Members Aaron and Liz English Shares Land Academy Success Stories (LA 991)

Members Aaron and Liz English Shares Land Academy Success Stories (LA 991)


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 the sunny Southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today, Jill and I talk with members: Aaron and Liz English. And, we talk about their land success, Land Academy success stories, or maybe some of where they haven’t had so much success.

Steven Butala:                   So, just to start it off, and before we get into the real topic, let us know please how you got here? How you got to this moment with Land Academy?

Aaron English:                    Well, I got into the land business about ten years ago, and did the whole Jack Bosch thing, and said, “Go to the county, get a mailer or get the data.” And, I’m like, “Okay.” And then you get the data, and it’s like, “What? What is this?” You know… I was like, “Okay, I can’t do this.” So, I end up buying a list from China, sent a mailer out and just got a bunch of hate back, so I backed it for like ten years. And then, just about two years ago, I found you guys and went out specifically looking for land investors and land investing, came across your podcast and pulled the trigger. And so, here we are.

Jill DeWit:                            Awesome!

Aaron English:                    How long ago did you join?

Liz English:                          Two years.

Steven Butala:                   Two years ago?

Liz English:                          Yeah, yeah.

Aaron English:                    Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Has it worked out? I mean, are you doing deals?

Liz English:                          Yeah.

Aaron English:                    Yeah. We’re doing lots of deals. I think we’re about 150-160, something like that.

Steven Butala:                   Wow! What’s a typical deal for you guys? That’s great!

Aaron English:                    As far as money goes, or…?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, like buy it for 5000, 10 acres in, I don’t know, some Western State. Sell it for 22, in terms or cash, or what’s a typical deal?

Liz English:                          We did a lot of terms before, and we don’t want to do anymore because it’s a pain in the butt. Talk to a lot of interesting people that are time wasters. But now, we’re doing more, bigger deals and selling them cash because we kind of graduated out of-

Aaron English:                    All cash, for sure. We stopped doing notes about last month. Just chasing too many people, and too many people with sob stories and they’re like, “We got to take this property back now.” You know, it’s just a pain. Just cash.

Jill DeWit:                            It sounds good. I mean, a lot of people are… if you have the, I don’t want to say stomach for it or what the right word is, but if that’s your thing, yeah, you can quickly get how many… you know, coming in a month. But, you have to babysit them a little bit, as you know. There’s always one that needs something, and somebody’s not available. And, even though with us, I’m like I would say, “What do you need? Do you want me to…” It’s like, “I get paid on the third, could I make the payments come out on the fifth?”, “Fine.” And, they’re still always a little something, and I’m like, “This is just a lot of work.” And then, of course, then they go dark, and you’re like, “Darn it!” You know, I don’t want to take it back. I like the payment thing and they’re gone. I kind of feel bad for you, but now I got to do it all over again. So, I get it. Yeah.

Liz English:                          We’ve had some people that are being great all along, but it’s just those few people that want to change it up, their credit card every month, or miss a payment, or… It’s just not worth it for us.

Steven Butala:                   That’s my next question. Do you have one or two examples of where a term sale just worked great? You sold the property, they paid it off [inaudible 00:03:31].

Liz English:                          Yeah. They aren’t all paid off yet, but we have people that have been paying continuously. In fact, Aaron didn’t want to follow the advice to just sell the first one cash, so the first deal we did, he sold terms. And, those people have been awesome all along.

Aaron English:                    Yeah. They’ve been great.

Liz English:                          So, that’s been great. It was a little extra work from me, because I had to figure out how to do the contract stuff and all that kind of thing. But, they’ve been great. It’s just other people along the way that were… we’re like, “Why did we? I don’t want to deal with this person anymore.”

Aaron English:                    I bought that one totally wrong. So, I bought it off LandWatch, didn’t follow the program at all. It was the first property. “Let’s do this.” I just had to get my feet wet, you know, and it worked out.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   We’ve all done that.

Jill DeWit:                            And, that’s okay. You made it work, so that’s perfect. Awesome! Now, I’m sure you’re going to look in the back line, “I paid what for that? I could’ve got it for this.”

Aaron English:                    Yeah. [inaudible 00:04:27], but that’s how we learn.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. That’s it. I’m really super curious. If you can recall, what were some of the holes, basically, that got filled? You know, when you jump back in two years and you found us, a few years ago, what were the things you were like, “That was missing.”? Was it how to finesse the data? Was it pricing?

Aaron English:                    Yeah. It was just… Jack showing me like how to manipulate the data, and go through and say, “This is how you do it.” And just, hold your hand and like, “Click this button here. Click this button here. Click this button, there you go.” And it’s like, “Well, that’s easy.” So, I was like, “Wow! That’s all I needed.” After that, off to the races.

Jill DeWit:                            I love that.

Steven Butala:                   You know, everybody says… people reach out to us all the time and they say, “When we found you…” and I look at it the other way, like, “Actually, I found you.” because a lot of people… You know, there’s Jack Bosch, there’s nothing wrong with his program for some people. And, for whatever reason those people love to go to the county and deal with that data… maybe they do, or maybe they don’t. But, the data piece was missing for me too. And, that’s why I decided to get in front of a camera and show everybody how to do it.

Liz English:                          Right.

Aaron English:                    Yeah. That was the key right there.

Liz English:                          Mm-hmm (affirmative). Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   So, which one of you is data? And, which one of you is sales? Or, do you just trip over each other’s feet doing the same stuff every day every time?

Aaron English:                    I’m data.

Liz English:                          And, I’m more of the sales part.

Aaron English:                    I’m like data, marketing. And, we both kind of do sales. She does more sales, and the shuffling of the deeds and the paperwork, dealing with most of the accounting stuff. All the stuff I hate to do.

Liz English:                          He’s not so good with talking on the phone to people.

Aaron English:                    Yeah…

Jill DeWit:                            I feel it Liz. I understand, I’m right there with you. I get it, and I’m okay with it. We have the patience, right?

Liz English:                          Right. I figured, we all have our own skillset, and it’s better for everybody if I do the talking on the phone.

Jill DeWit:                            Right? What’s exactly how we…

Steven Butala:                   That’s exactly it. Jill says the same sentence, “It’s better for everybody.”

Jill DeWit:                            As awful as it is, I can handle it better than he can. So, we got this.

Aaron English:                    If I’m having a great day, I love talking on the phone. But, you know… They’re not always great days.

Jill DeWit:                            Now, are you guys in this full-time?

Aaron English:                    Yeah, pretty much. So, we have another business that we run, which is kind of split right now because it’s our busy season. But, when we’re not doing busy work with our other business, then this is like full-time.

Liz English:                          Yeah. And, we have some help at our other business, so it is almost automated completely, but then people go on vacation during busy season, or have family emergencies, and Aaron’s got to put on the other hat, and remember why we automate things.

Aaron English:                    Yup.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Aaron English:                    Yeah, actually joining Land Academy helped me, well pushed me to automate and outsource the other business. So, that made a big difference for us. We’re also trying to automate this business too, but it’s taking a while.

Jill DeWit:                            Cool. Has some of the next level stuff in 2.0… You know, 1.0 we talk about a little bit, has his “What you should be working on.”, “What you shouldn’t be working on.”, has that helped you guys?

Aaron English:                    Yeah, quite a bit actually.

Jill DeWit:                            Good.

Aaron English:                    Yeah, I’m not wasting as much time researching a deal as much, “This is crap, get it out of here.” You know, just focus on something else, try to market this thing and sell it. Get the deals done.

Jill DeWit:                            Isn’t it funny looking back at how you were, I couldn’t even imagine ten years ago… You know, remember when we’ve all tried to find something in a deal, which shouldn’t be there and now we’re like, “Move on. Move on.”

Steven Butala:                   I still do it.

Aaron English:                    Yup, me too. I’m doing one right now. There’s one in County Morgan, I’m like, “Is this a good deal or is this not a deal?” I’m just going back and forth, and [inaudible 00:08:35] but I think we’re going to pull the trigger. But, you know, the experience really helps a lot.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s really good.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, Jill and I were listening to somebody’s show a couple of days ago. And, what she pulled out of it was, “There’s no such this as absentee ownership.” You know, there’s a point where maybe way down the road, especially if you start a company, if you buy one that’s a different story you can put somebody in place and run it. But, for what we do, there is no such thing as just a full-blown absentee ownership. You can get it to where you probably work four or five, eight hours a week, but you still have to approve the deals. And, you know, there’s still… I mean, maybe for our personality types, you can’t just hands off, and just see what happens.

Jill DeWit:                            When you say “our personality types”, you mean yours?

Steven Butala:                   I think… what makes you think that?

Jill DeWit:                            I don’t know, I just took a nice long trip.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, because you knew I was here.

Jill DeWit:                            We have a good team. We have a good team, you know we got this. So, yeah.

Steven Butala:                   So, what’s it like working with your spouse? That’s really what everybody wants to know.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Totally.

Liz English:                          We used to work together with the other business, and then actually before we were married, we both worked a long time ago, for this catering company. We already worked together as part of a team.

Aaron English:                    So, we’ve been working together since… what? 15 years, something like that?

Liz English:                          Probably, close to the beginning of us.

Aaron English:                    15, 16 years? I don’t know.

Liz English:                          Yeah, we work well together but we do have to be careful that we don’t get bossy with each other. I think that’s the big thing, is like nobody tries to be the boss too much where it’s not fun.

Jill DeWit:                            Is one of you the… I have to ask… Is one of you the CEO and one of you the COO?

Aaron English:                    I’m probably the CEO.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Ours goes back and forth.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Although, it was you and now it transferred to me, because you’re doing other things, which is good.

Steven Butala:                   We have other businesses too, so that really helps. I think that it would be really tough. Plus, we have Land Academy and we have Land Sales, now we have House Sales. So, Jill does all the houses, except for getting the date in the mailer and the mail, Jill runs the whole house thing. It seems to be better.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Houses are really, really… Once you jam it through the pipeline, it’s there. Everything’s with [inaudible 00:10:58] so there’s not as much paper. Everything’s on the MLS, so that really sells itself pretty quickly. And then, we have a [inaudible 00:11:07] research buyer list, so it’s almost always sold almost before we buy it.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Liz English:                          Nice!

Steven Butala:                   It’s a good addition to the land operation, like I would never want to just give up land, ever. Like, that’d be crazy.

Jill DeWit:                            No. It’s still the easiest thing on the planet. I love it. It’s the best.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. But it’s a great addition, especially if you got all your costs covered with one operation. Then, everything you do with houses is just pure profit. There’s no real fixed costs, so that’s how I look at it. But, we do have to separate everything. It seems to get worse, not better.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Aaron English:                    Very true.

Jill DeWit:                            All right. So, what are you guys working on right now? Are you investing in other people’s deals? Have you partnered with other people? Are you just adding a zero yourself?

Aaron English:                    A little bit of all of that, really. I’ve partnered with people in the past. Luke… Luke Smith, Luke Harris, both Lukes. Another guy in my other business, he actually joined Land Academy, we’re going to partner on two deals.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s great.

Aaron English:                    Yeah. You know, we’re doing a little bit of everything. We’re adding a zero, so we’re splitting up parcels for the first time in Arizona. Just trying all kinds of new stuff.

Liz English:                          Big learning curve, trying to figure out, “How do we do this?” and “Who do we need to talk to?”, and getting it done.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s great.

Steven Butala:                   Man, there’s nothing more profitable than splitting property.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   You know, you take a property that you buy for four or five or eight grand, you know you can sell it for 16-20, but if you split it, you can sell it for 40. And, it’s just moving paper around. So, I love it.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Aaron English:                    Yeah. I remember that podcast, I was like, “You can split this and triple and double and quadruple?” I was like, “I got to get on this.”

Jill DeWit:                            Yup, and once you’ve figured it out in that county, you know, just go to town.

Steven Butala:                   That’s it.

Jill DeWit:                            And, make some friends there.

Steven Butala:                   I mean, like everything, a right way and a wrong way to do it. I’m a big advocate of getting the APNs first, and not just splitting it. Like, some other members just split it up, “We write the descriptions and just, off you go.” That concerns be a little bit but…

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Aaron English:                    Yeah. We ended up hiring a guy. He’s writing into APNs, legal description, putting [inaudible 00:13:21] in, doing like drone shots, and photographing it and everything, all for like 1400 bucks.

Jill DeWit:                            Great! That’s really good.

Aaron English:                    Yeah. Maybe I’ll put that in resources for you guys.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Aaron English:                    He’s up in Oracle, Arizona.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s cool.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, great.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s the thing I love about our group, we’re all… you know, there’s no reason we can’t all share what we find and help each other out. There’s plenty of deals to go around, and it’s great.

Steven Butala:                   Well, that’s just what I was going to say, it sounds like you’re using Land Academy like the way that we intended it to be used, where your partnership with other members… because that’s how we use it quite honestly. We’ve got a very large deal that’s coming, and we’ve got multiple people that contact us all the time. They have no intention of ever buying a piece of land, they just want to throw money at us. And so, we’re finally getting some pretty large deals and that I know are going to turn fast. Large enough for them, you know, they’re not 25,000 dollar people. They’re half a million dollar people.

Aaron English:                    Sweet! That’s where we want to be.

Jill DeWit:                            So, how many mailers are you guys sending out a month? What are you guys working on right now?

Aaron English:                    Well, right now I’m pumping the brakes because I’m wearing too many hats. But, I think I just sent out, I think it was around 4000-5000. And then, a couple of months ago, I did like 7000-10,000… I don’t really track it that well, but I think it was like 10,000 a couple of months ago, maybe like 7000, which all the APNs were wrong in that 7000 unit mailer.

Steven Butala:                   Did it matter?

Aaron English:                    It didn’t matter. I’m still doing deals.

Steven Butala:                   No worries.

Aaron English:                    I was just getting out of surgery and I’m like, “Let’s do a mailer today.” and I didn’t double check anything, and I was medicated.

Jill DeWit:                            You’re all drugged up, this is a good idea.

Steven Butala:                   Surgery mailer, that’s the name of another [crosstalk 00:15:08].

Jill DeWit:                            Aaron English, how to do a post-surgery mailer.

Steven Butala:                   How to screw up a mailer, entirely, and still [crosstalk 00:15:26].

Steven Butala:                   I’ve been trying to communicate this forever, like it doesn’t matter how many mistakes you make, you’re still going to buy some dirt.

Liz English:                          Yeah, that’s true.

Aaron English:                    Yeah. It’s not the first time I’ve screwed up an APN like that too. You can mess it up, do deals you know.

Jill DeWit:                            Well you know, what’s so funny too is when the people open the mail, how many of them even… They don’t even know what an APN is, most of the time. It’s just kind of it’s there. They wouldn’t know if it’s right or wrong, they’re not going to check it. You know, they see the legal… or you know if it’s got a-

Steven Butala:                   I think it goes like this, “Hey! Remember that property we own in Colorado? Remember that?” “No, what are you talking about?” “Yeah, well we own a property in Colorado. Do you want to sell it?” “Yeah. Yeah, I do want to sell it.”

Jill DeWit:                            “It’s five acres.” “It’s that big, dear?” “Yes, it’s five acres. That’s what this says.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, just like that.

Steven Butala:                   They must know because they sent us a letter.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. [crosstalk 00:16:17]

Aaron English:                    Let’s trust these guys.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s so good.

Steven Butala:                   So, do you guys have kids?

Liz English:                          Yes. We have one kid. He’s nine and a half. He’s fun.

Aaron English:                    Yup. Actually did a deal with him when he was eight. Yeah, bought a little Arkansas lot off of Luke’s website. It was like 300 bucks, and then sold it on terms for like 10,000 and then that note defaulted. So, we took it back and we sold it for like 700. So, he was pretty stoked. You know, he’s like, “Dad made 200 something bucks.” You know, just planting little seeds in his ear, you know.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah…

Steven Butala:                   I can honestly tell you, and we did all of that with all of our kids. And, none of them care at all now.

Aaron English:                    Nope. He’s totally indifferent. I’m like, “Money!” He’s not motivated at all.

Liz English:                          No. I think if we paid him in screen time, he would be more interested.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes. There we go.

Steven Butala:                   I also think, I mean, if we ever took these kids and they stood on the property and was next to something, they would understand it. They can’t understand what’s on a computer screen, and on a spreadsheet. You know, they need to see it and touch it.

Aaron English:                    Maybe, take them out there. Throw some gliders or something.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. If it came with an ATV, and you were out there all afternoon, they would probably remember it.

Liz English:                          I would be shivering.

Jill DeWit:                            You guys are up, like way north Washington state right?

Liz English:                          We’re just north of Portland, Oregon.

Jill DeWit:                            You’re south Washington, okay.

Liz English:                          We’re at the bottom of Washington.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. All right. How’s your weather right now? Is it warm enough yet?

Liz English:                          It’s sunny and nice.

Aaron English:                    It’s sunny. It’s sunny.

Liz English:                          It’s beautiful.

Aaron English:                    I don’t know what to do.

Jill DeWit:                            You know, every person I know in Washington says the same thing and I’m like… When the sun’s out and it’s too warm, they’re like… And with the cool and [inaudible 00:18:12], “That’s why I live here, for the trees and the drizzle.” I’m like, “Really?” Like, “Yup!”

Liz English:                          I love it. I love the sunshine. But, because our other business is a plant nursery, so it’s kind of seasonal. We tend to be super busy and we haven’t gotten to enjoy the Spring as much. And then, this year we’ve got some help and it’s made a big difference so that it’s more enjoyable.

Jill DeWit:                            Cool.

Steven Butala:                   Such an interesting position that we all put ourselves in, because we all start our own company as to have more time and to enjoy ourselves, and it’s always the opposite. It’s always like, “Now, I’m doing 12-14 hour days.” And then, when you do enjoy yourself for a few minutes, or half hour, or even for like a whole weekend, in the back of your head it’s like, “Well, I could’ve done another mailer.”

Aaron English:                    That’ exactly how I… It’s like, “I need to be working right now.”

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Aaron English:                    What’s all this free time? This doesn’t make sense.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   All right. So, you clearly have no issue, or got past how ever you did it, sent put getting just tons of mail, just tons of offers in the mail. This is a huge, huge bottleneck for a tremendous number of people, whether they’re members or not. And, a lot of them are watching this. So, what’s your suggesting about getting over that fear of getting offers in the mail?

Liz English:                          Have somebody else answer the phone.

Aaron English:                    [crosstalk 00:19:39]

Liz English:                          The first the Aaron sent out a big mailer, I had to answer the phone, and I’m a sensitive person, I don’t want all this hate. This is horrible, like this makes my life bad.

Aaron English:                    And, I fire back like, “I can’t answer the phone.”

Jill DeWit:                            Poor Liz. Poor Liz is crying.

Liz English:                          Yeah. I’m like, “This is not what I signed up for.” Like, I want a better quality of life, I don’t want angry people that are mad at me.

Steven Butala:                   Excuse me. I’m a nice person.

Aaron English:                    That’s kind of how it goes.

Steven Butala:                   I’m a sensitive person.

Jill DeWit:                            Look, I’ll tell the idiot directly tonight, sorry about that.

Steven Butala:                   Yup, I agree with you. I do agree that he’s got a problem.

Liz English:                          Well, I think it’s kind of funny because like if I got an offer in the mail and I didn’t want it, I would just throw it away. I wouldn’t like call somebody up and be like, “How dare you?” [crosstalk 00:20:33]

Jill DeWit:                            Isn’t that funny?

Liz English:                          And I’m like, “Don’t you have better things to do with your time?”

Jill DeWit:                            Totally.

Liz English:                          I don’t understand it, but I’m just kind of like, “All right.” Now that I have balls to answer it, it’s better because then we can just respond to the people that are worth responding to, instead of deal with the crazy angry people that just want to vent that they got mail they didn’t want.

Aaron English:                    Yeah. There’s no fear anymore, just swing defensively.

Jill DeWit:                            Are you using ChatLive now, or are you still…

Liz English:                          Yes.

Jill DeWit:                            Good.

Steven Butala:                   Good. How’s that been?

Aaron English:                    Pretty good. Yeah, there’s been a couple issues but we call them up, “Hey, this is for selling.” You know they put it for buying, and then the comments aren’t there. But, 99% of the time, it’s been great.

Steven Butala:                   That’s good.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s good.

Liz English:                          Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m glad. That’s so funny.

Steven Butala:                   I’ve spent a couple of decades trying to figure out what makes everybody so jacked… you know the hate, where does it come from? I have so many stories to tell about people that just go out of their way, “FedEx has terrible stuff.” You know, and I’ve come to this conclusion: they really thought, you alerted them with your offer, somehow, to the fact that this is not their retirement property. They’re not going to make a million dollars on this. They’re walking around thinking, “Well, I bought this, or inherited it, and this is where I’m going to retire. I’m going to sell this thing for three million dollars. It’s 80 acres! I’m going to sell it for three million dollars!” And, no man, it’s worth like 6000 dollars at best.

Steven Butala:                   You know, that would make me mad too.

Jill DeWit:                            I often wonder, I’m like, “What do these people do with all the guys that do the repeat pizza flyers on the door, do they like wait for them and like [inaudible 00:22:11] from the bushes or something?” Because, they come at you. You know, like, “Jeez, it’s just a thing in the mail. I paid for the postage. I’m not at your house.”

Steven Butala:                   Has it caused you to change any of the content or the copy of the text in the mail, in order to soften it?

Aaron English:                    No.

Liz English:                          No, I don’t think so.

Aaron English:                    Same old, same old thing we started with.

Jill DeWit:                            You just get used to it. Now, it’s like I just kind of giggle. You know, back in the day I’d just be like, “All right, I haven’t heard that one before, babe. That was a good one.”

Jill DeWit:                            I swear too though. You know this Liz, that when you answer the phone, and you’re sweet, you know there’s probably a part of there in their pause like, “Am I really going to do this?” You know what I mean? They’re expecting some gruff guy to answer the phone, but then you’re like, “Hi! …” That’s got to be hard…

Aaron English:                    That’s why I got Liz to kind of soften them up.

Jill DeWit:                            Just say, “You sound really nice, but I’m really mad.”

Jill DeWit:                            It’s funny. And then, at the end of the day, how many of those… I always used to take it as a challenge like, “I’m going to try to turn this around.” and a lot of them I did. You know, you probably do that too, or did that back then. Liz, I’m like, “Okay, you’re calling me for a reason. You either don’t want me to ever bug you, done. I won’t mail you don’t worry about. I wouldn’t re-circle your county anyway, or your area. I’m just going to blast and move on. And, the other thing is, ‘Are you calling me because you do want to sell, you don’t like the price?’ Let’s talk…” You know, and I try to figure that out.

Steven Butala:                   Now, [inaudible 00:23:47].

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, we have other people doing it, but… I know, but how many times you could turn it into something, was astounding. It really was when you look at it at life. It’s not all bad, just got to let them vent.

Steven Butala:                   There’s a long period of time where I just only did the deals where they were signed. They were signed and returned back in the mail. I didn’t-

Aaron English:                    This was before you?

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   That’s how lazy I got, because it’s a fact.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   And even then, I would shove them right straight to the [inaudible 00:24:19], have them call them back. There’s a reason we don’t teach that anymore, because it destroys your acquisition yield. But, I could get away with it back then.

Steven Butala:                   So, besides answer the phone, what else… Honestly, you may or may not know how unique you are, because people just can’t… even people who send regular mailers out, stop themselves from multiplying it by two. So, what do you think it is?

Aaron English:                    Well, also money’s not an issue anymore because you have LandTank. We could partner with you guys personally, or go over to Justin at [Plumbed 00:24:58]. So, it’s like money is like, “Don’t worry about the money, it’s just blast a mailer out there and shotgun a county.” You know, just get it out, and see what comes back and then let them deal with the hate. And, if you don’t have the money just call, you got three partners right there.

Steven Butala:                   Well said. You know, you nailed it I think. It’s just see what happens. Yup, something will happen good. So, I think there’s a lot of people who really, and I used to be one of them, it just has to be all mapped out. You have to know what’s going to happen, and then you just don’t do it because you’re just so… You have to give up control. And, be happy about it. You should be happy that you don’t know what’s going to happen. You know, something’s going to happen. I don’t know.

Aaron English:                    Yeah. In the beginning, I was like that. I was doing APN schemes and subdivision, and zip-coding. And then, now I’m just kind of like, I always go back to just the shotgun approach and just like, “Look, whatever. See what happens. We’ll hit some home-runs, maybe we won’t. Get a lot of hate. Whatever.”

Jill DeWit:                            There you go. That’s good advice. It really is. You don’t have to get that detailed if you don’t want to, maybe you’re uncomfortable, whatever. Just get a ball park, and just go for it. That’s it.

Liz English:                          And, there are lots of people who even if they don’t like the price but they want to sell are happy to be like, “No, but I’ll take this much for it.” And then, we can still sometimes come to a good deal.

Aaron English:                    A lot of really good [inaudible 00:26:25].

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Yup. I love that.

Steven Butala:                   Did you ever have a full-blown failed mailer?

Aaron English:                    Probably. We still get a few trickled in, but you know it’s mostly just like, “We want a million dollars for this square acre lot.” I’m like, “Okay, that’s a little much.”

Liz English:                          Actually that was… we still got one that was good so far.

Aaron English:                    We did get one back. Yeah.

Liz English:                          One thing that we didn’t account for was like, we sent a mailer in Hawaii and we didn’t realize how much it was to go through [Tidal 00:26:58] over there, because it’s really expensive even if the property’s small. So, then it was like, well we have to add two grand to every property cost. And then, a lot of the times it’s not worth it to do the deal, even though there’s people that want to sell, and there’s a decent property at a certain price. But, if you add two grand to it, it’s not really worth it.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. It’s nice when you get to that level. You guys are there, it sounds like too, it’s like some deals are just too small. Okay, you know, I could be working on this over here. I might’ve been interested in those buy for 500, sell for 1500 a few years ago. Now, I’m like, no I need to buy for 10, sell for 30 or more, kind of thing, because [inaudible 00:27:43].

Aaron English:                    No more five acre lots in the desert for us anymore, unless they just happen to come in and we’re like, “Okay, we’ll do it for way, way less.” But, [inaudible 00:27:53]

Jill DeWit:                            Yup.

Steven Butala:                   We’re closing on a house, we’re going to net about 45,000 dollars. And, both of us are looking at each other going, “You know what? This is a waste of time.” And, I say this not to brag by any stretch. I’m saying it just, you just keep pushing the bar higher and higher and higher per deal, and trying to set up systems where you don’t actually have to spend as much time, if any, on any transaction.

Liz English:                          Nice.

Aaron English:                    Awesome. Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   It’s amazing. It’s a healthy good entrepreneurial thing, I think.

Jill DeWit:                            Yup.

Liz English:                          Yeah.

Aaron English:                    Absolutely. We’re working on systems and automation, and that’s kind of where we are from this level, we’ll jump exponentially once we get those systems in place. Then, I think we’re going to be full throttle.

Jill DeWit:                            Cool. Are you using BAs for some of the little stuff?

Aaron English:                    Yeah, we’re using Gillian and that crew over there.

Steven Butala:                   Good.

Aaron English:                    A lot of stuff… I use it in my other business too, like data entry and things like that.

Steven Butala:                   So, the nursery business is kind of land driven. Like, are they associated at all?

Jill DeWit:                            That’s a good question.

Aaron English:                    Not really… Well, you can plant trees in the land, I guess. But [inaudible 00:29:05] trees with every land purchase or something, that’s actually… No they’re totally separate. Actually, the nursery business funds the land business for the most part. Now, it’s mostly we can fund the land within the land business itself.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s cool. That’s perfect.

Steven Butala:                   So, there is pretty good profit margin in the nursery business? That’s really what I’m asking.

Aaron English:                    Yeah. We do about 300%, 400% on average mark it up thing.

Steven Butala:                   Great.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s really good.

Aaron English:                    Yeah. It’s just like a lot of tiny little deals, you know, 20 dollars here, 30 dollars there. So, you got to move volume and it’s just labor intensive, you know. You can scale it but you got to buy more land, hire more people, so your overhead goes up, and a million things can go wrong. It’s not as good as the land business, that’s for sure.

Liz English:                          Yup.

Steven Butala:                   Yup.

Jill DeWit:                            Got it. Cool.

Liz English:                          You don’t have land that dies in the off-season or anything.

Aaron English:                    Yeah. When the irrigation fails, you lose your investment.

Steven Butala:                   You know, at real estate business in general, you have so much control. You can turn it off, turn it on. You don’t have to show up. You know, there just a lot of reasons, none of them are by accident by the way, that I got into it. There can be zero employees if you want. I mean, there’s just a lot of good things about it.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s very true.

Liz English:                          That’s nice.

Jill DeWit:                            So, what’s the big picture for you guys? Is it going to take over the other business? Are you guys going to be, two years from now, just approving a few deals and pass it onto your-

Steven Butala:                   -nine year old?

Liz English:                          Maybe not nine year old, but maybe an actual manager and some… We need to put some other people in place to take some of the workload off of us.

Aaron English:                    I want to be an institution and just, you know, fax some papers and then just be like, “Thanks!” And just like e-sign it and have a house in Hawaii, and fishing, and fetch some lobster every day. You know, just living the life. That’s the ideal plan, but we’ll see how everything goes.

Jill DeWit:                            Got it. Is that the same for you Liz?

Liz English:                          I would also like that house in Hawaii, and I would like to just… I would like this business to be so successful that it pays all the bills easily, but frees us of the time, so that I can teach more yoga and do more of the things that I really love. And so, that’s part of my plan, but I think moving to Hawaii and having the food forests, and surfing every day, sounds pretty good too. So, we’ll see.

Steven Butala:                   Well, that sounds good to me too. That’s what I dream of.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m in.

Aaron English:                    You guys can come visit us.

Jill DeWit:                            We will have a live event at your house.

Aaron English:                    Awesome.

Jill DeWit:                            We will come to you.

Aaron English:                    It’s still an imaginary house, but it’ll be there in maybe five years, for sure.

Jill DeWit:                            You’re going to have the dirt here really soon. It sounds like you’re shopping for it.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. We should do… Somebody should do a mailer, a house mailer in Hawaii, and I bet someone will buy a 300,000 dollar house for 30 grand, from an estate or something.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. That would be cool.

Aaron English:                    Honestly…

Jill DeWit:                            Here we go. All great.

Liz English:                          Awesome, that’s so cool.

Steven Butala:                   Well, you’ve done it again. It’s been another 30 minutes or so, listening to the Land Academy Show. Join us next time for another interesting episode. And, we answer your questions posted online, on our online community at It’s free.

Jill DeWit:                            That was my part.

Steven Butala:                   I am sorry.

Jill DeWit:                            You’re all good. [crosstalk 00:32:41]

Steven Butala:                   Hey guys, it was a pleasure talking to you.

Aaron English:                    It’s our pleasure.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Liz English:                          Go ahead.

Steven Butala:                   Do you have any questions for us?

Aaron English:                    No, I think when you guys give us great education so…

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Liz English:                          Yeah. Thanks for making it a teachable system, because I think that made all the difference. When Aaron found it and was really into it, he was like, “Will you get on board with me?” And I was like, “I don’t know. Let me see.” And then I’m watching the videos, I’m like, “Yeah. I can learn this. I can do this. Okay. This is doable. We can do this.”

Aaron English:                    It’s all I talked about for like six months.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m so glad. Does it make it easier too, that you guys are both doing it on the same page. You understand each other. You know, it’s so helpful. And, everybody’s supportive.

Steven Butala:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jill DeWit:                            Hey, are you guys going to come in October? I hope you do.

Aaron English:                    Possibly.

Liz English:                          I don’t know.

Aaron English:                    Yeah, we got to check the schedule. But, yeah. I think so.

Liz English:                          That would be fun.

Jill DeWit:                            Do you ever come down to LA? Or are you just all Washington people?

Liz English:                          Not normally.

Aaron English:                    No, I came to the last event.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Now, you have to come back. I forgot.

Aaron English:                    [inaudible 00:33:42] join the festivities.

Liz English:                          Okay, we’ll ship the kiddo off to the grandparents.

Aaron English:                    Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Perfect.

Jill DeWit:                            Perfect.

Steven Butala:                   We’ve been there.

Liz English:                          All right, thank you!

Aaron English:                    Thanks guys!

Steven Butala:                   All right, thanks! See you soon.

Jill DeWit:                            Bye.

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