Land Investing Online

How to Get Your First Land Deal with ONLY $500

In this episode, hosts Daniel & Ron Apke discuss the possibility of starting a land flipping business with a budget as low as $500.

They explore alternative, cost-effective strategies to find land deals, emphasizing the importance of sacrificing time for money.

Below are a few strategies and pieces of advice for new land investors who are wanting to get into the business on a budget:

  • 📞 Cold Calling Approach: New investors may want to make use of cold calling over texting due to budget constraints, and you can target vacant land owners with a carefully selected list.


  • 🌐 Data and Skip Tracing Costs: It is recommended that you allocate your budget for data acquisition and skip tracing as it’s necessary to getting deals in this business model. Investors should aim at getting around 2,000 records to stay within the $500 budget.


  • 🎯 Strategic County Selection: Daniel & Ron advise on choosing counties with more potential for profitable deals, and avoid overly expensive areas to maximize chances of success.
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  • Time Investment: There will be a need for significant time commitment with a smaller starting budget, especially when cold calling 2,000 people. Consistency is key!


  • 💡 Learning Ground-Up:
    There are advantages of starting with minimal funds. You will naturally gain a deeper understanding of the business, negotiation skills, and appreciation for the lack of competition.


  • 🔄 Reinvestment and Scaling: Once you’ve got a couple deals under your belt, it is recommended that you reinvest profits back into the business. You can do this by setting up deal funding partners, and joining land investing communities for growth.

    Speaking of good communities, we have an active Discord Channel with over 2,000 investors who network and offer real-life experience about the land flipping industry! LEARN MORE


Listen or watch the full episode below ⬇️ for an in-depth break down into how $500 could get you started in land flipping!

Listen to the Podcast Here

View Transcript here

Dan: Welcome to the Real Estate Investing Podcast, where we help you unlock your potential freedom through land investing, real estate investing, and entrepreneurship. Hey everyone, welcome back to the Real Estate Investing Podcast. Today’s topic we’re discussing getting too many leads in your land business.

I’m your host, Daniel Apke, joined again by my brother and business partner, Ron Apke. Getting too many leads in your business, Ron, for the most part, we see this as, you know, people who start, they have a lot of times they’ll have extra money, um, marketing money. They’re not worried about their expenses as much.

And they don’t know as much about land as they should when they’re blasting it out like this. And that’s one of the main problems we’re going to get into, but it’s about being efficient with your leads. And we’re going to discuss some of the pros and cons and what to get into. It’s great to come in with a lot of marketing money, Ron, but there’s things that we’re going to discuss on what not to do when you come into those situations.

Ron: Yeah, for sure. I noticed that most from people who come in with, I don’t know, 20, 30, 000 and maybe that’s just extra money that they have and they’re ready to blow it on this and they send too much mail to start. They get too many leads and then they’re like not seeing a good ROI on their money because they’re not being efficient with their stuff.

People who start with a little less a lot of times come in and they really grind it out. They make every lead worth it. If you don’t make every lead worth it in this business, we talked about a lot and leads are hundreds of dollars. Exactly. Um, but, uh, let’s get into it.

Dan: Yeah. Lead can be up to 200 if you’re sending mail.

And we had a episode last week on going to five efficient, right? Five most efficient ways to acquire leads. If you haven’t listened to that, go back and listen to that. Cause we talk about the pros and cons of mail versus texting versus cold calling versus emailing versus some other methods that people are discussing.

So go back and listen to that. But yeah, let’s, let’s talk about mail because mail is the bread and butter. It’s been our bread and butter since day one. And when Ron and I started, we probably didn’t get our first deal until 15, 000 mailers, honestly, or maybe 000. So it took us a while to get started and learn the game a little bit, but we were aggressive.

We also started sending out 10, 000 mailers our first couple months, right? But we had two people on it. We had our operations and systems in place, I feel like, to where we were aggressive enough to be able to handle that. Let’s talk about how much mail, how much mail we suggest when just starting out to be the most efficient.

And I know, let’s go into some like if you have a job versus not having a job, things like that.

Ron: Yeah, so it is very dependent on your situation for sure. Um, we always suggest like 3 to 5, 000 mailers per month. Even like if you go 2, 500 mailers per month and you’re consistent with that. What I worry when people start getting down to 2, 500 mailers per month, they get…

bogged down or they get mad or think it doesn’t work because they don’t get a deal their first month. Um, you sent 5, 000 mailers. Do you have a good chance of getting a deal your first month? You’re going to make mistakes without a doubt. Um, but 2, 500, I think to 5, 000 Dan, I don’t think we haven’t talked about this number before.

What are your thoughts on that number? Which one? 2, 500 to 5, 000.

Dan: I like that number overall, uh, overall, uh, in that situation, I think the more the better. So if you can get close to that 5, 000 point, that’s great. But there’s people that run that run really, really good six figure businesses off 500, which I was very shocked at.

And like you said, like the more you amp your mail up, the less deficient you’re going to get typically, especially when you’re new. And that’s what you want to come in like 3000, 4000 first couple months is, uh, I think a really good place to start. And then you’ll get leads. It’s, It doesn’t guarantee you a deal, but there’s a good chance of getting a deal.

You’re good leads, you’ll get the experience, and you can send out more mail. And that’s what it’s all about, so you can get efficient, keep upping that number. Someone the other day told me he sent out… I can’t remember the number. It was… We’re at July… We’re… It was like July 20th, and he’s… Or November 20th, and he said he sent out…

Like 15, 000 already this month. I think it was Zach actually. Yeah. And I was talking to him about that, but it’s, it’s a good thing when you can handle it and then when you’re really aggressive, but we see it time over time again, people just sending out so much mail and then they’re coming and saying they’re not getting as many deals as I hoped.

And it comes down to an efficiency thing. You’re pricing less efficient. You’re negotiating less efficient. You’re not treating all the leads the same. Some fall through the cracks, they get lost in your CRM, whatever that is.

Ron: Yeah. And we talk and Zach, someone who’s been doing this for awhile. So he’s amped up and, uh, grew it up.

But, um, we talk a lot about recently for sure. Like this business is turning to a sales business. Like you need to be good at sales. Um, or you need to at least be willing to do it. Not necessarily great at sales, but to be. Good at this business. I think from the start, like taking on every lead is important, being willing to negotiate.

And if you’re just like trying to do a volume game, like, yeah, you’ll get some deals, but your ROI, your efficiency is going to be so much worse. And that’s why we’re kind of saying up to 5, 000. Um, but let’s get into them. How much mail is too much when you’re first starting? Like, do we say it’s 5, 000, anything more than 5, 000, too much in your mind?

Dan: Um, yeah, I think I wouldn’t recommend going above like 7, 000 or so five, 6, 000 is okay. You’ll be fine. 6, 000 might be pushing it a little bit. Um, if you’re just going through one route, which is mail, then I think 5, 000 is a really good number and you can also get some text in. That’s what I’d recommend.

I’d stay around three to 5, 000. Um, you can do it for less, like we said, but yeah, I wouldn’t go too much above 5, 000 your first two, three months, to be honest.

Ron: Yeah, and uh, it matters your systems behind it for sure, but there’s just such a big learning curve in this business and that’s why we’re saying because it’s expensive.

Sending 5000 mailers out is expensive. It’s going to cost 3500 bucks or so when you’re including data, everything like that. And we always, our biggest thing is when you’re first getting started, make sure you have three to six months of that mail cost of that monthly cost where you’re not like sending, spending all your marketing money the first month.

Okay. If you have 4, 000 in marketing money, do not spend 4, 000 on marketing your first month, split that over the first three months. You’re going to learn a lot of lessons. You need to be efficient at that, at that point. Um, but, uh, yeah, I think that’s a huge thing. So Dan, we talked about how much mail.

When first starting three to 5, to 5, 000, how much mail is too much for us? We kind of think like once you get over that 5, 000 mailer mark, if you get up to 6, 000, 7, 000 mailers month, three, four, you got a few deals. That’s when you want to scale, but let’s, let’s talk real fast about. How much money does it cost to lose leads?

If you start out, you send 7, 000 mailers, maybe you get, I don’t know, 50 leads, 70 leads, something like that, and you miss five of them, maybe you miss a deal, two deals, like how expensive can that be?

Dan: Yeah, and I did the math a while back, a few months ago, on how much it actually costs to get a qualified lead who’s actually interested in selling.

And you know, we’re getting 10, 10 decent leads for every, 10 to 15 decent leads for every 2, 000. mailers we send out. So I mean, that’s a lead. So you’re paying 100 for someone to just essentially call you and say they’re semi interested in selling and want to price like that’s not even overly qualifying them.

So I mean, you’re paying 100, 200 per lead. I think it’s going to be somewhere in the middle, like right around 150 if you’re doing things right. So you start not, I mean, that’s just really, really expensive. Like you let things go down and you get 10, 20, 30 calls. You’re not following up appropriately. Like you’re talking about thousands of dollars you’re losing every single month.

Ron: And that’s not, I’m taking into account, like what’s the potential, what’s the potential of what you just missed?

Dan: That’s just the lead. Yeah. That’s not the opportunity cost where that you’re losing a deal.

Ron: Yeah, like that. I mean, that’s what I kind of look at it, guys. When you’re talking about opportunity costs, like it’s hard to say that call could be a 50, 000 call.

Uh, if you don’t follow up, um, fast enough, if you wait three days to call them back, like they might be scared off. They might’ve changed their mind. That’s why we always talk about from time in till when you get that purchase agreement from time they first call till when you get that purchase agreement.

If you’re not quick with that time, it can kill, not kill your business, but it’s going to lose you money. There’s no doubt about it. You’re going to have less effectiveness in closing deals. Um, so that’s why, that’s why you’re, you need to go with the amount of, you need to send the mail for an amount of leads that you can take on, but let’s kind of talk about that, Dan.

So we talked about all that. And let’s say someone sends three, 4, 000 mailers their first three months. They got a deal, two deals. They’re profitable, everything like that. They’re looking to scale up, but they don’t want to miss leads. Like what systems do they need? Do they need people on top of that? Uh, let’s say they want to get to 7, 000 mailers, 7, 500 mailers.

Dan: Yeah, you don’t need people. You could have a VA to help out part time, maybe 10, 20 hours a week. Um, you don’t really need people. If you have a partner, that’s great. You guys can definitely do that yourselves, but. The, the biggest thing is your systems. Like what happens when a lead comes in? Are they calling you?

Are you answering? That’s number one question. Like you got to answer these calls because that’s a lot of mail and you’re going to miss out on these people who want to sell when they call you and they have a few questions and you just need to build up the initial trust and get the purchase agreement.

You’re going to miss those calls. So you want to make sure you’re getting to every single call as soon as possible. If you’re not answering them, you got to call them back quickly. Um, so answering service is the biggest thing for systems. I think early on in the game, um, then just follow up. Like you need a decent CRM to be able to follow up on, on all these leads and understand where you are in the process.

And it’s easy at first when you have three, four, five, 10 leads, but what happens when you send out 7, 000 for three straight months and you have, you know, 50 to a hundred decent leads in there that, uh, you need to follow up with, it’s all about. Putting your energy in the right places. I think.

Ron: That’s the thing. Everyone always looks at like those leads when they first come in. Like, yeah, that’s not difficult. You do this though, four or five, six months in a row. And there needs to be a follow up process. Like, you have a lot of people who are ready to go. Those are moneymakers right away. You also have a lot of people like, Okay, I’m not sure yet.

I am interested. And you need to follow up with them every 30 days, every two weeks, whatever it kind of calls for. And that’s when it can get messy. And again, we talked about cost of missing leads. The cost of missing follow ups can be very expensive too. Like, there’s all the times when we close deals.

Six months later, and it’s not like they called us for the first time. Six months later, they called us week two and had a conversation. They weren’t ready to pull the trigger for whatever reason. Life event comes up six months later and we closed the deal. Um, and that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars.

We make every single year on stuff like that. Um, but for me, Dan, in terms of the systems, like you need to look inward, evaluate your business. Yeah. Like, what are you missing out on your business? What is, what is going to break when you go from 4, 000 to 7, 500 mailers? What is going to break? Is it, you’re not answering the phone enough.

Okay. Answering service, uh, is that you don’t have enough time. Okay. Let’s get a VA to take some time off your plate and you really look inward. Um, it doesn’t have to be a. American hire is salesperson, a transaction coordinator, but you need to find out what’s missing. And there’s so many things out there.

There’s companies that do it, that do transaction coordinator stuff for you. Um, I don’t, I can’t say about the quality, anything like that, but what is taking up your time? What what’s moving the needle? Like we’ve been talking about that a lot in our business. What’s moving the needle in your business. Um, you need to make sure you can put time into that.

Dan: Yeah, exactly. And I think one of the biggest things that like Ron said, audit your business. Listen back to your calls. Ron was talking earlier about your, the quality of how it’s becoming a sales game. As competition goes up, as everything goes up, it’s becoming a sales game. Audit your business, audit your calls.

If something’s not working out, figure out why are you pricing it, but also make sure you have a large enough sample size because 2, 500 mailers isn’t really enough to, um, really evaluate. I don’t think once you have 10, 20, 30, 000, I do agree. You need to evaluate, but yeah, like Ron said, tear it all apart, see what’s working, see what’s not working, and then just hone in on what’s working and what you did right.

Being aggressive on the phones is never a bad thing, but you need to make sure it’s systemized and you’re, you’re aggressive in an appropriate way in terms of following up with the leads who need to. I remember months ago, Ron, Um, when we had John around the salesperson, we, I would look through the CRM.

We’d have like a hundred people in each status. And then the closed, like once they’re closed, that means it’s a dead opportunity. We’d have a hundred people in negotiation. Sometimes 50 people in negotiation, a hundred people in follow up six months, a hundred people in follow up 30 days. Like it was crazy.

The pipeline you can build up with this. And we were getting deals, even if it’s only 1%. We are getting deals 30, 60, 90, one year later. Like we really were. And that’s where you can take this business to the next level. Cause you’re spending so much money to get these leads. Let’s keep following up and put them through the cycle.

Ron: No matter where you guys are, if you’ve sent any mail at all. There is money in your pipeline. Like there just is, we saw it firsthand when we had a full time salesperson. We’ve kind of changed a little bit of our business structure with that. Um, but like there is money in your pipeline. There’s a lot of money in your pipeline.

Um, so instead of like saying this isn’t working, that isn’t working, uh, my pricing’s off, look at your leads, look at who had any interest at all and work them. It might take you three months. Like this business is not going to be automatic right away, but if you work the leads, like you are going to make money on that.

Uh, I don’t have anything else to add though, Dan. This isn’t about, uh, not sending mail, like just being as efficient as possible with this episode. It’s about like, let’s not start too fast. Yeah. That’s not like, let’s not blow out our operations. So you can’t work the leads. Um, but that was kind of the purpose of this episode.

Dan: Yeah. And it’s because we made this episode because we see time after time, people coming in sending 20, 000 mailers their first round. 10, 000 mailers being very aggressive. They have money that they don’t really, I’m not going to say they don’t care about, but they have money they can spend and they believe in the business and they will get deals and it will be profitable, but there’s so much you can miss out on too.

Sometimes it’s better to kind of scale up appropriately, even though you’re aggressive, you want to get out of your job. Now, whatever the situation is, you still want to scale it appropriately based on what you can based on your time, your systems, and what you can really put into it. Because once you’re ready to go, you have your systems in place.

The sky’s really the limit from there. As always, thank you for joining. Please do us a huge favor and like, and subscribe our YouTube channel and share this with a friend. It really means the world to Ron and I, but more importantly, it could help change the life of someone else. Thanks for joining and we’ll see you next episode.

Watch the Full Episode Here