Jack Thursday – Get to Know Your Zip Code (LA 1631)

Jack Thursday – Get to Know Your Zip Code (LA 1631)

Transcript:

Steven Jack Butala:
Steve and Jill here.

Jill K DeWit:
Hi.

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

Jill K DeWit:
And I’m Jill DeWit, broadcasting from the Valley of the Sun.

Steven Jack Butala:
Today is Jack Thursday. I’m going to talk about getting to know your zip code. And I can promise you this, this has nothing to do with the real estate, mailers, data. It has to do with your zip code and your life.

Jill K DeWit:
I’m thinking of all the times you use that phrase. “Jill, get to know your equipment. Jill, get to know your staff. Jill, get to know your job description.”

Steven Jack Butala:
Get to know your life partner.

Jill K DeWit:
Get to know your life partner.

Steven Jack Butala:
Your job description?

Jill K DeWit:
I don’t know. “Jill, get to know how an oven works.”

Steven Jack Butala:
What?

Jill K DeWit:
No, I know how that is. They were like … You use that phrase, that’s one of-

Steven Jack Butala:
Okay.

Jill K DeWit:
Your phrases.

Steven Jack Butala:
Hold on. Let’s put the breaks on this. Between the two of us, trust me on this, between the two of us, one of us is a pilot, one of us isn’t. One of us is extremely technical and applies a checklist to everything. So when I say, “Get to know,” fill in the blank, it’s a joke.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay.

Steven Jack Butala:
Because really it’s like, I need to get to know the oven, not you.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay, thank you. I appreciate that.

Steven Jack 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, and don’t forget to subscribe on the Land Academy YouTube channel and comment on the shows you like.

Jill K DeWit:
Aaron wrote, “Do you ever look at demographics when choosing a place to send mail?”

Steven Jack Butala:
The answer is very directly, I used to and I don’t anymore. And because the red, green, yellow test and the tests that I run smoke all that stuff out. What Aaron’s really asking is, is it better to buy properties in affluent areas or-

Jill K DeWit:
I was going to say.

Steven Jack Butala:
… better to buy properties in Rust Belt, deteriorated inner cities. And the answer is, I don’t care about any of that at all. What I care about is a red, green, yellow test, and whether or not days on market fit in my parameters. Whether or not how many properties are listed this month versus sold are in my favor. As an investor, I care about just the statistics that will lead to a real successful mailer.

Steven Jack Butala:
But invariably, there are innate problems with buying properties on both ends of the bell curve. In really affluent areas and in really rundown areas, both of those markets have undesirable characteristics for an investor. I want to be in the middle of everything when it comes to buying and selling land, or slightly to the … It doesn’t matter which way, the numbers all come out to show us where to send mail.

Jill K DeWit:
Thank you.

Steven Jack Butala:
Today is Jack Thursday. Get to know-

Jill K DeWit:
I concur. Jack, correct.

Steven Jack Butala:
Today’s Jack Thursday, get to know your zip code. This is why you’re listening.

Jill K DeWit:
Isn’t that’s funny, people … Hold, please. People just dream up stuff. It comes back to some other days that we talked about this this week, people are dreaming up writing the algorithm and all this stuff. There’s some secret. I’m sure.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s it, Jill.

Jill K DeWit:
I’m sure-

Steven Jack Butala:
There’s some secret.

Jill K DeWit:
… that if I spend a month on this and do nothing, but try every little thing, maybe demographic, maybe it’s money, maybe it’s age, maybe it’s education, maybe it’s the weather in the area. How many snowbirds come in, I don’t know. Maybe there’s some secret sauce that no one else has got and I’m going to be the one to find it.

Steven Jack Butala:
A few years ago, this used to bug the hell out to me what Jill’s saying, as an instructor it’s like, I’m constantly getting these questions about, “Have you ever thought about this? Why haven’t you all thought about this? Why don’t you put this in the equation?” And you know what? I’m so over it, I actually embrace it now as an instructor.

Jill K DeWit:
I understand.

Steven Jack Butala:
Here’s why, because we naturally attract entrepreneurs. People that are probably fed up with the W2 job or hopefully they … I call us serial entrepreneur. We have to start new companies and do new stuff. We just do, or we just don’t sleep. We can’t just continually run the same thing and expect it to perform. And even if it does, and most of the stuff does and performs incredibly well, we still have to start new shit.

Jill K DeWit:
Right.

Steven Jack Butala:
Got to bleep that out.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, oops. Got it.

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s At 3:35.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay.

Steven Jack Butala:
So when somebody finds out about Land Academy, it’s six years running now, but it’s brand new to them and they’re excited and they join. And they take career path or whatever ends up happening, however they see themselves fitting into this group. They have a lot of questions, they question everything. They have a lot of experience most of the time, especially if they’re my age, a little older like me, a lot of experience succeeding and failing.

Steven Jack Butala:
And part of succeeding and failing is questioning everything, and getting in people’s faces, and finding out why they do it the way that they do and seeing if they can do better. That’s what’s made them successful. It hasn’t been listening to some instructor like me, following exactly what that person says. And having some success and patting themselves on the back saying, “Wow, great.”

Jill K DeWit:
They work.

Steven Jack Butala:
“I can follow directions like I’m in sixth grade.”

Jill K DeWit:
Right.

Steven Jack Butala:
“I can now color within the lines.” That’s probably not sixth grade, that’s third grade, right? Maybe second grade.

Jill K DeWit:
I don’t know. Why are you looking at me?

Steven Jack Butala:
Honestly, I embrace this stuff. I thought you knew about children, because I certainly don’t.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, keep going. You’re digging a nice hole over there. I’m just sitting over here quietly.

Steven Jack Butala:
I embrace what these people say now. And I meet them from where they come. And if someone asks if demographics come into play like this, I’m going to answer it professionally and probably slip in a couple of sentences like, “This is how we do it. And if demographics make sense to you, then give it a shot.” I mean, that might be … Maybe the asset that you’re going for, the demographics are important.

Jill K DeWit:
You’ve come a long way, baby.

Steven Jack Butala:
I have. I mean, I’m a lot less angry than I used to be for a bunch of reasons.

Jill K DeWit:
Yes. I’m going to say since I learned your love language.

Steven Jack Butala:
Oh my God. [crosstalk 00:06:38] about it. Go back to the episode on Tuesday where Jill finds out what my love language is.

Jill K DeWit:
I’m sure that’s made you a happier man. I going to say that tonight. This is good. Oh, okay.

Steven Jack Butala:
About a month ago one of our members orchestrated and put together a live event that had nothing to do with us, Land Academy, had nothing to do with Jill and I. It had to do with that person getting a bunch of people together, incidentally in Phoenix, where we live. And then they ultimately invited us to dinner afterward and about six people showed up, so we all had dinner.

Jill K DeWit:
Boy, we sure command a crowd. There were 90 people at the event, but six came with … Just kidding.

Steven Jack Butala:
And so somebody said, somebody’s spouse said, “What’s next for you guys?” To which I said, “Jill and I are kicking around the idea of doing this Showing Up for Life thing.” And they’re like, “What the hell is that? I thought you guys talk about buying and selling land.”

Steven Jack Butala:
And I said, “Yeah, there’s this huge component that rose out of an exit interview for … ” Not a lot of people quit Land Academy once they join. But the few that do, we ask them why. And they all say, “Oh no, the program’s great. You guys are great, Disord’s great. all of it’s great. My life got in the way. We just had a baby. We have to move to Boston.” And it’s always this slice-

Jill K DeWit:
Job change.

Steven Jack Butala:
And a lot of people, after they’re done with that stuff, the transition, they join again. They rejoin.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, they come back.

Steven Jack Butala:
A shocking number of people rejoin Land Academy.

Jill K DeWit:
I know. Makes me happy.

Steven Jack Butala:
So they said, “What the heck’s that about?” And I said, “There are so many simple things that people can do to pretty dramatically improve their lives quickly. And I just think someone needs to say it out loud.” The original title was Crap Your Father Never Told You. I don’t know what the title’s going to be, I don’t even know if we’re going to do it yet.

Jill K DeWit:
I don’t know, we keep changing it. Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
One of those things is what this show’s about, is looking into your zip code where you live.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s what this is about?

Steven Jack Butala:
And where you’re raising your children.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh.

Steven Jack Butala:
Every 10 years, if you don’t know this, the federal government conducts a census. They’ve been doing it since crazy, 1840 or some crazy thing. Where somebody physically comes to your door, a census taker, they ask you a bunch of questions. A lot of it’s based on, from what I understand now, where you register to vote, how much money you make, all kinds of stuff, tons and tons of questions.

Steven Jack Butala:
And then they publish it all. It’s all free, they publish it all on census.gov. And so if you look up the zip code where you live it’s going to be assigned a letter, just like you got a letter in grade school for your math quiz.

Jill K DeWit:
Is it A through F?

Steven Jack Butala:
A through F.

Jill K DeWit:
Ah. Every once in a while-

Steven Jack Butala:
If you live in a C minus or a D zip code, it’s for a good reason. And also, there’s tons and tons and tons of data about why this is, school systems, crime rate, housing-

Jill K DeWit:
Job opportunities.

Steven Jack Butala:
… jobs, companies going in and out of business, tons and tons of … If you’re a data person, I mean, you can get lost in the census. I do all the time.

Jill K DeWit:
It is interesting. I haven’t looked at it a long time, but I remember looking at that … They even talk about, it’s the percentage of different occupations. It’s really is deep, you’re right.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah. And so there’s walkability scores now. There’s scores of like, can you walk to a grade school? This is incredibly good information that you as a parent or as a citizen can look at this stuff and say, “Do you want to raise your children in a D minus census zip code?” When I can move six blocks over and be in a different school system and get to a B, or even an A in some cases.

Steven Jack Butala:
And so that’s what the Showing Up for Life thing is. Some of it’s applying data and common sense to improving your life. Showing up for your life, instead of life just happening to you. It’s not a commercial in any way. I’m just, that conversation sticks with me because the people at the table really understood what I was talking about.

Jill K DeWit:
Now I know where other data sources like Zillow, who we talked about yesterday, are getting that information. I see their walkability score on some of the sites, like Zillow. And I also see there’s a sunshine score, which I find very interesting too, which to me is very important.

Steven Jack Butala:
There’s statistics about the availability of food. In a lot of C and D census zip codes or census … Keep saying census track, but census areas, there’s not a grocery store because grocery stores are for-profit businesses and they can’t make them work where there’s just no income. There has to be income.

Jill K DeWit:
Or there’s not a lot of homes to justify it.

Steven Jack Butala:
And so this is my point to showing up for life. And the vast majority of the people that live in some of these C and D census areas don’t know that this information exists. All they need is just a little bit of education about it to fully realize, “This isn’t good.”

Jill K DeWit:
You know what we’re going to do.

Steven Jack Butala:
“It’s not going to cost me any more money to move over to that B plus census area.”

Jill K DeWit:
You do realize that we’re going to look up our own zip code after this show’s over.

Steven Jack Butala:
I can reel off the zip code that we live in and what’s happening here. And who lives here and why and where they work-

Jill K DeWit:
I know that.

Steven Jack Butala:
… and what their medium income is.

Jill K DeWit:
But I want to see how it ranks on their thing, because based on conveniences, we don’t have a lot because we don’t want a lot.

Steven Jack Butala:
We live in a huge zip code. We have probably 14, 15 grocery stores here.

Jill K DeWit:
In our whole zip code?

Steven Jack Butala:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jill K DeWit:
Our zip code goes pretty far north, I didn’t realize it.

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s huge.

Jill K DeWit:
It’s very interesting.

Steven Jack Butala:
We’ve never had this conversation ever, Jill and I.

Jill K DeWit:
Uh-uh (negative).

Steven Jack Butala:
Every place we’ve ever moved together, I know the zip code statistics.

Jill K DeWit:
Well, I’m going to look it up.

Steven Jack Butala:
Jill just goes house shopping.

Jill K DeWit:
No. Well, you know what I know? Here’s what I know. There’s nobody to hang out with here. This is what I know. Everybody keeps to-

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s not in the census.

Jill K DeWit:
I know.

Steven Jack Butala:
Someone to hang out with.

Jill K DeWit:
I know. I went looking. I’m on Facebook, I’m on Meetup. I’m on our sweet towns website, looking for something. What do we have? One car show coming up between now and the end of the year and that’s it. There’s nothing. And even these town council meetings, there was one on Tuesday, got canceled. I’m like, “Sheesh.” I’m like, “Where it’s everybody doing?” I don’t know.

Steven Jack Butala:
So get to know your zip code is my point.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
And you’re going to be shocked what you find. Probably both in a positive and hopefully not a dramatic negative way.

Jill K DeWit:
I hope you don’t get off this … You’re going to finish this show, go online, look at your zip code and say, “Sweetheart, we’re moving.”

Steven Jack Butala:
I hope that happens.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s my point to this.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, okay.

Steven Jack Butala:
My point is-

Jill K DeWit:
All right. That’s true.

Steven Jack Butala:
We have created a company, a very successful company, Jill and I, to where I extrapolate data. I analyze it in a way that makes sense to me. I take some action about it in the form of sending mail out.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
And then my life partner and business partner turns it into a profit margin.

Jill K DeWit:
Thank you.

Steven Jack Butala:
And so you should do that with your own zip code. You should be sitting there saying, “Well, I didn’t realize that the school systems this substandard.” Or, “I didn’t realize there was no grocery store at all for within five …” Yeah. I’ve been doing this for two years.

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s just, all I’m saying is, there’s all this data from which to live your life, a better life by. And I think that people are too quick to say, “I don’t want to move. It’s too expensive.” When in fact there’s all kinds of ways you can move that to make it … If there’s better job opportunities where you’re moving.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
Even if you work for a big company and maybe your salary’s X where you’re working now, and you move to a much better zip code and a better scenario, within that same company, you might get paid more.

Jill K DeWit:
It’s true. Thank you. Happy to join us today.

Steven Jack Butala:
[crosstalk 00:14:41] on personal stuff.

Jill K DeWit:
Five days a week you can find us here.

Steven Jack Butala:
Sorry you don’t have any friends.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s okay. I’ll find them. Five days a week you can find us here on the Land Academy Show. You know what it’s going to do? It’s going to motivate me though to start … I’m about to start up something, but I got to find the right people.

Steven Jack Butala:
You should be the ringleader.

Jill K DeWit:
I think I will.

Steven Jack Butala:
Tomorrow is Jill Friday. And she’s going to talk about how it’s all about connecting with people and not what you know.

Jill K DeWit:
Thanks.

Steven Jack Butala:
There’s a cliché that goes like this. “It’s who you know, not what you know.” You are not alone in your real estate ambition.

Jill K DeWit:
Which is different actually, that’s not where that came from.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s why it’s still Friday, because I don’t know.

Jill K DeWit:
Exactly. It’s okay. Thank you for tuning in. We hope you find our content valuable and we appreciate your support. If you haven’t already, you’ve heard it before for please check out our YouTube channel, hit the subscribe button. We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Jack Butala:
We are Steve and Jill. Information-

Jill K DeWit:
… and inspiration-

Steven Jack Butala:
… to buy undervalued property.

Jill K DeWit:
I should say-

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