Episode 9: How to Flip Vacant Lots w/Seth Williams

Danny Johnson / 4 comments

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Show Notes

Seth Williams is an experienced land investor, residential income property owner and commercial real estate banker. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com – a real estate investing blog providing real world guidance for part time real estate investors.

This interview is packed full of interesting information about buying and selling vacant lots….and the really cool thing is that most of it relates to buying and selling houses.

Find out how he builds a mailing list that typically gets better than a 10% response rate along with the exact message he puts on his postcards.

Learn how he analyzes these deals so that he knows what he can offer and still make a great profit.

Seth also shares how he is able to sell these lots for passive income and make even more money.

There were several things that surprised me during the interview, like when he informed me that most people that buy lots from him aren’t going to build houses on them. Find out why, in today’s episode.

Top 3 Things We Love (and Hate) About Our Businesses

1. Freedom to do what I want, when I want
2. Large pay days (and thrill of the chase getting deals)
3. Working the business with my wife

Hate – strong word, dislike is more accurate
1. Fleas
2. Bad contractors
3. Dishonest investors

Never a dull moment…ups and downs…

Seth’s Loves and Dislikes

1. Thrill of getting accepted offers – that it’s possible to get great deals
2. Passive Income
3. Large Paydays

1. Times when properties don’t sell immediately
2. Uncertainty of whether deals will be consistent in his pipeline
3. Cumbersome and time-consuming processes for buying and selling

He got started investing in real estate during college around 2005 and 2006. The real estate market then was white hot and that made it difficult to get good deals.

Seth decided to start buying and selling land.

Seth finds his deals by tracking down people that own vacant lots that are delinquent on their property taxes. He does this by contacting the tax assessors and treasures for the counties where the properties are and asks for a spreadsheet with the addresses and owner’s information.

Some will give out this information quickly and without hesitation and then some counties will make it very difficult, if not impossible.

He gets these records anywhere from free to up to 25 cents per record.

With records in hand, he then sends out post cards to the people that are delinquent on their property taxes. He says he typically gets better than a 10% response rate (which is pretty damn good) with these postcards!

Here are the postcards:



During the interview, he goes into detail with how to analyze land (vacant lots) deals so that he knows what to offer so he can make a worthwhile profit.

Seth also shares his strategy for making long-term passive income with these lots. He sells some of them with owner financing at close to 10% interest.

One example is where he bought a lot for about $1,000. He got a $500 downpayment from a buyer and then received payments for several years. The first couple months payments paid him back his initial outlay and the rest was pure profit!

He focuses on buying land in the counties outside of big cities. He avoids inner city lots because they are typically in war zones where nobody will want to build.

Find out why people typically buy his lots by listening the episode….(and it’s not usually to build a house)

Quote: “If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Recommended Books

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business

Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)


Seth’s Million $ postcard templates that work

Please Rate and Review

This is my simple request: If you enjoy the podcast and look forward to hearing a lot more episodes, I would be very grateful, happy, beholden and otherwise indebted to you to rate and review the podcast on iTunes.

It’s your choice and I do not want you to feel at all obligated. But I’d love it if you would subscribe and leave a rating and review.

Ratings and reviews allow the podcast to be seen by more people, which will help me achieve my goal of helping as many others as we can to get started in the house flipping business and change their lives.

Click here to rate and review our podcast! 🙂

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4 awesome responses to “Episode 9: How to Flip Vacant Lots w/Seth Williams”

  1. Seth Williams on

    Thanks for the opportunity to chat about business stuff Danny. It was great talking with you!

  2. NQ on


    The best part about this podcast that I liked was that Seth was open to share all the information. He was not trying to hold back on any info. which some so called Pro’s try to do.

    Great Job guys.

    1. Seth Williams on

      Thanks for saying that NQ. I appreciate it, and I’m glad you were able to get something out of our conversation!