with all the guys who buy wholesale from us. So, we'll just call them or email or text, but it's very one-on-one because we have to understand, it's almost like consultative because some inventory works for some people and other inventory doesn't work for other people.
And the reason why we have such very high retention on our wholesale stuff is because when we talk to each investor, we understand their business and we're not going to sell them anything that they're not going to make a profit on because then they'll just never work with us again. So, when we talk to them, we understand their business. Mike, our sales guy actually helps them with coaching, not coaching but more like marketing and stuff like that.
So, it's a very consultative thing and it's not just like “Click here, buy this link, and we'll send you your deed,” because the lifetime value of one wholesale customer is incredibly high.
Seth: Oh, yeah. I'm sure.
Peter: So, we really call them, understand their business and their position before we even consider selling them any inventory.
Seth: Yeah. Walk me through the math problem on this. If you are buying from, and just look from an average standard way that one of these deals would work. So, if there's a property worth $10,000 just for easy numbers, what is that original land flipper buying it for? What are you buying it for? What's the next guy buying it for? And then what are they selling it for? How does everybody make money in this process and is it really worth everyone's time?
I mean, it must be, I'm assuming because it's happening, but yeah, help me understand that.
Peter: Yeah. That's the challenge. If that was the case, we almost skip on half of the deals that are presented for us to purchase just because the numbers won't work. So usually how it works is it's like a 4X. Let's say that someone's selling a piece of land for $10 just for easy numbers. The first guy buys it for two and a half and then we buy it for like three and a half, four if it's a really good deal. And then we sell it for five and a half, six. And then the final person who sells it retail is the one that makes the largest margin because they're doing the hard work of finding retail customers.
Seth: Yeah. So, if this thing can't actually sell at full retail value, whatever that is. And I guess that's another question I'll get to you in a second, but say if that $10,000 sale price can't be achieved, then this whole thing kind of falls apart, right? Or at least maybe it wouldn't work as well because there wouldn't be as much meat on the bone.
Peter: Yes. That's why before we buy anything, and we don't buy super expensive stuff. So, most of our land is between $4,000 to under $10,000. But when you buy in volume it kind of adds up very quickly.
Seth: Yeah, for sure. Makes sense. I guess my other connected question there was, it sounds like because it's important to have certainty about what that thing is actually worth in retail value, is this kind of limit you to certain markets where it's easy to understand that? Where it's easy to find comps, there's a good, reliable, dependable way we can all bank on and make sure this is actually true instead of we've got this one-of-a-kind property and nobody really knows what it's worth but it's probably worth more than what we're paying for it.
Are there certain cookie-cutter-type properties that you limit yourself to working with?
Peter: Yes. The last three out of three big acquisitions that we did this year have all been cookie-cutter properties. I love cookie-cutter portfolios because they just have such a high predictability. Even on our retail side, if you look at some of our portfolios or whatever, I usually price every lot the same which is pretty crazy because individual pricing is such a big thing in the land thing and any other property thing. But for the most part, I just see them as units. If they fit, they're in the same area, same acreage, they have access, we price it all the same.
And that's just for simplicity. Because if we were to sit there and individually price out all these properties wholesale and all these properties retail, I think it would be a mess. So, we just put a cookie-cutter price on the wholesale and on the retail side of it.
Seth: Does this ever not work for anybody in this process? And I don't know how much you follow up to see “Did you sell at that price or what?” I don't know, has it ever happened where it's like, “Oh, man, we just made the wrong estimate here, it's not actually worth that, we overpaid?” Or are you able to steer clear of that for the most part in some way?
Peter: So far, we have steered cleared of it, knock on wood. But the thing is, I'm on the very conservative side when it comes to taking bets because if we're wrong, we weren't wrong on one or two parcels, we were wrong on 200 or 300. So, there's definitely a big margin of safety if we're ever going to even buy anything. That's been our insurance policy, is just to have a giant big margin of safety so that we're protected and our wholesale customers are also protected.
Ajay: I would also think at some point if you figured out your evaluation was off, you could always pivot and just sell a lot more of your units retail versus wholesale because regardless of how off you were, there should still be that margin of safety on the retail front to recoup a lot of your investment. Right?
Peter: Yes. So, if sometimes some smaller portfolio is like 50 or 100 lots, we won't even wholesale them. We'll just throw them up on the website and it just makes more sense for retail. There are only just a few things that are offered wholesale when the numbers work. So, it's not like every property we can just wholesale them because sometimes it just won't work.
Seth: Sure. You mentioned this sales guy, Mike. So, it sounds like he plays a pretty important role in connecting you guys with a lot of your end buyers who are other investors. So, what exactly does he do and where'd you find him? Good sales guys can be hard to find. People who understand the business and know how to maintain those relationships. So, how did that all come together?
Peter: So crazy. He actually saw one of our retail listings on LandWatch. It was some land in Antrim County, Michigan. And he actually was naturally interested in land and he filled out that little lead form. And then I think he texted me or I texted him, but one way or the other we started texting and then he's like, “Oh, I saw this property. I think I can really help you guys.”
And we just got on a phone call and he was naturally interested in owning property, but he also had 15 to 20 years of sales experience and he was looking for a new opportunity. Basically yeah, that's how we got connected. He just saw one of our land listings and reached out as a customer and then it turned into something more.
Ajay: And then he sold you.
Peter: Yeah, exactly. Yes. And that's how he was a great salesperson.
Seth: Does he get compensated in a sales commission when something sells? I'm always curious about that because I've heard a lot of different ways that people do this and find really good people using very different compensation methods. But for somebody like that, how does he make money and get paid?
Peter: We started talking and the first thing, after when we started talking about compensation, he was like, yeah, I actually don't want you to pay me hourly. I just want you to pay me on the sales that I create. So, we put together a commission model. That's how you know a good salesperson. In my opinion I think if someone is a real producer, they will be able to bet on their skills and their ability to make sales and they don't want to be locked in to some kind of salary or hourly thing. So, we put together just like a commission model on just like off-net of what we make on each deal.
Seth: Yeah, somebody like that, you really will want to pay them as much as possible because that means you're making tons of money. It's almost kind of like a backwards way of looking at taxes. If you got to pay a lot of taxes, that means you did really good. Give yourself a pat on the back. I still have a hard time thinking of it that way, but that's what somebody told me once.
Peter: Well, they tell you that because they haven't had to pay a big tax bill yet.
Seth: Yes. Exactly. So, given the way your business works, it sounds like direct mail is not a thing for you. Is that correct? Have you ever sent out mail or do you not really need to rely on that for anything?
Peter: I have a story about that. This is a point about being focused. Especially when you listen to podcasts and you go to these events and all this other stuff, you just come out with a million different ideas. I had a phase at that point when I was very inspired and very motivated to send mailers. I put it together, it was so bad. We sent 50,000 mailers in six weeks. And it was my first time ever sending mailers and it was all like neutral, basically, there was no price on them.
So, we just got blown up with response, but we had two people who were just getting trained on how to do intake and the whole thing fell apart. And then after that, I was like, I think I've had my fun with mailing and we're going to get back to our main business. But now, maybe we're going to experiment with doing some mailers, but not on the acquisition side. But more so for retail sales. So, we would be sending out postcards saying “Land in Arkansas, owner financing to existing landowners.”
Seth: Got you. So direct mail is a part of your business currently or that was just kind of the 50,000 thing that was just one massive mistake and moved on?
Peter: Yes. Yeah. We haven't touched mailing since then.
Seth: Okay. Got you.
Peter: So, I'm just saying now we might start experimenting with it again.
Seth: Yeah, it's like when my kids have to take driver's training. I'm going to only let them drive a monster truck that has a minimum speed of 100 miles an hour and we'll see how that goes.
Ajay: It was hysterical, when Peter and I met at this mastermind event, the four of us were chatting and Peter brought up that he'd never used direct mail as part of his acquisition strategy. And I was in a room with investors where all of us only used direct mail. I think we'd done a little bit of texting and cold calling and stuff, but direct mail had been our primary form of marketing for acquisitions and we hear Peter complaining, he is like, “Yeah, it's crazy, these leads come in and you've got to price them and call the sellers and do this stuff.” Peter, that's our entire business, man. What do you mean?
And it's funny, because Peter's got such a unique business model, he just has different pain points than us. And so, it was really interesting highlighting that. But him being so versatile, he recognizes that there's still a lot of value in mails and marketing channel. So I think what he was sharing a moment ago, Peter, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here, but you're looking at using direct mail as part of your disposition strategy to get in front of people's faces.
Peter: Exactly. Exclusively for disposition.
Seth: Yeah. I'm glad you pointed that out, Ajay. I'm not sure that I even… I mean, I thought I heard that but I just dismissed it because it’s like, “No, he couldn't possibly mean that.” So, you're going to get a bunch of lists of people that you think are going to want to buy in land and then send them ads basically like what a realtor does?
Peter: 100%. I tested that on a small scale a little while ago and it was actually mailers to land companies and we did get some wholesale customers off of that. So, now I want to experiment on a larger scale with advertising to landowners for the retail disposition side of it.
Seth: These land companies, is there some methodology you are using to generate this list of them? Do you just know the land companies and you have another address? If somebody wanted to do this and pull a list from DataTree or something, how would they go about organizing that list to be like, “I want to target those people who I think are going to want to buy land?” What would make you think that they would want to buy land?
Peter: On the wholesale side, what we did is we just went on all the different land marketplaces. I had the VA scrape every single listing. And then we kind of removed the duplicates of the same land companies. And then we had their phone numbers and email because all that information usually is listed on the profile or the listing. So, it was a very manual process. It wasn't a giant list at all. That is how we created that wholesale list. And then once we had that list, Mike called them or texted them, and then that's how we warmed up a cold list.
But on the retail side, we're still experimenting. I really don't know if someone is interested in buying a piece of land that we have for sale, but it's more of like a numbers game. The way we've seen it is if someone owns a piece of land that is similar to what we're selling, there might be a good chance that they might want to buy one more or buy again. So, it's not like a super sophisticated approach. It's a very shotgun approach of they already own land in this area and maybe they want to add to their portfolio.
Seth: Got you. And were you saying you've done this one time and it worked decent?
Peter: Yeah, one time and it worked decent and now we're going to experiment with that on the retail side. So maybe when we chat next time, I'll let you know how that goes.
Seth: Yeah, that sounds good. I'd love to hear about that.
Peter: And I'm totally just trying things. And that's the thing. I'm not afraid to try and if it fails, it's a write-off.
Seth: Yeah. And I really admire that, honestly. It takes a lot of courage to try something that's unproven, but something that the average person might scoff at. There's a lot of courage required to do that kind of thing. And that's how any big discovery is made, is doing something that nobody's ever done before. So, I think it's really cool.
Moving on to TikTok, might seem like a random pivot, but I know the first time I ever heard an interview with you with Jessey, earlier this year, TikTok was a big focus of what you guys talked about. And I know you're on TikTok and you are kind of a big deal on TikTok. How many followers do you have now?
Peter: So far, it's 70,000 followers on TikTok.
Seth: What role does that play in your business? Is that a really important thing or is it kind of just for fun, or? If TikTok deleted your account tomorrow, is your business totally screwed or is it not really a big deal?
Peter: If it got deleted, which can totally happen, and they do delete accounts all the time.
Seth: It happened to me, actually.
Seth: Yeah. We had, I think it was two videos, total. And one of the videos, it was a chunk of another video I made where I said the words “shooting from the hip,” and in that when I said that there was B-roll of a gun firing. And I don't know for sure that that's the reason, but I was trying to understand why would they delete anything. What have we said that's so bad? And it says in their terms you can't talk about firearms at all. And so, I'm guessing that's why they did it.
Ajay: You can't promote violence, Seth.
Seth: I know. I know. I'm a pretty nasty guy. I'm glad it happened when we were nothing and we're still nothing. But I'm glad it happened then instead of where you're at, Peter. That would just really be horrible to put all that work into something and they just take it off.
But I'm sorry, how important is TikTok?
Peter: The last two years it has been very, very important for us. The thing is, we were early on there, so there were two other people who were on there and I was very early on that platform. And we did find a ton of buyers, which is crazy. It's just their algorithm when it works, it really works. And the thing is that was after hundreds of videos. A lot of them fell flat on their face, but there were some which absolutely just crushed it. There was one day, I think this happened two times since I've been making videos. The video went really viral. I think it hit one or two million views within one to two days or something like that. It actually crashed our website.
Peter: And we had to call Shopify and figure it out. So, it is a very, very powerful platform. And if it got deleted currently, our business wouldn't be that affected by it. It would be hard, but I haven't also been making a ton of videos on there because recently our focus has really shifted to wholesale. So yeah, it is definitely worth giving it a shot and if you have a little bit of interest and time, you can find buyers for your properties or even sellers, and it's free.
Seth: Yeah. And what is your handle again? Is it @thelandinvestor?
Peter: Yes, exactly. On TikTok. Yes.
Seth: Okay. I'll be sure to link up to that and anything else of Peter’s that we talk about in this episode. Again, retipster.com/150 for the show notes.
So that one video that went viral, why? What happened there?
Peter: So, it was pretty crazy. What I did was the video was going viral and also, I boosted that same video.
Seth: And what does that mean? You paid for an ad or something?
Peter: It started going viral and then I immediately launched, they call it boost or whatever, which is basically just like a push. And that video just went even more viral, I guess. The website had too many visitors. I think we hit 20,000 visitors in 24 hours.
Seth: And you're talking about the link in your TikTok profile to your website. So, that many people not just watch your video but actually click through at the same time.
Peter: Yes. And so, our retail website also does have online checkout. It was so crazy. I would just be sitting there every hour, we would see one new person just put down their down payment and signed up for a piece of property. So, it was crazy. I would say from that, we probably sold like 30 or 40 properties within two days.
Seth: Man, what did you say? Did you say in the video, “Click on my link and buy a property?” Is that why they were doing that? Or was this just out of curiosity and they thought you were a nice guy and clicked and bought it that way?
Peter: No. The thing is, when you think about it on a conversion rate basis, if you have 20,000 visitors with a 1% conversion… Oh, man, I hope I'm not wrong on the math.
Peter: But like 200. Yeah, 200. So, we had 40 people sign up maybe. 40 out of 100, that's maybe a quarter of 1%. So, it's not like you're selling a T-shirt where it's such a common product that someone might buy if they like you or something. It's definitely a lower conversion. But basically, the content in the video was just me talking about that property, about a property that we have. I was like 0.25 acres in Valencia County, New Mexico for whatever, $50 a month or $100 a month or $1,200 outright or something like that. And it was just a very catchy video. So, people started commenting on it and it just really helped the algorithm and then we were able to find 40 buyers out of all those views.
Ajay: I think it's worth pointing out here that Peter's got a theme of removing friction. And Peter, why don't you walk us through how easy it is to purchase a property or put down a down payment and walk us through what those down payments are and what that process is for your user experience and let everybody understand why it's so easy to work with Once Upon a Brick.
Peter: Basically, someone lands on our homepage and within four clicks they'll be at the checkout page. So, they click on view all properties or something like that and then they select which property they want, click buy now. And then they select if they want to be on the payment plan or if they want to pay it off outright and then they just put in their credit card and they can buy it.
Ajay: That's incredible. And how low can they start with down payments?
Peter: When we started it was a lot less because our acquisition cost was very low. But now I think it's starting at around $100. So, they just put down $100 and they are now they own property.
Seth: How'd you build this website? Was this like a WordPress theme, or did some service do this for you?
Peter: No, I actually built it myself when I started.
Seth: Yeah, it looks good.
Peter: On Shopify.
Seth: Yeah. And this is onceuponabrick.com in case you didn't already catch that.
Peter: Yes, onceuponabrick.com.
Seth: I'm seeing in this listing here, it looks like you got featured in all these places, Business Insider, Associated Press. How did that work?
Peter: I actually just hired a PR company and they did it for us.
Seth: So, they somehow got you featured in these places?
Peter: Yes. And anyone can do that. You just type in “as seen in services” or “as seen on services” on Google and you can slap those logos everywhere.
Seth: Wow. Does this service send you some verified link? Like look at this page where there's a link to your site or you're mentioned here in some way. Does it have to be verified somehow?
Peter: Yeah, they sent me a spreadsheet of all the links and stuff. It's basically a press release. And then they give you that link so you can link it up on your website pretty much.
Seth: Cool. Yeah, well, now, you can put REtipster in there.
Ajay: Yeah, right.
Seth: Just put that in bold above all the other logos because that's the one that matters the most.
Peter: It's going to be the first one, Seth.
Ajay: I mean, who's heard of Business Insider, right?
Ajay: I know earlier I was just pointing out, again, with Peter who’s done a great job of removing friction. Example one was just website, four clicks, he's almost as good as Jeff Bezos. He's coming for him. Another place was just this marketplace that we talked about. The reason people are okay taking these small margins is because Peter makes it effortless for all these buyers and sellers that he's worked with to effectively be like, “Hey, here are your margins, here's what I'll pay better,” bada bing bada boom.
And there's speed involved. And so, he's able to provide such a value that is so unique to what I've seen in the land investing space that he's just done a really good job of removing friction with all of the parties he works with.
Seth: Going through your checkout right now on one of your properties, it looks like you can either choose to own it on terms or just pay the full price. And if I pay the full price, the next page is a little form where I can fill out the name I want on the deed and the tax address. I haven't clicked next yet, but…
Peter: That's going to make you put your credit card.
Ajay: Yeah, get your credit card out, Seth.
Seth: I know Shopify is a big deal for e-commerce platforms. I haven't used it, but I hear people talk about it all the time. So, I haven't seen somebody using it for selling land, in terms of handling credit card payments or however they can pay, can they pay by ACH too or something like that or just credit card?
Peter: We could do ACH but 90% of retail customers just put in their credit or debit card.
Seth: And is that happening through MoonClerk? Because I see a MoonClerk logo here too.
Peter: It does, yes.
Seth: Okay. I'm just trying to visualize this. What does Shopify do and what does MoonClerk do? Why do you need Shopify instead of just using MoonClerk?
Peter: You're right, Seth, not a lot of real estate or land people use Shopify. And there are much better websites and tools and whatever out there that are specifically for land companies and land investors. And it might actually work better. The reason is I did the website myself and Shopify was a platform that I was comfortable with because I've built websites there in the past. So, I just figured out how can I create a land website on Shopify.
And right now, I really don't want to mess around with changing that, or transitioning to something like WordPress, Carrot. There are better ones, but the cost for us to move now from Shopify to something else is very, very, very hard. So, we've just stuck with it and tried to make it better.
Seth: Okay. So, Shopify is the website and then MoonClerk, that's when you're filling out the form to make the payment. That's where MoonClerk is, right?
Peter: That's the payment gateway.
Seth: Payment gateway. Any other services involved with that? I know being able to accept credit card payments is something a lot of people want to do, but there's not a good right easy way to do it without risking getting everything shut down. You're not supposed to do that, but it doesn't sound like that's ever been an issue with you, right?
Peter: Sometimes, but so far, it's been good. It depends. The major services sometimes don't allow you, but I just had an old Stripe account and they've never given us an issue.
Seth: Sweet, man. Aside from Shopify and MoonClerk, are there any specific tools or resources that you've found particularly helpful in this business? I know there's no shortage of services and software and websites out there. Is there maybe one to three things that you just cannot do without, it would be terrible if you lost these things? What do you rely on the most?
Peter: Google Sheets.
Peter: Yeah, yeah.
Seth: High roll, right?
Peter: Yes, Google Sheets is very, very important for our business. Of course, our email marketing thing, which is Klaviyo, very, very important. And then Follow Up Boss, which is our CRM, which was a complete game changer. Because now, we were able to separate a list of our retail customers and our wholesale customers, and all their information is in there. When someone makes a call, it's logged. So having a really solid CRM. I've tried things, other services, other big services, but Follow Up Boss has so far been my favorite.
Ajay: Can I ask, Peter? I know you are somebody who has leveraged, this isn't exactly a tool, but you've leveraged Fiverr pretty extensively. Can you share with everyone what kinds of things you've used it for, what you use it for regularly, and how it's helped you grow and scale your business?
Peter: Absolutely. We just hired a new marketing person today, which I found on Fiverr. Fiverr is a great source for you to find, like for example, we were just talking about Shopify. There's probably 50 people on there who are just wonderful at building you a website that you can hire and pay them per job or per gig. And it's super easy.
And the reason why they've just become incredibly successful also is, again, it's that three, four click thing. Where you can go on there, find someone that will say, “I'll build you a website,” and you just click two buttons, you pay them and they're technically hired for that gig. So, you can hire them to make your postcards that you're sending for direct mail, your websites, you can do a lot of things on there. I've used them mostly for graphic design work and marketing-related gigs.
Seth: Yeah, both the things you said there. Google Sheets, it's something that it's such a commonplace thing. I don't think about how nice it is, but it is really nice. I rely on it too. It'd be a huge problem if that disappeared overnight.
And Fiverr too. I've used Fiverr a ton over the years for all kinds of random things. And sometimes I've referred to it as the Walmart of online outsourcing. It's pretty cheap and sometimes that's indicative of value, but not always. There's really good value to be found there. But sometimes, just hearing you talk I feel like I'm almost underutilizing it. There's a lot more I could be finding there. And they do make it super simple to find pretty good talent sometimes. And even if it's like bombs, it's like, “Okay, well, that was like $100, not a big deal.” Depending on what the project is.
So, when you consider all the things that you are good at, and sometimes this is hard for us to recognize because we're good at them and they don't seem like anything special. But when you think of the things that you can do well, what do you think is your unfair advantage? What can you do well that other people can't do well in this space and how has that contributed to your success?
Peter: Yeah. I think the first thing is being a connector. Doing things like creating lists and calling people, talking to them, building relationships. Being able to really get down and really call people, connect with them, text them. I think that would be my unfair advantage.
Because sometimes, people might see other companies as competition or whatever, but for me, I've always seen them as there's definitely 100% a way that you can create a win-win from talking to someone. And actually, some of my really, really good friends now are from just connecting. How me and Ajay met. It's just crazy random connections, but you never know where those relationships will go.
So, I would say building relationships, it would be my first skill. And then the second thing is being willing to try new things and invest in them. There have been so many paid advertising things that we've tried. Some have just given us outsized returns and some have been a 100% loss, but just being able to try new things and not be scared of losing, I would say have been helpful.
Seth: Yeah, I know we've covered some of them already, but whether it's paid advertising or I don't know, anything else in your business, can you think of any other examples of things that you took a risk on and it paid off in a big way?
Peter: TikTok, along with creating organic content, the paid side of it was really good. So, running paid campaigns on TikTok. Now we're experimenting with things. Even you can create an ad now on Hulu, where there's going to be a lot of new opportunities available where you can advertise on untraditional platforms. So, I think it's Hulu, but imagine if you could put an ad for land for sale on Hulu, or Reddit, or Twitter. So, the platform itself is not that important, there's no magic platform. It's more so finding a magic audience and reaching them regardless of platform.
Ajay: If I could highlight a couple of more of Peter's talents here, just as somebody who's a friend of his. Superpowers, if you will. I think that was your verbiage, Seth.
Ajay: Related to his first point. He's not afraid to pick up the phone. And I think that's something it doesn't matter how old you are, you get it a lot with Peter and I's age group, anybody under 30 is really, really scared to pick up the phone sometimes and just make calls because our generations had the luxury of texting the entire time. So those folks that are willing to have such an advantage because you can build relationships, because you can build rapport, because you can hear emotions and inflection in your voice. And so, Peter's willingness to just always pick up the phone, make a call, and get things done has been really, really good for him.
Number two, I would say he just doesn't have, and you probably do, but on the outside, it doesn't seem like he has limiting beliefs. He's one of those guys that just does whatever he does because nobody ever told him he couldn't. I think a lot of people have trouble breaking ideologies that you shouldn't be an entrepreneur, you shouldn't be able to make certain amounts of money, especially at certain age groups, build businesses, hire employees, what have you. Peter doesn't subscribe to any of that. He's just done such a good job of taking action and it's like, “Why did you think to do that? Or why did you do that?” And Peter's response would frequently be, “Why not?” And he would just take a stab at it. So, I just wanted to brag on him for a second as one of my good friends and somebody I'm proud to be here with right now.
Peter: Thank you, Ajay.
Seth: Yeah, that's awesome.
Peter: I'll tell you, it is the most crazy, crazy, crazy story. In 2017, I actually saw someone was selling land on eBay and I actually messaged that person on eBay because I was looking for real estate. I've always been fascinated with real estate because you just see videos, whatever. So, I saw that someone was selling land on eBay, messaged this person. Apparently, the dude lived like 20 miles away from where I was at in Chicago. I actually met him and this was first year of college, I think. So I met him at a Starbucks and he was like, yeah, we can sell you these properties and all this stuff.
And I was a skeptic. And if I got into the same business at that time, we would be much further along. And full circle, a few years later, 2020, early 2020, we got reconnected again because again, I was making my cold calls to all these land companies and he is like, “Hey, are you the guy that I met in Starbucks?”
Seth: Wow, that's crazy.
Peter: In 2017 in Chicago and now he's moved to Texas and all that. We started working together that day. And even then, I was a skeptic. I was like, “Oh, it's probably not that good me buying from you wholesale and all this stuff.” I was still a skeptic at that point and that has probably been the highest-producing relationship for us to this day. And this was something that I had an opportunity to be a part of in 2017. It was very, very early. And yeah, we bought the most land from them last year in 2021. And the guy was like, "Hey, man, I told you. I told you.”
That was my limiting belief because I've been burned before in another business. And I kept that story with me for a very long time. And that experience helped me let go of that and start thinking in a more abundant frame because for a while I was like, “Yeah, but I don't know if we're going to make money on that and all this stuff.” But when you understand that someone actually wants to play the long game with you and they're going to sell you something that you're going to make a profit on, I learned that, but I lost like three years because of waiting. Sometimes being a skeptic can be expensive.
Seth: Oh, for sure. And a lot of people can relate to that. Yeah, every day I hear that kind of thing from people. And it sounds like you were a skeptic at one point and then there was a point at which you were not a skeptic.
So, what happened? Was there some event? Did you see something and open your eyes or did you dip your toe in the water and it's like, “Oh, that worked, well, let's dip it in a little bit further?” Take me through that mental journey of not believing to believing.
Peter: Yes. So, when we met this person again, I bought 5 or 10 lots from him and he had like 100. It would've been the best acquisition if we bought those lots because those lots today, two years later, they sell for much, much more than what I could have bought them for at that time. So, I bought 5, bought 10, started selling them. And then later I went back and I bought another 5, another 10.
I kept playing small, taking these small bets, and it was fine. But then the third time what happened was he had a very good portfolio of lots and I, again, took a small bet. And I sold the stuff that I bought for a lot more than what I paid for them. But then, by the time I went back, those lots were not available. Someone else bought them.
Basically, that's just how I learned, because if you're not going to take the risk, I don't even see it as risk. If you're not going to take the bet, someone else will. And of course, it took time to build that kind of comfort, but it was also starting to think in abundance. So, when your business starts doing better, but you were always used to getting your behind beat as aspiring entrepreneur, you start thinking in abundance because you start being around people who are just crushing it and doing deals and not everyone's out to try to whatever
Seth: Yeah. I know that the abundance mentality is something that a lot of people talk about, and for good reason. It's just scarcity versus abundance. It's a false belief or just a misguided belief about what you can and can't do in life.
It makes me wonder though, is there any truth rooted in a scarcity mentality? Have you ever had the abundance mentality and that turned out to be false? You were thinking, I can do anything and you can't, you were actually right to be scared. You shouldn't have done that. Have you ever experienced that? It just makes you wonder.
Peter: Yeah. Well, like I said, the mailers that we sent, those completely failed. But the thing is, of course, you're going to have some upsets. But the thing is, the majority of the time with an abundant mindset, I've noticed that you get more wins than you do losses. Because someone who's in scarcity I feel like just loses all the time. So, I just feel like it has been more beneficial. Your win-loss ratio, I feel, is a lot higher when you start thinking in abundance.
Ajay: Yeah. If I could just add to that, I think there's a really good call out there of playing to win versus playing not to lose. They're two different games. On one side, you're basically just playing defense, either trying to conserve or do well enough versus really winning and dominating. They're just two very different games. They come with different mindsets and ideally different outcomes. But if you're going to play to win, you have to be okay to fail, I think is what that comes down to.
In my own business, I thought I was playing to win for a long, long time, but there were parts of me that were too scared to let go that really held me back. So, I was sharing with Peter and those guys we masterminded with, we've got a group message thread, we text and I was just bragging about my team recently.
So right now, I've got three acquisitions girls, and they're killing it. I've got a girl that's dedicated to texting, another one that does some kind of due diligence screening, initial phone calls, and then another one that's part-time acquisitions manager. So, she's actually closing deals. I try to keep these roles pretty segmented. I don't want to go down that rabbit hole yet.
The point being, I just really built all this out over the past probably six to eight weeks. And I was in Costa Rica with my fiancé last week, came back and the next day logged on and found out we had gotten four deals under contract. Well, it was all from texting leads, might I add. And this is take it or leave it, but we actually stopped doing direct mail around the holidays just because it hits so much slower. So, I just don't send out any letters between November and end of December, and then I'll pick it back up in January.
But we just turned up the dial because we were like, well, we have bandwidth from not processing mail leads, let's just get this out. But my point being, I didn't hire for such a long time. And it was because of limiting beliefs. I didn't think I knew how to manage effectively. I didn't think I could let go of certain tasks that were revenue-generating, but in all reality, I was playing to not lose. And because of that, I was the bottleneck of my own business.
Alex Hormozi, if anybody follows his content, fantastic YouTuber, in an interview I was listening to him, talks about constraint theory. It's the same expression basically as the chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Your business process is only as strong as whatever your constraint is. So, you need to figure it out and remove it. And my business was having a huge problem when it came to processing leads and we could get leads in the door all day long, but similar to what Peter was talking about, you can send out 50,000 mailers, but if you don't have the bandwidth to process those, what good does it do? And so, you have a constraint here of processing leads and not of getting leads in the door.
And so, it's just been really interesting processing through this over the past few months and realizing there's going to be this huge uptick in our acquisitions over time because I was willing to make a couple of hires, which really are not that crazy. But yeah, super long-winded there. Sorry I went off on a tangent. Just felt the need to share all that.
Seth: Oh, man. We got to do a podcast interview with you about those hires sometime. That sounds like some amazing information, just how you found them.
Ajay: I'd be happy to. Yeah.
Seth: Yeah, that'd be amazing. I know there are some other important questions we wanted to get to you before we end this thing. So, Ajay, I think you added this question here about working 25 hours a day or something, because I didn't put that in there, but I think it's a good question though. You want to ask him?
Ajay: Yeah. Peter, you do a lot. You're accomplishing a lot, you are changing things often. You're iterating, you're learning. Anybody on the outside would look at you as, how old are you? 24, 25?
Ajay: 25. Look at this 25-year-old. He's been in this for a couple of years and say, okay, this dude's got to be working 25 hours a day. With all of these, will you just walk us through what your workday looks like, your mentality towards work. Let everybody see behind the curtain, what does it look like in Peter's brain and in his life?
Peter: Yes, Ajay. I actually don't work 25 hours a day. I don't work 24 hours a day or anything. But the thing is, when I first started, I did put in a lot of hours and all this amazing stuff, but now I actually don't. I work maybe three, four hours a day. But the thing is, it's three to four hours of dedicated work, but a lot of my work it's around the clock.
Sometimes people say, “Okay, I work Monday to Friday from this time to that time.” I don't really have a schedule like that, but I would say about three to four hours of dedicated work a day. But a lot of that sometimes is, “Okay, after I leave the gym, I'll call my sales guy, or I'll call the operation, Noah, or whatever.”
But the thing is, I used to be working all the time. I'd literally wake up and then work until I go to bed and maybe go to the gym once. But honestly, when I stopped doing a whole bunch of stuff is when it actually started working better. And just putting in the right people and figuring out a way how can I afford to bring on team members. So that's been a game-changer.
Because for a long period of time, I started my first business when I was 15 years old and I was just working, working, working, working, working. But it never gave me time to actually sit back and look and actually plug in the holes. Because I was always on this treadmill. Yeah, if I could say anything, it's just work less and enjoy your life and figure out how you can put in systems, automations, and talent in the right positions and you're going to be able to do so much more than even if you work 26 hours a day.
Seth: Yeah. Yeah. How many people are on your team? How many are on your staff? What are their roles? Tell us about how that's structured.
Peter: Sure. So, Mike, he does all the sales. And then Noah runs our operations. Basically, things like deeds and customer service stuff. And then of course, we use a VA service for the website marketing images and listing. So, we'll send them all the work and then they'll bill us once a month. We don't have really have a team to manage for the thing. And then recently today I just got one person to help with marketing. Things like blog posts and maybe creating other websites. And then me, I just do acquisitions and I handle the marketing and advertising side of the business.
Seth: Cool. Do you have a long-term plan of where you want this business to go? Where do you see this being in five years? Do you want to do land forever? And if so, do you want to grow it in a particular direction?
Peter: Yeah. That question gets me too excited. I actually want to really build a huge community and connect almost like a stock market for wholesale land. But not on the retail side, but wholesale. That land companies can trade with each other, if that's a possibility. That's the future.
But right now, we just want to really keep doing well with our wholesale side of our business and acquire more clients where we can buy from them and sell to them. I'm also experimenting with other types of businesses, but within the land niche because I get distracted pretty easily. So, I don't want to wander too far out of the land niche for the next five years.
Seth: Yeah. Well, I'll tell you, there is a need for that and it's kind of an interesting need. When I say that, I'm talking about the connecting land investors, whether it's on that wholesale side of things. But I get questions all the time from people who either have money and they want to invest in other people's land deals or people who don't have money and they want the money from the other private lenders and that kind of thing. And even other stuff, whether it's buying or selling land notes or buying some directly to other land wholesalers, what you're doing, people that are looking for each other. And I think there are ways to find them, but there's not a very direct intentionally connecting platform that does it. People are limited to, “Yeah, I'm going to post this thing on a forum or a Facebook group, and hopefully somebody will see it.” But that's it. Or maybe word of mouth, that kind of thing.
But I wish there was a marketplace where people could just be like, “Here we go, I got money looking for an active land investor,” and they can connect that way. And I looked into doing a little bit of that and I think one of the challenges is the status of people is always changing. I may be in a certain situation today, but that might not be true tomorrow. And so, whoever participates needs to stay on top of it or there's old information out there. I don't know how to do that. I'm sure there's a way. It's kind of a tricky thing, surprisingly, but there's definitely a need for that. So, if you create that kind of thing, I'll be interested to see what it looks like and how it works.
Peter: Yes. And I think with something like that, you need to figure out accreditation or verification even of information and even the person. Because there needs to be some verification method that someone is who they say they are and does what they actually say that they do.
Seth: Yeah, for sure. I guess the final question here, if somebody's listening to this, maybe they're new to land investing, maybe they are thinking about it, but they haven't gotten started yet and they see how far you've come in your time in the land business, what would you say to a person like that? Any thoughts? If you could talk to yourself back when you got started, what would you tell yourself?
Peter: Don't be so worried because I think that's my thesis overall to anyone, not even a land investor or anyone who wants to build something or an entrepreneur or whatever. When you first start, people beat themselves up too much at the start. So just practicing grace. I think it's a very important thing for your well-being and your land business is eventually going to get to where you want it to or whatever business.
So being not so worried that something bad is going to happen or you're not going to reach where you want to reach and just be patient. And of course, do whatever it is that you got to do.
Practice grace, because I was pretty intense too when I was first getting started in my entrepreneurial journey, but after you get to where you've always wanted to be, you'll be like, “I can't believe that we're here,” but you realize that you've put so much time being so worried and being so intense.
And then a little bit more practical thing. I would say my two cents would be to connect with people more. If you spend 30 hours a week on your business, maybe spend an hour and a half calling land investors, introducing yourself, saying hi. Because to me I feel that was the game changer. Of course, with all these acquisitions and blah, blah, blah, a lot of the people that we work with now, I'm personal friends with. And I would say they're some of my best friends.
So, spend time connecting and observing other industries. What's happening in AI or what's happening in some other industry and figuring out how can you apply what's happening in another industry and take it and implement it into your land business. Where can you go where no one else is?
Seth: Can you think of any examples of that? On the industry is doing cool things that you can repurpose for land?
Peter: Sure. There is a very, very big tool that just came out in the AI space, ChatGPT. And that changed everything about marketing.
Seth: What did you say that's called?
Peter: It's called ChatGPT and it's by a company called OpenAI. That changed everything about marketing. There are always new things that are coming along. I don't think the tool as much is as important because that's always changing. But ChatGPT, Reddit ads, no one runs Reddit ads. No one runs Twitter ads. I'm talking about our industry. So, what can you do? I don't know if that was a clear answer.
Seth: No, I think it illustrates a point that there's a whole lot of opportunity that most people just don't think about, like Reddit ads. Man, I never would've thought of that, but you're right. Zero times have I ever seen that and I probably never will. I guess the question is, is it because it doesn't work or it's because nobody's thought of it, or maybe nobody's thought of it in a way that works? I guess where I get overwhelmed on that is there's this infinite number of different ways to do it wrong. So, how do you figure out what is the right way? Whatever that means.
Peter: And I think Ajay is an expert at this because he also has told me about testing and how testing is very, very important. And for me, I've never really done too much testing and I'm trying to do that because for me, I just like to go in and do it.
Maybe if you have $10 in your marketing budget, spend $5 on you know what works and $5 on a dollar here, a dollar there, 10%, 10% and experiment. And yeah, there is no competition. I just said the tool that we're implementing now and there's no gatekeeping. I think the people that are going to really do it are going to do it anyway. And I feel like competition is an illusion.
Seth: Yeah, I know. There are all kinds of ways to split test stuff and do that kind of thing. I just learned about something called Google Optimize. Have you guys ever heard of that?
Seth: I'd never heard of this until probably a couple of months ago. I've got this consultant and he's helping me figure out all kinds of stuff with REtipster that I had never didn't even know existed. And with Google Optimize, you can basically plug in two different versions of a website, whether it's a landing page or a blog post or whatever it is, and it'll just automatically split test it for you. So, whenever people show up, whether they directly go to that URL or hit it through a search result, it'll just 50-50 decide, nope, you're going to this one and then nope, you're going to this other one. And it does this for a few thousand times and it tells you pretty clearly what the winner is in terms of people are staying longer on this one or people are buying through this one.
Seth: Yeah, there's that and then there's something called Crazy Egg. Another one is Hotjar where they put heat maps on your website and you can figure out how far are people scrolling down this website and when are they leaving so you can figure out when they are getting bored and not hanging out there anymore and what buttons are they clicking on the most? If you have three links to the same place, one's a button, one's just a word and one's a picture, what's getting the most action? And you would never know this stuff if you didn't test it out like this.
Something I learned is that I used to put videos on REtipster at the bottom of the blog post until I realized that 90% of people don't scroll at the bottom of the blog post. They never even see the thing. So, if there's something really important you want them to see, put it right up the top. They call it “above the fold” so they don't have to scroll at all to see the thing. And I think the thing that frustrates me is this is one of a million things to investigate in an everyday business and it's easy to just forget about it or not even think about it, but you can learn a lot through that kind of stuff.
Peter: That's the fun, though, isn't it, Seth?
Seth: Yeah, it is fun. It is fun.
Peter: If it were easy, everyone would do it. And so, you get to kind of dive into the sandbox and see what's going on. I don't know, that's the stuff that keeps me way too excited when I try to go to sleep at night and then I can't because my mind's like, “Well, what if we try this?” And I frequently ask myself, “What would I regret the least?”
And Peter pointed out how I like to test a lot. And so, I'll play this game where, let's say, new investor's coming in, they're like, “Oh, I want to invest in land.” I'm like, “Great, here's what I would do to get started.” Maybe point them to some learning resources before they actually do anything. They’ll be like, “Great, we want speed.” So, what would we do for speed? Well, we probably go postcards because you can do priority mail on a postcard and do neutral messaging to get the highest response rate in the quickest amount of time, but maybe they want blind offers for a certain response.
So, it's funny to play this game of “What would I regret the least? What gives us the most or least amount of risk?” How do you play it in a way where maybe you're overspending $15 for this iteration, but you would've overspent $3,000 had you done it in some big, mass 50,000-mailer type instead of just testing to see if it works.
And so, I don't know. I love playing that game. My brain is a very bad version of a Monte Carlo simulation, if you know what that is.
Seth: I don't actually.
Peter: It's like a thing operations professionals use for the optimization of systems. They use it a lot in procurement and stuff like that. It's like moving stuff around and optimizing stuff. And we did it in some advanced Excel classes I took in college. That's the only reason I know what it is.
Seth: Now, you mentioned this ChatGPT. Did you say you're actually using that right now?
Peter: I want to use it.
Seth: Okay. What is that?
Peter: Seth, I wish I could give you a better answer, but what I know is it is a very big deal. But that's just one. There is CopyAI, there is Jasper AI, there are so many different tools. That's just three. It's basically, you can ask it to do things for you or write things for you, like this YouTube video. If you wanted to write you a title, an SEO-optimized title, it could do that for you. And it's pretty decent. I don't think it has to necessarily replace a human. I think it can help a human work faster and get more done faster.
Seth: That's interesting. I know I've seen different AI bots where you can plug in keywords and it'll like come up with a headline or even try to write a whole article for you. It's kind of interesting. I'm sure this is going to improve a lot in the years to come, but the ones I've seen, it gives you a few options. Some of them are just total garbage, but it's almost good for inspiration. Like, “Oh yeah, that's interesting. I never would've thought of that.” But it sounds like this is more sophisticated than that.
Peter: Yes. And honestly, this isn't really a big thing in the real estate thing, but it's very big if you look at other industries. It's like all the rage. If you look at things like tech Twitter or if you look at the software space and what they're talking about, this is one of the biggest things and this is very recent and new so you can be early.
Seth: Cool, man. Well, Peter, it's been awesome to talk to you. I appreciate you spending your time with us. If people want to find out more about you, where should they go? What should they do?
Peter: Yes. So, onceuponabrick.com would be wonderful. And my personal email is email@example.com. And then of course, Mike is always available. He's a conversationalist. And he actually now has more contact with other land companies. So, he's definitely a great source of knowledge and connections. He works directly with all of our wholesale customers now more than I do. So, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can hit up Mike and the number is all over the website. It's almost like spam.
Seth: Yeah. Cool, man. That's awesome. Thanks again. I will keep an eye on how things are going for you and I hope we can do this again sometime. It sounds like you've got a wealth of information and you're kind of on the bleeding edge of doing a lot of things that other land investors aren't even thinking about doing. I'm sure as you continue to do that, you will continue to discover new, brilliant ways to get things done that most people will never know about because they're not doing what you're doing. So, I'm excited to see where it goes for you.
Peter: Wonderful. Thank you, Seth. One last thing. I just wanted to say that for me it was always kind of a dream to be on REtipster, as crazy as that sounds. I was driving home from school every day listening, there were like 100 episodes or something, or there were a bunch of episodes at that time. So, for me, it was always a thought like, “Hey, wouldn't it be cool to someday be on this podcast?” I definitely don't think I would've been in this business without the information and knowledge that I learned through the podcast.
Seth: That's awesome, man.
Peter: Yeah, it's kind of crazy.
Seth: I'm so happy to hear that. It's really cool that I could play any part in this and the other members of REtipster over the years. So, I'm glad to hear that and I'm glad you're here. Thanks again and hopefully we'll talk again soon.
Peter: Yes, talk soon.
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