Fine Line Between Assistance & Consulting (CFFL 61.3)

Fine Line Between Assistance & Consulting

Jack Butala: Fine Line Between Assistance & Consulting. Every Single month we give away a property for free. It’s super simple to qualify. Two simple steps. Leave us your feedback for this podcast on iTunes and number two, get the free ebook at, you don’t even have to read it. Thanks for listening.

Jack Butala:                   Jack Butala here for Land Academy. Welcome to our Cash Flow from Land Show. In this episode, Jill and I talk about that fine line between assistance and consulting. Jill, how are you?

Jill DeWit:                            Great. How are you?

Jack Butala:                   I’m excellent. Hey, what do you charge for advice, and what do you charge for a cup of coffee?

Jill DeWit:                            A cup of coffee, the growing rate is $1,800. Just kidding, I don’t know. No.

Jack Butala:                   No. To paraphrase, this show is about, “Hey Steve, I want to buy you a cup of coffee, and pick your brain about this,” that’s assistance.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Jack Butala:                   Or “Hey, Steve. Can you do this startup for me?” That’s consulting.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Jack Butala:                   I thought it’d be great to throw a little show together because I have been a consultant, and I am a consultant and offer my own company here, and that line gets skewed often.

Jill DeWit:                            It does get blurry sometimes.

Jack Butala:                   Yeah. Do you have any examples of some consulting questions? Some questions that you get in a regular because you’re so close to all of our members and our customers. Do you get questions from people or questions from the same few people that you think are, “Man, this is just going over the line. Maybe we should be charging for this.”

Jill DeWit:                            I do. I do, and that’s in its I want it … The big picture is I want to provide, and that’s what we do, we want to help people. We’re really are here to help and as many as we can.

Jack Butala:                   It’s a cool situation I should say before we go any further. Long before Jill and I started Land Academy, we decided that we weren’t going to have an entity. We decided that our entity was going to provide a tremendous amount of backend help. Around the office, we call it aftercare. I don’t know how that started.

Jill DeWit:                            Your healthcare background.

Jack Butala:                   We just called it aftercare, so somebody buys a program, 9 times out 10, if you go somewhere else and buy some kind of education program, that’s it, you’re on your own. We do not believe in that.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Jack Butala:                   We believe in aftercare.

Jill DeWit:                            Because we want to run around to be successful.

Jack Butala:                   Right, that’s why we have Everybody helps each other there, that’s currently all free, but there’s always that line where what-

Jill DeWit:                            The goal is for me to and us, as professionals, and mentors, and experts, is to help people learn how to do it for themselves. I’m not doing anybody any good if they’re constantly e-mailing me, and I’m answering the question for them and then they go on. They need to learn. I want them to learn how to do it for themselves because what if I’m not here?

Jack Butala:                   Right. Part of learning is making mistakes, not tragic ones, but little mistakes along the way.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Jack Butala:                   I’ll give you an example. One of the biggest questions I get from brand new people is, “Where should I do this? I live in Boston. Should I be doing this just outside of Boston suburbs? Should I be doing it in Nevada like you discussed right at the program?” My answer is always this, and what they want me to say this is, “You need to go to Elko County, Nevada. I do this, this, and this.”

Jill DeWit:                            They do. “Buy 5 to 40 acres, and do this,” that’s what they want.

Jack Butala:                   Exactly. “Charge this. This is how it works. Here’s a step-by-step program, and you will make about $48,000 in. If you do part-time, you will make $48,000 in about seven weeks.”

Jill DeWit:                            “Here’s your spreadsheet, and here’s your checklist.”

Jack Butala:                   “And here’s the money.”

Jill DeWit:                            “Oh, and here’s the money.”

Jack Butala:                   “I’m 24/7. Here’s my cell phone.” I’m joking, that’s not what happens.

Jill DeWit:                            “Call me with every deal.”

Jack Butala:                   I’m just saying I have gotten questions like that. What I’m saying is it’s so much better for me to teach how I chose Elko, Nevada in the first place, and that’s what we actually teach in the program. There’s four or five, to wrap up this example. Four or five ways or components that a county has, in my opinion, that it just makes it ripe for mailing letters out, and buying extremely undervalued property, both for houses and for land. Wouldn’t it better if, and I talked flat out talked about that all through the program, and what those four attributes are, characteristics are. Personally I would rather have somebody say, “Here’s the [four characteristics 00:04:23], and go test it out in two or three counties because it’s a secret then.”

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Jack Butala:                   If I just said, “Everybody go to Elko County, Nevada and do this,” I think that would be it’s just silly, so that’s my point between assistance which is saying, “Here, I’m going to teach you how to do this,” and consulting where I say, “Based on all this information, we’ve 15 and 20 years of experience, you need to do this in XYZ county.”

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Jack Butala:                   Your example might be more customer service-oriented, I’m not sure.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, well, some of my examples are people, detailed about completing a transaction. “What deed am I using? Who do I call? Do I call the treasurer or do I call the assessor?”

Jack Butala:                   Where’s your line? Where is that line in that situation?

Jill DeWit:                            It’s a tough one because it’s pretty much, you just got to figure it out. Some of the stuff … A lot of the stuff is available on the internet. You and I talked about asking questions in a recent podcast too, and we’re making jokes about dumb questions. I still feel no question is a dumb question, but I really appreciate people that do a little bit of homework before they get to me because sometimes by the time they look it up, they might have the answer and not had to call me. For example, not often, but sometimes I get real detailed questions, and maybe it’s about preparing a deed. Even in our office, what should it look like kind of thing. My first thing is you got eight examples right there, or 18,000 really is what you’ve got examples.

Jack Butala:                   Actually you have about close to 16,000 examples.

Jill DeWit:                            16,000 examples.

Jack Butala:                   Literally.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, so yeah, we really do have that many examples. If you’re really coming to me-

Jack Butala:                   God, can you believe that?

Jill DeWit:                            I know.

Jack Butala:                   16,000 documents?

Jill DeWit:                            I know it’s a big deal, it’s crazy. Yeah, you got 16,000 examples, I think you could figure it out, number one. Number two, a lot of the county record websites have samples for you, and they have real detailed instructions telling you, “Use this font. Use this font size.”

Jack Butala:                   Right.

Jill DeWit:                            “We need to leave this much room in the upper right hand corner for the recording stamp.” There’s some stuff right there too.

Jack Butala:                   There’s examples on their website now in PDF form.

Jill DeWit:                            Great, that you can use.

Jack Butala:                   A lot of them.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s great, so that’s some of the stuff where I’m like, “All right.” … It’s a tough one for me because assisting might be saying I’m telling you where to go. Consulting is I’m sitting down with you, and I’m doing it, and holding your hand.

Jack Butala:                   Yeah, and utilizing your experience to say, “Don’t do this. Do this because this way it’ll work, and this way, it won’t.”

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. “See, when they said one-inch margin all the way around? They meant that. They’re going to kick it back.”

Jack Butala:                   Right.

Jill DeWit:                            Sometimes my whole thing is I want them to learn. I don’t want to give too much assistance or consult. If they want consulting, they basically pay me to do it, okay. I want them to learn for themselves. Once you get a kicked back because you forgot the affidavit of property value to go along with the document, you won’t forget that, and it’s not a big deal, now you send it back in. We just have the thing in our office, our own little hiccup, where some counties started using the new forms. Some counties did not, and so we-

Jack Butala:                   Yeah, it was a state form, right?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. For Arizona deeds, they want a affidavit of property value, and every county is different. They have the same form, but when they decide that they’re going to start shutting off and do that, every county is different, so we’ve been cruising along using the old one. Why change it?

Jack Butala:                   Right.

Jill DeWit:                            It was all in our system and it was pretty populated, so we hadn’t-

Jack Butala:                   Oh, is it “I spent years making that perfect.”

Jill DeWit:                            You see, right? You had it down to a science. All of a sudden, we’re getting things returned like, “Whoops. Okay, heads up, now we got to change it.” Big deal. Sometimes people get … What’s interesting is some people get all worked up and excited when it gets returned. “Oh my God, why did you take that? Oh my gosh, it’s the end of the world.” No, it’s not. Make the change. Rewrite a check for $2 more because you forgot that fee, big deal. Send it in and move on.”

Jack Butala:                   Here’s a secret. Ready?

Jill DeWit:                            Tell me.

Jack Butala:                   Everybody, I don’t care who you are, when you start off in real estate or anything that matters to you, there’s little things that you have that you’re concerned about, I call them speed bumps. We all get over them, and that’s what we talk about, that’s what we’re talking about here. Let’s help you get over that. Do you want to know what mine is?

Jill DeWit:                            What?

Jack Butala:                   Exactly what we’re talking about right now. It’s paperwork and county stuff.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s a hiccup for you?

Jack Butala:                   I’m going to use the word, fear. It’s not anymore because I got way over it a lot of years ago, but when I started I was so afraid of doing this paperwork wrong, and sending to these counties.

Jill DeWit:                            Really?

Jack Butala:                   Yeah, that was my huge hiccup when I started a lot of years ago. We’ve never talked about this.

Jill DeWit:                            I did not know that.

Jack Butala:                   In fact, you know what? I haven’t really even thought about it until we’re just doing the show now. Some people are so concerned. Here’s some feedback that I’ve gotten from members because we all have these little things that stop us from just killing it.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Jack Butala:                   When we get over them, we do go kill it. One person specifically I recall recently said that they just don’t know how to mentally manage when someone calls them back, when they receive a letter, and they’re angry about the fact that the offer is too low.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh.

Jack Butala:                   Personally, I think that’s funny.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, I do too.

Jack Butala:                   I live on like that, that just rage.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Jack Butala:                   I think it’s funny. Another person was concerned about, and this comes from an extremely seasoned, retired, licensed real estate agent, you’d think this person would have all of it.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. Dealt with it all.

Jack Butala:                   His huge concern was buying a property, and not knowing enough information about it, and then reselling it, and having the buyer come back and say, “Well, it doesn’t have access here. It doesn’t have ground water.” He went in a great detail.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh.

Jack Butala:                   It was clear to me that it was because he was so used to serving his clients, and representing his clients that get to know every single thing about the property wasn’t really important. I helped him get over that, and that was a consulting thing actually.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, it’s probably different too when he’s dealing with one transaction a month versus a thousand a month.

Jack Butala:                   Yeah, and he ultimately … He actually emailed me about a month after that or whenever, it was several weeks after that, and said, “You know what? I bought those properties we were talking about. I’m not going to go see him like you said. It’s the first time in my life.” I had to get over there.

Jill DeWit:                            So it’s a little fear?

Jack Butala:                   Yeah. “I had to get over buying a property unseen even though it’s a piece of vacant land in the center of whatever.” He’s like, “I did what you said. I put it on Craigslist. I put it here, and I sold it for three times just like you said, and the guy didn’t ask me any questions.” He’s like, “Now I just sent out seven million mailers.”

Jill DeWit:                            Awesome. He just had to get over it.

Jack Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            That was a little assistance from you.

Jack Butala:                   That was assistance.

Jill DeWit:                            Was it assistance or consulting?

Jack Butala:                   I don’t remember. Somebody paid me recently to help them really seriously get over something, I’m not sure.

Jill DeWit:                            I get a little bit of both too.

Jack Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            I get a little bit of both. If the assistance turns into consulting, I say, “All right, guys, now we got to talk. How much help do you really want from me?” The thing with me too is if it’s assistance, it’s what I can, “Yeah, oh that looks good. Great. I’m happy to help, whatever.” I move on to what I’m doing. If you’re really utilizing me for consulting, you get my one-on-one, undivided attention. We’re going to sit down and figure this out together. You’re paying me to do this so you get me.

Jack Butala:                   Yeah, one of the extremely popular question that I get straight into my e-mail, after we ship out, we ship programs out here everyday. I’d see the list of names, and for whatever reason, I pay attention to the names and I can almost set my watch by it. Maybe three days later, I’ll get an e-mail that says with some questions. All I have to say is, it makes me think that I need to update our package or put an insert in there that I like to say is, “Look, we set up success plan just for this kind of stuff. Yeah, I’m happy to answer your questions just like put it on success plan, I’m happy to help.”

Jill DeWit:                            Yup. What other things that, what other points do you have about assistance? Oh, you know I just thought of one. For our people going forward, I am sure that, I am positive because I know people that they have said this to me too, “Hey, my brother wants to get in on this. We’re doing this together now.” Do you know what I mean? I’m sure that we have members that have people that are catching wind of what they’re doing, and they want to learn something. I want everyone to remember your time is valuable too. You got to be careful. Are you assisting someone? Are you consulting someone?

Jack Butala:                   Sure.

Jill DeWit:                            Make sure that you take care of you, and you’re getting your stuff done because I can easily see, I’m waiting for the story to come up, “Hey, over the holidays, my uncle caught wind of what I’m doing, and he wants to do it now.”

Jack Butala:                   Right.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s great. That’s wonderful, I love it, but don’t waste all your time teaching your uncle. Do you know what I mean? Because you’re not going to get anything done. What?

Jack Butala:                   Boy, I tell you, you can’t charge your family consulting if I could.

Jill DeWit:                            Sure you can. Heck, yes. I would.

Jack Butala:                   Yeah, I should start charging you.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, I would. My brother would charge me. No, I’m just kidding.

Jack Butala:                   I guess that’s part of why-

Jill DeWit:                            No, you can, right?

Jack Butala:                   That’s why there’s a fine line in the title of this thing because there’s a fine line. You have to decide what’s right for you. I have a good friend who’s a general manager. Jill and I have a good friend who’s a general manager of an extremely nice restaurant here in Scottsdale. Because he runs this place, a lot of pretty wealthy real estate people go in there often. They bend his ear. One of them is opening a new restaurant, and he’s a landlord, but he’s helping this guy open a thing. He got a hold of this guy, this general manager, our friend, and six months later, the restaurant opened. The general manager walked me in, and showed me the whole thing, and said, “I did this. I did this. I did this.” I said, “Dude, how much did you charge for this?” He’s like, “Oh no, I just did it because I’m helping this guy out.” That is so far over my consulting line. He could have charged tens of thousands of dollars. He’s in there saying, “You got to put the seats over here because you’re going to have this problem and that,” that’s consulting.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s true.

Jack Butala:                   That’s not assistance, so that’s just another example.

Jill DeWit:                            I like to think that the person that he helped out will recognize that.

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