Maximize Your Valuable Time Fielding Inbound Phone Calls (LA 1083)
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 not so sunny but sunny Southern California.
Steven Butala: Today, Jill and I talk about maximize your valuable time fielding inbound phone calls. This is a Jill created the topics week, I think.
Jill DeWit: I did.
Steven Butala: This is good stuff.
Jill DeWit: This is stuff that comes up.
Steven Butala: This is a huge issue.
Jill DeWit: It’s hard.
Steven Butala: It’s a huge issue for our members and for us.
Jill DeWit: You want to talk to everybody. You think everybody’s really a legitimate buyer or seller. It goes both ways, actually. And next thing you know you find yourself talking about mom’s living situation and how she gets by on Social Security and how expensive her medication is.
Steven Butala: I’ll tell you. You can get sidetracked for hours trying to befriend somebody and earn their trust. And so I guess the show’s about is it worth it?
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Steven Butala: And when do you say enough’s enough?
Jill DeWit: It’s important to be efficient.
Steven Butala: Especially in land, not so much in houses, because in houses you’re going to turn maybe five or eight houses, if you do everything correctly, a month on your own. If you don’t institutionalize the thing, that’s what House Academy is all about, doing that.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: But with land you’re turning 30 to 40 properties a month, hopefully. So you just don’t have… Or more, way more-
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: … in our case so you just don’t have enough time. Or you have to and I’m sure Jill’s got all the solutions here. She’s got a pad full of notes. I know that.
Jill DeWit: I do.
Steven Butala: So that’s what this is about. Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the landinvestors.com online community. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: Claire asks: Just wondering now that taxsalelists.com is $29 a month, have any any of the new students bought it, too? Can Land Academy get us a group discount-
Steven Butala: So that’s my comment.
Jill DeWit: Okay, got it.
Steven Butala: I haven’t… It’s very rare to go in to Land Investors and have like 28 entries of people answering. So this, for whatever reason, this question prompted like 25 answers.
Jill DeWit: That’s hilarious.
Steven Butala: All of them were rooted in anger about taxsalelists.com. And I wanted to put this out on the podcast cause it reaches a ton of people in the land business. Taxsalelists.com used to be the greatest thing there ever was. It’s a way to organize… It was subscription based and it provides basic education, nothing like Land Academy, but basic education about tax deed sales and tax lien sales and how you can make them work for you. I actually went to a live event that they held, but a guy named John-
Jill DeWit: A lot of years ago.
Steven Butala: Yeah, a lot of years ago. A guy named John started it and he’s the greatest guy ever. And after I went to the live event and met him, we actually ended up doing deals together, a lot like Land Academy. And I guess, in a subconscious way, modeled what I wanted Land Academy to be for a small group of people, not tons of people, out of my experience with Tax Sale Lists. Well, he retired and sold it to a group of freaking idiots. I mean, there’s no other way to describe it. Real angry. I’m shocked that they’re still in business. I don’t know. They just punish their customers and I think I’ve gone back and forth over the last lot of years about starting a company that just destroys them. But the real value that they provide is they aggregate tax sale lists by state and by a calendar. So you can go in there and see what’s… Let’s say you live in Texas, what tax sales are coming up in Texas on what day. And then you can see, most importantly, how we use it, all the past sales that have gone on and what the results are.
Steven Butala: That’s how we gauge, in part, how to choose a county and that’s why it only ever comes up in our education program. And there’s a lot of tax sales, tons and tons and thousands and thousands of properties every year that come up in tax sale. That’s just an indication that something’s wrong. When none come up, that’s a little better. But what you want is a few, in general, when you’re starting out. Jill and I now love to see no tax sales at all. We love to have property where there’s no other property for sale. So you can go in there and read all this, but I would really avoid taxsalelists.com.
Jill DeWit: Can I ask a question?
Steven Butala: And-
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Steven Butala: I created, Jill and I created-
Jill DeWit: There you go.
Steven Butala: … a website that’s completely free that doesn’t do… It gives you the historical data on tax sales, not the future data. And it’s free completely. It’s called countywise.com. It’s plastered all of our education material. All the people that are in this question on Land Investors, they’re not members so they don’t know this.
Jill DeWit: Right. I’m glad that you brought this up. I was going to say, will you share with us how we solved it and that’s how we solved it. We did go down the path at one time when they made it too… Like they had a cheaper model, they made it real expensive, so we really did go get it. We got subscriptions back when, what was this? We were a real small group and I included in our membership. Remember that? I paid for them. I was trying to get some discounts for it, but then, yeah, it all changed. So that’s how we got around it, was creating countywise.com to include the information that you need from there and a whole lot more.
Steven Butala: I approached those guys and said, “Look, this is built for us.”
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: We’d love to give them some kind of discount, pass it through.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. How could we work together?
Steven Butala: We’re not going to make any money on this. We just want to and we want to promote your stuff. And it’s like I killed their dog. That’s how they responded.
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Steven Butala: They’re like, “We’re going to sue you.” It was really funny.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. That’s fine.
Steven Butala: Yeah. Today’s topic. Maximize your valuable time fielding inbound phone calls. This is the meat of the show. It’s also Jill’s topic.
Jill DeWit: And also my time to take a little break. So the point of this topic, the reason I brought this up is because I see it happening often. I see it with our members. I even see it with my staff. Your time is valuable and sometimes it’s hard. Someone calls in, you want to think everyone’s a real legitimate seller. You want to think they’re a legitimate buyer. You want to give them all your attention, but then you turn around and realize, uh-oh, the whole day’s gone and I only talked to five people, kind of thing. You can’t do that. You’ve got to figure out how to quickly assess who’s serious and who’s not.
Jill DeWit: And that’s what the ones who are not, Steven has lovingly called tire kickers. I mean, you’re right. So how do you do this? Your time is valuable. What do I do? Well, quickly, one quick way to assess right away is based on their initial question when they call right in. Is it a legitimate serious question that’s not list in your posting? So two things about that. Number one, you might want to go back and redo your posting. Like all right, I’ve already got three calls right now because I didn’t, I forgot to put the tax situation in there. I need to put that in my posting.
Steven Butala: Yeah. And then put it in all future postings, too.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Steven Butala: You just want to eliminate them one by one.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. That’s the whole thing. You rewrite your template. Or maybe you just forgot on that one. I need to go fix that one real quick. So that’s your first indication that, all right, this person’s, they’re looking at your posting, A, they’re serious. They get it. And then if it’s a seller, they’ve got your a offer in their hand. They’re saying, “Hi, I’m calling about reference number 24163.” Something like that. All right.
Steven Butala: Your hair’s all different.
Jill DeWit: My hair is different? Why did you say that?
Steven Butala: Want to hear a funny story?
Jill DeWit: Uh-oh.
Steven Butala: So Jill-
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Steven Butala: This happens to all people.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Steven Butala: Let’s say we record these things all in a row and so in between shows, Jill changes and puts lipstick on and… So the show we just recorded, her hair was different. So one time-
Jill DeWit: I didn’t realize that.
Steven Butala: … in this dumpy little bar that I used to hang out in Scottsdale, I went and everybody does it. You just go into the bathroom and you just clean yourself up. In particular women do it, but guys do it, too.
Jill DeWit: I did not know that.
Steven Butala: I came back out and I was the laughing stock of the bar for the rest of the week because they were all like, “Oh, my God, you look so much better. Thank you for fixing your hair. I was really concerned about it.”
Jill DeWit: Did you wash your face? Was your hair wet and everything?
Steven Butala: I probably just went like this.
Jill DeWit: Oh, okay.
Steven Butala: I went and, slick, cleaned it up… It’s after work.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: So you’re a mess. Anyway, I just felt like an idiot for a week. Then, the next week it was something else that I felt an idiot [crosstalk 00:08:37] about.
Jill DeWit: Did they pick on you?
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Oh, okay.
Steven Butala: You used to say it’s your week in the barrel.
Jill DeWit: Oh.
Steven Butala: Anyway, your hair’s different, Jill, and you look great.
Jill DeWit: I didn’t notice that, but thank you. All right.
Steven Butala: That was a Jack and Jill Show moment.
Jill DeWit: I guess it was.
Steven Butala: I was just breaking up the-
Jill DeWit: Monotony?
Steven Butala: No, no, just breaking up the real estate talk.
Jill DeWit: You hate this topic? You do.
Steven Butala: Well, it’s show 1200. What show number is this?
Jill DeWit: Let’s call a spade a spade. Do you know what this is? This is you hate this topic. Because you know why? You hate talking on the phone.
Steven Butala: Yeah, and I don’t like customers and talking to customers.
Jill DeWit: We’re well aware of that.
Steven Butala: I don’t think that there should be all this talking with customers. The sellers are one thing. That’s not really a customer. But the buyers are just, you have to… Let me cut to the chase here. Get used to assessing very quickly if this person’s going to buy a piece of property or not and I can tell in 15 seconds. In fact, you might even just want to say that, look, I’m happy to answer your questions, but are you going to buy the property? Because if you’re seriously considering it, then I’m happy to sit here with you and figure this all out. But if not, I just don’t want to talk to you.
Jill DeWit: Okay. I would not say that. That’s the Steven way and you know what?
Steven Butala: There’s a reason why I don’t have that job.
Jill DeWit: And there’s a reason why my stuff sells and why I’m in charge of sales. Are we all getting it now? I think we are. And there’s a reason why we took the phone away from Steven. Seriously, in our office-
Steven Butala: But your hair looks good, though.
Jill DeWit: … everybody says, “Do not let him answer the phone.” You do not talk on the phone. And that’s true, honestly.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Okay. So back to the point. So kind of in a chill way because you just jumped in. But, yeah, that’s it. You just got to cut them off. I used to have a timer on my desk. That’s not a crazy thing to do. You have a timer on your phone now. Just have that on your phone. Like after three minutes, all right, this is not going anywhere.
Steven Butala: Is that what you set it for? Three minutes?
Jill DeWit: Something like that. Even if that, but just whatever makes sense. You realize this is not going anywhere. I get the questions. I know what they’re doing. It’s just not a good use of your time. And I’ll tell you, here’s the sad reality. You learn this and you will learn. You will get good at it. I just have to say it’s going to be some… You’re going to go through a little bit. You’re going to be going, yep, now I know how to spot them. I had to go through it, too. But you’ll realize after the same guy calls you back three days in a row, he’s not a buyer. You think he is, every time. Because he might have one more good question. But after that happens to you 10 times on 10 properties, you’re going to go, yep. Now, I know. The real goal here is to A, your time is valuable and they respect that, too. B, make your postings so darn good. Have every question in there that they don’t need to call you for this stuff. And then, C, at the end of the day you just can’t get this down and you find yourself like, you’re just here I am again with the phone. Hire someone who is and you can solve it that way.
Steven Butala: If you’re a woman and you’re good at this, like Jill, you can expect a marriage proposal per week. And a job offer probably twice a week. That’s how you know you’re good on the phone and you’re answering their questions and keeping them entertained at the same time. And hopefully so they just click on it and check it out.
Jill DeWit: That’s true.
Steven Butala: And I’ll end with this. I don’t know how Jill’s going to end, but every single person in our advanced land acquisition, our advanced group, is either ridiculously good on the phone themselves or they have somebody. They all started being great on the phone.
Jill DeWit: Correct.
Steven Butala: And then the smart ones replaced themselves as somebody who’s great on the phone or better, as an employee.
Jill DeWit: True.
Steven Butala: Or a virtual assistant.
Jill DeWit: True.
Steven Butala: That’s just… So I make light of this. I’m like, I don’t want to talk to customers. I’m constantly saying stuff like that, but it’s imperative in this business to create trust on the phone within minutes.
Jill DeWit: And answer the phone.
Steven Butala: Both on acquisition and the sell side.
Jill DeWit: Hey, let me… Exactly. Are you done?
Steven Butala: Yeah. I’m done, done, done.
Jill DeWit: I didn’t know. Okay. Sorry. Yeah, I was going to say my last point is please don’t. Please do. Please answer the phone. That’s a lot of our-
Steven Butala: Are you done? Are you done? Are you done now, Steve?
Jill DeWit: I didn’t want to interrupt you. I wanted to make sure. I started to go on my thing.
Steven Butala: No, I know that tone.
Jill DeWit: I wanted to make sure you were done with your topic.
Steven Butala: If you’re in a relationship, you know their tones.
Jill DeWit: No. I just was making sure you were done with that topic. That was it.
Steven Butala: Have you ever had a baby?
Jill DeWit: I felt like I interrupted you. All right. We got this, we got this, so thank you. Join us next time for an episode called Land Real Estate Agents for High Dollar Properties.
Steven Butala: And we answer your questions posted on the online community landinvestors.com. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: You are not alone in your real estate ambition.
Steven Butala: It was just too much?
Jill DeWit: I like to say that not line now and then, too, but it was starting to go downhill fast.
Steven Butala: You know what? It occurred to me that we need a tagline for the up and coming Jack Jill show that we’re going to release in probably November, October, November.
Jill DeWit: October.
Steven Butala: Jack and Jill. I want to release it early, too.
Jill DeWit: October would be good.
Steven Butala: What are the taglines that you’ve come up with so far? I was just thinking about some. Like you’re not alone in your real estate ambition is, I think, a great unique tagline for this. But for us like I came up with couples therapy, partners for life, but that sounds like too business-y.
Jill DeWit: Well, remember mine was partners. I said partners in… What did I say? Mine was partners in life, business, and something… And I can’t… And crime. I don’t know if that might be-
Steven Butala: No. I think that it needs to be-
Jill DeWit: This is a funny play on words.
Steven Butala: The whole thing is about working with your spouse and couples and stuff and there’s not… We did a lot of research, Jill and I, and there’s not a lot of good shows, if any, out there-
Jill DeWit: How about-
Steven Butala: And people are coming to us saying, “Hey, the real reason we listen to your show is because you guys are ding-dongs with each other and it’s entertaining. It has nothing to do with real estate.” So.
Jill DeWit: Thank you. How about, I would, I could see a funny play on this. Like you’re not alone. You are not. Hey, by the way, if you have some good ones, will you send it to us-
Steven Butala: That’s what I was going to say. Please send it to us.
Jill DeWit: Oh, send it to, wait, let me think where I should have them send it. I guess to Land Academy for now. I’ll come up with a support at… I will make a support at Jack Jill. We don’t have it yet.
Steven Butala: Support@landacademy.com.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, if you have a good one-
Steven Butala: And give us your notes, too. Like, hey, it would be great if you guys did a show… That we want to hear you talk about X or whatever.
Jill DeWit: Right. That’s pretty good. I’ll come up… Thank you. By the way, the Land Academy daily show remains commercial-free for you, our loyal listener. So wherever you’re watching or wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate us there.
Steven and Jill: We are Steve and Jill.
Steven Butala: 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.
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 Apple Podcasts.