This is Our Efficiency Year (LA 887)

This is Our Efficiency Year (LA 887)


Steven Butrala:                 Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hello.

Steven Butrala:                 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 Butrala:                 Today Jill and I talk about how 19, geeze, date myself.

Jill DeWit:                            Wow.

Steven Butrala:                 How 2019-

Jill DeWit:                            That makes sense though.

Steven Butrala:                 … is our efficiency year.

Jill DeWit:                            you could say how ’19 is our efficiency year.

Steven Butrala:                 Oh, yeah, just ’19.

Jill DeWit:                            We’re going to go with that. Just ’19, that’s what you meant.

Steven Butrala:                 Yeah, like ’75.

Jill DeWit:                            Right, not like 1989.

Steven Butrala:                 Or ’93.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, ’19.

Steven Butrala:                 All right, I’m calling it ’19.

Jill DeWit:                            There, we’re going with that.

Steven Butrala:                 Before we get into the show though, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the online community. It’s free.

Jill DeWit:                            Dallas asks, “So here’s the lowdown. We’re at the point that we can only hire one VA right now and have automated a significant portion of our CRM.”

Steven Butrala:                 Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Nice. “We’ve been doing some learning over the past year, also known as failing.”

Steven Butrala:                 Good.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s awesome. I want to use that one. “And dug ourselves into deals that seemed like way too much work compared to others. For example, a deceased joint tenant that hadn’t notified the county that her spouse died, in California, snail mail filing, not that I don’t like a challenge and the opportunity to learn, but it’s with a full-time job, a girl’s got to set boundaries.” This is so great. This is Dallas. Did she Dallas? Wait, wait, go back up a second. If she said this is Dallas, I know.

Steven Butrala:                 Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            I have something to say about this person. Here, just a second. Okay, Dallas, I’m so proud of you, this is hilarious. All right, so “a girl’s got to set boundaries. So do you or have you before set standards,” this is good, Dallas, and the answer’s yes. “Or general rules on acquisitions or sales that helps you avoid a waste of time and money?” And yeah, we have.

Steven Butrala:                 Heck, yes.

Jill DeWit:                            “What are the standards or rules based on? Thank you all for your time?” Can I tell you who Dallas is?

Steven Butrala:                 Go ahead.

Jill DeWit:                            Dallas is the person who when I did the free … I gave away a program for free.

Steven Butrala:                 Oh, the winner?

Jill DeWit:                            This is who won the program, uh-huh.

Steven Butrala:                 Well, good, she’s already participating.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, in an online community, asking questions, talking to people, and so yep, this is Dallas.

Steven Butrala:                 Good, someone who appreciates the program.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butrala:                 That’s outstanding.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butrala:                 You should give more stuff away.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butrala:                 Like Oprah.

Jill DeWit:                            Maybe.

Steven Butrala:                 The technical phrase for what you are referring to here is called acquisition criteria. I used to purchase, long before my land career, longterm care facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and on behalf of owners of these types of facilities and operators, I would go contact other owners to see if they want to sell. I would always get paid by the buyer. That’s just how I chose to do it, ’cause the buyers seemed to have funds set up and they had a lot of money. Sellers not so much. That tells you just a little bit about that business.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butrala:                 They had very strict acquisition criteria, only private or semi-private rooms, only properties in communities that had more than 10,000 residents, and on and on and on, and I’ll tell you what, they never, ever veered from that. So, like everything in Land Academy and in my land career, I’ve modeled it after commercial real estate, how it gets funded, everything, ’cause it’s very sophisticated.

People in commercial real estate and commercial real estate itself is completely and entirely different than residential. There’s not a lot of housewives representing, real estate agent housewives in commercial real estate. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a housewife, it just seems to go hand in hand with being a residential real estate agent, which I’ll never understand.

Jill DeWit:                            Right, it’s true.

Steven Butrala:                 So, that’s a whole different thing.

Jill DeWit:                            I was going to have to go back to work, so I got my real estate license.

Steven Butrala:                 Yeah, what is that?

Jill DeWit:                            Because I think I’m going to have more time with the family.

Steven Butrala:                 And I’m going to put my face on my business card ’cause I love how I look and I love how I dress and I love my hair and I love myself. And I love getting in the way of people’s real estate deals. I love that.

Jill DeWit:                            Tell us how you really feel, Steven. Oh my gosh. I was going to say that that’s an oxymoron if you think my schedule’s my own. Man, if you’re going to make money, your schedule’s not your own is the sad reality.

Steven Butrala:                 My sister’s a housewife and a real estate agent, and she makes a couple hundred thousand dollars a year buying and selling houses.

Jill DeWit:                            And she works her rear off.

Steven Butrala:                 And she works, what, 15 hours a day probably?

Jill DeWit:                            It’s ridiculous.

Steven Butrala:                 Seven days a week.

Jill DeWit:                            She comes here and visits us and she’s half the time on the phone.

Steven Butrala:                 I know.

Jill DeWit:                            Going, “Yes, yes, Mrs. Johnson, you can keep the drapes.”

Steven Butrala:                 She’s always talking about drapes.

Jill DeWit:                            I know, it’s true.

Steven Butrala:                 It’s always about window treatments.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s true.

Steven Butrala:                 It’s not about the real estate.

Jill DeWit:                            No.

Steven Butrala:                 It’s about the refrigerator and the floor.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep, and the yellow walls.

Steven Butrala:                 And getting a mortgage is so inconvenient.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep, so thank you. Back to what you were saying though.

Steven Butrala:                 Wow, total rant, not on my part.

Jill DeWit:                            But it’s true. Back to Dallas’ question, and we still have it today, and now it’s like I’m going to give Dallas a little bit of an insight to our acquisition criteria. Number one, we have to make a certain amount of money on it or we’re not even going to do the deal.

Steven Butrala:                 That’s the first thing I look at is the money piece.

Jill DeWit:                            That really is it. If we look at it and go, oh, it’s worth how much on this, I don’t even dig in any deeper. Done.

Steven Butrala:                 That number’s generally $10,000.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. And then we start getting into quick things like you’re experiencing right now, which is ownership. What’s the deal? How easy would it be to transfer title? And that’s a simple question, is everyone alive and able to sign? Then this one, the answer’s no, so you know what? That right there would have gone down on our list. Then we would have gone, when you’re staring at 10, and the woman that you’re talking about right now is down here at number eight or nine, guess what? You may not get down to number eight or nine. Then depending on the money, is it worth your time? If you keep your mail going, that number eight or nine is going to keep getting pushed down.

Steven Butrala:                 That’s the thing. We have so many letters out. We have millions and millions of letters we’ve sent over the years. We have so many inbound calls now that it’s just not worth it to deal with any of the stuff. I’m a little confused by this though, ’cause if it’s in joint tenants with rights of survivorship and somebody dies, you don’t have to file any paperwork at all.

Jill DeWit:                            True. Is it joint tenants?

Steven Butrala:                 Yeah, she said it’s joint tenants.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, okay. Is there anybody else on there?

Steven Butrala:                 That’s a good question, if it’s just two parties.

Jill DeWit:                            There’s something that’s holding it up, so we don’t have all the answers.

Steven Butrala:                 But in general, just so everybody knows, if you take deed to a property that has joint tenants with rights of survivorship, JTROS, or joint tenants for short, like if Jill and I, if I croak, all the property that Jill and I have as joint tenants, which is zero by the way, I own it or she owns it, for croaking reasons.

Jill DeWit:                            So romantic.

Steven Butrala:                 And it’s all in companies that … do we even need to go into this?

Jill DeWit:                            No.

Steven Butrala:                 If one of us croaks, the other person gets everything.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butrala:                 But if we were regular people and we bought property like husband and wife as joint tenants and one person croaks, the other person just gets everything. There’s no action that’s required. It’s just immediate.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butrala:                 So I’m not sure why you’d have to file.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s why I’m wondering, I don’t think Dallas is brand new to this, too, by the way. She’s been with us. This is good. So I think there’s some extenuating circumstance, and the question was really about acquisition criteria, and you’re right, Dallas, ’cause otherwise you can’t do every deal. You don’t want to get hung up on a deal. And that’s my other argument, too, like you’re looking at right now. You’re asking yourself, all right, do I want to spend 40 hours on doing this mess this week for one deal that makes this much, or do I want to do 10 deals that make this much because it’s way more in the end? That’s what I would do.

Steven Butrala:                 Here’s my philosophy. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to wake up and look in the spreadsheet, and there’s going to be six more deals in there.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butrala:                 And then the day after that, five or six more deals, maybe 10.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s it, that’s how it gets pushed down.

Steven Butrala:                 So do I really want to sit here and do the deal that has to be undone?

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butrala:                 Or do I just want to wake up tomorrow and just do some more deals?

Jill DeWit:                            That’s right.

Steven Butrala:                 Pick and choose the easiest ones.

Jill DeWit:                            The best ones, exactly. Thank you.

Steven Butrala:                 Today’s topic, this is our efficiency year. This is the meat of the show. Like I said earlier, I always label our years. I don’t know why, but last year was the Year of Institutionalization. Last year, right at the beginning of 2018 we sat around and said, okay, it turns out we have proven now for two years that people love Land Academy and the stuff works, and people have a lot of requests on some of the products we can add. Like we added 2.0 and a lot of things, so it was the Year of Institutionalization. It was like we’re no longer testing or proving the concept. It was about institutionalizing it, and I think we did a pretty damn good job.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butrala:                 This year it needs to be about efficiency, and not just Land Academy’s efficiency for us or buying and selling land, although that is extremely efficient now for us, ’cause I’ve had 20 years to figure that out. It’s about making this more efficient for our members.

In Land Academy 2.0, I’m starting to see people rise to the top, especially in our advanced group, because they’re taking this efficiency concept of here’s you at the top, and below you is a transaction coordinator, and then below that is all the deals, millions and millions of deals if you’re doing it right. That’s efficient. So the only way to do that is to outsource, intelligently outsource, all the repetitive work, like the non-decision making work. We’ve effectively done that and that’s really been at Academy 2.0 really drives that point home.

In 2019, we will make available all of our virtual assistants to Land Academy members in some way. We will include a certain number of hours in a certain level of Land Academy membership, not the lowest level. Once you start down that path where other people are doing your work, talk about efficiency.

Jill DeWit:                            I agree.

Steven Butrala:                 So what do you do with your extra time? Everything’s all going great, what do you do?

Jill DeWit:                            More deals.

Steven Butrala:                 More deals, Jill, ding, ding, you get a gold star.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. This is how I understand.

Steven Butrala:                 More deals.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butrala:                 I thought you were going to say go shopping.

Jill DeWit:                            No, I was going to ask you, I’m waiting for you to get to, when you’re done and you’re finally turn to me and ask me my years, how I labeled the last year and this year.

Steven Butrala:                 Oh, is it different? Are the labels different?

Jill DeWit:                            Yes, it is.

Steven Butrala:                 I didn’t know you labeled the years. I thought you just walked around following me around.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, wait till you hear what they are. Wait, what did you call last year again?

Steven Butrala:                 The Year of Institutionalization.

Jill DeWit:                            You know what last year was for me?

Steven Butrala:                 What?

Jill DeWit:                            The spend money year. Know what this year is for me, coming up right now?

Steven Butrala:                 Spend money year.

Jill DeWit:                            No, goof off year.

Steven Butrala:                 Oh, I love that.

Jill DeWit:                            2019 is going to be the goof off year.

Steven Butrala:                 Yeah, you spent some dough last year.

Jill DeWit:                            I had some fun last year. I’m not going to say what, but we got some toys.

Steven Butrala:                 We got sports cars and boats and all kinds of stuff last year.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly, so now I need to go out and goof off and enjoy our toys. We work hard. We do work very hard, too hard sometimes.

Steven Butrala:                 Yeah, and it works.

Jill DeWit:                            It does.

Steven Butrala:                 It incredibly works, not just for us, but all of our members.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes. Thank you, babe.

Steven Butrala:                 I don’t know, this is going to get incredibly efficient. We have such a good group of people working for us right now.

Jill DeWit:                            We do.

Steven Butrala:                 I’ve never had a group like this, and I’m not just saying that.

Jill DeWit:                            I know, we do.

Steven Butrala:                 We don’t need more people, we just need to streamline what we’re all working on.

Jill DeWit:                            And get better, faster scrum.

Steven Butrala:                 Yep.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep, got it.

Steven Butrala:                 Well, you’ve done it again. You spent another 15 minutes or so listening to the Land Academy Show. Join us next time for Finance Friday with me, Steve Butala and Justin Sliva.

Jill DeWit:                            And we, or they, answer your questions. Post in our online community in It’s free.

Steven Butrala:                 You are not alone in your real estate ambition. Tell me about this goof off thing, seriously.

Jill DeWit:                            You know what, Steven, it’s been a while since we’ve taken a trip. I got a couple good trips in me this year that I’m planning out.

Steven Butrala:                 Yeah, you’re right.

Jill DeWit:                            I want to really go somewhere and have some fun.

Steven Butrala:                 And just turn the phones off.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, or just be somewhere where there’s no service.

Steven Butrala:                 That’s an even better idea.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, so it’s not an option.

Steven Butrala:                 Like literally-

Jill DeWit:                            Off the grid.

Steven Butrala:                 I mean, literally not turn the phone O-F-F and not even bring a computer.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep, that’s what I’d like to do.

Steven Butrala:                 Everything’s going to be fine. Jill, that’s a good idea.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. I got some stuff coming. It’ll be fun.

Steven Butrala:                 Awesome.

Jill DeWit:                            Wherever you are watching or listening, please rate us there.

Both:                                     We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butrala:                 Information.

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration.

Steven Butrala:                 To buy undervalued property.

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