RG 075 – 7 Figure business investing in raw land for cashflow with land geek Mark Podolsky

About Mark

  • Mark is the host of The Best Passive Income Model podcast
  • He is also the host of the Land Geek podcast
  • His core business philosophy is “happy customers guaranteed”

Nuts and Bolts

In 2000 Mark was working as an investment banker in a cubicle and feeling overworked and stressed, he had a 45 minute commute and felt permanently below average. A colleague of his talked about his side line in land investment where he bought land for pennies on the dollar and flips them for a 300% return. Mark went with his colleague to the next auction in New Mexico and buys 10 half-acre parcels of land for $300, he put them online after the auction and they sold for an average of £1200 which is a 300% return. He did the same thing at an auction in Arizona which was empty like the previous one so there was no competition; he bought as much as possible and made $90,000 in 6 months. He continued to do raw land investing for 18 months while still in his full time job, until the investing income surpassed the banking income and he quit. Since then he has overseen over 5000 unique transactions.

How it works

Mark first finds the market he wants to invest in; these are usually the sunshine states for example California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Florida. He then researches online for the areas in these states where raw land deals are being done. Within these smaller areas he calls the local records office and attains a list of people who own property and own back taxes and sends them an offer for 23-30 cents on the dollar for the property depending on the size. He values the properties by looking at the comp and dividing by 4. Of the people who owe back taxes 3-5% accept his offer. He them does his due diligence on the land checking for legal access points and gps coordinates on all 4 corners. He might do this himself or send a VA and he can track the VA’s location using an app called “What Three Words” to see they’re actually on site. Once he has purchased the land he sells it on and secures a recurring passive income. This is usually done by easy owner financing; easy terms are similar to a car payment for example a $1000 down payment and then $249 a month with 12.9% interest and no credit checks over 8 years. Mark’s system Payment Geek is a piece of software he created which automates this whole process so he only does about 2 hours of physical work.

Markets and time lines

Unlike most other real estate investment markets Mark isn’t too bothered by location. He doesn’t need to be near a business district or calculate the employment in the area because many of the people who buy raw land want to use it for other things than building property. Mark refers to owning raw land like “man jewellery” because people like to buy for the sake of saying they own it, it might be for recreation or hunting and the people who often buy are military or preppers. The entire process from offers to buying and reselling takes about 60 days when you first start raw land investing, however once the deals start rolling in it’s easy to become overwhelmed and so that’s when systems and automation comes in to make things quicker and easier.

Systems and automation

Before Mark puts a parcel of land on the open market the first people he offers it to are the neighbors. They will often buy the land out of fear of someone else (or worse) buying it but if they don’t then Mark will add the property to his “buy of the week” email that goes out to his mailing list. If this doesn’t spark any interest then he will add the advert to Craigslist, Facebook, landhub.com, etc and it’s normally sold within 30 days. Raw land investment is a great way to get started in real estate because it doesn’t take much up front money. Mark uses LGPath software which he developed himself to upload his mailing list and send offers out. When responses come back the software outsources the due diligence tasks and automates the marketing messages. This software creates a weekly report so he can keep an eye on things but mainly delegate tasks to his team.

Top tips

  • Most important habit – His compass worksheet where he writes goals and tasks,
  • Most influential person – Auri Isen
  • Most important tool – LGPath and Payment Geek
  • Most important mistake – Not starting owner financing from day 1.

contact – thelandgeek.com free membership site

Listen to Podcast