Profile of Land Academy Members with Sr Manager Erin Spence (LA 1086)
Steven Butala: Steven here. Welcome to the Land Academy Show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala broadcasting from sunny Southern California. Today I talk with our senior manager for Land Academy, Erin Spence, and we catch up on what matters to our current Land Academy members. Hi Erin.
Erin Spence: Hi.
Steven Butala: This has become quite the popular weekly show.
Erin Spence: I love it.
Steven Butala: The numbers are … You never know what’s going to happen when you do this stuff and people are getting a lot out of it. So it’s a weekly thing now. Hope you’re okay with that.
Erin Spence: I am. I am. I’m more comfortable now. It’s fine and I like it.
Steven Butala: I also have to say that when we’re recording this right now on a Thursday, we are about to go into our live event, our annual live event. This is maybe like the worst scheduling on my part if there ever was.
Erin Spence: It’s fine.
Steven Butala: We’ll make it brief. What’s on the minds of Land Academy members this week?
Erin Spence: Actually, I came here with a bone to pick a little dish with members and nonmembers.
Steven Butala: Oh, good. At least it’s not me.
Erin Spence: No, it’s not you. Our numbers are great. Our prospective numbers are awesome, but right now we’ve had just so many people trying to use our staff instead of actually learning the program. It’s been a big problem lately actually for like the last week or two.
Steven Butala: Can you give us an example?
Erin Spence: Yeah. Well, so the one side of it is prospective members and I totally understand, our staff is very knowledgeable and accommodating and we’ll answer all the questions we can. But I had a discovery call with this guy, and he basically on the phone was asking me to tell him how to pick a county. He had gone through someone else’s program, and it didn’t work for him. And I kind of tried to tell him, I’m not trying to withhold information, but I can’t in this 10 minute phone call, teach you how to pick a county. It’s a lot more than that.
Erin Spence: And he kind of expected that. And then the next day he called back and tried to get one of our staff members to teach him how to use real [crosstalk 00:01:58]. And he was very nice and understood, but he just like assumed he could just not go through a program and that it’s all simple, and one of us can explain it and half an hour. That’s not how it is.
Steven Butala: Wow.
Erin Spence: Yeah. And then the flip side is members, and it’s the same thing. We’ll have members who check out and will either tell us I went through the program once or they didn’t even go through the program and maybe watched a couple parts of it and they were like, Oh well we have this whole staff now we’re a member, why can’t you just teach me how to do it? And our stuff is super accommodating. But we don’t have time to talk to everyone. And I think there is a part of like our staff is really friendly and so sometimes we have people who just want to call in and talk to them, which is very sweet. But we have a small staff and we don’t have time for that.
Steven Butala: You’re kind of going off right now.
Erin Spence: It’s been a lot.
Steven Butala: I like it.
Erin Spence: We have two members in particular who just go straight to my phone instead of our staff so that I can get them off the phone.
Steven Butala: Wow. So it’s really two people or is it 20?
Erin Spence: No, it’s like 20.
Steven Butala: Is it really?
Erin Spence: It’s a lot. Yeah.
Steven Butala: You know where this comes from, I think, and this is given me an idea about a new business, there’s other people in this education space who do … That’s how they approached this. They don’t have a self teaching model like we do. They have like let’s have a webinar and go through this and go through this and go through this, so I can probably solve this. I can’t solve it over night. But I could do some version of an online course that’s like a series of live webinars where we do it all together.
Erin Spence: I’m sure it’d be very popular.
Steven Butala: I’m going to write that down.
Erin Spence: It’s especially bothersome when I hear these calls and I know it’s something that’s covered in the first chapter of the program and it’s hard for our staff to be like just go watch the program. But that really is kind of what needs to happen.
Steven Butala: Why do you think it’s happening? Is it new? Is it a new problem?
Erin Spence: This many people, it’s new. It has definitely happened for as long as we’ve had Land Academy, but it’s been a huge influx. I don’t know, maybe it’s just … We had a big group of people check out lately. It could be something related to that. And we’ve had a lot more outreach going on and things like that.
Steven Butala: Well, at the very least I’ll bring it up on the Thursday webinars.
Erin Spence: Well, and that’s something too is you’ve created so many different ways to get help. There’s Land Investors, which is incredible. And then also the weekly webinars. And I think maybe some people are embarrassed to go on or embarrassed to ask, but I learn things every single week on the Thursday webinar. There’s so much information, there’s never a dumb question. Sometimes people will basically ask our staff to do a deal review and for a lot of reasons our staff can’t do a deal review. But you know who can. And he’s there every single Thursday, except for today.
Steven Butala: What else is going on in the world that the Land Academy, I can solve this problem for you, by the way.
Erin Spence: I’m very excited. I’m sure staff is too.
Steven Butala: It’s real easy for me to sit down at my desk, turn the camera on, and if we have a scheduled webinar, go through chapter one and say, and here’s what you need to get out of it. And then we do it for chapter two the next week. I’d be happy to do that.
Erin Spence: I think that would be great.
Steven Butala: What’s hard and very time consuming is doing a program. That takes months of organizational time and a lot of different ticks and then there’s post editing and everything. But to do … I can solve this.
Erin Spence: That’s awesome.
Steven Butala: It’s something I can do without Jill too, which really excites me.
Erin Spence: Perfect.
Steven Butala: Because getting Jill to commit to scheduling these days is just like pulling teeth, you know that.
Erin Spence: It’s been a lot.
Steven Butala: So it’s like 20 people you think?
Erin Spence: It’s a bit like, I’m sure that if you came up with something it would be very popular.
Steven Butala: We have two customer service people that are spread really thin. What can you say? What is appropriate? What’s the use of our customer service team and the inappropriate one?
Erin Spence: Appropriate is login issues. That’s actually the big one. That’s like login issues you’re having computer problems that are related to our sites, things like that. Anything that … Or things that aren’t appropriate are deal reviews, asking for advice on properties and things like that. Pulling up specific properties and ParcelFact. My staff isn’t there to sit there and try to pull up the same properties you’ve already pulled up. And a lot of times we, on ParcelFact tell you how, if you’re having problems with pulling up properties, how to solve that and we follow the exact same steps that are listed there. So if you follow the same steps, you’ll get the same answer we will. That one’s been coming up a lot too. People just calling and asking about how to type in a number into ParcelFact.
Steven Butala: Really?
Erin Spence: Yeah. Yeah. Or you have to add a couple zeros or something or take off the zeros and we have very specific instructions for that. I think people just want the help and I get it. Our staff is awesome. Amy and Aaron are incredible, but they don’t have the time to sit there and do things like that.
Steven Butala: Okay. Can we counter balance this with … Yeah. Can we counter balance the rant with something positive today? This is coming from somebody who’s, there’s nothing positive that I think or talk about ever.
Erin Spence: One thing I’ve seen that’s really cool in the last week or two, our members are going into counties I’ve never even heard of before. Counties that aren’t necessarily covered. They have to go back to the old school ways with the county and everything and having a lot of success. We have one new member who is working with a county that’s not easy to pull up and he’s already done, it’s actually the person who sent out mail six days after signing up. He is in an interesting county that’s not easy to pull up. And he had a little bit of trouble kind of figuring it out at first and finding properties and now he’s doing deals. He was on the phone with Omar earlier. Sonny had another mailer.
Steven Butala: Wow.
Erin Spence: Yeah, it’s incredible. And then he’s not the only one. There really are a lot of people who are just finding their own little niche in a weird place that’s working so well.
Steven Butala: That’s great. Yeah, I’ve gotten … It’s interesting you’re having these customer service change because I have never had so many members reach out to me personally and either thank us or have questions or all of it. There’s some shift.
Erin Spence: Definitely.
Steven Butala: Do you have any idea what it is? Is there a profile of somebody that is a little bit higher maintenance?
Erin Spence: I don’t know.
Steven Butala: Because there’s certainly a profile of somebody who I can tell in 30 seconds that’s going to kill it. That’s going to just use this program how it’s supposed to be used.
Erin Spence: Yeah. You know, the people who are high maintenance are actually the people who end up succeeding later. Some of our most successful people that we’d still talk to who are coming to the event and the advanced members were high maintenance to begin with. And so I think maybe they just need the extra help and the push, but it does give me help for these people. They will be successful. I know they’re asking a lot of questions and need some extra help, but I know that they’re going to make it.
Steven Butala: Okay. That’s good to know.
Erin Spence: Definitely.
Steven Butala: Because I was going just going to ask you that exact question. My gut tells me that super high maintenance people in the beginning aren’t going to make it anyway, but that’s just, that’s not the case?
Erin Spence: It kind of depends. You can usually tell. I mean, if they … You can tell what the question. If they’re high maintenance with good questions and maybe just aren’t reading through things clearly or thoroughly, then I think they’ll make it. You can definitely tell when some people start right off the bat and just don’t get it at all.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Erin Spence: And yeah, and then they won’t make it.
Steven Butala: All right, I’m going to do a show or some type of webinar. It’s not going to be free. In fact, it’s going to be … Because this is such a … Obviously there’s demand for it. I’ll make it very comprehensive and very not free.
Erin Spence: That’s awesome. People will love it.
Steven Butala: This next time for another interesting episode and we answer your questions posted on our online community, landinvestors.com. It’s free. You are not alone in your real estate ambition. I have to ask this, are you really noticing this because you’re in town right now? Because I know you telecommute most of the time.
Erin Spence: Yeah, I think that that’s a little bit of it. But actually Jill was in the office and heard some things where she was just like, we maybe need more coaching of our staff just because these aren’t questions they should have to answer. I do think that there’s probably a degree of that though. I’m definitely paying more attention now.
Steven Butala: Okay. Well, either way we’ll adjust to the changes like we always do. We’ll make it, we’ll provide another product. That’s our MO. I’m Steven Butala, information and inspiration 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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