Send 1,000 Letters to Buy a House Send 100 to Buy Land
Jack Butala: Send 1,000 Letters to Buy a House Send 100 to Buy Land. 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 for Land Academy. Welcome to our Cash Flow from Land show. In this episode, Jill and I get down to brass tacks and we tell you how to use direct mail to start doing deals. Like, start doing them today. Jill, how many offers does it take to buy a house?
Jill DeWit: A house? A lot. Like, a thousand.
Jack Butala: How many bought land?
Jill DeWit: Not as many. Like, a hundred.
Jack Butala: Good answer. That’s actually the title.
Jill DeWit: I know. I cheated. No, but I know that. It’s not my first rodeo.
Jack Butala: Today’s topic really cuts to the chase, but let’s take a question from a caller first.
Jill DeWit: Okay. Karen from Tulsa called in and asked, “How important is it to have my website and social media setup before I think about soliciting sellers?”
Jack Butala: You know, I’ll tell you, what I’d like to do from here on out forever in our careers, is defer to you about sales and I’ll handle acquisitions and engineering.
Jill DeWit: Thank you, Steven.
Jack Butala: Wouldn’t that be great?
Jill DeWit: We are shaking hands across the desk right now.
Jack Butala: Let’s shake hands. That’s great. This is kind of a sales question I think.
Jill DeWit: It kind of is.
Jack Butala: I mean, it helps acquisitions, but it really is a sales piece and I know you handle our social media here. Thank you by the way, so my old butt doesn’t have to do that.
Jill DeWit: My old butt.
Jack Butala: I was going to say old ass, but you shouldn’t say that.
Jill DeWit: Okay. Got it. Okay, so here’s my thing. You know what, Karen, it’s not going to make or break a deal traditionally, but it sure does help, so I would get it going. Nowadays people look you up. That’s the fact. It’s not even so much your business, it’s you, so you want to really be thinking about that too. Have your website. You can do it for a couple hundred dollars. You can find people, even on Craigslist that will get a website, just even the shell of a basic website up and going, so you have an online presence. Think about all your Facebook, your Twitter, your Instagram, Linkedin. All those things that people use, have your business and yourself established and there because I tell you, it makes a difference. I know that people look us up before they might pick up the phone to call me to buy a property or sell a property. They want to know you’re real, and a little bit about you, and you’re in the business.
Jack Butala: Yeah, can I pipe in though?
Jill DeWit: Sure.
Jack Butala: You’re kicking the can down the road if you don’t do this. I’m a perfect example. I waited probably, I don’t know, at least eight years too late to start the social media thing. To get a Facebook page and the whole deal. Twitter, it all really, really matters because here’s what happens, you send a letter out and the first thing, they open the mail and say yeah, I forgot about this property. Yeah, I’d love to sell it. Let me go check to see what Karen from Tulsa, what’s this all about. If they don’t find anything, I mean nothing or maybe the find a personal Facebook page with your name on it, and then you’re doing some crazy stuff during your college years, that’s not going to work. Yes, you can do deals like that. You can and people do it all the time, but you are kicking the can down the road, so why not just start it now. Slice out a couple hours on the weekend or three or four hours, or ninety hours if you’re me because you don’t know what you’re doing, but most people it takes like two or three hours on the weekend. Actually in our Cash Flow from Land Program-
Jill DeWit: We talk about it.
Jack Butala: Jill and I take, I think at least one chapter and talk about this, but the gist of it is this, you just have to do it, period. I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you have to do it, but you do and it’ll pay off in spades. You know the other thing I was just thinking that this question prompted? I’ve heard a couple of our members say recently that they sent out letters. Their name was Googled and the first thing that came up was their name and success plan, and they did a deal because of that. It added credibility. I’m not plugging success plan, I’m just saying, maybe in your social media list, let’s say you don’t have a Twitter account, you establish one or you change it over to business or whatever, it ends up being for you, go get us a free success plan username and password and ask some questions and stuff because the SEL is finding people in there.
Jill DeWit: That’s true.
Jack Butala: They’re saying to us, “Hey, thanks.”
Jill DeWit: It’s helping their businesses.
Jack Butala: It doesn’t cost anything.
Jill DeWit: I agree. I agree. Good point.
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Okay, so our topic today is-
Jack Butala: Well, I wrote this topic title and it really describes what the show is about. If you send a thousand letters out, you’re probably going to buy a house, maybe two. If you send a hundred letters out and you do it properly, you’re going to buy some land. Does that describe our program anymore concise? Can we describe it anymore concisely?
Jill DeWit: No, I think we’re done. The show’s over.
Jack Butala: Wouldn’t that be great to have a five minute show.
Jill DeWit: That’s it. Join us in another episode. Just kidding.
Jack Butala: The rest of the whole show is going to be Jill and I talking about our kids and stupid stuff that we do.
Jill DeWit: No, I have some things to say.
Jack Butala: Tune in tomorrow. Tune in. Tune in? How old am I?
Jill DeWit: Tune in tomorrow. Oh my goodness.
Jack Butala: Ninety-five.
Jill DeWit: By the way, oh, we’ll get to it in a minute. I wrote down, what the heck is brass tacks? What is brass tacks?
Jack Butala: I don’t know. It’s a cliché.
Jill DeWit: Steven, who uses that? I got to say.
Jack Butala: Old people. Wonder what that means?
Jill DeWit: That’s what I was wondering. I’m going to actually have to Google it.
Jack Butala: What does brass tacks mean?
Jill DeWit: I don’t know. I’m like, brass? Is it like a military thing. Like way back in the civil war? I’m guessing it’s a civil war military thing. How that is still in your vocabulary, I have no idea.
Jack Butala: Oh my God. Cracking me up now.
Jill DeWit: Oh my goodness. That’s what it sounds like to me. Okay. I wrote, I had some things to share about this topic.
Jack Butala: Go ahead.
Jill DeWit: Well, first Steven, please explain where you get a thousand, hundred, and how you figured the numbers work? Please.
Jack Butala: It’s experience baby.
Jill DeWit: [inaudible 00:06:17]. Oh my gosh.
Jack Butala: You know what we should do?
Jill DeWit: Oh my gosh. [inaudible 00:06:25]
Jack Butala: We should have a whole show like a-
Jill DeWit: Experience baby.
Jack Butala: Our youngest kid is, he’s asking a lot of questions about girls.
Jill DeWit: Uh oh.
Jack Butala: Everyday I drive him to school and I say, “You have to be super respectful [inaudible 00:06:45], but if you want to pick up a girl, this is how you do it.” I said the same thing. He was like, “How the hell do you know all this?” I said, “Because I have a little bit of experience there.” Anyway, we should do a whole show on funny stuff like that. Like, how to fail at dating. That’d be funny.
Jill DeWit: Oh my goodness. That would be good.
Jack Butala: You would learn anything.
Jill DeWit: You wouldn’t learn anything. Oh, you know, somebody might.
Jack Butala: We’re going to have to do this forever?
Jill DeWit: What?
Jack Butala: Somebody asked me recently, like they said, it was actually one of your friends. “Aren’t you guys running out of stuff to talk about about land?”
Jill DeWit: Isn’t that hilarious?
Jack Butala: I said, “Oh my gosh. We ran out of that like forty-eight episodes ago.” We talk about-
Jill DeWit: Who talks bout that?
Jack Butala: Funny stuff.
Jill DeWit: I know. You know the good news is, Steven, we never have a loss for material, I think because we’re just out there doing stuff all the time.
Jack Butala: When I struggle to write the title of a show, you know what I do? I ask myself two questions. What happened yesterday that was awesome? Like, what did we succeed at and what did I screw up really bad? Because they’re both really entertaining.
Jill DeWit: Oh, there you go and there’s always material there.
Jack Butala: Oh yeah. It’s not like, I don’t really screw too much up at work because I don’t really do anything here anymore, but I’ll, in my personal life, oh my gosh, there’s no shortage of material.
Jill DeWit: Oh my goodness.
Jack Butala: Why is that?
Jill DeWit: You know, we should do that.
Jack Butala: What do you think-
Jill DeWit: A segment of our show should, as we’re looking at maybe revamping as we go forward here, we can make a segment of our show, what we screwed up yesterday.
Jack Butala: Okay. I like that. [inaudible 00:08:18]
Jill DeWit: I think that would be so funny. Yeah, like Car Talk had, they did trivia, different things like this. One of our could be what we screwed up yesterday because I think that’s entertaining.
Jack Butala: You know what else we should have a segment, it kind of ties into this. I think we should have an if then segment. When you write computer programs there’s if then statement. If this happens, then this should happen. If you send a thousand letters out and you do it perfect, then you will buy a house.
Jill DeWit: Perfect.
Jack Butala: If you properly send a hundred letters out, you will buy a piece of land. I’m not plugging either one. Yeah, it costs a little more to buy a house, but sometimes you make a little more.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative), but that’s just the numbers and that’s statistics.
Jack Butala: That’s just the way it is.
Jill DeWit: Based on our stuff since ninety-nine and sixteen thousand deals. Now, that’s really what it works out to be. I want to add to this, this is doing it relatively correctly. It’s not going to be perfect. It’s never going to be perfect.
Jack Butala: Yeah, if you buy a list from a guy in a dark alley of property owners that’s fourteen years old and you send a thousand letters on that list, you’re going to waste five hundred bucks.
Jill DeWit: Right. That’s true, so you got to get the right data.
Jack Butala: Yeah, right data.
Jill DeWit: Be doing the right mailer. You need to be pricing it in the ball park.
Jack Butala: The right piece of mail in the mail.
Jill DeWit: It’s you’re really reaching the right people with the right offer, not one like Steven shared with us recently that he accidentally sent wrong offers. That was a good story. Did we share that?
Jack Butala: Sure. Jill and I, we speak at REI event, real estate investment clubs, local here sometimes. Along with teaching a class at a local university here, we would co-teach it because what we just do. It gives me a chance to get a lot of feedback from younger people and from new real estate investors and stuff. Somebody asked me recently, give us some of the mistakes that you made early in your career. In the name of trying to, we can avoid making the same mistakes. One time, I really just got my wires crossed about a mailer. It’s a lot of years ago. It was land. It wasn’t houses. I sent it to a pretty densely populated area. All the vacant properties that I could find in this, you know, we do it in rural areas, so I sent it in a pretty densely populated area on accident in county, but I used the same criteria that we always do and what we teach here. Vacant land, whatever acreage, half acre to five acres or some number like that and with a low assess value.
I sent it and I got, you know, we have this thing called the hate because it happens with every mailer. I don’t care what happens. There’s some people, you offend some people and they call you back and they tell you about it. Jill has a way of converting them into sales, but that’s a topic for a different story and different episode. I did this. I sent it out and you know what happened? I bought some property.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. I love he did it all wrong and it still worked.
Jack Butala: We made some dough on that. I mean, we’re buying properties for three, four grand and selling them for a lot, eighty, ninety thousand bucks.
Jill DeWit: Well, I mentioned that to somebody recently too that, they’re calling you back for a reason. If I got something and you’re not interested, usually you just toss it, but if they went through the motions to pick up the phone and dial and call you, they’re often is a reason. They’re not just that bored, so they really want to talk about buying a property, just your price was wrong or selling the property, the price was wrong. You can make a joke out of if. Like, oops, I was missing a zero or something. You can make it funny in a joke or just go, oh my goodness, and at the end of the call they’re your best friend and you’re buying it from them. It happens.
Jack Butala: If you pull a girls hair on the playground it usually means you like her.
Jill DeWit: There you go. Just like that. What I was going to say too about this whole topic is, be ready for the calls. Have a script ready. Some advice. You’re setting up these mailers-
Jack Butala: This is good advice. This is a useful show.
Jill DeWit: Thank you. Be ready for the calls. They will come back.
Jack Butala: I’ll get us all sidetracked and I’ll talk about something useless.
Jill DeWit: Like the playground and pulling hair and the monkey bars and whatever? Do they even have monkey bard anymore? I don’t know.
Jack Butala: Yeah, they do. I’m actually surprised that this day and age that-
Jill DeWit: I like the monkey bars. That’s my favorite.
Jack Butala: Attorneys haven’t gotten ahold of the playground equipment.
Jill DeWit: You’re right and put out there just the foam thing. The foam that you just roll around there and do nothing.
Jack Butala: So our kids have no chance at failing at anything.
Jill DeWit: Right. Not going to skin a knee.
Jack Butala: And they can live with us forever.
Jill DeWit: My kid fell down, I’m suing the school. Oh my gosh, but have a script.
Jack Butala: If your plan in life is to have your children live with you forever, I want you to send me an email. I want to understand that better because my whole plan involves getting these kids the hell out of here.
Jill DeWit: I have something to say about that since we’re going so off topic, we’ll come back to topic here in a second.
Jack Butala: I’m sorry.
Jill DeWit: No, no. I have something to say about this. What is it, and I’m sorry to call people out.
Jack Butala: I can’t wait to talk about-
Jill DeWit: You want to hear what I have to say?
Jack Butala: No, I really want to talk about this.
Jill DeWit: Okay, well wait. What is it with parents nowadays that actually say, “Oh, Joey didn’t want his license, so we’re just driving him anywhere.” What the heck is that? Joey, if you don’t want to go get your license, here’s a bus pass. See you.
Jack Butala: Listen Joey. Joey, come with me.
Jill DeWit: That’s the craziest thing. No, they didn’t want to get their license. Well, no wonder because you’re catering to them, and driving them everywhere, and probably handing them money whenever they need it, so they have no desire to get a car or a job.
Jack Butala: Oh Jill, we were made for each other.
Jill DeWit: Thank you. That drives me crazy. I’m sorry if I’m calling somebody out on that, but I just don’t get it. To me, that’s the kid that’s going to live in your basement when they’re thirty.
Jack Butala: You know what, we lost half of our listening audience and I don’t care.
Jill DeWit: I don’t get it.
Jack Butala: I don’t want you to listen to this show if that’s the kind of person you are.
Jill DeWit: Our kids, thank goodness, they could hardly wait to get their license. I could hardly wait to get my license. It was freedom. I wanted out, man. I wanted to go do my own thing and gosh save up to get my own car.
Jack Butala: Oh my gosh.
Jill DeWit: Even if it’s a clunker, I don’t care. It was my clunker. Our number two kid is driving a car with no air conditioning.
Jack Butala: Isn’t that great?
Jill DeWit: It’s comical.
Jack Butala: God, I love that.
Jill DeWit: But you know what? It’s a car and he’s happy to have it. Not thrilled, but it works. Hey, that’s the way it goes.
Jack Butala: You know there’s like five or six days in your life that you can say this is one of the best days in my life. Getting your license is one of the best days ever. Getting your braces off is good.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: They rank pretty high. There’s some of them that can rank pretty high.
Jill DeWit: Moving into your own first place.
Jack Butala: Oh, that’s one, Jill. For sure.
Jill DeWit: I mean, moving out of your parent’s home, that’s the thing that you’re taking away. I wonder, whether it’s you’re going to the dorm or you’re going to your first home.
Jack Butala: Apartment.
Jill DeWit: Really, the first home is, but setting it up the way you want it.
Jack Butala: Even an apartment. Yeah. Your mom’s not there.
Jill DeWit: Buying your own stuff. I can watch TV till three am if I want to.
Jack Butala: I can eat cake for lunch or anything.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. No ones here to tell me.
Jack Butala: Right. Never do laundry again. Stuff like that.
Jill DeWit: Right, exactly. You quickly realize, oh, I got to do this stuff because I need to function, but that’s a good, I’m glad we went off on this thing because I don’t get it. We need to set these kids up for that.
Jack Butala: I think it’s somewhat generational specific and I mean, our generation. I see our people we know doing that.
Jill DeWit: I do.
Jack Butala: I don’t know anyone in our parent’s generation or our parent’s generation that’s stuck like that.
Jill DeWit: I think people get confused with what’s the right thing to do with kids and I think the right thing to do with kids is let them figure some stuff out.
Jack Butala: Is it a west coast thing?
Jill DeWit: No.
Jack Butala: Because man, I wonder if this is going on in Michigan. I doubt it.
Jill DeWit: Oh. Well, I’m sure there’s people everywhere that do too much for their kids, thinking that they’re doing a right thing instead of letting them figure it out. They should fall down and figure out how to pick themselves back up and put their own band-aid on now and then.
Jack Butala: I think that’s a whole chapter in my book. I’m almost done writing this book called, Showing Up. You know, like showing up for your career and showing up for your marriage.
Jill DeWit: I can’t wait.
Jack Butala: There’s a whole chapter in it. It’s called Failing. You need to fail four or five times at something before you understand how to succeed at it, and then actually when it happens appreciate it.
Jill DeWit: Here’s one of my thoughts is, if you don’t set your kids up to be independent, what’s going to happen when you’re not around someday because the last time I checked in the way things go, we’re not going to all be here.
Jack Butala: Yeah, they’re going to sponge off of something or someone else. That’s what’s going to happen.
Jill DeWit: They’re not going to be successful.
Jack Butala: They’re not going to all of a sudden learn at thirty-five that oh my gosh, my parents aren’t here. Oh, I’m going to just do this on my own now.
Jill DeWit: Now I need to learn how to do laundry.
Jack Butala: Yeah, or whatever. Get a job or I don’t know. Some, whatever.
Jill DeWit: Right, you don’t want them floundering. All right. That was a good off topic. Back to this. Can I just ask a couple things?
Jack Butala: Yeah, yeah. Let’s make this, try to salvage this.
Jill DeWit: All right, have a script. Somewhat of a script and outline. When the people do call you back you want to know what to ask them about the properties. Have a phone number. We talked about that before and keep that phone number. Then, one of the things too, have your acquisition funds, by the way, set aside. You don’t want to be going great now and what do I do. If you don’t have the money set aside to act on these transactions as you’re sending out mailers, at least have a plan.
Jack Butala: That’s what success plan’s for. There are people in success plan who are money people. Now more than ever, you don’t need a ton of money to start this.
Jill DeWit: But have a plan.
Jack Butala: Yes, exactly.
Jill DeWit: Have a plan. Just don’t be floundering going, now I got to go call people and figure this out. No, have it all thought out ahead of time and stick to your acquisition plan. You know what you’re buying. What the criteria is. Don’t get all haywire. Oh, this came in, and that came in, and this came in, and that came in. You’re going to be all over the place spinning your wheels and it’s just going to be a jumbled mess.
Jack Butala: It could be the greatest deal in the world, and I’m really, I mean this, don’t do it. You’re exactly right, Jill. I see a lot of people make mistakes like that stick to your acquisition criteria. If you’re going to want to buy forty acre properties in West Texas, then stick to that. Even if some stuff comes in in Arkansas, I mean, not so much land, but don’t start buying houses in the middle of executing a forty acre West Texas thing. That my point.
Jill DeWit: When you’re new. Especially when you’re new and you’re getting going. It’s so much easier. And that’s the brass tacks.
Jack Butala: That’s not how you use that at all.
Jill DeWit: I don’t know.
Jack Butala: Not only is it a bad cliché, it’s misused.
Jill DeWit: [crosstalk 00:19:23]. It’s an awful cliché. I don’t know where you got that.
Jack Butala: We should do a show that’s misunderstood cliches. Here’s one, here’s one. I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.
Jill DeWit: Oh yeah. Somebody actually said that. It was this guy, Gabe. I remember him. He was from Cuba or something. I don’t remember where he was from. I worked with this guy. He didn’t know what the phrase, he just got it all turned around and I thought that was the greatest thing.
Jack Butala: What’s the real one?
Jill DeWit: I will cross that bridge.
Jack Butala: I will cross that bridge when I come to it. What’s the burning part though?
Jill DeWit: I don’t remember. Do you know?
Jack Butala: No. We have to have a show like this though.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Jack Butala: Can we have a show, Jill, please, and we just say right up front, this has nothing to do with real estate, it’s just kind of funny.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, I think that’s be great.
Jack Butala: We should call it, misused cliches.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Jack Butala: Have maybe a couple callers and just laugh and stuff. Do we have to do this real estate thing every single time.
Jill DeWit: You know what? We should do this. Then, we’re going to test it and see if anybody listens to it.
Jack Butala: Okay. You know what? We’ll let the numbers decide for us.
Jill DeWit: We’ll let the numbers decide.
Jack Butala: Just like how we buy land.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: You’re a good partner. Hey, join us in another episode where Jill and I get sidetracked and then try to get back to discussing your all important success in property investment and in life. I’m serious about having just a funny show.
Jill DeWit: Okay. Since this is the after show part that nobody listens to. I am looking up brass tacks. I’m not kidding. brass tacks meaning. You ready for this? brass tacks are a type of pin or nail. Sometimes called a drawing pin. In colloquial English, the phrase to get down to brass tacks is an idiom that means to focus on essential details, you used it correctly, Steven, such as measuring out the precise amount of an item for sale. Interesting.
Jack Butala: I wonder what the origin is though.
Jill DeWit: What the heck.
Jack Butala: Like you said, is it military? A lot of this stuff comes from the military, I think.
Jill DeWit: A theory that comes from the brass tacks in the counter of a hardware store or draper shop used to measure costs. What the heck?
Jack Butala: Wow, if we had any listener on this show, we lost them.
Jill DeWit: Meaning and origin. It’s English. Get down to brass tacks. That’s hilarious. That is-
Jack Butala: Oh, somebody’s going to tell us. That’s for sure. We can count on it.
Jill DeWit: They will tell you.
Jack Butala: Three weeks from now we’re going to get an email and we’re both going to say, what the heck is that person talking about?
Jill DeWit: I was right with the civil war thing. It first appeared in print in the USA back in January 1863, in the Texas newspaper The Tri-weekly Telegraph. When you come down to brass tacks, that’s what it said. Wow, that’s really wild.
Jack Butala: You still don’t know what it means though.
Jill DeWit: I get it. Yeah, I get it. It’s being precise. Anyway.
Jack Butala: Wow, we’re beating this horse good.
Jill DeWit: We sure are. We’re not going to do that.
Jack Butala: Oh, here’s another cliché. Don’t beat a dead horse. We can’t stop ourselves.
Jill DeWit: Oh my gosh. We can’t stop ourselves.
Jack Butala: Let’s go buy some property.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steve@LandAcademy.com.
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