Office Hours 11.20.17 – Land Investing Q&A with Seth Williams

Office Hours 11.20.17

Every month in the REtipster Club, I put on a free webinar for members only that I call “Office Hours”.

This is a very informal webinar. I don't have any presentation prepared and I'm not there to sell anything. I'm literally just sitting down in front of my computer, and if anyone has questions for me or they want to discuss any obstacles or challenges they're facing in their business, I'm available to help them with whatever is going on.

A lot of people have asked me what these monthly meetings are like, and I've tried my best to explain it whenever the question comes up – but the best way to really understand what these webinars are like is for me to simply post an example right here on the blog.

If you've ever wondered what these are all about – this should help give you an idea.

0:00 – Is this pretty well a speed round of asking you questions?

1:20 – I just got though all the modules. Wanted to ask how you set up/structured the buying and selling arms of your land business. Also, did you set up a business credit card to get your business up and running?

RELATED: Never Rely On One Business Name. Here's Why…

4:40 – As expected, I’m finding coming up with comps is one of the biggest challenges of land investing. I’m able to go to various sites and see similarly-sized parcels of land in the same COUNTY, but very few in at all close proximity to subject property. Wouldn’t that make most comps apples-to-oranges comparisons? Obviously, this makes it very different from houses where you’re looking for comps on the same block or at least neighborhood.

8:45 – Do you ever sell vacant land that has not been cleared of trees? If so, how do you market this type of land?

10:45 – So you use the assumed name for the buying activities and the LLC name for the selling. Have you ever run into one side see the activities of the other?

12:10 – Do you have a blind offer template on the REtipster Club website? I am looking to send out my first round of blind offers in time for the recipients to receive them before Christmas. I am thinking of sending 1000-1200 depending on which counties I settle on. Do you pretty well stick to 10-15% of your estimated market value for the offers?

16:10 – When posting your terms in your ads, do you include the ENTIRE monthly amount with all applicable fees included or just the P&I amount?

RELATED: Dodd-Frank: Does It Apply To Vacant Land?

19:28 – Had a few situations in which I’ve gotten responses from mailers for properties that are outside of the financial range that I can afford. Can you talk thru some tips/strategies to getting these properties on contract for someone else to purchase without bearing the financial risk?

23:40 – For your rental properties, do you use property management, and if so, how do you go about selecting the property management?

RELATED: Finding the Right Property Management Company

26:30 – What would be the best strategy for buying lots sight unseen for newbie land investors. I know there are many pitfalls with lots including wetlands potentially polluted lots etc. What are some ways to cut down on risks with purchasing lots without visiting the lot?

29:05 – What are the various ways to finance the procurement of land? Bank loans, notes, can you crowdsource investments?

31:40 – When talking to sellers, do you ever find yourself having to explain WHY you need such a big discount? How do you explain to them as gracefully as possible that you can’t pay close to full value because you intend not to use the land, but to resell it for a profit? I ask because a seller I spoke to last week countered my $500 offer with $3000, saying that that’s still substantially under its value. And she might be right, but still not even close the kind of discount we need according to this business model.

36:20 – What other fees would be in addition to the P&I on a seller financing deal? Do the online credit card/ACH companies charge additional fees?

38:45 – How many residential vacant land parcels do you mail out from each county list?

40:55 – I reread your Truth About Land Investing lesson about things that could kill a land deal, and one thing you mention is availabilities of utilities such as water (which you just referred to a few minutes ago). It does seem like lack of water would make a piece of land unbuildable and therefore worthless, but then it seems like that would make just about all desert land worthless, which doesn’t make sense as that’s what so many land investors focus on (for those buying land in lake areas such as those in your state of Michigan, this obviously doesn’t apply). So, how does one deal with lack of water when buying land in desert terrain?

44:25 – Have you been able to have your land used for solar or wind energy and receive revenue from that? I have approached Alcen Renewable Energy about using land I have in Colorado, they say the land could be used for solar and are doing research. It seems that it will take years for this to come to fruition. Any experience with that?

48:50 – What has been your experience with land locked land?

50:28 – When you have an initial call with a seller when gathering their property info, do you give the offer immediately on the phone or do you e-mail them an offer later?

52:08 – Do you adjust the terms payments annually if the taxes change year over year?

53:00 – #1 – When narrowing down the list from the counties, I usually get down to about 50 parcels that are actual residential vacant land (that are decent size without an old building or barn on it). Am I in the wrong market? #2 – There are many farm lots. Do you ever buy agricultural farm land?

56:00 – I recently read that bonus about wholesaling you mentioned earlier, and one thing I still don’t understand about wholesaling when it comes to land is how the pricing works. We’ve all heard about the 70% minus repair costs when it comes to houses that are going to be rehabbed and flipped to an end buyer/resident at ARV, but it’s harder (though not impossible) to “fix” land. That being the case, are you just trying to price your land low enough so that your buyer could resell at the current market value (for example, a contract for $10,000 with a $5,000 assignment fee for land valued at $20,000)?

58:38 – Do you send mainly blind offers now? or does it just depend on the county?

1:00:28 – One more quick wholesaling question. Regarding the legality, is the issue what state your’e in, the seller is in, or the land is in?

Want to attend the next one? Sign up for a membership at the REtipster Club membership site.

Every Office Hours webinar is recorded and tabbed with each question (the same way you see above), so if you ever miss one, or if you simply want to see some of the previous sessions, this is a library of content that is growing every month.

Free Webinar With Seth and Jaren

You are invited to an exclusive webinar with Seth Williams and Jaren Barnes on Wednesday, October 24 at 8:00pm EDT (5:00 PDT).

Jaren will be hosting a live presentation addressing some of the most critical elements involved with finding deals and motivated sellers in the land business.

In this live webinar, you’ll get the scoop on how to choose the right market, how motivated sellers think, where to find them and what to say ( including some of the best tips, tricks, stories and lessons you’ll need to know as you start pursuing cheap land deals on your own). You won’t want to miss it!

Space is limited, so register now to hold your spot!

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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.

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