A Candid Review of Mark Podolsky (“The Land Geek”) and the Investor’s Toolkit


Land Geek Review(Published September 2014)

When most new investors start getting their feet wet with land investing, they realize pretty quickly that there is A LOT to learn in the beginning.

When I first got into this business, I was surprised to find that even as a veteran of the banking industry, I suffered from a severe lack of knowledge about how to get started and find success as a land investor. Without some overtly clear & direct guidance – it was very difficult (if not impossible) to do things like:

There is a ton of information for any new land investor to learn! So it's a totally valid question when a new land investor asks me:

“Do I need to buy a course to succeed with land investing?”

My honest answer is No – you don't need a course to start a land investing business. If you're not afraid of self-teaching (and making lots of mistakes), you can figure out pretty much anything in life.

I think the more important question you should be asking yourself is:

“Is it wise to jump into land investing without any guidance from someone who knows what they're doing?”

I'm not contesting the fact that you CAN figure it out on your own, I'm just challenging you to ask yourself – is it worth the hundreds of extra hours and thousands of extra dollars you'll have to spend just to “go it alone”?

The fact is – if you don't have anybody showing you a clear path on what to do – there is a significantly higher likelihood that you'll quit before you get off the ground (because let's be honest, it's very difficult to survive on your own). Most people throw in the towel because they don't experience any real “wins” in the beginning – and if you jump into this business without a plan, you will struggle and it will probably take a long time for you to experience any real success. I wish it didn't have to work this way – but it's just the reality of the situation.

Mark Podolsky and the Investor's Toolkit

Earlier this year, I stumbled across a guy named Mark Podolsky (aka – “The Land Geek”) and I was immediately intrigued by the guy for a couple of reasons…

  1. He runs a similar type of land investing business to mine (and he's been doing it for several years).
  2. He is also in the business of teaching others how to do it.

I've done my best to explain the basic concepts of land investing in this blog post, but the funny thing is, land has always been a largely overlooked and misunderstood opportunity. Most real estate investors just don't get it – so when I see one of the few players out there who gets it AND is telling the world how it's done, I pay attention.

Mark reached out to me a few months ago because he realized (just as I had) that we were both doing basically the same thing. He was kind enough to feature me on his land investing podcast back in April 2014 and since then, he allowed me to review his land investing course so I could let the REtipster Blog readers see what his educational program is all about.

Here's the overview:

In addition to the online materials shown in the video above, the Investor's Toolkit also comes with a physical copy of the course with DVDs, transcribed booklets of the DVDs and 2 free tickets to Mark's boot camp.

Note: If you decide to check out Mark's course through the link above, be sure to use coupon code retipster at checkout and you'll get an immediate $250 discount.

What I liked:

Mark's system covers many of the same techniques that I use in my business (along with a few others that I don't). I thought this was a pretty huge plus – because if you decide that direct mail to a tax delinquent list isn't for you (or if you just want to try something else and add another technique to your business), he gives you some other options that may be of interest.

I thought Mark's videos (the primary medium he uses to deliver the content) were pretty well done. He is good at giving directions and keeps the videos reasonably short and to-the-point (so you don't have to spend weeks reading books and watching videos). If you set aside a solid day, you can easily knock out the most important aspects of this business. This kind of short & concise education has always been my personal preference – and he is great at cutting to the chase.

Mark also shares a TON of helpful websites for the land business. As I was going through his course, I was familiar with several of the resources he shared – but I also learned about a handful of new ones that would have been extremely helpful to me if I'd have known about them when I first started.

Mark's information is current. This business (just like any other) is constantly evolving in an ever-changing environment. Mark seems to understand this, and his strategies aren't 20 years old – they're applicable today.

The Investor's Toolkit includes a few other bonus programs (on top of the land investing business) that bring a good amount of value to the table – diving into a GREAT deal about:

  • Copywriting
  • Pricing Strategies
  • Hiring & Managing Virtual Assistants
  • Finding Buyers

These are some key areas that can be HUGE assets to land investors. This is the kind of knowledge I would have greatly benefited from in my early days of land investing.

What I didn't like:

I have to admit, it is literally impossible for a course like this to address every possible scenario that can come up for new land investors. Any prospective beginner needs to start by having reasonable expectations of what a course like this is supposed to deliver. It's not a magic bullet – it's a set of instructions on how to get up and running.

That being said – I found that there wasn't an abundance of “hand-holding” in the course itself. Here's what I mean by that…

Mark hits all the pertinent issues and doesn't leave any major details out – but when I imagine myself in the shoes of a brand new land investor with no prior knowledge of real estate investing – I can see how some newbies might feel a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume and depth of information in this course. In other words – he doesn't start at the preschool level – he starts at the 5th-grade level and goes up from there. There's nothing particularly wrong with this approach – it's just something to be aware of, as he assumes each student has SOME basic working knowledge of real estate.

I also thought that some of the documents and supplemental tools could have been organized a bit better throughout the course (see 17:00 in the video above) and I also thought that his forum (which is essentially a private Facebook group) would have been better served as a free & permanent fixture for his students (rather than requiring a monthly fee for continued access to it). I know that forums were a major reason for my success in the beginning because they gave me a place where I could bounce ideas off of other land investors and get some other perspectives without having to pay for more help.

On the same coin, one of the problems with forums is that in order to be useful, they need to be well-moderated and well-maintained. Moderating and maintaining forums is an ongoing and time-consuming task, requiring man hours and real work. With this in mind, I do see the validity of charging for membership to a good forum like this. I do however, think it can hurt a forum's number of active users when there's a fee attached to the membership, which can also snuff out some of the helpful contributions that would otherwise be there to help improve the activity within the forum (it's a kind of “catch-22” in some ways).

Conclusion

I think Mark's course could be a tremendously valuable resource if you find yourself in one or more of the following camps:

  • You're brand new to the land investing business and you have no idea where to start.
  • You're an aspiring land investor, you've given it a shot, but you haven't been able to piece things together and find any real “success” yet.
  • You're looking for other land investors with whom you can bounce some ideas off of (this is where Mark's private Facebook group could come into play – big time).

Mark's course is definitely a viable way to learn the ropes. It's not a flawless system (nothing ever is), but he does deliver the goods in such a way that the main points are conveyed without any major gaps or holes in communication.

If you think Mark's course would be beneficial for you based on the video review above, by all means – you can help support the REtipster Blog by purchasing it through this affiliate link. Note: If you sign up through this link AND use coupon code retipster at checkout, REtipster.com will earn a commission from the sale and you'll get an immediate $250 discount.

Like I said – there are many different ways to learn the land business and I don't think a formal course is necessarily a “must” for all people and all situations. There are, however, MANY instances where a course like Mark's is highly appropriate, because it provides a condensed set of instructions that will help an aspiring land investor cut-to-the-chase, avoid wasting time & money and start finding success sooner rather than later. This was how I learned this business in the beginning too – and it definitely worked for me.

About the author

Seth Williams is a land investor and residential income property owner, with hundreds of closed transactions and nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com - a real estate investing blog that offers real world guidance for part-time real estate investors.

Did you find this article to be helpful?

Our goal is always to provide our users with the most up-to-date and relevant content so that we can continue to empower others! Please share your feedback.

Join the conversation

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Mark Podolsky says:

    Seth,

    I love the review! Just want you to know I’m implementing your suggestions!. Also, I want to remind everyone we have a physical course as well which includes all the DVD’s, transcribed videos (some people learn better reading than watching), the done for you paperwork, a booklet of supplemental information and two free tickets to the Land Geek 2 Day Bootcamp (coming soon November 7th & 8th in Scottsdale http://www.landconvention.com to learn more… Plus, we provide unlimited email support, the private Facebook group and coaching options. Thanks again Seth for taking time to review my Investor’s Toolkit. It’s an always evolving product and I appreciate you helping me make it even better for my current and future customers.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for your feedback Mark – and thanks again for allowing me to test-drive your course! Great stuff!

  2. Adrienne says:

    I purchased Mark’s “Investor’s Toolkit” and it has been well worth it! The guidance and information provided there has been absolutely crucial to my success in land investing. What’s more, Mark stays in touch with and is available for his students and is a genuinely great individual to work with!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      That’s awesome Adrienne, it’s great to hear a first-person account of how Mark’s course has worked for you. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Michael Welsh says:

    Great review. I would much rather purchase a your plan… hopefully you will put something together soon. That said, do you recommend this plan over Jack Bosch’s plan? How do they compare?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks Michael, I’m glad you found it helpful!

      If I had to start over today, yes – I’d probably go with Mark’s course. Jack’s is pretty good too, but I thought Mark offered more ways to find deals, more ways of selling properties, and he shares more external websites and free tools that can be a major help for land investors (things I would have really benefited from if I had known about them years ago).

      All things considered, I think both guys have some pretty valid systems – but knowing what I do of each course… I would have to go with Mark’s at this point.

  4. jeff akstin says:

    Seth great job on the review, I bought Jack Bosch’s course when I started my land business about 6 years ago. I also bought Marks course and his coaching about 2 years ago. Both courses are informative, and just like every business it takes some work. The cash deals are good, but I am a passive income junkie, so for me this business is a perfect fit. I give the edge to Mark and his course. He is still in the trenches doing deals and is accessible. His methods are to the point, and time saving. After his coaching my business went from 20-30k a year to over 6 figures spending less time in my office and more time with my family. Again Seth great job and your blog is outstanding.
    Jeff

    1. Seth Williams says:

      That’s amazing Jeff – thanks for sharing!

      Wow – I guess there really is something to be said about his coaching program if your business improved that drastically. It’s good to hear another first hand account like this – thanks for letting us know!

  5. Chris Clark says:

    Seth, Thanks for the in-depth and honest feedback of Mark’s Investor’s Toolkit. I’ve been in real estate for almost a decade now, but I’m a total newbie to the land business. Recently, I went through Mark’s course and found it to be a tremendous value. It’s full of actionable information to get you started and has a lot of bonus material which you mention above. There are two things about this course that really stood out for me. 1. The material is current with website links that work. 2. Mark focuses on systems and automation, but doesn’t skip over the fact that you need to work hard on this business to create these systems. What you put in is what you’ll get out. Lastly, Mark makes himself available if you need additional support beyond the course. Again, awesome blog Seth!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for weighing in on this Chris – I’m pumped to hear that Mark’s course worked out well for you (seems like I’ve been hearing this from a lot of people lately). A first-hand account like yours is pretty valuable for us to know about, so thanks again for sharing!

  6. Harry says:

    Thanks for the review Seth. As usual, your timing was great, I was looking at purchasing a course this week. I went through all the steps (except closing) so far and know that the added info would be a huge help and save a lot of time.

    Have you heard anything about Rick Dawson’s Deedgrabber course? Seems similar but not focused on only land. Mark’s course is strongly in the running now too!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Harry, glad I could help! I have heard of Rick’s course and I think it’s pretty legit (though I haven’t been through it myself). Like you said, it seems to be a pretty similar concept, just not with land.

  7. Bob Anderson says:

    Purchasing Mark’s course and obtaining his coaching was money well spent. In less than 5 months selling properties on notes, my income is over $2k/month and growing. Mark taught me how to buy properties for little money and turn that money into huge profits. I’m averaging 1,000% profit. My highest margin I invested about $1600 and sold on a 10-yr note for $32,500. I participate weekly on our conference calls and have the ability to ask questions of others. In addition, we share experiences. In May, I attended the 1st Land Geek Bootcamp in Las Vegas where I enjoyed meeting others in the land investing community. People of all walks of life attended (doctors, pilot, etc. ). I would have never obtained the level of success in such a short amount of time had I not purchased Mark’s Investor Toolkit and coaching. With that said, Mark provides the info. However, each person decides their level of success by how much effort they are willing to put in.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      That’s amazing Bob – great job with turning your land business into a smashing success! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!

  8. Greg Braun says:

    Seth,
    I thank you for this in depth review. As a new guy in the land trenches trying to get my footing I am relying primarily on information from your blog(hopefully that does not scare you), but have considered some of these courses to speed up the process. I am temped to do this but I’d really love to be your success story after all the hard work you have put into this site!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Greg, thanks so much for your interest in the blog – I’m really glad it’s been helpful to you! I’m sure you’ll make it one way or another (and when you do, I’d love to hear your success story).

      Power on!

  9. Jeff says:

    HI Seth,

    I just purchased the course through your affiliate link. Looking forward to getting a fast start to investing in land. Looks like a great program. Will update you on my progress soon.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Jeff,

      That’s awesome! Thanks for letting me know. Check your inbox for a few little “bonuses” – I’ll email them to you shortly.

    2. David Carbajal says:

      Jeff,

      Hello!
      How are things going for you? I am looking to take the leap into land investing.
      I have a full-time job right now, and wanted to reach out to see how things are going for you…

      Thank you!

  10. Anthony Saiz says:

    Good review Seth, I bought Mark’s course about 3 weeks ago and I am already off and running with the information he provides. His course is well written and it doesn’t contain useless information, only what you need to be successful. Mark and the team of investors are great with their support. I have already obtained my list, sent out my first set of offers and hope to get some responses in the near future. I will keep you posted. Thanks Mark and Thanks Seth!! Good stuff.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks so cool Anthony, thanks for letting me know! Looking forward to hearing more about your experience. 🙂

  11. Jay says:

    I bought the toolkit last year and found it to be a collection of videos leaning more towards marketing hype than information as compared with the Jack Bosch course which contains actual descriptive walk-through videos. Needing more information and guidance in starting my land investing business I approached Mark and was repeatedly referred to the expensive coaching programs which started at $20,000 at the time. The reviews given above are mostly from members of his elite coaching program and should by no means be considered unbiased testimonies. If you’re looking for a well prepared course offered by someone with good character and a true desire to help people I would recommend starting with Seth or Jack’s courses.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for your input Jay! I can see where you’re coming from. I’m not sure it’s totally fair to discount the other comments above (even if these people were coached in his program, it seems like that would make them reasonably qualified to share their opinions – don’t you think?). Just speaking for myself, I’ve been through all the big land investing courses now and I know they each have their strengths and weaknesses (mine included). It’s no simple task to put together a course that nails it all perfectly. Nevertheless, I appreciate you chiming in here. It’s good to hear your honest thoughts.

  12. don kristjanson says:

    I have also gotten Mark Podowskys course and have been completely satisfied with it and all his information on you tube also. He isnt like many others that are just out to sell you as much as possible. He keeps it simple understandable and ez . I highly recommend him and his courses to all I know.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Don! Glad to hear the course worked out for you.

  13. Mike says:

    If there is one single key point, it is that you gotta find sellers that are in “liquidation” mode.

    The hard, slow and expensive way is to write to every owner in the target area.

    The easy way is to find a target area (for example, Southern California) where there are inventories being liquidated (for example, here: http://landzerodown.synthasite.com/).

  14. Joseph Young says:

    I’m curious how you, or any of the other land investors are finding people delinquent on their taxes?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Joseph – this article explains all the details.

  15. Sooner House Buyers says:

    This is very good indeed

  16. Owner Finance OKC says:

    Very well written. Keep it up!

  17. Owner Finance OKC says:

    Enjoyed this post. Great job.

Bonus: Get a FREE copy of the INVESTOR HACKS e-book when you subscribe!

Success requires decision and action

The market moves fast. Stay ahead with the latest tips in low-risk, high-return real estate investing for your business.

Scroll Up
X

Welcome to REtipster.com

We noticed you are using an Ad Blocker


We get it, too much advertising can be annoying.

Our few advertisers help us continue bringing lots of great content to you for FREE.

Please add REtipster.com to your Ad Blocker white list, to receive full access to website functionality.

Thank you for supporting. We promise you will find ample value from our website. 

Get Classified Access

Get Classified Access

Join the email list and get INSTANT ACCESS to the RETIPSTER TOOLBOX - with tons of free tools, downloads, video tutorials and more!

Check your email to confirm!

Get Started Right Now!

Where should we send your free stuff?

Check your email inbox to confirm!