What your First Deal Should Look Like (Perfect)
Jack Butala: Welcome to the “Cash Flow from Land” show. In this episode Jill and I talk about what the perfect deal looks like. Hi Jill.
Jill DeWit: Hi.
Jack Butala: I love this topic. I love talking about stuff like this. So many times we talk about little technical details like, should you go see your land and, is there a nuclear bomb, and little tiny things like that.
Jill DeWit: Tiny little things like a nuclear bomb …
Jack Butala: I love the big picture stuff …from 35 thousand feet …like, if you could create the perfect deal, what is it? I love that kind of stuff. What does it look like to you, the perfect deal?
Jill DeWit: The perfect deal for me is … all the stars are in alignment and all the pieces are perfect. From the legal paperwork part of it, to the property itself, to the circumstances that they are selling it. May I go into more detail?
Jack Butala: Absolutely, please.
Jill DeWit: First of all, legally, it’s in everybody’s name. There’s no issues, there’s no trust, there is no nothing. It’s husband and wife and they’re still alive and happy and able to sign, just in their name. Everything is great, they’ve owned the property for 20-30 years so there’s no issues at all about any liens or anything crazy from back then. Legally, I should say, so that’s the paperwork part. The second part is the property itself. Which is, it’s gorgeous … maybe it’s an area in Southern California, like Riverside or Palm Springs, or San Bernardo. Somewhere you can drive and have all of the things that you want, but it’s a great place for someone to build a home or ranch, or whatever they want to do. Maybe it’s several acres, I like that, I like acreage. It doesn’t have to be that big, but 2,5, or 10 acres … 2 or 5 out there is great, something like that.
Jack Butala: This is exactly why we’re business partners, because you and I answer these questions a little bit differently. We’re always looking forward and going in the same direction together, but … you just described the perfect deal for you, and that’s awesome. The perfect deal for me is a property that is sold before we buy it. You know when they come in … Here is my example, we send a majillion letters out and we get all kinds of responses, but my perfect deal is when the offer comes back signed and they leave their phone number or email address in the slot that we provide right on the offer and they say, “Yeah, I want to sell all four A’s. I want to sell my large acreage property for the price that you asked, I want to close , just like you said, next Friday, and this is where we should meet.”
Jill DeWit: Is it just about speed for you?
Jack Butala: Yeah, well it’s just about the technical stuff for me. It’s not about the property or the people.
Jill DeWit: I’m about the ease of the transaction.
Jack Butala: I know, and that’s why we’re great partners. I didn’t think this show would be about this at all … If we can buy a 40 acre property for 4,000 bucks in … it doesn’t even matter where … and we do, we have a ton of A-list buyers that are ready to pay $10,000 cash for it, that’s the perfect deal for me.
Jill DeWit: You know what? That’s a part of my transaction, I hadn’t gotten to that point. Mine is, not only that it is legally easy, the property is good, and the circumstances are right, so mine kind of ties into yours, I just hadn’t got there yet, I apologize. It’s a transaction where they are done with the property. Like I said, it’s kind of the same thing. My perfect deal is, “Hey, we’re done with it, we’re not going to retire there, love to have the cash tomorrow … we don’t have to have the cash tomorrow, love to have the cash tomorrow … What are you offering … We have an idea what it’s worth and we’re good with that.
Jack Butala: Just for fun, what’s the absolute opposite of that for you? What’s a deal that we all know we’re going to do it, but it’s awful, but we have to do it? A lot of times we just say no … but, we’re going to do it.
Jill DeWit: Oh, what’s one of the really tricky deals that I don’t like doing, but I’m going to complete them anyway?
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Okay, because the price is stellar, it is beyond what I could dream I could buy it for. Now, here is the issue, I’ve got to call an attorney and get some questions answered here. Even their attorney has not … maybe that.
Jack Butala: Oh, there’s attorneys.
Jill DeWit: You know, it’s never about the chain of title, it’s not about who has owned it. We all know that Grandpa’s owned this thing for 50 years, no one is questioning that. We just have to make sure that we do it the right way, because Grandpa passed and Grandpa didn’t but it in his trust yet, or something like that. There is a little hiccup that needs to be done. Those are the ones that, gosh it’s a headache for me, but I’m going to do it because, oh my gosh this is an awesome property and I’m going to make so much money on this it is going to pay for this in the end, but it is a lot of work right now.
Jack Butala: No good acquisition can go to waste, that’s my motto.
Jill DeWit: I like that. I like that a lot, that’s good. What else? I’m trying to think of what other things would be my perfect, perfect deal? … Oh, I’ve got one! Sally Smith calls me up and says, “I have 20 of these.” –
Jack Butala: Yeah! I was waiting for that one to come up.
Jack Butala: Multi-unit deals.
Jill DeWit: Do you want them?
Jack Butala: You’ve got to tell a story about that member that just hit the jackpot on this.
Jill DeWit: I love it.
Jack Butala: Jill is famous in our land academy program for making sure that everybody asked this question with everyone that they are on the phone with, and the question is …
Jill DeWit: “What else do you have?”
Jack Butala: “What else do you own?”
Jill DeWit: Yeah, and next thing you know they are like, “Well, I happened to own, I didn’t think you’d be interested, but I’ve got this over here and I’ve got that over here and this over here and that over here, and I’m like, huh, goldmine!
Jack Butala: Tell us that Veteran’s story. That deal that we did about a year ago.
Jill DeWit: Oh, that was the craziest thing. He was calling in about a 2 1/2 acre, somewhere in Southern California … Riverside… or, I don’t know what…
Jack Butala: It was in Tehachapi I think.
Jill DeWit: NO, that was the second one.
Jack Butala: Oh, okay.
Jill DeWit: The first one was in another area. Maybe it was Kern, or something … He owned 2 properties, he was calling me about 1. About just this acreage property. It might have been bigger, because he had a letter. I did my, “Well, I’d consider it, what else do you have?” It turns out that he was trying to qualify for a VA loan, he had to get rid of some assets. One of them was a small 1/4 acre and one Tehachapi – is that how you say it?
Jack Butala: I think so.
Jill DeWit: Te-ha-chapee, I can’t remember – Infill lot with homes on each side, with a paved road –
Jack Butala: Yeah, it was a new subdivision.
Jill DeWit: He paid $49,000 for it. He listed it a couple years ago for $25,000, he already knew he was taking a hit on it –
Jack Butala: Boy this is the perfect deal, you’re right.
Jill DeWit: Right? He was like, “You know what, I just …” This was last year, he had to get it off his books the end of the year. Remember this? I was scrambling –
Jack Butala: Yeah, because he owned too much property to qualify for a VA loan, so he was so he was real motivated to do this with us.
Jill DeWit: He was. “If you can give me X thousand-” and by the way it was $2,000 for both, “If you can give me $2,000 and I can get it done in 10 days, done.” I said, “Yeah, we’re going to make this happen.”
Jack Butala: We made a ton of money on that deal, I remember that.
Jill DeWit: It was awesome. That was one of those, “Wow”.
Jack Butala: It was a run to the bank.
Jill DeWit: Run to the bank, yeah. So that was another awesome deal. That was a result of my thing that I tell every single person, when you’re talking to a seller, ask them what else they have.
Jack Butala: We have a member, she is a stay at home mom, and she just went through her first transaction and she asked that question and they produced 1,100 other properties. She got the run of the list. I think she went through her entire acquisition budget that she had slated for the rest of the year, she went through it in 2 weeks.
Jill DeWit: I think she did say that she is almost out of money. It’s hilarious, it’s so great.
Jack Butala: Running out of acquisition money is the greatest feeling ever.
Jill DeWit: Isn’t that awesome? You’re like, “This is so good, I have to buy it … and this is so good I have to buy it” … I love that problem. I actually often get in that pickle and it’s the best position to be in because I’m not buying these at such an awesome price that I can double my money without even doing anything, so I’m going to try to triple my money which is still not hard to do. It’s fantastic, and that’s just a wholesale thing.
Jack Butala: I have another example of a perfect deal, it’s a deal that I did a lot of years ago. We have this method of faxing real estate people. Real estate agents and brokers still use fax machines, not as much as they used to, but they do because there’s a lot of documents involved … for whatever reason they still have fax machines. I faxed a whole state of real estate agents –
We actually have a program under development about how to contact all the agents in a state or given agency by the fax machine –
Anyway, I did this a lot of years ago and a guy called me back. An agent-owner, just like you described. He had a tremendous amount of property. The [inaudible 00:10:24] that we love, large acreage, the out skirt of towns. It had a lot of nice attributes … if I had bought it all it would have cost $700,000, which I didn’t want to outlay at the time. We devised a system, he and I, and we called it a release. I signed a contract to buy everything … and I fronted the … I think it was over 18 months, we cut all the property up into 18 separate packages. Every month I was obligated at thirty or forty thousand dollars to buy this stuff. I only had to front the first amount because we doubled our money and tripled our money on everything, so we just kept closing and closing and closing and selling it. Man, I’ll tell you what, I think I cleared close to a million bucks on that deal. It’s a good feeling to come into the office in the morning and know that your acquisition slate is all set up. Now you’re taking one set of pictures, and it’s one map and one area and you can talk to the buyer real logically about it.
Jill DeWit: I agree, I love that situation, that was brilliant. I’ve done that on the south side. Remember that guy in Canada? He would buy 12 or 15 of my properties at a time –
Jack Butala: Oh yeah I do remember that.
Jill DeWit: Remember that? I’d give him a list and he’d pick out the one he wants and I’d do one deed. Then I’d give him a list and he’d pick out what he wants and I’d do one deed. Then I’d give him a list and he’d pick out what he wants … It was like once a week for several weeks … they were building up a big inventory in that area. That was wonderful, I love those. Just wiring me the money, by then we’re not even talking about it, the money just shows up and I know to do the deed. It’s great.
Jack Butala: Here is another example of an almost perfect, or maybe a perfect deal, especially for somebody new in the business. I only know about it because it happened to one of our members recently, in Colorado. They sent a letter out, they bought 10 or 20 5 acre properties in the same area. The guy who took the pictures for him, he asked the guy to put a little sign on it too. He put a sign on it and some people who lived close buy called him. He ended up selling one property for the amount of money it cost him to buy all of the properties. The rest of the properties, I don’t know if he has sold them yet or not. He said he is going to keep some, he’s going to sell some on terms, and some for cash. That’s
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