Ep 23: Geeking Out on Real Estate With Mark Podolsky
We have a brilliant guest on the show today from a niche in real estate that some people might not have even considered. His name is Mark Podolsky, aka “The Land Geek”, and he has been buying and selling raw land since 2001. Mark has completed over 5000 deals to date, is the managing member of Frontier Equity Properties, and the author of Dirt Rich. He started as an investment banker who was not happy in his job, and when a co-worker alerted him to the potential to earn 300% interest in the raw land game, he quickly began to make a career switch. Soon enough his passive income exceeded his salary and he quit his job. 20 years later and Mark now runs a fully automated business.
He shares the remarkable strategies that he has spent the last two decades refining with us today. They involve knowing who to buy land from, where to buy it, how to go about selling it through low-risk financing deals, and ways to optimize the entire process to earn time as well as money. We hear more about the central role outsourcing and virtual assistants play in Mark’s process of looking for new pieces of land, and how he has automated the payment scheme processes too. It has not all been smooth sailing though, and he talks about the difficulties he faced in learning how to pass on his golden goose. Mark is a wealth of knowledge for anybody that wants to learn the land investment game as well as the passive income one, so make sure to catch this episode.
Key Points From This Episode:
How Mark quit investment banking after experiencing 300% returns on land investments.
The idea that raw land, while lucrative, is not a typical or sexy investment option.
Why the raw land game is uncompetitive and lucrative: it is niched but there is ample land.
The deals Mark looks out for: land owned by financially distressed people who live far from it.
Strategies for selling a recently bought plot: alerting its neighbors and using online sites.
The way Mark structures payment schemes at volume to earn a great passive income.
Mark’s transition from flipping to delegation and payment schemes in order to free up time.
Three forms of leverage for Mark: software, cheap assistants, and other peoples’ capital.
Risk mitigation strategies of Mark’s: his use of geekpay.io and land contracts.
90% of Mark’s investors are ‘legacy investors’, i.e, they buy to build their assets.
Mark buys in the sunshine states two hours from major cities in areas with confirmed deals.
Why Mark’s business has grown each year due to land abundance and minimal competition.
How land investment differs from other real estate niches in areas of risk and ego.
A way of thinking about land investment as a segue into more risky niches.
Some of the biggest challenges in land investment: managing all its moving parts.
John’s challenge in buying up liens: how to choose from so many.
Why Mark picked up his first deal in New Mexico: ignorance mostly.
Precautions against and arguments for diving headfirst into the real estate business.
Mark outsources people to find compelling aspects of new properties using different apps.
What Mark learned about humility after 2008 and the book he wrote about it.
Drivers behind Mark’s systems: mentors, seminars, the Blue Ocean tactic, and risk mitigation.
The preciousness of time and the necessity for outsourcing if you want to save it.
Struggles Mark had in scaling, automating, and passing on his business.
Ways to learn how to outsource: map the business, scrub the list, record teachings, and test!
The value of going through a process as a boss before automating and outsourcing.
“We have three forms of leverage in this business: labor, software, and other peoples’ capital.” — @Landguru [0:12:27]
“Nobody wakes up and thinks to themselves, ‘Boy I’d like to have some raw land in Iowa.’ So we focus on the sunshine states, the fast-growing states: Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, California.” — @Landguru [0:18:43]
“I have never been stuck with a piece of raw land.” — @Landguru [0:36:54]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
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