The State of Land Academy After 5 Years (LA 1152)

The State of Land Academy After 5 Years (LA 52)

Transcript:

Steven Butala:
Steve and Jill here.
Jill DeWitt:
Happy Friday.
Steven Butala:
Welcome to the Land Academy show entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.
Jill DeWitt:
And Jill Dewitt, broadcasting from sunny Southern California.
Steven Butala:
Today Jill and I talk about the state of Land Academy after five years. It’s been five years, obviously 2015. It’s been decades since Jill and I have been buying and selling land, but we decided to share it with the world, how we do it anyway, in 2015. And it’s five years later, and this is what I’ve learned.
Jill DeWitt:
You know, I also want to say, because it’s Valentine’s Day. This show is about love. Just kidding. I just had to do that.
Steven Butala:
It’s not about love at all.
Jill DeWitt:
Okay, anyway.
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 DeWitt:
Frank asks, “I have finally selected a county and I’ve downloaded my list from RealQuest Pro for one acre properties. Lowest price I can find all across the board for one acre is $16,000. I plan on offering $3000 to $4,000 per acre and sell for $8,000 per acre. Upon calling a local title company, closing costs alone are going to be around $1000. Do you take these costs into account and then figure them in before your offer is sent so you can still make your profit margin? So in this case, my offer price would be $2000 to $3,000 per acre instead of $3000 to $4,000 per acre.”
Steven Butala:
What do you do?
Jill DeWitt:
No. I think I still go in with my price at the way it is. $3000 to $4,000 an acre and you’re going to sell it… So I buy for three, sell for six… Even if I buy for four, sell for eight and with closing class, which is nine or 10 I’m still happy with that.
Steven Butala:
So am I. I’m elated with that.
Jill DeWitt:
Because I’m going to get a little more deals. Here’s my thing. Coming in a little higher, it’s going to yield me more deals and I’m still making a great amount of money.
Steven Butala:
Boy Jill, you’re the girl for me. I could not have described it better. It’s not about just that one deal or that one mailer, it’s about putting a system in place where you consistently make four or 5,000 bucks a deal in the beginning, and then eight to 10, and then 10 to 20, and then 100, 200 per transaction. Using the same concepts, the Land Academy, House Academy concept. Everybody’s got little quirky stuff in the beginning. I had all kinds of quirky stuff in the beginning. Mine was all paperwork related, so it was none of this math. But it’s a good question.
Jill DeWitt:
It is. Because you know what’s funny, we haven’t talked about this in a while. I remember talking to a bunch of members about this. They’re like, “Oh, I screwed up,” on one of our weekly webinars calls. They said, “Oh man, I screwed up. I screwed up this deal. I didn’t make what I should of.” I’m like, “Well what are the numbers? Tell me how bad.” I’m thinking that they bought for 10 sold for eight. They’re like, “No, I bought for 10, I sold for 18, so I didn’t quite double my money,” and they’re thinking that’s bad. I’m like hold on everybody, you made $8,000 for how much work, what a couple hours it took you? Really, are we really going to call that call that a fail? That is not a fail. So that’s the same as this.
Steven Butala:
To put that in context, Jill’s so correct. If a company makes 3% profit margin in the real world, like Target or… In the real world, 3% is just staggering when you average it all out. I’m not talking about Apple or Microsoft, those are different companies. Grocery stores make one and a half percent. If they’re not in the red they make about one to 2% and that’s it. When you’re talking about sitting at your desk at home making eight to $10,000 a deal every week, that’s a lot of money. I don’t care who you are. That’s a ton of money when you add it up. I always say every deal we do, I don’t know why I do this, I multiply by 12, or 10 really, which is to say, hey, if I did a 10 or 12 of these this year, that’s what the number would be. If I made 10 grand on a deal, which is real low for us now, but if we make 10 grand on the deal, I multiply by 10 or 12 it’s 120,000 bucks.
Steven Butala:
How much time did it take? Is the business still viable? Yes. Then I multiply by 50, which is one a week, which is still very viable from a time standpoint, if we didn’t have all these other companies and we didn’t do this show. It’s 500 to $600,000 a year. Jill and I can live off of that, easily with assistance and everything. So you’ve got to put this in context.
Jill DeWitt:
That’s where this will never go away by the way too, not to get into the show, but land has kept food on the table for us for many, many, many years. Even more than the last five.
Steven Butala:
Every single year. Yeah, every single year I look at our numbers at the end because we’re getting to February now and I’m doing all this stuff and my jaw drops at the land part of this and how much money we buy and sell land and what we make. We separate everything with bank accounts, and what’s left in that bank account and it’s just like, wow, that would be fine if it was just that.
Steven Butala:
Today’s topic, the state of Land Academy after five years. This is the meat of the show.
Jill DeWitt:
Sorry, I was excited to get into it.
Steven Butala:
I think you’re right. I know you’re right.
Jill DeWitt:
Thank you.
Steven Butala:
Here’s the number one thing that’s shocking for me about Land Academy versus the beginning and now. The quality of the members and the dedication of the members. It wasn’t just like everybody was terrible in the beginning. It wasn’t anything like that at all. Everybody in the beginning made a commitment. Some of them fell out, some of them didn’t. There’s still a ton of members that are with us right from the beginning, but the quality of the members that we have now and how the dedication level and it’s truly amazing. This isn’t about us at all. It’s about our members. And it’s really the way I think a teacher may be. I mean in some ways we are teachers. Satisfaction of a teacher is if you can get through to a group of students that this matters and this is how you do it, and they care about it and they change their life going forward. That’s why we’re here.
Jill DeWitt:
And become better people and they’re successful and-
Steven Butala:
Making more money and then spread the word on top of that. We have people now who are, they’re partners with their kids. That’s just the greatest thing ever.
Jill DeWitt:
I love that.
Steven Butala:
So that’s the big difference for me. I know you wrote down a bunch of stuff.
Jill DeWitt:
Actually I didn’t.
Steven Butala:
Oh, you wrote a heart down. It says February 14th.
Jill DeWitt:
I wrote a heart, it’s Valentine’s Day.
Steven Butala:
That’s your notes for the show?
Jill DeWitt:
Pretty much. No, I like what you were talking before that about my comment, my biggest thing is like who knew it would get to this level? I had no idea. No, the other thing I wrote down is I’m planning a… July, 2020 will be five years from when we rolled out our very first program back then on DVDs. I’m planning a party for that because we need to celebrate that. That’s going to be really cool.
Jill DeWitt:
I knew, as we were talking before this show, Steven politely shared that his confidence level… Speaking of confidence. Yesterday, right. His confidence level, this whole Land Academy thing wasn’t all that high. Mine was like, of course it’s going to work a course it’s going to be great because I already knew because of all the people that we were quietly helping and sharing for the years leading up to the Real Land Academy, all our wholesale buyers. It’s true they were going, “All right, where are you guys getting the data? What are you guys doing?” And then so many people saying, like agents that would give me land deals. I’m like, I got to know these guys. I’m like, “Bob, give me these deals. Do you know you can do these deals and make money just like I’m making money?” He’s like, “I don’t want to. I had a little bit of everything.” I just knew that there was something there.
Jill DeWitt:
So here we are five years later. I did not realize how big it would become and I did not realize we would be designing our own products like ParcelFact and Neighbor Scoop and-
Steven Butala:
Yeah, me too.
Jill DeWitt:
[crosstalk 00:08:32] and the things that we’d be doing and the things that we have planned, hold onto your hats because true to form, we have even more coming and we’re never going to be done. That’s too, one of my biggest takeaways about our business, which I’m sure is with every business, if you can’t roll with the punches and adjust and adapt the change the way you do things, I know our data sources today may not be your data sources tomorrow, but you better believe we’re going to be on the front line of it all, figuring it out and, and solving it and blazing a trail for the rest of us. Because that’s who we are. I am having so much fun.
Steven Butala:
I am too. It’s really truly rewarding, and I had no idea about that with myself. It’s a great way to kind of finish off. We’re not anywhere close to being done, but to top off a career that’s very profitable and rewarding, and in and of itself, it was just us buying and selling property in a room somewhere. That’s good enough. But to share it with other people that have and take it seriously and then take it past the place that I didn’t even know it could go. That’s what it’s all about for me.
Jill DeWitt:
Exactly.
Steven Butala:
And then what you said about the tools, I had no idea. The tech tools that we’re providing… Jill and I do these real estate deals and we never stopped doing them, and we’re always doing these… We’ve talked about confidence I think yesterday. I get my confidence through using this data, doing this, doing this, doing title report or doing whatever it does to get my confidence. And so we all do it. Jill and I, in the past have done it through using other sources of tools, substandard in most cases, or by talking to each other. What ended up happening with Land Academy is that just doesn’t work. If we have a Land Academy member who’s obviously not… We have a lot of members in both groups. They don’t have access to those tools. So we created them so that everybody could log on to some website and use them effectively. That’s really separated us and our members, it’s separated our members from the competition because just with ParcelFact finding a property that fast, while you’re on the phone with the seller and making a decision, it’s huge.
Jill DeWitt:
It is. I often think back to like, “God, wish I had us back then.” Can you imagine if I were just starting out and you had us and what we can learn and fast forward? So for those of you who have not struggled trying to find the property or have not struggled trying to get data directly from the County, you’re lucky. That used to be how many weeks it would take just to be able to send out mailers to get ready and the due diligence. All that time is just so much faster and that’s probably one of the outcomes as to why our members are doing so well and successful and they’re doing bigger and better deals faster with more information right there. It’s amazing.
Jill DeWitt:
I want to say one more thing too. You brought up reward. We often talk about, “You know we could not be doing this and we could focus on commercial. Look at these deals that we’ve got over here, that we’re not spending the right amount of time on it. Jill, you could go into this brokerage and you can go to this and you can… Where do you think we’d be?” I’m like, you know what? This is very true. We talk about this. Yeah, we could, but it’s certainly not as rewarding as what we’re doing here. It’s way more fun what we’re doing now. How much is enough? I want you to think about this too. How much is enough? I want everybody to have a good conversation with yourself. Set some real lofty goals, do we need to be Trump level or kind of property people? I do not wish to do that.
Jill DeWitt:
I think some of our people in our group do, and that’s okay too. But how much is enough? At some point it’s like you have enough money, everybody’s taken care of, now give it back. So that’s part of why I love being here too. It’s really a good way for us to give back.
Steven Butala:
Yeah. And my final point is this decision that Jill and I made to cap the Land Academy Group at 500 members was, I just think you never know how this stuff’s going to go and there’s some decisions that we’ve made in the past it’s like, wow, that didn’t work. But the quality of the people that are in that 500 are just, it’s fantastic, versus having it just open. So, that was a great decision, and I think the people that are there want to be there and they’re making all these… I can tell from the backend of watching these tools and how much data is getting pulled and who’s using L2L, that it’s really working. So it’s a positive thing. I’m trying to think, you know me, trying to think about something negative like wow, that’s a mess. We had to clean that up, or that’s going in a downward spiral. And honestly, with the Land Academy and House Academy, I can’t think of… There’s just nothing negative about it.
Jill DeWitt:
I think because we have open minds. Because if something’s not working, our members will tell us. You tell us and we listen. Seriously. That’s it. So we’re like, “All right, we got to fix this.” Like this doesn’t work. Or like Neighbor Script, like it would be great if we have phone numbers. All right, we’ll figure this out. We listen and thank you. Happy you could join us today. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday you can find is right here on the Land Academy show. Tuesdays and Thursdays, we are next door on the House Academy show.
Steven Butala:
Join us next week on the Land Academy show for the episode called Taking Responsibility For Your Deal All The Way To The End. You are not alone in your real estate ambition.
Jill DeWitt:
That’s going to be good.
Steven Butala:
That show?
Jill DeWitt:
I like that topic. Yeah. You need to-
Steven Butala:
I recently was involved in a deal with some people that are very young and I have to say I was like this when I was really young too. Young, professional. And their attitude is, I did the deal, I negotiated, it’s all signed, I’m not going to close it. That’s for some title agent. I’m going to go on to the next thing. That’s just not how this works at all. And that’s going to end in a tragic train wreck. You can’t walk around this planet as if you have three secretaries who are going to mop up after you because you’re onto the next deal. You have to take responsibility for closing this stuff.
Jill DeWitt:
This is going to be fun.
Steven Butala:
You can’t just do the fun stuff up front and then expect everybody to do all the hard work while it’s in the middle.
Jill DeWitt:
Right. This is fun. The Land Academy show remains commercial free for you, our loyal listeners. Wherever you are watching, wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.
Steven Butala:
We are Steve and Jill. Information-
Jill DeWitt:
And inspiration-
Steven Butala:
To buy undervalued property.
Jill DeWitt:
Happy Valentine’s day, sweetheart.

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