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July 31, 2022

109. Meet The Land Shark with Brent Bowers

109. Meet The Land Shark with Brent Bowers

Join Mike Cavaggioni with Brent Bowers on the 109th episode of the Average Joe Finances Podcast to discuss land investing and what he does with that. Brent is the CEO of ZechBuysHouses LLC. He shares what drove him toward real estate despite the market beginning to crash during that time.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • To be in the Army while doing real estate
  • Brent’s first bought property
  • The discovery of land investing
  • Specific qualities to look for from partners
  • Benefits of investing in land versus homes
  • And much more!

About Brent Bowers:
As an Army officer with over eight years of service, Brent Bowers was spending a great deal of time away from his family, and he knew he needed to make some changes in order to be more present with his wife and children. His interest in real estate began in 2007 when he purchased his first home, so Brent began exploring real estate investing to support his family while enjoying more time with them.

In a short amount of time, Brent was able to expand his business, hire a team, and (most importantly) spend quality time with his family while still working hard and helping others. While Brent invests in many different types of real estate, his favorite investment strategy deals with buying and selling vacant land. He enjoys sharing his expertise in this area with his coaching clients. Brent chooses to live his life based on Bob Burg’s quote, “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.” He is passionate about helping other people find success in real estate investing, particularly in land investments.

Brent Bowers is currently the CEO of ZechBuysHouses LLC. Vacant Land of the Free, Discounted Houses Colorado Springs, Rent2Own Colorado, and Co-Working & Shared Space are all under the ZechBuysHouses Brand.

Find Brent Bowers on:
Website: https://www.thelandsharks.com
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brent1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brentlbowers1

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Transcript
Average Joe Finances:

Hey, welcome back to the Average Joe Finances Podcast everybody. I'm your host, Mike Cavaggioni and today's guest is Brent Bowers. I'm really excited to bring him on the show today. We're gonna talk a little bit about land investing and what he does with that. And I'm not gonna go too much into his background right now, cause I wanna have him share that with us, but Brent, welcome to the show.

Brent Bowers:

Hey Mike. Nice to meet you. Good to get acquainted to you or with you, I should say before you hit record and I'm excited for your future with what you got going on.

Average Joe Finances:

Awesome, man. I appreciate that. I always enjoy that pre-record conversation that I have with every guest I bring on, man. It's just really fun and really genuine. And it gives me the confidence that I'm really bringing good people onto the show. Good experts to share their stories. So speaking of sharing stories, man, we wanna know about yours. So if you could tell us a little bit about you how'd you get started in land investing?

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, it's a really a long story. I started, I bought my first house in 2007, right after I got my real estate license, turned that into a rental and then really took a little break from about 2009 to 2013 from real estate. 'cause I was getting my butt kicked with a turn of the market and , things went south there in business for a little while and I ended up joining the military because I really needed to make income. And my wife's grandfather was just such an intelligent man. He had actually had introduced me to Jim Roone, not personally, but via cassette tapes. And I was like downloading this into my mind. And another thing he told me is, look, you're struggling in real estate right now. It's 2008. It sucks. The market sucks and people are getting out of it left and right. Have you thought about going into the military and going back to school and trying to start something new? And here I am, I'm getting humbled. Every day. I went from being a real estate agent and I had my own business before that I had a rental property and things got so tight. Me and my wife ended up having to move in with my in-laws. I had to contact my landlord and say, I'm not gonna be able to afford next month, can we break lease? Yeah, you can. No problem. And then he put a judgment on me for the remaining amount, which I actually found out about when I was in Afghanistan. I had to figure it out, my credit was going downhill, but that's another story, another podcast. And so I went to the air force and they said, no we don't wanna take you right now, but luckily I'm coachable. And the air force recruiter was also kind enough to say, Hey, go next door to the army. They'll take anybody, but just don't join the Navy. You'll always be gone. You're married. Like we don't. We want you to see your wife

Average Joe Finances:

Shots fired!

Brent Bowers:

No, so I listened and whether it was the right advice or the wrong advice, it didn't matter. You give me an action. Give me a plan. I take action. So. I'm in the army, October 2009, basic training, AIT, more training after that deployed by November 2010. And just growing with that, finally, I get to go back to school in 2013, where the army pulls me out of Afghanistan, where I'm a second deployment. Sends me to college. So I literally bought the house next door to the college and started house hacking, which I learned from our good friends over at bigger pockets. I didn't listen to bigger pockets back then, but I learned it was called house hacking is all I'm getting at, but that was my start back in the real estate. And I promise I'm gonna answer the question about land, but I kept buying rentals. And I went back and I went from college back into my army career where I'm working like 12, 13 hour days and was still trying to buy houses at that time. Cuz my plan was to eventually get out and it was just really hard to buy houses when you're working like 12, 13 hour days on base. You gotta go and establish rapport and with these sellers. And then I was like, looking for answers, listening. Podcast kinda like the Average Joe Finances Podcast, just searching for answers on how I could build a better business. And I heard about land and I started mailing it that pretty much that day and the rest is history.

Average Joe Finances:

Wow. That's what a background to just get yourself to the point to where you started investing in land. And it's really awesome to see that when you went to school, you were house hacking because a lot of people, they don't realize that they'll go and they'll stay in a dorm. They'll pay rent at a place close to a college campus, but for the folks that wanna go and pay that rent close to that college campus, you were able to take advantage of that, right? As an opportunity for you, you saw an opportunity there, Hey, I'll get my own place and I'll rent out the other rooms or whatever. And that it works out pretty good. Cuz now you're living for free while going to college and the army was paying for your college, right?

Brent Bowers:

Yeah.

Average Joe Finances:

So going to college to college for free you're getting paid.

Brent Bowers:

Yep.

Average Joe Finances:

And you're living for free because somebody else is paying your mortgage.

Brent Bowers:

And I thought I was a baller. I really did. I thought I was a ball.

Average Joe Finances:

You thought you were, you were a baller. That's awesome. Now I do wanna clarify something though, since we were talking about when the air force recruiter told you to go talk to the army instead of the Navy. So I did a recruiting tour when I was enlisted and that was one of the things we used to always talk about all the time with each other. So it was funny that you said that, oh, if you go to the Navy, you're gonna be out there in the middle of the ocean with nothing around you. What the army recruiters like to do is throw a pen in the middle of the room and throw that on the floor and say, that's you in the middle of the ocean with nothing else around you. And I'm like, okay, that's fair. And then I'll say, I'll throw a pen on the floor and say that yeah. What that I was like, that's you in the middle of Afghanistan or Iraq with living in a tent, not being able to shower where me right there in the middle of the ocean, I get to shower every day and three hot meals a day. So, and, and there's a gym

Brent Bowers:

which would've been there.

Average Joe Finances:

Hey, I was a good recruiter, man. I was a good recruiter, but anyway, enough about that, I just thought that was funny. And I wanted to share that so awesome.

Brent Bowers:

I was that guy in the not showering in Afghanistan.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah.

Brent Bowers:

But going around me

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, yeah. That's alright, man. I did some boots on ground too. In Baghdad. It was, it was a good time. It was a good time. Yeah. Yeah, man. Story what I really like about it is you had this drive from the beginning, right? You started looking, you were in real estate back when it was really like at its lowest of the low back in 2008 when everything started crashing. And I guess that's the, the point where that's, when you said your uncle approached you right. And said, why don't you consider the military or something like that? Because the market at the time, it was just unbelievable. It was especially, you said you had your real estate license, right?

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, I did.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah. Really difficult time to be a real estate agent for sure. And you took that and you created another opportunity by joining the military. And doing what you did to go to college and then start this next adventure in real estate investing. Now, when you started house hacking, and then you said you found land, was there anything in between that as you were looking, because I know we, we talked about this a little bit offline, so what was like the, let let's get a little bit more into the specifics of what the steps were from when you were house hacking in college, graduated college commission and then what happened? Where'd you get stationed next and what, yeah. How did that roll down?

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, there was a lot in between that. I was trying to really keep it short, so my second deployment, me and my wife ended up splitting up, cuz I was always gone, always away, always training, always deployed and it's just, that's really hard on a marriage. So they pull me out after the second deployment and I actually learned how to house hack because of a problem I was having, because I had a very short timeline, find a place to live while I was going to school. So I ended up going on Craigslist and finding a room for rent in this beautiful house. I get there and I say the first night, and I'm like, this place smells like cat pee. And I found in the litter box, like right outside of my room and the guy was never home. So it was like the perfect opportunity, but always felt strange living there. And I was taking care of his cat cause he never changed the litter box, he never fed it. And I'm like, you know what? I can buy my own dang house. So I literally went and found a realtor that next morning found the house called a VA lender and closed on the thing like 29 days later and fixed the house up and all the things I hated about the house, I was just renting from I improved on my own house. Like new carpets, no cats, like all these things. So that's really how I learned house hack was from really a problem. And then fast forward a little bit. So the college was a private school and my GI bill would only pay for so much. So I had another problem. I'm now like needing to pay for classes. And I had also purchased a second rental property right after that first one, I was house hacking because I did something called a VA streamline loan. It allowed me to pull out $55,000 within three months of living in that house. So I took that $55,000 cash. In 2013, you could get some smoking hot deals. I took it and offered 55,000 on a hundred thousand dollars house. I purchased a house and then I used some sweat, labor, sweat equity, and fixed it up myself with my neighbor. He had a, he had a contract.

Average Joe Finances:

You, you said you offered 55,000 on a hundred thousand dollars house. Yep. So you paid 55,000 cash. Wow.

Brent Bowers:

But they wrote me a check, the VA streamlined and they lowered my interest rate. So we got the house and me and my neighbor fixed it up and rented it out within a couple months for 1200 a month. So now I'm about to have to pay off this credit card bill that I racked up. At home Depot and all this stuff for the second rental property, not the house hack one, but the second rental property and this one had a pool. So it was really cool. Fixing it up. I would like swim and stuff. And I met my current wife now while I was fixing it up. So I had her out there painting the Eve and all that. She likes to say she painted the whole house, but she did about an hour of painting and we would go and swim after the work was done. But now I've got, I've gotta pay this Amex off. I gotta pay this home Depot card off and I had to pay for eight college classes from a private school. So now I have some debts and I'm like, oh no, I've been in debt before. And I wanna pay this off. I went on something called prop stream and found the notice of default list. Liz pendens basically is what we call it in Florida. AK they're not paying their mortgages they're behind. So I got all the address. And I went and door knocked on every single one of them and the people that didn't answer, I put a stick note, a posting note. I had a lot of time in college, by the way, I literally just went from a deployment where I'm working like 14 hour days, 15 hour days to taking college classes, like maybe five hour days. So I had a lot of time to fill. So I got off that deployment cycle, which a lot of veterans and military people understand that you're just go no rest. So I door knocked all these people and I got this house under contract, and then I put it on Craigslist for a little bit more and I assigned the contract and then did another and then another. And that's why I was like hooked on houses and wholesaling contracts. And then about that time, fast forward, another years, time to move. So we went out to Colorado Springs and I started it up.

Average Joe Finances:

Nice. Okay. Right on. So you went from, while you were in school, you took that extra time that you had, and you're out there just knocking on doors. And you said you used prop stream to find like the people that were behind on payments. That's right. What, a way to do it. And at the time, were you listening to any podcasts or did you read any books, anything that, that gave you like the idea to start doing that?

Brent Bowers:

I was taking courses like crazy. I was, so one thing I left out is pretty brothers would come to town, all these pathway. Like I would go to these courses. I was in education mode, listening to podcasts, reading the books, and I stayed in education mode for a while. And I just wish I would've taken action sooner. And let me tell you how smart I am. I wholesale those two houses I just talked about, back to back and then didn't do anything else for a year. Like, I paid the classes, paid for the classes, paid off my debt and that was a system and I stopped it. Completely stopped it until it was time to move to Colorado Springs. And this is when I learned my, why. I got Emily, my wife to come out there with me. We got married, got pregnant really quickly. And when that baby came out, the first baby came out in 2016. I now had a why to get outta the military because I was once again on that path of training every, like basically we're in the field for every three months, for a month. And then we're gearing up to leave for Afghanistan again. And I'm like, oh man, I did not want history repeating itself. Plus I now have a baby.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah. But that's a tough spot to be in and a tough choice that you have to make. In doing so you found, you found your why, you found why you're doing this, what's gonna be the thing that motivates you to keep moving forward. And I gotta tell you, you know, having kids. So myself, that is one of the things that pushes me as hard as I go. And it's, I wanna make sure that I'm doing everything I can to give them the best life possible. So that's awesome. So now you moved to Colorado Springs and you've got the wholesaling thing under your belt. At this time you've done house hacking, you've had rental properties, how did you discover land and what was it that that made feel like land was so much more lucrative?

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, it came from a problem. Once again, I was forced to hire somebody to help me answer the phones and she started going out and actually going on seller appointments, but I was still searching for answers because now it's okay. I'm gearing up because, I gotta get to a certain passive income to be able to get out of the military. And I actually hired Jen, she's still with me today. She came out with me April 2017 and I was listening to podcasts, and I heard this guy talking about buying this vacant raw land at like pennies on the dollar, flipping it like the next day and doubling his money and tripling his money. And some of this stuff was like, he's only spending like a couple thousand dollars and I'm in Colorado Springs where the average house is 300,000 right now. So I'm like, wow, I've got some cash, I could buy this stuff myself and turn around and flip it too. And I'm just, I was already mailing at that time. The tax delinquent. It was basically properties that no one was paying their people were not paying their taxes on. And I was just avoiding the vacant land, cause I knew nothing about it. But just from hearing this man on this podcast planted a seed that night I went home and found the list, and sent it to my virtual assistant in India. She charges me $4 an hour to scrub that list, and she got all the vacant, raw land on there. And we sent the postcard. We sent out like 687 postcard to all these people that were behind on their taxes. And we thought, see, here's a mistake I made. I thought I was mailing the tax delinquent list, but I was mailing the county held tax lien list. This was stuff that was so inefficient, not buildable, not accessible, not even tax lean investors would buy the property. So the county had to hold it. And I mailed these people. It's like literally like giving starving fish, a worm and my phone exploded. And I was like, I hit the jackpot and like first call, retired CPA. Yep. Just gimme $285. It might not have been the first call, but the first round of calls, Hey, just gimme $285. It's yours. So I went and looked at the land, had no clue what I was doing. Ended up selling it to a realtor for 5,000. Did it again. This time I sold it for 500 down 400 a month. And that's the one that changed my paradigm. It gave me a paradigm shift as Steven Covey would say, that's where I was like, wait a minute. I am now paying my truck. I'm gonna do another one next week and that's gonna pay my wife's car payment and another one next week and that's gonna pay the electric bill. And then I, we just kept doing it before I knew it. I'm at like 6,500 a month and that's our bills.

Average Joe Finances:

So, so you're doing like seller financing on the land.

Brent Bowers:

You got it.

Average Joe Finances:

Oh, that's awesome, man. That's awesome. Yeah. Fantastic. So you found a way to create a passive income stream from land, similar to as if it was a home or a single family. But the thing is, you don't have to worry about any toilets or tenants or anything like that. So that's, that's a pretty good spot to be in, man, that's well done. And again, this is something that you found from a problem, right? You had a problem and you had to get it fixed. Oh, you started looking at different ways to solve the problem, and here you are, you found land, and looks like it's working out pretty good. So now, obviously, as you're doing this, you're gonna grow. You're gonna get bigger. I can only imagine after you sent out all those postcards, you said your phone was blowing up. It can't be just you and a VA doing this. So have you done anything to scale it up and, and build a team? Like how does that, how's that working for you?

Brent Bowers:

My middle name is Scale it's Brent Scale Bowers. I don't do so if I want anything to be successful. I find someone to do it, help me do it because I get bored so quickly that if it wasn't for my team, I wouldn't have this business. We have a little over a hundred notes now paying us, there's nine of us put together, including myself. We actually have a team meeting going on right now. They run without me. I'm just there to cheer 'em on ring the victory bell and come up with new ideas that they sometimes go, whoa, can we just finish the last three first type thing? I've got a great team. I've got an in-house accountant. Now we just hired her, we're getting her on board cuz we outran our bookkeeping service and we flip vacant raw land. And we now are working at a 32 town home development project that we're building on our own land. So it started with that first $285 parcel. And it turned into, we're doing another project and I can't mention the state, but four and a half million dollar purchase. And it's by just finding other people, hearing, being on these podcasts and people wanting to do things together. And it's just been an amazing.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, that's one of the beautiful things about just the real estate community in general, at least the real estate investing community is just the networking opportunities and the opportunities you get just from meeting other people and sharing your story, sharing what you're doing. It's amazing who wants to just tag along and join in. Add value. Everybody's always looking to add value to each other. It's not, you have people walking around asking for handouts. It's Hey, I wanna do something that's gonna help you take it to the next level. And that's when you start looking at partnerships and things like that. It's absolutely awesome. But this community has been amazing. I like, I think I've mentioned this a couple times on my show too. I would say probably 97% of the people that I've met in the real estate investing community are just genuinely awesome and really good people. And maybe there's 3% out there that are sleeves bags, but it's just a. Community be a part of, and I'm very happy to be a part of it now. So you're scaling up and you're growing. You have this nine person team now even hired your own accountant. So that's fantastic. Now, as you're going into this, you, it, all, it all started from, you said it was what $285 was that first piece of land that, that bit the bug and now you're at the point where you're doing lend development, right? You're building the 32 town homes. That resume is just building up. Absolutely fantastic. So I'm hyping you up here because I'm excited because just everything that you're doing is just really awesome, man.

Brent Bowers:

Appreciate it very much.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah. I wanna talk talking about it. It's awesome, man. It's talking about this stuff is just always very exciting. I love doing it. That's why I have this podcast. I genuinely enjoy doing this now. When it comes to scaling and building that team, what did you do? Cause I, I want to kind of dive into this a little bit, cuz there's people that listen to this show that are at the point where maybe they're ready to take it to that next step and they're ready to start building a team to, to expand on what they're already doing. So what did you do? Like when you were out there looking for other people to come on board with the team, was there specific qualities or traits that you were looking for? Was it people that you met at meetups? Like how did you meet some of your partner.

Brent Bowers:

Yeah, you just hit one of 'em on the dot. I started a meetup with my real estate broker in Colorado Springs. It's still going on today, even though I no longer live in Colorado Springs. And he's the one that, that actually said, Hey, Brent, let's start a meetup. And this was like 2017. And I felt like I had only been doing real estate a very short amount of time. I. Who was gonna listen to me, what did I have to offer? But luckily, Colin he's, let's just do it together. And we started that. So one of my, my, I would say my, I don't know, she was probably my fourth or my fourth hire was Chrisy she was a, she came to our meet up and Colin's, Hey, aren't you looking for an office manager? And I was like, oh yeah. So I just spun out the things I was looking for. And she came up to me at the end of the meeting and says, Hey, I'd be interested in that. And I was like, I blew her off because I, I was intimidated by. I was like, oh no, you already work for this. The university of Arizona, you don't want to come out here. I was like, I can't pay you. I just had all these limiting beliefs. And she followed up with me. We set an appointment and I talked to her about the job. I was like, the job I had. And I felt like the whole time I was trying to talk her out of not working for me. I, and I don't even know why I said working for me, working with us. Our team. And like, she reminded me that she's been with me three years now and she reminded me about that the other day. And it's so crazy how you just meet people. The first hire was Jen and she's still with me today. She pretty much runs the company she's in charge and she does a great job doing it. She just paid off all of her debt. She's now debt free, but she was my acquisition manager and I literally found her on the next door app.

Average Joe Finances:

Wow. The next door app, like the little forum, the community forum. Oh, that's cool

Brent Bowers:

that out, looking for acquisition manager must love people, sales not required. However, you're a hundred percent commission only, and you gotta be willing to make some phone calls. And I just needed someone to help me answer the phone because I had just launched about 5,000 mailers out like postcards. So I like spent a fortune. I think I put it on the Amex once again, still have the same Amex by the way. And the tying commander, our oh five decides that we're gonna go to the field. And no one's bringing their cell phones because we're gonna do battlefield operation simulation. Like we don't have cell phones in Afghanistan. So I leave my phone. I can't return these sellers calls and I just spent like three grand in postcards. Wife was a little upset about it, but I had to hire someone to help me do this. If I was gonna treat, if I was gonna run this like a business and you show me any business person. That's a one man show I'll show you someone that's gonna go out of business very soon.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, no, definitely. I just did the same thing for me as a realtor out here in Hawaii. I just sent off. They're not out yet, but I've got a whole bunch of mailers going out, also put on a Amex card as well. So card I do. I sure do. Yeah, I sure do.

Brent Bowers:

Does miles and the Delta sky club, man. It's pretty cool.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, it's good stuff. Oh, wow, man. This is so cool. So, again, faced with a problem, right? You were forced to do this cuz you had to go out in the field, you couldn't bring your phone with you, you're like, oh my goodness, what am I gonna do? That's the same thing I ran into when I hired my first virtual assistant, when it came to helping me with the podcast because of how much time it takes. I don't have time to sit here and post on social media all the time about it. So I actually have somebody that does that for me. Most of the time you see my stuff on social media, it's usually not me unless it's on my personal account, but yeah. Stuff like this is just when you start building your teams and scaling, you have to, or you're gonna wind up stagnating, or you're not gonna go any forward anymore. So pretty much stagnating or you're gonna fail at that point. And it's one of the things I talk, I've talked about a lot on my show as well is just the importance of networking. And meeting other people in the business that have the same mindset as you, the same goals and aspirations for what they're trying to do for themselves and their families. This just really solidifies that. So for the people that are listening right now, listen to what Brent's talking about, because this is what really works. This stuff really works. Brent. That's absolutely amazing. So now you're, you've built up this business, right? You've got a whole team. You're doing everything. Now, when you started hiring people, so you started hiring from the meetups. How did you get to the point where you went from your first hire to where you're at now with a nine person team? Because I, I know that first person is always gonna be like that sigh of relief. You've got some help now and you're starting this up.

Brent Bowers:

I was scared of death because I was like, wait a minute. Now I have to have enough marketing to pay this.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah.

Brent Bowers:

So she can put food on her play table.

Average Joe Finances:

But once you got yourself to the point where you were comfortable and you had this next person hired, how did you get to the point where you hired eight more people? What did you do as you, you kept going that way.

Brent Bowers:

Tony Robbins talks about this. It's like the threshold of comfort. And you get used to skiing like the black diamonds, and then you come back down to the blues. It's ah, this is really slow and you're comfortable now with like faster steeper inclines. It's like driving your car on the Autobon in Germany, you go from a hundred, 120 miles an hour. To the state road, state highway and whatever, Florida, and everyone's driving 55 and the, it starts raining and they turn their flashers and their hazards on. It's literally like going from 120 miles an hour to 55. That's like the threshold of comfort level. So if you've been going fast and you go slower, it's okay, this is pretty comfortable. So each hire gets more comfortable and I'm gonna make it even more comfortable by knowing that this is a teammate and they're an investment. If they don't bring a two X return, a three X return, whatever it is, you'll figure out that you, if you run a KPI on each one of your team members, you'll see what the return on investment is. So if you pay someone 800 a month to do some part-time work or whatever, and they earn, they end up bringing in 8,000 into the company. That's a 10 X return on that employee or that team member. So if you put it in your mind that way you have no fear of hiring and you could, like, I'm saying fire quickly, hire slowly. And when you feel like you need to fire someone, trust your judgment because they're probably just not a good fit for your culture. Or they might just be in the wrong position too. We Chrissy that came in never, ever thought about firing her, however, I remember on her first interview, she said, I never want to do sales. Guess who buys our houses on our land now? And is no longer our office manager it's Chrissy. She moved to a different seat on the bus. Basically. It's the same thing with mail. I bet you, every letter you send or postcard, you send. You make a certain amount of dollars. So if you gotta send 37 cents to mail that postcard, you probably know that postcard's gonna make you $3 and 70 cents back, or that's a 10 X key performance indicator. So that's how I got comfortable hiring. If they don't work, see you later, alligator type thing.

Average Joe Finances:

Nice. Okay. I wanna kind of circle back to the land investing and what are some of the benefits to investing in land versus investing in home?

Brent Bowers:

So I will say that the, the benefit of investing in land is there's no stinky old, dirty cat piece pee houses that you gotta clean up, fix up, the general contractor or the contractor is painting someone else's cabinets in your living room and turns away the carpet, man, we still flip houses. We have a house slipping operation. I love it. And I hate it all at the same time, because I always have to compare it to land because land the buyers never call, there's no complaints, there's no roof to repair foundations to fix or cat pee to clean up. We just got shut down on one of our job sites because of a rogue painter that was painting someone else's cabinets in our, our living room and turned away the carpet man. And he got so mad. He stormed off the job site. When we asked him like, what are, whose cabinets are you painting? You better not be painting our cabinets. He got so mad. He went and talked to the building inspector and said, we had mold in the house and got shut down. That's just one example of what we got going on in these house flipping world, we have a 19 unit apartment complex that we're working, and luckily I have partners for these things, cuz you know, there's no way you can do all this by yourself, but, and they're like stealing our copper, like our wiring and like we have cameras up and sirens and they still come in and steal this stuff. Land, there's nothing to take. What are you gonna come take my trees, dig out the dirt. There's more dirt underneath there.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, it's a fair point. That's a real fair point. I didn't write this down, but you keep bringing it up. I really feel like the whole, your first experience renting. When you went to college, really put something in the back of your head about cat pee.

Brent Bowers:

Yeah. I'll tell you. I'll no, that's the first experience. You're right. I had another house that I went on vacation. We listed the house and I went on vacation and this is a beautiful house and it sat on the MLS for a month. We must have had 40 people walk through and I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't. And one agent, thank God, she was nice enough to say there's a weird smell in the basement. So I literally got back from vacation, drove straight to this house and stuck my nose to the brand new carpet. And that smell burnt into like literally it's still in there and it was cat pee, over brand, underneath brand new carpet. We ended up having to rip all the carpet out, soaked the two by fours and the floor with 50% vinegar, 50% water, and then did all this. What. That baking soda. And I'm pretty sure the smell was still there. It ended up ordering brand new carpet again, and finally the house sold. It's just burnt into my head. I'm telling you, meth is probably easier to treat than cat . Average Joe Finances: Wow. Wow. Yeah. That's yeah, that's pretty rough stuff. I I've actually dealt with the listing similar too. And they went and had to replace all the carpets, but they had same thing. Had to treat all the wood as well, just to, to get the scent out. So I'm assuming you don't have any cats. No, no, I don't. No, I don't. Okay. Just double checking these, it goes to show that the difference in the headaches that you would deal with land versus an actual single family home or duplex, small multifamily, things like that. So that's, that's definitely good to know. So for folks that are listening right now that are, that want to get into something, but they're like not sure. What if they're gonna have to deal with tenants that aren't gonna pay or broken plumbing or anything like that, maybe land invest, land investing, something that they could look into. I wanna get into something that I call here called the final round. And I'm gonna ask you, yeah. Four questions that I like to ask everybody that comes on the show. It's something we started pretty recently, but I think they're pretty four impactful questions that really help people understand more about you and how you got to where you are and everything that you're doing, because the stuff you already shared is, is awesome Brent. Your story's amazing and what you were able to build, especially since, I guess really since 2016, when you got outta the army, right? Yeah, I got out in 2018.

Average Joe Finances:

You got out in 2018. Oh, so you were, yeah, you were still doing this while you were in the army, but just being able to do that. And then now you're four years out and crushing it, man. It's awesome. So if you're ready to go, we'll get this.

Brent Bowers:

I'm ready.

Average Joe Finances:

Okay, cool. So first question of the final round. What's the biggest mistake you've ever made?

Brent Bowers:

I should have kept buying real estate. Yeah. You're in Germany and all that for three years out of the country should have kept buying, should have kept buying. I should have bought two houses. Every duty station I ever went to two houses, free money, VA money. I almost called it virtual assistant VA money. The va.gov type stuff. Buy two. Here's the reason why live in one or just buy a fourplex. If your wife will let you live in one, buy the other one for investment.. Because the one you're living in is not an investment, unless you're you are house hacking it, the other one's investment. If you like, how many house, how many places have you lived in 20 years, Mike?

Average Joe Finances:

Oh, just going off the top of my head at least nine.

Brent Bowers:

Let's just say you only bought

Average Joe Finances:

Just from all the PCS-ing and stuff. Yeah.

Brent Bowers:

Let's just say you've only bought a house. One per duty station. You'd have nine houses right now. And some of 'em would almost be paid off.

Average Joe Finances:

Absolutely. Yeah. It's funny you say that to, I tell most of the junior sailors that I've worked with too. Hey, every duty station you go to buy a property. It's don't rent, don't give away your basic allowance for housing that you're given, use that to buy something that will pay you in the future. I just wanna touch on that a little bit too, for the military folks that are listening, it's tax free money that you're getting housing. You get to take some tax free money and buy a property. So I, yeah, it's a no brainer, but anyway. Cool. That's fantastic, man. I really appreciate that answer. So I wanna move on to the next question and this kind of ties into that. And is, what is something that you've learned that you wish you knew when you first got started?

Brent Bowers:

I'll just tie it back into buying that house. When I had that first one, I house hacked. I really wish I would've bought something on, on Melbourne beach on the water because I've, I could have afforded to pay for it with other people's money. And I would have a beach house right now in 2013, at 2013 prices, not 2022 prices and I could price sell it in literally, probably $1.5 million easily, right?

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Just to think about it too, buying it on yesterday's dollars. That's the other thing about it too, when you look at where the real estate market is today versus where it was at 13, 13 years ago and such, it's just, you can't beat that or even 10 years ago, it's just absolutely amazing. Okay, fantastic. I wanna move on to the next question cause, and you can see a theme here, right? These kind of all tie into each other and it's it. I do it this way. To show people that there, there are mistakes you can make there's stuff you can come back from, but at the same time, at the end of the day, if you really understand what your why is and what you're doing, and you've got the basics down, you can just go out there and absolutely crush it. So with that being said, I know you said you had education mode on back in the day. Right? So speaking of the education mode that goes into like my final question here, and that is, do you have a favorite real estate investing podcast that you like to listen to?

Brent Bowers:

The Wholesaling Inc. Podcast. I'm actually, I've got the pleasure of being the host of that or one of the five hosts, but that's, that was my I've probably listened to more Wholesaling Inc podcasts than any other podcast ever.

Average Joe Finances:

All right. Fantastic. And I just realized something, I skipped a question. So that wasn't the, the last question I do have more, I did that out of order, but that's okay. So cool. But yeah, so that's a fantastic podcast to go listen to, but yes, I do have one more question for you. Sorry about this man. And that is okay for somebody that is just getting started out, do you have any tips or tricks that you would recommend to them?

Brent Bowers:

Yeah. Pick a path and stick to it, keep doing it and refining it and don't stop. It might not work until the five, like the 500. Just keep taking action every single day, consistent action, whether it be driving for dollars, continue driving for dollars every day. I just hung up with the one of my land students that I'm teaching him how to buy and sell land and create a business around it. I said mail only parcels of land a day. Pick one, zip code one parcel size pick that parcel size that's selling the most in the last 12 months in that zip code and only worry about 10 per day. And then next week, go to 15 per day and the following week do 20 per day until it gets uncomfortable, but start somewhere. It's like eating the elephant one tiny little bite at a time, start at the tail and move up.

Average Joe Finances:

That's, that's a really good way to look at it too. Start off small and just get yourself to the point where you're starting to feel uncomfortable because that's, I think that's where people really find themselves when they have to break out of their comfort zone and that's gonna, you know, push them to that next level. Really appreciate that, Brent. Okay. So that's fantastic. That's all the questions of the final round. A little bit out of order, but that's okay. Now I have one more question for you. And this is probably the most important question of all, because we're sitting here talking about your story, how you got to where you're at with land investing I'm sure there's people that are listening right now that are gonna say, you know what? I wanna know more about Brent. I wanna know more about his podcast. I wanna know more about what he's doing. I also, you said you were, you have a student that you were helping out just before we got on this call. So I'm sure you've got some type of education opportunities for some people to, to check out. So where can people find that to find more information about you? Can you share your website? Any social media, anything like that?

Brent Bowers:

Yeah. Thanks so much for asking Mike, I guess the easiest place is I just launched a, a YouTube channel about almost a year ago. Now, if you just go on YouTube and search Brent Bowers, you could find the channel. Please subscribe you show YouTube that's actually something, but that's probably the best way to get to know me. I put out a video every single day of the week. I also mentioned that I'm on Wholesaling Inc. I'm on the podcast. If you want to, you wanna check out land, head over to wholesalinginc.com. wholesalinginc.com/land.

Average Joe Finances:

Absolutely. And to make it easy for everybody, I'm gonna have all those links in the show notes. So you can just copy and paste or click or whatever you need to do. And y'all wanna point out something that, that Brent said on that last question too, as we're moving forward towards the end here is keep taking action. Just keep taking action. Absolutely love that, man. That is probably gonna be burning in the back of my head for the rest of the day today to just keep taking action, Brent, this has been an absolute pleasure, man. You have an amazing story. I really love what you're doing. I really love what you're doing for the community as well with helping people. This is one of the reasons why I bring people like you on this show because you're a genuine person and you're doing some really good things.

Brent Bowers:

Thanks, Mike. Appreciate you having me. Yeah, man. And Aloha.