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.
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!
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!
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.
Most often flat land is the least expensive to develop and the most desired for building purposes. However, be careful when buying flat land because the worst thing you can do is buy swamp or marshland. Land with barren rock will increase costs and virtually eliminate a basement just the same as a high water table. The best $150 you can spend is investing in an online research company such as www.homeinfomax.com. Also, please review the mapping program included regarding expertgps.com in association with Google Earth. Short of visiting the parcel, this is going to give you 90% of the land story, plus you’ll have great maps to provide your potential buyers!
Regarding the quality of the soil – high quality soil appears rich and dark in color and is considered ideal for most purposes. You don’t want soil that is hard, cracking ground when dry and then sticky soil when wet. Warning! Check with your state offices for the presence of expansive soils; this stuff cracks foundations in the most insidious ways, leading many to ruin.
Many people are literally being driven to the hills -granted the views can be spectacular but roads, utilities, water, sewer, and foundations, such as pilings, can add 25-30% to building costs alone, further adding to this already expensive proposition. When considering going vertical, an 8-degree slope is about the limit when concerning building economically on hillsides. Plots with trees, a view, rectangular in shape, a gentle slope or none and a good location are most often preferred, and streams can boost values by 100% in some cases.
How to Determine the Value of Raw Land
Using the appraisers standard view of estimating value can give us some clues, so let’s look at what appraisers do!
* Site size and shape, represented by frontage, width and depth.
* Corner influence equals visibility for commercial, or privacy for residential
* Plottage, has assembly or combining of parcels been accomplished
* How much land is excess or surplus; surplus has less value than what is required
* Topography: Land’s contour, grading, natural drainage, soil, view and usefulness
* Utilities: Sewers, drinking water, natural gas, electric, telephone, cable, etc.
* Site improvements: Landscaping, fences, gutters, walks, drives and irrigation
* Accessibility: Parking, location, streets, alleys, connecting roads and highways
* Environment: Climate, adequate water supply, air quality, rivers, lakes, oceans and the absence of any hazardous materials
An old timer once gave me this advice: He said, “Mark, always try to buy land that is located as close to those amenities that an area is famous for, as that is often the reason people come to certain areas. He lived in Florida and had plenty of beachfront property located in tourist areas, which clearly illustrated his point.
There are so many different ways to make money if you own land. If your goal is to create income using an existing asset, you might be surprised how creative you can get even with a small piece of land you.
If your land includes fields, you might want to take a look through the on-line and paper classified ads in your area. More than likely you will be able to identify horse or cow owners who are looking for space to graze their animals. What a fantastic way to make money and if your land includes large pasture areas, the animals will keep the grass down so you can even save money!
If you own wooded land suitable for hunting, you can rent your land out during hunting season. Best of all, you can charge by the person or charge a flat fee. You are in control with this one, making it one of the best ways to make extra money while maintaining full use of your land during the off-season. If you have wildlife on your land, I recommend that you explore this income-generating possibility.
Have you noticed how many mini-storage rentals there are? If you have a building on site, this is another potentially lucrative way to make extra money. These days no-one seems to have enough room to store their stuff which makes storage space a prime way to earn some extra income. Even if you only have an old barn or shed you can store four wheelers or boats during the off-season (or trailers, campers, snowmobiles, classic cars etc.).
If you have level, open land that would be suitable for camping, you might want to look into the logistics of starting a basic campground. Depending on the current condition of your property, it is possible to start up a campground with only a small amount of start-up money. Usually to get started you only need stakes to make the sites, some campfire rings, a port-a-potty and signs. There are so many free and inexpensive ways to advertise these days such as Craig’s List and backpage.com that you can at least place an ad and see what kind of interest it generates. If there is interest in your area, you have a pretty simple way to generate passive income without having to make a large upfront investment or doing expensive upkeep.
If your property includes wooded areas, it might be smart to get a few quotes from different logging companies to see how much you could earn from the timber. In order to preserve the value of the land and to be a good environmental steward of your property, I do not recommend that you clear-cut the land. However, you may be able to log part of it while preserving some of the wooded areas. You might want to look into logging companies that cut sustainably by selectively harvesting only certain kinds of trees. This protects the value of the land as well as lessens the negative impact on the environment. Just do a Google search on “sustainable logging companies” in your state.
If your land is in a high traffic area, I suggest that you look into renting it out as a flea market. Do you know how many small tables you can fit on an acre of land? Even if you charge just $15/day for each vendor and you have 20 vendors/day for the first year, you are already generating an additional $300/day which comes to more than $2,000/week. This is a very low-cost way to make use of your land while helping to connect local vendors and consumers in your community. As usual, do some research on the logistics before diving in.
Depending on the kind of farming that exist in your area, there may be individuals or larger companies looking to lease land short-term or long-term for farming purposes. If you have tillable land, it could be worth your while to place an advertisement in the local papers as well as places like Craig’s List and backpage.com to see if you get any hits.
In this day of alternative energy, it is possible to make money leasing rural land to wind generating companies or others within the alternative power industry. However, the details about this are too complex to cover in this article. I do explore these topics on my blog which you can access through my company website or check into other articles that I have posted here on Ezine.com on the topic.
Providing space for paintball “wars” is still a big industry. If you are in doubt, just check out all the paintball fields linked through this website: http://www.pbreview.com/fields/ As you can imagine, it does not take that much to make your raw, rural land “paintball” ready. Essentially you just section off all or part of your land and rent it out to groups. Just to give you an idea of how it works, here is a a link to an example of a privately-owned paintball field: http://www.actionpaintballsac.com/
Land is an asset especially for those who are creative and determined enough to invest the time and energy into getting something started. Just be sure to do the proper research before you get started such as finding out if you need a license or permit and dot all your “i’s” and cross all your “t’s.” Good luck!
In my last post I shared the story of my life before I learned how to buy and sell land. I also told you about how I first learned about the raw land industry from an old high school buddy. So, how did I get from working a dead-end job to making over $500,000/year? Let’s pick up where we left off.
After talking with my high-school buddy, I decided to learn everything I could about real estate. It took great courage to step out of my comfort zone to start looking into something new but I knew I had to make a change. I spent many late nights investigating every aspect of real estate – I researched and read articles and content online, went to my local library and read many different books on the topic. Finally, I felt like it was time to take my first step! I can remember my first land auction in New Mexico – I was so nervous that my hands were sweating. My heart felt like it was going to beat right out of my chest! I had no idea what I was going to say to my wife because I was about to spend the last $3,000 we had been saving for car repairs! It took a huge leap of faith – and it turned out to be a very important leap of faith.
I remember when I came home from the land auction I proudly told my wife that I had acquired land. She responded in a frightened voice: “What do we do if you can’t sell it?” I said: “Well, the worst case scenario is that we own land! It’s not like it becomes obsolete, or spoils or is some product fad! It’s land and it lasts forever!” However, all went well. I had bought 9 lots of land at an average price of $100 per parcel. Within 30 days I sold them all at an average price of $900! I took the profit from the first auction – and went to a second auction in Arizona and ended up making over $90,217 in the next 3 months! That was my wife realized I had made a good decision by purchasing raw land!
And that was when I first felt the true value of working in the area of raw land. After making $90,000 in 3 months I now had the enough knowledge and confidence to keep going. I also knew that if I stuck with it I could do eventually do this full-time. I knew I could earn more money in months than I could at my dead-end, soul-sucking sales job for an entire year! However, at this point, though I was making money, I had really had no idea what I was doing! I set out to master this business in 18 months. I wanted to understand every detail of this undertaking so I could do this full time and quit my job forever. Before I could do that, however, I needed to be able to confidently look my wife in the eyes and guarantee 100% success.
It was rough in those early years because I made mistake after mistake. It seemed like I had to learn every step the hard way. However, I just kept working to overcome those mistakes by creating blueprints and systems I could depend on and refining the process. My overarching goal was to experience financial freedom so I wanted to learn how to make my money work for me and create a system that would run on auto-pilot.
Now the systems I put in place eleven years ago do just that – I work a few hours every day & then I spend time with my family. Meanwhile I am earning six figures with no more commute to work, no boss, and no more worrying about how I’m going to pay my bills. If I want to take one or two months off I can and I still do not have to worry about being able to pay my bills because now I have money coming in regardless of whether I am working or not.
Now I have the time in my schedule to work out because I make my own hours; I can go to all the kids’ activities, take my time, have lunch with them for as long as I want and work when I want to work. I so am blessed and I know it. Last year was the worst real estate market in recorded history since the Great Depression – in fact 2011 was a terrible year for real estate and the economy overall. However my land buying blueprint is still effective. I made exactly $454,516.18! Just think what you can do in this industry when times improve?
My high-school buddy gave me the knowledge that eventually allowed me to change my life. He helped me more than he will ever know and now I help other people learn to do what I do. They remove that paycheck to paycheck frustration from their lives just by learning to effectively buy and sell land. I hope my story has illustrated an important concept for you – anyone can experience financial freedom! Anyone can completely transform their lives the way that I did! If I did it, you can too!
Please contact me, Mark the Land Geek, directly to learn more about my hourly coaching and consulting services where you can learn everything from deal flow, marketing and due diligence and more so you can make an incredible full time or part time income buying and selling raw land. You can also contact me for a free 15-minute consultation. I have also created several land coaching programs to meet every budget from FREE at http://www.3fatallandbuyingmistakes.com/ to just $47 at http://www.artofthelandflip.com/ and we have other programs as well.
Contact Mark today: Phone: 1 (800) 428-3760 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes I wonder if my readers think I’ve always lived this life. Maybe some of you don’t know about my humble beginnings. I like to share my story because it is a reminder that anyone can transform their life! My story begins back in 2001. My wife and I were living paycheck-to-paycheck – just barely making ends meet. On top of that we had a 6-month old baby. Anyone who has children knows the incredible stress that this bundle of joy brings to a household – no more downtime for yourself; month-after-month of sleepless nights and the stress of trying to figure out how to care for a new being 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
My life was defined by my high-pressure job as a business broker. I only made money through commissions and I had a very low salary to high commissions basis. I did not know how much I could expect to bring in month-to-month so even if I closed a big deal one month I had to make that money last the entire year. On top of that I had a 45 minute commute to and from work. I was so stressed out 24/7 that I felt like a ticking time bomb.
I hated every aspect of my job and it was affecting my entire life. Every day I had to walk into the offices of people who did not know me. The worst part was that these people did not want to know me. In order to make money I had to try to convince them to let me do one of two things: 1) sell their business or 2) represent them in buying a business. I had to do all of this despite the fact that I was given no knowledge of their company. I was totally miserable. I still remember that feeling of dread when my alarm would buzz everyday when I had to get up to go to work. After so long the situation finally affected me to the point where I became depressed. I remember at night when I would come home from work I did not even have the energy to engage my wife in conversation. On some days I did not even have it in me to eat dinner. The combination of the stress level and our limited income was really affecting our marriage.
I just did not see a way out. I was so tired and fed-up with a work environment based on lies, politics and brown-nosing. Just being close to that world made me feel dirty. However, I felt like I was stuck in a no-win situation. I could not make good money within that job while being true to myself. At the same time my family was paying the price. One of the main arguments at home was about organic baby food – my wife felt it was very important for the health of our son. Yet I knew we just did not have the money. Although I had a new baby I hardly ever got to spend time with him.
To succeed in my current job at that time I would have had to sacrifice my integrity. I did not want to do have to make that decision. I did not want to have to sell things just to make a commission check so I decided I would not sacrifice my integrity. So I started looking into other opportunities and shortly after I ran into an old high school buddy of mine who told me he was making money hand over fist buying land at county tax foreclosure auctions and flipping them on eBay. He was making 300% profits! He wrote down some of his secrets on the back of a napkin and invited me to attend a tax-sale auction with him. I remember saying to myself: “This could be it!”
Check out my next blog post to learn the rest of the story and how I got started making a comfortable living just by buying and selling land on-line!
Don’t just invest in property with me because I have great prices and easy terms. Or because I have an A+ Better Business Bureau Rating or because of my “No Unhappy Investors” philosophy. Work with me because I’m actually available to answer your questions!
I’m always amazed and pleasantly surprised when someone calls me with a land question and then thanks me for either picking up the phone or calling them right back.
In an age of instant communication with Facebook or Twitter feeds you would think it wouldn’t be such a big deal for owners of companies to answer their own phone! Yet, people are either busy or want to appear busy so they can respond on their own terms. However, I’ve learned that if someone is going to call a complete stranger with a question that must be really important. They could’ve just as easily e-mailed the question or run a Google search for the answer. As a result, being accessible can be a competitive advantage. In fact, oftentimes customers will tell me they bought my property over my competitor’s simply because I answered the phone or got right back with them.
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One of the coolest new features of Google Plus is hangouts. Hangouts allow up to 9 people to video chat. However, anyone can eavesdrop on the chat and listen in. It’s a great way to have a meeting, strategy session, question and answer format, etc. without costing any money! I was thinking this would be a cool way for people to learn more about land and have the ability to ask me questions and even see my ugly mug on video. It’s always fun to use new technology and learn at the same time.
The hangouts get streamed live on to my YouTube channel for those whom just want to watch and don’t want to participate.
So, let me know if you want to hang out and I’ll start holding Hang Out times for you to join if you so choose!
Looking forward to hanging!