Marketing Land in 2023: Selling in a Downturn & Turning Deals into a Career (LA 1942)

Marketing Land in 2023: Selling in a Downturn & Turning Deals into a Career (LA 1942)

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Marketing Land in 2023: Selling in a Downturn & Turning Deals into a Career (LA 1942)

LA 1942 wp New

Never Miss an Episode!

Subscribe to the Land Academy podcast

In this episode of the Land Academy Show, Steven Jack Butala and Jill DeWit discuss effective marketing strategies for selling land in 2023 during an economic downturn. They also explore the differences between buying and selling land as a hobby versus a career, sharing insights from their Land Academy Discord community. Steven and Jill also highlight the benefits of being involved in Land Academy’s online community, where members can get 24/7 support and have their questions answered by people who were in their shoes six months ago. Check out landacademy.com for more information on the Land Academy Discord community and to watch a view-only snippet of some of the areas within the channel.

Transcript: 

Steven Jack Butala:
I’m Steven Jack Butala.

Jill K DeWit:
And I’m Jill DeWit. And this is the Land Academy Show.

Steven Jack Butala:
This is episode number 1,942, believe it or not. And today, we are talking in depth about marketing for sale land in 2023 in this economic downturn. And we’ll talk later about the difference between buying and selling land as a hobby, or as a career.

Jill K DeWit:
I like this.

Steven Jack Butala:
I vote career.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, exactly.

Steven Jack Butala:
But I was reading in Discord, there’s a lot of people that have joined that they have roots in the real estate, civil engineering maybe. They have history locally in dealing with land and landowners. And they joined because they want to do a couple deals a year, and they want to be part of the community.

Jill K DeWit:
Well, careful, ’cause that’s how it turns into a career. That’s the greatest thing.

Steven Jack Butala:
I don’t know how you can-

Jill K DeWit:
Isn’t that funny? Like, huh, wait a minute, I didn’t even work that hard, and I just made $50,000. What would happen if I really tried?

Steven Jack Butala:
What would happen if I spent two hours a day instead of one?

Jill K DeWit:
Exactly.

Steven Jack Butala:
I couldn’t stop myself. That’s why we’re here, actually.

Jill K DeWit:
Yep.

Steven Jack Butala:
I hope you’re also enjoying our 2023 weekly show. It’s changed a little bit. Each week we answer questions from our Land Academy Discord forum, review land acquisitions from our Weekly Thursday Member Webinar, and we take a deep dive look into the two land-related topics that are by and large requested on Discord. Now let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the Land Academy Discord online community. If you want to sneak peek at the Discord channel, please go to landacademy.com. It’s totally free.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah. It’s a view-only snippet of some of the areas within our thing. Discord is our online community. It’s pretty darn cool. If you’re not familiar with Discord, google it, watch a YouTube video on it, and it’ll show you what is it. It’s pretty cool.

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s a huge benefit to being involved in Land Academy. I think you’re-

Jill K DeWit:
It’s 24/7 support, basically.

Steven Jack Butala:
Your questions get answered by people who were in your shoes six months ago.

Jill K DeWit:
Uh-huh. There you go. Bailey wrote… Or was-

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s correct, Bailey.

Jill K DeWit:
Bailey wrote that Yuri said-

Steven Jack Butala:
No, I’m sorry. It’s script and correction.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, sorry. So, Yuri wrote-

Steven Jack Butala:
No, Bailey just-

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, Bailey wrote.

Steven Jack Butala:
… just said it.

Jill K DeWit:
Who wrote who wrote the-

Steven Jack Butala:
Congratulations, Bailey and Yuri.

Jill K DeWit:
Who wrote the flipping question? All right, we’re going to get on that person who-

Steven Jack Butala:
This is a script error.

Jill K DeWit:
Yes, that’s right. It’s probably the same person that does our mailers. Great. This makes me feel great. Okay, that would be him. All right, so Bailey wrote, “Hey guys, has anyone here dealt with fractional interest/ownership before?”

Steven Jack Butala:
Listen to this.

Jill K DeWit:
I have a lot to say about this one.

Steven Jack Butala:
Listen to this joke.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay.

Steven Jack Butala:
This is a crack up.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay, like it’s okay. All right, “I’m in contact with a large company that wants to offload 120 parcels over the course of the next couple of years. And there are some great pieces of land in this portfolio, much of which has been owned for over 60 years. Some of them-“

Steven Jack Butala:
But do they own?

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
We’ll see.

Jill K DeWit:
Do they? “Some of them, however, have fractional ownership.” Oh, but the company has a majority share and control in all of these. Oh, I’m sure that’s true. “This first parcel I’m offering on 160 acres in Colorado is a very expensive area owned by 75% of them, and then 25% by another party that bought it through a tax deal 60 years ago. The company solely owns the easement leading to the property.” Well, that’s great. “And many of the adjacent parts.” Awesome. You can get to it, but you can’t use it. “And many adjacent parcels, accent is great. Under normal circumstances, I might just let this go. However, this relationship could be incredibly lucrative if we’re able to get this first deal done. Is this something you would recommend staying out of?”

Steven Jack Butala:
Yes.

Jill K DeWit:
“Any input or resources are greatly appreciated. Thank you.” Here’s what I would do. Can I answer first?

Steven Jack Butala:
Sure.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s great. You’re talking to the person that owns 75%. You need to talk to the person that owns 25%. It’s not going to do any good unless you buy 100% because do you want to now buy 75% of this, and you too can’t do anything with it or use it? Or live on it, or whatever because there’s somebody else that owns 25%. And it’s not like, oh, I get these 15 out of 20 acres, and they get those five. That’s not what this fractional ownership means. It’s another person who has interest in this property, and they have to be a part of everything. You can’t even really buy this from them. Go ahead.

Steven Jack Butala:
There are many, many ways to own real estate. What we care about is a fee simple interest, and that’s it. When you buy a house, you have a fee simple interest in that house. Unless there’s a land lease, or you’re in a mobile home, and you’re renting the land under it. Or, you live in a condominium where you have an interest in the air rights. Literally the air that’s between the walls, that’s what you own. It’s crazy when you really think about it. Fractional ownership is one item in a long list of ways to own property that don’t work for us. The complication here, or what’s making this not clear, is when you think about a company. We’ve all heard, “Hey, if you own 51% of a company, then you have a controlling interest, and you’re going to decide exactly what it’s going to do.”

Jill K DeWit:
Sure.

Steven Jack Butala:
You could do everything from increase the value of the company and operate it differently, or break it all apart like a corporate Wall Street Raider from the ’80s, and just dismantle it because the parts equal more than your 51% ownership value. That can’t be confused with this. Fractional ownership came about because probably in the ’50s and ’60s, and slightly in the ’70s, for whatever reason, certain places specifically in California, specifically West Virginia, and I didn’t know in Colorado until this person posted this, they assigned APNs to ownership. Silly.

Jill K DeWit:
Mm-hmm.

Steven Jack Butala:
Now, the vast majority of the property in the entire country has one APN. One parcel, one APN. Somebody got the bright idea specifically in Southern California, so if Jill and I own a piece of property, she gets an APN and I get an APN. That’s what you’re dealing with here. Unfortunately, this is a 60-year-old tax sale situation, so everybody’s probably dead.

Jill K DeWit:
That could be too.

Steven Jack Butala:
Unless you get ahold of this 25% owner and they give you consent, or you pay them, or something-

Jill K DeWit:
To buy that too, at the same time.

Steven Jack Butala:
… to create now one APN for that parcel, they own nothing.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
They have no value here. The only other option is, and I would really encourage you to take a look at this, is a quiet title. Because you could end up with the entire value of the property, a fee simple ownership of the property if you go through quiet title, which is going to take-

Jill K DeWit:
Which is-

Steven Jack Butala:
… maybe five grand, and probably two years.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, that’s the problem. Which is really basically, you buy the 75%, and you have to go through a legal process to try to connect with the other person. There’s an attorney involved. There’s attorney fees and times.

Steven Jack Butala:
Well, it’s a legal action.

Jill K DeWit:
Right. To basically try to reach out to them, there’s ads in the paper. It’s all old school. There’s a whole process.

Steven Jack Butala:
There’s a statutory process.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s dictated by each individual state.

Jill K DeWit:
Right. And where you’re really trying to find them… Because if you can’t find them, this is what it would be. And then basically, the court will award you like, “Hey, the guy obviously disappeared. They obviously went dark. We did everything we could.” The court will award you now that extra percentage, but I don’t want to do all that.

Steven Jack Butala:
No. There’s people that this is their career. They quiet settle property, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Especially, and I’m being really blunt here, these people who have this minority interest in this property, they acquired it 60 years ago, they’re all dead.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, there’s a good chance. Nobody knows.

Steven Jack Butala:
Quiet titling property from dead people is… I don’t want to be crass here, but otherwise, it’s just going to go back to the taxing authority anyway. There are people out there who target dead people property, and quiet settle it. Personally, I would run away from this. I think it’s too much work.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’d just send out more mail, get a better deal, and live a happy life.

Jill K DeWit:
Right.

Steven Jack Butala:
Today’s first topic, I should say, is called Marketing “For Sale” Land in 2023. In this economic, economic downturn. I say “for sale” in air quotes because when I was in commercial real estate a million years ago, people would run around the office… Largely our clients, not so much the people in my office, would run around and say, “The last thing anybody wants is for sale property.” Which is funny, because I made a career out of it. What they really meant to say is “Well, you need a-“

Jill K DeWit:
They want sold?

Steven Jack Butala:
No, you want an office building that’s collecting rent, so the balance sheet’s going up, and there’s capitalization rates, and there’s stuff that you can lend against. And they want to have a complicated real estate life, and that’s not what we want. We want for sale property that’s soon to be sold.

Jill K DeWit:
I have no problem with for sale property, I have to think about this for a second.

Steven Jack Butala:
I don’t have a problem with for sale property either.

Jill K DeWit:
No, especially right now with this market, and this climate, and all the worries people are having, and the whatever. It always brings up the money people. Anytime there’s up or down, like a stock market, you’re going to make money going up and you’re going to make even more money when it goes down. There’s nuances to this, you just have to know what you’re doing. Man, we’re getting some amazing deals. I don’t mind putting it out there for sale even right now, knowing that the right person’s going to come along here pretty darn soon. And they’ve been watching for it, and they’re ready to make a move.

Steven Jack Butala:
Exactly. The topic is how do you market for sale property in today’s economic downturn?

Jill K DeWit:
Is there something different?

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah. Jill and I have said this on the show over the years. There’s two reasons that properties don’t sell.

Jill K DeWit:
True.

Steven Jack Butala:
Number one, you’re not exposing the right people to this as potential buyers to the fact that this is for sale number one.

Jill K DeWit:
Correct, reach.

Steven Jack Butala:
Reach, yeah. Number two is it’s not priced right, which usually means you paid too much.

Jill K DeWit:
Correct.

Steven Jack Butala:
And that’s the real difference here. You’re going to have to work a little bit harder in this economic downturn to sell property than you would have let’s say a year or two years ago. It’s a lot like wearing ankle weights, and then taking the ankle weights off, and it’s so much easier to walk around. Because you’re building muscle. That’s what this is.

Jill K DeWit:
Wait, I got to back up here. Is this the ankle weight time? Are we in the ankle weight time?

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill K DeWit:
You think so?

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah, you got to work harder.

Jill K DeWit:
Well, maybe. I don’t know. Maybe you have to work a little harder because things aren’t maybe flying off the shelves right now, but I’m going to argue that. I’m not feeling it. I’m not feeling a change in our inventory. Like a massive, oh, nothing’s selling right now.

Steven Jack Butala:
Well, when’s the last time you overpaid for a piece of property?

Jill K DeWit:
Well, that would be true. I know how not to overpay for a piece of property. But I just sent you a note the other day like, “Hey, while you’re in the bank account, do you see this incoming wire? This one sold.” I wasn’t planning on it selling right now, but it just did. It’s fine. I’m trying to think this climate and what’s different. For me, and when I’m talking to agents, here’s what I am noticing different in 2023. I’m noticing pricing changes maybe more often than normal. So, what’s that making me do, is check it a little more frequently. Maybe every 30 days versus you just set it, and forget it. List it, and don’t even think about it. For example, this one property that we have right now, I looked at it again. Right now, it’s not moving, and this agent reached out and said, “We need to drop the price.” And I’m like, “Hold on a moment.” I go, “Look-“

Steven Jack Butala:
Jill hates dropping the price.

Jill K DeWit:
I hate dropping price.

Steven Jack Butala:
For the record, she just can’t stand it.

Jill K DeWit:
You know why? ‘Cause it’s a lazy broker. It’s a lazy broker’s answer like, “Oh, it’s not moving, we need to drop the price.” I’m like, “You think?”

Steven Jack Butala:
I feel a Jill rant coming.

Jill K DeWit:
So yeah, I may have talked about this last week because it’s still on my mind, and we’re doing it. Anyway. Well, I spent some time like, “Well, let’s just take a look.” I started looking, and I’m like, “No, no, no. Things are going the other way. We are underpriced right now, and I think it’s sending the wrong message. I think people are looking at this, seeing this property, and assuming there’s something wrong with it.” So, I wrote the guy and I said, “Nope, we’re actually increasing the price.” I haven’t seen it come back yet, but what’s funny is this broker, as he said, “I think we should lower the price.” He automatically just sent me the document, and I’m like, “What is this?” so, I sent it to Jan, and she’s like-

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s called slamming. We got slammed.

Jill K DeWit:
I don’t even look at him anymore. This is the value of an awesome transaction coordinator. Any broker, anybody tries to just send it straight to me, I don’t even click on it, I just forward it to my team. I’m like, “Jan, I don’t know what this is.” And she wrote right back like, “Don’t sign this. He’s on my hit list now,” kind of thing. Because he’s like, “Oh wait.” And he just thinks I’m going to open it up blindly and just sign this document. He’s going to change the price. Nope. And he hasn’t set them on raising the price yet. So, I’m waiting for it. I’m like, “No, you need to raise the price.” I guess my point in this first rant is numbers will bop up and down a little bit, so maybe you got to be a little more on it than you normally have to. But big deal. Once a month I’m looking, or even once a week.
We reach out to every deal I’ve got in play right now on the buy or the sell side, whether it’s a broker selling it, or the seller that we’re working with through escrow and everything as we’re buying it, they get touched on at least once a week, and I get a report every Wednesday of where I stand on every single property. What’s going through the system. If you do something like that, and I highly recommend it, every time, once a week, you have your thing. Look at the prices, check the market, eyeball it. Make sure your listing looks good. Make sure your leaf photo’s great. Make sure your person’s doing their job, who’s selling it for you, if it’s not you. And double check the prices. See if you need to tweak it.

Steven Jack Butala:
Here’s some real serious and simple ways to sell property in an economic downturn. And my point to this ankle weight thing is, you should do this in an upturn too because this is going to end. The second economic downturn will end.

Jill K DeWit:
True.

Steven Jack Butala:
And you will have the good fortune of struggling through it, succeeding and forming some great habits. Number one, put a sign on the property. Put a sign from Home Depot on the property, not a Century 21 sign. Number two, do a neighbor letter. Neighbor letters are finding all the owners, which is what we do in DataTree. We find owners of properties, that’s what we do here. Should be second nature. In fact, if you send a mailer out, you already have the data in the mailer. So, you know who owns all the property within let’s say a mile radius, maybe two, depending on how rural it is. You know who owns these properties, so you need to send a letter to them that says, “Hey, this property’s off market, and I know we’re in an academic downturn, that’s why it’s a smoking deal. We’re asking this amount of money. Give me a call. Let’s put a deal together. You already own property in the area, so you must be interested.” I think I would say that works 60% to 70% of the time if the property’s-

Jill K DeWit:
Priced right.

Steven Jack Butala:
Priced correctly. Number three, avoid infill lots.

Jill K DeWit:
I like saying something like do you want to expand your yard? Or do you want a new neighbor? Like, oh wait a minute.

Steven Jack Butala:
Owning real estate, it’s such a good tax situation for you, especially if you’re going to hold it. It’s a great estate planning thing.

Jill K DeWit:
True.

Steven Jack Butala:
If you learn about these things, you can have a very intelligent conversation with somebody who calls on a neighbor letter and says, “It is really cheap. It’s a lot cheaper than I paid for my property. I’ve got a bunch of cash land around, it’s going to get taxed in my estate.” Maybe you put it in your kid’s name, or in your name and your kid’s name as joint tenants, and when you pass, it gets conveyed tax free.

Jill K DeWit:
Sure.

Steven Jack Butala:
They just own it. You should educate yourself about the benefits of that, so you can have a good conversation when they call back. Number three, avoid infill lots right now. The people who buy in infill lots, the people are home builders usually. Or, they’re builders of some kind, maybe even commercial. You don’t want to have a property that’s got a real specific use right now. Now is not the time for that. We’re in an economic downturn. Unless it’s so crazy cheap, and you’ve got a warehouse owner next door that has too much money, and it’s the same situation that I just described. You want large recreation property that’s priced really cheap because hunters and people who have hobbies also have a lot of money. They’re dying to buy 20 or 30 acres of property that they can go skeet shooting on, or whatever it lends itself to. This is a positive thing, not a negative thing.

Jill K DeWit:
I agree.

Steven Jack Butala:
And believe me, I’m Debbie Downer most of the time about a lot of this stuff. Buying really cheap property, the right property, putting a sign on it, sending a neighbor letter out, it’s going to work. Also, half of the real estate agents are out of work.

Jill K DeWit:
I’m so glad you brought that up.

Steven Jack Butala:
Go ahead.

Jill K DeWit:
I was going to say that too. This is a time that the good ones survive, and it’s easy to spot who they are, and they’re not having any issues.

Steven Jack Butala:
Exactly. If your property’s listed with a Century 21 agent, let it expire, or try to get out of the contract. A lot of times they’ll just let you out because the real estate agent sucks, and go on to LandWatch, and find a person who’s got 30 listings for land, and good listings in the area that’s your property, and hire that person. Get their opinion. And then, form these good habits right now because this downturn will change.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
And that’s it.

Jill K DeWit:
Mm-hmm, stay on it. I’m going to just circle back around to reach. One of the things about reach though, if you’re marketing your own property, you’re doing it, you have it out there on everywhere. You probably get a flat rate MLS listing, so it’s out on the planet on Trulia, Realtor, Zillow, wherever it needs to be. And then, hopefully you’re doing it, and it’s all parts of social media that you can think of. You had that hunting property that Jack just described. You have it in all those area-specific hunting groups on Facebook. You just need to get it in front of the right people. And if you’re not the one doing it, your broker is, that’s a conversation to have with your broker. Make sure that they’re getting it out there. They know how to do a neighbor letter. They know how to do that stuff. That’s why you hired them.

Steven Jack Butala:
Start thinking like this. If you have experience in real estate, there’s this regular automatic response when we list property to describe it. “Hey, this is a hundred acres, it’s really pretty, and it backs up against a forest.” Forget that right now. That needs to change during this environment. You need to lead with, “My loss is your gain. This property is grossly underpriced and we need to liquidate it, and please make any offer.” Start thinking like that, and start listening and talking to potential buyers, and make them understand that it’s so incredibly undervalued. Usually, I don’t say sell on price. Now’s not the time to maximize price. This is not bucket [inaudible 00:20:38] time. Now is the time to blow through property, and just become an acquisition expert because you’re buying it so cheap, and then selling on cheap.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
Let’s take a look at one of our favorite land acquisitions from the Weekly Thursday Member Webinar.

Jill K DeWit:
I would like to talk about for our members right now, ’cause I don’t think it’s open to the public at this moment, but Career Path 6 is coming up. It’s going to be April 12th through May 31st this year. Where do you find that information? Go to landacademy.com/careerpath, or just go to Land Academy and there’s a menu dropdown, and you’ll find Career Path. So, what is Career Path? Career Path is an eight-week program led by ourselves.

Steven Jack Butala:
This is the next topic, by the way.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, is it? On this show, we’re going to talk about it?

Steven Jack Butala:
You know what? The enrollment for Career Path will be… This airs on March 1st, so enrollment opens to the public on the 3rd.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, okay. Well, we’re talking about it anyway.

Steven Jack Butala:
But, in a minute we’re going to talk about do you want to make this a career? Or do you want it to be your hobby?

Jill K DeWit:
All right. Well, this is the whole point. For those of you, we all are going to talk about that in a minute. But for those of you that are here to make this your career, and I’m doing a lot of the calls myself right now, screening people, and I’m getting good people.

Steven Jack Butala:
Okay, I want to hear.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay. All right, go ahead. Let’s get to the topic.

Steven Jack Butala:
Let’s take another question posted by one of our members on the Land Academy Discord online community. Again, if you want to sneak peek of this Discord channel, which is pretty amazing, go to landacademy.com. It’s free. Read-only free.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay. Andre wrote, “What are your all-“

Steven Jack Butala:
“What are y’all’s.”

Jill K DeWit:
“What are y’all’s opinion on wholesaling vacant land? What are the pros and cons?”

Steven Jack Butala:
Okay. This is a huge topic in Discord. Actually, the topics that we discuss, the questions that we discuss here, I choose them based on the level of-

Jill K DeWit:
Response?

Steven Jack Butala:
… response in Discord and level of involvement. And boy, this blew up.

Jill K DeWit:
Can I assume, please, that the response to this question was what it should be?

Steven Jack Butala:
Yes.

Jill K DeWit:
Thank you.

Steven Jack Butala:
There’s still some new people that this person specifically, and a couple other people signed up for Land Academy because they came from wholesaling-

Jill K DeWit:
Environments.

Steven Jack Butala:
… environments, and-

Jill K DeWit:
Can we back up and explain this real quick? I hate this. I hate this. You know what wholesaling used to be to me? This is 10 plus years ago when people used to say, “What do you do?” I’m like, “Well, I kind of wholesale land.” Well, which meant to me was it was how I priced it, and who I sold it to. Like you wholesale carpet. I don’t wholesale carpet, a new carpet on terms. You know what I mean? Or, I don’t do-

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s not a warehouse wholesaling.

Jill K DeWit:
It’s not like I have-

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s a whole different beast.

Jill K DeWit:
… a theoretical role of carpet that I just pass the piece of paper that conveys the ownership of the roll of carpet. It’s not like that.

Steven Jack Butala:
I think it’s really appropriate for you to rant about this because I agree with you, and most people in the Discord do too.

Jill K DeWit:
Years ago, wholesaling was a positive thing. It was great. It meant that I bought property really inexpensively, I sold it very inexpensively, and I sold it to other investors.

Steven Jack Butala:
Which is the correct-

Jill K DeWit:
That was my main thing.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s the correct-

Jill K DeWit:
Exactly.

Steven Jack Butala:
… use of the word wholesaling.

Jill K DeWit:
Right. You wholesale carpet to someone who’s going to sell it to the retail. That’s it. I would wholesale land to someone who would mark it up, sell it on terms or whatever, sell it to the end buyer, end user, retail prices. It was a beautiful relationship. Well, somewhere along the way in the last 10 years, someone got a hold of and they made the wholesaling term, which is so wrong. They made it that you’re walking around with a contract. That I sent in an offer, the person signs it back. Now I’m going to go and try to sell this piece of paper. I’m not going to buy the property, I’m not going to open escrow. I’m not going to do anything like that. I’m going to assign this property to someone else. They’re going to pay me five, 10 grand, a percentage, whatever it is, whatever you work out, for me to give them this piece of paper that they can now go buy the property from the seller. That’s what wholesaling has become.
Doesn’t matter if it’s land, doesn’t matter if it’s a house. It’s a lot of people with houses that are doing this, especially if you’re on bigger pockets, or in a clubhouse. I see it in clubhouse talks. It’s so confusing. I hate this. I don’t like to be that about… Or I should say, there’s a few things that I feel this strongly about, and this is one of them. If you feel that the property’s good enough, why don’t you buy it? Why are you running around with a piece of paper?

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s my question. Why?

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
Why are you doing this?

Jill K DeWit:
Well, you know what the usual reason is? Well, usually there’s two reasons. Okay? Reason number one is I don’t have the money. Got it. Reason number two is I’m not sure that’s good of a deal, so I’m not going to put down the money.

Steven Jack Butala:
You’re not confident in the deal.

Jill K DeWit:
Reason number one, you don’t have the money. Okay, that I get. You love the deal, it’s great. You flat out don’t have the money. Well, guess what? I do.

Steven Jack Butala:
We have the money, and our entire group has tons and tons of money for this.

Jill K DeWit:
So, you don’t ever have to do that. If it’s that great of a property, just use somebody else’s money. Buy it, own it, control the deal, and then turn around and sell it quickly like we all do. And then the second one is I’m not so sure it’s that good of a deal, so I’m not going to put my money down, or even not going to put anybody else’s money down because I’m not quite sure. I’m going to run around and try to shop this piece of paper and see what happens. What a waste of your time. So many things can go wrong in that process. And two, I’m going to argue you’re not even that interested,

Steven Jack Butala:
You’re not committed.

Jill K DeWit:
Mm-mm. You’re not going to really be trying to sell that property because you’re not sure it’s a great price anyway. You’re kind of throwing it out there-

Steven Jack Butala:
You’re getting in the way,

Jill K DeWit:
… seeing what sticks. See what comes back. And that’s just dumb. You shouldn’t be-

Steven Jack Butala:
This is the same mentality-

Jill K DeWit:
… spinning your wheels.

Steven Jack Butala:
… as real estate agent.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’m not committed enough to actually buy the house and resell it, or the office building or the trailer park, or whatever it ends up being. I just want to represent somebody else who does it, and make a fee. That’s not a real estate professional. That’s getting in the way of a real estate deal, which is what wholesalers do. They’re getting in the way.

Jill K DeWit:
I’m going to argue that there’s some value sometimes for agents in certain situations. I don’t think that’s necessarily… I think people-

Steven Jack Butala:
I’ll argue with that all day long.

Jill K DeWit:
You know what I think, honestly? I think there’s a lot of agents out there that are good agents that they’re just afraid of making that next step. They’re happy to represent you, happy to represent the buyer, but they’re not comfortable stepping into our shoes-

Steven Jack Butala:
Why is that?

Jill K DeWit:
… to talk to these people.

Steven Jack Butala:
For the same reason here.

Jill K DeWit:
Probably confidence.

Steven Jack Butala:
They don’t want to take any risk.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, and that’s okay.

Steven Jack Butala:
I don’t think it’s okay.

Jill K DeWit:
Well, it’s not in our world.

Steven Jack Butala:
All you got to do is go to realtor.com, and see every single property that’s listed on the MLS in the entire country within 13 seconds.

Jill K DeWit:
Do you know what the whole thing is? Maybe that’s it. I think this is where this is going, and I would be flipping scared if I was doing this. Because here’s what can happen, Andre. I think you are five months away from the real estate community coming down on you saying-

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s what I think.

Jill K DeWit:
… now you’re acting as a real estate agent, and you’re not licensed, and we’re coming after you.

Steven Jack Butala:
Jill’s exactly right. The technical term for when you have a signed purchase agreement, and let’s say you open escrow, which is the right thing to do. You have equitable title in this property now. You are legally allowed to because you have an ownership interest. You don’t have fee simple ownership, like we were talking about earlier, you have equitable title. And that allows you to shop the deal, sell it for more, and do a-

Jill K DeWit:
I still wouldn’t do it.

Steven Jack Butala:
… dual escrow, and most title companies now, they won’t allow this. It was very popular, geez, 10 years ago, like Jill said.

Jill K DeWit:
Right.

Steven Jack Butala:
So yeah, I’d be concerned about it too. Ultimately, legislation’s going to come down to not allow, we call it a dual closing. And I think that’s okay. Usually, I’m not a big fan of more legislation and more rules, but I think this is destructive.

Jill K DeWit:
Right. The whole thing is you need to-

Steven Jack Butala:
Buy the property.

Jill K DeWit:
We haven’t even got to the topic today, the second topic. But if you feel that good about it, Andre, just buy it. The last piece I didn’t get to say was, when you don’t own that property, and you’re running around with that piece of paper, 16 things can go wrong. The seller could change their mind. The buyer could reach out to the seller, and say, “Let’s just cut Andre out.” And what are you going to do? You’re going to really go after him, chase him, and try to sue him for it?

Steven Jack Butala:
No.

Jill K DeWit:
It’s a waste of your time. You and I know that it’s not worth it. And time, like I said, you’re not interested. You’re not going to really be working that hard. Just a lot of things that could go wrong. You may or may not remember, for those of you that have gone back to podcast number 12, some of you have.

Steven Jack Butala:
Please don’t do that.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, don’t go back.

Steven Jack Butala:
Oh, if you want a good gut laugh, go ahead.

Jill K DeWit:
But somewhere between 12 and 22, there was a time that I had to do a version of this only until I had the money to buy the property. But it was very, very rare.

Steven Jack Butala:
Really?

Jill K DeWit:
Mm-hmm because come on, way, way… Maybe even been before Land Academy probably.

Steven Jack Butala:
I don’t recall that ever.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah. But there was a time that I didn’t have the money, and I would try to do, I’d call it an option.

Steven Jack Butala:
Oh yeah, optioning.

Jill K DeWit:
And it was only because I loved this deal, and the guy really wanted me… I’m like, “Ah.” But I was very upfront and honest with the seller too, by the way. And he signed something knowing that I’m going to go try to sell this, and I’m going to try to get you this price. And he’s like, “Done. Have at it, Jill.” And then as soon as I could afford it though, I would buy the property. I needed something to sell, so I could buy it.

Steven Jack Butala:
The other issue, which is a little bit more… Forget about the ethics of it, or doing the right thing.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
There’s a core economic problem with this. $10,000 seems to be the number that everybody is shooting for to option a property, or to-

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, to make?

Steven Jack Butala:
… wholesale it. Yeah. You buy property, you sign a contract for $30,000 or $40,000 on a piece of land. You think it’s worth $80,000. You option it immediately out to somebody let’s say, in Land Academy, who sees a value in it. And they buy the contract for $10,000, and then they go off. Let’s say it’s Jill. Jill goes off, and immediately lists it, and sells it for $80,000. Now she’s $40,000 into this thing. She made 40 grand, she did about two hours of work, max. Maybe an hour. With her transaction coordinator, she really does no work at all. And great. You do 10 of those a year, and Jill does 10 of those a year, and you make… 10 times 10 is $100,000? And Jill makes $400,000. The difference is-

Jill K DeWit:
That’s a good point.

Steven Jack Butala:
… you don’t have to front any money.

Jill K DeWit:
True.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s a disease. If you see risk in buying and selling land, this isn’t for you, so just don’t do it. Don’t option it. Don’t get involved in it. If you see the value in Jill’s $500,000, it’ll end up being if she did 10 or 12 of these a year, which we do see, and many, many other Land Academy members see it.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
Well, you’re welcome to into this group then.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, thank you.

Steven Jack Butala:
Andre, well, I’m not picking on you at all. Yeah, it’s a great question and I’m glad-

Jill K DeWit:
I’m glad.

Steven Jack Butala:
… you asked it, and everybody had the same opinion.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s why we’re talking about it right now.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill K DeWit:
I want the planet to know.

Steven Jack Butala:
No way are we picking on you. You just happened to be the person who asked the question, and I’m really glad you did.

Jill K DeWit:
Totally.

Steven Jack Butala:
Today’s second topic is we’re going to talk about the difference between buying and selling land as a hobby or a career. That was actually a good example, that question. I think as a hobby, you can go around wholesaling land-

Jill K DeWit:
That’s true.

Steven Jack Butala:
… and be a software developer.

Jill K DeWit:
If someone wants it, great. If they don’t, no big deal. I’m still back at my job at AT&T, or wherever it is.

Steven Jack Butala:
But the reality is, if you’re doing the right deals, you’re leaving so much money on the table. And in my example, Jill’s making it all. So, why not just call Jill to fund it in the first place?

Jill K DeWit:
That’s the thing.

Steven Jack Butala:
And then, now we’re all making money the right way.

Jill K DeWit:
That was my example. Here’s a positive thing. I know several people in Land Academy that are former real estate brokers/agents. And one of the common things that they have said to me is, “Yeah, I was tired of watching all these guys make all the money, all the investors.”

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s me. You’re describing me because I used to be a commercial broker.

Jill K DeWit:
There you go. I’m going to be that. I’m going to be the investor. Well, I’m only making 3% or 6% or 10%, depending on what’s going on. Versus, I want all that. I watched a few of those, I figured out what’s going on over here, and I can do that. I know how to value property. I know how to sell property. Ding, ding. That’s a good example of a good career transition.

Steven Jack Butala:
If you buy a piece of property, this is along the lines of the topic here, like Joe was saying at the beginning of the episode. And you make $50,000, and you’re good that year, that’s your hobby. There’s no way I’m going to buy himself a piece of property for 50,000 bucks, and call it a year. In fact, I’m not going to call it at all. It really down to-

Jill K DeWit:
Hold on just a moment, please ’cause for some people that’s enough. Not us.

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s a personality type.

Jill K DeWit:
I know, but maybe two a year, maybe five a year. I don’t know.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’m going to do 10 a month if I know I can make 50 grand.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay. I want to say no way’s right or wrong, they’re just different.

Steven Jack Butala:
Absolutely, right and wrong here.

Jill K DeWit:
Well, wait. If you want a hobby, that’s it. Here’s the good news. If you want to be pushed to make this a career, join Land Academy because-

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s right.

Jill K DeWit:
… everything we do inside the Land Academy is going to try to knock that hobby out of your head. And good luck if you think you’re just going to come into Land Academy, and skip along the top, and have a lot of people that are just skipping along the top. No, we’re kind of in it.

Steven Jack Butala:
I talked to somebody on real-

Jill K DeWit:
For you motivated people, you know I’m talking to you.

Steven Jack Butala:
I talked to somebody a real long time ago, a lot of years ago, and they said, “I just want to make enough to cover my mortgage.” And I said, “This is not for you.” If you have some version of OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you have a type AAA personality where you can’t sit still, and ADD, or anything like that, you will be in great company in this group.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s true.

Steven Jack Butala:
Everybody’s going a hundred miles an hour here to get a bunch of deals done, and try to take the basic advice/education that Jill and I provide, and put their own twist on it so that they can make more money than the other person that’s next to them in this group, and I just love that.

Jill K DeWit:
It’s pretty easy to get into this group, do a deal or two, and then go, “Oh, if I did 10 of those, or 20 of those, where would I be right now?”

Steven Jack Butala:
To this day, when we do a deal, when Jill gets a deal like we’re just going to wire transfer in on one today, I multiply it by 12 and I say… I don’t know why I do this. I’ve always done it since the beginning of my career. If I do one of these a month, could I live on it? I think it was 38 grand.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, it’s nothing.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s 400 what? Right?

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
Well, $500,000.

Jill K DeWit:
Could you live on that? Yeah?

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill K DeWit:
I don’t even remember this deal. I forget sometimes. Like, huh, what’s this coming in? This is the beauty of our position. My transaction coordinator will just say, “Hey, watch for a incoming wire.” I’m like, “Oh, cool. I wonder what it is.”

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s really funny because a lot of people signed up. More than usual signed up at the end of the year, so now they’re in the second month, almost the third month that their education, and they all have… I should do a frequently asked questions.

Jill K DeWit:
This is good, yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
Here’s the questions they asked. How many mailers does it take to buy a deal? And I say, “I don’t know.” This is what it reminded me of.

Jill K DeWit:
For me? Or for you?

Steven Jack Butala:
What reminded me of that was we stopped tracking this about, I don’t know, 15 years ago. More than that.

Jill K DeWit:
Like forever.

Steven Jack Butala:
Probably 25 years ago.

Jill K DeWit:
Did we ever track it? I don’t think we ever tracked it. I don’t track it.

Steven Jack Butala:
All I know is how many deals we do. I don’t care about how much mail it takes to send out because if you run the percentages, and the return on investment for what the mail costs, and the amount of money made-

Jill K DeWit:
People don’t care.

Steven Jack Butala:
… just after maybe two deals, you’ll stop caring. But I get it. People are new. They’re spending money. Thousands of dollars on mail, and you need to have a budget. And you need to predict what’s going to happen within reason. But for whatever reason, we attract a lot of people, I call them STEM-type people because that’s what I am. They’re just accountants, or they’re software engineers, or they’re mechanical engineers, or airline pilots, and on and on and on. It’s a very technical, and they want to get it all into a spreadsheet and understand it before they let it rip. Those people are planning for a career, or a second career. They’re not doing this for a hobby. There are other places to get educated out there, all of which, Jill and I, they’re offshoots of Land Academy because they used to be Land Academy members who treat this as a hobby. They buy back tax property, they send out 10 mailers a day.

Jill K DeWit:
Or, they’ve done five deals and think, “Oh, I can teach everybody this.”

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill K DeWit:
Really?

Steven Jack Butala:
There’s a lot of offshoots of Land Academy. I don’t believe that any of them at all give the real big solid picture about how to make four, five, or six or $10 million a year.

Jill K DeWit:
Because they haven’t done that.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah, that’s right.

Jill K DeWit:
They can’t. Well, can I get back to that real quick?

Steven Jack Butala:
Sure.

Jill K DeWit:
Can I get back to Career Path real quick?

Steven Jack Butala:
Sure.

Jill K DeWit:
Speaking on that, just so you know, this is not a definite thing, but if you want it, we will help you. There’s a lot of people that just come in the Land Academy, follow us, figure it out on their own, and make this a career. Not on their own, you know what I mean. But they do everything that we do, and copy us to make it a career. If you want our help doing that, we are happy to do it. We have an eight-week program. The next one’s coming up. I’m doing two this year. One in the spring, one in the fall. And right now, it’s going to be opened up here to more people outside Atlantic soon. If you’re in Land Academy, this is a hint to you to get your seat because if I fill up before I go outside Land Academy, then that will just happen. I want you to have them first.
But we only have 15 seats, Career Path #6. And it’s us for eight weeks really coaching you, pushing you, motivating you, helping you, showing you. Telling you everything that we do, so you can make it a career like we have.

Steven Jack Butala:
And it’s not just us.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s true.

Steven Jack Butala:
We have people in the group-

Jill K DeWit:
Other pros [inaudible 00:39:47].

Steven Jack Butala:
… who, many of them, make more money doing this than we do.

Jill K DeWit:
Sometimes, yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
You’re one of 15 or 18 people for an entire Wednesday. I think it’s eight hour… No, probably six hours. Four to six hours every Wednesday for eight weeks.

Jill K DeWit:
Eight weeks.

Steven Jack Butala:
Consecutive weeks. You’re in a room with the people who are smashing it-

Jill K DeWit:
On Zoom.

Steven Jack Butala:
… buying and selling land. And it’s not a lecture. Hopefully, your camera’s on, your mic’s on, and you interrupt us as we’re talking, or ask other people questions about-

Jill K DeWit:
How’d you do that?

Steven Jack Butala:
… everything from what phone service do you use? To tell me your biggest horrific financial loss story, and how can I avoid that? Because I want this to be my career.

Jill K DeWit:
It’s true. That’s good.

Steven Jack Butala:
I learned the truth is we continue to do this, we don’t need to do this.

Jill K DeWit:
I love it.

Steven Jack Butala:
I love it too.

Jill K DeWit:
It’s my favorite thing now.

Steven Jack Butala:
Because every single career path, I learn a lot of stuff, and then we create business partners. In the end, if you’re serious about this, you’ll create a great business partnership. Many, many people come to us, and say, “I was in Career Path 3, and I did 22 deals with the guy. We got along, we understood each other.”

Jill K DeWit:
I’m so excited. This Career Path 6 more than ever now. We have more people that are from Career Path 1, 2, 3, and 4 and 5, wanting to come back and do it again. They’re like, “I got so much out of that. I know I’ll get even more doing this again.” I’m like, “This is really cool.”

Steven Jack Butala:
Right.

Jill K DeWit:
We have a great group. I love it.

Steven Jack Butala:
This group path is a little special because we’re going to add Land Academy Pro on the tail end of it, so you can use our staff. If you’re in Career path, you will meet… Am I not supposed to talk about that?

Jill K DeWit:
Well, it’s out there now. I was kind of just quietly-

Steven Jack Butala:
Jill’s like, “What the hell?”

Jill K DeWit:
… quietly sharing. Well, we can explain more about that at another time ’cause that’s a whole different thing. I don’t want to confuse people, but yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
Right. Hey, you know what? The truth is, and all kidding aside, if this is your hobby and there’s a person just joined our group in Virginia. And I was describing this person earlier. They’re involved in the community. I think they were a civil engineer involved in a planning of a community in Virginia, and they want to buy some land. They know landowners, and it seems like from how they’re talking about it and Discord, they’re retired, or maybe later in their career, and I think that’s great.

Jill K DeWit:
This could be for everybody. This can be a hobby for you if you want. My only comment is it’s very easily to get addicted, and then it doesn’t become a hobby anymore.

Steven Jack Butala:
I would not buy Land Academy for your wife, and expect her to do it.

Jill K DeWit:
Why?

Steven Jack Butala:
Some people have come to us that… I don’t know.

Jill K DeWit:
Hold on a minute.

Steven Jack Butala:
How about I buy you an accounting degree? Are you going to go do it?

Jill K DeWit:
Well, I mean-

Steven Jack Butala:
Why don’t you ask her first?

Jill K DeWit:
Well, there is that. You don’t just say, “Here baby, log in. Let me know how it goes.”

Steven Jack Butala:
Make us some money. Come back with some dough. I’ll be over here.

Jill K DeWit:
No, that’s funny. No, but it’s awesome. I just talked to a couple today that are coming to Career Path 6, and she found Land Academy for him. I’m like, yep, it’s really good.

Steven Jack Butala:
Did she make him do it?

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, of course. Well, when the wife brings it up, then it’s going to happen.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah, you’re right.

Jill K DeWit:
Right, Tory? This is good.

Steven Jack Butala:
Let’s take a look at another one of our favorite land acquisitions from our Weekly Thursday Member Webinar. Jill, you have something inspirational to share?

Jill K DeWit:
Yes. Okay, I was talking to my team today. We have a daily chat that we get together on. And we’re talking about new members, current members, everything that’s going on within our Land Academy community. And they said, “Here’s a common thing we’d love you to talk about.” And it’s people nitpicking, and looking for problems, and it’s keeping them from getting things done. My sentence is, you’re never going to get going if all you do is look for problems.

Steven Jack Butala:
I have so many questions about this because I look for problems all the time.

Jill K DeWit:
Yeah, but at least you do it. Let me give you an example. Here’s what I’m talking about. You’re getting ready to do a mailer, and you’re doing your numbers, you’re following Jack on screen. You’re pricing, and you know what? You just can’t get the percentages. You just can’t run them down the sheet. Maybe it’s an even Excel issue. This is what people do. They can’t get the Excel formulas to work right, They’re having trouble with this, and you know what? I’m just out today. I’ll get to it tomorrow. And then, maybe they do, maybe they don’t. And then another day goes by, and another day goes by, and another day goes by, and a week goes by. And then a month goes by. They still haven’t sent a mailer because they had some Excel hangup, or spreadsheet hangup, or just something little like that. Then instead of sitting down, don’t complain, don’t yell at people I don’t know. Don’t call my staff, and tell them it’s stupid. Not that you would do that, but you know what I mean?

Steven Jack Butala:
Oh, I think some people do that.

Jill K DeWit:
Actually, some people do that. Like, this is too hard.

Steven Jack Butala:
No, Land Academy doesn’t work. No. Land Academy works, you don’t work.

Jill K DeWit:
Maybe you need to brush up on Excel. Maybe you need to use Concierge. There’s solutions, but they just look for the problems, and they use that as an excuse-

Steven Jack Butala:
Where’s this going from? This is given.

Jill K DeWit:
… for my team today. They said, “We are having not a lot, but a healthy number of people reaching out to support saying, ‘I can’t do this.'” And then, there’s one little thing like the red, yellow green test. We continue to update this because the tools that we use, and the websites that we use to download data, sometimes they change the formatting. They move it a column them over, so you have to put it in a different way. And people are like, “Well, it doesn’t work. Because it’s one column over, I can’t figure it out.” How about we take a moment to understand-

Steven Jack Butala:
This is turning into a Jill rant.

Jill K DeWit:
Sorry. How about-

Steven Jack Butala:
I love it.

Jill K DeWit:
… we take a moment to understand what each column is, and then you can go, “Oh, days on market is shifted to F instead of E. I got this.” Little things like that. And some people though, they use that sadly as a thing to stop the whole process, and you shouldn’t do that because I’m going to come back to my sentence. You’re never going to get going if all you do is sit here, and look for problems, and let that stop you.

Steven Jack Butala:
Are there predictable speed bumps in the process here?

Jill K DeWit:
Predictable? No.

Steven Jack Butala:
So, it’s not like every single person has an issue with pricing?

Jill K DeWit:
No. Nope.

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s all just all over the place.

Jill K DeWit:
Sometimes it’s individuals that it’s almost like they’re looking for a reason not to do it, and they want to blame somebody else. I hate to say it.

Steven Jack Butala:
This is like a business meeting for us.

Jill K DeWit:
It is.

Steven Jack Butala:
Wouldn’t you think that you would go out into Discord and say, “I’ve got this issue. The data that Jack says in module three or chapter three at around 38 minutes isn’t lining up. Does anybody else have that issue? And please PM me.” Because everybody would say, especially Kevin Ferrell. I remember that he would say, “I’m happy to help you.”

Jill K DeWit:
Just do this.

Steven Jack Butala:
“Let’s look at it together.”

Jill K DeWit:
Well, you know what my first thing is though?

Steven Jack Butala:
support@stilllandacademy.com is not the place to learn how to buy and sell land. That’s funny. It’s just not.

Jill K DeWit:
Well, here’s my thing too. What’s wrong with trying to figure it out on your own for a few minutes?

Steven Jack Butala:
I agree.

Jill K DeWit:
Let’s first just take a step back, and whatever the problem is, understand what you’re working with here, and it might take you a little bit. Maybe there’s some Google involved. Maybe I’m not even sure what this term is. That could be. And you spend a little time on it because you know what? Wait a minute. I’m going to argue because you’re going to be smarter in the end, and you’re going to teach yourself-

Steven Jack Butala:
You’re going to feel great.

Jill K DeWit:
… how to do these problems, and work through these problems. And eventually, you’re going to be faster at it. Because if you reach out to every single person… I understand your Discord thing, that would be at the end for me. And I’m going to give you an example. But if you reach out to somebody for every little thing, you’re never going to do it on your own. You’re never going to learn. You’re never going to get past it. And if those people aren’t there someday, you’re kind of lost. Here’s an example. Sometimes when I’m doing property, I’m doing research, and I need to know what the zoning is of a property. As I’m buying this property, I’m trying to figure out what the zoning is because I’m trying to figure out what’s possible, and I’m trying to figure out who’s going to buy my property, and it’s going to make a difference if I want to buy the property. I’m like, “Can I put a mobile on there? Can someone camp on there? What can we use this for?”
And I go into ParcelFact, or whatever you use, and I see 400 or whatever that shows land use in there. The first thing I do is not pick up the phone and call the county. I never do that. First thing I do is try to find it myself. I’m going into the county website. I’m getting ahold of their property. I’m downloading their… It’s often a PDF file. It might be 30 pages long, but I’m going to get my hands on that county’s planning and zoning PDF file telling me what’s possible. I’m looking at that. And I have all I need often. Not always, but often. Now I’m like, “It says camping’s allowed, but is there a time restriction? I don’t see that in there. And it says mobiles, but I’m not sure about this.”
Now, I pick up the phone, and I will call the county. And I learn, and I remember. Now I know forever what 400 is. I didn’t rely on anybody. And two, when I call the county, they love me. “I’m staring at your manual. I’m staring at page 32. I know what 400 is and I know this, this, and this. Can you just answer this one little section for me?” You are their best friend right now.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill K DeWit:
Because you know-

Steven Jack Butala:
Because nobody does that.

Jill K DeWit:
Uh-huh. And they’ll answer any question you want. By the way too, this is helping me because now any question I want, they love me. They’re like, “Yeah. Oh, and by the way, here’s what’s coming next month since you’re so cool. It’s not in this manual, but next month, there’s going to be a rule change that’s also going to allow this, this, and this. You are the first person to know.” Awesome. That’s how I roll.

Steven Jack Butala:
This is a Man Plan topic more than a Land Academy topic. We live in a culture where we now have an entire generation, a whole generation, maybe a generation and a half of people who were born with a computer chip in their mouth. And so, there’s not-

Jill K DeWit:
That’s coming, that’s going to be in a pacifier at some point.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’m really serious about this. There’s an iPhone in their crib in some cases.

Jill K DeWit:
Maybe, yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
And what social media and the internet in general does is it gives you the false impression that your opinion matters. And what we’re seeing with some Land Academy members, I’m certainly seeing it in the public, and in a lot of other places where for some reason you think your opinion matters, and you think that everybody’s wrong. This isn’t right. This person just cut me off. Couldn’t be anything I did. Couldn’t be I was driving like an idiot. That person’s terrible. And it is this culture of blame, and over explanation for everything. And the fact is, when somebody cuts me off, my immediate response is, maybe it’s me. When I can’t get a mailer out, or it’s priced incorrectly, it’s my problem. It’s not support@landacademy’s problem, and we’re just using that as an example.
The underlying problem here is it’s personality type, and we’ve got an entire generation and a half of people that expect other people to do stuff. And they don’t look at themselves and say, “How can I be a better person today? How can I do a better mailer next time? How can I answer the phone in a better way to-“

Jill K DeWit:
I don’t think it’s age related.

Steven Jack Butala:
I don’t think it’s age related at all. I think it’s your level of involvement, and when you got involved with social media.

Jill K DeWit:
Well, I just-

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s a direct cause and effect.

Jill K DeWit:
I don’t think so. I still think there’s older people that are doing it too.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill K DeWit:
I think there’s a laziness factor too. But my point is-

Steven Jack Butala:
Absolutely. I didn’t say millennial, and I won’t. That’s not the problem.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay. Well, you said generation.

Steven Jack Butala:
Well, there’s an entire generation that… I don’t think it’s age specific. I really don’t.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay, can we wrap it up on a positive note?

Steven Jack Butala:
Sure.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay. My point is-

Steven Jack Butala:
I don’t really want to because I think-

Jill K DeWit:
Well, we’ll get to you in a minute. You can be negative on all you want.

Steven Jack Butala:
I really do think that-

Jill K DeWit:
But Jill’s inspiration is supposed to be positive.

Steven Jack Butala:
I don’t want to search for positive stuff. I really think you should look for problems.

Jill K DeWit:
Well, no. You should not look for problems. Don’t go looking for problems because then you’re creating problems. It’s stupid. You should look for problems.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’m upsetting Jill.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay, ignore him. Everyone ignore that comment. This is Jill’s inspiration-

Steven Jack Butala:
I just undid everything-

Jill K DeWit:
… not Jack’s deflation.

Steven Jack Butala:
I undid everything Jill just said.

Jill K DeWit:
Jill’s inspiration, and Jack’s deflation. That’s it. I’m going to build you up, and he’s going to do his best to just let all the air out. No, but I just want you to be aware of it. And you may or may not know that’s you. If you realize, oh, you know what? I am poking holes in things instead of just figuring it out for myself and learning from it, moving on. And now I memorize it, and I got this. That’s it. You’ll be a better person, and your family and your friends will appreciate you more too. And your peers in Land Academy. Woo jack. Now it’s your turn. Do you have something you want to share?

Steven Jack Butala:
I do. I want to talk about land back taxes and back tax sales 101.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay.

Steven Jack Butala:
This is a huge for whatever… Well, I know why. It’s a huge topic in Discord. People are asking all kinds of questions about it because I’m fairly confident. Don’t know for sure. Pretty confident they came from another land-

Jill K DeWit:
Group. That goes and buys back tax property?

Steven Jack Butala:
Yes, a land group. Another education environment that has to do with land that focuses on back taxes, which is fine. Here’s a deal. Here’s what you need to know. Every single property in the entire country, unless it’s owned by a nonprofit group, like a church, or a hospital, or whatever, has to pay taxes on its property every year, sometimes twice a year depending on where it is. And these are statutes in the state about the process and how this happens, when you stop paying your taxes, the state or the county has to follow a statutory process to get that property back on the tax rolls. That’s their whole point to this. They go about the business of over time sending you notifications, and informing you that, “Hey, you haven’t paid your taxes. You haven’t paid your taxes. This is the amount. We’re going to foreclose on it. We’re going to take it back.” And that eventually happens.
Those properties get sold at an auction after a certain amount of time. There are two types of auctions in the entire country, and then a hybrid between the two. So, there’s really three types. Tax deed, and it’s just exactly what it is. You go to an auction. Jill and I have been to a million of these. Spent millions of dollars on back tax property in the past. You go to a county courthouse, sometimes they do it online now. They say, “This is APN fill in the blank, and we’re going to start the bidding at a hundred dollars.” Or, a thousand dollars, or whatever it ends up being. If we like the price, we did all our homework, we buy the property.

Jill K DeWit:
There’s a gavel.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yep, tax deeds. There’s also tax liens. Liens are if a property has a thousand dollars of back taxes on it, you buy that thousand dollars. And a lien is placed that’s associated with that property and the owner has a couple choices. They can pay back the thousand dollars to the person who paid the thousand-dollar lien. And then, they’re all in good standing and they own the property and everything’s great. Or they can choose to ignore it because they’re dead, usually. When they ignore it, the lien holder ultimately at some point is allowed to foreclose on the property through a statutory process. That’s what quiet title was. We talked about that earlier. It’s the same process. And they end up owning the property for the amount of the back taxes that were owed. The third and final one, and Arizona’s like this is, there’s a hybrid.
First you buy a lien, nothing happens. The lien holder doesn’t foreclose, the dead person is dead, so they don’t do anything about it, and it goes into a tax deed status. This takes five to seven years in Arizona. Every state’s different. You can make a ridiculous amount of money buying properties at a back tax deed sale. Arkansas is a deed state. Texas is a deed state. Texas is required by law. Every two weeks, they have sales, every county. And there’s 274 counties in Texas. I think nobody does it. Nobody. It’s too much work. There’s a huge subculture of buying these properties at back tax sales. Why do I bring this up? Why do you care? Because you’re sending out mail all the time, and you are ultimately going to buy property from somebody who bought it at a tax sale. Is this good or bad?

Jill K DeWit:
This is a good question, yeah.

Steven Jack Butala:
When a taxing authority brings a property back, and it’s through a judicial forged closure or administrative foreclosure action, it clouds a title. And now you’re buying a piece of property, sent a mailer out, guy calls you back. Says, “Heck yes. I’d love to sell you my property for $8,000.” And you say, “Great.” This is how you usually find out. You send it to a title, and title says, “Hey, this title’s cloudy. I don’t think we can insure it.” And that’s because they bought it at a tax sale several years ago.

Jill K DeWit:
Because it was taken, not sold. No, seriously. I’m just saying that-

Steven Jack Butala:
No, go ahead.

Jill K DeWit:
No, because they took it back.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s why there’s a cloud. It wasn’t a formal transaction where I willingly sold the property. They just had to take it back.

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s foreclosed on.

Jill K DeWit:
I just want to explain, that’s why there’s a little cloud on there.

Steven Jack Butala:
You can undo this by quieting the title, so to speak. There’s a company in Irvine called Tax Title Services, costs a couple thousand bucks to get a cloud-free title at the end of that process. And what they do is go through judicial foreclosure. They quiet title the property, and then it’s insurable. It’s title insurance insurable. That’s back tax property. Well, Jack, why don’t we all just go buy back tax property? Why are we messing around with these mailers? Why would you send out mail if you can just go get a list at a county and pick the ones out that you want, and buy them, and resell them? Great question. It takes an incredible amount of work to look at a hundred properties in a back tax list. And I would encourage you find out wherever you live, find out if there’s a list, and go review a hundred properties, and tell me how long it takes.
It takes 10 times longer to do that than it does to do a mailer. And then, when you ultimately find the three that you want out of that a hundred, the financial part of it might not work. You can’t control the sales price, they control it. There’s all kinds of reasons that it’s not efficient from a time standpoint versus sending a 10,000-unit mailer out that might take you a day, maybe two days. It’s going to take you a lot less if you use Concierge Data. And the 25, or 30, or 40, or 80 people in those 10,000 that you send out, are calling you back in a lot of cases saying, “Where do I sign? Your timing’s perfect. I would love…” And you told them how much you’re going to pay for it. Mailing is better. But-

Jill K DeWit:
You might be eyeing that process too, which is really interesting. There’s times that you reach out to people, they’re getting these notices that it’s going to happen. So they’re freaking out going, “Shoot, I’m going to lose it.” And now, you’re coming up to buy it. That’s really amazing, and they’re happy.

Steven Jack Butala:
Jill and I bought a house a few years ago. We sent the letter, they said, “Heck yes-“

Jill K DeWit:
Oh yes.

Steven Jack Butala:
“… we’d love to do the deal.” We opened escrow and the title agent called Jill a huff and said, “They’re going to take this house back next week.” The seller didn’t even tell us. I don’t know if they’re embarrassed or what. It was a smoking deal, so what did we do? We settled the taxes immediately.

Jill K DeWit:
Ran out, and paid the back taxes.

Steven Jack Butala:
We got cashiers checks, did whatever the taxing authority wanted us to do, subtracted it from the purchase price. And geez, we made probably 200 grand, $150,000 on that house. So yes, Jill’s exactly right. You’re sending a mailer out to these people that are getting these notices, and they have no intention of paying their taxes, or they don’t have their money.

Jill K DeWit:
Well, that’s the whole point of today too.

Steven Jack Butala:
Or they’re heirs of people who have passed away.

Jill K DeWit:
It’s nice to know this because now you have some knowledge, and you could explain it to sellers too. Sometimes you’re like, “Ah…” They may or may not know what would happen, and now you can say it’s going to get taken back.

Steven Jack Butala:
So please-

Jill K DeWit:
Which would happen.

Steven Jack Butala:
Here’s a couple of anecdotal points about back taxes. Property taxes are associated with the land. They’re not associated with you. A lot of people confuse that because they may have gone through a house foreclosure. And when you have a bank loan on a house, on a mortgage, that’s attached to you. It’s a personal guarantee. And the house. Property taxes are only attached to the land, so it doesn’t affect your credit score. There’s not a lot of motivation for us to pay property taxes for property we don’t want. There’s a ton of motivation for me if my property’s going back to answer somebody’s letter, and say, “Heck yes, I’ll sell it. You can please solve all my problems. Thank you.”

Jill K DeWit:
Exactly.

Steven Jack Butala:
And you need to know that. Jill’s right. You need to know how this works because you’re going to talk to people on the phone who are like, “Thank you. Let’s get this done fast.”

Jill K DeWit:
Exactly. Good segment. Thank you very much. Good information.

Steven Jack Butala:
Join us next Wednesday for another interesting episode. You are not alone in your real estate ambition.

Jill K DeWit:
We are Jack and Jill.

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

Jill K DeWit:
And inspiration.

Steven Jack Butala:
To buy undervalued property.

 

Thanks for listening, and finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts.

No need to hire staff - we did it for you.

Land Academy PRO is the brainchild of founders Steven Jack Butala and Jill DeWit. Designed at the request of Land Academy members who are ready for a higher level, we’re excited to continue to provide the tools and support needed by professional investors.

Each level comes with a preset amount of included data, Concierge Mail service, and postage. For example, the Green level includes 6,000 units of completed-for-you mail completely out the door at no extra cost to you.

All levels include a PatLive introduction and preset script (we will set up your phone answering for you), use of Land Academy’s personal Transaction Team to manage your deal flow, an AirTable (CRM) base setup managed by our (and your!) Transaction Coordinator, personal consulting, regular office hours, and includes your Land Academy subscription cost.

If you’re making this a business, Land Academy PRO takes the work off of your plate so you can focus on the things that matter – like running your business.

Green

$10,060

per Month

Silver

$14,590

per Month

Gold

$19,120

per Month

Platinum

$23,650

per Month

Black

$28,180

per Month

Concierge Data+ (with data) Included mailers each month (data + concierge + mailer + postage). Our team will do your data for it and get it out the door.
6,000 mailers 9,000 mailers 12,000 mailers 15,000 mailers 18,000 mailers
PatLive introduction at no cost We will help you establish your first script and get PatLive set up on your behalf to answer your phones.
$500 value $500 value $500 value $500 value $500 value
Transaction Coordinator Use of our personal Transaction Coordinator team to manage your deals. Trained and ready to go!
$7,500 value $7,500 value $7,500 value $7,500 value $7,500 value
AirTable Ready-for-you CRM managed by your personal Land Academy Pro Transaction Coordinator
$100 value $100 value $100 value $100 value $100 value
Personal Consulting 1 on 1 personal consulting with our Transaction Coordinator each week.
- - $1,000 value $1,000 value $1,000 value
Regular Office Hours Regular office hours with Jack and Jill + our staff. Private for LA Pro Members Only. (Think Career Path Office Hours)
$2,500 value $2,500 value $2,500 value $2,500 value $2,500 value
ParcelFact ParcelFact is included in your LA Pro membership with unlimited pulls.
$150 value $150 value $150 value $150 value $150 value
FREE Career Path Access
$23,000 value $23,000 value $23,000 value $23,000 value $23,000 value
Land Academy No more separate charges - Land Academy is included with LA Pro Membership. This includes all education, tools, support, and future releases.
$300 value $300 value $300 value $300 value $300 value
Subtotal: $8,550 value $8,550 value $9,550 value $12,050 value $12,050 value
Mail Value: $7,500 value $11,250 value $15,000 value $18,750 value $22,500 value
Total Value: $39,050 $42,800 $47,550 $53,800 $57,550
Apply Now Apply Now Apply Now Apply Now Apply Now

Green

$10,060

per Month

Concierge Data+ (with data) Included mailers each month (data + concierge + mailer + postage). Our team will do your data for it and get it out the door.
6,000 mailers
PatLive introduction at no cost We will help you establish your first script and get PatLive set up on your behalf to answer your phones.
$500 value
Transaction Coordinator Use of our personal Transaction Coordinator team to manage your deals. Trained and ready to go!
$7,500 value
AirTable Ready-for-you CRM managed by your personal Land Academy Pro Transaction Coordinator
$100 value
Personal Consulting 1 on 1 personal consulting with our Transaction Coordinator each week.
-
Regular Office Hours Regular office hours with Jack and Jill + our staff. Private for LA Pro Members Only. (Think Career Path Office Hours)
$2,500 value
ParcelFact ParcelFact is included in your LA Pro membership with unlimited pulls.
$150 value
FREE Career Path Access
$23,000 value
Land Academy No more separate charges - Land Academy is included with LA Pro Membership. This includes all education, tools, support, and future releases.
$300 value
Subtotal: $8,550 value
Mail Value: $7,500 value
Total Value: $39,050
Apply Now

Silver

$14,590

per Month

Concierge Data+ (with data) Included mailers each month (data + concierge + mailer + postage). Our team will do your data for it and get it out the door.
9,000 mailers
PatLive introduction at no cost We will help you establish your first script and get PatLive set up on your behalf to answer your phones.
$500 value
Transaction Coordinator Use of our personal Transaction Coordinator team to manage your deals. Trained and ready to go!
$7,500 value
AirTable Ready-for-you CRM managed by your personal Land Academy Pro Transaction Coordinator
$100 value
Personal Consulting 1 on 1 personal consulting with our Transaction Coordinator each week.
-
Regular Office Hours Regular office hours with Jack and Jill + our staff. Private for LA Pro Members Only. (Think Career Path Office Hours)
$2,500 value
ParcelFact ParcelFact is included in your LA Pro membership with unlimited pulls.
$150 value
FREE Career Path Access
$23,000 value
Land Academy No more separate charges - Land Academy is included with LA Pro Membership. This includes all education, tools, support, and future releases.
$300 value
Subtotal: $8,550 value
Mail Value: $11,250 value
Total Value: $42,800
Apply Now

Gold

$19,120

per Month

Concierge Data+ (with data) Included mailers each month (data + concierge + mailer + postage). Our team will do your data for it and get it out the door.
12,000 mailers
PatLive introduction at no cost We will help you establish your first script and get PatLive set up on your behalf to answer your phones.
$500 value
Transaction Coordinator Use of our personal Transaction Coordinator team to manage your deals. Trained and ready to go!
$7,500 value
AirTable Ready-for-you CRM managed by your personal Land Academy Pro Transaction Coordinator
$100 value
Personal Consulting 1 on 1 personal consulting with our Transaction Coordinator each week.
$1,000 value
Regular Office Hours Regular office hours with Jack and Jill + our staff. Private for LA Pro Members Only. (Think Career Path Office Hours)
$2,500 value
ParcelFact ParcelFact is included in your LA Pro membership with unlimited pulls.
$150 value
FREE Career Path Access
$23,000 value
Land Academy No more separate charges - Land Academy is included with LA Pro Membership. This includes all education, tools, support, and future releases.
$300 value
Subtotal: $9,550 value
Mail Value: $15,000 value
Total Value: $47,550
Apply Now

Platinum

$23,650

per Month

Concierge Data+ (with data) Included mailers each month (data + concierge + mailer + postage). Our team will do your data for it and get it out the door.
15,000 mailers
PatLive introduction at no cost We will help you establish your first script and get PatLive set up on your behalf to answer your phones.
$500 value
Transaction Coordinator Use of our personal Transaction Coordinator team to manage your deals. Trained and ready to go!
$7,500 value
AirTable Ready-for-you CRM managed by your personal Land Academy Pro Transaction Coordinator
$100 value
Personal Consulting 1 on 1 personal consulting with our Transaction Coordinator each week.
$1,000 value
Regular Office Hours Regular office hours with Jack and Jill + our staff. Private for LA Pro Members Only. (Think Career Path Office Hours)
$2,500 value
ParcelFact ParcelFact is included in your LA Pro membership with unlimited pulls.
$150 value
FREE Career Path Access
$23,000 value
Land Academy No more separate charges - Land Academy is included with LA Pro Membership. This includes all education, tools, support, and future releases.
$300 value
Subtotal: $12,050 value
Mail Value: $18,750 value
Total Value: $53,800
Apply Now

Black

$28,180

per Month

Concierge Data+ (with data) Included mailers each month (data + concierge + mailer + postage). Our team will do your data for it and get it out the door.
18,000 mailers
PatLive introduction at no cost We will help you establish your first script and get PatLive set up on your behalf to answer your phones.
$500 value
Transaction Coordinator Use of our personal Transaction Coordinator team to manage your deals. Trained and ready to go!
$7,500 value
AirTable Ready-for-you CRM managed by your personal Land Academy Pro Transaction Coordinator
$100 value
Personal Consulting 1 on 1 personal consulting with our Transaction Coordinator each week.
$1,000 value
Regular Office Hours Regular office hours with Jack and Jill + our staff. Private for LA Pro Members Only. (Think Career Path Office Hours)
$2,500 value
ParcelFact ParcelFact is included in your LA Pro membership with unlimited pulls.
$150 value
FREE Career Path Access
$23,000 value
Land Academy No more separate charges - Land Academy is included with LA Pro Membership. This includes all education, tools, support, and future releases.
$300 value
Subtotal: $12,050 value
Mail Value: $22,500 value
Total Value: $57,550
Apply Now

Disclaimer: *We have a monthly “use it or lose it” policy with mail and data – Land Academy PRO is designed to keep you on-track and consistent.

To cancel, all packages require a 30 day notice to move you back down to regular Land Academy membership.

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Scheduling a Career Path interview call is currently on hold and will resume closer to Fall 2024 as we approach Career Path 10.

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