I’m the Bottle Neck in my Business (1072)
Steven Butala: Steve and Jill here.
Jill DeWit: Hello.
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, I’m the bottleneck in my own business. I have to ask you Jill because this is kind of your title, how did this come about?
Jill DeWit: Because I talked to a new member the other day, and that was his whole thing. There were a couple things. He had done like 50 properties in two years, and he’s ready to take it to the next level. And he found us through another member, Mark. And then-
Steven Butala: You mean another person.
Jill DeWit: Or another person, excuse me, not member. Well, kind of. Kind of a member from a long time ago in a roundabout way. Anyway, he found us through another individual, was [inaudible 00:00:45], just kind of got his feet wet. And he’s stuck because he’s ready to take his business to the next level, that’s the whole point here. And one of the things he said to me was there were three problems. And one of them was, “I know I’m my own bottleneck.” I’m like, “All right. We can help you. We can get you there.” And we talked a bit about that, and here we are talking about it again.
Steven Butala: I guess we should leave it for the show because I have a million questions.
Jill DeWit: I can answer them. I’ll try.
Steven Butala: Before we get into the topic, let’s take a question, posted by one of our members on the landinvestors.com online community. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: So new? Why is this new?
Steven Butala: It’s unnamed.
Jill DeWit: Oh, anonymous, so-
Steven Butala: He was like, “I’m just horsing around on your site. Seven, seven one, two, exclamation point.” So I just chose new member access [crosstalk 00:01:31].
Jill DeWit: Okay, got it. Okay, got it. All right. Instead of Bear Wrangler, one, two, three, four.
Steven Butala: Yeah, instead of desperately seeking real estate. Six, six, seven.
Jill DeWit: Okay, got it. So I know that Stephen Joel make fun of this group sometimes, it’s hilarious. But does it make sense to get a real estate license to jump into this kind of investing with the background knowledge help. “I have no experience in real estate transactions and it seems to me from watching the videos on YouTube that transactions can often go sideways and require some level of experience to resolve. Since I haven’t purchased yet, I don’t know the level of insight to these matters that is provided in the training materials. So I apologize in advance if I’m covering something already covered elsewhere that I couldn’t find anything on. Thoughts.”
Steven Butala: First of all, no need to apologize about asking us questions because-
Jill DeWit: That’s why it’s there.
Steven Butala: Yes, we’ve covered this and we will cover it 22 more times.
Jill DeWit: Happy to do.
Steven Butala: Like everything and that’s fine.
Jill DeWit: But I get it.
Steven Butala: Jill and I both went to real estate school and neither one of us took the test, or maybe some of us took the test-
Jill DeWit: We took the test.
Steven Butala: … but we didn’t register and license.
Jill DeWit: We took and passed the test all the way. I got the fingerprint card, I was like ready to push the button. And I took a step back and said, “Oh, what would that open up for me liability-wise and headache-wise and paperwork-wise?” Didn’t want to do that.
Steven Butala: But we did want to get real familiar with the laws-
Jill DeWit: Of course.
Steven Butala: … specifically in Arizona. This is a lot of years ago for both of us and we did it at separate times in our lives and the whole thing. So although it would have been fun to do it to … Like if we did it together, it’d be fun to take a class with you.
Jill DeWit: Oh yeah. We didn’t do it at the same time. You did it first and then I did it after, that’s true. We should do that.
Steven Butala: It’d be fun to sit in the back and just torture some teacher, even at this age.
Jill DeWit: We can do that.
Steven Butala: Because we’re usually the teachers.
Jill DeWit: I know, we’ve done that. And we torture the students.
Steven Butala: Here’s the thing about real estate at school, like real estate agent schools. So you can go to real estate agent school. You can go to, like even now there’s Escrow schools here, especially here in California, which are not required. What they at the schools are going to teach you is how to stay legal and how to be a salesperson and stuff you can say and stuff you can’t say. You’re not going to know how to do a deal.
Steven Butala: And so let me just spell that for you right now. There’s no place that’s going to teach you that I know of that’s, “This is how you do a deal.” You need a purchase agreement or maybe you do, maybe you don’t. You you need a deed, you can record it. You know, the people who know the most about that, strangely enough are like County recorders. They know everything. If there’s a County recorder school, I would ask you to take that, go to that class. So unfortunately real estate schools are all set up to teach people how to pass that exam.
Jill DeWit: That’s true. In that state.
Steven Butala: 80%, 90% of it, it’s completely, completely useless information. Just like most of the high school and most of the college.
Jill DeWit: It’s really just that. It’s like SAT prep classes.
Steven Butala: Jill and I created Land Academy, knowing full well that these are the your education options out there. We tried to create a product and after five years now we’re getting real good positive response on it. Like trying to give you some valuable information on how to do a deal. So you want to learn how to do a deal, get involved in Land Academy, and that’s the truth. Or [crosstalk 00:04:52].
Jill DeWit: You won’t know how to pass the test.
Steven Butala: Or go to YouTube and sit and spend, not or. In addition to Land Academy, go to YouTube and just consume as much as you can for free.
Jill DeWit: Isn’t that a bummer too. I was going to say, I want to add. Like I’ve a really good friend who just got her license here in California. And it’s exactly like you said, even going over like a HUD-1, which is the-
Steven Butala: It’s a closing statement.
Jill DeWit: Right. Which shows what the seller’s going to pay, or what the buyer’s going to pay, what the seller’s going to get, what all the little fees are. She’s like, “Even that, they only sit there and teach you the few sections you need to know because it’s going to be on the test.” So she’s even asked me to say, “Can I come in your office and kind of watch you do this stuff?”
Steven Butala: I hear you guys talking about this.
Jill DeWit: I know.
Steven Butala: I was shocked.
Jill DeWit: I know. And she just did a $3 million deal in California and that was like her first one, and she didn’t know what she was getting into. She had not really seen this stuff, experience this stuff. And part of it is too, because unfortunately I think, I haven’t, correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like they’re trained to, you get the deal, you push it to Escrow and you back away. You don’t ask a lot of questions, you just make sure you get your person there to sign on the signing day and you make sure you do the math, 6% of whatever the number is. Or three year, 3% of the number is, you know how to do that.
Steven Butala: It’s really one and a half by the time you pay your broker.
Jill DeWit: Right. So, and that’s it. So she was really, it was really kind of … It was very sweet. And I actually appreciate her for taking that much interest and wanting to know what’s really going on behind the scenes. “I really want to know what are they doing, what are they doing, why do we need to do that? Why do we need do this?” And no one knows better than the investor, is my money. I know what’s goes on. I know what needs to get paid.
Jill DeWit: And what’s funny is we are probably, we are the opposite spectrum. Because as investors I’m looking at the HUD-1 with a fine tooth comb. I’m like, “Why are you charging me $150 for postage when nothing ever got mailed?” I walked into the office and signed in person.
Steven Butala: So that’s a HUD-1 audit that Jill was talking about.
Jill DeWit: Kind of thing. I go through that stuff, man.
Steven Butala: What you’re really asking is, is going to real estate school going to teach me how to do a deal? And the answer is, hell no.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: Joining L,and Academy and I’m not selling anything here. If you don’t want to join, that’s fine. Just go out onto landinvestors.com [inaudible 00:07:20] forum and say, “How do I deed a piece of property or what are the steps in a property?” And the people in our group will tell you.
Jill DeWit: Know what I would do though? I would totally recommend. I think the way we did it, at least for me, was perfect. I was a couple of years in. I’m doing deals and then I did the real estate school. I think back then because we were going to be flipping some houses and I thought that might’ve been the benefit, that was why. So I do recommend-
Steven Butala: Yeah. It was during a downturn.
Jill DeWit: It’s really good to get that information though, I would recommend that. Come on, it’s two weeks out of your life of night classes [crosstalk 00:07:52].
Steven Butala: You know what I think [crosstalk 00:07:51]?
Jill DeWit: And you can … Speaking of interrupting. From three days ago. I’m like-
Steven Butala: I don’t know what’s going on. I’m getting [crosstalk 00:08:09].
Jill DeWit: I’m like, some of my vocabulary, exhale. And here you go.
Steven Butala: It’s like withdrawal, like I’m getting flashbacks.
Jill DeWit: Of what?
Steven Butala: Sitting in school.
Jill DeWit: Oh. Anyway. I would recommend though, you will get some information out of that. Or if anything, honestly, it opens your eyes to what the planet knows. And what they think they know. And so you will better work with agents. You’ll be a better investor working with an agent if you’ve gone through the class that they went through. You’re going to go, “Oh, no wonder they don’t know that. They were never taught that.” Take it away, Steven.
Steven Butala: No, that’s it. I mean, because the more I’m sitting here thinking about it, the more useless it is. We just did a deal, just recently. It’s done. A woman called us, and jump in here anytime.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Steven Butala: She’s called us on a letter that we sent her. She’s in Michigan, the property is in the Southwest. It’s a great deal for us. It’s probably worth four times what we paid, maybe more. She is in a panic because there’s a lot of back taxes in the deal. And Jill’s talking to her, very nice lady. She just wants to be done with it, it’s in her name. So all the basic stuff’s there. So Jill came in and solved her problem.
Jill DeWit: I did.
Steven Butala: She befriended her, establishing trust and solved her problem. And Jill didn’t do it to make money, she did it because this is who Jill really is. We sent a notary … We prepared the deeds ourselves in our office. The deed, Jill found out she actually owned another piece of property that she didn’t even know.
Jill DeWit: No, she had. So I called her in and said, “Hey, instead of $2,000, how about I offer you $4,000 because you own the one across the street too.” She’s like, “What?”
Steven Butala: So we scrammed, we put this at the very top of our acquisition pile. Scrambled to get the document, the deed done and unsigned obviously, and some other stuff that we put in a deed package. We got local notary to Michigan and arranged everything for her. The notary and all the documents went out to her house on Friday. She signed it and sent it back, and we recorded the deal. This is more than you’re going to learn in any real estate class-
Jill DeWit: That’s true.
Steven Butala: … for an agent. Just this last 10, five minutes of what we’re talking about. So now we own the property. Then because it’s so valuable, we sent it through Escrow, kind of did it backwards. In title not to close the deal but to just to get title insurance policy on it.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: So it’s the mechanics of doing that and I spared you all the tiny little details here, that really, really matter in this business. And the on-the-fly decisions that Jill made and how to handle this person from a sales standpoint and a comfort standpoint. And just the customer service in general that you’re not going to learn unless you just do a bunch of deals. Or you hang out with people in this group. That’s why we started this group who are constantly doing deals and ask a lot of questions.
Jill DeWit: Right. Thank you.
Steven Butala: School is going to help you with the legal stuff that goes on in the state where you’re going to operate.
Jill DeWit: Right. And how to pass the test.
Steven Butala: Yeah. Wow.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: We haven’t even talked about the topic.
Jill DeWit: I know.
Steven Butala: Today’s topic. I’m the bottleneck in my business.
Jill DeWit: You obviously-
Steven Butala: This is the meat of the show.
Jill DeWit: You’ve obviously picked these questions that like really gets you going.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: And then it’s a whole big discussion.
Steven Butala: You know, I choose these questions off of Land Investors.
Jill DeWit: I know you do.
Steven Butala: I’m prepared.
Jill DeWit: I know you are. You come with a lot to say.
Steven Butala: I skip over like five, it’s like five or eight to one.
Jill DeWit: Right. I know it as you go down and you’re like, “Nope, nope, nope. Oh, we’re talking about that one Tuesday.”
Steven Butala: Yep, that’s exactly what happens.
Jill DeWit: “That’s what we’re going to talk about.”
Steven Butala: Exactly. How do you know that?
Jill DeWit: I know you. I know you very well. All right, so I have a lot to say on this one.
Steven Butala: I’m zipping it. Go.
Jill DeWit: Okay. So this came to me because, like I said, I was talking to a new member and about … It was before he’s a member, about where he’s in his business and that’s what he said to me. I’m like, “Gosh, I’ve heard that before.” I’m the bottleneck. So I put some notes down, I want to just kind of cover on this. We’ve all been there, I think most of us have been there as a business owner, been in this situation. We both have. And I think it often stems from a fear of letting go. You are your own bottleneck because you’re afraid to let go. You’re worried that the person you’re bringing in is not going to do it as fast as you or as well as you or exactly how you would. Which I would say, “Do it right,” which is me, right? I’ll throw myself under the bus. You want to-
Steven Butala: I didn’t have to.
Jill DeWit: There you go. You want to talk, you want to … You can expand at any moment.
Steven Butala: This is you time sex.
Jill DeWit: True. So, well wait a minute. You’re coming up in a minute.
Jill DeWit: So this is often what happens. And what the problem with this is, if you don’t get to that point and you don’t hire someone because you’re afraid that they’re not going to do it like you, you’re never going to grow. You cannot move forward. So how do you overcome this? So you have to take some time and do to the best of your ability, hire the person the best you can, hire that person and do your best to train that right person. However, this is where you come in, Steven, you and I are different here. You have to … We both are guilty of this, we’ve learned. But you can’t hire them, give him a little bit of guidance and then throw them to the wolves. And I call that setting off to fail. And that’s where, not to throw you under the bus, but that’s kind of in your way.
Steven Butala: Absolutely.
Jill DeWit: Steven’s like, “If they don’t get this, that’s on them.” And sometimes where I falter is I overtrain. And you’re like, “Get out of there, get out of there.” But I’m like, sometimes I get out of there too soon too, I’ve got to … So you have to find the right balance. You can’t just say, “You got this?” And run, and you can’t overtrain them too. Because of, you know what, if you sit there and overtrain them, what you could end up doing is actually train them to come to you with everything. And then you’re at looking at level, “Why are they even here?” If you overtrain them or you don’t properly train them, or they have to run everything by you, it’s why are you there? Like they’re calling you six times a day. You’re like, “Oh, I could’ve done it by now.” That’s not what you want. So what you really want to do is to find that sweet spot, train them so they can take it from there, empower them to make those decisions and then move on to grow in your own business.
Steven Butala: Yeah, I mean, everything I completely agree with. It starts with this. It starts with you. I don’t care if you’re brand new at this or if you’ve done thousands of deals, like some of the people in our advanced group. Everybody could get up, look in the mirror and ask themselves this question, “What’s holding me back from getting this thing to the next level?” I don’t care … We had the advanced call last Thursday and everybody was talking about, “Well, I’m at 350,000 at this month.” “I’m in 150,000 this month. I’m trying to get to a million a year, by the end of the year.”
Steven Butala: So what’s holding you back? And in every case for me and for Jill, I know for sure because we talk about this all the time, it’s people. And it’s not like someone’s sitting around holding us back. It’s our lack of recruiting effectively and getting the right personality types and the right people trained, and in a position where they can actually help us. And that’s it. If we had thought probably five to eight really strong, what we call line managers, one person running the Land Stay, our Land Operation, one person running House Academy, which involves buying and selling houses. And individual line operators like that, we’d easily be making a million or two million bucks a month.
Steven Butala: So everybody has to ask themselves that question. What is it? So I guess the question is, why haven’t we done that? Why haven’t we dropped everything and focused on that? And here’s why. Jill and I in our souls haven’t accepted the fact yet, and we’re getting there, that whoever we hire is going to do a 50 to 80% as good a job as we could do in those roles. And that’s the real truth, because she just hasn’t let go yet. She hasn’t accepted that yet. And I’m not an operations person. This is like confessions of the Land Academy. I’m not an operations person. I never have been and I never will be. I’m an out front entrepreneurial startup kind of person. I do the money piece, I get all the stuff and get the people in place or try to and move on. And without exception I move on before it’s time. I move on before the egg is actually hatched. And so it doesn’t hatch sometimes.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, thank you.
Steven Butala: It just dies on the vine there. That’s like six metaphors in one. So, what’s the name of the show?
Jill DeWit: I’m the bottleneck in my own business.
Steven Butala: Yeah. So that’s, I’m the bottleneck in my own business there with that. And so we’re making some … It’s a lot worse than it sounds. I’m making it sound worse than it is, but because we’re putting the people in place, we’re hiring a recruiter and all that.
Jill DeWit: Constantly.
Steven Butala: At least we’re conscious of it.
Jill DeWit: You know what it is? And you have to … Well, here’s how we are and this is why I hope the takeaway is, wherever you are in your career, as long as you’re constantly open to and looking for and modifying you and your business, you’ll be fine. Where you, if you just dig your heels in and go, “This is my way or the highway, we’re not changing it. If you can’t get this, that’s on you.” If you never adjust, then that’s when you bury yourself.
Steven Butala: And that’s a great point. Like inflexibility is never appropriate. It’s not appropriate in a relationship, it’s not appropriate as a teacher. Flexibility is, you know … We’ve all known and all know inflexible people. And I’ve been spattered with inflexible people, not by my own-
Jill DeWit: Spattered.
Steven Butala: Not by my own … just by default in my life and none without exception. There are just no longer there. It’s ridiculous, sit around and talk to somebody. It happens to Jill and I all the time socially. People’s minds are so closed about everything. Politics, money, people, all kinds of stuff. It’s just cracks me up that you can go through life-
Jill DeWit: Happens everywhere, doesn’t it?
Steven Butala: Without flexibility.
Jill DeWit: I know.
Steven Butala: And without actually looking at the thing and talking about it.
Jill DeWit: I agree. My favorite is your choice of words.
Steven Butala: What?
Jill DeWit: I’m going to use that later.
Steven Butala: Spattered?
Jill DeWit: Well, Steven spattered out all over me today. That meeting, he spattered his opinion all over that meeting.
Steven Butala: People spattered.
Jill DeWit: Where did that one come from?
Steven Butala: I don’t know. Spattered.
Jill DeWit: That’s the word of the day everyone.
Steven Butala: Is it a word, you think?
Jill DeWit: Oh sure. It is like paint spattered.
Steven Butala: Oh, okay.
Jill DeWit: Blood spattered. It’s Walking Dead. That’s it. That’s probably where you got it.
Steven Butala: Yeah, it’s probably the Walking Dead. Join us next time for an episode called, why the Land Academy advanced group is free.
Jill DeWit: I will answer your questions, post it on our online community found at landinvestors.com, and that’s free.
Steven Butala: You are not alone in your real estate ambition.
Jill DeWit: Remember, spattered. Spattered.
Steven Butala: Yep. 1% of our listening audience knows what you mean.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. And only one-
Steven Butala: It’s like Sesame Street.
Jill DeWit: I know, only the ones that-
Steven Butala: You got to be over 50 for that.
Jill DeWit: If you watch the video, if you’re watching on YouTube, you saw me do the hand gesture. But those of you listening didn’t see the hand gesture, but you know what I mean if you know, if you know that.
Steven Butala: that was a good episode. That really, like … It was a good meeting for us, you and I.
Jill DeWit: It was. Great. I can cross off our three o’clock. Don’t have to do that today.
Steven Butala: The Land Academy daily show remains commercial-free for you, our loyal listener. It’s a [crosstalk 00:20:17].
Jill DeWit: So wherever you are watching or wherever you are listening, please pay us back. 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 have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steven@BuWit.com.
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