We Live or Die by Our Data Quality
Jack Butala: We Live or Die by Our Data Quality. 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, Jill DeWit.
Jill DeWit: Hi.
Jack Butala: Welcome to our show. In this episode, Jill and I talk about how we live or die by our data quality. Excellent show today. I love data. Let’s take a question posted by one of our members on SuccessPlant.com first. It’s our free online community.
Jill DeWit: Jason asks, this is a long one, I’m going to try to paraphrase here, “I almost sold two adjacent parcels that I acquired-”
Jack Butala: Let me go get a cup of coffee while you read this because it’s like four pages.
Jill DeWit: No. You’re silly. I almost sold two adjacent parcels that I acquired a couple of weeks ago. This would have been a [terms 00:00:42] deal and it broke down on what I wanted to get out of the down payment. The lead came in from a letter I sent to the neighboring property owners. I haven’t marketed to the general public yet and here are the numbers.
Jack Butala: That’s just like us.
Jill DeWit: This is really good. “These two properties I purchased for $750 each,” so we’re $1,500 in, “I offered them for $3,500 each cash or $3,000 each if they bought both.”
Jack Butala: That’s four times.
Jill DeWit: “He seemed mildly interested in this but then we talked terms. We verbally agreed to $5,500 each.” Good [marking up 00:01:25]. “10% down, $200 a month. He asked me to send him the details through the email so he could make sure that this is what he want to do. After I sent him the details, I heard back from him two days later saying he couldn’t swing it financially. What would you do to close the deal? Reduce or eliminate the down payment, reduce the payment and extend the length of the financing, reduce the price? He just cut off negotiations, called no counter.” This is the last paragraph here. “I’m leaning towards going back to him with a reduced down payment. If he doesn’t still buy it, then I’ll then reduce the price. I should have some room there. This would be my first sale. Any guidance would be much appreciated.”
Jack Butala: How about I go first and then you answer because I think we’re going to have different answers?
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Jack Butala: Number one, I’ve said this probably a hundred times on this show, I’ll say it again, why are you doing a “deal”? This is not how this works. This is what I say to our members over and over and over and over again. Do the same thing like a machine on every transaction. The buy side went great. You sent a bunch of mailers out. Some people signed them, or sent them back, or called them back and you purchased the property for 750, which is clearly way undervalue. Check. Acquisition, awesome. Nice work.
Like a machine, regardless of who calls you or unless somebody intervened and delayed this guy’s success, post them all over the internet. Post them on the website you’ve created. Do the same process for sales. I see this over and over and over again where you do all the work on the acquisition piece. You buy it for the right price, and you drop the ball on the sales piece because you just don’t follow all the way through.
What’s happening here is the buyer called. They’re talking a lot about the deal on the phone. Multiple times they’re talking numbers. I would say no. If it was more than two conversations, I would just say no. The deal died and that’s what happens almost all the time. That’s my answer.
Posting stuff all over the internet, make sure, make, make, make sure on your website that they can check out by clicking a button and paying by credit card the same way people buy shoes on the internet or anything else for that matter. That’s the deal that you want to do. That’s making money in your sleep. This is actively talking to people and going out and doing deals. You’re never going to break the economy of scale if you’re doing deal like a real estate agent. Go ahead, Jill.
Jill DeWit: You’d be surprised. I do agree. There was too much communication. Don’t go back to him. Don’t try to renegotiate. It’s gone and that’s totally fine. You did everything right. You have these great properties. Now, go out and sell them like, Jack said, the right way.
Jack Butala: Gosh, we agree.
Jill DeWit: Just pick up where you left off. You know what? It takes time. I know this because I was there more recently than you, Jack. You know it, too, obviously.
Jack Butala: You have to break habits, like everything you’ve ever been taught.
Jill DeWit: Especially when you’re brand new. You have to learn the right buyers and the wrong buyers. It takes some time. Most of the time, you’ll learn as you go. The ones that really bend your ear that call you six times that ask you about the trees or they ask you about their mobile home, and they ask all those detailed questions are not going to buy it in the end. It’s really interesting. The real, good, serious buyers are the ones that they do all their homework on their own before they call you. They’re only calling you to find out one less little detail about the transaction as they’re wiring the money or checking out kind of thing, if they call you at all.
Jack Butala: That’s right.
Jill DeWit: Those are the best ones. Hey, it was a great learning experience. You know who the neighbor is. All good. Move on. Don’t waste time. I guess that’s it.
Jack Butala: Exactly. If you have a question or you want to be on the show, call 800-725-8816. Today’s topic, how we live or die by our quality data. This is the meat of the show, and this could be a super short show if we wanted to.
Here’s the data that you can get of all the possibilities of real estate data. Here they are. Number one, you can buy a list. You received an email from Indonesia and a nice person who doesn’t clearly type English very well says, “I have a list of all the people who own X in Texas, and I’ll give it to you for 35 cents. Click here to credit card process.” It’s very tempting. All the people who own property in Texas? It’s garbage. It’s a hundred years old. It’s a mess. You’re wasting your time.
Here’s why. You’re going to get that list and you’re going to send it out in the mail. That’s the real money. Data doesn’t cost that much. We only charge 8 cents. That’s our cost and it’s the best data in the world. The person that’s sending a list around never access a list, only access the database. List on the internet, it’s tempting to buy and they’re cheap. When you go to send mail, you’re going to waste a lot of money because the data is not accurate.
Here’s another place you can get data: directly from the county. Jill is falling asleep.
Jill DeWit: No, it’s good.
Jack Butala: [inaudible 00:06:59].
Jill DeWit: No, I’m just listening. You have a-
Jack Butala: Have you ever lectured your kids about not playing with matches?
Jill DeWit: No.
Jack Butala: She has that look. The kids are like, “You know what? I’ve heard this 50 times. Yeah. I’m sorry. I play with matches.”
Jill DeWit: No. The professor has three points to make and I’m just sitting here patiently, quietly, and listening. I like it. It’s good.
Jack Butala: Internet list, don’t do it. County. Direct from the county, yes. You can get the data and sometime it’s good, sometimes it’s not, but I can guarantee you this: it’s always in a different format. You’re going to become a data expert. If you’re already a data expert, maybe the county is a way to go for you. I personally am convinced and sure that it’s not.
Number three, products like Data to Doorstep. It’s the same data that First American Title uses, and government uses, and all that in the same format. Totally reliable. Now, you’re sending offers in the mail and you know that that person currently owns that property. You know the assessed value and you’re making incredibly good decisions, laser-like decisions about buying property versus splattering it all over the place with some crazy list that you got that’s 25 years old. We live or die by our quality data and so do our members.
Jill DeWit: It’s so interesting. I was thinking about even the back tax list and the things that people get all excited about. It could be back taxes three months ago and are current today. You don’t know. That’s one of the things I like, too. We use the best, current … We mail everybody an offer. I don’t just pick and choose. I’m going to hit them all like you said.
Jack Butala: Yeah. We put a cap on the assessed value for a land. If the assessed value is more than, let’s say, 35 or 40,000 bucks regardless of size, acres or anything, they don’t just get a letter from us because the chances are it’s worth more, way more than what we’re asking.
Jill DeWit: As far as current or not current on the taxes, I don’t care. I’m going to hit them all. You just got to have the right data, the current data. It’s awesome.
Jack Butala: It’s a little bit off topic. I just answered a question from somebody recently on email. It was not an email. It was on Facebook and they’re not a member. They said, “A seller just called me back and said, ‘What the heck is going on? This is the fourth letter I got in the last two months. Is there something changing in [some market 00:09:20]? What the heck.'” He was disgusted. My question was …
Jill DeWit: Back taxes.
Jack Butala: Yeah. Does he have back taxes on his property? “Yeah. That’s all I send. I only send mailers out to back tax people.” I said, “Well, there’s your answer.” It’s true. People who don’t have back taxes never get a letter about anything, houses, land, they don’t. I don’t know why. Bad information.
Jill DeWit: That’s because that’s what keeps us going. That’s why we’re doing so well. Another point to make about quality data is all the other tools and all the other uses you have for it. Looking at the vesting deed, confirming ownership. There’s a lot of little things that we have in our data that, not just for the mailer part, but for the … Now, when I’m doing my homework, when I’m doing my research, gosh, I got to have access quickly while I have this guy on the phone right now. I need to make sure I’m talking to the right guy and I’m ready to buy it. We have all that. That’s the thing I just love, too. Right on my fingertips. I can go, “All right.” I don’t have to scroll down through my list and go, “What date did I mail that out? What’s your name again?” Whatever. I can quickly pull them up and it’s really nice.
Jack Butala: That’s a fantastic point. You hear me say all the time, “It’s the same data that the title companies use.” Jill driving that point home better than I have in the past. Real estate ownership data, it’s not four columns of data, first name, last name, address and property. These columns go out 40, 50, 80, a hundred times, everything about how much they paid. Information is power, right?
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jack Butala: When they call back, it’s the same data source you can check. I’ll see if they actually own it. By getting the right data in the very first place, you’re avoiding a tremendous amount of expense, financial, and time, and mistakes.
Jill DeWit: I’m sitting here thinking of all the things our members have told us. One of the things that a member said that was so beneficial to them was being able to pull the best data in the same way for every single county saved him so much time sorting and putting together lists. He’s like, “I can do multiple counties at the same time. I can merge this. I can do that because it’s delivered the same way. I don’t have to rethink about it for this county, or that county, or whatever it is.” That was a huge time-saver for him.
Jack Butala: Yeah. It’s a big issue. If you’ve never processed data to send that out, a mail merge or a mailer from the county, it’s hard to appreciate how complicated it is. It’s incredibly complicated. You lose a ton of integrity while you’re doing it. A lot of the data that they may provide is in a way that you can’t read it like assessed value, the way that they name their columns. It’s all different. You do it from county to county to county and every state is entirely and completely different. With our data, it’s all the same. You just get used to it one time and you’re off to the races.
Hey, you want to be a deal maker. All right. You don’t want to have a PhD in data processing. How much does it really cost to get that ultra cheap, upfront data or free data? How much does it really cost? That’s the question.
Jill DeWit: You know what, Jack? You just brought up something so good. I almost feel like I’m cheating like you just said.
Jack Butala: Yeah, me, too.
Jill DeWit: If you go get it from the county, you get to sit and figure it out. That’s the zoning. That’s not what that is. Some of these stuff, you got to figure out what the stupid column is. It may not be that great.
Jack Butala: If it’s in columns.
Jill DeWit: If it’s in columns.
Jack Butala: It’s usually not.
Jill DeWit: Right. Then with ours, I almost feel like … Seriously, it’s like cheating. I just got a cheat sheet. It’s exactly what I got. I really have the list today of everybody in this county with all the attributes that I put in there, all the criteria I just put in there, and it’s spelled out in order the way I organized it. Gee. It does not get any better than that. It’s so funny.
Jack Butala: Right. All good points. Hey, this is the Technical Two, two minutes of property investment advice from our 15 year, 15,000 plus transaction experience. It all starts with quality data. If you start with bad data or substandard data, you will pay, in the end, in postage or in research. If you have quality data upfront, you will spend the right amount, choose the right properties to download, choose the right owners who will receive the right offers. When they sign your offers and send them back, you’ll have the research all done at your fingertips to decide whether or not you want to buy it. It’s just makes so much sense. It’s very hard to convey. It’s so tempting to buy cheap data because it’s just cheap.
Jill DeWit: I personally love it. It’s great because I have a lot of people that come to us that have struggled with bad data. I tell them, “You know what? It’s okay. I’m glad that you know that. I’m glad you’ve seen the other side. You are not going to be spoiled of this. You’re going to go, ‘Yey.’ It’s like the heavens open up when you see this is it.” It’s a good thing. I’m glad. Now, you know that side. Now, you’re going to see this and you’re going to … It’s awesome.
Jack Butala: I got a compliment from a guy in Facebook recently. He said, “I’ve sent out thousands and thousands of letters to commercial real estate owners.” He has our program and all, Data to Doorstep and the whole thing. He said, “After multiple years of doing this, this has filled in all the answers, and the gaps, and the holes in what I’ve been doing for years.” He’s like, “I can’t wait to get this out in the mail.”
Jill DeWit: I think I know who you’re talking about. It’s cool.
Jack Butala: I love that kind of stuff. I know you do, too.
Jill DeWit: I’m glad he’s back with us. He knows who I’m talking about.
Jack Butala: It wasn’t …
Jill DeWit: It’s not that guy?
Jack Butala: It doesn’t matter. It’s the same concept. Hey, if you have any questions, you want to be on the show, call 800-725-8816. My favorite part of the show, Jill’s inspiration.
Jill DeWit: Transparency. I was talking to a member the other day and we were laughing because he was talking about him and his partner. His partner wants to be the behind the scenes kind of partner. The member and I were laughing because he said, “If I’m the face of this business, I’m not sure. We might be in trouble here.” We laughed. I said, “It doesn’t matter.” He said, “I know.” I said, “It’s really about transparency.” I don’t know if this is necessarily inspirational but I think it can be both. You need to be out there and doing the right thing. Part of what I think is if you’re out there, and people know you, and see you, you have to be doing the right thing. That’s why it leads credibility to you, and your business, and what you’re doing.
Jack Butala: Exactly.
Jill DeWit: It’s just being transparent. It’s funny because that’s one of the things that you and I laugh about, Jack, in our program because we didn’t know that. We thought, for years, we don’t have to be on there. If anyone knew us five years ago, there were no photos anywhere. Now, you see us today with our photo front and center. Talk about different. We learned.
Jack Butala: I was bent on not having a Facebook page my whole life. I still don’t use it socially but, yeah, absolutely, Jill. I thought it was a trend.
Jill DeWit: Isn’t that funny?
Jack Butala: I thought transparency started a while ago. Now, big, huge companies are disclosing everything on commercials. That’s a way to earn trust.
Jill DeWit: It is.
Jack Butala: I think.
Jill DeWit: Well, it spills over into everything that we do. For example, I’m renting a vacation home. I have done this. I have said, “Look, we’re responsible. We’re respectable-” [crosstalk 00:17:31]
Jack Butala: [crosstalk 00:17:31] We’re not going to have a toga party.
Jill DeWit: Right. I will tell people,
Jack Butala: Maybe we will.
Jill DeWit: … go look at my website. This is us. They’re like, “Okay. All right.” Then that calms every down and it makes them feel like they know you a little bit. They trust you. Apparently, we don’t look like crooks.
Jack Butala: [inaudible 00:17:50].
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: Toga, toga, toga.
Jill DeWit: It helps. You’re thinking about that thing on the beach the other day.
Jack Butala: We’re riding our bikes on the beach a couple of days ago. Go ahead, Jill. It’s hilarious.
Jill DeWit: Tell the pre-thing and the end …
Jack Butala: Go ahead.
Jill DeWit: As we’re heading one direction down the strand, there’s a beautiful home and it’s got this big thing. I think it’s a wedding reception setup. These big white tents and you see caterers. This is on our way to dinner, mind you. We’re riding our bikes. Caterers. I’m like, “This is going to be a big thing.” I’m thinking, “It’s a wedding reception.” We go to our dinner, have a good time. Everything is great and now we’re riding back the other direction on the strand. Jack, what did we see?
Jack Butala: A toga party.
Jill DeWit: Yes. It was hilarious.
Jack Butala: What was Jill’s comment? If I ever had any thoughts about BRBing my house,
Jill DeWit: My gosh.
Jack Butala: … they’re gone now.
Jill DeWit: Right?
Jack Butala: She’s right.
Jill DeWit: All I could think of was whoever rented that home out, they’re thinking, “Hey, sweetheart. What could go wrong? It’s totally great.” Yeah, there’s a toga party right now on your patio, a catered toga party.
Jack Butala: There’s no need to take my jewelry with me. It is going to be fine.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, yeah. It is packed. So funny. That wasn’t even the 4th of July. That was before that. That’s hilarious.
Jack Butala: Hey, don’t get tempted by cheap data. It’s going to cost you more money in the end. Join us in another episode where Jack and Jill discuss how to use information. That’s me.
Jill DeWit: And inspiration, that’s me.
Jack Butala: To get just about anything you want.
Jill DeWit: We use it everyday to buy property for half of what it’s worth and sell it immediately.
Jack Butala: You’re not alone in your real estate ambition. I wish we have a toga party. The rewards of being an adult is you could do all the stupid stuff that you ever wanted to do as a kid but you couldn’t afford it.
Jill DeWit: Yes.
Jack Butala: I just put 400 watt stereo system on my motorcycle because I couldn’t when I was a kid, stuff like that.
Jill DeWit: It’s true. It is more fun now. We can afford to do anything we want.
Jack Butala: If I said, “Let’s have a planned out kegger,” you would say yes.
Jill DeWit: Heck, yeah.
Jack Butala: Not open to the public but to our friends. You’d be like, “Let’s get two kegs.”
Jill DeWit: Yeah, absolutely.
Jack Butala: It gets me thinking.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. Right there on the patio.
Jack Butala: That be fun.
Jill DeWit: We can do that.
Jack Butala: Why didn’t we do that?
Jill DeWit: I don’t know. I don’t know.
Jack Butala: All right.
Jill DeWit: I’m in.
Jack Butala: Let me put that in the calendar.
Jill DeWit: Let me know.
Jack Butala: Information and inspiration to buy undervalued property.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steve@LandAcademy.com.
I would like to think it’s entertaining and informative and in the end profitable.
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