Land Academy Member Casey Jewett Interview (LA 1790)

Land Academy Member Casey Jewett Interview (LA 1790)

Transcript:

Steven Jack Butala:
Steve and Jill here. 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 we have member, Casey Jewett, who just informed us he’s been a member for a year. But for some reason, I thought you were a member for a really long time. It doesn’t matter.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s good.

Casey:
Time flies.

Jill K DeWit:
You are involved and that’s what’s important. So thank you.

Steven Jack Butala:
And you said yes, that’s what’s important. You said yes to my assistant, Gabriel and thank you for being on the show.

Jill K DeWit:
Exactly.

Casey:
Of course, of course. It’s hard to say no to you guys.

Jill K DeWit:
Aw, thank you very much.

Steven Jack Butala:
So how’s Land Academy working out for you?

Casey:
It’s well. Initially it’s like drinking from a fire hose. There’s just a lot of information, a lot of moving parts, you have to take it all in stride and take small steps as you move forward because there’s going to be a lot that hits you, and a lot that continues, things that you maybe thought you knew that you don’t know.

Jill K DeWit:
Right.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s how I would describe the Land Academy for myself.

Jill K DeWit:
Exactly. What did you do before this? There’s a certain mindset we pick up on people that get it and then some that don’t get it. So what’s your background?

Casey:
In college, my internship was actually as a real estate agent. So I got into real estate in 2005 initially in that regard. It just so happened that where I went to school they had a new internship and it was at one of the real estate agencies. I was like, “Cool, I can do that.” My grandfather was an agent many, many years ago. I was like, “I’ll give it a shot. See what’s going on here,” and so I became a realtor. They paid for my classes to take, get my license and kind of moved through that. I’ve been in real estate a long time. I’ve never done land, it’s just not something that I had ever thought of. I have bought and sold hotels, residential real estate, mobile homes, mobile home parks, all kinds of things. I’ve been in the real estate realm for quite a while. 2008 happened, market went down, I actually decided I was going to become a fireman. So funny I said drinking from a fire hose, funny enough.

Jill K DeWit:
Love it.

Casey:
I spent five years as a fireman, but I also was still doing real estate on the side, just not as much as I was. Fast forward… I don’t know, that was 2008… fast forward 10 years, I started getting more heavily involved in real estate, became a licensed agent again working as a realtor on the daily. Saw a book, started reading the book, got interested in land, took a little while to kind of do something. I was just finagling around on YouTube one night, found you all. I don’t even remember if it was a podcast or what, but it was on YouTube, started watching some videos. And it wasn’t not even a month, it was probably a couple of weeks that Career Path came out. I was like, “I’m doing this. I don’t know what all it involves but I’m going to do it.” That was, like I said, just over a year ago that’ve I’ve been calling it doing it full time. My wife allowed me to-

Steven Jack Butala:
Did you start as a commercial real estate agent. Did you seek that out?

Casey:
I didn’t seek it out, no, just kind of started doing. In all reality I-

Steven Jack Butala:
What was the first deal you did? Did you sell a house first or was it commercial?

Casey:
Yeah, mainly I sold homes. And very similar to land, everything that I’ve done I’ve actually purchased and sold. For all of my investing stuff, I bought and then sold. So like hotel, bought and then sold it. Mobile homes, mobile home park, same thing, as opposed to listing it. Everything I’ve done as far as a real estate agent has been residential, just homes.

Steven Jack Butala:
That completely makes sense.

Jill K DeWit:
Well, that ties into my thoughts. So you understand the concept. Some people go, “What do you mean buy it? Don’t I just double close it?” We’re like, “No, no, no, no, no.”

Casey:
I suppose you can. I mean, that’s a way. It’s not the easiest method. It’s probably the hardest one.

Jill K DeWit:
Correct. I want to control the asset. I want to sleep really well knowing that it’s mine in the interim, nobody’s going to sneak in there.

Steven Jack Butala:
Did you operate a hotel for any length of time?

Casey:
Well, I had some partners, including my mom. So we probably did…it was probably around six, but we did it all. Bless her heart, she would actually go there. I never personally went there. I was more hands off.

Jill K DeWit:
Good move.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s excellent.

Jill K DeWit:
Best decision.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s the smartest thing I’ve ever heard.

Casey:
But she went there, we had to hire people, we had to fire people. We had cash so you have those issues. There’s a lot involved with a hotel other than just guests checking in and checking out.

Jill K DeWit:
And checking your bank balance.

Casey:
There’s a lot of turnover. Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
So there’s turnover galore.

Jill K DeWit:
Wow. I can’t even imagine.

Steven Jack Butala:
If you wake up next week and say we’re going to buy a hotel-

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, I would never do that. Could you imagine?

Steven Jack Butala:
… with your mother.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, with my mom, exactly. Can you imagine that? Hey Jack, I’ve got this brilliant idea. It worked for Casey?

Steven Jack Butala:
Yes, I’m going to blame you.

Casey:
Don’t don’t come to me. Don’t come to me. I just had the idea. It was probably six to eight months, we ran it for about six to eight months and sold it.

Jill K DeWit:
That would be like, it’s like I want the resort because I want the spa part. It’s like you wanting to own a bar. We all know that’s going too.

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s fun to go to a bar, not own a bar.

Jill K DeWit:
Exactly.

Casey:
Right, right.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh that’s so good.

Steven Jack Butala:
Oh my God.

Jill K DeWit:
Would you ever do that again?

Casey:
Can you imagine having a [inaudible 00:12:51] meeting with your mother?

Jill K DeWit:
Oh no. Oh my goodness, we can’t get organized over the holidays. Geez.

Casey:
Would I do it again? I would invest with my mom. I don’t know if we would do another hotel. There is just so much involved with the day to day operations that if you don’t have somebody that is just amazing… it’s no different than say a transaction coordinator, but if you don’t have somebody amazing boots on the ground there every day, things are going to go haywire quickly.

Steven Jack Butala:
Here’s one of the things I love about Land Academy, and Jill and I talk about this once in a while, our customers at Land Academy, they choose us.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s true.

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s not the hotel in a corner where I need a place to stay tonight.

Jill K DeWit:
And it’s the only one open.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah. So now, yeah, you’re going to fail at meeting their expectations with that type of customer. That’s just how it is. And so we have great customers because they choose us. In the land business, I think, we send all these letters out, we’ll send 10,000 letters out and 20 people choose us. 20 people choose to call us back and so they’re motivated. They’re already very, very like, let’s call it warm. They’re warmed up to the idea long before they ever pick up phone.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s what I love.

Steven Jack Butala:
And like somebody who stops to fill up their tank of gas is just not, they don’t want to be there.

Casey:
Right.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah. It is great. Everybody comes to us no matter what it is, if it’s a seller, a buyer, a Land Academy person, especially Land Academy… you’ve got to seek us out. You know, Casey, we’re kind of hidden.

Casey:
Most definitely. Like I said, I just happened to be on YouTube one night and was watching videos and here you are, you snuck up on me, and here I am a year later.

Jill K DeWit:
Exactly.

Steven Jack Butala:
So did you make some money on these hotels and the trailer parks?

Casey:
Yeah. You know, nothing crazy. I mean, sure you write home about it, but because we had a few other partners, so when we sold them we made a decent profit but that was divvied up amongst six people. Me and my mom and then four others, we had six total partners. So not as much maybe as you might think because we also didn’t own it very long either to really… what you’re looking to do is get the average daily rate up of each guest. Call it 50 bucks, 100 bucks, whatever it is, you want to increase it and then you can sell it based off of those numbers. So that’s the ultimate goal. We just didn’t do it long enough to really make big money. But it was a headache.

Steven Jack Butala:
Half-half, I have to split everything 50/50, but I do 10 times more deals because of it.

Jill K DeWit:
Thank you.

Steven Jack Butala:
So that’s how you just have to look at it.

Jill K DeWit:
I think you’re doing okay. Yeah. Thanks. Give us some numbers now, Casey, tell us about the deals that you’re doing now.

Casey:
So I’ve really been changing my mentality, because for a long time, I was doing small deals making two or $3,000 on one. I don’t know. Call it in the last year I’ve made about 50,000, or sold 20, currently own nine. And those nine are better properties. They’re looking at about 80,000 in profit versus the other 20 that I sold and made less. So it’s the mind shift and I’m still getting there. I haven’t fully gotten there but I’m working on it.

Jill K DeWit:
Says the guy who sold a hotel. I’m like, what do you mean? I’m sorry, why are these numbers hard? I’m so very confused.

Casey:
I don’t know if it’s hard, it’s just continuously to wrap your head around. Like in a hotel or a house, you make it pretty, you do things to it and you I’m not doing anything to it. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap the head around that.

Jill K DeWit:
You know how to buy it right.

Steven Jack Butala:
Isn’t that great?

Jill K DeWit:
That’s awesome.

Casey:
That’s it. I mean, one of them, one property that I bought was a one acre creek behind homes. Maybe not my best purchase in life, but I still made some money from it.

Jill K DeWit:
Good. That’s it, that’s all you’ve got to do and just keep doing it again. And I understand that. I remember the first couple times I’m like, “Just give out a number, that’s what this costs,” and they say, “You want me to wire it to you because I don’t think you want the credit card fees.” I’m like, “Yeah, a bank wire would be great.” You’re like, “This guy’s going to fork over 225 right now, this is awesome.” And then after like two or three of those, you’re like, “This is what we’re doing now and now I’m going to do even more.”

Casey:
Well it’s also, with the bigger deals, it’s easier with having a good agent or an agent on your side to help. For a while I was bogged down with trying to do everything, because I don’t really have a partner in this. I have recently in the last, I don’t know, three months hired a VA and that has been fantastic to take things off the plate. I wish I would’ve done it earlier. I know in Career Path y’all said do it early and I didn’t necessarily do it early, but I did it.

Jill K DeWit:
Good. That’s so good. All right. So you have nine in inventory. You think you’re going to net about 80K on each one? Approximately?

Casey:
No, it’ll probably be about 80 for all nine of them, which means I need nine more of them truly. I mean, that’s the ultimate part of it is if you just sit back and keep waiting on those nine to sell, maybe it takes a month, maybe it takes three, maybe it takes six, I don’t know. But you need more inventory.

Jill K DeWit:
Yep, keep moving them through the system.

Steven Jack Butala:
We probably have, I’m going to say 12 to 15 properties that have been listed for sale for a while, which is not our typical situation. We usually just list them and it sells really quickly, to which I say, I guess we don’t want to sell them that bad.

Jill K DeWit:
Well, that’s part of it. It’s been by design. You have a few like I’m going to put this price on it and I’m going to let it ride. You do that sometimes

Steven Jack Butala:
We’ll make at least a hundred thousand on each one of those. So it’s probably a million two, a million five of net profit in them, and it’s not hurting anything. I mean, we’ll just wait. They will sell. They amazing properties.

Jill K DeWit:
We all paid cash. We all know what we did. We all sleep really well at night knowing that if we wanted to, yeah, I could let it go, but I’m not going to.

Steven Jack Butala:
I mean, she buys and sell multiple properties every week with deal funding in our own properties. And that’s not what I call… those are bucket one properties. We have a lot of bucket three properties that are just sitting there and that’s okay.

Jill K DeWit:
I’m good with that.

Steven Jack Butala:
So are you still licensed?

Casey:
I am still licensed. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. One time I can say it has been bad. I mean, I’m licensed in Missouri and I buy and sell here in Missouri. Actually, funny enough, the closer I am the more I seem to buy and sell here. I don’t know why that necessarily is, but just a few counties away is where I do a lot of work. I have been turned in once because I backed out of a contract, and so I got to speak with the real estate commission and the attorney general on that. I didn’t do anything wrong. Per the contract, I just didn’t buy the property. One was I couldn’t get clear title, it was fully in a flood zone, which was a part of the due diligence. I think what actually happened is the gentleman had tried to sell it a few times and was just getting tired of not selling it, because he didn’t have nice things initially to say about agents to begin with.
So I probably should have known that that was going to go down a rabbit hole, but that’s the only time, and it was no big deal. Because again, everything was on the up and up and he knew that I was licensed. It says it in all the materials that I send. So it was just a matter of he was just unhappy. So is it good? Is it bad? I don’t know. I have access to the MLS to a degree in the area. Not always where I’m buying, so that can be helpful in that regard, but it probably at the end of the day maybe hindered more than helps.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s one of the things about being licensed, there’s a plate. You create a place to be turned in. You know, there’s no real place to turn into a land investor.

Jill K DeWit:
No, it’s like who are you going to call?

Casey:
Right. Yeah, my license expires this September. I haven’t decided if I’m going to do everything I need to to keep it going or not. It’s on the table both ways.

Jill K DeWit:
I understand.

Steven Jack Butala:
You know back in the day, it was really valuable to be licensed because you had access to the MLS. And now it’s Zillow or realtor.com or whatever. It’s so prevalent, the data is so prevalent so it’s becoming less and less attractive to be licensed for what we do.

Jill K DeWit:
Totally.

Casey:
Yeah. I mean the license itself covers not very much of the entire country obviously, it is a very, very small percentage of it in all of the real estate that’s on there, there’s basically zero truly. It helps maybe if you’re working in your backyard but that’s about it.

Steven Jack Butala:
You know for pricing how we scrape Zillow and all these sites, we really kind of just pull up these sites and just abuse them, like abuse them to our benefit, just a kick them in the groin, and you can’t do that with local MLS. You just can’t do it. There’s not the same amount of traffic and all that. So that’s another thing.

Jill K DeWit:
Right, yep. So instead of me asking you what your five favorite books are, because I won’t do that, or a tip of the week, I won’t do that either because that’s not who we are.

Steven Jack Butala:
Or how you’re finding marriage.

Jill K DeWit:
Right, or that. I want to know what are your goals for this year and next year? I mean you’re well over a year just with us, but you’ve been in real estate for a decade, over a decade, so what’s going to happen?

Casey:
Well, my ultimate goal, one thing is in the beginning I didn’t have a schedule and I didn’t know what to do on a daily basis. And that was quite a while actually to the point of you just kind of sit there and you’re like what do I do now? And you spend an hour figuring out what you’re going to do for the next half hour and you wasted an hour and a half just in that time because then you got to do it again once you complete the task.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’m using that.

Casey:
So my big thing was I’m putting some systems in place of what am I going to do on a daily basis? And I have that all sorted out from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. And it changes, my son plays travel baseball so we get busy with that, so it changes a little bit. But the schedule is there to know what’s supposed to happen. So I’m not wasting time on each day of what is going to go on. So for me what I’d like to do is, I would like to see my numbers triple to quadruple. Part of what I haven’t maybe used to my benefit is funding, which I should do, because I have tied up quite a bit of personal funds into properties that I’ve been acquiring and selling. So that’s something that I definitely want to get involved with more. 50% of anything is a lot more than 100% percent of nothing.

Steven Jack Butala:
Exactly.

Jill K DeWit:
Correct.

Casey:
So, when we talk about the numbers jumping, adding a zero, maybe two, I don’t know, it just depends, that’s the way to do it. But that’s what I’d like to see, I’d like to see my numbers jump from where they are, 50,000 to 150 to 200,000, somewhere in that line and I would be relatively happy. Could I do more? Probably.I’m kind of like you, Steve, I’m kind of a serial entrepreneur a little bit. In the last three months I also started a pressure washing company. I don’t necessarily do the washing, but it’s not crazy hard to market and find people who are looking for that service. There’s people looking to do things and they need jobs.

Jill K DeWit:
I need to call it now.

Casey:
Right. But that’s what I’d really like to see. Like I say, these systems getting put in place, having the VA to take things off of my plate because for a long time I was doing the majority of the due diligence that I now just send her APN county/state and she brings me back an Excel sheet of all the information that’s in there so I don’t have to do that. I can just kind of scroll through it, make a quick decision, yes or no, based on what’s in there. The six As are definitely in there, so those are top of list on there to make it real easy. And just because it doesn’t pass those doesn’t mean it’s not something that I’ll look into, but that’s just a quick, easy, down and dirty is it a good deal or is it not a good deal?

Jill K DeWit:
Right. That’s your phase one, I call it, your phase one deal. And then you’re like, all right, now I’m going to go to phase two and see do I really want to buy this? Now my 20 is down to five and I can spend the time on the five. That’s really good. Well, it seems like you do a good job of naturally being up here, and a lot of people can’t-

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s hard for a lot of people.

Jill K DeWit:
… get there. And especially to really think about another company on the side, that’s a big mental commitment and it’s probably actually really great because if you’re busy over there, you’re going to be forced to make really good decisions over here. And you’re going to be forced to not sell your own property and forced to just start nailing those higher numbers and getting them in and giving them to a broker. I’m sure you have people, even though you’re going to say, “Hey Bob, I know I can do this myself but I don’t have the time. And we go way back, so guess what, you’re now my broker.” That would be great.

Casey:
It’s actually funny. It’s something that I don’t want to list my own properties that I buy even if they are close. I do have friends that I have doing that on a few of them, not all of them, but on the sales side that is a real time suck.

Jill K DeWit:
It is.

Casey:
People calling, talking, kicking the tires mainly, so it’s a lot easier to let somebody else field those calls and feel them out.

Jill K DeWit:
Exactly.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’ve generally decided at this age that I just don’t want to do stuff that I don’t want to.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh gosh. That goes down to about everything, including laundry, do not even ask.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’ve spent a lot of years doing stuff I don’t want to do and that part of my life’s over.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Casey:
I understand that. I understand that.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, we may or may not have been talking about that today.

Steven Jack Butala:
It all started because our third kid, our third and final child just graduated from high school and I said, “That’s it. I’m done, including laundry.”

Jill K DeWit:
I know that.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’ve done a lot of loads of laundry in my life and I’ve done my last load.

Casey:
Hey, there’s people that love laundry. There’s people out there that love to do the laundry. Let them do it.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, that’s right. And we’re going to pay them, happily pay it forward and pay them.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s right.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s just fine.

Steven Jack Butala:
I don’t expect her to do anything.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s the thing too.

Steven Jack Butala:
Right, that’s when I say me I mean we.

Casey:
Right, right.

Steven Jack Butala:
You’re not going to do anything.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah. He’s so funny. So are you in Discord? Are you real vocal on there? What’s your favorite tool within Land Academy, how do you communicate with people?

Casey:
I am on Discord. There are times that I pause it a little bit, because sometimes it can get going and there’s quite a bit going on. I wear an Apple watch and sometimes it buzzes quite a bit and I need to put on do not disturb. But I love getting on there. I don’t necessarily respond the most, I do here and there. Definitely if I see somebody’s posted something and nobody’s responded I definitely try to jump on those ones, but I definitely read them. I mean, that’s an invaluable tool of a wealth of information and that’s the spot that I start that if I need information that I will type in the search bar and see if the answer is there or if somebody else has questioned it previously. So that’s something that I definitely use quite a bit of in that regard. My main tool that I use is Neighborscoop, I use it all the time. I’d probably be literally lost without it.

Jill K DeWit:
Same here.

Casey:
I mean, there’s so much information on there and it’s just easy to find the property. I don’t have to go to the county website, figure out their GIS map and do all that. I could just plug it into one place. I mean, that’s open on my browser every single day. I use three screens and that’s one of the screens.

Jill K DeWit:
Perfect. Yep, that’s awesome.

Steven Jack Butala:
Same thing, same here. It’s always open.

Jill K DeWit:
Love it.

Casey:
Another big tool actually I use quite a bit is Loom to make videos for my VA.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh yeah, yeah.

Casey:
Here’s how here’s how to do it, and it’s fantastic because then you can save them in a file and they’re there for anybody else that comes on board.

Steven Jack Butala:
I do the same thing.

Casey:
Yeah. So I know there’s different products out there for that sort of thing. But I use it, it works pretty well.

Steven Jack Butala:
Casey, it was a pleasure talking to you. I’m glad Land Academy is working out for you, and thanks for agreeing to meet with us today.

Casey:
Of course.

Jill K DeWit:
We should do this again in a year, because I want to know how these numbers that you’re talking about today, how they pan out. And I want to know if you renew your license in the fall. So we’ve got to get together again.

Casey:
I want to know that too. I want to know that too.

Jill K DeWit:
I think I know what’s going to happen, but I’m just going to let Casey figure it out.

Steven Jack Butala:
I think I know too.

Casey:
There have been times that I have talked to my wife about should I just give it back, because you can give it back, so I’ve thought about it.

Jill K DeWit:
Exactly. Like yeah, mail it in and like see ya.

Steven Jack Butala:
Does your state have an inactive status?

Casey:
Yeah, there’s different statuses. So you have active, which you’re going to be selling or even if you just aren’t a lot of people keep it in active. There’s inactive, but you still since you’re licensed still have to document that on everything. And then there’s referral status as well where you don’t actually help anybody by yourself, but you just send referrals to other agents and make a referral feed that way.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s good. That might work like a referral status.

Jill K DeWit:
It’s still better if the only place that they can call is the Better Business Bureau and good luck with that one.

Casey:
Right, right. Because when you’re in referral status, you do still have to disclose that you’re licensed and everything. So that’s the drawback of it.

Jill K DeWit:
I like the other plan. I like plan C.

Casey:
I do too. That’s where I’m leaning towards, but I don’t know what I’m going to do yet.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, gotcha.

Steven Jack Butala:
Well, thanks again, Casey. We will check back with you in a few months probably and see how you’re doing.

Casey:
Perfect. I really appreciate you all having me on today. It’s been fun.

Jill K DeWit:
Thank you.

Steven Jack Butala:
Thanks again.

Jill K DeWit:
It’s been awesome.

Steven Jack Butala:
We’ll see you soon.

Jill K DeWit:
Thank you.

Casey:
All right, we’ll see you again.

Jill K DeWit:
Take care.

Casey:
Bye.

Jill K DeWit:
Bye.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please review it in Apple Podcasts . Reviews are incredibly important for rankings on Apple Podcasts. My staff and I read each and every one.

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

The BuWit Family of Companies include:

https://BuWit.com

https://offers2owners.com

https://landinvestors.com

https://landacademy.com

https://landpin.com

https://parcelfact.com

https://countywise.com

https://deedperfect.com

https://ownersdata.com

https://houseacademy.com

I would like to think it’s entertaining and informative and in the end profitable.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts.