Creatively Choosing Counties to Mail Offers
Jack Butala: Creatively Choosing Counties to Mail Offers. 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 with Jill DeWit.
Jill DeWit: Hi.
Jack Butala: Welcome to our show today. In this episode, Jill and I talk about creatively choosing counties in which to mail offers.
Great show today, Jill.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Jack Butala: Let’s take a question posted by one of our members on successplan.com, our free online community.
Jill DeWit: Okay. Ron asks, “I’ve run into this twice now and in both cases it wasn’t a deal, but I thought I’d ask about what I’m seeing. I’m looking on the county’s website. I search for the APN, the assessor’s parcel number, and when it comes up, they show more than one, in this case three, another case five, property listings for one assessor’s parcel number, APN. In both cases, there were mobile homes on most if not all the listings, so perhaps there’s a tie there. I did use zero for the land value, for land improvement, and I did some scrubbing out that were obvious homes, but this county must not pay attention to that field?”
Jack Butala: What do you mean? A county didn’t pay attention to something?
Jill DeWit: Right? I get it. I think it’s a couple different things here because several properties are one APN and one has something on it.
Go ahead, Jack. No, this can happen. It’s okay.
Jack Butala: There’s a lot of things going on here. This is a great question, by the way. This is like a master’s degree level question. There’s lots of things that can be going on.
First and foremost, seems like, I’d bet, I don’t think there’s any side of the mobile thing, by the way. Some counties treat mobile homes as a car, where you’re registered with the DMV. Some of them treat them as personal property that it’s taxed. None of them treat them, that I know of, treat them as real property, so they don’t have assessor’s parcels numbers.
There’s also the possibility that, and I see this in mobile home areas all the time where it gets subdivided, but it only gets subdivided from a northeast quarter to a southeast quarter standpoint, and then they get assigned new APN’s, so it’s one-two-three, four-five-six, seven-eight-nine, A, and B, and C, and D. There’s lots of stuff. Man, I wish I could answer this question for you, but I have like nine questions then I could probably answer it, but my gut says I think the county maybe, if the numbers are exactly the same, the county made a mistake.
Jill DeWit: I have one follow-up thing to add. I pointed Ron to one of the properties listed for sale on our website and in our list because I can show there’s one property with one APN and if you read the legal description it sounds like, “Huh, this sounds like multiple properties,” because it is. It really was a split-up. They’re not even next to each other. It’s one over here and then the one next to it, and then the one across the street, and one over there. That can happen so I was pointing that out to Ron to say, “You’re not losing your mind.” That could happen.
Jack Butala: I feel impelled to quote Jill. If this is complicated, maybe just move onto the next deal. There’s lots of deals.
Jill DeWit: It might be something really worth getting there. I guess, I think, I took it as, “Am I losing my mind? Is this right?” No, Ron. You’re not losing your mind. It might be worth buying it because it has multiple properties? Sure. Maybe, and even depending on the size of them, like the one that we have that’s I don’t know how many properties, if I really wanted to, I could go to the county and make it three separate parcels and sell them separately if I want to. That’s an idea if you want, too.
Jack Butala: That’s subdividing. I think Jill’s oversimplifying. This is totally the appropriate time to do that. You can’t just split property up without really telling anyone about it. You have to apply and things like that, but yeah, heck yes. My experience has been if that happens when there’s a split like that, it’s A-B-C-D-E at the end.
Jill DeWit: I have to say, this is kind of funny about me oversimp-, what does that say about us? Your approach and my approach, which is really really good, that’s why we’re so good together. You’re approach is, you really do, Jack, that’s you, you like to dig down deep and figure out the thing. I’m like, “Yeah, no. What do I need to know. Can I move on?”
Jack Butala: Know what else?
Jill DeWit: Sometimes.
Jack Butala: It’s summer time and we have to turn the air conditioning off and all that stuff when you record a podcast. You have to try to get rid of as much background noise as possible. Both of us are wearing t-shirts and both of the t-shirts are too small. Visualize that.
Jill DeWit: You don’t think it’s too small? You told me you liked this.
Too funny. I love it. Thank you.
Jack Butala: Today’s topic, creatively choosing counties to mail offers in. Why the heck, Jill, would we have to do a show like this because it seems so obvious?
It’s not obvious.
Jill DeWit: It’s not.
Jack Butala: It’s our number one question right now.
Jill DeWit: What’s a secret county? What’s a secret county?
Jack Butala: I think that’s the crux of it right there, is other people out there who call themselves whatever they may call themselves, leaders, something, they say there’s secret counties. There’s no secret counties.
Jill DeWit: There’s no secret county.
Jack Butala: So, we decided to do a show to very clearly explain how we choose counties and how to creatively throw a little bit of creative flair in it, and I’m going to give you a couple examples, two specific members that are doing it right now in our Land Academy Member Group, and they’re just knocking it out of the park.
There’s a three-step process we talk about in our Cash-flow from Land Program about how to choose a county. Number one, get a census density map. The least amount of people per square mile, the more green it is, usually, so big cities real red and a big rural area, big massive expansive rural area where a quarter person per mile, it’s green. You want to start there, in general. You want the green.
Number two, check to see how many back-taxed properties are in that county just as a gauge. If there’s none and you can go to etaxsalelists.com, etaxlists.com or etaxsalelists.com, one of those, it’s all free, just-
Jill DeWit: Etaxsales.com.
Jack Butala: Etaxsales, thank you. Thank you so much. Check to see if there’s, it’s very current, it’s almost to the day it seems like. If you’re in California, just click on the county. If there’s three properties that have back taxes on it or are going to an auction or something, that may not be the best choice. If there’s, Cook County, Illinois I just checked, there’s like thirty-eight thousand, or three-hundred-and-fifty-thousand properties, that might not be the best choice. There’s something really going wrong there. Those rust belt counties have a lot of back-tax properties. My point is, try to find something in the middle. I get a lot of questions like, “Well, what’s the number, man?”
Jill DeWit: I know, ain’t that funny?
Jack Butala: I don’t have a number. You just kind of got to develop this skill. You know what, Jill? Let’s talk about saddle time and maybe Van Halen.
Jill DeWit: You know what’s funny about that? This comes up often. People think that you’re going to be a pro overnight. No. You’re not going to be the best surgeon overnight just because you studied under the best surgeon. You’re going have to learn and physically do and build up your skills and whatever you’re working on. I see that, I see people pushing themselves and they’re frustrated when they make mistakes. I’m like, “No, that’s part of this.” You do need some saddle time. You do need to develop these skills. You’re right, Jack.
Jack Butala: Saddle time, like riding a horse, learning how to ride a horse in the saddle, and motorcycles, we always talk about that, too. When you get a new motorcycle, I don’t care how good you are, you have to put the saddle time in because it’s just different from the last one you had or whatever you raced or whatever. Jill came up with a perfect, I think now’s the time, I’ve used this Eddie Van Halen thing twenty-five times since you brought it up probably a month ago, so share it with us, please.
Jill DeWit: My example was people getting frustrated. Imagine you’re taking guitar lessons from Eddie Van Halen. Just because Eddie Van Halen is sitting right there showing you, you’re not going to be Eddie Van Halen tomorrow. You might never be Eddie Van Halen, by the way, let’s be honest. However, you can still do this.
Jack Butala: You can practice.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, you can practice. My example was, the reason I brought that up the other day was people, how do I say this, it’s not Eddie Van Halen’s fault, you know what I mean? You’ve got to put in the time. I guess that’s the real thing.
Jack Butala: Yeah, you got to. You take the direction from somebody like that, I mean she’s just picked Eddie Van Halen, you take direction from people like us and you put the saddle time in. Practice, practice, practice.
If there was number, if I gave you a number, let’s say. There has to be more than four-hundred and less than seven-hundred, no, more than four-hundred and less than twenty-two-hundred, let’s say, and that’s a realistic range, then what if it was twenty-three-hundred and you missed out on a great deal. Maybe you were feeling it in your gut but you’re like, “Nah, this guy over here, he said twenty-two-hundred.” That’s what I don’t want you to do. There’s not a full-blown A to B to C linear roadmap to this stuff. You just have to develop kind of knack for it.
Jill DeWit: I watched it in Success Plant, our community. I’m actually kind of looking in it right now as we’re chatting. I go in there and I look, our members know this, I go into successplant.com and I look for questions, obviously, to answer on the show, and a lot of it is what we’re going to talk about on the show, because that’s why here. Hello? We’re here to help everybody.
I watch people in Success Plant getting frustrated way too quickly. I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” Can you imagine, Jack, if you and I in how early we both said, “Yeah, we’re out. I’m not in.” The first time that I did an eBay auction, that was back in the day, that was one of our things, what was the first auction, the first time one person didn’t pay, and I said, “Oh, well I guess this doesn’t work out.” I mean, come on. We’d never be here. You can’t just give up like that. You have to hang in there like Jack says. It’s not just what we’re doing, but figuring out, choosing the counties, get creative, and Jack has said this before, some of our very very most successful members, students, participants, whatever you want to call them, have gone out and creatively picked their own counties and come up with stuff that we would have never thought of.
Jack Butala: We’ll bring those two people up in a minute here.
Jill DeWit: And killing it. That’s it. You just got to do it. Thank you, Jack.
Jack Butala: Well said, so the number three point in the three-step process is now you’ve got a pretty green county with the census map, number one. Number two, it’s got a tax sale list back tax by no means are we just going to mail back tax property. People say do that all the time and it’s a really bad idea. That’s number two so pass that test.
Now number three is super important. Go out onto the internet, MLS, I always use Land Watch. It’s the first place I go. Landwatch.com. Jill and I have no affiliation. Check to see if there’s properties priced, but how are they priced there? Are there a lot of them? Go to the county and see and say, “How many properties are priced there, and what are they priced for.
If they are priced for twenty-five hundred dollars, five-thousand, twenty-five thousand, some number, now you’re talking. If there is nothing posted at all, I personally do not send anything, any offers to the county. We have members who use that a gauge. We have one member who says, “If a county doesn’t have a good website, then that’s where I want to work because no one else is there.”
Jill DeWit: Right?
Jack Butala: That’s what I mean about creative, creatively is the first word in the title of this show.
If it passes all your tests on Land Watch and Land and Farm and everywhere else on the internet, start down the path of mailing offers in that county and collecting information. You’re going to find that in Land Watch, you’re going to see, “Oh my gosh, there’s nobody doing ten-acre properties, but there’s lots of five-acres. I’m going to go for ten.” Let your juices flow.
Jill DeWit: That’s a good thing. That’s getting creative. There you go.
Jack Butala: That’s the crux of creatively choosing your county.
What about these two members? What are their profiles? The first member, we’re going to call him T, I do a consulting call on Wednesday for people who choose to participate in it. It’s called a deal review. I say they bring me deals just to get my opinion. “Yeah, I would do this. No, I would never do this.”
We get to talking, obviously, and this guy, T, really got creative with the counties that he chose to send mailers to, and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars he’s made in the last four or five months. It’s all because he got creative. He priced it properly. He didn’t just go out and say, “It’s x-amount per acre.” That’s a topic for a different show. He’s killing it.
Where’s he doing it? He chose all western, west of the Mississippi in some states that we almost never talk about. I hope that intrigues you if you’re considering this. If you’re already doing, you might want to look for new places.
Another group, two guys, lifelong friends, childhood friends, they’re grown now, probably my age, one’s a contractor and one is a house flipper got involved with us on a very east coast, what we’re going to call it North Carolina, it’s not. I’m just going to call them North Carolina guys.
They came to us with a already clear idea who they wanted to mail and why, and they did. Through that process, they chose counties right around them that they’re real familiar with, mailed those counties and for a way higher price per acre than I would have considered, and they’re killing. They’re doing absolutely fantastic. They’re not low-balling it too much and they’re not coming in too high either. They’re doubling their money on these properties. You got to get creative. It’s as simple as that.
Jill DeWit: Love it. Exactly.
Jack Butala: Hey, if have a question or you want to be on the show, call 800-725-8816.
Jill, inspire us.
Jill DeWit: If you’re making this difficult, you might not really be into it.
Jack Butala: Wow, did you actually just say a word like no or not, or something negative?
Jill DeWit: I did. Let’s think about this. Are you really all in? Whatever it is that you want, you better be all in and excited about it and pushing forward. If you are having troubles and you’re purposely making this difficult, whatever it is. Pretend you want to learn how to play the drums. I don’t know.
Jack Butala: The drums?
Jill DeWit: I’m just using that example. Don’t know why that’s important, why that keeps coming up.
Jack Butala: I do. Jill’s learning how to play the drums.
Jill DeWit: I know. I looked across the room and there’s drumsticks staring at me, so that’s why this came up. Anyway, I’m going to use your drums, Jack, as an example.
Jack Butala: I decided that drums, I decided that kicking the heck out of a drum set in the morning is better than running a mile, two miles, three miles.
Jill DeWit: That’s for you. That’s your zen. That’s your thing. Good.
Let’s just pretend you, for whatever reason you decide to take up a hobby and somebody else is playing drums, and you decide, “You know, I’m going to do that, too.” You find yourself going, “Ugh, but I got to practice. Oh, that costs too much. Oh, my wife’s…” You find yourself making it difficult and putting little obstacles in your way on purpose. You don’t even realize you’re doing it, then you might not be into it and let it go. The thing is, if you’re making something difficult, sit back and recognize you’re probably not that really into it and move on. That’s my inspiration, Jack.
Jack Butala: I love it.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: I think that I am incredibly guilty of what you just said. There’s a lot of stuff that I’m not getting through this, and I started something, and you know…
Jill DeWit: You think so?
Jack Butala: I’m fortunate enough in my life now, I don’t do it too often now, and if I do and I don’t want to finish it, I’ll call somebody and they’ll finish it. I don’t know. Every time this type of topic comes up, what I think of first is home improvement stuff, where I’m just like, “Gah, I’m not going to do it.” I just hate, I don’t like it.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, you’re not into it, so don’t do it. Don’t hurt yourself. Don’t force yourself, you know?
Jack Butala: I was up at three-thirty this morning shooting videos and stuff with the sun coming up. I’ll tell you, and I say this because I love Land Academy. I love it more and more everyday. I love it like I originally loved buying and selling property. I love wholesaling houses right now and the large acreage stuff. I love it. Do you love it? I mean, seriously.
Jill DeWit: I do. When I was a kid and I thought when you start a book, you had to finish it, and I would struggle and come up with reasons not to finish the book. Seriously. That was me personally.
Jack Butala: This is a good example, school.
Jill DeWit: It was just fun. I’d pick up a book thinking, “I’m really going to like it. It’s a cute little book. I’m off for vacation,” and I just can’t get into the book. I would force myself to finish the book because I thought I had to. No, you really don’t have to. That wasn’t your book. Put it down. Get a new book. Donate it. Give it away. I didn’t know you could do that. It was so funny.
Jack Butala: You know how many times I tried to read War and Peace? Tolstoy?
Jill DeWit: Why? Really? Why?
Jack Butala: For exactly what you’re saying. That’s a good inspiration.
Jill DeWit: I wouldn’t even pick up a book like that.
Jack Butala: I know. I thought I was supposed to.
Jill DeWit: I wouldn’t pick up the cliff-notes of that.
Jack Butala: It’s different in the Midwest. People expect you to go through pain all the time.
Jill DeWit: Oh, okay. Maybe that’s where it comes from for you.
Jack Butala: I love your point, though.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: If you’re making excuses, it might not be for you.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: But don’t completely give up.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: Maybe houses, flipping houses. There’s all kinds of stuff.
Hey, 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: You 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 are not alone in your real estate ambition.
I want to talk more about the t-shirt thing.
Jill DeWit: Then you’re holding up a camera. Now I’m a little worried.
Jack Butala: Oh, no, no.
Jill DeWit: Oh my God.
Jack Butala: Truth be said, I’m testing new cameras. Really some cool stuff, actually, that no one will see the light of.
Jill DeWit: Not that one. Not this stuff right here, thank you. Love it. Thank you.
Jack Butala: Great inspiration, Jill.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: I feel let off the hook somewhat and I bet you let some people off of the hook today.
Jill DeWit: I did let some people off the hook today.
Jack Butala: I don’t mean quit. I don’t mean say, “You know what? She just said I don’t have to do it.”
Jill DeWit: No.
Jack Butala: That’s not it.
Jill DeWit: No.
Jack Butala: If it’s not clicking, man.
Jill DeWit: No, but that’s part of being a good boss and a good manager, too, sometimes. You have to find what people are good at. That’s another thing. If someone’s good at it, and they’re into it, and they take it and run, let them. Let them have that project sometimes, you know? Versus the others that are like, “Oh, this is…” There’s stuff you got to do sometimes. That happens, but if you have a choice and one employee or team member’s really good at one thing and the other one hates it, let them do that. That’s okay. You don’t have to like … I had that. You know what’s funny? This is a good example. This is funny. This is the after-show. I had a job one time where I was a fill-in manager and the first the thing the person told me to do was to go fire someone. I’m not kidding.
Jack Butala: My gosh, you were a fill-in?
Jill DeWit: I’m not kidding. I was a fill-in. Seriously, and she was making me go fire somebody. I was like, “I don’t want to fire them.” She was trying to teach me, which really what the thing was, she didn’t want to do it.
Jack Butala: Yeah, clearly.
Jill DeWit: So she was passing the buck on me. I did it. I had to. It was one of those things. I couldn’t pass the buck again. I had to do it. She didn’t like it. However, I have met people that love to fire people.
Jack Butala: Yeah. I have to be honest. That’s something I cannot, I do not like, but there’s been a few times where it’s like, “This doesn’t feel that bad.”
Jill DeWit: I hear you.
Jack Butala: Information and inspiration to buy undervalued property.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at jack@LandAcademy.com.
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