Real Estate Business on the Side
Jack Butala: Jack Butala and Jill DeWit.
Jill DeWit: Happy Friday.
Jack Butala: Not only is it Friday, the next time we do this show, 2017.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. Our last show this year.
Jack Butala: This is my favorite time of year. Right at the end here where you get to plan the next year, do some budgets.
Jill DeWit: This is also show 365. Isn’t that kind of cool?
Jack Butala: Yeah. I didn’t even notice that. Anyway, that’s very fitting. The new year is coming. Anyway, we’ll get into that in a second.
Jill DeWit: We’ll talk about that.
Jack Butala: Welcome to the show today, and before we get all silly because it’s Friday and almost a new year, before we actually do all that, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the landacademy.com online community Jill. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: Is it?
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Is it now? Yes, so sign in. By the way, do you have some questions?
Jack Butala: It’s expensive as hell for us, but we provide it for free like everything. In Land Academy, we subsidize Land Academy for you.
Jill DeWit: That’s true. Because you will come forward with a good deal someday, and it all pays off for everyone. That’s true. Claire said, hi Claire, “My buyer from a few months ago never recorded their deed and now I’m getting tax bills. How should I handle this? Should I contact the buyer to remind them?”
Jack Butala: You can go both ways on this. My policy has been, and I guess our corporate policy probably still is. I’d have to check with the people who are running that right now.
Jill DeWit: Because it’s not us.
Jack Butala: I just look at the numbers, and our refunds are really low and all the things. We just leave it alone.
Jill DeWit: We do.
Jack Butala: If it gets really, really bad, we might contact them years later, but this falls into the category of these problems usually rectify themselves. There’s a bunch of risks with calling up, and I’m assuming this is a retail buyer. If it’s a wholesale buyer, I would absolutely contact them. Somebody who’s in the business of, you sold a lot of properties to them, you’re on a first name basis. I would just shoot them a little note, but if it’s a retail buyer, they don’t understand [inaudible 00:02:15] instructions to stuff. It’s a sleeping dogs lie situation for me. Jill, what do you think?
Jill DeWit: First thing too. The first couple times I don’t even address it because often there’s a lag. It might be recorded and the assessor data hasn’t all caught up yet, and I’m getting the first wave. I really do nothing. Our team does noting on that first wave because it could be done.
Jack Butala: That literally on a personal note happened to Jill and I with a house that we owned, we still own. It just didn’t get … The assessor is usually a year late. Not a year late, they’re just a year, sometimes two years behind recorders, so you just don’t get a tax bill until maybe a year later, two years later, and you get it and it’s like, well it’s twice as much as you thought it would be. You got to ante up, but first thing is I think, “What, do they reassess this and now I have to pay double?” That literally happened. That’s the only downside to that. I don’t know.
Jill DeWit: I think you answered it perfectly. They never recorded their deed, and like I said Jack, I still … Claire’s busy. I know Claire. Claire’s busy, so seriously.
Jack Butala: Claire is one of our original members, and she’s extremely successful.
Jill DeWit: I’ll tell you, I’ll be honest. I don’t care if it’s wholesale or retail. On the first wave, I’m doing nothing. Because I’m assuming they did everything right and then maybe behind. Now six months or so go by, and I get another one. If it’s a retail person, you know what? What I would do is even easier. I’m not going to reach out to them. I’m going to put this in an envelope, and I’m going to forward it to them saying, “Hey, don’t forget. This is yours.”
Jack Butala: That’s the way to do it. Jill, that’s brilliant.
Jill DeWit: Thank you. See? There’s a reason why I’m here.
Jack Butala: There’s a reason why you deal with the customers and I don’t.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. I’m not going to call them and reexplain it. I’m going to go, “Hey, make sure you recorded the deed, because I’m still getting these. Have a nice day!” That’s it. Like you said, the only time I really might help someone if it’s now eight years down the road and it’s going to be, “Hey, it’s going to go back for non-payment of taxes and the county is going to take it,” then I’m going to be like, “Look, you either are gone, something happened.” Did something happen to the person too and then we’ll figure that out later, but I might do a little more.
Jack Butala: You might buy it back. If there’s some kind of scenario. We’ve done that in the past.
Jill DeWit: That’s what I was going to say. Then the weird, crazy, kooky thing could be that somebody did pass on and it’s still in your name, and you might still own it. Even though they paid you, yeah you want to make sure the family and everybody’s on board, because they could find the deed and come back and say, “What?” Good stuff.
Jack Butala: If you have a question or you’d like to be on the show, reach out to either one of us on landacademy.com. Today’s topic, and this is [inaudible 00:05:01] the show on Friday here before 2017. Why this little business that we have is the perfect side business to anything that most people are doing right now. Jill, I came up with this topic because we did a show similar to this I don’t know, eight or nine months ago, and it continues to rise up, this topic continues to rise up to one of the top five most listened to shows we’ve ever done or episodes we’ve ever done, so I figured we’d talk about it for a few minutes again and maybe clarify it or build on it. That show was almost a year ago. What makes it you think a perfect side business for busy people with other careers let’s say?
Jill DeWit: Well, I was going to say that is the reason I think it’s a perfect side business because you can spend four hours a week on this. You can spend 40 hours a week on this. It’s really up to you and how far you want to take it.
Jack Butala: It occurred to me just now that this was my side business, and it was your side business then too a lot of years later.
Jill DeWit: You’re right.
Jack Butala: Describe your situation. This is perfect.
Jill DeWit: That’s really funny. I had a day job basically, a 9:00 to 5:00 day job, and I would set my laptop open on the desk behind me where on …
Jack Butala: Did you really?
Jill DeWit: I really did. I whipped my chair around. Seriously, I had a table behind me set up. This was later on. Let me back up. In the very beginning, it was only evenings and weekends. Evenings and weekends, I would take in the property, post the property. I had auctions closing. It was a lot of Ebay back then, and I could … It was usually Sunday nights at six o’clock, so I had to be around Sunday nights at six o’clock. I would be somewhere where I could get to the computer and send in the payment and the deed information, so right when they checked out, when they won the auction, they could quickly make payment and I could be doing the deed. I’d say, “Okay, it’ll happen within 48 hours,” whatever it is. I’d get to it some evening that next week after they paid and I got the deed information on Tuesday, do the deed and send it to them.
That was it, and then buying the properties, that was you, you feeding me the deals basically to purchase the properties. Then it grew into more than just evening. All right, I’m just doing this like … It was one a week. That was a one a week deal making probably $1,000 a week.
Jack Butala: Yeah, that’s about right. I remember those times.
Jill DeWit: [inaudible 00:07:36] I’m going, “Huh, $1,000 a week. Okay, let’s think about this.” Because bottom, it was like buying them, I’m really buying them for $400. Remember those? $400, $500, and selling them for like $1,400.
Jack Butala: Yeah, that’s about right.
Jill DeWit: It was what was going on. Because I remember you looking at me going … Because it was great. It was you threw some property at me just to see what would happen, and you’re like, “Hey, what are you doing over there?” And I’m like, “Hey, it’s going really great, thanks.” Then that’s I think when you kind of realized, “Hey, you’re actually good at this stuff.”
Jack Butala: That’s what happen. You dramatically enhanced. This was during the economic downturn. Before that when I started in the ’90s, I built a massive company, but doing that downturn, we just [grassroots’d 00:08:19] it.
Jill DeWit: Roots’d it.
Jack Butala: It’s basically started over, and you killed it in a word, in two words.
Jill DeWit: Then you said, “Well shucks, I just gave you those things I didn’t really care about kind of thing. Let’s see what you can do with these.” Then I started to go, “Okay.” That’s what I started to do, and then I had to be …
Jack Butala: Because I can buy them. I can buy them cheap all day.
Jill DeWit: I had to be more accessible. It wasn’t just an Ebay thing. Now we’re talking some good properties, some 40s and some 40 acres and some things like that.
Jack Butala: Put the websites up and change the names of the websites and stuff, and put them up, and man.
Jill DeWit: Making my phone ring. Now we’re like-
Jack Butala: That was all in like two weeks.
Jill DeWit: Because in the beginning, it wasn’t even a phone number. Remember that?
Jack Butala: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jill DeWit: I didn’t even have a phone number so I didn’t have to talk to anybody. They just checked out and paid, and that was it. This is perfect for this. That’s how little I put into it. Then I grow into, “All right, this is actually working.” This is I think what a lot of our members do. They say, “All right, now I’m going to put a little more into this. I’m going to pay attention.” I proved the theory clearly. Now I’m going to do this, and so that’s what it … Then I started to, I needed to be able to return phone calls on my breaks. I had my computer right there where I was monitoring emails and doing things like that. I would still, the bulk of my work, the busy work like the reviewing the deals, doing my due diligence would happen on my off time from work and posting properties on my off times. This is how you can do it too, and just be available during the day for the people that need to speak to me during the day kind of thing.
Jack Butala: If you’re in any type of sales, real estate sales or anything else, this is really easy to accomplish. I mean it’s easy to accomplish anyway. It takes a little bit more structure and some patience, but if you’re a natural salesperson, like David one of our newer members who’s doing really well is an outside sales person in a car lot. It’s just a natural extension. He’s killing it. It’s a great side business. Here’s some other reasons that I … When I started, because it was my side business when I started in the ’90s too. There’s no real capital that’s required. The old way was you had to raise some capital and put a team together and get some office space and all the stuff has to happen before you ever make dollar one.
What’s great about this business is that you already have a computer. You don’t need any employees. Slapping up a website costs maybe $200. It’s pretty simple with the right direction to get this whole thing started for a very small amount of money, a couple thousand bucks maybe. If you have some experience, maybe a little bit more, and then revenue can happen as early as 30 days after that, 30 to 60 days from the second you start. It really is in my opinion a great side business.
Some of the reasons that it wouldn’t be a good side business are all personality-based. I’ve seen people try to do this that know nothing about computers or aren’t good time organizers, and this is not for them. Maybe they don’t need to own any business then, not just this.
Jill DeWit: Slash however, we have people though, and we talk about this too. Just because that’s not your forte then you just need to find that person that can do that.
Jack Butala: We have a couple of people, several people who are the … Their husband and wife or their significant other.
Jill DeWit: [inaudible 00:11:39] Brothers.
Jack Butala: Yeah. They’re like Jill and I. Jill is great at sales and I’m not so great. I’m good at acquisitions, so you can get around it that way, but I really think if you’re going to be the nucleus of it, you need to know some stuff about computers. At least not hate computers, let’s say that.
Jill DeWit: True. We come back to that too. You need to be able to drive a stick and understand it a little bit. You don’t have to be able to take the engine apart, but you need to understand some of that.
Jack Butala: I’ve always loved buying stuff cheap. I’m not a cheap person because I’ll spend money on stuff that matters. I just love real estate too. I guess that’s part of it.
Jill DeWit: I’m trying to think of the big picture way to wrap this up. I did a whole series on this in our newsletters that start to finish, you could slowly, methodically, two to four hours on a weekend. In 45 days, you can figure out how to select a county, how to get the mailers out, feel the phone calls coming back, buy a property, post a property and sell a property. You don’t have to go crazy, and I think that’s a lot of it is the key. Like you just said Jack, you don’t have to have a huge team and $100,000 of capital.
Jack Butala: You shouldn’t have that. Don’t go do that.
Jill DeWit: Don’t go crazy.
Jack Butala: Get that first deal done. I’ve seen people, when you get that first deal done and you make, I don’t care if it’s you make $300 or $400 to convince your wife that this works. If you aren’t addicted after that first one or two deals like, “Wow, wait a second.” If you don’t sit down with a little solar-powered calculator and say, “I just made $1,500 on that deal pretty fast and everybody is happy, and I have all of maybe eight hours into this whole thing because it’s my first one? Well, what if I did eight of these a month and now I’m making 10 grand a month? Well, wait a minute. I only make $7,000 at my job.” If that’s not the kind of stuff that starts going through your head, [crosstalk 00:13:50] this is not for you.
Jill DeWit: That’s not motivating to you. That’s funny.
Jack Butala: Then it’s like, “Well, wait a minute. If I get the computer system and a whole thing with this and I … [crosstalk 00:14:01] aimed at $40,000 or $50,000 a month at this if I actually really put some time in it and made a machine together.” That’s the reaction that you want to have, and that’s what our very successful members, the top tier members that they think that way. Everybody without exception started this as a side business, and that’s why I think this topic does so well for us or has for the last eight months.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: You don’t want to start this as … You do not want to quit your job. Do not do this: quit your job, take the $20,000 that you might have or [inaudible 00:14:37]
Jill DeWit: Clean out your 401K.
Jack Butala: Yeah, do not do any of that.
Jill DeWit: Borrow from your in laws and take a second out on your house. Do not do that.
Jack Butala: Do not extend your credit cards. Don’t do any stuff like that at all. Start this as a side business, get one or two deals under your belt, and I mean acquisitions and sales, and see if you are addicted.
Jill DeWit: This is why I think this is a great topic too and I think why people love [ours 00:15:03] so well. You buy one for $1,000. You sell it for two. Do it again. Now you have four. We’ve heard this before. Then you have eight. Then you have 16. Now you have 32. Now you have 64. We could start making some different decisions now.
Jack Butala: It’s a blackjack dream.
Jill DeWit: Let’s think about this. Now I have $64,000 in the bank, just repeating the same thing over and over again. Do I want to keep going? Do I want to do some payments? Do I want to start looking at buying some different types of properties?
Jack Butala: Maybe I try it in a different county in Ohio, all that stuff.
Jill DeWit: Anything. It is really a great side thing. It’s funny. What I find really interested is a number of people in our group, in our world that started off with this thinking that, “You know, I really just want to get my kids’ college funds taken care of. I only want to bring in enough to offset my mortgage.” It’s funny. They’re like, “What?” All of a sudden, and then it takes over, and they’re like, “Shoot, I’m going to retire now on this. I just realized the money I could make based on what I was going to get …” If they even still have a pension, with a pension and all that stuff. This is better.
Jack Butala: I started with one piece of property like the ebook says, and I doubled my money on it, or I made like 81.8%, I mean … I made 1.8, times 1.8. I started having thoughts that I just described and went and bought a bunch of properties up in Northern Arizona. This is all from Pennsylvania. Then I said, “Okay, well I really want to do this,” so I started selling property and selling it on Ebay and some other places on the internet, and this is literally what happened. After about six or eight months, I looked at my bank account because I had a full time job as an investment banker.
Jill DeWit: You weren’t needing the money. You weren’t spending the money. It was just sitting there.
Jack Butala: I had $500,000 in my checking account from this. Literally, $560,000. I’ll never forget the time I checked it. This is not when you check your bank balance on the internet. This is a while ago. This is when you know. You’ll make a deposit or something, or at least I didn’t. I wasn’t smart enough to do it back then.
Jill DeWit: [inaudible 00:17:19] Had a little booklet?
Jack Butala: Yeah. I don’t even think I ever had the booklet. I just think you go in, and you check your bank balance at an ATM machine.
Jill DeWit: Or you’d walk in and say, “How much is in there?”
Jack Butala: I actually quit my job that week and I said … Because I knew exactly where to buy a lot more property just like that I mean that day. Now I had a bunch of money doing … It didn’t all dawn on me until I looked at that bank balance and said, “This side business is now not a side business anymore.”
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: I had somebody reach out to me on email. I think you may or may not have been copied on this, but it’s somebody that you and I have communicated with. They’re not in our group. His name is Josh. [inaudible 00:18:07] an email that said this, “It’s time …” This exact thing that’s happening to him.
Jill DeWit: I was CC’d on this.
Jack Butala: I’m now making whatever. I don’t remember the numbers. It was a lot, more than $10,000 or $15,000 in payments a month. He’s turning [inaudible 00:18:20] for cash properties sales are way more than that every month. He’s like, “You guys obviously know what you’re doing, so can we just sit down and talk a little bit?” I said, “Heck yes.” I don’t even care if he ever becomes a member or not. That’s why we’re here, and when that happens, man, what a great feeling. When it all just falls in place. It’s sort of on accident. You’re just going through the motions because it makes sense to you.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. It’s perfect.
Jack Butala: Actually Jill, it’s a perfect show for … 2017 is Monday, right? This is Friday.
Jill DeWit: Shucks so, hello. [crosstalk 00:18:58] You’re right.
Jack Butala: No, Sunday. It’s Sunday, right?
Jill DeWit: You’re right, right, right, Sunday.
Jack Butala: It’s two days from now. 2017 is two days.
Jill DeWit: If you’re right now sitting, thinking about some changes and doing some stuff different, trying something, whatever, in 2017, this might be it. Well, you’re listening to us for a reason. This might be something for you.
Jack Butala: Don’t quit your job.
Jill DeWit: Don’t do that.
Jack Butala: Don’t join our group either. Try to sell a property on Craigslist.
Jill DeWit: Join the free group. Yes, you should.
Jack Butala: Well I mean, join the free group for sure, but I’m saying don’t spend any money.
Jill DeWit: Read it. Read our ebook if you haven’t already done that, and get in our free online community and start poking around and seeing what everybody else is doing. Ask all the questions, dream it up, ask away. See if this is for you.
Jack Butala: Well said.
Jill DeWit: Good luck. You might make some money next year on this.
Jack Butala: Be careful. [crosstalk 00:19:50] You might make some money.
Jill DeWit: Be careful what you wish for.
Jack Butala: Join us in another episode where Jack and Jill discuss how to use information, and that’s me.
Jill DeWit: And inspiration, that’s me.
Jack Butala: And just about anything you want.
Jill DeWit: We use it every day to buy a property for half of what it’s worth and sell it immediately.
Jack Butala: You are not alone in your real estate ambition.
Jill DeWit: Last show this year. Oh my gosh.
Jack Butala: I’m going to come over and kiss you on the air. Can I? Can I?
Jill DeWit: Oh my gosh. Seriously? No. I mean seriously? It’s like, thank you.
Jack Butala: That’s how happy I am with 2016 and how anxious, not anxious but, how excited I am about 2017.
Jill DeWit: I wonder how many of our listeners said, “Oh, it’s like mom and dad.” [crosstalk 00:20:36] Like, “Oh no.”
Jack Butala: Like the kids do. God, he’s kissing her again.
Jill DeWit: Here we go again. Get a room.
Jack Butala: Turn this off.
Jill DeWit: I’m going to throw up in my mouth again.
Jack Butala: You know what? If one of the kids kissed somebody too, I’d throw up in my … [crosstalk 00:20:55] I get it. I get the point.
Jill DeWit: Oh, I would. I’d be like, “Ah.” Exactly. My dad used to have this way of dipping my mom. He’d really would just kind of dip her, and it was very sweet. They liked it, and it was really … One of them, I don’t know. Anyway.
Jack Butala: My mom used to have this real specific way of smacking my dad.
Jill DeWit: Oh, really?
Jack Butala: It wasn’t for fun either.
Jill DeWit: It wasn’t a pat on the rear.
Jack Butala: No. It wasn’t in admiration.
Jill DeWit: Got it. That’s really interesting.
Jack Butala: We’ll leave it on that. Information and inspiration to buy under value property. [crosstalk 00:21:34] Happy ’17, yeah.
Jill DeWit: Happy new year.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at jack@LandAcademy.com.
I would like to think it’s entertaining and informative and in the end profitable.
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