Interview with Long Time Member Kevin Farrell (LA 1471)

Interview with Long Time Member Kevin Farrell (LA 1471)

Transcript:

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

Jill Dewitt:
I’m Jill Dewitt, broadcasting from Sweets. That’s still Arizona.

Steven Jack Butala:
Today we have the greatest treat of all. We have a long time member, Kevin Farrell with us who is also Kevins-

Jill Dewitt:
Does consulting for us-

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah, he does land academy consulting, he’s a moderator in a couple of our forums on land investors specifically, and just always a treat to talk to Kevin because he brings a certain serious expertise, but also a certain sense of… I can’t describe it. Well, you’ll see it in a minute. This type of sense of humor, and this whole thing.

Jill Dewitt:
Welcome! We are Steven and Jill. Together, we’ve been buying and reselling land since the nineties.

Steven Jack Butala:
Our data-centric approach leaves our buyers asking, “How can you sell it so cheap?”

Jill Dewitt:
Here on the land Academy show-

Steven Jack Butala:
We answer that, and more.

Steven Jack Butala:
Kevin how have you been since the last Land event?

Kevin:
I’ve been well. I mean, the main word is “well” because we’ve gone through this crazy pandemic and you know, I’m glad I’m in the land business because I want to tell people that it has not affected my ability to acquire land or my ability to sell it, which is amazing.

Jill Dewitt:
I’m so happy. You know, I want to pause and say thank you, by the way, for all that you have done for us and our other members and the consulting and the hours and the time and the welcoming new people that you put in for us. I really, really appreciate it and I know it makes a difference and people connect with you.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Thank you.

Kevin:
Yeah, thanks Jill. I appreciate it. It’s I still enjoy doing it, so that’s why I’m in there every day.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah. That’s the same as for us here. I stopped telling people that the pandemic hasn’t negatively affected us because they just… you never know how it’s going to go. I don’t want to, I don’t want to make it seem like I’m bragging or anything, but we were just all really lucky. I can’t think of anything else. Just purely lucky to be in this business when this thing rolled around.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s true.

Kevin:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Right.

Kevin:
Yeah, thanks to this I don’t [crosstalk 00:02:07].

Jill Dewitt:
Catch us up.

Steven Jack Butala:
Perfect example.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Kevin:
Yeah, well, [crosstalk 00:02:15].

Jill Dewitt:
What kind of deals are you doing? Catch us up in your world.

Kevin:
Yeah, I’ve been doing my version of the business, which is kind of laid back. When I speak with people and we’re doing consulting calls, they want to know how much mail we send out, and what kind of targets to make. I said, “Well, I may not be your role model. I’m 64 years old, and if I work two days a week, that’s a full schedule. I’m pretty good with that”. We put ourselves in a position, financially, where our needs are not really that high, so I’m all about being comfortable with what I’m doing. I have also been trying to find my niche. I think all of us in this land business, we’re always kind of trying to figure out where’s our niche either geographically or property type. Whether it’s desert or commercial or infill, et cetera, et cetera. I’ve learned some things. I’ve had some real good lessons the past year or two.

Kevin:
I would say the five anchor lesson is a big one that I want to pass on to experienced and new people. There’s just something magic, Steve you’ve said it before. People want five acre properties. I don’t care really where you are. If you’re selling, what I call, small properties, if you’re doing five acre properties that phone’s going to ring more than if you had one to two acre properties or even 10 acre properties. In the right market markets… The markets I’m working in, I do five acre properties with an expected 10K profit margin on each one. That’s my sweet spot. I’m doing some others in more expensive areas where I expect more of a 10 to 20K profit. Those five acres in some of these rural areas where mobile homes are allowed, they turn over really quick and there’s good profit margin.

Steven Jack Butala:
Jill and I just bought a five acre property. We closed on it, man, less than a week ago. I went to go see it. I usually don’t, but I just, because I loved the area. I walked it. I put some boots, pretty good size boots on, and walked it. When you walk five acres, it is huge. I mean, if you can’t live on five acres, let’s say even three to five acres, something’s wrong. Like, you’re farming something or you’ve got some other application or are growing, or raising some type of animals are boarding animals. I agree with you completely. This is great advice. What other advice do you have for us, Kevin?

Kevin:
I stumbled into something really, really good. There are several States out there where marijuana grow operations are legal. If you’ve got the right County and the right property size, again, five acres is perfect. They think two’s a little small, but a lot of the guys who want to do what they call an MMJ operation, they think five acres is absolutely perfect. Those guys will ring the phone off the wall if the zoning is right. I’ve really done really well with several sales. I’m not going to name the States that I’m working in because every time we do that, of course, we’re inundated with company, but some of the States that are new to this don’t have that many restrictions compared to States that have already established this, like in Colorado. I’m getting people calling me that they’re coming, they’re in the business already. They’re calling from Colorado and California, but they want property where I’m doing business. It’s because there’s just no restrictions.

Steven Jack Butala:
I guess we’re all trying to find a niche in life. I’m going to talk, actually, I’m going to, I’ll do a show on this next week, or we will.

Jill Dewitt:
It sounds like Kevin has his niche.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah, that’s right.

Jill Dewitt:
You and I just had a conversation. Truth time. We had a family conversation today because one of us, not me, was veering from our niche pretty dramatically.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yup.

Jill Dewitt:
We were having some red flags and hitting some walls and having some obstacles. And one of the main obstacles was just time to do what we wanted to get done. At the end of the day, we had to sit back and go, do we really want to do this? Do we want to be those people? Or do we really want to do what we do best and fast and move on. That’s what we decided. I’m happy to be loud about it, because, know what you’re good at and make the best of it and chill out. So what if other people making monies in other areas, like we were just saying, we could all, by the way, find a perfect property and start our own marijuana growing business. Do we want to do that? Heck no. Is it highly profitable? Oh yeah, but that’s not what I want to do. I just it’s too much work.

Steven Jack Butala:
Sometimes you have to stray to come back to what you already knew. You didn’t know it was perfect at the time.

Jill Dewitt:
There you go. Not in relationships.

Kevin:
Yeah, I really agree with that because I’m always reaching out and trying slightly different things with my offers and my… the type of land I picked, but it really comes right back to very rural counties. I had another thought I was going to share here, another lesson thing. Oh, yeah, talking about staying with what we know. I had a beautiful property. A guy called me yesterday, a 20 acre property. I mean, just gorgeous.

Kevin:
It was landlocked and it was a pretty good distance from the road. I’m talking a thousand feet and I talked to this man. He was very reasonable on price. He accepted the offer in my letter and I said, well, this looks landlocked. Is that right? Or do you know if there’s an easement? He said, “No”, he said, “Right now I’ve talked to my attorney, we’re getting it through probate because it was my mother’s and she died, and so we’re getting it ready to sell, and your letter came in”. I said, “Well, I really can’t go forward with the purchase because I don’t buy them if I don’t have access”. He explained to me, “Well, I talked to my attorney about that and he has told me that you can get access”. Even if the neighbor refuses in the state that I’m in, it’s a requirement that they have to provide the access through an easement, even if you have to sue them.

Kevin:
That’s kind of a formality that you do. Then you have to purchase the land from them. It could be two or three acres and I’m thinking, well, it’s possible, but then there’s going to be a road. Somebody’s got to grate a road there and you know they’re going to want a fence. The fence is going to cost three or four times what road grating would cost, or more. I just told them, it’s not my cup of tea. I’m not going to do it, and then I slept well.

Jill Dewitt:
Exactly.

Steven Jack Butala:
Then you got to put up with a Hatfield and McCoy situation.

Jill Dewitt:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kevin:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Exactly. I was going to say, when people do consulting with you, Kevin, what are some of the top questions that they ask you? I’m really curious.

Kevin:
This comes up a lot. I even wrote them down here. I put a post on the forum and I was addressing that content. What people want the most help with, especially people that are new to this, they want help with pricing. Sometimes they’ll call me up, it’s either pricing or picking a County. It’s one or the other boats. We go through all of that. For the past year, doing 30 minute calls, I could just get through that in 30 minutes if I really ran really hard. Typically if I didn’t have a call schedule, just like you do, Steve, I would just say, keep asking questions, we’ll just stay on the line. Most of those calls run an hour. That’s why we’ve decided to go with an hour phone call, because that’s about the right content. Especially with people who have either a lot of questions or don’t even know the right questions to ask.

Kevin:
Then we can really dig in there a little bit and give them time to formulate questions while we’re talking. A few other things that people ask, they want help picking a County, they want help with pricing. They’ve got questions about the training. Now here, I haven’t talked to you specifically about this, but I tell people, the foundation of the training is cash flow from land from 2015. The other stuff is next level stuff. 1.0 2.0, a lot of new people are jumping in at 1.0, they want to use the spreadsheets. They want to download the data. They want to do all of that. I try to pull them back and say, I think you would do better if you read CF, FL, understand it and do a few deals so that you know what the business is about. That’s not to, discredit almost a year’s worth of work that you put into a building all of that stuff, but that’s how I see it.

Kevin:
I think everything that somebody needs to know is in cashflow from land to getting into this business and see where they want to go with it. Then the rest of them, they’re just tools for doing bigger, better things.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s right.

Kevin:
How do they respond to that?

Kevin:
They’re pretty receptive. Some of the people have come to me and they’ve already heavily invested in digesting Land Academy 1.0, and they have questions about downloading the data from realtor.com and how the spreadsheet works. I just tell them, that’s really not my specialty. That’s not where I really help people the most. So we steer away from that and get into how I pick a County. That’s just based on your training and some of my experience and some of the habits that I’ve picked up. Other things, beyond questions about training, they want to review their data before they send it.

Kevin:
That’s a good thing to do. When I had my first data set, I had 1,600 records ready to send to Socorro County, New Mexico. I just wasn’t feeling really confident. I scheduled a call with Jill and Jill looked at the comments. She looked at my pricing, she looked at everything and she said, Kevin, you’re going to own Socorro County. Jill, I think I bought more than 10 properties out of that. Yeah, that was a-

Jill Dewitt:
Nice.

Kevin:
… pretty big one. Socorro County is a real difficult County to work in because they’re probably the most archaic County in the US. Maybe not thee most archaic, but I started having to send college students that I would pay into the County offices to get the deeds because they wouldn’t send them to me. It’s that kind of County. You can do [crosstalk 00:13:24] you can do some deals there, folks, but you’re going to have to be patient.

Steven Jack Butala:
You got to wrestle with them on everything and the proximity to Albuquerque is amazing. Yeah, go ahead.

Kevin:
Yeah, the one last thing I had in here for questions, would you do this deal or deal reviews. Some people just call me up and they’ll email me a big list and usually if I can’t, I’ll review them before the call and I’ll have my notes and we’ll just chug through them. Would you do this deal? Those are really productive. I know I have worked with people where they’ve sent me four deals and I’ve gone, no, no, no, and maybe. They’re very pleased because they don’t want to do the no’s. They don’t want to get into those. I teach them the reasons. You’ve got to have access. It’s nice to have power nearby. You can’t be on a cliff. Things like that, that when you’re new, you’re just so eager. Let’s send that mail out and let’s buy everything that comes in and you have to kind of pull them back from that.

Steven Jack Butala:
I would say we are twice as selective about what we actually buy or what we deal fund as we were even three years ago.

Kevin:
Mm-hmm (affirmative) I’d say, too, yeah. I’m super picky now because there’s just so much out there. You know, Kevin, there’s this stuff coming back, I can be picky.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yup.

Kevin:
Yeah, well, Jill, I did a partner deal with you in Northern California. I learned a whole lot of people don’t like those big, high powered electrical towers on their property. The property that you and I had bought together out there, you can build under it, not a home, but you can put barns and stuff. It’s 20 acres. Half of it was overshadowed by this big easement and people they just wouldn’t have it. I learned not to do that. Every year there’s two or three good lessons like that. I know the question didn’t come up yet, but I’m going to volunteer this one. I wanted to talk to you about who schedules these calls with me, because it’s kind of interesting.

Kevin:
Obviously the most frequent ones are new Land Academy members and of course, those are the ones who I feel like I’m reaching out to. You’ve done your homework. You’ve got questions because you’ve done your homework, and you’re trying to get the ball rolling. That’s good, and those are really productive. I also do some calls from people who are [Form 00:15:57] members, and they’re not really Land Academy members, but they want to get into the business. I encourage them. Some people will have questions about, gee, is this a real business? Who can I talk to? I’ll have them give me a call and we chat on it for 30 minutes or so. I’ve talked to some Land Academy members who, they’ve done their first five or 10 deals, and they want to know what’s next. We talked to them about that. Now, what I can tell them is my history.

Kevin:
I went through, starting with desert squares, moving into other things. It took me awhile to break out of the smaller properties, one acres to five acres. I realized, well, there’s 20s and there’s 40s, on up. In the desert, 40 is as good as five. They sell almost the same. Some of those people are people who have a serious question about whether they should consider a land investment as a business. Again, I can share some of my experience. I tend to share experiences of others that I’ve met through Land Academy who have much larger goals than I do. I know people that that are doing a 100,000 a month, every month, all month. That’s not what I do, but if that’s what you want to do, you can do it. You have to be able to build your business process.

Kevin:
For a lot of people, I just want to note here, some of them are just a little bit stuck and they just need a little push, will help to keep moving. What I did here, I wrote down some things that people left some comments on what they got out of their call with me. Here’s one says: “I remember my consultation, call with you a while back, and it was pure gold”. In parenthesis, $42,000 profit. Another one: “I still consider myself a new kid in my head when I’m getting along nicely for a year and a half with the land biz”. Another one is: “Truly any single person that taps into your experience will definitely benefit from your multiple years in business and your sterling expertise”.

Steven Jack Butala:
I never get tired of hearing this.

Kevin:
This last one, this is the guy that I worked with. I think he has scheduled two paid calls. Typically, if people have follow-up questions, I just give them my email and say, just email me. If it’s overwhelming, we’ll schedule another call. When I first talked to this gentleman, and his name is Dan, by the way, he told me he was doing all these deals. Here’s this quote: “I was in a slump in my land business and I sent out 14,000 letters with one deal where I made a $1,000. I found out about Kevin and decided, what do I have to lose? Do a consulting call. I was spending thousands on mail, so what’s number 100, 200 people. After the first call, I did a County and got three deals out of that and made 35K. I highly recommend Kevin. You should try them out”.

Kevin:
Not all of my-

Steven Jack Butala:
Excellent.

Kevin:
Yeah, not all of these people leave comments. I should probably encourage them to post that on the forum. I wanted to tell you that I tried to figure out how most of these people hear about giving me a call. The last podcast we did was almost two years ago and people go through and they watch all the old podcasts. They’ll pick up on that and they’ll say, oh, I saw your podcast so I gave you a call. Some of them get it from the forum and some of you are getting referrals from other Land Academy members would talk to me.

Kevin:
I think it’s a growing community. Some of these guys are repeat customers. There’s a lot of sharp people out there. It’s always a blast to talk to them. What can I say? I do like helping people. I like helping on the forum. I try not to come off as the overall expert. I usually am expressing my opinion. This is what I think this is what I think I would do, but I think it’s beneficial to somebody that’s just getting their feet on the ground.

Steven Jack Butala:
Everything I’ve ever heard is totally positive, so we can’t thank you enough.

Kevin:
Exactly. Please don’t get burned out because we want you. We need you for another five or 10 years. Okay, Kevin?

Kevin:
That’s why I limit my calls to just Monday afternoon. I don’t want my schedule spread out all over the place. I’m not a workaholic anymore. I used to be. I used to sleep about four or five hours a night. I would outwork… I was never smarter than the people I work with, but I could work circles around all of them.

Steven Jack Butala:
Same thing with me.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah, that’s true.

Kevin:
Which part, Jill?

Steven Jack Butala:
Hey, are you rebuilding any super cool motorcycles right now?

Kevin:
No, I sold my last super cool motorcycle about a year ago, Steve. I had a completely restored ’74 Kawasaki three cylinder two-stroke. It was just a menace. It was unbelievable. I’m not doing that anymore.

Steven Jack Butala:
Easier to buy five acres and mark it up 10 grand and walk away.

Kevin:
Yeah, I’ll tell you a funny thing I got into for short time. This was, I started this about a year ago. I ran onto some guy’s site and he promotes buying and selling expensive timepieces. This is just like the land business. You buy it at the right price, you sell it at a discount. Unfortunately, unlike land business, you’re dealing with Facebook marketplace and eBay, other slimy marketing areas, and I actually right away bought about $10,000 worth of used watches, which I got a big kick out of. I wear them here and there.

Kevin:
I was smelling them, but the amount of fraud being perpetrated through those channels that I just spoke of is just unbelievable. People buying stolen credit cards, but having shipped to a freight forwarder so that by the time you realize the card’s no good, the watch is in another country. There’s an awful lot of excellent, excellent fakes out there. Omegas, Rolex’s, Panerai, you name it. The fakes are out there and there’s some darn good, the Chinese should just start selling competition watches with the Swiss. They’re almost there. I did that for a short time and then let it go. I was making, five or 600 per deal and I was putting in two or three times the effort that I would put in on a land deal. It was just ridiculous, for me.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah, for my personality type, every single other business I’ve tried, probably half of what I’ve tried, didn’t work. The other half was so hard that it wasn’t worth it. Between the Land Academy, education companies, O2O, and the supporting products that we’ve created, and then the real money’s in buying and selling land. This turns out, I guess, this is what we’re going to do [crosstalk 00:22:36].

Jill Dewitt:
I guess so. He gets to test the water every now and then. It all comes back to land.

Steven Jack Butala:
Kevin just did the same thing.

Jill Dewitt:
Exactly.

Steven Jack Butala:
Strayed a little bit, got stung, came back.

Jill Dewitt:
Motorcycles and watches. I get it.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’m super happy for your success and I’m really, really glad you joined us. I don’t know when we’re going to have another live event, but I think you’ve presented at least one, maybe both of them. We’d love to have you back.

Jill Dewitt:
Definitely.

Kevin:
Yeah, I’m looking forward to that. I know you can’t schedule it yet, but maybe soon. Maybe you’ll be able to figure out when.

Jill Dewitt:
Fingers crossed, maybe next October we’ll get right back on our regular schedule. We’ll see.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah, here it is, we’re in Arizona now and it’s really a day by day. It’s opening up more and pretty dramatically every day. Hopefully we can do one here and be in compliance.

Jill Dewitt:
Right, that’s not in your… That is not in his DNA, by the way, “in compliance”.

Steven Jack Butala:
Takes one to know one.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s true. I’m worse.

Steven Jack Butala:
Want to close this?

Jill Dewitt:
Any last parting words you have, Kevin, for folks getting ready to schedule a call, or anything you want to share about this?

Kevin:
This call seems to be all about me, so thank you. Yeah, I’m going to be trying to promote this a little bit more as we go forward. The forum’s my biggest opportunity. I usually tell people, hey, I’m trying to help you here and if you’re not getting enough help, if you need more help, I’ll PM them and say, hey, you might make it about a call where we can really spend some time on this, because it sounds like you could use the help. I would encourage people that have had a good experience, if they’re having a conversation with another Land Academy member, have them give me a call and I’ll help them out. Be more than happy to, really.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’m wondering Kevin, if you’re on Discord at all, because I think there’s a lot of people you can help there, too. I haven’t checked yet, to see.

Kevin:
Actually I’m not on Discord. In fact, I recently personally disconnected from Facebook and Twitter and almost all social media. I don’t do well with it. I’m not that comfortable with the environment. I can look at Discord, but yeah, you hear what I’m saying.

Jill Dewitt:
I understand. You’ll have fun in Discord.

Steven Jack Butala:
Discord’s all closed. It’s another way for landinvestors.com for all of us to communicate.

Jill Dewitt:
Just the members.

Steven Jack Butala:
I completely agree with you on that other stuff, completely.

Kevin:
Right, I hear you. It’s more private. I’ll check it out.

Jill Dewitt:
Thank you so much, Kevin. Again, we appreciate you. We’re glad you’re here and glad that you’re with us and anything you need, always let us know. You find another smoking deal and you’re out of cash, let me know. I’m right here ready to write your check, Kevin.

Kevin:
I’ve got some fairly large offers out there. If any of those get accepted, I’ll be needing a little bit of funding.

Jill Dewitt:
Done.

Jill Dewitt:
Five days a week you can find this right here on The Land Academy show.

Jill Dewitt:
Anything else you want to say?

Steven Jack Butala:
No, thanks again, Kevin. Always a pleasure and always-

Jill Dewitt:
Yes.

Steven Jack Butala:
We’ll see you soon.

Kevin:
Okay, thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.

Jill Dewitt:
Thank you, thank you. Take care.

Jill Dewitt:
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