“How did you make your first million flipping land,
and how can I do the same?”
Ron Apke, real estate investor and host of “The Real Estate Investing Podcast” shares the answer to this question in today’s podcast episode, sharing the journey he and his brother Daniel Apke took to achieve their first million dollars from land flipping.
There are various strategies and methods that they’ve learned over a span of 5-6 years, and have since implemented into their business model. These practices ensure they will continue to make millions from land flipping.
Below are the strategies that Ron Apke & Dan Apke utilize and teach in their own land investing course:
From the beginning of their land investing journey, Ron and Dan had an unwavering commitment to land investing.
They quickly recognized its enormous potential, low pool of competition, and the unique niche opportunities available through the land flipping industry and knew that the grind would be worth it.
Ron states, “I remember flying over in an airplane and seeing all the land below; it’s opportunity that I saw and I remember thinking “what’s going on with all that land?”.
It took Dan & Ron months of commitment to get a return on investment, but after getting 12 deals from a single set of mailers, they saw just how lucrative the business was.
Even billionaires and experts make mistakes, but it’s those who don’t give up, learn from their mistakes and continue to push forward that find great success.
The same goes for Ron and Dan when they were first starting out in land flipping. There was a learning curve that both had to push through in order to get to where they are today.
Pricing mail incorrectly, not sending enough mail, losing deals due to poor due diligence, hiring the wrong Realtors, missing legal details, etc.
Trial and error is needed in order to learn what works & what fails.
After getting a few deals under their belt, Dan & Ron modified their processes and created a flow that worked best for their business, eventually hiring a Transaction Coordinator to help delegate some of their duties.
It is important to note that they DON’T recommend hiring until you have mastered the entire land flipping process.
Ron reveals the crucial role that Direct Mail had in securing land deals and much how it affected their earnings once they modified their systems.
At the start of their career, Dan & Ron sent out 1,000 mailers, only to get a few deals with minimal profits in return.
As they continued to refine their systems & hire outside help, they were able to focus more on the volume of mail being sent out; going from sending 1,000 mailers a month, to sending 25,000 a month. With Ron focusing on choosing a county, pulling data and managing the backend, Dan taking calls from potential sellers, they found a groove that worked.
It was at around month 4 or 5 when both Dan & Ron realized land flipping was going to become their full-time venture.
Hiring a transaction coordinator allowed them to focus all of their time and energy into getting more deals in the pipeline. At this point, growth was the only thing on their mind.
While they were becoming experts in the land investing field, they continued to educate themselves. Not being afraid to take on bigger deals, going after subdividing or project based deals, they continued to grow.
With new systems in place and the 25,000 mailers they had sent out gaining traction, they were amping up for a massive return on investment.
In the early stages, they had about 3-4 deals going on at once, now at month 6 they had 10-15 in their pipeline.
With more deals in the works, they were expected to hit one million at the end of their 13th month.
In order to find success in the land flipping business, you must be fully dedicated to learning the entire process. You must be ready to handle mistakes and learn from failures. If you follow the strategies above and commit to the business, you will find great success and will be well on your way to making a million dollars.
Ron: Welcome to the real estate investing podcast, where we help you unlock your potential freedom through land investing, real estate investing, and entrepreneurship. Hey everybody, welcome back to the real estate investing podcast. I’m your host, Ron Apke. Today in this episode, we’re going to be talking about how to go from 0, basically nothing to going to a million dollars in land flipping, in land investing.
How can you take those steps to go from zero to a million and something, and, uh, I’m gonna go all through this. I’m gonna talk about success stories. I’m gonna talk about how we did it. And, uh, we’re gonna first get started here, guys, on my story in land, how I got started, how I went from zero to a million dollars.
And really when I got started, it was about five or six years ago when Daniel, my brother and myself got started in land investing and we never really, we saw such a big opportunity in land investing that it was never like something else. Would come up and be a better opportunity. Like we were a hundred percent sold on land investing.
We saw the potential, we understood the methods, we knew about the low competition compared to wholesaling compared to house flipping. And I, I just liked the idea of land, like flying over in an airplane, like when you’re flying an airplane, you see all the land below, like it’s just opportunity. That I saw and I remember like those flights looking down, like what’s going on with that land?
What’s going on with that land? And that was one of the really cool things when we got started was just learning about something completely new, learning by trial and error, learning by making a ton of mistakes. But like we, it, it took a while, like when we, we were teaching ourselves, we were trying to find different strategies that really worked and that that’s when like, it took a lot of mail.
So we, we teach how to get land deals, how to flip land through direct mail. We probably sent 10, 12, 000 mailers. Maybe you got a deal. Maybe you got two dealers. Did not have much, maybe had five, 10, 000 profit. Not much, but Daniel and I just. Kept on sitting down, we had meetings on a weekly basis, like what do we need to do?
Our number one thing was the more mailers we will send, the more profitable we will be. And I’m not urging you guys to go out of the gates and send 10, 15, 000 mailers a month. But Daniel and I had our systems down or we were learning our systems. We were both full time, like after a few months. So Daniel was exiting a business to go into land full time.
And I was a college basketball coach. And I was looking to exit that. And go full time into land as well. So we had two full time people, which is a lot different than a lot of people starting. And we knew the way to scale this thing up was to send more mail, was to do more deals. And the excitement behind those first few deals, every single phone call that came in, like we were attacking the phones.
We were going, we were being very. I don’t want to say sales like, but we were very responsive to every single seller. We’re making sure they were getting the best service. Now we were flipping these things very, very quickly. And that was how we attacked this business. I mean, really we still do today. It’s just by delegation through people in our company, but we were attacking every deal like we needed it, like absolutely needed.
And that’s what kind of grew us. So. Dan and I, the first three, four months, it was a learning lesson. Like we were learning a ton, like I said, by making mistakes, by just, by just trying on air. And as we, around month three and four, that’s when we were like really hit a groove. Then we got a couple of big deals by, I remember we had a month where we made, we didn’t make all the money then, but we had like 400, 000 equity that we bought.
We had a really hot County, a County that not a lot of people would think is an overly hot County, but we got 12 deals in a single County and this catapulted us like it really, really did. And you guys will run into County, County like this eventually, but this was 3, 400, 000, 500, 000 of profit. From a single County, we saw all the equity we had built up and that’s when we really like, we already had our foot down on the gas, but that’s more like, okay, let’s double down on this.
We hired a transaction coordinator because that was a role that was taking up a lot of time for us. So we hired someone to allow us to scale the business up and that was with Daniel doing sales. That was with me sending mail out the door. And that’s how we took it from doing two and three deals a month, month three, four or five to doing 10 to 15 deals a month for the next year.
And that is when we made our first million dollars in this business 13, 14 months, somewhere around there to hit our first million in this business. Nothing was made though. The first three months, like we didn’t have any realized profit in the business, but after that, like we were just, we learned things and we were just increasing volume.
So you kind of in business. You’re going to hit these, um, plateaus and these plateaus can sometimes, sometimes volume can get you past these plateaus. Sometimes it’s a system change for us. Like we had plateaus early on that were just like fixing the systems, trial and error or all this. And then like at month three, four or five, we figured things out.
A lot of things out. We didn’t figure everything out, obviously, but we figured a lot of things out and our plateau was our volume. That’s why we outsourced the transaction coordinator. That’s why we increased our mail volume and we, we improved our systems, how we’re working. We, cause we knew Daniel being on the phone for sales.
Me choosing counties, sending mail, doing data, fixing our systems. That was the most efficient way for us to grow our business. And that’s when we really doubled down on that. We were probably sending 20 to 25, 000 mailers a month by month four, five, six. And those mail, if you guys have done, done this business, that marketing builds up on itself.
Like maybe that, that first month you send those 20, 000, you get four deals. Then they’re going to stack on top. Like it is compounding those 20, 000 mailers. Like you’ll get a call three, four months down the line and get a deal. And it just keeps stacking on top of each other. Then you build your funding partners, everything like that.
And that that’s how we got our first million in the first 12 months, 13 months, whatever it was. And, um, but going on that guys, I want to get through like different strategies to do this. So you have a few strategies, like you can do a lot of low margin deals. You can do a medium sized amount, 20, 000 deals.
So if you do 20, 000 profit deals, that takes you 50 deals in a year to get you a million dollars. If you’re doing low margin deals, 5, 000, 5, 000 profit deals, that’s going to take you 200 deals. That’s a lot of transactions. I’m not saying it’s not possible. I’m saying, think about the operations and doing a deal.
Uh, what is that? Four deals a week, essentially. That’s four deals a week opposed to 50 deals at 20, 000, or that’s only a deal week, then you can go even bigger guys. So where you’re doing 10 to 15 deals a year, and there are, as you guys, some of you guys have hit these deals. As you know, there are so many 80, 000, 100, 000, 150, 000, 200, 000 profit deals out there.
That doesn’t take a large volume of deals. Might take a lot of marketing, might take a lot of conversations with sellers, but it’s only five deals. It’s only seven deals to hit a million dollars in a year. And we have people in the community, we have people who are doing that, and they’re just focused on these big, big deals, which…
It sounds big right now. Like it does make 150, 000 a deal. It probably does for a lot of you, but they’re bigger deals. And that’s what we’re going to talk about next. The next option is doing one to two deals a year, which are project based. This could be bigger subdivides, this could be normal subdivides, this could be different types of improvements, this could be entitlement stuff, and that is how you can do two deals a year and make a million dollars, like it is very, very realistic.
Once you wrap your head around that, that the, the, the barriers to doing that, one is knowledge, one is education slash knowledge, and the other is money partners. So when you’re doing these deals where you need to. Buy for a million and a half, you know, once you subdivide it, you can sell it for 4 million, but you need a million and a half dollars cash.
Bank’s probably not going to do that. So you need partners that can do this, whether it’s one partner, whether it’s a group of partners that can fund this, then the other aspect is you need the knowledge. So if you’re coming to people asking for a million dollars, ask for a million and a half. If you’re in our community, especially our members community.
There is money out there for a million dollar deals for 2 million deals. You can, we’re, we’re funding a 500, 000 deal. We’re funding multiple 300, 000 deals right now. There is money out there for these bigger deals. We are looking at analyzing a 1. 3 million deal. There is money out there for these bigger deals.
And that’s one I want you to wrap your head around. But the key is one understanding the knowledge when you come to a money partner, asking for a million dollars, asking for 1. 5 million. You better have your due diligence lined up better than ever. Like you need to impress that money partner. It is not all about the numbers.
If you come to me asking me for a million and a half dollars and nothing is lined up, like you don’t know. The zoning. You don’t know what the subdivision requirements are. You’re not going to get my money. Like I want someone to have everything lined up. They’ve talked to all the people. They understand that you are asking for a million, million and a half dollars.
If you do not have that stuff lined up, there is no chance. You’re going to be able to get that money. Like it’s just not going to happen in this business. There is too much risk. Yes. The numbers could look great on a subdivision, but the problem is if you don’t know how to make the subdivision happen, I’m going to have to do all the work or I’m going to have to walk you through it, which I’m fine helping.
But at the same time, like you need to be able to, when you’re asking for money for these million dollar plus deals, even half a million dollars, whatever it is, respect your partner’s money. If you don’t have respect for the money that you’re asking for, the deals aren’t going to happen and you have to have pride in that money.
Treat that money like it’s your own. And when you get that deal, when you get that property purchase, you need to be posting that up. You need to be moving forward on that deal every single day to perform for your funding partner. And that’s where I see so many people mess up. That’s why people cannot do this strategy, one to two deals a year, project deals, make half a million dollars each, make a million dollars a year, because they do not know how to manage their funders, their investors.
They do not know how to take care of them, more so manage. So that is one very, very key thing when you guys are starting to take on these bigger deals. I think this is the easiest way to go from zero dollars to a million dollars, but there’s a gap of money and there’s a gap of knowledge. Once you can fill those gaps, like the sky’s the limit.
There’s five million dollar profit deals. All this is there. Just you need to have the knowledge, which is just a small knowledge gap, and you need to have the, uh, investors. To be on your side to back you and the investors that you can make believe in yourself and in your deal. So finally, guys, we talked about our story, how we did it.
We talked about some different strategies and to go over the strategies, a lot of low margin deals. I don’t like this strategy. Next strategy, 50, 20, 000 profit deals. Obviously it’s not going to all be 20, 000. They’re going to fluctuate, but 50 deals of those on average, if you’re 20, 000 on average, that’s going to get you a million.
Then you have 10 to 15 big deals. That’s going to be 80 to 150, 000 profit each. Then you have one to two project deals. These project deals are, it might be six, nine months long, but you can make 500, 000. You can make a million dollars on these very, very realistically. Finally, let’s get into some success stories.
So we started land investing online about 18 months ago. We’re getting, I want to say 18 months ago, March of 2022, we started in, that’s when we started. Uh, producing a course. And really it was just about demand. When we started the course, I goes, people asking us, cause we were doing this land investing thing.
People were curious. We were helping some friends and family. And people are asking, so like Daniel and I just talked and like, okay, let’s try this out. Let’s record some stuff. And it took off very, very organically because I guess the success when you have success in something, when you have students who are succeeding in something, naturally the testimonials, all the, all the people who are becoming successful, like it’s going to spread really quickly because people are going to ask them and it’s going to spread and spread.
But that being said, like we’re 18 months in now and we’re starting to see these success, success stories of people getting their first million dollars. And it is very, very cool. We’ve had people who are doing all the strategy I’ve talked about people who are doing their 50th deal. They started with us 15, 16 months ago.
And the future of the amount of people making money. Our community is one of the coolest things is one of the things I’m the most proud of because there are people right now who are building. Multiple million dollar businesses. I have no doubt about it. Maybe some of them just started four or five months ago in land investing, but you can see their trajectory.
They’ve already made 250, 000 in their first four or five months. And they’re on track their first 12 months to do five, six, 800, 000. But that that’s basically like, that’s the possibilities in this business. But other than that, guys, thank you so much for joining. If you guys have any other suggestions for future episodes, anything like that, please put it in the YouTube comments.
We’ll do our best to record that. Other than that, thank you so much. See you next time. 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.