We Closed Enrollment for 2019 Planning (LA 889)

We Closed Enrollment for 2019 Planning (LA 889)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWitt:                          Hello.

Steven Butala:                   Welcome to the Land Academy Show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

Jill DeWitt:                          And I’m Jill DeWitt, broadcasting from sunny southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today, Jill and I talk about how and why we … And when I say we, I mean Jill … closed enrollment for 2019 planning.

Jill DeWitt:                          Cool. Want to hear something funny? Even though we’re on our normal recording schedule … This is totally off-topic right now.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWitt:                          Even though we’re on our normal recording schedule, I feel like I had a month off.

Steven Butala:                   That’s how I feel.

Jill DeWitt:                          It’s just the weird holiday period. I’m so confused.

Steven Butala:                   Do you like to be … Would you just rather be off all the time?

Jill DeWitt:                          Yeah. Wouldn’t you?

Steven Butala:                   No.

Jill DeWitt:                          Oh.

Steven Butala:                   No. I’ve forever, since I got over the fact that there’s a Santa Claus topic … I’ve always just, this time of year-

Jill DeWitt:                          You’re just talking about holidays. I thought you meant in general.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. This time of year is just a massive intrusion into the normal course of business. It’s intrusive.

Jill DeWitt:                          Oh, your choice of words are just so amazing. I love it. It’s like I see it as, “Oh, welcome break.” And you’re like, “Darn it. It’s an intrusion. It’s inconvenient, and a pain in the ass.”

Steven Butala:                   I will say this-

Jill DeWitt:                          “Stupid holidays.”

Steven Butala:                   … there was no real break in revenue this December, for one of the first times ever.

Jill DeWitt:                          That’s true. That is true.

Steven Butala:                   So …

Jill DeWitt:                          We had a great, great December, and looking like a great January. I know it will be.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. But just time off, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. It’s just me. Everybody needs a break, you know. I guess. Maybe I [crosstalk]-

Jill DeWitt:                          This is coming from the man that says, “I don’t want to go in on Friday. Why should we go in on Friday?”

Steven Butala:                   That’s true.

Jill DeWitt:                          Yeah. It’s like, “We need to work.” “But, I mean, let’s not be crazy and do it, like, every day.” God.

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

Jill DeWitt:                          Okay. Kevin said, “Thanks, Land Academy. Hello, everyone. I want to take a moment to thank everyone on this forum.” Oh. “Land Academy staff, experienced land investors, new investors, lurkers, and visitors. The people on this forum is what makes it great.” This is really nice.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWitt:                          “I learn things every day from new investors and old pros. I try to give back some of my experience when I can, and hope that I have helped a few of you along the way. I hope you make your business what you want it to be in 2019. Merry Christmas and happy new year.” Well, that was nice, Kevin. I’m pretty sure I know which Kevin that is.

Steven Butala:                   Yes. Kevin is our-

Jill DeWitt:                          Yeah, it is Kevin.

Steven Butala:                   Our moderator.

Jill DeWitt:                          That was very sweet.

Steven Butala:                   Kevin was a regular, and is a regular member.

Jill DeWitt:                          Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   And very active in the Land Investors forum.

Jill DeWitt:                          Community.

Steven Butala:                   And so, we cut him a deal as a member, a very good deal, if he just helps out as a moderator on Land Investors itself, the forum. It’s worked out great. It was just one of those things where we said, “You know what? How about this guy? He’s in there all the time anyway. He helps out.”

Jill DeWitt:                          And he has a lot of great experience.

Steven Butala:                   And he snapped right into it. He’s just a natural.

Jill DeWitt:                          I know. Thank you, Kevin. That’s really, really cool. I’m really glad he’s doing this.

Steven Butala:                   That was one of the best ideas we’ve ever had. I mean, from back to the ’90s, was starting that forum.

Jill DeWitt:                          Oh, yeah.

Steven Butala:                   I mean, all we get is positive responses from people, and I really think it’s a great place for new people to work with old people. Well, you know what I mean. For newer people to the business to work with the seasoned pros, and get answers.

Jill DeWitt:                          Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, and to just generally ask all kind of questions about Land Academy itself, and buying and selling land. So, thank you, Kevin.

Jill DeWitt:                          And it’s been a three and a half years that we’ve had that forum. So, I mean, if you’re new to Land Academy, or you just have some questions, or you’re just checking around, that’s a great place to go. Pretty darn near everything has come up. We always tell people, “If you have a burning question at 3:00 A.M. about a deed, go search in Land Investors. There’s a very good chance it’s in there.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. And I have to say, I designed that site. I didn’t design it. I created it, start to finish, in 36 hours, and it’s still working out great.

Jill DeWitt:                          Mm-hmm (affirmative). Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   It’s not exploding, like some of our other websites.

Jill DeWitt:                          Right.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic? How and why we closed enrollment for 2019 planning. This is the meat of the show. Let me be super clear. We didn’t close enrollment for 2019. Actually, these are the questions I have for Jill, because honestly I don’t [crosstalk]-

Jill DeWitt:                          Wouldn’t it be hilarious?

Steven Butala:                   [crosstalk] Academy itself.

Jill DeWitt:                          We’re taking a year.

Steven Butala:                   Jill closed enrollment very temporarily … We’re gonna find out for how long here in a minute … for us to get organized, because there’s a lot of Land Academy members now, and we want to make sure we serve everybody correctly. So, what was your thinking behind this?

Jill DeWitt:                          I just kind of … Planning. The thinking behind it … I was gonna make a joke, but I didn’t form it quick enough in my head so it’s good. We did this months before, a year and a half ago. I think it was in October, and it was perfect. It was good. It gave us a little breather to really sit down, look at all the programs, make sure we’re providing the tools that we need, make sure the value’s there, and then we flipped the switch, turned it back on, and gangbusters.

It’s been a year and a half now, and the time is there, and so I said let’s, you know … And we have a lot of things that you and I are planning, and it’s hard sometimes to … It’s confusing when you leak little things out. “We’re changing this, we’re adding that.” So I said, “Okay, everybody. Let’s just stop for a second.” So that’s why I did it. I closed enrollment. Had a great end of year special, which worked out wonderful for many people. They thanked us for doing that awesome thing, to help them out and get them involved. So, that’s done.

Now I’ve got a couple weeks … I’m gonna give you a rough estimate of about three weeks right now that we’re gonna keep it closed. I do anticipate reopening it before the end of January, so-

Steven Butala:                   That’s good.

Jill DeWitt:                          And I’ll just say right now, too … If you’re wanting to get in and it’s goofing you up right now, make sure that you have our e-book. Because if you have the e-book, you’re in my email group.

Steven Butala:                   Special group.

Jill DeWitt:                          Yup, and you will get advance notice. So that’s something I didn’t tell, too, is the people who have … Before I open it up to the public, basically I’m gonna do a little bit of advance notice, and leak it out to the people that are in our community, so they know it’s coming before everybody else. So, what’s happening now? This is you and I time, too.

Steven Butala:                   Yup.

Jill DeWitt:                          That you and I are gonna take a little breather, and really plan out this year. And it’s always more than this year. I mean really, when you and I sit and have these meetings, you and I are almost in planning two years out or three years out.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWitt:                          Which is kind of what we’re doing. And I really want to think about the products. You know, we have title services coming. We’re gonna change a little bit of our tools. When I say change, I mean add to them, make them better. We might redo some pricing structure of our programs, as we figure out how we want to do it, and going forward between 1.0 and 2.0. I know you’re gonna refresh 1.0, even, in its current form. We have House Academy. We’ve gotta decide how we’re gonna roll it in there, and there’s separate tools, and a little bit different data that we’re gonna offer there. So, as you can see, everything I’ve talked about is a lot.

Steven Butala:                   We’re up for it.

Jill DeWitt:                          So instead of, again, being unorganized or appearing unorganized, or feeling unorganized, I would rather just close it up for a little while, put it all on paper, sleep on it. That’s how I roll. Make sure it’s all right, and it works for everybody. Talk to some people too, and make sure we’re doing it … Like you said, making sure we’re providing what everyone needs. Then I’ll pull the curtain back, right? You know? It’s gonna be great. And I will do something special, anyway. I always do, when we do big announcements.

Steven Butala:                   At the end of 2017, I wrote down exactly where I wanted to be at the end of 2018, and we ended there.

Jill DeWitt:                          Yup.

Steven Butala:                   You know, plus or minus 10%.

Jill DeWitt:                          I think it was plus 10%.

Steven Butala:                   Actually, it probably was plus 10%. So, I’ve done the same thing. I do a lot of this stuff without telling you, and in the past-

Jill DeWitt:                          We both do. That’s good.

Steven Butala:                   … I think that’s caused some problems, but we always get there. That’s my point. So, what is missing for … I’ll tell you, just out in public here. What’s missing, for me, is more publishing support for these products that we have. It’s not because people are asking us about it. Just because I know now that we’re probably pretty good instructors, and I know that there are some holes when it comes to instructional video. Outside instructional video, and just books. Books and manuals.

Jill DeWitt:                          Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   So, that’s what I’d like to spend a little bit more time on. Not that it’s gonna necessarily generate any more revenue, but I just think it’s gonna make everybody a better investor.

Jill DeWitt:                          Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   And make the library of all the things we created more full.

Jill DeWitt:                          Right.

Steven Butala:                   We’ll see. I don’t know.

Jill DeWitt:                          I’m sure that-

Steven Butala:                   I’m pretty confident.

Jill DeWitt:                          I think so, also.

Steven Butala:                   Plus it’s fun.

Jill DeWitt:                          Exactly. I think that’s really, really good.

Steven Butala:                   We’re selling a lot of land now, so that, more than anything, is time consuming.

Jill DeWitt:                          You touched on something, and I wanted to circle back around to it, which I think is right. This is how it should be, I think. We have our company goals. We have goals for our staff. I do. I’m sure you do, too.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, yeah.

Jill DeWitt:                          For different staff. You know, you’re already lining things … There’s things you want to do with different people.

Steven Butala:                   Right.

Jill DeWitt:                          And then we have our own individual goals, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. So, not sharing with me, or me not sharing with you our personal goals, is not a bad thing.

Steven Butala:                   That’s half of what this show is about, so that we learn about … This is the most time Jill and I spend together.

Jill DeWitt:                          Yeah, it’s true. It’s very true.

Steven Butala:                   So, it’s good to learn about what you’re working on.

Jill DeWitt:                          Yeah. How are ya?

Steven Butala:                   I’m okay.

Jill DeWitt:                          Good. That’s really good. Nice to see you. That’s so funny. That’s really true. That’s good. This is the most time we spend talking, so …

Steven Butala:                   So what’s your personal … I mean, I know you have a bunch of personal stuff you want to accomplish this year.

Jill DeWitt:                          I do.

Steven Butala:                   Do you want to share it? Any of it?

Jill DeWitt:                          No.

Steven Butala:                   No, you don’t want to share any of it.

Jill DeWitt:                          Well, you know … Honestly, because I’m not done. I’m not done. I did not come into 2019 … I never do. I never come in on January one, I never wake up with that light bulb over my head, going, “Woohoo.” And partially because every year we’re out having fun the night before, so I really can’t wake up with the light bulb and be like, “Woohoo.” It’s kind of like, “Oh … Is it morning?” I’m just kidding, but you know what I mean. I’m still mulling a few things over, and deciding how I want to do it. And you and I still have a few more planning sessions. Honestly, and I wait.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, yeah.

Jill DeWitt:                          I kind of wait, because I like to fit my thing … I want to make sure everything fits. There’s no right way, there’s no wrong way. I don’t think that I’m necessarily putting my business before my personal stuff. I won’t. But I want to make sure they all fit together.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWitt:                          So, I have things that I want to get done and I want to do. Especially like shows. I really want to start another podcast.

Steven Butala:                   Me, too.

Jill DeWitt:                          I’m dying to start. There’s like two that I want to do.

Steven Butala:                   Go ahead.

Jill DeWitt:                          Well, one is the House Academy.

Steven Butala:                   I think we have to do that show.

Jill DeWitt:                          And one is my show. Mine, and then I’m gonna have either a permanent guest, or I might have fill in, like a now and then guest.

Steven Butala:                   Yup.

Jill DeWitt:                          You know who I’m talking about. I haven’t decided how I want to do this. So …

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. I mean, we are so set up from an efficiency standpoint. This is show number 889. We’re gonna hit 1,000 shows here next month.

Jill DeWitt:                          Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   Early next month. Mid-February. So, we have … There’s the production crew, and just everything set up. To add two more weekly shows … Not daily shows like this, but weekly shows …

Jill DeWitt:                          Is [crosstalk]-

Steven Butala:                   From an economies of scale standpoint, is silly good, easy.

Jill DeWitt:                          Yeah. Lord knows we know how to do it.

Steven Butala:                   It literally would take about 45 minutes additionally per week of our time.

Jill DeWitt:                          Right.

Steven Butala:                   So we’d be kooks not to do that, and I think it would really help a lot of people.

Jill DeWitt:                          I think so.

Steven Butala:                   And it doesn’t cost everything. Infrastructure cost is all there.

Jill DeWitt:                          Yeah. We’re lucky. We’re in a good spot.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, we finally are. You know, we’ve always been in a great spot, buying and selling land, but it’s been a good two year run. Two years of a lot of effort on both of our parts, to get the staff in place and … It was a lot longer, and a lot more time consuming, and a lot more difficult than I originally thought.

Jill DeWitt:                          Right.

Steven Butala:                   The Land Academy thing itself, and all the stuff that surrounds it.

Jill DeWitt:                          Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Buying and selling land, I was telling the people … I’ve got one additional staff member buying and selling land, and I was really looking at how long it takes to generate $150,000 a year. It takes about two hours a week. You know that whole four hour work week thing?

Jill DeWitt:                          Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   That’s what this really is.

Jill DeWitt:                          That’s true.

Steven Butala:                   So, he has additional marketing responsibilities, but he’s not spending two hours a week.

Jill DeWitt:                          No, and it makes him a better … He understands the customers too, a little bit better. He understands what’s going on, because he’s doing the transactions.

Steven Butala:                   Right.

Jill DeWitt:                          It’s a good fit.

Steven Butala:                   Right. And he’s not doing the real big deals. The big deals are easier.

Jill DeWitt:                          Right. That’s true.

Steven Butala:                   He’s just doing all the rural vacant land deals that we have, because we sent millions and millions of letters out-

Jill DeWitt:                          Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Coming in every day. I just got a deal in yesterday in Texas, that’s just … We’ll probably make 70 grand on it.

Jill DeWitt:                          That’s great. That is awesome.

Steven Butala:                   And it’s fun to do.

Jill DeWitt:                          It is. I’m so glad.

Steven Butala:                   Well, you’ve done it again. You’ve spent another 15 minutes or so listening to the Land Academy show. Join us next time, where Jill introduces us to our tools only product, and explains to us exactly what her vision is for that.

Jill DeWitt:                          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. You know, we needed to have an episode like that. I needed to have an episode like that, for some reason.

Jill DeWitt:                          Oh, yeah? Just-

Steven Butala:                   I don’t know why.

Jill DeWitt:                          Thank you. Talking about planning and thinking, and taking a step back?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, and a non-instructional episode.

Jill DeWitt:                          Oh.

Steven Butala:                   So, you know how you’re doing this live show on Wednesday on Facebook?

Jill DeWitt:                          Right.

Steven Butala:                   And I loved watching your show yesterday, because it was more about the philosophical, inspirational things that need to happen to be successful at anything.

Jill DeWitt:                          Thanks. Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   Instead of, “This is how you do a deed,” or, “Texas is a great place to buy land,” or-

Jill DeWitt:                          Pricing.

Steven Butala:                   Or, “Capital gains taxes don’t necessarily apply here.” That stuff. Look, that’s all in the programs.

Jill DeWitt:                          Right.

Steven Butala:                   But I think the older I get, and the more experienced I get, the more I realize how important that nebulous stuff is. When I was younger, I always threw that nebulous stuff away.

Jill DeWitt:                          Thanks. It is important.

Steven Butala:                   Have you always been like that?

Jill DeWitt:                          It’s more important.

Steven Butala:                   That’s what I’m saying.

Jill DeWitt:                          It’s more important.

Steven Butala:                   If you don’t have the right inspiration-

Jill DeWitt:                          It doesn’t matter.

Steven Butala:                   … it doesn’t matter. If you’re gonna learn how to play the guitar, or real estate, or-

Jill DeWitt:                          Who cares? You have the greatest idea on the planet. You can’t get out of bed? Doesn’t matter.

Steven Butala:                   Or if you’re not organized, and your email inbox is constantly full?

Jill DeWitt:                          Exactly. Then it doesn’t matter.

Steven Butala:                   And it’s actually a little bit more fun to talk about that stuff after a while.

Jill DeWitt:                          It is. I like it. Hey, wherever you are listening or watching, please rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   We are Steve and Jill. Information …

Jill DeWitt:                          And inspiration …

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please review it in iTunes . Reviews are incredibly important for rankings on iTunes. My staff and I read each and every one.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steven@BuWit.com.

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