Seth Williams is a land investor and residential landlord, with 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.
Seth got started in land investing in 2005 while he was in college. He had first learned about real estate investing from the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. “I was fascinated by the book,” Seth tells, “It totally changed my perspective on a lot of things.”
The book wasn’t specific about how to get into real estate, though, so Seth dug into the MLS to find houses to flip or rent. He learned how to calculate the numbers to figure out what a good deal was, but then the housing market crisis hit. In 2007 he couldn’t find anything that made sense for him to make a profit with.
Because the market was so hostile and Seth was a beginning investor, he went into the work force after college. In 2008 he took a course in land investing where he got the information he was looking for. With that course Seth began finding motivated sellers by using delinquent tax lists. Land was a more simple type of real estate for him to get into with a much lower risk than house flipping. Seth found that you could buy land from people on the delinquent tax lists for pocket change.
“I could buy these plots free and clear with the money I had in my pocket,” Seth says, “When I realized you could do that I was like ‘Whoa, this is a game changer’!”
Without needing to deal with loans or mortgages, Seth was able to build a safe foundation for his land flipping business. House flipping takes time to learn the safe way to invest. For someone who’s been in the industry for a while, it’s not as risky for them to invest in houses because they know what they’re doing. When Seth was was just starting out, he knew nothing about how to safely invest in houses, which is why land investing was so appealing to him.
“With land, I could set myself up with these deals,” Seth explains, “and no matter how the cards fell I would make money from it.”
For example, if you buy a plot of land that’s worth $5,000 and you’re only paying $500 for it, it’s a no-brainer that you’re going to make a profit when you sell it in return. Because this made so much sense to Seth, he started looking at counties that weren’t densely populated and buy land there.
There are three counties in Detroit that are very densely populated, which makes those plots not desirable. The problem with buying land “in the armpit of town”, the only use for it is to build another house. It has less market appeal. On the other hand, land near those densely populated counties has more potential, which is what makes that land a better investment.
Husband and father to a 4 month old baby. I started investing about a year and a half ago. Ended up with a loss of $700 for 2017 but the first half of 2018 we will gross over $125,000 with a goal of $250k for the year.
Kyle started out in real estate investing just like most investors do. He was unhappy at his desk job and wanted a way to achieve financial freedom. There were some learning curves he had to overcome, though. When he and his wife got married they used the money from the condo she sold to buy their first house to flip. Unfortunately Kyle ended up losing money in that investment.
One of the biggest learning moments in that first house was figuring out how to manage contractors the right way. Kyle found that the contractors weren’t showing up to the property frequently, they were taking other jobs while still working for him, and were spending too much money on supplies from hardware stores. “That was a learning experience,” Kyle says, “Now I check in with my contractors every day to make sure everything is going smoothly.”
Luckily for Kyle he had another property already being worked on by the time the first house was sold. This property went smoother, getting him a decent profit. “You have to stumble a few times before you get the hang of it,” Kyle admits. That’s so true. Starting your own real estate investing business is a learning experience.
Once the first two properties were done with Kyle started getting in the groove with his business. As far as marketing goes, Kyle has been doing direct mail and managing leads on his website. He has his phone number on the postcards he sends with a call to action to text him if they’re interested. “I haven’t gotten too many texts,” Kyle admits, “but a lot of people go to my website from the postcard.”
A mixture of direct mail marketing and having a websites for people to go to has been working really well for Kyle. “I think it’s from people not wanting to make a call, but feeling a lot more comfortable filling out a form online,” he tells. To be honest, that’s what we’ve found works best too. There are so many motivated sellers who get nervous about talking to someone asking to buy their house. The detachment of filling out a form online is more comforting for them.
So what made Kyle get into real estate investing? Well, the condo his wife sold when they got married gave the couple roughly $20k. Initially Kyle wasn’t planning on getting into real estate investing. In fact, it all started with a Google search for what to do to invest the money. “I knew I didn’t want to spend it or just put it in retirement,” he says, “Honestly I just Googled ’ways to invest’ or something like that and real estate kept coming up.”
Kyle knew he didn’t want to build a renting portfolio. “Flipping was more appealing to me. I didn’t like how long you have to commit to renting,” Kyle says, “I didn’t start with Rich Dad Poor Dad or anything. I just searched in Google and did research there.”
It just goes to show important it is to appear online. If you want to get in contact with Kyle you can reach him on his website or email him at email@example.com.
Jason Rios has spent about 30 years of his life in Las Vegas and entered the real estate industry there over a decade ago after graduating cum laude from Pepperdine University with a degree in Business Administration. He started out as a traditional Realtor before transitioning into the investing side several years back.
Mr. Rios is familiar with a wide array of investing strategies and enjoys utilizing his entrepreneurial skills along with Alex to help expand their investments. His goal by 2020 is $100,000/month in passive income. In his spare time, Jason enjoys time with his loved ones, attending sports games & concerts, traveling, thrill-seeking, playing softball and giving back as president of his local alumni chapter.
Alex Wentland was born and raised in Chicago,IL and has been living in Las Vegas for 3 years. Prior to getting into real estate he went to a community college and was planning to work in the medical imaging field. He was waiting tables for the last 7 years and finally decided to pursue an entrepreneurial path after reading an impactful book despite most people’s opposing opinions. He chose real estate as it seemed like the most traveled path to financial success.
Alex's goal by 2020 is also $100K/month in passive income and to become a millionaire by age 30 with the help and teamwork with his partner Jason. Alex loves spending time with his fiancée and 2 dogs, taking hikes, going to movies, sporting games and traveling.
Their dissimilar paths brought them to the same REI circles, leading to a partnership in 2016 that started as wholesaling and has evolved into a multi-faceted investing approach. Their first deal together closed in 2017 and has since led to over 100 completed transactions. Alex and Jason feel this is truly just the start of what they will accomplish together.