Using Yard Signs and the MLS for Land Postings (LA 1390)

Using Yard Signs and the MLS for Land Postings (LA 1390)

Transcript:

Steven Butala:
Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:
Hi.

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

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

Steven Butala:
Today jill and I talk about using yard signs and the MLS for your land sales postings.

Jill DeWit:
What? What? Hold on a moment. Thought the whole point was not to see the property and not use MLS and agents and all that. I’m so confused.

Steven Butala:
What year is it?

Jill DeWit:
What? Are we going back to 1980?

Steven Butala:
Is it 2020 or 1920? Excuse me.

Jill DeWit:
I love it. We’ll explain. Don’t worry. I promise we’re not eating our words here. We’re tweaking them.

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:
This is a shining example of just got to roll with it, man. Things change and you got to roll with it. Okay, Austin wrote, “Hello. I have run into a concern with a few buyers recently. They are hesitant of buying property from me due to the possibility that it may be a scam. The properties I’m currently selling are sub $5,000. So I’m selling with credit card processing on my site with a notary close. I have a clean and professional looking website. On the phone, I’m polite and answer questions in a knowledgeable manner. Any thoughts on how to set up my legitimacy game? Thanks, Austin.” You want to go first?

Steven Butala:
Sure. This has been a problem since the beginning of notary close, and since the beginning of credit card sales, and since my days in the ’90s on eBay. It’s a legitimate problem. I would be concerned with it too. When I started this business a long time ago on eBay, long before I met Jill, I would explain what I do for a living to people socially. And they would just say, “That’s got to be a scam. No one can buy property that you can’t see.” If you talk to a real car person, they’re going to say the same thing about cars. “How can you possibly buy a car online that you haven’t seen? You need to take a look under the hood. You need to look at it. You need to go through with all things.”
So by and large, that’s like the professional view. So we have a challenge, all of us, to establish credibility. If you’re listening to this, you obviously believe that Jill and I are a credible source for this kind of information. That didn’t happen on accident. It happens by us doing five years of shows like this and talking in detail about stuff.

Jill DeWit:
It’s true.

Steven Butala:
So online, you have to make yourself credible and actually be credible.

Jill DeWit:
That’s true.

Steven Butala:
It takes time. If you’re talking to them on the phone, all you have to do is talk to Jill on the phone for three minutes, and you’re going to know that this is all credible. I chose this question, a ton of questions on LandInvestors.com, because there’s so many responses. There were probably 10 or 15 responses from members and non-members that this is a concern and it’s a daily or weekly issue.
So that’s good. It’s a great start. Your site looks good. You’ve got the credit card processing pieces in place. But in the end, and I think the consensus on Land Investors was need to sell the property with title insurance and you need to ask them to pay for it. That should soothe all of it.

Jill DeWit:
That’s true.

Steven Butala:
Do you have any Jillify advice?

Jill DeWit:
It sounds like he’s doing it. When you always answer the phone, you’re available, you have a company phone number, like you answer, “Austin’s Land Company,” something like that. You’re consistent. You’re available. Then a lot of it’s just going to take time to-

Steven Butala:
What’s the first thing you do when you question somebody’s credibility? The first thing I do is-

Jill DeWit:
Google them.

Steven Butala:
… Google them and then look at their LinkedIn, look at their Facebook, look at their Twitter, just look at all that stuff. See if their pictures are consistent, what they do for a living, does it all match up?

Jill DeWit:
That’s a big one for me. If it doesn’t match up, I’m like… If it doesn’t match up, then they question if they found the right person. And sometimes then I go, “Are you half into this? Or are you’re not really into this.”

Steven Butala:
So that I think really helps, especially with younger people. But in the end, if they really want to buy the property, then tell them to choose a title. You can almost tell what age they are when this issue comes up. It’s usually older people like my age that say, “Okay, come on.”

Jill DeWit:
That’s a perfect solution. Here are our choices. I can sell it to you for 4999, and you could wire me the money, or do this, do that, and I’ll help you get it recorded. Or if you want to go through title insurance, we can absolutely do that, no big deal. It’s runs about $1,200 in this county. Do you want to pay for that? I understand the extra security. We all know you’re getting it cheap anyway. Because we all know this property is worth, 8,000 or whatever it is. So we all know that there’s room in there for it and I’m happy to set that up for you. I totally understand your concern.
Then the rest of it, like you said, with the five-year thing, that was beautiful. It’s going to take time. When they someday go to your website, Austin, and see all the properties available, all the properties marked sold, and they see you having positive comments on social media, things like that, then they’re going to all calm down.

Steven Butala:
Yeah, exactly. Drop our name. Just say, “I’m a Land Academy member, go take a look at their stuff. There’s a whole big, huge group of us. Check out Land Investors. This is what we all do.”
Today’s topic, using yard signs and the MLS for land postings. This is the meat of the show. Jill and I interviewed Katherine and Michael Alon and it aired yesterday. They told us about some very successful transactions that they’ve done. They’ve been with us for quite some time, two super bright people. They’re not the only member who have said this. The home runs that they’ve hit from a land deal standpoint involved yard signs.
So here’s the stats on that. You can’t argue with the data. 50% of the people, this is a federal government statistic. Although these days, I don’t know if you want to believe in that or not. 50% of the people who buy real estate live within a mile of the property, whether it’s a house or land or any of, not necessarily cap rate commercial real estate, but properties that we deal in. So they’re driving by this stuff all the time.
There’s an old rule about commercial real estate and apartments and stuff, that if you build an apartment building or buy an apartment building on a major street, it’s maybe not the best place to live, but it’s going to lease up twice as fast just because of the traffic. So you got to get, if your property’s on any type of traffic count road, and it’s shocking how much traffic count information you can get if you just Google it. The counties and the cities in rural locations, everywhere really, are obsessed with traffic counts. So it’s all free information. You just started Googling it with the municipalities.
So signs, I say yard signs here, but I don’t mean that. I mean like a sign that you write, like you’re 110 years old, land for sale and the phone number. There’s an advanced member, a couple too in Texas that this is the only way they sell land, and they sell it immediately.

Jill DeWit:
We do it like, and I even do it on every property, now I’m about to do it on every property, but we do it always when we do houses and those properties. Because it’s just too easy to put a sign in it. I leave it up for a while until it closes and the next person owns it. Because every person that calls you saying… I just write investor special kind of thing with my phone number on there-

Steven Butala:
It’s shocking.

Jill DeWit:
… Because that’s what I’m trying to capture that community. Everybody drives by and sees, like especially houses, it’s obvious, “Hey, investor special.” They’re driving by the neighborhood anyway. They’re looking for more flips. So I get so many great buyer phone contacts. After three minute conversation with them, and I vet them, and they vet me, it’s like, “Jill, will you text me? How do I get on the top of your list? Can you text me when you have more? Can you email me? Can you call me? How can I find out quick?”

Steven Butala:
So here’s what happens when you have 10 or 15 people in a market that are interested in buying from you that are let’s just say wholesalers, or in some cases with land, they’re like collectors. They just very cumulate. They’re probably retired. They like land and they keep buying it. What happens is it allows you to pay more.
And when you start working a single area, I’m working a single area right now. When you figure out you have a great land buyer base, or maybe you’re doing something to their property that’s changed it, like clearing it, or putting up horse fences, or some real simple thing like that. It allows you to go in and say, “Okay, in my case for years, I’ve been paying $100 to $200 an acre for this property all day long and reselling it for three to four.” Well, now I have this buyer base that’s happily going to pay me $600, and I can sell it really quickly without going through all the stuff that goes on on the sell side. Well, I’m happily going to pay 450 now instead of one to two an acre.
So there’s a huge, huge upside to collecting just maybe… You don’t even need 10 people. Usually it’s really five people that have a ton of money, and that a lot of time on their hands, or their renovators in the house case. You can move some serious property that way. I’m trying to think of a case in my personal career where that didn’t happen with yard signs and I can’t think of one. It’s always the signs.

Jill DeWit:
That’s good. Just a good little way to get more. The bottom line is you’re trying to reach more people, want to reach the people that are driving by right now. Somebody’s going to, even if it’s not them, they’re going to go, “Hey Bob, see that sign over there?” Or they’re picking up the feed, that’s why they’re at the feed store, grabbing hay.

Steven Butala:
Weren’t you looking for a place to put all your-

Jill DeWit:
Yeah, RVs or who knows, tools.

Steven Butala:
Yeah, your tools.

Jill DeWit:
Tractors, dream it up. Now let’s talk about the MLS because this is a good one too. This is something that we have always done since we, years ago, found out about flat rate MLS. So there’s two versions of MLS postings. One is you have a MLS posting done with an agent, where you actually hire an agent like a land specific agent, like a Whitetail Property or a Mossy Oak guy, which we have done for certain properties and it’s worked out fantastic. They’re doing the MLS posting for you kind of thing.
The other one is, “Hey, maybe I don’t want to spend the money and want to give up the 10% commission.” But you want to reach more people. There are companies out there. We haven’t talked about it in a while. I love brokerdirectmls.com, but there’s others that you can use. For a flat rate, even as low as like $99, depending on the area, you just go in and put in the zip code and it tells you what it costs. You can get your property on the MLS. If you look in the fine print, it automatically, whatever in those areas, in those regions, it’ll automatically be picked up by many other websites. So you’re not just getting it there. You might be getting it on a version of LoopNet and all kinds of other selling sites. Want to add to that?

Steven Butala:
No.

Jill DeWit:
Okay. So why would I do that again? Reach, certain properties, people are lurking in different areas, if you will. And like the broker thing real quick, I want to just touch on that for a second. I don’t use it on every property. I do it on higher dollar amounts or certain property types that are zoned very specific that I may not have a bunch of people like commercial, uses commercial uses. I may not have a bunch of people in my back pocket on my buyers, or even if I do, I can just reach that many more.
Hunting property, that’s a huge example. Some of these land brokers are very good in their areas. They have a buyer’s list that’s a mile long looking for those properties. I have had great success calling them up two ways. One, I call them up before I buy the property, get their opinions real quick, see how good they are and if I want to work with them. Then B, once it all works out, I throw it to them and let them run with it. They pay for the photographer. They pay for the MLS. That’s part of what your 10%’s going to is they’re incurring those costs. And they’re driving the people around. Some of them even put them on horses, I’m not kidding, and go horseback ride on the property for you.

Steven Butala:
There’s not a circumstance where we haven’t listed property with somebody, these specialization brokers like Mossy Oak, specialization land brokers, where we paid 10%, where I’ve regretted it.

Jill DeWit:
Correct.

Steven Butala:
In every case, we always got a higher price that covers that 10%, and they do a lot of the work. In some cases, all the work. And in some cases, we’ve actually built little mailers around one agent. So I would explore that pretty seriously.

Jill DeWit:
So when you think about using MLS, for me, my best has been specifically land uses and/or higher dollar amount properties. Because some of those people, that’s where they’re looking, They may not be on Facebook Marketplace. They may be looking on those more professional sites.

Steven Butala:
Hey, the bottom line is when you go to sell a piece of property, you should have a checklist, just like a pilot. You should say, “All right, property’s under contract. I know I’m going to buy it. I know it’s a good deal. I probably have 20 days left in contract.” Or if it’s a direct notary close, you should start going through your sales checklist. “Am I going to put a sign on this property? Is it appropriate? Yes or no? Check. Am I going to put it on the MLS fixed price? Or am I going to call my Mossy Oak guy? Check. Do I need a drone shot of this property? Is it worth it or not? Check.” On and on and on. So make this part of your checklist is really what this topic’s about. Please don’t overlook yard signs. It’s really-

Jill DeWit:
It’s funny.

Steven Butala:
… Every once in a while, I have conversation with somebody who’s younger than 30. I say, “We send a lot of direct mail out,” and they look at me like, “Boy, you’re old, man. Just don’t get it. You’re just like my dad. You just don’t get stuff.” I’ll tell you, direct mail works and yard signs work. I say yard signs, like in some cases, if it’s out on the freeway or close to a freeway, a big ass sign.

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

Steven Butala:
Tomorrow the episode on the Land Academy Show is called two types of Land Academy members explained. You are not alone in your real estate ambition. That was an interesting interview with those guys yesterday.

Jill DeWit:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), really fun.

Steven Butala:
I learned a lot. I always learn a lot. It’s become a thing where we have interviews on Monday and then we talk about… It’s the like the after-

Jill DeWit:
Oh, the after show.

Steven Butala:
After show on football.

Jill DeWit:
A debrief. Let’s talk about that game. That’s awesome. Thank you for tuning in. We hope you find our content valuable and we really appreciate your support. If you haven’t already, please zip on over to our YouTube channel and hit the subscribe button.

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Jill DeWit:
And inspiration…

Steven Butala:
To buy undervalued property.

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