Advice for getting started


I’m new to land investing and I’m still looking to land my first deal, although I’m not having very good luck getting started. I selected a county in Florida I thought looked good and sent out 500 postcards to a tax delinquent list from the county. With that I only received 4 phone calls in return and no leads worth noting, since then I’ve sent two more mailers to the same list, each with 300 postcards and have still had no good leads come from it. I’ve offered as much as 40% if what I think I could resell some of these parcels for, and still no acceptance. I’d have to say it’s been very discouraging (even had someone ask for $300K for a property worth $15K).

I guess my question is did I maybe pick a bad area to start? Is there too much competition in Florida? The tax delinquent list was available on the county website, so I’m assuming many people have access to it and that probably makes it a competitive area to work in.

Has any one else had a similar experience and/or have any advice to offer? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

@rphil99, FL is obviously a big state, but having mailed to some FL counties repeatedly over the past 2 years, I have definitely seen a difference over that time, myself. The counties I’ve mailed there seem to be a bit oversaturated with investors at the moment, in my view. I’ve had many property owners mention having received stacks of mailers from investors, and their expectations in terms of selling price seem to have gone up accordingly, to a point that I can’t justify paying.

Case in point, I bought 2 lots side-by-side just under 2 years ago in a subdivision that was platted, streets were paved (back in the 80s, and haven’t been touched since) but almost no houses have ever been built in the area. I paid ~$500 for both lots combined and sold them both to the same buyer on seller-finance terms for about ~$10k total, call it 20 months ago. I know that I under-priced them a bit, in part because it was only my second deal and I really wanted to sell them quickly. Maybe fair market at that time would have been $15k total for both, on a good day and if one wanted to be very patient for the perfect buyer to come along.

Fast forward to last week: my terms buyer just paid off his note in full. He’s received an offer in the mail from an investor for $30k for the two lots. He feels like he’s hit the lottery. I have no idea if that investor will make good on their blind offer. There still aren’t any houses built in this part of the county, and I wouldn’t personally touch any property in that area if I was depending on reselling it for $30k, let alone some amount higher than that, to justify the transaction costs, reasonable profit, and risk. Florida coastal real estate is a study in boom-and-bust cycles, and they’ve been in full-on super-charged boom mode for the past year+.

In short, rather than continuing to mail the same county a third time, I’d consider trying a totally different area, possibly out of state.

@dl7573 Thank you for the advice I really appreciate it!

@rphil99, you bet! Hang in there. This does work.

I’ve been dealing in Florida the past few months. It’s very competitive. A bunch of property owners mentioned they constantly receive plenty of mailers, phone calls, texts about their lots. I would recommend choosing a different state.

Few points that hope will help:

  • I’m not familiar with delinquent taxes lists but I believe that, unfortunately, 40% in FL at this moment might be not enough

  • Although I’m sure everyone can close some pretty good deals in each and every State, FL remains quite a difficult playground if you’re starting just now

  • A few hundreds of postcards are definitely not a sufficient number to assess the results of your campaigns: I suggest to send few thousands then make a point and correct if/where necessary

  • I would opt for blind or range offers over postcards: those may create some more expectations in potential buyers

Good luck!

@arturo Thank you very much for the advice!

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