Creative Marketing for Property Sales (CFFL 549)
Jack Butala: Jack Butala with Jill DeWitt.
Jill DeWitt: Hi!
Jack Butala: Welcome to the show today. In this episode, Jill and I talk about creative marketing for property sales, it seems simple, but sometimes there’s a lot to it. Or is there?
Jill DeWitt: I have some good ideas.
Jack Butala: Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the landinvestors.com online community. It’s free!
Jill DeWitt: Okay. Shamgod asks, “I have a very thin, strange shaped lot in an are where many lots are selling for over $40,000. Is it worth trying to buy if I can get it for a few grand? I doubt you could put a house on it. If so, how do you value it, and who would your end buyer be other than the neighbors?”
Jack Butala: Yep. Neighbors are the buyers. This is a great … You know, and I can tell Shamgod’s just killin’ it with some of this stuff. So I mentioned on a few shows earlier, I think it was three or four shows ago, when somebody goes to subdivide a property, it’s the same thing when you go to bake a cake. You’re gonna have some leftover material. And it’s probably gonna go to waste. So when you subdivide a piece of property and cut it all up and put twisty, windy roads and things, there’s little pieces that are unusable, it’s just the way it works. Or maybe the terrain’s uneven, that’s probably what you’re talking about here.
There are good fragments and bad ones. So you’re gonna have to decide which one that is. In fact, a lot of times, they actually assign an APN, an assessor’s parcel number, to the roads. I’ve seen that happen, that’s pretty useless.
Jill DeWitt: I have too, right.
Jack Butala: Or drainage ditches, or all kinds of stuff.
Jill DeWitt: An alley.
Jack Butala: So you’re gonna have to really discern. You’re gonna have to discern if the property is worth it or not, I’ll tell you a story real quick.
I went to a tax auction where there’s all kinds of property being auctioned off by the county, and I’m only interested, when I go to those things, in buying land, and the vast majority of the people there want to buy six or seven houses that are listed, which is good for me, because then I have less competition, less biding competition. But anyway, I ended up buying, knowing this, I didn’t research this until I got there, sitting in the room, a tiny little piece of property in the backyard of a subdivision, where there’s developed subdivision with houses all over the place, it had a water tank on it. Or a water well or something, I could just tell from Google Earth that there was some structure on there that was meaningful.
Turned out being a water wall, water tank that all the subdivisions shared. I paid like $200 for this thing. Sent a simple letter out to 20 or 30 people in the immediate area and said, “Do you guys wanna buy this? Or does anyone want to buy this?” I ended up selling for 20 grand. So if that’s the kind of fragment that you’re talking about, then it’s got some value. If it’s just an easement that somebody incorrectly subdivided, which happens all the time, no, you don’t want it. So that’s the answer. I hope it’s a water tank, man.
Jill DeWitt: Yeah, me too.
Jack Butala: If you have a question, or you want to be on the show, reach out to either one of us on landinvestors.com.
Today’s topic, creative marketing for property sales, this is right up Jill’s alley. This is the meat of the show.
Jill DeWitt: You know what’s really interesting about this, I just thought of one more thought about this lot, remember that friend of ours that his business was doing those billboards along the freeway?
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWitt: So it didn’t have to be right up against the freeway necessarily, but really close that you could put a billboard on it, that could be a use for something like this, especially depending how it’s zoned and all that good stuff.
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill DeWitt: And that could be a creative thing. Shamgod could use some creative marketing for an unusual sized property.
Jack Butala: I mean, Shamgod’s maybe one of the most creative people in our group right now, totally thinks out of the box, real vocal about it. If anybody can figure out a use for a piece of property that no one wants, it’s this guy.
Jill DeWitt: So here’s my creative marketing for property sales. So I was thinking of three different things that are newer in the last few years to help people sell property. One is, if you’re not doing videos, you need to be doing videos.
Jack Butala: Ding ding.
Jill DeWitt: So that’s something that wasn’t as easy in the last few years, or accessible, and now we all have cameras on our computers, you really have no excuses. There’s no reason why you can’t make a video.
Jack Butala: Right.
Jill DeWitt: What I thought was really interesting too, was I just had someone actually … and Seth Williams has done this too, that, with me. I’d ask a question, and instead of emailing me back, he emails me a video. Well then like I have to email you a video. So it’s kinda funny, and I had someone do that recently too, that I met him at an event, and instead of a normal introduction, they emailed me a video.
So, videos are cool! Videos are fun, you can really get your message across, and you can convey things about the property that people might not get and see as they’re reading a posting, but they will. So whatever the best features about your property, maybe it’s the view or something, hey, make a video about your property and lead with that. Like, “Can you imagine your retirement home here?”
Jack Butala: That’s it, Jill.
Jill DeWitt: Wow, take about creative marketing in a video, and how great would that be?
So that’s my first point. My second point, is social media. That’s a creative marketing way to get your word out. As your making a video and doing all this good stuff, promote it on social media. That’s new, and it’s … it’s not necessarily new, but it’s new since I started doing this. And what a valuable, profitable way to market your property and get it out there, is social media, and your business, and you, by the way.
And then my third point on creative marketing for property sales, is differentiate your property. We have people that are putting campers on it. Put a yurt on it, get in on the yurt funny thing.
Jack Butala: A yurt.
Jill DeWitt: But I just think yurts are so darn funny. But put a camper on it, put a shed on it. What can you do to differentiate it? You know, people put motor homes on it, I don’t know. But that’s a creative something, but like I said, differentiating your property is a creative way to market to sell.
Jack Butala: I love it.
Jill DeWitt: Thank you.
Jack Butala: Let’s take a couple steps back here and forget about marketing this actual property. And let’s just look at some universal concepts. Number one, who buys property? Who buys a piece of property? In general, the people who buy real estate, or any given piece of real estate are the ones who own real estate right in that immediate area already. 50 or 60% of the houses, I haven’t checked recently, last time I checked, it was 52%, this is a federal government statistic, so it must be right.
50% of people who buy houses live in the immediate area, in less than like a quarter of a mile. They don’t necessarily buy them for themselves, they buy them for their kids, or whatever. But for some reason, maybe it’s just because they’re driving back and forth on the way to work every day and they see it for sale. I’m not sure, but it’s the stat.
And so the same thing applies to land. If you buy a 40-acre property in the middle of New Mexico or wherever, and you send a letter out, or a postcard even this, that says, “Hey, I just want to let you know, respectfully, I bought a piece of property here for not a lot of money, and if you’re interested in buying it, I’ll get you a special deal before I go to market on it.” We have one member, this is all he does, he sells property that way.
Like Jill said, with social media, we have another member who finds … they buy a piece of property, and they find the social networks, on Facebook specifically, in that zip code. Specific, like, I don’t know, it could be quilters, or barber shop owners.
Jill DeWitt: I was gonna say, or like they have a lake-front thing in Arkansas, so they’re gonna go to the fishing communities in Arkansas and promote their lake-shore property.
Jack Butala: So they don’t do the same old real estate BS that’s been going on forever. Putting in the MLS and say a prayer.
Jill DeWitt: Sit and wait, exactly.
Jack Butala: They get out there, and they talk to people who are in the quilting environment, or the boating environment, or any environment that’s geographically local to that property, and they sell the property, fast. Fast. Plus, if you have any type of personality like Jill does, they just want to talk to you anyway.
Jill DeWitt: Thanks.
Jack Butala: So that’s a real positive way. But keep this in mind, and no one talks about this, I do not know why. People buy property that already live there, or already own other pieces of property in the case of land.
Jill DeWitt: Right, so the fact is true, you were just joking that the actual numbers might vary.
Jack Butala: The fact is true.
Jill DeWitt: Right.
Jack Butala: Let’s just say 50%, I think it’s higher, but it is what it is.
Jill DeWitt: Right.
Jack Butala: You know, throw on top of the fact that people in our group, they don’t pay too much. So there’s too reasons property doesn’t sell on this planet. If you’re with our group, you’ve heard me say this more than once.
Number one, it’s not priced right. Well, we take care of that in our group, it’s always priced right.
Number two, the correct people that really want to know that it’s for sale, don’t know. So you’re not reaching the right people.
Those two, it’s that simple. How do you reach the right people? Social media, direct mail, and just, you know, generally talk about it.
Jill DeWitt: Get it out there, all over the place. That was one of the things we haven’t talked about in a while, you’re right. Don’t just put it on one place, put it everywhere, and put it into a system, so you’ll post your property all over.
Jack Butala: If you get formal education on how to be a real estate agent, you know what they teach you?
How to get listings, because that’s the way a real estate agent makes real money. Every financially stable, consistent real estate agent I’ve ever met, what they’ll say is, “Oh, no, I just get the listings, somebody else sells it. I don’t have any idea about that.” So do you want somebody like that to sell your property? Do you want to be one of their listings, and then they just put it in the MLS and someone else sells it?
Jill DeWitt: They forget about you kinda thing.
Jack Butala: No, you don’t want that. We’re real estate investors, we’re not real estate agents. And we know how to sell property. It’s not that real estate agents don’t know how to sell it, it’s just the way the system’s set up, they don’t get rewarded for that. They get rewarded for listing it.
Jill DeWitt: It’s true, and getting a contract, because then it’s automatic.
Jack Butala: Then they get paid.
Jill DeWitt: Right.
Jack Butala: The whole system’s broken.
Jill DeWitt: I know!
Jack Butala: For us it’s not. For us, it’s thriving.
Jill DeWitt: It’s that interesting?
Jack Butala: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jill DeWitt: Yeah, I still scratch my head that I can be an agent and I can have a listing, I can list your house, Jack, and then I just do nothing, absolutely nothing. And next thing you know, you’re staging it, you might even hold an open house. You tell some people about it, and you have a buyer, and you’re closing the deal, and “Oh, but wait a minute! I have the listing so I get some money.”
Jack Butala: Here’s an example, I sent the mailer out in Southern California to buy a very specific type of yacht. And I sent it out probably, I don’t know, 40% of what I thought it was worth. And somebody called us, and the guy that owns the … he got the letter, called us and said, “Hell yeah!” And then Jill beat him up on the price a little more, we all agreed on the price and made friends at the same time.
And then he said, “Well wait a second, I’ve got the yacht listed with a broker.” So guess who’s making money on it? The broker.
Jill DeWitt: Exactly, whether he likes it or not.
Jack Butala: And all of us are shaking our heads going, “This guy did nothing!”
Jill DeWitt: Did nothing. Right, the first time I met him was when he was calling me, I hadn’t even met him, but the first time we even talked to him was when he’s calling me going, “I guess we gotta close this deal.” “Yeah, I guess we do.”
Jack Butala: Wow.
Jill DeWitt: I know.
Jack Butala: So I don’t know how this became a real estate agent bashing show, but I really like it. Every show should end with some kind of slogan like, “You don’t need a real estate agent.”
Jill DeWitt: Yeah, you don’t need to stinkin’ agent.
Jack Butala: Somebody’s gonna call us out on this eventually.
Jill DeWitt: And we’re down to three listeners. There went two, yep, just lost them, they’re gone.
Jack Butala: Now it’s just you and me. We listen to our own show while we’re recording it.
Jill DeWitt: This is true. Yeah, we are the listeners, one, two.
Based on a poll, 100% of our listeners agree. That would be us.
Jack Butala: You ever hear that Warren Buffet quote, he said, “I never go to meetings with more than one person at the meeting.” So he just has a meeting in the mirror in the morning.
Jill DeWitt: Love it. I had not heard that, that’s awesome.
Jack Butala: Join us in another episode, or the next episode I should say, where we discuss the painful truth about land investing. Wow, that sounds like a blast to listen to.
Jill DeWitt: Uh-oh. And we answer Joshua B’s question about how to properly mail to an owner who owns multiple parcels.
Jack Butala: That’s a great question, I actually can’t wait to answer that.
You are not alone in your real estate ambition.
Good show, Jill.
Jill DeWitt: Yeah.
Jack Butala: Selling property’s so easy, we don’t talk about it ever because it’s so darn easy.
Jill DeWitt: I know.
Jack Butala: Buying property cheap is a little more complicated, but we’re still good at that.
Jill DeWitt: Yeah, that’s the bottom line, I mean, at the end of the day, it sounds basic, but you really do well when you buy it, because if you’re buying the assets and it’s a good asset, and it’s really undervalued, you are gonna make money, and you are gonna sell. So we never talk about it!
Jack Butala: Why would you buy anything else? Why would you buy anything but a grossly undervalued asset that’s good.
Jill DeWitt: The other thing that’s good too, I think in our community, if you’ve noticed, like some of our weekly calls on Thursday, that not a lot of people have asked sales questions. And I appreciate that because we’re all experiencing the same thing. And even one of our members, the other day said something about, “I’m out of inventory.” Remember he didn’t even have a question, he just put a little comment in there like, “I’m off to the bank, but I wanted to say this real quick.” And it was just, you know, “I’m out of inventory, and here’s what I just did.” And good stuff. So sales aren’t an issue.
Jack Butala: About seven months ago, a guy scheduled a data deal review call for me, but he said, “Hey, I scheduled this call, I’ve been a member for like whatever, a year, because I’m having some trouble selling some property, and I just want to let you know because it’s not a data acquisition review or deal, it’s not that. Is it okay if we talk about that?” And I said, “Sure, I never talk about sales with anyone. I’d love to actually.”
And we got on, and after talking to him for about five minutes, and why he couldn’t sell these specific pieces of property, guess why, Jill.
Jill DeWitt: Why?
Jack Butala: Because they were overpriced …
Jill DeWitt: Yep.
Jack Butala: He bought them right though, he just wanted to make a lot. He wanted to make too much money. And nobody knew that they were for sale.
Jill DeWitt: Right.
Jack Butala: It’s always those two things.
Jill DeWitt: That’s what I have, yeah. I had a guy too, recently, same thing, this one he did pay too much, and he put it for sale on one place. He’s like, “Well I put it on Craigslist, and it’s priced for this.” I’m like, “And where else?” “No, it’s on Craigslist.” Like really?
Jack Butala: So we should just call it real estate acquisitions, that what we all talk about. Sales, it all just happens anyway.
Jill DeWitt: Yes, what he said.
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Jack Butala: Information and inspiration to buy undervalued assets.
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