Member Kevin Farrell Shares Land Academy Success Stories (LA 1036)

Member Kevin Farrell Shares Land Academy Success Stories (LA 1036)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hi.

Steven Butala:                   Welcome to the Land Academy Show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

Jill DeWit:                            And, I’m Jill DeWit, broadcasting from sunny, southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today, Jill and I interview member, Kevin Farrell, and he shares his Land Academy success stories, and hopefully, a little bit of his background. And, he’s … I can’t wait to talk to you, Kevin, because you’re not just a regular Land Academy member. You’re nice enough to be the moderator on land investor sites. And, [crosstalk 00:00:30] a bunch of stuff to ask you. It’s awesome.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep, thank you Kevin, glad you’re here.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, so Kevin, tell us a little bit about [inaudible 00:00:38].

Kevin Farrell:                      All right, I’m glad to be here. When 2016, I had determined that I wanted to get into real estate investing, and I was looking really hard at small, multi-family, small apartment buildings. I was hanging out on Bigger Pockets, and discovered Seth Williams over there. And, I thought, well, the land thing sounds pretty interesting. So, I started researching land. And actually, Jill, I don’t know if you remember. While I was on Bigger Pockets, I was looking for ways to get tax delinquent lists for counties, and you piped in over there and said, “Hey, you don’t need to do that, because you’re going to miss a lot of deals.”

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Kevin Farrell:                      And so, you and I scheduled a phone conversation. We talked, and I ended up joining October, 2016, something like that. And at the time, we were running a pest control business in Indianapolis. And, that was my full-time deal. So, I knew this was going to be part-time for awhile, and we reached that point in 2018 in the spring. We decided if we’re going to go full-time with land, I just can’t do the pest control work anymore.

Kevin Farrell:                      So, we sold that business, and that’s … It’s easier to say than it is to do. It takes awhile to get everything together and wrap that all up. We sold that business, and at the same time, we had an opportunity to buy the condo that we’re in now for cash. And, we sold our home. So, that whole summer was just kind of like, a real long train wreck thing.

Kevin Farrell:                      I wasn’t sending any mail out. We had properties and inventory, so I could sell a few here and there, but from June until October, we didn’t work on the land business. And so, that’s just devastating. So basically, we rebooted our land business toward the end of 2018.

Kevin Farrell:                      Really, the first quarter of this year is when we’re really trying to hit the numbers that we’re working on right now. And, what I’m doing is, even though I don’t meet these goals every month, I’m trying to send out 3,000 offers a month. And, I’m purposely targeting areas that are higher priced. Some of these are east of the Mississippi. The personality of these counties and the way people respond is totally different than rural, vacant desert property out west, so the numbers are lower, I think.

Steven Butala:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kevin Farrell:                      The response rate is lower. That also meets my needs. My wife and I concluded that we weren’t very good at building a really high-volume business, working with smaller properties, but actually, you know, trying to do 10 or 20 deals a month. We failed that.

Kevin Farrell:                      But, we’re pretty good at doing some larger dollar deals. I’m fine with doing three or four that make 10 or 20 K a month, and that’s what I’m working towards right now.

Jill DeWit:                            Perfect.

Steven Butala:                   So, you do three or four deals that generate net 10 to 20 thousand bucks a month, and that’s where your spot is.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah, for now. For now. I mean, I wouldn’t put a cap on it, but you know, that’s comfortable. We feel good about doing the business for that, and right now, incidentally, I’ve got two deals in closing that are assignments. Those are 8,000 dollars apiece. All I did was get a signed purchase agreement. I found the guy that wants to market those, and he agreed to that price, so we did a contract where I get paid at closing.

Kevin Farrell:                      There’s a third one that he’s going to also be a partner on, and that’s a larger five acre deal in Travis County, Texas, 165 K purchase price, three to 400 K comp. But, I’m taking the 10,000 dollar assignment fee on that one, as well. And, the only thing lacking there is, I’m trying to get the seller’s attorney to have the purchase agreement signed. But, I met all their terms, so I don’t see why they shouldn’t sign it.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s great. Oh, that …

Steven Butala:                   Which … Go ahead, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            No, I was just following.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, what’s been your biggest challenge so far with Land Academy, or with the real estate investing effort?

Kevin Farrell:                      Well, the one that’s obvious to me is the, just having a real good head for building a business. You know, about half the questions that come across the floor, have to do with the process. How do you handle this? How do you do this? How do you keep track of things? You know, and we questioned that a lot. We’re probably attempted, probably, we’re on our fourth CRM system for various reasons. We outgrow them or they don’t fit right, or they don’t work right with the accounting software. It’s just something. It’s the constant experiment.

Kevin Farrell:                      So, that’s the biggest problem for me. I just love doing the research and crunching the numbers. And you know, that’s all fine. I’m not real keen on phone work. And, I just recently made some tweaks to my answering service. I have, which is real similar to PATLive. And, I got on them before there was a discount with Land Academy for PATLive. They’re very similar, but one of the things that they do, in the script, they allow for different conditions.

Kevin Farrell:                      So, I used to have people call, and the operator would ask how they could help them. And, they’d say, “Well, I want to cuss somebody out because of the sweater that I got.”

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Kevin Farrell:                      Or, they might [inaudible 00:06:58] and sell some land. Or, they might say, “I want to talk to Kevin.” So, I get all of these different messages. So, my average call length was 3.5 minutes with that kind of script. I recently changed it about a month and a half ago. When the caller calls, the operator identifies themself and the company name and says, “Would you like to sell your land?” Because these are only … I only use this for responses to my letter. Would you like to sell your land? Yes or no?

Kevin Farrell:                      That’s the only choice you get. If you say yes, they take all the info. If you say no, the caller says, “Let me get your reference number from your letter, and we’ll remove you from the list.” And then, that sort of simmers the conversation down. It gets them off the phone. And now, my conversations are 2.5 minutes average.

Steven Butala:                   Excellent.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s great, way to go.

Kevin Farrell:                      I get more [inaudible 00:07:56].

Steven Butala:                   And, I’ll take it a step further. I ask, we ask them if they want to sell their property and if so, does the price on the purchase agreement work for them?

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   And then it’s like, you can really weed out the people that are serious about it quickly.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah, true.

Steven Butala:                   So, give us a great success story.

Jill DeWit:                            I like these.

Kevin Farrell:                      Well, as I explained in my email, I’m not the most successful guy. I’ve had a lot of little things. I bought some stuff out in [Corinne 00:08:34] County that worked out pretty well. Not big dollars, mind you, but in one case, it was 59 acres, and it was right across the street from … I don’t know if it was Kia or Honda Proving Grounds. No, it was Honda. Honda Proving Grounds out there in the desert.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, uh-huh.

Kevin Farrell:                      So, it was a pretty big piece of property with power at the corner, but not much else going on. And, I think my offer for this thing was 24 thousand dollars. And, I know Steven, I had scheduled a call and talked to you about four or five properties from that California mailer, and we talked about a bunch of them. And, after that call, I went back to this owner and said, “I can give you 20 for it.” That’s not right. “I can give you 10 for it.”

Kevin Farrell:                      So, 10 was amazingly ridiculous offer, and two days later I got an email and she said, “That’s fine.” So, you know, anytime you can get a piece of property like that, it really helps you to sell it, because you can easily put a really good price on it and still have a decent profit out of it.

Kevin Farrell:                      But, let’s see. I don’t know what else is out there that’s really …

Jill DeWit:                            That’s so good.

Kevin Farrell:                      … great.

Jill DeWit:                            I understand you’ve obviously been cruising along doing just fine. That after two years, you were comfortable enough to really … And, I love that you hung onto your other business, made sure which was the right run, sold the other one, paid cash for where you live now. That’s huge.

Steven Butala:                   All good decisions.

Jill DeWit:                            I mean, I’m sure you guys sleep very well at night. You should.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yep, yep.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s good.

Steven Butala:                   Well, like I said, Kevin, I can’t thank you enough for your contribution to the forum.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   You know, truly, you have amazing perceptions, and you can communicate them really, really well.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, you connect with everybody. You know what’s great is that, it seems like it doesn’t matter where everyone’s coming from, you … and I really appreciate that … you’re really good at taking a step back and putting yourself in their shoes. And, they might be questions that were for you three years ago, like, “I’m way past this,” but you answer it. And, you connect with them and make them feel good, and help them along. It’s great.

Steven Butala:                   So you think, Kevin, a visit …

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah, I …

Steven Butala:                   Go ahead.

Kevin Farrell:                      Well, I was just going to say to Jill, I just remember that feeling of not quite knowing what’s the right thing to do.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly, exactly.

Steven Butala:                   I have to ask if owning a business prior to this has helped you with buying and selling land.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah, I would say most definitely. You know, as I watch other people, especially people that I talk to frequently from the advanced members group, the people that I see who really take off running, they’re typically, you know, they’ve got the business head. This is no challenge for them. Building a business is no big deal, and they jump right out.

Kevin Farrell:                      It took me oh, I don’t know, it took me a year to start buying properties that cost more than 500 dollars, you know.

Steven Butala:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kevin Farrell:                      I dabbled in [inaudible 00:12:12] for a long time, and I see guys right out of the gate, boom, they’re buying 20, 30, 40 thousand dollar properties. And you know, I had to have some experience behind me to do that.

Steven Butala:                   Yep.

Jill DeWit:                            I love it. I love it.

Steven Butala:                   I mean, it’s all in the data. For people like you and me, that’s where the mystery gets removed for me. I mean, even when I do mailer now, I just did one yesterday, we released a pretty large one. And, I’m still trying to eliminate that much more risk. So, to make it on her end, much, much easier to sell. But, I love your Honda Proving Ground [inaudible 00:12:45] example, where you’re buying a 60 thousand dollar piece of property for 10 grand because you hit them at the right time. And, I don’t know if you want to share with us what you sold it for, or if it’s still for sale. But, I’m sure you tripled your money, or hopefully, or close.

Kevin Farrell:                      Oh, yeah. It sold for less than 30. I had it for a little over 30, and I had to reduce it. But, it actually sold pretty quick, probably 30 or 40 days.

Jill DeWit:                            Perfect, that’s okay.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, that’s three times.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah, and Jill, I don’t know if you remember the email that I sent. I gave to Erin and had her show you, I had mentioned in there that, I’ve started another company. And, we collect far sight.

Jill DeWit:                            You do … What’s that? I’m sorry.

Kevin Farrell:                      I said, we started another company that I call Far Sight.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, okay.

Kevin Farrell:                      And so, we’re competing with you folks. We’re offering phone consulting, but this is really focused to the very beginning people who, they’ve done the training, but they’re just not sure how to pick a county or how to pull data. And, they can go to and schedule that with me.

Kevin Farrell:                      That’s been going pretty good. I’m only doing several calls a week, but it’s at a cost point that makes sense for them.

Steven Butala:                   Fantastic.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, well, I’m even wondering like, how can we help each other? Think about … Let me know. I apologize, it might be in a bunch of emails that I have to catch up on. So, if there’s a way that we can do this better together, you know, I’m open.

Steven Butala:                   I mean, and I’m open to putting a tile up or a banner ad on Land Investors or whatever, you know.

Jill DeWit:                            Or, something like that. We have to figure out something, like, maybe a [crosstalk 00:14:44] …

Kevin Farrell:                      [inaudible 00:14:44]

Jill DeWit:                            … maybe for rates, or I don’t know.

Kevin Farrell:                      What I normally do, if there’s a new member with a question, I try to answer their question. And then, I go and PM that member and say, “Hey, if you need more help or more time, go ahead and schedule a call with me.” And so, that’s really how I’ve been doing it, just very one at a time, kind of organic. And, I’m doing two or three calls a week.

Jill DeWit:                            Cool.

Kevin Farrell:                      And, I’m really helping people, so …

Steven Butala:                   What do you charge for … Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Kevin Farrell:                      Fifty dollars, fifty for 30 minutes.

Steven Butala:                   That’s great.

Jill DeWit:                            Cool.

Steven Butala:                   And so, I mean, I’ll tell you, almost all the consulting that I do personally, is pretty on the opposite end of that. It’s obviously, pretty pricey, but it’s [crosstalk 00:15:30].

Kevin Farrell:                      Right.

Steven Butala:                   … are trying to get from 100 thousand a month to 400 thousand a month.

Jill DeWit:                            I know.

Steven Butala:                   And, what data that … and reviewing data sets, and really digging in. And, all the calls end up being an hour, or an hour and a half, [inaudible 00:15:42] for it, but you know, so I think, I would really, truly rather not do the kind of calls that you do. So, I think that maybe we could work on something.

Jill DeWit:                            We could work something out. I like this.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah, yeah. So, that company is also, we’re not quite funded up yet, but we’re also going to be helping fund the smaller deals for the newer folks.

Steven Butala:                   Excellent.

Jill DeWit:                            Ding, ding, that’s what Land Tank is all about. That’s for you, and that’s kind of what I feel like right now.

Kevin Farrell:                      Oh, yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Like, my role is to bring in more people, newer investors so that folks like you can now start funding their deals. You know, and that’s Land Tank. Again, there’s enough deals to go around. If [inaudible 00:16:24] grows, I can’t fund everybody’s deals that doesn’t have enough money.

Steven Butala:                   And, we don’t want to.

Jill DeWit:                            And exactly, I want to share it with you.

Steven Butala:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jill DeWit:                            And then, you and I go do bigger ones over here, while you’re funding little ones over here. It’s perfect.

Steven Butala:                   I’m glad. That’s great, man.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   That’s awesome, that’s the entrepreneurial spirit.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah, I felt there was a niche there. And that I could help out, you know. So, it’s working.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly, yep. It’s great, I am so glad. So, what’s the next step for you? Are you going to do higher dollar amounts? Or, where are you guys heading this year?

Kevin Farrell:                      Well, all my mail is going to fairly pricey property. My offers range from 20 thousand and up, up being up to about 200 thousand dollar properties. So, those are the offers that I’m sending out. I’m talking to people about properties that 120 or 160 or 180 K, and you know, where the values are … My offers are still 25 percent. I don’t budge from that.

Steven Butala:                   Okay, great.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh.

Kevin Farrell:                      I feel like if people are ready to sell, they’re ready to sell.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. And then, they’ll [crosstalk 00:17:51].

Kevin Farrell:                      So … You know, that’s the size deals that I’m trying to hit. And, after I overcome some initial cash flow needs here, I’ll do fewer of the assignments at 10 thousand dollars. I’ll do more of the splitting the deals with other people, because some of these are pretty meaty.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Perfect, that’s so perfect. Kevin and I are doing a deal together right now.

Steven Butala:                   Are you?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, we are.

Steven Butala:                   Describe it.

Jill DeWit:                            I can’t remember. [crosstalk 00:18:19]

Kevin Farrell:                      Well, right now, we’ve got one in closing, Jill. And, I’ve got a very nervous buyer out in Chicago. And, she calls me every other day, because the title company hasn’t called to request her down payment. So, she’s afraid that the deal is going to somehow get away.

Kevin Farrell:                      I keep reassuring her no, I’m selling this to you. The title company is busy, they’re going to call you. That’s 20 acres in [Tahamut 00:18:49] County. We paid 13 thousand, I think, 13 thousand for … No, 12,300. And, we had it advertised for 34. It didn’t go, but we’re getting 29,500 for it.

Steven Butala:                   Nice.

Kevin Farrell:                      Not a huge deal, but yeah. And the other one is 40 acres near [Inyokurn 00:19:12], in Kern County.

Steven Butala:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kevin Farrell:                      It is adjacent to 40 acres of developed properties, so there’s power next door. It is right now, listed for 29 thousand. That one, I think we’ve got a couple of interested buyers on it. We should have already had it in the bag. I’ve sold much worse properties out there in Kern than that one. I don’t know what the problem is.

Steven Butala:                   It’s only a matter of time.

Jill DeWit:                            Right, exactly.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah, yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s been …

Steven Butala:                   So, you guys are doing that together?

Jill DeWit:                            Yep, yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Awesome.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yes, we are.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Kevin Farrell:                      Me and Sheila.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s right, now we have Sheila. I’m excited. Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, that’s why Jill and I are constantly moving ourselves up the ladder, or trying to, to create new products and new websites and stuff. And more and more, the day to day operations are being left to people that are younger and smarter than us.

Jill DeWit:                            A little more energy. Just kidding.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah. I don’t have anybody like that here.

Jill DeWit:                            You will.

Steven Butala:                   Not yet.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s coming. Sit tight.

Steven Butala:                   We used to say that too, and now we’ve got an office building full of people.

Jill DeWit:                            I know, it’s coming.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s different. It’s kind of … I remember back when it was a little bit hard for me to give up control a little bit. And now I’m like, nope, I have no problem.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, me too.

Jill DeWit:                            Handing it over, so someone to help? Great, here you go. So, it’s really good.

Steven Butala:                   So, Kevin, do you have any questions for us?

Kevin Farrell:                      No, not really. I want to thank you guys for, especially the products and the refinements you’ve been doing, the whole parcel pack thing is just really great. I know there’s even more coming, so it’s … I use it. I use it so much to a thousand draws on that thing in the morning.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Isn’t it amazing?

Kevin Farrell:                      I’m just constantly in there. That’s my first go to whenever I get a phone call. I’m looking at that property. And now, you’ve made it so it saves me a step. Because I don’t really have to go to look at [inaudible 00:21:34] on Google. Or, you know, you’ve got the parcel lines are right there. That’s huge.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            And the neighbor [crosstalk 00:21:45].

Kevin Farrell:                      So yeah, yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s huge.

Steven Butala:                   Well good, I’m glad you’re having …

Kevin Farrell:                      [crosstalk 00:21:49] I’m sorry.

Steven Butala:                   I’m glad you’re having a good experience with it. There’s more to come, so that’s good.

Jill DeWit:                            Totally. I keep wondering how we got by without it. You remember, Kevin, because you’ve been with us long enough. I mean, some days, trying to find these properties, it was a challenge. And now, I’m like, you know, it’s … If ParcelFact’s down … Now, we’ve gotten good. But in the beginning, we had a few little bumps as we were working them out, but I was like, lost. So, I love it.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah, well, I will tell people that if they’re working in the county, and they can’t find it on ParcelFact, they should consider working in a different county, because it’s going to be [inaudible 00:22:29].

Jill DeWit:                            I agree.

Steven Butala:                   I completely agree.

Jill DeWit:                            There were enough out there, exactly. Here, Kevin, are you going to come in October? I can’t remember. I think you are, right?

Kevin Farrell:                      Yes.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay, good.

Steven Butala:                   Okay, good.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m glad. We’re going to have some fun.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, exactly.

Kevin Farrell:                      Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Are you bringing your wife?

Kevin Farrell:                      I’m working … No, we talked about that. No, I’m going to be one of your speakers, so I’m working on that project, too.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep, that’s right. Oh, that’s right, yeah, good.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah, yeah. I talked to Amy about coming along, and we weighed the pros and cons. And, at the moment, she doesn’t think she can come. That might change.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s cool. Good.

Steven Butala:                   I work with my spouse too. Stuff changes.

Kevin Farrell:                      Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            She might just book a spa weekend for herself that weekend. I think that would be good.

Steven Butala:                   That’s right, it’s a vacation back there.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s right.

Steven Butala:                   Hey Kevin, I can’t thank you enough again.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   I wish you all the best, and if there’s any way that Jill and I can personally help you to get to where you want to be in the next step, just please, let us know.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Well …

Kevin Farrell:                      Right, hey, thanks for having me on.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, absolutely. We’ll talk to you soon, thanks.


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