Finance Friday with Steven, Jill & Justin (LA 923)
Steven Butala: Steven Butala here with Justin Sliva. 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, like every Friday, Jill and I talk with guest, Justin Sliva, about the transactions that we’re doing this week, and general banter about [inaudible].
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: Ben asks, “I’m thinking about trying a mailer for some infill lots and just gathering data at this point. I’ve ran across a legal description for a residential vacant lot that seems weird to me. S10886-Whitestone, condo unit four, 1.01% common interest. Nothing has been built here, yet no improved property value. But description says it’s a condo and this person owns Unit Four. So, did this person buy a condo from a builder before it was built and has a deed for a land or a piece of it? Not really sure what to make of it. Thanks.”
I know what I think it is.
Steven Butala: Can’t wait to-
Jill DeWit: [crosstalk]
Justin Sliva: Guys, tell me if I’m wrong … I’m totally guessing here, but I feel like it’s the common area in the condo that everybody owns a percentage of that their HOA pays. And that could be it.
Steven Butala: That’s a possibility.
Justin Sliva: Okay.
Jill DeWit: I think it could be a timeshare, because of a timeshare, you can own a percentage too. Because you might own a 12th of it, because you might own a month of it, or you might own a week.
Justin Sliva: Yeah, so that would be 52 weeks a year, so you’d own 1/52. What would that percentage be … it could be it as well.
Steven Butala: That’s very viable. What it could also be is it could be land, that somebody subdivided and made it into a condo. We’ve all seen detached … What looks like a house was actually a condo. And then we’ve also seen undivided interests/common interests … Okay, here’s the point. We’re all saying some version of the same thing.
Jill DeWit: [crosstalk]
Steven Butala: At the end of a legal description when you see, INT, which is undivided … whether it’s common interests or undivided interests, or any kind of interests, just run the other way.
Jill DeWit: That’s [crosstalk]
Justin Sliva: [crosstalk]
Jill DeWit: I’m out. Done.
Justin Sliva: I actually scrubbed that on my house dated mailers. When I run through them, you see 50% at the end on the legal description. I just run through and delete them. Just for that reason.
Steven Butala: A keyword search for INT, and just take everything out.
Jill DeWit: That’s the key here.
Justin Sliva: That would be smarter. I learned something today. Thank you. Thank you, Steve.
Steven Butala: I want to parlay this into another question I just read on Land Investors about scrubbing data and there’s a lot of strings on Land Investors about, Why Can’t You Scrub This Data Out From RealQuest? And keyword search and scrub it out and … Here’s, and I’ll answer the question and you guys can pipe in, for sure.
The place to scrub data is not in RealQuest.
Justin Sliva: Yeah.
Steven Butala: Data’s so cheap. Just get it all into Excel and go to town on it. Don’t try to scrub stuff out of RealQuest. First of all, it will take you forever.
Jill DeWit: Good point.
Justin Sliva: Yeah, you see that a lot on consulting [inaudible]. They ask the same question. Why can’t I get rid of duplicates on RealQuest and things like that? And their interface didn’t set up like that right now. But DataTree you can pull the duplicates out, but again, the interface doesn’t work as well for rural, vacant land.
Jill DeWit: [inaudible]
Justin Sliva: It’s just hit or miss.
Steven Butala: I can’t express this point enough. If you’re really, really, really constantly trying to save money and cut pennies, this is not the place to do that.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: Buy a cheaper house. Reduce your rent or something. Because this is the-
Jill DeWit: Don’t skimp on jewelry.
Steven Butala: Or fast cars.
Justin Sliva: Thank you. Thank you.
Jill DeWit: That’s right.
Steven Butala: If your point is to get the mailer out there, you’re going to spend some money on mail and data and make sure it’s right. What’s going to come back is just in spades. We’re talking about doubling your money on a 10 or $30,000 acquisition.
Jill DeWit: You’re right.
Steven Butala: And spending maybe, what, $100 on data?
Jill DeWit: If I sent 100 offers out that I didn’t need that was $50.00, I’m still okay with that. You just don’t buy the property. That’s okay.
Steven Butala: It’s hard to know that, unless you do a bunch of deals. I mean, how much do you scrub out in the RealQuest/DataTree stage?
Justin Sliva: If I get the size that I want and the value and type of land, and that’s it, and I send it all out there. Everything else done on the backend of Excel. It’s easy. And usually most of that, just as long as they have a good address and it’s not a … I don’t send to LLCs. A lot of people do, that’s just me, I don’t. But most people do.
As long as it’s not an LLC and have a good address, it’s getting a piece of mail. And I go back in the names that have initials. I move the whole name into that, because I don’t think sending a letter that says, “Hello, A,” is not right. It says, “Hello, Abe … A-B, something,” whatever their last name is. Those are the quick two things I do to make it match my mail merchant, I’m gone.
Jill DeWit: That’s good.
Steven Butala: I scrub a little harder than that. We take out government.
Justin Sliva: Well, I take out government too. Yeah, what I do is I take out the first name and I sort to the bottom and that’ll usually have … because government’s not going to say anything for first name. And then I pull out LLCs, government and things like that off that.
Steven Butala: I think the takeaway for a listener, or a watcher here is that, we all have a different way to do it, but there’s a pretty high degree of margin in error. We’re all here doing a show about it, so I bet if you and I sat down, Justin, and really compared notes on how we scrub data, it would be really shockingly different.
Justin Sliva: Yep. I like that.
Steven Butala: [inaudible] place.
Justin Sliva: Yep, no, I agree with that. I agree with that.
Jill DeWit: You know, we talked about that, that’s what we’re doing with 1.0, we’re trying to … knowing what we’ve learned, we’re still trying to convey what’s possible, and then everybody can make it their own.
Justin Sliva: Yep. That’s the big takeaway from this and that’s what I tell everybody when they ask me, “Hey, what educational piece do you use? Do you go to this guy or that guy, or this group?” And I tell them that they don’t teach you the back … And they give you this piece and they say, “Hey, there’s the education to get you the nuts and bolts. And then how you take that.”
And whatever you do with it, I mean, you didn’t teach me how to buy apartment complexes. We bought an apartment complex using the same method. We changed the letter out. You didn’t teach me how to buy a house. You taught me how to find stuff with APN numbers, build a list, and then figure out the pricing from there.
Jill DeWit: Bingo.
Justin Sliva: And that’s all it is, is just replicating the different pricing methodologies and different letters. If you want somebody to take you Point A to Point B, take you all the way through with all the minuscule steps, you probably need to find some one-on-one coaching. Not just say the course didn’t do this. This is to give you your opportunity, your imagination. Be your entrepreneur and make it your own.
Steven Butala: Again, it comes down to all the stuff like this that matters, not the real estate itself.
Justin Sliva: Exactly.
Steven Butala: This is a phrase that I’ve been using all through 1.0. Test of Reason.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Justin Sliva: Yes.
Steven Butala: Test of Reason. It just has to make sense to you. Does it make sense-
Jill DeWit: Absolutely.
Steven Butala: … to mail to, A: … It just doesn’t.
Justin Sliva: Yeah. Exactly right.
Steven Butala: Or a Mr. Smith. Then it makes sense.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Justin Sliva: Yep, exactly right. Exactly right.
Steven Butala: I don’t think the others who are educators in this space know what they’re doing. And that’s just the truth to it.
Justin Sliva: You’re about to get me on a rant here. Hold me back. Like, I’m holding back just because I try to keep this show as a positive space so people can see what it can be and I appreciate you all having me on for this, but I ran across something in a group of another space the other day and the person was mad because they had a seven-month contract, the person asked them to move it up and pay them the money now and the investor goes, “Well, what should I do?” So I nicely said, “Hey, I’ll fund the deal for you. It’s that good a deal.” And they told me they didn’t want to buy the property. And I said, “Well why are you putting a contract on it, you don’t want to buy it?” I was perplexed by this right now.
The idea is, we’re going to buy property for cheap and sell it for more. It’s not about gaming contracts. And I’m perplexed by it and I apologize about that rant, but I-
Jill DeWit: That’s funny, though. That’s good.
Justin Sliva: I think there’s some things we all can do, as investors, to create an above board business and all be successful. There’s tons of deals, tons of money. I mean, we go on week after week talking about it and we get trouble for it. I think last week somebody said that all we do it talk about, “Oh, we’re making all this money.” No, we’re doing deals all over the country, because this works all over the country. That’s what we’re trying to show you, and give you that inspiration to do that. And the education’s there, so.
Steven Butala: What we’re doing is helping other people make more money for themselves.
Justin Sliva: Yeah.
Steven Butala: Or we’ve opened a product that hasn’t, to my knowledge … hasn’t existed before January 1st. Where you can partnership … basically acting as a mortgage, without all the fees and all the stuff, we’re taking the risk with you, so you can get it on the backend instead of the front-end.
Justin Sliva: No, you’re exactly right.
Steven Butala: I don’t know what there is to say negative about that.
Jill DeWit: Again, I wish I had us.
Justin Sliva: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: I mean, I wish I’d has us eight years ago, it would have made it a lot easier.
Justin Sliva: Yeah, and that’s …
Steven Butala: If I had this resource, and we do now … If I had this resource 10 years ago, I’d be out buying commercial real estate deals that I know are worth $22 million that I’m picking up for $2 million.
Justin Sliva: Yep, no, exactly right.
Steven Butala: And making $2-$3 million a deal, instead of $100,000 or $20,000, or whatever. That’s where this is going, by the way, I think.
Justin Sliva: Yeah, no, I agree with you. I think the sky’s the limit on this. I try not to get too far ahead and say, “Okay, hey, can we go do million-dollar deals all day, every day?” We all can do that. But I still like that educational piece of bringing people out of that $10,000 and $5,000 range and getting them into [inaudible] where they can actually sustain, have a livable existence, by doing this full-time.
If you haven’t heard my story, I’ve been doing it full-time for two years, it works. It wasn’t planned. No, I mean, and it’s not planned. April 21st of 2016, I get let go from my job, which is a great job. And I have an opportunity that weekend, our business was four months old and we said, “Freak it. Let’s scale it up and do that.” That’s what’s possible. You see the people like, Luke. He does this full-time. It’s viable.
There’s guys across the board, Joe Morton, another guy. He made more money in his land business the firs couple of months than he did in his corporate job. He left. He does that full-time. These guys, these are not made-up people, they are real people. You can find them and talk to them. They’ll tell you their story. They’re excited to share that with you.
And a lot of people get hung up on some details, “Well, I don’t have my buy website set up, so I can’t do this deal.” No, you’re not going to sell it off your buy website anyways. Your sale website is not going to generate traffic. You got my blood work up, Steve. You got me wanting to [inaudible].
Steven Butala: I just talked to somebody at a consulting house, and they don’t have any websites at all. They’ve been a Land Academy member for two-and-a-half years and most of the consultant calls I get now are just, thank you. They’re like, “Thanks, we wanted to let you know, we’re not website people. We sell everything on Craigslist and on the MLS and we hand out, old school letters and we’re good with it.” So, there’s a million ways to do this.
Jill DeWit: There really is.
Steven Butala: I will say this, you can’t do it without data.
Justin Sliva: No, you have to have the data. That’s the key piece to all of this. I remember walking into my real estate investor that I deal with now, I consider him my mentor on the single family and multi-family side and commercial side. But on land, he’ll introduce me as this guy that flips dirt. He does it with mail, I don’t know how he does it. It doesn’t make sense, but it works. The guy is always working-
Jill DeWit: Isn’t that great?
Justin Sliva: He’s in his tennis shoes, he won’t wear shorts. He only wears shorts for six months a year. He thinks it’s a joke, but he understands it works. If he doesn’t get it, he doesn’t want to. But he’s like, “Hey, it works. Let’s celebrate that fact.” Don’t question it, it just works. Don’t get hung up in why.
We gave away a free piece of property in our podcast when we started our 10th episode, and I gave the girl the option. I said, “I’ll give you the property, I’ll give you $500 cash to start your real estate business and we’ll grow it from there, or you can take the $500 cash and you can just do whatever you want with it. You can spend it on your family.” She said, “Okay, I want the property.” She calls me back on Monday, she goes, “Hey, can I get that cash?” And I was like, “Yeah.” She goes, “But you said you’d help me, right?” And I said, “Yeah, I’ll help you.” And she’s like, “Okay.” And I said, “Now you’re thinking like a business owner.”
She’s going to buy five properties with that. The tax deed property, she’s going to flip them. She’s going to make $2500 off that. And her husband’s asking her, “Well, how does this really work?” She goes, “I don’t know, he tells me it works. I see what they’re doing, it works, I’m just following along.” You’ve got to have a little blind faith here. I mean, that’s what it’s about.
And I don’t want to say, Blind Faith, because that’s the wrong word because it’s implying it’s something you can’t see. Everything’s 100% visible. This isn’t multi-level marketing. You put your data in, you say, “I want this there.” You send your mail out, you’re going to get a few deals back. And they’re worth it or they’re not.
Steven Butala: So is everything.
Jill DeWit: That’s it.
Justin Sliva: You have to actually do something. You just can’t put your hand out and say, “Pay me.” No, there’s steps to it. You have to push it through the process. There’s harder jobs. Digging a ditch for 100 feet, is a lot harder than sending, scrubbing some data.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Justin Sliva: But at the same time, everything has some level of input of work that has to happen.
Steven Butala: Yep.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Exactly.
Steven Butala: Same result that the payout did, just keeps me involved, I have to say. The payouts are so huge.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Justin Sliva: We’re paid for the knowledge of how to find the deal, not for the deal. That’s what you’re paid for. That’s the knowledge that we have. And that’s because of Land Academy, or if you had a different person teach you something. But that’s, ultimately, it’s the knowledge of knowing where to get the deal, and that’s how you make your money.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Steven Butala: Well said. We’re out of time.
Justin Sliva: Sorry. I feel like I ranted the whole time. I apologize.
Jill DeWit: That was good.
Justin Sliva: Finance Friday got ranted on. It was like, Rant Friday, you know. I’m sorry for that.
Jill DeWit: We all have those days.
Steven Butala: Justin, you always say the stuff that I’m thinking.
Justin Sliva: Okay, well, I’ll be the shield for you so if they get mad, they’re mad at the casual Friday guy that’s here on Finance Friday once a week and not to you every week.
Jill DeWit: Perfect.
Steven Butala: Well, you’ve done it again, spent another 15 minutes or so listening to The Land Academy Show. Join us again next time for another interesting episode.
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: So, I have a couple of things, I don’t know if you still want to talk about them, but I had a couple of funny things that really actually does pertain to the topic.
Justin Sliva: Sorry. I’m sorry.
Jill DeWit: I have these notes. I’m like, “I have literally notes.” I’m like, “Nope, we’re out of time, I’m not going to-”
Justin Sliva: Way to go, Justin. Way to go. You talk to fast for us to interrupt.
Jill DeWit: No, it’s all good. No, I was going to talk about just a couple of things about what I’m finding in our deal funding like you’re finding. And the good news is … Here’s my positives. I have two positives and I have two negatives I was going to share. One is, we’re getting so many great deals right now from people, I’m sure you’re finding this too, that are not members and are finding us. It’s really interesting. I don’t know where they’re finding us, or how, but word’s getting out and it’s great.
And then also, my other positive, it takes a couple weeks and we’re now … My team now is getting their groove and they’re finally figuring out, “All right, that’s how this works.” And then the negatives, which are just, for me, comical, is the … We have a couple things with, one is our property managers, the person who brought us the deal. There’s a little bit of a slow down. They’re not even … I’m having to push them a little bit, it’s what you needed to do, this is the calls you needed to make.
I educated my team now, and now we’re educating them. I want to make sure … I don’t know if you do this, but I have a good checklist of all the steps, and I put it on our site, and it’s there for the public to see, so everybody knows what my jobs are and what your jobs are.
Steven Butala: That’s nice.
Jill DeWit: And I want my managers, I’m telling them, you need to do A, B, C, and D, then you call. And then E and F, and then you do this, kind of thing. So it’s really crystal clear, and we’re getting it out there.
And then my other negative, which is so darned funny, and I knew this was coming, but my team was like, “What the heck?” I hate to say it, but the escrow idiot agents that write [crosstalk], it’s mind boggling. One of the things that we need to do, you’re going to get a DocuSign today, Steven, which is basically a permission slip allowing … It’s a DocuSign document … This is what we’re doing with this escrow agent. She doesn’t believe … Never mind that they have all the-
Justin Sliva: Google Docs, yeah.
Jill DeWit: … [crosstalk] docs and articles and everything, so we’re having to … or, I’m having … my team created a doc that says, “Just to reiterate, per our documents for the articles of organizations and everything, only one of us needs to sign.”
Justin Sliva: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: They need a note from dad that mom’s allowed to sign.
Justin Sliva: I’ve got a form for that if you need that.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Justin Sliva: Yeah, I’ll send it over to you.
Jill DeWit: That’d be great, thank you. Because when I’m with my team, I’m like, “Just make a stupid permission slip.”
Justin Sliva: It’s a board of directors dissolution form, or half a day of dissolution or vote that the whole board has just said, “Hey, yeah, this one guy can sign for everything.” And it’s made for myself, on my own company, I had to do that for myself because I had my wife available to sign in the event that I die, where I’m just not losing all our property and having to probate everything. So, she can sign.
And I had a-
Jill DeWit: Ding, ding. That’s it.
Justin Sliva: It’s a commercial thing. Get some commercial [inaudible].
Jill DeWit: What’s great is we’re doing with the same type of company, but two different agents. One’s like, “Whatever, fine, it’s another agent two desks over that wants this.”
Justin Sliva: Yeah.
Steven Butala: I think it’s just a drunk-with-power thing.
Jill DeWit: That’s what I explained to them.
Justin Sliva: Right, it’s just …
Yeah, it’s not reading your articles of organization because mine say the same thing for [Plob] and I had one in Florida the other day that was … agreeing with me about it and I was just like, “Okay, I’ll just have them sign,” and she needed the affidavit notarized. Normally, when you buy with cash, you don’t notarize anything, you just sign and send the money.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Justin Sliva: But no, I had to actually get him out of his corporate job to come meet me at a bank, just like an hour away from the house because he lives about an hour away, so we could do it.
Jill DeWit: Crazy.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Yep. I’m with you.
Steven Butala: You know what? I wouldn’t have done that. I would’ve killed the deal. Actually, I would’ve sent it to Justin.
Jill DeWit: Right. Well-
Steven Butala: There’s still a chance … I would’ve signed something. Not even for [inaudible].
Jill DeWit: Well, that’s reality, that we all know. Time kills deals, but I’m here to tell you escrow can kill deals too.
Justin Sliva: Yep.
Jill DeWit: He might, and we’re all just going to put our hands up and go, “Nothing we could do. The escrow agent killed the deal.”
Justin Sliva: Can you stop the folder to the other escrow agent you’ve used there?
Jill DeWit: That’s what I want to happen.
Justin Sliva: You can request transfer the folder to go to somebody else.
Jill DeWit: That’s my first choice. So, but I’m kind of like, leaving it to the manager because that’s kind of part of their responsive wonder.
Justin Sliva: No, and that brings up a great point. I had a client, had one of the managers comes to me, he’s like, “Okay, well, now what do we do? Do we hire an attorney close date?” Hire the attorney, and I sent the deposit for the attorney to get started on the title work and the manager’s getting nervous because he doesn’t realize that bigger properties are a lot easier, you know?
You hire the agent, the closing agent, they send all the paperwork, he’s like, “So, do I need to get the mobile notaries lined up? Start getting paperwork drawn up?” I was like, “No, bud. You’re doing your job. You hired your attorney, I sent the deposit, he’s going to do all that. That’s what we pay him for.” And he’s like, “Oh, okay. Cool.” I said, “This is what I need from you-”
Jill DeWit: Yep. You’re just [inaudible] them.
Justin Sliva: “When he tells us the deed is recorded, I need you to have the article, everything written, the ad, everything, and just get it listed, and then we’ll make some money. You’re good.” He said, “Okay, man. Cool, great.” So, it’s a-
Jill DeWit: That’s a great part of what we’re doing. That part, it’s a lot easier.
Justin Sliva: Oh, yeah. I couldn’t imagine sending mobile notaries to all these deals and lining up all that. I couldn’t do it.
Jill DeWit: I don’t miss that.
Hey, wherever you’re watching, or wherever you are listening, please rate us there. We are Steve and Jill-
Steven Butala: Steve and Jill. Information-
Jill DeWit: … and inspiration.
Steven Butala: To buy undervalued property. Thanks, Justin. See you next week.
Justin Sliva: Thank you. Yes, sir.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steven@BuWit.com.
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