How to Score on Your First Mailer (CFFL 433)

How to Score on Your First Mailer (CFFL 433)


Jack Butala:                       Jack Butala with Jill DeWit.

Jill DeWit:                           Hi there!

Jack Butala:                       Welcome to our show today. In this episode, Jill and I talk about how to score on your first mailer. Man, do I have some stories for you.

Jill DeWit:                           Goal! I don’t know if I can do it like those guys.

Jack Butala:                       You crack me up after all these years.

Jill DeWit:                           You said score.

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

Jill DeWit:                           Okay. Brian asked, “I’m looking in a rather sizeable county and I’m looking for ways of staying away from certain parts of the county that don’t look so promising. I see two possible ways right off. I was wondering if anyone had tried them and what they thought. In CoreLogic …”

Jack Butala:                       Real quest. Same thing.

Jill DeWit:                           “… you can enter as a criteria school district and also mailing zip. My concerns about mailing zip is that it might rule out some undeveloped areas. However, as best as I know, there isn’t a square foot of property in any county that isn’t placed in a zip code area …”

Jack Butala:                       This is so intelligent, Brian.

Jill DeWit:                           Yes.

Jack Butala:                       I love this.

Jill DeWit:                           “… even if there is no mail delivery.”

Jack Butala:                       I think it’s great in this business.

Jill DeWit:                           “Anyway, what about using those criteria for narrowing the search in a large county. Is there a better way of using RealQuest Pro/CoreLogic and I’m interested in these areas, but not that area.”

Jack Butala:                       Brian, I am not blowing smoke. I have no idea who you are. This is one of the most intelligent questions that we get. The way that you phrase it is even more intelligent, because you halfway already have solved it. You’ve solved the question halfway and you’re just wondering if it’s right. I love that.

You’re 100% right. Mailing. Picture a county, maybe it’s the county that you live in or the county, one over, the one that you’re most familiar with. Picture mailing a letter and offering it to every single five acre property owner. Then saying, “I’ll buy property for $5,000.” You’re going to really upset some people and some people are going to sign it. How can you make it more efficient? That’s your question.

There’s a few ways. My favorite, absolute favorite way, is to take a look at the assessor parcel number scheme in the county. Assessors issue parcel numbers when developers sub-divide property. Every piece of property that’s not government owned or Indian tribe owned or municipality owned, has an assessor parcel number. Why? Why do they have this?

Well, they have them so they can assess the land and send the owner taxes. Picture a map of the county that you’re thinking of. In the northeast corner, maybe there’s like the assessor parcel numbers start with 104. In the southeast corner, it starts with 996 and on-and-on-and-on.

In 104, it’s pretty cheap property because it’s really rural. In 996, that’s where the big city is, maybe like Dallas. You want to stay out of there or maybe you don’t. Maybe you really do want to …

You have to get the assessors map or the assessors scheme, how it’s all mapped out. It’s called an index map, west of the Mississippi. Lots of different counties call it different stuff, based on where you are in the country, but get one. Even if you have to go into the county and take a picture of the one that’s on the wall. Jill and I do that all the time.

Jill DeWit:                           That’s right.

Jack Butala:                       Literally.

Jill DeWit:                           Because they don’t have any …

Jack Butala:                       A lot of times, they charge you for like a map that goes on a wall.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       Why do that? Just walk in and take a picture and walk out.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       You’re going to see right away, hopefully, it’s color coded. You’re going to see right away that certain parts of the county deserve a $1,000 offer and certain areas of the county deserve a $300,000 offer. The faster you can get real good at that, the faster you’re going to grossly succeed in this business. Pricing offers.

I had one member tell me that he spends about 20 minutes doing a mailer, and then about three weeks pricing it. What a great question. I can tell you you’re going to do great, or you are doing great in this business. Do you have anything Jill?

Jill DeWit:                           No, it was great.

Jack Butala:                       Did you pick out a good nail polish color yet?

Jill DeWit:                           I did. No, you know what I did? I made myself a note to write a blog about how to read an index map. That would be kind of fun for people. I think I might do that.

Jack Butala:                       I love that stuff.

Jill DeWit:                           I do too.

Jack Butala:                       That’s why I’m here.

Jill DeWit:                           I do like that.

Jack Butala:                       I don’t want to talk to customers at all.

Jill DeWit:                           I know. 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 Today’s topic, how to score on your first mailer. You know, that was a good …

Jill DeWit:                           Woo hoo!

Jack Butala:                       The answer to the question that I just answered is how to score on your first mailer.

Jill DeWit:                           That is part of it.

Jack Butala:                       This is the shortest episode ever.

Jill DeWit:                           Okay. Over then.

Jack Butala:                       Listen, our listeners are like, “Oh, great! They’re done.”

Jill DeWit:                           No. The kids are in the car going, “Great, they’re done.”

Jack Butala:                       No, the kids have headphones on these days.

Jill DeWit:                           That’s true.

Jack Butala:                       Wish we had those.

Jill DeWit:                           They’re not listening to us.

Jack Butala:                       What if we had headphones like that when we were kids?

Jill DeWit:                           How to score on your first mailer? Okay. Give me your top, top …

Jack Butala:                       You go into RealQuest, right? You choose a county and now you’re staring at the county. The first thing you want to do is scrub stuff out. Scrub the properties out that do not … There’s no chance that they’re going to write a letter back or scrub out the fact that you don’t want certain types of properties. Here’s how I do it.

Jill DeWit:                           The fire department and the hospital.

Jack Butala:                       Yes. Cemetery. I bought a cemetery on accident once but that’s a different podcast topic.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       The first thing I do, the very first thing, is I take, for buying land, I take out every single property that has a structure on it. What the hell is that?

Jill DeWit:                           How do you do that?

Jack Butala:                       Turns out, assessors, they assess the land and they assess the improvements on the land. If there’s no improvements on the land at all, the assessed value is zero. In data, we call it null. There’s just no value there. Good. That takes out 20, 30, 40% of the properties in the whole thing.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       Number two. Use. Like you just said, are you going to buy a hospital? Are you going to buy a lot next to the hospital? Are you going to buy a property that’s zoned for heavy industrial and there’s a bunch of nuclear sludge on there? No.

You’re not going to buy a cemetery, and on-and-on-and-on. In the programs, I show you on the screen exactly how I do it. I’m getting awesome reports back that it works.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       Well, it’s worked for us forever, but …

Jill DeWit:                           We’re a couple of years in now. Awesome reports back from like from two years ago.

Jack Butala:                       Now, even whittling the list down further in scrubbing out the use. Now, we have a data set of certain sizes, right? Well, we’ve got 180 acres in there. We’ve got 3,000 acres in there. Then, we’ve got .0002 acres in there. Which ones do you want to get letters? You decide on that. That’s a personal preference.

In all of our material, we talk about five acre programs because you can buy them so cheap and sell them for a lot. The barrier to entry from a financial standpoint is real low. Most places, you can buy a five acre property …

Jill DeWit:                           Under $1,000.

Jack Butala:                       Or, a $1,000, or $2,000 or even $5,000.

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly, depending on the area.

Jack Butala:                       You can come up with that money, especially if it’s worth ten grand. Great. Now, we’ve got the size down. Now, we have a list of properties. I forgot. Take out, totally remove any properties that have any types of liens on them, which it’s a fancy way of saying, “Make sure there’s no loan on it.”

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly.

Jack Butala:                       You don’t want to mess with that. You don’t want a bank to price your deal or make a decision. You want Sally Smith at a kitchen table with a cup of coffee in her hand to sign it.

Jill DeWit:                           Can I pause right here?

Jack Butala:                       Absolutely.

Jill DeWit:                           I want to say something because I want to make sure that our listeners know this. This is one of the reasons we use the data that we use is because in this with you …

Jack Butala:                       If you get a list of the owners …

Jill DeWit:                           It’s checking a box.

Jack Butala:                       Never use a list.

Jill DeWit:                           Yeah, yeah. Don’t get a list and try to sort it and tell your VA to go and take all these things out. That’s a huge waste of time and money and energy.

Jack Butala:                       They don’t know the business.

Jill DeWit:                           They don’t understand. This is something that …

Jack Butala:                       It’s fun!

Jill DeWit:                           It is fun. How we’re using this, we’re saying this like it’s so darn easy because it is so darn easy. We have the tools where we’re looking at a screen and literally checking or unchecking a box. Where it says improvements, I’m putting zero here and zero here. Okay.

Jack Butala:                       Check the box.

Jill DeWit:                           Check the box. Do you want this kind of property? No, I don’t check that box. Then, when it gets down to the size, I’m really putting in 4.92 to 5.12 because I’m trying to get a …

Jack Butala:                       God! It sounds like you know how to do this.

Jill DeWit:                           It almost does because I want to be able to get a list of potential sellers. The owner records in a sizable number that I can work with. We’re going through this whole process and I put in those parameters and I’m staring at 50,000 records, I don’t want 50,000. I don’t have a budget for 50,000 right now and I can’t answer the phone for 50,000. What am I going to do right now?

Now, I’m going to make it 4.99 to 5.1. You don’t pay a penny while you’re massaging all this stuff until I massage it so much that I go, “Yeah, you know what? That looks good. That’s 3,000 names.

I know I’m going to further once I get the records, scrub it down a little bit more, because there might be duplicate names or whatever in there.” I’m going to take those out. I might work with it a little bit more once I get it down a bit, but hey, you know what? Those 3,000 names. Now, I’m going to push the button. I’m only going to pay eight cents a record for those exact names.

Jack Butala:                       You’ve got a real extremely high intelligent chance of buying, now that you’ve scrubbed the data properly, one out of a hundred that you send.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       Here’s a mistake that I see a lot on a first mailer. They “test it out.” If you’ve ever had a statistics class or even a math class, the larger sample that you take, the more accurate results you’re going to get.

Jill DeWit:                           Right.

Jack Butala:                       If you send 100 mailers out and you think that you’re going to buy one, that’s really silly.

Jill DeWit:                           Right.

Jack Butala:                       Do yourself a favor. Trust me. Do not send a mailer out that’s less than 1,500 records.

Jill DeWit:                           Right. You want to come back and have … People too, I see them making this mistake. The first one comes back. They’re trying to make it work. Hold on a moment.

Jack Butala:                       Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                           Get 25 together, put them all on a spreadsheet, line them up, and pick the best ones. Okay? There’s going to be the several that immediately rise to the top where husband and wife are alive. They love your offer.

Jack Butala:                       Take 25 girls out to dinner.

Jill DeWit:                           They’re ready to sign tomorrow.

Jack Butala:                       Pick the best one.

Jill DeWit:                           Silly. But, there’s going to be some, and don’t try to hit your head against the wall trying to make your first one work because this guy died. Now, we’ve got to do this. I’ve got to figure out that. Okay, put that one aside. It doesn’t mean you can’t get to it.

Jack Butala:                       Especially if [crosstalk 00:10:48].

Jill DeWit:                           Yeah, but let’s not start there.

Jack Butala:                       The first ten deals you want to do need to be slam dunks. Oh my God! Run them to the bank. Please don’t change your mind seller. Please don’t change your mind.

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly. I think I priced it wrong. I under priced it and he liked it. Oh my gosh! I’ve got to do this quick.

Jack Butala:                       Right.

Jill DeWit:                           Those are the ones you want. [I think you said that. 00:11:07]

Jack Butala:                       Now, you have a list of … You’re staring at the 3,000 that Jill’s talking about. What do you do? How do you get them in the mail? Here’s a mistake I see people make.

Jill DeWit:                           I’m going to hand write them on yellow paper with my kids sitting around the table.

Jack Butala:                       Do not put anything on the outside of the envelope. When people get mail with absolutely nothing on the envelope, they wonder if it’s from the IRS. They wonder if they won the lottery. They don’t know. They open it. The open percentage on mail that has nothing on it, so now, you’ve saving yourself some money there. Only, only, only use a professional bulk mail company. Why?

  1. It’s incredibly cheap compared to doing it yourself. You do not need a printer. You don’t need a toner. You don’t need to go to the store to buy any envelopes or any of that stuff. You don’t horse around with that. Let the pros do it, plus it’s cheaper.

They use some very sophisticated software that allows them to get a huge price break on bulk. It’s a bulk mail print license from the Post Office, because they know what they’re doing. They run it through software. All the undeliverable addresses that are in the database you sent them, they don’t mess with it.

Jill DeWit:                           It’s kicked out before your printer puts … There’s no postage paid. They kick them out. They’re free.

Jack Butala:                       Yeah. You’re not wasting 50 cents on that.

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly.

Jack Butala:                       The bulk mail printer we have, our group, charges 49 cents for a mailer, whether you send 50 or 5,000,000.

Jill DeWit:                           It’s faster, by the way.

Jack Butala:                       They get it in the mail that same day.

Jill DeWit:                           I mean, even the delivery, because of the way that the they’re sorted and delivered to the post office.

Jack Butala:                       They use computers.

Jill DeWit:                           It’s faster delivery than if I went out and put a stamp on it and did it myself …

Jack Butala:                       Yep.

Jill DeWit:                           … and hand wrote it. That’s going to take two weeks. This is going to take a lot less.

Jack Butala:                       I saved the most important for last …

Jill DeWit:                           Ready.

Jack Butala:                       … but we really already answered it in a general question in this episode’s question.

Jill DeWit:                           Which was?

Jack Butala:                       You have to price it right. All of the stuff that I just … You can do it perfectly, every single thing I just described. If you do not price the properties right, it’s going to fail.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       If you send everybody who owns vacant property in Manhattan, New York, an offer for $500, it’s going to fail. If you send it for a million, it’s going to fail. If you send it for $14,000,000, now, it might work, and it might be worth $18,000,000. Those are the kinds of deals that Jill and I do in California right now. We try to make at least $100,000 on every deal or we really don’t do the deal. It turns out we make a lot more usually.

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       Guys that own property like that outright, they run into hard times also. You catch them on the right day, you’re going to buy an $800,000 ranch in Santa Barbara and sell it the same day for a couple of hundred thousand dollars more because it’s still worth $2,000,000, especially if it’s next to Michael Jackson’s ranch.

Jill DeWit:                           Yeah.

Jack Butala:                       Neverland.

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly.

Jack Butala:                       I just heard that sold recently, like three years ago for a tremendous amount of money.

Jill DeWit:                           I think I did hear that. I haven’t looked it up. We can look it up too, by the way.

Jack Butala:                       Pricing, pricing, pricing. Spend 90% of your time on a mailer pricing it and the other 10% … Just outsource it. Not the data piece, do that yourself, but outsource the mailer, the mail and all that stuff. That’s how you score on your first mailer.

I have example-after-example of members calling me. They’re so afraid to do their first mailer and then they call me in tears and say, “My God! You’re right. I’m buying 13 properties. I’ve got 20 more. This worked out so well that I just sent them out for five acres like Jill said, but I’m going to send them out six through ten acres on the next one. I’m hiring somebody to answer the phone.” Like That’s a total plug.

Jill DeWit:                           Thank you. It’s coming.

Jack Butala:                       Jill has a whole company where you can out source answering the phone because most people have a job when they started this. Some people use our program in creative ways because they want to buy a new house this way.

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly.

Jack Butala:                       They send everybody in the neighborhood where they want to live an offer. You don’t want to answer the phone with all that.

Jill DeWit:                           Yeah. Let them weed them out for you.

Jack Butala:                       Yeah. Let them. Twenty people are going to call angry and then like eight people are going to call and say, “I’d really like to talk to you about this. Your timing’s perfect.”

Jill DeWit:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                       Let the gatekeeper, at Jill live answer the phone and …

Jill DeWit:                           Pass those onto you.

Jack Butala:                       … give you the good ones.

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly.

Jack Butala:                       [inaudible 00:15:10]

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly.

Jack Butala:                       If you price it right, you’re going to generate some hate, man.

Jill DeWit:                           Right.

Jack Butala:                       Then, you know you’re doing it right.

Jill DeWit:                           [inaudible 00:15:17] gauge. We had that as a show, though. That shouldn’t be a gauge.

Jack Butala:                       Right.

Jill DeWit:                           Love it.

Jack Butala:                       If you have real thin skin and you don’t like being yelled at, this might not be for you, or you can partner with somebody like me because I enjoy that kind of stuff.

Jill DeWit:                           You know what’s so funny? You know what’s so great? You know what? It’s only the initial … It’s really the initial time that it happens and then you’re over it and you expect it. We all kind of joke about them now.

I’ve seen in our group that people share like, “You’re not going to believe what this guy called me. I have never heard this word before. He made it up.” They share. It’s kind of … You just have to let it roll off your back. It’s not a big deal.

Jack Butala:                       And this. You need a professional set of tools to get this stuff done. That’s the business that Jill and I are in. Besides buying and selling land and houses and stuff, at, we have membership levels. We have subscriptions to the data. Subscriptions. Discounted mail service. The research. All of it.

It’s included in one subscription fee and it’s monthly subscription fee. It’s half, less than half of what you would spend if you walked in off the street to get these tools or if you signed up by yourself.

Jill DeWit:                           Let me share one thing. This will help everybody fall over because I don’t think people believe me, but it’s true.

Jack Butala:                       It’s just like what we talked about at the cocktail party like yesterday.

Jill DeWit:                           I was talking to somebody the other day.

Jack Butala:                       They don’t believe us.

Jill DeWit:                           What they’re spending. I mean, they’re spending close to a dollar on a mailer. I don’t remember how much they’re spending on getting the owner information. We’re talking … We have the best owner information on the planet.

Jack Butala:                       RealQuest is the best, is the best.

Jill DeWit:                           It is. It’s eight cents. Pennies.

Jack Butala:                       It’s 30 cents if you go in off the street.

Jill DeWit:                           Right. Eight cents a record to download, plus what we’re sending is 49 cents. Let’s think about this. At 57 cents a unit, all-in. I’m not doing … The only work I’m doing is making the list what I want it to be and we’re just sending it all to print. Then, that’s it. Hands off.

Jack Butala:                       Did you every lick like 1,400 stamps?

Jill DeWit:                           No.

Jack Butala:                       I’m telling you, it’s a good buzz.

Jill DeWit:                           Yeah, I bet.

Jack Butala:                       It’s like drinking a bottle of vodka.

Jill DeWit:                           I have not done that.

Jack Butala:                       I know. A long time ago. That’s how we know how to do this stuff because I did it all wrong for everybody.

Jill DeWit:                           Got it. Actually, that is true. You have done that. You have hired outside organizations like with people hanging out, almost like a halfway house.

Jack Butala:                       It was a halfway house.

Jill DeWit:                           Okay, thank you. They stuffed envelopes for you.

Jack Butala:                       They loved it. Repetitive, kind of Rainman stuff, you know?

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly, but there’s a cheaper way.

Jack Butala:                       Join us in another episode where Jack and Jill discuss how to get stoned from licking stamps, that’s me.

Jill DeWit:                           Inspiration. Keep you on track. That’s me to get just about anything you want. 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 real estate ambition. That was a good show. I love sharing information like that.

Jill DeWit:                           What is on the back of a stamp that gives you …

Jack Butala:                       I don’t know. It’s glue or something.

Jill DeWit:                           Is it like …

Jack Butala:                       I don’t think you have to lick it anymore, actually. I think you just stick it. Like, we’re 21st century.

Jill DeWit:                           Are there stamps out there that you do lick? Wouldn’t that be hilarious? That’s funny.

Jack Butala:                       I wouldn’t know because I haven’t bought stamps in decades because [crosstalk 00:18:27].

Jill DeWit:                           It’s kind of like writing a check.

Jack Butala:                       Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                           Where was it? Oh, I made a joke the other night. We were out and we walked into an establishment that only accepts cash. My joke was, “Can I write you a check?”

Jack Butala:                       What’d they say?

Jill DeWit:                           They just looked at me. It was Terry.

Jack Butala:                       These kids don’t even know what a check is.

Jill DeWit:                           Terry looked at me. I’m like, “I know.” I was kidding. I was … I was in a store the other day and I did see a check cashing thing. I’m like, “I can’t believe this is still on the counter in a store. Who still writes checks?”

Jack Butala:                       I’m not a spring chicken and I think it’s silly. It’s got to be people who are like 80.

Jill DeWit:                           Yeah, it’s my mom.

Jack Butala:                       Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                           My mom carries a checkbook. She still writes it in the grocery store and she stumps everyone.

Jack Butala:                       My dad doesn’t even carry a wallet anymore. He’s just done.

Jill DeWit:                           I got that.

Jack Butala:                       You’ve got to respect that.

Jill DeWit:                           Exactly.

Jack Butala:                       Information and inspiration to buy undervalued property.

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