Who is set up to Succeed the Most (LA 720)

Who is set up to Succeed the Most (LA 720)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hello.

Steven Butala:                   Welcome to the Land Academy show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

Jill DeWit:                            And I am Jill DeWit, broadcasting from sunny Southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today Jill and I talk about whose set up to succeed the most in this crazy business we’ve chosen for ourselves.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s not the guy with the most money.

Steven Butala:                   Nope.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s not the person … I’m trying to think of another funny … What do you think? I think people think the most money is going to succeed, and it’s not.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, it’s not the dreamy … it’s not any of that stuff. It’s all set up for biz.

Jill DeWit:                            And it’s not the one that walks around with the most positive attitude. Could you imagine?

Steven Butala:                   Life is beautiful, man.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, that’s okay. Just write him a check.

Steven Butala:                   Don’t get mad at that guy, he’s okay.

Jill DeWit:                            Money solves it all.

Steven Butala:                   God, we live in Southern California.

Jill DeWit:                            I know.

Steven Butala:                   I’m a little tired of that.

Jill DeWit:                            Hey-

Steven Butala:                   There’s a happy medium to everything. I guess that’s what we’re going to talk about.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes.

Steven Butala:                   Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the LandAcademy.com online community. It’s free. You’re just gonna … Gimme it. Give it to me.

Jill DeWit:                            No.

Steven Butala:                   [crosstalk 00:01:11] just a second ago.

Jill DeWit:                            David asks, “1. What criteria do you all use to identify motivated land sellers?” I think the go-to is tax delinquent.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, I can-

Jill DeWit:                            Are there any other search filters people have had success with?

Steven Butala:                   David-

Jill DeWit:                            Number two …

Steven Butala:                   Wait a minute.

Jill DeWit:                            I don’t think this person is a member.

Steven Butala:                   I don’t think so, either.

Jill DeWit:                            This is fun. I like this game. Hey. Number two, “To get tax delinquent lists,” because David’s hung up on this. He doesn’t know us. “I know direct from the county is the best and most accurate approach,” David really does not know us.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, David.

Jill DeWit:                            We can really help you, David. “I’d like to work in a few counties and move around regularly, trying different areas.” This would be extremely time consuming, that’s one of the reasons we don’t do it. “So, I’m wondering if a lot of you just skip the county and go directly to a provider,” see, this is how I know he’s not a member.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            “Like, List Source [inaudible 00:02:13] 24/7, or something alike. If so, which one do you like best? Thanks, David.” This is perfect. Let me back up by saying this is exactly why we have this on the community. I am so glad you posted this question.

Steven Butala:                   And why we have this show.

Jill DeWit:                            This is what most people think, David. David, you’re actually a little bit ahead of most people. They’re not even thinking … They don’t even have any idea. At least you thought of some way that someone might not want a property of what might be a trigger as they’re not paying their taxes, and they’re tax delinquent. Love the path you’re going on. Boy, can we help you.

Steven Butala:                   These are fantastic first week questions.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   I thank you for asking them, and I’m glad that … Producer, thank you, if she listens at all, for including this because this is good stuff. We don’t focus on tax delinquent properties ever. When there’s a tax delinquent property, it’s a massive … And nine times out of 10, it’s a sign that there’s some other stuff going on, like the owner is dead, or they just stopped paying the taxes, they’re not organized enough to just accept a letter.

                                                The other point, too, is that for whatever reason, people who have tax delinquent property get a lot more inquiries about selling it than regular people-

Jill DeWit:                            Because of all those people that are focusing on it.

Steven Butala:                   Because wherever David learned this, that’s the problem. So, we’re corrected here, though.

Jill DeWit:                            I like to paint the picture. You know you’re driving down the street, and there’s that one boarded up house. It looks like it’s been boarded up for six years, and you think you’re the first one to find it? You’re not. It was boarded up for six years, and for six years, people like you have been driving along getting all excited, and then got nowhere when they got into it and realized there was a problem.

                                                Something somebody passed on, or it’s tied up in probate, or somebody, a brother, is holding out and he won’t sell, or something like that. There’s always a problem, like you just said. That’s what, I think, is comical. My other point I was going to make, too, on this first part is we don’t seek out tax delinquent, obviously, but I don’t weed out tax delinquent, too.

Steven Butala:                   We don’t avoid them either.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. You just need to go in and hit everybody, and then if someone comes up, part of our due diligence is seeing where are they on their taxes, and then depending on where they are on the tax situation, I just kind of roll that into the acquisition price. Maybe the property is worth … I want to buy it for $3,000.00, but I find out they have $800.00 in back taxes. Now, my offer price just went down to $2,000.00, and you don’t have to write a check. That’s one of the things that we do.

Steven Butala:                   To follow along with Jill’s, visualize this in your head. You’re driving down a side street somewhere. There’s that rundown, dumpy house that Jill’s talking about. Right next to it is one that’s been completely renovated. I mean, the labels from the window manufacturer are still on the window.

                                                The Andersen labels are on them, and then right next to that is a house that was built in 1987. It’s never been updated. You send a letter that says, “I would like to buy your house,” to all three. Whose going to sign it?

Jill DeWit:                            Are you asking me?

Steven Butala:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jill DeWit:                            Well first of all, here’s what’s going to happen. The seller at the end with the boarded up house is going to sign it so fast and get it back to you, because he’s all excited thinking you’re going to pay him money, and he’s going to take it and run. But there’s a problem, and it’s never going to happen. That’s what’s funny.

Steven Butala:                   What’s the problem?

Jill DeWit:                            Meaning that the letter came back a little too fast, [inaudible 00:05:50] to sign. Maybe there’s a problem there, and there is. You will find the problem.

Steven Butala:                   Like their dead.

Jill DeWit:                            Like their dead. Yeah, it’s the son that signed.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, and he has no business signing that letter.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   But he’s just going to that mailbox-

Jill DeWit:                            Because this guy just offered to write me up a check. I’m going to get this check and run.

Steven Butala:                   Let’s see how dumb they are.

Jill DeWit:                            Right?

Steven Butala:                   That’s what he said to himself.

Jill DeWit:                            Maybe it’s going to happen. This time, it’s going to happen. So, that’s passed. Seller number two is going to you a very nice phone call saying, “Are you off your rocker? Have you not seen my house? The stickers are still on the windows, and I just put a pool in. Not only do I not want to sell, I don’t want to sell to you, and you are way under price. Add a million and call me.” That’s that one.

                                                The third one is, “Wow, the kids just moved out. We are now empty nesters. I have 10 years from retirement. I have owned this house for 30 years. It’s paid off. I can’t wait. Wait a minute, I paid $45,000.00 for it, and you’re offering me 210? Man, I’m going to really think about this,” or, “I’m in,” or “I’m going to talk to my wife. I wanted to make sure you’re legit. We’re going to talk next week.”

Steven Butala:                   I’m trying to make a point, and I hope I made it. The real estate doesn’t matter. The circumstance that the seller is in, is what you’re looking for. Time and time again, I get emails every single week that our existing members say, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You’re exactly right.” I just bought a house from, whatever. I just bought 200 pieces of property from a guy that just decided that he wants to leave money, not real estate, to his kids. It has nothing to do with the real estate.

                                                So, if you’re in the business of trying to get “leads” … I hate that word, leads of motivated sellers, then you’re doing it wrong. Everybody needs to get a letter, who doesn’t have a mortgage. Don’t you think?

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative). Do you want to address that in question number two?

Steven Butala:                   Question number to, to get tax delinquent lists directly from the county is the best and most accurate approach. Where do you get it, Jill?

Jill DeWit:                            Real Quest Pro, Data Tree, and we use Not Agent Pro 24/7, we use Title Pro 24/7, which is their mac daddy product.

Steven Butala:                   We are licensed providers of the three data aggregators. Where do they get the data? Directly from the county. Why don’t you just go to the county and get it? It’d be cheaper and easier. Because it’s in a horrific format. Every county has some cockamamie scheme about how they put data together. The reason that you pay these people a subscription like Data Tree or Real Quest, is because they aggregate it into an easy to use form and you don’t have to be a data expert.

Jill DeWit:                            And you don’t have to go to the county, and you don’t have to decipher it. I’ve talked to a lot of people who have done it that way … And I love it, actually. When I talk to people who have done that, they’re like, “I had to drive to this county to pick it up. This one mailed it to me. It took them two weeks.”

                                                “And, this one, I’m not even sure they included all the criteria that I wanted,” and I’m trying to figure it all out. So now we’re three weeks in, trying to put it all together, and when I did mine overnight … Well that’s too bad. I just spent two hours on it, and I’m good to go.

Steven Butala:                   Or two weeks.

Jill DeWit:                            They spent weeks. I spent two hours.

Steven Butala:                   These lists usually come in what’s called an Ask you [inaudible 00:09:04] Form. If that makes your eyes roll back in the back of your head, like it does with Jill, I think, going to the county is not for you. What are you saving anyway? The list is going to cost $50.00-$100.00 to get the list.

Jill DeWit:                            Some are like $200.00. I’ve heard more.

Steven Butala:                   Here’s what’s not in there-

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Do they have a mortgage? You don’t know that. They don’t keep track of that.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   So now, what I just said in the beginning, like everybody who doesn’t have a mortgage gets a letter, you don’t know that. I mean, you gotta trust us. At least on this. A subscription to any one of these things costs between $200.00-$1,000.00. We have all of them. We include all the stuff, and it’s way cheaper than that for what you get, because we’ve negotiated a fantastic deal.

                                                Today’s topic, Who is Set Up to Succeed the Most in this Crazy Business That We’ve Chosen for Ourselves? This is the meat of the show. Jill, if you’re over being mad at me, can you-

Jill DeWit:                            I wanna hear yours. You go first this time.

Steven Butala:                   You are so mad at me.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m not going to go first. Probably never again.

Steven Butala:                   I would kiss you, but it won’t come across on the air.

Jill DeWit:                            Thanks.

Steven Butala:                   The person who is set up to succeed the most in this business understands that when I say this sentence, there’s a little switch that flips in their head, and they realize that they don’t actually have to learn anything else. [inaudible 00:10:31] become an expert at anything else for the rest of their lives, if they just master this one thing: Buying undervalued real estate consistently. That’s whose going to succeed.

                                                If that’s not setting off all kinds of bells and whistles in your head, and you’re new, then … If you can buy a house for $150,000.00 without doing anything to it, it’s worth $210,000.00 or $200,000.00, that should flip a switch in your head. Do it consistently and not just once, and do it 10 times a week. If you don’t understand that buying an apartment building where the owner has just found out that they have some medical condition and he wants to create a good situation for his family, and he’s willing to take a little bit less just to make it happen fast, this isn’t for you.

                                                If that just makes you stop and pull over the car while you’re listening to this and say, “What do you mean I can do that, and it’s consistent?” That’s whose set up to succeed for this. If you love to change wallpaper out, not for you. We spent yesterday talking about why people fail. This show is about who is set up to succeed. What do you think, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, you brought up a good point about the values and undervalued, there actually are people, I’m sure you’ve talked to them, too, out there, that they’re like, “Well, that’s just not nice. Retail is this. I should pay retail.”

Steven Butala:                   Sure.

Jill DeWit:                            This is not for you, then.

Steven Butala:                   I get that once in a while, still.

Jill DeWit:                            Isn’t that funny.

Steven Butala:                   Why are you taking advantage of people?

Jill DeWit:                            Right?

Steven Butala:                   You should give them the top of the market? You should give them the full value of what their house is worth. Okay, well, this isn’t for you.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s like, I don’t want answer with, “Have you ever had a yard sale? If so, why?” You should have done it full price, and you should have cleaned it up and make it look pretty, and you should have sold it online and done professional photographs and everything for all the stuff in your yard.

Steven Butala:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative), for $22.00.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, exactly. Then they go, “No, it’s a yard sale. I couldn’t care less.” Well then, yes, that’s what these people think about these properties at that-

Steven Butala:                   If you’re an altruistic person like this, there’s a million careers out there for you.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes.

Steven Butala:                   Nursing, civil engineer-

Jill DeWit:                            Anything involving insurance.

Steven Butala:                   All kinds of … You could maybe try to make the world a better place by being a politician.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s a great idea.

Steven Butala:                   You could be a pro bono only lawyer and eat Ramen Noodles for the rest of your life. Real estate investment may not be for you. 

Jill DeWit:                            That’s good.

Steven Butala:                   Why don’t you go do people’s tax returns for free in the inner city? That’s good. That’d be good for you.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. That’s perfect.

Steven Butala:                   I’m not saying be greedy. I’m not saying be nasty. The fact is this, and there’s no way that people believe me when I say this stuff until it actually happens to them. Every single one of these people thank us throughout the whole transaction.

Jill DeWit:                            I know.

Steven Butala:                   I have letter after letter of people that have thanked me and said that, “You allowed me to take my mother to Hawaii when she was diagnosed and terminally ill. The money that you sent us for buying this property, thank you, thank you, thank you.” I have tons of them. Tons of them.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Look, I’m not saying that we’re in this for altruistic reasons. I’m just saying the real point of the show is this, if this doesn’t make sense, this one concept, if you can actually buy real estate for way less than it’s worth and help people while you’re doing it, and make a good living, a really great living actually, if you’re organized enough, then it’s okay, it’s not for you. Those are the people whose set up to succeed. I say set up, not mechanically do it. Go ahead.

Jill DeWit:                            I think this is all about transparency. Not only with us on the show, but with us with our buyers, and with us and our sellers. I mean, that’s it. We’re really not, and actually you know honestly, and our members know this, I get a little mad when I hear people say, “Oh, I bought that cheaper than you usually do.”

                                                It hasn’t happened in a long time, but people used to look at my numbers and try to come in under my numbers. I’m like, “Okay, come on you guys. It’s not a contest to see who can get it the cheapest.” The contest should be let’s flip it the most, and flip the fastest, and do well … All of us, that’s really not a contest.

Steven Butala:                   I think the contest is volume, too.

Jill DeWit:                            Right, that’s what I mean.

Steven Butala:                   Okay.

Jill DeWit:                            So, it’s not trying to, “Ha-ha. You bought property for $400.00 an acre in that area. I just bought it for $279.00 an acre. Take that.” You know what I mean? That’s not what this is about. Anyway, I just wanted to say … We’re transparent with our customers and they know that this is our business. Truthfully, I have had people say, “Look,” like this cat lady with the cat surgery, not kidding. The reason she was agreeing to sell her property was because she needed the money for her cat surgery. We were a couple hundred dollars off, which she needed to totally pay for the cat’s surgery. So you know what I did? I paid the extra hundred dollars for the cat surgery.

Steven Butala:                   Good for you, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            Why would I not?

Steven Butala:                   Why wouldn’t you? Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Talk about doing the right thing. People think that I’m trying to gouge them. No, if anything, I really am saving this lady. She had no other way to get some money. She called us to try to sell it, to just try to, gosh, get rid of the one asset she thought she could, that she didn’t care about, that would get her out of this thing. And, we did it for her, and she had a check in two days. The woman was over the moon, you know?

Steven Butala:                   Every once in a while I talk to somebody and they want to know what the trick is. They think that there’s some kind of … “What’s the trick? What do you mean? What’s your angle? How are you hosing this person to sell their property for cheaper than it is?”

Jill DeWit:                            Right. That makes me mad.

Steven Butala:                   And then I immediately stop talking to that person, and we don’t let them in the group if they’re-

Jill DeWit:                            No, that’s not the right attitude.

Steven Butala:                   Trying to get with the group.

Jill DeWit:                            We don’t want that attitude, too. Our group is all set up. We’re all good people. We’re helping each other.

Steven Butala:                   That’s one of the reasons we don’t concentrate on any type of … I hate this word, “leads”. Tax delinquent leads.

Jill DeWit:                            I hate that term, too.

Steven Butala:                   Divorce [inaudible 00:16:44] leads.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   There’s all kinds of … I call them court house situations, where all that is, is somebody’s desire to not ante up for the mail. They don’t want to spend $1,500.00 just to send out a good mailer to buy some property. They’d rather go downtown. How much does is this really costing you?

                                                Go downtown for a week, dig through records or whatever, and then contact … Spend $800.00 on mail, instead of $1,500.00, to send a letter out to everybody whose going through a foreclosure. Well, that’s a blast. Can you imagine the phone calls you’re going to catch on that?

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Every single one of them is like, “You’re that most awful person in the world. You’re kicking me when I’m down.”

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Would you rather get that phone call from somebody who is going through a divorce, or would you rather get a phone call from a happy couple, whose kids just left? They all went to school.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   And their time to sell, and they just don’t want to clean out their basement anymore. They don’t want to show their house. They know their house is a mess, but they’ll happily take $30,000.00 less than they actually think it’s worth.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, and more common though, the land one is, I get all the time, “We’ve owned it for 40 years. I always thought we were going to retire there. My wife just told me not going to happen.” Or, “We’re 80. We’re not leaving here now, and we don’t need it [inaudible 00:18:00] writing the checks.”

Steven Butala:                   And we wish you kids all the best with it.

Jill DeWit:                            Totally.

Steven Butala:                   And we fully understand that you’re buying it for $10,000.00 less. We don’t care about selling it on the Internet, we don’t have a developed list like you do, and on and on and on.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, even to be realistic, a lot of these properties, they bought them a lot less. They are still making money on them.

Steven Butala:                   Sure.

Jill DeWit:                            They may, and we can look it up and see, too. I can see this guy bought this five acre property for $500.00 back in 1974. He’s about to get a $5,000.00 check from me. He’s over the moon, and now it’s worth 20. We’re all winning here.

Steven Butala:                   Right.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s really the reality, too.

Steven Butala:                   By the way, here’s a good question. I don’t know why I haven’t thought about this earlier. When’s the last time you had a seller say this to you, “We’re really, really reluctant to sell this property to you for this price. I know, I’m sure that I’m selling it too cheap, so it’s just making me really uncomfortable.”

Jill DeWit:                            That never-

Steven Butala:                   Has that ever happened to you?

Jill DeWit:                            No.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, it’s never happened to me, either. But I think that’s what people think.

Jill DeWit:                            No.

Steven Butala:                   Because, if the person ever said that, I would say, “You know what? Last thing I want is for you to feel like you’re not getting value out of this.”

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, yeah.

Steven Butala:                   “I’ll walk right now at this price, but this is what we’re willing to pay, and we have to keep the lights on.” I’ve never had to have that conversation.

Jill DeWit:                            No, this works for you-

Steven Butala:                   In the almost 16,000 deals we’ve done.

Jill DeWit:                            “Great. If this doesn’t work for you. I understand. That’s okay. Save my number. If things change, let me know.”

Steven Butala:                   No, it’s always the opposite. “Thank you. Thank you, Steve. Thank you. Your letter came at a perfect time. This is what’s going on in my life,” then I’m going to follow through on that. To bring this back to the topic, who is set up to succeed the most? Somebody who is interested in having those conversations, and putting a system together to really, really financially benefit from that, and build some serious equity. That’s who.

                                                Then, bring the right attitude to that. It so clearly makes sense to me. I guess there are some people that go into some stuff, that I guess [inaudible 00:20:08] into. Like, flying an airplane. Becoming a commercial pilot is maybe the last thing I would ever do. I don’t know why, I didn’t sit around and ever think about it. It’s just the first example that came in my head.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   What about you, Jill? What career that’s really viable and has just never entered your head?

Jill DeWit:                            There’s a lot.

Steven Butala:                   I know, go ahead. Reel them off.

Jill DeWit:                            There’s a ton. No, I mean every day I walk into a store, every day I walk into a successful … Not every day, but … You know, you walk in successful stores, how about the guy who does my hair? He’s killing it in his hair salon. I love all the people and the commotion, and the energy. I’m like, “You gotta be raking it in, because I know what you charge.” He’s like, “Isn’t this great?” There is no way on the planet I would do that.

Steven Butala:                   Me, too.

Jill DeWit:                            So, there you go.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, [inaudible 00:20:57] we’re out of time. I could list 50 now that you say that. Like, own a bar.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   That’s not a good idea for me.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Well, you’ve done it again. You’ve spent another 20 minutes listening to the Land Academy show. Join us tomorrow for another interesting episode, where we discuss Return on Investment Analysis Per Land Deal. It’s staggering.

Jill DeWit:                            And, we answer your questions posted on our online community found off of LandAcademy.com. It’s called LandInvestors.com, and it’s free.

Steven Butala:                   You are not alone in your real estate ambition. I wonder how much of that was a rant.

Jill DeWit:                            A lot of what you did was a rant.

Steven Butala:                   I gotta ask you a personal question, all right?

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative). Sure.

Steven Butala:                   A lot of it was a rant?

Jill DeWit:                            Yes.

Steven Butala:                   When you get done with these shows like this, when we after talk, do you have any idea how we came across? I don’t. I’m like so in the moment. A lot of people listen to this show, so it must work. But, I don’t know if it was ranty or helpful, or just a disaster.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m hoping your a healthy mix of … I’m trying to think of a really good informational broadcaster that I like, and I can’t think of any names right now because the ones I used to like are now blackballed from the media.

Steven Butala:                   Really?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Like the morning show we used to watch is not on there anymore.

Steven Butala:                   Oh yeah, you know what?

Jill DeWit:                            I can’t use him as an example, but-

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, that’s too bad for him.

Jill DeWit:                            I’d like to think you’re a healthy mix of a successful broadcaster and Howard Stern.

Steven Butala:                   You know, it’s funny you say that because there’s a lot more information coming out on that specific person.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, that’s-

Steven Butala:                   I just saw it on the news today.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, no.

Steven Butala:                   It’s way worse than everybody thought.

Jill DeWit:                            Wow.

Steven Butala:                   He must have had some kind of addiction, too.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s pretty sad.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, it really is.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. This is not what we wanted to talk about today, is it?

Steven Butala:                   Nope.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Share the fun by subscribing on iTunes, or wherever you’re listening. While you’re at it, please rate us there.

Steve & Jill:                         We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   Information.

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration.

Steven Butala:                   To by undervalued property.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please review it in iTunes . Reviews are incredibly important for rankings on iTunes. My staff and I read each and every one.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steven@BuWit.com.

The BuWit Family of Companies include:







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.