Why the Land Academy Wait List is Working so Well (LA 1163)

Why the Land Academy Wait List is Working so Well (LA 1163)


Steve and Jill here.


Welcome to the Land Academy show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

And I’m Jill Dewitt, broadcasting from sunny Southern California.

Today, Jill and I talk about why the Land Academy wait list is working out so well. What the heck is the Land Academy wait list?

It’s working out for the members and it’s working out for us. And I will explain it. It’s going really great.

Jill will explain it. 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.

Mike asks, “Hi, everyone. First post. I’m new here and have no experience buying land before, but I’ve been selling expensive products online for several years. I’ve sent out about 2,700 rural vacant land mailers so far to three different counties. My first mailer was sent eight days ago, so I haven’t got any calls yet. I want to move on to another county for rural vacant land, but I’m having some concerns about the new to sold listing ratio. It’s about 150%, which is typically a bad sign. I downloaded the Redfin data for this county’s land with the sole listings from last year. I was able to zero in on two specific zip codes within the county that I want to send mail to because of the price differences among the county. I feel like I can work around the 150% new to sold percentage by making the following assumptions.”

“Number one, if I were pricing for all those specific zip codes for two to four acre properties, there are about 60 to 80 listings given on Redfin. That seems to be enough data. Number two”-

Totally enough data.

… “if I start by price per acre and there is a better new to sold at ratio, less than 100% for the top 20 lowest price per acre properties in each zip code. I can ignore everything else if I base my mailer off this price breaker. Number three, even if there’s a less than stellar new to sold ratio, I can still move property quickly given I acquire it for around 20% of retail and sell it for 50% of retail.”

So, hold on. There’s just a little bit more, but that’s it. You nailed it on number three. You can sell anything, any rural vacant land, any house or any type of real estate if it’s dramatically less than everything else that’s listed on the market.

Right, exactly. “I’m going to send the mailer anyway, but I’d like to hear if anyone does something similar since it will take me a month or so to know if I’m missing something. I didn’t do this zip code approach from my other mailers. They were much more of a shotgun approach. Thanks.”

Okay, so there’s a couple of things going on here. Number one, he has experienced selling high dollar stuff online.

That’s great.

I mean, I run around the office constantly and at the live events saying, “Hey, we’re a company, a tech company or a customer service company, that happens to sell real estate.” So this show is all about real estate, and Jill and I constantly talk about real estate, but really what really goes on is the same stuff as if we own a manufacturing company or a chain of convenience stores or nail salons, or dream it up. It’s all business and the same stuff’s involved. So I’m really glad to see this fresh approach from somebody where they’re just choosing real estate to mark up and sell online. It’s a great approach. I think it’s a fresh … It takes the focus off of real estate and onto running a business, number one.

Number two, what’s this business of new list to sold ratio and where did he get it? He’s obviously a House Academy member also because the new list to sold is how I pit zip codes against each other. And so what new list to sold means last month if 10 properties got listed in a zip code and 10 properties sold, the new list to sold is 1.0 or 100%, and that’s what you want. You want a lot of properties getting sold and not so many getting listed. You want to be in that I list, I am going to sell my property. It’s a house thing really, not a land thing. So to answer Mike’s question, and for the viewers, listeners, I wouldn’t worry about this at all, not 1%.

A new list to sold of like 400%, that’s not good. That means like four times as many properties are getting listed than sold. That’s bad. This is like one and a half, 150%. So I think you’re, just focus on exactly what you’re focusing on, which is buying property way cheaper than whatever else is going on in that little market and you’re going to do great. And I understand the new person jitters, like I don’t know if I’m doing it right. I don’t know if I’m missing something. I’m sending out all this mail. You’re going to do fine.

It’s hard for people sometimes to really take a step back and look at it like just another product. And I think that’s part of your point here, which I really love.

And I’m not blowing smoke. If you’ve listened to even more than one episode of the show here, I’m not just Mr. Positive. I can tell the way-


I can tell the way this is worded and organized.

Steven skips around the office. Come on, let’s be honest. Come on. Everyone behind your back called you Mr. Positive. Every single person, the staff, myself, the children.

Hey, go ask Mr. Positive, he’s in a great mood today.

Exactly. He’s going to have a … No matter what, it’s going to be a beautiful spin on it. Whatever problem it is, don’t worry.

That’s the name of the show next week.

Go ask dad.

Go ask Mr. Positive. He’s in a great mood. He’ll help you.

Exactly. He wants to help you. He’s going to drop everything.

He wants you to succeed in your job today.

You know what? You know what else he loves, Mr. Positive?

You’re making me cry.

He loves solving problems.

For you?

Exactly. For everyone. Don’t even try. Just come to him with a problem. Don’t have a solution.

Don’t try to work it out yourself. That’s why he’s there.

Mr. Positive. That’s right. Oh my gosh.

Here’s what I said to somebody yesterday. Not yesterday, last week. Somebody on our staff. If you had this problem and you worked for Coca-Cola, would you go talk to the CEO about it?

This is true.

No. You would never ever go to the CEO of Coca-Cola and say, “We’re out of toner.”

Knock, knock, knock, Mr. Buffet, my computer’s not working.

Right. It’s very hard for people to get that.

I know. I don’t know why.

We’re laughing about it now, but I’ll tell you what. There was not a lot of laughing in the office when this occurred.

Well, Mr. Positive was having just a little bit of an off day then wasn’t he?

You know what happens? I get t-shirts when this happens that say stuff like, remember the last time was Captain Obvious.

Captain Obvious.

People send us stuff.


I’m crying.

I know.

That was some classic stuff, Jill. Thanks for calling me out.

You’re welcome. That’s my job.

We’re going to give you, by the end of the show today, we’re going to give Jill, little miss Jill, a nickname too.

Oh, great.

Today’s topic, why the Land Academy wait list is working so well. This is the meat of the show.

Let me start by saying that Land Academy is not our number one business. Shocking, but Land Academy and the membership and the things that we do around Land Academy, not that it’s not a very large part of our business, but I just want to point out that that’s not our number one end game. We are not here to be educators on the planet. We’re here to buy and sell real estate and some other things, but it really centers around that. So I want to get that out there, and talk to you because that’s part of why we have this wait list. So what is it about this wait list that’s so great? Well, number one-

Can you explain what it is because we need some background? Or I can.

All right. You need background. Mr. Supportive, Positive next to me here, the reason we have this wait list, we capped it at 500 people because we just put a cap. Well, two reasons. One is-

We capped the Land Academy membership at 500.

The membership at 500.

Every month. There’s a very couple of, sometimes never-

I’m going to share this in a minute.

We, for a lot of reasons and Jill’s going to explain it, believe that our membership is better and stronger instead of just ever-growing.

And I’ll explain why.

Nearly every education company out there is just ever growing.

Yeah. They never stop. They just add classrooms and add professors. They spread themselves more and more thin, and they add programs and it just gets diluted, I think. So, that’s it. So there’s a cap. And why did we do this? Well, number one, it’s allowing us to take a step back and focus on our core business a little bit. I mean, we’re transparent, we’re honest. Our business took a hit when we did Land Academy. And it’s a good thing, though.

Our regular land business.

Our regular land business.

Buying and selling.

Not Land Academy, but our own businesses. And because we were more focused on helping others grow their businesses, which I love. It makes me feel good. It’s not like our business is not doing fantastic, but it could be better. There’s plenty of members that we have and it’s true that are doing better than we are every month. And it’s the greatest thing.

That’s how it should be.

It is that way. And I want it to stay that way, but I want to … What this does is allows us to return a little more attention back onto our core business of buying and selling properties. And what does this do for our members? It allows us to stay current, more current, more focused on the trends of what’s going on in the buying and selling property world and make sure that we’re providing the most current up-to-date best tools and resources that we all need. So, that’s reason number one. Reason number two that we have this cap and it works so great is because it allows us to keep our member calls and our focus on our members and our community events manageable. I don’t want a stadium. People out there doing stadiums. I don’t really want a stadium. I want to help this core group get bigger. And it’s true. We’re all doing bigger and better deals together, and I love it.

And then for those of you who are listening and are really like, “Well, this is great Jill, but how can I get involved?” So there’s a wait list. If you’re interested, get on it. I’ll tell you, there’s a few slots that do open up every month. There’s natural attrition. Things happen for people. Life happens, they move jobs, whatever. Things change, and I get that. And it’s funny though, it’s really great because we do this, we’ve talked about it before. We have kind of an exit interview. There’s an email that we send out and we try to reach out to everybody when they leave and find out what’s going on. And it’s usually their own thing. I’ll be back. And the percentage of them that come back is pretty darn high, and I love it. So, it’s a great thing. So, hang in there. If you’re thinking about the wait list or on the wait list, sit tight, and we’ll get you … It’ll happen. You want to add something?

Yeah. What I’ve learned since we started Land Academy, and every single time I start something new, all the stuff that I think is going to be what I think just ends up not being true. I get proven wrong. What I’ve learned is that learning about real estate for somebody who’s new in this, or even an experienced real estate person, that’s not what stops people from being incredibly successful. It’s all personality stuff. It’s the exact same reason. If you’re really successful at something right now and you’re looking for a change, you’re going to be really successful at this. So, by capping the Land Academy group, that’s all we’re doing is capping the Land Academy group. We’re not capping the House Academy group.

Not yet.

We’re sinking a ton of resources into products like Neighbor Scoop, which Jill hasn’t released yet. Neighbor Scoop is a product where you can get everybody’s phone number and who owns property based on geography. You can just click through a subdivision, get everyone’s ownership information, or Parcel Fact. So we’re still head long developing those products to help people more efficiently buy and sell real estate. That’s not going to stop. If I have anything to say about it that won’t slow down at all. In fact, it’ll escalate.

It’ll increase. That’s the point. Yeah.

So it’s not … There’s still a tremendous amount of advice that Jill and I can contribute, and hopefully discuss in environments like this that will help people be successful. Just not buying and selling land.

Oh, other than the other things. Oh, other things. It’s bigger than that, is that what you’re saying?

Yes. It’s bigger than that.

Okay, got it.

It’s bigger than that. It’s like how to juggle, how to have a relationship and work together, things like that that I think are just incredibly important because it’s called the Land Academy show, those things are really, really important. It’s not just the land part.

It’s really the Steve and Jill counseling hour.

Yeah, for each other really.

We have to be nice to each other right now for at least 20 minutes. Just kidding.

It is pretty … You know what? That’s perfect. This is like therapy. If you’re a counselor listening to this, just think about this. What if you had to once a week or once a day for 20 minutes, turn a camera on and just be nice. I think it’s great therapy.

That’s kind of what’s going on right now.

And be funny and courteous and rated G with your language, Jill.

That’s great. And supportive and loving. That would be funny. That’s your sentence. Okay. When we leave today, you two are going to start a podcast.

Here’s Jill’s nickname, rated G Jill when the camera’s on.

Okay. I’m good with that. Yeah, because I used a few choice words that I learned from you by the way, right before the show.

Right. Oh, yeah. Not from your father.

No, actually not from him. That’s funny. He was more rated G. I’m like potty mouth.

Rated G Jill. I like rated G Jill.

Okay. That’s good. Happy you could join us today. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can find us right here on the Land Academy show. Tuesdays and Thursdays, if we’re still around, on the House Academy show.

You are not alone in your real estate ambition. I mean I love this cap and it goes against … I mean if you explained, oh, we capped our memberships, to anybody in a business school environment or growth, they’d just say, they would walk away. It’s so counterintuitive from a making money standpoint.

Yeah, that’s true. Why would you stop?

Yeah. Why would you stop something that’s successful?

Exactly. And people are banging down your door because it’s better.

You know where this all came up is I started thinking about commercial real estate. Think of a marina or a popular apartment building, a well located apartment building. There’s a cap and then there’s a list.

That’s true.

And so instead of saying, we can take this thing just to the moon, why wouldn’t you just fill the apartment building up and then get a waiting list, and then make a better environment for the people who live there? I just think that makes complete sense. And assuming that the economics of that apartment building work, you’re taking in more money than you’re spending, just be happy with that. Really it does make a lot of sense, I think.

I hope that at some point in life everyone says, “This is enough,” because otherwise I don’t think are going to live a happy life if you never have enough. That’s sad.

I very historically have not succeeded at that. I’ve always been … You’re very, very good about that, rated G Jill.

I’m really good about that. My enough was a while back. This is all gravy. I’m having fun. The 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. We are Steve and Jill.

We are Steve and Jill. Information.

And inspiration.

To buy undervalued property.


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