Land That Sells Fastest (LA 998)

Land That Sells Fastest (LA 998)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hi.

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 the type of land that sells the fastest, and slowest, and medium, and all other types of land where you can make hoards of money on it. It just might take a little bit longer.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

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

Jill DeWit:                            Jeff asks, “Hi everyone. For those of you who have a transaction coordinator, I was wondering how much you pay them? Hourly, by the deal, et cetera? And are they in-house or virtual? Thanks.” This is-

Steven Butala:                   I know. I put this in here for you.

Jill DeWit:                            Perfect!

Steven Butala:                   And I will preface this, Jill’s answer, by saying this. If we had 10 transaction coordinators overnight, magical dust, and they were all good ones that we could work with and work together well with, we would overnight be doing 10 times the number of deals.

Jill DeWit:                            Ding, ding.

Steven Butala:                   If you leverage that whole mail system by sending these blind offers to owners, we can times 10 that in a half hour. As far as financing and funding deals, on the back end of acquisitions, times 10 overnight with the people in our group, and with pulling money from different places. The whole problem, the whole bottleneck has always been, for me, and always will be, getting good people to do these deals.

Jill DeWit:                            So here’s the thing. I have not, and I would not do a virtual transaction coordinator. I have had the best luck having them in-house, and in an office. Around me, too, by the way, especially while they’re learning. So, that’s my first thing. I have tried in the past, too. This is a really good question, very timely, because I’m hiring more right now. I’ve tested having a transaction coordinator, and then boots on the ground, separately, where the transaction coordinator … Jeff’s in our group. I think I know who this Jeff is, and then we have boots on the ground below them that are out there doing different parts of deals, like really for House Academy. But you can use a transaction coordinator for land or houses. It’s great.

Steven Butala:                   And should.

Jill DeWit:                            And should. So anyway, I’ve tested, Jeff, I’ve tested let’s see what the boots on the ground can do on their own, being their own transaction coordinator, because every now and then there’s a little bleed over as to who does what, so until they just figure out their roles and figure out how it works. But so I thought, “You know what? One time I’m going to try without a transaction coordinator, give the whole thing to the boots on the ground and see if they can do both.” I found that did not work. So I want to save you.

Steven Butala:                   And vice versa.

Jill DeWit:                            So yeah. And yeah. You can’t have a transaction coordinator in this city doing deals, and two states over without a boots on the ground, because there are-

Steven Butala:                   Two separate talents, by the way.

Jill DeWit:                            … times that they do need that physical presence against this kind of … Physical presence more for houses than land is really what it is. And that’s really where you have a boots on the ground. That’s when you need it. So my things are I would hire in-house. I would hire part-time if that’s all you have starting with the hopes of going full-time, and like Steven just said, eventually you’re going to have four transaction coordinators, because it’s the greatest thing on the planet.

Jill DeWit:                            Salary wise, I think that all varies based on the city that you’re in, and the knowledge that they bring to the table. I like them to have some kind of escrow title experience, understanding. Yet I don’t want too much, because I have to undo some of their thinking a little bit, because the way we do land deals is different than what they’re used to. If they’re used to a stack of forms, and you go from a stack of forms like this to a stack of forms like there’s three pieces of paper, that’s kind of it. Because remember, we have no agents, we have no lenders, and if it’s a piece of land, there’s no inspection even. It’s just getting the deal done. That’s it. And managing it with an escrow agent. That’s the whole thing too.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m trying to think what else. I just don’t know what to say about this, because I’m in the middle of hiring right now too. I’m literally reviewing resumes today. Steven’s been doing a bunch, and gave me his favorites, and now I’m taking it from there to hire another person.

Steven Butala:                   Here’s what I look for.

Jill DeWit:                            I like the attitude. My last thing I was going to say, attitude. There’s so much that I can teach them if they come with the right attitude, and I’ve found that in our staff as well. I need an underlying knowledge of some stuff, but you don’t have to be a rock star. I can get you the rest of the way.

Steven Butala:                   I would prefer 10 years of core escrow experience, and I don’t mean escrow manager. Escrow managers walk around and look over escrow agent’s shoulders. They do any work.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Real estate agents themselves apply for positions like this in droves, because they’re failing as real estate agents on full commission. The sound of making 30 to 50 to 60 thousand bucks a year really sings to them, and they suck. They can’t do a deal. They’ve never done a deal.

Jill DeWit:                            Good advice.

Steven Butala:                   All they’ve done is push paper around, sign some stuff, and they’ve never-

Jill DeWit:                            They’ve never read them. They don’t even know what the contracts say.

Steven Butala:                   They don’t know where the county is. They don’t read any contracts. They look good. They dress well, but that doesn’t get you, that doesn’t line your bank account the way it should be lined. So if they don’t have escrow experience, but they are a high-volume broker assistant, we’ve had real good luck with that. They’re non-licensed agent, have no interest in being that, but they’re a designated brokers assistant that they’re just tired of that person’s personality. Who isn’t? Ask that guys wife. He’s tired. She’s tired of him too. So it has to be someone whose done a lot of deals.

Steven Butala:                   I have also hired people in the past who say, if you ask this question, can you do a deal from start to finish? Everyone says yes. “Oh, I’ve done 15 deals. I’ve done 50 deals.” In our case, I’ve done almost 16,000 deals, together we have. Here’s what I’m really asking. Have you sent a mailer out? Have you called and talked to the seller, negotiated the deal, processed all the paper work, lined up a notary, or gone through title, and micro, micro managed the title agent all through it’s fruition? Have you launched your own website? Have you done … and now that number of everybody who says … You think they do these deals? Because doing deals is sexy, right? No it’s not at all. It’s a tremendous amount of hard work.

Jill DeWit:                            It goes from that to that many people.

Steven Butala:                   And it’s tons of phone time and yelling at people. That’s what doing a real estate deal is. Very, very few people are qualified to do that. There are some seasoned escrow people that are very good at it. It’s a hard position to fill.

Jill DeWit:                            It is. It’s good.

Steven Butala:                   And most of the good ones, they just want to do their own deals anyway. They just don’t have the dough, so got to fight that. So I don’t want to be negative, but it’s a tough position to fill, and once you get them, you got to keep them forever, and keep them happy.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   How much should you pay them? It really just … That all is local.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s what I think.

Steven Butala:                   Paying somebody in Los Angeles is totally different than paying somebody-

Jill DeWit:                            In Texas.

Steven Butala:                   In Texas or Arizona, which is probably half. So I look to what that numbers are on escrow agents, and just pay above that, and you’ll get somebody good.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic, land that sells the fastest. This is the meat of the show.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, I think I answered it yesterday. Just kidding. So we’re done, right?

Steven Butala:                   Land that sells the fastest is an incredibly inexpensive property that has fantastic access, beautiful views-

Jill DeWit:                            [inaudible 00:07:57] some attribute.

Steven Butala:                   It’s ridiculously cheap, but at the same time, more than you paid for it, and it’s large. It’s 100 acres or so.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. You know what this is?

Steven Butala:                   The four A’s.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. We haven’t talked about that in a long time. It’s good to go back. Let’s recap the four A’s shall we? This is something that Steven came up with a long time ago, and it was way before Land Academy. This was just what we should be looking for when we’re buying property. It has to have the four A’s, hopefully all of them. If not, three good ones that make up for the one it doesn’t have.

Steven Butala:                   Acreage: more is better. Access: county runs the best. Affordability: the cheapest is the best. And an attribute, like close to the Grand Canyon.

Jill DeWit:                            A lake.

Steven Butala:                   Unbelievable … Yeah. Close to a lake.

Jill DeWit:                            Views.

Steven Butala:                   Beautiful views.

Jill DeWit:                            Heavily treed.

Steven Butala:                   Treed.

Jill DeWit:                            You know, something awesome about it. Maybe flat so you can really use it. That can be an attribute too, by the way.

Steven Butala:                   But really works at the end is if you buy property for less than half than it’s worth wholesale. When you go to sell it, what I’m finding with our group, the further we get into Land Academy is that they’re innately becoming problem solvers about access, and any kind of title issues. They’re doing adverse possession foreclosure actions on their own from their kitchen table.

Jill DeWit:                            [inaudible 00:09:26].

Steven Butala:                   So talk about a group of entrepreneurs.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, I tell you.

Steven Butala:                   So you need … That’s the way to get some just stupid cheap property. We’re doing an adverse possession deal in Arizona right now for 38 acres with a house on it, and the whole thing at the end is going to cost us in two grand, and most of it’s fees. So those types of deals are out there, and if you can just solve problems, you’re going to buy some unbelievable property.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   But cheaper is better.

Jill DeWit:                            Things that don’t sell the fast are if it doesn’t have any access, you know? And maybe there’s deeded access, but not physical access. That counts. They need to be able to get out there and see it. You want both. Really unique properties that it’s very specific use and not a lot of buyers for it, those are harder to move, too. It’s going to take a little time. So like you have the perfect [inaudible 00:10:19] and you buy it, right? And it’s great, but there’s a certain person that’s going to put that kind of a house on that kind of a lot, that maybe is going to take a little bit of time. Some of these movie-star ranches. Those, when you get to big acreage, or big volume, the beauty is you do fewer deals a year, and they yield a much more money, flash however, they take a little bit longer. So one of the things I just love to do is I love having a variety of things going on at the same time, you know?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, me too.

Jill DeWit:                            So I never think about that where I’m like, “Oh great! That one sold. Gosh I kind of forgot we had that. I’m watching these.” So, that’s great.

Steven Butala:                   It’s all about price. If you have the cheapest property, somebodies looking for property in Mohave County, Arizona, and they go the MLS and they look up land on or Redfin, and you have the first property because it’s the cheapest, or the same is true with LandWatch, or Land And Farm, or anyplace else, you’re going to sell that property fast. But it needs to be real. There needs to be no trickery about it, access or any of that stuff, or silly little fake listings that some people do. You just have to be real about it.

Jill DeWit:                            I was just going to say kind of a version of that, land that also sells the fastest has good pictures, maybe a video, maybe a drone. It’s all spelled out in there, and you’re marketing it to the right people. You have it on Facebook. You have it on Instagram. You have it on Craigslist. You have it on maybe the MLS, because maybe it qualifies for that amount. That makes a difference.

Steven Butala:                   Selling property quickly has never, ever been a challenge for us. I’m trying to think if there’s anybody in our advanced group Land group who has complained about that.

Jill DeWit:                            No.

Steven Butala:                   We all have like one or two properties and it’s like, “Wow. I wonder why that took-

Jill DeWit:                            Well, we all know why.

Steven Butala:                   … three weeks to sell instead of three minutes?”

Jill DeWit:                            Well, we all know why. We talk about this on our member calls. Everybody says that. “I knew it when I bought it. I knew the access was going to be an issue, and that one took me 90 days. I was ready for it.” Every single one of us has gone, “Yeah. I knew why.” And usually it’s that, or they said, “Yeah. I know I overspent for that one. That’s why. That’s what’s taking so long. Okay. I’m going to hang out with it.” Stuff like that.

Steven Butala:                   Well said.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm.

Steven Butala:                   Hey, we know your times valuable. Thanks for spending some of it with us today.

Jill DeWit:                            Join us next time, next week for another interesting episode, and we promise we will answer some of your questions posted on our online community at It is free.

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

Jill DeWit:                            It’s Friday. By the way, I have to tell you, we are two shows away from Show 1000. And I just want to say-

Steven Butala:                   That’s amazing.

Jill DeWit:                            I know. Please listen next week. It’s going to be amazing. I know we’re doing some stuff. And by the way, too, there is a Offers 2 Owners deal coming soon. So if you’re listening, you’re sending out mail, we can help you with that. Check out and get our free eBook over at Land Academy, and you’ll be in the loop for the email that is coming out very soon with our special. Wherever you’re watching, wherever you are listening, please subscribe and read us there. 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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