How to Turn a Hate Call into a Love Call (LA 1118)
Steven Butala: Steve and Jill here.
Jill DeWit: Hi.
Steven Butala: Welcome to the Land Academy Show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala
Jill DeWit: And I’m Jill DeWit broad casting from sunny Southern California.
Steven Butala: Today, Jill and I talk about how to turn a hate call into a love call. Guess whose show this is?
Jill DeWit: Could you imagine, what would your title be if it was your show?
Steven Butala: Why data is important.
Jill DeWit: Oh, I would say how to turn a hate call into a-
Steven Butala: Hang up.
Jill DeWit: There you go. Perfect. Awesome. Who would hang up first?
Steven Butala: Oh I would. I devised, this is funny, one time, this is long before you came came aboard. I devised, before there were tree systems, you know, “Press one.” So we devised this whole thing about, “If you don’t want our offer, press one. If you do want to accept our offer, press two.” And we still got tons of property. But I look back on that now and I’m like, “Wow, we probably lost a lot of deals.” Because I hear you on the phone. Yeah, I mean that’s what this whole show’s about. This whole episode is all about how Joe takes someone who’s ready to just beat us over the head because of the offer we sent into a transaction.
Jill DeWit: Right. Into something that we actually buy and everybody’s happy.
Steven 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 DeWit: Lee asks, “Hey, all I have a lot. My wife and I recently inherited locally that I’m going to sell. My question is everything I look that the lot line runs right through the neighbor’s house. This lot was previously owned by a family friend who built the house and owned both lots. I’ve checked Google Earth, Google Maps, parcel fact, and also First American Title, that I have access to, and they all show the same thing. Are they all using incorrect data or is the house straddling the lot lines? Thanks.”
Steven Butala: So this is really an interesting and timely question because I’m scouring some back tax property right now because I’m training two people internally, two young guys, to kind of take this over for me so I don’t have to do it anymore. And yeah, I mean there’s a lot of property that it’s on the back tax lists where there’s a house and it’s smack in the middle on a line between two lots. And so what ends up happening is that through the years, there’s no mortgage on the property. So if there was, the mortgage company would figure this out and rectify it.
Steven Butala: But the person gets a tax bill, whoever’s living in the . maybe somebody died and the kids live there now or something. But they don’t know the whole story. They get a tax bill and they pay it and they think the lot is, they just think it’s their house. It’s a very logical thing. And so the other one just doesn’t get paid. They don’t know what that is. And so it goes back to the taxes. So this is actually a lot more common than people think. We see this all the time. So what do you do? Is that the question here?
Jill DeWit: Yeah. Well I guess the question, “Is could this be an answer?” Yes, it could be. It could be exactly what you think.
Steven Butala: It’s not crazy common, but it happens all the time.
Jill DeWit: What you are pulling up is very, very likely true, that the house is built right down the middle and nobody expected them to divide the property exactly in half or they wouldn’t have built that way.
Steven Butala: So I will say this too, and this happens a lot with new people. In fact, I catch myself doing it even now. You pull up a source of data and you find out this is the case. There’s a house on two lots. And then you say, “That can’t be right. I’m going to go over here to Data Street.” And it’s the same thing. “I’m going to check the title pro. Oh man. It’s the same thing. How about Google earth? How about parcel fact? Oh it’s the same thing.”
Jill DeWit: That’s what happened.
Steven Butala: Because it’s all the same source of data. So the vast majority of the data that you look up through all these services is assessor data, especially the mapping part. Well not especially the mapping part, but all the numbers and all that, it’s assessor-based data. You’re just looking at it through different ways. So at some point you stop looking at all five or eight sources. You just say, “Yeah, that’s it.” There is a small possibility that the satellite doesn’t line up. But if the satellite doesn’t line up, especially on Google Earth or Google Maps, it doesn’t line up everywhere, everywhere in that tile of the satellite image. So you can see really quickly that it doesn’t line up everywhere. But this is very common. So you have a couple of choices here. You can buy the property and contact the owner and try to sell it to them, which in my experience doesn’t go very well, or you can walk away.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: I think you should walk away.
Jill DeWit: That’s what I think. After you take it all the way you can and confirm what it is, talk to them too, by the way. It’s where you need to make sure, because you’re inheriting from it sounds like a family member, part of it. You need to find out the story about it. And they might be trying to sell you something that they know is a problem and that’s why they’re trying to sell it to you, or giving it to you. It sounds like you inherited it or something. Do you know what, there’s a reason why.
Steven Butala: Are they the homeowner or the lot owner?
Jill DeWit: They’re the lot owner.
Steven Butala: The side lot owner.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, I think he said he inherited a lot, but yeah.
Steven Butala: The truth is if you’re the homeowner, you’re in trouble. I mean there’s a lot of things that can happen. If you own that side lot, you have a tremendous amount of power.
Jill DeWit: If you want to be that guy.
Steven Butala: If you want to be that guy,
Jill DeWit: Yeah, and say, “Hey.”
Steven Butala: You can say, “Hey, I own this property. I’m going to …”
Jill DeWit: “I’m going to do something. You have to rectify this.” There’s I’m sure a procedure you have to go through.
Steven Butala: Well the procedure is to get a survey.
Jill DeWit: Right. And then the procedure to get them basically evicted off that four feet that they’re on your property kind of thing. I don’t know if you want to be that guy.
Steven Butala: And this can turn into a ten-year battle.
Jill DeWit: Now it’s a Hatfield’s and McCoy’s
Steven Butala: Or you could sell the property to the homeowner. This is the right thing to do, is sell the property to the homeowner for 1500 bucks and call it even.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. Say congratulations.
Steven Butala: They’re happy, you’re happy, and you don’t really have a choice.
Jill DeWit: Here’s what’s the legal fees would be to rectify this. So we can just call this, let’s just call it that.
Steven Butala: I made a choice a long time ago, a way long time ago in my real estate career, to stay away from stuff like this.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: It’s just not good karma. Let those people live there. Or maybe call a guy and say, “Look, I own this lot. Let’s work on this together. Maybe pay me 50 bucks a month or something like that. And five years, you own it. Some version, I don’t know.
Steven Butala: Today’s topic, what to do when you can’t find a property. Oh, that’s a really incorrect teleprompter here on my part.
Jill DeWit: How about today’s topic, how to turn a hate call into a love call.
Steven Butala: Saved by Jill.
Jill DeWit: This is the meat of the show.
Steven Butala: Thank you Jill.
Jill DeWit: So this new formats got us all get goofed up. So in case you’re wondering, you’re not alone. We are Monday, Wednesday, Friday Land Academy show, we are Tuesday, Thursday House Academy show. Sounds easy. Not so much.
Steven Butala: Easy for normal people.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. We’re not normal. So today’s topic is really fun because I’m doing this right now. And we decided to make a show out of it because my team has been listening to these calls, because they’ve listened to me take the calls, right? Because I’m taking these LA County calls personally, taking the first wave as they come in just to kind of see what juice is there, get the deals flowing before I pass them off to my team to close the deals. And just kind of gauge the area, engage these sellers and see how much they know.
Jill DeWit: And by the way, they’re smart. It’s so funny. The little old ladies that say, “I know the zoning in my house.” I’m like, “Really? I’m impressed.” So they’re listening to my calls and they’re actually, I want to share this too. They’re actually taking some of my calls and squeezing them without the personal parts down and putting them on social media and things. So you can actually hear them. Because it’s a great resource and a benefit to be able to hear me in action so you know how to handle these calls. So just so you know, they’re out there, you can listen to them.
Jill DeWit: So all great. Mailer hits. Here it comes. Phone rings. You don’t know what you’re going to get. What do you do? The very first thing, do you weed it out like Steven and say “Press one for yes, press two for no. Press three if you’re sending a Hitman to my house.” So that could be an option. Don’t do that. Answer the phone, don’t screen it. And I hear people going like, “Oh I just let it go to whatever. I don’t want to talk to them.” It doesn’t have to be you. It could be an assistant, a service. But I do want to live body answering the phone because I’ll tell you, that makes a difference. If it’s you, that’s even better because you’re going to give the energy and you’re going to do what I’m what I’m prescribing here.
Jill DeWit: Number two, smile and be happy and just be excited that they’re contacting you. I answer, it’s so funny, I tell you, it takes the wind out of their sails. I answer the phone and my thing is, “This is Jill.”
Jill DeWit: And they’re like, “Jill, Jill?”
Jill DeWit: I’m like, “Jill.”
Jill DeWit: “The Jill on the letter, Jill?”
Jill DeWit: “Yep. The very same Jill. How can I help you?”
Jill DeWit: Already right there, I took away all their anger and their angst or they didn’t think I’m going to answer. They’re prepared to leave me this fiery voicemail. And someone nice and happy and pleasant is on the other end? Well shucks. Oh, and it’s a girl by the way. Now it’s really hard to get mad at them. So, and I really am excited that they’re contacting me because I know that there’s a reason they’re calling me. And usually, there are some that just say take me off your list. Right? But those people are usually like me, we just throw it away. Usually there’s a reason that they’re calling you. They probably do want to sell. They’re just hopping mad about your offer. So be happy. You want to interject at any moment or you want me to keep going?
Steven Butala: Oh, I’ll interject at some point, I guess.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Steven Butala: Because I don’t, you’re so much more qualified to this whole topic. The only thing I would interject with is just snarky little silly comments from a data person. That doesn’t help anybody.
Jill DeWit: No, it really doesn’t. All right. Number three, let them say what they need to say. They’ve got to get it off their chest. If they come in hot and mad, don’t cut them off. It’s going to make it worse. Let them get out there like, “You must be nuts. Do you really think that that dah, dah, dah,”
Steven Butala: You let them go, huh?
Jill DeWit: Yeah. I do. Not that long.
Steven Butala: None of this stuff applies to our personal relationship. None of it.
Jill DeWit: Oh yeah, that’s very true. That’s not how this goes at all.
Steven Butala: Let them get it off their chest.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. Could you imagine?
Steven Butala: Okay, Jack, I’m going to let you get this off your chest. Go ahead.
Jill DeWit: Could you imagine? “What were you thinking when you backed the car over my brand new dah, dah, dah.” And I just let you go. Sometimes I do that though. It’s easier if you let the person go.
Steven Butala: You’re actually very, very good about that.
Jill DeWit: It’s just let them get it out there. Then quickly address it, get it out of the way. Go, “You know what? I would be mad too.” Something like that. Whatever you’re comfortable with, you don’t necessarily have to say, “I’m sorry,” because I don’t really, I’m not really sorry. Let’s be honest. I’m not sorry about my offer because it’s probably a pretty good offer. You just didn’t like my offer. They didn’t like my offer.
Steven Butala: What do you really say? Because I’ve heard you. Tell them what you really say.
Jill DeWit: No. I make a joke out of it. I’m like, “You know what?” Or I will say for real, “You know what? I would be mad too.” Or okay, so here’s what I say, or, “Here’s what you’re telling me. I forgot one, maybe two zeroes? Oh gosh.”
Jill DeWit: Or sometimes, well it depends on what they ask me. Sometimes they’re asking me, “This is insane. Where did you get this number?” I’m like, “You know what? I did the best that I could with all the information that I had available and I’m happy to talk to you about it.”
Steven Butala: Well, the line that I’ve heard you recently say, which I love, and I personally would respond to this really well. She says, “You know what? In this area, it’s pretty clear to me now that it’s mis-assessed.” This is total full-blown fibbing because if you ever listen to the show or if you’re in our group, you know we don’t use assessment data to price anything, ever. But what she says is perfect. I clearly made a mistake with the assessment data that we were provided. So if there’s an offer that works or something that’s more accurate, let’s talk about that.
Jill DeWit: That’s true. That’s what I’ve said.
Steven Butala: Or some version of that. I would respond to that
Jill DeWit: And then I …
Steven Butala: Because now you’re making yourself smart, you’re not just like a call service.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. But I really put some time into it, so thank you very much. And then I ask them, whatever it is, I address it, let them know I’m on their side. I did not mean to offend them. Let’s get past … we’re past that kind of thing. That’s my point of that next sentence. I immediately say, “Bottom line is, do you really want to sell. And if so, what is the right number?”
Jill DeWit: Then they go, “Oh. Oh. Okay.” And that’s what you want to happen.
Steven Butala: That’s the moment you need.
Jill DeWit: That’s what you want and they’re going to go, “All right, well you know what? My mom lives there and she’s not moving. She’s going to live there through the end of time. Trust me. I do want to sell Jill. But mom’s only 70 and I think she’s going to live to 95. Oh gosh.”
Jill DeWit: Whatever it is, they’ll tell you. Or they’ll say, “You know what? Actually my wife and I have been going around about this. I can’t believe even sent me an offer. This is where we stand.” So that’s the conversation you want to have. That’s the whole point here. So if they say no, like I said, they never want to sell whatever, send them on their way. Wish them well.
Jill DeWit: If they say yes, now you’ve got there. This is the exact conversation you want. You want to find out what’s their bottom number. Maybe explain them a little bit to how this works. Like, “Look, obviously I’m not an agent. There’s no commission involved. Yay. We both get to save that money. I don’t need to negotiate. Your time is valuable. My time is valuable. If you could walk away with a green bag of cash on Tuesday, what would be the bottom number?”
Jill DeWit: That’s what you’re trying to do. And just get that out of them. And these calls, by the way, can be three minute, five minute max calls. That’s all you had to do. And then once they say, “Here’s my number,” that’s what you need, and you’re going to go, you know what-
Steven Butala: That’s what this whole call is about.
Jill DeWit: That’s it.
Steven Butala: Getting a number.
Jill DeWit: Right. And along the way in this process, what I forgot to say, you’ve got the property information. Once they got mad about it and you said, “Do you even want to sell?”
Jill DeWit: They said, “Yeah.”
Jill DeWit: “Okay. All right. What’s the house please? Kind of the reference number? Or what’s the address?”
Jill DeWit: “Okay, this is what it is.”
Jill DeWit: “Or the APN.”
Jill DeWit: And then what you’re going to do then is hang up the phone and you’re going to let them know, “Thank you so much. I know I offered you, let’s just say $5,000 and you told me,” this is Land Academy, “You offered $5,000 and you told me you won’t take anything less than $9.” It’s not crazy. It’s double, but it’s not crazy. Now you’re going to let them know, “Thank you. I’m going to go back, do a lot more work based on what you told me. I didn’t know it had this. I didn’t know there was a well on it. I didn’t know whatever special thing’s going on.”
Jill DeWit: Maybe they’re right about the area. You’re going to go check it out and you’ll say it, “And I’ll get back to you. And how can I reach you? When’s the best time?” That kind of a thing. How great is that? You just turn this whole thing on. They were hopping mad. Now they’re like, “wow, there’s some hope going. Hey babe, I just talked to someone. They’re serious. I didn’t like their offer. I told them what we’d be willing to sell this for and she’s going to call me Thursday or Friday after she does some more work on this.”
Steven Butala: You should do a whole webinar on this.
Jill DeWit: I know. I need to.
Steven Butala: I’ll write it with you and help you if you want.
Jill DeWit: I need you. People have been asking me and I’ll let them say, “Here’s what I have. I had this question. I had that question. They told me this, they told me that.”
Steven Butala: Well I think it’d be helpful to probably, have you ever seen a director’s cut for a movie and the director talks all the way through it. It would be great to pick like 10 calls, because we recorded everything. It would be great to take 10 calls where some of them were real problematic. Some of them went great. Maybe even a couple of where we ended up buying it. And how and why you turn the table.
Jill DeWit: That’s a brilliant idea.
Steven Butala: Let me preface this too to the listener/watcher. In the programs that we do, most of them and for years on end on this show, you’ve probably heard us say some version of this. We don’t negotiate. Well that’s great, Steve and Jill. You guys just spent a whole episode talking about how to negotiate a deal. Here’s why, these properties in LA County, they average a million and a half bucks. And the buyers that are buying these properties don’t care about the price. They’ll pay retail. Retail, sometimes more, because they’re being converted. They have existing zoning that will be converted into commercial properties of some sort.
Jill DeWit: This is the Land Academy show, so I’m going to show you how it applies to land.
Steven Butala: So my point is this, and then Jill, convert it. When a mailer starts to come back, you’re going to almost immediately gauge, “Wow. I priced it really right. There’s a lot of … I mean, this is going to be a successful mailer. I’ve got a lot of people calling saying, ‘you know what? This is exactly what I want. Sign in my offer.'”
Steven Butala: So you’re going to gauge that and see if it was priced right and hopefully you’re going to say, “Yeah, I did this right and I’ve got a lot of property coming in. I’m going to buy it.” If that’s the case, you don’t want to negotiate with anybody and all this stuff that Jill just said, not sure it really applies. Because you don’t need 500 properties in the exact same spot. So there’s a time to negotiate. And on this mailer, it’s truly the time to negotiate or it is for us, in our career, because we’re buying a million and a half dollars property and selling for two or two and a half. So just gauge your mailer. And don’t be too fast and too anxious to listen to these knuckleheads when they call you back, is all I’m saying.
Jill DeWit: Well that’s great Steve. But this is about turning a hate call into a love call regardless of the property type. That’s what this is all about. So I appreciate where we’re going and I understand that you’re taking it to a different level and assessing the value of your mailer and that’s great.
Steven Butala: What’s new.
Jill DeWit: So in an effort to not make this a 45 minutes show, I’m going to recap. Answer the phone.
Steven Butala: Everything’s fine until I wrapped it up.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, I know it was great if you had just left it with me.
Steven Butala: Yeah. All right I’ll leave it with you now.
Jill DeWit: All right. Answer the phone. And again, even for land, this is the way I do it with land too. So not to take the wind out of his sails, he doesn’t answer the phone.
Steven Butala: That’s true.
Jill DeWit: And we have them in our program by the way. I have lots of land calls that I share with in the Land Academy program in there. So you can hear me do this too. And even with land, they might say, you know what’s so funny with land? Often they’ll say $4,925 doesn’t work, but 6,000 does. And I’m like, “It’s $1,000 off?” Because I still know, I’m still going to double my money. That’s all it takes. That’s often how those calls go.
Steven Butala: Yeah. I shouldn’t have talked.
Jill DeWit: It’s okay. We’ll let that go. We know your time is valuable. Thanks for spending it with us today. Join us every Tuesday and Thursday for the House Academy Show and then Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Like you’re right here now, join us for the Land Academy Show. So no matter what you get us five days a week.
Steven Butala: Next week join us in the House Academy Show for another interesting episode. You are not alone in your real estate ambition. That was brilliant.
Jill DeWit: Thanks.
Steven Butala: That was useful. I think everyone can agree that some of these shows are really useful. And some of them not so much.
Jill DeWit: Thank you. Well this comes up often, people always, it’s so funny what’s too on our weekly member calls, I’ve been answering the phone live as it would come in and everybody’s like, “Oh, I want to hear do it. I want to hear do it.” So I put them on speaker and and sharing the phone calls with our members on the calls and I know that they love it and they get a lot out of that. So I like your idea. I hadn’t thought about dissecting the calls. That’d be kind of cool. I’ll pick my top two or three and say, “Here’s what I did there. Try this, try that.” And I think you’re right. That would really help a lot of people.
Steven Butala: I’m not kidding when I say this. That’s a webinar I would attend.
Jill DeWit: Thanks. I appreciate that. This show remains commercial-free for you, our loyal listeners. So wherever you’re watching or wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.
Steven Butala: We are Steve and Jill. Information,
Jill DeWit: And inspiration
Steven 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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