CEO Steve Finally gets a Corner Lake Office (CFFL 0106)

CEO Steve Finally gets a Corner Lake Office

Jack Butala: CEO Steve Finally gets a Corner Lake Office. 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 landacademy.com, 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 my new office and why it was time for a change. Jill, this seems like a self-serving topic. I’m not sure I’d listen to a show like this, with this type of title. Hey, before we get into that, let’s take a question from a caller.

Jill DeWit:
It’s going to be funny, I promise. It’s a good topic. Okay, Mark from Chicago asked, “I’ve been listening for a while now and been wondering this. Is there enough land to go around?” I love this question. You and I get this all of the time.

Jack Butala:
I know, like three times a day now.

Jill DeWit:
We’re not Holland, where they’re making more land, which they are.

Jack Butala:
Are they making more land in Holland?

Jill DeWit:
Yeah, they are. They are the experts, by the way. That is totally true. They have taken back and reclaimed land from the ocean.

Jack Butala:
You’re smart, Jill.

Jill DeWit:
Thank you very much. I do know that one.

Jack Butala:
You’re smart and pretty and skinny.

Jill DeWit:
Thank you. I pay attention to Holland, because my last name is Dutch. Anyway, there you go. Yeah, they’re not making more land. Wait a minute, what’s going to happen?

Jack Butala:
Seriously, in Holland, they’re just filling in the ocean?

Jill DeWit:
They’re reclaiming it. Yeah. They’re reclaiming the land from the ocean.

Jack Butala:
You know, the whole Tokyo airport’s made on floating stuff like that, too.

Jill DeWit:
This is not floating. This is really filling it in and over time, taking it back. There’s places you can go and see where it used to end here and now it ends here, kind of thing with the buildings. It’s really, really cool. Okay.

Jack Butala:
We should do a show on creating land like that. I’m going to write that down.

Jill DeWit:
That would be fun. Back to the topic. Am I worried? Oh my gosh, no.

Jack Butala:
There’s millions and millions and millions and millions of subdivided pieces of property all over the country, so no.

Jill DeWit:
You know what else?

Jack Butala:
Go ahead.

Jill DeWit:
I was just going to say something, too, because it’s another podcast coming up, but we talked about this yesterday on our weekly member call with our other gig, which is you can make your own land here.

Jack Butala:
Subdividing.

Jill DeWit:
Yes. You mean you can take one APN that’s a big piece of property …

Jack Butala:
Assessor’s parcel number.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah, one property, one assessor’s parcel number, and turn it into ten. You just made land.

Jack Butala:
Every time I hear that famous comment, “Buy land, they’re not making any more” … That’s silly.

Jill DeWit:
Right, it makes me laugh.

Jack Butala:
Me too, because they are making more.

Jill DeWit:
They are.

Jack Butala:
We make more.

Jill DeWit:
We make more. There’s enough to go around. Even like you said, Steven, do I worry about us or our associates stepping on each other’s toes? I welcome it.

Jack Butala:
Yeah. No, it’s a good question. I stopped … When I started out in the late ’90s I had that question. When is this all going to end? It’s fun, it’s great, and very profitable. Here we are 16, 17 years later.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah.

Jack Butala:
I’ll tell you why. It’s because of the way that we tax property in this country. It’s the property taxes drive the decision in a lot of cases for people to sell their property. They’re just not using it and they’re tired of paying for it every year.

Jill DeWit:
Exactly.

Jack Butala:
Mark, don’t worry.

Jill DeWit:
Yep. There is enough land to go around. I promise.

Jack Butala:
All right, what is this topic today?

Jill DeWit:
Okay, here’s my funny things about this topic. Number one, the funniest part is because it kind of ties in to everything that we do, which is you finally got this corner office because our sellers … Somebody had to die. You know?

Jack Butala:
We shouldn’t really laugh.

Jill DeWit:
That’s true. No, no, it’s not funny, but it happens. It’s the circle of life. It’s the circle of office space.

Jack Butala:
I love this office.

Jill DeWit:
I know.

Jack Butala:
We’re in the office right now, and I absolutely love it.

Jill DeWit:
You have been dreaming about this space for so long, and that was one of my other points. Boy, how many times have you moved around within our office space till you finally found somewhere that you felt was home for you?

Jack Butala:
I have to explain it, because right now whoever’s listening to this is like, “What? You’re the boss, why don’t you just do whatever you want?”

Jill DeWit:
Just take your thing. Oh, yeah. It’s true. We didn’t kill our accountant so we took their office. No.

Jack Butala:
Yeah. We are in an executive office suite in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Jill DeWit:
Which we occupy most of it.

Jack Butala:
The guy that owns the whole place, he’s a super good friend of Jill’s, and it’s just a very affordable, incredibly awesome alternative to signing a ten-year lease and getting your own office space, or God forbid, buy your own office building.

Jill DeWit:
Buying a building.

Jack Butala:
I’ve been through that.

Jill DeWit:
That’s on my list here, too. I was going to ask you about …

Jack Butala:
You pay a monthly rent and you have a real receptionist, you have all the copy paper you ever want. Everything’s provided for you.

Jill DeWit:
Nice kitchen.

Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill DeWit:
In my office I have my own bathroom and I don’t have to take care of it.

Jack Butala:
It’s right on the lake here in Scottsdale, or one one of the lakes in Scottsdale, and it’s very, very, very high demand. I think …

Jill DeWit:
It’s prime real estate.

Jack Butala:
His name’s Rex. The guy that owns this place is Rex. I’ve known him since the ’90s or early 2000s. I think he’s charging way too little.

Jill DeWit:
He might listen. Don’t …

Jack Butala:
Anyway, the office that I always wanted came up. For years and years we’ve been here, and I snagged it.

Jill DeWit:
Yes. We pretty much have got all the …

Jack Butala:
Right now, Jill thinks it’s appropriate for us to make a show out of that.

Jill DeWit:
… Prime real estate here. We have all the lake views. I got one down at the end. I’m about to move into your old office here. That’s coming.

Jack Butala:
Yeah, because everybody here at LandStay, our real regular land company, they stopped letting me talk to customers a long time ago.

Jill DeWit:
Yes.

Jack Butala:
It’s true with this office, too. Can you imagine if I worked in the same office as all of our people?

Jill DeWit:
Oh my gosh, it would not be fun.

Jack Butala:
It wouldn’t.

Jill DeWit:
Nobody would have fun.

Jack Butala:
It would just be a mess. I’ve been saying this for years.

Jill DeWit:
There’d be a lot of crying.

Jack Butala:
When I don’t go to work, we make more money.

Jill DeWit:
That happens for both of us sometimes. Yeah, it’s funny how that happens. I make more money on vacation. That’s why you were saying we should go away this weekend. I do. We do make more money when we’re away, because we come up with the best ideas.

Jack Butala:
Then we just let the people do what they’re … They’re all good people, every single one of them. They wouldn’t be here if they weren’t.

Jill DeWit:
That’s true. We did hire the people. We have to leave them alone.

Jack Butala:
You got to let them go, yeah.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah, if we’re there constantly … I do that to my assistant, Erin. I’m constantly … “Can you do this? Can you take this? Handle this?” She’s probably like, “Just let me finish a project, please.” I just keep adding things on her plate.

Jack Butala:
I do the same thing. Just before you came in here to do this show, I gave my guy, my assistant, six projects. This is what I said.

Jill DeWit:
Oh no.

Jack Butala:
“I got to stop this.” I said, “Look, just don’t say anything. Just sit there and take notes. I’m going to talk for four minutes, because we have to do this show at X time,” and he did.

Jill DeWit:
That’s great.

Jack Butala:
Then he walked out, and he was done.

Jill DeWit:
You know, we’ve talked about that. It’s really important to find the right people that work well with you, and especially as the boss, they need to work with you, not necessarily the other way around. I think people get that confused sometimes. You should not be changing your thing … Sure, you don’t want to run in and yell at everybody, make them cry, and expect that, but you need to find the right people that work with your personality and can follow …

Like me, my thing is I really want someone to follow me around with a clipboard. I jokingly say that, but what it really means to me is I’m going to have eight random things I’m going to come up with and I need you to handle them, period, and be able to change gears on a whim and keep up with me. I have that person now, and it’s hard to find that person.

Jack Butala:
Yeah, it is.

Jill DeWit:
That doesn’t complain or cry, and they get them done. Whatever works …

Jack Butala:
Cry?

Jill DeWit:
Well, you know what I mean.

Jack Butala:
There’s no crying.

Jill DeWit:
There’s no crying, I know. Just teasing. There’s no crying in baseball. You know what I mean.

Jack Butala:
In an effort to make this show … Something useful out of this topic …

Jill DeWit:
Oh, I thought that was useful. All right. Go ahead.

Jack Butala:
All kidding aside, on a forward, ongoing basis for Land Academy, we’re developing program after program after program which allows our members to just do the fun stuff. Just do the stuff that they’re good at, which is making deals.

Jill DeWit:
Yes, right. Cashing checks.

Jack Butala:
In the very near future, we’re going to open up another level of membership, which involves our staff doing your deals. Not locating them, not doing mailers for you, but actually processing the transactions, doing the acquisitions and then processing the sales. It will allow our members to just do the stuff that they’re theoretically talented at, which is sourcing deals and selling them. Then all the paperwork and all that stuff gets done by our staff for a small fee.

Jill DeWit:
Exactly.

Jack Butala:
Which is really what we do, Jill. We only just do the important stuff. I do the mailers and the data piece, and you do the talking to the customers on the buy and the sell side. Everybody else processes all their stuff for us, all of our stuff for us.

Jill DeWit:
Very true. Yep. I love it.

Jack Butala:
Anyway.

Jill DeWit:
Back to the topic. I just think it’s interesting that how you got this space is a result of something that just happens, and it happens with our sellers.

Jack Butala:
Just like everything, this space, this office space, is a result of failing at something for about four or five times until we finally got it right. All this stuff happened before you came on, five years ago, I guess. Six, seven years ago? How many years is it?

Jill DeWit:
I don’t know.

Jack Butala:
It doesn’t matter. Yeah, I bought an office building. It was a disaster. I wrote a huge check at the end. We bought it at the absolute wrong time. Couple million bucks I paid. I had to write a check to get out of it. Don’t buy an office building.

Jill DeWit:
Right.

Jack Butala:
I have a super good friend who’s an attorney. You know him. He’s more of a friend than he is an attorney, but he’s also an attorney. He said that the biggest reason that people show up in his office suing each other is over … Partners where everything’s going great, is because they bought an office building.

Jill DeWit:
Really?

Jack Butala:
They were tired of paying rent. He said, “Jeez, never, ever buy an office building, unless you’re in that business.”

Jill DeWit:
Right.

Jack Butala:
That’s my advice for today.

Jill DeWit:
I like that. Yeah, because I was going to ask you why this is better. Why else …

Jack Butala:
Oh, why this executive office space is better?

Jill DeWit:
Yeah, why else is this better? There’s a lot of alternatives out there. We have a lot of people that … There’s a lot of people that I know that are very successful that work from home, primarily. How about our really, really super awesome friends who live on the hill here? The guy technically owns and operates a bunch of assisted living facilities, basically.

Jack Butala:
Yeah, a nursing house. He’s my former partner.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah.

Jack Butala:
I used to be in that business.

Jill DeWit:
Technically, he works from home. That’s really his primary office.

Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill DeWit:
He has an office, but he doesn’t want to go there.

Jack Butala:
He’s got that figured out. Yeah, he’s the same way. I know him very, very, very well, and you do not want him in the working environment at all.

Jill DeWit:
Oh, see, I only know the fun side of him.

Jack Butala:
He’s crazier than I am. Yeah. He’s more nuts than I am. He has no patience at all, in any way, for any kind of … It’s actually pretty funny to watch, how angry he … He’ll just turn on a dime, because he doesn’t want to be there. He just wants to do the fun stuff, like everybody.

Jill DeWit:
Exactly. We all want to do that. You got to work to that point. You can get there, you just got to work at it till you can get there and get the right people under you and all that good stuff.

Jack Butala:
Yeah. That’s the reason that he bought me out of that partnership. That was the reason, because he’s just unbearable to be around at work. You know me, I’m peaches and cream in the office.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah, right.

Jack Butala:
He and I got along great.

Jill DeWit:
I can just imagine. What was the volume level like?

Jack Butala:
It was just yelling. It was just constant, “Why are you doing …” It’s just not … You and I have it figured out.

Jill DeWit:
We do.

Jack Butala:
The stuff that you’re good at is different than what I’m good at.

Jill DeWit:
We pretty much stay out of each other’s way.

Jack Butala:
We should do a show on partners. Picking partners.

Jill DeWit:
That would be a nice topic. I like that. That’s a good idea. Even having said that you and I work so well together …

Jack Butala:
Why do you … Let’s turn this into that show.

Jill DeWit:
Oh, okay.

Jack Butala:
Why do you think we work well together? We really do.

Jill DeWit:
I think because we have the same end goals, we agree on most things, we have the same …

Jack Butala:
You nailed it.

Jill DeWit:
… Values.

Jack Butala:
That’s right.

Jill DeWit:
We might get there different ways, but in the end we’re always going to do the right thing and we’re not going to argue about it. We joke sometimes even if it costs more money, step up, do the right thing. Nobody has to convince each other. Things like that, I don’t have to convince you of.

Jack Butala:
Yeah. I’m going to tell you a short story.

Jill DeWit:
Okay.

Jack Butala:
You know this, but I’m saying it to our listeners. The three people who are listening. I went to racing school. I used to race superbikes, the café racer crotch rockets.

Jill DeWit:
Yes.

Jack Butala:
One of the things that they teach you in racing school, and I don’t know if they teach it with cars or not, is to look, when you’re all in your element going 180 on it and all suited up, what you’re supposed to focus on with your eyes is the lines in the road as far as you can see them. Look as far as you can. Picture you’re winding through turns or whatever or even on a straightaway, it’s very easy to look straight down at what’s right in front of you. In fact, that’s human nature.

Racing is all against human nature. Your body is telling you constantly, “This isn’t safe. Stop it.” You have to fight your regular biological … You just want to look at what’s right in front of you. What you need to do is pick a point as far as you can on the road on those lines, either the center line or the lines on the side of the road, and look as far ahead as you possibly can. It really changes how you steer and the whole thing. It’s very calming, actually. I do it when I drive. I catch myself doing it. I don’t even … Because I’ve practiced it so much.

Jill DeWit:
That’s interesting.

Jack Butala:
You and I are always … When we look as far down the road, you and I have always wanted to be in the same place in the way distance.

Jill DeWit:
It’s true.

Jack Butala:
We have way different ways of going about doing that.

Jill DeWit:
True.

Jack Butala:
I think that’s one of the secrets to success, with people in a marriage, too. You got to look … You got to be going in the same direction.

Jill DeWit:
Oh my gosh. How many marriages didn’t make it because they were good people but they just had different goals in the end.

Jack Butala:
Sure, or partners. Partnerships.

Jill DeWit:
And partners too, yeah. I want to do this, they want to do that. It’s not going to work out. That’s okay, it’s just you got to find that right person that really does have that same end goal with you. I agree. That’s a good story. Thank you for sharing that.

Jack Butala:
Sure. It’s one of the stories where you didn’t … Your eyes didn’t glaze over.

Jill DeWit:
I didn’t glaze over. I’m not looking out the window. I’m not looking for birds.

Jack Butala:
Nail polish is still in your purse.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah, I haven’t gotten anything out. I’m not sitting here on my phone making dinner reservations.

Jack Butala:
Hey, join us in another episode where Jill and I discuss your all-important success in real estate investment and in life. That turned out to be useful.

Jill DeWit:
Here’s what I want to know. Tell us about when you stopped racing. There wasn’t a big incident.

Jack Butala:
No, there was not. Fortunately there wasn’t. No, what happens is a switch flips. This is good for women to know. There’s a switch that flips in all men’s head at some point, where they switch from being an insane testosterone-filled young man into a responsible man. Then your body really does say, “You just got to stop this.” It’s usually triggered by something, like …

Jill DeWit:
Like having a child or getting married?

Jack Butala:
Yeah. That was exactly what I was going to say is when you become a father.

Jill DeWit:
Okay, got it. I get that.

Jack Butala:
Yeah. I still jump on a bike … You know this.

Jill DeWit:
I know.

Jack Butala:
I jump on a bike once in a while and go 190 just to get it out of my system, and then [crosstalk 00:16:15]

Jill DeWit:
I’ve seen you do it in nice shoes. You’re the only man I know that’ll jump on a motorcycle, goofing off with some friends, wearing your Gucci loafers. Nice.

Jack Butala:
You know what’s funny about motorcycles? Anybody who rides a motorcycle knows this. There’s people or buddies that you have that you have the same ride … Talk about partners and partnerships. There are people that have the same riding habits that you do, and there are people who don’t.

Jill DeWit:
Right.

Jack Butala:
I have a good friend- I’m not going to name any names, you know exactly who it is- who drives his motorcycle like an old lady. He’s more concerned about how he looks on the bike than he is with …

Jill DeWit:
That’s so not …

Jack Butala:
I have another friend …

Jill DeWit:
That’d be like a guy … That sounds like a girl version of a guy of that … A girl would be like, “Do I look good? Do my shorts match the motorcycle? Am I color coordinated okay?”

Jack Butala:
Right. I have another friend who is in his 70s, or almost 70, who’s a commercial contractor in Iowa. He rides faster than I do. He’s a nutcase on a motorcycle. I also have a buddy who’s a commercial airline pilot, not yet retired, but he’s getting close to that age. He’s faster than I am. This is not the Steve show, but [crosstalk 00:17:33]

Jill DeWit:
I know who you’re talking about, yeah.

Jack Butala:
He is fearless [crosstalk 00:17:36]

Jill DeWit:
You know what? Maybe because he’s used to going 400 miles an hour, by the way.

Jack Butala:
You know, you’ve had a life full of pilots. Lot of pilots in your life. Are they all like that? Are they all just fearless crazy men?

Jill DeWit:
I have to say majority of them are.

Jack Butala:
Your dad was a commercial pilot, right?

Jill DeWit:
Yes, and he took us on some adventures that were later on questionable, that I probably shouldn’t have taken my family on this trip. We were doing this …

Jack Butala:
Like to Mexico City?

Jill DeWit:
Yes.

Jack Butala:
Dropped you and your brother up on a [crosstalk 00:18:07]

Jill DeWit:
Pretty much. Leaving us in the corner and whatever. One time he left us in the middle of the lake on a raft. He needed gas or something. My parents came back and they realized, “This probably was not one of our best moves.” We’re like, “We’re fine.” Jeff and I are there literally in the middle of a lake in Oklahoma, on a raft. It was not even a raft. It was like you float on it in your pool kind of a raft. Like a sunbathing thing. We’re like, “Hey, we’re fine. Just leave us here.” They went to go get gas or get something and come back.

Jack Butala:
Insane.

Jill DeWit:
They’re like, “We can’t believe it. They could have been run over. Anything could have happened to these kids.”

Jack Butala:
You know, when you’re younger and you hear these old people say, “Oh, in my day, we would drink from the hose.” We should do a whole show like that.

Jill DeWit:
Oh, yeah. From the hose.

Jack Butala:
“We didn’t have any seat belts. Everything’s fine. I used to drink lead paint.” That kind of stuff.

Jill DeWit:
“I lived through it.” Yeah. That’s so funny.

Jack Butala:
We should do a show like that.

Jill DeWit:
I’m not sure.

Jack Butala:
In the meantime, let’s go buy some property.

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