Sales Hero Advice from Jill DeWit (LA 1144)
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 the episode called Sales Hero Advice from Jill Dewit.
Jill DeWit: You paused like you forgot. This is a big show.
Steven Butala: It occurred to me … So I wrote this title, but it occurred to me that everybody that’s really successful in this, and I really think anything has some version of some sales capacity that’s extraordinary. And I don’t mean used car salesman, high pressure. That’s not what we’re talking about here at all. That’s all gone. I don’t know, maybe-
Jill DeWit: It’d better be.
Steven Butala: If you’re over 65 you might still sell that way, but that was gone for 20 years ago. Sales is a long process and Jill’s I’m sure going to explain it to us. It’s not something where you say, “Hey, I’ve got to buy a piece of land. You should really buy it. It’s the best one in the market. Can I just have your credit card number please?” That’s not sales. That’s just dumb. And it’s annoying-
Jill DeWit: That’s hilarious.
Steven Butala: And everybody hates it.
Jill DeWit: I love the way you describe it and how you see it as funny.
Steven Butala: Before we get into it though, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the landinvestors.com online community. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: Okay, Travis asks, “No doubt this has been addressed in the forums, but I wouldn’t know what to search. Short question, what do you guys do when someone rejects your offer because of the offer price, but then they say they have other properties they want to sell that are way outside your target market?” If they accepted the offer, awesome. I’ll look at it all day. But if they reject it, is it even worth my time? I know I at least, and probably most of us, have the situation on every mailer. So here’s an end quote. The seller says, “I do not want to sell my property for that price. You clearly don’t know this market or what you’re doing. I do, however, have five other lots in X County or X state, and of course somewhere that I didn’t mail, and that I’d be interested in selling. Contact me if you’re interested.” Isn’t that the funniest thing?
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: I totally agree. “So how do you guys handle these? Do you think it’s a waste of time to go and appraise other properties and counties and states that you’ve never looked at after they’ve rejected your initial offer?” Usually it’s because your offer price on the property you mailed about. I get tons of these and I’m sure many are deals, but my logic is that if they were insulted by your offer price on this lot, then they will also want retail offer on any other lots they own and thus would not be worth a look.
Steven Butala: Makes sense to me.
Jill DeWit: Yep. T-D-L-R. What does that mean?
Steven Butala: T-L-D-R. I don’t know what that means either.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Steven Butala: Probably because of our age.
Jill DeWit: Maybe. If they reject your initial offer price, but want to sell their lots elsewhere, then they’re probably not a motivated seller and it could be a waste of time to go to and appraise their properties. Agreed? Yeah.
Steven Butala: Go ahead, Jill.
Jill DeWit: Agreed. And it’s something shiny. You don’t want to get caught up in it. If it’s an area that you know, if they said I had X, Y, Z, and you’re like, oh, shucks. If there was something special and unique and you wanted to know the area, I would maybe consider it. But based on what you’re telling me right now, they didn’t like your offer on this one and they want to sell these other ones. It’s almost like too, usually they’re throwing out the junk kind of thing and they want to keep the good ones. Maybe that’s what you found, so I wouldn’t really waste my time.
Steven Butala: At any given time, all of us here at Land Academy and House Academy have a database, some form of a CRM of all the deals we’re working on. And we personally constantly have two or three or eight deals sitting in the CRM that are in the situation where we sent an offer, the person called back, said, “That offer doesn’t work.” I go look it up, or our staff inputs all the fields in the CRM. We use Airtable and it’s fantastic. The property’s like, “Oh, I just, I want to buy this property really bad,” but we can’t get any movement on the seller. So it just sits there and never really kind of moves forward. And then this is what’s going to happen in this transaction. So you have to decide how you’re going to manage it. That’s how we manage it.
Steven Butala: And they just kind of sit there and, I don’t know, every 30 days or so, or maybe two weeks, my assistant, my acquisition assistant, sends him a little note or calls him and says, “Hey, we sent you an offer. Do you want to counteroffer it?” “Yeah, I want to sell it, but not at that price.” “Okay, well we’ll talk to you in two weeks.” And it just sits there, and eventually nothing happens.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. Let’s say … until they come up with a number.
Steven Butala: Yeah. And I can’t remember where something positive … They didn’t wake up six months from now, they’re not going to wake up six months from now and say, “I thought about it and I’m actually probably going to sell you my property.”
Jill DeWit: We have had that happen though.
Steven Butala: Yeah, but they’re not-
Jill DeWit: Not about that, not-
Steven Butala: Not with this-
Jill DeWit: This situation.
Steven Butala: This situation.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. There’s a few. So yeah, whatever. And when this person says, “I hate the offer,” the only thing I would consider, if you want to do it, you could reach out to them and say, “Look, clearly you don’t want to sell this one at my price. Either you don’t want to sell it or not at my price. Which is it?” Got to find that out first. If they do want to sell, but not at your price, say, “Fine. What is the price? And by the way, what is the price that you would accept on this one?”
Jill DeWit: And keeping in mind who I am, what I do. And then … We’re not going to do top dollar retail. You’re not going to go, and I’m not going to reset the market on this. So, and if you want me to review those other ones, give me a price for all those too. I’ll look at it. And that would be the only thing I would consider. And then I’d give them … I’d either come back and say, “Yes, it’s going to work,” or, “Have a nice life.”
Steven Butala: If we brought this topic up in the advanced group, I can tell you exactly how everybody in the advanced group would respond. It would involve a middle finger, and then they would say, “Just send out more mail.”
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Steven Butala: Why screw around with this guy?
Jill DeWit: This is true. I concur.
Steven Butala: What you want is someone to pick up the phone and say, “Oh my gosh, thank you for sending this offer.”
Jill DeWit: And I have three more. Do you want these too?
Steven Butala: Yeah. You’re solving a bunch of problems for me. It’s the new year. I’m wanting to sell these properties anyway. You just saved me a ton of time. When can we close? That’s what you want. Not the dancing around. Today’s topic, sales hero advice from Jill Dewit. This is the meat of the show.
Steven Butala: I can’t wait to hear this. I love when you talk about sales. I love it.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Steven Butala: Every single time I turn around, in all of these companies that we have, I don’t care if it’s Land Academy, House Academy, ParcelFact, NeighborScoop. We’re going into the new year here with some new … We just bought another company, and every time I turn around, I am shocked and amazed. I’m not trying to get you here.
Jill DeWit: I understand.
Steven Butala: I’m telling you the truth, shocked and amazed at your sales abilities-
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Steven Butala: And the numbers that you just … You were born to do this.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Steven Butala: So please share with us all, me included. I’m going to take a drink of water and listen-
Jill DeWit: I’m going to give-
Steven Butala: Listen to this show.
Jill DeWit: Three tips today, but I want to go on record and saying too that based on our survey that we did with all of our members earlier this month, earlier in December, we got the results back. This is something that everybody wants to know more about, so I’m really going to develop and it’s going to be free to members. Not sure, but I’ll do something for the general public if they want to get in on it too. It won’t be free, but I’m going to do a full on sales webinar. I don’t if I’m going to do a program out of it, I’m not sure. But I’m going to do something, because this is … There were two things that came up at our survey that people said, “Gosh, if I could have a little more help with it.” One was pricing, which is all you.
Steven Butala: And I’ll handle that.
Jill DeWit: I want the sales is all me, and I’m going to do this in the first quarter of this year. But, so you don’t have to wait. I’m going to give you three things that I do on every call or every interaction to help you out right now. So number one, quickly, and I mean quickly, determine if what you’re selling is a good fit for that buyer. If someone calls up and they’re looking for a cabin property with trees and easy access and gosh, if power’s right there, that’s even better, don’t go try to sell them something in the desert. Don’t try to talk them into something six states over that has no trees just because it’s cheap. You need to really quickly find out exactly what they want. And if you have it, great.
Jill DeWit: And if you don’t, move on, because if you don’t, if you just sit there and spend an hour trying to talk them into something they don’t want and heaven forbid you’re so good enough, you get them to buy something, guess what? You’re going to be doing a refund and undoing this in days or weeks or months when they wake up and go, “That’s not what I wanted at all. Why did that guy talk me into this? And my family, here we are standing here.” You don’t want to do that.
Jill DeWit: Number two, if it is, you find out it’s a good fit and it’s perfect for what they want, just point out the reasons why. You said you wanted trees, you love this, and yeah, you know what? That lot that you picked out, that’s exactly what it is. I haven’t stood on it but, hey, you want to look at it with me together online or have you looked at the pictures? Do you know how to drop in the GPS coordinates in Google Earth and really get a feel for it? Yeah, those are power lines right there. This is, and yeah that is the road. Point out what it is and how it really does check all their boxes once you determine that it’s a good fit. You like where I’m going with this?
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Are you having fun?
Steven Butala: Yeah. This is kind of … I’m going to ask you some questions at the end of it-
Jill DeWit: Oh okay, at the end of it.
Steven Butala: Because I want to know what the secret is, because you have some kind of sixth Jedi sense.
Jill DeWit: Well, here … oh yeah. Well, here’s part … And then, well, you’ve got to figure it out quickly. It goes back to number one. You’ve got to listen. So many people don’t listen to what people are saying. I mean, that’s what I think is … There’s two things, number one and number three. I’ll get to number three, which is be authentic. Be real. Do not be pushy. Talk to them like it’s your family, not my family, because that would be different to your family. So-
Steven Butala: Not this family.
Jill DeWit: Not this family.
Steven Butala: She means her crazy people.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, not my family.
Steven Butala: The DeWits.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, my family is a little out there. It’s like, it’s … kidding. But talk to them like it’s your family. It’s your mom. What if your mom … Think of your mom calling you, fell in love with this property online. She wants a little cabin where she can oil paint the pretty trees, something like that. Talk to her like you either have it or you don’t, be real, and then help her out.
Steven Butala: Here’s my take on sales. Someone’s going to buy something from you, I don’t care what it is, if they find you, not you find them. So I grew up, I had a full commission real estate job as a commercial real estate broker when I left college. And if you’re older, you’ve experienced this. My supervisor slammed a phone book down at my desk and said, “Start making calls.” And that’s what sales was back then. I believe they have to find you. And this is the 21st century, and the way the internet works and the way advertising is. We don’t have a sales team here at Land Academy or House Academy or any of these companies. There’s not a single salesperson that works for us.
Steven Butala: What we do is provide content like this and provide information. So if someone’s going to buy property from you because they found it on the MLS if you listed it there, they found it on your website, or you have a show like this, or there’s something that you’re doing to reach them, but they need to first say, “I already wanted a property in Tennessee and I was looking for it anyway.” If you talk to any people who sell cars, when we walk into a dealership, you have to already have kind of made your mind up and done all the research that you actually want to buy a Ford pickup truck.
Jill DeWit: You wouldn’t be standing there if you weren’t-
Steven Butala: So then it’s just the fulfillment process, the price maybe, yeah.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. Maybe you want to drive it, see if it is that good that you read about.
Steven Butala: Maybe you don’t want an F-150 after all. You want a Ranger or a Raptor or whatever they have now. So it all starts with you on the internet as a purchaser. Then you just have to kind of fulfill that need, and that’s where I think the magic happens with you. Because if someone is on the fence and Jill gets a hold of them, good luck. They’re buying it.
Jill DeWit: Well, I think it’s because I talked to them real and I tell them … I’m not going to talk them into something they don’t want, and I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable about this. So I’ll tell them, “This is the price, this is why it’s great.” It’s not hard when you just take a step back and do it like that. I don’t really think about it selling. So that’s the whole thing too. I don’t think what I do I’m selling. I’m just, I’m putting this product with the right person. That’s it. And making them see, this is exactly what you said and here you go.
Steven Butala: So every month Jill and I have sales goals, and they’ve always been tentative. We don’t have this hard and fast, you have to … for all these companies. And what I’ve found over the years is that there’s a lot of work that goes on up front in companies, whether you’re buying it or starting it, and buying and selling land or houses is no different. There’s a ton of upfront work. You have to get organized, you need to get an e-mail address and all that stuff.
Steven Butala: But once that’s in motion and you’re setting sales goals, you have to follow through and really divide up your month and be proactive about it. So that’s really where I think the magic is with you, because you’ll get to the … We have sales goals for land-
Jill DeWit: True.
Steven Butala: That’s in houses, and-
Jill DeWit: I have to turn up the volume. I’ll turn up the volume if I’m not hitting my numbers that month. I know I’ve got to work double time.
Steven Butala: Here’s a great example, and cut me off here, because I’m just, I’m an observer here.
Jill DeWit: Okay, thank you.
Steven Butala: You had a property that we bought. It was a house, and it was just sitting on the market. It was perfect.
Jill DeWit: Oh yeah.
Steven Butala: Priced perfectly. The house was great. It showed well. There were a lot of people looking at, it wasn’t selling. So what did you do?
Jill DeWit: I got on the phone.
Steven Butala: Right, so this is what-
Jill DeWit: I got on the phone-
Steven Butala: People need to-
Jill DeWit: And I reached out to-
Steven Butala: People need to hear this.
Jill DeWit: All the last people that walked in and saw it and expressed interest, but they didn’t pull the trigger. I got on the phone and found out why. What was it? And then I found … It was the second call, I got the person. They were ready.
Steven Butala: So what she did is she worked at … She took the resources that were available. She didn’t sit around and say, “Why the heck isn’t this selling?” She got on the phone.
Jill DeWit: I did it.
Steven Butala: Every single person that’s in our advanced group, before I wrote this title, this is really why I wrote this title, is very, very aggressive on the phone. And I don’t mean used car sales aggressive. I mean we’re going to sell this property this month.
Jill DeWit: That’s-
Steven Butala: And that’s it.
Jill DeWit: That’s pretty much what I said. I’m going down the list, you’re number two on the list. I want to get this off my books. Are you in or are you out? And then it’s like, oh, now there’s a little bit of a time crunch. So that’s where you need to give them some sort of call to action. Like, hey, I’m moving down the list. If you’re not interested, that’s fine, I get it, but I just wanted to let you know. I’m ready to wheel and deal today kind of thing. And they’re like, “Okay, I really did like it. Would you do this?” And then by the way, the answer was, “Yes, let’s make it happen.” And that’s what we did.
Jill DeWit: I was going to say something along those lines too, about listening to … You can tell tire kickers and you can tell people that are ready. So, and as you go along further, you’ll get better at this. You’ll realize the people that ask the dumb questions that are just way out there versus the people that are serious. And if they are serious, there’s nothing wrong with saying, “You know what?” And this is where people I think get freaked out by this, and I’m not afraid of it, saying, “Look, Steven, we’ve been talking about this three days straight. You are not going away. I can tell you want this dumb property. Let’s do this right now.”
Steven Butala: What’s it going to take.
Jill DeWit: Let’s just do it. And he’s going to go, “You know what? You’re right. Let’s do it.” Yeah, we could keep talking about it, and while we keep talking about it, somebody else could buy it, or I could sell it to you right now. We can be done. You could be happy. You could be planning your next fishing trip on that property. And they’re like, “Yep, you’re right.” So sometimes people just, they need that little push. And don’t be afraid to ask for the business and just make it happen.
Steven Butala: I can tell when I walk into Jill’s office, if she’s on it, if she’s talking to a customer. And it might be a Land Academy member or a person that might be a real estate agent that wants to buy a house or a piece of land that we have listed on the MLS. And I can tell because how she speaks … And I walk in and I walk back out, because I don’t want to mess with that. How she speaks, how she presents herself, you just immediately want to be her friend.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Steven Butala: If she calls, people pick up the phone because they want to talk to her.
Jill DeWit: Thanks.
Steven Butala: And so in fact, when we started this, started buying and selling land together a long time ago, I had to sit her down and say, “You just spent two hours on the phone with someone that I don’t think they’re going to buy anything.” And she’s like, “Oh yeah, you’re right.” So, not that I should even really ever have any comment about how she does her job, but how can you not buy something from her?
Steven Butala: And so there’s some people in our group that we regularly do transactions with and they’re almost always, they have somebody involved just like Jill. So what I’m really saying here is, if you’re a person who wants to sit in the dark on the computer and buy land, but you don’t know how to sell it, you’ve got to find somebody who’s going to do that. You have to get somebody in your life. It might be another member, it might be a family member, but you have to.
Steven Butala: This won’t … All you’re going to do is be really frustrated. If you’re a data person like me, you have to align yourself with somebody like Jill. And I can sell. I’m in front of the camera here, whatever, 1,500 units now almost. I just don’t like it. And that’s another thing. If you’re going to do some stuff over and over and over again that you don’t like, you’re just going to be a miserable person. So I did this for a long time without Jill, and very successfully. And when she came on it, everything doubled overnight. I’m sure it’s times four now.
Jill DeWit: It really helps too to really … You better love what you do and love what you’re selling. And I try to go back and remember what got us excited about that property when we bought it. We keep notes on that and we put it in the posting. So go back and open up the posting and be staring at the picture when you’re talking to this person so you can remember and go, “Oh yeah, you know what? I remember seeing that creek too. I thought that was gorgeous. That’s one of the reasons why I bought the dumb thing.” And that’s going to translate to that person. They will love it.
Steven Butala: So I’m going to end on this. Jill and I do a lot of deal funding for land specifically. Probably 50 to 60% of the time, the person that brought us a deal isn’t performing. We love the transaction. The person’s got transaction history or maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Usually it’s an extraordinary transaction, which is why we get involved. And we fund it, and we sit and wait.
Steven Butala: And this is the end of the year and I looked back on the … We made a lot of money this year in deal funding with people, sharing the proceeds. At least 50% of the time, probably more … Actually, I’m being nice right now. It’s probably 70% of the time. Jill and I looked at each other a month after we took that deal on and we say, “Why the hell hasn’t this sold? And Jill has to step in and go sell the property and close the deal. And so that’s very frustrating for us. Deal funding is not, hey, let’s get Jack and Jill and partner deals and shove a deal at them. Get them to spend all the money, 100% of the proceeds in the closing costs-
Jill DeWit: And just let it sit there.
Steven Butala: Yeah, what do I have to-
Jill DeWit: Let it ride.
Steven Butala: What do we have to lose? I don’t have anything to lose. I didn’t put any money in. I don’t care. I’m going to move on.
Jill DeWit: Thank you for venting.
Steven Butala: Sorry. It’s a big huge issue and it’s … we’ve … I love deal funding. We make a lot of money, and we also make other people a lot of money, but it’s not being used the way that it should.
Jill DeWit: Okay. Not sure how we got this topic right now.
Steven Butala: Well it’s you.
Jill DeWit: Oh okay.
Steven Butala: Because you come in and save everything.
Jill DeWit: Oh thank you. I do-
Steven Butala: From a sales standpoint.
Jill DeWit: So yeah, you just, and you’ve got to … Alright, so you’ve got to have energy too. You’ve got to be motivated. You’ve got to have energy, because it can get tiring. It can weigh on you. And these are all … I’m making notes right now, because I might add all this to the … I’m going to really do a deep dive on this stuff when I get in the sales thing. It might be a couple segment educational thing, but it’ll be good.
Steven Butala: Yep.
Jill DeWit: We’ll get you there.
Steven Butala: Are you going to close there?
Jill DeWit: I think I will. Happy you could join us today. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can find us right here on the Land Academy Show. And don’t fret. Tuesdays and Thursdays, zip on over to the House Academy Show. We are there.
Steven Butala: Tomorrow, the episode on the House Academy Show is called The Highs and Lows of Our Decade. It’s 2020 in a couple of days.
Jill DeWit: I agree. You are not alone in your real estate ambition. We’re all kind of where it’s the … What is this, Monday the 29th. It’s the lull between Christmas and New Year’s. What day is it? It is the 29th. Is it the 29th? Yep. I have to look. Oh, it’s the 30th actually. I’m all confused. See how confusing this is?
Steven Butala: We just got back from, like everybody.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, traveling-
Steven Butala: And then there’s inconsistent work hours and it’s probably too much partying and too much eating, at least for us.
Jill DeWit: Snow delays, weather delays, but it was good. We had a good Christmas. We hope you did also. I am totally lost on my script here.
Steven Butala: The Land Academy Show remains commercial free for you, our loyal listener. I’ll save you.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Steven Butala: Wherever you’re listening or watching, please subscribe and rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.
Jill DeWit: We are Steve and Jill.
Steven Butala: Information-
Jill DeWit: And inspiration-
Steven Butala: To buy undervalued property. You’re cracking me up.
Jill DeWit: I know.
Steven Butala: You’re Johnny-on-the-spot usually.
Jill DeWit: I know.
Steven Butala: You okay?
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steven@BuWit.com.
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