Jack’s Bad Behavior at Investor Meetups (CFFL 415)
Recording Location: LATITUDE / LONGITUDE: 33.788937, -118.410360
Jack Butala: Jack Butala with Jill DeWit.
Jill DeWit: Hello there.
Jack Butala: What the heck is that? Welcome to our show on Friday. This episode … I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in this episode, actually. Jill and I talk about my bad behavior. Jack’s bad behavior at investor meetups, because people lie.
Jill DeWit: It’s Jack’s bad behavior at fill-in-the-blank.
Jack Butala: Fill-in-the-blank, yeah, I knew you would say that. Before we get into it, though, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the LandInvestors.com online community. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: Mike wrote, “What level of due diligence are people using checking the title for their deals? I’m really struggling with analysis paralysis right now because I don’t feel comfortable I’m able to check, “Clear Title.” I thought maybe I missed something, so I went back to the program and the only thing in Section 7″ … Oh boy, talk about detail, this is great … “I found on it was the program states to call the county and ask them to verify the owner.”
Jack Butala: But yeah, the vesting deed scenario. And, no, you didn’t miss anything. Go ahead. Go ahead, Jill.
Jill DeWit: Nope. “I’ve also heard on the podcasts where they” … Us … “say to pull a report and check there. But the county I had apparently didn’t provide that info because there was nothing title-related that was in the report.” Hm, thank you.
Jack Butala: I put this question in.
Jill DeWit: This is good stuff. I have a lot to say about this.
Jack Butala: Yeah, it’s a longer question but it’s really worth it.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, we’re going to answer all of this. “Is anyone doing anything more than just calling the county to verify the owner name? If so, could I ask what and where? Are you requesting title abstracts? Are you finding counties that have their deeds available online and just going through those? Is anyone working in counties where the deeds aren’t online and the county isn’t providing anything?”
Jack Butala: God, there’s 25 great questions in this.
Jill DeWit: Uh-huh. “And to the data service for the report? If so, what are you doing? Just checking the current owner with the county and hoping there’s nothing off in previous transfers?” Okay, can we go piece by piece, please, Jack, and then we’ll each weigh in on this?
Jack Butala: Sure.
Jill DeWit: Okay, because this is really good stuff.
Jack Butala: We are going to spend a few minutes on this because it’s important as heck.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. This is kind of the meat of the show.
Jack Butala: Okay, I could behave bad any time.
Jill DeWit: We could say … Yeah, we could talk about that. But this really is really good stuff so I want to back up here. All right. Due diligence, what is this? This is making sure that the person you’re talking to that says, “Yes, I own the property,” not only owns the property, but they are the person or maybe it’s two people, the right people are involved to make the decision and it was transferred appropriately, correctly, all the way up until them. What you’re doing is making sure that … You know, you just want to make sure that when they bought the property there wasn’t anything crazy left over, any gaps in the chain, and all of that. Jack, you want to add on …
Jack Butala: A long time ago the federal government owned a piece of property that you’re about to buy. They chose to homestead it around the 1800s. At that point, somebody got it. Somebody bought it. They either homesteaded it or they bought it for a dollar an acre or five dollars an acre. From that point there’s been a chain of title. That guy owned it, then he deeded it to somebody. Then somebody got it, owned it for a while, then deeded it to somebody, and on and on and on. That’s called the chain of title. You want to verify that there were no breaks in the chain of title, that the person that now owns it and is about to convey it to you as the new owner is: A, does own it, and B, the allowable, legal party to convey the property to you. That’s what title insurance insures against. It insures against some of that stuff not being true. That being said, go ahead, Jill.
Jill DeWit: We are fortunate enough that we have access to this stuff. I don’t know if it’s really a secret, it’s just really a benefit to us. Jack and I have been able to get access to … I mean, you can go on the county and do your own due diligence for some counties but not in all counties. And some counties … It’s all different, too, by the way, the way they all input it, report it, all that good stuff. It’s not there. What we have is we have two ways of doing it. One is through …
Jack Butala: We’re soon to have three, but go ahead.
Jill DeWit: … through RealQuest Pro I can pull the information and through my favorite, is TitlePro247, which I think is what we’re working on, is going into doing our own title reports …
Jack Butala: Let me ask you real specific questions because you know more about this than I do, seriously. With RealQuest Pro and with TitlePro, I know you can pull the vesting deed for sure, and the vesting deed is the deed that, where the person that you’re talking to on the phone and you’re about to buy the property, do they own the property? You can confirm that very effectively.
Jill DeWit: Correct.
Jack Butala: Can you go back further about the chain of title and see who owns what there?
Jill DeWit: I go back, yes. The best for me is I go back into … especially if there’s any kind of a lien or mortgage stuff on there, you can see all of that. If you can pull a property report in TitlePro, it’ll go back a ways for you and show you prior ownership information. That’s the best. That’s how I do it.
Jack Butala: That’s what a title agent does.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: That is a title plan.
Jill DeWit: That’s what it’s for.
Jack Butala: Without getting into a tremendous amount of detail, that’s the basis for a title plan.
Jill DeWit: Right. Now having said that, one little thing I want to share here is …
Jack Butala: It’s not just that we have access, by the way, because Jill just said a second ago, “We have access to all that.” As a member of Land Academy, you have access to all of those tools also.
Jill DeWit: Correct.
Jack Butala: The same level of access that we have. It’s part of your subscription fee.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. Yeah, you know, that’s a good point. Jack and I never keep any of that from anybody. What you have is what I have.
Jack Butala: Exactly.
Jill DeWit: That’s it. One thing to point out is most title companies only go back 30 to 40 years, so please keep in mind, because this happens a good percentage of the time, you might be talking to Mr. and Mrs. Smith who have owned the property since 1962. If you’re staring at the vesting deed and Mr. and Mrs. Smith are alive and well and able to sign and it says 1962, I’m done.
Jack Butala: That’s a green flag for me. You know, we talk about red flags all the time. If you’re talking to somebody who’s on the property for ten, twenty years and they have a cute little story about how they bought it with their brother or something, you’re in good shape.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep, thank you very much. Yes, you do want to verify the owner and you know what … What’s really interesting, when we did the program two years ago we didn’t have all this right at our fingertips and that was the quickest way, was to call the county and just say, “I want to verify ownership information.”
Jack Butala: That’s right. We didn’t have TitlePro back then.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: We had RealQuest only.
Jill DeWit: Now that is still a very good way to do it, but an even faster way and you can do it on your own at midnight, is just pull it yourself, which is great. So I’ve covered that. Now, “You said on the podcast when we pull a report and check there” … Yep, that’s where I do that.
Jack Butala: That TitlePro?
Jill DeWit: Exactly. “But the county I had apparently didn’t provide that info because there was nothing title-related that was in the report.”
Jack Butala: Can you stop there for a second?
Jill DeWit: Sure, yeah, go for it.
Jack Butala: The county is not going to have access to a title report, all right? All the time we say, “Call the county if you’re wondering.” Nobody at the county has access to any title anything. The title report and the title insurance policies and all of that, the owner has. It never gets recorded.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. Is there anything … I’m going to go on to the next part of this here unless you think I missed anything.
Jack Butala: No.
Jill DeWit: Okay, good.
Jack Butala: Absolutely. This turned out to be a technical show.
Jill DeWit: It did.
Jack Butala: I thought it was going to be fun because it’s Friday.
Jill DeWit: Sorry. This is really good stuff, you know?
Jack Butala: This is stuff you’re interested in.
Jill DeWit: Well, yeah.
Jack Butala: I think it’s cool.
Jill DeWit: Because you know why? Mike is hung up on this, and I’m just trying … I’m sure Mike’s not alone. I am sure that there are many of our members that are a little nervous on this, and they were calling it analysis paralysis when I just think they’re just nervous, like, “Can I really trust this?” Yeah, let’s talk about this and here’s why. Okay.
“Is anybody doing anything more than just calling the county to verify the owner name?” Yeah, so again, although here’s what I did in the old days, and you’re right on this, Mike. In the old days Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I have the vesting deed, it’s from 1972 and I confirm the ownership. It’s still them. That’s it. I’m done.
Jack Butala: You’re done?
Jill DeWit: No, not done, but you know what I mean. It passed my test.
Jack Butala: Wow, our roles are reversed today.
Jill DeWit: I know. “Are you requesting title abstracts?” Only if there’s a red flag or only if it’s a big dollar amount or only if there’s something else going on.
Jack Butala: If there is a red flag like this, by the way, and it’s a property that you know you’re going to make a bunch of money on, order it. Just go through Title.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: If you get this far and you’re asking yourselves these questions, order a title. Just go get a title. [crosstalk 00:09:00]
Jill DeWit: Here’s the thing. When you’re asking yourself these questions, you shouldn’t be asking it on a property you’re buying for $200. But if you’re buying a property for $10,000 or $4,000 or $5,000 or $8,000 …
Jack Butala: Or a hundred million.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, now I’m asking these questions and I want to do this the right way, so yes. Or, too, like Jack was just saying …
Jack Butala: I was surprised at the end of this.
Jill DeWit: You know, it’s got to be a good deal for me to want to do this. I mean, even a $500 deal. If I have a $500 deal and it’s somebody passed on and there’s a Trust issue and all this stuff, I might not be doing that deal. But if it’s a couple thousand dollar deal because I’m going to stand to make $10,000, yep, all right, now I’m going to put in the extra work. This is some stuff you have to think about and that helps with your decision, because here’s the reality. What if I did something wrong and I’m out $250?
Jack Butala: Oh my goodness.
Jill DeWit: Oh my goodness. I bet that next deal’s going to make up for that deal and then some, so it’s okay. I want you to know that when you’re in this fear analysis paralysis stage, that should help be part of your decision.
Jack Butala: Plus there’s a bunch of mail that’s going to come tomorrow with a bunch of signed offers in it, if you’re doing everything right and sending a lot of offers out. If you’re hung up on one just throw it away.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Exactly, pass.
Jack Butala: Move on to the next deal.
Jill DeWit: “Is anybody working in counties,” … I’m going to go on so I’m wrapping up these questions, here. This is the end of it. “Is anybody working in counties where the deeds aren’t online and the counties don’t provide anything to the service for the report?”
Jack Butala: Absolutely. Heck, yes.
Jill DeWit: “What are you doing? Just checking the current owner with the county and hoping there’s nothing off on previous title transfers?”
Jack Butala: We just signed up with a company called Data Trace. And Data Trace is the title plan company in this country. TitlePro is not and RealQuest, that’s not their focus at all. They’re a data company. But when you talk about abstracts and title plans and hard-to-get information on property that’s rural, Data Trace is the answer. I’ve had series after series of conference calls with everybody from up and down the chain over there, and we will release a product with Title Mind that provides exactly what you’re talking about. You type in the assessor’s parcel number and the state county. You’ll either see a ton of information there that’ll satisfy you, or you’re going to need to request more, in which case I’m going to recommend at that point that you just find somebody to do it. We provide a super simple solution to do that, also.
Mike, with no last name by the way, I understand your point completely and you’re not the first person who’s asked this. It’s nebulous, isn’t it, this whole title business? You know, there is intentionally … It’s like, “What’s a title?” Then it’s called a clouded title. It’s in the clouds. It’s not like … I’m an accountant, you know?
Jill DeWit: It sounds scarier than it is for some reason.
Jack Butala: Yeah, and it’s not like math where you can get to the bottom of it. “Oh yeah, that’s it. It’s a good deal.” “Is the title clear or not? Yes or no?” “Well, there’s this, but it seems like it’s okay.” That’s the answer I always get.
Jill DeWit: Oh, no.
Jack Butala: That is the reason that Title Mind is here now.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, you should be able to. It’s not scary. All you’re doing is making sure that that name matches that name, matches that name, matches that name. You’re working backwards to make sure this person bought it from that one, got it. Okay, he bought it from that one. Got it. He bought it from that one. Got it. Until I hit ‘X’ number of years that satisfies my criteria. Then I’m good.
Jack Butala: Here’s the takeaway from this, Mike, and everybody else. 95% of the problems that you could theoretically ever have … And by the way, we’ve done 15,000 deals and never … I’m knocking on wood … never had a problem with anything like this … 95% of all your concerns are related to this one fact, is the person that’s going to convey the property to you the person that you’re talking on the phone with? And if the answer is yes, you’re sure, Sally Smith is deeding it to you and Sally Smith’s on the end of the phone and you send a notary out there and the whole thing, 95 to 98 to 99% you will never talk about this deal again. The problems come, and you find out really fast if the recorder’s sharp, that the person who is trying to convey the property to you is the niece of the …
Jill DeWit: … is the grandson …
Jack Butala: … yes. Smoke all of that real fast.
Jill DeWit: “Grandpa said to sell it for her.” It’s just like, wait a minute. Hold on a moment. You are not the decision-maker. This is not the right thing.
Jack Butala: While this is an awesome question, it’s largely academic. In reality, you’re burning through this stuff. Jill’s right, if this gets all screwed up and you lose two or three hundred bucks or five thousand bucks, so what. Open another letter and move forward. If you have a question or you want to be on the show, reach out to either one of us on LandInvestors.com. Man, we blew this show on this topic. I mean, on this question.
Jill DeWit: That was good. No, that was good, though. We did it in reverse. That was the meat of the show. Now we’ll do the fun of the show, which is your bad behavior.
Jack Butala: Jill and I, for fun sometimes, we go to these investor meetups, these real estate investor meetups, either on Meetup.com or … You know, because we see you on TV.
Jill DeWit: We get reached out in email and things like that. We get invites to all kinds of stuff.
Jack Butala: And we go to the Hilton and we sit there and we listen to these people spew garbage. This is a rant show for me, you know what?
Jill DeWit: I guess that’s what this is. This is .. Jack, we’re just going to call it Rant Friday, or something Friday.
Jack Butala: Yeah, Friday Rant. Anyway, it’s very for me. I never go alone because I can’t contain my disgust, but Jill and I go together and it’s amazing to me the stuff that people stand up on the stage and have no transaction experience at all. And they say, “You can flip a house.” “How many houses have you flipped, then?” “Oh, I’ve flipped a lot.” “Really? How many?” “Oh, I’ve flipped a lot of houses, sir.” “Oh.”
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: You’ve flipped none.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: And you’re 13 years old.
Jill DeWit: I know, exactly. Do you know what was so funny? When you wrote this title about the bad behavior I was thinking my comment is, how you act … Jack and I usually sit in the back of the room, too. We’re kind of just trying to be a fly on the wall and just kind of see what’s going on and what people are talking about and what they’re interested in.
Jack Butala: I think they’re lenders.
Jill DeWit: And how we can help.
Jack Butala: They always say, “We have this secret list.” There’s always a secret. “If you pay us we’ll give you the secret.”
Jill DeWit: Oh, yeah. You have to pay $10,000 and come back next week.
Jack Butala: I think they’re lenders. That’s what I think they are.
Jill DeWit: But what’s funny is this is how I imagine you in school, by the way, because you sit there and you get mad.
Jack Butala: I know.
Jill DeWit: You make noises.
Jack Butala: Really? I make noises?
Jill DeWit: You do. You’re like, “Ugh.” You throw your papers.
Jack Butala: Oh, geez. I didn’t know that.
Jill DeWit: It’s actually funny. No, you’re good. You roll your eyes. You are hilarious. You go, “Ugh.” You cross your arms.
Jack Butala: I just want the truth. We all just want the truth about stuff. Come on.
Jill DeWit: You know, it’s really funny the way you are. But it’s good. No, it’s really good. I wonder how many times … because you say it’s a one in ten scenario … I wonder how many people have recognized us. Because, especially when we’re together … When you and I walk around together it’s pretty easy. If anybody’s seen any of our stuff, it’s pretty easy to tell. “Oh, look who that is.” But they don’t come up. So I wonder how many people have noticed who we are in the back of the room but they don’t say anything.
Jack Butala: They always come up and say, “Are you the Land people?” I’m like, “That’s a good phrase.”
Jill DeWit: The few that do.
Jack Butala: We are the Land people.
Jill DeWit: That’s where I had said, “Yes, we are the Land people. that’s our thing.” Land people, mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jack Butala: I’ll try to curb my behavior next time. Or maybe not. You know what I should probably do in the end is just, if it’s that disgusting, is just walk out. I’m trying to learn, though. Honest to God, I’m trying to learn how not to do this and how not to come off, you know?
Jill DeWit: Why?
Jack Butala: In our stuff.
Jill DeWit: Oh.
Jack Butala: I don’t want to come off all sales-y, ever, because our crap’s actually really useful or we don’t release it. There’s no sales pitch to it. If you don’t see what we offer as a tool to succeed …
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: That’s my question to all these people. “Okay, great, so you can flip houses and make money. I know that. What tools do I need?” “What do you mean tools? You get in your car and you drive for dollars.” No, no, that’s not a tool.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: I want data or a cheaper way to drive to dollars, then, if you believe in that thing, which I don’t.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: It’s all philosophy and no reality.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I agree. What you said, I mean, that’s really who are. We’re here solving problems because our people ask for them and we need them, too. That’s it. We’re not here to sell a bunch of whatever. Tell people that, “You’ve got to have this fancy knife. It’s going to replace your …” No, that’s not our thing.
Jack Butala: Yeah, or, “You need this special list. If you send all these people a postcard on this special list that we’ve preset for you and pre-identified and presorted, then you’re going to buy a property.”
Jill DeWit: I’ve had people ask me that. “Can I just buy it?”
Jack Butala: I know, I have people ask me that all the time.
Jill DeWit: I’m like, “No. Hell, no.”
Jack Butala: Why? Why would I? What we do here is we show you and teach you how to make your own list from the assessor database in the best, most efficient way possible. It’s not about us. This show is not about us. It’s about these people that just don’t have any clue about this.
Jill DeWit: Well, my thing is, too, if you’re getting a list, quote unquote, from somebody else, you don’t know what’s not on there that you might need. You don’t know how they sorted and did all that stuff. You really need to do this yourself.
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill DeWit: You need to make sure you’re getting the right people, the right parcels, all the right data that you need to make your decision and make your offers.
Jack Butala: And then you need access to an environment where other people are doing the same thing so you all can learn together, and then if a couple of you are successful and you get along, do it together. I mean, that’s what we’re providing, is an environment for that. Why … We’re the only ones. We’re the only ones. If anybody knows any other environment that’s doing this I’d love to hear it, because I’ll join.
Jill DeWit: I believe it’s true.
Jack Butala: There’s BiggerPockets, but BiggerPockets is just a big pile of …
Jill DeWit: It’s got a little right now and not everybody is really nice in there and supportive and helpful.
Jack Butala: I’ve noticed that, too.
Jill DeWit: You know what? It’s almost a little more sales-y sometimes. I feel like, “Oh, you’re just trying to sell me. You’re with Yellow Letters. Okay, great. You’re really not helping me.” Or something like that. And then some people are just not nice. I don’t really know what they’re angle is, but …
Jack Butala: I don’t know the anger is. There’s a lot of anger in BiggerPockets, Jill. I’ve noticed that, the same thing, really in the last two or three months.
Jill DeWit: Well, I’ll tell you this …
Jack Butala: Probably because they got swindled.
Jill DeWit: If you’re looking for a good environment, the right environment, where there’s a ton of free stuff and a lot of help, go to LandInvestors.com and it’s not up … It’s coming right now. It’s going to be an awesome site.
Jack Butala: It might be up now.
Jill DeWit: A great community and answers, so if it’s not up and available where you can just join in and start doing some stuff right now, put your email address in and you will be notified when it is, because it’s going to be awesome. That’s going to be the catchall, one big place. Thank you.
Jack Butala: Information and inspiration to buy undervalued property. You know, that show turned out great because we actually did … It was actually meaningful. If it was 20 minutes of me ranting, then that wouldn’t be good.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: Instead it was only, like, three minutes.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. It was enough fun stuff to talk about, but more information and that’s I think what everybody wants.
Jack Butala: Great week, Jill. Very prosperous week. We got a lot of stuff done.
Jill DeWit: Thank you, Jack. I appreciate that. Information and inspiration to buy undervalued property.
Jack Butala: Nice.
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.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes.