Public Disclosure – How Much is too Much?
Jack Butala: Jack and Jill here.
Jill DeWit: Hi.
Jack Butala: Welcome to the show today. Welcome to the Jack and Jill Show today. I’m Jack Butala.
Jill DeWit: And I’m Jill DeWit, broadcasting this week from sunny southern California where these beach kids have no idea what the real world is like.
Jack Butala: That’s for sure.
Jill DeWit: Have you noticed? I was just looking in our neighborhood. We live on what’s called a walk street, and what that means is there’s … Between the houses you can’t drive a car down. It’s just like one big nice sidewalk, and it’s great. So, I’m watching the kids. There’s basketball hoops and there’s chalk drawings and they’re-
Jack Butala: People walking-
Jill DeWit: They’re running back and forth from house to house, and then they go jump in the water and they come back. And I’m looking at them going you guys have no idea how good you have it.
Jack Butala: People walk in front of our house all day long, to and from the beach, with no clothes on at all.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, that’s true, too.
Jack Butala: And about 30% of them should put some clothes on.
Jill DeWit: That’s true. There’s a few that I actually appreciate by the way, because right at the end of our little street here, which is like three doors, and then there’s sand and then there’s a volleyball court right there and then there’s the water. I personally do not mind the rather buff gentlemen that walk by all day long with their bags full of volleyballs because they’ve been out practicing all day.
Jack Butala: The Olympic female volleyball team, I’m not exaggerating, practices 200 yards from our house.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. Kerri Walsh is out there sometimes. So, yeah that’s pretty …
Jack Butala: I’ll leave all you male listeners [crosstalk 00:01:41]
Jill DeWit: That’s part of the 30% that you approve of, too, right, Jack?
Jack Butala: No I approve of 70%.
Jill DeWit: Oh, you approve of 70%? Oh. I thought you approved of 30, not 70.
Jack Butala: For the record, I’m part of the 30% who should not do that.
Jill DeWit: Oh, got it.
Jack Butala: So, I don’t.
Jill DeWit: I understand. Thank you, Jack. That’s really good.
Jack Butala: No, no joke, Jill. These beach kids … And I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. I don’t think you need to grow up in Communist Russia to be good at buying and selling real estate, but there is a happy medium somewhere. You have to have responsibility and accountability.
Jill DeWit: Correct.
Jack Butala: Unless you’re a female.
Jill DeWit: I’ve always wanted our children to not worry in life, and I think that’s what every parent wants. You want a child to grow up secure, feeling safe, feeling comfortable, feeling like they never have to worry about food on the table, where they’re going to sleep. You want children to be children and have a happy life. What we don’t want is them to be is have that artificial view of life thinking that’s how everything is, because it’s not. Not everybody has it that good.
Jack Butala: We don’t want them to be unaccountable.
Jill DeWit: Right, and I want them to appreciate.
Jack Butala: Children need to be accountable for something.
Jill DeWit: I want them to feel safe and everything, and I want them to appreciate what they have. Because, you know why? I want them to know that you have to work hard to have this, and I want them to grow up with a good work ethic. What I don’t want is children and our children growing up expecting it, thinking that they’re entitled.
Jack Butala: Taking it for granted.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, taking it for … That kind of thing. I don’t want that. And I’m not picking on our kids at all or any kids, because I think the kids that I know that are in our neighborhood aren’t that way.
Jack Butala: I agree.
Jill DeWit: No, because they’re very respectful and they’re great. If the ball bounces in our yard, they’ll come. It’s no big deal. We’re all cool, but don’t pull my flowers. They’ve learned don’t do that. The hard way.
Jack Butala: Do not pull Jill’s flowers out of the garden.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, we had an incident where it was not a good day, and one poor kid … They were creating a potion, and they decided … They couldn’t have picked the wrong day and my prettiest flower, and when they came along to pull it … It would have been okay, too, if they pulled one flower, but accidentally pulled the whole plant up. And they’re standing over there with the root in their hand, and here I come.
Jack Butala: I asked the kids later what the potion was for anyway, and they said, “The potion is for Mrs. DeWit.”
Jill DeWit: Yeah, thanks.
Jack Butala: To be a nicer person.
Jill DeWit: Isn’t that funny? That’s what’s so funny is I’m like the pushover. Normally I am the pushover. Just that one day was not the best day.
Jack Butala: My point is accountability is alive and well in the 21st century, just not for some people.
Entertaining real estate investment.
Jill DeWit: I’m going to do my best to make this entertaining. I think we’re doing great.
Jack Butala: Today, Jill and I talk about public disclosure. How much is too much? How much do you tell the public about yourself in the name of branding?
Before we get into that complicated topic, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the JackJill.com online community. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: Okay. Andrew asks, “What do you guys think of two five acre parcels in Lancaster, California with mineral rights?”
Jack Butala: I [inaudible 00:05:14]
Jill DeWit: So far, so good.
Jack Butala: Have only positive things to say about that, Andrew.
Jill DeWit: “It’s not clear yet whether they have legal access, but definitely fiscal access.” Still loving it. “Just one five acre parcel in from the road, and they are right next to each other.”
Jack Butala: Beautiful.
Jill DeWit: This is great. “Typically I would purchase them for $500 each, but I’m wondering if the mineral rights would affect my purchase price. These came in on Craigslist, so they don’t have an offer price yet. What would you guys do?”
Jack Butala: Okay. So, I cheated and read this question before I’m going to answer. This is a perfect example, Andrew, of exactly what not to do.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Jack Butala: Here’s why, and I’m not talking to you personally at all. I’m sharing this experience with everybody, because theoretically that’s why you listen to this show. You do not want to post a posting on Craigslist and just see what happens. Now, I know I talk about that as a first step in the ebook. Post, say, “I’d like to buy some property. Please let me know what you have.” That gets you in the real estate business, and I think that’s what you’ve done here, and my hats off to you. Great work. But now you’re in. What you want to do is send a bunch of blind offers to people with an exact purchase price and find out if they’re interested in five seconds after they open the mail, because now you’re starting down the path of … In the last sentence here is, these came in off Craigslist so I don’t have an offer price yet. This is the old school way of real estate. Let’s talk about it. Hey, Jill, I know you have a five acre property in Lancaster. Give me a call, I’d be interested in buying that.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: That’s a disaster.
Jill DeWit: Now you’re negotiating with yourself.
Jack Butala: That’s the path you’re going down. So, what you want to do is rather than that is write a letter to Jill. Hey Jill. Here’s what the letter says. “I know you have this five acre property in Lancaster and it passes all my tests. I would love to buy it for $1,500, and I can have a check to you, a cashier’s check, hand delivered to you next week. How’s that sound? If you’re interested or if you want to do that, please read all the conditions here. Sign this, send it back, and I’ll get you a check on Thursday if it passes all my tests.” That’s the position you want to put yourself in, because now you have a deal.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: Then you go and check to see if you really want to buy it.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: Talking about real estate deals is the fastest way to kill it.
Jill DeWit: Oh my gosh. Isn’t that crazy?
Jack Butala: Talking in a marriage, fastest way to kill it.
Jill DeWit: Oh, that’s for sure.
Jack Butala: All talking leads to arguing.
Jill DeWit: What the heck? Oh my gosh. If we didn’t talk, we wouldn’t argue.
Jack Butala: That’s right.
Jill DeWit: Thank you, Jack.
Jack Butala: That’s it. We resorted to talking to each other on this show.
Jill DeWit: This is true. This is the only talking that’s allowed.
Jack Butala: Isn’t it great? We should try that.
Jill DeWit: That’s hilarious. I thought we did that.
Jack Butala: It’s kind of true. I learn more about what really goes on in your life week by week when we record this show.
Jill DeWit: It’s true. It is. And it’s just because we’re just naturally busy. We get up, and you do your thing and I do my thing. You go to your office, I go to my office. We might Skype a little bit during the day or there’s some emails, but there’s not a lot of talking.
Jack Butala: We have dinner every single night, though.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Jack Butala: That’s the way it should be.
Jill DeWit: And that part’s good. Exactly.
Jack Butala: There’s a lot of laughing at the dinner, I have to be honest.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I love Andrew. Andrew did exactly … He tested it, and he got the exact result that we predicted. So, now we’re going to help you take the next step, like Jack just explained.
Jack Butala: If you have a question or you’d like to hear the answer on this show, post it on Jack and Jill.com community.
Today’s topic: public disclosure. How much is too much? This is the meat of the show.
Jill, what did you think that I meant? You were cracking me up before.
Jill DeWit: Oh my goodness.
Jack Butala: We talked before the show. Tell us what you thought this title means.
Jill DeWit: This is funny.
Jack Butala: It’s probably what everybody else thinks, too.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. So, when I read the topic right before the show and I was starting to make some notes and think about it, I’m going legalese public disclosure like am I legally liable to disclose ABC in this transaction. I had my … I don’t know what hat I had on.
Jack Butala: Okay, so let me stop you right there. That’s not what I meant at all. And that would be maybe the most boring show we’ve ever done.
Jill DeWit: Right? I was wondering where you came up with that topic, and so I didn’t know how I was going to make that interesting.
Jack Butala: What I meant is how much do you talk about or tell your … How much do you talk about yourself, or what do you disclose with your Internet presence in the name of kind of branding yourself and selling real estate?
Jill DeWit: Hmm.
Jack Butala: Do you have a line, a conscious line?
Jill DeWit: You mean not just us personally. Let me clarify. I’m a seller. I’m a businessperson.
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Jack Butala: You have a website, you have a picture of you and your dog on the website. That’s obviously not across a line.
Jill DeWit: No.
Jack Butala: You have a marriage, which you could talk about, like us. That’s not across our line, but it might be across somebody else’s line.
Jill DeWit: I love it.
Jack Butala: We don’t give out our address.
Jill DeWit: Now that I understand what the topic really is about…
Jack Butala: You and everybody else.
Jill DeWit: … I’m happy to share … I want to share enough that people know I’m a real person. I want to be-
Jack Butala: I have feelings.
Jill DeWit: … transparent. Yes, I have feelings.
Jack Butala: I’m a real person, and I have feelings.
Jill DeWit: That’s right. I want them to know that …
Jack Butala: That’s an excerpt from a conversation Jill and I had earlier this week.
Jill DeWit: Thank you very much, Jack, for bringing that up here and putting me in that dark, dark place that I was that day. I’m just kidding. Oh, man.
So, for any woman listening, let me tell you what not to ask your significant other or to share with your significant other. Anything about feelings. Because I’ve learned that they really just don’t care. Just kidding.
Jack Butala: I don’t understand feelings. I have feelings, but I don’t pay attention to them really.
Jill DeWit: I know that. Well, I’m a girl, and we do things differently.
Jack Butala: How does it work? Really?
Jill DeWit: Well, you want to hear a really … I’m going to give you-
Jack Butala: On behalf of all men, I ask this question. How do feelings work for women?
Jill DeWit: I’m going to give you a very, very good example of when a man should pay attention to a woman’s feelings.
Jack Butala: Oh, this is good. Okay.
Jill DeWit: Ready for this?
Jack Butala: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Jill DeWit: Okay. You’re a man. You reconnected with a former business partner or college buddy from the past, and they presented to you what you think is an awesome business venture and something you should dump a lot of money into.
Jack Butala: I stopped listening.
Jill DeWit: I know, and I understand that. And then so you bring this home to me, and you’re explaining it to me and you’re telling me, “I just ran into Bob. We should put $100,000 into this. It’s the greatest thing on the planet. I know what we could do.” And then as a wife, I’m going to ask you some questions about it, and then we might uncover things. This is a woman intuit … I’m not kidding here. This is totally serious and totally legit. We might uncover things, and it’s based on a gut feeling, and by golly, it doesn’t mean that you have to take …
Jack Butala: This is absolutely when I would listen to you.
Jill DeWit: Seriously? Okay, thank you.
Jack Butala: Yeah, kidding aside.
Jill DeWit: Alright. So, I might ask some questions about it, and I might go, “You know what, I’m not feeling good about this one, and here’s why.” And part of it is I just get this sinking feeling in my stomach about it.
Jack Butala: That’s the female intuition. I buy into that 100%.
Jill DeWit: Well, that’s what I’m saying.
Jack Butala: Especially if you talk about $100,000.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: Which you’ll never see again with Bob.
Jill DeWit: Right. So, thank you. That’s my point when I’m talking about women’s feelings, and sometimes it might be worthwhile listening to us, and I call it feelings and I don’t know what you want to call it.
Jack Butala: Here’s what I don’t understand. Those flowers are making me feel good.
Jill DeWit: Oh.
Jack Butala: Or here’s another example, and again I speak on behalf of all men-
Jill DeWit: Well, I have a question for you.
Jack Butala: I know it’s in the calendar that we need to get this done today, but I just don’t feel like doing it.
Jill DeWit: Let me run this one by you, Jack.
Jack Butala: This is what I don’t understand.
Jill DeWit: Let me … Well, I’m going to help you, Jack. How does it make you feel when you get on your bike and you’re riding to the marina and you see your boat?
Jack Butala: I feel like I don’t have to work and I feel really good, actually.
Jill DeWit: Oh, so now you are kind of understanding where I’m going with that. And when you’re shopping for fishing and you’re thinking about your next fishing trip, and as you call it fish killing, fish murder.
Jack Butala: Fish murder.
Jill DeWit: And spears, and what you’re going to do with a buddy coming to town in a couple of weeks.
Jack Butala: Sears?
Jill DeWit: Spears.
Jack Butala: Oh, spears.
Jill DeWit: So, tell me how that makes you feel.
Jack Butala: I feel great about that.
Jill DeWit: That’s my point. So, sometimes-
Jack Butala: But I’m not surprised. None of that’s surprising. See, here’s the thing. Women don’t know what they’re going to feel like in an hour from now. I know exactly to the letter what I’m going to feel like an hour from now, and it’s in the calendar because I know what I’m going to do for the next hour in the calendar. Unless that gets really seriously interrupted, then I’m going to feel mad.
Jill DeWit: Doesn’t it sometimes with staff situations, though?
Jack Butala: So, I’m happy or mad. I have two emotions.
Jill DeWit: Okay. I think that we are actually more similar than you realize, but maybe some situations affect us differently.
Jack Butala: Welcome to Jack and Jill’s group therapy.
Jill DeWit: Apparently.
Jack Butala: The three of you that are still listening to this show.
Jill DeWit: Where are we going with this?
Jack Butala: Go ahead. So, we’re more similar?
Jill DeWit: Yeah, I don’t think we’re not that similar, Jack. For me, flowers. For you it’s a boat. I don’t think it’s crazy.
Jack Butala: It’s the inconsistency and the surprise. The surprise, like how many times as a man have you looked at your woman and it’s just like what is that? Why is she so upset about this? The same thing happened last week, same time of day with the same weather outside and she’s having a meltdown.
Jill DeWit: Well, there’s glaring examples, but I don’t really want to go into it now.
Jack Butala: Or it’s the opposite. Same thing happened last week, same weather and she was like kissing me on the cheek.
Jill DeWit: I can help you with that off the show.
Jack Butala: Which is today’s topic.
Jill DeWit: Oh, so there you go. That was a good role play.
Jack Butala: So, all kidding aside, you have a pretty serious Internet presence. So do I. Some of it’s collective, some of it’s individual. What are things that … Lines you won’t cross. I’m not going to give out my address online or my cell phone number. I guess you could find that if you wanted to. Then that just makes you a stalker. But what things are you really happy to report and talk about?
Jill DeWit: You know what’s interesting? I am more …
Jack Butala: What do you think sells land? Let’s put it that way.
Jill DeWit: I, by nature, disclose more than I think other people would be comfortable with, and I’m totally comfortable with it. I don’t have a problem. Here’s an example. It was hard for me, when you and I first started in business together, when I joined your business, you were very not transparent. You were not transparent at all. It was the name of the company. Good luck figuring out who owns the company, kind of thing. There weren’t any photos. It was real corporate. Maybe like Pepsi, you know what I mean?
Jack Butala: I have to say you were 100% right about that, and you changed my mind.
Jill DeWit: Thank you. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just saying … So, I adapted to that.
Jack Butala: I’m thanking you.
Jill DeWit: You’re welcome. And so I came in going okay, alright. So, now it’s nice to know that I can be … I can be transparent and put a picture up there. I like it. It’s fun for me. Because all it has done … This is a good topic, Jack. Thank you for bringing this up today. Being transparent and disclosing things about you, all it does is lead to credibility and great customers.
Jack Butala: And trust, and building trust. And that’s my whole point to all this. I really tried to, and for serious, it’s not a trick, establish trust. Anything that we can do that’s going to establish trust by letting the whole world in on the Internet, into our lives, within reason, to establish credibility, like we’re real people. Hopefully this show does that. Kind of get to know who we really are. I don’t put up with really any BS when it comes to any of this. I think that you’re a little bit more lenient, which is I think why your inspiration and I’m information. And I hope everything else is just kind of details.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Along the topic is if you make a mistake and you share your mistake, that is huge. That really benefits you in the end, and we do that all the time, like on this show.
Jack Butala: This whole show is probably [crosstalk 00:18:43] is a mistake.
Jill DeWit: But in the real world I’ll go you know that’s part of the … That’s one of the things about our first program that we rolled out. That was an underlying theme that you had, and all the content was look. There’s a reason why we’re here now, and there’s a reason why we’re doing it this way. It’s very different than when we started in the 90s. We made a lot of mistakes, and we can help you and save you from making those mistakes.
Jack Butala: I just made a massive staffing decision mistake.
Jill DeWit: You did?
Jack Butala: Yeah. And the person’s no longer with us. She was with us for two weeks, and she had an incredible resume as a title person, a title escrow experience, seasoned title escrow officer. And when we got right into it and I ran her through the whole title … She was going to work for Title Mind. I ran her through the stuff that our regular members do and we do every day. Do a deed, take the vesting deed, look it up, create a new document, and orchestrate the closing to buy houses or landed. And she made the single most set of basic mistakes that I would expect a brand new, first deed member to make.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: A non-member, even like a green level member. And I confronted her about it and gave her chance after chance after chance. She was defensive and never told me the truth.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: So, my point is … I just disclosed my whole mistake.
Jill DeWit: Thank you, Jack.
Jack Butala: And the next time … We have a protocol. Jill established a hiring protocol a lot of years ago, which I did not follow. I went rogue, did it on my own, and it bit me in the butt.
Jill DeWit: But you recovered.
Jack Butala: It involved tests, and we laugh about it now.
Jill DeWit: You recovered, Jack.
Jack Butala: It certainly delayed the launch of the website, but stuff happens, right?
Jill DeWit: You know I’m watching our members. I’m watching our members that are vocal on social media and sharing their properties and sharing what they’re doing, and when they make the videos and everything it’s really them making them, and I think that just speaks volumes. And I see those people doing really, really, really well.
Jack Butala: You know what I think is great? Along those lines is there’s several people at certain situations, certain things that they are now way better at-
Jill DeWit: Than us?
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Jack Butala: We have one member that’s way better at doing property driven videos from a marketing standpoint than we are, and we have got other members … I have yet to see somebody who can put together a higher yield mailer than us, but I’m going to hang my hat on that for a while.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Jack Butala: But higher yield meaning you get a better response for X amount of mailers and scrubbing data is what I mean.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Jack Butala: Anyway.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: Establishing trust is really the whole point of public disclosure.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Jack Butala: If you can establish trust with your customers in anything, that’s people in your life, you’re going to do great. And then do good on it. That goes without saying.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, back up what you say. If you say you’re this kind of a person, you better be that kind of a person and show it.
Jack Butala: Join us tomorrow where we discuss the value of face-to-face meetings.
Jill DeWit: And we answer Luke’s missed question about house plants.
Jack Butala: And maybe by then we’ll understand the new script.
You are not alone in your real estate ambition.
Good show, Jill.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: I’m getting used to this new script. Are you?
Jill DeWit: Yup. I am. I’m liking it. It’s still a little out of my comfort zone, and in an effort to be transparent and just full public disclosure, like this show topic, it’s nice talking about other real, cool stuff. We still are doing our property and our real estate and that kind of thing and tying it all together, but we get to talk a little more about big picture, and it’s very enjoyable for me. So, thank you, Jack.
Jack Butala: You’re welcome.
Jill DeWit: And therapeutic.
Jack Butala: There’s a lot of stuff that needs to get discussed, I think.
Jill DeWit: I agree.
Jack Butala: That’s helpful more than just buying real estate.
Jill DeWit: Totally.
Hey, so share the fun by subscribing on iTunes or wherever you are listening and rate us there while you’re at it.
Both: We are Jack and Jill.
Jack Butala: I’m information.
Jill DeWit: And I’m inspiration.
Jack Butala: And we buy undervalued property.
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.