Is it Wrong to Send Low Value Offers to Owners (LA 1004)

Is it Wrong to Send Low Value Offers to Owners (LA 1004)


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, is it wrong to send low value offers to owners?

Steven Butala:                   Is it?

Jill DeWit:                            This is hilarious.

Steven Butala:                   You know, you might offend somebody.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s so funny. I’m allowed to say-

Steven Butala:                   Somebody might get angry with you about receiving an offer that’s not up to their expectations. You might inconvenience somebody and put a little dent in their day.

Jill DeWit:                            How is that possible? You’re not inconveniencing anybody, seriously. So, I have a lot to say.

Steven Butala:                   Out of all the stuff I own, cars, motorcycles, boats, I would love… this is an open invitation, for anyone to send an offer on any of that stuff. I’d be happy to talk about it with you, all my stuff’s for sale.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Before we get into it… I have a feeling though you-

Jill DeWit:                            I have some stuff I’m holding back.

Steven Butala:                   You and I have a… yeah, have pretty close the same opinion on this.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

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

Jill DeWit:                            [Jeff S. 00:01:14] asks, there are few operations… I’m thinking about… there are few operations to get a deed signed and recorded and I’m curious, what type of mail you guys pay for and why?

Jill DeWit:                            That’s [inaudible 00:01:27] okay.

Jill DeWit:                            Do overnight, priority, certified, when sending to a notary, from the notary, to the county and back. Do you fold the deed up or put a big paper-sized envelope? Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   So, you know Jill, this is one of those questions that… and I hand picked this question for this show. It’s a tiny little detail that I think… it’s a combination of all these little details in this business that freak people out.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   So-

Jill DeWit:                            Do you want me to share?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, walk us through.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Jill DeWit:                            So, the first thing when I’m mailing somebody we’ve negotiated the transaction and I’ve a notary coming to Mister or Misses Jones’s house, on Tuesday and I got to get the documents to the notary. I can’t just email her an attachment, have her print it out, which I do as a backup, because there’s a payment involved. So there’s going to be an envelope going out.

Jill DeWit:                            So first thing I do is I speed… time kills deals, we’ve talked this. So, I do overnight it and I do want to arrive the next day. So, let’s say it’s Monday and I’ll set up the signing for Thursday, just in case, right? So, Monday to have the envelope arrive, Tuesday in case there’s a goof-up, I have Wednesday, and then they’re going to do the signing on Thursday. But I do spend for the overnighting of it.

Jill DeWit:                            Then… and I do USPS it’s thirteen dollars, I want to say. I use the full size, I don’t fold it up I put it in a manila envelope. The deed and an envelope inside there that says, at signing, hand to seller, and that’s for the notary to give to them. And then I also put in there a one page instruction sheet, just to make sure the notary has my contact information, has the signers information, and everything, so they can connect. And then also in there, I do, fold in half another overnight prepaid USPS envelope for them to get it back to me.

Jill DeWit:                            So, what’s going to happen is, it’s going to go overnight, the notary’s going to get it, do the signing, hand them the envelope, and then they’re going to take the completed deed, put it back in my manila folder and put it back into my regular size USPS overnight envelope to get it back to me. That’s really the thing.

Jill DeWit:                            Now, from there, I’m not in any hurry. Because, now it’s done they’ve been paid, now I just need to get it recorded. At this time I’m already trying to sell the property. But then when I do, send it into the county, I do, do the… I don’t pay extra postage, I don’t need to get it there overnight, so I do, maybe the 5 or six 6 one. But I still keep it in a nice envelope, and I do, tracking on there, just because I want to make sure that I see that the recorder receives it.

Steven Butala:                   There’s tracking on everything. About 5 years or so, the post office finally got up to speed and got tracking involved. In those… it’s USPS priority. Priority envelopes, that’s what it is.

Jill DeWit:                            The flat rate-

Steven Butala:                   Before that, we used UPS. Do you use Do you use software?

Jill DeWit:                            No [crosstalk 00:04:37] I just do the USPS dot come.

Steven Butala:                   Okay, so [crosstalk 00:04:38] software.

Jill DeWit:                            Right on their site, and it keeps my return information in there, it’s really easy to add in an email, for tracking. I also do… when I do tracking, I’ll send the tracking information to… I’ll put the email in there of the notary, so they can see-

Steven Butala:                   See notifications.

Jill DeWit:                            …and watch the envelope coming to them with the deed, because there’s a check in there.

Steven Butala:                   Right, cashiers check.

Jill DeWit:                            I want to make sure that the notary gets it.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   What percentage of the time, if at all, does the post office fail?

Jill DeWit:                            Now, at this rate, zero.

Steven Butala:                   Okay, that’s what I thought.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   We’ve tested this pretty hardcore. We’ve used FedEx and just about went broke, USPS is now, I think, the best solution.

Jill DeWit:                            It is.

Jill DeWit:                            You know what I also do to just as a little side note? When I’m selling the property, and now I’ve signed the deed, say the person bought the property, they checked out on my website the money was all handled that way, but I need to get that delivered deed to them, with recording instructions, I still put it in a regular USPS flat rate envelope, I’ll do the 5 or 6 dollar one, not the overnight one, there’s not a rush, and I put it in the manila envelope and send it to him. Why? Because, it’s a big deal. And when these guys are plopping down, they gave us a couple thousand dollars for a piece of property, I don’t want it folded up with a regular stamp on it, and look like it’s not important. But when it comes in a big envelope like that, and it’s inside a file, and my thank you letters in there, and the deeds all signed ready to go-

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, there’s a-

Steven Butala:                   And a little hand written note, sometimes.

Jill DeWit:                            …they love that.

Steven Butala:                   In a colored cover.

Steven Butala:                   There’s… presentation counts.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   You’re right.

Jill DeWit:                            And I do the 5 or 6 dollar one.

Steven Butala:                   Usually some maps, some printed out maps are involved. We have a whole package.

Steven Butala:                   You know? We’ve never talked about this, I don’t remember ever talking about this in episode one thousand and whatever this is.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   It’s like opening an iPhone, you just… the packaging matters.

Jill DeWit:                            It does make a difference, that’s true.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic, is it wrong to send low value offers to owners? This is the meat of this show.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay, I’m dying this… okay Steven, why… why… Steven picked this topic. And I’m like, why are we talking about this?

Steven Butala:                   There’s some chatter about this on the internet.

Jill DeWit:                            I didn’t know.

Steven Butala:                   And that’s the real reason, because I think it goes without saying. But, spoiler alert, the sarcasm on this show is going to go… about to go through the roof.

Jill DeWit:                            We can all identify. Right now, I have one of your motorcycles for sale on Offer Up. It’s a fact. Was I offended when someone came in way to hot on the offer? Would I have said, back off dude, I’m reporting you. No, I don’t care. My response was, hey thank you very much, that’s nowhere near my bottom number, if you want to try again and I even said, I’m like, I’m not messing around. I came back with, look, thank you very much my bottom number is X, let me know is that works for you. And what’s funny is, he came back again, not at my bottom number and I reiterated, my bottom number is X.

Steven Butala:                   That’s it.

Jill DeWit:                            And that’s it. And I’m not… it’s not wrong-

Steven Butala:                   No.

Jill DeWit:                            …he’s not trying to-

Steven Butala:                   It’s not offensive.

Jill DeWit:                            …scam me.

Steven Butala:                   No.

Jill DeWit:                            I don’t think of… it’s like, if you think this is wrong then you should be… every time you’re at the checkout counter, no matter what you’re buying, you should say, “I know that this is the sale price, but I need to pay the full price.” What the heck, who does that?

Jill DeWit:                            You would always just see the sticker price on a car and just go, “I guess that’s what it costs.”

Steven Butala:                   The root of this problem… because I thought about this for a while, and like most shows… the root of this problem is, are you taking it… are these people being taken advantage of somehow? All the people that I’ve ever spoken with, all throughout the years, people I respect, this is a hot button for some people.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   They, for some reason, believe that real estate as a product type or as a commodity or something that you buy and sell, is entirely and completely different than a gallon of milk, or a shop broom, or an automobile. For some reason, this product type evokes this thing where you need to be responsible as a buyer, and I say air quotes, responsible, and give that person what that property is worth, that day.

Jill DeWit:                            Who says that?

Steven Butala:                   A lot of people, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            No real-

Steven Butala:                   And I’ll tell you right-

Jill DeWit:                            …estate agents say that.

Steven Butala:                   Hold on. I know that you don’t… you’re not aware of this because during the early days, when not the whole world was sending offers to owners. There was a big, big issue, especially with back tax property. Where, you would just pick out the people… pick out all the properties that have accumulated back taxes in a county and send them an offer, obscenely low. Just to get… you know what? We still do, we still do that-

Jill DeWit:                            It’s not-

Steven Butala:                   …in an adverse possession way. So, but it’s not… I’m not taking advantage of anybody, they’ve already told the whole world they don’t want the property, and they’re not interested in paying the taxes.

Jill DeWit:                            Right, and they’re walking away.

Steven Butala:                   So, this is how I look at it. This is the real meat of the show.

Steven Butala:                   I’m solving your problem.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s true.

Steven Butala:                   And that’s what… when you get into this, if you’ve never sent out an offer campaign, there’s no way you could know this until you actually do it yourself. When you send one out, the people are going to sign it, you’re going to call them and say, yeah I’m ready to buy your property for ten thousand dollars, and I know you don’t say this but you know it’s worth twenty.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   And you know what they say?

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   Thank you.

Jill DeWit:                            How fast can I get the check? Did you… can we do it on Tuesday? Because, I’m leaving town. That’s what they say.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, I was just thinking about one thing, when you… you brought up a good point that some people said, taking advantage of people. Some do, and that makes me mad. So, this is a whole different thing that I want to just reiterate. We’re sending good, solid, non-sleazy, nothing gimmicky offers, and we all get those in the mail. So there’s a little bit of a difference, and there are people out there that I do think are not nice. They send, open this letter today, your properties about to be-

Steven Butala:                   To avoid foreclosure.

Jill DeWit:                            …foreclosed on, or all this bad stuff’s going to happen. Now that stuff is mean, and that is wrong, and I don’t agree with that.

Steven Butala:                   I agree.

Jill DeWit:                            So, there is a sub-group, which we don’t associate with, that does stuff like that. I don’t know who those people are and I don’t want to know those people.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Well, no one who pulls tricks, that are like tricks.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   There’s a whole section of people in this planet that believe that, the only way to make money is to screw somebody over. And that’s not… that’s where… this is all wrapped up in that.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   And there’s nothing wrong with sending tons and tons of offers to people that are signed properly and you’re following through and you have an internet presence and you’re buying peoples property and solving their problems.

Jill DeWit:                            We’re all shopping for the best price of everything, I don’t care if it’s a piece of property, a car, a suit for an event you’re going to, come on, you’re all shopping. We’re not going to say, you know what? This is really high quality I think I owe you more money.

Steven Butala:                   It’s an interesting topic, it’s one that we haven’t talked about in a long time-

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   …and I think it’s clearly obvious where we stand on it.

Jill DeWit:                            Totally.

Steven Butala:                   I’d like to have a psychiatrist on the show on day.

Jill DeWit:                            Wouldn’t that be funny?

Steven Butala:                   To find out where this comes from. To find out… because, to finish my thought here, if you’ve never sent out an offer campaign, and you really should, by the way, but if you’ve never done it, there’s no way you could know this but, there’s a certain number of people that call back or write back, that are very offended by this offer.

Steven Butala:                   I’ve tested this, I’ve sent offers for full price, I’ve sent retail offers, just to prove a point in the past.

Jill DeWit:                            And then what was the response?

Steven Butala:                   Same thing, there’s-

Jill DeWit:                            They’re still mad.

Steven Butala:                   …certain percentage of people are livid.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   And it can’t be the offer amount, I just think that they’re offended that… a lot of them are really concerned that we have access to their data. We have access to… and a tremendous amount of data.

Jill DeWit:                            Correct.

Steven Butala:                   About their property-

Jill DeWit:                            That makes sense.

Steven Butala:                   …and if there’s a mortgage on it, and what’s going on. I mean, that’s a popular question when we send these offer campaigns like that.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s very true.

Steven Butala:                   Where did you get this information?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   So, I think that might be part of it too.

Jill DeWit:                            I understand that.

Steven Butala:                   None of this should stop you.

Steven Butala:                   So, to answer the question, is it wrong to send low value offers to owners? No.

Jill DeWit:                            Nope.

Steven Butala:                   Is it illegal?

Jill DeWit:                            Nope.

Steven Butala:                   No. Is it unethical?

Jill DeWit:                            Nope.

Steven Butala:                   Exactly. We’re right on the same page today.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   We know your time’s valuable and thanks for sharing it… some of it with us today. Join us next time for the episode called, The Top Three Things to Review Before Buying a Piece of Land.

Jill DeWit:                            And we answer your questions posted on our online community,, it is free.

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

Jill DeWit:                            I got to tell you, I’m so excited right now, just so you know.

Jill DeWit:                            House Academy podcast is out there and live. So, if you don’t get enough of us here, you can listen to that show too, by the way, just so you know.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. [crosstalk 00:13:39] a couple days ago actually.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   House Academy Show.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep, it’s there, it’s live, just sharing that.

Steven Butala:                   We have a whole flipping operation. A whole house, wholesaling flipping operation, that’s been going on for years and years, a decade, actually, more than a decade. And we just haven’t really focused on it, and so we started talking about it on this show.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   And everybody-

Jill DeWit:                            What are you guys doing over there?

Steven Butala:                   …wait a minute. So, we launched the whole thing.

Jill DeWit:                            Here we go again.

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

Steven Butala:                   We’re Steve and Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            We’re Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   Information.

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration.

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.


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