Where to get Mobile Home Data Because its Not Real Estate (LA 947)
Steven Butala: Steve and Jill here.
Jill Dewitt: Good day.
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 where to get mobile home data because it’s not really real estate.
Jill Dewitt: Exactly.
Steven Butala: Or is it?
Jill Dewitt: Or is it?
Steven Butala: Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on TheLandInvestors.com online community. It’s free.
Jill Dewitt: Option B asks … Interesting user name. “Has anyone have,” … What does and … “Anyone have feedback on hand written envelopes versus window envelopes.” Here we go. “Has it been making that much of a difference in a response rate? Thanks.” Oh good, some of our members already answered back that we have here. Thank you. Kevin wrote, “Dear Option B, that is not something that we do here. We do high volume, digitally printed mail stuffed into window envelopes with postage for about the same price of a stamp. Rather than worry about increasing our response by .05 or less, we just send more mail, tons of mail every month.” I think that, that’s one of those things too, by the way, hand written, whether it’s really hand written or it’s made to look hand written, it just, A it doesn’t look professional, and B I don’t think it sends the right message.
Steven Butala: I’ve spent, like everything, spent a tremendous amount of time and energy failing.
Jill Dewitt: That’s right.
Steven Butala: I have done hand written letters.
Jill Dewitt: It’s true.
Steven Butala: I have done machine hand written letters, so it makes it look like they’re hand written. I’ve tried postcards. I’ve tried putting a dollar inside an envelope. I’ve tried putting all kinds of stuff on the front of the envelope, like, “Offer for your real estate inside!” Nothing, nothing works better than sending a professional business envelope with nothing on the front. In fact, in House Academy, I spend a whole chapter on how exactly this mailer should look with picture examples of how you do it. You want to model the outside of your mailer, regardless of the real estate type that you’re purchasing, all the way down from the cheapest piece of land to the highest piece of commercial property, to make it look like you’re receiving a new credit card. That there’s nothing on the outside except what’s required, because you have to open it to see … The whole point to sending a letter is just to make it look like you have to open it.
Steven Butala: I’ve tried putting stamps on there because I thought that bulk mail … The way we have it now it’s a bulk mail permit on the envelope. I thought that would affect it. So, Kevin’s 100% right. Actually even Kevin, I would take this further than Kevin says, our moderator on Land Investors. I don’t think a hand written envelope would even increase your percentage. In fact, I know it won’t.
Jill Dewitt: It’s true.
Steven Butala: You and your spouse are sitting around and you get a letter, and you’re eating breakfast and having coffee and talking about stuff. And you or she opens it, gets it, and you don’t know what it is. He or she opens it. It says, “We want to buy your house for $180000,” and you both know that your house is worth 200000. It’s all well written and it’s got a dot com on there, and it’s nothing but respectful. It says, “Yes your house is three bedrooms and two baths, which is perfect for us. We’ve remodeled or resold and purchased property in the area, and we’re actually very credible. We don’t mean any disrespect by this, but we’re in business and”-
Jill Dewitt: We’ll make it fast and easy, so it’s worth it.
Steven Butala: Yeah, fast and easy, and we know it’s not retail. Are you gonna respond to that if you’re actually interested in selling your house and you need some money? Yeah. Or are you gonna respond to something that looks like a six year old wrote it, with a lot of exclamation points and some emojis. And [inaudible 00:04:04] real … actually information about the real estate, just a lot of emotion. This business of hand writing stuff because you just want to look like a regular guy that is sending a letter to a regular guy doesn’t work. Regular people want to deal with institutions that are gonna pay them fast.
Jill Dewitt: That’s true. Good point.
Steven Butala: They have the cash. They look like they have the cash. We look like we have the cash on the internet because we do.
Jill Dewitt: Exactly. We have a system. You’re not feeling your way through it with us. We have a system, yep. Brilliant.
Steven Butala: Now the flip side is do they actually want to deal with General Motors or Microsoft with all that red tape? No. They want to deal with two people who own a company who have been doing this for 25 years-
Jill Dewitt: Who are credible.
Steven Butala: Or whatever version you have of that.
Jill Dewitt: Hey look sweetheart, they’re nice people. You think I’m kidding?
Steven Butala: No, that’s it. Nice people who don’t have emojis.
Jill Dewitt: Right. Thank you.
Steven Butala: Today’s topic, where to get mobile home data because it’s not really real estate data, is it? Or is it?
Jill Dewitt: Or is it?
Steven Butala: That’s the theme of the show.
Jill Dewitt: Please, tell us.
Steven Butala: What is a mobile home?
Jill Dewitt: Well, do all mobile homes have wheels?
Steven Butala: Yes, they do.
Jill Dewitt: Thank you.
Steven Butala: A mobile home, the vast majority of the time, depending on which state you’re in and what community you’re in, is personal property. It’s not real property. It’s the exact legal equivalent of your car.
Jill Dewitt: Right, they have license plates.
Steven Butala: They have license plates. They’re in the DMV database. Most of the places, not all of the places. This gets complicated, so if you’re a note taker, this is a time to get your notepad out.
Jill Dewitt: Ready.
Steven Butala: Did you just lick the notepad like you’re a 1950’s secretary?
Jill Dewitt: Remember like you used to lick a pencil? Why was that? I don’t understand.
Steven Butala: It’s soft fiction.
Jill Dewitt: Why would people lick a pencil?
Steven Butala: My mom did that.
Jill Dewitt: I don’t understand what that meant, other than now my paper’s wet.
Steven Butala: And you get lead poisoning.
Jill Dewitt: Good point. Yeah, because that’s a good idea.
Steven Butala: No, I think it’s just a bad habit, like smoking.
Jill Dewitt: Oh. It’s like the whatever …
Steven Butala: What are you doing? What’s the whatever?
Jill Dewitt: Like the brother on Everybody Loves Raymond used to do this and then he’d eat. He touched his spoon to his chin.
Steven Butala: Oh geez.
Jill Dewitt: Sorry, it’s just a weird tick habit. Sorry.
Steven Butala: Like OCD weirdo stuff.
Jill Dewitt: Right, exactly.
Steven Butala: I guess we all have our stuff.
Jill Dewitt: Do we have OCD? Why do I do? Shoot. What do I do?
Steven Butala: You don’t have any OCD stuff like that at all.
Jill Dewitt: Good, I hope not. I’m like, “Oh gosh.”
Steven Butala: I mean, there’s a few things we don’t-
Jill Dewitt: Apologizing, right. Oh here we go. Thanks. It’s okay.
Steven Butala: You want to know what you do once in a while?
Jill Dewitt: Here it comes. Yeah, tell me.
Steven Butala: Just phantom smile for no reason.
Jill Dewitt: I do that, I know.
Steven Butala: The kids make fun of you all the time.
Jill Dewitt: Oh, that’s not nice. That’s not nice.
Steven Butala: Well, it’s just a happy person, Jill. It’s a manifestation of your happiness. It’s not some quirky thing, like if you-
Jill Dewitt: But that’s not nice.
Steven Butala: Had Tourette’s or something and screamed out horrific stuff.
Jill Dewitt: Well, I might develop Tourette’s if people start doing stuff behind my back.
Steven Butala: If I thought it was an awful thing, I wouldn’t even-
Jill Dewitt: That’s not nice.
Steven Butala: Plus it’s super safe to be bringing stuff up to you on the air.
Jill Dewitt: Thanks, because now I can’t do anything about it. Oh, we’re gonna have a talk tonight at dinner, let me tell you.
Steven Butala: They don’t make fun of you. They just say, “Yeah, she’s doing it again.” It’s not making fun of you.
Jill Dewitt: You are so backtracking now, it’s not even funny. Don’t try digging yourself out of this hole, Steven. You’re in it. You are in the hole.
Steven Butala: Mobile homes have to be, if you’re gonna use them at all, unlike an RV, attached to real estate. That’s what we have. We are licensed providers of all this real estate. All of our members have access to all this. So, if you go into any of the real estate products we have and you say, “I want mobile home data only,” you’re gonna get a tremendous number of, well depending on the county where you’re in, especially rural counties, there’s lots. Properties that are zoned for mobile home, some of which may have mobile homes on them. So, mostly you can tell because they’re tiny, tiny little properties. Really, really small. You’re also gonna get in there, depending on where you get each county designation, mobile home parks. There’s two types of mobile home parks. I told you this was gonna get complicated.
Jill Dewitt: This is good.
Steven Butala: There’s mobile home parks where … mobile home … mobiles. They can own the property under the pad. They can own the pad. It’s tiny and they pay taxes on it. It’s got an APN. It’s entirely and completely separate from the mobile home itself. Or you can pull data where the mobile home park is all one big park, and there’s all these pads on there, just like a marina really.
Jill Dewitt: There you go.
Steven Butala: Or you only own-
Jill Dewitt: The slip.
Steven Butala: There’s a marina owner. You own the whole thing, and you just pay rent. You own the mobile home, you put it on there, but you don’t own-
Jill Dewitt: And you rent the slip.
Steven Butala: You rent the slip, you rent the pad. That’s right. That’s great, Steve. How do we make money at this? Depending on who you ask, there’s no real money in the actual mobile home itself. They depreciate really quickly, so buying and selling mobile homes, although I’ve seen people do really well at that, it’s a very different type of personality. There’s a lot of hands on. You’ve got to move it. You’ve got to clean it up, all that.
Steven Butala: So, where do you get the data for the actual mobile home itself, assuming you want to do that kind of stuff? Not a lot of people in our group want that. You get it from the DMV. The DMV has a lot of requirements about who gets to see that data and who doesn’t. Way more.
Jill Dewitt: Isn’t that amazing?
Steven Butala: Way way more than the real estate.
Jill Dewitt: Than your house. It’s really amazing. You’d think it’d be vice versa. Who cares about the car, but your primary stuff, it’s just interesting.
Steven Butala: To make it even more complicated, here’s how you make a bunch of dough at this. I keep threatening to do a thing called mobile academy. Every state, or in most of the states that I’m aware of, have rules that have been grandfathered where, let’s say in like 1976 if you have a mobile home that’s older than or was put in place, grandfathered, put in place on or before 1976, and you own the dirt below it, you own the pad below it, you’re in great shape in certain states. I’m pulling that date out of thin air. There is a date in California like that. It’s not that date. If and when we ever release mobile academy, I’ll go through all this in great detail.
Steven Butala: You can take that terrible old mobile home that’s probably worth less than 5000 bucks and the dirt under it, because it’s California, it’s worth an incredible amount. You can send people letters, buy the whole thing, wipe the mobile home, the old one. Put a brand new one on there and create a couple hundred thousand dollars per deal of equity for yourself very very quickly without going through any regulatory changes at all, or any zoning changes, or any of that stuff. So, there’s a lot of money to be made. That’s the way I think you should make money in mobile homes. Have I done a deal like that? No. Because Jill and I have so much other stuff to do, it’s silly.
Jill Dewitt: It’s true.
Steven Butala: We spent all morning this morning talking about the things we’re gonna have to remove from our professional life because we just can’t handle it anymore.
Jill Dewitt: It’s okay.
Steven Butala: This show will not be one of them.
Jill Dewitt: That’s true.
Steven Butala: This is actually a break for us.
Jill Dewitt: Exactly. There’s a new show coming too, so sit tight.
Steven Butala: So, do you have the mobile home data that you need to make some money in this business right now? Yes. Where the hell did this episode title come from?
Jill Dewitt: I was gonna ask that. Where the hell did this come from?
Steven Butala: I get questions probably once a month about how to make money in real estate with mobile homes. Do I have the right data? What do I have to do? So, step one to make money in mobile homes is to find out that regulatory, what the regulatory piece is. If it is 1976 and before, then do a lot of research. Talk to the people who govern this. Sometimes it’s the DMV. Good luck with that. Sometimes, more likely it’s gonna be a mobile home real estate attorney, and they’re out there, especially in densely populated areas. I love that people are using this data for this.
Jill Dewitt: I agree.
Steven Butala: I love it.
Jill Dewitt: And getting creative. There’s so many other things that we can do with this too. It’s never ending. That’s the thing. People talk about … Well people come to us all the time and say things like, “Well do you think the land market’s saturated?” We talk about that a lot. I’m like … and I never think to say at the time is, “Well then A, no. We wouldn’t be here. And B, this parlays into mobiles. This parlays into commercial property. This parlays into houses. This parlays into apartment buildings. This parlays into office centers, strip malls.”
Steven Butala: Strip centers.
Jill Dewitt: Dream it up.
Steven Butala: Parking garages.
Jill Dewitt: Exactly. I mean, it’s never ending. Never ending. Based on our experience too, if we did nothing, absolutely nothing but you and I focused on probably one size. Let’s just say you and I spent our whole career doing one size of property, five acres, and we set out and said that’s all we’re gonna do forever, for the rest of our lives. We would never get through every county in this country.
Steven Butala: That’s right.
Jill Dewitt: There’s too much.
Steven Butala: Well, in four lifetimes we wouldn’t.
Jill Dewitt: Exactly. There’s too much. If we only did five acre properties and tried to hit all 3144 we would die first, and we started when we were like 12. We’d still die first. It’s just not possible. So if you think that-
Steven Butala: That’s not what it’s about anyway. People who ask that question, which I completely understand by the way. For some reason, it’s very natural to think that, when you find a good idea just to protect it.
Jill Dewitt: Right, that’s true.
Steven Butala: What ends up happening is you send out a five acre mailer, for an example, in a couple of counties in, I don’t know, Montana. I’m just again pulling it out of thin air. And do a couple of deals. Let’s say you live in Montana and you’re starting to look at the property, then you’re gonna send out for six acres, and 10, and 10 to 15, and 20. Then pretty soon your whole career is in eight counties in two states, and you know everybody and you’re buying and selling a piece of property every week. You forget about all that, what’s going on in Maine. That’s a very likely scenario. I think there’s a guy in our group named Joe who’s going through that right now. He’s got more business than he can handle at all in the three states.
Jill Dewitt: Yep. It’s wonderful.
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 for Finance Friday with me, Steven, Jill, and Justin Sliva.
Jill Dewitt: And we answer your questions posted on our online community. It is called LandInvestors.com. Check it out. It’s free.
Steven Butala: You are not alone in your real estate ambition. My point to this whole show wasn’t mobile homes.
Jill Dewitt: Okay.
Steven Butala: My point was, and we made the point well at the end. My whole point is there’s just a million ways … That’s what this whole week is. There’s just tons and tons and tons of ways to use this data. There are other ways, other than just buying rural vacant land. It really is a lifelong career.
Jill Dewitt: Yep. You are right. By the way, I have to point out, look how cute we look. Isn’t that kind of funny how that worked out today? You know what, after the show I’m gonna talk to you about this phantom smile thing.
Steven Butala: I see that you wrote it down on your notes.
Jill Dewitt: I did. Wherever you’re watching or wherever you’re listening-
Steven Butala: Oh my god, I’m in trouble.
Jill Dewitt: 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 have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steven@BuWit.com.
The BuWit Family of Companies include:
I would like to think it’s entertaining and informative and in the end profitable.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes.