Why Solid Data Beats a VA Any Day (CFFL 423)
Jack Butala: Jack Butala and Jill DeWit.
Jill DeWit: Hi there.
Jack Butala: Welcome to our show today. In this episode, Jill and I talk about why solid data beats a VA any day. Hey, catchy … That’s a catchy, little title, Jill. Thank you.
Jill DeWit: Did I do that? Did you tweak it?
Jack Butala: I don’t know. I think you did.
Jill DeWit: Okay, good. Thank you.
Jack Butala: Hey, before you answer it, though, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the Landinvestors.com online [inaudible 00:00:26]
Jill DeWit: What the heck?
Jack Butala: Landinvestors.com online community. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: How are you doing today, Jack? You guys stopped drinking in the mornings.
Jack Butala: Wouldn’t that be great? I’m going to put that on the calendar for us. Drunk morning.
Jill DeWit: There we go. Drunk recording. We’re going to have a drunk Friday or something. That’s great.
Jack Butala: I’d love that. You sign me up for that, owner. You own the company. You tell me when … I’ll still show up for that.
Jill DeWit: That’s going to be a new thing. Don’t ask them anything, it’s drunk Friday. Or they will come to us, say, “Ask for a raise today it’s drunk Friday.”
Jack Butala: Ask for a raise. It’s just like poke the circus animals with a stick.
Jill DeWit: Okay, all right. Jordan asked, “In the standard letter included with the package that Jack goes over in section five, there’s a paragraph about how they’ve been buying land for 20 years etc. The problem, of course, is that while it’s obviously true for them, it’s not true for the vast majority of us, who now have this course, or else we wouldn’t have needed to purchase this.” Cute. “I don’t really feel like I could include this verbiage, aside from the ethical issue, quite frankly. Is it just like an easy lie to get caught in?” We didn’t mean it like that anyway. “How do you guys assuming-
Jack Butala: No, it’s an easy lie. He’s right, go ahead.
Jill DeWit: “How do you guys assuming most of you use this letter handle this? Just take that paragraph out all together? Modify it? To reflect less experience, but somehow still finesse it so that you don’t sound like a beginner? Would be interested to here any ideas. Thanks.” I think-
Jack Butala: Go ahead.
Jill DeWit: I was just going to say. I think that when we included this letter originally, we just wanted to show our exact letter without any changes. That’s all that we were set out to do. I fully intended everyone to tweak it, modify it, massage it, whatever you want to call it to make it yours.
Jack Butala: Yeah. This question that I copied and pasted from success plan directly. Four or five people answered, Jordan. Their answers are some version of this. I’ll start with my favorite. Somebody replaced it with, “I’m part of a group who has completed 15,000 deals over 20 years,” which is my favorite. The vast majority of the people responded … and these are people that we know very well. Jill [inaudible 00:03:01] pretty vocal in the group, who are doing a tremendous amount of deals and they started from zero. They’re doing hundreds of deals in what? In a couple of cases. They just took it out. They left it out.
Jill DeWit: Perfect.
Jack Butala: They made themselves look like a lonely, little guy, who loves to buy land, who’s got big, huge … big pockets-
Jill DeWit: I was going to say bank account, exactly.
Jack Butala: Yeah. That’s a good approach. Everybody wants to deal with the owner. Everybody wants to deal with the guy who says, “You know, I got 5,000 bucks for your property and we can close in three days, if you want. I’m just a guy down the street. I’m not a big company.” I think taking that approach in the beginning, buy on the sale side works great. We still do it. Just you and I … That’s why we do the show. People ask me all the time like, “What are you doing? Why would you … If this is the greatest thing ever, why are you sharing it with everybody?” Come on man. We’re just real people, just like you.
Jill DeWit: You know you’re right, because no matter how big we are and how many deals that we’ve done, I still get involved. When I am talking to those people, it’s nice to know that I have experience behind me. I’m not brand new here. I know what’s going on, but yet they also like that, “Yeah, it is me. I’m going to make the decisions. You know, I’m an owner and we can make the deal right now. You know, and I’ll do it.”
Jack Butala: I’ve heard you in the past say that. “Let’s put this deal together right now. What would you like and when would you like it? How much money would you like and when would you like it?” It’s hard to refuse that.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: I went through … You know what? In fact, that was probably with you. It wasn’t that long ago. I went to those Sunday … a place where you go by the … the Farmers’ market. If you want to negotiate at all, which I usually don’t, but there’s some stuff that I wanted, it was specific kind of mushrooms and I held up the money and I said, “I know you’re asking X, but here’s my $40. This is really what I want and this is how much of it I want. I’m going to put it on the table here, is that all right?” When you flash money like that, and you say, “Let’s just get this thing done right now, ” people, they just do the deal. I know you and I [inaudible 00:05:17] all over the place negotiation’s not our thing. On the buy side, though, when you use these tactics, it’s very effective.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative), exactly.
Jack Butala: It’s not so much negotiating the price. It’s like if they’re on the fence about it, it’s just to push them over to the other side.
Jill DeWit: Right, exactly.
Jack Butala: If you have a question or you want to be on this show, reach out to either one of us on landinvestors.com. When Jill’s done with her nails, we’re going to talk about … I don’t know where you just went.
Jill DeWit: I don’t know.
Jack Butala: [crosstalk 00:05:55]
Jill DeWit: You know what’s funny? I was going back to the mushroom and I’m like, “When aren’t we buying mushrooms?”
Jack Butala: I know. I love your memory.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: You’re the perfect woman.
Jill DeWit: Oh gosh. Because I have no memory and I can’t smell.
Jack Butala: Yes.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: You’re not hard on the [ice 00:06:10]
Jill DeWit: Thanks. Thank you.
Jack Butala: Anyway, but … Enough of that. Today’s topic, why solid data beats a VA any day. This is the meat of the show.
Jill DeWit: Pick me, pick me!
Jack Butala: Go ahead.
Jill DeWit: I was just reading something about that earlier today, too. That someone had written to Seth Williams. It kind of reiterated our feelings and I’m like, “Oh yes, thank you for somebody else noticing it and getting the point here.” One of them was there’s a couple of things about using the best data versus cheap data and a VA kind of thing. One of the things I’ve seen people try to do is go to the counties directly. They think they’re saving money. On a good day, maybe you’re spending $50 a county. Well, there’s how many counties in the country? That’s going to add up really fast.
Jack Butala: 3,400.
Jill DeWit: Thank you. Most of the counties can be between … I’ve seen like 75 to couple hundred dollars … $200, $250 to get data from the county. It takes a couple of weeks to get to you. It’s not like an overnight thing. Now, you’ve got to figure this data out and then what to do with it. What do people do? They think they’re saving money, so we’re sending it out to a VA, a virtual assistant to scrub it. Then it comes back, and now you’re trying to work with it. Just a couple of little issues here. Number one, A, you didn’t save money on the data at all going … If you’re trying to do more that one county, you’ve just lost money this month.
Okay. Number two, every single county you get to repeat this process. Why? Because the data is always delivered … I shouldn’t say always, but it’s not always done the same way by county. Some county, it’s a CD, some county it’s a … Then, when you get that, it’s not always arranged the same way and the same things are included. A lot these counties, you’re talking with an individual person, they’re pulling this data for you, sending it to you, and you might have forgot something and they might have forgot something. There’s time and money lost there.
The other thing is, you have to understand this. You’ve got to re-learn every county every month, by the way, if you’re doing one county a month. That takes some time and money and energy there, because you’ve got to explain it to your VA, so they know what they’re doing with this next county and then getting it back to you. The days that that took, there was a waste right there. Then, my final point is, this is something you should be doing. Jack, I know you have a lot to say about this.
Jack Butala: You should know that.
Jill DeWit: This is really the meat of this whole thing. You should be the one looking at this data, analyzing this data, figuring out who you want to send the offers to, what your price point is, comparing this to some completed sales. You can kind of get a real good idea of what offers to make. That should be you.
Then where you can outsource is the mailing. Yeah. Even answering the phone and the inbound calls. Yeah, you know. Just the inbound calls until they get to you. Weed out some of the not fun people, or tire kicker stuff on the sale’s side. This is really important. The best data which we have … Don’t even get it through us. Just go get the best data, period.
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill DeWit: Thank you, Jack. I’ll go get off of my soap box now.
Jack Butala: No, well said. I’m going to draw some real world, super simple analogies and examples to make this ultra clear.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Jack Butala: The best data on the planet for real estate investing comes directly from the county. The best cars in the world are Ferraris, let’s say, I don’t necessarily believe that at all, but let’s just say that they are. If somebody gives you a Ferrari and parks in your driveway and has no keys and no transmission, now you have the best car in the world and it’s completely unusable. That’s what goes on when you order data directly from the county. It is the best data in the world nearly impossible to use.
What you need to do … The other place you can get data, and it’s from the best place in the world, the assessor, the country assessor, it’s from an aggregator, like Real Quest Pro, or Title Pro. Those are the two best ways to get it, because they have an army of people and an office building receiving data from all these counties. 300, 400 counties all over the country in various forms. The easiest form it’s electronically received and it’s thrown into a database and all the columns line up. Every single county now looks the same from a data standpoint.
They range from electronic feed like that, to some people sitting there locally, manually inputting the information, literally, and then everything in between. Sometimes it’s stuff that’s actually faxed in. My point is, they have the VA’s already! Why would you get the county and pay for the county data directly from the county, go hire a VA to put it in the right columns and stuff, so then you can … Why would you do that? Why not just get a Real Quest Pro subscription which, by the way, we’re licensed providers. That’s what Land Academy is. We provide the data for this stuff. Why not do that?
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jack Butala: There’s some stuff to outsource on this planet and some stuff not to. Do you outsource raising your children?
Jill DeWit: No.
Jack Butala: Some of you listeners should. In fact, some days Jill and I should.
Jill DeWit: Here we go.
Jack Butala: What you never want to do is outsource hugging your kids, right? You might outsource like driving them back and forth to school, because you can’t stand it. I’m speaking of myself now.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: That’s just outsourcing mechanical stuff, but you don’t outsource hugging the kids and telling them the good stuff.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: You have to pick and choose career just like that. The stuff that’s appropriate to outsource and the stuff that people really need from you. I’m here to tell ya, since this week has been a seriously direct week on the podcast, you can’t outsource data.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: You have to do this yourself. If you’re going to get serious about this, learn it. If you don’t want this to be your career and you just want to horse around and waste money, then don’t learn it. The whole way that you’re going to seriously excel and make this a full-time career, or buy tremendous amount of undervalued property is to learn the data. Learn how to use it, get the best data. Learn how to use it and buy some property.
Jill DeWit: You know what I do?
Jack Butala: The VA is never, ever going to do that for you. Go ahead.
Jill DeWit: I tell people all the time. “You know what? Please do your own work, do your own homework, don’t just trust me. Trust this, please.” Anyone that’s on the fence, or not sure about this, I tell them by all means, “Go do it for a month or two that way and then come … ” It’s even better when they do that too, by the way, because if you struggled going to a county, one or two counties and tried to figure it out and do this and make it work and hire a VA. Like, “Oh my gosh, now six weeks has gone in a buy and I haven’t even done anything yet.” This is my favorite. Once you do that and you come over and see what we have to work with. They go, “Oh my gosh, that’s night and day.” I tell them, “It’s life-changing,” and they all agree. It is life-changing.
Jack Butala: You know what? In the program, in the Cashflow From Land program, I include datasets from multiple counties that you and I never ended up using. This is dirt, 15 years old. I’m pretty good at this, actually. The data’s usable. It’s impossible to get it in the right columns without really manually doing it. Why? Why do that? Why do that to yourself?
Jill DeWit: I have a question.
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: In the today’s day and age … Where we are today with technology, why is this so hard to understand?
Jack Butala: I know.
Jill DeWit: Last time I checked, we we’re all texting people. We’re not mailing a letter all the time. We figured that out. Don’t mail … Using a VA to me is mailing a letter with a stamp on it. Using data is texting. Next.
Jack Butala: I can sum it up in one word and I bet you a dollar there’s no women that are guilty of this, it’s all men. They’re just frugal. “I’m not gonna sign up for a subscription for one year for something I’m not sure I’m gonna use. I’m just gonna go to the county and get the data, I’m going to spend 50 bucks, I’m gonna get the whole assessor’s database from X, Y, Z county. Every single property … There’s 38,000 properties in that county. I’m gonna get them all and I’m gonna get the data for $50 and I’m gonna just kick butt. I don’t need to sign up for the annual subscription for anything.” I’m not talking about our annual subscription, like Real Quest or Title pro.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jack Butala: Then it sits there and nothing happens. Or they have such a bad experience, manipulating the data that it kills their whole real estate career. That’s what I see happening. That’s your answer.
Jill DeWit: Because they spent 90 days trying to figure out those 38,000 records and then got frustrated.
Jack Butala: Or they spent 90 minutes and said, “This is not … I can’t do it. It’s too hard.” For the record, it’s too hard for me! It’s too hard for me to figure that out. Are you going to trust this some 30 cent an hour VA in Singapore?
Jill DeWit: Bingo.
Jack Butala: No, no freaking way. Is there some stuff for that Singapore VA for you to do? Absolutely. It’s not answer your phone, by the way. This is the single most important thing in your real estate career. Using data, learning how to use it and why. It’s the single most important thing, so don’t outsource that.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. Make it easy.
Jack Butala: I’m going to end it on that.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: Join us on another episode, where Jack and Jill discuss how to use information … that’s me and I just [gave people 00:16:31] a lot of information. Sorry.
Jill DeWit: You did. 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 then sell it immediately.
Jack Butala: You are not alone in your real estate ambition. Did I just go nuts there like you did yesterday?
Jill DeWit: No, that was so good. I’m so glad.
Jack Butala: All right.
Jill DeWit: No, thank you for going into that. I just thought of my texting example versus putting a stamp on it. I mean that’s …
Jack Butala: Oh yeah, perfect!
Jill DeWit: That’s how I feel. I sit here and I scratch my head going, “Wait, wait, wait, wait … You know, the people that say, ‘Oh I’m just gonna do this.’ Okay, so hold on a moment. You’re literally telling me it’s a better idea … I’m gonna spend two weeks and struggle with half blank data that I think I got everything I need here, versus do it in five minutes. You know, two hours on a Sunday, let’s be realistic, and I could have some offers in the mail tomorrow.” Okay, if this is a better plan to you, I wish you well.
Jack Butala: That was really what my whole point I was trying to make.
Jill DeWit: I don’t get it.
Jack Butala: If you have it so backwards in your head, that you don’t understand why just subscribing to this thing … Not our subscription. I don’t care if you’re subscribed to our stuff or not. I’m just saying, get the right data in the right columns.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: Information and inspiration to buy undervalued property.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at jack@LandAcademy.com.
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