In our rapidly evolving technological landscape, traditional methods of land investing are continuously being complemented by more modern approaches. One such groundbreaking strategy is the use of texting to source deals, negotiate, and ultimately build a land empire.
Ajay Sharma, a pioneer in this method, sheds light on his journey, sharing the secrets of his success.
There are intricacies to craft the perfect text, understanding the timing, ensuring compliance with regulations, and managing seller responses.
Some of the advantages to using texting, include: increased response rates, immediate feedback, and the ability to negotiate in real-time.
Interested in using texting to acquire land? We’ve got an entire course on how to maximize this process! Click the link below.
Daniel Apke: 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, I have a special guest on our episode, Ajay Sharma. Ajay, welcome to the show.
Ajay: Thanks so much, Dan. Pleasure to be here.
Daniel Apke: You’ve been a successful full time land investor for multiple years now. Honestly, there’s not too many full time land investors out there just being a smaller industry and smaller niche than it is. Walk us through your background, how you got to where you are today.
Ajay: Yeah, absolutely. Um, so I started land investing roughly three years ago. Um, knew I wanted financial freedom, wealth building, all that kind of stuff. Real estate seemed like the right vehicle. And so went down the YouTube rabbit hole. Um, you know, went down to stuff, bought his course, sent out a mailer, uh, and, and no joke.
You know, I sent out, I think it was 150. Uh, yellow postcards to a tax delinquent list. And got my first deal. It was, uh, buy it 3k. I sold it for 15. After realtor and title fees, I made like 9 grand. And I thought I was the richest man in the world. And it was like, okay. Easy. So you spend 80 bucks on marketing.
You make 9, 000. This business model seems great. Yeah, now, unfortunately, my beginner’s luck of success, um, made it a little bit slower in terms of when I learned you actually needed to spend some big boy money to get deals pretty consistently. But, you know, fast forward now. I’ve got four on staff, temporarily three.
My acquisitions manager just delivered her second child, so she’s on leave for about 10 weeks. But we’ve got four on staff, I’ve got a business partner who’s my, my integrator to speak traction if anybody’s read that book. His name’s Ben, he’s a rock star. He’s right now making sure the business makes money while I’m doing stuff like this.
Um, and uh, yeah, we’re rocking, we average about five contracts a month all through texting. We’re testing out a couple different marketing channels, but uh, that’s what we got going on.
Daniel Apke: When you’re diving down that rabbit hole like everyone does when you first enter a new business model. I’ve been in like ten different business model, models.
What, you know, what that rabbit hole look like and what made you decide on your, you were looking for passive income, whether it was land or something else, you were going to find it or not passive income. You were looking for income, whether it was land or another business model, you were going to find that eventually.
What made you go down the land investing and sell out to land like you did?
Ajay: Yeah, great question. So, honestly, like, for me, I was just kind of broke, so, like, it was, um, you know, I had a W 2 and I was living at home, so my overhead was super low. I’m grateful enough to not have, I didn’t have massive amounts of debt or anything, but I needed something with pretty much a low barrier to entry, and I wanted it to be something where I didn’t feel like I was gonna screw somebody over.
So, like, when I looked at the house world and the apartment world, it was like, man, if I tell somebody, you know, hey, I’m gonna be able to buy your house for 120K and try to, like, flip that contract, um, I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to fulfill and I’d just feel like a scumbag, to be honest.
Whereas, like, with a piece of land, like, if I made a bad investment, it was my own money, I knew I could afford a couple thousand bucks to buy a cheap piece of dirt in some random place in the world, and, uh, the risk just seemed relatively low. Not to mention, because you’re consistently buying, Between, you know, back then it was 20 to 50 cents on the dollar.
Now it’s probably closer to like 40 to 50. Um, sometimes even a little bit higher depending on if you’re doing a value add strategy. But, um, at the time it was like, okay, there’s just so much margin of safety. I feel like, um, this is a pretty good vehicle. It’s got low barrier to entry. I can get started with the 5, 000 bucks I’ve got to my name.
Daniel Apke: Really good point. That’s kind of what, that’s what we recommend to people coming in. Have about 5, to 7, 000. I mean the more the better, don’t get me wrong. If you have big boy money to throw at marketing, like. Then, then your money becomes, your marketing becomes less valuable in your head. Therefore, you try more.
Like you said, it’s a shotgun approach prior. But what, so you said you’re doing five deals a month. What, what are your deal sizes looking like?
Ajay: Yeah, that’s a great question. It like really depends, Dan. So like, um, we do some double closings and then also do some flips. So like our worst deal in recent history, we had a, a 1, 200 assignment.
Um, I can go down the rabbit hole of just some things not to do. Uh, but I want to answer your question. Um, and on the higher side, we’ve got a deal right now. We just bought 40 acres in Florida for 150. We cut it up into two 20 acre lots and we have it listed right now at 300. We’ve got a couple people walking the property.
So, kind of all over the place. Um, when we do the uh, good old Excel equals average formula though, we get about 20 grand of gross profit on our deal sizes. Now here’s a caveat, is that is before overhead and deal splits if we work with any funders. So I just, I want people to know, Hey, I don’t have a hundred grand going into my pocket every month yet.
I wish I did, but I’d be lying to you if I said that’s how the math played out.
Daniel Apke: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s the most expensive part of this business is. Your deal funding splits and then your marketing and that’s just how it is. And then you build up capital and you start having enough to put it in. And those ratios change over time for sure.
You said you have four employees, one on leave. What’s that team look like? You said your acquisition manager, what else you got?
Ajay: Yep. So we’ve got a full time, uh, texting VA. So, she’s a rock star out of the Philippines. She’s just sending out like a thousand texts every day. And then, this is a little atypical, but she actually also comps properties.
Um, I don’t recommend this to people. It’s just kind of how it played out. Like, I always invite my team, um, come forward if there’s something in the business they’re interested in. And she took an interest in comping. And we said, have at it, kiddo. And, and she’s been crushing it. Nice. And so, um, that’s, that’s employee number one.
Next is a lead manager. So, we run our business a lot more typical to like how a mortgage broker would or like how a house wholesaler would. Um, we’re a little bit bigger on scheduled appointments. Um, we’re super, super aggressive on our follow up. And we have a lead manager, which is not always a role people talk about in this niche.
But, essentially what she’s doing is qualifying and disqualifying properties, right? So, this is a big marketing and sales business. And in the sales vehicle, it’s extremely important that when you’re generating leads, you get bad leads out of the way. Right? So you disqualify them, and if they’re good, you qualify them and get them through your process as quickly as possible to make an offer and follow up on them.
So that’s employee number two. Um, and the next in the chain is our acquisitions manager. She rocks. Um, she’s U. S. based. Um, she’s currently on leave because she just delivered her second child, so out for the next eight and a half weeks. Today it’s August 7th. Um, Veronica, if you’re listening, we love you and are grateful for you as a team.
She’s probably not listening, but, uh, in her place is our Latin American. Lovely VA, Anna, um, who, she came in to be kind of like our transaction coordinator, help with dispo, and just kind of like fill in the gaps. Honestly, we just needed help everywhere, and we were like, we just need to hire another employee and figure it out.
Not the best way to hire guys, we just were like drowning in some stuff, and so we made a quick hire, and it ended up being good for us. Um, hire and fire based on culture and integrity, um, all that to say, she’s filling in for Veronica right now in her first week out. Uh, well I guess on his first week in, she got three verbal acceptances and already one contract signed.
So, working on tying up our process to make sure we get contract signs closer to that verbal acceptance, but that’s a whole other story I can go into. And then up top is a visionary integrator. I’m visionary. My partner, Ben is the integrator and we’re running shop.
Daniel Apke: Got it. Very cool. Let’s dive into texting.
Since you get a hundred percent of your deals now from texting, but you said you started with sending out yellow postcards, you said. So you’re sending mail to start. What got you into texting? Let’s talk about some of the pros and cons of texting. Obviously it’s a more operation. So I want to see that process kind of built out how that looks, because most people listening either don’t do marketing in this business model or they do it, but they mainly do it off.
Ajay: Yeah, and you know, I’m going to put a caveat in here that if you’re brand new, um, and you have a decent marketing budget, like at least five grand, I would probably, I would absolutely start with direct mail. Okay. Just like going to put that out there and I’ll explain why. So let’s talk texting pros and cons, um, and mail pros and cons.
All right. When you’re comparing them side to side, um, let’s talk mail first. Cause I think a lot of your listeners are going to, um, resonate with this a little bit better. But the thing about mail is you get. Fewer leads right in aggregate, but those leads are much higher quality So you have to filter through so much less and they’re a little bit easier to get a hold of and I’ll explain what I mean By that a little bit later, but typically with direct mail, you’re just getting a much more qualified lead Anybody that’s listening this that has been in like the internet marketing space I always say like I talk to people who like do high ticket and run ads and stuff stuff.
And it’s like your direct mail kind of mirrors like a video sales letter, like a VSL. Whereas like texting is a lot more like a Facebook group funnel. Okay. And so texting, you’re getting, um, cheap leads. I think our average cost per lead on texting is around 30 bucks. Whereas with mail, it can be anywhere from like 50 to 200 just depending on your mailer.
And so we’ll get a cost per lead of around 34 bucks. We have a cost, um, per contract. Of, I think roughly five to six hundred, which is extremely cheap, but we also have, and that includes our, our data, our texting, um, VA, and our skip tracing, and our software, um, but anyways, all that to say, like, in texting, you have much higher touch.
But you have much lower quality, so it’s really important that number one, you set some parameters of what qualified even means. I think very quickly I see a lot of investors struggle when they come into the texting world because they don’t know how to qualify. They try to make offers via text, which very rarely works.
Alright, there’s just like all these pitfalls you need to look out for in a very high touch marketing channel, like RVMs, texting, cold calling, that type stuff. Right, versus with direct mail. Most of the direct mail people, um, are pretty bad at follow up to be honest, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s a whole separate, you know, we can do a whole episode on follow up if you want to.
Um, but typically you hear a lot of people who will follow up with those leads like two times and they’ll get deals, right? Because your leads from direct mail are just that much more qualified where it’s, it’s an easier touch. Uh, they’re, they’re more low hanging fruit. Whereas texting, you gotta work a little bit harder.
You have to follow up a lot more aggressively. It is cheaper, but you have to do a lot more work to screen. Like, you need somebody there four to six hours a day if you want to generate leads consistently out of texting, is what I’ll say. So there’s high level, um, pros and cons. Is texting’s cheaper, higher touch, low quality leads.
Mail is a little more expensive, low touch, higher quality leads.
Daniel Apke: Got it. So for, for mail, we’re sending out about 2, 000. Pieces of mail per deal we’re averaging out about the same profit per deal. It’s like 25, 000 or something going up because we’re attacking bigger deals. But texting like, so we’re getting, we’re sending those 2000 out.
We get 13 calls back on average from that. So that’s like a 0. 6 ratio or some 0. 6% and then we’re getting one purchase or we’re getting one property that we’re actually purchasing and about four purchase agreements. Three of them suck, whatever. One of them we actually go through and buying. What’s this ratio look like in terms of text and like how many texts are you sending out?
You said you’re doing a thousand a day?
Ajay: Yeah, roughly.
Daniel Apke: So what’s that rate? Like, what are you, how many leads are you getting per thousand?
Ajay: Yeah, and so I just like want to be very careful in how I respond to that because the definition of a lead depends on who you are as an operator, so I’m sorry, I always start with a list of assumptions because I’m a big nerd and, um, so with texting, um, what you’re going to see is if you send out a thousand messages, you can expect about a 20% response rate initially.
Okay. And when I say response, that’s, Hey Dan, I see your, you own a property in Hudspeth County, Texas. Um, you know, would love to chat about it if you’re around or something like that. Right. And you would say, yeah. Yes. That’s a response. So you’re gonna get roughly 20% initial response rate, give or take probably 5%, um, 5 to 8, just depending on, you know, area codes, time of day, that sort of thing.
But if you’re gonna receive that, about half of them are gonna be like, no, F you, go away, I hate you, scammer, blah, blah. The other half is gonna give you some kind of response. Now, um, the way we qualify determines our lead count, right? And so in my business, what we do is. Three things, essentially. Number one, we’re just verifying the seller, right?
Hey, are you Dan? Yeah, you’re Dan. Okay, great. Alright, check. Um, number two, is would they sell their property for a reasonable price and a reasonable amount of time? Now that is extremely vague, and we like to keep it that way, and here’s why. Is, essentially, I just say, Hey Dan, like, just, you know, out of curiosity, if we were to come to terms on a price, would you sell your property in the next 30 to 90 days?
And the reason I ask that is to make sure, like it, it really helps, um, eliminate some tire kickers that are like, well, I don’t really know. Right? And it’s like, okay, well, if you don’t really know, I don’t know that we’re going to make a deal happen. Where it’s like, yeah, if we, if we agreed on a price, no problem.
Right? And that’s super important to us because we do some double closings. So we’ll take a property under contract if we’ve got 30, 000 in margin on it. And the seller is going to let us, um, you know, market the property. So we actually just got one signed recently. We have under contract for 160, 000. I found a realtor, uh, we, Let me take a step back.
We, we also will try to get an attorney in fact document signed, which is like a power of attorney light, is what I always call it, right? Um, and, and the key difference, legally speaking, I am not an attorney, this is not legal advice, but to my understanding, legally speaking, is that you don’t need to get an attorney in fact notarized, but a power of attorney you do.
That’s a key distinction. So attorney in fact, you can basically just have them docu sign, panda doc, whatever you guys use. And so, we’ll get that, that says, we can explicitly mark it on the MLS, work with agents. And so we can double close and work with agents on the dispo side, which is really cool. So anyways, we got this property under contract at 160.
And I’m pretty sure we’ve already got a buyer lined up around 250, which is awesome. So, you know, that’s a deal where I’m like, that is awesome. I wouldn’t have been able to make these numbers work on just like a flip. You could, but if you’re borrowing money, it just, it gets it thinner really, really quickly.
Whereas in a double close, you don’t have to really share money, which is nice. Unless you need some transactional funding. Um, but in this particular state, I actually have a title company that’ll do pass through funding. So in my B2C transaction, they’ll let me use my end buyer’s funds, which is really cool.
Um, so that’s number two, though. Reasonable price and a reasonable amount of time. And then number three for us is willing to get on the phone. And this is really, really big for us. Cause we just, number one, we believe business happens over the phone. Um, but number two, if somebody’s not willing to just like talk with you for five minutes about their property, They probably couldn’t give a rat’s about whether they sell it or not.
And, I’ll say this, like, we’re not necessarily looking for motivation. I think, um, real estate has this big stigma of looking for, like, a motivated seller. And truly, it just, like, doesn’t exist and land the same way. If we’re being fully honest, right? We always say, so, like, to speak Tony Robbins language, he says you’re either running towards pleasure or away from pain.
Okay, so is pain the motivator, or are we seeking out a desired end state, essentially? And so we say in land, it’s a lot more desired end state. So if we were conversing, Dan, I would say, Hey Dan, um, so just out of curiosity, I mean, like, what would you do if you had an extra 20 grand? And let’s pretend, Dan, you’re married and you’re 60, right?
And you would say something like, Well, hey, I, uh, I haven’t taken my wife, um, on a vacation in a long time, and we’d love to go somewhere with the grandkids. You know, I’d probably take them to Disney World. And I’d be like, well, Dan, I could get you a check in about three weeks. For 20, 000 for your property.
So, I mean, if, if you’re ready to go, what do you say we get you and the grandkids out to Disney World here soon? Right? You see how very quickly now we’re having a conversation about your desired end state. Versus, uh, I’m gonna lose my car, I’m gonna lose my house, I’m gonna lose my wife. Right? If I don’t get this property sold.
It’s just a very different energy and a very different conversation. Um, but I always have to list all these assumptions as people ask me questions. Now, I understand your initial question was how many leads do I get? So, apologies to all the listeners for this very long tangent. I just don’t want to hold back with everybody and I like to give you assumptions before I give you data.
Now, under the assumption we are sending a thousand text messages, um, and initial texts. We are going to see somewhere between three and nine leads coming on a day. It averages out to about five or six, I think. I’d have to pull up our spreadsheet. We’ve got it somewhere. But it’s five or six leads a day on average.
The range is typically like three to nine. And of those… Um, we find about 70% are properties that we would want to buy or sellers we can work with. So earlier I spoke to qualification, right? And that means two things, seller, property. Can I do business with both, right? And so with the seller, it’s, Oh, well, I mean, it’s my brother’s property, but I haven’t heard from him in 20 years, so I’ll go ahead and work with you.
No, you’re, you can’t do that, right? So we, we might not be able to, um, work with the seller. Alternatively, the property, we don’t scrub on the front end because truthfully, we pull down like 25, 000 pieces of data every month in order to send out as much texting as we need to do, sometimes more, um, just because you lose so much when you need to upload your lists and so, um, we just wouldn’t want to deal with the scrubbing to be fully honest and, uh, that just means we, we have a lot of properties that are landlocked, a lot of properties that are submerged in wetlands, that type thing.
So, um, of those leads that gets pushed, about 70% are actually qualified. And, um, of those we get into contact with, and we make offers on the properties, we get a verbal acceptance for about every 1 in 12.
Daniel Apke: Got it. Got it. Those are really good ratios to know. So take us through that pipeline then. So you have a lead, you qualified them, they have a good property that you want to do business with, and they want to sell their property.
So you know, check, check.
Where does it go next?
Ajay: Yep, so it’s been pushed from our texting VA to our lead manager. Our lead manager is checking those two qualifiers Once we have those it gets pushed to get comped. So we don’t do any comping on the front end We’re a reactive neutral shop, which I think is a little bit different than your business if I understand I think you guys Both teach and do a lot of neutral, uh, excuse me, blind offers.
Correct. Um, so we’re, we’re just, um, we’ve been big on the spray and pray and I’m not advocating for that model by any means. We just used to do a lot of infill lot Florida work and it got extremely competitive and I started fighting all these household sailors for like a 3, 000 assignment fee and I said, that sucks.
I don’t like that business model. Let’s go rural. And in order to text rural properties in like Alabama, and Florida, and Arkansas, and Texas, and Colorado, you just go through a lot of data. And so we were like, let’s just keep running through these states where we know there’s demand, in these counties we know there’s demand, and let’s see what we get.
And we’ve done deals in pretty much every marketing campaign. You know, if you do the fundamentals, you can do deals pretty much anywhere, right? And so, um, we have very consistently bought property in like eight different states this year. I don’t advocate for that. Um, but, bring that up to say we reactively comp Dan, so that’s our next step, and my VA, um, will spend no more than 15 minutes typically comping a property.
That’s super important, especially if you have talent over in the Philippines, just because they tend to be a little bit more perfectionist. Is what I found. And so it’s really important you tell them you’ve got a time limit. Don’t spend more than this amount of time. And I need you to be 70% confident when you give us your comp.
And when I say 70%, here’s what I mean, Dan. Is when you look at a property and you’re like, Eh, like, uh, 95, 110. Alright, call it 100? Sure. Okay, great. That’s it, right? I understand that’s a range. But that’s about what my team will do, so that we can get an offer out to the property. And if we start, um, getting some negotiations going, then we’ll spend either some more time comping, or we’ll get it under contract if we think we’re right based on our initial comp.
But, essentially, we get it comped, and then it’s ready for an offer. And we hit it hard, we offer on the property. All the while, we follow up extremely aggressively. And so, like, some things that most people in this niche don’t talk about, whereas, like, it’s common language with the household sailing world, is we aggressively double tile people, okay?
And if you don’t know what that is, I’m gonna tell everybody right now. So, you call a seller. Ring, ring, right? You get voicemail. Happens very often. We found before we started double dialing, on average, every four out of five calls outbound we made as part of our follow up were a voicemail, which sucks, okay?
And so that means you have to make five calls to get into contact with one seller, typically, depending on your list, depending on who came through, depending on how qualified, right? This is what we found as a neutral shop. And so we began double dialing, which is ring ring, voicemail, don’t leave a voicemail, wait five seconds, Call again.
Ring ring. Now, they are a lot more likely to pick up on that second call, and here’s why. Think about every single time you get a phone call from a phone number you don’t have. Okay, you look at it and you’re like, no, it’s probably a robocaller, somebody trying to sell me car insurance, or my warranty expired, whatever it is, right?
So, um, I’m just not going to pick up the phone, more often than not, unless it’s an area code that I know I’m doing business with, maybe it’s a realtor, maybe it’s a title company, but usually not on the first ring. They’ll send a text message or leave a voicemail if it’s important, that’s what you tell yourself in your head, right?
And so, you get the phone call a second time though. And very quickly, your short term memory recognizes it, right? And that’s why that 3 5 second pause between the two calls is very important. Because you look at it, and you’re like, oh shoot, did I forget delivery, um, you know, do I have dry cleaning, um, is, is somebody in jail, is, you know, it, the, the thoughts go through your head, but it invokes enough curiosity that you’re probably gonna pick up the phone.
And so we double dial instead of just regular calls all throughout our process, and we might even do it twice a day in the first couple of days a lead is in our pipeline. And so, like, there are some really, really good, um, metrics to track in your business. One that we’re very anal about is actually connection rate.
Uh, so. So double dialing in the first couple of days will actually get closer to like 60% of people on the phone, typically. Whereas when you don’t, like I said, I mean it’s, it’s dramatically lower. So you’ll get like a 2 to 3x boost in the amount of people you chat with. And in this business, we don’t necessarily believe it all the time.
Especially if you’re doing blind offers, it’s a little different if you just get like a signed contract back. But if you’re getting phone calls, um, You paid so much money for this lead to get to you. Why wouldn’t you fight to get it back on the phone? To make sure whether you’re doing business with them or not.
Right? And so I tell my team, if it takes us 12 connections to get a verbal on 20, 000 on average, if a property is ready for an offer, every time we connect with a seller, we make 1, 500 as a company. Right? So we fight for the connection. That’s like something that is very, very sought out in our business.
I’ll pause there. Exactly. Exactly.
Daniel Apke: So another situation you probably run into a lot with your team, you have a good property, you have a good seller. Like you said, maybe they want 70% market value. It’s a hundred thousand dollar property. They’re asking 65. They won’t come down on that. You probably tried to negotiate down, have that conversation, use your selling technique so you can actually buy and flip it.
That sounds like it’s your step a correct.
Ajay: Yep, that’s correct.
Daniel Apke: So then you try to negotiate, do all that. That’s probably step B. And then step C, is that going down the double close route?
Ajay: That’s correct. Yep.
Daniel Apke: What’s that look like in terms of that? Cause a lot of, we don’t do a lot of that. We’ve done it in the past and our members are starting to do it.
But what’s that look like exactly? I really like that path. I think it’s high value on all sides of the business. I think it’s highly sustainable. What’s that? What’s that look like? The double close aspect.
Ajay: Yep. So, um, I’m gonna, again, I’m a big nerd. I’m going to list some assumptions here. Um, I learned this from, from my mentor and partner, Clint Turner, um, over at LearnLand.
He says typically the foundation of the land business is on four core pillars. Okay. And so you have your acquisitions. Which is what we spend a lot of our time talking about. It’s typically 70% of the business, so you should talk about it, right? In real estate, you make your money when you buy, so spend a lot of time on acquisitions.
Well, the other, um, three pieces are funding, right? We were talking about money earlier. Uh, operations, how do you get stuff done? And then Dispositions, right, so that’s the fourth pillar there. And so when you begin doing Double Closing Techniques, I just want people to recognize that they are taking on another core pillar of this business.
And it’s an entire other marketing and sales funnel that you have to manage, so be very, very careful. As you’re taking it on. So somebody like yourself, Dan, that’s like, high level operator, probably doing multi seven figures, like, gonna be just fine if you have to hire another person, get some SOPs in.
Yeah, no problem, man. Do some double closings, you’ll be alright. Right? Now for like, your newbie, that’s like, part time, and is making like, 70, 80 thousand dollars a year doing some land flips, um, and has a W 2, and has a family, and is like, I have this under contract, what do I do now? Right? You gotta be really careful with this stuff.
But, all that to say, um, totally, totally manageable. Just be sure to get it in some core places. And if you can, I love if I can continue to outsource my dispositions via double closing with a realtor. And to do that, you’re gonna need an attorney and fact document. So you can have an attorney draft that up, or go to like Rocket Lawyer and get one, I’m sure.
Um, but, anyways. All that to say, here’s what it looks like to do a double closing, Dan. I know you ask questions and I give you a bunch more, so apologies, uh, apologies for that. But, for us, we’re gonna go down this talk track, okay? And it’s like, hey Dan, um, just want you to know, like, talk to the team. Looks like we can offer you 50, 000 on the property, you say.
Oh, no, no, no, no, no, we can’t do that, you know, blah, blah, blah, we go back and forth. To your point, I think the number you gave was 65. We cannot go a penny less than 65, 000. That’s what we paid for it in 2007, and that’s what I’m gonna sell it for, right? Okay, well, Dan, uh, we do have another route where we can actually offer you more money.
I think we could get you to that 65, 000, but it would look a little bit different if you’re interested. And then you wait. And remember in sales, guys, silence is loud, okay? So you let them pause, process, and then they’re gonna say something to the effect of like, Yeah, I’m interested, or, oh, oh, okay, or go ahead, right?
Something to that effect. Where you’re then gonna go into your talk track of like, so essentially, Dan, like, We do a couple different things in this business. I want you to know we’re a pretty small company, but we do a lot of this. We’ve bought and sold over a hundred properties this year. Um, but typically we’re going to do one of five things when we get a property.
Uh, number one is we’re just going to buy it, right? And we buy and hold sometimes. Um, you know, obviously like we’re an investment company. So at some point we’re going to sell the property and make money. Uh, now we also work with a couple of different partners. So sometimes I’ll JV with local investors in the area.
Right? So I’ll, I’ll show them the deal, I’ll talk to them, they’ll put in some money, I’ll put in some money, we’ll work together on it. Sometimes I work with some local builders, we’ll partner on the land and the construction and do some fun things there, and either I’ll get a fee, or we’ll, we’ll work together on something.
Um, and then sometimes I, I leverage some, uh, marketing platforms, like the multiple listing service, um, or partner with some agents in the area, right? Um, but essentially, Dan, look, what I want you to understand here is that, um, At the end of the contract, like, nothing really changes for you. This is just stuff on our end, okay?
Um, and so, it, it, at the end of the process, title company is just gonna ask you to wire a check, right? For your 65, 000. So nothing’s gonna change, right? And this is really important. You wanna close that loop with your seller and let them know, like, nothing changes. Now, the only key difference here, Dan, is two things.
Number one, um, I’m, I’m actually going to need a little bit longer on the property. So instead of closing in three, four weeks like we normally do, I’ll need about 90 days to do some extra due diligence, right? It’s, it’s a higher price point and so we just need to do, it’s higher risk for us. So we need to do a little bit more due diligence and we need some time to talk to a couple of our different partners, right?
Both our retail and our, um, um, investor partners, essentially. And so, um, as long as, um, everything, Pans out there. Uh, we’re, you know, we’re, I lost my train of thought. Hang on. So, one of two things. Number one is we need a little bit of extra time. 90 days, shop it around to our partners. Number two is we’re just going to need an extra document signed.
It’s called an attorney in fact document. It’s something my lawyer makes me get drafted up every time we do this. Basically, legally, that just allows me to show other people the property before I own it. If I don’t do that, it’s in a gray area and I get a slap on the wrist. Um, so I just need your permission that I’m allowed to show other people the property essentially.
Does that make sense? Yeah. Okay, what questions do you have about that? No questions. Okay, great. So I’m going to send you this. You’re going to get three different pages. The first page is X, Y, and Z. Second page is our purchase and sale agreement. Third page is this attorney in fact document. Very simple.
Contracts are so simple, anyone can read it. If you can get that back to me, we’re going to be good to go in 90 days. I’m sorry, I realized I went too long there. Um, this is what I do with my team all day though. So, you know, we’re walking through the sales training. Um, but that, that’s the talk track we go down with our sellers when we go the double closing route.
And it opens the floor so they’re not surprised with the attorney and fact document. It opens the floor so they know why it’s going to take 90 days. And that way, like, in sales, you always want to remove objections on the front end, right? So any ambiguity… Uh, needs to be able to go away before they can raise the question, essentially.
Uh, my, my sales trainer, Jenny Hudspeth, she’s a rock star. She always says, um, uncertainty breeds fear and fear breeds inaction. So it’s extremely important for us as investors in the sales process to communicate certainty. Which is why earlier, Dan, I said, Hey, but, but all that matters 90 days, Title Company is going to ask you to wire a check for your 65, 000.
This doesn’t change anything for you. Right? Cause they don’t need to know what I’m doing with the property. They just need to know I’m getting my butt to work. Right? Hey, I do a couple different things. And the only reason I’m telling you this is cause I need you to sign this other document so I can legally float it around.
Right? But notice I said multiple listing service. Partner with Realtors. That way it removes the objection of like when they see it on Realtor. com and they’re like, You’re trying to sell my property for how much, you know? And it’s like, well, hey, we talked about this. It’s in the contract. I mentioned it to ya.
Um, you know, apologies if I didn’t communicate this explicitly enough, but I said we were going to shop your property around. It’s exactly what we’re doing, you know, and so it, it, and anytime I’ve had somebody find the listing and come back to me and I say that it hasn’t been an issue. I haven’t gotten a cancellation.
Nobody cares. You know, they get their property or their money and we’re all good to go.
Daniel Apke: They just want their 65, 000. Exactly. So what percentage of your closings of your business is double closing?
Yeah, it’s um, it’s like 40 60 Um just and honestly if flip flops between which is which just depending on the month Um, you know, I keep going back and forth because this is something we implemented at the beginning of the year.
And it’s, it’s brought in six figures of revenue for us, so like, you know, I’m not going to complain about it. But we were doing so much of the marketing on the Dispo side in house, and we didn’t have any Dispo process, Dan. And so, it was kind of a nightmare for a little bit. Um, It’s gotten cleaner since then, but I’m really leaning more towards, let’s get as many of these to realtors as possible, and communicate with them very clearly.
Don’t surprise your realtors. Tell them exactly what you’re doing, so they can be an ally on your team. Like, you want them to recognize the urgency of getting the property moved and not maximizing the dollars or just letting it sit on the MLS. Right? So, like, you want them to be a teammate if you’re gonna work with a Realtor.
You just gotta make sure they’re really good. And I did a Facebook Live on this not too long ago, right? Um, I, I’m a nerd and, and like, like alliteration and rhymes and stuff. And so I did the whole topic on, like, a feel good Realtor versus, like, a real good Realtor. You know?
What about, what’s the contract look, cause a Realtor contract, you know, if you’re working for a normal broker in an agency and you’re a Realtor.
You’re typically getting 6 months minimum, 8 months, 12 months, and land a lot of times is pretty common. What’s that conversation look like and have you had any just like where that’s against their, their broker laws, I’ll say?
Ajay: Yep, I mean the short answer is yes. Um, so like, you’re, you know, on my team, um, we look at talking to realtors in new markets as another marketing and sales funnel.
Absolutely. And so like if we’re in a new county, we have a lower, um, baseline that you have to chat with at least ten realtors. Which is super annoying for the team. No joke. So, so on average we get two to three and then of those we’re gonna have one to two decent realtors That’ll get us an OPV. That’ll walk the property that sort of thing.
So we that’s why we have that minimum is because and Yeah, so, um, all that to say, the conversation with the realtor is essentially like, Hey, Mr. Realtor, um, just so you’re aware, like, we’re, we’re doing, uh, a double closing here. So I’ve got the property under contract, and we’re trying to find an end buyer before, like, the end of this contract, essentially.
And, you know, just to be clear, like, we have explicit permission from the seller to market the property both on the NLS and with the broker. Both of which it says so in the attorney in fact document. So you want your language in your document to be very explicit, right? Not the just generic marketing and sales clause.
You can get away with that stuff if you’re just like listing on BrokerList. com. Um, and that, that’s fine. And when I say get away, I don’t mean like, I don’t mean that in like a gray sense, but more so just like it’s not as explicit, like Realtors are gonna wanna see like something a lot, Realtors and brokers more particularly, right?
Like your Keller Williams, your Caldwell Bankers, your Mossy Oaks, your Whitetail. Those guys are all gonna wanna see Much more explicit language so they know they’re not going to get a slap on the wrist or banned from the MLS or a fine or whatever. I don’t know what their penalties are, but so we’re always really explicit.
We share the document with them. We ask them to run it by their broker and you know, we still offer them a 6% commission and it hasn’t been an issue.
Daniel Apke: And it’s all about transparency and that’s what I want everyone to realize during this. Like you got to be transparent on all sides to make this happen and to make this sustainable.
And it’s just better business practice in general. What’s your future looking like in terms of your land investing? You said you’re doing five deals now, a team of four. You have the operator integrator, all that stuff, or a visionary and operator, but what, what’s your future look like?
Ajay: Yeah, that’s a good question.
So like man for us, um, I’ve got numbers in mind, you know And like I’m really trying to get us to be like a three million dollar a year gross profit business is the short answer That means different things to different people. The way I see that going is we do a little bit more on the flip side. So Ideally, we’re doing a handful of flips a month in a couple double closings.
So just gonna like uptick Um, what we’re doing right now, we’re assessing between Facebook leads and direct mail to be our next marketing channel to supplement what we’re doing. We just want higher quality, is the short answer. So, the thing about texting is like, if I want to double my marketing, I have to double my team effectively, and I don’t necessarily want, you know, ten team members.
Um, and so, we’re looking at a higher quality lead generation source. We’re messing around with both Facebook leads and, uh, direct mail. Ask me again in three months how that’s going. Um, once we get there, the goal is very intentional, like big Texas subdivides, one a quarter is the short answer. So, we’ve underwritten a handful of deals from our pipeline this year.
Um, you know, we’ve done a couple minor lot splits. We’re trying to do some more on the bigger side that, you know, is multi six figures, potentially low seven, and if we can get one of those a quarter, we’re on track to where we’re headed.
Daniel Apke: Absolutely. Very, very cool. Yeah. I think we’re on the same path to like the, the subdivisions, big properties, you know, getting a lot of seven figure deals, not a lot, a few seven figure deals, a bunch of the small ones that we’re used to.
I mean, now it’s, it’s cool seeing everyone in the industry keep upping and upping. We just had someone get a 700, 000 deal that’s listed for 1. 4, um, multiple, it’s also 500, 000 that I’ve seen and funded. There’s just a lot of big numbers out there. And it’s cool because. A lot of these are big projects, subdivisions, you know, and it’s not that complicated when you talk about minor subdivision, once you get in major subdivisions, it’s another animal, but there’s so many value add opportunities like you’re talking about.
Ajay: Yeah. And honestly, like, I think there’s going to be an opportunity over the next 18 months. Uh, if, if you’re really good at your dispo, particularly. And so, like, we’re, man, if you have some, some tips on auctions, I would love to hear them. But, um, if you can get really good dispo process down, on the acquisition side, I think there’s gonna be an opportunity for, like, buying with owner financing.
Here soon, at, like, in, in mass. To a point where, like, you can buy deals at very low capital in, um, and then cut them up. And, uh, sell them with either auctions or whatever your means are to get that disposed pretty quickly. So that’s something we’re working on kind of behind the scenes right now and thinking through, but you know, it, it takes a village, right?
So like a lot of moving.
Daniel Apke: There’s so many different ways you can go down this business and so many different niches and subcategories too. And that’s a lot of the times I tell newer people at this, just get good at buying, evaluating and selling land. Just keep it as is. Don’t go down a rabbit hole of all the other things that you can do.
Yes, you can go down those. Keep your eye on it for the future. Do that five to 10 times, then start looking at it. Cause I think one of the hardest things to do in business in general is stay on that straight line path until you get good and then start expanding out. What, what’s your, like, what’s your opinion on the hardest things to overcome in this business model while starting out?
Ajay: Shiny object, man. You know, it’s like you hear all these different strategies and, and you’re like, man, should I go target trophy properties? Do subdivides, get infill odds, do rural, what state should I hit? Disclosure, nondisclosure. Um, what’s the difference between all these different places? Do I go in my backyard?
I feel like nobody ever invests. It’s their backyard. I know people in Texas invest in Florida and people in Florida that invest in Texas and it’s always so funny how they kind of flip, you know, but anyways, um, I bring that up to say just like don’t overthink it. Um, pick, pick one, pick, pick a county, pick a couple.
Um, do, do exactly what Dan just said, right? Do your marketing, uh, evaluate land, follow up with sellers until they die or you die. And make offers. And if you do that enough times, you will get deals. It’s as simple as that. And so make your money before you start trying to do a couple different things. And it’ll serve you a lot better.
In my opinion. Just like get the fundamentals down.
Daniel Apke: Absolutely. Could not agree more. I think we’re wrapping things up here, Ajay. Appreciate all the advice you’ve had. And it’s really cool hearing different parts of the business that I’m more unfamiliar with. Like texting and double closing. I really like those doors being open.
Where’s the best place?
Ajay: Where can people find you? Yeah, absolutely. So, um, people can reach out to me on Instagram, pretty active at, uh, investing with Ajay. Perfect. Well, thanks for joining us, Ajay. Yep. Absolutely. It was a pleasure, Dan. Grateful to be here.
Daniel Apke: 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.
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