Aug. 16, 2022

Lust for land with Mark Podolsky


 Mark is the owner of Frontier Properties, a land investment company. Mark (AKA The Land Geek) has been considered one of the nation's most trusted authorities on buying and selling raw, undeveloped land within the United States since 2001. He has completed over 6,000 raw land deals with an average return on investment of over 300% on cash purchases and over 1000% on land deals that he financed. Today he talks to us about how much simpler investing in raw land is than traditional real estate. He is the host of one of the top-rated podcasts in the Investing category on iTunes aptly titled The Art of Passive Income Model and today he talks to us about lust for land!

Transcript

Josh
 Good day, fellow dealmakers. Welcome to the deal scout on today's show. We're going to have a conversation with a geek, the land geek, actually, Mr. Mark, welcome to the deal scout. 


 Mark
 Josh Wilson. Thank you so much for having me. 


 Josh
 Yeah, absolutely. So, all right. The land geek, what the heck is the land geek? 


 Mark
 The land geek is I was taking a walk one day and I was, teaching people how to buy and sell raw land. I thought, no, one's going to remember mark Podolski, but they'll remember the land. It embodies what I am, which is I'm kind of Kiki and I love raw land and I love systems and automation and processes and technology. So the name really just fit. 


 Josh
 Awesome. All right. We're walking a piece of property and I bring some of my friends along normally, like I meet people in bars or coffee shops or something like that, but in this scenario, we're walking raw land and you're kind of meeting some of me and my friends and you're going, okay, guys, this is what I look for when walking a property or when looking at raw land, this is where the gold is at. Everybody's stepping over. What kind of things do you see that I don't. 


 Mark
 Okay. So I see opportunity on the buy. Josh, let me just kind of walk you through the model. So you live in Florida, right? 


 Josh
 Yeah. Beautiful country of Florida, 


 Mark
 Beautiful country flourish. I would assume that you own five acres of raw land where I live in Arizona and you owe $200 in back taxes. So you're essentially advertising two important things. To me. Number one, you have no emotional attachments. They're all around here in Florida, the properties in Arizona. Number two you're to distress financially in some weird way, because we don't pay for things like our property taxes. We don't value them in the same way. As a result county treasurer keeps sending you notice the St. Josh, if you don't pay your property taxes, you're going to lose that property to a tax deed or tax lien investor. All I'm going to do is look at the comparable sales on your five acre parcel for the last 12 to 18 months. I'm going to take the lowest comparable sale and divide by four. That's completely what Warren buffet would call a 300% margin of safety. 


 Mark
 Let's say the lowest comparable sale is $10,000. I'm going to send you an actual offer for $2,500. Now you accepted why, because for you $2,500 is better than nothing. In reality, three to 5% of people, except my quote, unquote, top dollar deal. Now that you've accepted it, I have to go through due diligence or in-depth research. I have to confirm you still own the property I have to her back taxes are only $200. I have to make sure there's been a break in the chain of title, no liens or encumbrances. I have this whole big due diligence checklist and all sorts of stuff to my team in the Philippines, they're connected to an American title company. It costs about $11. If I was investing $5,000 more, I would just close traditionally through an American title company, but let's say $2,500. Everything checks out and I'm getting the plat maps, aerial maps, GIS maps, everything that are new buyers know Milan. 


 Mark
 While I'm doing my due diligence, I'm also creating my marketing package. Now I own your five acre parcel. Josh, I buy it from you for you get $2,300. I pay the taxes for $200. I own it free and clear at $2,500. Now I'm going to sell it three days or less and then make a cashflow like a rental home. I have a built in best buyer. Do you know who it is? No, It's the neighbors. I'm gonna send out neighbor letters saying, Hey, here's your opportunity. Protect your privacy protector views. Know your neighbor. So oftentimes the neighbors will buy it. Now, if they pass, I'll go to my buyers list. My buyers list past is a good, a little website. You may have never heard of. It's called Craigslist. It's the 15th, most trafficked website states. I'll get to what I know you've heard of called Metta or Facebook, buy, sell groups in the marketplace, and then I'd go to the lands. 


 Mark
 I'm got to land bodo.com, Landon farm.com lands in america.com plan flipped.com. Rev.com is a platforms where people buy and sell raw land. Josh, the way that I'm going to sell it is the secret I'm going to make it irresistible. All I'm going to do is ask somebody for a $2,500 down payment, and then I'll make it a car payment. Let's say 2 97 a month at 9% interest next 84 months. So it's a one-time sale. I'll get my capital out on the down, but I could go six to 10 months out. I'm going to get 2 97 a month and 9% interest in the next 84 months. Josh, no renters, no rehabs, no renovations, no rodents. Because I'm not dealing with a tenant I'm exempt from Dodd-Frank RESPA and the safe act, all this owners, real estate legislation. And then it's a simple game. Can we create enough land notes, right? 


 Mark
 Passive income exceeds our fixed expenses. We're working because we want to not because we have to. 


 Josh
 Dang it. Mark. When you asked me that question, who's the best buyer like that is so simple. I overlooked it and I've, I've done a part of that, right? Someone came to me and said, I have this large parcel of property. I want to sell. I went to the neighbors and I sold it within a day or two. When I was doing, normal realtor work. I overlooked, like your process seems so massively simple and easy to understand that I have overlooked that a million times. And I'm a deal guy. Like that is an amazing job, mark, putting that together. Nice job. 


 Mark
 Thank you. 


 Josh
 You were going for a walk and you're like, Hey, I should do this. If I looked through your background, investment banker and you've done some, cool stuff in the back, founder this and dental consultant on that, right? Like, so cool background. You were going for a walk one day and you're like, I got an idea. I'm going to go hire people in the Philippines. I'm going to go put on offers. I'm going to buy, how did that start? 


 Mark
 Well, really I was flipping raw land for cash when I first started. From my investment banking gig, I hated it. My firm hires this guy and he's telling me that he's flipping raw land pennies on a dollar online and he's making a 300% return on his investment. Gosh, I'm looking at companies all day long in a great company. Great. It's 15% EBITDA margins or free cash flow. I'm looking at average companies, a 10% allocated companies all day long, less than 10%. So I don't believe them. Once I started flipping the land, I started realizing, okay, the cash is great, but this is a hustle. I want cash flow. How do I make this cash flow? I started, everything, the owner financing model from there. 


 Josh
 So what could go wrong? Why are you doing, are you coming and visited the properties? Are you buying local? What could go wrong when buying it? What about, you know, EPA? What about the guy had a, a huge diesel tank in the ground? Like how do you deal with those kinds of issues? Because that's, those are the fear triggers that probably prevent me from digging into something like that. 


 Mark
 Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's a really good question. Doing your due diligence, you'll have somebody go out there for you and take pictures, shoot, video, and fill out your due diligence checklist, make sure nobody's dumping on the property. Usually, I mean, these are rural properties, we're not looking at New Jersey or Pennsylvania or Ohio areas where there could be super fun sites. You could also go to epa.gov and make sure you're not buying an environmental issue area, but the typically 99.9% of the time, you will not have any type of environmental issue whatsoever on a piece of rural land. 


 Josh
 For $2,500 piece of property, what could you expect when you send someone out to walk the property or fly a drone or do this kind of due diligence, what kind of costs are associated with those kind of things? 


 Mark
 It's about 50 bucks for a local Craigslist gig. Somebody go out there and just look at the property for. 


 Josh
 Nice. Now, fun fact, two fun facts. One is I actually connected with Craig Newmark, the guy who created Craigslist back in the day. Right. And super cool. He's working on some really interesting projects, but you're saying that is the most visited site in the world or something like that. 


 Mark
 In the United States. 


 Josh
 Oh, in the United States. Holy moly. You would think that there's maybe some naughty stuff, that people are looking at more than that. That's incredible. 


 Mark
 I know it's massive. Yeah. Massive. 


 Josh
 So, all right. So you create systems processes. You're like, I'm kind of a geek. I like, systems, automation, technology, you're outsourced a lot of stuff. What does a typical day look like for mark? 


 Mark
 I, I just think basically, I think my day is so Mondays and Fridays are my thinking days. I'm just taking walks and working out on a meditating, spending time with people who I love and thinking about the business and ways that it can grow. I think those are really important days. Tuesdays are my podcast day. I also have a podcast as well. I do interviews or I get interviewed, Wednesdays are my team meeting days, and then Thursdays are client meeting days. I have my calendar, I kind of know exactly what I'm going to be doing. In between those days, I feel like being creative and creating something or content I'll find some time in the morning on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday to do that as well. 


 Josh
 You love structure, right? Have you always been like this? If, if you and I were hanging out back in the day, maybe high school or middle school or something like that, what were you like then? 


 Mark
 Yeah, I mean, I was pretty structured. Absolutely. I've always been pretty self-disciplined and I just feel more in control in my day. I feel better with constraints than without constraints. That's not to say that once in awhile I'll have, a day full of chaos and the day just kind of gets away from me. Usually I CA I like having those things that make me feel good, done first, like putting your oxygen mask on first and then I can take care of everybody else. 


 Josh
 The book eat the frog or any type of Brian Tracy's any type of time management book. Those are probably like one of your favorites. 


 Mark
 No, no, it's so funny. My really time management book is not a type management book. It's Albert Berkman, a 4,000 weeks time management for mortals. And it is so good. It's like my most recommended book of 20, 22. 


 Josh
 Time manages the mortals. 


 Mark
 It is the antidote to that feeling that you'll never get enough done because we will never get enough done. We'll never be able to completely all our other big projects. We'll never be able to see other countries. Well, we're always making decisions and it's this existential , conflict that we all have that we feel like, we should get it all done though, but there's just another email coming in. There's another project to complete. There's always something better to do. It never ends. For finite human beings and he discusses all these issues. At the end of it, you just feel like, oh my gosh, I'm so calm now because you embrace the fact that you've on this limited time, these, oh, if you're lucky you get 4,000 weeks, how do you, what are the most meaningful ways to spend that time and ignore everything else? 


 Josh
 Wow. You and I are reading that book probably on a Monday or Friday, because those are your thinking days, right? We're really structured over here and we're reading that book and you're like, Josh, dude, I know you need to have this golden nugget, right? You pull one or two pieces of golden nuggets and you're like, Josh, read this book. Don't get up, no chasing squirrels until you're done reading these two things. What are the two pieces of advice that I need to grab from that book? 


 Mark
 I think the first one is just that we are, you're never going to get it all done and like letting go of that idea that, that fear of missing out, let it go. You are going to miss out. In fact, you will only be able to experience about 1% of the things that you want to experience in life and just let it go because it's, there's just too much to do. There's too many books to read. There's too many movies to see. There's too many people to meet. There's too many countries to visit. There's too many projects to complete. We'll just never get it all done and just let it go. That's that would be the first one. The second one is the fact that the only time that we really have is the now, so when you are doing your work and you are spending that time, that's so limited, really be where you are, which is a, a very Zen thing to do. 


 Mark
 We all hear here. I mean, it's so overused, be here now, living in the, now live in the present. Right. When you really embraced it and you really go deep into whatever you're doing and freak out about all the other distractions, because they're so easily distracted because it's really just a feeling of anxiety and you just feel the anxiety, like I'll be working at a keynote presentation. Certainly I'll ha I feel anxious because I'll feel like, oh my gosh, why am I doing this? I could be doing it better. I'll recognize that feeling. I'll immediately go to my phone and go to something simple, like, oh, where can I get a dopamine hit? Can I check my email? Can I check analytic? Did I get a sale? And then my attention is divided. I go back to the hard project, but really once we accept the fact that the project is hard, the feelings will rise. 


 Mark
 They'll go away and stay with it. It's no longer hard. 


 Josh
 Barrier. I think you, in that book are peering into my soul. Right? I do exactly that, right. We have tons of deals going on and we got too much s**t going on for this little brain to manage. When that happens. I like to go to a simple thing that I know I can manage. I go to an email box and I start deleting crap, right? Like deleting and unsubscribing. That's one of my favorite things to do. I push off the important project until there's a time constraint and then I'll dive in with incredible focus and then I'll finish it. Why in the world did I not do that in the first place? Right. 


 Mark
 Right. And, and it's just managing the uncomfortable feelings that we all have. I, it comes up for me every day where I am, I immediately think my immediate self-soothing is to go to my phone and distract myself. And it's usually an email. Now that I kind of recognizing it, you get better at it. It's like, I'm building that muscle. 


 Josh
 Yeah. 


 Mark
 Yeah. 


 Josh
 Oh, 


 Mark
 Well you were just not aware of it. I mean, I guess James clear talks about it. Maybe a time in the cabinets or near I Allen in distractible, but I just liked the way that Albert Berkman talks about it in 4,000 weeks, 


 Josh
 Dude. That's so good. I mean, that's, I mean, we could talk about dirt and such, but that is so good for dealmakers, especially, the tip of the spear dealmakers who are out on the hunt, the deal scout, and, my job is to dig up dirt everywhere I go. Right. Bring in my partners to do the deals and such like that. Like, distractions for me are, is my business model. Right, right, 


 Mark
 Right. 


 Josh
 But this is so powerful. And I appreciate that. Like, thank you. I'm sending you a check or something like that. I'm buying the book, I'm reading it. I'll try to make the change. Like that being aware of that is so cool, man. So I promise two fun facts. I had to look this up prior, but your thing talks about dirt rich and you're an author book, dirt rich. You're also have a podcast. Let's do a, a plug for you and your book and your podcast show for people who want to like learn this methodology and do it and make some money. Where could people hear about your book and your podcast? 


 Mark
 Yeah. Dirt rich, you could just go to the website, the land kyc.com forward slash dirt rich, or it's on Amazon. The podcast is the art of passive income podcast where I interview experts like you, or, we'll have our group of coaches. We'll do a round table podcast and we'll talk about a pain point in the land investing business and how we all solve it differently. 


 Josh
 Dave, super cool. Now I love podcasts. We built a bunch of them in such like that. I've been in it for a bit. Why'd you start it? Like what inspired you one day, you're going for a walk or doing some meditation. You're like, I should have a podcast. Like what did that day look like for you? 


 Mark
 I just wanted to talk about what I was doing and this new technologies there, just being geeky, I thought, oh, this is kind of cool. And so I just started doing it. Then, so I start with the lanky podcast, just talking about raw land. I got bored with it and I thought, oh, what's the what's. I would have talked to like interesting people like grant Cardone. Oh, what if I interview him on my podcast? I started the podcast, like the best passive income and auto podcasts. I'd meet like Sharon Lechter from rich dad, poor dad, all of these really interesting people that have never had an opportunity to meet and an interview with them on the podcast, extract out their wisdom. I would go through my shtick, like walking into my Bible. I don't say, do I have the best passive income model? And then I got bored with that. 


 Mark
 Then, so now I'm doing the art of passive income podcast and that's what I'm staying with. I love it. I'm getting all my needs met. I'm talking about land. I'm interviewing experts. There's no need to change. 


 Josh
 Yeah. It's funny that you had to, you started evolved pivot, start evolve, pivot, right. And to got to where you're at. You're like, all right, I have my needs met. I've built, you're a lot faster than me buddy. I've built 10 or 11 podcast shows. I even started investing in, we're looking at acquiring some because I had a hard time finding my fit. And I think I've landed on it. For me, it's multiple, which maybe I'm just a squirrel chaser, who knows? Like, I love the fact of how you systematically have approached investing, passive investing and even podcasting. Super, super cool out of all your podcasts interviews. What, what has stood out to you to be your like favorite moment in podcasting. 


 Mark
 Favorite. 


 Josh
 Besides this, besides this right now, 


 Mark
 Besides this moment. So. Who, I think Greg McKeon from essential ism came on and I thought, oh, I'll get 30 minutes with this guy. He spent like an hour with us and it was really a great guy. Just so generous with his time that one stuck out Richard towel, Heimer, the founder of the sharper image. He would spend all day with us. I mean, he was so generous with his time, such an interesting story of the sharper engine, that, those two kind of leap out at me right now. I I've had some amazing moments on the podcast, but I've done it. I've done it for so many years. I can't, I can't think of it. It's like saying, well, what's your favorite dessert? I mean, you know, it's chocolate. 


 Josh
 Cake. I know exactly. I, 


 Mark
 Yeah. Okay. You're on death row. Josh, what would be your last meal? 


 Josh
 I'm on death row. Last meal. Yeah. Steak and probably, I don't know. Steak and chocolate cake sounds good to me. I interviewed Greg too. And he liked, he was amazing. And we had such a fun conversation. We role-played, we talk about, dad, not, dad and mom's situation and yeah, he was a great, he's a great guest. Isn't he? He did a great. 


 Mark
 Job. He's a great guest. Yeah. 


 Josh
 I promised two fun facts and I looked this up cause I've heard the thing dirt poor before. Cause you have a book called dirt. Rich. That kind of how you took a spin on dirt? Poor medieval term. Brought it to dirt rich. 


 Mark
 Exactly. 


 Josh
 All right. Give us your origin softball pitch. Here you go. 


 Mark
 As far as like what, how I came up with that? 


 Josh
 Yeah. 


 Mark
 I would be saying that on the podcast, like, I've been saying it for a long time and I thought, oh, this will just be good for the book. The subtitle is how one ambitiously lazy geek created passive income without renters, rehabs or rodents. Yeah. I'm working on dirt rich too. Right now. The next plot, which I thought was kind of clever. 


 Josh
 I think it's super clever. You must have come up with that on a Monday or Friday. 


 Mark
 Of Monday or Friday. Absolutely. I actually think somebody in my group came up with it and I stole it. 


 Josh
 Yeah. It's super cool. Dirt. Poor came from like a medieval term where if you were rich, you had thresh on the floor or you had hay or something like that, or maybe even would. Right. If you were super poor, you couldn't have anything. So then you were considered dirt poor. I looked that up. I don't know if it's right. Someone can fact check me. I don't know. But I thought that was interesting. Cool. Yeah. So, all right. Over the years of dirt investing in raw land, how many acres do you think you have transacted? 


 Mark
 Well, I've done over 6,000 transactions. What that equates in fires acres. Gosh, I've wouldn't even be able to give you an accurate yes. 


 Josh
 Do you think maybe a whole state, like if we put 6,000 transactions, five acres. 


 Mark
 Time. Yeah, definitely. Sure. 


 Josh
 Essentially you have sold a state at least. 


 Mark
 Yeah. Oh yeah. 


 Josh
 All right. Sure. How do you deal with, so there, there's a saying in, in the investment world, like angels don't fly, like when it comes to investing, like, do you focus like geographically within a hundred mile radius of you in case you needed to? Or do you stay continental us? Are you open to other, like how do you, what kind of boundaries do you set for your investment criteria? 


 Mark
 Yeah. So Josh, let's just be honest. Right? Nobody wakes up and thinks themselves it's boy, I'd like some raw land today in Iowa, unless you live in Iowa. Yeah. Our biggest Firepool are going to want to be in the sunshine states, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, California. What am I missing? Maybe the Northwest Washington, Oregon of Florida. That's really where we're going to be focusing. 


 Josh
 Yeah. You look at, are you looking at like population growth and in those kinds of like stats or anything like that, you're like, what kind of state would I like to live in? 


 Mark
 I mean, if it's an hour to three hours from the nearest city, there may not be a lot of growth in one of these counties, but there's a less freelancing in this country. I've never been stuck with a piece of raw land. Just because I personally don't want, may not want to own that piece of land. There's someone else out there that would love it and that they can afford it with our owner financing. 


 Josh
 Lust for land. That's going to be the title of today's episode, by the way, I love it. When it comes to this owner financing model, I love it. Right. Cause you get paid back your, your original nut, like in the very beginning, right? Like show you're like I got 2,500 in it's only $2,500 down payment. The rest is just purely passive income over the time. What, what has been, how do I structure this question? What has been like best deal, worst deal ever. Like, what is the, oh, I knew how I was going to ask it. So we'll ask best deal. Worst deal ever in a minute when it comes to that, like, are you holding it? And then you transfer deed. Like once it's paid off, like how do you structure mechanically that thing? 


 Mark
 Yeah. Well, so we use software that automates office. We're 99% automated on the front, end, the backend with software. We have inexpensive, VA's running into that middle piece. So, it's essentially, with the press of a button, we create the contracts. A purchase sale agreement, a promissory note, a land sale contract. Once they pay off their note, we get a notification from the software saying deed that property. My acquisition manager will, they've limited power of attorney. They'll go ahead and deed it, notarize it, all that good stuff. 


 Josh
 All day long, you're just looking at nuts and bolts and figuring out how to make the machine go better and faster. Right? 


 Mark
 Yeah, exactly. Kaizen continuous improvement. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Did you read the Toyota way or. 


 Mark
 No? No, I probably should. 


 Josh
 Though. Okay. Yeah, because I mean, they're Toyota D that's shout out to one of my coaches, Bob, that's his favorite book and he, references that about three times every coaching session. So shout out to Bob. Okay. Now we get into best, worst deal ever. Right? Like looking back over 6,000 transactions, which ones stood out where you're like, Mark's like, that was my favorite one. 


 Mark
 Okay. Well, let's start with the worst one. I get that one out of the way. Okay. The worst deal was in treasure lake, Pennsylvania. So it was a gated community. It had million dollar homes to PG rated golf courses, three lakes. It was beautiful, but they had their own developed. They had all these property organization, they had water fees and it'll always lots of thousand lots had leans on them. I fly in there and I start meeting with the property owners, associations, and look, you got all this dead money and I'm going to resurrect it, deed me over these properties. I'll get new owners in there and you'll get your property. Those associations going to make more money. The county's going to get more money. They get their taxes and everyone's going to be happy. This isn't like a slam dunk deal. Right? No problem, Josh, for three years, I tend to go up shame the golfers. 


 Mark
 We're afraid there's going to be too many golfers. Taking up their times, the boaters didn't, we're afraid there's going to be too many people on the boat. The, the women were like, oh, our social, club's going to get ruined. You're going to bring too many people into our community. Finally I convinced them after three years. This is now we're heading into 2007. 


 Josh
 Oh. 


 Mark
 So, I bought a thousand lots at 50 bucks a lot. I made about a hundred grand and then 2008 came around. I couldn't even give these things away. And so that was the worst deal. 


 Josh
 Oh, oh, what did you learn? They're like, all right. 


 Mark
 Well, I learned there that I don't want it. First of all, like, don't get emotionally involved in just cause I like to land. Don't get emotionally involved factor of your time. Once I factored in my time, I actually, as a first deal, I actually lost money on or maybe broke even because I was flying back and forth. I was spending all this time negotiating. It's just not, you can't just look at the dollar amount. You gotta look at your time. I also learned that, people don't like these property owners association fees, nobody likes getting nickel and Dianne for something they're not using. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Yeah. Holy moly. Oh, so good. Yeah. Best deal. 


 Mark
 So the best deal was in Nevada. It was a complicated deal. It was with the railroad. The railroad had millions of acres, which they then had sold to a private equity group owned by Morgan Stanley. Selling that off to a public company that only one in the middle rights. The mineral rights company had no use of land. They just want to code the minerals. I went in there and I started buying sections of land, subdividing them to 40 acre parcels. I was buying them at $30 an acre and selling them at $500 an acre. That one deal, I made it over $5 million. 


 Josh
 Good job. Yeah. Let's do that one again, right? 


 Mark
 Yeah. Yeah. 


 Josh
 Holy moly. All right. If you were going to have a movie made out of, made after you like a, a biography after mark, the lamb guy, the land geek, who would play you, who would you want to play? You? 


 Mark
 A lot of people say, I look like David Schwimmer. I don't know if I'd want him to play me, but that's what people say. Who's. 


 Josh
 That. 


 Mark
 David Schwimmer from friends. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Let me look him up real quick, 


 Mark
 Who would I want to play me? 


 Josh
 Yeah. 


 Mark
 What actor do I like? I don't know. I mean, she could just be arrogant and say, Hey, Daniel Day Lewis played mark, but I was going to land academy award. You, you genius thespian. You. 


 Josh
 Actually, he listens in to on this. I'd like, maybe we'll have him, sign up and maybe apply to be you in the movie. The land geek. 


 Mark
 Yeah. I, yeah. I, I, you don't treat my milkshake. I drink yours about raw land. 


 Josh
 He's walking around with his air pistol thing that, from a, there will be blood. 


 Mark
 Yeah, yeah, exactly. He's. 


 Josh
 Walking the land and he's like, searching from an ad. I don't know. Awesome. Okay. That's cool, man. As you're building this, right, you've, you've done some cool deals, made some good money in terms of, without you could share as much as you want in terms of like deals that are just on autopilot for you, essentially. How many deals right now, do you have kind of running on your model where they're paying you every month? 


 Mark
 Oh my gosh. I should know this number a lot hundreds. A lot. Super cool. 


 Josh
 Super cool. What's the goal, right? Like so passive income in the ESBI quadrants of rich dad, poor dad, and anybody would say you're out of the rat race because your passive income has far surpassed your, your expenses. You're kind of out of the rat race and your passive income. You're you're doing it. Okay. Why keep on going? What's the kind of the goal or what's the ambition to do something. 


 Mark
 Yeah. I mean, it's a really good point. You're right. Like there's no reason for me to make any more money, honestly. And it's not about that. It's really about helping other people get out of what I call solo economic dependency, which means if they're personally not working, they're not making any money. Yeah. Helping people who have, freelancers, they have a job even let's pick on people that solve their money problems, but not their time problems, doctors, lawyers, dentists. I want to help everybody along the economic spectrum get out of select, not like dependency so they can move up. Maslow's hierarchy of needs into self-actualization and really fulfill their greatest life purpose. 


 Josh
 That's all solo economic dependency. Is that how you say it? 


 Mark
 It's exactly. 


 Josh
 Dang it. That might be the title of the show. I don't know. I might have to do too. That's do you have fun? Like, so when you're interviewing someone, are you thinking like, what's the title? Like, what am I thinking? Like, what's the key nugget, if there's one thing, how do you approach that? 


 Mark
 I tell my team member to listen to it and find it. I don't want to, I don't like you drive me crazy, Josh. I started thinking like, where's our good phrase. Where's our, yeah. I would try to be funnier than I really am. 


 Josh
 Of course you have it systemized and processed. I'm not quite there yet. And you're a little faster than me. All right. We're hanging out and the perfect deal comes across the table and it could be anywhere in the world for you. Right. I know you just did some recent travel, so maybe this is a good segue in that, like w kind of give us an idea of where you recently went and why was it important to you? 


 Mark
 I just got back from Bali and it was important to me because I've never been to Southeast Asia and I had all these fears going in, you can't drink the water. There's, the trap, like the traffic, there's terrible infrastructure. There's terrible. Like, there's all these amazing, cool ways to die at Bali. I'd been, reading up on all of them. I hadn't had time to get any type of immunization shots. And, once I got there, all those few years went away. It's, I think there's that Seneca quote where, the, your, your, the fears in your imagination are worse than they are in reality. Something like that. I'm paraphrasing, but it's still true. Like, we, we put all these things in our head, and then once you get there, it's not at all like that. And it was just a magical place. I, there's something special about the Hinduism in Bali, the idea of karma, like, there's all this chaos going around. 


 Mark
 I didn't see one, a Balinese person get angry, frustrated, irritated, moody at all. They're just completely happy people. Yet, they're, they're by all, conventional standards, poor. 


 Josh
 Yeah. 


 Mark
 Just in an, in an incredible magical experience, I think the, the best people, all the places I've traveled. Yeah. Then, just, you find these other travelers that you sit in a coffee shop and you just go right to the deep end in 10 minutes, there's no small talk. There's something about travelers. Yeah. I think people are out of the world. Like they just get into it about life and all that. Yeah. 


 Josh
 Yeah. I love it. When, when I'm connecting on a travel trip or something like that, or someone's capacity through, cause that you have to bypass all the small talk. Right. Because you're probably never going to see this person again. You're like, man, I don't want another, Hey man, great weather. You know, how's the sun. It doesn't matter. You're like, dude, what, why is that tattoo important to you? Well, you know, like, let's dive in. Let's let's chat. What question? You and I, our coffee shop in Bali having some fun, we just did a big deal. We doubled the deal that you did, Morgan Stanley back in the day and you and I are having some fun. We're sitting there and the traveler comes up, hangs out with us for a minute. You have a couple of questions that are some of your go-to questions for going deep. 


 Josh
 What would you ask that traveler? 


 Mark
 Oh my gosh. The first question I like to ask people is if you could have anyone over for dinner, that's alive and have dinner conversation with them, what would it be? And then riff off of that. Because I think that really kind of gives you an idea of what that person's interested in. You can riff off of their interests and go to the deep end really quickly. That's a great question. Kind of start sharing with you with them. Like, like you would have over for dinner and why, so you always want to get to that Y another easy question is why are you here? Yeah. Then, you get right into the deep end, ? Yeah. Especially in a place like Bali, which is typically more. Woo. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Just let me cover this because I know there's going to be someone in my audience who, they said what? You didn't watch friends growing up and you didn't know David was no, I did not. I had to look it up and I'm like, oh yeah, I've seen that guy a billion times, but I've never watched trends, but yeah, you do kind of look like him. You're you look like a movie star, not to toot your horn. I'm just saying like, you kind of look like this guy, 


 Mark
 Josh cha. I appreciate it, man. I mean, I'm trying to grow my hair out. I got a bad haircut. I'll get there. I'll get that. 


 Josh
 And you'll get there. I'm working on my hair. The grow guys grow. That's a Monday and Friday, his hair grow day. Right, 


 Mark
 Exactly. 


 Josh
 So, all right. I, I get to go on a trip with you, but we can only, bring a, a small minimalist travel. You can bring one song this back in the day where you had like a, a record. You can bring one song and one book and we're going to go do some work and maybe one tool of some sort, what are you going to bring? 


 Mark
 Okay. The book I would bring would probably be, I don't know what I'd be with the P sapiens might be sapiens. 


 Josh
 No kidding. Okay. 


 Mark
 Where there's a Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, what kind of books they read over and over again? How long do I have. 


 Josh
 On our trip or during this podcast interview? 


 Mark
 Oh, it's just an, a trip. The question. Let me think. You know what? I've never read infinite jest. I'm gonna take an infinite jest. It's like a thousand pages. 


 Josh
 That's an infinite book. It sounds good. 


 Mark
 That was like, my, it was so funny because I'm like, there's an SNL skit and they're showing like all the people during COVID like what they didn't do. They showed infinite justice in that sense. That's me. There's my COVID book. I didn't get to. So that'd be the book. It's song, like one song. 


 Josh
 You only get one song on your iPod. 


 Mark
 What is it? Listen to listen over and over again. Yeah. Wow. What's talking. Do I like to listen over and over again? I'm trying to think. Josh help me out here. What, what would your song be? Oh, 


 Josh
 Under the bridge from red hot chili peppers there, when the course kicks in, it sounds like angels singing. My kids will be walking and they hear that song. They know it's dad's favorite song. They'll sing with it. We sing red, hot chili peppers together as a family and our car. It's kind of like the stepbrother scene. Yeah. But yeah, that'd be my song. Definitely. 


 Mark
 Okay. So. 


 Josh
 We can come back to it if you need to. I, 


 Mark
 I, I was just listening to the song and I thought, oh my gosh, this is like an amazing song is stairway to heaven. It's seven minutes. Yeah. So, just to answer the question, move this podcast long, I'll say stairway to heaven, but I, I want the ability to change my mind. Later, later. 


 Josh
 You hold the option of being able to change your answer. And I'll just re-edit it in. And nobody would even know. If you hear stairway to heaven, it's because I didn't edit it out. All right. So, and you get to bring a tool, right? It could be like, no phones, nothing like that, but it could be a tool. It could be something like a bow and arrow. You could bring up, you know, whatever. It could be a skateboard. It could be something that, you find pleasure in or practicality. 


 Mark
 Tool. Well, I would probably want it like a Firestarter well, one day I'll bring that. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Why not? Okay. Sounds good. Let me, I think I just ran over my microphone. Cord. Can you still hear me? 


 Mark
 I can. Okay, 


 Josh
 Perfect. You could have messed with me. Like I can't hear you. All right. Let's get back to dirt and deals. When it comes to what you're doing. Now, you have a podcast, you have a book you're about to write the second plot book. Right? Super excited about that, and you have a desire and passion, right? Your, your passive income has gotten to the point where you're like, I don't really need any more money and more deals. It was cool. Now you're like, I want to outward and help others. What does that look like when it comes to helping others? How do you help people with dirt? 


 Mark
 We really show them step-by-step how to create this business and then solve all their pain points for them. So our training is really phenomenal. 


 Josh
 Why create your own competition, right? Because you're buying more deals and doing more deals. You train up this assassin, to take down some deals like that. Is that hurting you in the end? Or like, why would you want to train up? You're the guy who's gonna bid on deals against you? 


 Mark
 Yeah. It's such a good question. I first started teaching, I thought the same thing, I'm like, oh my gosh, pretty my welcome competition. I put on my investment banking hat and I thought, well, how big is the market? It looks like there's billions of acres of all. For sale, it is the most boring, real estate niche ever, right? Like you're not going to go on HGTV or the DIY network and say flip this land. Before pictures were all in the after pictures, raw land. So it's an unloved niche. I mean, you may, a million people can be in this niche. We'll all run out of money before were on that deal flow. There's just, no, there's no sophisticated players, private equity groups. There's a hedge funds. They have too much money. So that's why, 


 Josh
 Yeah. I love it. All right. So I want to get started. I want to get some training. I hire you as my coach, my guide, my Sherpa. I want to go to Bali with you next year. I've got a year to, get off this rat race, right? Maybe I'm a doctor or something chiropractor. I got a year where I want to get on this, off this rat race treadmill, right? Where do I mark? Where do I even freaking start? 


 Mark
 I think the best place to start is, the best way to learn anything by doing it. We've got a free course how to double your money 30 days or less. See if the modeling resonates with you. It's just the land geek.com forward slash quick deals. We really simplify the business even more. How to buy a hotel or it's a hotel in Malibu. You buy it wholesale, you sell it retail. You'll double your money. Once you do it, if you like it, then you can go deeper into the model. 


 Josh
 What does that link again? 


 Mark
 The Atlantic antique.com board slash quick deals. 


 Josh
 Well, we could do is we can put that link in the show notes. So people listen and go, yeah. I want to try this out. Right? Like 2,500 bucks, five grand. I've got that. Let's, let's put that on a deal. Let's see if I could double my money, then I might want to double it again then maybe again and again, right? 


 Mark
 Exactly. 


 Josh
 6,000 deals later. So, all right. We're raising up the next generation of investors. You and I are 80 years old. How old are you now? 


 Mark
 I'm 51. 


 Josh
 You're 51 years old. You don't look at all right. You look younger than I do. You're welcome. Once again. You're not my type. I'm not trying toot your horn. I'm just saying like, you, look, you look good for your age. All right. Let's just say 40 years from now. You're you're 91 80. Holy moly. Yeah. We're, we're old at this point. We're sitting back and we go, we've made it. What does that look like? 


 Mark
 Okay. Am I a good ancestor? That's that's really, the overarching goal is to be a good ancestor and we're going to lose everything in our lives. Right? It's, it's all going to go away. The only thing that really will remain is our values. Can I pass those on and be a good ancestor, 


 Josh
 Dude? That is a really freaking good answer. Where did you come up with? That? Was that a Monday and a Friday thing. 


 Mark
 I walk a lot. Josh. I walk a lot. 


 Josh
 Yeah. 


 Mark
 Yeah. 


 Josh
 Have you ever gone to walk about where you just like pick a destination? You're like, it's going to take me while I'm going to get there. 


 Mark
 Yeah. I mean, I, for sure, hiking and national parks and all that good stuff. Yeah. 


 Josh
 No, I liked that. Gosh, I was going to ask another question, but that was a really good answer. Okay. Oh, the question, when it comes to becoming a good ancestor in the world of investing, all right. We look out and there's ancestry tree of, investors that we have helped build and invested in and we've tutored them and mentored them and they could take away a few characteristics. What are those characteristics that make you a good ancestor for the future investors? 


 Mark
 If you're going to do a deal, you, first of all, like, are you finding joy in that deal? So, so often I see younger people, they just want to do the deal for the money. Ultimately I think that's going to lead to a ruin really, because at some point you want to do it because it's something bigger than yourself. Once your money problems are solved and you love what you're doing and there's no joy in it. And it's just for the money. It's kind of a recipe for failure in a lots of other ways. I would say that would be the big characteristic is, do you find it joyful? It purposeful that you're, it's something bigger than your stuff, whatever you're building. 


 Josh
 Yeah. That's super cool. When it comes to, these deal-making and your students and such like that. When you're looking at a group of students, how many students have you worked with over the years? 


 Mark
 I don't even know hundreds. 


 Josh
 Okay. When you're looking at them and you could going to be successful, probably not going to be successful. What is that thing? When you see someone and you're like, they're probably going to be a successful investor. What is that? 


 Mark
 Yeah, I, I have a spidey sense with some people cause we do an application process and I can kind of see, and first of all, the best indicator of future results is past results. If they literally have nothing up until that point, why do I think that this is going to change? That it's not, and they shouldn't do it. We tell them that like do something first, because this is hard, right? Business is hard. Entrepreneurship is hard. Once you know that then does that person have grit? Seth Godin has got this great line where, hockey players love hockey so much that they get their teeth knocked out and they keep going. Yeah, it's the same thing in business. You will get your teeth knocked out metaphorically. Do you love business enough? Do you love that deal enough to keep getting up again and again, 


 Josh
 Finding joy in the work that you do for me, that's what I call worship, right? When I'm doing that, which I'm made to do on a daily basis. It brings me that much joy and I'm impacting positively, like people like that is my joy, that the business and the game, the art, the sport of it for me is there's so much joy in it for me. However, and I'd love your advice on this. Sometimes my ass is getting whooped from email messages, from deals and from clients and this and that. I Love the game, but there's aspects of the work that really beat me up sometimes. For a systems, process, operations, tech guy, like what are some things or some resources that I could take a look at that can maybe make my job more joyful. 


 Mark
 Yeah. Five magic words, Marie Kondo, does this bring me joy? If the answer's no, then you either delegate it. You eliminate it or you reverse it. In the sense that like, we, like, there's certain things like we just have to do. Yeah. Right. For example, no one likes firing somebody, but you can't delegate that you can't eliminate that. You just go to the person and say, does this job bring you joy? They're probably going to say, no, it doesn't. You said, well, let's find you something that does. You help that person along their path. 


 Josh
 Super cool. Let's do this during this interview. There's probably a question because I mean, went, went in the deep end pretty quick, mark. Like, I love you for that. Thank you. Yeah. There's probably a question that I should have asked you about the deal or about your life or about something that I completely screwed up and did not ask you. What is that? 


 Mark
 Well, I, I, I don't know, because the question that usually people don't ask me is white itching because you are essentially creating your own competition. Yeah. Since you asked that, you've kind of stumped me, Josh. I think you're a phenomenal interviewer. I don't think he left any stone unturned. 


 Josh
 On this role land. No stone is unturned. 


 Mark
 No. I mean, I mean, not, yeah, no. Awesome. Yeah. 


 Josh
 All right. Let's, let's do this one final question for you. All right. This is, you got all your needs met financially, right? You're doing okay. You can buy an experience or something material or something else. You could do something else with it, but you just did another deal. You and I did another Morgan Stanley deal and we doubled our money and we made, we have 5 million bucks. We're like, okay, what's another 5 million bucks. Like, well, what are we going to do with it? Right? Like what for you, what is something that like, if you had a massive windfall of cash, what is something that you would want to do next? 


 Mark
 Well, 10%, 10% of it immediately would go to effective altruism.org. 


 Josh
 What's that? 


 Mark
 This is a group I created by William MacAskill. It's like Oxford professor and all that they do all day long are look at, it's like a fund to funds to all they do is look at the best charities to relieve the most suffering, get your biggest bang for your buck. They, it turns out like mosquito nets save thousands of lives per year and they cost nothing. Totally. These are like, they think about these things. That'd be the first place I would go. The second thing would be, well, how do I compile that? I can give more to charity is, basically what it is. So, Buffett's buffet because he's just been doing it longer. He just keeps compounding. How can it compile the returns and, relieve the most suffering in the world. Again, it goes back to being a good ancestor. Between there, I'd like to, a cool experience or two. 


 Josh
 Super cool. All right. For fellow makers, if you want to learn about, dirt, rich, and if you want to learn about these, investing in raw land as always reach out to our guests and say, thanks for being on the show, but you reach out to mark, would that maybe that link, or maybe what other ways there to contact you, mark. If they're like, Hey man, I got extra money. I want to invest in those returns. That kind of opportunity sounds something fun for me. How can people connect with you? 


 Mark
 Yeah. Email me directly mark at the Atlantic tech. 


 Josh
 Super cool. 


 Mark
 Just put a subject just with Joshua Wilson. 


 Josh
 Cool. Yeah. And what we'll do. Yeah. Joshua Wilson. Hey, that's me. We'll put that in the show notes below. If people want to connect with you and do a deal with you, there'll be a way that's the purpose and mission of the show is to put deals and deal makers together. Fellow deal makers in the audience as always reach out to our guests. Thanks for being on the show. Find a way to do a deal with them. If you are working on a deal or want to talk to the community about a deal, head over to the deal, scout.com, fill out a quick form. Maybe get you on the show. Next, this has been a fun episode. I hope you guys had a wonderful day. We'll talk to you all on the next episode. Cheers, everybody. 

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Mark Podolsky

Author / CEO

www.thelandgeek.com/media-kit