Land is easy. Everyone is doing it wrong (JD 002)
Jill DeWitt: Welcome. This is show 002 now. We’re catching up. Okay.
Jill DeWitt: Hi. Episode 002. If you were here last week, thank you for joining me again this week. If you wanna make money in real estate, there is no better way to get started. The purpose of this weekly live show is to answer your questions about getting started in flipping land and then move on to bigger transactions or other types of real estate. That’s all we’re doing.
Jill DeWitt: I’m Jill DeWitt, cofounder of Land Academy. Together with my partner, Steven Jack Butala, we have completed close to 16,000 real estate transactions of many property types. We all know that there’s money to be made in real estate and most people are doing it wrong. I am here every Wednesday at 2 o’clock Pacific Time to help you connect the dots. Today, I’m going to talk about why land is so easy and everyone is doing it wrong, then, in about 15 minutes, I’m gonna answer all your questions.
Jill DeWitt: A while back, I had a call with an individual who shared with me his experience about getting into real estate investing. He shared this wonderful story about finding us while he was doing his research and he dismissed the whole concept because, as he said, “flipping land is not sexy.” Well, after a year had passed, and he had completed a handful of time-consuming, problem-filled, budget-busted house flips, revisited his concept of rural vacant land, and then he called to tell me that he couldn’t be happier. We laughed about the whole thing. It was a great joke because we said, “We all know flipping land might not sound sexy. But a big, big balance and easy transactions? Sure is.”
Jill DeWitt: Why is flipping land so much easier than flipping houses? Well, first, land does not have a large upfront cost. Think about it. You wanna get started in real estate, you want to do it right, you want to pay cash for transactions. Well, with land, you can put down a couple thousand dollars versus a few hundred thousand dollars that you would have to buying another asset type, like SFR. Also, like many people, they’re borrowing money to complete these transactions, we all know that everyone involved, bank, other investors, they all want to protect their best investments and they often have a lot to say.
Jill DeWitt: Second reason, this is so much easier, land does not have potential unplanned expenses, such as a leaky roof, electrical issues, or surprise notices about permits not being done. It’s really easy. I went looking a little while ago just to kind of see what I would find. It’s not hard to find horror stories all over the internet of people trying to do an HGTV-type project and it all goes sideways, and they’ve lost so much money, and then they give up is what sadly happened. We don’t have those issues.
Jill DeWitt: Then, the third thing, especially when you’re selling, land does not have this high level of, let’s just call it, buyer hand-holding. I don’t need to be there to show the property, I don’t need to be on site with inspections, or anything like that throughout the whole sale process. I can easily do this from anywhere in the country.
Jill DeWitt: Now, why is everybody doing it wrong? Or, how is everybody doing it wrong? This is my favorite thing to talk about, I have to share. Everyone is conditioned to wake up and go searching for deals. Let me illustrate, explain this to you.
Jill DeWitt: Imagine, this is scenario one, you wake up in the morning, you get in your car, you’re driving around looking for property, you find a handful that you’re interested in. Let’s say, you don’t have good ownership information at your fingertips, so you’re calling the county trying to get the owner’s name and address, whatever you can from the county. Next, you’re back at your office, you’re skip-tracing, that’s a popular thing now, and trying to get their phone number. Then, you’re picking up the phone and you’re making cold calls to people because you wanna buy their property, buy their asset.
Jill DeWitt: How many do you think you could actually reach in one day? Not that many. Then, let’s just say you get lucky and you talk a few that day, how many do you think you’re going to get lucky with and they actually want to sell? If you try to talk someone to selling when they are happy there, they’ve been there for a few years, they want to retire there, good luck. It’s been a wasted day. So, that was the wrong way.
Jill DeWitt: So, now here’s scenario two. Let me paint this picture for you. Imagine that you spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, you’re researching an area to buy property. You pick out what your criteria is. You go onto your computer, you download a current awesome, maybe it’s even a direct feed list, like we have at RealQuest Pro, of all the ownership information right there on your computer.
Jill DeWitt: Next thing you do, you scrub down your list, you add in your offer prices. Then, you email your completed spreadsheet, along with your mailer templates, all ready to go to somebody else to do a mail merge and get these offers in the mail to you. I mean, that’s all you do. Someone else is doing all the work. They’re getting the stamps on it, theoretically with a professional company, in the mail for you. So, that was your Sunday afternoon.
Jill DeWitt: Now, fast forward a few days, and all you’re doing is building all the return phone calls and signed offer letters from the people who got your offer in the mail, liked your price, now wanna do the deal. Once you start this process going, that’s it. It just keeps going and going, going and you never have to search for a deal again.
Jill DeWitt: The other thing, and is one that I forgot to mention in the first scenario, is some people have access to the MLS. We actually all have access to the MLS now, we don’t even realize it, but the realtor, things like that, we all have the MLS. But even though you think that’s a maybe a little bit of a better way to do it, it’s not. Because those deals that are on the MLS, if you’re waking up and you’re searching the MLS, guess what? Somebody else got there first. We didn’t get there first.
Jill DeWitt: By doing direct mail and getting good offers out and those people calling you back, you’re out there first and you are the one that’s working directly with the seller and making the transaction happen. That is why this is so easy and so profitable, and I can do it from anywhere.
Jill DeWitt: Now, I’m going to open this up and take some time and answer your questions. If you would go ahead type your questions in and I will answer them here. Hi! I can’t see the name, is it Andrew? Andrii, nice to see you. Thank you. I’m glad you’re here. All right. Jake wrote, hi, Jake, “So, if a new person joins the membership, me, including a membership cost and the first few months,” got it, “how much money would a person need in order to get the first offer? Membership, monthly fee, data download, mail merge?” You’ve been doing your homework on this, Jake, and I really appreciate it. All right. “And any other costs I may not be listing. Wanting to know what I need to get my budget to get started on the first offer.”
Jill DeWitt: All right. Awesome, excellent question. Okay. You need a budget for the program and, basically, everything we teach everything how to run our business in the Land Academy Cash Flow From Land program, and version 2.0 is coming out soon, which is going to add on infill lots, so don’t worry. But budget how much that is, you could look that up, it’s online. There’s a coupon for you right now too to get $600 off that’s coming.
Jill DeWitt: The monthly fee is $250 a month and that is the reduced costs for you. So, instead of just paying 250 month for RealQuest Pro, you’re getting RealQuest Pro, you’re getting TitlePro, you’re getting Deed Perfect, you’re getting our DealBoard, you’re getting postings on LandPin, you’re getting our free weekly member calls, that’s a closed environment with Steven and I. So, if you go to the [inaudible 00:10:00] the membership page, you’ll see a long list of all the things, the discount the Pat live helping answer the phone. So, get a couple thousand to get started, the 250 a month.
Jill DeWitt: Now, to download data, when you’re ready to pull those records, like I talked about, it’s 10 cents a record. You want to download at least about 2,000 records. So, budget $200, and plus mail, which is right around, it’s 55 cents right now for the member pricing. Hopefully, that helps you kind of think about it.
Jill DeWitt: The only last thing I want you to think about, this is, what’s his name again? This is Jake. I want you to think about is acquisition funds. One of the things that we have done, Steve and I have done, and Land Academy as a whole, is with a group, are able to get all the costs of all the tools and everything that we need cheaper and better and faster as a group. So, you can focus on acquisition funds. I just want you to think about having a couple thousand dollars or whatever you have. I’ve had people start with $5,000, $10,000 and I’ve had people start with a $100,000. The difference is what the properties are that you’re gonna buy. So, that’s I want you to think about.
Jill DeWitt: Excellent question. Thank you. Oh, and I see Steven Butala, thank you, is answering some questions for you in there too. Thank you, Steven. Who do we have now? Teddy. Teddy asks, “I was dealing with house flips for years and lost so much money. I’m only two deals in with land and already doing better.” Thank you. We hear that a lot. Like the story I mentioned earlier about the person, that it was so true, we laughed about it. He’s like, “Oh, this land flipping it’s silly. That’s not sexy. I’m not gonna talk about that. Who cares? I’m gonna do houses like everybody else?” And he got into it and said, “Oh, what was I thinking? This is so much easier.” I love it.
Jill DeWitt: I’m getting another question here. Great questions. All right. Andii, I think it’s Andii, asks, “I read your 30-page ebook,” this is great, “did a post on Craigslist, as your sample says.” Wonderful. “Two days later I had a person interested to sell his land in Santa Clarita. Now I don’t know what to do.” All right. That’s perfect. You did exactly what you’re supposed to do. The whole point of the ebook is just to get you to throw something out there for free, like you did on Craigslist, basically posting an ad saying I want to buy property in whatever area and see that people will call you back and they are interested.
Jill DeWitt: Now I can help you, that’s the next step. I mean, now it’s really you could have a couple ways. You could jump in our free online community and talk to our members and we can get you a lot of free information there to help get the sale done and get the purchase done and doing deed. You need to get a deed and agree on a price, make sure it’s the right price. You need to get a deed done, get it recorded, post it for sale. There’s a lot of steps. It’s not that hard and we’re here to help you. I mean, that’s what Land Academy is all about. So, you know what? You did everything great. You tested it, you’re ready. I would say get in our group, that’s the next step.
Jill DeWitt: Cindy asks, “How long do your offers say the escrow period is?” Excellent. This is perfect, Cindy, because this is leading into what my show is about next week. First, I’m going to talk about what my show is about next week then I’m gonna answer your questions. So, next week, I’m going to really get into the computer, I’m gonna show you an offer letter, I’m gonna show you where you can go online for free and download our offer letter and start using it if you want to. We share it, have at it. I’ll show you kind of what a mail merge looks like, and we have a company called Offers to Owners that does it for you, and just how easy it is now. So, we’ll cover that next week.
Jill DeWitt: But, to answer your question, this is like a 90-day. It’s not an escrow period. I’m sending an offer as an investor, as a buyer, and a lot of the transactions, especially when you’re starting out, we are self-closing our transactions because we’re not spending a lot of money. I’m acting as my own title agent, I’m doing all my own homework, and I have all the tools to do that. We’ll show you how to do that. I’m buying properties for a couple thousand dollars and not using in escrow. So, I don’t really have an escrow title in there for houses. We’ll get to that later, that’s a different letter and that’s a different process.
Jill DeWitt: But still my goal is, in my offer letter, man, Cindy, I’m going to close to tomorrow because, here’s the perfect scenario: I sent these offers. I’m hitting someone at the right time. There’s a reason why they’re opening up the mail, they’re reading my letter, it seems to them, that day. They are calling me right now and going, “Heck, yeah. I wanna unload this property for $5,000. I inherited it from my dad. The taxes are due again. Here it comes, it’s November. How fast can we do this?”
Jill DeWitt: What I’m doing is, “How does Tuesday sound?” How fast I can get a deed together and get a cashier’s check? I’m not going to really do it same day and overnight it and make it happen with a notary. So, it’s a really a short process. You wanted to be short because you you want them excited and you want to close the deal. Excellent question.
Jill DeWitt: Wayne asks, “Question, I’m a new …” Whoops, there we go. “I’m a new Land Academy member.” Yey, welcome, Wayne! “I’m working on my first mail merge.” Awesome. Don’t worry, I’m going to will help you. “In RealQuest Pro. I’ve noticed that some counties have a thousand plus properties in a certain range,” Everything right, “i.e., 4.9 acres to 5.1 acres.” Yes. “However, some counties only get a few hundred in this. Is this normal?” Yes. “Happy to take this offline if this isn’t the forum.”
Jill DeWitt: No, I’m happy to answer your question, Wayne. You know what? We’ll [inaudible 00:16:34] more tomorrow on our weekly member call when you, hopefully, will be there with us at 3 o’clock Pacific time. Yep, that’s normal. All you need to do is expand your range. You’ll find that some counties who put in a little number like that, and you might have five [inaudible 00:16:50], I don’t need that many. I might do 4.9, 5, to 5 point something just to get the right numbers that you want. But you’re doing everything right, so congratulations.
Jill DeWitt: Cindy Lee also asks, “Do you buy all your land right away or do you give yourself enough time to find a buyer and do double closings?” These are great questions, Cindy. You know what? We buy them. I’m not a fan of a signing contract, especially when it’s a couple thousand dollars. It’s so nice to … Let me just give you an example, say, I have $10,000 budget. I might sit down, and I’m brand new, I might be sitting down now looking at five 2,500 properties to double my money on, or even 10 $1,000 properties to double my money on.
Jill DeWitt: Why? They’re so easy to complete by myself, I can do my own homework, my due your diligence. If I goofed one up, let’s say, I’m trying to double my money on all of them, so I’m trying to turn $10,000 into $20,000 and I goofed one up for some whatever reason, I’m willing to bet the other nine are gonna take care of the one that I goofed up as I’m learning this process. Then after you get going and you understand how it all works, then you’re going to start looking at doing bigger dollar amounts or bigger properties. Then eventually, too, this is a good question, you will get to the point where it’s like learning to fly a plane. You learn on a small plane and you learn how to operate everything and then you graduate to a bigger plane.
Jill DeWitt: So, this is kind of like this. I want you to learn how to drive a stick. I’m gonna learn how to do a deed. I want you to learn how to do the whole process yourself so you know what this is, and then later on, you might be closing $55,000 deals. And you know what? You’re not doing any of that work. You’re doing your own due diligence upfront before you hand it over to your title company to make sure it passes all your tests, but then they do it, so it does get easier. Great questions. All right.
Jill DeWitt: Ben asks, “Do return percentages go down on larger dollar properties?” I’m not sure, Ben, if you mean return percentages. I’m guessing you mean dollar amount as far as buying and selling. I’m gonna assume that’s what it is, you can type in if I’m wrong. But, traditionally, no. It’s funny, traditionally, we see higher return profits. Our group have no trouble finding assets for $10,000, $12,000, $15,000 that are worth 60 and we could easily still double our money and maybe even more.
Jill DeWitt: A good thing to ask, in our online community, if you want to get into landinvestors.com, that would be a fun question to pose to our members and see what they say like, “What’s the biggest ROI you’ve had,” and you would probably fall over when you hear some of these people saying they’ve bought things for $20,000. People just didn’t care; they were done with it. It’s like, “Get this broken treadmill off my yard,” and you throw it around and it’s a collector’s item. They didn’t know it and they didn’t care, and they wish you well. It’s kind of like that sometimes with these properties. That doesn’t change it. Good question.
Jill DeWitt: Britton. Oh, hey! Hi, Britton. Britton Miller asks, “Hi, Jill. Question for you, I did mailer just recently and just recently started seeing land available in the same area much cheaper, by another member, LOL. Do I just scrap it and start over?” Heck, no. Don’t change a thing. Make your stand out pricing. Just make sure price is great, and your description looks good, your pictures are great, your videos look good. Don’t even worry about it.
Jill DeWitt: We joke about this as a group. Sometimes we’ve heard numbers sending mail to one group and getting five deals, let’s just say, in one area and then you hear about somebody else going off, “Shoot, I just accidentally, I really just mailed that area. I just did the same thing and then they pick up five more deals.” Because, like we said before, you’re looking for a situation and that’s it. On January 1, I opened the letter from Bob, I didn’t need to sell, I didn’t care, everything’s great. I threw it away. Then March 1, I opened the letter from you and, man, I just happened to lose my job or something changed and now I’m ready to sell.
Jill DeWitt: Caleb. Hi! Caleb asks, let’s see here, “Do you seek out specific subdivisions and have you seen a decrease in accepted offers for subdivisions that are more plentiful and available sales data i.e., listed and sold comps, even if the subdivision is still rural? Do I seek out certain subdivisions? I do sometimes. I’ll keep that up question for me. Okay. I do sometimes, Caleb, for infill lots, not so much land/however, because I don’t really wanna have a lot of roll back at land, traditionally, in one subdivision. Having a couple parcels there is good, but I don’t really wanna own half of the subdivision because the every person’s trying to peddle 12 of the same thing. It’s not that exciting on my websites. I take them out.
Jill DeWitt: When I am doing rural-, doing infill lots, excuse me, because we’re transitioning to a lot of that now, and we can help you with that too, then I might be really honing in on an area that I know well, because I know it’s hot, because I can see, and then I do look at those things by the way. Then, I do look at days on market and I am looking at comps because I will have better numbers because I have house data. For real vacant land, sold comps, don’t bother because they are sold and that’s another … Wednesday, I’m going to cover that. Also, assessor comps are so often inaccurate, and I will talk about that one on Wednesday. Great question.
Jill DeWitt: Andrii asks, oh, thank you for asking this. All right. Andrii asks, “When do you guys are planning your next event in Los Angeles? I want to meet you guys in person, Steve and Jill. Cake from me. You do an incredible job.” Thank you very much. Yeah, it’s coming. It’s one of the things I’m going to be working on in the next several weeks. You will start seeing probably quarterly at least events from us, taught by us. I think that’s one of the things that made these last events so special. It’s really us that are doing it with you and more are coming. So, probably look for first quarter next year. So, thank you.
Jill DeWitt: We are great on time. I’m going to answer few more questions. Cindy Lee. Cindy Lee is asking, “How many different counties do you suggest one mail at the same time?” Great question. How many are you comfortable with? I mean, yeah. Maybe if you’re really brand new, Cindy Lee, I would do one, two or three counties. When you’re picking a county, have a list of criteria that you’re looking for. For example, make sure that the county information is readily available. If you have any questions, make sure it’s not a real rural county where the sheriff is also the County Recorder on Tuesdays and things like that. So, pick one that they’re accessible. their information is good, your data is good, you can pull up maps on the area really well. So, some of those things, but I’d say two or three to get started is a probably a good one.
Jill DeWitt: Then after you send out much mail, you’ll start seeing, you’ll figure out, “Oh, wow. Look what I’ve just uncovered over here.” Say, one of those county just rose to the top and you found that you’re buying up and doing great on the five acre properties in an area and maybe then progress to the 10 acre properties, and then 20 acre properties, and then you just keep it expanding. That’s a good question. Then, when you get more in depth too, it’s not crazy to send out bigger mailers with a lot of counties. That’s fun. It’s fun when you get these offers back. The best thing you can do is send out a lot of offers, and then when you get them back and just pick the best ones. That’s the greatest thing. All right.
Jill DeWitt: Jake asks, “When are you guys coming to Nashville?” I hadn’t thought about Nashville. I’d like to go to Nashville. When I do my planning I will get back to you there. It’s probably, honestly, probably gonna be more of a Dallas. I might do a Dallas before we get to Nashville, but maybe a Florida, between those. So, thank you.
Jill DeWitt: What else do we have? All right. We have a few more minutes. Yeah. I guess I’ll answer just a couple more questions. This is great. I see my team members are answering questions for you, too, so this is wonderful. Steve, anything else do you wanna answer? All right. One more, okay.
Jill DeWitt: Britton asks, “Is there a minimum …” Thank you, Britton. “Is there a minimum parcel size that you consider?” Great question. No. It depends on what I wanna buy. So, for infill lots, I might buy a 0.11 and it might be worth a lot of money. For rural vacant land, traditionally, when you’re starting out, bigger is better. Don’t get crazy. I’d say five, 10, 20 acres, even 40 acres, those are great to get started. Then you’ll find it you’ll naturally probably graduate to probably 60, 120 acres. If you really wanna go nuts, then we’ll help you with that. We can help you learn to subdivide. That’s great, too.
Jill DeWitt: All right. I’m going to answer just one more question here. This is Reggie, “Can hiring a photographer to take photos of property be worth it? Or should I just use Google map street view images? Should we market first with Google map images or directly hire photographer?” Awesome, awesome question, Reggie. Depends on how much you’re spending on a property. If you’re buying a property, say, you’re brand-new starting out, you’re testing this, so you’re buying a property for $1,000. You want to sell it for $2,000 or $2,500. Everything on the internet is for $4,000, so you know it’s great. But do I want you to spend a $1,000 getting a drone video and a higher professional photographer all that? Maybe not. But maybe a couple hundred dollars. This is up to you to kind of see how much cushion you have in your budget. But spending hundred dollars is not crazy to get a guy to go in the area and stand on it, give him the GPS coordinates, and take some pictures and send them back to you, that’s totally worth it.
Jill DeWitt: Then, maybe while you’re waiting for that, I want you to post your property right away, maybe while you’re waiting for the photographer or you even mix in some Google or the videos or fly-ins from Google Earth Pro and photos of the area, absolutely. The only thing you wanna be sure you always do is properly convey what that is. If it’s photos of the area, say “it’s photos of the area.” If it’s photos standing on a property, say “it’s photo standing on the property.” Great. Thank you very much.
Jill DeWitt: All right. Well, I think that we are just about-, I guess we are not just about out of time. I got the thumbs up so I’m gonna take a few more questions if you’d like to like to add in here. Thank you.
Jill DeWitt: Wayne asks, thank you, “Do you send offers to people that bought their land in the last three to four years?” Very good question. You know what? The answer is yes. I don’t scrub it out. Here’s why. There could have been a year ago transfer of ownership because mom or dad passed on and they moved it into a trust, which is the best possible situation, so now the siblings do inherit the property and they’re ready to sell. So, I don’t want to scrub out the most recent transfers. Great question. Or bought their land, yeah.
Jill DeWitt: Let’s see what else do we have. Jake. I like Jake’s question there. I like this. Jake, these are great questions. You are very brainy and I appreciate this. All right. Will you go by Terry? I kept calling you Jake and you put Terry in quotes, and I’m calling you Jake. Okay. So, Terry asked, “Do you need to do a title search to make sure the title is clear and not encumbered?” Heck, yeah. How do I do it? I have RealQuest Pro, or I actually have RealQuest Pro, but really I use TitlePro247. TitlePro247 is AgentPro247 on steroids. So, it’s everything you can do at AgentPro, but even more detailed and it’s designed for title agents. So, I can go back and see chain of title. I can go back on houses and I can see mortgage documents. I can see all kinds of excellent information. So, that’s absolutely what I do.
Jill DeWitt: When an offer comes in I do go back and make sure, first of all, I’ll make sure, am I talking to the seller? Is this the right guy to make the decision? Then, I go make sure that everything, like you just said, that is in line and everything looks good before I start the process of purchasing the property. Excellent question.
Jill DeWitt: Hi, Jesslyn Oliva. All right. Any more questions here? Oh, wait. Jake says, “Terry as my high school friends know me. Call me Jake.” All right. I’ll call you Jake. Wonderful. I’ve got one more here. Okay. Stephen asks, “When is the Land Academy 2.0 release date?” Thanks. Okay. We’re still currently on track for Halloween. So, that is our goal, to have on or around Halloween, we will have Land Academy 2.0.
Jill DeWitt: Okay. What is Land Academy 2.0? I’ll wrap up with this. Land Academy 2.0 is the next level of where you should be going after 1.0. 1.0 is still awesome, current, not much has changed since we released it a couple years ago. You still pull data the same way. If anything, it’s gotten easier now. Some of the things that we did, like a mail merge in 1.0, now I have my team, and you have them too, to do mail merge and things like that now you don’t have to think about.
Jill DeWitt: So, 2.0 is the next level. That’s what’s coming up on Halloween. Speaking of which, we have a special going on right now. If you’re liking this, if this all makes sense to you, number one, go get our ebook. It’s free. Go to LandAcademy.com, download the ebook, read it, see what you think, do the tests, ask more questions. That’s over here. If you’ve already done that and you’re like, “All right, I get it. I’m in,” go get our program. The coupon here is going on right now. If you put in the code SPOOKY, you will get $600 off, and that ends on Halloween.
Jill DeWitt: Next week, please be ready for screenshots, as I mentioned. I’m going to show our offer letter, where you can get it. I’ll talk about how we collect ownership data and some of those small pieces to help you kind of see what this is all about.
Jill DeWitt: Thank you for joining me. Please be sure and leave your comments below. Thanks. Put in your comments below and what you’d like to cover, any topics or any other questions, we’ll do our best to answer them later on.
Jill DeWitt: I am Jill DeWitt. I’m here to help you get started, that’s the hardest part.
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