Perfect Offers to Owners Mailer (CFFL 348)

Perfect Offers to Owners Mailer

Jack Butala: Perfect Offers to Owners Mailer. Leave us your feedback for this podcast on iTunes and get the free ebook at, you don’t even have to read it. Thanks for listening.

Jack Butala: Jack Butala with Jill DeWit.
Jill DeWit: Howdy.
Jack Butala: Welcome to our show today. In this episode Jill and I talk about perfect offers to owners mailer. What makes it perfect? How you do the right one. How you do the wrong one. The whole gamut. Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on online community. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: Okay. D.C. asked, “I just received a delinquent tax notice on a parcel I bought December 21, 2015 and sold January 11, 2016.” Nice timing, by the way. Good job. See, by the way, this backs up to my whole look at what happens around the holidays.
Jack Butala: Oh, that’s a good point.
Jill DeWit: You can buy things and sell things. Some people think things shut down, but they don’t.
Jack Butala: I shut down, that’s why.
Jill DeWit: That’s why. I do that, too. “The county is telling me that because I was the last owner of record in 2015 I owe all the taxes for 2015 or they will slap a lien on it. I haven’t owned the parcel in months and only owned it for just that brief period for 2015. The buyer was from Craigslist and a real challenge to work with, and I have no desire to reach out to him. What should I do?”
Jack Butala: This, actually, the whole thing miffs me a little bit, so can I answer?
Jill DeWit: Sure. “Miffs me …” I don’t know if I’ve ever heard you use that word. That’s good.
Jack Butala: The information that you received, D.C., from the county person is 100% incorrect, not 95%. It’s not like in some counties they do it this way and some they don’t. None of that business. It’s 100% incorrect. These properties, the back taxes travel with the property, all right? What they’re getting confused with is prorations in escrow. If you buy at any given time, there’s some amount of taxes. If you’re going to buy a property at exactly the middle of the year, right, which is what … 365 divided by two, which doesn’t divide, right? There’s always one day more for the buyer and one day less for the seller. But that’s only prorated if you agree on that with an escrow agent. Let’s say you do it the way we do a lot of these deals where you just buy it and you convey the property and that’s it. In that case, regardless of the amount of back taxes, it conveys. The new person inherits all the problems or the liens or whatever. Or if there’s no taxes at all, the new owner gets that, too. That’s why it’s so important to really look at this before you buy it.
In this case, specifically, there’s a new owner. The Craigslist guy who’s a pain in the butt, it’s his problem. He didn’t pay the taxes is what happened. He did not pay. I’m really surprised that you’d even call the county about it at all. Not you, specifically, but this is a middle finger situation.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. This is a, “Have a nice day.”
Jack Butala: This is, “Good luck with that.”
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: I’m doing some real estate deals over here.
Jill DeWit: And you know what, D.C.? You’re not alone. There’s times that I’ve had to politely educate county officials and the key there is politely, you know? You can either, A, do nothing, which is what you should do, but, B, next time you get a call like this, you know, if you want to politely say, “Thank you very much. Actually…,” you know, and if you want to inform them, but you are correct. You don’t need to worry about that.
Jack Butala: Here’s the truth of it. Jill and I talk about it all the time. We’ve bought and sold thousands and thousands of properties. We get tax bills. We have mountains of paper tax bills that we get, and they get all put into a mail bin. Every once in a while when I’m bored I’ll go over there and just look at it and then, probably, just walk away. Because we’ve conveyed the properties. We don’t own them anymore. I don’t know if the people recorded it or if they didn’t. You just stay out of it. You’re going to get tax bills if you’re in this business for the rest of your life.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: Some of the properties you probably still legally own because the deeds were sent, but either way, the deal is done.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, “legally own” means you sent the deeds out and they haven’t recorded it yet.
Jack Butala: That’s right.
Jill DeWit: Technically, you don’t legally because they have a deed. You don’t own it, but it’s not recorded yet so they don’t know that.
Jack Butala: Exactly. If you’re getting deeds on properties and you will get deeds on properties on deals that you’ve done in the past, just forget it. It’s like you didn’t get it.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: They’re never going to come back on you.
Jill DeWit: I’m trying to think of an example that, you know, you could use real world that this happens. I always just think of cars or something like that, but I don’t know.
Jack Butala: Oh, like a comparison?
Jill DeWit: Yeah, just like giving an example of something other than a property, you know? It’s like you bought something on sale and the sale’s over, they’re not going to come to you and say, “Oh, the real price is this. You owe me more money.” Nuh-uh. I got it. I bought it. I’m done. See you. You know?
Jack Butala: Let’s think about this. I don’t want to get too deeply into it, but let’s say … and I never experienced this, but let’s say this theoretically could happen. Let’s say you went to college and you owned a car, like a 1983 CJ-7 Jeep that’s red. You went to college between 1980 and 1985. I mean ’85 and ’89, and you got a lot of parking tickets during that time.
Jill DeWit: Oh, this is really good information. This is interesting. You have a lot of details for these hypothetical situations. Please tell us more.
Jack Butala: And it was in Michigan, but that doesn’t matter. You got a lot of parking tickets at that time.
Jill DeWit: Not you. It’s in theory.
Jack Butala: Yeah, this person.
Jill DeWit: Yes.
Jack Butala: After college the person sold the car to somebody. Do the parking tickets travel with it or not? Do they follow the Jeep around?
Jill DeWit: I think they follow the individual around.
Jack Butala: I think they do, too, right? I know they do.
Jill DeWit: That’s a different situation. Maybe that’s what the person’s thinking, that these taxes follow you around like a parking ticket.
Jack Butala: Maybe that person actually got a phone call from the Dean that said, “You’re not going to graduate unless you pay these parking tickets, and I’m not joking.”
Jill DeWit: Wow.
Jack Butala: You’re on a long list of idiots.
Jill DeWit: … that he has to call.
Jack Butala: This is a true story.
Jill DeWit: What? Hypothetical became true? I did not see that coming.
Jack Butala: I had to pay them. I didn’t have a dollar, all right? I had to come up with a lot of money, like $600 in tickets and it’s all fees and all kinds of stuff.
Jill DeWit: Well, it’s because you were 20 and stupid.
Jack Butala: Well, yeah, versus 50 and stupid. Stupider.
Jill DeWit: Here’s a hypothetical situation, let’s just say …
Jack Butala: It’s not like that. I’m probably confusing everybody with a little bit of entertainment. All this stuff, it travels with the property. Here’s another one along the lines of property just to drive this home. You go buy a house and you get a mortgage on it like everybody. Let’s say it’s a $100,000 house. You get an $80,000 mortgage, and the deed gets recorded by … It’s a regular situation. The deed gets recorded by the escrow person. It’s over. Five years later, you convey the real estate. Now it’s got a lien attached to it. You convey the real estate to your sister-in-law. Now the sister-in-law owns the house legally, right? It’s going to get recorded. What happens with the mortgage? Does the mortgage travel with the property?
Jill DeWit: Uh-uh.
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Oh, yeah. I just got that.
Jack Butala: That mortgage is still secured by the piece of real estate.
Jill DeWit: Oh, okay. That’s true.
Jack Butala: But you, the person, the original owner not the sister-in-law, have signed personally for it so you have to … in most cases in most states, so you’re still responsible for the mortgage.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: But it’s still tied to the asset so who loses? The sister-in-law.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. She paid you and …
Jack Butala: She owns nothing, really.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, exactly. They can still come take the house.
Jack Butala: I don’t want to complicate stuff, but let’s recap so it’s real simple. In this type of asset where there’s no mortgages and there’s no parking tickets involved, there’s just an accumulated taxes, they travel with the property. It can get conveyed to 10 different people. The guy who owns it that minute is responsible for all the taxes if they want to keep the property.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Thank you.
Jack Butala: What is this show about, anyway?
Jill DeWit: You get an ‘A’.
Jack Butala: You get an ‘A’ but only if you pay your parking tickets.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. I have a funny parking ticket story, but I’m not going to tell it now.
Jack Butala: Yeah, yeah, no. Go, do it.
Jill DeWit: You want to hear it now?
Jack Butala: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Why not? We’ll talk about a perfect in one minute.
Jill DeWit: Okay, all right. My funny parking ticket story is I thought I was so smart. I was, I don’t know, 16, 17 years old. I’m down at the beach. I got there a little bit late. No parking spaces to be found.
Jack Butala: How can you be late to a beach?
Jill DeWit: Well, to get good parking you can’t be.
Jack Butala: Oh. Oh, okay.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, you’re not late to the beach. Yeah. Water’s all gone! No.
Jack Butala: No, man, you missed it.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, waves are over today. I thought I was so smart because I saw a parking spot right next to a mailbox. I’m thinking, “Hmm.” I borrowed a parking ticket off somebody else’s car …
Jack Butala: Yeah, that doesn’t work.
Jill DeWit: … to conveniently put it on my car and park in front of the mailbox. I thought this was brilliant. I passed my car three times that day walking up and down the sidewalk going to do something. I just thought I had this solved. “This is all great.” Yes, of course, and at the end of the day when I went to get in my car and leave for the day, that ticket was politely replaced with nice note, too, by the way. Politely replaced with a, “What do you think you’re doing,” note as a, “This is your own ticket now. Have fun with this one.” Yeah. I didn’t do that ever again.
Jack Butala: Yeah, we’ve all done stuff like that trying to mess with the system.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: The more prevalent computers are it’s just impossible now.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. Okay.
Jack Butala: Anyway, let’s go to the show, here.
Jill DeWit: Totally.
Jack Butala: If you have a question or you want to be on the show reach out to either one of us on This is the meat of the show. What is involved in a perfect offer to an owner mailer? What do you put in that document, that exact piece of paper, that makes them do what you want them to do, which is sign it and send it back? What’s on there?
Jill DeWit: Here’s a tip. You said it. It’s an offer, number one.
Jack Butala: You what? Oh, an offer, yeah.
Jill DeWit: Tip number one, what Jack just said, is an offer.
Jack Butala: There’s lots of ways to slice this pie. I’ve tried most of them. Maybe all of them, but for sure most of them. The one that we use now and the one that all of our members use is the best one, and we’re going to talk about why. Go ahead, Jill. What does it contain?
Jill DeWit: There’s two pieces. Who’s going to receive it? That’s the careful part, but what’s in it, the details on the offer?
Jack Butala: Let’s talk about that, the details on the offer. That’s kind of really what the show is about. How to scrub data and stuff is coming later in the week.
Jill DeWit: Okay. The details on the offer are it’s personal. It’s the individual’s details.
Jack Butala: It’s addressed to a person.
Jill DeWit: It’s the property details.
Jack Butala: First of all, it’s addressed to a person. It’s not addressed to, “Or current resident.” It’s addressed to Mrs. Sally Smith.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative). At 123 Main Street about her property at 621 South Way in two states over. Whatever it is.
Jack Butala: Yeah, in XYZ county in ‘A’ state, and maybe put the APN in there, too.
Jill DeWit: Right. For me, the best details are it’s very personal. All the property information is in there and it’s correct so I know when I open up the offer that you’re really sending it to me and you’re sending it for that 40-acre property I have in, you know, Utah or wherever it is.
Jack Butala: Yeah, exactly.
Jill DeWit: You have the APN there and the size, and I know you did your homework because it’s all correct. Then the best part is there’s a dollar amount. You’re telling me exactly what you’re going to offer me and when and how it’s going to go.
Jack Butala: Yup. The sentence would be like this, and it’s addressed in a professional letter format. That’s what we use. “Mrs. Smith, we’re really interested in purchasing your 40-acre property, whose APN is 123456, in Iron County, Utah for $3,482.00. Please let us know if you’re interested. We got your information from the county, from a source that covers the county. It’s public record. It’s a matter of public record. We’ve priced it based on a bunch of factors, but if you’re really interested in learning all that you can call XYZ, or you can just sign below, because we are prepared to close three weeks from this date,” or, “on Saturday the 15th,” whichever you close.
That’s a great example. Then there’s some other things. Explain who you are and why. Then you need to say a couple of things on the actual document that say, “If you’re interested, please …” Tell them what to do. “Sign this and send it back or fax it at this number, or email us and we will process your situation and we will complete this transaction on a certain date.” It’s a total call to action. They have a clear picture of exactly what’s going to happen.
Jill DeWit: How it’s going to happen. What they’re going to get.
Jack Butala: Why you’re offering it.
Jill DeWit: Who you are, or at least how to go find you, too. You can direct them to your site if they want to do homework.
Jack Butala: That’s well said. I was just going to say that. First thing they’re going to do is Google you and see if this is for real or if it’s some weird thing. They’re going to find … because you follow our instructions. You started a website and you have a phone number and somebody’s answering it and all these things that increase your yield dramatically.
Jill DeWit: And she’s not the only property. Look at the other ones that are available.
Jack Butala: They have all these other ones. Maybe you’re a part of a group like us so that even lends even more credibility.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: Credibility after credibility after credibility and so finally, the person’s sitting there with a pen in their hand and they’re saying, “You know what? I could use $3,400. I don’t care about this property. I never have.” Maybe they inherited it, you know? Yeah, or maybe they call and they talk to somebody like Jill, or Jill herself, and they say, “You know what? This is legit.”
Jill DeWit: Right, definitely.
Jack Butala: That’s what you want from a mailer. It has to contain details. Here’s exactly what you do not want. Jill, I’m going fast through this because we horsed around with parking tickets and stuff.
Jill DeWit: Okay, you’re good.
Jack Butala: Interrupt at any time is what I mean.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Jack Butala: What you do not want to do, and Seth Williams would disagree with me, send a postcard or a yellow letter or trick somebody. I saw a mailer yesterday in BiggerPockets. Somebody said, “Is this okay to send it?” They put a copy of it in there, and it’s all a big trick. “Do you know that there are back taxes associated with your property and there’s a …”
Jill DeWit: Oh, I hate those. “You’re going to lose it.”
Jack Butala: “This will be foreclosed on.”
Jill DeWit: “They’re going to come after you. It’s going to ruin your credit.” I hate that stuff. That’s all false.
Jack Butala: It’s all a bunch of crap.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, don’t do that.
Jack Butala: You don’t do that. First of all, don’t just mail back tax property, ever.
Jill DeWit: Exactly, and don’t do scare tactics to get them to call you. That’s the worst thing on the planet.
Jack Butala: I don’t know how this started.
Jill DeWit: I know. I agree.
Jack Butala: It’s really prevalent.
Jill DeWit: I get those. We get them in our mail, because we have stuff that there’s taxes all the time. It’s the funniest thing. I’m looking at these. You know, I’m going to start posting those going, “This is bad. Don’t do this.”
Jack Butala: I was thinking about doing that, too.
Jill DeWit: We should. That would be good. I’m going to tell our team to hold on to a few of those because those are some not nice stuff. But yeah, that’s what you don’t want to do. Like you just said, an open-ended postcard, oh, that’s pretty. Just put a pizza coupon on there on the bottom, too, because they’ll use that.
Jack Butala: If you said any version of a letter of interest, whether it’s a postcard, the silly thing about put a dollar in the mail …
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: “Hey, property owner. We’re interested in buying your property.”
Jill DeWit: “Call us.”
Jack Butala: “Give us a call and we’ll talk about the price.” All that’s going to do is make them call you, and then you’re going to talk about the price for hours and hours and hours.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: That’s not what you want. That’s not the call to action you want. It’ll work but, you know.
Jill DeWit: Oh, yeah. You’re going to paying their price, not your price.
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill DeWit: You want to smoke out the real people who are in the ball park of your offer. That’s all you want.
Jack Butala: What you’re looking for when you send this mailer out is a situation. You’re not looking for the perfect piece of property or the perfect real estate deal.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: You’re looking for an owner’s situation or circumstance. Maybe the owner passed away and the kids don’t want it anymore. Maybe that person needs some money really fast that week. There’s a million reasons, or triggers I call them, that make people sign that thing and send it back. That’s what you’re looking for. Then you look at their real estate. Almost everybody does this backwards. The whole point to that document is to get them to sign it and send it back at the price that you want. Then it’s actually worth it.
Let’s say, in the Utah example, she signs it and sends it back. Now you start to go through your due diligence and check it out on the internet and make sure it’s got some access and the whole thing. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.
Jill DeWit: A good thing to point out is on all of our offers there are contingencies at the bottom. “This is contingent upon A, B, C, D.” There’s, I don’t know, several outs that you can say, “You know what? I thought it had this and it doesn’t, so we can either, A, renegotiate the price,” or B, say, “Thank you very much. I’m actually not interested.” And that’s okay.
Jack Butala: I mean, the last contingency on there to always put on any of this is, “This purchase is pending our review of the property.”
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: That’s it. Then it’s like, “Yeah, it didn’t pass our review.” You don’t even have to say why.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. That’s okay. You have an out.
Jack Butala: That’s what it’s got to contain. The offer that we actually send out, the document’s all over the internet. I don’t even need to post it on our website. You can find it.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. I’m sure.
Jack Butala: I never tried to hide it.
Jill DeWit: That’s true, yeah.
Jack Butala: There’s a few people that say, “Ha! I got it! I got it and I got an old list from China, and I can do this for only three cents. I don’t have to spend any money.”
Jill DeWit: “At my dining room table.”
Jack Butala: Knock yourself out. That’s what I say.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: Lick some stamps.
Jill DeWit: If you are paying anything north of 40 cents for a stamp, which they’re normally 49, everyone. You think you got a deal because you bought them on eBay cheaper. That’s not a deal, by the way. If you’re putting your own on an envelope you already are spending too much.
Jack Butala: Yeah, if you own a printer and you have a box of envelopes anywhere in your world …
Jill DeWit: And you bought stamps on eBay …
Jack Butala: … you’re doing it all wrong. You’re not doing it wrong. You’re just doing it not the most efficient way.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: That’s all.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
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 mailer ambition. Good show, Jill.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. I don’t mean to pick on anybody, but I’m really trying to hit it home that you shouldn’t be doing this stuff on your own. You need to be doing all these other things.
Jack Butala: The people that are interested in doing this the right way …
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: … and the most efficient way to turn the highest yield, those are the people who find their way to our group, and there’s a lot of them.
Jill DeWit: That’s true.
Jack Butala: The people who are interested in cutting corners and doing it cheaper and with less results and all that …
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: … they don’t find our way. You and I have said this a million times.
Jill DeWit: I know.
Jack Butala: This is not our real job.
Jill DeWit: That’s true.
Jack Butala: Our real job is buying and selling assets.
Jill DeWit: Do you know what? I sincerely feel bad for those people, because they are wasting money and energy.
Jack Butala: I agree.
Jill DeWit: That’s my thing. If you think you’re saving and doing it yourself and all that, in the very bitter end when you figure out how much money you had to spend to get that data and do this yourself and all that. You add it all up. You didn’t save any money. I’d like to convey that to them and just say, “Hey, there’s a better way.”
Jack Butala: I do a lot of consulting calls with people that call me and say, “You know, this is not what I expected.” Not people in our group but other people. “I did all that stuff you guys talk about on the show. I didn’t yield what I thought.” Invariably, it’s one of three things.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: “Well, did you lick the stamp.” “Well, yeah, because don’t those cost this much?” When you lick a stamp, you’re not using a sophisticated bulk mail printer, then it’s not being run through any of the software …
Jill DeWit: That’s true.
Jack Butala: … that it needs to be run through to detect problems long before you spend money. There’s big problems with licking a stamp. It’s not just the cost and the envelopes and all that stuff. You’re not sending it the right way. Then the next one is, “Well, I got the data from a place in China.”
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: “It only cost me 13 cents for the whole thing.” Yeah, you bought data from somebody who printed some stuff out 40 years ago and you sent it all out. It’s just not going to get a result.
Jill DeWit: Or you trusted your VA to scrub the data and make the offers. You’re trying to teach a virtual assistant in another country how to do it for you, because you think that’s saving time. I get it.
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill DeWit: Slash, however, they don’t know what you do.
Jack Butala: Hey, I’ve done it. By the way, I’ve done all these things. That’s how I know they don’t work.
Jill DeWit: Right. It’s not complicated, but there’s some steps you’ve got to go through.
Jack Butala: Exactly.
Jill DeWit: Thank you, Jack.
Jack Butala: You’re welcome.
Jill DeWit: Information and inspiration to buy undervalued property.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please review it in iTunes . Reviews are incredibly important for rankings on iTunes. My staff and I read each and every one.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at

I would like to think it’s entertaining and informative and in the end profitable.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes.