Member Justin Sliva Shares Land Academy Success Stories (LA 1016)

Member Justin Sliva Shares Land Academy Success Stories (LA 1016)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here. Welcome to The Land Academy Show. Something a little bit different this Wednesday. We’ve got Justin Sliva with us just coming off of some bear hunting. I want to hear all about bear hunting, raising little kids, and then … Because I’m sure, in this order …

Jill DeWit:                            I got one.

Steven Butala:                   What’s going on with the deals that you’re doing?

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, and the latest car purchase.

Justin Sliva:                         Okay. Bear hunting. Well, we went to an amazing place in northern Ontario, Armistice Outfitters. Great group of guys. They have a concession for 20 miles of all the bear in that area. So 11 hunters went up. We were the third week of … Hunter season’s three weeks long. Our first night to hunt, and eight of the 11 … Sorry. Six of the nine hunters that went out got a bear, ranging from the size of 80 pounds to 325 pounds.

Jill DeWit:                            Wow.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. Fast forward, the next day I go back out in the morning, sit up in a tree, because I wasn’t one of those.

Jill DeWit:                            I was going to say [inaudible 00:01:00]

Justin Sliva:                         Wasn’t one of those, so I go back out to my stand where we’d seen a lot of bear, or they’d seen bear on camera. Spent about eight-and-a-half hours in a stand. Don’t see a bear. Then the next day, I go out for two different stints, four hours and four hours. Don’t see a bear. See how this going, right?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Are they hard to miss?

Justin Sliva:                         No. They’re big and black. They like to growl at you and sniff, and stuff. Day three goes by. Seven hours in a stand. No bear. So I’m getting a little frustrated. Day four comes up. I’m like, “Hey, I’m going to this one stand.” We have camera time that he’s been there at this time. Slide up there. 15 minutes after I told myself, “I’m going to leave, because I haven’t seen a bear yet,” there’s black … At this time of year, there’s black flies and mosquitoes up there, so they’re just swarming nonstop. If you know what a black fly is, it looks like a little flea, but bigger.

Jill DeWit:                            Whoa. [crosstalk 00:02:06]

Justin Sliva:                         I’m in a full gillie suit up in the stand. I see like something kind of just shoot by my left eye, so I’m like, “Oh, okay.” So I look down and I’m kind of back between some trees, back in a cut, and all of the sudden, this big, brown, cinnamon, black bear just like … He looks at me, I look at him. My gun’s sitting across this way. I’m like, “This is the bear legends are made of.” If you get this bear on your first bear, you never hunt bear again. You just brag about it. So he looks for me, I look at him. We have like this moment of clarity of like, “I’m here to take you.” He’s like, “Ah, crap. I wasn’t supposed to come here today, but I accidentally popped in, and you’re here. This isn’t good.” I hit the safety on my gun and go to point, and he just dove into the bushes, and I couldn’t get a clean shot.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, man.

Justin Sliva:                         So 11 hunters went on our hunt that week. 10 of them got bears. One of us didn’t. Yeah. So expensive camping trip. I went with my biological father, my brother-in-law, and my biological father’s hunting buddies. He’s a world-class hunter. He’s hunted all over the world. So I got to spend some time with him, got to know him. But I look at the pictures of the trip they went on and the trip I went on. They were totally different. I sat in a damn stand getting rained on the entire time while they were doing world-class fishing. I mean, they fished for northern pike and walleye. They’re catching these massive trophy fish, fileting them, frying them up on the shore, and having these great lunches while I’m sitting in a chair in the rain covered in bugs.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, no.

Steven Butala:                   How much real estate did all those guys buy, combined, last month, versus you?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Justin Sliva:                         None.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            [inaudible 00:03:53]

Steven Butala:                   So who really won here?

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. So fire department, police officer, retired teacher. Just kind of public servant type. Farmers. One of them is now … He’s retired as an ag teacher from a high school, now is a professional fishermen, and so he does guided hunts. The outfitters … I mean, the guys were great. I think he felt bad, because he could tell that my personality type wasn’t one that pays for a professional to put me on it and doesn’t.

Justin Sliva:                         But I kind of tied it all back to what we do on a daily basis with sending blind offers out. You can pay the best coaches, the best teachers, and you could buy the best software and tools. Sometimes you just don’t get something. You just don’t see it, and so if you think of every offer is itself is a moment that you’re in a tree stand, and that’s all we’re doing is just you put more time in. That’s what I’m telling myself that it’s a learning experience, but yeah, it sucks. It sucked not getting a bear. Come home. My son’s like, “Dad, did you kill one?” I’m like, “No.” I’m a failure in my son’s eyes, because I didn’t go to Canada and take a bear.

Jill DeWit:                            Did you cart an empty cooler up there and an empty cooler back?

Justin Sliva:                         They took it for me, because I flew up. I cut my trip two days short, just because … Having small kids, I mean, it’s hard to be away for 10 days, and it was going to butt into Father’s Day. And they drove up, Texas to Canada, not to like Toronto, but you’re going like four hours past, or five [inaudible 00:05:21] Thunder Bay, I guess, is the last northern like real big settlement, and we were like an hour-and-a-half, hour-45 north of that at bear camp.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s so funny.

Justin Sliva:                         Beautiful up there, but it just … You know how that goes.

Steven Butala:                   I’ve been up there. [inaudible 00:05:36] It’s truly God’s country, man.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   It’s amazing.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. If I could buy property like that in the States, which you can … But it’s all old timber land. It’s been cut once or twice. It’s called Crown ground, I guess, so it’s owned by the government. Any Ontario citizen can use it. You have to build like use permits, and stuff, but you just go up there and you just hang out and have fun. There’s just all these little hidden lakes, and these guys just have boats that you can use. You bring a gas tank, plug into it, and go.

Steven Butala:                   That’s great, man.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. It was nice. It was nice to be relaxed, but I tried to find something positive in a negative situation.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. How many times [inaudible 00:06:17] just sitting up in a blind thinking about deals?

Justin Sliva:                         It was. I took a bunch of pictures, so I could say that it was content and be like, “Oh, okay. Here’s content. Here’s some angles of some different trees.” But it was nice to unplug for a little bit, because I didn’t have email. I didn’t have phone. The outfitter had a sat phone, and so if there was an emergency at home, they could call us there. But for five full days … That’s the longest I’ve been unplugged from everything in a while. I’m saying probably in … I can’t even think back to … I can’t even remember a time. It’s been that long.

Steven Butala:                   How did that really go?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. [inaudible 00:06:53] a lot of time with yourself.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. The first day kind of sucked. I was like keep wanting to touch my phone and look at stuff, but it couldn’t see anything. About day three, I was like, “Okay. I could get used to this,” but I knew I had stuff going on that I needed to look at.

Justin Sliva:                         We had a bunch of deals go out. I put 15 properties into escrow the week before. And I told everybody I would be out of town. Well, magically, these title companies thought they took that as, “Get it done while he’s there,” so I’m getting all these emails like, “Hey, I need to close.” They tried closing the day before and the day I got back. I’m like, “Man, I got …” I had to close like six properties the day I got back.

Jill DeWit:                            Great.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. It’s good, but it’s still like, “Jesus Christ, where’d you all come from? How did you all get this fast? You’re never this fast.”

Jill DeWit:                            I thought you were going to say that they took that as they were on vacation, too.

Justin Sliva:                         No. They took it as, “Let’s just knock it out. He’s not here bothering us today. Let’s fill his in-box up.” It’s a good problem to have, bad problem to have. It’s just work, as you say.

Steven Butala:                   Does any one or two deals stick out as fantastic or really suck?

Justin Sliva:                         I don’t know. We got some cool stuff back. Because where we were at, we got some stuff back in Michigan that’s really neat, because it’s bear, elk, moose kind of up in that area. And it’s up like when you pull up Paradise, Michigan, I mean, we’re a couple miles off the coast there, like within a mile of the coast. 40 acres. Good access into it. Just purchase sales agreement just went out. Just came back while we were gone. It’s just beautiful trees. Just kind of like what it was up there, so it’s just real picturesque. When you see it on Google Earth, you see the coastline right there, and you’re like, “Oh, man. This is awesome.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Justin Sliva:                         Some stuff like that. Got some ranches back in Utah that were really cool. Closed on those. Just signed the last one today. We bought three, and they range from 60 to 75 acres.

Justin Sliva:                         Subdivided in Virginia that we finally got it purchase agreement, everybody ready to go in Virginia that we’re buying. We bought 220 acres up there we’re going to subdivide down into 20s, and it’s got road access on three sides. It’s got power that runs through the middle with an easement that we can use for extra access into the middle. That one’s a cool deal. I’m excited about that one, because it’s like 400, 425 purchase price per acre. And the comps we see when we split it down to 20s are about $2,000 an acre with power on them. It’s up on a hill, overlooks the town, so we’re not too far out. You got supplies, and it’s just going to be a cool opportunity to do, so something beautiful.

Steven Butala:                   That’s great, man.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. It’s something new for us. We’re trying the … I call it subdividing, but it’s really parcel split, and we’re just going to split it into 20s.

Steven Butala:                   Do you have any idea how long it will take to get new APNs?

Justin Sliva:                         We don’t. The county said it wouldn’t be a problem. We could actually go down to two-and-a-half to five acres. We’re not going to do that, because we’re going to cut it down to 20s. They said to just go ahead and get it surveyed, send the survey in, and they’ll get it back out to us pretty quickly. We’re figuring two months on the whole survey, split, and everything, where we’ve kind of got a time on it a eight-month project.

Justin Sliva:                         Then we had another one come back in Texas we’re going to look at. It’s 848 acres. It’s $2 million, and we’re going to subdivide it down into 40s to 70s. We’re talking syndication on it. We haven’t narrowed down the terms, and everything, but we may do some syndicating with it. There’s six owners. One of the owners owns 25%. He wants to keep 25% of it, so it’s going to bring our cost basis down, bring it down to about a section. It’s got road access on three sides. It’s got power running through the middle of it. It’s already got internal roads, so we’re going to go in and clean up the internal roads, and then subdivide off that. So that’s what we’re looking at, what 25% he wants to keep, and then what we want to do with that. So actually going to walk that property Saturday, which is kind of neat.

Justin Sliva:                         It’s just all part of it, just a little bit different. Man, we’re all over the place right now. And that’s good and bad. Good and bad.

Steven Butala:                   Those are good. Good, busy, big deals, man.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. Yeah. We filled up our inventory here recently with stuff that’s going to carry the small business through the rest of the year. Then the big subdivides are going to be out and hopefully start selling by the end of this year and the beginning of next year, and it carries us into 2020. I know you all have talked about it plenty. We talk about it all the time is if you’re not talking 2020 right now, you’re already behind the curve, because you’re trying to get things moving and get going. So coming into the third quarter, we’re getting ready for 2020, so we’re setting that up.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   That’s great, man.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s so cool.

Steven Butala:                   Fantastic update.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   How’d Father’s Day go?

Justin Sliva:                         Went good. We were supposed to go to a Jeep show, and that got rained out. It was a Jeep show at the winery, so those who always hear us talking about the winery or see us going, that was what we had planned for Father’s Day. I think we ended up just swimming and just kind of had a low-key … ordered some pizza, had a couple drinks at the house, and it was just a nice day.

Steven Butala:                   That’s a good Father’s Day.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            I saw your little one turned one now.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. He’s getting big, man. And he looks more like me every day, so it’s scary. I’m like, “Ah, this is what I looked like as a kid.” I’m getting to relive my childhood through him.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Justin Sliva:                         Since going through Land Academy course, and then doing this, and then going full-time, now it’s a whole different experience for me, because I worked 100 hours a week prior to, when the twins were small. Then now seeing this one, I’m getting to see this one grow up first-hand from … Now he knows where my office is. He’s beating on the door at all times. He’s figured out one of the doors he can hit hard enough he can open. Then he comes in, crawls right up my leg, and just looks at me like, “Hey, Dad. I want to hang out in the office for a little bit.” So definitely a neat experience.

Steven Butala:                   The third one gets away with everything.

Justin Sliva:                         Oh, yeah.

Steven Butala:                   We know from experience.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. But they seem to behave a little bit differently. I don’t want to say better, but just they run at a different maturity level. It seems like [inaudible 00:12:31] maturing faster, just things happen to go a little faster. And maybe because we’re more lax and they get to try those things a little bit quicker.

Jill DeWit:                            Maybe.

Justin Sliva:                         Then they had that little self-experience a little bit quicker.

Steven Butala:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jill DeWit:                            I think they watch the other two, and they go, “Yeah. I know those buttons. I’m not going to push those. I know what I can get away with.”

Justin Sliva:                         Oh, you’re probably spot-on with that one, too.

Steven Butala:                   It’s all that stuff.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. Yeah.

Justin Sliva:                         So I sold the Camaro. I don’t know if you saw that. That’s actually [inaudible 00:12:58] I had the Z28, and we had it for 10 months, now, I guess. It’s a little long for me to have a car. But we sold it, and the idea behind that was I’m going to let that money work until the new GT500 comes out. I’m waiting on that to justify that depending on the pricing.

Jill DeWit:                            You know what’s so funny? Our kid number two, right now, works for Ford in Seattle and got done having a talk from the … Is it the Roush people? The Roush-

Justin Sliva:                         The Roush, yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            He’s like, “We just had a whole thing.” I’m like, “How cool is this?” His son is going to come up. They have a big Seattle thing coming up in a couple weeks, Mustang Seattle thing. The son of Roush is going to be there.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   That’s cool.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m like, “This is a good … I want to come.”

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. Jack Roush is cool. He’s been trying to turn that company over to his son for a while, and it’s cool to see that. But at the same time, I don’t think he has the pull that his dad did, because most of the people were like, “Oh, it was your dad’s company. You’re kind of following it.” But he had a lot to do with a lot of the designs on Mustang that lot of people didn’t know about. He was one of the-

Jill DeWit:                            [inaudible 00:14:02] he started at Ford.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            [inaudible 00:14:05] way back in the day.

Justin Sliva:                         Yep. Yep. He’s one of the tuners that took the aftermarket car and kind of … Like the Shelby, everybody’s like, “Oh, Shelby GT500s and GT350s,” Roush had a lot of input in those, too, but he just didn’t have the nameplate on it.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s really cool. I was actually just reading a bio on him, not kidding, like an hour ago.

Justin Sliva:                         Oh, really?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Justin Sliva:                         Awesome.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s funny. Oh, and reviewing deals at the same time, by the way.

Justin Sliva:                         Disclaimer there. “I was working, too.”

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Justin Sliva:                         Well, cool. What’s going on with you all? How is everything going? House Academy’s launched?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. It’s doing great.

Jill DeWit:                            Great.

Justin Sliva:                         Good. Good.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. The calls are good. The membership’s way better than what I had thought it would be, as always.

Justin Sliva:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jill DeWit:                            This live event is accidentally selling itself. We sold out a large number of seats before we even just put it out there. It’s hilarious.

Justin Sliva:                         Wow. That’s awesome.

Steven Butala:                   [inaudible 00:14:58] deals. We have a new transaction coordinator starting on Monday.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Justin Sliva:                         Oh, nice.

Steven Butala:                   Actually, for the time this airs, we’ll be a few days in, so that should be life-changing, because Jill can’t do the number of deals that we have coming in now, so …

Justin Sliva:                         That’s good. That’s good.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep. That’d be great.

Justin Sliva:                         Nice. Nice. Any wild deals that stick out to you all right now?

Jill DeWit:                            I’m trying to think.

Steven Butala:                   Our core thing, right now, is buying for 10 or 15 and selling for 40 or 50, and we’ve got probably 20 or 30 of those in there right now [crosstalk 00:15:30] different stages.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. Good. Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   I’ve got mailers on deck. We got a new set of BOG, too, so we’re selling [inaudible 00:15:40] houses. They’re ready to go.

Justin Sliva:                         Okay.

Steven Butala:                   We’re going to get them all going this weekend.

Jill DeWit:                            Also been looking a little more even around here. We’re starting to really zero in on some local like infill deals and stuff that we’re looking to build on. Not us, but partner-

Steven Butala:                   These super urban counties have some smoking deals.

Justin Sliva:                         Yep.

Steven Butala:                   But the transaction coordinator should fill that piece of this in, so … She’s really experienced.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. Nice. Nice. I almost put in for that job.

Steven Butala:                   [crosstalk 00:16:13] Me, too. We got a new studio.

Justin Sliva:                         Oh, wow.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Justin Sliva:                         It’s next week. It’s right on the ocean, so it should … We’ll be filming next week.

Jill DeWit:                            This will be all different behind us here, and it won’t be green screen.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s [inaudible 00:16:27]

Justin Sliva:                         Wow. Are you all moving the whole office, too?

Steven Butala:                   No.

Justin Sliva:                         Just the studio?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Justin Sliva:                         Okay. Okay.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. It’ll be good.

Steven Butala:                   That’s what’s new with us. We don’t talk about this stuff on the other shows.

Jill DeWit:                            I know. I don’t know why we don’t.

Steven Butala:                   For some reason [inaudible 00:16:39] during interviews.

Justin Sliva:                         We got to pull [inaudible 00:16:43] so you can keep us up front.

Jill DeWit:                            How’s your show going?

Justin Sliva:                         Good. Good. When we talked about it originally, we said, “Hey, if we hit 10,000 downloads in a year, we’re going to be feeling pretty good about ourself.” Well, we’ve eclipsed 100,000, and it’s still just climbing.

Steven Butala:                   That’s awesome.

Justin Sliva:                         It’s crazy to see the following. I know you all get it all the time, like you get the people, “Oh, I’m more like him,” or, “More like her.” Since it’s me and Adam, and we’ve been buddies for 20 years, we fight kind of like we’re brother and sister. We talk like we’re buddies to each other, and you see that a lot. They’re like, “Oh, man, I just feel like I’m hanging out with my buddies from high school and see that you all can bounce this stuff off each other,” so it’s really cool.

Justin Sliva:                         It’s good to see our business become successful, because you can’t do what you’re not saying you’re doing, right? So you focus a little bit more on some of the stuff. Or you get it out there, and when you re-listen to the show, you’re like, “Oh, man, I’ve been forgetting to do that piece that I talk about doing all the time.”

Jill DeWit:                            Right?

Justin Sliva:                         [inaudible 00:17:39] go back. It’s little stuff like neighbor letters. Somebody will say, “Oh, do you believe in neighbor letters?” “Well, yeah, I do it on my eBay business.” But on my big stuff, I’m like, “Shit. I forgot to do the neighbor letters. I need to go back and do that again.” So it’s just little things that you forget, but it’s great to see the impact.

Justin Sliva:                         And it’s cool to see that we’re having a bunch of people that are organically not land investors come out and reach out to us now. At first, we saw it kind of transition through the different groups, and now we’re seeing new people come in and, “Hey, we saw this on Bigger Pockets,” or, “We heard about this in some other group.” We’re like, “Oh, okay. Cool.” We don’t know who that group is or anything about it, but they’re coming and reaching out and listening to us, so it’s definitely neat. It’s definitely neat.

Steven Butala:                   Awesome, man.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. We’re stoked. We don’t know what content, like where do we go next, and how do we change that, and what do we do, like how we grow it even more. But we have some plans that we’re looking at to see what it actually would take to do.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s cool.

Steven Butala:                   Good. It always changes. Everything.

Justin Sliva:                         Yep.

Jill DeWit:                            [inaudible 00:18:41]

Steven Butala:                   All right. Well, it’s great to talk to you, man. Welcome back to this country.

Justin Sliva:                         Thanks.

Jill DeWit:                            Sorry you’re bearless.

Justin Sliva:                         Yeah. I’m bearless. I don’t have a bear rug to lay on. It’s not good now. My Valentines are shot.

Jill DeWit:                            Now I know, I’m going to get … When you come out here in October, I’m going to have some bear things for you.

Justin Sliva:                         Get me a little stuff animal that’s trimmed up.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Awesome.

Justin Sliva:                         Cool. Well, I appreciate you all checking in and checking on me. I hope everything’s going well, and I can’t wait to see the new backdrop for the studio.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s cool.

Steven Butala:                   Hey, Justin, let everybody know where they can get ahold of you, and we’ll wrap it up from there.

Justin Sliva:                         Okay, great. Yeah. If you want to listen to another podcast that talks land, Or if you’re looking for some private funding and Land Investors is a little busy for you, check us out at Then you can check us on all the social media platforms.

Jill DeWit:                            Perfect.

Steven Butala:                   Justin Sliva, Plum Investment. Thanks very much. We’ll talk to you soon, bud.

Justin Sliva:                         Thanks. Talk to you all.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   Okay.

Jill DeWit:                            Bye.


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