This Should Come Naturally Not Forced (LA 735)  

This Should Come Naturally Not Forced (LA 735)


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’m Jill DeWit, broadcasting from sunny southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today, Jill and I talk about This Whole Thing Should Come Naturally, Not Too Forced.

Jill DeWit:                            Do you want me to share now, or do you want me to share-

Steven Butala:                   I do. Yeah. What do you-

Jill DeWit:                            … or do you want me to share at the meat of the show part?

Steven Butala:                   Go ahead.

Jill DeWit:                            I do not agree with this title. And, I have to share that right before this show started, Steven came to me and said, “Oh, hey, by the way, I picked this one for you. Just heads up, this is kind of your show, kind of your thing.” I looked at the title, and I said, “This is not at all how I would word this. I don’t agree with the title.” I will expand on that here in a few minutes.

Steven Butala:                   At which time, I clicked the red Record button, and here we are.

Jill DeWit:                            He said, “Too late. Here it goes.”

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

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Merritt asks, “I’m wondering what others’ experiences have been using only one website to buy and sell, versus two separate websites. I notice that at least a few Land Academy members have combined websites, and I’m curious if y’all started off that way. More importantly, though, I thought it might add unnecessary leverage to the potential seller for negotiation price. (If they see you have a similar property for sale in the same county, for instance, it might give them more gumption to bargain you up.) But, I’m finding that two separate websites, business names, phone numbers, etc., is a bit ridiculous for a simpleton such as myself to keep up with, not to mention the cost of maintenance, rather spending it on advertising or selling. I’m certainly willing to keep two going, but in the interest of minimalization, thought it might be worth asking the group’s opinion. It would be great to hear if anyone has started off with two and then dropped one. Has your negotiating with potential sellers gotten more difficult/expensive?”

Steven Butala:                   What do you think, Jill?

Jill DeWit:                            Well, we still have two. We have the shell of one from years ago. That’s still there. I’m not afraid of it. Let’s maybe back up. We’ve done two, and we consistently maintain two. One is, like I said, it’s the [inaudible 00:02:31] for the sellers to look up and see that … because, they may have an old letter from 2005. They want to go to that website, it needs to still be there, and it is.

Steven Butala:                   You nailed it.

Jill DeWit:                            They can look and see, for consistency purposes, it’s there. Now, we also have a totally different, totally separate land selling website. Let me add this piece in the middle. If they Google our names, they’ll pop up both places. It takes them five minutes to Google us-

Speaker 3:                           Sorry. I don’t understand.

Jill DeWit:                            … and find out … That’s funny. It takes them five minutes to Google us and find out …

Steven Butala:                   Who we are. What it’s all about.

Jill DeWit:                            Who we are, and what we’re selling, and all of that. So, I’m not afraid of it. It’s never come up. If anything, it’s always added value to the land sellers, because they look at us going, “Oh, wow. This is their business. Look at all these properties they’ve got going.” I’ve never had anyone dig down deep and say, “Hey, I see you bought a property two miles away. You’re selling it for this price, so I want this price. I want X.” What do you think?

Steven Butala:                   Here’s what’s going to happen. And, of you actually study this podcast to learn about buying and selling land, then now is the time for you to stop what you’re doing, and get a paper and pencil out, and take notes. For the rest of you, now it’s time to just give me a minute.

Jill DeWit:                            Is that me? I’ll back.

Steven Butala:                   No, no. What’s going to happen is this. You’re going to start off, check and see if this really works. You’re going to have a website, like we tell you to do, with a phone number. You send a bunch of letters out, and you’re going to find out it works. Some version of it, for you, works. That’s going to be your main acquisition website for the rest of your life, because you never want to change your phone number, and you never want to change that web address.

Jill DeWit:                            Or, your physical address. Keep them all.

Steven Butala:                   Or, your physical address, because they mail letters back. So, you want … because, people will send these letters back to you for decades. We get letters back from the early 2000s every week.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s hilarious.

Steven Butala:                   What’ll then happen is that you will say, at some point, “Well, it would be better if I have a sale side website, because it just would be better.” Because, it’s a marketing function. They’re two separate, completely different marketing functions. But, you shouldn’t start out with two or three websites. Start out with one.

                                                That website that you’ve sold, now, 40, 50, 80 properties on under, you’re going to realize that, “Well, wait. I sent all these letters out, and that site’s doing great. That site is great for infill lots in Kansas City. But, I sent a mailer out in Colorado just to check …” and I’m randomly picking these names. “And, I’m buying 40 acre properties like nobody’s business out there. I’m subdividing them, and it’s just a whole different market. Maybe I should put those in a different LLC. Start a separate little side thing over here, because the infill lot Kansas people don’t care one bit about these big acreage properties in Colorado.”

                                                Fast forward two years. “I love buying houses in Boston. My aunt lives there. She goes and looks at them. I’m now a House Academy member.” So, you see where I’m going with this? That acquisition site, though, will always stay the same. It can’t go down, because you’ve spent, now, tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on mail. You never want to throw away that old … So, Aunt Merritt, you need two websites. You don’t need them.

                                                There’s some people in this group … Merritt, I’m not sure is one or not … and there’s just generally people that travel along the path in life that they do not want to spend $5. It costs $8 to $10 a year to keep a domain. I think the phone numbers, you could make it free. Somebody told me a quote recently, and I’ve been saying it over and over in my head. It really makes a lot of sense to me, even with all the business experience I have. “You cannot cut your way to profitability.” Big businesses don’t sit around and say, “How are we going to cut costs to make it?” They sit around and say, “Let’s lean out temporarily, spend a bunch of money on X and Y and Z, see which one works. Maybe all three of them work, X and Y and Z. Then let’s see what we got in six months and where we’re going to go.”

                                                Cutting away websites and cutting away all this stuff just, for some reason … you’re going to get hurt in the end. Am I saying recklessly spend? Absolutely not. Never do that. But, you have to grow.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m wondering why this is a big deal right now, too.

Steven Butala:                   Me, too. The way it’s written, it’s like, “I really am trying to save $5 a month.”

Jill DeWit:                            That’s what I’m wondering.

Steven Butala:                   I’m wondering how hard it is to maintain two websites. I think you could do that in your sleep.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes. Especially the acquisition website. It should be just stagnant, if you will. You’re not posting any new things there. You’re not changing anything. If it needs a refresh every now and then, I get it. Bring it from five years ago to current after a while. That’s not big deal. Or, “Hey, I did updated logo,” or something. No big deal. It should just stay the same. Then your selling one, that’s the one that gets all the attention.

Steven Butala:                   I also read this recently, “Starting a business, a very worthwhile business that can pay your bills for the rest of your life, has never been cheaper and more accessible to anybody, from any background, in any corner of this planet.”

Jill DeWit:                            Well, particularly here in the United States.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            I really think here in the United States, I know here in the United States, we have huge advantages. In other countries, you can’t go up and start a business this fast.

Steven Butala:                   In most countries, I agree with you, Jill. But, in most countries, you can slap a website up and sell some baskets that you make on eBay or Etsy, or all that. Her point was … this is academia … She’s a politician in economic, and she said, and she’s right, “We live in the greatest capitalistic time there ever was.” You can start a company for literally like $12. Literally, $12, and probably five hours of your time.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. I love your numbers. I got to tell you with love, everything is $100.

Steven Butala:                   Let’s look at my numbers.

Jill DeWit:                            Everything costs $100, and everything sells for a million dollars.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, my gosh.

Jill DeWit:                            Maybe not a million. “I bought it for 100, and I sold it for 10,000.” Those are your figures.

Steven Butala:                   I have done that. I have done that.

Jill DeWit:                            But, hold on a moment. For you, everything costs 10 … “That car? You like that car? I bought it for $10.”

Steven Butala:                   Well, come on.

Jill DeWit:                            Come on.

Steven Butala:                   You’re exaggerating.

Jill DeWit:                            I know, and I’m saying this with love. It’s very sweet. That’s one of the things that we love about you, Steven, is that you …

Steven Butala:                   Now, I’m going to … We’re going to over on time, because now I’m going to defend my numbers.

Jill DeWit:                            You often …

Steven Butala:                   Go on GoDaddy-

Jill DeWit:                            You have a way of just generalizing.

Steven Butala:                   Go on GoDaddy, get yourself a dot com. It’s not going to take 10 seconds. Spend some time, get a good dot com. It’s going be indexed on Google well. That costs $8 a year, not exaggerating.

Jill DeWit:                            I know. I bought one for $11.99 yesterday, though.

Steven Butala:                   Go on YouTube. Figure out how to download WordPress and all that. That’s going to take two or three hours. Now, your website’s up. Then go index it on Google. That’s free.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   Now, spend next weekend-

Jill DeWit:                            Where’s the hosting?

Steven Butala:                   … researching … At GoDaddy.

Jill DeWit:                            How much is that?

Steven Butala:                   It’s like an extra $2 a year.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay, we got to figure that in.

Steven Butala:                   Okay, now we’re up to $10 a year.

Jill DeWit:                            Steven, it’s okay. I didn’t mean this. This is not a personal attach.

Steven Butala:                   Hold on. Hold on. I’m still actually answering Merritt’s question.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   For all the people out there who want to cut their expenses, they need to see a zero.

Jill DeWit:                            Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. What’s the point of this exercise?

Steven Butala:                   It’s doesn’t make sense.

Jill DeWit:                            Can we leave it at that?

Steven Butala:                   Yes. Today’s topic: This Should All Come Naturally, Not Forced. This is the meat of the show, and it turns out Jill doesn’t agree with the title. What do you think it should be titled? I’m dying to hear this. I love when we disagree on the air.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, like the last exercise, that should not be forced.

Steven Butala:                   It was a-

Jill DeWit:                            Whatever you were going off on there …

Steven Butala:                   Admittedly, I’m sorry, I did rant a little there.

Jill DeWit:                            I was just trying to lovingly share a little something, and it went totally sideways. I did not mean to offend. Remember back when you were a kid, or maybe when you were starting high school? I see this starting high school. I see it starting college. Some of those times, it’s when you’re testing out different things. You don’t know if you’re good at math or you’re going to like math. You get in to it, and you go, “Oh, wow.”

Steven Butala:                   You don’t know if you like girls, you don’t know if you like boys. That kind of thing.

Jill DeWit:                            Maybe that’s it, too. That’s fine. Let’s just say maybe it’s math. You take classes, that’s my point. You take a class thinking, “I love art. I want to be an artist,” so you take an art class. You realize, “Holy cow, I stink at art.”

Steven Butala:                   Oh, I like where this is going.

Jill DeWit:                            Right? For me, I could tell you one of the things that intrigued me that I really liked, and who knew? I probably should have continued down this path, but here I am, and I’m doing just fine. For me, it was physics. I remember taking Physics in high school, and I thought, “Oh, this is …” I had to fill a hole. You know why I took Physics, actually? Because, it was the only way to get out of Biology. I was freaked out about biology and the whole dissecting of frogs, so I took Physics. This is the whole point here. Well, I got in to Physics. Who knew, A, I could get it? B, I understand all those formulas. C, I loved it. Doing the tinker tape thing back then, and having these water machines on our tables and studying waves. I got into all of that. I love it. Who knew?

                                                It’s interesting, you come along … There’s times, I think, in your life and college is our first one, or high school. We’re testing the water. You find out, “Wow. I’m good at that. This really comes naturally. Who knew I would do that?”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Did you have an, “Ah-ha,” moment in some class? Was there anything that you tested?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. What was it?

Steven Butala:                   I was just naturally good at math.

Jill DeWit:                            When did you figure this out?

Steven Butala:                   I figured it out, probably, very late in high school and very early in college. Math and accounting, and all that stuff, just … It wasn’t that I liked it. It wasn’t that I liked it. It just was so easy for me it was silly.

Jill DeWit:                            Did you have a class, or do you remember classes, where you said, “Oh, my gosh. I’m getting As.” Did you have a moment where you’re like-

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, I did.

Jill DeWit:                            “I’m a little embarrassed to tell my friends I got another A, and I didn’t even study this time”? They’re over there upset, staring at their D- going, “What the heck do I do?”

Steven Butala:                   Yes, and computers, too. I’m old enough where we had computers in school that had cards. I was just naturally good at it. Yeah, I covered up my computer geek thing.

Jill DeWit:                            Did you spend any more time on it, that you thought, than your peers?

Steven Butala:                   Oh, my God. I was in there after school as much as I could go.

Jill DeWit:                            Did you need to spend any more time on it?

Steven Butala:                   No, I loved it.

Jill DeWit:                            It just came to you.

Steven Butala:                   I there just because I wanted to.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   And, the computer teacher was really pretty.

Jill DeWit:                            So, it did come naturally to you?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            And, you got it. There’s two things I want to cover on this show. That’s one, and thank you for sharing that. I hope all our listeners now understand where I’m going with that. There are some things that you don’t even know until you’re in it, that just come naturally. I always share and remind everyone that when it does, run with it. You’re not cheating. Sometimes, too, some people go, “Oh, I’m doing it wrong.” Say, like your class where you’re getting As, sometimes I’ve been in the situation I kind of feel a little bit bad going, “Oh, shucks. Can I help them? I’m feeling a little guilty. I’m a little embarrassed. I don’t want to make them feel stupid, but I feel like this is a no brainer.” Right? Don’t you feel like that, sometimes?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Jill, you’re telling a great story here.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   I really can identify with everything you’re saying, because I’ve been on both … I’ve been the stupid person and the smart person.

Jill DeWit:                            Right, right. You’re embarrassed a little bit if you don’t get it. Then if you do get it, you’re a little embarrassed like, “Why doesn’t everybody get this? Duh.” No, there’s things that are inside of us that are innate that we are good at. And, man, if you find that, for me, that’s the best thing on the planet. If you figure out what that is, take it and run with it. You should never feel guilty. Don’t feel bad. Don’t try to make it harder on yourself, like, “Well, maybe I should put in 10 more hours like everybody else does.” No, use it.

Steven Butala:                   This is good advice.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Use it and run with it. That’s the first point I want to make. For a lot of our members, that’s how they are. Because, that’s how you are. That’s how I am. I started way early on understanding property, understanding how it worked, understanding the math, understanding what zoning was, from a child from where I grew up-

Steven Butala:                   Me, too, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            From my dad, from my environment.

Steven Butala:                   Me, too.

Jill DeWit:                            I think it was two things. A, because of my environment and my dad, I got to hear about this stuff. The, B, it just came to me, like, “Why doesn’t everybody understand this? This makes perfect sense to me.”

Steven Butala:                   Right.

Jill DeWit:                            I never, ever questioned buying a piece of dirt with nothing on it, and reselling a piece of dirt. I don’t think there’s-

Steven Butala:                   Never questioned it as profitable and possible, and all of that?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Me, too.

Jill DeWit:                            Because, that guy wanted to get rid of it. I mark it up. Isn’t that business today, by the way? I could have a sun glass shop. I’m going to buy it cheap. I’m going to mark it up, sell it for more. I’m not changing it in any way. I’m just reselling it. That’s normal for me. I see land and properties the exact same way, like you do. For a lot of our members, yay. That’s, I think, [inaudible 00:16:42] great. They get it. They understand it. They’re right in.

                                                The only thing that I did not agree with about this topic was it should be that way. I don’t think it should be that way.

Steven Butala:                   How should it be?

Jill DeWit:                            I think that there are … because, there are people that, maybe, they really wanted to be an attorney.

Steven Butala:                   That was my next question for you. Have you ever really wanted to be something, and then you either A, just found out you couldn’t do it, because you weren’t good enough at it or it just came too hard for you? Or, two, you ended up getting into it, and then finding out, “Oh, this is not all it’s cracked up to be”?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, absolutely. Totally. A lot of it was high school … well, not even just high school classes. Actually, it was jobs.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            I was in a … back in the day when I worked at American Airlines for years, doing that job, one of the things that they did was a program when you wanted, maybe, transfer to [inaudible 00:17:32] job or try something out for … even for a promotion, you could go … It was called a Walk-A-Mile, where you could go have a day off with pay, and go to that place and work side-by-side with the person that you think you want that job. What was really funny, it was called Yield Management, back then. I thought this was the coolest job on the planet. I wanted to be the one behind the scenes figuring out the math of, and pricing seats, and filling up the plane, and all that was involved in the budgeting. I thought this was cool.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Yield. Yield [inaudible 00:18:02] Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            I went to Dallas and spent a day with a person in Yield Management. I came back from that saying, “That is awful. I could never do that job. Talk about boring.”

Steven Butala:                   That’s a great-

Jill DeWit:                            You don’t talk to anybody. The cube … It was great, because I was lucky that I could go do that and see, “Do I really want to do this? It is not what I thought it was.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            There you go. I still, to this day, if I talk to people that are trying to make career changes, they think they really want to do something, I always encourage somebody, “Find a mentor who’s there, and talk to them. Really find out what the job is. See if it’s really what you want to do.” Then use them, by the way. Now, you’ve got a mentor to fast path you to tell you, “Here’s what I did right. Here’s what I did wrong. Here’s how you can get to be like me in less than 10 years,” kind of a thing.

Steven Butala:                   Yep.

Jill DeWit:                            This should come naturally, not forced does not apply to everybody, because I do think you can overcome things. Because, I have had things that … You know what? I’ll tell you right now. One of them, Steven, honestly, I always used spreadsheets and Excel and formulas, and things like that, but not to the extent that I use it today. I’m over it now. There’s so many things that we use in our world that I know that when I sat down and I was looking at data for the first time … I was always been great on the phones. I could always do that, no problem.

Steven Butala:                   Do you enjoy it?

Jill DeWit:                            I can talk to the sellers, all that stuff. Totally enjoy it.

Steven Butala:                   That was one of my questions here, too. I have a bunch of questions for you.

Jill DeWit:                            Sure. Never had a problem with that. Then it came to the behind the scenes part, the paperwork part, and everything. That was hard for me. I didn’t like it. But, you know what? Even though I didn’t like it, I overcame it. I got there. Maybe I had to force myself. I kind of did, and I overcame it, and I’m okay now. So, I want everyone to know that if it doesn’t come naturally, you can force it, but it’s going to take commitment to get you there.

Steven Butala:                   Good. I have a bunch of questions for you. We are going to go over on time, and I don’t care. Do you?

Jill DeWit:                            No, not at all.

Steven Butala:                   There’s a bunch of stuff that you do in the course of a day.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes.

Steven Butala:                   Some of it has to do with buying and selling houses and land. Some of it has to do with all kinds of other stuff in the role that you’re in right now. What can’t you stand? Is there some responsibility that you-

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Then on the flip side, I want you to answer what you just love and you can’t wait … What order do you do it in? How do you get through it all? What do you tell yourself? Let us in.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. I am going to let you in. This is stuff that we haven’t talked about. One of the things that’s part of my job title right now as COO, is being a COO. As a COO, you sometimes … well, all the time … have to manage your team. You have to sometimes not be their best … well, you have to be the boss. I’ll be honest with you. This might come as a surprise. I don’t like being the boss.

Steven Butala:                   I know that.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. You know that?

Steven Butala:                   Deep down, I know that.

Jill DeWit:                            All right. I’m not sure if everybody listening knows that. I don’t like it.

Steven Butala:                   I can’t stand it.

Jill DeWit:                            I hate being the boss.

Steven Butala:                   I’m not good at it.

Jill DeWit:                            I want to goof off. I want somebody else to be in charge, too. I just want to be over here doing my thing, but I can’t. I’m the best person for the job, right now.

Steven Butala:                   That’s right.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s something that …

Steven Butala:                   To your credit, very quickly, you have somebody that you’re seriously, rapidly seasoning to take that over. So, it’s not like you’re sitting there miserable.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, no.

Steven Butala:                   You’ve done something about it.

Jill DeWit:                            You know what? I learned how to do it.

Steven Butala:                   Does [inaudible 00:21:46] make you miserable, like just miserable in a job description that you have right now?

Jill DeWit:                            Anybody?

Steven Butala:                   Anything.

Jill DeWit:                            Anything make me miserable? Yes.

Steven Butala:                   I want to hear this. This is actually … this is a meeting we’re … on the air. Plus, that concerns me as your life partner.

Jill DeWit:                            You know what drives me bonkers?

Steven Butala:                   Probably say me.

Jill DeWit:                            No.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, good.

Jill DeWit:                            Inefficiency.

Steven Butala:                   What is it? Inefficiency?

Jill DeWit:                            Inefficiency. I see it too often. I know we’re making massive changes. I’m sure in every business … I’m sure every business owner would say the same thing.

Steven Butala:                   Every single prop … This is my opinion, and to answer my question, “What do I hate?” Every single problem that we have is related to IT, at the root of it is. It may manifest itself in different ways. But sometimes, every once in a while I long for the day when we just bought and sold real estate. You and I each had an assistant. Remember that?

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   It wasn’t that long ago. It was before we started Land Academy.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   I would buy it. You would sell it. I had an assistant. You had an assistant.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s true.

Steven Butala:                   That was it.

Jill DeWit:                            Mine was Aaron.

Steven Butala:                   We were printing money.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, back then. Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   We’re doing it now. We make way more than we were then. But, we have all these websites, and these tools that we’re providing, and huge customer service operation. It’s all worth it, don’t get me wrong, but stuff goes … Like this question with Merritt cracks me up. “It’s really hard to maintain two websites.” I really wish I had two websites to maintain instead of 200.

Jill DeWit:                            Wouldn’t that be nice?

Steven Butala:                   And, two phone numbers. We have like … How many phone numbers do we have?

Jill DeWit:                            Uh-huh (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   Merritt, I’m not busting on you at all. I’m just saying growth is not natural. It’s forced.

Jill DeWit:                            Do you think everyone feels that way? Do you think-

Steven Butala:                   You have to get out of your comfort zone.

Jill DeWit:                            … Bill Gates feels that way?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Not now, but I think he was out of his comfort zone his whole career. If you read all the stuff he says, he’s a huge advocate of that.

Jill DeWit:                            I think sometimes growth just happens. You don’t have to do anything.

Steven Butala:                   Well, I disagree.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, let me give you an example.

Steven Butala:                   Okay.

Jill DeWit:                            Land Academy.

Steven Butala:                   I think that was not unintentional. I think you worked your butt off to make that happen.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, please.

Steven Butala:                   I didn’t. I put a lot of time up front, and a lot of education and stuff. But, I think you worked way harder than me in the end.

Jill DeWit:                            I don’t know. Some of this has come so naturally. Well, maybe, you know what? This is not forced. How about that? Land Academy, and the number of members, and how our community has grown, far as I’m concerned, was not forced. It was organic and awesome. Everybody found us and still to this day, we’re not out there properly promoting ourselves. It’s still organic. People are finding us. It’s not forced. I love it.

Steven Butala:                   Right.

Jill DeWit:                            The right people are finding us, and the right people are here.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, yeah, yeah. That’s all true. But, the IT development and all of it was not …

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, that was hard.

Steven Butala:                   Teaching is not natural for me.

Jill DeWit:                            Really?

Steven Butala:                   Motivating people is natural.

Jill DeWit:                            Really?

Steven Butala:                   But, putting it all into a … I think I’m actually pretty good … Well, we obviously are both good at it, or it wouldn’t be working the way it is.

Jill DeWit:                            You’re great at it. I didn’t know that. Okay. Let me back up. I want to ask you the same question, then.

Steven Butala:                   Okay.

Jill DeWit:                            The one thing that’s in your current job title that you’re really not loving is …

Steven Butala:                   IT management.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   Buying and selling property? Love it.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   Love doing that. Buying and selling houses, especially, right now. Because of the market and how we’re … it’s like printing money. And, land will never go away. Land will never go away out of my life.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   I love that. The IT piece of this, managing websites, making sure the credit card processing is working … and, we have a bunch of people doing that now, but it still trickles up to me. You and I are both in a situation where, if somebody walks into our office and it our desk, it’s either really good or really bad. The really good stuff, it almost always happens, so we’re hearing about it less and less.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. Everybody gets kind of … I don’t want to say jaded, but they do. Like, “Yeah, we knew that was going to happen.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Then the really bad stuff, which is all IT driven, like, “Oh, nobody can check out on O2O now.”

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   “Oh, by the way, Steve …”

Jill DeWit:                            “Site’s down.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Thanks.

Steven Butala:                   “Car won’t start, Dad.”

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   With that stuff-

Jill DeWit:                            “I need a monitor cord.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, or some toner. Don’t get me started. So, it’s that kind of stuff. We have some people in place now, and for about two months that they’ve been with us, that are really making this a lot better.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes.

Steven Butala:                   I’ve spent a lot of time researching this. The world, from an IT perspective, developers run the world.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   IT developers, right now. They can’t make them fast enough. They can charge whatever they want. They can behave however they want.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   That’s just the way it is. You can’t put an unreasonable demand on a developer, because it’s going to backfire. So, there’s all kinds of stuff that goes on … It’s way beyond the scope of this, but to answer your question, our core business, I love. That’s why we’re still here.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   It’s really profitable.

Jill DeWit:                            What’s the one thing about your day-to-day operation in your job title, right now, as CEO, what’s the easiest thing for you that just comes so naturally?

Steven Butala:                   All this education. Acquisitions, from minute one. I have been involved in acquisitions from high school until now in some capacity. So, buying real estate or companies is very, very, very … I’m hardwired to do that.

Jill DeWit:                            Isn’t that amazing? You’re good at it, too. You make it look easy.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s the only thing that happens … that’s the only pitfall is people look at us going, “Well, I guess we can do it, too?” Well, no, hold on moment.

Steven Butala:                   Right.

Jill DeWit:                            We do make it look easy, and you make that look especially easy.

Steven Butala:                   After acquisitions, then sales becomes ridiculously simple. You know that. Because, it’s so cheap. You and I are motivational people just by sitting and talking. I enjoy that. I really do actually love recording these. I love recording on the YouTube show. I love doing the podcast. All that’s really natural and fun.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s good.

Steven Butala:                   It’s the people management part, just like you, that I’m not in to. And, we’re making some pretty dramatic changes, because we can afford it, to not have to do that anymore.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. I think, for me, the people management part that I don’t like is the part when I have to be the tough guy. I don’t like being the tough guy. I want to be the fun guy.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            I want to be the one that comes in, and brings in treats, and disrupts the office for a little while. Then, “Okay, she’s gone now. Back to work.” But, I have to say, myself, “Okay. Back to work.”

Steven Butala:                   I have a section in Land Academy 2.0, that I’m recording right now, about people.

Jill DeWit:                            Good.

Steven Butala:                   Every executive in every book I’ve ever read about leadership and anything, it has a section about this. It sounds like a cliché, but you’re only as good as your people, or the people that you surround yourself with, or the people you went to high school with, or the people you marry. It’s all about people. If you are going to push yourself and keep yourself around high maintenance, negative people, that’s just where you’re going to be.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep, it’s true.

Steven Butala:                   I don’t even remember what this show’s about.

Jill DeWit:                            I can help you. This Should Come Naturally, Not Forced, like the ending.

Steven Butala:                   Well, you’ve done it again, you spent … Oh, my Gosh … 30 minutes listening to The Land Academy Show. It’s even surprising for us. Join us tomorrow for another interesting episode, where we discuss So You’ve Completed 10 Deals? Now What?

Jill DeWit:                            And, we answer your questions posted free on our online community at

Steven Butala:                   You’re not alone in your real estate ambition.

Jill DeWit:                            That turned into a fun one and a long one.

Steven Butala:                   Geez. Fun for us.

Jill DeWit:                            I know.

Steven Butala:                   There was three people left listening.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s true.

Steven Butala:                   It’s only because they fell asleep.

Jill DeWit:                            You’re right. Share the fun by subscribing on iTunes or wherever you are listening. While you’re at it, please rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill. Information-

Jill DeWit:                            … and inspiration-

Steven Butala:                   … to buy undervalued property.

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