Replacing Yourself in Your Land Company (LA 949)

Replacing Yourself in Your Land Company (LA 949)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Good morning.

Steven Butala:                   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 Jill and I talk about replacing yourself with a land company virtual assistant. Replacing yourself let’s say …

Jill DeWit:                            I just say replacing yourself in general. What if it’s not a VA, seriously what if you bring in some, a partner.

Steven Butala:                   Well I read the title wrong.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh.

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

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   Let’s read.

Jill DeWit:                            We’ll cover the title. We’ll fix it here in just a few minutes. Hang in there.

Steven Butala:                   No the title is …

Jill DeWit:                            Replacing yourself in your land company.

Steven Butala:                   Yes.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   The VA comes a few shows from now.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. If you even use one.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            There’s a lot of people and I was one of them that didn’t see the value. I was afraid of it, but I got over it and I do see the value/however, there’s stuff I just can’t do.

Steven Butala:                   You know what that would be a good show.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   A good episode like there’s some stuff that I fought you on in the beginning and there was some stuff that you fought me on.

Jill DeWit:                            There’s stuff you’re still fighting me on.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, well that’s a different show too.

Jill DeWit:                            Like today.

Steven Butala:                   But there’s some stuff that we ended up using that I said, “No this is a terrible idea.” And then like a year later it turns out we’re full blown using it.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   And then Vice versa. It’s always like that. I mean-

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   That’s why you have partners. It’s free.

Jill DeWit:                            So the question Sandy asks, “If Redfin data,” everyone knows It’s a great source for a lot of information. “If Redfin data doesn’t have information on the county or zip code is there an alternative source that might have the data.” Now this is something that we use in our … In our equity planner in our program. We have a red, yellow, green chart which is helping you pick a city or zip code a county where to send mail to. And one to the things that we look at now ’cause we have it now is some of the data that’s out there from comps. And so we’ll pull that in and that’s kind of what she’s referring to so what’s great is a couple of our members have already responded here.

Jill DeWit:                            One of ’em is Kevin. Kevin [Farrell 00:02:23] said, “Sandy. I used for the similar map function. I also use Land Watch and Zillow. Redfin is great, but it only covers certain markets. My comments here is to apply to vacant land searches.”

Steven Butala:                   Kevin’s a moderator on and he’s also a very successful member.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   And he’s absolutely right, but data sources always change. Always. And one of our jobs, one of the huge undiscussed values I think that we at Land Academy, specifically Jill and I, in a group as a whole provides it. Insight onto these things that change. These tools that change. So there’s If you’re a note taker this is the time to take notes. Right now the two great sources of data are and Do they cover a 100% of the country? Nope. You can also as a member have access to Real Quest Pro which is, there’s an … I haven’t tapped into all the data there. It’s endless. And Title Pro 24/7. And here soon to be with House Academy Data Tree which is just an amazing data source.

Steven Butala:                   So it’s important to take a look at what we teach and the tools that we use and then also go out and do your own stuff and figure out your own data sources.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s part of I think what makes us unique and special and what we’re doing is we’re not just teaching you, “Here are the steps follow them. Don’t ever change ’em. Here’s one through 10.” No we’re teaching the mindset and getting you ready and helping you, I think, helping you learn.

Steven Butala:                   Well said.

Jill DeWit:                            And that’s why a lot of our members do so well in counties that we’ve never even really bothered with. Not bothered with we didn’t get to ’em yet. That’s probably what the truth is. It’s not like I wouldn’t do it. So it’s like I’m busy over here and ’cause we’ve taught the concepts and got you thinking and I think that’s what she’s doing which is awesome.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Cool.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic replacing yourself in your own land company. This is the meat of the show.

Jill DeWit:                            You just can’t get the title today can you?

Steven Butala:                   No can you read it?

Jill DeWit:                            Replacing yourself in your land company. Which is what every one of us should be doing. Which is what you want to do. Except for there’s a few things you can’t replace. You want to start?

Steven Butala:                   No you can.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh okay. All right so here’s what I thought. You know what you like to do and you know what you don’t like to do. So right away when you start doing this and you’re starting your own investment company you know right away whether you like deeds or you don’t like deeds. You know right away if you like talking the phone you don’t like talking on the phone. You know right away if you like scrubbing data or you, oh it makes your head hurt kind of thing.

Jill DeWit:                            You know. So what should you be doing? So right when you are starting yourself you want to be kind of thinking about this. I don’t think any one of us wants to go into this thinking I have to do all the jobs myself and be a one man show for the rest of my life ’cause that’s no fun I don’t think.

Steven Butala:                   I think some people do. I’m not here to contest what you’re saying.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay maybe they do. You know what you’re right. I think you’re right. Some people do, but-

Steven Butala:                   Not a lot.

Jill DeWit:                            Well even if you do want to be a one man show there’s still gonna be things that you don’t like to do.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s pretty much universal. There’s some things that you like better than others. Maybe you don’t have them, but there’s things that you like to do better than others. So what should you be doing? Well number one start creating systems. Start making like your own checklist. Think about, if I had to train someone to do this tomorrow what would be the steps that they would have to do? And write them down or make a video or do both. Start thinking about that as you start doing getting more transactions because what’s gonna happen is you’re gonna start getting bigger and too busy and gosh you’re gonna need to bring in some help if you’re doing it right.

Jill DeWit:                            ‘Cause you know why? ‘Cause you’re gonna … That way you’re gonna be able to be freed up and do more deals or bigger deals and be thinking about some other stuff. So that’s-

Steven Butala:                   Well said.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   Here’s the thing you want to be proactive on this not reactive.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   And so in the back of every person, every new land investor’s person, in the back of their mind they ask this question. “Wow this mailer. I bought three properties off this mailer. I wonder if this gonna happen on the next mailer or I’m not gonna do it.” This happens in my mind.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s funny.

Steven Butala:                   So what you end up doing is if you’re like me you end up saying, “You know what I’m gonna wait. I’m gonna hold off. I’m not gonna replace myself in my own company. I’m not going to spend the …” I don’t know, $1000, $1500 that it costs for an employee to start down the path of teaching them. Then you send out another mailer and [inaudible 00:07:19] sure enough you buy three to five properties again. And you say, “You know what, man I must’ve gotten lucky again.” And on and on and on and so that I see it’s kind of like spinning your wheels in the snow. So I really think that that it takes a lot of discipline which begs a bigger question Jill.

Steven Butala:                   There’s my big philosophical question for today.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   At what point do you sit down with yourself and have a meeting or look in the mirror and say, “There’s stuff I like to do.” Like you said in the beginning. “There’s stuff I don’t like to do?” How much do I just suck it up and do all of it right from the beginning and really bite the inside of my lip, do a bunch of stuff I don’t want to do until I can hire it out? That’s the magic question here.

Jill DeWit:                            I think it’s the same thing about quitting. It’s the same thing, the same conversation and the same process as you did when you quit your day job. So I’m assuming for me that’s who I’m talking to. I’m talking to someone that’s already quit their day job and they are now running their own land company all by themselves. And now they’re having that conversation as, all right. ‘Cause that was probably scary and guess what you got through it. Here you are. You are doing your own business. You’re paying your own bills. Everybody’s happy. You can take a nice vacation. Trust me I see you on Facebook. It’s awesome. You’re fishing, you’re traveling around, you’re on ski slopes. There’s two of you I’m referring to right there.

Jill DeWit:                            You guys are now living this life it’s great. Now you’re in and it was I’m sure scary taking that step right? Now you’re going, “All right now I want to take this to the next level.” And for me that’s the next level. Starting to, maybe not necessarily replace yourself yet, but replace a lot of the things that you do. That you didn’t like and to answer your question Steven I think of you should do it when it’s almost a little bit too late. Almost when you’re like, “Dog gonnit I could’ve really hit that county harder. Gosh I could’ve actually pulled the trigger on all these properties if I had enough time. Wow. What a great mailer. That was, I only had time to buy five. I could’ve done this, this, this, this and this. I’m so darn busy.”

Jill DeWit:                            Then you’re going, then you sit down have a chat with yourself. Look at your finances and then you can start to do that.

Steven Butala:                   So how about you personally? As a percentage of all the stuff that you do between Land Academy and Deal Funding and then regular house and land deals that we do.

Jill DeWit:                            And the upcoming House Academy.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. I mean as a percentage how much do you just swallow it or do you just love it?

Jill DeWit:                            Oh now? I love it. A few years ago I swallowed it.

Steven Butala:                   It has to be that way.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   I mean you answer the question exactly how … That’s my answer too.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   You have to. There’s some stuff you just have to do yourself.

Jill DeWit:                            Took some time.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            And you know honestly I’ll tell you if you really want to replace yourself for me this is my last point. If you really want to “try to go out and replace yourself” there’s a few things you’re gonna hold back ’cause only you do them well. You want to be in charge of payroll and some of the big money things in your company obviously, but replacing yourself from a lot of day to day business hiring that person is gonna take some time. And I don’t mean months, I mean going on years. To really get someone and they preferably have skin in the game because then they’re serious about it too. So if you really want to replace yourself. That’s what I’d do.

Steven Butala:                   That never changes. So Jill and I own a bunch of companies and like the payroll process, the financial process, the tax process is all centralized. The vast majority of what I just said falls under me. And so the companies themselves have not gotten big enough where one person … We haven’t replaced ourselves entirely in our own company.

Jill DeWit:                            No.

Steven Butala:                   And I’m not sure I really want to.

Jill DeWit:                            Well I’m keeping the fun stuff for me.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Good. You should.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s funny I was just traveling. Last week took our camera man and we flew for the day to Arizona and looked at properties. Well in the middle of the day I’m looking at deals. I’m reviewing some deals for Deal Funding. He’s like, “I didn’t really realize,” he was really kind of nice. He goes, “I didn’t realize how much you really do like with that.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah they think we do nothing. Kids do too.

Jill DeWit:                            I know. And that I’m reviewing these deals and he’s like, “Gosh I didn’t know that you were making these decisions and things.” I’m like, “Who do you thinks doing it?” You know kind of thing. It was really-

Steven Butala:                   ‘Cause it’s certainly not Steve.

Jill DeWit:                            It was funny and like-

Steven Butala:                   Staff thinks we do nothing. They think we just plug all this stuff in and record and have fun and laugh.

Jill DeWit:                            It was funny, but for the Deal Funding part of it I mean I do that because I choose to do that, ’cause I love to do that and that was my conversation with him. I told him I said, “Oh I’m a deal junkie. All day long I love it. Are you kidding me? I love looking at deals saying, ‘Yes, no, move on. Whatever.'” That’s like my favorite part. Now the follow-up, going back and telling the seller or telling the buyer or whatever it is and doing the paperwork I hate that part. That’s not my fun. That’s not my thing and that’s why I replaced myself with those tasks, but the fun part like yeah we’re doing that deal. And now I’m out.

Steven Butala:                   So the title says replacing yourself in your land company.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   It’s a personal preference. There are some people who are just maybe and I see it’s usually the older people in our group you’ve just had it. Or maybe they worked for somebody else for a long time or maybe they own like a couple of convenience stores or something. They’ve had it. So they just want to sit in an office somewhere, do a bunch of deals like Jill said, handle all the details themselves, make couple 100, 300, $400000 a year.

Jill DeWit:                            And sit back.

Steven Butala:                   There’s no real rush.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   And that’s it.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Maybe they’re never gonna replace themselves. Maybe-

Jill DeWit:                            It’s true.

Steven Butala:                   They get tired of doing their own deeds or something like that. They bring in an assistant. Sometimes I see older people in our group they bring in their children. Their adult children to teach them the business and kind of do all the paperwork and stuff like that, but you don’t have to replace yourself, but like Jill said we’re at a point now which you should be striving for on a daily basis is to do the stuff you’re good at.

Jill DeWit:                            All right.

Steven Butala:                   You don’t want to bog yourself down and do the stuff that you don’t like because eventually you’re just gonna quit.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Nobody wants to quit a profitable easy business that takes 5 hour, 3 hours a day.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Ding ding.

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 an episode called five levels of Land Academy progress.

Jill DeWit:                            And we answer your questions posted on our online community at It’s free.

Steven Butala:                   You are not alone in your real estate ambition. So tell us more about Scottsdale. ‘Cause I didn’t really talk about this either. How did it go?

Jill DeWit:                            I know. It was great. I had so much fun. So it was really good looking at … It was looking at some properties that I’d never seen before that we had already bought and already sold for House Academy. And it was looking at some deals that we passed on and I’ll tell you I stood there in front of ’em going, “Boy I feel good about the decisions.” Like the solar panel house seriously I got to tell you I stood there and I felt good. And I met with a really, a really top notch investor that we work with very closely done several deals with and I kind of interviewed her. So we’re gonna use that for House Academy too. Maybe even some other things I don’t know, but it was really good talking to her.

Steven Butala:                   House Academy is a program that Jill and I are gonna roll out just like Land Academy. It’s got all the stuff that investor forum and all of it. But the education itself is based on a real life example mailer that we did in Mesa, Arizona late last year and results came out exactly like they always came out. We sent out about 9000 letters. I think we purchased five, four or five properties. We passed on.

Jill DeWit:                            Mesa. We’re gonna do Scottsdale too ’cause Scottsdale in there.

Steven Butala:                   Right.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay cool.

Steven Butala:                   And passed on several properties which she just visited. So we walk you through every single process the actual mailer itself. That’s one of the top questions I get. “Can you guys just walk us through the perfect?” And so that’s what House Academy really is.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   I’m having a blast recording. It sounds like you are too.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. It’s all great. Hey wherever you are watching or wherever you are listening please subscribe and please rate us there. We are Steven and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   We are Steve and Jill. Information.

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration.

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.

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