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Land Investing Online

Our New Tech Company Will Change How You Invest in Land |
The Land Portal

In this episode, the Apke Brothers dive into the story behind their new software The Land Portal, and how it’s going to reshape the land investing industry.

You might be wondering, why did the Apke Brothers build The Land Portal software? Well, let’s start from the beginning.

Last week, they launched The Land Portal for their members at Land Investing Online. Already, they’ve seen over 200 members sign up and the numbers continue to grow rapidly.

But why did we embark on this journey to create a software platform?

Our WHY

The answer is really quite simple: the Apke Brothers saw a gap in the market. After years of experience closing land deals, they noticed inefficiencies in the process.

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Buying and selling land often involves navigating through large amounts of data sources, struggling with inaccurate information, and wasting precious time and resources. They knew there had to be a better way, and that’s where The Land Portal comes in!

Our GOAL

The Apke Brothers’ main objective is to streamline the land investing process, making it more efficient and effective for investors like you.

From finding your first deal to completing due diligence, the goal is to make every step of the journey smoother and more accessible. Beyond just making money, the primary focus is empowering the LIO community with the true freedom that can be obtained from successful land investing.

The Apke Brothers want to personally thank everyone for joining them on this new adventure.

Your support and feedback drive them to continue innovating and improving The Land Portal.
Together with your help, they are reshaping the future of land investing and helping others unlock their financial freedom. 

What's next?

The Land Portal is officially available for anyone who wants to try it out!
For a limited time, the Apke Brothers are offering a 14 day FREE trial, where you will gain access the full program and start to strengthen your deal flow today!

Interested in land flipping, but don't know where to start?

Join our Discord channel, where over 2,000 land investors connect and work
together to find financial freedom through land!
JOIN HERE.

Listen or watch the full episode below ⬇️

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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 why we built the land portal software for the land industry.

I’m your host, Daniel Apke joined again by my brother and business partner, Ron Apke. I wanted to touch on this one because we launched the land portal last week to our members at land investing online and just the land community. We already have 200 members plus and counting quickly and it’s quickly growing and I want to talk about the software and why we built it and our approach to building it and what you guys can get from it.

Um, and just kind of the story and the journey beyond that.

Ron: Yeah, I mean, I think a lot, we’ve had so many questions about it, Dan. So why not? Let’s discuss it. Why did we do this? How is it going to change the industry? I think is what the viewers can get a ton of like, okay, you bought the software to just make money.

Like, yeah, absolutely. We’re going to make money on the software. That’s not the purpose of it. Um, the main purpose guys, to be honest, is we’ve done so many land deals and see the gap in this, like making, making softwares, I think it’s just filling a gap, filling a niche, filling a need.

Dan: Exactly. And when, when we’re thinking of the land portal and what it’s actually doing, it’s You guys all come in and you want a land deal.

How do you get to a land deal? And what’s the process behind that? The goal of the land portal is to make that process more efficient. Make the time spent more efficient. Make your money go further. It’s to get from You know, plant or from step a, you’re, you’re, you’re looking for your first deal to step B as efficiently as possible.

And that’s our goal working backwards. It’s still all about the freedom you get from land land investing and the freedom that comes with it. It’s just in a more efficient manner. It helps you get there. There’s tools and different things we’re going to talk about in this that are going to help you get the best results as well.

And this isn’t really. To sell you guys on the land portal. That’s not the process of this episode. The pro the, or the purpose of this episode, the purpose of this episode is to just talk about our experience building it. This is a tech company. It’s been really cool. Um, and we’ve learned a ton about the land industry also because we’ve dove so deep in all the data providers.

So now we know more about data than really anyone else. I think, I mean, there’s no one else who has done this. That built a software at this capacity, this scale, just the, the functionality of it, there’s no one who has done that in the land industry. Um, so this isn’t a selling port, but like, I really, I hope you guys try it out and use it and enjoy it.

We’re going to proving it as we go. But I want to just talk about the process for this because we’ve learned so much and I’d hate to not bring that experience to you guys.

Ron: Yeah, for sure. And the kind of working with a tech company kind of reminds me of like working with contractors, like deadlines. No, I don’t want to say they don’t mean anything, but it’s like when you’re flipping a house, like, You have a deadline to replace X within X days, and then something comes up.

Like that’s what it’s been like. And it’s been over and over with this process. And I know you’ve dealt with a lot of it and talk about it, Dan, you’re completely outsourcing this to overseas developers, essentially big language gap. There. How’s that process been?

Dan: It’s similar to the contracting industry, except they, uh, either, you know, developers and highly skilled technical people, so our contractor, it’s just different American contractors just won’t show up.

Yeah. The biggest thing is the language barrier for this, but it’s just like we, we had a video last week in a podcast last week on how outsourcing to Filipinos and outsourcing in general, you’ll have the same challenges doing that as you do with this. And the thing with tech is you think you’re getting somewhere.

And then something happens and something breaks and you’ve got to analyze everything else because it’s like a trickle down effect. It’s like dominoes sometimes. Like one thing breaks or you implement something new and it breaks something else and it’s kind of like a push pull. So you need to constantly be like, the biggest thing is just the QA and analyzing what’s working and when you implement those changes, what broke and you’ve got to constantly be doing it.

But in general, it’s, it’s a similar to any business really with just making improvements, contracting all that different stuff, house flipping. It’s the same. Type of things you’re dealing with just at a different capacity and scale I think .

Ron: The coolest thing I see from them is like their pride they have in the project.

Like you never know where we would be right now today. If we hired someone else from the start, like we could be nowhere near where we are, like hiring an important team, obviously important. Um, but let’s just get into Dan real fast and I can talk about it. Like the land portal for you, you guys who don’t know, like there’s a lot of listeners, new listeners every week.

It’s a software that is going to be a data providing software. So if you want a list of all the landowners in Hamilton County, Ohio, It will shoot that out to you. Uh, it’s going to also give you the ability to skip trace for phone numbers. So you have a mailing address, you have a name, it’s going to give you a phone, it can give you a phone number for them.

And what we are implementing right now is the mapping software. And that’s what we’re trying to do with the software is continually build upon it. Um, you want to talk about some of the hurdles and data, Dan? Cause we purchased 150 million parcels of data.

Dan: Yeah, we did. The biggest, we went down a road. For five, six months on another with another data provider.

And we analyze, and we didn’t analyze it upfront. We’ve used them in the past, so we felt comfortable, but after diving in full force. We realized this isn’t what we need exactly. So we are five months in hundreds of thousand dollars, really just worth of work. And we started analyzing other data providers.

And essentially we have two data providers now and we combine both their data to get what we have at the land portal. Uh, it was, you know, 165, 000 to get this data. And we had our previous data already built out. So it was an expensive change, but it was worth it because data comes first. You get deals with proper data.

Data is the most important thing to our business. And going forward, like we want to have the best data in the world. We have it now. I feel confident on that. We have very, very strong data points and we can talk about specific data points within our data that actually stand out versus, you know, competition, what we saw and what we didn’t.

But in general, like the, the process data is the most important thing. So if it’s not right, that’s when we. Do things like just pull back a complete project that we’re ready to launch and restart it because we’re selling data essentially.

Ron: And a lot of those decisions from us, like, well, it might like hurt financially hurt, like, but it’s never like, it’s a conversation obviously.

But like when we realized like, Oh crap, we’re, we’re going down the wrong road. Like it was a fast change. The developers got right on it in terms of making a substantial change. To now they have a completely different data set they need to work with, but that has always been our goal of this software is providing the best.

The number one thing we want to do is provide the best data, the best land data for them. But let’s just get like, what does it look like? Are there other land sites, Dan, that do what we are doing with this? Or like, is there competition for this? Or is it kind of like you just have to use like a house type of site?

What does that look like?

Dan: Yeah, there’s nothing built out for the land flipping industry specifically. I mean, there’s data tree, there’s prop stream, there’s land, uh, what’s the one land vision, which is commercial real estate was what they’re focused on in planning and zoning, things like that. Uh, for the land specific industry, there’s nothing, there wasn’t a great tool and solution.

And that’s where we, I mean, there’s priced obviously, and there’s things, and we can talk about individual points, but there’s nothing built out for this specific, uh, what we did. Yeah. I mean, you’re talking about priced. I’m not, I don’t want to talk bad about anyone, but it’s, it’s a direct API with data tree, which gives them very, very limited flexibility.

We purchased in bulk, all the data store it in a warehouse. And one of the most common questions we get. How often do we update it? And I want to address that while we’re talking about this too. It’s updated every day for 15 minutes based on mortgage changes. And then once a month based on the County bulk changes.

So every 30 days, there’s a, on the 15th of every month, there’s a big few hour shutdown, upload all that stuff, spit it over. And then once a day for 15 minutes in the middle of the night, it’s updated based on any mortgage changes that the data provider gives us. And it cross checks them. And then it replaces those specific points as well.

So it’s very, very good data. We analyzed a lot of data sources. We’re still analyzing data sources in the future to see if there’s anything better. Like, like you said, that’s our number one focus. So that’s, that’s just how, how we’re going about it. We’re data first. If something’s wrong with our data and it’s, nothing’s gonna be perfect.

Ron: No. That’s what people like, they send, it’s 158 million. They send us a bad line or something of data. Like, I’m sorry you found a bad line of data, but it’s not going to like it. There’s always gonna be situations counter. Most of the time the issue is. How the county brings us the data, all the data that we get and shoot at, not all of it, but it comes from different places, but a lot of it is from the county.

It’s from different places where it’s being reported incorrectly, first names backwards, and it’s these rural, rural, rural counties where there’s a couple of lines that are just often, it’s going to be, you’re never going to be perfect with this much data.

Dan: Yeah. One of the coolest things we have is our vacant, we have a button that’s a vacant, like vacant land filter.

So you click the vacant land filter and then it populates all the vacant land for your criteria when you’re filtering out. One of the reasons we did that was one to keep it simple. So you guys don’t need to go through every single filter. That was the most obvious, I think, but two, we are basing that off of satellite imagery, USPS vacancy indicators, a bunch of things to know if there’s a parcel on that or not a house, a house on that parcel or not.

Correct. And the challenge with what we’re historically doing is we’re putting an improvement value. And clicking little filters, you know, vacant land filters and improvement value is based on, it’s just like last sale date. Yeah. And I was explaining this to people in the group. It’s based on what the County’s providing.

So yes, that might work well in urban areas where they’re reporting it properly and all that. And they’re actually taxing you appropriately. You start getting into rural America, improvement value, I think by the major sources is, is 50%. It’s 50 percent by the major sources. And. For us using the vacant land filter, it’s 99.

9 percent accurate. So you go to states like Kentucky and you pull up the land portal and you hit that vacant land. Kentucky is notoriously bad with data. You’ll have 20 percent or more if you use improvement value and vacant land filters and other big providers software. If you use that, pull it up, go through every parcel.

You have a ton with mobile homes on it and little structures.

Ron: I’m going to simplify this real fast. So every, especially new listeners. So most data providers. will use what the county gives them essentially, which is exactly what Dan said. So the county tells them essentially the county tells the data provider This parcel is empty.

We have no improvement value. Um, our software uses satellite. So it looks at the satellite and it sees whether there’s a house on it or there’s not a house on it. And the coolest thing that I’ve seen recently, Dan, like it knows when something’s a barn and when something’s not a barn, like I’ve seen it tons recently, like, and that’s what we want.

But the heart, like if you’re trying to target vacant land owners, You need to be able to find vacant parcels. And that’s what the other data, a lot of data providers have struggled with is in these rural areas where the County’s data just as poor, to be honest with you, it’s such a big issue. And I think that’s the number one for me, that is the number one sales thing for our software.

For me to tell like people, like why? Because it’s going to save you money. I get the end of the day, it’s going to save you money because you’re mailing vacant parcels and where there’s literally counties in Kentucky, I could give you right now where there are 700 vacant parcels and data and other data sources are going to tell you it’s 1700 and you pull that data, you mail that that’s 1, 200 of mail.

And that’s obviously significant.

Dan: Data cost is one thing, but data is cheap. Yeah. Look at your mail cost, get as efficient as you can on your mail cost in terms of that, that date on that point. And then that’s where you should look. It’s a trickle effect. Yeah. You just shouldn’t look at necessarily data price.

Cause if you’re sending out, you know, 80% Successful pieces of mail verse 99 percent of the vacant land and indicator. And that’s what we have over 99 percent success rate. I’ve seen like two parcels that have had structures on them. And I think it’s just because the imagery was old or the parcel of the mobile home on that was new or something was off with it.

But yeah, it’s very, very, very accurate along with that. Like I want to talk about, we, we touched on why we did it. Is that clear? Yeah. Okay. So we understand why we did it next. I really want to talk about Where it will be, because like why we did it is all about where, like trying to just improve the land flipping industry.

And that vacant parcel button that we’re talking about is an example of customizing this for the land space. We’re doing a ton of things to customize this for the land space, including skip tracing where it’s a one click button, skip trace. So you pull up a parcel. You click, maybe it’s landlocked. You click the parcel in front of it.

You click skip trace, you get their phone number that we literally did that. Cause we’re like, how can we get landlocked properties and neighboring properties that are vacant, or you have a road frontage property. You want to go after one behind it because that’s landlocked and you know, you can probably get a discounted and you can attack that too.

So we looked at things from just a different lens than most software, but I want to talk about where it will be.

Ron: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, right now. So we have a process with the way we’re doing things. The number one thing to start this software was getting the data as near to perfect. And like we said, it’s not, it’s not possible to have it perfect.

Um, we believe we’re getting close to that. We’re still working on the data every single week and trying to improve it and making sure there’s no everything like that. And that’s just us kind of our service to anyone who’s using a software. We want to give them as good of data as possible. Um, Going from there, Dan, like I think mapping’s the next thing.

Like I look at what is a land investor do on a weekly, daily, monthly basis. And one it’s pull data, then you have price, which we’re not going to do that at this moment. And then it’s like reviewing due diligence, like how can you be on the land portal more? It’s a portal. That’s why we named it. Like it wasn’t like something we just named, like it is a portal for your land investing business, pool data, due due diligence, all this different stuff, but mapping, I think is the next really big step.

Um, and it’s something we’re moving towards, like contour lines, uh, wetlands, floodplain, all those things.

Dan: And data, keep in mind, like, this project, getting the data where it was, was not easy.

Ron: We did skip tracing first also, yeah.

Dan: And skip tracing is already in there. There’s going to be improvements on skip tracing.

Skip tracing is easy to install though, and there’s easy improvements we can make there, I think. So I’m not as concerned about that, because skip tracing is skip tracing. It’s not as, uh, challenging as what data is. Like, when you talk about data, we have, uh, Hundreds of columns in an excel sheet that we’re looking at each point and how to organize them.

And there’s just so much that goes into data, but going back to the mapping We’re right now. We’re making the map like functionality more efficient. That’s one of our focuses right now It’s it’s a challenging project, but at the same time very achievable and Some of the things we’re going to add next round, I think we’re adding very short, the contour lines, wetlands, uh, slope, uh, obviously slopes, contour line, uh, click easy button for KML extract, just things to where you can start doing your due diligence.

You can not pull up another software. It’s all right there. And we’re going to continue to add

Ron: Less subscriptions for people. Like that’s what we want. Like less subscriptions where people aren’t having to go to three and four websites to do all this different stuff. Cause right now it’s. Pulling data on one website, skip tracing on another site, doing, uh, doing mapping on another site and the stuff adds up and just, it’s just from an organization.

Yeah. Efficiency. Not even the money costs, but more so the efficiency of your business. We want you to be able to work in one spot. Um, but yeah, those, I think those overlays, the next step is like our next next step for the users is how can we get someone to be able to review a land deal? On the software, essentially, how can we do that?

And it’s with contour wetlands, water features, floodplain, essentially, in my opinion.

Dan: Yeah. And we’re never going to be the source where you’re mailing from our software, at least for now. We’ve never even talked about that. Like data, like data, getting the rec, getting everything ready to reach out and market to these people.

And then what happens when you get it back essentially in the due diligence and everything on that side. And you can get a ton of it down and there’s going to be other things we add as well going forward, but that’s pretty much the gist of it.

Ron: Yeah, no, I agree. What do you think? What have you learned, Dan?

Because you’ve been kind of the, uh, front person with the people overseas. And I guess we can just talk about it. Like these are people in Ukraine, like they’re in a war zone, right?

Dan: Yeah. They’re in the cities. They’re not like hearing bombs. Yeah, exactly.

Ron: But like, it’s, it’s crazy what they’re like, the stories they talk about in terms of that stuff and like hearing it, like they have their special holidays for this type of stuff.

Um, but it’s been kind of wild just like hearing those stories from them.

Dan: It is cool to hear about. And I pick their brains sometimes on it, but.

Ron: Makes you appreciate stuff too.

Dan: Yeah. Like they, you know, they had, they know people in the war and things like that, of course. Um, They’re all ready for it. They all sound like they’re ready for it to be over from what I like, just the people, it’s a small sample size, but the people on our team are all like, we just can’t wait to get out of this war.

They’re all just ready. She pulled out a bottle of wine or champagne and said, this is for when the war’s over and she’s like, we can’t wait for it. She had a, it was right next to her desk, had a bottle of champagne. She’s like, we all bought this last year when the war started. Um, so yeah, it’s, it’s crazy.

They are affordable though. And just like outsourcing anywhere. Why do you do it? I mean, America’s got probably the best engineering talent I would imagine in the world. There might be a few other places here and there, but the talents in the U S like the startups are in the U S for the most part and most of the talents in the U S.

Ron: But what have you learned from the whole process working with them and building a website in terms of what, just the process, like building and comparing it to building an education company or a land investment company, like this is something completely. Out of left field in terms of it’s a software. It takes patience.

Dan: It takes patience. A lot, a lot of patients. I mean, I, I’m not that patient of a person. I like things done very quick, but you got to go. The development’s done and then you got to do the checking. Like I talked about earlier, like the whole process that you don’t build something great overnight. And I always have to remind myself that because every week we’re making, we make big changes every week.

And I think the biggest thing is just patience overall.

Ron: Talk about the first name thing because we, that’s one week. We didn’t make any progress where. Our data essentially was, we were trying to get first names for everybody. And we thought it was going to be simple. And then we found out it wasn’t going to be as simple.

And it was, and that’s what you do when you’re building a software company, like. We took three, four steps forward. And then we went back to plan a, uh, like it was back to the, yeah, it was like two weeks of, we talked about five months of wasted time with the data that we chosen correctly. This was two weeks, like where it was literally, and I, uh,

Dan: This was crunch time, right?

Before we asked a-

Ron: Hundred percent, we’re ready to bring it to our students. We’re ready to bring it to all this other stuff. And then we just like, And I literally sat down one day for, I don’t know, four hours or so. And we like went through every single data column to kind of get it organized. Um, and then the whole first name thing, but we’re, that’s what we try to do.

And people don’t realize that on the backend with the export that they get is all the different places the data is coming from. Yeah. Um, and that’s where we’re going to keep adding, which I think is really cool because we literally own this data. We’re able to add so much stuff. We’re able to bring in census data.

If we wanted and connected to this, we can bring in mortgage, more mortgage information, all that we can bring in Zillow information or MLS information. And that’s what I really like about where it can go is we own the data and we can combine it with anything else.

Dan: Exactly. And that just goes back to like, Ron and I are building this out for the land industry specific.

Like when we had that first name issue, that was like land specific. All these issues that we’re doing are to fill a gap in the land industry. As best as we can. So I just want to radiate. Yeah, exactly.

Ron: I don’t have anything else though.

Dan: No, I don’t either guys, as always. Thank you for joining. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our YouTube channel.

It really helps drive our mission forward. Thanks for joining. We’ll see you guys next episode. Thanks guys. 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.

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