Calling Out Mark Podolsky from the Land Geek

53 Replies

I created this topic because I'd like to hear from the guru himself - @Mark Podolsky aka "The Land Geek". He boasts on his podcast that he has the best passive income model, and even forces his "guests" to declare that he has the best income model, but I couldn't disagree more - this definitely isn't the BEST passive income model or even the best real estate model. I'm holding your feet to the fire just like you do your guests, Mr. Podolsky, and I welcome you to refute the points outlined below:

1. You made this niche sound cheaper than it is. In order to effectively have enough leads for this, you have to spend money on direct mail campaigns, which aren't cheap. Neither is getting the lists from counties, or the capital needed to outsource and systematize this business, etc. ( this isn't even including the exorbitant fee for your course). That adds up to thousands of dollars with no guaranteed return. The "1,000 % return" you claim clearly hasn't calculated all of these costs. 

2. There's no amortization - it's difficult to obtain loans and private money for land, so you have to have substantial up front capital to make enough profit to live off, let alone get "rich". There isn't enough hedge against risk to make most lenders to provide leverage. If it's too risky for a bank to take on, is it not risky for the novice investor?) The fact that you have to use your own money not only limits the amount of transactions you can do - it also makes this niche MUCH more risky, and increases the chances of failure. Not to mention, this is one of the primary ways that people build wealth - using amortization to buy properties that they could't otherwise afford, in order to quickly build their net worth. Tell me who's wealthier: The guy who spent $30,000 on land, or the guy who syndicates an 8 million dollar apartment deal with NONE of his own money and 45% of the equity and cash flow? Yeah… That’s what I thought.

3. It isn't really THAT passive, unless you make hundreds of thousands to millions (like most gurus), to provide you the seed capital to outsource all of this. You constantly have to obtain leads, manage the notes, negotiate with the sellers, etc. It's not really an investment technique - it's a business.

4. There IS competition - you've made it sound like there's little, which simply isn't true. Even if there aren't people doing exactly what you do, there are land realtors - professionals who will list the property for more than you're offering the seller.

5. There's inherent risk involved: People need a roof over their head. No one NEEDS raw, undeveloped land. Real estate is cyclical, and land is one of the first asset classes to feel the sting of a recession. It's inherently more risky than many other asset types - especially during a recession.

6. You have to do a high volume to make a significant profit. This means more capital, time, and energy is needed to make substantial profits from this niche.

7. There are few, if any, tax benefits. There are four primary ways to make money in real estate:

a. Appreciation (which is risky and speculative in nature, and you're not enjoying the benefits of that because you don't even own the land if you follow your strategy)

b. Cash Flow (which is quite limited in this niche - I listened to one of your youtube vids and the examples you gave were not only pretty unrealistic, but also pretty low profit)

c. Tax Benefits ( there's no depreciation for land, only for real estate assets on a piece of land)

d. Amortization ( as mentioned above, this isn't one of the benefits that land flippers like yourself can enjoy, either)

8. This, by far, is what bothers me the most about this niche. At the end of the day... YOU DON'T EVEN OWN THE ASSET!!! Like seriously, how could you even consider this the best income model? You're basing your future on internet randoms to do the right thing and pay you a few hundred a month for an asset they don't even need (which is a horrible business model by the way - there is a reason that the financial sector hinges on creditworthiness standards. Can you imagine if Wall Street followed your model and just took people at their word that they would pay you? We'd enter the Apocalypse! lol). There are many other forms of real estate that provide cash flow, little maintenance, appreciation, tax benefits, AND allow you to actually own the tangible asset. The cash flow you would make from one piece of land lasts how long, 5-15 years? You can hold onto an apartment and generate cash flow from it FOREVER. There are other property types that you wouldn’t even have to deal with tenants and toilets the same way you would in residential – industrial buildings, for example, are pretty low maintenance.

Anyway, please feel free to respond. I feel like you’re kind of being deceptive to impressionable people out there, and since obviously you weren’t going to bring any of this up on your podcast, I felt compelled to. 

Originally posted by @Michael Quarles :

Personally I think that the best passive income model is a systemized massive investment business Which doesn't require share holder participation. 

And for the record I was on his show and didn't feel like I needed to promote his model.  

 Aren't you the guy that promotes other gurus on here? I heard you on Sean Terry's podcast not too long ago... Lol. Not accusing you of being biased, just asking is all :)

Personally I find a lot of guru promotion offensive however there are a few guys worth their weight.  

Just chatted with Norris and was impressed. Toback has a great program.  Justin isn't bad either.  

Btw. I've even been on two BP podcasts.  I think helping is a cool thing.  

Originally posted by @Brian Gibbons :

@Michael Quarles

And I love www.YellowLetters.com

@Jj W.

Welcome to BP

And Go Sox Nation!

 Thanks. How can I tag Mark to make sure he sees this thread? Does Jack Bosch have an account here? I'd like to tag him as well, since he makes the same grandiose claims.

@JJ W.  whats your motive here exactly?  Sounds to me like you need to move on with your life.  Your long rant is clearly not gaining the traction you wanted because everyone else understands how paid programming works. If you don't like the concept, then don't buy it. You actually started a thread 2 months ago asking for opinions on this course and received some good feedback. Sure Mark thinks that his approach is the best - as do lots of other people. Its his opinion and it works for him. 

People on bp see through this.  You have started 4 discussions - one asking for people's most creative technique (congrats on receiving 1 response) one with some link to a scammer being outed and 2 about Mark.

If you want to be taken seriously around here, upload a profile pic and actually contribute to the community.  

Originally posted by @Derek B. :

@Jj W.  whats your motive here exactly?  Sounds to me like you need to move on with your life.  Your long rant is clearly not gaining the traction you wanted because everyone else understands how paid programming works. If you don't like the concept, then don't buy it. You actually started a thread 2 months ago asking for opinions on this course and received some good feedback. Sure Mark thinks that his approach is the best - as do lots of other people. Its his opinion and it works for him. 

People on bp see through this.  You have started 4 discussions - one asking for people's most creative technique (congrats on receiving 1 response) one with some link to a scammer being outed and 2 about Mark.

If you want to be taken seriously around here, upload a profile pic and actually contribute to the community.  

 First of all - don't tell me what to do. You don't own this forum, you're not a moderator, and you have nothing to do with this discussion. I'm reporting your post because not only is it inflammatory, but it has NOTHING to do with the topic. You're violating the forum rules. YOU are the one who came in trolling my thread - what's YOUR motive? Are you trying to receive up votes from the gurus on this forum? Do you work for Mark? Is that why you have a problem with the legitimate questions I asked? It's one thing to have an opinion about the course you're pushing - it's another to mislead people for your own financial gain. The questions I asked were legitimate - don't get angry just because you're an affiliate and my questions are valid, and go derail someone else's thread - not mine. You're not welcome here and I'm blocking you. 

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Why aren't mods removing his post?

It clearly violates forum rules. 

Originally posted by @Derek B. :

@Jj W.  whats your motive here exactly?  Sounds to me like you need to move on with your life.  Your long rant is clearly not gaining the traction you wanted because everyone else understands how paid programming works. If you don't like the concept, then don't buy it. You actually started a thread 2 months ago asking for opinions on this course and received some good feedback. Sure Mark thinks that his approach is the best - as do lots of other people. Its his opinion and it works for him. 

People on bp see through this.  You have started 4 discussions - one asking for people's most creative technique (congrats on receiving 1 response) one with some link to a scammer being outed and 2 about Mark.

If you want to be taken seriously around here, upload a profile pic and actually contribute to the community.  

 Oh and btw, the reason hardly anyone is replying is because there is NO answer to this! Gurus usually either get silent, or they erupt in childish fits of anger like you did :) Everyone here can see for themselves what I've laid out - and no one has stepped up to the challenge because they can't! Now, let's talk about that  big, juicy commission you get for scamming people out of their money on behalf of these gurus taking advantage of people and outright lying to them, what is it - 6 percent? 10 percent? :)

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For anyone who doesn't want to take the time to read that, there are several things that make this strategy less than ideal, including the following:

Real estate allows you to make money using leverage, tax benefits, realizing appreciation of a tangible asset, and long term cash flow. Mark Podolsky and Jack Bosch's land strategy only provide 1 out of 4 of those things at best, and he they don't even run credit checks from the buyers they're collecting notes from, which is risky. Not to mention, you don't even get to keep the asset!! At the end of it, once your buyer has paid off the note, you have nothing. At the end of the day, this is speculative land flipping - nothing more, nothing less. This is coming from someone who has purchased and analyzed one of their courses. The best way to make a lot of money in this niche is to become gurus like them. Period.

Jj W,

First off I want to say that Mark is definitely a salesman and has a product to sell that in my opinion is a little over hyped - ok maybe a lot I don't know.   

He charges money to be a part of his facebook group and it seems like mostly other beginners answering the questions posted.  I didn't see Mark answering any of the questions and quit the group before the free trial period was over.  

  • 1.For my first campaign I spent $20 for a list from AgentPro247 and got one deal after sending out 70 letters.I think postage was about $50 and I bought a property assessed for $5k for $425.Sure it cost some money but It was a lot less than it cost me to buy rental property and no where near the level of fear I have when buying rentals because the amounts are smaller.
  • 2.Amortization – well this is flipping, you could make the same argument with flipping houses (something that I don’t have the courage to do). You can sell with owner financing and increase your profits that way.
  • 3.True, it’s not completely passive, you do have to send out mail and do some research and communicate with buyers and sellers.Probably not as much work as flipping houses though.
  • 4.Competition – yes, but much less than in SFR.I get tons of postcards from people trying to buy my rentals.So far no one has told me they have other offers on their land
  • 5.Risk- yes, but you can start with small properties until you are more comfortable and experienced.On my first mailing I limited the mail to properties under 13k in value.
  • 6.High Volume – you can or you could do fewer high dollar deals its up to you
  • 7.No Tax benefits – you are right this is flipping not investing.The same can be said for flipping houses or wholesaling.
  • 8.I don’t have any idea if this is the best model……Actually for me the best income model would be to have enough money to put it all in a index or REIT fund and just live off the dividends.

There's nothing magical about it.  It involves work, time ( a lot at first) and some risk just like anything.  No it's not nearly as easy as Jack Bosch and Mark make it out to be and it's not for everyone, but it's also not a scam.  It is possible to make money doing this, just like it's possible to make money flipping houses, wholesaling or anything else.  It's just one possible way of making some extra money.

  I have to admit I was pretty pessimistic on my first mailing and in the back of my mind did have a lot of doubts, but I took action anyway.

I am curious, have you sent out any mailings and just tried it a couple of times? 

Well, I don't know exactly what Mark suggests, but I see selling with seller financing, in that I know the game very well. Understand that the Dodd-Frank Act applies to owner occupied residential properties INCLUDING land and lots where a single family home is allowed to be built! Agricultural land allows homes to be built. A very good argument can be made to build a home on a commercially zoned property, the use is at a lower restriction and may be allowed, but zoned commercially would probably keep the consumer finance folks away.....unless someone builds a home. 

Being "in the business" can make you a lender doing seller financing, something I'd bet Mark lacks expertise in under the new laws, not to mention the varied state laws as applicable.

If you are "flipping" land to a developer, to another investor, you may be fine as a commercial transaction, but if you just sell the Henry Hopeful, that can very well be a consumer loan!

Gurus sell ideas, they aren't generally good ideas nor are their ideas that new or unique and they aren't the ones getting fined or jailed. Too bad too, I could be liable if I told you to jump from a bridge and you jumped. 

I have seen some of Mark's promotions, looks like plain old land speculation, another news flash, you can get stuck with raw land for years, it is not a liquid asset and is less marketable than a residential property. :)

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com

I don't know who Mark Podolsky is or what his program is about. I just want to let all the new investors in on a little secret.

There is NO program that is going to teach you how to make a bunch of money in real estate without a lot of Time, Effort & Money.

Medium holton wise property group logo jpegJames Wise, The Holton Wise Property Group | [email protected] | 216‑661‑6633 | http://www.HoltonWisePropertyGroup.com | OH Agent # 2015001161 | Podcast Guest on Show #127

@JJ W.

  the land game has been around for 100 years in the US played the same way these guys are playing.. No mystery. 

there are millions upon millions of platted lots throughout the US that have no or next to zero true value.. so they can be bought like the guy above paid 425. for a property.. I can go into many counties in CA and buy all the lots I want for 1k and under.. they are not developable or buildable but they are legal lots of record.. in the day if your old enough you and got hunting and fishing mag.. in the back there was always adds for 5 to 40 acre ranches in Texas,, Montana.. CA NV AZ FLA  etc etc.. this is an OLD OLD model.. and the paper that is generated from the model has a very HIGH default rate over time.   But just like many that want to get into rentals and have limited capital will risk buying a 1k to 5k house in Detroit.. many want to just own a piece of land .. and will be happy to put 200 down and 50 a month and dream of building on their boonie property one day..

I grew up in this industry saw it in its prime in the 60's.. land sales men in those days made BIG bucks..

Again nothing wrong with the concept.. but like all things a lot more to it than meets the eye....

Medium ksqoekox 400x400Jay Hinrichs, TurnKey-Reviews.com | Podcast Guest on Show #222

@JJ W.

 Also ground zero for this is Riverside and San Bernidino counties in CA. there are over 2 million undeveloped platted lots. thousands are bought and sold at tax sale yearly.

there was a company I think they are still around .. In San Carlos CA.. and they bought these buy the hundreds and then marketed to Chinese in China.. the owners were Chinese as well.. big show .. big office pictures with Reagon,,, rolls Royce in front of the office

These are legal lots of record with little to no real value .. but they couch it as this is going to be the next LA.... LOL  la la land is what most of this is.

Medium ksqoekox 400x400Jay Hinrichs, TurnKey-Reviews.com | Podcast Guest on Show #222

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@James Wise  

The emperor has no clothes? Surely you jest. The only way to start a REI career is to spend, spend, spend on training program after training program and hope that eventually you buy enough of them that the shear weight of the manuals sitting on your book shelf will tilt the world in such a way that money will just roll into your pocket!

Or you can get out and work at actually doing some investing; evaluate some properties and neighborhoods, do some due diligence research, make an offer (Really!  Just but something!), market your new property and make some money (or lose some because if it was a sure thing there would be no money to be made).

The roadmap is:

Goals -> Strategy -> Plan -> Action -> Goals 

You can dream the Goals but to get there takes Action.