Episode 1000 – The Story of Land Academy (LA 1000)

Episode 1000 – The Story of Land Academy (LA 1000)


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 DeWitt, broadcasting from sunny, Southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today, Jill and I talk about episode 1000.

Jill DeWit:                            What? What? Can you believe it?

Steven Butala:                   The story of Land Academy.

Jill DeWit:                            I am so excited. I am jacked. I have been looking forward to this. This is a huge, huge, huge, huge milestone. You know that. Come on.

Steven Butala:                   I’m amazed.

Jill DeWit:                            I mean, some people don’t even get to show 100, let alone show 10.

Steven Butala:                   That’s the truth.

Jill DeWit:                            Man, here we are at a thousand.

Steven Butala:                   This snuck up. I mean, I looked at it, I don’t know, less than a month ago. I looked at the numbers and I’m like, how’s this possible?

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, my gosh. Remember back when we used to joke about having, well, you’re one of five. Now you’re one of 10. Just kidding.

Steven Butala:                   One of 10 listeners.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Man, so much has happened since we started this show.

Jill DeWit:                            I know. I can’t wait. We’re going to talk about it.

Steven Butala:                   It’s been a life-changing experience for Jill and I. In fact, I’m going to ask Jill right now. Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the LandInvestors.com online community. It’s free. Well, in this case…

Jill DeWit:                            You put the question in?

Steven Butala:                   Because I am a-

Jill DeWit:                            Aw.

Steven Butala:                   … I’m an active Land Investors community member.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes, you are. We still let you participate.

Steven Butala:                   It’s one of the few things I still get to do. I’m going to ask Jill was it all worth it?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   It was totally worth it for me, too.

Jill DeWit:                            Totally worth it. Can’t believe it. I mean, really, when you think about the early shows and the trials and tribulations of equipment. It was so funny, too. You just had a friend that… One of these things that, Steven has a way of making it look easy and we had a friend that, like, hey, you guys have a thousand shows. So, really, it’s not that hard, right? And he’s like, hey, what equipment should I go get? And Steven CC’d me on the email and it was a pretty good list of the equipment that we have now to this point.

Steven Butala:                   Accumulated, really.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Trial and error accumulated. That camera didn’t work. That mic didn’t work.

Jill DeWit:                            My whole thing of just do it right out of the gate, by the way. If you’re going to do something like this, don’t mess around. Don’t use your camera on your laptop and don’t use your earbud from your cell phone. It’s not how you want to do it. You want to get good stuff and make it good, because your listeners will appreciate that. But, yeah, there’s times we had wind and static and all kinds of-

Steven Butala:                   Oh, jeez. You name it.

Jill DeWit:                            We’ve done it indoors, outdoors, different locations. If you’ve been watching and listening to us for a while, gosh, it was in… We’ve had home studios. We’ve had offices. We’ve been in Scottsdale. We’ve been here in California. We’ve done it from the road. Hotel rooms. It’s really good, so anyway, was it all worth it? Heck, yeah. And are we stopping? We’re stopping now, right? This is it.

Steven Butala:                   Make it good.

Jill DeWit:                            I thought that was all, right? 1000. Okay.

Steven Butala:                   Show 1000. The title of today’s show is not Show 1000: All Good Things Must Come To An End.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Got it.

Steven Butala:                   No. It’s The Story of Land Academy. Was it worth it?

Jill DeWit:                            Was it worth it for you?

Steven Butala:                   Until 2015, Jill and I were moderately to fairly successful real estate investors.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   I’ll say, well, we were doing great, okay? We really were.

Jill DeWit:                            We were exactly as successful as we wanted to be.

Steven Butala:                   That’s right. Well said.

Jill DeWit:                            We were doing the level that we wanted and we were very happy. We could’ve gone bigger or floated downward, but we were just cruising where we wanted to be.

Steven Butala:                   For some reason, it just made sense for us, she and I, I remember sitting down on your girlfriend’s coffee table-

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Taking a yellow pad and a pencil and kind of just sketching it out.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   And for some reason, it made a lot of sense to both of us to get on the air and talk about buying and selling land.

Jill DeWit:                            It made sense to you first.

Steven Butala:                   Did it?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, yeah, well, because remember, you came to me with this whole podcast idea. I didn’t realize the value. I did not know. Hey, that was four years ago, Steven.

Steven Butala:                   I know.

Jill DeWit:                            And I wasn’t… We didn’t commute. I’m like, well, who’s going to listen? I mean, I doubt you work out to this kind of stuff. That’s all I could think about. I thought you work out with the headphones on. I didn’t think you really walked around and drove listening to this stuff. Four years later, here we are.

Steven Butala:                   It was absolutely worth it. But until 2015, we were moderately to fairly successful real estate investors, houses and land. And occasionally commercial property and Land Academy itself, the whole intent was, hey, let’s start this company called Land Academy and we’ll get some members and get some partners.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   We’ll kind of educate some people and the cream will rise to the top was the theory.

Jill DeWit:                            They’ve been asking, we’ll do it.

Steven Butala:                   And so I’m thinking, trying the play the whole thing out in my head, so we got a handful of members in this universe of members that are willing to pay a subscription fee, that see the value in the data that we’re providing on a subscription basis and now some of these other products and they can be our partners. That can put money in if they want or they can actually do the deal or whatever. And jeez. I mean, our revenue and the amount of deals that we do has… I can’t calculate it. Dramatically increased since we started this. So it truly is a win-win situation. We get to profess all this knowledge that I thought was relatively useless until we started Land Academy.

Jill DeWit:                            We’re saving.

Steven Butala:                   And now we get to make more money because of it, doing more transactions, so it really is a win-win, giving it back, this is kind of the meat of the show, but-

Jill DeWit:                            It is the meat of the show.

Steven Butala:                   Was it worth it? Heck, yeah, it was worth it. Would I do it all over again? That brings me to my next point. We are doing it all over again.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Well, I was going to say, too, that I mean all along, everything we’ve been doing is supplying stuff that people can’t get. What we provide is access to tools and things like that much cheaper and much easier and the education… That’s not what this is about, but I wanted to just say that your subscription isn’t to have access to us.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, that’s right.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s the whole thing.

Steven Butala:                   That’s right.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s not what it is. Everything we do and even with this show-

Steven Butala:                   It’s access to the data.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, you know what?

Steven Butala:                   And breakthrough webinars and stuff and access to our other members.

Jill DeWit:                            How many podcasts, by the way, are riddled with commercials and riddled with this and riddled with things like that? We don’t subsidize anything that we do.

Steven Butala:                   Well, it gets subsidized.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, I mean, I’m trying to say-

Steven Butala:                   From our bank accounts. Trust me.

Jill DeWit:                            What I meant was I’m not selling Serum Du Jour space on my show. You know what I mean?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. It’s not. We don’t advertise Salesforce or something.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s exactly what I was going to say. I wasn’t going to drop a name, because we don’t need to drop a name, because now they’re getting free advertising, thank you. But you know what I mean.

Steven Butala:                   So how do we celebrate this? By launching another freaking company.

Jill DeWit:                            Right?

Steven Butala:                   Called The House Academy.

Jill DeWit:                            And by the way, it goes live to the public tomorrow, so just so you know, you may have heard it here first, you may have seen some stuff coming out, but yep, tomorrow, you can get… the House Academy’s going to be here.

Steven Butala:                   I’m proud of this.

Jill DeWit:                            The program.

Steven Butala:                   I mean, this is maybe one of the greatest professional accomplishments I’ve personally ever had. This Land Academy. It’s not so much buying and selling the land. That just was really natural. It was a natural extension of all the other real estate stuff we were doing and it still is. I’ll tell you, Land Academy itself was… It’s very, very difficult for me, to this day, to get in front of a camera. It’s way out of my comfort one.

Jill DeWit:                            So funny.

Steven Butala:                   I’d rather just crawl in a hole, write a book, or write a blog and so-

Jill DeWit:                            You’re so good at it, though.

Steven Butala:                   It’s worth it. It’s worth it now. Well, I think I pull it off. I don’t think I’m good at it.

Jill DeWit:                            I think you’re kind of over it now.

Steven Butala:                   And the thing is, too-

Jill DeWit:                            It’s kind of like you have to-

Steven Butala:                   … if you listen to the show regularly, you know this. We get heartfelt responses from our members about how we’ve changed their life. I think Jill’s got one cued up here.

Jill DeWit:                            That was the next thing I wanted to talk about. I mean, so the story of Land Academy, you kind of got the backstory. We were investors first, doing our whole thing. We had enough of our customers that wanted us to share what we do. Who knew? Who knew it would turn into this? When we started Land Academy, I never thought of House Academy. I never thought of the other things that are coming and the other shows. Didn’t even cross my mind. And then, and the investors you just mentioned, and the level of success that our community’s experiencing is phenomenal. I think really what it means is we’ve attracted really smart people.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Here’s what I look at. I think this is Land Academy. All we’ve done is attracted really smart people, properly conveyed how we do it. They’ve taken it, made it their own, and made it even better. That’s the best thing. It’s like raising children. You want them to do better than you. You want them to make more money than you. You want them to be wildly successful. Because then it goes like, hey, I did that. That’s what it’s all about. And that’s, for me, Land Academy. That’s our community. So, yeah, in a minute I’m going to share one little thing.

Steven Butala:                   I mean, I think that’s one of the values of having a successful show. Our numbers consistently have gone up, since day one, for this show. I mean, we haven’t… We were just talking about this. Our stuff didn’t go viral. We don’t spend any real money, if at all, on promoting the podcast. In fact, I don’t think we spend any money.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Our numbers consistently and slowly grow, month over month, but more than that, what we’ve inadvertently done, without intent, is attract, because of this show, mostly, people that understand data.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   And the value of data and the role in the real estate and the mail and offers and we’ll continue to… We’ve got a lot of great things coming up. Great tools that… I spent a lot of time researching new ways to contact offers to owners, new data sources and all that stuff. I mean, really, I think that’s where this group’s so amazing.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   We have some amazing people in this group.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep. And I have one little story I’m going to share. I just got an email. I’m not going to name names, but you know who you are. There’s several people on this site. There’s several people named in this little thing, so, basically, I’m going to say my wife and I would like to come again. It says: Hi, Jill. I just got this on last Monday. Hi, Jill, my wife and I would like to come to your wonderful event again in October. Do I need to do anything special to get our spots? By the way, it’s funny, not to caution or worry everybody, but we’re actually pre-selling a lot of seats and it’s going quick. It’s funny. Thank you so much.

Jill DeWit:                            And it says I’ve been writing you and Steve an email since January in attempt to express how much your mentoring has meant to us. No words seem to do it justice. There it sits, in my drafts. I don’t know if you know, since I’m such an awkward nerd when it comes to communicating on the weekly webinar, social media, but my wife and I have been doing deals with Member A and Member B ever since the event last year. Jill, when I came to that event, I was so tired of doing everything alone in isolation. Now I chat daily with those guys and several others since the event. I just wanted you and Steve to know you are appreciated. I don’t want to be one of those that disappear to be never heard of again. Take care.

Jill DeWit:                            So it’s not really about the event or anything. It’s just about the community and about the people. And I love getting these and please never stop sending me these. I love getting these notes. Now I will cry about how our members are doing and how well they’re doing and even just little I’m putting food on the table. I love hearing that. I don’t need to hear, hey, we’re retiring next month, but that’s good, too. But even just a little, gosh, this took the pressure off. I’ve got college paid for now and that’s why we’re here.

Steven Butala:                   Jill, I couldn’t hope for a better co-host.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. I agree. Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   And Jill and I started this show, well, when I started this show, I was constantly booking guests on my own, which if you’ve ever tried to do is tough-

Jill DeWit:                            This is funny.

Steven Butala:                   And they’d just forever not show up.

Jill DeWit:                            Or we had some not good ones that you said, “I can’t air that.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Well, yeah, that, too. So Jill, she had a… We worked out of our house back then. And she would come downstairs from the back bedroom that we were using as her office and I would ask her to sit down and just, at the drop of a hat, do a show.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   And it worked out great. I mean, I’m-

Jill DeWit:                            Those were fun.

Steven Butala:                   … not sure she was really happy about it, but…

Jill DeWit:                            You haven’t gone back and looked at those. They’re kind of fun. You could see we have this screen behind me and you’re just like tell me about your deals, okay? They’re fun.

Steven Butala:                   No, was it worth it? It was absolutely worth it. Based on our numbers of listeners and based on the responses that we’re getting like and constantly get just like Jill just read and the majority of the responses we get are people who are members in our group. I know if it’s true to form in the industry or any industry, for every one person that is a member, there’s at least 10 or 11 that are out there listening and benefiting somehow.

Jill DeWit:                            And learning and-

Steven Butala:                   And that’s great.

Jill DeWit:                            I love it.

Steven Butala:                   I mean, that’s what we want.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. I’m happy to help people, from wherever you are.

Steven Butala:                   Me, too, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            Whatever group you’re in or not in the group. You’re just trying to figure it out. That’s one of the things about us. We never hold back. We’re always transparent. I’m never going to tell you, “No, I’m sorry, that question is reserved for X group or something like that.”

Steven Butala:                   No.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s not who were are.

Steven Butala:                   Or, “You sound like you’re a candidate for our $50,000 club.”

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   That will never, ever happen.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s so funny.

Steven Butala:                   With us.

Jill DeWit:                            That cracks me up. Still cracks me up so. That’s a good one. Everyone. That’s good.

Steven Butala:                   Hey, thank you, sincerely.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes.

Steven Butala:                   This is a heartfelt, now, going the other way.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you for listening. Thank you for being part of this with us.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   You are valued and the reason that we do this.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   And the reason that Jill and I are now starting House Academy and next month, we’re starting a show called The Jack and Jill Show, which has nothing to do with real estate [crosstalk 00:15:18] but more to do with life. Inspiration and inspiration. Hey, we know your time’s valuable. Thanks for spending it with us today. Join us next time for an episode called Why Land Academy Members Are Partners and How We All Win Together.

Jill DeWit:                            And, of course, we will still continue to answer your questions posted on our online community, LandInvestors.com. It is free.

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

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. That’s so good. I loved that.

Steven Butala:                   A thousand shows, man.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. That’s a lot, man.

Steven Butala:                   That’s amazing.

Jill DeWit:                            And I can’t believe House Academy’s going live tomorrow.

Steven Butala:                   I know.

Jill DeWit:                            So for anybody just out there, it’s going to be fun to see. You listeners that are members, you already know. You’re already doing it. Many of you. So, but if anybody else is… You found us and…

Steven Butala:                   I couldn’t have hoped for anything better.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   With not just the shows and stuff and the episodes, but the whole company. And thank you, employees and staff. You guys are awesome.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   You will never hear that-

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. You know what? We haven’t thanked them in a while. We have a great team and you know what? We do thank them, but I haven’t thanked them on the air in a while. We thank them privately in the office, but we couldn’t do it without them. We couldn’t do this without you. Thank you. Wherever you are listening or watching, I’m going to stop before I cry. Please subscribe or rate us there.

Steve and Jill:                     We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   Information.

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration.

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property. I’m super proud of you.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Same here.


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