Is A $1500 Course on This Investment Technique Really Necessary?

24 Replies

I'm interested in Raw Land Investing like the Land Geek guy, but I don't ever see myself paying 1500 dollars for a course. Has anyone taken it? I'm intelligent so I don't need to blindly regurgitate scripts or mail out prewritten documents. In fact, I think that spoon feeding wannabe investors can actually be detrimental, robbing you of the chance to learn on your own amd have a deeper understanding of not just what you're doing, but WHY. Also, isn't it possible that a lot of the info you pay for becomes obsolete, anyway? Laws vary by state, and aren't immune to change, which can render a gurus' system "useless". What is the best way for me to learn about land investing without spending an arm and a leg? Does anyone have any book or blog recommendations?

I dont know that particular course, but in general, the way that I look at courses is that they are designed to shorten my learning curve.  I have spent in excess of 100k on courses, I am a course junkie.   If I spend 1500 on a course, I anticipate that the technique contained will make me at least 3000.   Once I have that technique mastered, nobody can take that knowledge from me. With a few exceptions, I have made more money because of these course than they have cost me.  As for state specific info, all guru course are general info.  It is your local RE attorney who can modify your contracts to be legal in your area.

 Education is expensive, but ignorance is much more expensive.  There is a reason that I can out deal any investor in my city. 

to your success

Josh

I bought the course and I can tell you that there isn't a lot in there that you cant figure out from Seth William's awesome blog www.retipster.com along with other business and organizational material.

So on the minus side it costs money and doesn't have a ton of information you can't find elsewhere.

On the plus side, its all right there, its well organized, it tells you step by step how to create lists, write copy, acquire property, sell property, etc. If you are just poking around and not too serious, go to retipster and learn more. If you are extremely self motivated you can go ahead and figure it out from retipster and asking questions on BP. The course holds your hand a little bit but you are still going to have to figure a lot of stuff out and work hard. It is encouraging as well, and you will get email updates that help keep you on track to get a deal done. I have had it for a few months and I have sent out one list and had a poor response rate. Im working on my second list now.

I think the best investment you can make is in education. If buying the course means the difference between actually doing a deal and just poking around, the course is worth it. If you are willing to forge on and figure it out yourself, do that.

I have also taken it and I agree with Jake H. that you can learn almost everything you need to know regarding land at reitipster.com

The Land Geek course is not bad, but it is a bit disorganized and it also leaves you feeling as if you paid a lot of money for information that you easily could have found for free or deduced on your own using common sense. 

Originally posted by @Josh Caldwell :

I dont know that particular course, but in general, the way that I look at courses is that they are designed to shorten my learning curve.  I have spent in excess of 100k on courses, I am a course junkie.   If I spend 1500 on a course, I anticipate that the technique contained will make me at least 3000.   Once I have that technique mastered, nobody can take that knowledge from me. With a few exceptions, I have made more money because of these course than they have cost me.  As for state specific info, all guru course are general info.  It is your local RE attorney who can modify your contracts to be legal in your area.

 Education is expensive, but ignorance is much more expensive.  There is a reason that I can out deal any investor in my city. 

to your success

Josh

 100k??? Now I'm really interested to know what you return on that investment has been... lol

Originally posted by @Joseph Picarella :

I have also taken it and I agree with Jake H. that you can learn almost everything you need to know regarding land at reitipster.com

The Land Geek course is not bad, but it is a bit disorganized and it also leaves you feeling as if you paid a lot of money for information that you easily could have found for free or deduced on your own using common sense. 

 Thank you guys so much for your candid answers! And thanks for the website link, I love it already! :D

@JJ W. ,

  Glad I could help. Yeah, that website is great if you want to invest in land. Seth Williams really provides a ton of free info on how he does what he does. 

Originally posted by @Jake Hartnett :

I bought the course and I can tell you that there isn't a lot in there that you cant figure out from Seth William's awesome blog www.retipster.com along with other business and organizational material.

So on the minus side it costs money and doesn't have a ton of information you can't find elsewhere.

On the plus side, its all right there, its well organized, it tells you step by step how to create lists, write copy, acquire property, sell property, etc. If you are just poking around and not too serious, go to retipster and learn more. If you are extremely self motivated you can go ahead and figure it out from retipster and asking questions on BP. The course holds your hand a little bit but you are still going to have to figure a lot of stuff out and work hard. It is encouraging as well, and you will get email updates that help keep you on track to get a deal done. I have had it for a few months and I have sent out one list and had a poor response rate. Im working on my second list now.

I think the best investment you can make is in education. If buying the course means the difference between actually doing a deal and just poking around, the course is worth it. If you are willing to forge on and figure it out yourself, do that.

Thanks for sharing, really interested to hear more! What was the response rate that you got, and how many letters did you send out?  I've been wondering, is there RALLY virtually no competition like Mark  and Jack  infer?

It seems that there is no competition like they say. I believe this is an extremely inefficient market. You can find plenty of sellers that have no buyers. Your average seller has no idea how to sell a piece of raw land and I believe there are plenty that are not highly motivated by money and just want to be rid of the land. You see this in all markets. Most people sell their car to the dealer for 30% of what they could get on craigslist for the convenience factor even when they know they could get more if they sell it themselves. There is your 300% markup that Mark says is normal.

I will warn you that it is probably more work than you think it is. When I first got interested in this I imagined the scenario like this: send letters, send offers, watch the checks roll in. There are quite a few steps in between that I believe will become automatic eventually but are rather cumbersome when you start out.

I have sent out two lists of 100 letters each and I have seen a 1% response rate. I think my list is poor because this is about 1/10th of what everyone says to expect. From that I have not had any good leads.

Good luck. Share your successes and failures.

Thanks.

Originally posted by @Jake Hartnett :

It seems that there is no competition like they say. I believe this is an extremely inefficient market. You can find plenty of sellers that have no buyers. Your average seller has no idea how to sell a piece of raw land and I believe there are plenty that are not highly motivated by money and just want to be rid of the land. You see this in all markets. Most people sell their car to the dealer for 30% of what they could get on craigslist for the convenience factor even when they know they could get more if they sell it themselves. There is your 300% markup that Mark says is normal.

I will warn you that it is probably more work than you think it is. When I first got interested in this I imagined the scenario like this: send letters, send offers, watch the checks roll in. There are quite a few steps in between that I believe will become automatic eventually but are rather cumbersome when you start out.

I have sent out two lists of 100 letters each and I have seen a 1% response rate. I think my list is poor because this is about 1/10th of what everyone says to expect. From that I have not had any good leads.

Good luck. Share your successes and failures.

Thanks.

Hmm, it seems like the letters aren't very effective :/ So have you done any deals yet? Are you sure that it wasn't that your lettee was poor, but that maybe thee is more competition than they claim? I've heard that for wholesaling/flipping classes like Than Merrill's have oversaturated the market and now sellers get up to hundreds of direct letters sent to them!

Did you send an offer written in the letter? Sorry for all of the questions, just wondering what pitfalls to avoid as a total newbie, and I don't want to waste money on direct marketing if it won't deliver ideal results :) 

I haven't done a deal yet. I'm in the "fire" stage of the "ready, fire, aim" strategy and I mostly skipped the "ready" phase. I have a lot of work to do to improve my letter, get better lists, get more comfortable on the phone etc. I needed to just send some letters to get out of the analysis paralysis wormhole. It costs me $40 to send 100 postcards and I bought a list from the county for $50 that I will get 3 or 4 100 address lists from. I don't have a website or a phone system so my overhead is $0.

Here is some unsolicited advice for you: get yourself a list from the county or from someone who sells lists and send out one mailing minimum before you invest in a course. Don't bother with the quality of the list or the quality of your copy. Just send something out. Plan to not send any offers because you won't have the paperwork ready. You can even plan to not even call anyone back. Just see how it goes. It will cost you $100. Consider it a market research expense. If you can't do that a course won't help you. If you do it you have something to work from. Then you can have a better idea of what you need to learn and what you need from a course.

I didn't send an offer with my letter. I just sent a general postcard that said basically: "I buy land, call this number to learn more if you are interested," and I left my google voice number. On my first call I was so nervous I basically $h1+ the bed, but I got some confidence. My second call back wasn't much better but I learn something with each one. My plan is to continue to take action and make incremental improvements to my system. "fail fast, fail often, fail forward." I don't expect to close any deals with these early campaigns. I think if you aren't in it for the long haul you will be disappointed at the beginning and quit. If you aren't willing to drop money on a couple mailings that basically have no chance of bringing in a deal then this business model probably isn't for you and the course will not give you a rock solid, step by step turn-key system.

In my view, the biggest newbie pitfall is inaction. Just do something.

Best.

@Jake Hartnett Thanks for going into detail about your experience. I'm just starting my journey to investing in land, and I have been stuck in analysis paralysis in deciding whether to choose Mark or Jack's course (even though they seem to be 99% identical). Your suggestion to pick up a list and send out mailings before investing in a course is something  I will try. 

By the way, if anyone wants Mark's course, I'm selling my copy. PM me and make me an offer if interested. 

Disclosure: I am the owner of REtipster.com

Originally posted by @Jake Hartnett  (and everyone else, for that matter). Good back and forth dialogue here.

I would agree with Jake for the most part - in that action is a huge component of one's overall ability to make any business work (i.e. - if you can't even take the first step, then it's probably not worth getting started with the learning process...  because you'll never do anything about it anyway).

That being said, if you want to do the test campaign of 100 letters/postcards (which is a good way to get your feet wet) and if you're expecting to see ANY kind of tangible, meaningful response from it, the quality of the copy and especially the quality of your list (along with how well you've filtered through the data) can and will have a major impact on your response rate.

Yes - you can send out a direct mail campaign "just for kicks", but if you aren't taking the right specific actions along the way, you're going to be disappointed in your response rate, which will only deter you from taking further action (because you'll have the wrong idea from the beginning about the effectiveness of direct mail as a marketing tool). 

In my experience, direct mail is pretty much THE most effective marketing tool when it's executed correctly. This is true especially in the beginning, when you don't have a web presence yet. With this in mind, I think it's very important to do it right (or as right as possible) on your first go-around, because if you just "wing it", you will be disappointed. I'd hate for anyone to jump to the wrong conclusions about this business, simply because they took action, but it wasn't a very targeted action plan

Does that make sense?

That makes a lot of sense Seth. A quality list and quality copy are probably the two most important ingredients to a successful mail campaign. That being said, quality ingredients don't do you much good if you never get in the kitchen.

In Holistic Management (land management and grazing) we say plan is a 24 letter word. "Plan-Monitor-Control-Replan." There is no perfect plan. I'm sure you are still tweaking your copy and trying to get better lists even after doing this for years and completing many deals. 

For me, getting a list, scrubbing it, setting up a google voice, getting a mailbox, writing the copy and sending out a mailer using click2mail, receiving calls and calling people back and asking them about their property was a huge hurdle. Now I have a blueprint for what needs to be done and I can improve the pieces of the system to get better results. For me that lesson was worth $150.

I have set aside a certain amount of money that I plan to spend on marketing. If I haven't closed a deal with that money then I will take a major step back and reevaluate. I will not let these early failures (lessons) discourage me. Its all part of the process. If you approach this business with the attitude that you send out one mailer and if it doesn't work you quit its probably a waste of money to even start.

How many mailers did you send out before you closed your first deal @Seth Williams ?

Thank you for this thread. My friends and family think I'm crazy, its great to be able to discuss these issues, if only to get them out of my head.

Best.

I hear what you're saying @Jake Hartnett and you have a point. Over planning can be just as dangerous as no planning at all. I guess it's a tricky thing to balance, especially in the beginning when there are so many unknowns. Some people may be better served by simply taking action, whereas others (like myself) need to take a more calculated approach.

It's been several years since my first direct mail campaign, but from what I can recall - I sent out 106 postcards on my first try, and I got 6 responses. If I remember right, I sent out 4 or 5 offers, and none of them were accepted (since it was such a small sample, I knew it wasn't enough to draw any real conclusions...  other than the fact that the response rate was high enough to keep trying).

On my second campaign, I sent out approx 330 postcards, from which I got about 20 responses. From the offers I sent out, I got 3 acceptances (a couple of which took a few months to materialize and close, btw). After buying and selling each of these properties (I bought each of them for a few hundred dollars), I made anywhere from $1k - $2K a piece.

These weren't necessarily huge deals, but they were successes - because they proved to me that these kinds of motivated sellers did exist in large enough numbers...   but the only reason I found them this easily was because I got the right list, sorted it adequately and sent out a thoughtful message. I've done other campaigns where I was "less-careful", and the results were far less favorable. In my experience, the shoot-from-the-hip method has never gotten the best results...   but I realize there are other variables, and that's just what I've seen.

This is an old thread but really good. I recently sent out my first campaign. @Jake Hartnett I got some good ideas and checked out AgentPRO247. Lying awake, unable to sleep one night I got up checked the list I had formatted for Click2Mail and at like 3am ordered my 300 letter postcard campaign. 

It's only been two week and I have gotten a 6 calls, that I was very nervous to call back and actually got laughed off the phone with one after I presented my offer. I have no idea about sales or sales experience. I am a very down to earth kind of guy (so anyone that knows some really good sales books, please let me know). I have one guy though that has 8x1 acre lots, we are playing phone tag and I am trying to not get my hopes up but there is some potential there.

I know that is all a bit off topic but kinda needed to vent it. If this works and I can do and work through one deal, even if not at a profit. I will probably buy the Land Geek Toolbox. Mainly to fill any gaps and hopefully get me started with making this a "systematized" and scalable business.

@Brandon Price Check out the Land Academy Podcast in your poking around before you buy the Investor's Toolkit. His podcast is way more actionable than Mark's and he seems more legit. From what I have gathered he is the one who taught Mark the business and sells deals to Mark wholesale that Mark then sells retail. So everything Mark is saying about marketing for land is not based on experience. Its obvious in the course that his passion is sales. So if I were to buy a course today I would seriously consider the Land Academy course. I'm not sure what it sells for.

Even so, if you are already mailing and getting calls you are more than halfway home.

My "Land Motivation" Facebook group is made up of members who have gone through the land investing courses and are doing land flipping deals on a regular basis while helping each other through the process and sharing their experiences.  Some members are doing this business without having taken a course but the land investing programs do help by putting a lot of information in one place for you. 

Originally posted by @JJ W. :

I'm interested in Raw Land Investing like the Land Geek guy, but I don't ever see myself paying 1500 dollars for a course. Has anyone taken it? I'm intelligent so I don't need to blindly regurgitate scripts or mail out prewritten documents. In fact, I think that spoon feeding wannabe investors can actually be detrimental, robbing you of the chance to learn on your own amd have a deeper understanding of not just what you're doing, but WHY. Also, isn't it possible that a lot of the info you pay for becomes obsolete, anyway? Laws vary by state, and aren't immune to change, which can render a gurus' system "useless". What is the best way for me to learn about land investing without spending an arm and a leg? Does anyone have any book or blog recommendations?

I guess it depends whether you prefer to spend your time doing research so you can "learn for free" or actually doing profit-making investing.

Even the most useless "course" may contain information that you might not find on your own.

Truly "wealthy" people know that time is more valuable than money. Paying now to have time later not only can prevent costly mistakes, it can save you YEARS of trial-and-error, and losses, and fines, and lawsuits, and ...

My $0.02 ...

David J Dachtera

"Success is not a destination. Failure is not an event. Success is a process, failure is a choice."
- DJ Benedict

Well, shortly after I posted that last post, I went and subscribed to @Mark Podolsky Lad Geek Investor's Toolkit (his newsletter offering a back-to-back holiday discount got me). So far I am still happy with it. I feel like what @David Dachtera mentioned that it was worth my time to pay for it. Plus I plan on making my money back on it within the first month. So far there are some holes (in my opinion) mainly with the process of acquiring and scrubbing a list but I think it is a great resource. 

I think it is important for every one to budget funds each year for education purposes. I my self am   a book junky myself. Always reading something, self help, marketing, sales , real estate related, credit ,tax laws, better business ideas, fitness, oh and my favorite gardening.

Years ago I would attend seminars ,and buy the course once in a while( Carlton Sheets was my first course). I think in terms of dollars spent and dollars made. If I can learn one thing from the book or course. Then apply to my business ,and make x amount of dollars awesome. As well in this business the market is ever changing. So trying to keep up with what is going on. Is really tricky and 50 % of the battle. Half the information out there is worthless in todays market. I would find successful business that are producing in todays market. If they have some thing educational material that's some thing I would look into.

Well now that I said a bunch of nothing. I feel once in a while paying for some thing could be okay. Then again how many people purchase courses. Ye the course winds up on a book shelf un used.

Free education is out there as well

Alex

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