Why Land Academy Members are Partners and How We All Win Together (LA 1001)

Why Land Academy Members are Partners and How We All Win Together (LA 1001)


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, we talk about why Land Academy members are partners and how we all win together.

Jill DeWit:                            In case you were wondering, we do use Audition because you’re looking at it now on your screen.

Steven Butala:                   I’m going to leave that in.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m waiting.

Steven Butala:                   In case you were wondering …

Jill DeWit:                            Waiting, waiting.

Steven Butala:                   In case you were additionally wondering, that’s why there’s two people instead of one on this show, to catch our errors and make fun of each other.

Jill DeWit:                            There you go.

Steven Butala:                   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.

Jill DeWit:                            You know if it was a bad hair day, I wouldn’t have said anything. I would have just let it go.

Steven Butala:                   Oh you just want to see yourself?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, no I don’t want to see myself but I would just let that…that would be really funny to just do a whole show and just show only the Adode Audition surrounding..super funny.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay here we go.

Jill DeWit:                            Ben asked, I have a seller wanting to sell a 30 acre property, however, it’s part of a 75 acre lot. Contacted the seller and asked where his 30 of the 75 acres are. He tells me that the lot is not devided and just that he owns 30 of the 75.

Jill DeWit:                            This is hilarious.

Steven Butala:                   We’ve all been there man.

Jill DeWit:                            This is great. So I call the county to confirm and the information and they say “Yeah, he owns 30 but not any specific part of it.”

Steven Butala:                   That’s what the county always says.

Jill DeWit:                            This is great.

Steven Butala:                   Yep you figured it out. Anything else?

Jill DeWit:                            Sure yeah. That’s great. Even after getting a copy of the plat map and it shows the 75 acre lot with several names on it, but not devided in any way. Also, the seller is the 100% owner of his APN so I would assume that everyone with a stake in the lot would have their own APN. It’ great.

Jill DeWit:                            I have another seller just like this only a different lot size. This is funny, this reminds of the other day like buying property with smart people, in certain areas. Anyway.

Steven Butala:                   I’m not going to touch that.

Jill DeWit:                            Is there anything different that can be done with these or should I just move on? Thanks.

Steven Butala:                   He should move on.

Jill DeWit:                            This is good.

Steven Butala:                   Here’s why.

Jill DeWit:                            Did you put this in or someone.

Steven Butala:                   Well, me and Kevin.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay, right.

Steven Butala:                   It’s a combination of Kevin’s answer and mine.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Kevin our moderator on the site.

Jill DeWit:                            Right

Steven Butala:                   Go ahead Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. So one of the responses that’s already typed in there that Steven was conveying on the community, it says “Seller has a fractional interest in the lot, 30 of the 75 acres. Some counties do assign separate APN to each owner. Very confusing. This is probably a deal to walk away from.”

Steven Butala:                   Exactly, so and this shouldn’t turn you off if you’re relatively new in this or even if you’re really experienced there’s…I’m going to simplify it right now. I’m not going to over simplify it, I’m just going to tell you how it is and it’s not..this is very, very, very rare and but it’s an interesting point, so I included it.

Steven Butala:                   There’s two ways that multiple people can own property. Fractional interest, which is what happened here or co-ownership, there’s three ways. Co-ownership like Jill and I always do and like everybody does this day and age, where two LLC’s or two people own a piece of property together. If one person passes away, the other person owns it all.

Jill DeWit:                            If they did it right.

Steven Butala:                   If they did it right. Joint tenants with rights for survivorship. What used to happen is, if two people own a property, Jill and I own one property, 50% of it, she gets and APN and I get an APN.

Jill DeWit:                            Isn’t that awful?

Steven Butala:                   It’s terrible.

Jill DeWit:                            I know and it’s hard because then go, like if I, say I walk away with my APN and I want to sell my APN, well that’s great. Well now the new guy owns half with him and nobody can still do anything without the other person.

Steven Butala:                   Right. So and the county’s learns very quickly, specifically in Southeastern California, that this is a disaster, however there’s a lot of these properties out there.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, they still exist.

Steven Butala:                   You Kevin’s really right here, you don’t really own the 30 acre property unfortunately. You own like 28% of all of it.

Jill DeWit:                            Right

Steven Butala:                   And it’s just a mess.

Jill DeWit:                            And again, you can’t do anything without the other person.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. The third and final way is, I own a property with Jill, I pass away but it’s not in joint tenants, it’s tenants in common, and I pass away and my half of the property goes to my heirs. And that’s a mess too.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly

Steven Butala:                   The whole answer, the silver bullet here is this, buy property that’s either owned by one person or it’s owned by multiple people and with joint tenant’s with rights of survivorship and man I’ll tell you since I’ve been in this since the 90’s, that’s all I see. And the vast, vast majority 99.8% is what I just described.

Jill DeWit:                            And this is why too you want to find out quickly. You know I have cheat sheet that I share. If you ever want a copy, email my team and you can have it for free. I always ask right away when you have them on the phone and they’re calling you back “Hey is everybody on who’s listed on this alive and able to sign?” You need to know that because, if “Yeah it’s just my wife and I, we’re both on there and she’s in the kitchen making tea right now.” Fantastic. Now we can go to the next thing. Because if they’re not, this would smoke this out right now. The last thing you want to do, this happens sometimes, is get too far into the process and then this pops up and you’re like “Great”. You know and you’re only buying part of it or something like that, you know. That’s not fun.

Steven Butala:                   So it leads you to this question or it should, “How do I avoid getting these in my mailers at all cause I don’t want to even send them in a letter?”

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   And here’s what you do. You key word search for capital UND, which stands for undivided interest, for the most part, this will cover, for the most part, it’s not a silver bullet but it will cover most of it. And get those out of there. After you’ve downloaded a bunch of data and you’re finding that like 40% of the property are UND, you hit a county like that. There’s only a few in the whole country, I would scrap the whole mailer.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s good advice.

Steven Butala:                   Because data’s cheap.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah

Steven Butala:                   But mail’s not. Just forget it.

Jill DeWit:                            Mail’s not. So you spend $150 on the data, big deal. Just start over. Cause the hassle and time and the work and the headaches are not worth it. Good information.

Steven Butala:                   Those properties all end up back to the lender or back to the county for back taxes. This stuff happens.

Jill DeWit:                            Because you know what happens, even now and then, there’s one I can think of right now. Every year we get the county tax bill and it’s us with some other person cause it was bought so long ago whoever was doing the transactions back then

Steven Butala:                   You know who did that deal?

Jill DeWit:                            I don’t know?

Steven Butala:                   Because it was done before Jill arrived. His name’s Mark Badalski.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh. Really? Seriously?

Steven Butala:                   Yep

Jill DeWit:                            That’s hilarious. So yeah I know I see the tax bill’s come and it’s half of one or our companies with this other guy and I always go, there’s that property again. And I’m sure he’s not paying the taxes either because he thinks we are. We’re not paying the taxes because we don’t really care at this point because we don’t know where to find this guy. But if you accidentally bought an undevided interest in a property.

Steven Butala:                   I’ve heard stories. You can go do adverse possession actions on this and [crosstalk 00:07:36] for foreclosures.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s not worth it.

Steven Butala:                   Not for this one it’s not. But there are members in our group, Joe Martin is one of them where he seeks these situations out.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s true.

Steven Butala:                   If you can make $200,000 bucks on a deal, and somebody is willing to sign over enough interest so you can do a foreclosure like that.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep

Steven Butala:                   That could be your whole business. We just don’t choose to do it.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   And you shouldn’t either if you’re brand new.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic, members are partners.

Jill DeWit:                            And how we all win.

Steven Butala:                   Why Land Academy are partners and how we all win together and how we learn how to read at the third grade level. This is the meat of the show.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s one of those days. Are you coming. You know what? Is this a celebration? This is show 1001. This is…come here. This is show 1001. It’s not a typo. It’s not show 1 even though it sounds like it. It looks like it today.

Steven Butala:                   This is my first day. Sorry.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s right.

Steven Butala:                   My first day of third grade.

Jill DeWit:                            Do you know what this is? It’s like you get a new check book right and you can’t start with check number one. Remember like back in the day. Everybody started with check number 1001. I cant’s use check one. I look like I’m brand new here and it’s kind of silly. But that’s what it looks like with our show today. Can’t be which episode 1001. They started with 1001. No, no, it really is 1001. We just can’t.

Steven Butala:                   You know how you have like 5 or 8 memories of first grade and 5 or 8 memories of second grade and all that. Here’s one of my memories, of one of those grades. The teacher asked me “Steven, come up here. I want you to read you’re own writing in front of the class.”

Jill DeWit:                            Oh no.

Steven Butala:                   And of course, I can’t read my own writing.

Jill DeWit:                            This is a good one. I’ve never heard this story. What did you do?

Steven Butala:                   So. Because it’s atrocious. I sat there and probably cried or whatever. This is what I remember cause it’s traumatic.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s hilarious. She’s right.

Steven Butala:                   The whole point was if you guys can’t read your own writing how do you expect me to read it.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   And so.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s pretty darn funny.

Steven Butala:                   Here I am sitting in front of the camera not being able to read and I was probably traumatized so much that

Jill DeWit:                            That explains a lot.

Steven Butala:                   Actually you know what, I’ll uh.

Jill DeWit:                            You don’t write a lot of notes. You email and you do stuff so it maybe did hit home. Thank you for sharing. This had to be very difficult today. Thank you for sharing that.

Steven Butala:                   Jill’s been wondering why doesn’t get any handwritten notes from me for 10 years.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   You’ll interpretate, interprate.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s awesome.

Steven Butala:                   I send you a valentine’s card every single year and

Jill DeWit:                            I get an excel attachment.

Steven Butala:                   I get a love note on excel.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. All right got it.

Steven Butala:                   Why Land Academy members are partners and how we all win together. That’s better.

Jill DeWit:                            I like that. Do you want to go first?

Steven Butala:                   No. Go ahead.

Jill DeWit:                            Man. This is awesome. When we started out with this whole Land Academy idea, I knew that we didn’t want to make it a big thing. It really was trying to help out people in our community. You know maybe that’s why it’s grown to this. We were already doing deals with these people as wholesalers and we’re getting to know each other and you know they’re wondering “How the heck are you buying them?” And we were say “Okay go to CoreLogic, get this data.” Download, do this. It’s direct mail. You gotta put a number on it, you know, you gotta do this and this and this. And that’s where we started. And so Land Academy was just a natural progression of all we did is tell what we’ve been telling of our kind of friends/customers at the time.

Jill DeWit:                            Really telling them in a more formal and more organized way, that’s Land Academy the program. Here’s our whole business model. We didn’t think it was a big deal and a big secret, you know and if you want to do this better we can help you. Or if you’re somebody new that’s, just even other, that’s the whole thing other investors came to us like “Hey, I like what you guys got going on here. What do you guys do?” Okay, here we go. And we’re still that way. We still walk around, you know, you’re talking about the guy on the back of the boat, the boat broker, you know if she really said “You guys, this is really interesting. Hey can I buy you guys a cup of coffee cause I’d like to ask you some questions?” We would say “Sure”. That’s really how we are.

Jill DeWit:                            So, and that’s why our members are our partners. It really is, that’s our community. And I love that we don’t have a huge 4000 member community that I couldn’t possibly get to know them.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Me too. I would cut it off long before that.

Jill DeWit:                            Well you did.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            We kind of did. We used to have a visible cap on there. Remember we took that off because we didn’t anybody to get worried thinking, you know, I didn’t want anybody to think this was a sales thing and there’s a limit and you know, I didn’t want to scare people into like, “I better enroll cause there’s only five slots left.” I didn’t want to do that, so we took those numbers off. But by design, you know, we really have this great group of partners and that’s how I see our community. And what’s great is now when we say partners we really mean partners. We’re doing deals together, they’re doing deals together. And we really are all getting better and doing better transactions together. The stuff that I get to be involved in right now today, the transactions and the volume and the dollar amount and this size is way more than I would be doing on my own. You know..

Steven Butala:                   Here’s an example, a working example. When Jill and I were buying and selling land together in our back bedroom, we were buying and selling rural vacant land and it stopped right there and we were killing it. We were making a great living. Everything was fine, in fact it could have gone on forever just like that. A lot like our members.

Steven Butala:                   Well then we started Land Academy and we started to accumulate members and we started doing webinars and they were giving us feedback and we were doing deal reviews like we do every Thursday. Deals would come up like, well this isn’t really rural vacant land, for whatever reason this guy found an infill lot, that’s between two properties and I’m sitting there explaining to this member “Well you can’t price this at like $180 an acre. This is a whole different thing. It’s valued on the cost of the house and what you can sell it for.” And he’s looking at me cross-eyed and like all right I need to do Land Academy 2.0, infill lots. And then it became houses. Well I used this methodology, remember Justin was saying. I used this methodology and I just bought 14 apartment buildings with my partner over here.

Jill DeWit:                            Well we’ve been doing it too.

Steven Butala:                   And I’m like “Wait a second, it works this way on how you value it. You shouldn’t be sending mailers out and all that. Now that’s House Academy.” So then, people are coming to us saying, “I got this great deal, it costs $80,000 bucks. I know it’s worth $200 grand, Jill starts deal funding. We end up being, god knows how many deals we’ve done with deal funding.

Jill DeWit:                            Do you know what it is, we’re solving problems. Hold on a moment. It just hit me now.

Steven Butala:                   So those are our partners, is my point.

Jill DeWit:                            Well yeah. Really all it is is, that everywhere along the way everybody’s asked for it, we’re like “Okay, we’ll do it.” “Hey. You guys teach us how you do it.” And we couldn’t do it one off. I mean it really is true. I used to say, Land Academy came about because there’s only two of us and we couldn’t spread the word fast enough. So we put it in a program so we could help more people. Period.

Jill DeWit:                            And then they said “Oh and now we need, you guys are killing it over here with this CoreLogic data.” And we did say, “Go get CoreLogic. Call this guy. Here’s what I spend. Here’s what you need to do. You seen how we use it. Got get it.” And the next thing you know, there was enough of them, it was cheaper for us to do it all as a group. And I’m like, “Hey. We can keep the cost down

Steven Butala:                   Way cheaper to add our members to our existing, like, our mother ship account.

Jill DeWit:                            Dual license for miters.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. Because we had the history and the background and we could do it and get it and negotiate a better rate.

Steven Butala:                   Then it was for them to go get the whole thing. And so then it just launched from there. And then so we bought now a bulk mail company. It’s way cheaper to mail through us, cause we only send it to off owners. We’ve got a staff that helps do the mail merge and the whole thing.

Jill DeWit:                            Well my point with everything is, our members are our partners and we all win together. Everything we’ve done is been because people asked. Our online community. People said “We want to talk to you.” Okay. Our weekly member calls. “Can we connect with you every week?” Okay, here we are.

Steven Butala:                   “Can you look at my mailer before I send it out?” So we launched the Deal Review.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Hey. Can I talk to you about X, Y, Z? Yep. Hey, we want to meet you in person. Yep, all right we can do that too.

Steven Butala:                   So this is the long way of us saying, we all win together and if something is holding you back, as a member or not, reach out to us and if it’s in a long list of stuff we’ve already gotten, we’ll develop a tool for it and be your partner.

Steven Butala:                   Like Infilllots.com. That was because Mike Marshall, a guy that’s in our group, is an expert at seeing what you can do with property so he and I, well all of us together, developed it as partners and we helped people see what they can do with their land.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly

Steven Butala:                   So, there’s way more that we could mention here that. At the risk of sounding..I don’t want it to sound like we’re selling anything.

Jill DeWit:                            No. That’s not what it’s all about. No. For me it’s just about explaining the value and why we’re here. And you know what? Like yesterday, we thanked people, I’m going to thank you guys here too. Cause you know what, like I just said, you know, I’m getting a better deal now on my data too, by the way. And I’m getting a better deal on my mail too, so thank you for being part of it. We do all win together. You know bulk and spreading it all out, we’re all winning.

Steven Butala:                   You know what this reminds me of, and we’ll kind of close on this, I read an article recently with Elon Musk and he said “The number one complaint that they get, constantly getting complaints are, that there are not enough charging stations.” So he looked into it and he’s like “Well the reason that.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s good.

Steven Butala:                   Did you read this?

Jill DeWit:                            No. Tell me.

Steven Butala:                   “The reason we don’t have enough charging stations is because somebody will plug their car into a public charging station on Friday when they get home from work and unplug it on Monday when they leave.”

Steven Butala:                   Actually that case study was in Laguna Beach

Jill DeWit:                            I’ve seen it.

Steven Butala:                   And so he’s like “We’re going to solve that.” And within days, once the car is charged, they can tell how’s it’s metered and once the car is charged, you get charged a dollar a minute.

Jill DeWit:                            Brilliant!

Steven Butala:                   It’s like a parking meter. You’ve got to move your car when it’s done.

Jill DeWit:                            Brilliant. That was good.

Steven Butala:                   You know, he responded to his customers complaints quickly. Not complaints, but like “Hey. It would be cool if we had this.”

Jill DeWit:                            “Hey. We need to solve this problem. And he did.

Steven Butala:                   That’s what Land Academy is. And House Academy.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s really good.

Steven Butala:                   Join us next time for the episode called “Keeping up with internet technology in real estate acquisitions and internet sales. Wow. That’s a long title Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes. It’s a good one.

Steven Butala:                   What is it? You read it.

Jill DeWit:                            I love this one. Keeping up with internet technology in real estate acquisitions and sales. And we answer your questions posted on our online community landinvestors.com. It is free.

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

Jill DeWit:                            Listen mister “pick on my titles.”

Steven Butala:                   It’s not only that you’re not alone in your real estate ambition, you have an incredible amount of patience for our hack pod cast. Show number 1001.

Jill DeWit:                            1001. Not one. 1001. So…hey by the way, in case you’re curious, just a little thing that my team wanted me to share but House Academy is live to the public today. We are so excited. Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Wherever you’re watching, wherever you’re listening. Please subscribe and rate us there.

Steven Butala:                   We are Steve and Jill. Information and inspiration. To buy under valued property.


If you enjoyed the podcast, please review it in iTunes . Reviews are incredibly important for rankings on iTunes. My staff and I read each and every one.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steven@BuWit.com.

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