It’s not about the Money But it’s about the Money (LA 1003)
Steven Butala: Steve and Jill here.
Jill DeWit: Happy Friday.
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 how it’s not about the money, but it’s really about the money.
Steven Butala: Hey, today’s episode of the Land Academy Show is brought to you by LandTank.com, where you can get your stuff financed.
Jill DeWit: Where’d that come from?
Steven Butala: Oh, and we happen to own the company. I know it’s not in the script.
Jill DeWit: Oh.
Steven Butala: I’m trying something new.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Steven Butala: Try and sound professional.
Jill DeWit: Well I have one at the end. Today’s … I have a different announcement for a different company.
Steven Butala: Well we can do it at the end too.
Jill DeWit: The extra will be sponsored by a different person.
Steven Butala: These are all sell sponsorships.
Jill DeWit: Different companies. These are all our companies. So my thing about your “It’s not about the money, but it’s about the money”, this is a total Captain Obvious moment. That’s what I have to say. You know? I don’t want you to learn this lesson, kid, but I want you to learn this lesson, kid.
Steven Butala: Well, you know where it came from. For me as … There’s just people, a lot of people that say, “Look. You know, I’m really not doing this for the money. I really enjoy it, and it’s my … Okay. It’s my hobby, and I’m putting all the-” It’s about the money, man. Okay?
Steven Butala: Before we get into it, let’s take a quick wait a minute, Steve. You could say that about Land Academy. What are you talking about? You’re talking out of both sides of your mouth again. Oh, you always say Land Academy’s not about the money. You know what? It’s not about the money, but I’m not going to write a check every month for it either. So it’s a little bit about the money.
Jill DeWit: I understand.
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 how nice it is, actually? It’s times like this where I don’t have to say anything, you’re having a conversation with yourself. And you actually cut yourself off, you actually correct yourself, you actually kind of scold yourself. It’s kind of nice. I can just kind of sit back and watch.
Steven Butala: Sit-back-and-watch-your-man-fail.com.
Jill DeWit: It’s like the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other shoulder.
Jill DeWit: Okay. Jason asks, “I’m new, and in the process of getting reading to send out my first mailer, and I’m trying to tie up all the loose ends before I do so. I have decided that I will hire a phone service to take my calls, as I’m looking to scale this and would rather allocate those resources elsewhere. My question around this is, should I take the calls for the first couple of mailers, so I can get a better feel for things? Or start out right away with the phone service? I feel there’s a value in taking those calls, but I also feel that there’s a value in consistency. I would rather start with one number on the first batch, and always have that phone number moving forward. Please let me know your experience as I’m hoping to move one direction or the other by the end of the week.”
Jill DeWit: May I go?
Steven Butala: Yes, this is your area.
Jill DeWit: Okay. Number one, first of all, yes. Whatever phone number you pick, pick one that you can own, keep it forever. As you move, you get different cell phones, different phone services, different … Maybe do it in-house someday. Who knows? And you can just have that number ported in wherever it is, so no one knows that it’s going a different way. And whatever phone service that you end up hiring and using, they will be able to accommodate that. So this is the thing, like Google Voice, that’s not the case. That’s a whole separate thing. So you want to get a phone number and be able to do that.
Jill DeWit: Okay. Number two is, I’m not too worried about who’s answering the phone, whether it’s you or a service, I just want somebody answering the phone. So, if you have a full-time, 9:00-5:00, Monday to Friday job, please get a phone service. Right there. That should be the deciding factor. If you don’t have that, or you know, you work … Maybe you bartend at night, and you have all day during the day. Like your normal business hours are during the day and you can answer the phone, then you should. You know, answer the phone if you can. But if it makes financial sense, I mean that’s the other thing to think about. Can you afford a service?
Jill DeWit: So, that’s my thoughts, or my first two. So keep the phone number, hire a service as soon as you can, and/or make sure somebody, a live body can answer the phone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be you too. You don’t need to get the feel for it. You know why? They’re all recorded, you can listen to them, A. B, you’ve listened to me on the phone because you have our programs. You know what those calls sound like. And C, you’re still having that interaction with the sellers, because all those calls that come in, whatever, whoever’s answering the phone, say it’s PATLive or something like that, they’re logging all those for you. And then you are the one that’s calling them back, and then you’re establishing that relationship with them. So you don’t have to do it right off the bat.
Steven Butala: We have several … This is exactly what happened, two weeks ago on our advanced member call. Every Thursday at 1:00, there’s 20 or so people in the Land Academy group that send out tens of thousands of letters every month. And so we get together, all of us, and Jill and I, and we talk about stuff, and this came up.
Steven Butala: This topic came up. This was the topic. I asked the question to this advanced group, because we’re sending so much mail out. “Do you see it saturated anywhere, or do you see this…?” And a member piped in immediately and said, “No, it’s not saturated at all. And even if it was, the vast majority of the people aren’t answering their phone call, and that’s the reason.” And he said, because there’s a lot of people who send mail out. You know, I talk to the sellers and ask them, “Have you gotten any other offers?” And this is what they say, the seller. “Oh yeah, I’ve gotten several offers in the last several months, but you’re the only one who’s ever answered the phone or called me back.”
Jill DeWit: Or put a number on it too. That’s a … Yeah.
Steven Butala: So, Jill’s … Indeed, your response rate on your mailer will double if not better, how many properties, if you answer the phone on the first ring.
Jill DeWit: Have somebody answering the phone. And then by the way, if it’s you and there are missed calls, this comes up often too. People have said, “Hey, there’s a missed call. They didn’t leave a message. Should I call them back?” Absolutely call them back.
Steven Butala: Caller ID calls.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative). You see what the number is, call them right back. So when you can, call them back. It’s like, “Hey, you know, I just home from work and I got a missed call. I know I sent out some offers in your area.” You know or just, you don’t even have to say that. Just say, “Hey. I just got home from worked and I saw your missed call, and I am wondering if you got a letter from me that I want to buy your property?” And that way, it’s kind of vague too, you know. They don’t need to say, “I sent out 3000.” You know, want them to kind of feel a little bit special, like, “Did you get a letter from me?” And they’re going to go, “Oh, yeah. As a matter of fact, I did.”
Steven Butala: As a Land Academy member, you get a substantial discount for PATLive.com, because you’re part of our group. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest this, and Jill, I want you to honestly tell me.
Jill DeWit: I’ll be honest.
Steven Butala: I’m crazy, right, or not. I think everybody should set up a PATLive account, and even if … So let’s say you plan on answering your phone the whole time, you don’t have a full-time job, and you’ve, you know … We have a lot of members who came into some dough for any reason. This is their full-time thing they startup.
Steven Butala: Are you going to answer your phone at 8:00pm, when you’re out to dinner with your family? No. So turn to PAT, set it all up, and answer the phone from 9:00-5:00, or whatever your numbers are. And make sure that if somebody gets a letter, they come home from work, they call, PATLive is answering it on the off hours. Then you’re going to cover it all. This really matters. Plus, some days, you’re too busy to do stuff. Like you’re too busy closing deals, especially in the beginning. You can just turn a service on, so you’re not interrupted.
Jill DeWit: That’s what I would do. If it were me, if I had the money to do it, I’d just set up PATLive from the get-go.
Steven Butala: Me too.
Jill DeWit: Honestly, that’s just what I would do. I wouldn’t even, wouldn’t even go there.
Steven Butala: You wouldn’t even do the first mailer, just to learn?
Jill DeWit: Nope. Nope!
Steven Butala: Wow, okay.
Jill DeWit: No. I don’t need to. I know what’s going on. I can listen to the phone calls.
Steven Butala: In the past, we’ve said just to learn. The first couple of mailers, you should probably answer your own phone if you can.
Jill DeWit: Well, maybe I’m changing my answer. I’m allowed to do this. You know why? Would you like … I mean, I want to … here’s you. I want to quote Steven. “You know what? I’m an owner. I’m allowed to change my mind.”
Steven Butala: Jill, I was just going to say that. Well we had a staff meeting recently, and Jill said, “You know I’m the owner, and I change my mind.”
Jill DeWit: I got it from you!
Steven Butala: Oh, really?
Jill DeWit: Yeah, you’re the one. I’m like, I didn’t know there was a … You like, “I’m an owner, I’m allowed. I’m allowed to do this.” And yeah, you’re right.
Steven Butala: Today’s topic. It’s not about the money, but it’s about the money. This is the meat of the show.
Jill DeWit: This is really, this is really a Steven topic.
Steven Butala: And it’s Friday, and it’s kind of light. I don’t care what anyone says, ever. Money plays into the factor. And so, I don’t care if you’ve chosen to be a priest, and you’re all set up, and you don’t even get a paycheck but you have a place to live, and you have some stuff to do, and that’s it. One of the reasons that you chose that is because now, you don’t have to worry about money. So it’s about the money.
Jill DeWit: I think you should … It’s a fact. You should think about money, obviously with the majority of your decisions. You know, in life. You know? We were talking to some friends about college and their kids. They really sat down, and I like this too, because they lined it all up, and really were trying to educate their 17, almost 18 year old about picking an in-state school versus an out-of-state school. And then, looking at the different costs of the tuitions. And then talking about housing, like, “Hey, look. Gosh, you have the opportunity to stay at home. I know it’s not the ideal thing, but and it really comes out to money.” They said, “The bottom line is, we don’t want you to graduate and have a six-figure loan hanging over your head.” So it’s about the money.
Jill DeWit: It’s not … You should be thinking of it all the time. Not just about … Even acquisitions. You know? Even in the things that you buy, and how you’re setting up your business. Be smart about it. You know, there’s so many decisions. What’s interesting about us is, we are way more conservative than I think people know about us.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: We don’t flippantly buy things.
Steven Butala: That’s for sure. Conservative about money.
Jill DeWit: We are.
Steven Butala: Not about politics.
Jill DeWit: And when we say … We haven’t talked about this in a while, but I tell people when you’re starting out, and you’re all excited about quitting your job someday, you need to really think about it. When you sit down, and you have a heart to heart, and you say, “I should have done it a year ago,” that kind of thing. That’s when you do it. Not just you’re starting to make money now, and just go for it. Mm-mm (negative). Please be conservative. And that’s really how we are.
Jill DeWit: And to this day, so many of the things that we do, even now, I sit back and go, “You know, we could have done that a long time ago.” Or, “We afforded that whatever,” but we don’t. Because we’re careful with money, too.
Steven Butala: I saw an interview with a doctor, who is with Doctors Without Borders. And he was somewhere in Africa, really doing a bang-up job, really doing well. And the interviewer said, you know, “Was it hard to make this choice to go do this profession?” And he’s a young guy in his 30s. And he said, “Yeah. I mean, I gave up a huge house in the suburbs, and with the on-call hours. And oh this, and this, and this, and this, and this. So yeah. It was really tough for me. But it’s not about the money for me right now.” And the interviewer said, “Well you could always go back to that, right?” And he was like, “Oh yeah, I could go back to that next week.”
Jill DeWit: That’s a good example of the other way around it.
Steven Butala: So it’s not about the money? No, it’s about the money. You can always have … He’s put himself in a position where, in his younger years, he’s going to go do this altruistic stuff which is great. But then you’re going to go back to the money. So, it’s about the money.
Jill DeWit: Or you know what though? Even if it’s made his decision, his decision is, “I can accept this lifestyle. I can afford this lifestyle.” Whatever you want to afford, you know you can tweak it either way.
Steven Butala: When I got out of college, the first thing I did was get a commercial real estate, full commission job. And fully accepting, and I had my lifestyle, I set my lifestyle up so that I knew I was going to make zero. Like zero. So, you know, I ended up making like $32 thousand bucks, or some number like that, which is you know, tough to live on. But the next year, I made like $280 thousand dollars, and talking to everybody, that’s kind of what you can expect. So, it was about the money.
Steven Butala: And I’m not tooting my own horn here. It was just, you know. I’m going to live without money for this amount of time, and then I’m going to go make some money. So money was a huge part of that decision. And there’s no way I could do that now. I have you know … $30 thousand wouldn’t cover Jill’s diamond habit.
Jill DeWit: Oh, thanks. That’s not nice.
Steven Butala: I’m teasing. Jill’s … Of all the women in this plant, I have never met one better about managing money than Jill, and that’s the truth.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Steven Butala: And I was just joking.
Jill DeWit: It took me a long time to get here. Trust me.
Steven Butala: Oh, really?
Jill DeWit: Yeah. Well yeah, as far as managing money, I was one of those stupid kids. All my money went to concert tickets, that’s it. Every dollar I spent went to concert tickets. It was hilarious. That’s when I was a kid, of course, you know. But I didn’t know how to save money back then. Now I do.
Steven Butala: So you have a real estate career, and you’re listening to this. So you’re either buying and selling property, or you’re thinking about it. Or God forbid, you’re entertained by this. You are wondering, maybe you want to make more money. You know I’ll tell you, this is how you do not make money in real estate. Find a property, buy it, and then try to resell it for as much as you possibly can. So just get all of it, get all of it out of it, so to speak. That’s absolutely not how to go about doing this.
Steven Butala: Send out mail, get a consistent acquisition deal flow going in, and make $10-20, maybe $30 thousand bucks per property. And get the machine moving so that you’re doing 10 of those a month. Now you’re making $3 million bucks a year, and you’re going to turn around and say, “I can’t believe it.”
Jill DeWit: Right. If you want that.
Steven Butala: It’s about the money. It’s absolutely about the money.
Jill DeWit: Well I still believe that some people … But for some people, they want to make $100 thousand dollars a year. Seriously. I believe that.
Steven Butala: And that’s fine. My point is, don’t maximize all the transaction value, because you’ll end up really frustrated.
Jill DeWit: Maybe I’m $50 thousand dollars a year. I don’t know. Maybe this is a side-gig for some people, whatever it is. Everybody has their own level, I think. But, at the end of the day, you know.
Steven Butala: When someone says it’s not about the money, this is the end of it. I hear this on TV, or anywhere. “It’s really not about the money for me.” It’s absolutely about the money.
Jill DeWit: Especially when they’re sitting there on CBS Good Morning, and they’re talking about their book.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Is that what you mean?
Steven Butala: You’re sitting on a talk show, about a book you just wrote. That’s not about the money? Or here’s another one that cracks me up. All proceeds … What is it? All net proceeds go to charity.
Jill DeWit: Oh. That means my salary came first.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Steven Butala: The thing grossed a million bucks, my salary’s $990 thousand dollars. So we sent all the net proceeds, $10 thousand dollars, to charity.
Jill DeWit: That’s pretty darn funny. Okay. Anything else you want to add on this?
Steven Butala: No. No, we know your time’s valuable. Thanks for spending it with us today. Join us in the next episode. Well, join us for another interesting episode next time.
Jill DeWit: Yep. And we answer your questions posted on our online community, LandInvestors.com. It’s free.
Steven Butala: You are not alone in your real estate ambition.
Jill DeWit: That was really, really, really good.
Steven Butala: It’s so fun sometimes, to have topics that don’t have to do with real estate. In fact, here’s what’s happening, audience. We know that you get frustrated. Or at least we get emails about your frustration about us talking about stuff like this. So, we’ve decided to launch a new show, called the Jack and Jill Show, next month.
Steven Butala: And from this point forward in general, it’s a Land Academy show and we’re going to talk about land, because I think that’s what you want and that’s fine. And the House Academy show, we’re going to talk about houses. And on the Jack and Jill show, we’re going to talk about silly stuff like we did today.
Jill DeWit: Okay. And to wrap it up, today’s show was brought to you by Offers 2 Owners.
Jill DeWit: No, but seriously. Today is the last day that you get … Today is the last day to take a special advantage of the offer coming from Offers 2 Owners. All orders over $500 dollars get 10% off. No limits, you can do as much as you want, as many orders as you want. Just they got to be over $500 bucks, 10% off. Check out Offers2Owners.com.
Steven Butala: Every single order is 10% off?
Jill DeWit: Yep.
Steven Butala: Wow.
Jill DeWit: I know.
Steven Butala: Like 10% off the top?
Jill DeWit: Yep. Yep. Well wherever you are watching, and wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate 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. And we’re giving away mail this week, apparently.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steven@BuWit.com.
The BuWit Family of Companies include:
I would like to think it’s entertaining and informative and in the end profitable.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes.