How to Be a Land Investor with a Day Job (LA 1034)

How to Be a Land Investor with a Day Job (LA 1034)


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 Jill Dewitt, broadcasting from sunny Southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today Jill and I talk about how to be a land investor with a day job.

Jill DeWit:                            A lot of people do it.

Steven Butala:                   I know. I saw you scribbling and scribbling [crosstalk 00:00:18] notes before the show.

Jill DeWit:                            I have a lot of notes.

Steven Butala:                   I think this topic was a Jill written topic, and I think it came from an interview we did last week.

Jill DeWit:                            Or, maybe it’s because I had this job too.

Steven Butala:                   You had a job once?

Jill DeWit:                            I had it … Well, yeah. But there was once upon a time I was doing this with a day job, and it was comical.

Steven Butala:                   [crosstalk 00:00:36] remember that actually.

Jill DeWit:                            I had two desks back to back. It’s very true. I wish I had a picture of that, I probably do somewhere, where I had the desk in front of me where I was doing my primary work. And then the phone would ring and I whipped back around and I had a makeshift desk. Not even a real desk, but just kind of what I can throw together behind me with another computer, and I would answer the phone.

Steven Butala:                   I remember that.

Jill DeWit:                            And help the buyers of the sellers, or whatever it was, at our land business, until the day came that it didn’t make sense for me to do that anymore.

Steven Butala:                   I remember being shocked and amazed at the stuff that you were coming up with during that time.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   There are some people, if you’ve been in this business for a while and you’ve had employees or worked with partners, there’s some people that, you just don’t have to explain stuff to.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   And Jill is one of those people.

Jill DeWit:                            You know what else, I was just naturally excited. And I see that now too with new people coming along. It’s fun when they get into it and go, “This is actually cool,” and they learn how to do it, and they’re … especially watching their bank balance, that that for me is very motivational.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Speaking of fun, this question was posted by Joe Martin, who’s one of our top performing members in the advanced group.

Jill DeWit:                            And he’s fun.

Steven Butala:                   And this is all retro back to when he joined, and he just got done with his first mailer.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh.

Steven Butala:                   Let’s take a question here before we get into the actual show.

Jill DeWit:                            Cool. All right, so Joe Martin from our online community at says, this is from February, 2018, this is good, “Hi all. I wanted to provide an update on my first mailer. I joined Land Academy as a silver member in mid-December, and my first mailer went out the first week of January.”

Jill DeWit:                            “Last week, I received a call from a seller and his message was clear, ‘I accept your offer.’ During due diligence, I found out that he owned four more properties in the same area. I called them back to discuss the other properties and he agreed to sell them all.”

Jill DeWit:                            “Now for the best part, I have purchased five parcels, three 39.4 acres in total, for $16,000. All five of the parcels are over four acres, and that cheapest four-acre parcel for sale in the area is so $49,000 on Land Watch.” I have to pause for a second there.

Steven Butala:                   He gets into the numbers here.

Jill DeWit:                            I got to pause for a second here.

Steven Butala:                   And I’ll tell you, Joe now-

Jill DeWit:                            Oh yeah.

Steven Butala:                   … set his budget set at over a million a year, net.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. “The cheapest four-acre property sold in the last six months went for $42,000. Recent comp suggest that at least one of the parcels has a market value over $100,000. I paid $3,000 for it.” Insanity.

Jill DeWit:                            “One of the other parcels is 8.1 acres and doesn’t have road access, but is accessible via ATV via an old logging trail. I wasn’t thrilled about this one, but I wanted to go easy on the seller for giving me such a smoking deal, so I just bought them all. Yesterday I got on Craigslist and found someone who was looking to buy a lot without road access and was accessible by dirt bike. I called them up and he said he was hoping to find an acre for 10k.”

Jill DeWit:                            “I said, ‘How about 8.5 acres for $26,000?’ I have a feeling the guy thinks I’m on drugs, but he’s meeting me at the bank tomorrow. So it appears I will be up $10,000 on day two of this deal. If I sell the rest for half of the market value, I should walk away with over $100,000 on this deal, but I’m just happy to have the ball moving in the right direction.” This is so good.

Jill DeWit:                            “My first mailer targeted areas within one hour of where I live simply because I know these areas well and I have a network of investors and agents already in place. I knew that if at least one deal came back, I would most likely be running to the bank, assuming the property had access. The most significant challenge I faced thus far is trusting technology like Google Earth, GIS, instead of going to look at the property in person. My wife says I have control issues.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, she’s right.

Jill DeWit:                            “But she never says what I want her to say anyways. Deep down, I know that I’ll never be able to scale this business if I don’t learn to trust Google Earth and my data. My biggest win, besides the insane ROI potential on this deal, is that I didn’t go look at the properties even though they are less than an hour from my house. Perhaps I’m experiencing beginner’s luck, but I’ve been sending out a mailer every two weeks and plan on sending 6,000 units out on Monday, so only time will tell.”

Jill DeWit:                            “I have a background with working with Nielsen Data and I’ve been pricing consumer-packaged goods for different markets for over 15 years, so I felt confident with my analysis. I’ve even gone as far as running linear aggressions on the data.”

Steven Butala:                   Wow.

Jill DeWit:                            I didn’t know [crosstalk 00:05:45]this far into it.

Steven Butala:                   Neither did I.

Jill DeWit:                            This is so good. “I’ve even gone as far as running linear aggressions on the data set to determine what the cost per acre would be in a perfect competition for a neighborhood. Is that relevant or necessary?”

Steven Butala:                   No.

Jill DeWit:                            “Hell no. But if anyone is going to be an expert on pricing for an area, I want it to be me. Believe it or not, I’m an extrovert.” That’s true. We know that. “And I’ve been in sales all my life, so if anyone is struggling to get their first mailer out, feel free to reach out. I may not be able to help you get from two to 100, but I’ll be happy to help you get from zero to one. I appreciate everyone who contributes on the forums. I’ve learned a ton just by lurking through your posts. Bring on House Academy.” This is so good. “Please, just a taste. I want to quit my job by the end of 2018. Cheers, Joe M.”

Jill DeWit:                            Wow. And he did.

Steven Butala:                   Joe has-

Jill DeWit:                            This is so good.

Steven Butala:                   … has generated millions since this post.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep, he did.

Steven Butala:                   And it’s just amazing to go back, and here’s what I get out of this. You can hear the excitement in his voice. You can hear the enthusiasm. He wants to be the best at this. I can tell you now he’s doing mobile home deals. He’s scraping old mobile homes and putting new ones on. He’s got a whole network of agents and lawyers all across the east coast buying property for him. So it’s interesting that his goal was so small and where he is now.

Jill DeWit:                            Isn’t it amazing?

Steven Butala:                   It wasn’t that long ago.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. If [crosstalk 00:07:15]-

Steven Butala:                   It was a year ago, right?

Jill DeWit:                            It was a year ago, because that was December 18, and so he quit in December 9th … His goal was to quit. So this is December 17, and it was to quit by December 18, which he did. And if you want to find out more about this guy, I did a Facebook Live thing with him that you could find on YouTube and our Facebook channel. And I interviewed him about this and his goals for ’19 yeah, which he will hit.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            He’s gonna be with us in October. Oh, we’re going to get some [crosstalk 00:07:43]-

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. He’s going to be a the live event.

Jill DeWit:                            Shoot, we’re going to record a bunch of stuff at that. That’d be fun to record some some biz updates for 2019 and where he stands.

Steven Butala:                   Joe on his own has devised a macro system in Excel to automatically scrub data in Excel to produce very quick down and dirty scrubbed postcard mailers. And he’s going to present it all at our live event in October.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, he’s got some automation tips and tricks and things he’s going to share at the live event. He is speaking. It’s going to be awesome.

Steven Butala:                   Awesome, Joe. We’re all proud of you.

Jill DeWit:                            Yay.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic, how to be a land investor with a day job. This is the meat of the show.

Steven Butala:                   Are you talked out?

Jill DeWit:                            No, I’m not.

Steven Butala:                   I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic because I know you’re passionate about it.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. What’s interesting about this is it’s mental before physical. And it’s true. And I’ve talked to many, many, many people. I know this to be true. So if you want to be a land investor with a day job, what’s the first thing you’ve got to do? And my number one is have a personal chat with yourself, I’m not kidding, and make a decision to commit to do whatever it takes. You got to start there. Take a weekend, take a day, take an afternoon, whatever it is. You got to sit down with yourself and make that decision, that, “All right, if I want my life to change, I got to do something. I got to change it.” And that’s, that’s number one.

Steven Butala:                   We have example, after example, after example of members who made that commitment. Nick Seiger is one of them. He’s [crosstalk 00:00:09:26]-

Jill DeWit:                            Joe Martin’s one of them.

Steven Butala:                   Exactly. And I mentioned Nick because he’s this … So I think this show is going to air on Monday. The following Wednesday is our interview with Nick Seiger. And I noticed that immediately from talking to him, that he just, he made a commitment to do whatever it takes, including going back to an old truck driver job that he talks about right now just so he can pay the bills. Every single dollar he’s putting into buying a property and reselling it.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. [inaudible 00:09:54] his acquisition funds were going towards food on the table, and he said, “I can’t do that.” And so, he’s right. So you really got to have that talk … And I’ve done consulting, and I still do consulting calls on this. I’m happy to help. If that’s your number one hang-up right now, and for a lot of people, that’s the biggest hang-up, then I can help you with that.

Steven Butala:                   Commitment?

Jill DeWit:                            Well, just having that talk with yourself, and making that mental shift that, “I’m going to do it. All right, it’s going to get rough.” So then, that’s step number two. It leads into step number two, which is, you got to prep your family and your friends. You know what, your life’s about to change. You’re going to be working hours in the morning and be working hours in the night, you’re going to be doing whatever you have to do to make this work. So your fun might be on hold for a little bit, you know?

Jill DeWit:                            And we have some friends that are going through it right now. They are killing it to make a go of this. And they will.

Steven Butala:                   They will for sure.

Jill DeWit:                            Because first they made the commitment, and now they’re in phase two, which is this [inaudible 00:10:55], like, “All right, we got to change some stuff. We can’t be … We have to save our time and our energy and our resources for our business,” because, gosh, just a year or two of that right now is going to pay off forever. That’s the reason.

Steven Butala:                   I just talked to our producer of this show while we were setting up just now, and he said, “Oh yeah, I’m sending out a mailer in California.”

Jill DeWit:                            I did not know that.

Steven Butala:                   I didn’t either. I’m like, “This is great.”

Jill DeWit:                            Yep, perfect.

Steven Butala:                   That’s how it should go.

Jill DeWit:                            Good. that’s great. And then the third thing is, and the final thing, you have to schedule it out and follow through, as hard as it is. It’s hard to say no. I remember a guy a long time ago was saving up, this is … it was like in the 80s, a friend of mine was saving up because he wanted to buy a brand new Jetta. And I thought that guy was nuts. I’m out having fun, going to every concert and spending every dollar and just having a blast with all my friends. And he was constantly saying, “No, sorry. No.” He would go out maybe once every two weeks. He would have a budget of what he would spend, and that was it.

Jill DeWit:                            And you know what? I watched it, and 18 months later, the guy paid cash for a brand new Jetta. I’m like, “Oh.”

Steven Butala:                   We all have our priorities, and that falls perfectly into what you said.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. And that’s what he did. And I look around, going, “Maybe the guy is right.” You know what’s funny is, did it change my behavior? Not at the time. But-

Steven Butala:                   [inaudible 00:12:18] priorities.

Jill DeWit:                            You know, it wasn’t a priority for me, and-

Steven Butala:                   That’s fine. And it’s still not right.

Jill DeWit:                            You’re right.

Steven Butala:                   I know you, Jill. It’s one of the reasons that love spending time with you, because you have the right priorities.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   I’d much rather go out and have fun and take an Uber. Maybe it’s our age, I don’t know.

Jill DeWit:                            So, and that’s a good thing about … This is a really good point. So say you want to be a land investor with a day job. How fast you want to get there is going to determine how hard you go at this.

Jill DeWit:                            So if you say, “You know what, in five … I I’m not roughing it. I want to keep taking vacations, I want to have some fun. So I’m going to make myself a five-year goal to do this.” And that’s okay. Some people want to do it in one year, and then, if you want to do it in one year, you’re going to really go at it harder.

Steven Butala:                   That was really my big point to this topic. The variable is time. Everything else is a constant. The mailers work, this concept works. We have an amazing group of people here that are totally and completely willing to help you, whatever you need help with, including funding your acquisitions. So it becomes an issue of time. If you have a regular 40-hour a week job and you can ice out eight hours a day on Sunday, it’s going to take you a little while to get this done, but it will get done, because by now you should really believe in this. You should believe in the fact that a mailer works, and believe in the fact that this group knows how to create them.

Steven Butala:                   So it might take you six months. It might take you two weeks. It took Joe a year to generate $1 million, a year and a half. So it just depends on … You get out of it what you put into it. I hate to sound like my father, but that’s the truth of it.

Jill DeWit:                            And nothing good happens after 10:00.

Steven Butala:                   That’s especially true with Jill, unless we’re doing it together, and then a lot of fun stuff happens after 10:00.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, boy. Yeah, look out.

Steven Butala:                   Hey, we know your time is valuable. Thanks for spending some of it with us today anyway. Join us next time for the episode called Planning For Your Family Legacy, like Sarah’s farm.

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:                            Dude, I’m loving this new studio.

Steven Butala:                   I got to take a picture of it somehow and put it in the the intro on YouTube, and just kind of get a feel for … People can sort of see what this crazy place is that we’re sitting right now.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, we’re going to do a drone thing too at some point. We’re going a little drone commercial, because it’s going to be really cool to see where we are, and you can see what’s behind us. I’ve had people go, now and then, “Is that a green screen?” I’m here to tell you that is not a green screen.

Steven Butala:                   It would be a lot easier if it was a green screen.

Jill DeWit:                            And there’s no glass there. It’s all open. It is not a green screen. If you have not, if you’re listening and not checking us out, check out YouTube, because it’s pretty darn cool. And why you’re at YouTube, 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.


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

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.