CoreLogic RealQuest Pro Explained
Jack Butala: Jack Butala with Jill DeWit.
Jill DeWit: Good day.
Jack Butala: Welcome to our show today. In this episode Jill and I talk about CoreLogic RealQuest Pro, explained. I love this topic.
Jill DeWit: I have so much-
Jack Butala: I love data and databases, but before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on LandAcademy.com, our online community, it’s free.
Jill DeWit: Kevin asked, “How do I confirm acreage? The county I’m working in sometimes gives acreage in the parcel description, but most of the time it is left out. I have a few parcels that should be 5 acres showing up on the GIS map as more like 3 acres. I have looked at the map scale and approximate by converting the square footage into acres.” Have you ever done that, Jack?
Jack Butala: Oh yeah.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Jack Butala: In fact, as a rule, I don’t trust the legal … A lot of times, right of the legal description it’ll say, unit 6, block 16, lot 42 of subdivision XYZ estimated approximate acres 4.12. I don’t know why they would ever put themselves out in a situation like that to be wrong.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: The vast majority of the time it says exactly what I said in the legal description without the acreage, so I don’t even trust it. I always confirm acreage, always. I do it through a math equation that we’ll talk about. I’m just going to say it.
Jill DeWit: No, go right ahead.
Jack Butala: I don’t want to complicate this.
Jill DeWit: That’s okay. You know what … Yeah right.
Jack Butala: Go ahead.
Jill DeWit: You try to … That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever … The crap Jack says. “I don’t want to complicate this.” I am writing this down. Okay.
Jack Butala: You know what Jill says to me all the time?
Jill DeWit: Oh my gosh.
Jack Butala: “Please just make this easier to understand.”
Jill DeWit: Can you get it over with?
Jack Butala: “Why do we have to talk about it for this long? It’s so complicated. Gee, Steve, can you just be a different person?”
Jill DeWit: Just give me yes or no, just give me yes or no. Just kidding.
Jack Butala: “Let’s improve you this week, Steve.”
Jill DeWit: No.
Jack Butala: “We need to … You’ve been my project on this for quite some time. I’d like to end my project.”
Jill DeWit: You are not a project.
Jack Butala: When she calls me Steve it’s serious. Steve’s my first name.
Jill DeWit: Jack, you are not a project.
Jack Butala: Jack’s my middle name.
Jill DeWit: Jack, you are not a project, you are a process. Someday …
Jack Butala: There’s been some times recently where you said, when you’ve been in sort of a compromised position, you’ve said, “Boy, there’s nothing wrong with you at all today.”
Jill DeWit: I just told you that this morning, did I not? I said you’re doing everything right. It’s all good.
Jack Butala: Savor this because it’s not going to happen, maybe a year from now, again.
Jill DeWit: It only took me how many years to figure this out?
Jack Butala: How do you find out acreage? This is how you do it. With any luck the property’s square, so length times width. If you have a plat map and one side, there’s a linear feet, the other side there’s linear feet, you multiply those 2 and you get some number. There’s 43560 square feet in an acre, 43,560. You just divide by that. The number that you multiply on the first, length times width, if it’s smaller, it’s going to be smaller than an acre. If it’s bigger it’s going to be bigger than that, it’ll be non-divisible. It’ll be divisible, it’ll just be larger than the number 1. That’s how you really confirm acreage.
What do you do when it’s like a polygon, it’s not square? I don’t wan to make this a geometry class, but if you go on YouTube or anywhere else on the internet and there’s a linear square footage way you can find out. But what happens in reality? Nothing’s really perfectly square almost ever. You just ballpark it. If it’s slanted a little bit you say, you know what? It’s about 3 acres, and that’s how we do to the posting. Always be under, don’t be over. Go ahead.
Jill DeWit: I was going to back up, like you were just saying about the plat map, I’m simplifying this a little bit here, Jack. Pull the plat mat. Where do you get the plat mat? If it’s the Kevin I think it is, Kevin has access to this plat map within CoreLogic RealQuest.
Jack Butala: What a great prelude.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, you have the access to this. You go right on in there and you pull a plat map. There you go. Then what we always do too when we’re going to sell the property in the posting, include the plat map so the buyer can go look at it themselves. They can see the plat map, they can see the dimensions, they can see this many feet this way, this many feet this way, all that good stuff.
Jack Butala: Jill and I have templated way to present property in a retail format where it includes a plat map, it includes a sample deed, all the questions that we’ve collected from buyers over the years for a long time. It’s a result of the existing posting that we have. We try to give as much possible information that we can without spending 4 hours on every transaction. That’s how you actually calculate acres. I would not, at any point in your career seriously trust acreages that have been calculated and are right in a legal description. New Mexico’s famous for this. I bet that’s what he’s talking about.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, because it can be wrong. Check it out there yourself. Even I go to a couple of sources, but those sources are pulling it from probably the same place. I’ll look at it a couple different ways, maybe the county and RealQuest and whatever.
Jack Butala: The end result of going to do the research like this just to find out acreage is that you learn about the property. You’re looking at it on maps, you know which counties you can pull plat maps on and which ones don’t have them online. With RealQuest you learn how to use these tools It’s good to do your own homework.
Jill DeWit: Good question.
Jack Butala: If you have a question or you want to be on the show, please reach out to either one of us on LandAcademy.com. Today’s topic is all about data. One of my favorite things. It is CoreLogic RealQuest Pro explained. This is the meat of the show.
Jill, give us your summary on CoreLogic and, first of all, what CoreLogic is. That’s the company name, and RealQuest Pro is one of the many, many products they offer, but it’s the one that we use and we’re licensed providers of, so can you explain it? Man, I’ll tell you, it better be brief and it better be concise and you better smile while you’re doing it.
Jill DeWit: Why are you saying that?
Jack Butala: Because that’s what I get.
Jill DeWit: What are you talking about?
Jack Butala: Do not make this complicated.
Jill DeWit: Oh no. I’m like, what did I do wrong?
Jack Butala: You didn’t do anything wrong. I’m trying to make you laugh because I just made the acreage calculations complicated.
Jill DeWit: How do I describe it? I do it in my Jill way. It’s the best data, the most current data, direct from the county, pulled and delivered to you the exact same way every time data. I love when I get people that have struggled with all kinds of different lists and stuff from other places, because they come here and it’s like the heaven’s open up.
Jack Butala: RealQuest Pro, the strict definition of it is a collection of every single county in the country. Every single one minus about 1 percent of them. I think there’s approximately 32 hundred, or like 3142 counties in the country and they all have assessor departments that are responsible for assessing property and sending out tax bills every year, sometimes 2 times a year depending on where you are in the country. RealQuest Pro is a collection of every single assessors database in the same format. They literally submit, the data either gets pulled automatically, or the assessor submits the data to RealQuest Pro, RealQuest pays the county and they get it in a beautiful perfect format for you so that one county looks just like the next county so you only have to learn how to manipulate it once, and now you have a tremendous arsenal of information to do acquisitions with, and I mean every property. Land, houses, skyscrapers, and everything in between.
We’ve used RealQuest for years and years and years and years. I’ve tested it against 4 or 5 other … There’s companies that pop up and then some of them go in and out of business. This is by far the best. That’s explaining what it is, Jill. Now can you explain how we use it please?
Jill DeWit: I was going to just add to that because they have evolved since we’ve been working with them in that the data they, they also pull … I just pulled up there site here right now so I’m cheating a little bit because I don’t have it all memorized, but it’ 3,085 counties, 145 million residential and commercial properties, including MLS data.
Jack Butala: That’s new. Those stats are new.
Jill DeWit: These are new, that’s what I’m saying, and it’s not just for us anymore. It’s for lenders, for appraisers, title companies …
Jack Butala: Government literally has it.
Jill DeWit: … The government, exactly.
Jack Butala: They have multiple areas of the federal government and state government use CoreLogic products.
Jill DeWit: Telecom, utility companies use CoreLogic. It’s amazing.
Jack Butala: What it really allows you to do is take a look at, let’s say … Here’s a few ways you can use it. Here’s one way that Jill and I use it: If we want to go buy houses in one subdivision, lets say it’s a master planned community. We find out what the APN scheme is and then we get in there, get every single house, we scrub the data down, see what the assessed value is, what the square footage is, and we make incredibly intelligent, direct offers. We can find out how much more of a mortgage they have on it. It saves a tremendous amount of money and time, money and postage, and time, because you’re sending offers, you’re not just send-
We hear all the time people send out postcards. I send a postcard out to everybody’s back tax property that said, “You have some back taxes on your property, I’d like to buy it.” All that does is cause a massive flood of inbound phone calls, people saying, “Heck yes I want to sell my property for 14 million dollars.” That’s not what we do. We price it perfectly so that when you send an offer out to an owner or a whole subdivision to continue with that example, you’re going to send out to a few thousand people and 1 or 2 or 3 or 4, some number, they’re going to sign it and send it back and it’s going to be less than what you think you can sell it for the very next day. It’s an extremely efficient way to do acquisitions and to create a good strong deal flow scenario for yourself. It’s also a great use of your time because the ones that do come back are already priced properly.
Then we go check them all out. We don’t physically go but we run through an acquisition checklist and some of them make the cut and some of them don’t. An extreme situation, maybe one of them’s burned down and the person just signed it just to see if we’re stupid and we’re going to buy it anyway. That’s how we use it for houses. For land it’s even more simple, we just look at the sizes, divide by the acreage, take a look at the assessed value, write a couple of real simple equations and send the offers out and it’s ridiculously effective. For every hundred letters we send out for land we buy between 1 and 5 properties, and for every 15 hundred or so houses we purchase 1 or 2. Once you get to know how to use it, it’s a great way to do this and it work for every other product type, skyscrapers, everything else. That is how I’ll explain it. How would you explain it, Jill?
Jill DeWit: I wanted to add in a few other things that it also includes so people know. Documents, deeds are available through it. You can get plat maps or parcel maps basically included in there. Depending on your line of business in real estate you can get foreclosure information. You can get neighborhood stats. Maybe you’re a realtor, I don’t know. There are people on our roll that are using it for different things. All of that is in there, and the reason why we come back to CoreLogic, and we’ve tested them all like Jack said, which we use RealQuest Pro, is because of the level of detail that is at our fingertips.
I’ve never found one, and we’ve tested them all, there’s no other source out there that gives the level of detail for anything you could possibly dream up, like Jack is saying, is in there.
Jack Butala: Lets’ take a couple of examples in what she means, detail. One of the things that I use when I price every single direct offer campaign is assessed value for land. What the heck does that mean? Let’s say you pull all the 5 acre properties that have no mortgages on them in any given county. Let’s say they’re assessed between a thousand dollars and a million dollars. You want to stay, or we do anyway, in the bottom 20 percent of those assessed values because we’re sending out very, very low offers, in some cases 500 dollars for the whole 5 acres. That’s west of the Mississippi. The numbers get very different depending on where you are in the country. Without it, if you don’t have assessed value and a current assessed value at that, you’re just shooting in the dark. I have like 50 examples of how to use … RealQuest is the premiere provider of those detailed answers.
For houses, they provide the square footage. That’s how we price properties. Once we get into a subdivision like I mentioned earlier, if we’re going to send, if the subdivisions pretty large, 2 or 3 thousand properties, we look at what we want to offer, what we want to buy the property for, and we divide it buy the square footage, so every single offer through the beauty of mail merge, every single offer is just a little bit different because the square footages are a little bit different. It really, really makes for an extremely effective acquisition scenario.
Jill DeWit: Right. For our home flippers in our world, dream it up. You could sit and do everything Jack just said and you can go in and also say I want every property with out a pool, I want it in this area, I’m going to take out this, I’m going to take out that, I don’t want anything bigger than this or smaller than that.
Jack Butala: I only want 4 bedroom properties.
Jill DeWit: You could even get so detailed as the direction the home faces, that’s in there, north, south, east, west. It’s just insane. Then my other big point is, it’s all delivered the same way every time.
Jack Butala: It’s in the same format.
Jill DeWit: It is.
Jack Butala: If you get it directly from the county, you can go to every county and get data.
Jill DeWit: And spend more money.
Jack Butala: Some charge. Yeah, you’re going to spend a ton of money on that.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: For a small subscription fee you get access to whatever, 99 percent of the counties in the country in the same format. When you really think about that, that’s insane. Plus all the documents that Jill just talked about, the vesting deed so you know the person you’re talking to on the phone is actually the person who owns it and on and on and on. You can go to the county and get data and a lot of people do. I see people in bigger pockets on Facebook talk about this all the time. “I went to the county and I paid 50 dollars and got their tax roll.” What you end up with is a mess.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. By the way that was one county.
Jack Butala: Unless you have PhD in data inscribing, good luck. You can say goodbye to your next 4 weekends.
Jill DeWit: Right, because if you’re lucky they hand you a DVD or CD, you know what I mean, and now you get to go home and put it into your format. Some of them used to hand you papers. Remember, it was like a stack in the day.
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill DeWit: There might even be a few that still do that.
Jack Butala: I know we talk about CoreLogic all the time on the show, and RealQuest, but I don’t think we ever really took some time and explained it like we just did now and I hope that really answers what this product is. CoreLogic themselves, I don’t think they really explain as well as they could, really explain what the unbelievably cool product really is.
Jill DeWit: I agree. I’m looking at their site right now and it’s pretty involved. It looks involved, how’s that? It’s the best. It really is.
Jack Butala: 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 every day to buy property for half of what it’s worth and sell it immediately.
Jack Butala: You are not alone in your real estate acquisitions. It really is the coolest tool ever.
Jill DeWit: I know.
Jack Butala: You know what we didn’t talk about is some of the other places you can get data. We have a lot of people come to us from after using Agent 24/7. I don’t think the data there is substandard, I just think it’s less complete. It’s a little harder to deal with. They have this token system where you buy certain numbers instead of just paying a subscription fee, whether it’s directly to them or directly to us as a licensed provider, it’s just more complicated. There’s a lot more stuff to do.
Jill DeWit: It’s just the … Both, Title Pro and Agent Pro, the thing about Agent Pro, it’s really designed to be pretty and easy for, I think a real estate agent to work with.
Jack Butala: Yeah, that’s why it’s called Agent Pro.
Jill DeWit: It’s not for a professional investor to really get the data out that they need.
Jack Butala: Yeah, I think it’s designed for somebody who, “What’s assessed data? Why do I need that? I just need to know the name of the person and the address of the house.” That’s what Agent Pro is.
Jill DeWit: Right. How many bedrooms does it have?
Jack Butala: Title Pro is in our group. We are licensed providers of Title Pro for a lot of reasons, because there’s title information and GPS coordinates and it’s actually a much more sophisticated level from the same company, from Black Knight. Then there’s Melissa Data, but they provide data for everything. I have not had a super positive experience with Melissa Data. You can buy lists all over the internet real cheap, but you have no idea how old they are or stuff gets bought and sold all the time. You just don’t want to horse around with it.
Jill DeWit: You know, I found it not to be that cheap. This is my whole big thing. One list can cost you 200 bucks so where did you see it … Now you’ve got to go back and do it? You’re already behind.
Jack Butala: The real money’s in the postage. Do you want to send out letters at 50 cents a pop …
Jill DeWit: To the wrong people?
Jack Butala: … To all the wrong people? That’s just really, really, really ineffective.
Jill DeWit: And get them all calling you back and wasting you time.
Jack Butala: That’s exactly right. It’s one of those things where it’s so glaringly obvious to us around the office, because we’ve been doing it for more than a decade now. We should talk about it more I guess.
Jill DeWit: Nothing beats real good data.
Jack Butala: That’s it. Nothing beats real data.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, that’s it.
Jack Butala: I’m going to leave it on that.
Jill DeWit: Thank 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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