3 Reasons We all Need a Great Land Engineer (CFFL 0114)

3 Reasons We all Need a Great Land Engineer

Jack Butala: 3 Reasons We all Need a Great Land Engineer. 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.

Steve: Jack Butala here for Land Academy. Welcome to our Cash Flow for the Land show. In this episode Jill and I talk about the 3 reasons we all need a great land engineer. Here’s a prelude.

To make great and timely acquisitions decisions, that’s number one. Create top notch pictures and maps and maybe most importantly, to call out presentation quality attributes in the property that you buy. You know how professional people see stuff that we don’t sometimes see?

Jill: Mm-hmm (affirmative) I do.

Steve: I love this. Jill, I love quality map engineering. I think it’s one of the focal points that makes or breaks a good operation. Before we get into the details let’s hear a question from a caller.

Jill: Sure. Okay, Fred from Indianapolis called in and asked, “I’ve been listening for awhile now and I’m looking for my cabin lot to retire. How can this help me?” He is … we have a couple of people that are …

Steve: Yeah, we do.

Jill: … About our program and listening and learning this to be able to do that.

Steve: Can I answer this?

Jill: Yeah.

Steve: We get enough calls and questions from people who don’t really want to start real estate companies like our members now. They just want exactly what this caller wants, they want to really get a great deal on a primary residence or a property to build a cabin on at any point in their life. Hey Fred, don’t wait for us. Jill and I have decided we are going to do an educational program that’s very specifically for people who just want to do one or two deals. A way scaled down version of how to do a mailer and things like that. Don’t wait for us to complete that, because lord knows it’s kind of far down on the list of programs that we’re … upon request programs that Jill and I are creating. Yes, the answer is heck yes. When you really do the math, the price of the education and the price of the data to implement what you’re talking about will save you times ten.

Jill: That’s true.

Steve: If you save $10,000 and our stuff is way less expensive than that, but I’m just using that number. If you implement our program and you buy a lot of $10,000 less than you expected, I mean …

Jill: You’ve won.

Steve: Like times 5, it’s 5 times more than the education costs.

Jill: Exactly.

Steve: If you do it the way we suggest that you do it, you’re more likely going to save $20-$30-$40,000.

Jill: What I love, too, is I have had a number of people that said, “Wait a minute, so here’s what I did, I had 4 lots in the area that really piqued my interest, so I bought all 4. I’m living on this one, I put my cabin on this one, I sold the other 3 and guess what, it paid for it times … and then some!” I’m like, “Brilliant!” Then they’re out, they’re happy.

Steve: Then you’re not retired anymore, because this is your new business.

Jill: Well, you could keep going, that’s true.

Steve: You realize how easy it is and how little time it takes after you know what you’re doing. After the learning curve.

Jill: Yeah, after you do a couple of deals, you’re right. You get into it and it’s not hard. You could just sit. In his situation you could just sit and wait for the home runs to land in your lap and only act on those.

Steve: Yeah, we have members who do that all the time. “I want to make $10,000 on every deal I do and I don’t need to do a lot of deals.” So they let the little ones go.

Jill: Exactly.

Steve: They feed them to the rest our community on success plans.

Jill: Kind of like I do sometimes.

Steve: We have a deal board. We have this thing called Deal Board for our membership pro people and it’s posted on success plan so every time we pass … my motto is, never let a good acquisition go to waste. That’s what happens there, so Jill and I pass on a tremendous amount of deals on a weekly basis, I guess maybe even monthly basis, weekly/monthly. They’re just too small.

Jill: They just don’t fit what I’m looking for right now.

Steve: That doesn’t mean they’re not crazy perfect profitable.

Jill: Mm-hmm (affirmative) I might be looking for those 5 or whatever thousand things and I’m going to give all the $1,000 acquisitions ones …

Steve: They are great starter transactions for new members or people who are new in the business where you can buy property for less than $500 and double or triple your money on it pretty quickly and kind of get the first deal jitters out of your system. It’s like, “Oh wait, it’s this easy?” You know how you build stuff up in your head and then you do it and it’s not that big of a deal.

Jill: Why do we do that? Isn’t that the funniest thing?

Steve: Yeah, I don’t know.

Jill: It’s like …

Steve: I guess it’s healthy, you know?

Jill: Is it human nature or is it person-specific?

Steve: Well, I think it starts with human nature and then, I guess, the level of severity is probably person-specific. It stops us all from being monkeys with hand grenades.

Jill: That’s true.

Steve: That’s what I think. We’ve all met a monkey with hand grenades.

Jill: Oh yeah, I know one very well.


Steve: Are you referring to me, seriously?

Jill: Sometimes!

Steve: Oh my gosh.

Jill: No, I’m just teasing. I’ve seen that person occasionally. It’s kind of like Stacey.

Steve: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jill: That’s your version of Stacey.

Steve: Gosh, you’re right. You’re dead ass right, dead darn right.

Jill: Yeah, we don’t have a name for him, though. Do you have a name for him or should I come up with one someday?

Steve: I’m not coming up with it.

Jill: Okay. All right. I think we answered the question very well.

Steve: One more thing on this. We have a member who [Herb, his model 00:05:20] is to buy land and put these air stream, these classic air stream, she’s using our program this way. She buys land in the New York state area and puts air stream RV’s on it and uses it as a rental, like vacation rentals. She makes it all cool with lights and stuff. Yeah, you can one off this for sure.

Jill: Mm-hmm (affirmative) I think that’s really cool.

Steve: 3 reasons we all need a great land engineer. I love this topic.

Jill: Mm-hmm (affirmative) I thought of a couple of things like, well, you’re 3 reasons are, you just said them, but one thing … a couple of notes that I made about having a good land engineer, how about this, will you please explain to us, Steven, what this means?

Steve: Well, yeah, so a land engineer is a person that in the beginning, if you’re running your land business, you’re the jack of all trades, you all of it. What you’re going to find is that you extremely excel at one of them. The 3 basic hats are: acquisitions, engineering, and sales. Those are the 3 stages of when you buy a piece of property, you need to … the acquisition piece is obvious. The engineers, they do the maps and check it all out and make sure it’s okay, make sure there’s not stuff that’s on the property that you don’t want. They give you … when they make a map, they show you where it is and that’s one of the ways that you can see if the property has got one or all of the 4 A’s or something in-between: affordability, access, acreage, and attributes.

What you’ll find after awhile is that you just don’t have time to do all 3 and you’re going to pick one. For me it was acquisitions, for Jill it’s probably sales. Although, she is very good at acquisitions, probably better than I ever was, but what neither one of us really ever wanted to do is sit around and create pictures of stuff.

Jill: Right.

Steve: This topic came up because I just hired a new engineer and I’m training him and for the first time I haven’t done maps and all of this in a long time. It’s time consuming. I realized, that the reason I wrote this show is because I realized, how important it is.

Jill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Steve: So, go ahead.

Jill: I was going to say I think it’s one of our top bottlenecks, because it is so time-consuming. It’s easy getting all the phone calls in and fielding all the calls. “Yay!” Now, you’ve got to sit down and really assess the property. “Okay, do I really want to buy it, what’s it look like, where is it? Is there access?” … like Steven mentioned. Then I’m going to look at value, pricing, and all that good stuff, but that part is not so hard, it’s the pulling the maps and I know people that get hung up on that. Here’s the thing, if it’s your one and only job or you’re in that, you have that mind set, it’s not hard for you. I think the point of this show is we all need a great land engineer because they’re good at it. They like it. They like systems. They’re efficient, they’re not really into the property, they’re not going to go, “Oh, look at this,” and get side tracked. They’re going to boom-boom-boom, get through the job, move on to the next one.

Steve: Right.

Jill: I’m super excited to have that officially off my plate because I know I do it all wrong. I spend too much time.

Steve: That’s the thing. What will happen to you, at some point, in your career and I bet a lot of people are past this in their career so I hope you’re shaking your head and agreeing right now, but a caller calls in based off a mailer you sent in or the actual purchase agreement comes through the mail and you’re sitting there staring at it going, “Great, the whole thing works, now I wonder what this really is? What is this 30 acre property in Nevada that the person is going to sell me for $1,000? What does it look like? Where is it?” The engineer brings it to life. They, as quickly as possible, go into Google Earth or go into a county GIS site, the county mapping site, and they put another set of the puzzle together so you can make a good decision. You can say, “Oh my gosh, yes, I do … I love this. I love the property, or no, there’s absolutely no access to this at all and regardless of price I’m just not going to buy it.” It helps you make a good timely, quality acquisition decision.

That’s the bottleneck that Jill is talking about. Avoiding that bottleneck. You want to call that seller back, as an acquisition person, you want to have complete control. If the seller sounds like they’re a person that needs to be called back right away to get the deal done, you want to make that choice. What you don’t want is information holding you up. That happens sometimes, a lot of times.

We just hired our second full time engineer so we can … because our deal flow is so high, to make that a lot more simple.

Jill: Efficient.

Steve: Efficient, right.

Jill: Exactly, they’re good. It’s nice, Steven, you’re so good at setting up systems. I mean, we have a system where all the data gets input when the call comes in. This person pulls it all up, they know where to go, they check and see what needs maps and everything. They spend X amount of minutes on each one. They put some photos in there, it goes into the engineering file and then they move on. Then I can come along, or whoever is reviewing them at that point, can come along and pull down the maps and the photos and stuff and then make the official decision of what we’re going to do with the property.

Steve: Right.

Jill: Love it. It’s great, too, for sales … if I was stepping on your toes there, but those maps and things like that, then they’re already done.

Steve: Yeah, that’s number one, is so you can make timely, good acquisition decisions based on solid, real information.

Number two, a second reason, is to create what you just said, top notch pictures and maps for the sales process. Sometimes we do it one way, sometimes we don’t. If we need pictures really quickly, maps and pictures of the area, really quickly because we’ve got a hot seller … this happens all the time, then we just do a way scaled-down version, “Please just take a screen shot of Google Earth, find the property, take a screen shot. Let’s just see if there’s any access to this thing or whatever and make a quick decision.”

Number two is, “Hey, put some professionally done maps and pictures together that we’re going to use on the internet as a sales tool. You want to make this stuff look as good as possible.” I can’t say how important this is enough. I talk about it in our Cash Flow From Land education program a lot. You’re presenting a piece of property to the world. Jill and I constantly laugh when we go out on the internet and sometimes there’s no pictures at all. Sometimes there’s pictures … how many times have you looked at, when you’re out house shopping or whatever, and you’re just looking at these pictures of … it’s probably a nice house, but there’s just pictures … the pictures that were taken, they were taken with an iPhone or some crazy thing and it wasn’t even held up correctly. The lights are all off.

Jill: They didn’t pick up the room.

Steve: The toilet seat is up.

Jill: Yeah, that’s my big one! I hate the toilet seat up. Who does that? There’s towels on the floor and they take pictures of the bathroom.

Steve: Everything is …

Jill: I’m like, “Really?”

Steve: It’s an after thought.

Jill: That’s how you’re presenting your home?

Steve: Right.

Jill: This is crazy. No one is going to want that.

Steve: I don’t think most real estate agents should take pictures, I think …

Jill: Oh, they should not.

Steve: It doesn’t take, and I’m not knocking on real estate agents.

Jill: They need engineers.

Steve: Or they need a photographer.

Jill: Right.

Steve: It’s important to have the right person to present these properties the way that they should be presented and what they deserve. That’s number two. Then number three is, and this is maybe the most important, a good engineer. I like to think I fall into this category. A good engineer will see things that, in Google Earth, that normal people don’t see, regular acquisition people and sales people don’t see.

Here are a few examples. “Hey, you know, a half a mile down the road from this thing, there’s a full blown working ranch.” I’ll say something like, “Oh, I thought that was an abandoned whatever.” They’re like, “No, no, look at this, there’s this, this, and this and this guy’s got a functioning well. I can see it here.” Then it changes how you sell the property. Oh, I can see the electrical line is running here and it’s half a mile from this mountain range.

Jill: That’s the one, the mountain range, and [crosstalk 00:13:59] in the area.

Steve: It’s huge.

Jill: That’s true.

Steve: Now you’re selling the property faster and for more money than you thought.

Jill: Right and they’ll point them out on the maps and the images for you, so it’s really great.

Steve: Right.

Jill: I agree.

Steve: If you’re very new at this, develop these skills. If you’re all jammed up from a bottleneck standpoint and you can’t get it done, find the right person and they’ll really help you. You can call us and use ours. That program is coming.

Jill: That’s coming.

Steve: We’re going to provide that service for you. Where you can use the same exact people that we work here with to make you look good.

Jill: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Steve: Hey, join us on another episode where Jill and I discuss your all-important success in land investment and in life.

Jill: You know, I get calls sometimes from people that … they love the … some of our more informational shows, I think they’ll like that one. Sometimes they’re like, “You know I love listening to you guys, but I love learning something.”

Steve: It goes in waves.

Jill: It does.

Steve: Some people like …

Jill: Try to do both.

Steve: I keep coming back to this, the people that actually reach us and have comments, whether it’s good or bad, they’re such in the minority cause I know our show numbers. We joke that there are 6 people, but there’s a lot of people that listen to this show, a lot. That wouldn’t happen if they’re just trying to get real estate information.

Jill: True.

Steve: I listened to a couple of real estate shows, just for fun, not all of them, just … and I wanted to stick a toothpick in my eye. I thought I was boring, I really did.

Jill: Right.

Steve: I’m like, I’m going to go see what this is all about.

Jill: Right. There’s not a lot out there.

Steve: I listened to a show on, there’s a satellite radio station for realtors driving around in their cars, there’s a guy who has the most popular show. He’s very informational based and it’s like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and that math teacher, right? Or the History teacher, just … it was horrific to listen to.

Jill: What does he talk about?

Steve: Really technical stuff.

Jill: Really?

Steve: “And paragraph three on your seller contract, regardless of your state, should very clearly state the following. You have a fiduciary …” That kind of crap.

Jill: Is it like studying for real estate school and then you’re hoping it’s going to … it sounds like …

Steve: It’s like a two hour show!

Jill: It sounds like you’re doing subliminal meditation, you’re hoping that when you sit down to take the test that some of that sunk in.

Steve: I don’t know.

Jill: I don’t know or because you’re using it to fall asleep.

Steve: I didn’t look into it very far. My guess is that the guy’s extremely highly credentialed. He’s probably done some great stuff, but that doesn’t make you a good teacher.

Jill: No, I know. I agree. That’s a good point. We should talk about that sometime. A good teacher, what makes a good teacher. [gasp] What makes a good teacher?

Steve: That show is coming up.

Jill: Okay, cool.



Steve: Let’s go buy some property!

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