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Purchasing land – How to make the transaction

By: Mark Podolsky | November 24, 2012

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about specific issues regarding to land.   I thought I would share so everyone could benefit.


Hello everyone,

I am planning on purchasing a couple of plots of lands.

In the future, I will either sell off as the area develops or develop myself for leisure.

For one of these lots, I am planning on using the owner-financing that they are offering.

Here is my very newbie questions:

Who would write out this agreement?

How do I make sure the land belongs to me as long as I make payments?

I know these are some very basic questions but with such a small cost on the plots, it seems silly to involve an agent. I just dont know anything about purchasing real estate yet.

Answer:   Great question. Typically, the seller will have you sign a promissory note, purchase sale agreement and either a land contract or a deed of trust (which they provide).   With a land contract, you have to insist that they record it with the County so there is a record that as long as you are making payments you own the property.  A deed of trust, places a lien on the property, but your seller transfers ownership into your name which gives you the assurances that while you are making payments, the property is in your name and recorded with the county.  Once you pay off your note, the seller removes the lien on the property.   Also, I would advise that within the agreement, the seller guarantees the property is free and clear of all liens and encumbrances.  Plus, at the end of your payment term they will pay for your title insurance in your name.


Investing in land

By: Mark Podolsky | November 22, 2012

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about specific issues regarding to land.   I thought I would share so everyone could benefit.


I’m new for land investment and would like to start bidding land online. Has anyone had this experience and is it worthy to invest in land? I’m in California and wondering does it make sense to invest land in other states.


Hi. I  started investing online with land since 2001.   I love investing in land simply because it’s an  asset that I don’t have to actively maintain.   With a house or other type of structure,  you have to deal with ongoing maintenance and a tenant.   Plus,  unlike everything else in life land is the only thing that lasts.   My advice to you would be to start investing in your own backyard.   Whether you realize it or not, you are the local expert.   If you start investing other states, you will be competing against the local experts and that’s much more risk than I’d like to see anyone take when when investing.   In fact, I created a  free ebook at www.3fatallandbuyingmistakes.com to help newbie land investors get started and avoid making mistakes.   Buying land outside of areas they  are familiar with is one of the classic mistakes.

Land as the greatest insurance policy in the world

By: Mark Podolsky | November 8, 2012

“Only when the last tree has died, and the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught, will we realize that we cannot eat money.” –Native American proverb

Money is simply an idea.  We all agree that we’ll exchange this idea of money for goods and services.  If it all breaks down you can’t eat money.   However, you can grow crops on your land and eat those fruits and vegetables and survive.  What is more important than that?

Wealth Building Time

By: Mark Podolsky | October 24, 2012

As the economy slowly rebounds and unemployment begins to drop in almost every state, now is the time to ride the cyclical wave of real estate.  Whether it’s a house, multi-tenant, commercial building or my favorite raw land now is the time to start reloading and dipping your toe back into the investment waters of real estate.

The argument is obvious. Interest rates are low and the competition for great deals are getting fiercer every day.  These next few years are where some serious wealth is going to be made as it just seems the timing is getting better and better and now the employment numbers are  finally backing it up.

The real question is how do you start getting involved building wealth in real estate if you are a newbie?  There are some excellent free learning resources online such as www.biggerpockets.com or you could take a real estate investing class at your local community college.  The days of information being a rare valuable commodity are over and there is literally no excuse to not find the information you need to become a knowledgable real estate investor.

Now is the time.  Don’t delay.

This Billionaire is now the Largest Landowner in the US

By: Mark Podolsky | October 11, 2012

Why do billionaires love land so much?  Probably for the same reasons that you do… It’s the only thing that lasts.  Anyways, check out this article on CNN and learn how John Malone eclipsed Ted Turner as the largest land holder in the country.

Largest Landholder In The US

Eating well + Rural Land= Aquaponics

By: Mark Podolsky | October 2, 2012

I just spoke with a customer of mine named Paul that owns 40 acres outside of Lovelock Nevada.  He is constantly exploring alternative building methods, and sustainable living.   Every time I speak with him on the phone he tells me about a cutting edge idea to help people build a home off the grid using alternative energy or alternative building materials.

Today he told me about aquaponics.  I had never even heard of the term and then started doing some research at the sites he recommended such as http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com/ and http://www.aquaponics.net.au/.

Basically, aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines a traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment.

Aquaponic systems vary in size from small indoor or outdoor units to large commercial units, using the same technology. The systems usually contain fresh water, but salt water systems are plausible depending on the type of aquatic animal and which plants are used.

Aquaponic systems do not typically discharge or exchange water under normal operation, but instead recirculate and reuse water very effectively. This is fantastic in a desert environment! The system relies on the relationship between the animals and the plants to maintain a stable aquatic environment that experience a minimum of fluctuation in ambient nutrient and oxygen levels. Water is only added to replace water loss from absorption and transpiration by plants, evaporation into the air from surface water, overflow from the system from rainfall, and removal of biomass such as settled solid wastes from the system. As a result, aquaponics uses approximately 2% of the water that a conventionally irrigated farm requires for the same vegetable production.

Learn more about this new technology by simply googling aquaponics or visiting the sites above.  Let me know if you have any experience with this type of self sustainable farming and the results you had using it.

The Pareto Principle – How to Maximize Your Time

By: Mark Podolsky | September 30, 2012

In 1906, an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth. In the late 1940s, Dr. Joseph M. Juran inaccurately attributed the 80/20 Rule to Pareto, calling it Pareto’s Principle. While it may be misnamed, Pareto’s Principle or Pareto’s Law as it is sometimes called, can be a very effective tool to help you manage effectively.[i]

In everyday terms, the Pareto Principle is a reminder to focus on what’s really important. Specifically, it teaches that of all the things you do today, only 20 percent actually matter because that 20% produce 80% of your results.  So, when you can identify those things that produce the majority of your results, you can better manage your time and focus on just the 20% that really counts!

When we think of this from an entrepreneurial standpoint, we realize that we should be able to generate 80% of our revenue from just 20% of your activities. Let’s look at the example of Warren Buffet: 90% of his wealth comes from only 10 investments.  The same holds for real estate – here are a few practical tips for applying the Pareto Principle in your daily life:

–         Focus your time efficiently

–         Don’t get  caught up in the little details like formatting content, colors or other less important details that you can pay someone else to fix;

–         Don’t get sidetracked on Facebook and Twitter and answering emails

  • Attend to these matters but use your time wisely and strategically

–         Learn to balance competing priorities – If you are busy taking care of something important and the phone rings, answer the phone so you can have a good reputation for being accessible to people and then get right back to what you were doing;

–         Your priority needs to creating deal flow and then selling those deals;

  • Everything else is unimportant

–         Write down your top six priorities for the day, cross out 5 and devote 90 minutes to the one thing that is going to make you the most money in that day;

  • You’ll get to the rest when the most important things have been done.

–         I bet if you really look at how you spent your time, probably only two hours were really effective in terms of taking your goals to the next leve.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below, and you can always call or email me.

Part II: The People Side of Guerilla Marketing

By: Mark Podolsky | September 11, 2012

The Land Geek’s Part II to Creating More Buyer’s Than You Can Handle

Step #1: Be accessible: When people call you, pick up the phone!!!!

In this day and age people get a lot of comfort from being able to personally speak to the owner of the property, especially when they are buying on-line  and have not actually seen the property themselves.

We also live in the era of instant gratification.  People are so tired of going through the bureaucracy of anything now and folks now want to be able to contact anyone at anytime!  So be social, be everywhere! Be on Facebook,  Twitter, Linked In etc.  Configure your website settings so that when you add a blog post it automatically goes to Facebook and Twitter and ensure that you have your notifications properly set up so that you are immediately made aware of new questions that are posted in forums, social media sites etc. where you have a profile.  If someone has a question for you on a forum or Facebook, answer the question promptly even if you need to gather additional information you can at least make your presence known in a brief way and then respond with more information as soon as you are able.

Step #2:  Utilize Virtual Assistants to Leverage Your Time

You can’t be everywhere at the same time and one way to be accessible to your clients is to use Virtual Assistants to free up your time. I am creating an entire training program on how to use Virtual Assistants because in this business they can do almost every aspect of this business.  To the contrary, you can’t focus on your priorities if you are trying to do everything that is involved in running a business.  Your focus should be exclusively on: customer service; doing deals, buying property at wholesale prices, creating your marketing plan and overseeing your virtual assistants to ensure it is executed; setting up your social media presence, building your lists and overseeing the development of your website and squeeze pages so that you can develop strong buyer’s lists.

For an example, if go to my website www.frontierpropertiesusa.com  you will see that I have my Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, RSS Feeds icons readily accessible and very visible to make it really easy for people to engage with me on the social media sites.

Your goal is to quarter-back off the work of the Virtual Assistants.  So to get started go to Odesk.com or Elance.com to find Virtual Assistants from countries around the world with varying skills, rates and more.  You can have Virtual Assistants (VAs) help you from the beginning:

–         Example #1:  Hire someone to set up your WordPress site

–         Example #2: Once you have created your land ad, you can pay them to post the to the appropriate websites.

–         Example #3: Have them troll the internet for real estate questions that you can answer.  I hired an assistant in the Philippines who  goes on a yahoo forum for real estate and sends me ten land questions every day.  I answer the questions directly through the yahoo forum which engages me in these on-line forum conversations and sure enough that is driving traffic to my website because people say “who is this guy,” they see that I know what I am talking about and want to start following my work.

It does not do you any good to be working 80 hours/week trying to do this job and getting all bogged down in the technology and the details when there is such a better way to do things!  In this day and age, there are so many inexpensive ways to get this work done so think outside the box and use your time wisely!

Part I of Mark’s Marketing 101: Guerilla Marketing On-line

By: Mark Podolsky | September 1, 2012

People often ask me: “Mark, what is the secret to your success.”  While each person’s journey is unique, there are some key elements to business success that each aspiring entrepreneur must learn.  In thinking about how to offer you the most valuable advice today on my blog, I settled on some advice from one of my land coaching programs, “More Buyers Than You Can Handle.”    I will share with you today one component of that program as Mark’s Marketing 101.

Let’s begin by talking about on-line marketing.  There are so many incredible resources available these days to folks who are looking to advertise properties.  I recommend that when you first get started you begin with the free sites such as craigslist.org, basckpage.com, bid4assets.com, ebay.com, webstore.com etc.  You also want to really take advantage of the power of Social Media – make a Facebook page, upload photos and descriptions of your properties and let all of your contacts know about your new page.

Once you start generating some income, go ahead and invest in paid advertising by marketing your properties on quality sites like landwatch.com, landandfarm.com and other sites as well.  You really want to create an on-line presence – you want to be everywhere.

You also want to create your own website. I recommend using WordPress.org and you can easily and inexpensively  hire a virtual assistant from a website such as freelance.com or Odesk.com to help you develop your site.  Once you have a website, here is the list of what to focus on:

I. Make sure that your site is SEO ready

  • Consider hiring an SEO expert to get your website up to speed
  • You want your site to come up at the top of the search results page when people enter search terms matching what you offe

II. Start Making Land Videos

  • Make sure to include keywords when you upload them to the internet so folks can find them (You can do your keyword research at adwords.google.com)

III. Tell a Story  – Give Life to Your Land!

  • Differentiate yourself from 99% of the other people out there;

IV. Build Traffic through Video

V. Incorporate Calls to Action

  • There need to be calls to action everywhere on your site so that your clients can easily make a purchase and don’t’ have to search around for the “Buy Now” buttons.

These are just a few tips to help you get started. If you are really interested in making money in the raw land industry, consider some of my land coaching products.  Contact me today for a free 15-minute consultation so I can steer you in the right direction and tell you what products would be a good fit for you.

Stay tuned next week for Phase II of Mark’s Marketing 101: Guerilla Marketing Off-line!

Avoid Getting “Burned” When Researching & Buying Land

By: Mark Podolsky | August 27, 2012

These days I am constantly hearing from my Land Coaching clients how difficult it is to research properties. Doing it wrong can cost you time, money and your reputation!  I’ve seen people buy land with no access, property with liens on them and in areas that the water is not even drinkable! 

Don’t make these costly errors.  If you are serious about the land business then you owe it yourself and your family
to conduct research the right way. Plus, I show you step by step how to make maps, use Google earth and visit the property virtually without ever leaving home!
Here is what one land coaching client thought of the program-Due Diligence Testimonial .  According to Jeff this is the most important skill to learn when buying real estate. I agree.  Click on the You Tube video below to get a taste of my Due Diligence program.

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