Our Multi Million Dollar Urban LA Mailer with Jill DeWit (LA 1107)
Stephen Butala: Steve and Jill here.
Jill DeWitt: Hi.
Stephen Butala: Welcome to the Land Academy show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Stephen Jack Butala.
Jill DeWitt: And I’m Jill DeWitt broadcasting from sunny southern California.
Stephen Butala: Today Jill and I talk about our multi million dollar urban Los Angeles mailer. It’s kind of an interview with Jill DeWitt.
Jill DeWitt: Thank you.
Stephen Butala: 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 DeWitt: Okay. Another Stephen asks, “Have any of you used an escrow for reduced fee, just review the documents and generate a preliminary title report for the buyer on a terms deal where the title will not change till the land contract terms are met and the parties are okay transferring funds directly? So no escrow service needed for that function.” I’ve not done that, but it’s not a bad idea. Because in the past if I need a title, if it was a title worthy property, we would’ve bought it with title, I would’ve shared that with my buyer, and that would’ve satisfied the request, if you will. So I’m guessing that you don’t have that. So I think this is a great solution if you don’t have it. I would absolutely do it, but I’ve never done it before.
Stephen Butala: This is a super, I posted this question, I copied and pasted this question onto Land Investors and it’s got a tremendous amount of response. Apparently a lot of people in our group do this. I’ve done it in the past many times. It’s expensive. What you really want to do if you’re serious about this, the value is this. You can get this data, this preliminary title report from Data Trace for like $80 or $90. And you can get it very, very quickly. What you don’t get with Data Trace is an opinion.
Stephen Butala: So if you order this from let’s say First American title agent who’s local to the town, they know a lot of stuff and they pul the report or they order it from title or however they come about it, they’re going to have a lot of opinions, which are good. That’s what you’re paying for. This is going to cost you $500 to do it. It can cost you less than $100 with Data Trace. And for some people actually, just this is part of every deal they do.
Jill DeWitt: I guess, too, because we’re not doing terms deals, so it’s not like an issue. And most of the deals we’re doing right now are large enough that we’re just doing title insurance, there’s no talking about it. But that’s a good solution. I love it.
Stephen Butala: Today’s topic, our multi million dollar urban Los Angeles mailer with Jill DeWitt. This is the meat of the show. So give us some background on …
Jill DeWitt: What this is?
Stephen Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWitt: Okay.
Stephen Butala: This is the primary mailer that we’re involved in as land investors right now, house academy or house investors.
Jill DeWitt: Yeah. It really is-
Stephen Butala: Start from the beginning.
Jill DeWitt: House/land.
Stephen Butala: How we came bat to do this mailer?
Jill DeWitt: Well, one of our members happens to be in the community we are in and has been doing deals on a smaller scale and built up a large buyers list and pretty much can’t keep up. That’s my interpretation of it. So kind of came to us and said, “Hey, let’s work together. I have, because of my inside information and where I work and everything here in Los Angeles, I have a huge list of buyers and I’ve been doing deals with these guys. I know these guys, I trust them. We need to take this to the next level.” That’s really what it is.
Jill DeWitt: “Can I give you guys all the real details, we’ve done enough deals before, I have it down to the zoning, the specifics, the dollar amount, the areas. I have it all down. I’m going to send you the details. You guys download the data,” meaning us, “Scrub the data, price the data, get it out there, take the inbound calls,” which we are doing, “and serve them up on a platter for me to review with my buyers. We’ll close them and we all win.” That’s really what we’re doing.
Jill DeWitt: And it’s worked out great. So it worked out that this first round was 17,000 units they hit on Saturday, we hit five days ago. As we’re recording. And I know, how do I know that? Oh, because the phone started ringing. Why do I know? Because it was Saturday and I was happy to take the calls. I just had them forwarded to my cell. I’m like, “All right, bring it. I’m going to take these.” And I want to get a feel for this, because this is a new area that we’re hitting and not necessarily a new area, but a new price point.
Stephen Butala: A new price point.
Jill DeWitt: A new price point, a different-
Stephen Butala: It’s a zoning based mailer. A lot of new stuff for us on this mailer.
Jill DeWitt: A different kind of a buyer. I want to see how savvy they are. And I’ve been shocked and amazed by the results. It’s been fantastic.
Stephen Butala: Me too.
Jill DeWitt: Here’s what happened. First of all, I’m here to tell you I don’t care if you’re sending it out for $1000 or $3 million. The hate’s the same. Exactly the same. I get the same photographs emailed to me, the same things written on letters, the same phone calls. It’s comical. And it hits just like it normally does. The first wave is going to be like a “What the heck? Why are you wasting my time?” I’m like, “Just throw it away. It’s okay.” But then what happens next is just like normal, even those initial hate calls, there might be some gold there. I have turned them around and said, “All right, regardless of the offer, do you want to sell?” “Well, yes.” Well, what is your real number? What is the bottom number? We’re not wasting anybody’s time. If you got a cash offer tomorrow, what would make you go, “You know what/ I’m moving,” kind of thing or “I’m selling. Yeah, that’s all I needed. I’m done with it.” That’s what you got to do that’s what I’m doing.
Jill DeWitt: So there’s a value there in answering the phone. That part’s the same. That was my first, not real surprise, but first interesting thing I wanted to share. Second interesting thing is I was blown away by how smart some of these people are. It’s very interesting the response you get with different types of properties in different counties and it’s nothing related to how technology savvy or age or experience. It’s not like I’m hitting a bunch of investors. I’m hitting sweet little old ladies who know that, “Yeah, the house next door to me sold. They tore it down and put 12 units up, so I know what’s possible.” It’s really awesome and interesting how smart these people are. And it’s good. I think it’s great. Everybody’s coming into this with their eyes open. And they know I know, and no one’s trying to pull a fast one on anybody. That’s not what we’re here for, too.
Stephen Butala: Yeah. It’s two real estate people. Two intelligent real estate knowledgeable people talking to each other to put a deal together.
Jill DeWitt: Exactly.
Stephen Butala: And that’s not always the case in our business. You have no idea who’s calling on that other end of the phone.
Jill DeWitt: Right.
Stephen Butala: There is some consistency to the call.
Jill DeWitt: Yeah. There really is.
Stephen Butala: Have you adjusted? Here’s my … I have questions.
Jill DeWitt: Right.
Stephen Butala: So you’re answering the phone. Have you adjusted how you answer the phone and how you manage these people based on the first few phone calls and based on the fact that you’ve gathered all this information, what they probably might sound like?
Jill DeWitt: You know what, it’s the same conversation. If it was a $10,000 or $10 million, it’s kind of the same conversation.
Stephen Butala: Can you give us an example of what it is? Kind of role play.
Jill DeWitt: Yeah. It’s the same thing like, “Hey, I got your offer.” Great. Yes. “And your offer stinks.” Let’s be honest. Not always, not always. But some times, most of them, because we all, especially in some areas when you’re talking a lot of money, we’re talking a lot of money. But you got to reel people back in. I have two things I want to share. One of them is okay, the offer stinks. Get it. And you’re not the first one I’ve done this, but I’ve never had an offer like this. That’s the same thing, too. That still happens. They’re like, “I get so many of these a day, but I’ve never had one like yours. How did you get this?” So I talk a little bit how I got the pricing, where I got that from.
Jill DeWitt: And then I say, “But none of this matters unless you want to sell. And if you do want to sell, what is your bottom number, because I don’t want to waste your time?” That’s it. That’s still kind of the same thing that we’re doing. What’s interesting is I’ve had, I have 20 deals right now that I’m looking at, really good ones. And about three or four of those happen to already be tied up with agents. They do want to sell. And what’s really cool is the agents are calling me back and they’re having very good candid conversations with me without the seller. I’ve had … it’s so nice. They’re like, “All right. I represent Mr. Smith. My name is Cathy Jones. We got your offer. Here’s the deal, bring it. Okay. It’s listed at $1.9.” I know that’s too much. It’s stupid. “Great, Cathy. What’s the bottom number the guy will take?” “You know what, I think for $1.6 he’ll move. He paid $1.3. he’s been there that long.”
Jill DeWitt: I say, “You know what, Cathy? I appreciate you telling me that. Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to go sit down, do my numbers, and see if I can make $1.3 work.” Nobody wants to waste each other’s time. But right now, never mind. It’s listed on the MLS for $1.9. we’re going to probably come in and buy it at $1.6. it’s just going to go off, no one will even … It’s going to be a done deal. Because we were able to have that candid conversation. And they like that. Everybody likes that.
Stephen Butala: Sure. Everybody wants to get a deal done.
Jill DeWitt: Well, yeah. You know what’s interesting is some people don’t. Some people want to just waste time. I’m hitting a good, smart group right now. They do see the writing on the wall. They do see, let’s get it done. You’re either in or you’re out. So that’s kind of my job right now too is just to make that clear. I’m not here to talk about it, talk you into anything. Feel our way through this, whatever it is. Make a friend. You’re either in or you’re out and I don’t want to waste your time. That’s it.
Stephen Butala: Yeah. It’s all business. I love that, too.
Jill DeWitt: It is.
Stephen Butala: That’s Jill’s perspective on this mailer. My perspective is a little bit different, obviously, because I do the mail and do the data analysis and everything and I’ve learned a lot, too. This is the first zoning based mailer I’ve ever done. Working with this guy from LA County. He fed us some great, perfect information on what zoning types work and why and where and which zip codes he thinks work the best and the ones that work for his clients best. So I got real specific instructions, did the zoning based mailer, and it’s staggering the prices. I’ve never sent … The average price is something like, it’s way more than a million dollars.
Jill DeWitt: Oh, yeah.
Stephen Butala: And these are for like tear down houses that where apartment buildings are going to go.
Jill DeWitt: Right.
Stephen Butala: It’s a new experience for me, too, but I’ll tell you, based on the response that we’re getting and the response from our buyers and the LA County contacts that we have, it’s not going to be the last.
Jill DeWitt: No, I’m loving it.
Stephen Butala: Me too.
Jill DeWitt: It’s going great. And you know, it’s fun for me even, for those of you who are new and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, here come the calls. My first wave.” I get excited by it. I get butterflies in my stomach, I’m excited. I love it, because there’s a potential deal. When that phone rings, it’s good. But it’s just a few days. Really it’s a few days of not good and then it really slows way down. And then you’re going to start getting good stuff. What I haven’t got yet, because it’s been so quick, I haven’t got the signed … I’ve got email back, but I haven’t got in the mail mail back. I’m curious to see if this group either bothers mailing them back. They may just be, the ones that email me back, that may be the way they go. But we’ll see. But there’s more coming.
Stephen Butala: It’s typical. I’m curious to see that, too. The typical mailer goes, for two weeks it takes to get it in the mail, you start to get those first phone calls. You get incredibly violent hate in the first 10 or 15% of it. Then you get some negotiation stuff, which is what I think we’re in right now where people are a little bit chilled out. They’ve taken a breath and now they’re willing to talk price. And then the tail end, which we’re not there yet, the tail end is signed purchase agreements back or people calling back saying, “Hey, I talked to my family about this and we actually do want to sell to you.”
Jill DeWitt: Yeah. It’s sitting right now. It’s on a magnet on their fridge and they’re staring at it every day going, “Hmm. All right. We got 30 days, 90 days,” whatever’s on the letter, I can’t remember.
Stephen Butala: They’re thinking about moving anyway.
Jill DeWitt: Yeah. “All right. We can really, we can cash out and be done and look at these guys, they have a real offer with a dollar amount, instructions how the deal’s going to go,” and they’re right now sleeping on it. And I love that. I appreciate that. That’s my favorite, too. There still might be something in the initial calls right away, but I’ll tell you the majority of the initial calls are not the ones, they’re not anything great. It’s the calls now, the meat that’s coming in now, which is, “All right, let’s talk, Jill.”
Stephen Butala: Exactly.
Jill DeWitt: That kind of a thing.
Stephen Butala: We work really together on this stuff, Jill. Our next show actually, I don’t want to … I’ll just say this sentence. Join us next time for an episode called Keeping an Open Mind about New Ways to Buy Land.
Jill DeWitt: This will be good. And we answer your questions posted on our online community found at LandInvestors.com. It is free.
Stephen Butala: You are not alone in your real estate ambition. We work together really well because this guy from LA County in our group came to us and said, “Hey, I got this idea. I’ve actually kind of tested it myself, but I don’t have the time and the resources to answer the calls and deal with this stuff.” And now I completely see that because of what you’re going through and the time commitment and the data.
Jill DeWitt: It’s a lot.
Stephen Butala: Took me a week of my time to get that data set where it needed to be. Tomorrow we’re going to talk about having an open mind to do new stuff. Like this is really far out of what we typically do. And it’s really, really working, because we went at it with an open mind and I creatively looked at my skill set and applied it to that, and you’re adjusting on the fly like literally second by second, minute by minute. Literally.
Jill DeWitt: Thank you.
Stephen Butala: So it’s fun to take on these new projects, especially when they succeed.
Jill DeWitt: Well, and the bottom line is if you’re in this position, take them on based on what’s going to make you the most money. That’s really what you should do. When you get going in this business, look at those bigger deals. And that’s one of the reasons we took this on, too. I will be totally honest. If we stand to make $5000 on these deals, I would not be doing this. But we stand to make a lot more money on these deals.
Stephen Butala: Exactly. Way more.
Jill DeWitt: That’s why I’m doing it. Land Academy, the daily show, remains commercial free for you, our loyal listener. So wherever you’re watching or wherever you’re listening, please subscribe and rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.
Stephen Butala: We are Steven and Jill. Information.
Jill DeWitt: And inspiration.
Stephen 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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