Jack’s Top Land Investor Tips  (CFFL 421)

Jack’s Top Land Investor Tips  (CFFL 421)

Jack Butala:                       Jack [inaudible 00:00:00] with Jill DeWit.

Jill DeWit:                           Hi.

Jack Butala:                       Welcome to our show today. On this episode, Jill and I talk about Jack’s top land investor tips.

Jack is me.

Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the landacademy.com online community, it’s free.

Jill DeWit:                           Okay. Stacy asks, “Buying land from the MLS is no longer feasible in my area. I know you guys send offers out to owners and hope for the best. What happens when this is no longer working for you? What then?”

That’s hilarious. I don’t think it’s gonna end, but okay.

Jack Butala:                       Oh my gosh, so, I guess we agree on this, so.

Jill DeWit:                           Totally.

Jack Butala:                       I don’t think it’s gonna … 148 million properties out there, in this country, anyway.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       And Real Quest is constantly working on different ways in different countries to create world-class data like they have in the US here, so.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       I’m not sure that sending offers out to owners is ever really gonna go out of style, do you think, Jill?

Jill DeWit:                           Only if the mail stops. Then we’ll have another workaround. So it’s like, that won’t happen anyway.

What I have a funny comment, though, too, is, I love how she says, “the MLS is not working” in her area. I don’t think the MLS is working in most areas.

Jack Butala:                       Thank you.

Jill DeWit:                           So.

Jack Butala:                       When did it work? When is it … the MLS really ever work?

Jill DeWit:                           It back when when there were no other options, I’m sure.

Jack Butala:                       Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                           You know, you had no other way to find, you know. But even then, you could’ve been mailing letters and offers.

Jack Butala:                       I think so too, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                           We just didn’t have that data that we have today.

Jack Butala:                       Right.

Jill DeWit:                           And the way to sort it, and scrub it, and really fine-tune it to exactly what we want. You know, I coulda, twenty years ago, sprayed the neighborhood, like Luke says, or you say, you know.

Jack Butala:                       It conjures up such a funny image, spraying the neighborhood.

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly. I coulda sprayed the whole neighborhood and seen what comes back, but, you know nowadays we can get real specific.

Jack Butala:                       Member we used to have that slogan, that saying, called, “get there first”?

Jill DeWit:                           Yeah.

Jack Butala:                       So with the MLS, somebody else got there before you. As an investor, a realtor got there first. They started talking to the owner first, and convinced them that they’re property is probably worth more than news. Or God knows what they convinced them of.

Jill DeWit:                           Do you know what’s funny? I am positive that right now today, there are tons of people that have alerts on their phones and their computers that every time a listing pops in the MLS, they get a notice, cause they want to try to jump on it. And you and I know that, that’s not how you should be doing it.

Jack Butala:                       I am honestly one of those people.

Jill DeWit:                           Why do you … You just want to see it for pricing purposes, don’t you?

Jack Butala:                       I do. So here’s what I … My little sister, as you know, Jill, but listener may or may not know-

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       -she’s a very successful realtor in Northern Michigan. Way Northern Michigan. And so there’s a lot of land up there. More in like the developed areas in the Southern part of the state, so. One time, and this was like two years ago, I’m talking to her, and we’re talking … ‘Cause she doesn’t understand this land thing, she never will. She’s just not set up that way. She’s a great real estate agent, though.

So she set me up in her system. I said, “I want two and a half to five acres. I want it for a $1,000 or less.” And that means they have some kind of water element to it, as an attribute. You can see the water, or it’s close by, or something. And so like, once a month, I get my phone payings, and some property goes into the MLS, and it goes out, in twenty seconds later. So, I’m not sure the MLS was ever … Even in the worst of times, I was getting pinged like that.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       I never got there fast enough. What that tells me is this. There’s willing sellers for awesome prices for great property, and that you need to get there first.

Jill DeWit:                           Right.

So what are you using the pings for? I guess that’s my question.

Jack Butala:                       To confirm what I just said.

Jill DeWit:                           Thank you.

Jack Butala:                       To myself, you know. I’m not doing it to do deals. I’m confirming it that, yup, Northern Michigan. And you can do this anywhere in the country.

Jill DeWit:                           There you go.

Jack Butala:                       Northern Michigan is the place to buy property. I just need to get there first. Letters need to go out. [crosstalk 00:04:17]

Jill DeWit:                           So we’re saying the same thing. You know, that makes sense.

Jack Butala:                       Yeah, totally.

Jill DeWit:                           You have the pings just to kind of go, “Wow, good that the…” You look at it like, “Oh wow, nice job, that guy got that deal, awesome.” ‘Cause you’re the one representing that person, or whatever it is. Is that … That’s how you use it, right? Not like, “Oh I’m gonna call that guy and take it off his hands.”

Jack Butala:                       Yes. No. You’re 100% right. I don’t care about that piece of property, specifically.

Jill DeWit:                           Thank you.

Jack Butala:                       All it is is a confirmation of the area … That people in that area? You know. My dream list of how to buy property there? It exists. All I need to do is send offers out.

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly. The answer to the question is, when this is no longer working, I don’t see it ever going away.

Jack Butala:                       I agree.

Jill DeWit:                           I really … This is one of those things that, the data is the data is the data. That’s not gonna change.

Jack Butala:                       Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jill DeWit:                           Maybe how we process it will change. And how we get offers to people might change.

Jack Butala:                       Right.

Jill DeWit:                           It … We might be someday texting these offers to people. You know, who knows how we’re all operating, but the jist of it’s not gonna change.

Jack Butala:                       That’s why I didn’t name one of our … The mail company. That’s why I named the company, Offers to Owners. ‘Cause we don’t know the medium. Like, “Click to Mail”? I don’t think that’s gonna be around for awhile.

Jill DeWit:                           Right.

Jack Butala:                       Forever. And “Yellow Letters”? I don’t think that’s gonna be around.

Jill DeWit:                           It’s true.

Jack Butala:                       But some way … You nailed it. Making offers to people will never go out of style.

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly.

Jack Butala:                       So, yeah. It’s a long way to answer that, but.

Jill DeWit:                           Thank you.

Jack Butala:                       If you have a question or you want to be on the show, reach out to either one of us, on landacademy.com. Today’s topic? Jack’s Top Land Investor Tips.

Jill DeWit:                           Okay can I take the reigns and-

Jack Butala:                       Yes please, because-

Jill DeWit:                           -ask you?

Jack Butala:                       -this is your show.

Jill DeWit:                           This is?

Jack Butala:                       Absolutely, yeah.

Jill DeWit:                           This is my show, which is your show.

Jack Butala:                       You designed the show, so yeah.

Jill DeWit:                           I did. I came up with these topics last week, ’cause there’s … And this is one of the things that I wanted to cover, ’cause this is important. I think everyone listening would love to know, what are your Top Land Investor Tips. Whether you’re new, old, been in this for business for awhile or are brand new, we all want to know. So, tell us please, Jack.

Jack Butala:                       Absolutely. So these tips are not … There’s not specific to new people. In fact, the people who have implemented these … There are three or four tips here that are imperative. They’re absolutely imperative, these three or four tips, and I’ve never seen anyone do well in land investing without doing these three or four things.

And it doesn’t apply to just new people, it applies to really seasoned people, in fact, to finish the thought, the people that have done the best in our group, since we started, are people who are well-seasoned and they come to us with a bunch of deals under their belt, but they just needed to hone their skills, and specifically, so.

Tip number one is, Learn to use data to generate under-valued deals.

I don’t care where you are in your career, this is super important. Learn to use data first.

You notice how we get questions constantly like, “How long does it take to turn my first deal? How much money do I need?” There’s a lot of really similar questions. I say, there’s only one real answer to all those types of questions: forget the questions. Learn to use data first. Understand that … Understand what an assessor’s database is, how to use it, how to price property. Really manipulate data to generate under-valued deals, and you’re gonna … You will feed your family for a long time.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       That’s the number one deal. The number one tip.

Jill DeWit:                           Love it.

Jack Butala:                       Shall we go on?

Jill DeWit:                           Yes.

Jack Butala:                       You just want … The whole meat of this, right?

Jill DeWit:                           I do. I’m like, “okay, gimme more, gimme more.” No, yeah. It’s all good.

Jack Butala:                       Good. Number two. And you should do all these thing simultaneously. While you’re learning to use data, put yourself in a group of people, that are way more experienced than you are, so that when you do generate these deals with this data, and you understand how to use it and what to do, these people, who are way more experienced than you … They’re gonna show you what to do with these deals, these under-valued pieces of real estate, when they come up.

Jill DeWit:                           Wait a minute, wait a minute. Won’t this be embarrassing, if I’m brand new and they’re so far ahead of me? No, I’m playing devil’s advocate here.

Jack Butala:                       Yeah, I know. I like it.

Jill DeWit:                           So wait. I’m brand new. I don’t want to sound like an idiot. What do you mean? You want me to hang out with these people?

Jack Butala:                       Yeah. Hang out and be an idiot.

Jill DeWit:                           All right.

Jack Butala:                       These people were all idiots too, not that long ago. Me included.

Jill DeWit:                           Maybe they still are.

Jack Butala:                       I’m not necessarily … Haven’t ever really graduated from that status.

Jill DeWit:                           They might still be idiots. Just kidding. They stumbled into something, I don’t know.

All right. So, okay. Even if I don’t know the lingo and I don’t know the terms, and I really don’t know what I’m doing, Jack, it’s okay to do this?

Jack Butala:                       Yup.

Jill DeWit:                           Mmkay.

Jack Butala:                       And if these people that are, you know … This experienced group of people that I’m talking about? I’m talking about everybody that’s success plan, by the way. For us, anyway. And you and I, Jill. I’m gonna use an example at the end of this of a deal that you and I are doing with somebody who absolutely followed these steps and who’s pretty much brand new at this and is gonna make a ton of money here in a minute.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       He’s from New York. Know who I’m talking about?

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       So, and then number three is, Establish a niche.

Every single person I know that is a land investor has somehow taken … I’ll give you a few examples in a second. Has somehow taken these basic concepts, like understanding data, getting offers in front of owners, and learning from people who are way more experienced, and they’ve found their little niche. Here’s an example.

There’s a person in our group, who is a former commissioner. Life-long career commissioner of a County, who loves the idea of sending offers. So he’s taken that little niche, his little understanding of that County and the surrounding Counties, and used it in that state in his own way. He didn’t copy exactly what we said. He took all the basic concepts and the relationships that he already has and he’s killing it now.

Here’s another example about establishing a niche. Same thing. This guy has a long history … He’s a young guy, but he’s got a relatively long, years-wise, long history with real auction like live auction companies, real estate companies. And so, now he’s behind their real estate, using these concepts. He’s in our group.

Jill DeWit:                           Why is it important to have a niche? I don’t … Can you … I mean … What if I just accept every offer that comes to me?

Jack Butala:                       You mean ….

Jill DeWit:                           I’m being devil’s advocate again.

Jack Butala:                       No, I understand. Like, what do you mean, accept every offer? Like as an acquisitions person?

Jill DeWit:                           Right. Why should I have a niche? Why shouldn’t I do an apartment building, and then a piece of land-

Jack Butala:                       Oh geez.

Jill DeWit:                           -and then something over here and over there?

Jack Butala:                       Yeah, I see what you mean. So, yeah, you can. You could. I don’t know anybody who’s successful who does all kinds of deals like that. You have to specialize in something.

Jill DeWit:                           That’s says it’s gonna say, you’ll never get to know one thing. You’ll be running around trying to learn this and learn that. And when you just … And like you and I have found, so many times, you’ve said this so often, that your niche will find you.

Jack Butala:                       Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                           You will find that … Oh man, I just realized nobody else knows how to do X, and I just figured it out. So, boy am I gonna make the most of this.

Jack Butala:                       Exactly, so. Our group, as you know, Jill, is packed full of people. We’re all land investors. But it’s packed full of people who have taken this basic stuff, the basic three step process: get data, send offers out, offers come back signed, negotiate deals and you resell them. They’ve taken that concept to … They all arrived to us with some stuff, with some type of concept of real estate investment. They applied that to those concepts and they’re killing it.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative). Thank you.

Jack Butala:                       That’s a niche, you know. I mean there’s people who buy trailer parks.

Jill DeWit:                           Right.

Jack Butala:                       That’s land. There’s people who buy the individual lots in trailer parks, in our group. There’s people who subdivide property by 40 acre properties and they cut it up into 5 acre properties. There’s people who quiet title property like a machine. There’s a group there, a small group that I think you know, Jill, of brand new investors in Colorado that are … All they do is quiet title property.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       So, you gotta find a little niche. Even in this in little land niche, you gotta find one that’s even smaller than that, I think.

Jill DeWit:                           I agree. Thank you.

Jack Butala:                       I don’t actually. I’m just softening it for you ’cause I’m talking to you.

Jill DeWit:                           Thank you.

All right, do you have other top tips?

Jack Butala:                       Yeah, the big picture concept on top of all of that is once you’ve got those things together: you’re using data, you’re practicing it, I don’t care if it takes six months- learn to use data. Put yourself, immerse yourself in people who are already doing it really well, and then establish that little niche as you go along. Could take a couple years, it will take a couple years, at least. While you’re doing this, in the back of your mind, think about how you’re gonna capitalize on that. What’s “capitalize” mean? Capitalize is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot, like “scalable.” Nobody really truly knows what it means unless you totally look it up and think about it. “Capitalize” means, in its simplest form, how you’re gonna make on it? How are you gonna change the value of what you’re looking at- not just mark it up and resell it- but change the value or the concept or add more value to it, to capitalize on it, to make it worth more to somebody. And that’s the deal, man. Those are my land investor tips.

Jill DeWit:                           Love it. Sometimes you make things better. Could it even just be having a better presentation?

Jack Butala:                       Yup.

Jill DeWit:                           Thank you.

Jack Butala:                       That’s a perfect 101 example of capitalizing on a piece of property. Sometimes it is as simple as this. You just bought it for way less than it’s actually worth. I don’t mean you have to put a house on it. But maybe your capitalization concept is that you send out 5,000 letters instead of 1,500 a month. And then you blow off every single piece of property that comes in, except the ones that are signed. And you have such a great system for getting signed offers to, and turning that into cold hard cash, maybe that’s the value you bring.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       Maybe the value is, you’re a [inaudible 00:15:08] splitting person. But you have to capitalize. You have to capitalize it in a way where you’re creating some value for yourself. Or else, why the hell would you do it?

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly.

Jack Butala:                       It’s a nebulous concept. It’s one that I love. We don’t talk about it enough.

Jill DeWit:                           You know what, it sounds so big. But it’s really not that big. You know what I mean? It sounds really big, but it really is simple.

Jack Butala:                       Right. Exactly, exactly.

Jill DeWit:                           Just figure out what you’re good at and run with it.

Jack Butala:                       Well said.

Jill DeWit:                           Thank you.

Jack Butala:                       Join us another episode where Jack and Jill discuss how to use information, that’s me.

Jill DeWit:                           And information and paraphrasing, 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:                       And even though it’s Monday, you are not alone in your real estate ambition. I know you have a packed schedule today, and so do I.

Jill DeWit:                           We both do, it’s gonna be crazy.

Jack Butala:                       I know. I’ll talk you soon.

Jill DeWit:                           Okay thanks. Bye.

Jack Butala:                       Information and inspiration to buy under-valued 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 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.