Why Jill Generates Millions for Our Companies
Jack Butala: Welcome to Land Academy. This is the cash flow from land show where we show you how to buy unwanted vacant land and sell it for more on the internet. I’m Jack Butala.
Jill: I’m Jill DeWit.
Jack Butala: We are your hosts.
Jill: We are your hosts.
Jack Butala: In this episode, we find out Why Jill Generates Millions for Our Companies. With over 15,000 completed transactions, we are the experts in this niche-y land-flipping business.
Jill: Whether you are looking to buy your dream property for half price, start your own real estate business or create a passive income so you can enjoy the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed about, you have found the right place.
Jack Butala: By the way, we hold a drawing for a free property every single month. Enter to win the land by rating this show on iTunes and downloading our free e-book at landacademy.com.
Jill: All right. Let’s get this thing started.
Jack Butala: Jill DeWit is an accomplished land wholesale professional with more than 1,300 acquisitions and sales under her belt in just 6 years. Not bad for a newbie. When she’s not busy buying undervalued real estate, she shares her experience and expertise with others and inspires them to help them advance in their real estate careers. Hey, that’s with Land Academy. That’s my company, too.
Having never lived further than 400 miles from Southern California, Jill maintains her West Coast attitude and loves biking and testing the limits of her almost vintage Porsche convertible. What is almost vintage mean? Does that mean …
Jill: Something like that.
Jack Butala: 1980s falling apart? We’ll find out. She’s an avid New Orleans Saints fan. I know for sure that’s not good right now and excited to share that she’s working on her next book. I have some questions about that, too.
Jill, I’m nothing less than honored to have you on this show as a first guest. This is show number 1. I just recorded episode 0. I can’t think of a more appropriate guest to have than you on episode number 1. We’ve known each other for quite some time. We’ve worked together for several years now. I’m thinking before I turn on the mike about how many deals you and I have actually done together as partner of real estate deals. I came up with a number but before I blurt it out, how many do you think it was, just off the top of your head?
Jill: I don’t know. More than 700?
Jack Butala: It’s about 1,250. I counted 1,238 in our computer system. That seems like it’s pretty close.
Jack Butala: Listen, the format of the new show is that I ask you several questions. Most of them are about real estate success and other fun stuff, too, hopefully because I’m always interested what makes really successful people get up in the morning. I know you’re one of them. Let’s find out what you put in your coffee.
Jill: Thanks. Is that one of the questions?
Jack Butala: Yeah. What do you put in your coffee? Let’s make that the first question.
Jill: You know what? That is a really good question. I don’t take it black. It’s got to be sweet. There’s creamer in my coffee, I always do. It’s usually vanilla creamer. Yup, good question because I’ve had … There’s a lot of ways people take their coffee. What do you put in your coffee?
Jack Butala: Nothing. I drink too much of it.
Jack Butala: I should drink water. I don’t. I drink black, black, black coffee like espresso, like 6 cups of it.
Jill: Ah! Got it.
Jack Butala: The name of this show today, as you know, is How to Buy Property for Half of What it’s Worth Every Single Week, Week In and Week Out. I know how I used to do it and I still do it now a little bit but you’re running the whole operations piece of our company. Let’s not delay.
Jack Butala: How do you do it?
Jill: You know. It’s taken years to get to this point. Basically, it’s a right mailer. It comes down to it. How many years to get to the right mailer. I’m solving people’s problems. Heck! Little things that come along like it’s taxis and that sure helps it, too.
How do I buy it for half it’s worth? I think that’s what you’re asking me is I got the right people calling me. I solve their problem.
Jack Butala: You have the right real estate owners calling you at the right time?
Jack Butala: How do you get them to call you?
Jill: It took years of perfecting the right mailer to get to people.
Jack Butala: You send direct mail?
Jack Butala: Excellent.
Jill: Direct mail to the right people. You know what? Now might not be the right time. As we send out these mailers, there’s a lot to come back. They are immediately where do I sign kind of thing but there’s a lot that goes in a file. It might be 6 months from now that they call me but then it’s the right time and I’m here.
Jack Butala: You send out mailers every week,
Jack Butala: … making offers to people who own property. Some of them send it back, some of them don’t but the result is you end up buying property for half of what it’s worth of so. Is it really half or …
Jill: You know, Here’s how I value it. I go searching, when I get a potential acquisition call, one of the first things I do is go look in to see what is it worth out there. My goal is to buy it for well under half of what the lowest is that I can find for similar parcel. How do I do that? I’ll go through LandWatch and other places, that’s a popular one that I use all the time. I go look for that same county, the same size of acreage.
Sometimes I can really get into the same subdivision even and I can see if it’s something like that, what the parcels are selling for. Then, I know that if they’re selling for, $1,000, then my target price is going to be under 500 because I want to be able to turn around as a wholesaler. I want to sell it for $500 and make a profit on that.
Jack Butala: You don’t know. You don’t know if you’re going to buy it to see how much it’s going to sell for?
Jack Butala: You don’t buy a property unless you know what it’s going to sell for?
Jack Butala: You’re sure of it?
Jack Butala: Boy, that takes a lot of the stress out of it.
Jill: It is so nice. It’s true. You know, there’s a lot that I pass on. If I can’t buy it right, there’s going to be people calling me. They have a property that’s worth $1,000. They want 5. I’m not going to buy it. I’m going to tell them, “Here’s what I would pay,” and then I’m going to pass.
Jack Butala: I just wrote a blog on this topic about, I think, a week or two weeks ago or 2 or 3 blogs ago. I can’t remember. The topic circles around this topic. When new people are in this business, the first thing I ask is, “Man, I got this deal on the table. Should I do this deal? Steve, should I do it. I’m not sure. I’m apprehensive. It’s not my first time.” My thinking is, if you have to ask questions like that, I don’t think you should do the deal. You should do a lot of homework long before you get to that point, don’t you think?
Jill: Uh-huh. That’s great advice. It should be one that and you and I have talked about this, especially when you’re going … It should be, oh, my gosh. I better hurry up and get this deal before someone else does.
Jack Butala: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s actually what I say. The sentence I use is or used in that blog. I use it now when I speak to our members on the phone is, “You should drop everything and be running to the bank and saying to yourself, “Man, I hope the seller doesn’t change their minds. This is a great deal.”
Jill: Exactly. The great thing is, once you get going in this business and you’ve been doing it for as long as I have, you think those are one-off deals and they’re not. Then, it started happening monthly. I used to think, “Oh, my gosh. What’s going on?” Then, weekly? Now, couple times a week. You get going. It’s awesome.
Jack Butala: That’s why we work together. I know you do that. I know you’re just as conservative about this as I am. After whatever we just said, 1,200 deals. It’s tough to make a real big error, I think.
Let me get out, move onto a few more questions here. What was the first deal that you did and how much out of pocket cash did it take? You don’t know this but the reason I ask this question of everybody that we have on the show regardless of whether or not they’re a real estate professional or if they’re successful in something else because everybody’s got that first moment or that first thing that they started to do and they had no idea, It’s like, “Man, I’m hooked.” What was that for you?
Jill: Yeah. That’s a good one. It was buying these little quarter acre properties years ago in a subdivision in New Mexico. I started to realizing I could pick up multiple ones. I’m buying them for $75 a lot from people who just didn’t want them anymore. I was new and learning this system. I would pick them up, buy them through the deeds myself, learning how to do all that. Then, I didn’t really have any experience advertising.
Back then, eBay was my go to place. I would pretty much sell them 100% on eBay. That’s really where I cut myself. It was super fun because quickly, I’m buying them for $75. I’m selling them for … I don’t know. It was like $800 to $1,000 a transaction, even after my fees. When I realize, “Whoa!” I started looking for more and buying more. Next thing you know, I’m not spending a whole lot of time on it and I’m making an extra 5,000 a month.
Jack Butala: Wow!
Jill: It’s on my Sundays because they were … I learned the 30 day option deal so it’s not like it tastes that long. You put it up there. You just let it sit. It was awesome. That was it. Didn’t cost me. Everybody can come up with $75. You need extra $20 to report it. Everybody can come up with $100 to buy a property and get it recorded.
Jack Butala: To buy a piece of real estate for $100.
Jill: Right. Then you’re selling it on eBay. You don’t even have to have a website left so you could really start making money, still, without putting a lot out.
Jack Butala: One of the top 5 questions I get at Land Academy is … It’s not even a question. It’s just flat out I don’t believe you. I don’t believe that you can buy a property for $100. I know you do it every day. I’ve known it for 15,000 deals later. Believe me, they all weren’t $100 but it’s not uncommon. It’s great.
Jill: You and I have done this. We’ve been out to lunch, having a working meeting. It’s so normal for us to talk about this. If you really pause and you look across the tables, all of a sudden, you see people are getting quiet. They’re like, “What are they talking about?” People, you’re right, are friends even. They don’t believe it. “Yeah, I just bought that for $250.” “What?” “Yes, I did.”
Jack Butala: They still don’t believe it.
Jill: Watch me. I’ll do it again.
Jack Butala: You really don’t think that they honestly believe, specifically friends and people in those environments, I think that they think that there’s some catch. There really isn’t. Here’s the catch. It’s unwanted. They checking it off their list of stuff to do that month to get rid of this property. They’re just not going to use it.
Jill: Yes. They wouldn’t call you if they didn’t have something in the back of their head is they’re thinking about selling. It’s their family cabin, no. They’re not going to call you or whatever it is.
Jack Butala: Yeah. If we’re sending a mailer on their family cabin for $500, we did something really wrong.
Jill: Exactly wrong. You know what I mean but if it’s something that they have that property for a reason and whatever, they’re not going to call. The fact that they pick up the phone and they call you says something right there.
Jack Butala: Yeah, right. Right.
We talked about these quarter-acre property in New Mexico you were purchasing. What do that lead to, ultimately? That realization you’re buying these property. Did you think it would last forever? What did you think?
Jill: I had no idea. I really had no idea how successful I would be and it would just flourish into what it is today. I can’t truly imagine doing anything else. It’s true. I don’t even want to retire. The thought of even retiring, don’t ask me that in 10 years. I might see different. Even as of right now, I enjoy it. I get a kick out of it. It’s fun. Now, I’m at the level where I get to help others and teach others and coach others with Land Academy so they can be as successful as well.
Jack Butala: Yeah. You got bitten by the revenue bug, it sounds like or the success bug, I guess.
Jill: I did.
Jack Butala: Good for you.
Jill: I did.
Jack Butala: What’s the worst you ever did? It can’t be all peaches and cream.
Jill: Oh, yeah. We all have those. Yeah, you learn. Yeah, I got a little over-excited. I apparently, I know I had too much cash in my pocket. I way overpaid for a property. It was dumb. It was 5 acres in Northern Arizona. I paid 5,000 for it. I don’t know what I was thinking. You win financially or emotionally.
Jack Butala: Still sounds like a great deal.
Jill: This is definitely one that was an emotional purchase, not a financial purchase because I would never look at it that way again. I learned how to look at property. That was it. Oh, my gosh. It took me. I want to say 2 years to sell the dumb thing. I took a loss. Really, I finally just let it go. Two things I learned is A, boy, I wish I has something like Land Academy to help me back then and show me the ropes and how to buy property.
Jack Butala: [You got to 00:14:49] teach me, too.
Jill: Gosh, would have saved so much time. Then, now I know how to do the research. I learned how to do the proper research ahead of time and buy it right. Even to this day, when I’m getting acquisition calls. If I’m answering the phone, I might know this area like the back of my hand but I’m still not going to make an offer on the phone. I’m not going to do anything without doing … There’s a few steps that I go through no matter what to just to double check the area and make sure it’s what I think it is and all that good stuff.
Jack Butala: I ask a lot of extremely successful people these questions that I’m asking you and when we get to this question, of all the questions that I asked during this show, this question evokes the most emotion in the most positive way. When I was designing this whole show, I thought, “Oh, man. Should I ask these people about the worst deal they ever did?” You just did it, too. You have to do a bad deal or a few bad deals to realize that. It really sets in motion the stuff for the rest of your life so you don’t do those any more.
Jill: It does.
Jack Butala: Because I’ll look back on the deals and all the deals that I’ve done, especially the first few years. I only remember the bad ones. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a really, really positive thing so I think some people get real hooked up on or caught up on making a couple mistakes. I think it’s the greatest thing that can happen if you have the right attitude.
Jill: Right. You just touched on something right there, too, is attitude.
Now, there’s some people will throw in the towel and say, “All right, forget it. I know what I’m doing.” You have to have the right attitude and keep going forward and know that we’ve … Oh, gosh. We’ve all made mistakes. You know what I mean? Come on.
Jack Butala: What I took from what you just said is how easy is it to just say, “No, I don’t want to buy the property.” I got in the habit of doing for a long time is never say, “No,” but just say, “Yes, it works for me at X.”
Jill: Yes, that’s what I do.
Jack Butala: I love this 5 acre property in Arizona at $1,000. I know you’re asking 19 but for me, it works at 1,000. Hey, no hard feelings. If you don’t sell it, let me know. Six months from now, I may put something together.
Jill: You’re exactly right.
Jack Butala: How easy is that?
Jill: No is never no with me. There’s always an open door. I’m never truly passing. I’m only saying, “Well, you know. If something changes, let me know.” That’s how I leave it.
Jack Butala: You’re the only woman on the planet where no doesn’t mean no.
Jill: Whoo! That’s good. That’s very good.
Jack Butala: There’s no way that that comment’s going to make it on the air.
Jill: Oh, my gosh. That was really good. Yikes. I’m going to get in trouble for that one.
Jack Butala: No, you’re not. I’m going to get in trouble.
Jill: Oh, my gosh.
Jack Butala: Right in the first episode. Right in the first episode.
Jill: It’s funny the things you pick up on and I pick up on.
Jack Butala: It’s 18 minutes and 8 seconds into this thing.
Jill: Oh, my gosh! Nice! Love it.
Jack Butala: Oh, jeez. It’s a good thing we don’t put our phone numbers in the [crosstalk 00:18:03]
Jill: That’s really good.
Jack Butala: Okay. What was the best deal you ever did? Counter question.
Jill: By far, it was … And it’s not the only time I’ve done these transactions but there was one in particular where we were really helping someone settle an estate. It was keeping them … They had a handful of properties, good ones. It was keeping them from settling the last heirs, the past. Whatever. The last family member to pass, keeping all these heirs from millions of dollars. They could care less. They just needed it off their plate.
We got a couple of 40 acre parcels, some great stuff in Oregon. It’s all kinds of great … I think there were 6 parcels all together. We had to help with some of the … There was some legal things that took a little time but all said, I probably invested $1,000 into the whole thing. We said we paid them but we really didn’t pay for them. They were just giving them to us so say I invested a total of $1,000 but sold everything for $24,000 in, gosh, 3 months maybe, by the time it was all done and solved their problem.
That was truly unwanted land. They could care less. They called us because of a prior transaction that the father had who passed on with us from years ago. I don’t know if they found a letter or if he … I don’t remember what the background was, if he remembered the dad talking about us or something but basically it was, “We want you guys to have this. Will you do it?” For a lot of people, it was hard. It was a tough transaction. There was a lot of stuff that took some time to do but it was worth it.
Jack Butala: You’re choosing this deal as a best deal that you’ve done, not because of the raw dollars that you made but I don’t know what. It helped people and …
Jill: No. Raw dollars.
Jack Butala: I know because it sounds like it was complicated and you only made 25,000 on it.
Jill: That’s a really complicated. It really was so but yeah.
Jack Butala: I can tell you enjoy what you do.
Jill: Yeah, so yeah, it’s all good. It’s all good.
Jack Butala: Excellent. How about the most recent deal?
Jill: Right now, I have a signing happening on Friday of stuff heading to a notary and buying a couple properties from a woman in Florida this Friday. The cashier’s check. everything’s on its way right now. I try to do a couple of these a week where and these are 4 one and a quarter acre properties. These are awesome. They’re 30 miles from the Grand Canyon. Just really pretty areas. It’s like 80 miles from Vegas.
Jack Butala: I know exactly what you’re talking about. I love that county in Northern Arizona. I like the whole quality of the property up there.
Jill: It’s funny. When I was first looking at the property, I zeroed in. Thank goodness for Google Earth. It was one of those in Mohave County that just popped the APN in there. It goes right to the parcel.
You look at the parcel and you’re okay. As you pan out, I’m, “Holy cow, is that the Grand Canyon right there?” It really is. Wow! That was cool. Here’s the thing. I’m buying them for $250 each so $1,000 total. She emails me …
Jack Butala: Oh, you’ll make 20,000 on that, too.
Jill: See? Check it out. I have her receipt. Bless her heart. Excuse me. She didn’t even email. She’s not even that together. She faxed me from the bank. Even says, “Wells Fargo Bank,” on the top of the fax. She faxed me the original deed and the purchase agreement from 1979. She paid $1,000 per parcel so 4,000 total plus $850 in financing. I was looking at the receipt going, “She paid close to $5,000 for these back in 1979.”
Jack Butala: You’ll sell them for 5,000 each, now.
Jack Butala: Easy.
Jill: Yeah. I’ve got all the stuff. It’s just great.
Jill: What a great position to be in? It’s a great position to buy a piece of property like that, go to the bank, spend some money on it. Now, you own it and you know you did great. You know you did the right decision. You know you’re going to make money. Then, to sit there and say to yourself, “All right, do I want to save some of them? Do I want to sell all of them? Do I want to mark this one up completely and sell it for cash?” This kind of deals, I love selling them, one property. You’ve got 4 properties there, I think you said.
Jill: Uh-huh. Yeah.
Jack Butala: Sell one property for cash. Make back your whole investment. The other 3 properties you sell in terms for the next 10 or 12 years making a couple hundred bucks a month on.
Jack Butala: Yeah. It’s a position of control. In the finance world, there’s no better position to be in where you can control assets like that. There’s no lender and there’s no real estate agents and there’s not a lot of people breathing down your neck about how you’re making decisions every day. As a private investor, you control the real estate and decide what to do. That’s excellent. I like that deal more than one before that.
Jill: Yeah. This is true. This was one of those super easy, all in one person’s name. It’s the person I’m talking to. I get them all the time. I almost can’t do them fast enough, you know?
Jack Butala: I do know what you mean.
Jill: Uh-huh. It’s great. I love it. Bless her heart. She’s so excited to be getting the $1,000 right now. It’s really helping her out.
Jack Butala: I’ve been doing that. I’ve been doing what you do for years and years and years. There’s always one thing that you just … It’s like, “Man, I wish I could just …” It’s never been finding transactions or pricing them or selling them or any of that. This biggest thing I’ve struggled with since the beginning of doing this is getting organized enough to the point where you could actually buy all the property that people want you to buy.
Jack Butala: I know you have 20 or 30 of those just waiting to be done,
Jill: It’s true.
Jack Butala: … because I had your job,
Jill: It’s true.
Jack Butala: … and it took me a long time. It’s like, “Man, if I had 60 virtual assistants, I still couldn’t get these deals done.”
Jill: Yes. You are correct.
Jack Butala: All right, back to what we’re talking about. What was the biggest obstacle to your success? You can go back to when you were a kid or not.
Jill: I was born a Hassidic …
Jack Butala: You were born a …
Jill: I was born a poor Southern California beach child,
Jack Butala: Who’s not capable of saying no?
Jill: … who had a horrible life of Disneyland and Laguna Beach.
Jack Butala: You were born a woman who no doesn’t mean no?
Jill: From a loving family. Yeah, let’s see. With a dad with an airline captain. That was awful. That was funny. You know, I guess my biggest obstacle, I didn’t see this for what it was worth back then. This is what’s funny. I was in my early 20s and I got a job in Santa Anna working for a couple of developers doing a version of this but it was strip malls back then or office buildings. They would buy the land and they’d develop it and lease it out. Great gig. I was like, “This is pretty good.” I’m watching these checks come in, once it’s built and things are paid off. They just sit back and cash these checks but it was a small company. I worked myself up to as far as I could go. It’s was me under the owners.
I thought, “Well, I’ve seen the end,” kind of thing. “Duh!” What was I thinking? I just want to travel. I went and got this corporate job punching a time clock and I had regular vacation. I’m thinking I’m going to because there was room to grow so I thought. I thought that’s what I wanted and I just got stuck there. It’s amazing. Looking back, had I not done that and I had stayed in that environment, man, especially in Southern California back then and property …
Jack Butala: Oh, yeah.
Jill: I know. The stuff that they’re buying. Back then, Riverside wasn’t what it is today. Even Orange County what it is today. Gosh! If I would have stayed and really studied what I could and learned from those guys, who knows where I’d be so it’s my obstacle, I guess. I got stuck in the corporate world. I don’t know if that makes sense but I’m back. I can’t imagine ever doing that again. I really can’t. There’s no way. There’s nothing.
Jack Butala: Corporate jobs get in the way.
Jack Butala: It’s so cool you’re from California. Do you know that?
Jill: I love it, too. Thanks. It’s a good place …
Jack Butala: I’m from Detroit. I can’t imagine how different the whole thing is. Just, I think it’s great.
Jill: It is a different mindset. I know it frustrates you sometimes because you and I have had that conversation about, “Is this how people in California do things?” My answer’s yes.
Jack Butala: Inefficiently.
Jill: Exactly. Wait. Hold on a moment. Inefficiently! I would say we have a different attitude. Let’s go with that. It’s not like we take siesta every afternoon for 4 hours. Come on. We get stuff done but we certainly do things differently. That’s very true.
Jack Butala: That parlays me into my next question. What events convinced you to quit that corporate job you just talked about?
Jill: I got to the point where I was losing money. I knew that I was losing money and missing deals because I was tied up in that world. I tried to do both. It took over. Doing it on the weekends wasn’t enough. Calls don’t necessarily come into the weekends. It’s not always that convenient. I was trying to literally … Computers next to each other. It was the funniest thing where I’m trying to do one. I’d take a break to spend some time on this. My regular job never suffered. I would always hit my numbers. Everything was great. Everybody loved me.
It was funny because when I did leave. Everybody thought, well, it was 2 things. One was like, “We say this coming. We’re going to miss you,” and then, “Do you have a job for me?” That’s what was so funny about it. I’m not kidding. You may or may not know this. I have a couple people from my last position that I keep up with. Well, more than my last position. Other positions but have stayed in touch that they’re waiting with baited breath for me to pick up the phone and say, “I need you now,” because they’re going to be right here.
Then, they’re excited and supportive. That’s what happened. Just basically, I was losing money. It did not make sense for me to sit there and do that anymore.
Jack Butala: You were losing money going to your regular job? That’s exactly what was happening to me. That’s what pushed me over the edge.
In episode 0, I told this story called “All my friends think I’m a drug dealer.” It’s the same thing with your friends because I tell this story literally that a lot of my friends pulled me aside one time and said, “We’re really concerned about you. We think you’re dealing drugs because you don’t seem like you do anything for a living at all.”
Jill: Exactly. “You’re always available.” [Crosstalk 00:30:36]
Jack Butala: Once I convinced them that’s not the case, all they asked me was, “How can I do that?” I became, instead of the intervention that they thought they were going to have with me, it was the beginning stages of Land Academy. This is 20 years ago, probably.
Jack Butala: “Well, teach me how to do it.”
Jack Butala: What a great feeling isn’t it? “Man. I’m losing money going to this job.”
Jill: It is.
Jack Butala: Is it hard?
Jill: It’s funny you say that. No. I got to say, “No.” I reached a point where there’s no fear.
Jack Butala: Yeah. Me, too.
Jill: I was way past that.
Jack Butala: I agree.
Jill: There’s no fear at all because I knew. There’s going to be another deal around the corner because I’ve proven it times 10.
Jack Butala: This is how I convinced myself. I looked at what I owned free and clear. Just that what you just described with those 4 properties and close to the Grand Canyon. I had tons and tons and tons of those.
I said, “You know what? If I quit my regular job and that money turns off, that valve turns off, I have X, Y, Z amount of money here and everything goes wrong, I don’t buy anymore property, I’m going to be fine for quite some time.” That’s what pushed me over the edge. “Now’s the time to test it.” I guess there are a few safety nets but they’re safety nets I created for myself. It sounds like you did, too.
Jill: Uh-huh. Sure did.
Jack Butala: Good for you. It doesn’t matter. I can’t imagine going back to a normal job.
Jack Butala: I don’t know.
Jack Butala: We all need to acquisition [geoflow 00:32:10] in life. We need to make sure that all the deals come in regularly, have a system. What do you do every day to make sure that this happens, you’re clearly doing it right.
Jill: Two things. Two things. I make sure that we have quality data available period and good, solid mailers are going out every week. That’s number one so I never worry about deal flow.
Then, just as an added safety net, if you will, to use your term, I micromanage the tax deed environment. I’m always keeping an eye out on great properties. You get into the system with the counties. They’ll send you lists of what’s coming up and for sale, over the counter sales and auctions coming up. All kinds of good stuff.
Jack Butala: I’m sorry. Go ahead.
Jill: I don’t do it as much anymore, I don’t, but I still keep an eye out. It’s fun for me. I haven’t been to one in a while and I need to.
Jack Butala: I just got an email from your department. I think it might have been directly from you a week ago. One of the counties here in Arizona, they’re having a surplus OTC, over the counter tax auction, closed bid, sealed bid thing. You know what I’m talking about? There’s 5 pages. I think this is what you mean by keeping your one eye open on this tax situation. I read through that. There’s 250 acre properties in there for 10,000. I completely understand what you’re saying by not walking away from the tax deed situation.
Jill: True. It’s a great fallback.
Jack Butala: It is. I ran the whole company in the early 2000s on just tax deeds before I realized how productive mailers could be so yeah. Yeah. I’ve got 2 students right now who just do tax sales and that’s it. Yeah. That’s cool. How many deals are in the pipeline right now, ballpark?
Jill: I was just looking at that? As of this moment today, I have about 90 properties that are waiting for me to review. There’s probably more. I tried to close … Gosh, I don’t know, 4 to 10 deals a week. When I say deals, it might be a 4 property, all-in-one deal kind of thing. I might be picking up multiple properties from the same person.
Jack Butala: Yeah. That’s great. I asked this question to a lot of people that are very successful but not in real estate and other types of business. You know what they say to this question?
Jill: What’s that?
Jack Butala: One.
Jill: Oh, what?
Jack Butala: One deal in my pipeline right now. They mean by that deals for them. They’re not as deal driven as real estate people are. We’re very used to having 700 properties to review and 10 more coming in tomorrow and the whole thing. A lot of very successful people hyperfocus on one thing and they make it work like a one, an acquisition of a company or the commercial real estate guys will really get maybe 1 or 2 large property to buy and then concentrate on leasing them up or doing whatever it takes, cleaning them up and then reselling them for more and a better cap rate. I think it takes an interesting personality. I have a personality where I like to have 500 deals coming in all the time. Don’t you?
Jill: I do. It makes my job easy and fun.
Jack Butala: Yeah. They’re the best ones.
Jill: No, no, no. Yeah. Yes. No, no, no. Yes.
Jack Butala: Exactly.
Jill: Kind of thing. Again, a lot of them … There’s not a lot of no’s. It’s just the price that’s what you negotiate, you know?
Jack Butala: Yeah. I remember saying this all the time. “I’m not saying no at all. I do want to buy the property. I just can’t do it this month because you’re number 92,” which no one really wants to hear but they always end up selling it to you. They wait.
Jill: They do.
Jack Butala: On the flipside, we all need a good sales process and not just the acquisition but releasing the sales process. What do you do there?
Jill: I have a system and it’s taken years to get to this point but it’s really important to have good system to make it easy for not only my buyers but also my staff. One of the things I do is way back before I buy the property, I start a process.
Let me back up. For example, I’m negotiating with this guy on the price of his property this week. He’s one of many but as I’m looking at the property and I’m looking at maps and doing some stuff, I’m already taking pictures, screen shots, things like that for all my engineering, for my staff and when it comes time to market it and sell it, I already have this stuff going so … Does that make sense?
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill: There’s a whole process and it starts from the very beginning. When it comes time to, “Hey, Erin. I need you to get this one out for sale,” blah, blah, blah, whatever, she’s already got things that she can work with and a lot of this stuff’s already done. It’s part of the whole process.
Jack Butala: You start the sales process right when you buy it, before you buy it?
Jill: Yes. Exactly.
Jack Butala: I thought you were going to answer it differently. I thought you were going to say, “We make sure it’s sold before we buy it,” because in the early days, that’s what I used to do.
Jill: Sometimes. That’s very true. Sometimes it is. That’s a good point because there’s properties that come in that I know, “Oh! I know right away who’s going to want this one.” That’s very true and I love that.
Jack Butala: I keep coming back to interviewing other people. You know what they say, usually? “Oh, no, no. We already know what’s going to happen. Long, long before we buy the asset, we know how all the sales piece is going to go. We focus most exclusively on how inexpensively we can buy the asset because we already know what we’re going to do with it when we sell it.” That seems to really separate successful people from people who are on the fence. I don’t think there’s a piece of property that I have ever, with very few exceptions, I know how it’s all going to sell. The only variable is time. It always sells.
Jill: What price I want to do it. It depends on how I want to sell it. Do I want to sell it for cash right now and build up my cash balance for future acquisitions or do I want to sell it for terms and roll it into that?
Jack Butala: Right. God, you make it sound so easy.
Jill: It is that easy.
Jack Butala: Is it really?
Jill: It is!
Jack Butala: What’s the catch? Why doesn’t everybody do this?
Jill: Why do I get asked that every single time? Just kidding. What is the catch? The catch is, you got to buy it right. Seriously! You have to buy it right. That’s it. If you don’t buy it right, you’ve already lost. You’re sunk.
Jack Butala: Hey! Is that’s the answer to the next question.
Jill: I don’t know. What is the next …
Jack Butala: Give us some inside track advice, something that really makes your life easier and more profitable every day, like something that a person starting out can benefit from.
Jill: Okay. I spent some time on this one and I really thought about this and what is something that I wish someone would have told me a longtime ago. One thing I see other people doing and getting hung up on. I think what I wish someone would have taken me aside and had a chat with me and said, “If you’re going to do this, do it right. Spend some money on the important things and cut corners on the other things.”
For example, if you don’t spend some money and get really good data up front, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your mailers are, they’re going to the wrong people. We use CoreLogic lot of it. Then, cut corners on maybe your office is in your garage or your basement. Maybe you don’t have business cards yet. Let’s think about this. Spend money on that good stuff. You’re doing the work, not a virtual assistant. You’re not spending the money there. You’re doing it but again, you got the data, you invest it in the front end. You got that good quality data to work with. You have the addresses, the properties, you’ve isolated exactly what you want. Yeah. You invest a little bit up front but thank goodness, it’s going to save you so much down the road. It’s amazing.
Jack Butala: CoreLogic is where we buy our data. I’m going to ask them if we can be a sponsor or they can be our sponsor because we have … You know. I’m just saying this to the audience. We have no affiliation with them at all. I wonder how much money they make because that’s how much we talk about all day is CoreLogic.
Jill: I know. Isn’t that the funniest thing? I should be getting paid by them but I’m not.
Jack Butala: I know. I know for sure you’re not saving any money on your office because I saw your private bathroom and the lakefront thing and the Porsche sitting outside.
Jill: Hold on a moment.
Jack Butala: Did you get your nails done today, too?
Jill: Stop it. I said in the beginning. You said, “Starting out,” not at me. I love it. Yes, I do. I’m looking at the ducks out the window right now, as a matter of fact.
Jack Butala: I think we have the only waterfront office in Arizona. Look at it.
Jill: Yeah, right?
Jack Butala: With the executive bathroom. If someone out there has an executive bathroom office with all glass in front of a lake, please call me. I want to see it.
Jill: IF you’re in Arizona, that makes it hard.
Jack Butala: Oh, yeah. California or Michigan, that’s easy.
Jill: Exactly. Exactly right.
Jack Butala: Okay. Next question. We’re getting close to the end here. What’s the one resource you couldn’t succeed without?
Jill: Now, it comes back to ProLogic. I use it on the front end.
Jack Butala: [Inaudible 00:42:40] Okay.
Jill: I know.
Jack Butala: No. It’s fine.
Jill: Seriously, if you took that away from me, I would have … I could figure stuff out but let’s just say my life is so much easier.
Jack Butala: We’d have to get a Winnebago and go to tax auctions all over the country.
Jill: Yeah. I’m trying to count. How would I get by without them? It would be very difficult. I’d be driving for dollars. Just kidding.
Jack Butala: For those of you who don’t know, Jill and I have made a side career out of bashing the concept called driving for dollars, where you get in your car and you waste half your day driving around, looking at houses that look like you might want to buy them when the reality, the physical asset that you’re buying is maybe the last thing you should be looking at in a real estate, according to our methodology. Hey, did I do that justice or do you ….
Jill: I just want to tell you. Wait a minute. I’m watching in BiggerPockets. I’m reading BiggerPockets. These guys are going back and forth about driving for dollars and patting each other on the back. I’m, “You guys are crazy.”
I did chime in on this. These guys. He spent all day driving for dollars. He took out 8 business cards. I will not forget this because I’m, “8 business cards?” He was very proud of himself but he spent 8 hours or maybe more, I don’t know, driving neighborhoods. He was very proud and felt like it was a success because he gave out 8 business cards. If I spent all day and I’ve only reached 8 people, what? That’s … And I feel good about that? I, in a very nice way, said, “Oh, my gosh!” Let’s all talk about this everyone. How about 8, you hit 8,000? Hmm. I don’t know.”
Jack Butala: What’d he say?
Jill: “Just the thought.” I made them all think. It was the funniest thing so it’s an ongoing thing. It’s awesome. No, I really …
Jack Butala: Good. It’s not over yet.
Jill: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I know that I struck a … It’s a valid point. I’ve got them now thinking about this. Come one everybody. What we do for land is also for homes, apartment buildings. Dream it up.
Jack Butala: It’s hard to convey this concept to people who are newer in the business that the asset you’re buying, the piece of real estate, I know we’re all in the real estate business but the piece of real estate that you’re buying is not the primary thing that you need to be looking at. That’s just incidental. What you really need to look at is how much it costs, what you can sell it for and think of it as an ashtray or something or a mouse pad or anything that you can think of because it might as well be that. It’s not really about that asset. Driving for dollars just making it all about that asset and not the structure of the deal or not the price. Eight business cards!
Jill: That was the funniest thing to me. I’m like, “Oh, my gosh.” You know me. I was very careful how I worded. I didn’t want to offend the guy but I wanted to say, “Hey.” I really in a nice way, said, “Have you considered this?” He was like, “Oh!” I really, sincerely, think that there’s a lot of people out there that don’t even know about this. He didn’t even know it existed. I’m like, “Yeah, did you know you can get this data and for exactly what you want. If you want to do all 3 bedroom, 2 bath homes in this price range and this county and blast them all at once, instead of 3 streets at a time, you can do that.” He’s like, “I didn’t know.” I’m, “Yeah.” Your time’s valuable.
Jack Butala: I’m writing a whole program on this exact topic about wholesaling houses and how the way to wholesale a house. It’s the same thing like you’re doing with land, where you have to buy for about half of what it’s really worth. The only way to do that is to target properties that have no mortgage. That’s not hard. If you get the right data, the right data person, hopefully it’s you to send the right mailers out to the right people at the right time, you’re going to get.
We’ve done it. We do it. We buy houses that way all the time. I never go look at the house because it’s so cheap that I know who I’m going to sell it to based on its geography. That guys going to do all the work. You don’t want to ever lift a hammer in that business. You want to sit at the desk and know how to do a mailer, just like you do.
Jack Butala: If you had to start all over tomorrow morning knowing what you know now, what would you do? I ask this because a ton of our listeners, they’re starting out with very, very limited amount of money and a limited amount of realistic advice.
Jill: Okay. All right. I would focus on large acreage properties west of the Mississippi. Here’s what I would do. The only things I really need to invest on is getting this data. Everything else I can scrimp on. I don’t care where I’m working. I’m doing it on the side. I’m doing it part time. I don’t have business cards. I’m just getting going. I need to get some properties.
Jack Butala: You paint a great picture. Go ahead.
Jill: I would reach out to large acreage properties with some really good offers. I would try to negotiate some options, situations which is Mr. Smith calls me back. He’s got 40 acres in Hudspeth County, Texas. Who knows, whatever. He’s happy with $3,000. I know that things worth 9. I’m going to work out an agreement with him and I could sell it fast from 9, by the way, I could sell it slow other ways but I just want to get some cash going.
I work out an agreement with Mr. Smith. I can make this up myself, too. Just a little 1 or 2 page options agreement saying, “Hey, here’s the deal. I’m going to market this. I’m going to sell it to you. I’m going to get you your $3,000. I need 60 days or whatever it is.” Mr. Smith says, “Great. Hey, you get me $3,000 in 60 days, I’m happy it’s yours. I’m good but where do I sign?” Then, I go to town and I market it all over the place.
Then, when I get my 9, I pay him the 3 and I just made 6,000. I’m doing this over and over and over again. I didn’t put out any money. I could do this just a few hours every Sunday. I could build up quite a bank balance.
Jack Butala: That’s fantastic advice. I would do the exact same thing.
Jill: People, I hear all the time, “Boy, I don’t have any money. I can’t do this.” Oh, come on! You got to get creative, then.
Jack Butala: I’ve said this 1,000,000 times. There’s way more money out there than there is talent. If you practice … That’s another thing that people in the real estate business, the first thing they run out and do is get a deal on their contract and then wonder if they should do it. It’s more about the deal than what you just described. If you establish a mechanism like you just described to control a transaction and then decide what to do with it after that happens based on some research you did, you’re always going to win. It doesn’t cost anything and you’re accumulating good A-list buyers while it’s happening and the whole thing.
Jill: Uh-huh. You’re learning how to market it. You’re getting your system down. Okay, now I got to figure out, okay, where am I going to put it first? Craigslist. I don’t know. It’s free. Okay, fine. Now, I might put it on eBay. Now, “Hey! I’m going to work on my website,” and, “Oh, gosh, now it’s another Sunday. I have another property and I have 2 for sale. Oh, now I have 3 for sale,” because … Keep on going. Then you have 40 before you know it. You got that cash.
Jack Butala: Right. Let me tell you a super-quick story. A lot of years ago, I had one of those corporate jobs you were talking about and it was back East. I lived in an apartment but I went to the bank to buy or to get a loan to buy a house to rent it out like I think a lot of people probably are doing that right now, listening to this show. The bank said, “You’re off your rocker. You have no experience at this at all. You’re not going to live there. You’re just going to rent it out.”
You know what I did? This is before the internet. I put an ad in the paper. I rented the place out before I even owned it at all. Before I even had it under contract, before the seller even knew that I existed on the planet.
Jill: That’s awesome.
Jack Butala: Then, I went back to the bank and said, “This person is ready to rent the thing for X, Y and Z.” You know what? I didn’t pull a trigger on the deal because I changed job locations but all it takes is a couple more steps like you’re saying and you know what you’re going to do with the assets before you actually buy it. That’s great advice, Jill.
Jill: It really is. You know and you and I know that. We have people coming to us all the time with money out there that they want to invest. They don’t want to do the work or they don’t know how to do it. That’s a whole ‘nother thing, too but they would love to get tentative … You get promised 10, 15% back, cool.
Jack Butala: Oh, man.
Jill: I know.
Jack Butala: Especially, [read it in real estate back in my real estate … 00:51:55]
Jack Butala: This is a rapid fire question portion of the program. I’m getting mixed reviews on this because the show’s new. I’m going to ask you some fast questions. Maybe you can keep your answers to 1, maybe 2 sentences, all right?
Jill: Okay. Can we preface this by saying, “I have not read these questions yet?”
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill: Okay, good. Just so everybody knows, if I come across sounding like a ding dong, you’re out there like, “What was that?”
Jack Butala: Hey, if anyone’s going to sound like a ding dong on the show, it’s me.
Jill: Okay. Thank you. I have not heard these questions. Okay, so I’m ready.
Jack Butala: What did you want to do for a living when you were a kid?
Jill: Be an architect.
Jack Butala: Really? I got to ask you about that later. We should talk more, even though we work at the same company. This is going to be interesting stuff to say.
Jill: I hope so. Our offices are not in the same location, which is fine.
Jack Butala: I got the Mountain Dew, you get the lake view, we’re fine.
Jack Butala: What’s the best advice you ever received and by whom?
Jill: The best advice was, “Sometimes just act like you know what you’re doing and it’s all going to work out.”
Jack Butala: Is that what you’re doing here? Is that what’s been going on?
Jill: That’s not what’s going on but I’ll tell you more about that later. It was by my dad.
Jack Butala: You’ve been faking this whole career, haven’t you?
Jack Butala: What circumstance do you always walk away from?
Jill: Oh, my gosh! What circumstance do I always walk away from?
Jack Butala: I know it’s hard for …
Jill: People who talk too much. I don’t know.
Jack Butala: That’s good.
Jill: I don’t know. I don’t even know.
Jack Butala: That’s how I would answer that.
Jill: I don’t know. Crazy people. Mean people. I don’t’ have a lot of patience, although I still try to win them over so I don’t know. I’m pretty easy going. I’m from California.
Jack Butala: Who do you rely on the most?
Jack Butala: Excellent. Is there a good book you can recommend for listeners?
Jill: Mine. Got to wait a few months.
Jack Butala: There’s a section at the end where we plug everything, our guests can plug their own stuff but no, you jumped right into it.
Jill: I don’t even know. I’m sorry, okay.
Jack Butala: Wait a second. Let me get this.
Jill: Let’s just go with that.
Jack Butala: Let’s play the word association game. I’m going to say a few words.
Jill: Oh, no!
Jack Butala: Then, just say a single word that comes to your mind. I’ll tell you. I don’t have a list of words. I just do this on a guest specific basis.
Jill: Oh, no. Is this new? Is this a new … We’re going to test this on Jill and the next person, we’re going to ditch it?
Jack Butala: I’ve done it twice already and it’s actually pretty fun.
Jack Butala: It’s really telling about why people are successful. It’s very telling. I think.
Jill: All right.
Jack Butala: I think the show’s probably going to crash and burn and no one’s going to listen to it but I think it’s a lot of fun.
Jill: Oh, totally.
Jack Butala: Coffee.
Jack Butala: Hunter Green.
Jill: My car.
Jack Butala: Wasn’t fair [inaudible 00:55:18]
Jill: My almost vintage Porsche in the parking lot.
Jack Butala: That just means an old, rusty mid-80s car to me. That’s why I said …
Jill: [Inaudible 00:55:26] 80s, thank you very much. Anyway.
Jack Butala: California.
Jack Butala: Piper Craft.
Jill: Piper Craft?
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill: Like in the airplane? It sounds like Piper Cherokee but …
Jack Butala: Thanks for correcting me.
Jill: You’re welcome.
Jack Butala: [Direct in post 00:55:43] and your boss.
Jill: Thanks. What?
Jack Butala: How about boss?
Jill: Ugh! That was my answer. I prefer not to have one.
Jack Butala: Easement?
Jack Butala: Nice. Grand Canyon.
Jack Butala: Cactus?
Jack Butala: Taco Tuesday.
Jill: Margaritas and [chicotey 00:56:17] light.
Jack Butala: Nice! Four year college degree.
Jill: Oh! Not always a fan.
Jack Butala: Excellent. Revenue.
Jill: Yah! Why get up.
Jack Butala: Nail polish.
Jill: Oh, my gosh! I need to get my nails done.
Jack Butala: All right. Last one. Exit strategy.
Jack Butala: Oh, that’s great. Like living on a boat?
Jack Butala: That’s fantastic.
Jill: That’s fun. You got to do that for everybody.
Jack Butala: I do. I’ve done it twice already. It is a lot of fun. Maybe we should put it in the front of the show. I don’t know.
Jill: No. I like it at the end.
Jack Butala: Okay. You want to do me?
Jill: Yeah! Let me think about this one.
Jack Butala: That’s why this is fun.
Jill: Yeah. Are we too much time? Is this okay?
Jack Butala: I don’t know. It’s coming on an hour. I don’t care if you don’t. If anyone else is listening by this point, they’ve got bigger problems than us.
Jill: Here’s what’s happened. Number one, your producers in Chicago are ticked. That’s what’s going to happen first when they get this because it’s too long. Then, number 2, should they air the whole thing, people are driving around the parking lot and they’re late for work right now.
Jack Butala: It’s the best [inaudible 00:57:53]
Jill: But that’s okay because you know why?
Jack Butala: [Crosstalk 00:57:55] That’s okay.
Jill: I hope they’re driving around in the parking lot because right now, they’re rethinking going into the office. They are right now going, “Should I go in there? Am I wasting my time? Am I losing money punching a time clock,” because you just might be.
I like this. All right. All right. Let me think of some good questions for you. Forest.
Jack Butala: Profit.
Jill: Oh! Cabin.
Jack Butala: Retirement.
Jack Butala: Fun.
Jill: Roller Coasters?
Jack Butala: Pass.
Jill: I knew that was coming.
Jack Butala: Did you write these down?
Jill: No, I was just thinking of up so everybody …
Jack Butala: This has nothing to do with real estate or being a success or anything.
Jill: Anybody knows that I’m the roller coaster person. You are not the roller coaster person. That’s really good. All right.
Jack Butala: Hold on. Two more because we really are at an hour now.
Jill: All right. Two more. Fancy restaurant?
Jack Butala: Skip lunch.
Jill: Exit strategy.
Jack Butala: Man! You just my prelude into the whole ass thing, here. Exit strategy for me is probably teaching.
Jill: Oh! Love it. Okay, I’m …
Jack Butala: Last question I’m asking everybody is how do you know when you’re done? What is your exit strategy? What events or circumstances do you have in your head? I really think it’s good to go into everything, knowing how it’s going to end like you do with these acquisitions?
Jack Butala: How do you know this whole thing’s going to end for you? What’s your exit here? Then, I want talk about your book.
Jill: I haven’t done my exit strategy. I tell people that all the time. Work it backwards. Even when I see people in BiggerPockets talking about, “I want to be a corporate … I only want to do corporate,” blah, blah, blah real estate or whatever they’re looking at doing. I don’t know. I always tell them, “All right, guys. Let’s work it backwards. Figure out where you want to be in 2, 3, 5, however many years right now and don’t waste your time,” because I hear them going down the wrong path. I think I should start in this area and then learn this area and this area. I’m, “Hold on a moment. None of those things are going to help you if this is really what you want to do.” If you want to be a surgeon, you go to medical school. You do all these things. You don’t learn to do this first because I don’t know. I need to …
Jack Butala: I talk about that in the DVD program. If you sit down, really. Doesn’t take any money or time to do this. Sit down for a second and imagine what you want. Sit there and close your eyes and think about what your desk looks like. A lot of young men in particular have a car that they want. They envision that car. If you think about it enough and take the steps to do it, it’s going to happen.
Jill: I guess we all know I’ve done when I’m still able to help … I love having my hand in stuff and doing the fun parts of this. I really do, especially the acquisitions. Love it. I get a kick out of it. I love helping people and getting them up to whatever level they want to do. Even if it’s just pay off a kid’s college or buy a vacation home or whatever it is. I love that and I’ll know I’m there when I’m doing it from 35,000 feet and I mean literally from 35,000 feet.
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill: That’s what I would love.
Jack Butala: All right. What’s your book about?
Jill: Oh! Do we need to get into that now? It’s already an hour.
Jack Butala: This is the last part of the show. I do, I want to talk because you know what? This is maybe more for me than people who are listening.
Jill: There’s a lot of forming that’s still going on like what we’ve done with Land Academy. How do I say this? It’s not finalized yet so I don’t … I’m not …
Jack Butala: What’s it about?
Jill: I guess women in this world and being successful.
Jack Butala: That’s great. That’s great, Jill.
Jill: Different challenges. I guess it’s really about that but having said that, it’s not a chick book by any means. It’s for professionals, successful women so …
Jack Butala: Women who are already successful or women who are trying to be successful or a fourth thing?
Jill: Define success.
Jack Butala: Yeah, I guess I don’t know. Isn’t that funny?
Jack Butala: Do you sit around and look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Man. That’s one successful person.”
Jill: Absolutely. All the time.
Jack Butala: I know we do really well financially and stuff. I haven’t missed a meal in quite some time but I don’t sit around and say, “Man, I’m successful.” I guess I’m always thinking of the next thing.
Jill: Boy, I love my hair. All right.
Jack Butala: All right.
Jill: Jill, thank you so much. Again, it’s an honor to have you as a first episode 1 guest, anyway, my first aired guest on the show. I think your approach to this whole thing, it took the company only so far and I think you’ve taken it to a much higher, better step.
Jack Butala: Thank you.
Jill: Thank you for being on the show. I hope, if everything goes well, you’re going to be a regular.
Jack Butala: Absolutely.
Jill: All right. Talk to you soon.
Jack Butala: Okay. Bye.
Jack Butala: Do you have a question about how to buy property super cheap and sell it for more, let us know at 888-735-5045. Jill and I will try to get your message on the air. Every single month, we give away a property for free. No strings. No funny business. It’s super simple to qualify. Two simple steps. Leave us your feedback for this podcast on iTunes and number 2, get the free e-book at landacademy.com. You don’t even have to read it.
Now, let’s go buy some property.
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