One Year Investor is Not a Veteran (LA 974)

One Year Investor is Not a Veteran (LA 974)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Good day.

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 how being a one-year investor, a land investor, doesn’t make you a veteran.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. So we’ll help you with that.

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

Jill DeWit:                            Do you know I have three contacts in my eyes right now?

Steven Butala:                   What?

Jill DeWit:                            So if it gets a little blurry, I have a little trouble reading or focusing, this eye has one, this eye has two.

Steven Butala:                   What’s that all about?

Jill DeWit:                            So here’s what happened. Anyone who wears daily contacts knows how great they are/however they are so thin and so light. So you get them in, you get them out. Well, I went to take one out last night and I lost it. It’s somewhere rolling around. I don’t know where it is. I didn’t want to dig. So this morning I got up and I gave it another quick look. Still couldn’t find it, so it’s like, well, here we go. So I popped another one in and I can kind of feel it. You wore contacts for a while, didn’t you?

Steven Butala:                   I wore contacts for years and years and years and one day realized that I just don’t care how I look and got glasses.

Jill DeWit:                            Got it. Well I love my contacts. So anyway, if I act a little weird on one eye, that’s why. For those of you who are watching. Those of you who are listening are like okay, come on, Jill, move along.

Jill DeWit:                            Neil H. asks, “I’m closing on a property today through title with a hold open policy. First American title. Got it. I asked if they could record it quickly with the county, but there’s no promise it will be. It may take two weeks or so to go through because it’s a different department. Is there a reason I can’t put it on the market today? The sale will close through First American title with the hold open. I don’t believe there should be an issue marketing the property prior to being recorded. This is obviously on the buy side. Yeah, especially if everything went though a title and a deed has been signed, right? Thanks.”

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. I have a few things to say. Yeah. First we’re going to take a deep breath.

Steven Butala:                   Which one of us is going to blow our tops first?

Jill DeWit:                            I think you’ve been saving it up, Steven. I think you need the release more than I do this morning, so call me one eyed Jill and go right ahead.

Steven Butala:                   One eyed Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            … It’s all you.

Steven Butala:                   It occurred to me recently that there are two camps of real estate investors. Camp number one-

Jill DeWit:                            Oh no.

Steven Butala:                   Which is the camp Jill and I are in and most of the people in Land Academy are in, that understands completely and totally that they have control over a real estate deal and not only that, but probably everything else in their life. They can choose who they marry, they can choose-

Jill DeWit:                            Where they work.

Steven Butala:                   What type of car they drive, whether it’s paid for or not, where they work.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   They can choose the exact date a real estate deal will close and when it will get recorded to the minute.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   If they have the right people around them and they’ve retained the correct real estate title company or lawyer or whatever. So this notion that you could contact a title company and say, “Hey, when is that going to close?” That’s not a sentence I’ve ever said in my life. My way is, “Hey, thanks escrow agent X. We need this to close in seven days. Is that going to work for you? If not, I’m just going to go down the street.” But I don’t say that, and you sweet talk them to the point where they want to close it for you in seven days and then while you’re at it, maybe you say, “I’d really rather have it close in five because we’re done. It’s funded and it’s an incredibly simple deal.”

Steven Butala:                   Title companies have access to online recording now. So unless the county where this property is is in the dark ages, they should record it that minute. Jill and I bought a townhouse once. We still own it. We rent it out, actually, to a friend of ours in Arizona and the whole thing took three days. It was recorded. All the stuff was recorded before I signed it. I walked in and signed it, signed it, signed it, and it was recorded within seconds after that and you can just do it on the internet.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   I have a lot more to say, but go ahead, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            How long do you want this to go?

Steven Butala:                   This is an incredibly important topic.

Jill DeWit:                            It is.

Steven Butala:                   You need to decide if, whoever you are, you need to decide if you’re going to control these real estate deals or if you’re going to let real estate agents or lenders or your money partner or your business partner, or if you want someone else to control your life, there’s a ton of jobs for you on, what is it, Indeed?

Jill DeWit:                            Yes.

Steven Butala:                   Go get a job and work for somebody else and get comfortable.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Get comfortable. You got this. It’s okay.

Steven Butala:                   It’s [crosstalk 00:05:27]. That’s just not right.

Jill DeWit:                            I know. So here’s the thing. I think a lot of people, Steven, they don’t know they have control. That’s the whole point here. You have control. You can tell them yes, you can tell them, no that’s not acceptable. You should go into it right away and they should have the expectation of how it’s going to go and you tell them, “Here it is, it’s a cash deal. Here’s all the terms. What else do you need from me? We want to close this date.” Done. Walk away kind of thing and they should get it. And a lot of them don’t realize that they’re driving the ship. I’m constantly telling even my team that hey, escrow agents and title agents work for you. You don’t work for them.

Steven Butala:                   Good. Well said.

Jill DeWit:                            I think that people misunderstand that. They think, “Well, I’m told we’re going to close this day.” I’m like, “Nope.” And if it doesn’t work for you, by the way, you can walk. You pick up your deal and you say, “Nevermind. Have a nice day.” And you walk to somebody else. Or pick up the phone, really.

Steven Butala:                   And they don’t care, by the way.

Jill DeWit:                            No. It’s like, great, thank God.

Steven Butala:                   They’re like, “Thanks. I can take it off my list.”

Jill DeWit:                            Thank god that was off my thing. I was busy anyway and it wasn’t on me. I can say that they backed out so my boss is not going to get mad at me. Fine. Who cares? Escrow agents can screw up deals and for this reason and real estate agents. I have one right now, too, where the real estate agent is walking around like he is subject to everybody else kind of thing. I’m the one taking control. I’m the seller and I’m like, “Somebody’s got to step up and take charge here and I guess it’s me. Over four people here, I’m the one taking charge.” So anyway.

Steven Butala:                   Of all the people in our advanced group there’s not one single person that I can think of who is passive in nature.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Where they just accept from anybody in a real estate transaction that X date is when it’s going to close.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   And here’s what happens. Here’s how you get sucked in. A title agent may say something like this, “Well, 25 days is our typical close time frame and here’s why. It has to go to the title plant department and John over there at the title plant department has to walk it into the county because that’s what he’s been doing ’cause he’s 92 and that’s what he’s been doing for a very long time and we know it takes a little bit longer where we love John.” And so it becomes this now what you’ve done as an investor have let it become a discussion.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   You have let someone just start down the path of explaining and really selling you something that you don’t want.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Instead of saying, “Okay, hold on. Hold on. I need the deal done in seven days. Actually, really five. I can live with seven. Do you guys do that ever?” “No, we really don’t.” “Okay, thanks. Next.”

Jill DeWit:                            Yep. That’s exactly what needs to happen, and so in this situation, to answer the question, you need to pick up the phone and call them and say, “We’re getting it recorded today.” And if they say, “Oh, no, two weeks.” “Oh, all right. I need to talk to your boss, and your boss, and your boss, and your boss. We’re going to get it recorded today.” And like you said before this show, if I have to go down there and pick it up myself and walk it into the county, I will. But and then back up, too, as a side note, have them send you a copy of the signed deed ’cause right there, that solves it. We all know once the deed is signed, the deal is technically done whether or not it’s recorded everyone. That’s the facts.

Steven Butala:                   The fact is that is not acceptable. It’s a theory and Jill’s 100% right, but in reality, 99% of the world believes that when it’s recorded, the deal’s done. And they’re right. And they’re right. ‘Cause we’re not teaching a philosophy class here. This isn’t college.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   We’re here to make money and get stuff done. If I sound upset about this, it’s ’cause I am and I’m not upset with you, Neil.

Jill DeWit:                            You’re not contradicting me.

Steven Butala:                   Not at all.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay, thank you.

Steven Butala:                   Not contradicting you and I’m not upset with the person who asked this question. I think it’s a brilliant question. I was just thinking this is show number 974.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   We’ve never talked about this topic before. I can honestly tell you. There’s some topics just by the nature of their [inaudible 00:09:34] that there’s so many episodes.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. This is a good topic, too.

Steven Butala:                   That’s why I wanted to take some time. I know we’re going over on time, but I don’t care.

Jill DeWit:                            You’re in charge. No, no, no. Not you’re in charge, but you’re in charge.

Steven Butala:                   No, I’m in charge of this podcast, too, thanks.

Jill DeWit:                            Well I meant that. No. Don’t be a stinker this morning, all right? Come on. You’re being kind of a stinker with me.

Steven Butala:                   That’s what I thought you meant. No, not with you, one eyed Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            No. Okay.

Steven Butala:                   Not you.

Jill DeWit:                            All right. Anyway.

Steven Butala:                   I’d never be a stinker with you.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you very much. Okay.

Steven Butala:                   All right. So control your own real estate deals. Feel free to terminate people as you’re going. It feels good.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic, one year investor is not a real estate veteran. This is the meat of the show. Jill came up with this topic and I think it’s brilliant.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, ’cause you know I was talking to people about this and that’s I think why we’re here. So many of our members have come to me and come to us and said, “That’s why I’m with you guys.” There are people out there that have learned from you and are doing different versions of you, which I love and I think it’s the greatest thing on the planet that people put there own spin on things, but they have said that, “I want to be with someone who’s done as many deals with you. I know that, Jill, I can ask you a question and you probably really have had that happen.” Kind of thing. And that is true.

Jill DeWit:                            And so it made me think about it a little bit more ’cause I feel the same way. I want to be, wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, wherever I’m learning from, if I’m learning from somebody, I want to talk to someone who’s been there. I want the professor, not the intern. I want experience. I want to know that I ask the questions and they’re not guessing. They really have experience to back up their answers. So I don’t want to pick on anybody, but I’m just kind of reminding everyone how valuable experience is and your experience is.

Jill DeWit:                            So then I took it one step further and I’ll see what you think about this topic, but I was thinking is there any situation, dream it up, Steven, can you think of any situation where this concept is not good? For example-

Steven Butala:                   More experience is not better.

Jill DeWit:                            Right, right. Exactly. So do you want a pilot who just learned how to fly? Do you want a doctor who just graduated?

Steven Butala:                   Oh, gosh.

Jill DeWit:                            Do you even want a school bus driver that just got their license?

Steven Butala:                   No.

Jill DeWit:                            So it’s kind of the same thing. You want to be whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, and whatever you’re working on. You want experience. Gosh, it ties back to the question of the title agent. I don’t want a title agent fresh out of title agent school or whatever that is.

Steven Butala:                   There’s no such thing as title agent-

Jill DeWit:                            I know. I was just going to say-

Steven Butala:                   Jill, title agents have no experience.

Jill DeWit:                            Isn’t that funny? they don’t even have a license. There isn’t a formal education.

Steven Butala:                   It’s nothing. They just showed up for the job one day.

Jill DeWit:                            Here you go.

Steven Butala:                   And they listened to the person two desks over.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, and said, “Here’s my checklist. I have to make sure I have these 10 documents.”

Steven Butala:                   That’s it.

Jill DeWit:                            You know it’s really funny about that, too.

Steven Butala:                   That’s what happened with the question today. Some other title agent told that title agent. They had two weeks to record a deal and they’ve been doing it like that for five years.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   And everybody’s like, that’s fine.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep. We’re starting an average of 10 deals a week with deal funding and it’s funny because, and they’re all through escrow, and it’s funny because my assistant in this project is new to this kind of transaction and he’s like, every single deal, every escrow agent submits new documents. And it was funny, we were having fun the other day. I showed him how to draw the lines through things that are not applicable, we’re not doing it, I’m not signing it kind of thing. There’s always something new out there they’re showing because what you just said. Anyway.

Steven Butala:                   Wow.

Jill DeWit:                            Wow what?

Steven Butala:                   No, that just gets you thinking. Every document that I sign in real estate, I do the inverted Z.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s what we’re doing.

Steven Butala:                   With the ruler and a blue pen because it doesn’t apply. These template real estate agreements are all for houses and we buy land. So half of it just has nothing to do with anything. In Arizona there’s this thing called SPUDS, it’s an acronym. Is there any radon? Do you know if it has lead paint? All these questions. The answer’s always I don’t know.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   ‘Cause you don’t know. So that doesn’t apply to us at all and there are escrow agents and a lot of real estate agents that flip their lid over this.

Jill DeWit:                            They don’t even read it.

Steven Butala:                   I had a deal one time where this guy who has just a control freak real estate agent, was on a primary residence a lot of years ago, before I met you, Jill. And I went in, live every deal, I went in, I’ll just say it, bull in a china shop, turned the contract around so it’s facing me ’cause I’m the one that’s signing it and I’m the customer and the client. Grabbed it, started reading it, and started marking it up and it’s not dainty marking. It’s like I’m angry that I have to even do this anyway.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   If I sound upset about this stuff today, I am, because this is what hold great real estate investors back.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s true.

Steven Butala:                   Idiot real estate agents that are over dressed and have an over ridiculous concept of who they really are.

Jill DeWit:                            Ego.

Steven Butala:                   It’s just insane, and then they’re going to manipulate me and tell me what to sign and what not to sign? They passed a test one time, usually a lot of years ago, in this guy’s case it was a millennia ago.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   So come on. The deal didn’t close. I said, “I’m either going to sit here and sign this and read it and not cross out the stuff that I want, initial it and date it, or I’m not.” It’s up to you. And so he backed off and the deal didn’t happen anyway for other reasons.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   You’ve got to control your own life.

Jill DeWit:                            I get it. Do you have anything else to say about the one year investor topic?

Steven Butala:                   Oh, yeah. I can summarize it like this, there are a lot of people, especially with the way the internet is now that want to be famous and want to get likes and hits. This is no surprise to anybody.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   That are just using land as a vehicle to do this, and you can see it a mile away. For some reason, real estate or land just sings to them or that’s what they’re choosing to get their likes or their hits on the internet and so I think that’s a non-issue. You can tell who’s really reasonably bright and knows what they’re talking about inside of maybe 30 seconds, 60 seconds on any given show. The tragedy is there’s a lot of new people and they start down a path of somebody like that and maybe ’cause they’re entertaining and find out later that’s just not the case.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   So what do you think makes a veteran? Number of deals or gray hair or what?

Jill DeWit:                            Both. Yeah. Honestly, I’d go with number of deals. I would go with deals and time. There’s a balance. Like the unicorn chart, there’s a balance.

Steven Butala:                   It used to be that I’d see you want somebody in their 20s. Most of the people that are on our staff that have to do with IT and marketing are in their 20s and that wasn’t intentional on our part.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   We interviewed everybody. It’s not going to stop us from interviewing, but they ended up being the best candidates.

Jill DeWit:                            But some are in their 30s ’cause they have experience to follow things all the way through.

Steven Butala:                   I mean young like that. I’m not sure you want a 75 year old IT person.

Jill DeWit:                            True. Could you imagine? Just think of it.

Steven Butala:                   I’m not saying I wouldn’t interview that person because of that, ’cause I literally would. Just if not for any other reason just to see.

Jill DeWit:                            I wonder if I came to you and I brought in Jim that used to be the escrow agent that took two weeks to do his title search, right? I said, “Hey, Steven. He’s gonna set up our texting service. He texts his grandkids, he knows all about it. He’s got this down.” That would be awesome. Oh boy.

Steven Butala:                   I think that when you’re new at something, it’s really important to give away your time. That’s the concept of what an intern is. I’m new, I’m enthusiastic, I have more energy than you do, but I need your experience. I need you to say how a closing goes. I don’t know.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m sorry. This just goes back years. If you’ve been listening to us for a while, you’ll remember this. Remember at the county office we had the zoning guy, Doug, and then the other brother, Doug. What were their names?

Steven Butala:                   Oh, their brother Daryl.

Jill DeWit:                            Daryl. Daryl and the other brother Daryl. One was the recorder and one worked in zoning. [inaudible 00:18:37]. Do you remember that?

Steven Butala:                   No, Daryl said, “I can record this. No, no. That’s my other brother, Daryl.”

Jill DeWit:                            That was a long time ago.

Steven Butala:                   I think that’d be a lifelong excuse you could use.

Jill DeWit:                            That is so funny. Shoot, I’m going to use that today. I should have said, “Nope, that’s your other boss, Jill. Not this one.”

Steven Butala:                   I went to high school with two identical twins and no one could tell them apart.

Jill DeWit:                            Girls?

Steven Butala:                   No, they were guys and if you talked to them, you could tell immediately for a million reasons they are the most different people there ever was, but you couldn’t physically tell them apart. They would take each other’s tests. They would show up for work for each other ’cause they had each other’s number, man.

Jill DeWit:                            Dude, I would totally do that. Are you kidding? I wish I had a twin.

Steven Butala:                   I know. It’s like when you think about it, what if you had a second person? Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Brilliant. I would have done that all day long. There’s no reason, hey to quote you, there’s no reason we both should suffer here.

Steven Butala:                   Can’t say that we talk about [inaudible 00:19:32] with our kids.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Are you going to do it or I should do it? ‘Cause we shouldn’t both suffer.

Jill DeWit:                            We shouldn’t both suffer. You go to the game, I’ll go do this.

Steven Butala:                   One was great at math and one was more of a right brain person. It was whatever worked and they just together killed it. I wonder what happened to those guys. I hope they still do it.

Jill DeWit:                            I hope they’re running some big company right now.

Steven Butala:                   I hope their finger prints and stuff are the same.

Jill DeWit:                            And everybody thinks there’s only one of them. They think there’s one CEO. They don’t know that there’s two of them. Awesome.

Steven Butala:                   The Olsen twins.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s awesome.

Steven Butala:                   Well you’ve done it again. You’ve spent another 20 minutes or so listening to The Land Academy Show. Join us next time for the episode called reasons why our members stay for life.

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

Steven Butala:                   You’re not alone in your real estate ambition.

Steven Butala:                   Well that was an interesting show, Jill. One eyed Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, thank you.

Steven Butala:                   How’s that going at this point?

Jill DeWit:                            It’s good, thanks. I’ll have a patch on my eye tomorrow. No worries.

Steven Butala:                   It looks like you’ve had just a little too much to drink when you do that.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. Wrong eye. Wherever you’re watching, wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate us there. It means a lot. We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   We are Steve and Jill. Information-

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration-

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.

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