Sean Walker is an experienced real estate investor that has done thousands of flips using strategies including land banking and tax liens. He shares how he leverages data to close deals in multiple markets with different strategies.

The Data Driven Real Estate Podcast #37 – Tax Lien Investing and Land Banking with Sean Walker, Response #DDRE37

Written by:
Aaron Norris
Written on:
March 11, 2021

Sean Walker is an experienced real estate investor that has done thousands of flips using strategies including land banking and tax liens. He’s strategically used data to grow his business over the years, even when it involved painfully combing through microfiche data with a pen and paper. Learn how Sean selects the areas to invest, strategies he's deployed, what he's doing today, and how he's used data to uncover the opportunity.

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Show Topics

00:00​ The Data Driven Real Estate Podcast Welcomes Sean Walker of Response.com

02:02​ Sean's unusual path into real estate investing

07:16​ Over 3,500 tax lien and $30 million in tax lien investing and what made it possible (hint: data!)

10:00​ Example of costly mistakes in data

12:24​ Land banking, timing, and sourcing land

14:11​ Seller financing land for investors and consumers

18:24​ Data clues in identifying potential markets to invest

20:54​ Desperate for data, Sean's plan to get more to avoid costly land mistakes and speed up drive-bys

22:22​ From microfiche to today, how the data game has changed

30:50​ What data are they looking at to decide on which property is a good investment

30:50​ What data does Sean look at in a down cycle like the Great Recession

33:19​ The mistake investors make with CAP rates

42:18​ How does Sean explore other markets for investments and not in his backyard?

43:44​ The 100 tiny home project with containers

53:12​ Ways to build relationships with money investors

57:37​ The painful past of data curation, microfiche, and messy public records collection

Show Transcript

Aaron Norris  0:06  

Welcome back to the Data Driven Real Estate Podcast, the podcast for real estate professionals dedicated to driving business using data. I'm Aaron Norris, along with Sean O'Toole of PropertyRadar, and this is episode 37. Today we have Sean Walker. This week we cover a lot of different topics from tax liens, to land banking, to small villages of Tiny Homes. Sean has been in the industry for over 20 years and has used data in very creative ways to make deals happen at all different times of the market, often very contrarian, you won't want to miss this week. Welcome back to the Data Driven Real Estate Podcast today we are very fortunate to have Sean Walker. Sean, thank you for joining us on the program.

Sean Walker  0:44  

Thanks, Aaron.

Aaron Norris  0:45  

What keeps you really excited about real estate in 2021?

Sean Walker  0:49  

Well, you know, you see a lot of different economists out there, especially ones that are in the real estate industry, whether they're with the National Association of Realtors, that, that paint a sunny picture no matter what the markets doing. And there's a lot of different data out there to track. But quite frankly, I think we have another tsunami coming, I don't think we can avoid it at this point. I don't think a lot of those small businesses are coming back for people to, once they come out of forbearance, the investors and the secondary market are going to say foreclose, they won't have a choice financially, they can't keep stringing it out forever. So, I think there's a lot of opportunities. And I know a lot of the big hedge funds, the invitation homes out there, they're saving up their dry powder to hit the market. I think for the individual investor, it's time to really get your ducks in a row, gather your financial resources, and start building capital, whether that's private investor partners, or whatever resources you have available and make sure you have good clean data going into this next wave. So, you're, you are ahead of the pack on that hunt, if that makes sense.

Aaron Norris  2:01  

All right.

Sean O'Toole  2:02  

I want to back up just a tad. I flew out to your, to your offices in Utah. And that was on Andrew Cordell's "Money Is" show, which is in the same building. And, you know, and was really impressed by all the different things your company has going on. And, you know, and, and, you know, there's clearly an education component, you're, you know, a prolific podcaster and, or I guess, really webinar host, maybe it's better way to put that. And then just lots of interesting projects from Tiny Home developments to all kinds of stuff. And then you have this incredible background of tax sale liens and single-family home and land development deals. And the rest. Just walk us through what your, what you're doing today. And, you know, Aaron does provide a background, but I want to just talk about it a little bit.

Sean Walker  3:10  

Oh, yeah, no, thanks. We, you know, my background, I kind of fell into real estate investing. I was started a little mortgage company with a good friend of mine, we quit our corporate jobs in '98. And we just started a little mortgage company, we just figured it out. And that's back before they had the current licensing requirements that they have now. So, it's pretty easy to get involved back then. But we were professionals, we learned the trade and the craft and built up that client base. And in the client base, we started noticing that there are people that would just get in trouble. People that would, you know, lose their jobs, or there'd be divorce, they'd be people that would need to get relocated for their job. And we were just referring all that business out to our realtor friends saying, oh, here's a few realtors that may help you liquidate your property and help you relocate to your new market. And about you know, three or four years into the business that had been our standard practice. But one of our clients who had been divorced, his head said, You know what, I've met with your Realtor friend that you sent over. She called back a few days later, and he wants me to do all this fix up. I'm a single mom with three kids under 10. I'm getting remarried. I can't do it. And, and she goes, why don't you and your partner just buy my house and make a nice little rent on she started telling us how much we could make with the rental. Right? Like I, there's a lot of nice rentals in this area. It's very clean. The house isn't very trashed. I mean, the kids have been hard on the paint. The carpets gotta go. I'll just give ...

Sean O'Toole  4:47  

...make money off me.

Sean Walker  4:48  

Yeah. And she, well she she didn't want to go into the new marriage with any debt or an obligation of a payment with her new husband, which I thought was admirable. You know, so she wasn't looking for sugar daddy, per se. But she goes, 'Well, I'll just give it to you for what I owe on it'. And so, I was kind of patronizing, to be honest with you. I just said, 'Oh, that's nice. Well, let us consider that'. And I did the first time I'd ever thought about investing in real estate for myself, other than my personal property. And so, I hung up the phone, I looked over at my partner who sat about 10 feet away from me. And I said, 'Hey, do you want to buy a rental property?' And he goes, 'I don't know, can we make any money?' I said, 'I don't know'. But what we weren't good with was, was math, in our, in spreadsheets. And we store an amortization schedules for our clients. And even if they prepaid it a little bit, they could pay it off early, and then reinvest back into the market. And so, we ran an amortization schedule, somebody else paying the rents and their labor, we thought, Wow, this is great, because we're not having to work 40 hours a week to pay this rent payment. This is a nice way to leverage our time, because we knew with our little mortgage business, that we only had so many hours in the day, we'd already capped that out, after about three, four years. We just couldn't work any more hours in a day to keep growing our income unless we wanted to go with more of a brokerage model. But then you've got employees and the hassle and all that fun stuff. And so, this was kind of like a huge light bulb went off for us, then we found out that we ran out of capital very, very quickly. You know, because you have to put a down payment for it. So, we started flipping some houses to get capital to buy another rental, our goal was to have 10 rentals. And that would be our retirement and have some residual income in case one of us got hurt or something like that. And that was it. That's that's the whole start. And then in around 2005, we started looking for other passive ways to generate income. And that's when I came across tax lien certificate. And there's, certificates, and there's a huge dearth of information about there that's false. Just what do you wanna call fake news? And it was all get rich, quick gimmickry. So, I bought a book that just gave me a list of all the counties that sold tax lien certificates, and I kind of ignored all the tips on getting rich overnight stuff. And I just started calling the counties and doing my own research. And so, we started investing, we've created two funds for our tax lien portfolio that have done very well over the years.

Sean O'Toole  7:16  

How many tax liens have you done?

Sean Walker  7:18  

Roughly about 3500. And that's a 30 plus million dollar portfolio that we built out. There's two separate portfolios, one that was leveraged, so we worked with a bank via via federal out of San Diego, and had a credit line, a $50 million credit line for that one. And then the other one was a cash and partner portfolio that we built up. And then. yeah, sorry.

Sean O'Toole  7:44  

Let's just talk about that really quickly. You know, so data, right is uh...

Sean Walker  7:49  

It's huge.

Sean O'Toole  7:49  

Is an important part of that. And, you know, this is a Data Driven Real Estate Podcast. So, I always come back to data. And talk to me, was it was it hard to, you know, find data and you know, to do that business?

Sean Walker  8:04  

It's super data intense with tax liens, because what you're not just going out and looking at a handful of properties on a Saturday afternoon on a drive-by, because at scale, when an auctions coming up, you might be bidding on three, four or 500 houses. But based on competition, you might end up getting, you know, 20% of what you bid on, but you still have to scrub all that data. So, literally, with the county, you would download an Excel spreadsheet, some counties, you didn't even have that, it was in a newspaper or PDF when we first started, then we'd have to convert it into, you know, try to get clean data into a spreadsheet. But the boots on the ground, I mean, this is...

Sean O'Toole  8:48  

And that data is just 'Hey, there's a property going...

Sean Walker  8:50  

Yes.

Sean O'Toole  8:51  

It doesn't give you any information about the property, and...

Sean Walker  8:54  

I might just have a parcel ID and a truncated legal description without a property address even.

Sean O'Toole  9:00  

Wow, so, so, you even had to go do the research to find the address before you could even do say is this thing worth bidding on?

Sean Walker  9:06  

That, that's exactly right, then we'd have to sort, sift, and filter by property type. When we get the master bulk list from the pre-auction data from the county. We didn't want to do anything other than single-family residential and vacant develop lots or building lots. We didn't want to do commercials outside we didn't want to do raw land per se. We didn't want to do anything that we didn't really know about because if you buy a tax lien certificate, you could eventually end up with that property. And so, it's just scrubbing the property types was a you know, a major thing as well and it never really got easier.

Sean O'Toole  9:48  

It was really eye opening for me when I first started doing some tax deals was like how many of there's like parcels where there's like, you know, off ramp and stuff and it ended up with this little piece of dirt. It's like...

Sean Walker  10:00  

1000 foot fiber optic strip, easement strip that nobody wants to ever buy. And we made some mistakes, I will tell you not having the right data. Here's a classic mistake, I can't make this story up. So this, this is how important getting good data is. We saw 13 acres come up, and that the taxes were about $2500. So, by the taxing certificate what the principal amount owning was at the time, right? And so, we thought, Man, that's a great deal. And so we didn't really see what type of property it was. And so, we purchased that taxing certificate on the 13 acres, this is in Central Florida. Come to find out in end even, this is the early day, so don't judge me too harshly Sean on us, but we even took it to foreclosure, which was a few 1000 more. And we had some builder contacts in the area and things like that. We thought gosh, it's such a great possibly to wholesale it to them or joint venture on this 13 acres. Well, the first person that we took it to once we got the deed, they said, uh, you know, this is on a power line strip, right? There, like we had maybe five 6000 into this so far. And we're like, oh, and then we pulled up the Google map the imagery. Oh, so we is a total goof up. And again,

Sean O'Toole  11:18  

The whole thing is just a power line easement.

Sean Walker  11:20  

Yeah.

Sean O'Toole  11:21  

Completely unusable.

Sean Walker  11:22  

And when we, and the thing is, is with the Google overhead view, it wasn't readily available. Because there's a lot of trees and woods and stuff like that. It was really hard to see what exactly it was, unless you were local. So, a couple key lessons there, do your boots on the ground. Number two, make sure you have really clean data because had we had better data, we would have easily seen that. Now, we got bailed out on that one. I can't make this up. We got approached with a letter, a llama farmer that had an adjoining llama farm right next to it reached out to us and asked if he could lease it out on an annual basis to let us llama grace. And we said, yeah, go knock yourself out.

Sean O'Toole  12:07  

So, you still own it. And you're still...

Sean Walker  12:08  

Yeah he pays the $780 a year. So, we might break even. I don't know, by the time I retire. But it, it you know, again, it's, I'm not saying that's a great scenario. But the data is key if I'm given a huge plug for data here. Yep.

Sean O'Toole  12:24  

So, that that's an interesting one where, you know, you were thinking maybe it was a little subdivision or something and you went on to do a lot of land and subdivision deals. Is this a good segue into that, maybe?

Sean Walker  12:38  

Yeah, you know, we did we, at first in our acquisition model, we did start buying at auctions. So, two different acquisitions models that we have.

Sean O'Toole  12:47  

This is the digital foreclosure auctions?

Sean Walker  12:49  

Yeah. And we primarily focused in Florida, Arizona, and Nevada. Okay. And so, we had two focuses on our single-family residential portfolio first, which was Arizona and Las Vegas area, if you will, Metropolitan Statistical Area. So, that was our main push at first for single-family residential. And then I, and also the taxing certificates that we were buying in Arizona. And in Florida, at first, we're only on SFR product. We didn't look at any building lots or anything like that, even though there's a ton of those. In Arizona, where the last recession, the builders just went belly up.

Sean O'Toole  13:30  

Yeah.

Sean Walker  13:31  

And they left all these vacant, develop lot. Some of them weren't titled some of them weren't. Some of them were stubbed in utilities, some of them weren't. And so, what I started seeing, as I said, Man, if the if the building market ever, ever comes back, I can get these lots, dirt cheap, like $1500 for something that traded out in the marketplace in 2005, for 35,000. And I get it for 1500. I can clean the title with a quiet title action for maybe another 2000 and then land bank it or I can resell that on a seller finance deal to a retiree couple which we did about 2200 of those. We put those out, and...

Sean O'Toole  14:08  

With 200 lots you resold to people who wanted to build?

Sean Walker  14:11  

Yes, but they did a payment plan with us. So, they put 500 down and pay us 75 bucks a month or whatever. And they did multiple years. So, we did a bunch of that seller finance. That's a common technique with just kind of mom and pop land bankers. You see that quite a bit.

Sean O'Toole  14:28  

They're buying a lot to build their future retirement home, but not right now. Maybe in 10 years or something.

Sean Walker  14:32  

That's right. And then in our Vegas, Arizona markets, especially we were hitting the auctions as soon as that inventory started to free up and this was more in that 2012 mark because a lot of stuff was locked down. If you remember Vegas, there was a judge that slapped around the bank saying hey, you don't have the original ink, you can't foreclose. So, a lot of that stuff was stalled up in courts and I don't know what eventually happened to a lot of that stuff. But when the inventory started to flow, we built our portfolio in Vegas. And, and I will tell you it was a nightmare because we were doing a lot of short sale offers, of course. But with the auctions, you would hear about stuff coming available for auction. And we literally had drivers, if I would have better data, again, another big plug for data here, it would have saved us so much time and expense, because our drivers are drive throughout the night. And some of these weren't the greatest neighborhoods either, okay.

Sean O'Toole  15:27  

Now, you know, PropertyRadar was in Vegas when you were there, but you were an East Coast guy. And we're a West Coast company.

We didn't, you never. I know.

Never thought I, I think I blew your mind, when I gave you a demo of what you could have had that whole time in Vegas.

Sean Walker  15:42  

It would have put a lot more money into our bottom line, because there's a lot of those properties we wouldn't have chased in the first place, or even attempted to bid on. And so it, you know, it was, it was like three stooges running around, and then our guys would, you know, go out and they'd be driving, driving driving all over Vegas on these properties or coming up to auction. And sometimes that data would come in last minute. And sometimes it was wrong. Meaning they would get the properties confused based on a drive by it was dark when they drove by, and, and you know, where we were scrambling against other investors and other big investors that were you know, Wall Street was starting to take notice, right of this marketplace of the SFR marketplace. So, I never, specifically, we, we had one property that ended up being not in the right neighborhoods, okay, for sure. And it was completely overtaken by the homeless. And there was a bunch of chickens in the back, we ended up buying this property. And so as a joke, and everybody blamed me, it was, I was really the end call to say 'bid'. And here's the top bid on some of this stuff on a big chunk of it anyway. And so, we were, we were down in Vegas doing boots on the ground just because we go down almost once a month. And some of the guys were getting me back. And so, they took one of the chickens from the backyard and put it in my hotel room in a box. So, I came in. So, that was revenge for not having good data. We bought a property. Now, we just kept it as a rental forever. In real estate time heals all wounds that feels like and so we sold it in about late 2017. But it...

Sean O'Toole  17:24  

You bought a lot of building lots, maybe even entire subdivisions in Florida too, right?

Sean Walker  17:29  

Well, yeah, that most of the time we did it in what's called a scattered lot subdivision in Florida, Florida is very unique in the fact that you have retirees migrating from each decade, no matter what. And so on, on a on a singular street. You'll have a house built in the 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s. One from 10 years ago and a brand new build right next to it.

Sean O'Toole  17:53  

Every decade, new groups coming in and...

Sean Walker  17:56  

Yep. And I'd hate to be an appraiser. I've mentioned that before in the state of Florida. It's interesting, though.

Aaron, you're amused.

Aaron Norris  18:04  

No, I was, I'm laughing you, as you drive down the streets too you get all the decade because of builder code, the elevation of the house.

Sean Walker  18:12  

That's right, that's right, because they...

Sean O'Toole  18:14  

Some houses are down here and somewhere up here.

Aaron Norris  18:17  

Right next door, you can have a four-foot difference. I'm not kidding. It's so...

Sean Walker  18:20  

That's right.

Aaron Norris  18:21  

Like, 'Oh, 1990, 2010'.

Sean Walker  18:24  

That's exactly right. It is so interesting to see that. And then another another big thing for us in the Florida market was, we were, I went to Urban Land Institute conference, I think was in Tampa in 2015. And they were starting to talk about boomers, retirement birth years, and when they were going to start peaking. And so, 2016 was the peak for a 10 year period for boomers retiring. And we thought let's compile more lots because we'd started a couple years with taxing certificates. But we weren't getting a ton just from buying tax lien certificates. It's a great methodology. But what we then did is we worked with some local agents, and then we started doing our campaigns out to, out-of-state owners. So, we would send out mailers and postcards. And if it was a couple in Arizona, that owned a lot in Florida or a couple up in Arkansas. And if there was a singular name on the lot ownership and they lived out of state, those were the ones that we hit first, because we figured the other spouse had potentially passed away. And we were getting people to sell us their lots for for you know for very, very low prices because they didn't want to keep paying the property tax on those.

Aaron Norris  19:42  

Well and I want to get some history, because you and I both know the area that you're building and then Southwest where you're getting these lots. In 1960 this, these brothers from New York came down and this area has been made popular by Thomas Edison actually, Edison, Firestone, and Ford used to have their winter homes down there. And then Cape Coral is just slightly north of Fort Myers. And there's literally they were bringing in people from New York, they put them in a plane and you would drop a sandbag. And wherever your sandbag dropped is where your lot was. And they built out this infrastructure. I don't even know how you do today. Cape Coral is a huge area. Yeah. And you've got all these canals, some go to the Gulf, some are freshwater, if you don't know what you're looking at. It's extremely risky. On top of that, you also have environmental problems. You've got tortoises, burrowing owls, when I first went through there, I thought a whole bunch of people had gotten murdered on the side of the road, because...

Sean Walker  20:38  

You're talking about the environmentalists. So, I'm not making fun of environmentalists, but they are religious. Like cultish.

Aaron Norris  20:46  

Some, some of the state of lives in public records, but you can't get on stuff like you really have to understand the nuance down there. And how did you plug in?

Sean Walker  20:54  

Well, again, you know, the data that we would do, we got so desperate for good data, that I had my son who was in college at the time for software engineering. He, he wrote a macro to scrape the data from the county sites from Lee County and Sarasota and a few others. Some were easier to do than others. And so, literally, he'd ride a backhoe, we get this data, but it wasn't pure. It wasn't clean. And so, that was a that was a major challenge. Again, we would do our drive-bys.

Sean O'Toole  21:32  

Yeah.

Sean Walker  21:33  

Yeah, we, we would spend a lot of time boots on the ground. But that, you know, again, getting the data in advance before you do that, well would have saved us 50% of our drive-by times, and I went street by street in these areas, because we had investors investing with us, I felt it was my obligation to note every single area and street and take notes. And we did having a drive-by app. And I'm cheap. I'm giving you a cheap plug here, Sean. But you guys have some amazing features for that right? On the on the drive by stuff.

Sean O'Toole  22:02  

And you know, it's, it's so funny, you get new folks, and they just expect all this stuff to be right at their fingertips and all the rest. And they have no idea how hard this business was just 5, 10, 15 years ago, not that long ago, like how much it's changed. Okay, how much more data is available? It's crazy.

Sean Walker  22:22  

Sean, I'm gonna really date myself, because I know we're roughly about the same age, right? Yeah. Okay. So, in the late 90s, early 2000s, when we just first started our mortgage company, I would have even used your product for mortgages back then if I had, had it just to get more details about the house, right? Because we were running, do they have enough room to refinance? Is there enough equity because I would pull public records off microfiche. Okay, I was pulling Notice of Defaults, I would pull anybody that had, had any change in a conveyance per se, or any new liens that had come on. So, I'd look for somebody that maybe had just purchased their home. And then after about 12 months or so after they absorbed some of those initial costs, I'd hit him up for a refinance on a little marketing campaign. But I literally had to go to Microfiche, I have my big notepad there, every Friday morning, from 9 to 12. I would go there. And I'd see all the other slumps down there just like be trying to it's mostly realtors, trying to harvest for leads, and then get the notice of default list. And then we'd say hey, you don't have to lose your house, let's do a subprime refinance for you. But that was, we didn't do a lot of those because it really put him in such a bad interest rate and loan scenario. And, you know, in two years, it was gonna start jacking up the rate. So, we got away from that eventually. But then, it was like a miracle. Early 2000s, the, a lot of the title companies had technology to at least scrape data from the from the counties, and they can print a list for you.

Sean O'Toole  23:53  

Yeah.

Sean Walker  23:54  

And so, Friday mornings was a mad scramble to go pick up the physical list from the title companies.

Sean O'Toole  24:00  

Everybody trying to get the list first. Yeah, for sure.

Sean Walker  24:02  

But it was a paperless. So, you're still sitting there. And I can remember when I first became an investor, I would go hit the FSBOs. And I'd say go get by the frickin newspaper with my highlighter. And, I mean, that's so I, if I've got an app or whatever it is on my phone. As I'm doing my drive-bys especially this is like gold and people don't get how valuable this is. If you're an active real estate investor, you'll waste so much time not having the right data at your fingertips, before you even make those offers, before you hit the streets even to do your, your, you know, driving for dollars I've heard is a technique right?

Sean O'Toole  24:37  

Anyone you know because especially with our app, you know, because we show every property as you're driving down the street and equity and foreclosure and all those things. And then you just oh, that one's interesting. You press tap and up pops all the information you need to call the owner.

Sean Walker  24:53  

Well, and a lot of times what I'm looking for is I'm driving around if I would have had the app, especially when we are driving on our lots, if I would have seen a business holding a vacant lot, that had an out of state address, I'm like, 'Oh, I'm gonna jump on that a single person holding an ad, an out of state, or on our houses, when we're driving around, if I already knew a hedge fund owned it, I'm not gonna bid on that, you know, or you know what I'm saying. So, there, there was so many applications, if you had that data, if it was held in trust, and it was out of state, couple different things happen, meaning it was an inherited property, or some kids now own that trust and the mailing addresses go into them out of state. But the subject property is in Florida, for example, Arizona, where the where the the grandparents or whoever the parents had lived for their retirement. So, that would be one that would trigger immediate activity. For me, if it's an out of state rental from somebody that's inherited a property, well, eventually, they might get a nasty eviction at that moment in time, I want them to call me first. And if I had that information, just on a drive-by it's like, literally having X-ray goggles, as you're driving by.

Aaron Norris  26:05  

I like that X-ray.

Sean Walker  26:06  

Yeah.

Sean O'Toole  26:07  

X-ray goggles.

Sean Walker  26:08  

because we can see what's happening with the family immediately, we see trust, mailing address out of state. And that tells me so much about what's going on with that scenario, it's going to trigger as a high quality, high, high activity lead that I got to jump on faster than the rest of the houses on the street, for example.

Sean O'Toole  26:26  

And we're now at that point where it's just those are just criteria, right? You don't want the individuals I want the out of state mailing addresses, and show me all of those for all of Florida, right? Like, it's super easy now. And it's unbelievable how hard it was a few years ago.

Sean Walker  26:43  

Yeah, one of the cool things too, is that with the data, we had particular investors that would be attracted to us. Some of them would look us up on public record.

Sean O'Toole  26:55  

How many deals you're doing?

Sean Walker  26:56  

Yeah. And on the land, we had builders looking us up. So, there's Adams homes, there's Lennar down in the Florida area, there's DR Horton, there's, there's quite a few small to midsize builders as well. But those are some of the big fish down there. And so, we had DR Horton, just reach out to us. And they wanted to pick up 80 of our lots that we had acquired through our acquisitions channel. And we made a very reasonable deal with them in bulk. And it worked out well. Part of the reason was, is I also wanted to have an outlet to sell in the future. Or if there was any possible joint venture potential on building, for example, now they won't, DR Horton won't do it. They want all the money. Okay, I get it. But we have done joint venture builds with builders, where we had the underlying collateral of the lot, it met all their criteria, as well. And so you know, it when you, when you can actually compile inventory, that other investors like that starts to attract them to you, because they're doing their, their research online as well. They'll say, 'Oh, this company owns these 20 pieces. Let's, let's, let's reach out to them'. And it's even more surprising that DR Horton even hit us up because we bought tax lien certificates on a bunch of their subdivisions. Up north, because they're all over the state, they've got about 30 locations in the state of Florida. And what the developers did after the last recession, which I suspect may happen again here soon, is they stopped paying the taxes. And they would wait to the very last month before they were going to get foreclosed out and pay just enough to get foreclosed because they were all juggling cash after the last recession. So, they owed us $560,000 on a whole subdivision. And we were going to take the whole thing down and sit on it because they had already put the roads in, they had nice entrance area. And they wouldn't deal their attorneys out of Texas wouldn't deal with this when we said okay, click. And they knew we were going to take it to auction. So, literally a couple days before the auction, they sent us the check with interest. And they tried to bargain with us on the interest the attorneys did. And he said no click, because it's all state statute.

Sean O'Toole  29:13  

Right.

Sean Walker  29:13  

So it's, as you you know, get the right types of inventory. For that market, it's really key because you need to look at days on market per price range as well. So, there'll be certain price ranges that are the hottest spot within that market on price range, right? Might be anything. Yeah, other things will sit or the high end stuff as longer days on market, but your flippers, your rehabbers they're going to be looking for stuff that can turn over the fastest. So if you have the right data, and you've got this list of investors that you know you can work with partner with or maybe even wholesale to some people wholesalers stuff. It's a great tool to then only focus on the hottest selling lowest days on market, types of inventory and sort by bedrooms, baths, okay, and then gauge that, which is it three ones that are selling the hottest is at four twos, and then look at days on market, and then even just break that down by subdivision zip code, and only focus on buying in those areas. Because everybody else is tracking the data as well, the real professionals, they're gonna see you buying in there as well. And when you get something they want, it's a really nice relationship that you can build.

Aaron Norris  30:27  

Hey, I want to make sure people appreciate sort of the data aspect of what you're talking about in this area. I've seen the land cost at one point during the peak of the market, some of these things were going for $90 to $100 grand, and then they went under $10,000.

Sean Walker  30:41  

That's right, on the on the lead up to 2007. And a lot of European buyers were coming in paying crazy prices on a quarter acre lot. Or kind of...

Aaron Norris  30:50  

What, what data were you looking at saying, you know what, this looks like a good idea. Because at that moment in time, you don't have a lot of competition, because people are scared, they're licking their wounds from going from 100 grand to 10 grand. And you're like, I'll take some of that, and then just hold the world together for the next five years. And I'm good with that.

Sean Walker  31:11  

Yeah, it was it was two phases of our operation. Meaning we, when we first went into Fort Myers, Cape Coral, we were focusing on short sales, and, and flipping and keeping rentals. And so, when we would flip, we would take some of that money, get another rental, or a portion of those funds and put it towards taxing certificates, but we'd only do it with per se with profit. So, if I'm going to hold land that needs to come from net profit after paying taxes and overhead on a flip or something like that, then we would take a portion of that and acquire taxing certificates or maybe buy some lots. And we figured if we could have enough to hold this lot for at least five years, we think the market may come back by then. But it was a gamble. And so, we had to kind of juggle the cash flow because you can't just go out even when the markets down and acquire stuff that's not bringing in income and expect you can just sit on it forever. So, you got to have some cash flow coming in and with those proceeds, don't go buy a new Porsche. Get with a good tax accountant, pay your taxes, make sure you have enough operating expenses to run your business, but take the surplus and reinvest in a very desperate or low market to control the inventory.

Aaron Norris  32:26  

Because I mean, this is a market that's been around since 1960. And so you're often talking to people maybe who have inherited this two generations back and they have no personal connection to it. And it has its ups and its has its downs. So, I was just curious about that.

Sean Walker  32:40  

Well, our main focus was the fact, uhm, migration patterns was my main focus, because in certain areas of the country, we were looking for areas where the data showed us that we, if we acquired a property, we could successfully cashflow it with at least about a four to 6% cap rate. Or we could flip it with a reasonable flip if we made that choice. So, we were looking for for data that would support optional markets and you take a town like Northport right now crunch the numbers. It still works in a town like Northport Cape Coral is starting to squeak up a bit more on that, but that's the type of models we're targeting. Go ahead.

Sean O'Toole  33:19  

I want to focus on that for a second, because a lot of people go, 'Oh, four to six cap rate. That's not very good.'

Sean Walker  33:24  

Right.

Sean O'Toole  33:25  

But what that is, is that's your safety net.

Sean Walker  33:27  

Yeah.

Sean O'Toole  33:27  

Right? So, and this is, this is something I actually think is like really important for like the real estate market at large and like lending and, and all the rest, right? So, if you think about loans in 2005, when prices were so high, right, like in California, you were getting down into one and two cap.

Aaron Norris  33:45  

Oh, yeah.

Sean O'Toole  33:46  

Right. And so, if the lenders taking back that, that product, and they have to rent it out, you know, they're getting a return that's less than treasuries. And it doesn't really make a lot of sense to me to be making loans into that market, really at all.

Sean Walker  33:59  

That's right.

Sean O'Toole  34:00  

By 2005, we should have pretty much stopped lending unless you were putting 50% down. Instead, at that point in time, we had the pulse loan, where anybody with a pulse could get loan, right?

Sean Walker  34:12  

Yeah, Social Security Number, pulse, and maybe it even wasn't your social security number.

Sean O'Toole  34:16  

Then jump forward to 2009 I know the California numbers better, 2009, right, you've got houses that are 15%, 20% returns on investment. Right? And the banks won't make loans. And of course, smart investors like you though, whether I flip it or keep it or whatever, it's fine. And I think a lot of our investors would go a four to 6% return isn't very good, what you just said, but I love that you said okay, we're gonna buy assets that have this return. If something goes wrong and we get stuck with it. It's better than treasuries. You know, it provides a return on that capital. We're not going to lose money, right? And on the other side, there's a flip potential here where we can make a profit. So, now you've got two, you know, you've got a backup strategy. And that's how I think you can really, I mean, I think it's just such an important point. It's just you just glossed over it. But it's such an important point, because you gave yourself a backup strategy that if something did go wrong, you still have income, and you still got an okay return. It's not a great return. It's not the rental portfolio you'd want to build. But it's a great backup.

Sean Walker  35:33  

Yeah, I thank you, Sean. I mean, there's some great points I, we're overly simplistic anymore. Meaning we don't even compare this, if anybody's comparing this to what your stockbrokers telling you or you know, the latest crypto craze, or whatever it is, I get that. I just don't understand those types of investments that don't, aren't backed by collateral. And maybe that's, maybe that in some circles or some of my golf buddies and say, 'Oh, well, you know, this, you're not doing the new sexy thing'. And I'm like, Yeah, I mean, whether or not you believe we were created, or Adam, and ever since man has come to be in this modern age, whatever you think that is. And they got booted out of the garden of Eden and needed a place to keep the rain off their head, that will never go away. I don't care what the assessor says about the value of my property. I don't care, I hope they're all zero. So, I don't have to pay property taxes, right? I don't care what a realtor thinks, or an appraiser thinks. I don't care if the cap rate is zero, honestly, at the end of the day, now, yeah, we like to make money. But at the end of the day, if the market crashes, I can still rent that property out and push along. That was our whole goal when we acquired then, was to get a hold up the asset. And when we looked at the statistics, since roughly 1990, well, then you can look back there's Case Shiller and all these indexes. And you see these different time periods where there's been a recession, real estate has just done this. But it's, it's it's continued. So, if you bought a house...

Sean O'Toole  37:07  

Beat that.

Sean Walker  37:08  

Right, if you bought the same house in 1990, in Cape Coral, you're probably 75,000. Today that's going to trade in the Upper 280 range, if it's in pretty good shape, brand new properties are trading in the 330 range, they're a nice fixed up three bedroom, two bath 16, 1800 square foot property in Cape Coral, that same exact property is going to sell for, you know, 75 to 100,0000 in 1990. What's it selling for today? So, we know looking at the history of real estate, and you think back to well, the stock market, that's nice way up here. But how come your portfolio of a couple 100,000 you started with in 2011 hasn't gone up 15 fold, like the stock market has, you're still sitting roughly maybe 280. Why? Because you've been traded out so many freakin times, because that's how they make their money is by turnover of your money, not the growth of your money. In general. Now, I'm overstating my...

Sean O'Toole  38:03  

And in the stock market, you don't have a tenant, right? Paying down the money that you borrowed to buy the asset in the meantime, right. So, not only is it the appreciation there, but you've got a tenant and income. And if that incomes not coming to you, it's going to paying down the you know, maybe the debt you used to acquire it. So, you know, it, it's really, it is quite different. So, I'm not going to sell you on the latest, non functional, token idea. And...

Sean Walker  38:33  

There are some cool things that could be in a, just on the moving money. So, I think the technology is amazing. As an investment vehicle, I don't get it. Here's, here's why. Here's what we focus on as well is, I don't feel sorry, for anybody that loses money in the stock market, because it's 100% out of your control. As much research as you're gonna do, you have zero control of what happens to that investment and it can go to zero, you have no recourse to get your money back once that money is gone, it's gone. With real estate, you make your money on the buy side. So, if you screw up and buy in a bad neighborhood, you have the wrong data, and you buy the wrong property, then it's gonna be a long struggle, but it's still real estate, maybe 20 years from now you get out, you know, finally make up for it. But you still have some collateral there. And if the market tanks, and the value of my property goes from $200,000, down to $100,000, I haven't realized that loss, and I can still rent it out. And I still have the opportunity for that piece of real estate to bounce back. But at the end of the day, the utilitarian use of that asset will never change. Meaning keeps the rain off our head. And it's really that data when you go in for the buy, whether it's auctions, whether or not you're doing some marketing campaigns, the integrity of that data is everything because you're making buying decisions off of that data. And it...

Sean O'Toole  39:57  

That's what we do.

Sean Walker  39:58  

Yes, yeah, and until the last several years it's been a, yeah, until the last several years, it's, and getting high-speed internet, broadband plus speeds and fiber, Google Fiber speeds makes a huge difference as well for providers like you, and the consumers on our end, the investor end to really get access to everything a lot faster.

Sean O'Toole  40:19  

So, let me ask, let's jump on that. How are you paying attention? You mentioned, you know, data access, and I think that's about to change, maybe some home values with Starlink and low Earth orbit satellites. Are you following that at all? And look what you might do for rural areas?

Sean Walker  40:34  

I haven't but I want to follow that.

Sean O'Toole  40:35  

Yeah. Yeah. That's an interesting one. Sorry, you mentioned it so I thought maybe there was a segue there.

Sean Walker  40:42  

No, and I, I want to talk about, you know, companies like Zillow. We kind of laughed at in 2007. But what do they really have at their fingertips, they're tapping into I mean, the, the division of Real Estates, the National Association of Realtors just rolled over and just said, oh, here's all our data without thinking about the long term consequences that companies like Zillow, and in their platforms would just put them out of business. And they're, they're doing it.

Sean O'Toole  41:12  

I don't ... I think the FTC had a lot to say.

Sean Walker  41:15  

Well, I know, I know, I know. What it feels like I, you know, I'm a licensed agent as well, it feels like you pay it all these these funds, and no representation, I don't, think but it's because they have access. And they get they've gathered this user data, and data from the counties for years and years and years that they have at their fingertips now. And some might say, well, they got lucky or they're so big, but they weren't that big to begin with. The difference is, to me, if we're kind of comparing what these large outfits have done in the real estate space to us as individuals, the difference was as they went after the data, and now they could now they control it and, and realtors have to pay homage to Zillow, if they want to get leads. Pretty much. You know, and it's mostly buyers leads because Zillow has all the data and all the leads.

Sean O'Toole  42:08  

On the buyer side. I agree on the seller side, they should use us but on...

Sean Walker  42:12  

Yes, that's right. That's right.

Aaron Norris  42:15  

No, you're, you're based out of Utah, correct?

Sean Walker  42:17  

Yes.

Aaron Norris  42:18  

So, we've mentioned several markets, but none of them Utah, Utah has real estate, the last time I checked. So, can you talk a little bit about why not Utah and the data that you're using to select the state that you're in?

Sean Walker  42:29  

Well, yeah, no. And we were, again, we look for markets where we can purchase, and potentially that's getting harder and harder, obviously, unless you go really rural. Or you can potentially rent it out or flip it, Utah was, I would say 2015. To where that was it kind of hit that benchmark criteria, that inflection point, if you will, the where that became difficult. A lot of it is because in my area, we have two major universities. And so, there's a lot of rent control. And coming from California, Sean, you might relate to that. But you know that, but so what we did is we focused on commercial. So, we've put together a good sized commercial portfolio here with warehouse, some retail and apartment. And that's been our push in a market like this.

Sean O'Toole  43:20  

You guys have some beautiful apartment projects are really stunning.

Sean Walker  43:24  

Yeah, it's it's it's been fun. And but SFR is really at the end of the day. Single-Family residential, is really the core element, I think of what is a long term success and commercial that a, you know, A class commercial right now, or a class A commercial is just taking a beating.

Sean O'Toole  43:44  

I know you're part of a larger company, a lot of stuff going on. So, I don't know if you were involved, are you involved in the Tiny Home Project?

Sean Walker  43:51  

Yes. So, that's uh...

Sean O'Toole  43:52  

Can you talk talk to that?

Sean Walker  43:54  

Yeah, exactly. So, again, I think if you look back at this kind of movement, if you will, it really kind of started in the 60s. I know sounds terrible. But think about this kind of free spirit that's come back around and of not being tied down. And yeah, I mean, really, it started in the 60s but it was in a Volkswagen bus or an encampment somewhere or something like that.

Sean O'Toole  44:22  

No, it's in a $130,000 sprinter.

Sean Walker  44:24  

Exactly, exactly what the Mercedes symbol on the front and so, but but the fact that some Tiny Homes you can relocate is wonderful. Now our projects a little bit different in the fact that they're going to be attached meaning to the ground so they can get some more traditional type financing because if you still have an accident, something the major lenders aren't, the home lenders aren't going to touch it.

Sean O'Toole  44:48  

Okay, it's personal property.

Sean Walker  44:49  

That's right. So, it'd be considered chattels or like an RV luxury type loan that you're looking at there, which is crazy rates, right?

Sean O'Toole  44:58  

Yeah.

Sean Walker  44:58  

So, you know, what we did is we got a city that would play ball with us and a county with the density level that we would need. How much density we could get per acre. And, and so, you know, what we have is a massive, massive shortage of inventory right now. For example, my son who's just turning 30, he wanted to get into his first townhome. But we did some auto hot sheets, the daily things that would give us notification of what townhomes would come, because that's the new starter home here because of price race. But everything was gone within hours. So, we went and got our data, our off market data. And we found a guy that owned a townhome. And it was a single, it was an individual. So, there's just one name on title.

Sean O'Toole  45:48  

Yeah.

Sean Walker  45:48  

And I went back and looked at his history. And it used to be two names. So, I thought either it's a divorce, or he's widowed. And it turned out, he was widowed. And he had his teenage son still living with them. But, but I caught him just at the right time, to where he wanted to build for him and his son a house. And he had, and I could see his equity position as well. So, I could see kind of what the current value was because I knew that market, because I could see all the data. And I could see what he owed on the property. And he had been in his loan about 19 months. So, I just ran a quick emphasis and scan, I thought, Oh, he's probably about right here on what he owes approximately. And so, because I had that background, and that data, reached out to him, and I said, 'Hey, are you even thinking about selling because I, we can do it all without an agent, my son's looking for a place, he's prequalified. And I can just set up the deal for you. And I've got some attorney referrals, where you could have them analyze all the proper paperwork to make sure you're comfortable with it, and so forth and so on'. And we caught them at the right time. Now you might have to send out hundreds of, you know, postcards or something to get a hit like that. But we knew we had to go off market. And we, and it was just it was like a miracle.

Sean O'Toole  47:02  

100% what's driving our business right now, like, I just there aren't listed properties, if you want to buy something, and you want to get a reasonable deal, and, or you just want something that meets your criteria, period. Even if you're willing to overpay, you have to go off market right now.

Sean Walker  47:18  

And getting the data like PropertyRadar has, is really key for especially beginning investors. And here's why. Because realtors aren't going to pay attention to you at first, okay, they're just not even if you have a lot of cash, it won't matter. Because of the migration patterns. Because you've got folks from California, going out to Arizona with their cash, they'll sell their place in Cali, they'll roll in with $400,000 cash of equity, that'll give them a nice property in Phoenix, for example. So, even if you're a cash investor doesn't matter now, you need to chase those off market deals. And because there's a lot of real estate agents, because they do not want to list properties, where there's tenants in there that aren't paying, okay, they don't want to list properties that, that are made...

Sean O'Toole  48:04  

Or houses.

Sean Walker  48:05  

Yes, or where there's somebody that's in hospice, but all this stuff is still there, the family doesn't have any money to get grandma's stuff out and stored and or get the property fixed up to get retail and the realtors don't want that inventory. But you as an investor can track it down off market, make arrangements with the family to help all in the contract, of course, and find those deals because what we do know is there's never a shortage of human suffering that we can help out as an investor, that, I'm not putting down agents, but that's above their kind of mindset or duty in most cases to go...

Sean O'Toole  48:40  

Well, you know, if they've got enough business without that, Why do that? Or it could be a decision by the agent not to take on those hard projects, because they're going to spend a lot of, a lot of time for not any more money. They got two listings for $400,000. This one's got a ton of work.

Sean Walker  48:55  

And it sells day one.

Sean O'Toole  48:56  

...It's the same commission.

Sean Walker  48:58  

Yeah, I think to me, if I were a practicing agent, I have my license for investing. But if I were practicing agent, I would absolutely use PropertyRadar to get my listings, quite frankly, you know, and then...anyway.

Sean O'Toole  49:13  

Back to the Tiny Home. How big is that project and..

Sean Walker  49:17  

13 acres and I think we have eight units approved per acre.

Sean O'Toole  49:22  

Okay, yeah, so about 100 units on 13 acres, eight units per acre.

Sean Walker  49:26  

Containers, so we gotta get those shipped over. That's kind of a prefab container to where the insides basically to an installation level are done. Quarter inch sheetrock on those, kind of a veneer if you will. And yeah, and they're stubbed out to a basic design parameter with what in layman's terms, what holes are in the, you know, access and so forth. For you know, power coming in and ventilation and all that sort of stuff. So, it's kind of this template that we get. And then we build out the interior when it gets there.

Aaron Norris  50:04  

Is that a lease project? A lease project or you're selling those?

Sean Walker  50:07  

Uh, you know, we thought about rent to own. And we've done that, but not with a product this expensive and all at once. So, we've done lease-to-own on a one-off basis. You know, depending on the property scenario, but we haven't. And we did a lot of land, you know, lease to own or rent to own on on building lots. But those were small dollar amounts.

Sean O'Toole  50:31  

You're not holding these long-term rentals?

Sean Walker  50:33  

Yeah, you know, I don't think so. And I think that if we put these up, we're still kind of tinkering with our price. But kind of the low end townhomes, for about the same square footage are going for about 275 to 285. We're thinking about coming in about 230 to 35 on these, but we haven't tested that, that marketing yet.

Aaron Norris  50:53  

For container home, how many square footage?

Sean Walker  50:56  

Oh, gosh, we're 1200, we got 1200 foot model. Well, we've got them down even smaller than that, but it probably be under $200,000. We're just going to kind of test and see what kind of marketing bounce back we get on this.

Sean O'Toole  51:08  

So, 1200 square feet doesn't really sound like a tiny home, but you're building them using containers. So, it's like three 400 foot containers connected?

Sean Walker  51:18  

Yes, there are some. It all depends. So, we're gonna have probably two or three different models. One is a stripped down model, for sure. I mean, one is just get in. And we're probably going to start at about 160 for that. But honestly, we don't, we might not even do that. Because we think even at the top model price that we'll just sell them right away. In financing, we're still kind of wondering about I don't, I don't know if conventional banks are gonna touch this yet. They might. But it's, that's, that's that's an issue as well, that we're kind of working out. We've got a non-conventional kind of a minus paper-type that will. Put in a big plug for like an RCN Capital, they're one of the larger private lenders out there in the space. But taking it down to Chase or Wells right now. I don't know yet.

Sean O'Toole  52:08  

That'll be tough. Yeah.

Aaron Norris  52:09  

Utah private lending, the last I checked you're like 15% rate for hard money out there, your known for really hard.

Sean Walker  52:15  

Yeah, you know, it is a bit of a challenge. Because even if they were to get in one of ours, even if they were with kind of a minus pay per lender, at that five to 7% mark, per se, that still cuts down the affordability, where they could just go get a townhome, or condo, at whatever the par rate of the day is on a 30-year fixed, and probably be around the same payment. So, that is a bit of a struggle that we're working through right now. We can offer our own financing packages, and we're considering that we just don't know if we want to have that much hanging out there. At one time, you know, maybe sell some and maybe finance the back end of the, the, the portfolio. We'll see.

Sean O'Toole  52:58  

I know we're coming up on a hard stop.

Sean Walker  53:01  

Yes.

Sean O'Toole  53:02  

Let's talk a little bit about you have a webinar series now. I don't know, is that publicly available to anybody? Or is that just for your guys's core, core folks or how is that?

Sean Walker  53:13  

It's for core investors. Yeah, it's, it's for our core investors. We don't do anything on YouTube or out in the mainstream. You know, we've just built up a group of investors over the years through various types of relationships or, or, you know, different investments that people have done with us over the years. And we put that out as just a way to, you know, with our clients, and if you're an investor, yourself doing something, what Aaron and Sean is doing here is absolutely brilliant because it keeps your people engaged with you. Whether it's once a month or once a week, I would highly recommend doing it. And we're talking about the gear before. And it's not much but if all you're doing is the new investor is just going on and talking about deals you're looking at. And if you're using, now Sean, here you go. And Sean has not paid me to say this you guys, if you're using PropertyRadar, one of the coolest things in the world is to do screen capture webinars with PropertyRadar to your investors, because it makes you look like you're a genius that's been doing this for 30-years. Because you can say hey look, we're gonna break down the San Dimas area, I'm looking at these three zip codes. Let me pull up my my absentee owner list here. Okay, I've got about 320 potentials here, but I really want to go with stuff that was built after 1970. I don't want to get into the super older neighborhoods here. And I really want to get above about 1500 square feet. So, I know I can get at least three bedrooms, two baths, because if I'm going to flip that thing, I need that square footage in those beds and baths to get max retail. And I also know that because a lot of our cash investors, that's what they're looking for. They don't want the teeny 800 square foot house in those older neighborhoods, the crime might be a tad higher. So, I'm going to push to this type of product for this type of investor and I know I can move those out fairly quickly or find a partner right away from this type of product. So, if that's how you're talking on the webinar with, with PropertyRadar, it's just going to attract that money to you, in my opinion.

Sean O'Toole  55:14  

If people want to follow you or learn more about you or learn more about your company or become, you know, be an investor with you, or that kind of thing, how do they find you?

Sean Walker  55:23  

LinkedIn is probably the best way. Yeah, I was telling Aaron I don't, I don't have much of a presence on the, on YouTube or Facebook and...

Aaron Norris  55:32  

It was hard. It was hard to find you. But that's how I stumbled across your activity in Southwest Florida. Um, like, what are the chances? That is so weird?

Sean Walker  55:38  

Yeah, no.

Sean O'Toole  55:39  

And this is a challenge. It's a challenge for us as a company, right? Because get guys like you, they're out doing this kind of deals like you're our perfect customers, like, cuz most of our customers are the larger investors that do a lot of deals, right? Like, we have a lot of customers that are doing 1000 properties a year kind of thing. And, you know, we certainly attract the newbies too, but we're more geared towards the higher end folks, you're really hard to find like, there's still list of guys like you...

Sean Walker  56:06  

I'm well-known amongst the hedge fund community. Really boring bankers. And so, I've gone to a lot of the conferences like five star and a lot of those and tax lien conference. And so, there's like a, an investor community that's out there. But these that's a different community. There's than say, like the YouTube community, where there's guys out there that, you know, look great, smell great. And you think they're worth 50 million bucks. And, you know, they're making money off YouTube revenue, nothing wrong with that. I think that's wonderful and do a flip a year or something like that. And I'm not saying I'm any better than that. I'm just saying that. There's two types of people in the business. There's ones that actually send the wire and ones that don't. And the ones that have the ability to send the wire there, they're not public figures most of the time.

Sean O'Toole  57:02  

They're usually not on Facebook, and they're, yeah.

Sean Walker  57:05  

And they, they're all super boring sites like LinkedIn, and so forth. But what's okay, so...

Sean O'Toole  57:10  

It's Sean Walker at LinkedIn.

Sean Walker  57:12  

Yeah.

Sean O'Toole  57:13  

So you can find the right Sean Walker, because I'm sure there's more than one.

Aaron Norris  57:16  

I'll post the link on our show notes to the right Sean Walker.

Sean O'Toole  57:19  

Sean. I really appreciate you joining us.

Sean Walker  57:21  

Thanks, you guys.

Sean O'Toole  57:22  

And, yeah...

Sean Walker  57:24  

And that's a privilege. And I, you know, I love your product. And when you sat down to the demo, I wish I would have had that 12 years ago would have made all the difference in the world.

Aaron Norris  57:32  

Don't you miss Microfische?

Sean Walker  57:34  

Yeah, well, we did. Yeah. So...

Sean O'Toole  57:37  

I actually think like, there should be a prerequisite before anybody uses our product, that they go to the county and pull a document on Microfische, right, and then go to the clerk and ask for a copy of it and pay the $35 for the copy of that one document right, or spend the 20 minutes writing out all the fields from it like that should be a prerequisite to the people like public records are free, like...

Sean Walker  58:01  

Or ordering a property card from Kentucky, we bought. Here's the last thing I'll give you why this is such a great product. We ordered, we bought a small tax lien portfolio in Kentucky. And some of the counties there aren't even on Microfische. And this would have been about 2012. Maybe they've upgraded now, but they have index cards in file folders. And so, they're four by six, and they call it a property card. And for $3.50, you can order the property card. Now, not in the main counties like Lexington, some of the bigger towns, but in the very rural areas where we had some of these tax lien certificates. We wanted to get information about the property, especially when we go to foreclose on it. And we would have had to order these and then wait a couple weeks and you get your property card. And, and so yeah, things have come a long way since then.

Sean O'Toole  58:55  

Crazy, crazy business. People don't have no idea what it is that goes into it. Yeah. Well, thank you, Sean, really appreciate having you, thank you Aaron.

Sean Walker  59:02  

Thanks, guys. Been privileged to be here.

Aaron Norris  59:06  

Thank you for listening to the Data Driven Real Estate Podcast, you can find show notes and links to some of the resources mentioned in the show at datadrivenrealestate.com. Click that join the community, and you'll be forwarded to the PropertyRadar community where you can ask questions about the current show and even see upcoming guests and ask questions there. We'd love to engage with you in the community. So check it out. Please don't forget to like, favorite, subscribe and share on your favorite platform where you're listening to the show. It helps us out a great deal. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next week.

Written by:
Aaron Norris
Written on:
March 11, 2021