Learning from Pissed Off Customers (JJ 638)
Jack Butala: Jack-Jill here.
Jill DeWit: Hi.
Jack Butala: Welcome to the Jack-Jill Show entertaining real estate investment advice. I’m Jack Butala.
Jill DeWit: And I’m Jill DeWit broadcasting from sunny southern California.
Jack Butala: Today Jill and I talk about learning from your pissed off customers.
Jill DeWit: This is going to be really good.
You know I like to think we don’t have a lot. I know we don’t have a lot, but every now and then …
Jack Butala: I’d like think that our staff protects us from them.
Jill DeWit: This is true in a perfect world.
Jack Butala: I’m actually joking around about that because Jill and I take that very seriously. That’s what this show’s about. This is a gauge for how you’re doing, it has nothing to do with your customers. If everybody’s upset all the time at your house, in your life, it’s probably you. I’m really talking to myself right now.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. If you spouse, your children, everybody in your family, just kidding.
Jack Butala: Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the jackjill.com online community. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: Okay. B.D. asks, “Hi, all. I’ve done several deals so far. All have been through a tech company and relatively local. I’ve got an out-of-state deal now and would like to sell it just like I’m buying it, trading a cashier’s check for a deed. I understand how to buy out of state, all my sources so far have been out of state, but how do you sell out of state? I can’t imagine telling someone who met me off Craigslist, ‘Send me a check and I’ll send you a deed,’ or even, ‘Hire a notary to bring me a check and he or she will send you your deed.’ I guess a lot in my work, but people may be suspicious. Curious, how do you all sell out of state with inhouse closing? Thanks.”
They are five plus responses in landinvestors.com.
Jack Butala: That’s what my point is here, I’m sure this is resolved for him now because a bunch of responses from our staff. You want to answer it, Jill, or should-
Jill DeWit: It’s funny when you’re new and you don’t grasp this concept, but it’s true. It’s just like you did you’re, think about this. When you’re buying a property out of state, you’re doing your due diligence. You’re checking out the person, make sure that they own it, the addresses all line up so where you’re sending the cashier’s check is the address on file with the assessor, you have a notary going to that person’s house so you know they’re going to get their ID and have it all done the right way. So you did your homework and you feel good about this transaction.
The same thing is happening when you’re selling. Whoever’s buying from you, if you don’t have a good website and your presence and everything, then you are going to put up some red flags for them. But if you do it all right, then you have a solid website. The person buying from you can go see, “Oh, look, look how many properties this guy has, look how many he’s sold. Oh, there’s a picture of him and his dog. Oh, and here are some videos. This guy’s clearly in the business. This is what he does. All right, that checks my box.” So that’s what you need to do and then, “Send me a check and I’ll send you the deed.” Not crazy at all.
That’s exactly a great … or let’s take it a step further. You didn’t even have to talk to them. They check you out, they love the property, they’ve been doing it. Here’s what we do, you have a button right there, “It’s click here to pay.” They click there, they put their credit card in. You could even have an input how they want their deed prepared and what to say and then a little note with an audio reply saying, “Thank you very much. We’ve accepted your payment and your deed will be going out within 48 hours. Watch for tracking information,” or however you want to do it.
None of this is crazy. Your customers get it. You can have the process spelled out on your website.
Jack Butala: That’s the answer.
Jill DeWit: Have an FAQ, “Here’s how it goes,” and then it’s just beautiful.
Jack Butala: How you present yourself really, really matters here. If they’re looking to you for the answers, they want to buy the property, they’ve done their research and so they’re saying, “All right. What’s the next step?” So if you say, “Send me a check and I’ll send you the deed,” and you say it like that … you have to really present yourself and say, “We do this all the time. We’ve sold X, Y, Z amount of properties. I belong to a group that does this for a living, we all do it together. You have a couple of choices, you can send me a check and I’ll send you the deed. I can take your credit card number because we accept credit cards or I can send a notary out. I’m going to have to charge you, if this is not within your comfort level and I get it, I’m happy to send a notary out. Please have a cashier’s check ready. Hand them the check and she’ll hand you the deed,” or he.
So you have to present this like, man, you know exactly what’s going on, it’s old hat. I personally put this little twist on it. “Look, you want the property, you’re going to do it my way.”
Jill DeWit: Yeah, there is that too.
Jack Butala: 15,000 people before you didn’t have a problem with this. So if this is your problem and you don’t want to buy this property that bad-
Jill DeWit: That’s fine.
Jack Butala: … there’s 22 other people behind you.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. That’s okay. I understand.
Jack Butala: We run our whole business like that and it’s amazing how fast people fall back into line.
Jill DeWit: That’s totally true.
Jack Butala: If you don’t, you don’t.
Jill DeWit: No, and that’s fine.
Jack Butala: Buyer or seller.
Jill DeWit: And you know what? Be ready for this too. There are a lot of tire kickers out there so don’t get hung up on someone that needs 18 different things. Don’t. I’ve helped a lot of our members like, “The guy wants to see something that I own the property or something.” Ding, red flag, not the right buyer. If they need to see … I remember being very, very new and thinking that myself and going down that path and I learned, that was wrong. They don’t, it’s-
Jack Butala: If you talk to them more than one or two times, something’s wrong. But the customers you want to attract really have nothing to say and they just pay. That tells me then too, this falls into what our show’s about today.
Jill DeWit: It’s kind of like a life partner. They have nothing to say and they just pay. Isn’t that what everybody wants? That’s what every woman wants.
Jack Butala: Jack, where’s your wife. I don’t know, I haven’t heard from her in a couple weeks.
Jill DeWit: I just keep putting money into the account, I don’t know where she is, but whatever.
Jack Butala: You know, I know this for sure. I haven’t heard from her so she’s not complaining.
Jill DeWit: Exactly, she’s not pissed off.
Jack Butala: That’s a perfect prelude to today’s topic … learning from your pissed off wife. No, I mean, your pissed off customers.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: This isn’t me, the show.
Jill DeWit: Oh, my God. All right. So before we get into what the real topic is about, Jack, I would love to ask you, I want two questions, I want us both to answer. One, I want to know what is your worst customer story, your most pissed off customer, and then I also want to know a time that you were the worst customer. Okay, give me your worst experience from a customer story first.
Jack Butala: Okay. My worst customer in this business, I’ll tell you, I never let it get that far and that’s the truth. I’m digging in my head right now for a story where somebody’s just livid. I never let it get that far. If anybody for any reason, in the land business anyways, is upset about anything, I return their money.
Jill DeWit: I have one. I have one.
Jack Butala: And that’s it.
Jill DeWit: You had one recently where it was a customer, but he was wrong so you politely informed him he was wrong.
Jack Butala: Go ahead.
Jill DeWit: Do you know what I’m talking about?
Jack Butala: Uh-uh. (negative)
Jill DeWit: Someone needed something from an old transaction. They bought a piece of property from us and they needed-
Jack Butala: Oh, yeah.
Jill DeWit: … to contact a person. And the person came back pissed off.
Jack Butala: Oh, yeah, I do remember this, a good customer of ours.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. Your first initial reaction was, “What did my staff do?” You really were taking his side, which I understand, and thinking, “Uh-oh, we dropped the ball,” and you went to the staff and the staff said, “Oh, no, we did A, B, and C,” so you went back to the guy-
Jack Butala: I actually let him have it.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, yeah, said, “Get your facts straight before you come screaming at me.” Too funny.
One of mine was on the phone, I had a job where I was on the phone and it was American Airlines. People on the phone, now via email when it’s not face-to-face, they just seem to have this attitude-
Jack Butala: I know and it’s been like that forever.
Jill DeWit: … and I just remember a guy screaming at me saying, “I lost his bag,” when I clearly had nothing to do with the situation. Wasn’t in the same city.
Jack Butala: That is so funny.
Jill DeWit: I just was the one that got to get it, I answered the phone so I got it. It could have been, dream it up, anything.
Jack Butala: It could have been the person at the coffee shop.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Okay, tell me about a time, Jack, where you felt you were the worst customer on the planet.
Jack Butala: I really wish I had a story.
Jill DeWit: Oh, I’ve got one.
Jack Butala: Oh, okay. Well, obviously, you’re paying attention to my life and that’s good.
Jill DeWit: That’s my job.
Jack Butala: Well thank you. It’s really not your job, but thank you anyway.
Jill DeWit: You’re welcome. Yeah, it isn’t my job, why do I do that? I don’t know. That’s really silly. No, I’m trying, wait, we have some and I’m trying to think of one right now … all right, let me get to my story.
Mine is, a couple months ago when I was flying to Sacramento, I got to the airport plenty of time, so early it was ridiculous. You never know how much time security’s going to take so I planned ahead. I had enough time to sit down, eat some breakfast, have some coffee, the whole thing. I go over to the gate and I realize it’s at a stupid satellite terminal. I’m like, “Oh, great.” So I’m stuck waiting for this bus to take me out to the satellite terminal thinking, “All right. We still have plenty of time. It’s totally cool.” So waiting, waiting, waiting. Well, there happens to be something with the bus and I’m like, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” So I ended up getting over there, running up to the counter, and it’s one of those, you can see the plane, the door’s closed and they’re just like standing there, half smirking.
Jack Butala: Yeah, it’s that smirk that kills you.
Jill DeWit: “Not my problem because it’s the airport runs the bus, we don’t run the bus,” kind of thing. I was one of five people. It was so funny because I looked like the mother hen with these little ducklings behind me.
Jack Butala: You took charge.
Jill DeWit: I totally took charge. They got in line behind me and they were all like, “Yeah, what she said.” It was so funny.
Jack Butala: They’re not going to get mad.
Jill DeWit: So I was there representing this group of people that were all doing the right thing, plenty early, and everything and you … man, I was livid. You know what? It really wasn’t any … it wasn’t their fault. I’m standing there talking to the gate agent and explaining how much I paid for my ticket and, “This is ridiculous,” and all this stuff and it didn’t make a difference. They’re not going to do anything even though we’re all waving good-bye to the plane. Anyway.
Jack Butala: You know when I go off on people and I really shouldn’t?
Jill DeWit: What?
Jack Butala: When I get full blown cold calls sales calls on my cell phone over and over and over again.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Jack Butala: I recently just went nuts over that. I’m not really a customer.
Jill DeWit: So this one poor person, you came up on auto dial and it was their, the wrong day.
Jack Butala: I’ll tell you, honestly. I don’t want to get all philosophical here, but all that does is hurt me. Why do I need to have a blood pressure rise in the middle of the day. By the way, you and I are doing just fine in life. Okay?
Jill DeWit: I know.
Jack Butala: If you miss a flight and it’s completely somebody’s fault and it’s from Sacramento back and forth, it’s not going to-
Jill DeWit: It’s not going to change anything.
Jack Butala: The kids are fine, there’s a bunch of money coming in. Everything’s fine. That’s really what, I hate when people say this crap like I just said, like, “Oh, man, just chill out. It’s fine.”
Jill DeWit: But here you are saying it.
Jack Butala: I know. There’s a way to solve it all. Get a new cell phone number or don’t put yourself in that position. I blew my top in a car dealership a bunch of years ago, this is before I met you. The way that’s all set up, you’re just set up to fail.
Jill DeWit: Oh, yeah. You have to spend all day there.
Jack Butala: In any environment where, I’ve said this on the show before, where you go in to buy something or you’re there and then you leave and you bought it and everybody’s high fiving each other because they made so much money, that really just gets under my skin for some reason. I knew that was happening one time in a Volvo dealership a long time ago and I went nuts because I knew how much the car was worth.
Jill DeWit: Did you buy the car?
Jack Butala: Well, I got out of it.
Jill DeWit: So you did not buy the car?
Jack Butala: I loved that car, I wanted the car bad, I liked the car deal. I couldn’t stand the people that were involved, just spray them with Lysol, it’s that slimy. I guess the whole point of this show is to not run a shop like that. Isn’t it?
Jill DeWit: I think so. Yeah, that’s the point. When we were talking earlier before the show and you shared with me your vision on this, it’s true, it’s usually us. Especially if it’s more than one unhappy person, maybe if all your employees are unhappy, or your customers are unhappy, or you’re always unhappy at them, if there’s more than one, then it’s probably you.
Jack Butala: So we are in the business of sending unsolicited offers to owners of real property, right? And a huge part of that is pricing real estate correctly, not too low so you make everybody upset and nobody sends any offers back and not too high so you don’t make any money. It’s a delicate situation. Invariably, you’re going to upset some people. The analogy I constantly use is basketball. Your good basketball player’s going to get four fouls right around the end of the fourth quarter, right? If you don’t, you’re not trying hard enough. But if you get too many, you’re going to get kicked out of the game. You’re going to get benched.
Jill DeWit: That’s how I feel about speeding tickets. Just kidding.
Jack Butala: That’s what you do. So you have to, I’m trying not to talk out of both sides of my mouth on this topic. You have to upset some people to know that it’s working, but if everybody’s pissed off, I mean, angry, angry …
Here’s an example. If somebody calls and says, “I just received a letter for my house or my land and you people …,” then there’s expletive, expletive, expletive, “I can’t believe who raised you,” and on and on and on. What do you do? “I can’t believe you called me and said …,” no, you don’t do that. You say, “Mr. Jones …,” I have a bunch of canned responses. “Mr. Jones, you are clearly correct. I am clearly wrong. I priced your offer incorrectly. While we do a ton of research before this stuff goes out, I made a mistake with your offer. Please accept my sincerest apology and you won’t hear from us again.” Nine times out of 10, you know what they say, “Well, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I know you sent if for 140 …,” just diffuse the situation.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, that’s the easiest thing.
Jack Butala: And then they end up selling the property to you.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. That’s the easiest thing.
I would love to hear you say that to me sometime. I’m just imagining, “You know, Jill …”
Jack Butala: Jill, I clearly-
Jill DeWit: “I clearly bought too small of a necklace. Have a diamond and I want you to accept my sincerest apology.” Just kidding.
Jack Butala: Jill and I were in Costco, this was like four months ago looking at that case, you know, that every woman’s all, there’s 90 women around there.
Jill DeWit: You have to look at that case. They put it right by the front door on purpose.
Jack Butala: I said, “Jill, what do you think of this?” She’s like, “That diamond’s too big.” I’m like, “What?” I’ve never heard a woman say that sentence in my life, “Diamond’s too big.”
Jill DeWit: Well, you know, there’s a happy medium.
Jack Butala: Is there?
Jill DeWit: Yes, there is. Like my earrings today?
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Can you see?
Jack Butala: I can’t see the headphones. Yeah.
Jill DeWit: There you go.
Jack Butala: I bought those for you.
Jill DeWit: I know. Those were my Christmas present. I wear them almost every day because I really, really love them.
Jack Butala: The point is not Jill’s earring here, although they do look really good.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: Learn from the people that are upset and constantly roll with it and change with it. Look at yourself, look inward. I don’t want to sound like Buddhist here, but look inward.
Jill DeWit: Kind of do.
Jack Butala: I know.
Jill DeWit: I was going to say, you know you did it right. Our members have all this whole concept down and it’s great because I almost see the same replies often in the online community was, “All right, wave one, there’s going to be pissed off people. You know you did it right when have a percentage, a small percentage every time of pissed off people. Wave two is, here come some offers and then trickling forever.”
Jack Butala: Then wave three is usually, this is an immediate response, [inaudible 17:09] wave three is negotiation, some of the counteroffers come in. And then, for years and years and years, you get one or two or three a month from one mailer.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. That’s awesome.
Jack Butala: That’s actually good, useful information.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Jack Butala: You’re going to upset a few people, but you’re going to get years of potential deal flow.
Jill DeWit: I think too, it’s funny, people get-
Jack Butala: Decades.
Jill DeWit: … I’ve again, watched our members and they’re like, “Yeah, I’m over it now.” There’s the initial, “Yeah,” you hate upsetting people, I do, I don’t want to upset anybody, but you kind of get a little bit numb to it, if you will, and you’re like, “I understand. Okay. There’s going to be those people that are unhappy,” and you don’t let it get to you and it’s okay.
Jack Butala: It took me really a lot, when I started this, I was totally not prepared for it. That first two or three mailers we sent out, I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, what are we doing, we’re doing something wrong.” But I’ll tell you, if the unopened mail is staring at you at your desk and you’re defusing a situation on the phone and then you open four offers from the same subdivision for the same price, after a while it’s like, “Bring it.”
Jill DeWit: Yeah, it’s like, I obviously priced it correctly because these people agree, that guy’s the problem and that’s okay. He’s allowed to.
Jack Butala: I think if you owned a coffee shop, one or two percent of the people there, are going to be unhappy with something.
Jill DeWit: It doesn’t matter, like right now, your beautiful car in the garage, someone could come along and say, “Hey, I’ll give you …,” whatever for it and you know what it’s worth. Part of you wants to laugh, part of you is like, “Hey, hold me back, I’m going to pop the guy.”
Jack Butala: Nah, I wouldn’t-
Jill DeWit: I know.
Jack Butala: … begrudge anyone for making an offer that-
Jill DeWit: That’s because that’s what we do though.
Jack Butala: … because part of me is like, “You know what? I’m thinking about buying a new car anyway.”
Jill DeWit: Hold on a moment. This is a different situation because that’s who you are. A lot of people aren’t that way, that’s not their business. It’s like, “The price tag is the price tag. We don’t roll that way.”
Jack Butala: We’ve all been conditioned, most of us have for maximizing price and it’s something that’s really hard to get out of your head, it was hard for me even. I want to get every single dollar out of my car, every single dollar out of the house. I just don’t that’s … you’re not like that. You’ve never been like that. You’re like a dealmaker, you innately want to … if somebody offered you money for your car and it was reasonable, you would take it.
Jill DeWit: Oh, yeah, bring it.
Jack Butala: You’d go buy another one.
Jill DeWit: Bring it. All negotiation-
Jack Butala: You’re just set up for that.
Jill DeWit: Everything. I’m totally, totally good with that. It can be tiring, but I could do that. Man, Mexico, bring it.
Jack Butala: Mexico?
Jill DeWit: It seems like in Mexico, why is that, we don’t negotiate as much. If you go to Mexico, you negotiate everything.
Jack Butala: I think it’s everywhere in the world’s like that.
Jill DeWit: It’s everyone but us?
Jack Butala: Yeah, but here is what I think. That’s a great question.
Jill DeWit: We’re price tag crazy here.
Jack Butala: I think everyone in general, our country is complacent. I think everybody’s scratching around in the rest of the world trying to survive and so every cent does count.
Jill DeWit: Maybe, all right. I don’t know, I don’t get it. We’re weird here.
Jack Butala: I personally can’t stand negotiating. I’ve said it on the show a million times.
Jill DeWit: I love it.
Jack Butala: That’s not my thing.
Jill DeWit: It’s fun for me. I really have fun.
Jack Butala: My answer is, just send more offers out. If you send an offer campaign out and you get three or four transactions from it and you want 13 transactions, just send more offers out. I think your answer is to make deals out of deals that aren’t there.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. You know you have a data high?
Jack Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: I have a negotiate high. I have like, “Winning, get my price high.” I do, I have a price in my head and I’m going to get that. You watch me.
Jack Butala: We’re good partners together, Jill.
Jill DeWit: Yes, we are.
Jack Butala: Join us tomorrow. Well, you’ve done it again actually, wasted another 25 minutes of so listening to the Jack-Jill show. Join us tomorrow where we discuss what the first step in our research is.
Jill DeWit: And we answer your questions should you have one posted on jackjill.com.
Jack Butala: You are not alone in your real estate ambition.
Jill DeWit: It’s funny talking about this topic, don’t you think?
Jack Butala: It became like how different we are and that’s okay. Why would I want a business partner that’s the same as me?
Jill DeWit: Wouldn’t it be awful?
Jack Butala: It’d be terrible.
Jill DeWit: Can you imagine, there’d be so much-
Jack Butala: There’d be arguing.
Jill DeWit: Would we be fighting over who did the most research or-
Jack Butala: No, we’d be fighting on whose mailer’s better, whose data’s better. And then you and I would sit there and say, “Well, I sold more property than you did, Jack.” That’s what you’re supposed to do.
Jill DeWit: That’s kind of your job. [inaudible 22:00]
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