How to use Free Data to Price Your Mailer (LA 1282)

How to use Free Data to Price Your Mailer (LA 1282)

Transcript:

Jack Butala:
Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:
Cheers.

Jack Butala:
Welcome to the Land Academy Show, entertaining real estate investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

Jill DeWit:
And I’m Jill DeWitt. No, I’m not drinking. And we are broadcasting from sunny, Southern California.

Jack Butala:
Today Jill and I talk about how to use free data to price your mailer.

Jill DeWit:
Can’t get you to laugh.

Jack Butala:
I can try.

Jill DeWit:
Oh, none of this makes you happy?

Jack Butala:
I love free data.

Jill DeWit:
Okay. Thank you. There we go.

Jack Butala:
Yeah, I love free data.

Jill DeWit:
I’m trying to get some good response or just happy fun.

Jack Butala:
Here it is.

Jill DeWit:
What?

Jack Butala:
This is a serious time.

Jill DeWit:
Okay.

Jack Butala:
I mean, this is like, there are people that are out of work and I think that they need some help.

Jill DeWit:
Okay. Let me back up. Let me just say one thing, for everyone here. People grieve in different ways. Some people are serious. Some people cry. Some people tell funny stories. Some people go silent. Maybe we’re grieving in different ways. No way is right or wrong.

Jack Butala:
Yeah. I couldn’t agree more.

Jill DeWit:
Okay.

Jack Butala:
Jill, I’m not criticizing you at all. I’m just saying, “Yeah, can I laugh yet?” I can laugh, not right now.

Jill DeWit:
You don’t have to. Okay, then you are allowed … Well, obviously, you want to be very serious, I still choose not to be serious. That’s how I prefer things.

Jack Butala:
There’s a great way to price mailers. I’m digging deeply, deeply digging into how to more accurately price mailers faster.

Jill DeWit:
Yah.

Jack Butala:
And we’re going to share it, and probably have a couple of laughs at the same time. But this is not … I don’t think that the vast majority, maybe few months ago, I think everybody was laughing and saying, “Yeah, this is a great. Those guys are entertaining.” And I would love someone to email me and say, “Oh no, you’re, you’re totally wronged, Jack, we just want to laugh. That’s why we listen to your show.”

Jill DeWit:
Okay.

Jack Butala:
We can do two shows.

Jill DeWit:
Would you call it entertaining real estate investment talk?

Jack Butala:
Right. I actually think this is entertaining, watching us bicker. For some people.

Jill DeWit:
That’s hilarious.

Jack Butala:
When I’ve watch other couples bicker, I’m like, “Wow, finally, somebody else too.”

Jill DeWit:
Okay.

Jack Butala:
I’m want to tell you my Vince Vaughn story along those lines. Joe and I are sitting in Manhattan Beach, right outside of Los Angeles, a couple of years ago at this Mexican place, having the greatest street Mexican food there ever was. And Vince Vaughn’s three tables down and his kids are crawling on his head, and it’s just … And so he and I make contact, eye contact, and he’s, he just looks at me dad to dad, not … And I’m like, “Yeah, I got it.” And his wife’s yelling in his ear about something and, you know.

Jill DeWit:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:
And I felt great about myself.

Jill DeWit:
It’s your turn.

Jack Butala:
I felt completely entertained.

Jill DeWit:
Exactly.

Jack Butala:
If a guy like Vince Vaughn could have the same family stuff that goes on, I might be okay.

Jill DeWit:
Okay.

Jack Butala:
So there’s a lot of guys listening to this going, “You know what? Those guys are talking to each other like I talk to my wife sometimes.” I might be okay.

Jill DeWit:
Okay.

Jack Butala:
How’s that for entertainment? It’s not that funny, is it?

Jill DeWit:
No, it’s not that funny.

Jack Butala:
You want ha-ha slapstick, silly.

Jill DeWit:
It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s all right. Thank you.

Jack Butala:
Before we get into it, of course, Jill and I already have, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the landacademy.com online community. It’s free.

Jill DeWit:
Blake wrote, “Hi, this is an Excel question.” Oh, all right. “I’m having a problem getting double-digit pricing. I use a standard pricing per acre formula. And when I drag it down, it all has one digit pass a decimal. For example, 12131.1 instead of 12131.10. To change this, I right-click on the column and choose a format cells and select number. And then I change it two digits and it changes it. And it’s correct. But then when I close it and reopen it, it’s back to one digit. Any advice? Thank you.”

Jack Butala:
Yeah. And in landinvestors.com, below Blake’s question here, a lot of people immediately piped in and gave him what’s called an add function to correctly format the data, because the data is in there and all the cells, as long as your formulas are okay. But there’s ad functions that can really … There are add functions that are conducive to a mail merge, which is how we get offers out. So, but my big picture point is, even at this point in my career, and I’m pretty good at Excel, I have to go out to other resources and look stuff up. There’s not a mailer that I do where I don’t have to learn some new add function to truly make it better and make it work more efficiently.

Jack Butala:
Jill and I, just before we started the show, Jill said, “You’re a week late on this mailer that you’re supposed to be doing. We got to get it out.” And we did right, before the show we got it out quickly. But it’s like, I don’t want to let my kids go.

Jill DeWit:
It’s that what that was?

Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill DeWit:
Why?

Jack Butala:
It’s just an art thing. If you talk to any artist, and I’m not calling myself an artist at all, but they’ll say, “No paintings ever finished. I just ran out of time, and that’s it.”

Jill DeWit:
Understood. I don’t see it that way.

Jack Butala:
It’s weird, admittedly, ridiculous actually. Because we have deadlines and stuff. Usually I meet the deadlines, this time I was a week late. And so I needed my partner to say, “Man.”

Jill DeWit:
Dude.

Jack Butala:
“Your time’s up.” And we all need partners for that.

Jill DeWit:
Thank you.

Jack Butala:
Keep us in line.

Jill DeWit:
Thanks.

Jack Butala:
Today’s topic, how do you use free data to price your mailer. This is why you’re listening. Like Jill says, we all like free stuff. Free data’s, that’s a double whammy for me.

Jill DeWit:
Exactly.

Jack Butala:
There’s a very new trend that I’m actually learning and exploring and delighted with, about how to get completed sales data for land and existing listed sales data for land on Zillow. And Zillow is not the only place, you can get it on Trulia, or RealtyTrac’s got a great place. So it used to be to price a mailer, we would go find on Land And Farm and a bunch of other places, because land, as a real estate product, real estate agents just don’t really care about it historically. It’s very nichey. So they do now apparently, it’s a data set that everyone cares about and it’s just as easy to track land clicks and sales than it is houses and apartment.

Jack Butala:
So there’s a huge amount of data on Zillow, Trulia, RealtyTrac, and Redfin and Realtor that can be mined. So you can look at a county, pick it out, you can look at very quickly what’s for sale, then calculate the price per acre. What’s sold and calculate the price acre, and come up with a magic number that’s something like this. Of all the property that was listed, that is listed, and all the property that was sold in the last couple of years, the price per acre is about 14,000 bucks. So it’s a very specific number of 14,000, three, two, two, one, dot, three, three. If you take 20% of that, like we teach, and send out a mailer based on that number, you’re going to have amazing results. And it’s way more accurate.

Jill DeWit:
So cool.

Jack Butala:
And it’s all free. There’s very efficient IT ways to get this data out of there quickly and effectively. But there’s always the slow way, and wherever you are in your career or how tech savvy you are, both ways work. One way takes longer, but the results are the same.

Jill DeWit:
Right.

Jack Butala:
So I’ve really dug deep, which is the real reason this mailer I’ve referenced for her, was late.

Jill DeWit:
Thank you.

Jack Butala:
But it’s there.

Jill DeWit:
It’s amazing.

Jack Butala:
And it’s accurate.

Jill DeWit:
This is just another example of how things have changed. Even since I really got really into this with you. It’s been 10 years and I’m like, “Wow.” I used to … Not just my due diligence and how great that is in the mapping, but the stuff that we’re uncovering, I mean, we used to really have to just … There’s a lot of guessing, because so much of the properties that were being sold were not listed anywhere. They weren’t on Zillow. They may or may not be on Land And Farm. It was our own websites, we were doing … Or eBay. I was like, even eBay completed sales, you couldn’t really use that because it was all over the place, depending on how the auction … Did you do an auction? Did you do a Buy It Now, or whatever it was, there were all these variables.

Jill DeWit:
And now it’s really great, like you said. And I think, so part of it too is not just what’s available, is that we are all more open to using. It used to be we couldn’t post properties as easily as we could on the MLS. The only way to get onto MLS was either you were an agent or you listed, with an agent and now you’re paying a commission so you can get it on the MLS. Not the case now. Now there’s all kinds of flat rate brokering, posting services through brokers that you don’t have to pay a commission, and you can get them out there. It’s so great.

Jack Butala:
So Jill’s exactly right. In the past, there was a lot more throwing it at the wall to see what sticks, versus really precision pricing and making decisions based on data. And the real thing … The truth is this, the real truth is this. It’s only going to get better. Metadata and the prevalence of data is becoming more … The prevalence is increasing dramatically and the cost of it’s going down, it will go down to zero.

Jack Butala:
So, throw in the stats like this. If you’re looking at three counties in Alabama, let’s say, I’m just picking one random state. And they’re all adjacent to each other, and you have [inaudible 00:09:37] stats on … Let’s say each county has 300 pieces of land that have sold in the last three years, and 300 pieces of land that are active. They’re active and sold, so exact same number. One county has all of the universe of land, the number of properties. One county has 5,000, one county has 30,00, one county has 10,000. Which one do you think would be better, just based on those stats?

Jill DeWit:
The universe of land.

Jack Butala:
Yeah. The highest one of the-

Jill DeWit:
Highest.

Jack Butala:
Yeah. So, there’s a lot of ways to look at it, I think that I would … there’s two ways to look at it.

Jill DeWit:
Am I wrong?

Jack Butala:
Well, no, I would choose the lowest.

Jill DeWit:
Oh.

Jack Butala:
But you’re-

Jill DeWit:
Wait, wait. The highest number of the … I’m [inaudible 00:10:24] hearing it. The highest number of properties to choose from to pit against each other?

Jack Butala:
No.

Jill DeWit:
Okay, now I heard it wrong.

Jack Butala:
So it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. I would choose a less universe of possibility at the lowest.

Jill DeWit:
I didn’t understand the question. So because there’s the same listed-

Jack Butala:
I know. Well, it’s really because you’re so bored right now that you’re just not, you’re not listening.

Jill DeWit:
But seriously, what is the question? Please back up. Is it the highest number … Okay, you picked a County, and one that has a big variety of properties?

Jack Butala:
It picks three counties in Alabama, they’re all adjacent to each other. They all have 300 pieces of property, land, for sale each.

Jill DeWit:
Right.

Jack Butala:
And they all have 300 completed sales that are sold each.

Jill DeWit:
Got it.

Jack Butala:
County one has a universe of 15,000 pieces of land.

Jill DeWit:
Oh, there’s so much available? No wait, there’s 300 and 300, it’s the same number of things. So what do you mean by universe, is it properties [crosstalk 00:11:13]?

Jack Butala:
How many properties are actually in the county?

Jill DeWit:
Oh.

Jack Butala:
The universe of properties in that county, there’s 15,000.

Jill DeWit:
There’s 15,000 properties in that county altogether.

Jack Butala:
Yeah, APNs. Yeah.

Jill DeWit:
15,000 APNs.

Jack Butala:
One’s got 10.

Jill DeWit:
300 sold and 300 are listed right now.

Jack Butala:
Right.

Jill DeWit:
Okay. That’s one.

Jack Butala:
And the other two counties are 10,000 … Same numbers, 300, 300. One’s 10,000. And the third county is 5,000.

Jill DeWit:
Oh, I’m going with … You know what? I pick the barer on anyway, because it’s less available property too.

Jack Butala:
Okay, good. Excellent, Jill. So we have a different opinion. That’s a great way to look at it.

Jill DeWit:
That’s right. Because I want to be one of 300 when there’s 15,000, I don’t want to be one of 300 when there’s 5,000 there.

Jack Butala:
Now throw in these two statistics.

Jill DeWit:
Right.

Jack Butala:
For each one of those three counties, the average click rate, just to see what’s for sale-

Jill DeWit:
Oh, that makes sense.

Jack Butala:
… on each one of these properties, this is the kind of data that’s available for free.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah, okay. Keep going.

Jack Butala:
Let’s say for the larger, the 15,000 unit county, the clicks, because there’s more people there, the average click on a piece of property that’s for sale, is 82 before it gets sold.

Jill DeWit:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Keep going. What about the other ones?

Jack Butala:
21 and 45. I think in general-

Jill DeWit:
I’m still going to go for … I want to be a … I want to have-

Jack Butala:
There’s a point to all this-

Jill DeWit:
You know what I’m saying.

Jack Butala:
… and it’s actually … I’ll cut to the chase.

Jill DeWit:
I want less … What am I going for? Less inventory. A little more demand.

Jack Butala:
I want less inventory, I want more clicks. You also can get how many people save it. They can save it to watch it, they’re watchers I should say.

Jill DeWit:
Right.

Jack Butala:
Then, get this, and this is the end statistic for me. For sold listings, and this data is available, for sold listings, you can see how many days it was on the market.

Jill DeWit:
That makes a difference too.

Jack Butala:
And you can sort it by the size. So yeah, this is boring as hell, even for me.

Jill DeWit:
No, this is good.for me, no, I love it.

Jack Butala:
Oh, now it’s okay.

Jill DeWit:
No, it’s always been okay. I didn’t understand the question again. And now I understand the question. No, I think everyone would agree. I’m going to pick an area where the five to 10 acres have an average days on market, list-to-sold of 45. Why wouldn’t I? Versus 90, 180. That’s a no-brainer.

Jack Butala:
So access to this kind of data was unthinkable even five years ago.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah.

Jack Butala:
And it’s certainly, if you get it, which you couldn’t, you couldn’t get it for free.

Jill DeWit:
Right.

Jack Butala:
So this is where this business is going. A few episodes ago, we were talking about commercial real estate and how it works with equity, raising equity and debt and all that. That was truly an old boys network. And they were selling properties to each other, and to a large extent that happens even now today.

Jill DeWit:
That’s true.

Jack Butala:
Data allows people to get in the business like us. Because I can tell you right now, those guys that are trading cap rated property are not looking at data at all. They’re trying to figure out how to place equity and utilize that.

Jill DeWit:
Because they’re 80?

Jack Butala:
That, and because they just don’t … Their minds are closed. But yeah, yeah, they’re 80. That’s right.

Jill DeWit:
[crosstalk 00:14:23] that’s true. They’re 80. I understand that, if I never worked this way before, it’s always worked this way before.

Jack Butala:
Right.

Jill DeWit:
Happy you could join us today. Monday through Friday you can find us right here on the Land Academy Show.

Jack Butala:
Tomorrow on the episode on the Land Academy Show is called, “We make this look easy, but it’s not.” You are not alone in your real estate ambition. You know what’s real popular in commercial real estate, speaking of old boys network and old school, was traffic counts. And so for a long time, I remember when traffic counts became the thing, especially with triple net, freestanding Starbucks, or retail like that, or fast food chains or gas stations. Those are almost always owned by … Well, the exclusion of gas stations, but they’re always owned by somebody or a REIT that leases it to the company. And so it was this big clamor to get data about traffic counts. Because the theory is, if there’s 50,000 traffic counts-

Jill DeWit:
Drive bys.

Jack Butala:
Yeah. And then there’s only 12,000 over here, then that one’s going to do better.

Jill DeWit:
When was the last time, I’m just … Your funniest thing, because I remember that. When was the last time you drove over to a thing? Remember those? I haven’t seen him in years. You’d go dump-dump, thump-thump. You drive over the strips in the ground.

Jack Butala:
Oh, that’s right.

Jill DeWit:
When was the last time you drove-

Jack Butala:
I can’t remember.

Jill DeWit:
When was the last time you drove over? We all know what it is. It’s on the ground, it’s taped down. There’s a box on the curb that you’re driving over and it’s getting you traffic count.

Jack Butala:
So they take them visually now.

Jill DeWit:
No, hilarious.

Jack Butala:
They do it with cameras and stuff but-

Jill DeWit:
Yeah. That’s what I’m saying. It’s like, wow, it’s changed.

Jack Butala:
But the second that everybody has access … Here’s my closing point. Second that everybody has access to the same data and it’s easy to grab it, that’s when it becomes obsolete. And then you’re looking for another edge of a different type of data. So we’re in that, that wave is kind of cresting.

Jill DeWit:
I think a lot of people haven’t figured this out yet. And I’m glad.

Jack Butala:
That’s what I think. I absolutely-

Jill DeWit:
They really don’t know it’s there.

Jack Butala:
I think so too.

Jill DeWit:
Because I know that we talked to them and they’re shocked. “What do you mean I can do that?” I’m like, “Yeah, you can do that.” It’s hilarious.

Jill DeWit:
The Land Academy Show remains commercial free for you, our loyal listener. So wherever you’re watching, wherever you’re listening, please subscribe and rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.

Jack Butala:
We are Steve and Jill. Information-

Jill DeWit:
And inspiration.

Jack 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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