Interview with Member Johnny Newsom (LA 1372)

Interview with Member Johnny Newsom (LA 1372)

Transcript:

Steven Butala:
Steve and Jill here.

Jill Dewitt:
Hello.

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

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

Steven Butala:
Today, Jill and I talk with Land Academy member Johnny Newsom from Clarksville, Tennessee. Welcome Johnny.

Johnny Newsom:
Hey you guys. Nice to see you guys.

Jill Dewitt:
Yay.

Steven Butala:
All right. Right before we started, you were just mentioning that you’ve seen a few of these episodes, so welcome to the co-host of the show.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, yeah. I feel like I made it.

Jill Dewitt:
Yay, on the other side of the camera.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Awesome. Cool. Did you tell anybody you’re doing this today or-

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. Yeah. Told my mom, yeah. I told everybody. I was like, “Hey, I’m going to be on that podcast I’m always telling you guys about.

Jill Dewitt:
And did mom say, “What’s a podcast?”

Johnny Newsom:
No. She listens to you guys too. She’s kind of a little bit like my business partner.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s fantastic.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Okay, this is super cool.

Steven Butala:
That’s great.

Jill Dewitt:
Next time, we’ll have mom on.

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
Great.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
It’s going to air two weeks from this week. I’m not sure exactly which day.

Johnny Newsom:
Oh yeah. Two weeks from today?

Jill Dewitt:
It’ll be not this week, but the week after.

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
So you can plan for it. We’ll let you know.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, okay. Yeah, sounds good.

Jill Dewitt:
Awesome. So tell us, if you would, what’s your background? What you do before you came to Land Academy?

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, so I was a little bit of an unusual background. I don’t really come from a corporate world, or even a business… I kind of come from more of a… before this, my primary source of income was really just buying and selling furniture online. I would get free furniture off of Craigslist and sell it on marketplace. And then before that, I was flipping iPhones and stuff and working a job and flipping iPhones on the side. And doing furniture, I was able to do that full time and not have to have a job. I did that for about a year and a half, and being in the car a lot, it allowed me to listen to a lot of podcasts. So I was kind of trying to figure out a way how to do the same thing with a bigger object with larger spreads and yeah, that’s how I came across this.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s cool. Okay, I got to ask. What were your numbers like? You would just get them for free basically, find some people that just want to get rid of them quick and you you’d just come take them and then-

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
[crosstalk 00:02:46] a couple bucks and then did you have to deliver them all?

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, I delivered them all. I was typically doing anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000 a month.

Steven Butala:
That’s great.

Johnny Newsom:
Just getting free furniture. Yeah, you’d be surprised. If you find a metro area and you just look on Craigslist, people give away stuff that’s like 100, $200 and you pick up a decent amount of that and you just put it on Marketplace. It really was a nice… yeah, it [inaudible 00:03:15] see the intrinsic that people would give stuff away that was actually kind of valuable, you know? So like going into land, it wasn’t a large… it wasn’t a large leap to be able to see like, “Oh, this is a different object doing a similar thing with [inaudible 00:03:33]”

Steven Butala:
So what are your numbers like with land?

Johnny Newsom:
So with land, we’re starting… last year, I kind of did… I was just getting into it, so I did smaller deals. And also, a lot of options and whole selling type deals. So last year, my bills were kind of $3,000 here $4,000 here and then this year, we scaled up and we started to do a lot of bigger deals. So on the fifth, we actually close on a deal that’s going to net after closing costs, it’ll net slightly under $50,000.

Steven Butala:
That’s fantastic man. Congratulations.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. Thank you. Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
I want to go back to [crosstalk 00:04:20]

Johnny Newsom:
Actually… yeah. I actually put it… that particular deal, I don’t know if you guys remember it, but I put it in the deal review and I think Jill was like, “Is this a brag about it deal?” And I was like, “Yeah, I close tomorrow.”

Steven Butala:
Yeah, I remember that. Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, but I had. Yeah, I bought it for 31 and we sold it for 80.

Steven Butala:
Excellent.

Jill Dewitt:
Nice, yeah. There you go.

Steven Butala:
And you don’t have to deliver it.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s a… exactly.

Johnny Newsom:
Exactly. Yeah, you don’t have to deliver it or nothing. You just…

Jill Dewitt:
I mean, I’m just like how cool and scrappy of you to figure this out.

Steven Butala:
That’s what I think too.

Jill Dewitt:
This is one of those things right now, there’s people worried about putting food on the table and you just proved… think outside the box. There’s so many things that you could do right now.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
And then use that knowledge and experience like you just did, transition to bigger and better things. You created your own little company and now look at the company you’re doing now. You’re doing much bigger spreads.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, much bigger spreads, yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
From $50 to $50,000.

Johnny Newsom:
Exactly. Yeah, and that’s kind of around the time when I was looking for… it’s funny that you said that, because around the time when I was looking to get into bigger… to do the same thing with bigger objects, I was actually listening to something, or I was reading a book and they were saying add zeros to what you’re doing, you know? Add a zero, add a zero and you guys said that a lot too. You guys were saying that last year. I heard you guys talking about partnering and stuff like that. Don’t be afraid to add a zero. So yeah, that’s kind of where my thinking was.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s so great.

Steven Butala:
So are you sending a bunch of mail out and just working it the typical way that regular Land Academy member does?

Johnny Newsom:
Yes. Yeah, typically. So I’ll send… typically I try to send at least about 5,000 units per mailer, and then as the leads come in… I’ve kind of had two ways that I’ll work the deal. Either I’ll acquire the deal and… I’ll either acquire it and then put it back on the market, or if the spread doesn’t look like it’s enough, or if it looks a little risky, or there’s an unknown, then I’ll wholesale it. I’ll put another option and then market it and then get an assignment fee from it. So that’s pretty much my… those are my two ways to work the deal and then if it can’t work for either of those, then let’s just move on.

Jill Dewitt:
Cool.

Steven Butala:
Do you see any major advantages by just doing it close to home?

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, yeah. A little bit, because now we’re starting to get farther out, because typically… so I stay around Nashville, so that’s pretty close to where I am, but doing it around Nashville, I can see right away when a deal comes in, I know like, “Oh, this is an awesome deal.” You know? But as we’ve gone… yeah, as we’ve gone further out, I’ve seen that it’s like, “I’m not sure that’s…” with land, sometimes it’s hard to see comps in certain areas, but if you know the area, you don’t necessarily need outstanding comps, you know? So yeah, right now, I’m in that period where I’m starting to learn how to get further out from where I actually am.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s good. So you’re driving around in the career you created, which is awesome, paying the bills. You’re listening to stuff, what… was there something about… other than the margins, was there something about us? Or what brought you to the Land Academy? What triggered this for you?

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. So actually… so initially when I first got into land, I actually… I was going… I actually had gotten to it from a different educational program. I didn’t actually buy into it, but just off the free content that I saw… and I’ll say his name, Steph Williams, the free stuff on [inaudible 00:08:41] he gives a lot of free information out.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
Which I’m thankful for, because a lot of my initial knowledge that I had got was talk about sight and stuff, but I had actually sent a mailer out at first without buying into anything or anything. I was just like, “I think I got enough information to try to send something out.” And the mailer was like… it was like 300… it was like 700 mailers that I sent out and it was terrible. It was like… yeah. It was post card. I sent out postcards and I had got the list from the county, but I guess…

Steven Butala:
Oh no.

Johnny Newsom:
I spent all that time extracting all that information from the county roll and all the stuff like that, but I guess when I sent the mailers out, some of them weren’t correct, so I got a whole bunch of return mail and I had realtors calling me. They want to sell at market value and I’m like, “Oh no. I’m looking for a deal.” You know? But right after that, I was listening to you guys and you guys were saying how blind offers is the way to cut out all this stuff. Cut out talking to realtors that want to sell at market value. Cut out getting in touch with people that aren’t looking to do a deal, you know? I understood and cut out the extraction of the data. Trying to parse through the data and-

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
Send mail out, but since I had already sent a mailer out, it resonated with me. I was like, “Yeah, that is the X factor in this whole thing.” At least from my perspective that’s how I felt at the time, so from there, that’s really what led me to Land Academy. I bought into it right at the end of that year. It was like the… you guys had some end of the year thing going on.

Steven Butala:
Oh good.

Johnny Newsom:
2018. Yeah.

Steven Butala:
Our most successful members try it… some version of whatever makes sense in their head first and then they come to us and we kind of fill in the holes.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
Yes.

Steven Butala:
[crosstalk 00:11:00] the gaps I guess. So I’m really glad it’s working for you. Man, we interview people like accountants and former Enron employees and stuff like that constantly. It’s really, really great to talk to someone who’s made it work. Made another eCommerce simple eCommerce business and then added this to it. It’s really-

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
Happy for you.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, thank you. Yeah appreciate it. I told you guys in some of the member calls before, but thank you guys for giving the information and putting that out there, because I’m pretty ambitious, but without the information it’ll take years to be able to find success in something, you know? Because I could already see that when I had sent that first mailer out, for me to be able to make it work, it would have taken a number of iterations of messing up and sending out this and sending out that and trying to figure it out, but you guys really streamlined it.

Steven Butala:
I’ve been there, done that.

Jill Dewitt:
Literally.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Exactly.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Yep, there’s… it’s like I used to always say, “Man, I wish I had a version of me right now. God.”

Johnny Newsom:
Yes.

Jill Dewitt:
I’m happy to save you.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. Even though Land Academy 2.0, because right now, I’m looking to scale, you know? I’m looking to kind of not phase myself out, but really work on the business as a system, instead of just a number of deals that I’m… going deal from deal. I’m looking to turn it into a system, you know?

Jill Dewitt:
That’s good.

Johnny Newsom:
And Land Academy 2.0 kind of touches on how you can [crosstalk 00:12:50] a lot of stuff, yeah.

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
So even that is super valuable for me right now.

Steven Butala:
Boy I’ll tell you man, if you can do one or two big deals like that a month, you’re all set.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
I don’t see why you can’t, do you?

Johnny Newsom:
No. No. I made… so even for that bigger deal that we did, right before those… so we had a mailer that we sent out in May and then from that mailer, we had four really big deals come from that mailer. One that we’re closing on right now and then the other three closed. This is just the last deal from that mailer.

Jill Dewitt:
Nice.

Johnny Newsom:
But yeah, the… so the spreads on those deals, I partnered on one of the deals and we had bought it for 35, sold it for 80 and it was a 60-40 split with the partners, and then the other one was we bought for 17, sold for 43.

Steven Butala:
Oh, [crosstalk 00:13:56]

Jill Dewitt:
Nice.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, and then the other one’s smaller. It’s bought for 3,500, sold for 12.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s great.

Johnny Newsom:
But yeah, these… the last mailer that… I sent another mailer out in September, but the previous mailer, the deals that have closed over the past two months, those have been the really big deals that we’ve done.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s so cool.

Steven Butala:
Fantastic.

Jill Dewitt:
I’m excited.

Steven Butala:
Just from a grassroots standpoint, it’s so… I don’t know. I’m sure I speak for Jill, gratifying for us just to… I don’t know. For some reason I love… every live event we do, somebody… there’s one or two people that come from an eCommerce environment, instead of a professional accounting background or a data background and I just… because I’ve bought and sold a lot of stuff long before Jill… with Jill too. Online too with not as much success, but we did make pretty good money. So I was [crosstalk 00:14:53] your version of your furniture thing.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
I just come back to land because it’s just so much easier to ship and handle, and you don’t have to store anything or any of that. It’s just a…

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
But you still understand how the auctions work and how stuff works and dealing with customer service online, so you’ve already got an understanding of that, which I think is the hard part. Buying and selling the land is the easy part. It’s just dealing with the customers and the people and the closing and all that stuff. So you already came into it knowing all that.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, and also because initially, the big thing for me was trying to figure out that whole thing like how do you work with the title companies? It’s a different entity, but then once you do a deal or two, it becomes very… I love the title companies, you know?

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
Just hand off everything and if you find a good one, I’ve ran into two bad ones, you know? But then after you do… after you do a deal with a bad title company, just don’t use them again. But once you’ve found a really good title company, you can stay around, keep using them.

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
I found that to be very helpful.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s so cool. I love it. So now, you’ve kept close to home. You’re branching out. What’s… are you branching out dollar wise too? What’s… other than new areas, are you adding even more zeros?

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, kind of. So really, we’re kind of scaling up in volume. That’s kind of the big thing is to scale in volume. So I feel like now that we have a proven business model, now it’s just being really consistent and sending mail out every month on a certain day. Send that number of units out. But my offers are… right now, my offers are typically… I’m really sending offers to properties that are… I’ll cut out anything over 500,000, but if it’s anything up to 500,000, I’m sending an offer to.

Jill Dewitt:
I love it.

Johnny Newsom:
So yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Johnny’s just going crazy now.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. I’m going for it, yeah. You bet.

Jill Dewitt:
Why not? That’s how you do it.

Steven Butala:
Yeah, that’s what I think too.

Jill Dewitt:
And then you realize when you take a step back you go, “Oh, what just happened? I guess I can do that. Okay.”

Johnny Newsom:
Right, yeah. A lot of the times, the fear… this is funny, when I first got… this is a funny story that I tell people fear is… once you learn to constantly be comfortable and being scared so that you overcome… fear is kind of… you begin to kind of see “Oh, I can really do anything.” It’s just the idea of not being able to do it that’s really the obstacle, you know? But on my first… the very first mailer… well I had sent out that first mailer, but the very first mailer with Land Academy, I had put in all this time and effort. I had studied. I did all this, I figured out the data and stuff like that, and sent the mailer out and when the first… when the calls started coming in, I was so scared that I did not answer the phone for three calls.
I did all of that and then… was so scared, I didn’t answer the phone, you know? Fear is funny like that. It’ll sabotage the things that you really want, but yeah, then I answered the phone and got cussed out. I was like, “Oh, it’s not so bad.” You know?

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah, that’s so funny.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
You’re right and it’s just in your head. That’s it.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s all it is. So how big is your team now?

Johnny Newsom:
So I guess it would be like-

Jill Dewitt:
Is it a team of two?

Johnny Newsom:
A team of three.

Jill Dewitt:
Team of three?

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. Me, myself, my wife. I am looking to bring a VA in to kind of handle a lot of the different tasks that come up, but yeah. So a team of three, four is where we’re going to be at now.

Jill Dewitt:
Cool. How do you guys divide up the responsibilities?

Johnny Newsom:
System to system like sales over here.

Jill Dewitt:
Okay.

Johnny Newsom:
Mailer over here, you know?

Jill Dewitt:
Who does what? What’s your job? I’m kind of curious.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, well sending out the mail, analyzing the bills, going out to the properties, yeah. And kind of the… figuring out the direction we’re going to go, you know?

Jill Dewitt:
That’s all you?

Steven Butala:
I mean, that’s the Land Academy 2.0 way. That’s perfect.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah, you’re already doing that. Putting yourself in that position and then letting everybody else deal with the paperwork.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. A lot of it also started using PATLive. I was like, “Man, I should have started that a little earlier,” because you’re only talking to the leads as they… the people that who are looking to sell, that’s who you want to talk to instead of being on the phone all day long with people that are trying to [inaudible 00:20:41] or they’re angry at you for something [inaudible 00:20:43]

Jill Dewitt:
Right.

Steven Butala:
Can you imagine where you’re going to be in five years?

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
Imagine that.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s [crosstalk 00:20:51]

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, I have a pretty… I have it kind of mapped out a little bit, but-

Steven Butala:
Let’s hear it.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah. Go for it.

Johnny Newsom:
Okay. So my goal for my company LandThrift is to within the next 12 months is to do over a million and then kind of to just scale on that, when I look at the mail and I look at what we can do, I feel like if we were to send out 10,000 units a month, then we could… what I project is that we could do 2.5 million. So over 24 months, that’s really the goal to get there in 25 months and then from there, it’s just to kind of build the business up, you know? And then put a lot of that income that we generated, active income, put it into a lot of passive investment vehicles like multi unit apartments and stuff like that.

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
So that’s… yeah. That’s where I would like to be in five years. Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
I hope you wrote that down. Are you…

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah, every person, if you write it down and stick it on your computer, watch what happens.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
I’m going to tell you, I’m going to give you some of my unsolicited advice/my personal experience because I’m a lot older than you are. I always had and still do have plans like “All right, so once we hit this goal with buying and selling land where it’s take a portion of the proceeds, we’re going to invest it into fill in the blank.” In your case, it’s multi unit or whatever and I went and did it, and every single time it sucked.

Johnny Newsom:
Right.

Steven Butala:
Every single time it [crosstalk 00:22:43] you know what? Yeah, it’s profitable, but it’s nothing like buying a piece of property for 30,000 and selling it for 90.

Johnny Newsom:
Right, right yeah.

Steven Butala:
So we just all fall back into that.

Johnny Newsom:
Just put it all back into the [crosstalk 00:22:55]

Steven Butala:
It’s not going to work for you. I’m sure some version will work for you. You’re a lot younger and a lot more energetic. I’m just saying for me, it’s just a lot easier to do-

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
20 more deals selling land.

Johnny Newsom:
Right, right. I can completely… I mean, I could definitely see that because obviously the returns are just through the roof compared to getting 10 to 12% on a multi unit every year. But yeah-

Steven Butala:
Especially this time… this day and age with the COVID and all that stuff. I mean, land is… if you do 10 land deals a year making 50, 60, 70,000 bucks you’re making five, six, $700,000 a year.

Johnny Newsom:
Right, right.

Steven Butala:
You’re not going to do that with apartments unless you have… I’m not trying to talk you out or anything, I’m just saying-

Johnny Newsom:
No, I’m-

Steven Butala:
My personal experience. To make a million dollars net owning apartments or mobile home parks or whatever you can dream up, because that’s what we’re doing now. We’re buying mobile home parks. It’s a lot.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
There’s a lot of stuff that goes on. A lot of people, there’s management companies, there’s a lot of hands in the pie. With the [crosstalk 00:23:57] deal it’s just me and Jill and that’s it.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. Yeah, I guess I’ll… yeah. I definitely took that to heart though because I study… another thing that I… I study successful people, you know? So I really, really-

Jill Dewitt:
Good.

Johnny Newsom:
Take to heart when somebody that has the results that I am looking to get, you know? When they tell me, “Hey, you could probably do it this way.” Or “Hey, this is what I found.” I definitely take that to heart. So thank you for sharing that with me, because I could see how you just continue to scale over and over and over again and… who knows? That might be better in the long run.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s what’s so funny. Watch what happens.

Steven Butala:
Try it.

Jill Dewitt:
Every time [crosstalk 00:24:47]

Johnny Newsom:
Try everything up.

Jill Dewitt:
Houses, different things.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
It’s like I just… this never stops and that’s the beauty of this too, once you have the land thing figured out, go and while you’re doing other things, this will be quietly-

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Paying all the bills.

Johnny Newsom:
[crosstalk 00:25:01] along, yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Taking care of everything.

Johnny Newsom:
I actually… it’s funny, we flipped a house at the end of 2019.

Jill Dewitt:
Okay.

Johnny Newsom:
And it was me and my mom and my mom has a full time job, so a lot of the effort and time into the house was me. I put so much time into that house and we made a lot of money and everything, but when I look back I’m like, “Man….” and we put the proceeds into the land, which helped the scale, so that’s a good thing too, but… definitely part of the reason we didn’t scale earlier or go bigger earlier was just because of a ton of investment into that house.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
I got to ask. Okay so what did you buy it for? What did you sell it for and how many hours did it take you?

Johnny Newsom:
Man. So bought it for 60. Put 15 in and we sold it for 130,000.

Jill Dewitt:
Okay.

Johnny Newsom:
So it was a nice little project, however, it did take a whole year to do it.

Steven Butala:
Oh.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. It took a whole year to do it and really, the… actually I’m going to say we had it for a whole year, but the every day focusing on it period of time was probably like five months of just every day, you know? Thinking about this house and since we did most of it ourselves, there was a lot of dirty work that was-

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
That we had to do like getting under the house and messing with the insulation, and all that stuff, you know? So yeah, making 50 that way and making 50 on the land is much… I’ll choose the land every day.

Jill Dewitt:
Just a smidgen different.

Johnny Newsom:
Yes, there’s a little bit of a difference, yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
You know with land too it’s like… and I’m not plugging houses or land. Everybody makes one or the other work and it’s all personality, but if something goes wrong, you have to own a piece of land for a couple years, you’re paying the taxes on it, so what? It’s not a big deal. The house, stuff starts rotting and-

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
Property taxes are a lot higher and if you’ve got a-

Jill Dewitt:
Utilities maybe?

Steven Butala:
Yeah. You’ve got-

Jill Dewitt:
Insurance.

Steven Butala:
All kinds of stuff that you-

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
Money you put into the house, that can get stolen. There’s too many variables, just from a numbers standpoint, there’s not a lot of variables with math. I mean with land.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, yeah that’s true. That’s… even with the furniture and stuff, I realized so with furniture, if you buy something like a washing machine, there’s a lot of variables, you know? If you’re going to fix… if you’re not a washing machine expert, something could go wrong with the washing machine and you’re trying to sell it to somebody and they test out and it’s worthless now because it doesn’t work, you know?

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
But something like a mattress or something, if the mattress is… there’s not much that could be wrong internally with something like a table or a mattress or something like that, you know? So there’s a… even before, I was looking at flipping cars-

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
Before I got into land and it was land or flipping cars, and part of the reason I went with land was because all of the variables when it comes to cars, you know? There’s all type of stuff that could be wrong that you don’t even… you’re not even aware of, you know?

Steven Butala:
Totally.

Johnny Newsom:
But land is kind of like… there’s a lot that could be… there’s not a lot of variables when it comes to land.

Jill Dewitt:
I personally feel like my land deals just hug me back.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
I know and it’s [inaudible 00:28:59] form.

Jill Dewitt:
It is.

Steven Butala:
It’s hard to screw up a land deal.

Jill Dewitt:
No.

Steven Butala:
It’s really easy to screw up a car deal.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
I’ve done a ton of car deals in my life and probably made money on 10% of them.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Exactly. Land is awesome.

Johnny Newsom:
It is. It definitely is. Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Do you have any questions for us?

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Oh.

Johnny Newsom:
I just want to know… especially as far as productivity, how do you guys… because I see you guys are running land academy and then you’re doing deals, and then you have sister companies and stuff like that. Is it delegation? Is that how you guys are able to produce so much? Or is it… I’m sure it’s probably a mix of both, but how do you guys get so much done? Is really what I’m-

Steven Butala:
Well it’s a few basic things. Number one, there’s two of us, not one that really, really, really helps and the stuff that Jill handles is completely different than what I handle and our paths don’t cross on it.

Jill Dewitt:
Right.

Steven Butala:
She handles the acquisitions and the sales of land. Both from a deal funding standpoint, the money that we loan out or partnership with and our own deals. So I don’t even get involved with that almost ever. As far as the education goes, there’s about four or five companies that are within that education thing that I manage personally, but I have two people under me and Jill does too on her side. Two people that it took years to find these right people and cultivate them, unless something’s on fire, we don’t even find out about it.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
We’re both in a position now where we’re the visionaries for this lines of business and we take them where we think they should go, and the the two people under each of us manage everything. But I’ll tell you, it’s really easy to say that in 30 seconds like I just did and answer it that way, but the fact is we had to go through a lot of people, a lot of staff and really groom the existing people that are in there and pay them pretty well and reward them constantly. Which in the end, we all win.

Johnny Newsom:
Right.

Steven Butala:
So it’s a matter of staffing and I think to find somebody, you literally have to go through about 10 or 11 people before you find that one person that can run stuff for you.

Johnny Newsom:
Right. Okay. Yeah [crosstalk 00:31:19]

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah, good staff. We have department heads above different product lines too.

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
And they report that way, so if you want to branch out, you could have a land division, a house division, an infill lot division. If you think of it like that-

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
Or Kentucky division in your case. Move onto the next stage or however it makes sense to you.

Jill Dewitt:
Exactly.

Steven Butala:
But I think it’s really just systemically removing the crap that you don’t want to do. So you mentioned PATLive because you’re tired of that part of it, that’s a perfect example of it’s not going to really cost you that much. If anything, you’re probably going to make money on it when you start outsourcing that. So great, outsource that. You’re sick and tired of doing the data part, you can outsource that. We’re actually working on a product to help with that.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
So it’s just every month, get rid of something and that first employee, I don’t know if you have that. If it’s your partner, your mom, or if you have one person working for you, that… I still remember my first employee a lot of years ago and just the huge massive burden that took off of me to say, “Hey, please do this.”

Johnny Newsom:
Right, yeah.

Steven Butala:
That’s a huge issue.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah. Preferably one that you’re not related to because you can give them the junk.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s…

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, that’s because-

Jill Dewitt:
They’re looking forward to their first employee.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. Yeah, because right now, even thought it’s… it’s still in the friends and family stage as far as me delegating stuff. I’m sure it’s different than finding somebody and having to spring them and stuff like that.

Jill Dewitt:
I would say the first thing, once you’re getting these systems going and everything too Johnny, have them start writing procedures that if they’re not there, how everything gets done. So you could all look at moving yourselves up and they can look at… they’ll have a procedure in place for their employee and that person will train the next person and so on.

Johnny Newsom:
That’s a [crosstalk 00:33:27]

Steven Butala:
Land Academy itself is packed full of people just like you that are doing probably whatever, eight to 10 to 15 deals a year. It’s maybe you and your partner and the outsourced products like PATLive, or maybe you have one or two people possibly part time doing the stuff you don’t want to do, and making between 800 and a million bucks a year. So more and more I’m hearing from some of those members specifically, but that’s it, they’re done. They don’t want to build anymore. They don’t want to take it to two million dollars. They want to work two or three days a week, or in some… in my case, I like to work two or three hours a day, seven days a week for some reason, it just works better for me that way. And make a couple million bucks a year and that’s it.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
There’s a… yeah, we can make 10 million. You can make 10 million. Somebody put a gun to your head and said, “You need to make 10 million bucks next year.” I bet you can do it.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, yeah.

Steven Butala:
You’d be working 20 hours a day.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
If you could do it.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, yeah.

Steven Butala:
So it’s like… but again, you’re a young guy so… super young, so I’d… and you got this figured out. Maybe that’s what you want to do. I guess when I was a lot younger, I probably would have done that too. I don’t know. You got to decide what you want. These are good choices to have.

Johnny Newsom:
Definitely. Definitely. Great choices to have, yeah. I really would like to… I’m trying to push it as far as I can-

Jill Dewitt:
Cool.

Johnny Newsom:
As far as I can push it and… yeah, I’m kind of looking into… there’s different parts of land, there’s different ways that you can monetize land that I’m getting into or seeing into. To where… say for instance, your end buyer isn’t… guy trying to go hunting or a guy trying to build, but like a developer or something like that.

Jill Dewitt:
Right.

Johnny Newsom:
Getting it to the point where you can hand it off to the developer that there is a lot of spread or profit to be made and something like that, you know? But of course there’s logistics and education we’re trying to figure out how to get it to that point and with a low level of risk, you know? At the same time, so that’s the kind of stuff I’m looking at also, but yeah. You guys are going to be seeing a lot of mail from me because I’m trying to push it as far as I can. Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
The best thing you can do. I was telling somebody about that today. I said, “You know, I have a little bit of a panic attack if I don’t open up [inaudible 00:36:10] table and see a bunch of deals review, because it’s so nice to have 20 there sitting there waiting for me.

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
And I pick the best ones and I move on.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
So great, that really does solve everything. So it’s good.

Steven Butala:
Yeah, I track that every week. Actually I sent it to you today. We have millions of dollars out there placed right now, just dollars, dollars that are double and triple for us and our partners. So it’s-

Johnny Newsom:
Right.

Steven Butala:
Deal funding’s worked out really well for us.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
I tell you pal, where you can make a fortune, especially because you’re local and you’re doing deals so close to where you live, is you could… I’m sure you’ve got a ton of property that comes back that doesn’t have any access, doesn’t have illegal access. If you can figure out what these municipalities and these counties where you are, how do to that, how to get access to these properties. You’ll make.. instead of doubling your money, you’ll make five to eight times your money.

Johnny Newsom:
Right.

Steven Butala:
And really doing the world a service like taking a piece of property that nobody could figure out. Put in a drive way physical and legal drive way in and everybody around is happy. Man. If you have the stomach for that and legal mind for it-

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
That’s a great way to go.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, thank you for telling… yeah. That’s a-

Jill Dewitt:
It’s a good tip.

Johnny Newsom:
That’s funny that you even said that because there’s a… the first couple deals that I did was on landlocked properties, but it was an option to wholesale the deals, and they were not… they didn’t have… they had physical access, but the legal access was spotty. And the physical access was kind of widely accepted as everybody agreed that you could get to the property this way, but of course something like that… I get deals like that a lot, but that I turn away no. But definitely finding a way that it’s a legal way to get access, I could already see the spreads on those would be super, super large, yeah.

Steven Butala:
Cool.

Jill Dewitt:
That’s awesome, cool. Well thank you so much. We’re glad to have you on our show today and-

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah, thank you guys.

Jill Dewitt:
Spend this time and get to know you a little bit better, and-

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Not on a Thursday.

Steven Butala:
When we have some energy.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Jill Dewitt:
Yeah that’s true, those calls do get long. It’s kind of funny, but we-

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. Yeah, I’ll be sitting in those member calls and I’m like, “Man, they’re reviewing a lot of properties.” But that’s dang useful for me because early on, I would go through the member calls, I’d probably gone through almost all of those member calls on the land investors site and just looking at what deals you guys said were successful and… or look like good deals, and kind of just analyzing why you guys said they were good deals and it kind of… so that’s been super helpful for me.

Jill Dewitt:
Good.

Steven Butala:
Great. Johnny Newsom, it’s great to talk to you. So glad that Land Academy’s working out for you and please send us an email every once in a while, just let us know. Especially if you do a big deal or even if you screw something up, we’d love to hear about it.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
We’ll definitely name both of your first and last name, especially if it’s a screw up on one of our regular shows.

Johnny Newsom:
Yeah. Definitely. Yeah, will do.

Steven Butala:
Thanks again bud, we’ll talk to you soon.

Johnny Newsom:
Okay, sounds good. Thank you guys for having me.

Jill Dewitt:
Thank you.

Steven Butala:
Bye.

Jill Dewitt:
Bye.

—————————————-

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at steven@BuWit.com.

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