Land Diaper Change or Consulting? (CFFL 352)

Land Diaper Change or Consulting?

Jack Butala: Land Diaper Change or Consulting? 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: Welcome to our show today. In this episode, Jill and I talk about a land diaper change. Or is it consulting? Hmm. What’s the difference? A diaper change, I haven’t used that term in a long time. First, before we get into it though, Jill, let’s take question posted by one of our members on the online community. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: Okay. John asks, “As I’m preparing to send out my first offers to three different counties …” Nice. “… I noticed a couple of properties on LandWatch for just above what I would be asking for in my mailer. I’m going to conduct more research on these properties and see why they appear to be so cheap. Maybe it’s just a wholesaler trying to get rid of some property? I don’t know, but I was just curious if you have had success finding gems like this on eBay, LandWatch, et cetera, and reselling them for a nice profit?
Jack Butala: What do you think Jill?
Jill DeWit: Great, great question …
Jack Butala: Yeah!
Jill DeWit: … and I think yes.
Jack Butala: Oh yeah.
Jill DeWit: Especially … There might be another wholesaler out there, though, or somebody … who knows who it is … with property doing it wrong. They might be dropping the price when instead they should be making their posting look really good. I’ve seen some that have been sitting for weeks on some of these places to sell and they have no photos, no description, nothing to help the end user see the property and understand how great it is and why it’s worth that price and all that good stuff. I could absolutely see scooping up something there. Jack, this is kind of how you started, too. You could scoop up something in one of these areas, dress it up, make it look pretty, have rocking photos, video, and make money off it.
Jack Butala: Yeah, exactly. This kind of this is … When you get to our level, when you see a piece of property that’s posted on, I don’t know, any of places that you mentioned – Ebay, LandWatch, or anywhere … is a great place to buy property. Jill and I have had a lot of success there. When you see this kind of thing and then this thought pops into your head, “Well, I just sold a bunch of property, just like that for three times what they’re asking.” That’s when you have some sales history experience or you have some competence about pricing. When you’re brand new at this it’s a lot harder to do. When you see something like that, you’ve got to get on the phone and find out what’s going on. And, hopefully, the seller, they’re responding … The seller is in the situation that you’re looking for by sending out the mailers. It’s not so much about the real estate anymore. It’s just the fact that they just want to get rid of it.
So, yeah. I love hunting down property. Jill and I bought a bunch of property in Big Bear, California … If you’ve ever been there, it’s amazing … at a tax auction on Bid4Assets a long time ago and we killed it. Remember that? We bought those properties for five hundred bucks each and sold them for, like, ten grand each.
Jill DeWit: We bought them because I wanted them. Part of it. I mean …
Jack Butala: Yeah!
Jill DeWit: … it was a good deal, but I was like, “Hey, if anything, if it doesn’t work out, I want this.”
Jack Butala: Exactly! Exactly, but here’s the downside. What you’re doing now is … Now you’re going out and looking for property and getting sidetracked instead of what our whole system is based on. Send a bunch of offers out. The ones that come back, review them and buy them. You’re not proactively really doing anything except reviewing data. This can be really time consuming and you can get hung up. Hung up and starting down the path of wasting a ton of time versus just sticking to the program, so you’ve gotta be careful.
People who run a business, our colleagues, let’s say … I get calls once in a while where somebody says, “I’ve got a great acquisition. It’s going to cost me twenty-two grand. I’ll sell you all this property for twenty-five thousand bucks. I know you can double or triple your money on it, but I just need this twenty-five grand really fast because this acquisition came up and I have to do the deal. I already have it sold.” And that’s a great situation, too. It’s not about the land there, either. It’s just about the situation. So, “Heck, yes” is the answer to that. Don’t you think, Jill?
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Totally.
Jack Butala: If you have a question, or you want to be on the show, reach out to either one of us on Jill, I did this title for you. This is the meat of the show.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. I think I first heard this term when you were referring to a staff member. I hope … [inaudible 00:04:29] me.
Jack Butala: Here’s the title. No, it wasn’t. The title is, “Is it a diaper change, or is it consulting?” There’s a fine line between the two. In IT, I’ve heard an IT person … a lot of years ago, like, many, many, many years ago … say this, talking to another IT colleague of his. He said, “Yeah, I just had to go down to accounting and do a diaper change. The guy’s mouse didn’t work.” It’s like, “Geez, are you that helpless, or do you really have some good questions about consulting?” I brought this up because the level of questions and the level of involvement that we have now at LandAcademy is probably tenfold what it was over about a year ago. It’s like a celebration more than anything else. Jill and I used to … I’ve literally shown somebody how to copy and paste once in Windows. That’s a diaper change.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: Then we get incredibly intelligent questions, like the one that we just answered, from our members now. It’s a celebratory thing. Don’t you think?
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Totally.
Jack Butala: Do you have any good examples of diaper change scenarios?
Jill DeWit: Oh my gosh.
Jack Butala: That’s why I did this. I know you have some great stories.
Jill DeWit: Oh, well, yeah. Actually, now our staff members get them now and then, where people are asking … It’s a little frustrating, and I get it. Sometimes you just kind of have to send them in the right direction and help them along a little bit. Sometimes people don’t … Oh, gosh, what did I see? I saw the funniest thing on a wall in somebody’s office recently. It said something about, “Do not reach out to me for any questions that you haven’t Googled first.” Seriously.
Jack Butala: What?
Jill DeWit: They had it on their wall. I’m like, “That’s brilliant.” It was an IT person. It’s like, “You know what? You’re right.” I almost want to tell people, “Google this before you call anybody.” In our world, like with our members, it’s like, we have so many resources out there. It’s kind of a little bit of a laziness thing.
Jack Butala: That’s what it is.
Jill DeWit: You know? They’re like, “Oh, I’m going to ask so-and-so where my login is. Nevermind, if I just scroll through my e-mail it’s probably there. Yeah, there it is.” You know? All these things are out there. I don’t want to dump on any …
Jack Butala: No. No, no, no, no.
Jill DeWit: That’s not what this is about.
Jack Butala: We’re not laughing at anybody. No, it’s fine.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: My generation’s version is, “Hey, how do you spell this?” “Well, go get a dictionary and look it up.”
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: Getting a dictionary, you had to walk across the room or across the house, and then you had to look it up. The whole thing took 10 minutes.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: We have the greatest information source in our pockets, all of us, right now in our pocket or our purse. No, I’m with you. There’s really no … The difference between a diaper change and consulting, to me, is you’ve done a bunch of stuff. Just like the question earlier in the show, and really, almost all the questions we get now or the ones that make it to the show anyway, you’ve done a bunch of work, a bunch of research. You have a pretty intelligent question and you might be able to benefit or skip a step, let’s say, by talking to somebody who’s already been through it, which is us or other people in the group.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: That is a great question.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: I had a professor once in college, and he said, “There is such a thing as a stupid question. Please don’t ask stupid questions.”
Jill DeWit: This is true. You know what? That’s really the point. It’s 100% true. There are stupid questions. Stupid is, you didn’t do your homework first. Please spend five minutes …
Jack Butala: Yeah, you didn’t try. Just try.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. Just try. See if you can find it, and then if it’s really a problem, then call me. Happy to help. That’s good.
Jack Butala: The huge benefit from doing that is you start to form a habit. It’s like, “Well, wait a minute. The last time I had to do this I just had to go over here, and now I know where the answer is.” It’s just faster. It’s more efficient and, I think, more rewarding. A few weeks ago on the show, maybe a month ago … and I still do this. I started to form this habit. Right when I get up every single morning … I don’t care what’s going on, I do this seven days a week. I try to conquer something small. It just sets the tone for the rest of your day, no matter what it is. I don’t know what some silly examples are. I don’t know what a good example would be, but something really, really, really small, like fix something.
Jill DeWit: Repair something.
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, I just was thinking, like, “You know, this coffee pot always leaked and then I figured out why.” It’s little, but it’s a little accomplishment. You’re like, “Now I never have to deal with that again.”
Jack Butala: Perfect example. Or let’s say the coffee filters … I’m famous for buying the wrong size coffee filter and expecting it to work. Maybe I actually look it up on the internet with the make of the coffee machine and decide, “You know what? This is not the right thing.” Put it on the grocery list. As silly as that, it’s just like, “You know what? I solved that thing now. Now let’s go on and get to bigger stuff today.”
Jill DeWit: Right. You know, not to get philosophical here, but … You know, I’m serious.
Jack Butala: About coffee?
Jill DeWit: No, not about coffee, but I’m just thinking about the big picture here. As a person, you’re going to get better and smarter and everything by learning to find out answers and do things on your own. You’re going to remember it. If someone’s always there holding your hand and handing you every little thing, you’re never going to learn how to do things for yourself. You want to get better and you want to grow. The first few times that you go, “Okay, what’s a warranty deed? What’s a special warranty deed?” You look it up yourself a few times instead of asking someone every time, “Which one should I use in this situation?” You’ll never learn. But if you learn, “Okay, I use a quitclaim for this, a warranty deed for this, a special warranty deed for this, a grant deed for this, a trust deed for this,” you learn it yourself. Now you got it. You’re bettering yourself. That’s what everybody should be doing, I think, moving forward.
Jack Butala: We have a member that just joined not too recently. I had a consulting call with him and he said, “I joined the group because I already picked out a place where I thought this would work. I picked out a geographical location to send offers to owners and buy some property for half of what it’s worth.” Seriously, literally, just all the slogans we have. That was all the slogans we have right in one, Jill.
Jill DeWit: Uh huh. Exactly.
Jack Butala: He already picked the place out, and he’s like, “Well, now I just need to learn the mechanics,” and so he did. He sent it all out and he’s killing it. That’s what the consulting call was about. He’s like, “What do I do? I didn’t put a website. I know you tell us to do that.” It worked out. It’s working out great for him. The flip side is that I’ve had consulting calls with people who … There’s two or three counties that I use as examples throughout a lot of stuff, all through the CFFL programs and other programs, videos and things on YouTube. Once in a while, I get a consultant call from somebody who says, “I mailed this county out for all the examples that you used. I did it.” What they’re saying is, “I didn’t get creative at all. I just did it by the book. A to B to C to D, like it’s a coloring book, and didn’t get the response that I want.” I’m like, “You have to bring a little bit of imagination or a little bit of flair, let’s say, to this. You can’t just mechanically … ”
You’re an interior designer, Jill, or you have a background in that. You can’t just go A to B to C to D and expect it to work, right? You have to have a little bit of flavor.
Jill DeWit: If you want it to work out the best, yes. You’re right. There’s steps that you follow.
Jack Butala: Yes, exactly.
Jill DeWit: Those don’t change but, “Hey, this county, I’m going to look at it this way. This type of property, I’m going to look at it that way.” Yes, especially when you’re posting it.
Jack Butala: Yeah, exactly. Somebody told me a really long time ago that if you walk through any given store … Let’s just use Wal-Mart as an example. There are some products, if you look around … Let’s use a turkey in a grocery store. That’s even better. Turkeys in grocery stores around the holidays, they are cheaper than cost, right?
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: They know they’re losing money on every single sale. I don’t mean at the bottom line. I mean more than it costs to buy the thing. It’s a loss leader, right? If you walk around the grocery store, some stuff’s got a ton of profit margin in it. Some stuff has no profit margin at all. Some you actually lose money, a loss leader. Land is no different. On some counties, you just knock it out of the park. You’ve got it figured out. Maybe that’s your niche. Some you don’t, right? You can’t expect to try to get a diaper changed to have all the answers. You really have to … When you get to a point, with this or anything else, I think, where you really can benefit from some serious experience, and you’ve tried it. Not because it failed, because I’ve never actually gotten a call where it’s completely failed, but you just need a little bit of advice and a little bit of consulting is what you need. You don’t need your diaper changed.
Jill DeWit: I feel bad. That term …
Jack Butala: I did it on purpose.
Jill DeWit: I know. I sure hope that there’s not people out there going, “Shoot, was I a diaper change, or was that a good call?” Just kidding.
Jack Butala: I will say right now … This group right now that we have …
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: There are no longer any diaper change members. I don’t recall any diaper change scenarios, really, in the last … You’re way closer to it than I am, but I have not had a consultant call that’s been a diaper changed in, probably, eight or 10 months, maybe a year.
Jill DeWit: Sometimes, too, my calls that you might think are a diaper change, it’s just people not, like you just said, not being creative. I’m just thinking about, “Hey, why is my property not selling?” Well, you only put it one place. That’s it.
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill DeWit: You’re not reaching people. That’s really not a diaper change. However you want to say it, but then I have to just remind them, “Hey, let’s get your property out there to the planet. Not just this one little teeny group.”
Jack Butala: Yeah, there’s some A to B to C stuff that you can’t … That’s a perfect example of A to B to C. If you’re new, post it on these 10 sites, or whatever they are, and then … Exactly, Jill. That’s a great example.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Thank you.
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 diaper change. We’ve all done it.
Jill DeWit: That’s nice. Oh, we have. [crosstalk 00:15:37].
Jack Butala: I mean, that’s how you learn.
Jill DeWit: It’s totally.
Jack Butala: In the beginning you just see what you get away with. It’s human nature, man.
Jill DeWit: It’s just, it’s lazy. A classic is … Remember that woman that we had? Oh my gosh. That employee that lasted a day-and-a-half.
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: She was there having trouble with her monitor, and it’s because it’s shut off. Another staff member had to come over and point out, “Just push this button right here to turn your monitor back on.”
Jack Butala: I do, yeah.
Jill DeWit: I’m like, “Oh, no, no, no.” That was what I said. “This employee is not going to work out.”
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill DeWit: That’s a diaper change.
Jack Butala: Exactly.
Jill DeWit: That’s like, “Come on.” Sheer laziness. “What if I try to investigate this for just a second. My monitor’s not working. Maybe it’s not getting any power. Let’s start there.”
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: It’s so funny.
Jack Butala: I’ve got a million examples, a million examples of diaper changes. Again, a long time ago I heard this saying, humans are like electricity. They take the easiest path. We’re all guilty of that. There’s a lot of stuff in my life, I really, I try to take the easiest path, like shopping for food or any of that domestic stuff. It is, I am cutting corners and taking the easiest path. But when something’s important to you, and this stuff is super important to me, specifically the software piece of it and the data piece of it. I revel in it. I want to know the answers. I want to get in there and find out.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: Information and inspiration to buy undervalued property.

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