Saving Money on Postage and Data (LA 819)
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 saving money on postage and data, and here’s what happened right before the show. Jill said, “What’s this show about?” And I said, “It’s about saving money and all the mistakes that we made over the last 20 years and all the money we wasted,”
Jill DeWit: Yes.
Steven Butala: “And the time.”
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Steven Butala: And she said, “Oh, like every single other show.” How we made all these mistakes, and why it’s easier now.
Jill DeWit: And how we can help you.
Steven Butala: It’s faster and cheaper.
Jill DeWit: And save you.
Steven Butala: Easier and all that.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Steven Butala: You can go broke, by the way, sending out mail the wrong way.
Jill DeWit: I gotta tell you, last weekend someone asked me about the script, like about how we do our show and about a script, and I said, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no.” Not only is there no script, the only thing we read is the little bit in the beginning. The question, I read it, and then a little bit at the end that’s consistent, but other than that, not only is there no script. It is also one take and we talk about it for three minutes beforehand and then we’re like, “What’s it about? Got it. Ready, go.” So, this is truly how it’s … what comes out of our mouths is what unfolds in our heads.
Steven Butala: It’s unedited.
Jill DeWit: It is, and it’s so-
Steven Butala: Just the beginning and the end are edited.
Jill DeWit: Sorry for you, it’s not more … it’s not cleaned up, it’s not edited-
Steven Butala: I’m sorry that your standards are so low, that you have chosen to listen to this show.
Jill DeWit: This is real. Sometimes we say things wrong, hopefully we recover and say to each other, “It’s good. Thank you.”
Steven Butala: Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the landinvestors.com online community. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: Marcus asks, “I want to reach out to a few in the counties I’m looking at because there isn’t much to go by on LandWatch, Zillow, etc. Should I just call ahead, make a day of it and pay them cash? I don’t want to waste their time or ask them to do it for free. Thank you.” Interesting. So he wants to reach out I guess to some other members in the counties he’s looking at and pick their brains.
Steven Butala: Good luck.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, I’m not sure how that would go.
Steven Butala: Here’s how it would go. “Hi, I’m a new member, Jill, and I would like to see how much success you had in Mojave County, Arizona. I mean, are you ready to retire there? Because I’m thinking about sending 300 or 400 letters out, just to kind of see, so would you recommend that or do you think another county’d be better?”
Jill DeWit: Click.
Steven Butala: Here’s the answer that you’re looking for that no one’s gonna give you. Oh my God, Marcus. Yeah, you should absolutely send-
Jill DeWit: Here’s how I do it.
Steven Butala: Data in Mojave County, Arizona. I just made $82,000 there, and I’m thinking about sending more, but I want to invite you to my party and I want to share the wealth. I want to spread all the wealth around for this hard work that I’ve created on doing a perfect mailer and priced well and everything like that.
Jill DeWit: I mean, there’s a point that we do all … we really do all help each other. Let’s be honest. We have a really good community. We really help each other / however, it would be unfair to expect someone, as you would also, Marcus. Say, Marcus, you spent, it took you three mailers to get your pricing perfect, you know, in this county and now you got it-
Steven Butala: Yeah, turn it around. Exactly, Jill.
Jill DeWit: And do you really want to just help just to tell everybody, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll be the trailblazer in every county for everyone.” I mean, it’s … We wanna help each other, we wanna encourage that, and on the other hand, it’s … some of it, you just have to be realistic and this is your, everybody has their own individual businesses running here. That’s an interesting, to-
Steven Butala: Think about it like this. You know a guy who’s a young guy and you like him a lot, and you’re a fisherman and that’s how you feed your family and make your money. And so one day, this kid comes to you and says, “Can you just teach me how to fish? I’d love to know how to fish. You’re obviously doing extremely well for you and your family fishing.” And so you say, “Absolutely. I would love to teach you how to fish. Come on over here and I’ll show you. This is how you bait the hook, this is the fishing rod that I use and-”
Jill DeWit: Which is what we have done.
Steven Butala: Which is what we do. You give the basic information, how to do it. You show him, take a little video even. But, and then-
Jill DeWit: Now you say, “Go out and find your own area.”
Steven Butala: And then the next day, you resume your life and you feed your family and you go fishing, but you don’t report back to the youngster on a daily basis about the exact best fishing spot with GPS coordinates every single day. You just don’t do that. If you did, you’d be an idiot.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Steven Butala: I mean, Jill and I go back and forth on this all the time. We get calls and constant things from our successful, really successful members saying what she said yesterday. “Can you please stop it? Can you guys please stop sharing so much information about how to do this?”
Jill DeWit: What we do … well, too, and we’re very careful when members, we have … there’s calls that we have, consulting calls with our members, and that stuff’s private. That stuff’s off the record. We have a … what’s the attorney client privilege or whatever that is? It’s kind of like that, and I … it’s unfair. It wouldn’t be, it would be so not cool of me to do, “Hey, I just got off the phone with this guy, here’s what he’s doing and it’s working out great.” Can’t do that. Thank you.
Steven Butala: Right. If you look at what our other members are selling on their website, you’re gonna know. You can tell a lot from that.
Jill DeWit: But you know what? The best thing I can say, Marcus, is go out and make your own way.
Steven Butala: Yeah. Find your own spot.
Jill DeWit: You know what? You’re-
Steven Butala: There’s fishing holes out there.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Steven Butala: That even the most advanced people have never even considered.
Jill DeWit: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
Steven Butala: Sending mail.
Jill DeWit: Wait a minute. I have it, though. Marcus, let me … Marcus has already narrowed it down to the couple counties. He’s done all his homework. This is the bigger point of this whole question, everyone, and this is what we saw last weekend. He’s already narrowed it down. He thinks that somebody kissing the offer letter for him and sending it on its way is gonna … he’s looking for confirmation that he’s right, and to do it. He’s a little bit afraid, and I think he’s over analyzing. I think he wants to talk to one more person on these few counties he’s narrowed down before he goes for it. And that’s wrong. Just get it in the mail, Marcus.
Steven Butala: Or come to the a live event, or schedule a consulting call.
Jill DeWit: And we’ll make you get it in the mail.
Steven Butala: With either Jill or me.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Steven Butala: And I’ll tell you, flat out. That’s what these consulting calls are for. They’re not for us to make … we don’t need the extra money. The only reason that we charge for these consulting calls is because everybody would schedule them if they were free. Scheduled consulting call, have your mailer ready, and this is not a commercial-
Jill DeWit: We’ll talk about it.
Steven Butala: And I’ll tell you, you are dead on here. This is what happens in a lot of the good consulting calls. They’re exactly where Marcus is. They have multiple spreadsheets ready to go, with pricing in them, and 10 or 15 counties. And I say, “Do this county, this county, this county and this county. Leave these three out. You need to,” this is over a half hour or an hour on Skype. “You need to price this, increase this, decrease this, you’re going in way too hot here. This is the wrong product type.” I mean, it’s that detailed. So I’m happy, by the way, to share this information. I’m happy to give you the GPS coordinates on the most recent watering holes where Jill and I have had success. Just not through this venue.
Jill DeWit: Thanks.
Steven Butala: And by the way, it’s a great question.
Jill DeWit: Awesome.
Steven Butala: You’re moving through your career nicely.
Jill DeWit: Today’s topic.
Steven Butala: Saving money on postage and data. This is the meat of the show. As I said, right from the beginning of the show, there is no faster way to go broke than sending out bad mailers and spending too much on postage and spending too much on data, and then never seeing a return. I mean, that’s what everybody’s afraid of, right?
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: Oh my God, we talked about this in the last live event. I asked-
Jill DeWit: I don’t, no, I don’t think that’s what they’re afraid of, but go ahead.
Steven Butala: I asked the whole, everybody there. We all know this works. Everybody agrees this works. We have multi-millionaires in this room that make it work, us included. Why don’t people send mail out? And here’s what I think. I guess we have differing opinions on this.
Jill DeWit: We do.
Steven Butala: I think it’s because it costs money and people don’t want to spend any money.
Jill DeWit: I think it’s even before that. I think it’s before that, so I think this show is about the people that are there, but I think even before that, like Marcus, they’re afraid to push the button. If I send out mail, they’re gonna call me back, and I’m afraid to answer the phone.
Steven Butala: Oh.
Jill DeWit: That’s really what I think that they’re afraid of, and they want to make sure they price them right. You know what, you might be a little bit off and we all talked about that last weekend. If you come in too high, your phone’s gonna blow up everybody wants to sell. You’re like, “Well, I figured that out.” Come in too low, you might get a lot of hate, but you’ll still get some stuff. We all talked about that.
Steven Butala: And here’s what’s gonna happen. Both of those things in your career.
Jill DeWit: And that’s okay.
Steven Butala: You are going to get in a car accident in your lifetime, so don’t be shocked when it happens.
Jill DeWit: I hope not.
Steven Butala: Prepare for it. What?
Jill DeWit: Not everyone.
Steven Butala: Everyone’s gonna get in a car accident.
Jill DeWit: You use that example. Not everyone’s gonna get in a car accident. I’m sure, you know, if you’ve not been in a car accident in your life, will you please send him a message? Because I think there’s people out there.
Steven Butala: You need to drive a little harder if you haven’t been in a car accident.
Jill DeWit: It’s okay. So, I love how you’re explaining to me about-
Steven Butala: I love to shock you.
Jill DeWit: How we got to this point and how we’re able to, how we save money on postage and data, and how we help others save money on postage and data. So please, will you start with the postage part?
Steven Butala: Yes, so you have exactly three choices to get an offer in the mail. You can lick a stamp and smack it on there and you’re gonna do about seven to 10 of those an hour. You can send-
Jill DeWit: By writing them and all of that.
Steven Butala: Yeah, well let’s just talk about postage costs. This is a by-
Jill DeWit: I could lick more than seven stamps an hour.
Steven Butala: You’re a special licker, Jill.
Jill DeWit: I’d like to see you lick a stamp. Seven to 10 an hour. What the heck? By the way, there’s no licking anymore.
Steven Butala: I thought you liked the-
Jill DeWit: I didn’t think you could lick, can you even get a lickable stamp?
Steven Butala: I thought you liked the slow licking approach.
Jill DeWit: That’s really-
Steven Butala: Versus the fast.
Jill DeWit: What do I do? You think that I savor it on my tongue?
Steven Butala: Yeah. I do.
Jill DeWit: That’s awful. That’s gross. What are you doing? Could you imagine? Leave Jill alone, she’s licking stamps. Is there a buzz that you could get off that glue or something?
Steven Butala: Oh, I’m referring to something entirely different.
Jill DeWit: That’s awful. Just awful.
Steven Butala: What is this even about?
Jill DeWit: Seven to 10 an hour. That’s [inaudible 00:11:14]. Nice.
Steven Butala: My stomach hurts.
Jill DeWit: Okay. Sorry.
Steven Butala: You can put a stamp on an envelope manually, which is what Jill wants me to say.
Jill DeWit: Hopefully faster than seven to 10 an hour with a self-adhesive kind.
Steven Butala: Send all your stuff to a commercial printer, who prints out four color bleed catalogs and does stuff for like, I don’t know, who’s a big catalog company still? L.L. Bean or whatever?
Jill DeWit: Yeah, there we go.
Steven Butala: There’s commercial printers that handle all that stuff. You will go broke if you do it that way. Or you can send it to Offers2Owners, which is a company that Jill and I own that only does exactly what you’re about to do, which is send offers to owners, and therefore we have all the consulting and all that stuff that is built into the cost of the mailers, so you get all that for free to make sure you’re doing it right. And it happens to be the cheapest place to do it. It’s cheaper than Click2Mail, it’s cheaper than YellowLetters, it’s cheaper than all of those by leaps and bounds, quite honestly, and-
Jill DeWit: Why is it cheaper?
Steven Butala: You don’t get the customer service. I don’t know. I mean, why do you? I mean, I know why it’s cheaper, but what do you want me to say? It’s because our costs are cheaper.
Jill DeWit: No, you know what, because of the volume. Because our volume, and we choose to not offer that much. Or charge that much, I should say.
Steven Butala: We send hundreds of thousands of units out a month. Hundreds of thousands.
Jill DeWit: We could charge more.
Steven Butala: The bulk discount that we receive as a group is staggering, so you as an individual, if you go to one of these professional print places, you’re just … it’s just your mailer. If you’re sending 1,500 out, that’s the discount you’re gonna get. With us, it’s just cuckoo cheap. I mean, it’s like, we scrape the bottom.
Jill DeWit: We choose to charge as little as possible. Enough to keep the lights on and our staff in their seats, and also what’s funny is the individual who is leading our company right now, Omar, is hell bent on making it cheaper. We are less than all the biggies right now, and he wants to make it the cheapest, and the only way to get it cheaper is volume wise or the way he’s doing it, the way Omar’s doing it. Which is getting our own commercial license that we’re working on, our own bulk mail license, and bringing it down even further.
Steven Butala: Yeah. So that’s how you conquer postage. For this specifically. If you’re gonna print a catalog, don’t call us.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: For postage, I mean for data, you have two choices. There’s three data providers, first of all, that are worthwhile. RealQuest Pro, TitlePro247, and DataTree, which is First American Title’s data arm. They’re assessor data aggregators. We are licensed providers for all three, and when you have a subscription with us, you have access, nationwide access to all of their stuff for one price. It’s the membership fee and 10 cents a record, regardless of what you pull.
Jill DeWit: Not DataTree right now, though.
Steven Butala: Yeah, well we will include DataTree in January of next, this coming year.
Jill DeWit: It will be a separate little thing.
Steven Butala: Right.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Steven Butala: If you walked into any of these places and said, again, it’s economies of scale situation. “I want to join.” They’re gonna say, “Great, it costs you this amount per month and this amount per data record that you pull,” and those numbers will be dramatically larger than if you joined our group.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Steven Butala: Again, this is 20 years of us doing it wrong. You know, one of the reasons that we started this membership is that we can get cheaper mail.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: For the mailers that we send out as a group, and then pass through the costs to everybody else was kind of secondary. Well, now it’s a big deal. Everybody’s talking about it. But we selfishly wanted to create a bigger group so we could get the lower cost data and mail.
Jill DeWit: But not that big. Remember, last member.
Steven Butala: That’s how you save money on postage and data. You know, like Jill says constantly, you gotta get the data from somewhere and this is as cheap as it gets. The only other thing that you can do is go buy a list from China that’s 22 years old and try to do it that way. Or, you can call the county.
Jill DeWit: That’s what I was gonna say.
Steven Butala: Call the county and get the tax roll. Some counties will send it to you and it’s just a gobbledygook mess. You have to have PhD in data analysis to figure it out. Tried that.
Jill DeWit: I love … I wonder, too, there’s a few counties that supposedly for free will give you some information, but what’s funny is that’s where everybody is, probably, and I question that they’re getting the … they certainly don’t get 363 lines of data, which is what we pull. Let me just back this up, let me let you know this. When we pull data, the core of our members, we use CoreLogic, RealQuest Pro, their product, we have 363 rows of data. It’s that detailed of what I’m getting. I can get things like, I’m trying to think here. I get improvement percentage. I can get the mortgage information. I’m getting, if I’m doing houses, I can get three bedroom, two bath. I can get square footage. I get, is there a pool? I can get what kind of roof it has. I can get, is it north, south, east, west facing?
You know, subdivision. It’s like, I’m just … dream it up. And I know on our, I think on Offers2Owners, there might even be a column that shows you what’s possible. If not, Omar can tell you what’s possible. But it’s amazing.
Steven Butala: We’re all set up to do this. We’re not mixing it up with other things and-
Jill DeWit: We’re doing it the right way.
Steven Butala: Trying to be one thing to everybody and all of that.
Jill DeWit: That’s true. Well said.
Steven Butala: We figured it out.
Jill DeWit: We did.
Steven Butala: Well, you did it again. You spent another 15 or 20 minutes or so listening to the Land Academy Show. Join us next time, where we talk about managing acquisition deal flow that you’ve created. Jill just referred to it. She just said, “Oh my gosh, my phone’s gonna ring after I send this mail out. What do I do?”
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Steven Butala: We’ll talk about that.
Jill DeWit: And we answer your questions posted on our online community, landinvestors.com, it’s free.
Steven Butala: You are not alone in your real estate ambition.
Jill DeWit: That was good.
Steven Butala: Really doesn’t get any cheaper.
Jill DeWit: I know.
Steven Butala: I mean, there’s only so many different ways you can say it.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: Our way is the best way. If you don’t like it, move on.
Jill DeWit: For what we’re doing, it’s the best way.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: That’s it. So thank you. Share the fun by subscribing on iTunes and YouTube, and while you’re at it, please rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.
Steven Butala: Information.
Jill DeWit: And inspiration.
Steven Butala: To buy undervalued property.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steven@BuWit.com.
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