Member Steve Manus Shares Mobile Home Lot Success Stories (LA 981)

Member Steve Manus Shares Mobile Home Lot Success Stories (LA 981)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hello.

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 with member Steve Manus, who shares his Land Academy success stories. Steve comes to us from Palo Alto, California, and Before his land career, he worked with grad students and professors at Stanford University in the Department of Chemistry, and I’m sure there’s a lot more to this story than I know at all.

Steve Manus:                    Okay, good morning.

Jill DeWit:                            Welcome.

Steven Butala:                   Steve, tell us a little about your experience at Stanford and how it ultimately led to this conversation we’re having.

Steve Manus:                    Sure, and it actually did, there is a direct route. It’s interesting. I had been mostly in sales my whole life. I’ll give a very brief background, but I was not… I was always smart and did well in college and all of that, but I wasn’t some driven or motivated student in particular, and I didn’t have a real career path. In fact, I remember vividly the day I threw out all of my law school applications.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, that’s beautiful.

Steve Manus:                    It was, it was a very fine day because that’s sort of the track that I was on because I grew up in a family of lawyers and my Mom was also a paralegal when that actually meant something in the early days of paralegals when it was more of a substantial position. I just thought, “Okay, of course, I’ll just go to grad school.” I was a history major, I’ll go to grad school or I’ll go to law school in this case, and I just… the thought of actually becoming a lawyer was so abhorrent to me that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even apply to the schools.

Steve Manus:                    I’m sure I would have gotten in somewhere, but you grow up in… There’s a lot to say here, which I won’t, but I just remember years later going back home. I moved out from Chicago to California and I’ve been here for more than a couple of decades in Northern California. I went back for my Dad’s birthday one year, a few years ago, he’s since passed, but we were sitting around the dining room table and all of a sudden it turned into this political discussion and my politics happen to be different from theirs, it was if I was sitting in the witness chair. Prosecutor… They’re just grilling me relentlessly. I thinking like, “What has happened? In two minutes’ time I’ve gone from loving son who flew in for your birthday to God knows what?”

Steven Butala:                   That’s [crosstalk 00:02:31] the Midwest. The culture in the Midwest is like that. I’m from there, too.

Steve Manus:                    Yes, yes it is. We’ve talked about this. In fact, the Detroit, the… Yeah, because Chicago and Michigan are connected. Anyway, I went into sales and I enjoyed it and was good at it and I just didn’t have direction for many years. I wound up at Stanford some years later. I needed a job and there it was, and it was a good job. It was administrative work in the Chemistry Department. I was familiar with universities. I went to grad school myself ultimately, but this was a different world because it’s a very, very high-level world. Very high achievers, incredibly hard-working individuals. Those who become professors at Stanford, and particular in the science and engineering, are just the very best in the world, and there aren’t that many of them who qualify.

Steven Butala:                   You [crosstalk 00:03:22] mentioned in the earlier part of the pre-show that’s not on air that they were also the most unhappy group that you’ve ever met, so I love other people’s misery and so do our listeners, so I’d love to hear about that.

Steve Manus:                    Oh, happy to tell you. Yes, the single-most unhappy group I’ve ever encountered, and over the years you encounter a lot of people in life, but they stand alone. The grad students were nice. It’s fun working with them, and the postdocs are basically are the people who come after. You decide a few years after you’re a grad student to do some postdoc before you move on to whatever you’re going to do professionally. The professors themselves are in a little world of colleagues who it’s just around the planet, in all of these departments, and they travel to one another’s campuses. They give talks. This is what they do. Their activities revolve around giving all those talks, supporting their grad students and the research, and writing grant proposals day in and day out.

Steven Butala:                   Wow.

Steve Manus:                    Most of their time is spent writing grant proposals-

Steven Butala:                   Wow.

Steve Manus:                    Because everything revolves around that and competing… ultimately in competition for awards. I had [crosstalk 00:04:32]-

Steven Butala:                   It’s like [crosstalk 00:04:32]-

Steve Manus:                    That’s a huge part of it. I had one professor in particular, this guy was so good. Every year the Nobel Prizes are awarded and I was privy to his correspondence just because of the nature of my work and I would see he didn’t win, but he would send out these very nice, he’s a good man, very nice letters of appreciation and congratulations to those who individuals. This one would be in Germany and he would write in German, and this one would be in France and he’d write in French. He was a good man, but year after year you could see the disappointment in his face.

Steven Butala:                   Asking for money and trying to get published, just like Hollywood.

Steve Manus:                    It’s very similar. Yeah, it’s [crosstalk 00:05:14] just continual outpouring without fulfillment, generally. Ultimately [crosstalk 00:05:20]-

Steven Butala:                   When you were asking for grants constantly, as a percentage, do you get a grant 50% of the time? 1%?

Jill DeWit:                            Good question.

Steven Butala:                   What happens? I [crosstalk 00:05:29]-

Steve Manus:                    I think their percentages are fairly high because they’re specialists and they’re known. Again, people at that level, it’s different than some department somewhere.

Steven Butala:                   Different than us.

Steve Manus:                    Yeah, it’s different, the Academy, us, exactly. I’m sure their percentages are good, but nonetheless, they need a ton of money because they support all their grad students. They pay. If you’re getting a PhD, you don’t pay anything. You are completely paid for by that professor and therefore beholden to them for five years, day and night.

Jill DeWit:                            [inaudible 00:06:02]

Steven Butala:                   Amazing.

Steve Manus:                    Ultimately, this professor himself did win a Nobel Prize. This was years later. I happened to see it in a newspaper locally a couple of years back. I ran into him at Stanford. I was having lunch there one day not long ago and I was asking him about it and he was even more unhappy now because as a result of having won the award, people are tugging at his sleeve 24 hours a day.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, sure. He went from a four-star restaurant owner to a five-star and it wrecked his life.

Steve Manus:                    It wrecked his life. Same phenomenon, or similar enough, yeah. There we are. This is life in a nutshell and thank goodness we’re not in that world.

Steven Butala:                   As the hippie black sheep son of the family, how did you get into the land business?

Steve Manus:                    Well, I suppose I am because I’m the only [crosstalk 00:06:54] one who moved away from Chicago. I just… like you, Jack, you know how it is, everybody else remains in the Midwest.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s right.

Steven Butala:                   I’m right there with you, pal.

Steve Manus:                    Yeah, yeah. Exactly, and then you just come out here and you end up flying in periodically. I left Stanford knowing that I wanted to be in real estate. I had an inkling, and I’d had an interest, but I didn’t know anything so I was able to leave and be supported financially for a time, but I didn’t know anything and I lept off a cliff. This was 2006. It was a little bit before the downturn and I knew just enough to get myself in real trouble, serious. Things that I… I look back on it like, “How in the world would you make such a level of commitment financially without knowing anything?” I did, but the interesting part was I learned a lot in the process.

Steve Manus:                    I learned… First of all, I realized pretty quickly I had to keep us above water, my wife and myself, just the two us. I did what I needed to do and I learned very quickly, “Okay, this is what you do. You adapt. You figure it out. You move forward and you keep persevering.” You just have your eye on some type of prize. It’s a good phrase, actually, eye on the prize, but even if it might be a little nebulous in the distance, it’s very important to move in a direction. It took me a number of years until I finally landed on the land business.

Jill DeWit:                            Great.

Steve Manus:                    Having had a couple bouts of success along the way in other areas of real estate, I knew I could do it. Whatever it meant, I knew I could make money and I learned a lot also in terms… For me, a core strength is dealing with people. I’m not a particularly adept person technically, but I do have a facility apparently to get people to trust me, and it’s a sincere thing, it’s not just this people do it and they pull the wool over other people’s eyes, but I’m very sincere with people.

Steve Manus:                    In land, once I started… I actually learned the business first time around from someone who became a friend of mine. It was just one of these happenstance things and our fathers had passed around the same time, and I don’t even know how this came about, but this was like a Facebook contact of a real estate guy who I had contacted with once because I was putting together like a whole training webinar series and he was one of the people I was asking to be a part of it some years before that actual contact. He wound up calling me one night. Literally, my wife and I were walking on the Stanford campus and he wound up calling me.

Steve Manus:                    This was in the evening and we just… he was telling me about his Dad and I was telling him about my Dad and we’re kindred spirits and we’re a very similar age and he started telling me about this business he had learned from his Dad. He had gone the full circle in real estate. He was very successful and very smart and a trainer and a real teacher, not a marketing kind of guy teacher. He was saying he had been feeling nostalgic before his Dad’s passing because he had recently readopted this training method he had learned from his Dad I think 30 years before that and was again making money with it selling land, just land. His Dad was doing it until figuratively the day he died, into his 80s. I thought, “Oh, this is interesting. Something you can do until the day you die if needed, and it seems like a good gig.”

Steven Butala:                   Was the nascence of his training method essentially what we do now?

Steve Manus:                    Essentially what we do, yeah. It’s all… what we do is relatively basic. There are variations on a theme, there’s nuance, of course, but it’s the same business. I just said, “Yeah, okay, whatever. I feel like I’d be very interested to learn if you have any inclination at all.” He said, “I don’t want to generate competition for myself, et cetera, et cetera.” Lo and behold a week later, he contacted me and said, “Let’s get started”, and we did. He was extremely helpful and I began a business.

Steven Butala:                   Are you guys partnershipping deals still?

Steve Manus:                    You know, we never partnered, but we’re friends. I actually connected with him a week ago. We talked via Facebook Messenger or we’ll follow one another after that, and I was just asking for a little counsel and getting his perspective on some things because it’s… you know how the business is. Everything is evolving, and especially now because more people are getting into the business. You have to continually adapt. In one way or another you just have to figure out a way to stay on top of the wave and ride it. My wave is going to be a long one because I’m going to be doing this for a number of years yet.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s good.

Steven Butala:                   That means us, too. Obviously, we’re in this for good. What motivates me… what you just said, one of the things that you just said is… what motivates me is that, and not that I need a lot of motivation anymore, but what really motivates me is that what’s possible with this is endless. There’s an endless number of people that are doing extremely well at it in our groups and everywhere else. If I’m having a bad month, it’s just because I’m not putting into it what it needs. It’s not like the system doesn’t work. It’s not like there’s not enough land or too much competition or any of these external factors that I hear all the time. It’s just because I’m not putting enough into it.

Steve Manus:                    Yes, every time. Every time it’s exactly the same thing. I’m not getting my mailings done, I’m not getting my marketing done.

Steven Butala:                   That’s it.

Steve Manus:                    There’s nothing else. If you get your mailings done, you have to do everything else.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s [crosstalk 00:12:45] right.

Steve Manus:                    You have no choice. The phone will ring, the letters will come, whatever it is, and you then are forced to respond. There’s only one thing you need to do, and that’s mail.

Steven Butala:                   I agree, and then on the other side, you just got to post it for sale. You got to stay up with that and then it’s all the money comes pouring back in.

Steve Manus:                    Yeah, obviously you have to sell, and that’s one area that I really concentrated on because I… well, one thing is I don’t like putting out any money if I don’t have to, and I mean none, and I don’t want to get stuck with any property, period. I’ve never been stuck with one. I don’t think I ever will the way I do it, and I like to have them sold before I market them, basically. That’s my real [crosstalk 00:13:26] working plan now.

Steven Butala:                   Tell us how you do it, Steve. How do you do it?

Steve Manus:                    Okay, so I have two levels of my business, and I run a very simple business. I know you talk to a lot of people and I marvel at the levels of sophistication of some people. Seriously, it’s a wonder to behold and I’ve very impressed by what people are able and willing to do. For all of us, it’s about putting a lot of energy. In my case, I run a simple operation because I want to balance life the way… my wife and I live a very simple life. I do other things, I do teaching. I like to be able to do that and, of course, aside from the financial part, just the freedom of time. I make my own schedule and I love it.

Steve Manus:                    Very simply, right now… I began experimenting a little while ago because I knew I had to get out of where I was. It was too confining, my level of business, so I began experimenting probably last summer at this point. I put out a lot of irons into the fire and some have born fruit, which is what we want, and then, of course, I have that many more now because I want to continue to do so. Very simply, I do it at two levels. I started out with mobile home lots, and I have my little corners of Texas, and Texas has a lot of little corners, right? It’s a good place. People have their favorites. Some people have Arizona, Colorado, et cetera, but what I do you can do and see you can do it in North Carolina, Florida, it doesn’t make any difference.

Steve Manus:                    I never gave up on that area of the business, so in those areas I said… I’ve gotten to know some divisions, I’ve gotten to know areas, and I send out my offer letters. I know exactly what I can sell them for and I know exactly what I can buy them for.

Steven Butala:                   That’s the confidence piece, Jill, that we’ve been talking about.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   The confidence to pull the trigger. Essential [crosstalk 00:15:17] is that.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steve Manus:                    There’s that funny period in the beginning where you don’t know what you’re doing. I was fortunate in that I had somebody to guide me through the beginning part of that, but even so, that always ends. You’re on your own. Oh no, of course, you provide a wonderful environment for people. Gives people the opportunity to connect, but regardless, at a certain point it’s you and your computer.

Steven Butala:                   You buy a mobile home lot, and what happens?

Steve Manus:                    In my case with the mobile home lots, I take them in. Now, I don’t pay people. Maybe once… I don’t pay anybody before I get a deed. People sign their deeds over to me and send them to me and I record them and I have a property to sell. I let them know as soon as everything is okay I’ll send them money, and I turn around and I post it on Craigslist, because that’s where I’ve sold every parcel of that type.

Steven Butala:                   Wow.

Steve Manus:                    Every parcel, and my buyers tell me about the land. I’m in California, these parcels are in Texas. They go on, they take a look, they tell me what it looks like, road is washed out, so all these things that we know about, this, that, and the other, and then I get a sense. Is it going to be a normal family that’s just looking for a homestead? There’s a lot of that outside of these cities. They’re stuck in some mobile home park with their kids, they want to give them a better life, and they’re so grateful to find a piece of land for a few thousand dollars they can move their family on.

Steven Butala:                   Steve, I’ve never [crosstalk 00:16:50]-

Steve Manus:                    That’s-

Steven Butala:                   I remember talking to you like two years ago on a consulting call-

Steve Manus:                    Yes, exactly.

Steven Butala:                   And I remember being amazed at it back then, and I’m still amazed. I don’t want you to give all your secrets up, but it’s… I remember you taking this business [crosstalk 00:17:02] model and making it your own in this very specific way.

Steve Manus:                    I did, I did and [crosstalk 00:17:07]-

Jill DeWit:                            The trust that you’ve built with these people is amazing.

Steve Manus:                    It’s really interesting, and they’re always grateful. The sellers are grateful, the buyers are really grateful. Again, for me, I get great fulfillment out of dealing with the people. I know there are people who would like never to talk with anybody, and I understand that because sometimes they drive you crazy. Yeah, right. Right. No, because you have a business where you don’t have to. It’s fun for you because the person sitting next to you happens to love talking with people. I’m a one-man show and I work with my support people in the Philippines who are great, but otherwise I get great fulfillment particularly with the buyers because they are so… I just got this couple right now. I can’t tell you how grateful they are, and yes it’s a good deal, but at the same time there’s a substantial profit in it for me. You can buy a parcel for this much and you sell it for seven times on terms, it’s pretty good but they’re thrilled. There’s a lot of that.

Steve Manus:                    Those parcels now I sell primarily on terms, and I do it very simply. I work with a loan servicing company, so they handle all the payments.

Steven Butala:                   Excellent.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s great.

Steve Manus:                    I set it up so my buyer pays the monthly fee. I don’t pay anything. I just facilitate. I get it all set up, they handle late fee, everything. I just get notices every month. Money has been deposited, and then [crosstalk 00:18:37].

Steven Butala:                   Builds our whole business around that model, around making sure that both in Land Academy and all the other companies that we have, offer sellers, that everybody’s happy. You want to make sure that the end user, person that’s writing the check, is incredibly happy. Not just us, not just the people in the middle, but all of it, including our employees. I think that’s a West Coast thing. You’re back from the Midwest. I don’t think that attitude, that we’re all in this together attitude, happens so much back there.

Steve Manus:                    I didn’t really notice it growing up, let’s put it that way. I think you’re right, but there is a Midwest friendliness that you can bring to the West Coast that’s every helpful. It’s [crosstalk 00:19:20]-

Steven Butala:                   Work ethic.

Steve Manus:                    Yeah, absolutely. It’s a tad different out here, isn’t it? No, I remember when I first came out, I couldn’t believe it. I was just like, “Who are these people?”

Steven Butala:                   Me too.

Steve Manus:                    I became one and so I understood [crosstalk 00:19:36]-

Steven Butala:                   I’m still not totally acclimated. I still [crosstalk 00:19:41]-

Jill DeWit:                            I have worked in Stockton or anything [crosstalk 00:19:42]-

Steve Manus:                    No, I believe it.

Steven Butala:                   When I get to a crosswalk, I still have to look left and right before I just barrel through, unlike the natives here just [crosstalk 00:19:52] believe that all the traffic and the whole world should stop because they’re walking down the street.

Steve Manus:                    Oh, I know. A lot of people will mention now the way things are in colleges and college kids and all of that, there’s one thing and one thing only I appreciate about their education is they learn how important it is to stop at crosswalks. It’s drilled in from age five apparently.

Steven Butala:                   In preschool in the Midwest, but not out here.

Steve Manus:                    Who knows? Who knows what’s going on? I don’t even want to know anymore. I tell you.

Jill DeWit:                            Funny.

Steven Butala:                   Can you… I’m sure… Jill, go ahead [crosstalk 00:20:31]-

Jill DeWit:                            I was going to ask about when you… with your wife, does she get it? Does she want [crosstalk 00:20:39]-

Steve Manus:                    Oh, yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            To be a part of this?

Steve Manus:                    No, she does not want to a part of it. She definitely gets it, so she works a job. We’re very different in that respect and I’ve very grateful for it because… there a number of nice things about this. One is that because of the success in my business, she was able to cut back on her house a year or so ago. She went to part time which is great. So much more relaxed and so it’s all good, but she could never live like this, not knowing how much money is coming in at the end of the week.

Steven Butala:                   I understand that.

Steve Manus:                    I [crosstalk 00:21:15]-

Steven Butala:                   Most people are like that.

Steve Manus:                    Oh, most people are, yeah, and for myself I’d just had it with these jobs and could never do it anymore.

Steven Butala:                   Me, too.

Steve Manus:                    Even in my real estate career, I had to. Yeah, right, if you really think about it, it’s just such a different life and you’re beholden in a way that either suits you or does not.

Steven Butala:                   There’s so much stuff between you and I that we’ve never actually had a conversation about.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, this is one of them.

Steven Butala:                   It is, I’ve never asked you if you want a real job or the job just said you. We all just assumed with each other that we just never want to do that again ever.

Jill DeWit:                            I know, and I grew up with a family which was… my Dad was a pilot, so it was a union thing. There was definitely a paycheck, everybody knew what was happening kind of thing. For me, I just couldn’t stand the time clock life, and I lived that for many, many years and

Steven Butala:                   Decades.

Jill DeWit:                            It drove me nuts. It’s very true, we all know it, Steve, you know it, that we all work more hours now, but it’s I’m doing it for me. I’m getting the benefit of it. I’m doing it by choice and I love it and I [crosstalk 00:22:26] this and I’m sure you are, too. I’m not afraid about what’s going to happen next Friday. I know we’re going to figure it out. I have all the tools and resources to figure it out. Even if it all goes sideways, there’s going to be something in here that we can work with, you know?

Steve Manus:                    Oh, yeah. Look, we have systems that we know work and we’ve got enough experience. Occasionally I have to remind myself of this or if I have some problem property that hasn’t yet sold, but every one of them has sold and it’s a very simple formula. If it’s not selling, lower the price, and it works every time.

Steven Butala:                   Every single time.

Steve Manus:                    Every-

Steven Butala:                   You got this mobile home thing going and that’s great. Do you ever consider doing other types of properties? Ranch land? Wholesaling houses or anything like that?

Steve Manus:                    Yeah, so I do have another level of business that I’ve introduced. I have that platform and it’s less… it was central, well, it was my exclusive business for quite a while, then central, and now of less importance, but it’s nice because I can bring in those monthly payments. The heart of my business now is working with what you could technically call infill lots, but I just call buildable lots.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, great.

Steve Manus:                    2.0 came out, when, was it September or something like that?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Steve Manus:                    I’ve been thinking about this for a while because, I don’t know, a year or two ago, Seth Williams sent to me one of his guys who did… he was in Texas also, in Houston working with builders. He had this whole methodology and it was always in the back of my mind, and then 2.0 came out and I studied it and realized, “Oh, I can figure out a way to bring these things together.” Along the way, of course, in my business with the mobile home lots, all sorts of people contact you. I would keep notes of potential… well, just potentials, let’s put it that way. Whatever they become, but basically potential buyers. Some of them were builders and I thought, “Okay, let’s see what we can implement here after studying 2.0.” I realized they build in certain areas… they have their favorite subdivisions. Why don’t I find out what those are and mail for them? I’ll be their marketing arm and then we’ll see what that really looks like.

Steve Manus:                    I began experimenting, so I did my mailings and it was… it’s much more refined now, but initially it would be I get to… Now, I should say this up front because it’s a little different model, and Land Academy people are very creative. I’ve noticed this, and people do many, many variations on a theme. There is the tried and true offer letter, and then I have found that in other cases, for me it works to send out what some people call the neutral letter, where it’s just sort of a “I’m interested”, that sort if thing, and it is nebulous, there’s no question.

Steve Manus:                    I’ve put together a letter with a picture of my wife and me and it’s very folksy and we just like to make friends, that sort of thing and people call or they… I have a simple business. I use Google Voice and I use a CRM. There’s a CRM that I found that works very well for the land business. I put in my spreadsheets, it accepts them. I’ve got everybody there. They call, I don’t answer the phone. I respond to messages, and then I see, “There they are. Joe Smith. Oh, you have half an acre in such and such a county.” I [crosstalk 00:25:56]-

Steven Butala:                   I’m sure that really plays well to your sales background because once you get them on the phone, you can probably folksy get them to sell their property or whatever.

Steve Manus:                    Yeah, and as you know, it’s a numbers game. It’s a certain percentage. Maybe my percentages are good, but yes. Again, I’m playing to my strength. I know I can talk with people and I’ve got my buyer guides who are so grateful because in any area where it’s an active market, a geographic growth area, these builders cannot get enough properties. They’re just scrounging tooth and… they tell [crosstalk 00:26:33] me what they go through. Even though they’re building on a lot… this case, certain ones, they’re building a lot already. Can’t get enough, always need more, always great to get a property.

Jill DeWit:                            Isn’t that great?

Steven Butala:                   I’ve never talked to a builder who said, “Oh, no, I’ve got enough land right now.”

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, exactly.

Steve Manus:                    He doesn’t exist. Doesn’t exist, and that is their life blood. It’s similar to a house wholesaling model, which I had done previously where you’re buyers are rehabber guys, and my objective, and I tell this to all of my builders is, I want to get to the point where I just tell you the address, you go out and you tell me what you can pay for it. That’s what I do with the rehabber guys. That’s all I needed from them.

Steven Butala:                   Wow.

Steve Manus:                    I can pay 90,000 for the house and I know I can buy for 80? Great, we got a deal.

Steven Butala:                   Wait, let me get this straight because this is great. You send out a letter of interest, they call back and say, “Yeah, I actually do want to sell the property.” Nobody talks about price-

Jill DeWit:                            No money.

Steven Butala:                   You call your builder, tell him to go out there, and he says, “You know what? I can pay easy 55,000 on this.” You go back to the seller and say, “I’m happy to pay [crosstalk 00:27:37]-

Jill DeWit:                            Give me a 40.

Steven Butala:                   “40,000 for it.”

Steve Manus:                    That’s right. That’s right [crosstalk 00:27:40]-

Jill DeWit:                            They’re all [crosstalk 00:27:40]-

Steve Manus:                    That’s exactly what I do, and I actually try to find… I feel them out. Not everybody knows or is wiling to say, but I always ask them just very simple, sort of in the middle of the conversation, “What are you looking to get out of this property? What do you think?” I just wait. As you know, if you ask questions and wait, oftentimes people will talk.

Steven Butala:                   They’ll trust you. They obviously trust you by the time you talk to, the seller does, by the time you talk to the builder, and that’s the key.

Steve Manus:                    Absolutely. Not everybody, but most. You know how some people are, but generally, absolutely they do. Look, I’m in the midst of it now this week, right? I’ve got a guy, we just talked yesterday, but it was the same scenario where my guys went out. I have a couple of different builders and this one will send out. In any case, they tell me and I go back and I know exactly what I can and can’t do, or I can adjust my spread, right? If I think, “Yeah, I’d like to make nine but I can make six”, I’m not going to throw away $6,000. There’s the model, and see, one of the things that I learned from you was the double your money model, because I had sort of a different mindset before that of reaching for the stars. You know how it can be. I wouldn’t take it unless.

Steve Manus:                    Now, I don’t want to do a $1500 deal, I won’t. I sort of have my limits, but I have a fairly wide range. I’m not going to throw away $4,000, because what are we talking about here? I send out a contract. These are closed through a title, so a month later I go to a notary and get a signature and send a contract back and then they send me a check or I get a wire transfer of some number of thousands of dollars. That’s my job.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s worth your time.

Steve Manus:                    I think I can manage this for $4,000 even though it wasn’t 7.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   It really is if you want it to be an eight-hour work week, max.

Steve Manus:                    It literally can, yes.

Steven Butala:                   Might not be eight hours all in one day, but you’re kind of on call but it’s still your own time if you want it to be. It ends up being a lot more for Jill and I. I don’t know why we do this to ourselves.

Jill DeWit:                            We can’t stop.

Steve Manus:                    Well, it’s your natures. It’s your natures, you guys really like working. I like being busy, but I don’t like working that much, to be honest because I like doing other things. No, it’s exactly that, and I don’t care if it’s 7 o’clock on a Sunday morning, it’s just-

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, me, too.

Steve Manus:                    None of it bothers me, it’s great. Are you kidding? If I have properties that are listed and people are calling me at 7 AM California time and we make a deal by 7:30 and then they send the money via PayPal that morning before I even get them a deed? It’s wonderful.

Jill DeWit:                            Totally.

Steven Butala:                   That’s a win.

Steve Manus:                    It’s a win. It’s a win.

Steven Butala:                   Well, you’ve done it again. You’ve spent another 15 minutes or so [crosstalk 00:30:36] listening to The Land Academy Show. Join us next time for another interesting episode and we answer your questions posted on our online community, It’s free.

Jill DeWit:                            You are not alone in your real estate ambition.

Steven Butala:                   Steve, it’s a pleasure talking to you. It’s really all came back to me.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s so cool.

Steven Butala:                   I remember you scheduling a call and if I remember right, you sold out of a subdivision, like a whole sub, right?

Steve Manus:                    I did. I did, and I actually went back to that subdivision recently and I got five more deals.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, something like 40 or 50 or [crosstalk 00:31:07]-

Jill DeWit:                            That’s awesome.

Steven Butala:                   70 transactions or something [crosstalk 00:31:09]-

Steve Manus:                    I did, yeah.

Steven Butala:                   In one little area.

Steve Manus:                    I know, it’s amazing. I thought it was played out by now. I know how many people are mailing there because I get these letters. Doesn’t seem to make any difference. If you hit them on the right day, it just [crosstalk 00:31:21].

Steven Butala:                   That’s it.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s it. That is so awesome. We’re [crosstalk 00:31:24]-

Steve Manus:                    The gift that keeps [crosstalk 00:31:26] on giving.

Jill DeWit:                            It does. Wherever you’re watching or wherever you’re listening, please subscribe and rate us there.

Steven Butala:                   We are Steve and Jill [crosstalk 00:31:34]-

Jill DeWit:                            We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   Information-

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration-

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.

Steven Butala:                   Great to talk to you, man.

Steve Manus:                    Thank you, I appreciate you both very, very much. You’ve made a great [crosstalk 00:31:42]-

Steven Butala:                   Thank you [crosstalk 00:31:42]-

Steve Manus:                    Difference in my life.

Steven Butala:                   Thank you, that’s [crosstalk 00:31:45] great to hear and thanks for the short notice. Not a lot of people just jump in and turn a camera on. When I say a lot of people, I mean, Jill.

Steve Manus:                    That was good. I tend to work mornings and then I have my afternoons free. I was out at the ocean walking and I thought, “Yeah, well, we can do this, even if this is afternoon. All I have to do is call in”, so yeah [crosstalk 00:32:05]-

Steven Butala:                   Great.

Steve Manus:                    Happy to do it, so absolutely.

Jill DeWit:                            We’ll [crosstalk 00:32:08] see you on the call later today, right?

Steve Manus:                    Yes, I will be there today.

Steven Butala:                   Great.

Steve Manus:                    1 o’clock.

Steven Butala:                   Thanks, Steve.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steve Manus:                    Thanks a lot, guys. Bye-bye.

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