Top 3 Things to do as a Land Investor (LA 1104)

Top 3 Things to do as a Land Investor (LA 1104)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill Dewitt:                           Good morning.

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

Jill Dewitt:                           And I’m Jill Dewitt, broadcasting from sunny Southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today Jill and I talk about the top three things to do as a land investor.

Jill Dewitt:                           Exactly. And I realize, I’m not sure if it’s morning when this is launched, but it’s morning for me right now. So we’ll just going to go with that. How are you?

Steven Butala:                   Good. It’s morning. We are recording on Halloween.

Jill Dewitt:                           Yes, we are.

Steven Butala:                   By the time this airs, it’ll be long past Halloween.

Jill Dewitt:                           Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Getting a lot of questions about the caution tape behind us.

Jill Dewitt:                           Everybody thinks that we A, broke in. B, this is a active crime scene.

Steven Butala:                   Which it might be. We’ll see how this episode goes.

Jill Dewitt:                           C, we’re being evicted. So take your pick. We actually live here, I promise. It’s none of the above. So you will see us next week. You will see no crime scene tape behind us. Cool.

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

Jill Dewitt:                           Jamie asks, “I recently received a signed purchase agreement back via email.” Yay. “I overpriced the property.” Oops. “I called the owner and let her know that I’m no longer interested in the property at that price. Her son who’s attorney,” Oh, this is funny. “then emailed me and told me that they are going to sue me. Was for specific performance as our purchase agreement constitutes a valid contract.” This is hilarious.

Jill Dewitt:                           “I have made no modification to the wording in the purchase agreement. It’s just like the original on Offers to I am curious if any of you have experienced this and how it turned out for you. Thanks. PS. I copied a sanitized version of the email I received below.” Okay. This is funny.

Steven Butala:                   So every once in a while this happens to … Same thing happens to us. Exactly the same thing. I don’t know. I’m going to say once a year. And in that contract, if you did take the verbatim agreement … It’s not a contract by the way. It’s not a valid contract first of all, but the out is this. There’s a contingency in the PA that says we reserve … The property has to pass all of our tests before we buy it. This is a purchase agreement, it has to pass our tests.

Steven Butala:                   This lawyer’s-

Jill Dewitt:                           Bored?

Steven Butala:                   … I’m guessing bored? New? Probably brand new.

Jill Dewitt:                           Looking for something to do

Steven Butala:                   And just over eager.

Jill Dewitt:                           Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   I’ve never had anything like this ever go past an email like this.

Jill Dewitt:                           Exactly. Once you point out, look at number three, I don’t agree with that. Look at number two, I don’t agree with that. And look at number one … You know what’s so funny too? One of those things, it says if the back tax is within reason, pass my test. You could say whatever the back taxes are … Every property pretty much has back taxes. Nobody pays ahead.

Jill Dewitt:                           So you could just say right there, “Sorry. Those back taxes don’t agree with me. It’s not within my threshold.” And that would negate it all right there too.

Steven Butala:                   There’s four ways you can handle this, but don’t worry.

Jill Dewitt:                           Right, exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Even if it ever got to the lawsuit point, you could just file a motion to dismiss based on here’s the theoretical contract. It says right there, we reserve the right to not do the deal if we don’t want to.

Jill Dewitt:                           Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   For any reason.

Jill Dewitt:                           And you know what’s interesting? The reverse is true too because I’ve had people back out on me and I’ve never said, “But you signed to get this.”

Steven Butala:                   That happens all the time.

Jill Dewitt:                           It’s true. That does happen a lot and I’m like, you know, I get it. It’s not worth my time to chase and do whatever to buy a property that they change their mind. They don’t want to sell. They don’t like that price, whatever the reason is, that’s fine. Just move on.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic, the top three things to do as a land investor. Not only is this the meat of the show, it’s Jill’s topic.

Jill Dewitt:                           Oh, why is that special? There’s a lot that are my topics.

Steven Butala:                   Jill did a live event yesterday on this topic and she feels very qualified and prepared to to have this episode. Let’s hear it.

Jill Dewitt:                           I love how you say that. Like very qualified, like I’m not normally qualified. She feels qualified today. All the other thousand … What show are we on? 1106. So up until shows 1105, we’re not sure. She feels very qualified about this one.

Steven Butala:                   Before we get into it though, before we start here.

Jill Dewitt:                           Yeah?

Steven Butala:                   Is there anything you do on this whole show, this Land Academy Show we have that you don’t feel qualified discussing?

Jill Dewitt:                           Yes. Women’s issues.

Steven Butala:                   What?

Jill Dewitt:                           I’m just kidding.

Steven Butala:                   Who’s more qualified than you?

Jill Dewitt:                           I know. Men’s issues. Okay. Men’s issues. Excuse me. I’m very qualified on women’s issues, not so qualified on men’s issues. Especially, how do I word this? We’ll just say a certain type of man issues. I’m not-

Steven Butala:                   Like what?

Jill Dewitt:                           I don’t know. You and I look at things very differently. Let’s call a spade a spade, right?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, let’s.

Jill Dewitt:                           The way you approach things, and decisions, and fulfilling things, getting projects done are very different than the way I do. And no one is right or wrong, they’re just different. So-

Steven Butala:                   Give us an example, Jill.

Jill Dewitt:                           Oh no, now we’re going … All right. Staffing.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, that’s true.

Jill Dewitt:                           Thank you. Operations.

Steven Butala:                   That’s true too.

Jill Dewitt:                           Okay. Do you want keep going or can I stop?

Steven Butala:                   It’s not qualified for this stuff or that-

Jill Dewitt:                           No. I know. It’s not that you’re not qualified at all.

Steven Butala:                   … I just have-

Jill Dewitt:                           Well, it’s like at a different [crosstalk 00:05:37].

Steven Butala:                   You know what it is? It’s just lack of patience and interest.

Jill Dewitt:                           That would be different. I rest my case, back to the topic.

Steven Butala:                   All right.

Jill Dewitt:                           All right. So I talked about this and this is coming from, gosh, five years now. Do you know we’ve been doing this for five years? We just talked that because we started Land Academy and we’re working on Land Academy before it was released as Land Academy. And some people may remember it was like at the beginning of the year in 2015? Yeah. So we’re going on 2020. So 2015. So 2014 we were really putting it all together.

Steven Butala:                   It’s funny you bring that up because it’s 10-31. The date is 10-31 today.

Jill Dewitt:                           Right.

Steven Butala:                   It’s Halloween, 10-31-19. And so I’ve really closely looked at the last four or five days of the month at our revenue on all of our lines of business. Land, houses, parcel facts, revenue, Land Academy, all of it. And within the last five days, if it’s not where it should be, Jill and I get together and we say, all right. And we make some decisions about concentrating on certain stuff or whatever.

Steven Butala:                   And for whatever reason I looked back at Land Academy itself, its revenue since we started the credit … We use Stripe. So since we started the credit card processing thing, and it started in June 14. And we were doing … I don’t even remember this-

Jill Dewitt:                           Wait, June 14?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. June 14 we opened a Stripe account and started collecting revenue. Because we launched the program-

Jill Dewitt:                           Not July 14?

Steven Butala:                   We launched the program-

Jill Dewitt:                           I mean, not 15?

Steven Butala:                   We launched the program in July 15. Stripe started in June 14 and I’m looking at it and going, what the heck and why?

Jill Dewitt:                           Dude, you’re right-

Steven Butala:                   And there’s revenue in there and I-

Jill Dewitt:                           Oh, I know what it is.

Steven Butala:                   It was consulting.

Jill Dewitt:                           Oh.

Steven Butala:                   It was like we just kind of started consulting and asking people if you need help, let us know. And so we were-

Jill Dewitt:                           Because that’s how it began.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. We didn’t have the idea to actually do a program or start a group like this or provide the data and the tools and all that. It took us-

Jill Dewitt:                           This was not our plan.

Steven Butala:                   It took those consulting episodes … Not episodes, but those consulting events about how these people were … And we were answering the same thing over and over again. And what prompted me to really dig into it is because you did this live event yesterday and I kind of crashed it on … Not a live event, but you did a live presentation.

Jill Dewitt:                           A Facebook Live thing?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. And I kind of crashed it and we got several questions that were the exact questions that we got in 2014.

Jill Dewitt:                           Right.

Steven Butala:                   And you can tell that they just … It’s not anybody’s fault, they just haven’t gone through our educational process yet to learn those basic ways of how to send a mailer out and why.

Jill Dewitt:                           Right. That’s the normal process. They’re questioning this and then they’re going to question that. Then they understand this and understand that. Same as me.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, me too.

Jill Dewitt:                           We were all there.

Steven Butala:                   So it’s just amazing to me how stuff doesn’t change.

Jill Dewitt:                           Right. And that’s so cool. So what I was saying with this topic is this ties into … Gosh, more than five years then, of us talking to people, which is really true. And coaching them and helping them, way before Land Academy, how to be an investor and do things like us.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:                           And this is very true. So what would I tell someone, even without Land Academy? You know what? Pretend Land Academy doesn’t exist. You came to me and said, “Jill, I want to do this.” Like, “How do I be like you?” I’d say, “Well, do you know what? Get educated.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:                           Find someone who’s doing it and copy them. Follow it. Figure out what they’re doing. Learn from them. Don’t try to recreate the wheel. I didn’t. I came along and learned from you. You educated me.

Steven Butala:                   I created the wheel for everyone.

Jill Dewitt:                           You did. You started in the ’90s and then it evolved to … You made it. Yeah, you made the wheel. Wow. How special are you?

Steven Butala:                   Wow.

Jill Dewitt:                           I just kidding, but you know what I mean? So you started this in the ’90s, you taught me. I was one of your students. Technically we could say it like that. And then I learned from you.

Steven Butala:                   No.

Jill Dewitt:                           Oh, thank you.

Steven Butala:                   No.

Jill Dewitt:                           Thank you. But so my point is get educated. I don’t know who it is or whatever … Even if you want to do something that’s not involved in what we do. You want to be the best house flipper out there, and you want to know how to get a contractor, and you want to learn how to pay the guys and keep them motivated. Whatever it is.

Steven Butala:                   You know what? Let’s talk about this for a second.

Jill Dewitt:                           Okay.

Steven Butala:                   This is so off topic, but I don’t care.

Jill Dewitt:                           Oh, okay.

Steven Butala:                   When Jill and I joined forces, you never came to me … Most people come to us and they say, “How do I do this?” You never ever, ever, ever, ever asked me how to do this.

Jill Dewitt:                           Thanks.

Steven Butala:                   What you did was you didn’t say, “How do I do a mailer? How do I recreate what you’ve done?” You just immediately got on the phone, got into the CRM that we were using at the time, started calling people and doing deals. Like, it was just natural for you to do that for some reason. I mean, I’m talking about like in a half hour.

Jill Dewitt:                           Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   And so I wonder how we can translate that to help people right now. Instead of going in there and trying to figure out a mailer that you don’t want to do anyway maybe, because it’s not your thing. Just to like do some type of self assessment to find out what you’re really, really good at and then not try to go back and do some stuff you don’t want to do.

Steven Butala:                   If you’re going to do … Let’s all face it. If you wake up in the morning and do a bunch of stuff you don’t want to do over and over and over again or that you’re not succeeding at, you’re not going to do it for very long.

Jill Dewitt:                           Exactly. So I don’t-

Steven Butala:                   So what is it? What was that magic there? You never came to me and said, “How do I do a mailer?” Never.

Jill Dewitt:                           I think it was the-

Steven Butala:                   Like, not even once.

Jill Dewitt:                           I think that’s a nature nurture thing. I think some people are born with that entrepreneurial spirit. Not kidding. And they whatever they set out to do, whether it’s our business or … I’m looking at mugs on our desk. Or being the leading seller of coffee mugs on eBay. I don’t care what it is, they won’t stop until they’re there. And I think they have that in them.

Jill Dewitt:                           So that’s that stuff you can’t teach and I hope that you can assess that of yourself/however, you can over time, I think create this momentum and create the motivation in yourself and get yourself there. But it takes drive. Maybe you want to be the best photographer on the planet.

Jill Dewitt:                           I know we’re going way off topic, but it starts with the equipment, and some training, and some knowledge. And you’ve got to go out there and do it and probably put in a lot of hours. Maybe you put in more hours than the next guy, but if you’re really committed to it … Because you know what, I’ve seen it in Land Academy.

Jill Dewitt:                           I’m telling you, I’ve seen people that I thought, Oh my gosh, this guy’s not going to make it. You know? And guess what, they do.

Steven Butala:                   So let’s put this in the context of the actual show today.

Jill Dewitt:                           Okay.

Steven Butala:                   There’s three things to do … Because I really do think that this applies.

Jill Dewitt:                           Okay.

Steven Butala:                   The top three things to do as a new investor.

Jill Dewitt:                           Can I say them?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, go ahead.

Jill Dewitt:                           Okay. So my one is get educated. I think we talked about that enough. And the main point I want to drive home is you could spend 10 years or 10 weeks, which would you choose? That’s what I think is a difference. 10 years, don’t spend any money, plan on it. It’s going to take you a lot of time if you’re going to go out and reinvent the wheel and learn on your own.

Jill Dewitt:                           Versus get educated by somebody. Now you can probably be cutting it down by 10 weeks. And for me it’s worth the investment/however, I don’t condone these 50 hundred thousand dollar versions. I don’t think that you need to spend that much money. I don’t think that’s … For education. Unless it’s a college degree. College degree, that’s a whole different thing. You want to be a doctor? Please do that.

Jill Dewitt:                           You know what I mean? Is that making sense?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Absolutely.

Jill Dewitt:                           Okay. Okay. So and there’s a lot of free things you can do to get educated too and stuff to get the ball rolling. Go to these meetups, go to … There’s a lot of great free videos out there. We have our online community, it’s free. There’s lots of stuff you could do to get the ball rolling. So as a new investor, get educated. That’s the main thing, number one.

Jill Dewitt:                           Number two, I really think you have to take a step back and understand that there’s money out there and if you can find good deals… Because this is something that comes up often. A lot of people think that, “Oh gosh, I can’t jump into the investor arena because I don’t have any money.” No you don’t. That’s not true. I mean, that shouldn’t slow you down.

Jill Dewitt:                           It’s finding the deals and being that person that gets the deal done is what it is. And if you knew how to find a good deal, I promise the money will come. Whether it’s us, an investor in the back of the room that if you’re at an REI meetup or whatever it is, that kind of a thing. Oh, they’re standing there. I promise. They’re in our group.

Jill Dewitt:                           They are in our group trolling our online community looking … And they’re on Land Tank and they’re on House Tank looking for someone just like you who’s all excited, found a good deal, did everything right. They know how you learned this and they want to fund your deal. So that’s the second thing. And then the third thing, you want to comment on that? I’m going to go to the third.

Steven Butala:                   Please keep going. You’re doing great.

Jill Dewitt:                           All right. The third thing ties into what we were just kind of talking about. Is you got to commit to taking the time and putting in the necessary time and energy to get this done. Maybe somebody only has to get up … Maybe someone has to work only an hour extra in the morning and an hour extra in the evening. It’s all coming naturally to them, they’re getting it.

Jill Dewitt:                           But maybe for you, you have to get up at 5:00 AM not 7:00 AM like that guy. You have to put in three hours in the morning and three hours at night and eat up your weekends. I don’t care. Whatever it is, you have to commit to it. Have that talk with your family, have that talk with yourself, and that’s what it takes to be successful.

Steven Butala:                   This is the kicker for me.

Jill Dewitt:                           It’ll pay off.

Steven Butala:                   It’s this number three.

Jill Dewitt:                           Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   The commitment. Jill has written on her notes here, commit the necessary time and energy to do this. And then she says, this is the work. There’s a disconnection and people like Tony Robbins generate multi-millions of dollars a month giving talks and motivational speeches, and the whole self-help environment is about this. It’s about that we all want to survive, we all want to do well. We want to be proud of ourselves and have some version of a family or whatever it is. We all want something.

Jill Dewitt:                           Right.

Steven Butala:                   It’s that disconnect between that want and then actually getting it. It’s that between spot, which is hard, hard freaking work.

Jill Dewitt:                           It is.

Steven Butala:                   And it’s organization. Getting your time organization. It’s getting the people that are your immediate people in your world to buy into it and participate in it. And then the actual technical skills maybe … In our case, this is very Excel driven if you’re on the acquisition side, like I am not Jill’s side. So it’s that disconnection that keeps popping up for us, and for me recently.

Steven Butala:                   I’m not sure why, but I don’t know how to bridge that gap. You know? And I think there’s a huge confidence component. I had a consulting call with a guy yesterday who just wants to do this so bad. He’s so motivated and I helped him pick some counties. I think he won it at our live event.

Jill Dewitt:                           Cool. Yay.

Steven Butala:                   So it’s that number three connection that I think is so important.

Jill Dewitt:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative). And it just takes time. You just got to commit to it and take the time. And you know, I’ll tell you real quick, the best way to overcome confidence … I talked about this at the live event. Is know your stuff. Come into it knowing that County, the area, the property. Do your homework. That takes the confidence-

Steven Butala:                   I think a lot of people too-

Jill Dewitt:                           … issue out of the equation, if you will.

Steven Butala:                   Sorry, I’m sorry. I thought you were done.

Jill Dewitt:                           It’s okay. It’s all right.

Steven Butala:                   Some people are natural startup people. They’re real good on the front end. Some people are really natural, like operators. So they don’t have a problem with this connection that I’m talking about at all. They get into it. It’s just the next thing for them. It’s just like they’re doing something last month and now they’re going to do this month and continue with it because that’s what they want. So I think it’s important not to fight your own personality type. Why is that so funny?

Jill Dewitt:                           Sorry. That’s a whole nother show.

Steven Butala:                   What?

Jill Dewitt:                           That’s a whole other show.

Steven Butala:                   Don’t fight yourself?

Jill Dewitt:                           Fighting your own personality type. That’s actually kind of funny when really think about that. And I don’t mean … I just think that’s cool and you’re right. I’m not picking on you at all. I’m like-

Steven Butala:                   Should I write it down?

Jill Dewitt:                           … that’s a good one actually. I think I would tune in to listen to the, fighting your own personality. Don’t fight your own personality type, you’ll-

Steven Butala:                   I’m writing it down.

Jill Dewitt:                           … you’ll lose every time.

Steven Butala:                   I don’t think so.

Jill Dewitt:                           Really?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. You know what, you would lose.

Jill Dewitt:                           If you fight your own personality type, you will fail.

Steven Butala:                   Cover for me, because I’m writing.

Jill Dewitt:                           Okay. This is good. Okay, that’s it. It’s work. I’m going to end on this. Now you know, get educated. Don’t be afraid of these deals, ramp yourself up, and then commit. And it’s work. I think that I honestly … Because it comes up often, people look at us like, “Ooh, there’s a lot to this. And I’m like, what’d you think? And it’s like you guys were laughing all the time, I didn’t think there was so much to this.

Steven Butala:                   [inaudible 00:18:50].

Jill Dewitt:                           Kind of. In a roundabout way. Like, you guys are having so much fun. Like it’s easy. Like, yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). So you got to know it is going to be work, but you can do it if you commit and we’re here. We have support and we’re not going to let you fall that far.

Steven Butala:                   Join us next time for another episode called, how to raise capital and how not to.

Jill Dewitt:                           And we answer your questions posted on our online community found at Land It is free.

Steven Butala:                   You are not alone in your real estate ambition.

Jill Dewitt:                           I kind of want to play a game with that, fighting your own personality type.

Steven Butala:                   Give me a question right now. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?

Jill Dewitt:                           Oh my gosh. Okay. You’re, you’re OC … Not you in general, okay? Person A, you’re OCD.

Steven Butala:                   I love this game.

Jill Dewitt:                           This is this good. You’re OCD, your wife brings home-

Steven Butala:                   I don’t know why it’s funny already.

Jill Dewitt:                           I know. You’re OCD and you have your own office. Your wife declare she quit her job and wants to share the office with you, and she’s Pig Pen. What do you do?

Steven Butala:                   I would say no.

Jill Dewitt:                           All right. I’m trying to think of a thing, but you know where I’m going with that. How about, well honestly for us right now, I try not to touch your equipment.

Steven Butala:                   We all know people … Yeah, moving on. We all know people who start projects and don’t finish them.

Jill Dewitt:                           Right.

Steven Butala:                   And so I was having this talk with one of our friends because she’s one of these people, but she’s brilliant. Like, she’s absolutely brilliant. So rather than hang your head about it and just get … For whatever reason, that has such a negative ring to it by everybody. Especially where I’m from. In the Midwest, it’s like finish what you start, speak in full sentences.

Steven Butala:                   And so what if you’re just a start up person? You have these great ideas. Maybe you have these great ideas and you have a money person with you. Rather than trying to force yourself to be an operations person, which you’re just not naturally an operations person … You might have to do it when you’re younger, once or twice just to figure out that you don’t want to do it.

Steven Butala:                   Maybe you and the money person go find an operations person and maybe the operations person says, “This isn’t going to work unless we have a marketing person.” Then go get a marketing person.

Jill Dewitt:                           Well, this is a good show. I was just trying-

Steven Butala:                   Don’t fight your own personality type.

Jill Dewitt:                           I was just trying to have fun with it in the after show, so we need to continue this.

Steven Butala:                   Oh, sorry.

Jill Dewitt:                           No, it’s good. Let’s continue it.

Steven Butala:                   We’ll do a show next week on it.

Jill Dewitt:                           Okay, cool. 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.

both:                                     We are, Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   Information.

Jill Dewitt:                           And inspiration.

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.


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