Holiday Sales Slumps – Do They Exist? (LA 1114)

Holiday Sales Slumps – Do They Exist? (LA 1114)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hello.

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 sunny Southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today, Jill and I talk about holiday sales slumps. Do they exist or not?

Jill DeWit:                            It’s funny. I love this one. Every year we get these questions that come in a lot. Everybody gets concerned. It comes up on our weekly member calls. So I talked to my team and we’d thought we’d make a whole show about it. And I’m going to fill everyone in and I have some good ideas too.

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

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Buzz asks, “Has anyone ever bought land through Government Auction and resold? Is it a good idea or a bad idea?” Go.

Steven Butala:                   Oh man, I’m qualified to answer this.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   So here’s the thing. There’s this website called It’s owned by, or it used to be owned by, I’m not sure now who owns it, a guy named Paul Sebasky. And so he calls it government auction but it has nothing to do with the government. That’s just the name of his company. And he’s been around since longer than I have. So he actually, before the internet would do live auction sales. So he would spend a tremendous amount of money on advertising, get a bunch of people in a room, and again, because there was no internet way to do this, auction off property with terms and the whole thing. It’s very, very successful. He was only like one or two or three or four people in the whole country that was doing it. And he’d travel around doing it, buying property the same way we do.

Steven Butala:                   So just be careful about that. That’s a piece of old school information. You may not be buying property from the government, you may be buying it from him or somebody else that is using that word. I think the real question that you’re asking is, “Is it okay to buy back tax property?” And the answer is we’ve made a career out of that. It doesn’t hold a candle to buying property the way that we do with sending out direct mail. In fact, as a percentage, I bet 95% of the property we buy is through direct mail. Land and houses. The other 5% is either back tax deeds or foreclosing on tax liens.

Steven Butala:                   And that’s all land. In all of my experience it’s near impossible, contrary to the late night infomercial, buying houses for back tax. There’s just too much competition and it’s too laborious to get through these tens of thousands of units of lists to find that one little gold nugget. You know, there’s just a better way. So I could do a whole podcast, not an episode on this topic. I’m pretty well versed in buying back tax property all over the country, actually. So yeah, if that interests you for whatever reason, there’s a lot to it. It’s very brainy and very time consuming. And really when I say this, seriously, please take me seriously back. Buying back tax property is a great compliment to sending out mail. It’s not the other way.

Jill DeWit:                            I was going to add too, because we’ve talked about this often, some people worry that, “Well gosh, if I do this, I’ve got this treasurer’s deed, I go to sell it, now can they get title insurance on it?” And there are companies out there that specialize in this so the answer’s yes. They can help you do that. So people can use it and love it and build on it, whatever they want to do in the normal way.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. It used to be you get a treasurer’s deed and then it’s like, “Ah man, I got a second class piece of property. There’s probably some problems.” All of that, thank God, is going away.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes.

Steven Butala:                   The negative vibe or the negative connotation that goes on with back tax property is slowly but surely, because of the internet and the tools that Jill was talking about, going away. Which is good.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   I could talk for hours on this actually.

Jill DeWit:                            I know you can.

Steven Butala:                   And probably should. You know what? I’ll probably, I’ll put something-

Jill DeWit:                            Do a back tax week.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            That would be kind of cool.

Steven Butala:                   Well, I’ll put something together where it’s not just me talking in front of a camera. I’ll put some stuff together on this, and maybe hold a webinar or something like that.

Jill DeWit:                            That’d be great.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic, holiday sales slumps, do they exist or not? This is the meat of the show. Jill, define this please for everyone.

Jill DeWit:                            So every year this comes up. And we’re getting into the holidays, obviously, it’s like right around the corner. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, Christmas, New Year’s, and everybody worries like, “Ah, shucks. Am I going to have trouble selling property during this period? Is anyone even online? What’s going to happen?” And so every year we talk about it and every year we all sit back at the beginning of January and go, “Wow, that was great. It didn’t materialize.” Because things do happen. I’m here to tell you, property does move. You’d be surprised.

Jill DeWit:                            And it’s not just me, there’s so many members that we talk about like in our own community, like, “Yep, I sold that one the day after Christmas. I think I sold that one on Christmas.” And I have my own little theory as to why I think it happens, and I’ll share that actually. Especially between Christmas and New Year’s, a lot of people have time off. They’re on the computer. They’re staring at the snow. They’re dreaming of other things. The family, the kids are driving them nuts. You know what I mean? And now they might be ready to pull the trigger on something.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            So it’s comical how you think it’s not going to happen, but it does. So here’s my advice. And I was just thinking about this for the show, and actually, my team’s not using it to our best advantage as we could, so I’m sharing this with you and everybody, including my staff. We need to all use this to our advantage. Why are we not having a Black Friday land sale? What’s wrong with that?

Steven Butala:                   I agree.

Jill DeWit:                            You know, I don’t know if you could do it now, but back in the day on eBay, you used to be able to put things on your lead photo. Remember that? I could put like a red ribbon on it. Why wouldn’t you not… I don’t know if you could do it now-

Steven Butala:                   You can.

Jill DeWit:                            You can?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Why would you not do that? Have like a red ribbon, like, “Give this for Christmas?” kind of thing. You know, you’re dreamy cabin property.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            You know, I think it would be awesome. My other point I want to make is… Well, what do you think about that, first of all?

Steven Butala:                   About the Black Friday sale?

Jill DeWit:                            You like my idea?

Steven Butala:                   I think it’s the greatest thing ever. I mean, you know, the Norman Rockwell version of holidays is for some people, but I think honestly it’s definitely from a numbers standpoint, the minority of people, minority number of people have that kind of holiday. I think there’s tons and tons of people scouring the internet. This isn’t my theory, I just read that all over the world, that Black Friday is the highest sales from a dollar standpoint, sales day for everything, real estate included, of the rest of the year. So no, I’ve had a tremendous amount of luck buying and selling property during that holiday period.

Jill DeWit:                            You know too, it’s funny if you notice there’s like a lot of open houses and things around the holidays.

Steven Butala:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jill DeWit:                            People have the time off. They’re saying, “Hey, let’s go cruise that neighborhood, babe, that we were thinking of moving in.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            “Put the kids in the car. We’ve got nothing to do today. Let’s go do some driving around. And we’ll look at the Christmas lights while we’re at it.”

Steven Butala:                   All the type AAA people that I know, entrepreneurs and stuff, they don’t take a day off during the holidays. They might take a few hours off and hang out and do some stuff, but they’re still kind of working. You know? All through the weekends I’d work. I wouldn’t call it like sitting down on a desk working and buying real estate, but I do research for new companies or whatever. So I think there’s a lot of people that if you just push them a little bit, like with the sales and stuff that Jill’s talking about, it’s going to work.

Jill DeWit:                            I wonder how many people listening have the same thing going on in their household as in mine. Is there always a laptop on your couch plugged in, because at that moment that your partner wants to just pick it up and do some research, do you find yourself watching Shark Tank and trying to reach out to people on that show and say, “We’re hiring that guy.”

Steven Butala:                   Do not play that Shark Tank card.

Jill DeWit:                            Welcome to my world.

Steven Butala:                   Between the two of us I’m not the compulsive Shark Tank person.

Jill DeWit:                            Actually I did that. Isn’t that funny?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            I did that one time. There was this guy on Shark Tank that he called up somebody and said, “I should be your COO.” And they got together. And I’m like, “I’m calling that guy.”

Steven Butala:                   Which you did.

Jill DeWit:                            I did. I tried to stalk him and obviously the gig he’s got is working out fine because he didn’t get back to me. But I was trying to get that guy myself. It was so funny.

Steven Butala:                   Seasonality and holidays and all this stuff, to real entrepreneurs just don’t matter. You’re going to find a way. Forget about land and real estate, but whatever you’re working on, if it’s in your soul, this is going to happen for you. So I don’t think the seasonality matters. As far as your customers go, for like land buying customers and house buying customers, they’re probably the same way. If you’re truly wholesaling like we are and you’re not going to the consumer, selling to the end user or consumer, these people are all just as nuts as you are. And me. I put myself completely in that group.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. I have to admit I’m a little nuts about that too. I don’t sit and research new businesses and things like that as much as you do. but I do get very into my side of the business.

Steven Butala:                   Jill does not… She used to, but she does not now put an apron on, put her hair up, put some soft music on in the kitchen and bake some pies and spend a couple of days in there before Christmas. Trust me. In fact, the reality is, because of our family and how it’s all structured, we don’t even have the holidays on the day we’re supposed to have it. Because it’s just the kids aren’t in town. They’re not in town the next week.

Jill DeWit:                            They’re older.

Steven Butala:                   She used to do all this stuff, and I’m not knocking it.

Jill DeWit:                            Do you miss it?

Steven Butala:                   No, I don’t.

Jill DeWit:                            Do you want me to make a pie?

Steven Butala:                   Nobody’s starving. We still have pies and stuff, she just doesn’t make them.

Jill DeWit:                            To be honest, I never actually made a pie. So if you think I made it, I didn’t. I make cookies.

Steven Butala:                   You’re a good actor.

Jill DeWit:                            I’ll make a lot of cookies. That’s my thing. I make cakes. I’m good with cakes, cookies. I don’t know why I’m not a pie… making a pie. Do you know what? I think Marie Callender does it so much better than I could.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, exactly.

Jill DeWit:                            I don’t need to do that.

Steven Butala:                   And I swear it’s cheaper.

Jill DeWit:                            Uh-huh (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   You don’t need a 25 pound bag of flour to make six pies and then it sits there.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Join us next time on the House Academy Show. We just made some changes. This is a good time to bring it up.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   The Land Academy Show, since 2015 has either been a seven day a week show or a five day a week show. Most recently five days a week for years and years and years. The House Academy members… We have another company called House Academy, another membership group, are saying, “Where the heck’s our shows?” So Jill and I decided… It took us a while, we debated about this for quite some time. The Land Academy Show now is Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The House Academy Show, which is on a different channel, is on Tuesday and Thursday. Still five shows, everybody, just three for Land Academy and two for House Academy. But they’re on different channels.

Steven Butala:                   So tomorrow, which is Tuesday, if you’re wondering where the Land Academy Show is, it’s the House Academy Show. And all you need to do is keyword search “House Academy” wherever you have it all linked up into your phone, or however you listen to the podcast or watch YouTube. It’s on a separate channel, but the show is there at the same time.

Jill DeWit:                            And you might want to check it out. There’s a lot of things that overlap in our business between Land Academy and House Academy. So you might learn some stuff that help you with your land business.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, the most successful people in our group use both product types to overlap their product lines, in conjunction with each other kind of thing. So join us next time on the House Academy Show for the episode called, Deals we are Doing Today, by Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            And we answer your questions posted on our online community found at It’s free.

Steven Butala:                   You are not alone in your real estate ambition. I’m excited as hell about this. That’s the truth of it.

Jill DeWit:                            At the holidays?

Steven Butala:                   No.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh.

Steven Butala:                   No, no. About the House Academy thing. Because we’ve been quietly going along buying and selling houses. We’re doing a ton of deal… Actually, we’re going to talk about it tomorrow. A ton of deals. Jill’s been just doing a ton of deals in LA County, so we’re going to talk a lot about that. But it really makes a lot of sense, all kidding aside, to do both.

Jill DeWit:                            I agree. By the way, our Land Academy 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.

Steve and Jill:                     We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   Information-

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration-

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.


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