Enjoy the Process or the End (LA 1146)
Transcript: 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, do you enjoy the process or the end? This is what Jill just said. What the hell were you thinking when you did this? I don’t get it.
Jill DeWit: I didn’t I say it like that.
Steven Butala: And I said, don’t worry, I’ll carry you.
Jill DeWit: Why do you do that to me? You like to throw me under the bus. So, and I didn’t do that. I just, I really sincerely asked, because I’m sitting here making notes about what I think it is, and I’m like, “Where were you going with this?” And it wasn’t-
Steven Butala: Here’s Jill’s mix. Let me read your notes, okay?
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Steven Butala: A. What is this?
Jill DeWit: Right.
Steven Butala: B. Benefits, if any? C. Us.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. And I’ll explain my notes here in a minute. But I would like to know, seriously, are you going to share it for the meat of the show?
Steven Butala: There are some people who really enjoy the process of doing stuff, I assume people who do crafts or people who build models, which I guess is a craft, or well, people who play cards until the middle of the night with each other, I think enjoy the process, not the end.
Jill DeWit: Are they really playing cards or is that code for something else?
Steven Butala: You decide.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Steven Butala: See, you always bring it to that point, don’t you?
Jill DeWit: Why is-
Steven Butala: Is it rated G, Jill, this episode? We never know.
Jill DeWit: Well we have used that term for other things. It’s why I’m asking.
Steven Butala: I actually mean playing poker-
Jill DeWit: Oh, okay, got it.
Steven Butala: with a bunch of guys until the middle of the night, okay?
Jill DeWit: Okay, thank you. All right, thank you.
Steven Butala: So you either enjoy the process. I think you kind of lean toward one or the other. You either enjoy the process of doing something or you’re getting through the process to get to the end so you can say, “This is freaking done and I’d like to do something else.” I know which kind you are.
Jill DeWit: Oh, totally.
Steven Butala: And I know which kind I am.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Steven Butala: And I bet most of the people listening to this don’t enjoy the process of doing a mailer. They enjoy the bank deposits at the end.
Jill DeWit: Ding, ding.
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: Bob asked, “How do you send a targeted mailer when there is no sense to the APN scheme?” Thanks. Now, did you write this there, or did you reply online?
Steven Butala: I edited and improved on, in my opinion, Kevin Pharrell’s response. Who at the moderator for land investors. You don’t have to read it. I can just answer it.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Steven Butala: What Bob is asking is, if you look at a data set for a county or a zip code and it’s in an Excel spreadsheet and of course you can take all that dataset and sort. You can sort by name, owner’s name. You can sort by anything. Square footage if it’s a house, acreage if it’s land. Or you can sort numerically by the actual APNa and then you can make some sense out of it. But in very rare cases, for some reason in the very deep South, it’s like this. There’s no rhyme or reason at all for the APN. So it just randomly got assigned.
Steven Butala: So in most counties, the vast majority of counties, East, West, North, South, all of it. There’s an APN scheme. So back in the day when the county was getting subdivided and people were developing it, the assessor would say, “This subdivision over here starts with 1-800-34 and then it goes to 35, 36.” You can make some sense out of it. What Bob saying is, how do you send a targeted mailer where there’s no sense to the APN scheme? So it’s very rare, but it happens. So Jill and I solved it for you. We created tools like ParcelFact or Neighbor Scoop, where you can go in and spatially look at the thing and say, “I want to buy houses or land in this area.” And then draw a polygon and download the data. That’s how you make sense of it.
Jill DeWit: And you can get a feel, before you’re going into that. You get a feel for, not by APN, but like you said, by the map, by the area, the prices.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: You’ll know maybe we’ve talked about before-
Steven Butala: That’s right.
Jill DeWit: All the areas surrounding the lake, the lake front properties can be priced differently. Ding, ding. And you’re not going to know that based on the APN. You’re going to know looking at it and know that the lakefront property is going to be priced differently.
Steven Butala: I should have prefaced it by that. The reason Bob’s asking that is because he wants to separate pricing. He wants to look at a certain area of a zip code that’s priced, if its land, all the five acre properties in a county, let’s say. APN scheme X are $120 an acre. An APN scheme Y are $422 because there’s a lake there, like Jill said. That’s the reason you would do this and it’s very-
Jill DeWit: You’re welcome.
Steven Butala: Very, very, very a good idea. But it’s not when you’re first starting out because it’s complicated as hell.
Jill DeWit: Sorry I’m being [sole 00:04:55] over here.
Steven Butala: Oh, it’s okay. Today’s topic, do you enjoy the process or the end? This is the meat of the show. I enjoy the end.
Jill DeWit: All right. I guess that’s it.
Steven Butala: Yeah. The process is, nine times out of 10 with anything, a pain in the butt. I will say this. I think people who enjoy the process probably live a lot longer than people who enjoy the end.
Jill DeWit: I don’t know. That’s a very good point. I see it differently because, well, maybe if you can never get to the end then you would live a unhealthy and unhappy life. But we have a good neighbor that he’s all about the process. That’s his job. He goes from project to project to project. He works for, I don’t know what you call this.
Steven Butala: Private equity group.
Jill DeWit: Thank you. And they buy companies, right? We all know what this is but me, thank you. I’m just kidding. Anyway, and they send him in and he’s got two years-
Steven Butala: He’s a fixer.
Jill DeWit: He has two years to turn it around and to do this and this and this.
Steven Butala: And he gets paid a bazillion dollars.
Jill DeWit: And he does. He cashes out. It gets a nice lump at the end of that two year or three year, whatever period it is. And then they’ll pick them up and put them over here and it’s a different city, whatever. He obviously enjoys the process. He’s not there to buy the company for himself, make it beautiful and retire-
Steven Butala: Exactly.
Jill DeWit: And just let it run. But you know what I’m saying.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Versus, and that’s that kind of person. And I know there’s a lot out there that like that too.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: They love building the team. They love watching this grow. They love that. We really are, and I think it’s partially why we do what we do with land. I want to get in and get out. Our goal is own it for hours, if that. I’d love to sell it before I buy it. It’s about the end and the bank balance, because at the end of the day, let’s go have some fun.
Steven Butala: That’s it.
Jill DeWit: That’s it. We’re also not those people that love to walk around saying, “I worked 50 hours this week. What about you?” And you go, “I worked 60 hours.” And have that kind of a contest. We’re not those people. Our way of our contests is, do you have to work today? Do you have to go in today at all?
Steven Butala: Yeah. This is necessary.
Jill DeWit: What is the minimum you can do and we can go do this and still have the same results. That’s the key too. It’s not like the end people, you want to still have a profitable and healthy and growing business. Just in our case, our hopes are that we set up processes and we put the right people in place that they don’t need us.
Steven Butala: Somebody has quoted this to me in college, college professor. A finance professor, he said, “Humans are like electricity. They take the easiest path.” And that always stuck with me, obviously. And so I don’t know if people who enjoy the process necessarily take the easiest path. I take the easiest path.
Jill DeWit: I do too. I agree. So that’s what it is. And the benefits, I suppose the benefits are, it could be both. It depends on who you are.
Steven Butala: So can I ask you a bunch of questions?
Jill DeWit: Sure.
Steven Butala: We both like to go 180 miles an hour and these race cars that we have.
Jill DeWit: Correct.
Steven Butala: Do you think that that’s getting to the end? Or do you enjoy the process?
Jill DeWit: The process.
Steven Butala: Me too.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, I’m not driving 180 because I want to get there faster.
Steven Butala: Right. Neither am I.
Jill DeWit: I’m enjoying that part.
Steven Butala: That’s right. Me too.
Jill DeWit: It’s a good point.
Steven Butala: How about you playing a solitaire on the computer right before you go to bed?
Jill DeWit: These are good questions.
Steven Butala: So I play solitaire and then-
Jill DeWit: Helps me fall asleep.
Steven Butala: To win? Oh really?
Jill DeWit: Shut up.
Steven Butala: You don’t do it to win?
Jill DeWit: I don’t. That’s a good question. There are a few things that I’d choose, but in business. In business, you know what? Maybe it depends. Now we’re opening this up.
Steven Butala: So Jill and I used to substitute teach for a college course. It was an entrepreneur course. And since we moved to California, we just don’t do it anymore.
Jill DeWit: Because it’s not in California.
Steven Butala: Sometimes I look online to see if we can get involved in that somehow again, out here. Because I really enjoyed that. I got a lot out of on teaching kids and it was the last class in an MBA called being an entrepreneur. And so we would go in there and I would start the class stuff like this. “All the stuff that you’ve learned in all of your school is wrong. And we’re going to sit here for 45 minutes or an hour and tell you exactly what it’s like to own a business and the good stuff, the bad stuff and what to expect.”
Steven Butala: Everybody just stopped what they were doing and really listened to us and we captivated them. I really enjoyed that process. I really think we helped a lot of people. I think we probably did a handful, 25 times probably. And I still think about it. I’m like we really are helping these kids. It was during the very early days of Land Academy and I’d like to think that we’re doing that for at least a handful of people out there. Maybe not so much through this show, but the live events or whatever. I don’t know. I don’t get that-
Jill DeWit: I don’t know.
Steven Butala: That great personal satisfaction when we do a live event.
Jill DeWit: You just went from a handful to 25 and you went from a handful to 500. No, in a good way. I’m just having fun.
Steven Butala: Well, a handful is 25.
Jill DeWit: Well, we have a handful of 500 members.
Steven Butala: Oh.
Jill DeWit: Active members.
Steven Butala: Well, I mean, and 100,000 people actually listening to the show.
Jill DeWit: That’s right.
Steven Butala: So-
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Steven Butala: All right. I don’t know what the point is that.
Jill DeWit: I was just having fun with you. It’s Friday. It’s Friday.
Steven Butala: So did you enjoy the process teaching in that class, or did you try and to just get to the end?
Jill DeWit: Both. Help them get to the end and understand and try to [crosstalk 00:10:33]
Steven Butala: Oh, help them get to the end-
Jill DeWit: Yeah.
Steven Butala: But not you.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, and I was hoping to just skip through it.
Steven Butala: I enjoyed teaching that class. I don’t know why. You know why? Because we got through to those kids.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. Well, okay, let’s back up. Land Academy’s a process.
Steven Butala: I know, that’s what I was kind of getting at before you said handful and-
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Steven Butala: got toward that.
Jill DeWit: Because it really is. It’ll never end. This show is a process and it’ll never end. So I guess I’m eating my words. It depends on what it is. [crosstalk 00:11:02].
Steven Butala: Yeah, depends on what it is.
Jill DeWit: In my day to day business, I want to get to the end, but there’s parts of it that I love. That’s it, it’s what you love.
Steven Butala: Exactly. These Friday shows aren’t necessarily about real estate. They’re about the philosophical aspects of why we get up in the morning and do stuff. For everybody, most of the people watching or listening to this and for us for sure, our days and weeks and months and years are packed from doing real estate deals. And I just think it would be impossible to enjoy that process. I think you want to get to the end. But my point is, when we do stuff we really love that maybe ends up being a hobby and not… We enjoy the process.
Jill DeWit: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Very interesting. You’re leaving me with stuff to think about today, Dr. Steven.
Steven Butala: That’s the whole point.
Jill DeWit: That’s good. So what is it for you?
Steven Butala: Why are we doing these real estate deals if we don’t really enjoy the process? That’s really what I’m coming, because we want to live on the ocean.
Jill DeWit: Oh, because the end. [crosstalk 00:12:03] Wait, because the end of those frees me up to do the process for the parts that I love.
Steven Butala: Exactly.
Jill DeWit: Wow. That’s a book.
Steven Butala: Yep.
Jill DeWit: Or a series of books and one that I won’t write.
Steven Butala: I can vouch for that.
Jill DeWit: Thank you. 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 we are next door at the House Academy show
Steven Butala: Next week, join us on the Land Academy show for the episode called negotiation starts with common ground. You are not alone in your real estate ambition.
Jill DeWit: It’s funny how often we say we don’t negotiate, don’t negotiate, but we use the word.
Steven Butala: I heard somebody on a talk show recently talk about everything starts with a common ground. And they were talking about politics. And so because there’s this very heated political environment right now. More so than I think than I can remember ever. And he said when people are at odds, and let’s say you’re a real estate deal, you have to start by saying something like, “Look, I know we’re completely at odds on this, but we both love our children, right? And we both want our kids to do well and we have to raise them somewhere.” So yeah, you’re on the right. I’m on the left or whatever it ends up being. But we’re doing this for our kids. Let’s start there. Or you do want to sell your house, you wouldn’t be talking to me otherwise. We’re just not at the right price yet. So let’s start with that.
Jill DeWit: That was perfect. Thank you. The Land Academy show remains commercial free for you, our loyal listener. So wherever you’re watching, wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate us there.
Steven Butala: 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.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steven@BuWit.com.
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