Land Business Source of Assessor Data and Bulk Mail (LA 739)

Land Business Source of Assessor Data and Bulk Mail (LA 739)


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:                         I’m Jill DeWit, broadcasting from sunny Southern California.

Steven Butala:                 Today, Jill and I talk about your land business source of assessor data and bulk mail. These are two tools, your data, stuff that you use to, the data that you, land ownership data that you use to send out offers, right?

Jill DeWit:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                 And how you get those offers in the mail.

Jill DeWit:                         Things you cannot …

Steven Butala:                 How fast you do, how cheap it is. These are things that-

Jill DeWit:                         Can’t live without.

Steven Butala:                 Thankfully, Jill and I have worked out to the end … I mean, there’s no better place to get data or send out mail, specifically for this. If you send out a mailer for a church, there’s going to be better places to go and better ways to send out a newsletter… Or a grocery store, but for sending offers to owners, we’ve got it figured out and we’re going to share it with you.

Jill DeWit:                         Thank you.

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

Jill DeWit:                         Okay. Jason asks, “This is my first acquisition since signing up for sliver membership and it looks like it’s going to be 120 acres at $250 an acre, which is $30,000 in an area where the low-end comps for similar acreage are $880 an acre or $105,000 plus, and the parcel could very easily be subdivided into three, 40 acres with the low-end comps for the 40s at $1,000 an acre.”

Steven Butala:                 You’re looking to buy a property for 30 grand and sell it for 120.

Jill DeWit:                         150 or 120, depending if you want to divide it up.

Steven Butala:                 105.

Jill DeWit:                         Oh, 105? Excuse me.

Steven Butala:                 Let’s just say if it all kind of goes sideways, 120 grand. You’re going to make $100,000 on this deal.

Jill DeWit:                         This is the best thing.

Steven Butala:                 This is why we started Land Academy.

Jill DeWit:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                 We had to start it to buy $500 properties and sell them for 1,000. That’s a great way to learn, a fantastic way to learn, but this is what this is all about.

Jill DeWit:                         Yeah.

Steven Butala:                 You do 10 deals like this. Hold on a second, Jill. Then there’s a bunch more to this question, but I really, I want to make this huge point.

Jill DeWit:                         Okay, it’s your show.

Steven Butala:                 If you do 10 of these deals this year, and it sounds like you’re all set up, because Jill’s about to say this guy’s got more property if it all works out. You’re going to make a million bucks this year.

Jill DeWit:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Steven Butala:                 I want that to sink in. He just signed up for membership, he went through the program, he’s going to make a million bucks. He might not do it in 12 months. He might do it in 18 months or 24 months, but he’s got all mentally set up to make a million dollars.

Jill DeWit:                         Well, let’s just say this, if you want to dissect this. If he just does it the easy way, buys it for 30 and sells it for 100,000, huh. That’s one deal, $70,000 profit. I could do 10 of … I could do one of those a month.

Steven Butala:                 That’s what I mean.

Jill DeWit:                         Yeah.

Steven Butala:                 Then you’re approaching $100,000 … I mean a million dollars.

Jill DeWit:                         Exactly, so how cool is that. If you can do one, you can do two, and you could do four. Okay, so back to the question. “The seller is an 87-year-old man. He told me if this deal goes well, that he’ll sell me an additional 320 acres he owns in an even more desirable area.”

Steven Butala:                 Let’s do the math. He’s got 320 … He’s got 120 now that we’re going to make …

Jill DeWit:                         70,000 at least.

Steven Butala:                 Well, 100 because he is going to subdivide it, because by the time we’re done with this question, I’m going to convince him to subdivide it. That’s 100 for 120, double that, he’s going to make about 350 to $500,000 from this one deal. Go Ahead.

Jill DeWit:                         All right. “The parcel straddles the upper, the flat upper area and lower, and lush lower wetlands of a mildly slope, Bute-style hill, about 200-foot elevation difference, and has access on both the lower and the upper approaches.”

Steven Butala:                 Oh my gosh, so like a dream.

Jill DeWit:                         Man.

Steven Butala:                 Great description.

Jill DeWit:                         “Nearby neighbors have some homesteads in the area, so I can easily point to them as examples of people making it work, and it’s going to look sublime after I fly my cinema drone across it at sunrise.” Boy, talk about doing it all right here.

Steven Butala:                 No, I know.

Jill DeWit:                         Thank you. Thank you Jason for actually studying the whole program, obviously. You did it start to finish, thank you, and are setting us up to do this beautiful.

Steven Butala:                 Now we know which Jason this is too.

Jill DeWit:                         Right. “With a title company, if I do a double close, which I plan to do once I find a buyer, that would mean I risk a total of 64 cents, and will pocket more than I make per year at my former job.” That kind of ROI is bonkers.

Steven Butala:                 Yep.

Jill DeWit:                         Do I need to pick my jaw up the floor and get used to this?

Steven Butala:                 Yes.

Jill DeWit:                         Or is this beginner’s luck?

Steven Butala:                 No. This is what Jill and I deal with all the time.

Jill DeWit:                         Aw. Last sentence, it says, “I have an inexpressible level of gratitude for Steven and Jill. I’m holding you responsible for all the smiling I’ve been doing today.”

Steven Butala:                 Thank you, Jason.

Jill DeWit:                         Wow. All right, I just got goosebumps. That is so awesome.

Steven Butala:                 This is why we fight.

Jill DeWit:                         I know. Jason, thank you for sharing this and writing this, and thank you producers for putting this in here, because I hadn’t spotted this comment yet.

Steven Butala:                 Me either.

Jill DeWit:                         This is fantastic.

Steven Butala:                 This is very timely, this question, because this week, we’re actually just about ready to wrap up, “So you’ve done 10 deals, now what?” These are the kinds of transactions that you should start looking at.

Jill DeWit:                         Right.

Steven Butala:                 It doesn’t sound to me like he’s real worried about not having the money.

Jill DeWit:                         Right.

Steven Butala:                 He’s just finding the deals, and the money comes really easy.

Jill DeWit:                         It does. I just talked about that with somebody the other day, it does. If there’s a good deal out there, none of us are going to let it go to waste.

Steven Butala:                 That’s right. Great work.

Jill DeWit:                         Awesome.

Steven Butala:                 I’m sort of speechless, actually.

Jill DeWit:                         I’m a little speechless. That’s what I was going to say. I kind of don’t know what to say now.

Steven Butala:                 Today’s topic, “Your land business …” Oh, it turns out I’m not speechless. “Your land business source of assessor data and bulk mail.” This is the meat of the show. You’ve done 10 deals and it’s time get serious. Next week, by the way, it’s if you’ve done 100 deals, now it’s time to get serious. A lot of people come to us from different places in the land, landscape or in the land world. We have a couple of other people who teach new people how to buy and sell land and in my opinion, we have a much different take on it. Their stuff’s valuable that they provide, but if you want to do it the grownup way, our way’s the best. We are licensed providers for all of the major sources of …

Jill DeWit:                         Assessor data.

Steven Butala:                 Assessor data. We own our own bulk mail company, because we got so frustrated with using other bulk mailer companies all over the country, so-

Jill DeWit:                         It got expensive.

Steven Butala:                 Yeah, yeah, and with the expense.

Jill DeWit:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                 The whole meat of the show or the point of this is that you need to work these two things out if you’re going to take this business seriously, or if you’re going to take any type of real estate acquisitions seriously at all. I cut my teeth in commercial real estate a lot of years ago and since then … I was frustrated back then about getting good data, and we have figured it out.

Jill DeWit:                         Oh my gosh.

Steven Butala:                 What ends up happening is that all the … Just here’s the background on data really quick. There’s 3,144 counties, slash, parishes in the country, and each of them have to send tax bills out every year to landowners, to property owners. It’s all organized, obviously now, on computers with very few exceptions, but it’s all in very different formats. They all use completely different methods to collect this data and send out the tax bills. It’s companies like RealQuest, CoreLogic and Black Knight, TitlePro247 and other sources of data that we are actually licensed providers for. It’s their job in life to take this messy, messy data and make it … Put it into a format and put it in a presentational format for us to be able to use as normal people. We don’t have PhDs in data. Jill and I took it upon ourselves to take it many, many steps further. Yeah, if you call these people and you say, “I really would like to have all the five-acre properties in Mohave County Arizona, please.” It just doesn’t work like that.

Jill DeWit:                         Ha, ha. Could you imagine?

Steven Butala:                 I’m glad you’re laughing. [crosstalk 00:08:35] No, just they’re going to laugh at you. What they want you to do is sign up, and subscription, and then it costs 62 cents a record, no matter how many you pull, and all this crazy, convoluted, PhD level data weirdo stuff, but we couldn’t have made it easier. We, because we pull so much data, and now our group pulls so much data, have negotiated rock bottom prices with these data providers. They love us because we teach how to use this stuff so they don’t have to.

Jill DeWit:                         That’s what I was just going to say.

Steven Butala:                 It’s very mutually beneficial. We’ve worked, this took 20 years to build this thing.

Jill DeWit:                         Yeah.

Steven Butala:                 If you’ve done 10 deals and you looked around or you found some Internet lists from China or however you got your data and got these 10 deals done, that’s great but you want to make it in this business, just trust me.

Jill DeWit:                         Cut to the chase.

Steven Butala:                 You got to get a good source of data and learn how to use it. I’m not, this is not a commercial by any stretch. There’s no other place that I know of on the Internet-

Jill DeWit:                         It’s true. It’s true.

Steven Butala:                 … to get access to data for cheap as we provide it.

Jill DeWit:                         I love it. My favorite is when I talk to people that have gone … They’ve done it wrong and then they come to us and go, “Thank you.”

Steven Butala:                 Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                         If you’ve ever gone to a county yourself and tried to get … Because you didn’t know anything else. A lot of people it’s like, they just didn’t know it was possible. They said they went to the straight county and then they’re trying to understand it and it wasn’t free. Sometimes it’s a couple hundred bucks. I’ve heard people, it’s a couple hundred bucks, and a month to get data from x, y, z county. Then when you get back, you’re trying to figure out, “Oh, great. How do I decipher all this? I don’t even …” All of that. Then, “Now I got to get it into my own system, now I got to scrub it down. It takes forever.” I’ve talked to lots of people that have done that. That’s, for me, kind of the best. Like if they’ve done it the hard way, by the time they come to us and I say, “Let me just show you what’s possible.” They log into RealQuest Pro, they go, “Holy cow …”

Steven Butala:                 Yeah, I know.

Jill DeWit:                         “What was I doing?” Like, “What the heck?”

Steven Butala:                 I still remember the first day I logged into RealQuest. The first day.

Jill DeWit:                         “I didn’t know this existed. Oh my gosh. Oh, and look, there’s deeds here and reports, and oh my gosh.”

Steven Butala:                 We get two types of reactions to Land Academy from potential members. The first one is, “Oh my god, this is so expensive. What the hell?”

Jill DeWit:                         Gaaaa.

Steven Butala:                 Then we get, “Oh my god, this is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. I tried to do this for two years and this fills in all of the gaps.” 

Jill DeWit:                         Yeah, it is not … I, seriously, I’m sitting, and I know this because I have hundreds of members behind me too that will back, support this. The money, I know our membership and what was provided and everything is like, I don’t know, a fifth of what or less of what it would cost you to go get all this stuff on your own, A, and B, some of this stuff you can’t even get. Like TitlePro247, you can’t get it as an individual.

Steven Butala:                 Right, right. You have to be part of a group.

Jill DeWit:                         Well, you have to be like a title company. That’s what it’s set up for.

Steven Butala:                 Here’s how I know it’s the best deal, because we use these tools, since 2004, and we were a regular provider who walked in off the street, and it was four times, like Jill said, four times as expensive before we started Land Academy to use the exact same tools that we now use because we’re a group. That’s not a commercial. I’m just saying we have figured this data thing out.

Jill DeWit:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative), that’s true. A year into the Land Academy, we were all individually spending 2, between 200 and 275 for CoreLogic data, separately on our own and that’s all, that’s it, and we were happy with that.

Steven Butala:                 What did we pull, like half a million records a month with the whole group?

Jill DeWit:                         Oh my gosh. It’s a lot. I think it’s more than that. I have to look it up, but it’s a lot.

Steven Butala:                 Think about the discount that’s available because of that, so now you’re part of a group that’s just … The same thing, now on to bulk mail. Anybody who knows anything about bulk mail knows that the more you do the cheaper it is. We have grossly exceeded, I think, a hundred and something, thousand a month units. Multiply that times the price of a stamp, that’s a lot.

Jill DeWit:                         Yeah, it’s easy a million a year. I think we’re pushing 1.3 million a year as an average.

Steven Butala:                 Right.

Jill DeWit:                         That’s low.

Steven Butala:                 Right.

Jill DeWit:                         Because our group is still relatively small. I see the orders that go through so, I know it’s coming. It’s going to get better.

Steven Butala:                 Bulk mail, I mean we’ve had, Jill just brought it up before the show. We’ve had members who have purchased equipment like the size of your car. Put it in their garage and set it all up, just because they thought they were going to save … They did all the math and thought they were going to save five cents a unit.

Jill DeWit:                         Yup. It was so funny, that’s …

Steven Butala:                 Then they ended up selling all the crap on e-Bay for one-tenth of what they paid.

Jill DeWit:                         Yeah, that’s very true. Yep, it was one number, because and you know what? It was funny because at the same time, you and I were going down that path. You and I were meeting with these, with the top providers of the equipment and I was seriously looking at our office space going, “Well, if I give up this office over here and I move this team over here, I can put this unit in here and it can just run.” We both took a step back and said, “Oh, that’s the wrong way to go.” It really is because you’re not going to save it.

Steven Butala:                 Yeah, like, “Are we in the real estate business or this?”

Jill DeWit:                         Or the mail business, and I don’t want to be in the mail business.

Steven Butala:                 In the end, we took advantage of the two relationships we have in the country that are, this is just their business and they’re pros at it. They have multimillion dollar printing presses and stuff.

Jill DeWit:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                 Again, negotiated a smoking, smoking deal, financially, with a person who knows everything about the business, just like these data providers, and pass it on.

Jill DeWit:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, another thing I was going to share too, ours is It’s Offers and then number 2, Owners. What’s great about it is how the speed … I was telling someone the other day too that man, if you … I don’t remember the cutoff, I want say to say like noon. I know noon for sure. If you upload your ready to go template of exact the columns that you want, which shows seller and the address and the APN and your offer price, and all those columns ready to go. You upload that one Excel file into our site and then you also upload your Word document that’s already got your company name and your address and your signature block and your little tweaks. However you want it to make it for your company, you upload that. Those two documents, that’s it. By noon, my team will complete the mail merge for you and get it in the mail that same day.

Steven Butala:                 Wow.

Jill DeWit:                         It’s amazing.

Steven Butala:                 It’s in the mail the same day?

Jill DeWit:                         Same day. Yeah, it’s that fast.

Steven Butala:                 That’s fantastic.

Jill DeWit:                         The only hangup is when we send to people right now, which we’re working on it too. Some of our members are like … We’ve done so many orders, they don’t need to preview them every time. Because that’s the only hangup is sometimes my guy does it in an hour, and then a preview sheet goes to the customer. Then you it look up and you’ve got to just eyeball it, make sure, “Oh, looks good. Send it.” That’s usually the only hangup, so if you’re standing by watching for our thing and you eyeball it and preview it, it’s in that day, man.

Steven Butala:                 We’ve come a long way.

Jill DeWit:                         I know.

Steven Butala:                 Seriously.

Jill DeWit:                         It’s that fast.

Steven Butala:                 Like I didn’t even know it was that fast, and I own the company.

Jill DeWit:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah, that’s right.

Steven Butala:                 That’s awesome, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative), exactly.

Steven Butala:                 The real DSS data and the quality of data, the freshness of the data … The other thing about assessor data is that if you’ve ever pulled, used assessor data at all, it’s there’s a tremendous amount of information about each piece of real estate, all, everything you ever want to know about assessment, past purchase price, past sale, all-

Jill DeWit:                         Liens.

Steven Butala:                 How many people own multiple properties in the area. I mean, it’s truly endless and all of that stuff matters because of this. We live and die by how we price these mailers. You need all this information. This is what we teach. You need all this information to price this stuff properly or you’re just wasting your time and you’re wasting your postage, and that’s huge.

                                           If you really do the math on a, let’s say a thousand unit mailer, you’re going to spend about 10 cents per record, but you’re going to spend about 50 cents for mail, so you want to make sure that you’re pricing stuff properly and that you’re pulling all kinds of things, scrubbing out all kinds of data that you know, it just doesn’t matter. I don’t want to make this sound incredibly complicated, because it’s really not, but there really is an A to B, C to D linear thought process to get through a mailer so that it yields acquisitions.

Jill DeWit:                         I was going to add, the savings and money too because one of the things that we can do is pull out the people that we don’t want to send offers to. Like say, it doesn’t so much in land because it’s hard to get a loan on land, but more like with houses. Whatever you’re looking for, pull out people with a mortgage. We want to make sure that we’re sending offers to the group that don’t meet the criteria that we don’t want, if that makes sense. Maybe I don’t want to mail to anybody that lives out of state. I mean, whatever it is. I mean, whatever your particular criteria is, you can drill it down that specific, is a lot of it.

Steven Butala:                 Here’s some mistakes I’ve made in the distant past about who I’ve sent letters to and just, it was a waste of time.

Jill DeWit:                         Perfect.

Steven Butala:                 Post offices.

Jill DeWit:                         Right.

Steven Butala:                 You don’t want to send property to any, like a hospital organization and on and on. Maybe you don’t want to, you want to get all the industrials- … I always take out, industrials own property so zoning’s in there, so you can really scrub down if you’re good at this, after learning and taking some time to do it, you can really, your yield percentage on how many units you send out … By the way, we’re at about 250 to 300 in land for every property we buy and for houses, about 2,500 to 3,000. We make 20 or $30,000 on every house that we do. It costs us about 7 or $800 to send a mailer out and land’s even more attractive from an ROI standpoint. We have this worked out. You really need good quality data, I can’t express that enough, to succeed at this. Again, this week is, “So you’ve done 10 deals, now what?” You need to up your game in data.

Jill DeWit:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative), exactly.

Steven Butala:                 Mail we kind of handle for you.

Jill DeWit:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                 I don’t think there’s any other real estate based bulk mail company out there that specifically sends offers to owners.

Jill DeWit:                         No. No, it’s-

Steven Butala:                 I think there’s a lot of bulk mail companies, but …

Jill DeWit:                         Yeah, but they don’t understand what we do.

Steven Butala:                 They don’t specialize in this, yeah.

Jill DeWit:                         I’m still finding people that don’t … It’s fun actually, I like it. Most people are like, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. You’re sending an offer? What the heck?” Not just, “I want to buy your house.” I still get that all the time.

Steven Butala:                 Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                         It’s so funny.

Steven Butala:                 I mean here’s a few ways, this is how you can kill your real estate business. Send an offer that doesn’t have an offer amount in it. I mean send a letter to current resident, not to the actual person.

Jill DeWit:                         Right.

Steven Butala:                 Those are things that we’ve learned over the years that you have to … If you send out an offer that people are going to throw away …

Jill DeWit:                         Right. Like a postcard. You know how it is. It’s like if you come home and there’s a postcard, let’s all be honest everyone, when was the last time you took a postcard hanging off your front door and sat down and read it?

Steven Butala:                 Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                         Right? No, you don’t. You’ve already collected the mail and you’re walking in the front door. You throw it in with the junk mail part of your mail and it just gets tossed. You don’t even look at it.

Steven Butala:                 Or picture this. The flip side of what Jill’s saying is you get an offer in a business envelope and you open it and it says, “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith, based on my research, I understand you own 40 acres in Nevada. Well, I’d like to offer you $4,200 cash for that and we’d like to close late next week if that’s all right with you. Please let us know either way. Thanks.” Then for further research, look this up, make sure we’re the real people.

Jill DeWit:                         “Here we are.”

Steven Butala:                 “We’ve done 15,000 deals.” Is that something you’re going to take to your spouse and say, “We’re never going to use this property anyway.”

Jill DeWit:                         Right.

Steven Butala:                 “If we list it, I don’t know … Do you want to just take this 4,200 bucks? Susie needs a new car anyway.”

Jill DeWit:                         Right.

Steven Butala:                 That’s what goes on, and you can’t do that without data.

Jill DeWit:                         Right.

Steven Butala:                 Well, you’ve done it again. You’ve spent another 20 minutes or so listening to the Land Academy Show. Join us tomorrow for another interesting episode where we discuss land business automation.

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

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

Jill DeWit:                         I hope that was interesting.

Steven Butala:                 I love data. That’s not our most interesting show, but it’s just data’s so important.

Jill DeWit:                         I know.

Steven Butala:                 I can’t describe it enough. Obviously, I tried.

Jill DeWit:                         Again, you know what it … Yeah, you tried. You don’t know it until … It’s almost like you don’t know what you’re missing until you get in there and see it.

Steven Butala:                 Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                         Then you go, “Wow!”

Steven Butala:                 Right.

Jill DeWit:                         That’s it. I wish there was a good way for me … I know we have videos and things out there that show it, so … I wish there was a way I could turn it on for everybody and then turn it off, but there isn’t.

Steven Butala:                 Oh, we’ve got some good surprises coming up throughout the year.

Jill DeWit:                         Yeah.

Steven Butala:                 We’re always thinking about better ways to do this, easier, faster.

Jill DeWit:                         Yes.

Steven Butala:                 In fact, automation’s one of the things we’re going to talk about tomorrow.

Jill DeWit:                         Hear all the fun by subscribing on iTunes or wherever you’re listening, and while you’re at it, please rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                 We are Steve and Jill. Information.

Jill DeWit:                         And inspiration.

Steven Butala:                 To buy undervalued property.

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