How to Set Up a Land Sales System (LA 1017)

How to Set Up a Land Sales System (LA 1017)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hi.

Steven Butala:                   Welcome to the Land Academy show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

Jill DeWit:                            And I’m Jill DeWitt broadcasting from the sunny southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today, Jill and I talk about how to set up a land sales system.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   It’s the same way as you set up a land acquisition system and I’ll tell you what, here’s the whole key and the whole takeaway from this episode. Whatever you do, do the exact same thing every, single time. It’s the same thing with acquisitions and sales and setting up businesses and all of it. Find out what works and do the exact same thing over and over, but be open to adjusting it.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   If, for whatever reason, you need to.

Jill DeWit:                            You know you just brought up a good comment, and I love that. Once you figure out what works, you are nuts if you don’t repeat it for all kinds of things. We do it now for businesses. We’re having Land Academy became House Academy became things I’m not going to share right now.

Steven Butala:                   You can share it.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, um…

Steven Butala:                   Go ahead.

Jill DeWit:                            Car Academy.

Steven Butala:                   We are launching Car Academy within 90 days.

Jill DeWit:                            Because once you know how to do this stuff, and it works, it’s profitable, you have the following, you have the trust. You’ve got all the hard stuff out of the way. And the system, you have a system for how to do these things.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            You’re nuts if you don’t repeat it.

Steven Butala:                   And it’s a marketing system, you have employees that are already sitting there doing customer service or whatever.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. A billing system. A communications system. All of that.

Steven Butala:                   Exactly so you just build on it.

Jill DeWit:                            Yup.

Steven Butala:                   Same thing with sales system. And Jill’s going to get into a bunch of details here in a minute on what works and what doesn’t.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

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

Jill DeWit:                            Danny asks, “Hi. I’ve just found out that 350 of the 500 lists that I pulled from RealQuest, I’m sure he means lines of data, I’m sure…

Steven Butala:                   That’s right.

Jill DeWit:                            … ownership records, have no legal description. Also, some of them start with “created from split of parcel” or “par1”, like parcel one, do you scrub them or keep them?

Steven Butala:                   Thanks in advance.

Steven Butala:                   We keep them. A lot of people had a lot of stuff to say in the forum and I choose not to ask Jill to read it here, but they all said some version of this: Absolutely, keep them. If I had to bet, I would say this is a Texas mailer, and possibly, maybe New Mexico. For whatever reason the legal descriptions are not as… seem to be optional for the assessor. Here’s the thing to remember about RealQuest data tree and Title Pro 247, we’re licensed providers of all three.

Steven Butala:                   There’s a reason we just don’t focus on one. We have all three just to crosscheck things and make sure that it’s okay so chances are you’ll, if it was real important to you, you could find legal descriptions elsewhere.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   But, for whatever reason, the people who started this county and work there now don’t see legal descriptions as that important. They do see APN’s and chances are the APN’s might be in the deed instead of the legal description. This would not stop me from sending out this mailer at all. Would it stop you?

Jill DeWit:                            No, but, it’s funny. You bring up a good point. We get so used to… most counties start with an APN, that’s the universal way to find something. Next will be legal description. But then there’s those offshoots that they’ll have like owner number or account number. The first time I hit that I was like, “What do you mean what’s the owner number. I don’t know but I’ve got the APN. Okay, fine, what’s the APN?” Because, they just look at it differently.

Steven Butala:                   That’s right.

Jill DeWit:                            So…

Steven Butala:                   They’re all different.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jill DeWit:                            And once you learn, just roll with it. You’ll be fine.

Steven Butala:                   Exactly.

Jill DeWit:                            And I think that’s just what you touched on. It’s a county that doesn’t really focus on that. They look at things a different way. Can you find a legal description? Yes. And you can go into one of the other tools that you have as a member and you will find it.

Steven Butala:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   You know the chances are when there’s little quirky things about counties like this that you will have no competition in anyway at all.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Sure. Might scare people away.

Steven Butala:                   You will be the single person who sends an offer out in the history of the county.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   And that happens to us regularly. Jill and I.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   They’ve never received an offer. They never knew what they were going to do with the property.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   And heck yeah, they sign it and send it back.

Jill DeWit:                            Well that even goes back to before we had ParcelFact. You remember, there’s times that we had properties that were just so, almost impossible, to find. Even the person that owned the property didn’t have a good way to find it or get there. They didn’t know or maybe they inherited it. They’ve never seen it. So it was very interesting. We don’t have that anymore which is nice.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. I mean I can list on one hand where that, I think that still happens. Taos County, New Mexico is once place. Southwestern Texas it happens.

Jill DeWit:                            Not like it used to.

Steven Butala:                   Really.

Jill DeWit:                            No, I don’t think so.

Steven Butala:                   I think so.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Yeah?

Steven Butala:                   It’s important to remember these aggregators are just that, aggregators. These data aggregators, like RealQuest. So whatever, the county assessors submit to them, that’s what they publish.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   They don’t, they’re not improving the data when they get it.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s true. They don’t say Eh, wrong. That would be so funny.

Steven Butala:                   It’s hard to…

Jill DeWit:                            Try again Jeff Davis County. Send me something else.

Steven Butala:                   You know, this could be a kill the messenger situation and it’s like, “No man, I’m just the data aggregator. I don’t know. That’s what they sent me.”

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   We get this in ParcelFact a lot because we own ParcelFact but the API’s are coming from other places, lots of different places. The data that gets aggregated that you see right there is like, “Well, this doesn’t have this and this.”

Jill DeWit:                            It’s as good as it’s going to get.

Steven Butala:                   There’s 150 million units in this database and that’s what the assessor tells us. So it’s over.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Maybe I should start answering it like this, you know, I’ll stay up late on Wednesday and go through all 150 million properties.

Jill DeWit:                            I’ll make sure their right. And send them back, eh, you missed a box.

Steven Butala:                   I’ll get it straightened out.

Jill DeWit:                            Could you imagine?

Steven Butala:                   That’s a good question actually.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic: how to set up a land sale system. This is the meat of the show.

Steven Butala:                   Start with what I said earlier in the episode. You’ve got to make sure it’s the same exact thing. Then number two, look at where you’re going to sell the property. Some property is very appropriate to auction off on eBay. Real low on property. Some property is very appropriate to sell on the MLS. That seems to be our choice right now. Some property is very appropriate for Craigslist. And on, and on, and on.

Steven Butala:                   Or if you’re really organized and smart about this. You post it everywhere.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s my first choice.

Steven Butala:                   Get it out there.

Steven Butala:                   So to set up a system, now you’ve got… okay, it’s got to be consistent and I’ve got to post it everywhere. So the actual system itself, Jill. What do you suggest? Like software and all that stuff.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, if you’re starting out and you’re brand new I would just do a simple spreadsheet. And I’m not kidding. I would have all the property information in there and I would have a column saying: Did I put it on my own website? Check. Did I put it on LandPin? Check. Did I put it on Facebook? Check. Did I do this, this, this, this and this? And where I would start would be either my own website and/or LandPin somewhere where I know that there’s a system created for me.

Jill DeWit:                            I used LandPin which is our land selling site. We’ve put a lot of energy into that to make sure that there’s a category for everything so you know to fill it in. What are the GPS? Got it. what are the tax situation? Got it. Every little thing filled in for you so you don’t forget any of the facts, too. There’s a place for photos to upload. And maps, and a video, if you want. Your contact information so I would start with something like that and once it’s beautiful and perfect, then I would share it everywhere. And that’s what I was saying, I would have a column…

Jill DeWit:                            I’m just saying brand new, let’s just make it easy. And then you could hand that off to somebody else down the road too and it could expand from that as you grow your business. And then everywhere, all the different social medias. And don’t forget one. And don’t just do it once and forget about it. Get into a system where once a week or however, it’s hitting the right community. For example, say you’ve got a beautiful, fishing, lake property in Oklahoma. That needs to be in every fishing, lake, camping, outdoors man Facebook page you can find. And not just one time and forget about it. You need to hit them more than once. It needs to pop up.

Steven Butala:                   Facebook groups.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, Facebook groups. Steven is right. He coined a phrase a long time ago which was, There’s only two reasons a property doesn’t sell. Number one, it’s overpriced. And number two, it’s not reaching the right person.” So this is about reach for me.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. You know, overkill is appropriate here.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   This is very monotonous, it’s very time consuming. And it takes a lot of energy, time and energy and resources, to post property correctly.

Jill DeWit:                            Right

Steven Butala:                   And it’s no fun.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   The fun for me is buying the property. Not selling it. You know you make your money when you buy it. This gets overlooked, and for whatever reason, in land specifically, not so much in houses, personality types that are in land, don’t value this. They don’t value marketing. I’m one of those people. It’s the greatest property there ever was and I just got it for the greatest price. It should just sell itself. And that’s absolutely incorrect.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Before Jill and I joined forces, I was very bad at this. I was very, very, very, very there’s only one way to do it. And you connected to this and connected to this and one place to sell it and that’s it. And you know what, I look back on it and it’s because I didn’t like doing it.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   And so what I should have done, everybody that was around me didn’t like doing it either, probably because I kept saying, “I don’t like doing it.” Until we got Jill in and eventually we became partners on all this stuff, that’s when it really started to kick up.

Jill DeWit:                            Well part of the land sell system too is not only, we talked about where to post it, making a system for that part. But it even starts before that. You have to properly convey the property. You need to have pretty photos and video and great descriptions. If it doesn’t excite you, or at least, you can’t get somewhat excited about it in someway, you’re not going to get excited about how you’re portraying the property for someone to find it. You’ve got to write that gorgeous 40-acre ranch property with the view and such and such area. Ten miles from, you know, dream it up. Lake Okanagan, I don’t know.

Steven Butala:                   So when I don’t want to do something, what I do is, I schedule it. And then I force myself to do it. So Jill’s right about the spreadsheet. You may see things in a database way or a spreadsheet way, database CRM way or spreadsheet way. We see it as both. I gravitate towards spreadsheets. If you have a list of ten properties in a spreadsheet, and then in column one it says Title, in column two it says Subtitle, in column three it says Regional Description…

Jill DeWit:                            Brilliant.

Steven Butala:                   I came up with this a long time ago, Regional Description and on and on and on. It probably goes out for, ours go out way up at the end there’s videos.

Jill DeWit:                            Lot of columns.

Steven Butala:                   You have to do a video on it.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   You know it’s not getting done if one of those columns is blank. This Accounting 101. In spreadsheets, the first they teach you about spreadsheets in accounting, back before spreadsheets when they were green ledger sheets, is that if there’s nothing in that column then you overlooked it. So if you didn’t overlook it, put a zero in there. Or put some value in there. Other than blank. So that’s how I know if our stuff’s getting done. That got me pushed toward the right direction of “Alright, I’ve just go to get this all done.”

Steven Butala:                   Plus once all that data’s in there you can suck it back down into an ASCII delimited TXT format and put… You only have to do it once. [crosstalk 00:12:35] I think a lot of people think that, “Oh, I’ve got to list it on Land and Farm, I’ve got to list it on Land Watch, I’ve got to list it on all these 22 places online. It’s going to take me forever.” No, you only have to do it all once and copy and paste it into the places. Took me decades…

Jill DeWit:                            I’ve just learned something about you by the way.

Steven Butala:                   Decades to get over this.

Jill DeWit:                            I didn’t know about how that’s your whole why you hate these blank columns. Just put NA or something. I’m like, “Why is it so important to you?” You’ve always had a thing about that and I never knew why and well, now I know, 10 years later and now I know why.

Steven Butala:                   Yup. Everyone in this company has learned how much I hate that.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes. And my final point I want to say on the land sale system is make it easy for them to buy it. We talked about posting it, with making a system. Part of your system should be being able to check out, pay online on your website with a credit card and get a deed magically in the mail.

Steven Butala:                   Magically.

Jill DeWit:                            Magically.

Steven Butala:                   Maybe with a little note from Jill if you’re lucky. It’s a lipstick kiss or something.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh right.

Steven Butala:                   Like you’re in prison.

Jill DeWit:                            No! Wouldn’t that be awful?

Steven Butala:                   I love to discuss you on the air.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh my gosh.

Steven Butala:                   I don’t know why.

Jill DeWit:                            Could you… oh!

Steven Butala:                   You know how little boys want to drag in something dead that they killed and show their mom?

Jill DeWit:                            That’s what you just did.

Steven Butala:                   It’s the same feeling for me to just make you just cringe online. I don’t know why. It’s terrible.

Jill DeWit:                            Why do you…

Steven Butala:                   I don’t know, I don’t know.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s great, sweetheart.

Steven Butala:                   It’s out of love and all good intentions but it’s just funny.

Jill DeWit:                            You can keep your dead bird over there to yourself.

Steven Butala:                   Hey, we know your time’s valuable. Thanks for spending some of it with us today. Join us next time for another interesting episode.

Jill DeWit:                            And we’ll answer your questions posted in our online community at It is free.

Steven Butala:                   You are not alone in your real estate ambition. Is this July 4th?

Jill DeWit:                            It is July 4th. Woohoo! See my pretty blue. I see you dressed up for it too.

Steven Butala:                   So, it turns out this is what I wear when we do the show and most of the other times too that I’m breathing.

Jill DeWit:                            Here we go. Red, white, blue.

Steven Butala:                   Jill had to order a bunch more of these. It’s not like I just have one, I have like ten of them.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes you do. I’m about to… we’re going to get you some new ones too.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, in colors.

Jill DeWit:                            Some nice ones, yup. Wherever you’re watching, wherever you’re listening, please subscribe and rate us there and one little thing because it is the Fourth of July, if you’re thinking about joining Land Academy, it’s worth checking out there’s special going on through tomorrow which happens to be a very special day as well.

Steven Butala:                   Jill’s birthday is tomorrow.

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

Jill DeWit:                            We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   We are Steve and Jill. Information.

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration.

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.


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