Mailer Just Hit, What’s it Like to Take 1000 Phone Calls (LA 1289)

Mailer Just Hit, What’s it Like to Take 1000 Phone Calls (LA 1289)

Transcript:

Steven Butala:
Steve and Jill here. Welcome to the Land Academy Show entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala

Jill DeWit:
And, I’m Jill DeWitt, broadcasting from sunny Southern California.

Steven Butala:
Today. Jill and I talk about, the mailer just hit. What’s it like to take a thousand phone calls?

Jill DeWit:
More like 10,000, really?

Steven Butala:
I like you, listener, I’m going to listen to Jill today.

Jill DeWit:
Well, thanks.

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 DeWit:
Cupidgaveuponme, wrote, “I mailed a new county and the mail hit this week. I didn’t get much response, but the first couple responses I did get, accepting my offer has caused me to believe that I overpriced my mailer. I would still like to buy, but not at the price I originally listed in the letter. I believe in being honest with people, but I’m not sure how to say that I actually want to offer less than what they have already accepted. There isn’t anything particularly wrong with the properties. They all have access. They’re all large acre desert properties with dirt road access, but they’re big enough I will have to partner on the deal to purchase at my original offer. And there isn’t enough to make it worth it. My son says, move on and keep mailing. I am proud, but I want to at least try. And I don’t want to waste a lot of time. We have to brainstorm things to say, but nothing sounds very good to me. Can anyone give examples of what you say to sellers?” Doing it now. This always happens.

Steven Butala:
No one’s more qualified to answer this question than you.

Jill DeWit:
Sometimes, this situation can happen. Yeah. Sometimes you came in too high, like, “Shucks. I goofed,” or there’s something about that property that makes it less desirable. That could be, and it’s not that you’re going to kick to the curb, but you do want to offer less. We do this all the time on our Thursday afternoon member calls. We have a section called, would you do this deal? And it’s often that you and I, Steve, are looking at properties and we’re like, “Oh, shucks. You know, I see why you offered 12. Man, I love it at five. I could maybe do eight. Twelve’s pushing it because I think you’re going to sell it for 20.” That’s usually how it works. So I usually, and I’m doing it now. I go back to the sellers and say, “Look, I didn’t realize X was going on out there, such as days on market in that area are so high,” or, “Whoops. There’s 800 properties available in the zip code,” which then I probably wouldn’t want it anyway.
But there’s something that’s causing you hesitation, and making you think that you’re going to have to take a risk here. And I pass. I tell that honestly and openly with the seller. And then what I do is I would say, “Look, here’s, what’s going on.” I state what the problem is. Say why I need to alter my purchase price. I give them my new, highest and best offer. And I make it… I say it like that, say, “Look, I still want it, but I’m willing to pay seven, not 12, like you signed and sent to me. If seven doesn’t work for you, I get it. I totally understand. Please feel free to think about it, sleep on it. If you come to me, probably within 30 days I can still make this work, let me know.”
And then, just walk away. It’s not worth it. There’s nothing really to negotiate and such and such and just say what it is and move on. And then watch, hang up and watch what happens in a day or two, a large percentage of those guys, they know, and often if they answered back so quickly, they’re like, “Ooh, Yippiekiyay. I never thought anybody would offer this.” It’s probably what’s going on in their heads. So they get it. And they’ll come back if they’re serious. If not, don’t worry about it too. The last thing you want to do is buy something for 12 and you know, “I’m not sure I can make this work. This is going to stink in the end.” I don’t want you to be in that situation.

Steven Butala:
Let’s separate two very distinctive and very frequent situations with these sellers. Number one, they call back and say, “Heck yes, I want to sell my property for $7,000. This is awesome. And I’m going to sign this right now and sending it back to you,” versus that person doesn’t care about price. That person wants to sell their property and price is secondary. They’ve already made a decision. So it’s very negotiable. The second type, and I think this is if you’re not involved in Land Academy or have never sent the mailer out, is what we’re all used to. Like when you deal with real estate agents and for sale property. The second is this. “Yeah. I mean, I got your letter for 7,000 bucks, but 12 is what works for me.” That person really cares about price. They’ve already done the research. And that is… just forget about that. So, the situation that this question is about, this $7,000 example, is very, very, very negotiable.

Jill DeWit:
Well, here’s the thing, what he’s saying, how I read it is he’s saying that he offered 7,000. They like it. They signed it, they sent it in and he goes, “Oh-oh, I offered too much.”

Steven Butala:
I understand.

Jill DeWit:
Okay. Sorry.

Steven Butala:
So, the situation that Jill just described and my number one situation that I’m describing here is very frequent and very negotiable. It doesn’t seem like it. And I think it’s very foreign to people who haven’t sent a lot of mail out. I think people are used to negotiating in the traditional sense where you offer seven, they come back at 12 and you say 10, and we don’t do that here at all. If anything we offer seven and here’s the exact sentences I’ve used in the past with great success in option number one here. “Thanks, Mr. Jones. Yeah. And thank you for sending the letter back and I do want to buy your property, but we sent out about 4,000 letters last week. Obviously one of them was yours. And so we don’t have time, or we can’t really research every property before we send an offer out. Your property, it seems that we’ve overpriced your property, and I’m going to send you a little video or send you a couple of screenshots about why I think that is.”
Maybe it doesn’t have access. Maybe there’s some other issues that are going on power line easements. There’s all kinds of stuff that can go on to cause you to look at the property and say, “It should be 5,000, not 7,000. And the vast majority, a shocking number to even me, are going to say, “Okay, you know what? 5,000 works, I get it. I’ve been concerned about that with my property anyway.” In fact, most of the people that you send a picture to say, “Thank you. I’ve never seen a picture of my property.” So there’s a fine line between doing what Jill and I are describing and making this your business model. You don’t want to do that. You don’t want to intentionally overprice mailers and go in and renegotiate every single price. So this is a good problem to have. I’ve seen Jill turn deals into just jaw-dropping. $30,000 offer price becomes $6,000.

Jill DeWit:
But there was a reason for it. I’m not being that person. That’s the whole point. It was just, something was off. Sometimes things are off. Who knows? We, joke about it, but it’s true. Assessors are real people. And they key in things wrong sometimes. And other times they key in things, they don’t key in things. Or there’s things you couldn’t… I often find it more the other way around, like right now, we’re going to talk about in a minute, the mailer that we just sent out, there are some screaming, wonderful attributes that we could have never possibly picked up in our data that really does command a higher dollar amount. So, some of the calls I’m getting back right now, they’re like, “Ha-ha, you offered this. It’s really worth this.” And you know what, they’re right? I mean, it’s just not in there.

Steven Butala:
That’s a perfect prelude. Today’s topic. My mailer just hit. What’s it like to take a thousand phone calls? Or like Jill says, 10,000 phone calls. This is the meat of the show.

Jill DeWit:
Well, it’s funny because a week ago I was even bugging my team. I’m like, “Did the mail go out the day that you said I went out?” We always do that. We joke about it. And even I put it in Facebook, because I was laughing at myself. I’m like, yep. Even myself, I’m sitting here waiting for the phone to ring and anticipating and wondering when the mail is going to hit. And it’s funny, because we hit two parts of the country and one part of the country it hit. The other part of the country, it has not hit yet. One is West and one is East. Anyway, so the West version, the calls are just coming in right now. We sent out about between nine and 10,000 units that went out all at one time. And the first day I started taking the hit in the afternoon. People are getting their mail and here they come, like right away, people open their mail and they open their phone.
It’s so funny, and I’ve already got a good mix. And what’s interesting, too, we’re going to talk about this more I know in another show, just how smart people are in different parts of the country, and different things that are going on. But these people that I’m dealing with right now really know what’s going on and it’s a lot. So the first day I’m going to say 10,000 unit mailer got about 10, 15 phone calls.
Second day got about 20 to 30 phone calls and halfway into the second day, I’m like, “And, I’m out.” Because I feel like, you don’t have to answer your own phone. I chose to because I like to get a little temperature check on the area, but I will either, even Marcel’s, I’ll use my staff, which I’m doing right now because they have the time. But the minute they don’t have the time or you don’t have the time, I’m going to turn it right over to PATLive, because we use them and they’re great. So, and I’m not getting anything out of that by the way, by just telling you that. So we use them and they do a really good job. So what do you want to ask me?

Steven Butala:
What’s a perfect weekly mailer number, if you’re pricing correctly, that new or experienced listeners would… like 1500 a week, 2000 a week. What do you think?

Jill DeWit:
Oh, I think 2000 is very manageable, I think, if you were in a system like that, so you’re sending out 8,000 a month. If it was one person you could totally handle that.

Steven Butala:
You can do deals and the buy side, sell side, if you’re a one person show.

Jill DeWit:
I think if that’s your job. You don’t have another job, then I think you could handle that.

Steven Butala:
Okay, good. That’s about the number I came up with it. You’re going to be busy. I mean you’re working eight to 10 hours a day, but you’re also going to make a ton of money.

Jill DeWit:
And you’re going to use PATLive? I would be using PATLive.

Steven Butala:
So would I.

Jill DeWit:
So here’s what happens, too. So, and here’s what… let me just too what’s going on in my team and I’ll give you two scenarios, so you know. What I do is phone call comes in. My team answers and they have a list basically of the criteria I want to get, which you know, ownership information. Who are you? How do I reach you? Does this offer for you? Do you have any more properties? Is there anything special I want to know? We’ll get back to you. That’s it. They’re collecting that information for Steven and or I to sit down and review the properties later on, and then decide which ones we’re going to buy or not buy kind of thing. And PATlive does a version of that, as well. The thing about PATLive is it gets really expensive if you have them on the phone a long time, because you’re charged kind of by the minute, not by the call.
So you have to kind of have a real short, brief scripted thing. And that’s fine, because some of these people, like my team knows that they’ll talk and you can get more information out of them and they get it. Get whatever you can on the property. That’s wonderful. And what’s happening right now, too. It’s so cute. So, some of the… there’s always a couple sellers. They’re so into this property that they use my email, my emails on the letter. So they’re emailing me pictures and maps. And here’s the area. One guy had professional, I kid you not, like Ansel Adams worthy photographs, seriously, taken of his property and he emailed them to me so I can see just how dreamy it is when the sun sets just perfect on the ridge. You know, for me to buy this property, I’m like, this is hilarious.
I haven’t had that one before. That’s new for me, but it’s really cute. So, the whole point though is, and this is what I want you to take away from this. Whoever’s answering your phone, you just want to get those calls. If you miss them, call them back. You really want to have a quick contact with every person and anyone, no matter how fast they want to yell at you and get off the phone, all you want to get out of them is like, “Okay, hold on a moment. I hear ya. Maybe I priced too high, too low,” whatever. It’s obviously too low, if they’re mad at you. The bottom line is, do you even really want to sell? And if so, what’s your bottom number? That’s it.

Steven Butala:
That’s such an important message to deliver because there are a lot of people, especially new people to real estate or maybe new people to Land Academy that are uncomfortable about talking about money. And, I’ve had personal experiences with certain people. They’re just, they can’t say it. They’re in our position. They send a mailer out, somebody calls back. And the first thing I say is, “Thanks. I mean, are you comfortable with the prices on the mailer?” And so that’s really hard for a lot of people to get over that.

Jill DeWit:
Yes. And then also, “what is your price?” And, I just have to quickly get to that point.

Steven Butala:
Just everybody start talking about money quickly. And you’re going to find out, because you can talk for two hours about your grandchildren and all kinds of stuff and then find out, “Oh no, I don’t want to sell my property at all.”

Jill DeWit:
Right.

Steven Butala:
That’s what you don’t want to do.

Jill DeWit:
You don’t want that. That’s true. And you want to find out too, if they say… well, I had a lady tell me this the other day, it was the funniest thing. I’m like, “Yeah, no kidding.” And, then she came down to earth, by the way, she’s like, “Well, everything’s for sale at a price. Even my primary residence.” I’m like, “Okay, that’s funny, but that’s not where I’m going with this. And you know it,” kind of thing.
So I’m like, “Okay, look, what really is your number?” And she came back with a number which was, and she said that, she said, “It’s less than what I paid.” And that’s the number I’m looking for. And I looked it up and she was telling me the truth. I said, “That’s what I’m trying to get out of this here, because the bottom line is, “I’m trying to buy your property. I’m sorry it didn’t work out. This happens a lot. I’m sorry you didn’t get to build your dream home there. And gosh, I’m sorry. COVID hit. And I’m sorry property values didn’t take off there like everybody thought it was. And just because you paid $49,000 and then the market went down and nobody built out there and there’s water restrictions or who knows what’s going on. This happens. This is what it’s worth right now today. And this is what I’m willing to spend.” And a large percent of them are going to go, “Yep, you’re right.”

Steven Butala:
There’s a lot of stages to this. It starts with picking a place to send mail and analyzing that and you eventually pull the data and then you price it, and then you get the data in the mail. And then, what we’re talking about today is that stage when the mail hits and everybody starts to… what you’re doing is building a pipeline of acquisition opportunities. Personally, I have to tell you, this is my least favorite stage. And I will tell you that every single person, without exception that’s in the advanced group has managed this stage like a pro either in their current life as a land investor, or in their previous life as a business owner or salesperson or movie producer, or whatever else, they happily will look at the caller ID on their phone, not know what it’s from or where it’s coming from and include Jill in this and happily pick the phone up, turn it on and say, “Hello, this is Jill. How can I help you? I bet you got an offer from us.”
There’s something very happy and very cute. And they’re very truly into it. So, that’s a black day for me. That’s not my thing.

Jill DeWit:
That’s funny.

Steven Butala:
So if you’re one of those people and you’re listening to this, and you’re concerned about this stage, you have two choices. You find a person like Jill, which is what my choice was after the year 2010, or before the year 2010, I sucked it up and did it myself. And I was pretty good at it after a while, but it’s not what I like. And it’s not fun. Fortunately, there’s PATlive now so you can get around it. But I have to say this truly, and I don’t want to sound like your father, but this is so necessary to be good at this, the Cupid question earlier.
I can tell she’s like, “Oh, I don’t know if I want to call them back and try to tell them what I really should pay for the…” That can’t work.

Jill DeWit:
They have to have no fear.

Steven Butala:
Your soul, in your soul, you want to pick up that phone. In my soul, this is personal now. In my soul, I can’t wait. I spring out of bed on day to day. I just can’t wait to dig in to these counties and get more information and get better information, price it correctly, and sit in a dark room and create the perfect mailer. I don’t think that’s the case with Jill on that topic, but she picks up where I leave off. And so this is so important. If you’re going to build a business at this, to get… a lot of times it’s the same person. I’ve never seen anyone succeed at this in an incredible way, that’s not comfortable talking on the phone.

Jill DeWit:
Right. I do get excited about it, too. The reason I get excited is because I know we win when we buy it. When I get the call and I’m like, “Oh, I know this area. Holy cow.” Say I’m out somewhere and I’m not looking at it on my computer. I’m like, “Oh, if this is what I think it is, this one’s going to be spectacular.” And then I can’t wait to get to my computer and look it up. So that’s how I run with these things. And you know, I don’t take it personally when they’re mad at me and I don’t take it personally when I just have to deliver the bad news, just like, “Hey, it is what it is. This is the best I can do.” Thank you. Happy you could join us today. Five days a week you can find us right here on the Land Academy Show.

Steven Butala:
Tomorrow the episode on the Land Academy Show is called, “The real profit on a 10,000 unit mailer. You are not alone in your real estate ambition.”

Jill DeWit:
I like this week. It’s all very current and timely for us. It’s like, this is what’s going on in my world.

Steven Butala:
If you’re a regular listener, I want you to… here’s 30 seconds of homework. What do you think the real profit is on a 10,000 unit mailer. It costs about $5,000 to get a 10,000 unit mailer in the mail. What do you think you really make at the bitter end?

Jill DeWit:
I can’t wait to hear. The Land Academy Show remains commercial free for you, our loyal listener, homework or not. So wherever you’re watching or wherever you’re listening, please just go and rate us there.

Steve and Jill:
We are Steve and Jill-

Steven Butala:
Information-

Jill DeWit:
… and inspiration.

Steven Butala:
… to buy undervalued property.

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