Profile of Land Academy Members with Sr Manager Erin Spence (LA 1105)
Erin Spence: Hi.
Steven Butala: Hello, how are you?
Erin Spence: Good, how are you?
Steven Butala: Good. All right, so is there anything you specifically want to talk about today?
Erin Spence: Yeah, I was going to talk about members making connections because we’ve had a lot of people … The live event, people making connections, and then we’ve had a lot of people asking us about accountability groups and how to connect with each other and do deals together and things like that.
Steven Butala: Excellent. I’m going to retitle the whole thing that and just take it away. I have a lot to say about that too because I’m actually doing some stuff now that’s pretty intense, pretty intentionally specialized, intensely specialized with some of these guys.
Erin Spence: Cool, perfect.
Steven Butala: All right. You ready?
Erin Spence: Yes.
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 again with our Senior Manager from Land Academy, Erin Spence to catch up on what matters to our current Land Academy members. Hello Erin.
Erin Spence: Hi.
Steven Butala: We just talked right before we turned the cameras on and I said, “Is there something special you want to talk about today?” And bang, connections. You came up with it immediately, so I’d love to hear about our members connecting and your thoughts on that today.
Erin Spence: So part of me thinks we’re kind of still riding the high of the live event because people hear about how all of the great connections were made there and see it, see all the people working together. So now I think there’s a little bit of jealousy too of the people who weren’t at the live event who strive for those connections now.
Steven Butala: It’s funny you say that because I am still working three specific angles and pretty sophisticated, the connections I’ve made, and I’ve talked to these guys all the time. The live event seemed to just make it all click. So this isn’t a live event promotional video, but it’s worked for me too. So what examples are you seeing?
Erin Spence: This week I have gotten so many messages of people kind of asking, “Okay, I know we have the deal board but is that where I should post messages trying to connect with people, or do you guys have a way that I can work with other members?” And the deal board really is the best place that we have, but it’s kind of gotten me thinking about if there’s a way we could do something else. Our advanced group has a GroupMe group text and I don’t necessarily want to manage that for all of our members, but-
Steven Butala: I can imagine.
Erin Spence: But I do think that there is another way we could do it, whether it’s me posting something on the deal board being like, “Come comment here if you want to work with someone else.” People really want to work with other members and see the value in it but are kind of having trouble making that first connection. I don’t know if it’s because they maybe don’t want to spam up our deal board or something like that, but people really want to work together. They see the value in it. They do hear you talking about it a lot, which was really helpful too.
Steven Butala: You know what baffles me, that as much as we try to launch products … We don’t try, we do. We very successfully launch tech products or websites like Land Tank or House Tank, where it’s a very specific use product and which I, in my opinion, are the easiest and best ones. You have a great deal, you don’t exactly have the cash to do it and you want to find a partner, so you post it on Land Deal. So you post it on Land Tank and somebody picks it up. That will never replace for whatever reason, I guess it’s tribal human nature, where you go on a place like deal board, which is basically just a free for all and it’s like a … I remember putting that deal board together in 2015 and I modeled it specifically after a job board with post-it notes, like post-it notes for where you used to work in 1979, and that’s still what people want.
Erin Spence: It is, absolutely. People love it.
Steven Butala: Like a freeform way to say … Remember those little flippy things that you pull down if you want a free guitar lesson?
Erin Spence: [inaudible 00:00:05:46], that’s true.
Steven Butala: That’s what it is. So it’s always interesting to talk to you because it’s fascinating for me to find out what gets back to you on the front line for customer service and just talking to the members and stuff. So why do you think this is getting back to you? Is it in the form of a question, like, “How do I do it?”
Erin Spence: Yeah, it’s definitely more in the form of a question. We do sometimes get people who give us positive feedback like, “Hey, thank you for your help. I worked with so-and-so and we just closed some crazy deal.” So I’m getting some of that too, but it’s mostly questions because people are seeing the success and want it to be them. I think it’s really people who want the lasting connections too. I think Land Tank is great but we’ve seen Land Tank slow down a little bit the last couple of weeks, and part of it is because people are forming connections and working together on all their projects versus needing the one off funding, which as much as I would love there to be more on Land Tank it is really cool to see people making these connections and they’re going to be working together forever.
Steven Butala: Exactly. I mean that was the whole intent with Land Tank anyway. You post a couple of deals in the beginning, you find somebody to work with who wants to fund them and then eventually you don’t post them anymore.
Erin Spence: Yep, it’s working.
Steven Butala: That’s great. So what else is going on on? Well, you know what, let’s stick with this for a second. What’s the solution? I mean, is the solution just to let free for all go on deal board or is there some … The tech person in me wants to make this easier for people and I wonder if it’s just like just let them go at it.
Erin Spence: Yeah, I would like to talk to Molly from IT and see if she had any ideas because I’ve been telling people that they can go at it and kind of use the deal board however they want. They don’t need to worry about spamming it up or anything, it’s totally fine. But I think people are still kind of hesitant and there are also still a lot of wholesale deals going on on the deal boards. I think people kind of as much as I tell them that it’s fine and it’s meant for that too, I think that they still kind of don’t feel like it should be used for that. They don’t want to clog it up. So I do kind of think that there could be a way to develop something else to kind of just connect people to working together on bigger deals.
Steven Butala: So do you think the connection is just deal making or is it other stuff?
Erin Spence: I don’t think it’s other stuff. The people who get to me, it’s more about deal-making and going on joint ventures and things. People want to work together for everything. The accountability groups are popping up everywhere too, which I think is really cool, the beginners wanting to work together and I’m sure they’ll all grow together.
Steven Butala: That’s a perfect example of this organic third head that grew out of this whole group. Somebody as I understand it, and please correct me if I’m wrong here, somebody got this idea to set up a Facebook group called the Land Academy Accountability Group and anybody … Is it open to the public or is it just for us?
Erin Spence: It’s private but they’ll let anybody in. You just have to kind of ask.
Steven Butala: And they’re holding each other … These are newer people, not advanced people or people that have been around for a couple of years, holding each other accountable to make sure they follow through with buying and selling land. And this self policing thing, I think it’s fantastic.
Erin Spence: They have game plans in there. They’re creating worksheets for each other. I was in there the other day, they do their own kind of weekly call just to kind of catch up with each other. I think it’s great and it’s something that people have asked us for for a while for some kind of accountability group. But with everything else we have going on and the member calls, we kind of didn’t think that it was something that we could manage as well as these people can. But yeah, they took it and ran with it and it’s great.
Steven Butala: Last week on the show I was talking about this exact thing and describing it just like we are here with Jill. And I said, “The whole thing reminds me of WeightWatchers.” And she got all mad at me. She’s like, “Why are you talking about WeightWatchers with me?” I’m like-
Erin Spence: I think it is, yeah-
Steven Butala: “Nothing to do with you, I’m just saying every Monday everybody’s got to weigh in and it keeps you in line.”
Erin Spence: Yeah, no, it is. I mean, I can say with my own deals it took me having a partner to keep me moving and doing everything so I totally understand it.
Steven Butala: I’m going to go in there today and ask if I can be a member and-
Erin Spence: You should. It’s really cool. They really do have their own worksheets and things they have going on and goals. It’s awesome.
Steven Butala: Are there a lot of people in there?
Erin Spence: Yeah, it’s growing.
Steven Butala: I’ll go ahead and find out for myself, but is it a … If somebody wants to who is watching this or listening to this, what do they look up?
Erin Spence: If you search Land Academy Accountability it’ll pop up, I think. Then you just request and then one of the guys who runs it will let you in from there. If you have questions though, you can email support@landacademy and I’ll find out for sure and make sure we can get people in there too.
Steven Butala: Okay, awesome. Anything else going on this week with our members? Anything our members are concerned about before we wrap it up?
Erin Spence: You know what, everything has been really positive for the last couple of weeks. I’ve been kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop because it’s always like that, but everyone’s been really, really great and happy. We’ve had some new members come on and they’re working with some of our more experienced members. I mean it’s the same kind of thing. Everyone’s just making their own connections and it’s really its own … Started out, like you said, it’s become its own machine and it runs without us and it’s awesome.
Steven Butala: Yeah, it has. I’m getting a lot of personal requests for the beta version of Car Academy and some other stuff, so that’s really what’s going on in my world. Land Academy, people seem to have found their own way and a lot of the questions and comments are not getting to me anymore, which is a really good thing. It tells me we’re kind of doing our job as instructors.
Erin Spence: I agree, definitely. I have to tell you, every time you’re on a live and you put your personal email out there, I’m over there watching like, “Oh, here we go.”
Steven Butala: When I put my personal email?
Erin Spence: Yeah, when you say email me personally and just say it out there-
Steven Butala: Oh, yeah. I get a lot of email.
Erin Spence: I was listening just like, “Oh, here we go again.”
Steven Butala: Join us 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.
Steven Butala: I can’t. The rippling effect Erin, of the live event, it still just blows my mind.
Erin Spence: Honestly, yeah. We’re going to put out another survey to get more feedback and hear what people are thinking, but I agree and it’s just across everything. People who aren’t even in our world are hearing about it and want to know more.
Steven Butala: That’s great. The Land Academy daily show remains commercial free for you, our loyal listener. Wherever you are watching or listening, please subscribe there. I’m Steven Butala … Pretty much just information without Jill’s inspiration today to buy undervalued property. Thanks, Erin.
Erin Spence: Thank you.
Steven Butala: All right, see you soon.
Erin Spence: Bye.
Steven Butala: All right, bye.
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