From Chasing Pennies to Making Millions Buying and Selling Land (LA 1949)
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Welcome back to the Land Academy Show, Episode 1949. Steven Jack Butala and Jill DeWit delve into the anatomy of an online membership community, as well as share their journey from chasing pennies to making millions buying and selling land. Along the way, they share some banter about their creative process and everyday life. The show also features Q&A sessions from their Land Academy Discord forum, reviews of land acquisitions from their weekly Thursday member webinar, and deep dives into land-related topics. Check out landacademy.com to learn more.

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 1,949, and today we are talking in depth about the anatomy of an online membership community like Land Academy, and a little later in the episode we’ll talk about how Jill and I went from chasing pennies to making millions buying and selling land.

Jill K DeWit:
Cool. Is it autonomy or anatomy? What is the proper word that we’re doing here?

Steven Jack Butala:
Anatomy.

Jill K DeWit:
Anatomy, okay. Got it.

Steven Jack Butala:
What did I say?

Jill K DeWit:
I don’t know. I don’t even know. I looked at it because it’s not the topics…
We sit down and we brainstorm. We come up with these ideas, and then when I finally sit down to record, they’re all changed.

Steven Jack Butala:
We agree on everything, theoretically, Jill and I, and then I change it all.

Jill K DeWit:
Totally.

Steven Jack Butala:
And I don’t tell her about it until the camera’s turned on.

Jill K DeWit:
Exactly. Exactly right. I get to roll with the punches. You have no idea how hard this is.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s not the only situation where that happens.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, no. Everyday life. Every day.
What kind of car are we getting? Oh, we’re getting this now. Great.

Steven Jack Butala:
Each week… Moving on, Jill. Each week we answer questions.

Jill K DeWit:
Throwing your partner under the bus. This is “throw your partner under the bus” day. I like this. Sorry.

Steven Jack Butala:
Do you ever see that one classic Saturday Night Live? Where…

Jill K DeWit:
Bring it.

Steven Jack Butala:
He says…
They’re sitting there, they’re doing the newscast, and he sits there and looks at the camera, and doesn’t like what she’s saying, and he says, “Jane, you ignorant slut.”

Jill K DeWit:
Yes. I knew you were going to go there. That’s your favorite episode. That was 1970 something.

Steven Jack Butala:
I know.

Jill K DeWit:
I know exactly what you’re talking about.

Steven Jack Butala:
Each week we answer questions from our Land Academy Discord forum, we review land acquisitions from our weekly Thursday member webinar, and take a deep dive into two land-related topics by request, that I mentioned just a few minutes ago.
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 channel and you’re not a member, please go to landacademy.com and check it out. It’s free.

Jill K DeWit:
Aaron wrote, “I have a property under contract to buy and it’s the Land Academy Style Purchase agreement, so we know, and in escrow. I was at the two yard line waiting for the seller to turn docs to title when the seller went silent. Fast-forward a couple of months and I find out another flipper is marketing the property. I believe they’re acting as a wholesaler. I believe this particular group teaches that a contract is a contract, and advise recording memorandums if sellers try to back out. Now the seller wants to sell to me since I’ll pay cash right now and get it done. I’ve had it under contract this whole time and it’s already still an escrow with the title company ready to complete it and close in a couple of days. Any advice on this one? I’m pretty sure I have a buyer and I should make $70,000 a minimum on this, by the way.”
What a mess.

Steven Jack Butala:
Close it. That’s my advice, and everybody else on discord said the same thing. Just get it done. You

Jill K DeWit:
You were first in line. We can go back to the dated thing and that’s not bad advice. If anything comes back, it’s really on the seller. He’s the one that was being weird and playing the games.

Steven Jack Butala:
I think that there’s a bigger issue here, and I think that in every real estate deal, in every environment, there’s a chance that stuff’s going to go sideways. It happens to us all the time. Probably 20, 30% of the deals, stuff happens. There’s more taxes than you think, availability for the seller to sign is not as easy as we all thought. So okay, 10%. The real issue is that I think you should have that conversation, and I know Jill does, have a conversation with the seller, real person to real person and say…

Jill K DeWit:
“Dude, why’d you do this?” Or just, “You goofed yourself up here.”

Steven Jack Butala:
Just during the process of they’re agreeing to sell the property to you, and you’ve got the price down and it’s in escrow, I think it would be very appropriate, in a Jill-style way, to tell the person. People send out mail all the time. “I really want to get this deal done with you and if, for whatever reason, anyone reaches out, another buyer reaches out, let’s just get this deal done together. I’m good for it.”
What do you think about that?

Jill K DeWit:
Is there a way to say this? That you could say, I didn’t hear that. “Oh, hi. Hello. Whatever you just said, let’s start the conversation over again. So you’re calling me back now ’cause you’re ready to close. Yep. Done. Let’s do it.” Is there a way to do that? That’s what I would do.

Steven Jack Butala:
You’re the expert.

Jill K DeWit:
Okay. That’s really what I would do. And then I would ding-dong buyer. The whole point is, too…
I talk to people a lot. They’re like, “Oh, I’ve got these… I sent out this mail. I have these offers back. I have 20 staring at me. I’ll get to them.” I’m like, “You guys, time kills deals so you need to act on that.” And I’ve even had it the other way where if you give me too much time to think about it, I might find a better one and I want to put my money over there instead.

Steven Jack Butala:
We have our transaction coordinator that works directly for Jill, she’s been with us for years, can close deals in seven days.

Jill K DeWit:
With title insurance. And that’s the world we’re in right now. It’s not the last summer where it took them two months to close deals in some areas. They have laid off title agents and they’re looking for work. They’re willing to come up with some great rates for you, too, by the way, as an investor and close them much faster.

Steven Jack Butala:
That needs to be shared with the seller also. It’s like, “Hey, you’re going to have your money. You’re going to be cashed out of this thing in seven days. We just did it last week.” That would motivate me. That would motivate me to adjust my sales price for some reason.

Jill K DeWit:
True.

Steven Jack Butala:
And in the buyer’s favor/.
Today Jill and I are going to talk about the anatomy of an online membership community like Land Academy. This topic came up because we are now in career path number six, and Jill and I are constantly talking to members, and to each other, about how we can improve our membership community. And so over the years we added Discord and we improved Discord over landinvestors.com.

Jill K DeWit:
We’re going to make that even better, too. We’re looking at bringing in a Discord pro to clean that up and make that better.

Steven Jack Butala:
And that’s just one example. We are launching in about eight weeks, for Career Path alumni only, Land Academy Pro where we share the actual staff that Jill and I use, to buy and sell land. We share Jill’s transaction coordinator and we share my staff on offers to owners for you to get your mailers done.
And it’s on a schedule, so you have a schedule. We were telling the Career Path people you can’t miss. A very common issue that comes up for people in Career Path, or really anyone in general, is procrastination and not sticking to a mailing schedule to reach your goals.
So Jill and I listened to that and said, “How do we do it?” Well, the truth is we have people that work for us who make sure we stick on that schedule. That’s their job.

Jill K DeWit:
I’d like to go back to the… It’s just now coming to me.
The whole reason you put this in here. Jack was asking me, “What would be key… If you, Jill, were part of an online community, what would be the one thing that would keep you there? Why would you be there?” And I said, “Well, I have some great examples. I happen to be in an RV group on Facebook, and I love having this group, it’s at my beck and call, that I’m constantly laying in bed, trolling through the conversations, picking up little nuggets of stuff that may or may not apply to me someday, but at least I know how to solve it. Like ‘Hey, our slides weren’t working. What did you guys use?’ Kind of thing.”
And I now have a lot to know, I’ve learned a lot about this particular model, and what’s recommended, and what’s not recommended to use on the slides and things like that. But the main thing is for me, I love reading all that, and being part of it, but knowing that they’re there and I don’t abuse that.
So I was just telling Jack this morning, “So I joined this new group, we’re changing our rig out and I’m all in the new group learning about the new brand and everything that we’re doing, and I don’t want to abuse a community. So I’m going to research, I’m going to read to soak it all up, get to learn the tone of the community first of all. Then, like I said, I’ll use the search function to try to find my answer first, because there’s often content, so much content, about the topic du jour, or what you need that day is already in there.” I’ll use that.
Then, if I don’t, then I will really nicely reach out and go, “Okay, now I need you guys. What do you do about this?” And knowing that they’re there for me is what keeps me being a part of this. It’s not about the money, not about the cost. If it was like a thousand dollars a month, I might think twice about… I don’t know, it depends on the value I get back. Actually, I might pay that depending on what’s involved, but just having them there is what sings to me in an online membership community.

Steven Jack Butala:
I think it’s really difficult, if not impossible for me anyway, to be in a community without like-minded people. And the reason that this topic really came up is because we had the…
Again, we’re in Career Path. We had the first session of Career Path. I think there’s 15 or 18 people in there, more than that actually. 15, 16. Some of them are couples. So there’s probably 20 people in there. And we went in the first session, we would go around the room, everybody explains who they are, how many deals they’ve done, what they want to get out of Career Path so Jill and I can custom tailor it for the next eight weeks. And we were very, this time for some reason, very, very, like minded.

Jill K DeWit:
You know what that is? It’s a community inside of the community, which is really cool. That’s what Career Path is. There’s Land Academy as a whole where we have people doing all different kinds of deals, all different money amounts, all different, whatever, and then we have, “Oh, we’re here to hit it home” people.

Steven Jack Butala:
So that’s the whole point. We all have a common goal. We want to make more money.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s a lot of people in Land Academy. I think that’s how a lot of people find us, too, because they’re like, “All right, I realize you guys are the ones that know how to take this home. You guys are the ones that know how to automate this stuff. You guys are the ones that don’t have to work that hard, you guys know how to… You guys long time ago stopped buying for $1000 and selling for $3000 or $99 a month.” And I know that’s coming up in a minute, but…

Steven Jack Butala:
I belong to a group called Mobile Home Park University, which is the mobile home park version of Land Academy. Will I ever buy a mobile home park? Probably not. But I just love hanging out with these people. They’re very like-minded, and we don’t just talk about mobile homes, we talk about all kinds of stuff: financing or managing, having managers, and dealing with managers, and dealing with residents and all of that.

Jill K DeWit:
Is that what keeps you from doing… I have nothing against buying and owning a mobile home park, but I know you do, and I bet that’s it. It’s probably the people part of it. My land doesn’t yell at me.

Steven Jack Butala:
Look, I can go… That’s a show.
I can go spend a couple million dollars cash on a mobile home park and then I can get it back $10,000 a month at a time. That doesn’t make sense to me. And that’s the reason I don’t buy a mobile home park. It’s not so much the people, or the tenants, or any of that.

Jill K DeWit:
I’m still back on my thing. You know what I love on my land and my land loves on me back. That’s good.

Steven Jack Butala:
So communities, you have a lot of choices out there. Ever present more communities to choose from. I really would recommend you get to know yourself first and then if you’re part of a community that you feel like you fit in, we all need that. We all need to be part of a community where we fit in or multiple communities.

Jill K DeWit:
Isn’t it funny? Remember the first community we had that was Success Plant.

Steven Jack Butala:
Success Plant.

Jill K DeWit:
So we launched Land Academy in 2015, and the very first thing our new customers said is, “Well, we need to communicate.”
I’m like, “Okay.” So we made Success Plant. You made it. I was off.

Steven Jack Butala:
Jill went on vacation.

Jill K DeWit:
I did. For the week.

Steven Jack Butala:
And I bought an eight pack of Red Bull and built the website.

Jill K DeWit:
You did.

Steven Jack Butala:
Called Success Plant.

Jill K DeWit:
It was very nice.
And then it became Land Investors and now it’s Land Investors/Discord. Super cool.

Steven Jack Butala:
So if you have any suggestions about how to make Land Academy better or how it would work better for you, please let us know in Discord.

Jill K DeWit:
Please send them to… Let me just make up some other site.

Steven Jack Butala:
You know what else I understood and I’m listening, is “We want a community.” This is what multiple people have said to me over the years. “We want a community where it’s not just necessarily about land, it’s about being successful.” And that’s what Man Plan is. If you go to manplan.com, M-A-N-P-L-A-N and put in your email.
I will, with Jill, she and I are going to release a whole program that’s much, much less expensive than Land Academy, but it’s about being successful and surrounding yourselves with other successful people.

Jill K DeWit:
You know what? I can’t wait to do this.

Steven Jack Butala:
And we’re going to make fun of the other gender quite often, and that’s a two-way street.

Jill K DeWit:
It is. I look forward to that. That’s going to be fun. I know that we’re going to offer something great for the Land Academy community right out of the gate, so there’s going to be a lot of people in there, right out of the gate. It’s going to be awesome.

Steven Jack Butala:
I guess you could put it in the self-help space, but it’s not. It’s more for professional people that want to…
In Land Academy we constantly are preaching about have a schedule, have a calendar, have goals, understand it in great detail what your goal is at the end, and then work it backwards, and to create a schedule for yourself to make sure that happens. And people, for some reason, people don’t do this with their other stuff in life.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s true.

Steven Jack Butala:
They don’t have a plan. It’s man plan.

Jill K DeWit:
Thank you.

Steven Jack Butala:
Let’s take a look at one of our favorite land acquisitions from the weekly Thursday webinar, member webinar.
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 at our Discord channel, please go to landacademy.com. It’s free.

Jill K DeWit:
Michelle wrote, “I have a seller who reached out wanting to sell 0.93 acres he bought at a tax sale. There is no road access or document easement that I can easily access. He’s eager to sell. I may be able to get it for $1,500. It’s nearly next to “Blank” River in Oklahoma, but not in a flood zone. Only one adjoining neighbor. The county was not helpful on it. So, about the access, the seller said there’s a lane that goes around the community, and an offshoot that goes right to the corner of our property.” So, physical. “The group next to us are an investment group that owns that property. So I would notary close on this one…”
Oh, oh, there’s more to it, sorry. “I would notary close on this one, but I’m likely to pass. But what’s your advice?”
So for 1500 bucks for an acre, if it’s worth it, I would roll the dice and probably do it.

Steven Jack Butala:
So would I. I would not notary close. I would get title insurance.

Jill K DeWit:
I don’t know, for $1,500…

Steven Jack Butala:
And I would send somebody out there and see if they can get to it, if they’re crossing over, obviously crossing over anybody’s property. Jill and I built this entire company…
Actually, honestly before Jill and I joined forces, I built this, the entire company, on accessless property. I don’t recommend doing this all the time, but I guess we buy property without access once or twice or three times a year.

Jill K DeWit:
Usually there’s one or the other, physical or legal. So it sounds like this one probably has physical access. The very first thing I would do right now, too, Michelle, spend $200, $250 with drone, and have someone go out there.

Steven Jack Butala:
Me too.

Jill K DeWit:
And take all kinds of pictures, get you drone footage driving up to it, and pictures going up to it so you really know what this is.

Steven Jack Butala:
And ask the drone person if they can get to the property.

Jill K DeWit:
You’ll find out.

Steven Jack Butala:
And make sure you give them good GPS coordinates.

Jill K DeWit:
Give them your list of photos, what you want. “I want this angle, that angle, this angle. I want to know how far… I want pictures of the sweet little town.”
You’re going to give them everything that you would give them as if you were going to list it yourself, and market yourself, and you need the photos ready to go. So worst case scenario, you get it and you don’t like it. You’re like, “Oh, okay, I’m glad I didn’t spend any more money on this. So what? I’m out 250 bucks. Big deal.” Best case scenario, you’re like, “Oh, I see what’s possible, and I see how great this is, and now my photos are done.”

Steven Jack Butala:
So it’s back tax property, and if you close with a notary, you will not find out if there’s any flaws in the title, or a clause in the title at all. With title insurance some stuff’s going to come up and there’s a chance that…

Jill K DeWit:
You’;; still have to pay more to get title.

Steven Jack Butala:
There’s a chance that they won’t insure it because it’s back taxed property, depending on how long the seller purchased it. So you want all that stuff to come out because…
And I’ll tell you, I’m saving it best for last year, how much freaking money are you going to make on this thing?

Jill K DeWit:
That’s what I was just going to say. If it’s a buy for $1500 and it’s worth $20,000 then worst case scenario it’s worth $20,000 then I would go down that path.

Steven Jack Butala:
If it’s a buy for $1500 and sell for $5000, I would just move on.

Jill K DeWit:
Thank you. Glad we’re on the same page. It’s so nice how often we’re on the same page.

Steven Jack Butala:
When the camera and the mics are on. We’re always on the same page.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, isn’t that funny how that happens? Oh, I don’t know. I am sure if you’ve been listening and/or watching us for a while as three of you have, you can tell like, “Oh, somebody’s pissed today.” Or “Oh, somebody’s hungover today.”

Steven Jack Butala:
If you go way back to the beginning where it was just audio. This is show number what?

Jill K DeWit:
1949 or whatever.

Steven Jack Butala:
Almost 2000 shows. So back in the beginning, we didn’t know what we were doing. We don’t really know what we’re doing now either, but back in the beginning, we really didn’t know what we were doing. And it was… Jill’s always…

Jill K DeWit:
Patient.

Steven Jack Butala:
Looked at this podcast as my doing.

Jill K DeWit:
Hobby.

Steven Jack Butala:
And she believes that she’s gracing my presence by showing up, and doing me a huge favor to sit next to me on my podcast.

Jill K DeWit:
Well it’s partially true. Because It started as your podcast. I was the fill-in.

Steven Jack Butala:
Not so much anymore, but…

Jill K DeWit:
I’m still the fill-in. Nobody else will show up.

Steven Jack Butala:
Jill and I are in a relationship and…

Jill K DeWit:
Kidding.

Steven Jack Butala:
When she’s mad about stuff, other stuff, which happens because we’re in a relationship, one of her ways to punish me is to just not really be okay on the podcast, or show up late, or all that.

Jill K DeWit:
Please. Hilarious.

Steven Jack Butala:
Tell me I’m wrong.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, that’s funny. All right.

Steven Jack Butala:
We all have our stuff.

Jill K DeWit:
Let’s see. Let me look at your eyes today. Go ahead.

Steven Jack Butala:
My two five-year plus managers from Land Academy are in town here in Scottsdale from Los Angeles, and we have been doing, I’ll call it research, together in front of glasses.

Jill K DeWit:
Thank you.

Steven Jack Butala:
Today’s second topic is called…
Jill’s going to talk to us about how we moved from chasing pennies to making millions buying and selling land.

Jill K DeWit:
So I love this. This came up from Career Path the other day, again, and we just had our first session the week of April 10th, and one of the things as we’re talking about why are you here. We’d go around the room and say, “Who are you? Where are you located physically? What do you want to get out of this? And number goals and level of experience” basically.
And I wrote down some fun comments that people made, and one of them was, “I’m done chasing pennies.” I’m like, “Oh, I get that. I really get that.” And what’s funny is that we were talking about this morning, and for a while that was us. So I really, really understand and appreciate that, and I wanted to talk with everyone about going from the mindset of, “I don’t need to work this hard for $399. I can do the same amount of work, maybe less, for $39,000.”
Because that the truth. That really is it. And I know that there’s people that are in Land Academy and listening right now because that’s where you are and you’re going, “It seems like a big leap.” But when you really sit down and think about it, and decompose what it’s going to take, and then, I guess, hang out with those people, you start to see that that’s really possible, and you can do it, too.
There’s no reason why anyone right now listening to this should be chasing someone for their $99 payment this month, because they can’t seem to keep on track with their debit card balance. That’s nuts. You don’t have to do that. And the thing about it, too, is how rich are you going to get then? How long is it going to take you to get…
If you have, I don’t care if you have a hundred properties. Think about this, and I know a lot of people that have been in this situation, us included, that had in their portfolio, had many, many people making $99, $149 a month on these payments, and you’re hoping to, gosh, recoup this in, I don’t know, three to five years. That’s a heck of a long time to, fingers crossed, babysit these people and get them to pay. And then those of you listening know what I’m talking about, the percentage of those that actually do follow through and pay are not really high.
We talked about this too with something the other day. It’s not funny when you have to keep reselling the property over again. You don’t want to do that, re-posting and reselling it. So we understand. We’ve been there. And what I wanted to share is for us…
It was really Steven before me, he was the number one real estate person on eBay. He had an eBay empire. There were properties closing every single flipping hour and there was a $299 or $399 doc prep fee. There were properties all over the country, $1, no reserve, 30-day auctions, let her rip. He had a huge office building and a staff to manage all these properties. So…

Steven Jack Butala:
Did you find that attractive about me?

Jill K DeWit:
Not really. I did.

Steven Jack Butala:
Jill’s not impressed by money. It’s very interesting.

Jill K DeWit:
No, it’s cool, but I just want to go have fun. Your office was nice. It was really cool. “This is your office?” And, “Why is it all glass? Everybody can see in here.” It was like a fishbowl, but it was cool.
Anyway, that’s when I met him. He had this eBay empire, and then here comes 2007, 2008. You know what happened. And I’ve heard people talk about recently, too, Facebook marketplace taking a turn like eBay did, and if you had all your eggs in one basket. You’re in a pickle and what do you do? You got to pivot, man. So that’s one of the main things that we’ve learned over the years and we teach at Land Academy is you need to have more than one place that you’re marketing, selling, working on these properties so you’re not dependent on something if it just changes gears real quick on you.
So, going from that environment to where we are now, it can happen really fast. You just have to… Like I said, I think, spend some time with people that are doing it, and that would be the Land Academy community, by the way, follow us, ask some questions and you can do it, too. And it starts with day one, stop buying properties for $500, start buying properties for $5,000.

Steven Jack Butala:
You have complete control over how much money you make when you buy and sell land, the Land Academy way. So let that sink in for just a second. I don’t want to sound like your father, but I know I am. Complete control over how much money you make if you follow Land Academy at 3.0. We don’t send mail to properties that…
We don’t send mail to small properties, anymore, that have no access, that we want to buy for $100 an acre. I built the whole company back then on that model, which is not something we do anymore with intent. We send out mail for properties where we can buy between $20,000 and $30,000 and $40,000 and we know we’re going to sell them for $80,000 or $90,000. Why? Because I need to make sure that we make more than a million dollars a year.
It ends up being closer to $3,000,000 the way that we’re doing it, because if we net $80,000 or $70,000 and do one deal a month, which Jill can do in her sleep, we make a million bucks. We, pre-tax net income, make a million dollars. Then let’s say we want to do a deal every week, not every month, because it’s just as easy. We have the fixed-cost staff anyway. Now you’re talking about some serious real money.
That’s 50 deals, 50 times $80,000. It’s a lot. There’s your 3 or $4 million. So you have control. How do I have control? You have control where you send mail, you have control for how much you’re going to offer, because you already know how much you can sell it for during the process of sending through the mailer, and you know where the money is. There’s tons and tons of people on our Land Academy Discord, Jill and I included, that’ll fund your deal if it’s any good. And so if you want to make more money, send out more mail.

Jill K DeWit:
The right mail.

Steven Jack Butala:
That is not what other groups teach. You also have complete control over where you learn how to do this and what methodology you choose. Some of what I call our “healthy competitors” out there in the education space like to do terms deals. Other people like to do what isn’t commonly known now as wholesaling, where you don’t have to put the money… The attractant to both of those, it’s not a lot of money up upfront. I’m not a big fan of those.

Jill K DeWit:
I want to make more money and not work that hard.

Steven Jack Butala:
I want to control a deal. I want to buy the deal for cash and sell it very quickly for cash for a lot more.

Jill K DeWit:
Well, like the question earlier in this podcast, someone else came along. That could’ve all gone sideways, even though trying to buy it and close it, not only do you need to buy it, close it, and you own it. Now you just have total control, but you need to do it faster in some situations

Steven Jack Butala:
You have total control…

Jill K DeWit:
I will still run to the bank. On rare occasions I will run to the bank and get stuff done.

Steven Jack Butala:
A very popular thing that you see in social media about any wealth education environment is no money down. And those other groups, it’s true, there’s no money down. You don’t have to put any money into wholesale deal. There’s something really bad about it that doesn’t sit right with us and it never has.
Buy the property. There’s no money down here either, because if the deal’s good, we’re going to fund the whole thing and split it with you.

Jill K DeWit:
I have a question for you, because you and I don’t have any trouble with this at all. You and I, we never have had any trouble throwing around these big numbers, but I know some people have trouble talking about like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I can buy this for $30,000 and I’m going to try to sell for $120,000.” Even like $30,000, that’s a car. But you and I are like, “Nah, here you go. I don’t think about it.”
What is it? What do you think it is? Is it a learned thing? Is it past experiences? Why are we so good about it? Because Lord knows we’ve been poor.

Steven Jack Butala:
Somebody in the live event said that for you to be successful in a Land Academy environment, you have to understand and agree with the laws of abundance.
And so if the thought of writing a $30,000 check for a property that you know is… Well, you’re pretty sure, pretty confident… That’s what Discord is for, by the way, and that’s what the Thursday call is for. We’re going to tell you if we think, pretty quickly, if you can sell it for $80,000. So honestly, here’s the truthful, painful, truthful answer to that. You are not right for Land Academy.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh, ’cause you don’t have a stomach for it?

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah. I don’t see any risk in this and neither does Jill.
From minute one, when we started working together, we were right on the same page and wanted to get rich together, and had no issues. I don’t look at writing a check for a piece of land, or a house, even when I know it’s worth more, as any risk at all. I don’t see any risk in it.

Jill K DeWit:
Agree.

Steven Jack Butala:
I see a lot of risk in writing some checks…

Jill K DeWit:
Stock market.

Steven Jack Butala:
Or buying a convenience store and then getting your money back $12 at a time.

Jill K DeWit:
How about a pizza joint? See any risk with that one?

Steven Jack Butala:
We’ve proven that there’s risk in that.

Jill K DeWit:
Thank goodness the land thing took care of all that.

Steven Jack Butala:
In Career Path, again, we went around the room yesterday and everybody…
There’s nobody in the Career Path, I can tell you with confidence that sees any risk in this at all, they just want to know how to do it and how we do it.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s it.
We know it’s nice, too. We’ve been around. We have enough examples, and it’s not just us. That’s what’s great, ties back to our original topic, which is a community. When you spend some time, just spend an hour within the Land Academy community, and start seeing the deals and reading. I think you can read success stories right now in read-only format on landacademy.com. You can troll through there and see some of the deals that people bought, what they bought for, what they sold them for.
You go, “All right, it’s not just Jack and Jill. I see 20 other people in the last seven days, have looked at those numbers. Some of those are even better than Jack and Jill’s. Good for them.” I’m like, “Yep, that’s true.”

Steven Jack Butala:
“That’s great, Jack. It sounds like it’s all peaches and cream and you can just make as much money as you want. And why isn’t everybody doing it then?”
And here’s why, here’s how you fail at this. Here’s why you fail and why people fail at it. They’re not Jill. They don’t have a dynamic personality. They have a mechanical engineering, dry, low voice, and talk on the phone. No one’s going to sell you their property.

Jill K DeWit:
You could hire that.

Steven Jack Butala:
You have to grow a dynamic personality or find a partner. Think about starting a band. If you’re the guitarist, and you’re writing all the songs, and you’re very talented, the first thing you do is look for an amazing front lead singer. Jill’s the lead singer. I’m the guitarist. You need a dynamic show person, or you need to become that person. I can do it. I had Jill’s job and it was successful. I hated it.

Jill K DeWit:
I was going to add, because we in our live event this was a common theme a few years ago, which was just add a zero, add a zero. It’s like, “Okay, I’m going to add a zero.”
And so you can baby step your way up. And if you’re not comfortable going from buying from $1000 to buying from $10,000, buy for $5,000, then buy for $10,000, then buy for $20,000.

Steven Jack Butala:
And get a personality,

Jill K DeWit:
Then buy for $40,000

Steven Jack Butala:
Take a public speaking course or join a group.

Jill K DeWit:
Then fire your partner and get a new partner. Just kidding.

Steven Jack Butala:
That’s right.

Jill K DeWit:
Fire yourself.

Steven Jack Butala:
Fire yourself. I love that. That’s a show.

Jill K DeWit:
Ooh, that is true.
But you can baby step your way up to where you are comfortable. And I promise you, when you look back and see that, “Wow, I just plopped down $65,000 on this property. I didn’t even think twice about it.” Look how far you’ve come. You did it. Now it’s not scary at all. And then you start throwing around some big numbers, buy for a million. And I actually don’t like those, because they just take too long. I don’t have the patience.
There’s often a special-use commercial property is why you’re buying for a million, when it’s worth two and a half or something like that, and it’s zoned a certain way, and everybody’s got to have a traffic count and all this stuff. I lose interest. No, I don’t like it. What bucket is that? Three?

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah. Bucket three property.

Jill K DeWit:
There you go.

Steven Jack Butala:
Bucket one is buy for $30,000 sell for $80,000 quickly. That’s the bread and butter. Bucket two is buy for #30,000 list it for retail at $140,000. Might take a year. I’m okay with that.

Jill K DeWit:
Because you hope you end up with it anyway.

Steven Jack Butala:
Bucket three is you’re going…

Jill K DeWit:
That’s him.

Steven Jack Butala:
Bucket three is do some stuff to it like minor split it, clear it out, deforest it. There’s all kinds of things to… I’m not a fan of bucket three, but I am a fan of bucket two.

Jill K DeWit:
You love bucket two. You know what’s funny about that?
Truth time, we have a property in bucket two right now that’s in Prescott, Arizona that I’m actually thinking about, “Maybe we should build on that dumb thing.”

Steven Jack Butala:
I was thinking that too. Or put a mobile on it.

Jill K DeWit:
Didn’t they put a well and a septic there?

Steven Jack Butala:
I don’t know.

Jill K DeWit:
I think it has something.

Steven Jack Butala:
It’s got the greatest view there ever was. We bought it for next to nothing. And it’s total bucket two property, and I honestly don’t want to sell it. And it’s priced that way.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s exactly what happens. Oh, my gosh. Everybody thinks that Jill must be the sentimental one. Nope. I’m like, “Sell it. Rip the bandaid off. I’ll get another one. It’s fine.”
He’s like, “Oh, did you see the view? Did you see the waterfall?”

Steven Jack Butala:
I bought and sold a bunch of property a really long time ago, and realized that that’s what I want to do. And just exactly what Jill’s describing, didn’t make a ton of money on it, but the light bulb went off over my head, and I immediately sought out people who owned a lot of property, and found them, sent them faxes, or back then I just found them. Most of them were licensed real estate agents. So they’re easy to track down. And I called them and said, “I want to buy…”

Jill K DeWit:
That was 2005.

Steven Jack Butala:
“I want to buy all your property.” It was like 2000, actually. “All of it.”
And we put a deal together and I was writing, back then, quarter million dollar checks, 80, 90, a hundred thousand dollars checks for 80 or a hundred properties. And the returns on that were staggering. The first real big deal, I remember I did like that, a multi-unit deal, it was $87,000. It was a ton of money at the time. Still a lot of money. And I got back $2.1 million over time on eBay.

Jill K DeWit:
Hence the office building, and the staff, and all that’s involved.

Steven Jack Butala:
So that’s why I’m not, to answer your question now, I’m not gun shy at all about writing checks for dirt, especially with Jill, because some stuff goes sideways she will dynamic, sorry, personality, her way out of it.

Jill K DeWit:
I’ll get it.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’ve seen you do that multiple times.

Jill K DeWit:
Thank you.

Steven Jack Butala:
We have property laying around, it’s because we want it. We want it. It’s because Jill hasn’t really decided that she wants to smash it out of our inventory.

Jill K DeWit:
We’re just like, “Eh. Well, we’ll get to it.”
It’s funny. You win when you buy it. That’s the whole point. So let’s take a look at another one of our favorite land acquisitions from our regular Thursday member webinar.

Steven Jack Butala:
Jill, you have something inspirational to share.

Jill K DeWit:
I wanted to read a little note that was placed in Discord in the Closed Career Path, I see it, channel to me, and I thought it was so sweet and I just wanted to share it here, and hit this point home.
It says, “I’ve been applying Jill’s method for phone calls with sellers, which she goes over in the podcast on January 18th, 2023. A seller told me yesterday, ‘I like your personality.'”

Steven Jack Butala:
I love this.

Jill K DeWit:
And this is a woman, by the way. I want to say it’s a woman writing this.
“‘I like your personality. You are not like the others who want to buy my property. They were rude and acted like they were doing me a favor. You listened. But they would not even let me get a word in edgewise. I have more land for sale coming available and I’d like to do business with you.'”
So thank you very much, MB, for sharing that. I love that. And I just want to just talk about the power of what you talked about a few minutes ago, Jack, about being that person, and getting them on the phone and winning. It’s really about winning them over. You just have to remember with these sellers and these offers that are going out, it’s nothing personal.
And your job when these calls come in, just like MB did, is to quickly get a relationship with them, see if you’re on the same page, that they really want to sell, and get a number from them, and, in that process, listen to them be that person. Why do they disagree with your price? What’s going on? Whatever it is. And I bet that she has even more to share about the story. It could have been a buy for $10,000 he thinks it’s worth $20,000 but the end, she gets it for $11,000 because that happens. “You know what, I like you and I just want to get rid of it anyway. So you know what? If you make it this number, then I really feel good.” And then everybody wins.

Steven Jack Butala:
When does ramrodding your personality into into somebody get you what you want? Does it work with your children?

Jill K DeWit:
No.

Steven Jack Butala:
Does it work with your wife? No, it doesn’t. So why would you do that when you’re… You’re not going to get you what you want with a seller either.

Jill K DeWit:
No, you really aren’t.
So I just wanted to share that story. Talk about for a minute, few minutes. And I wanted to say, too, that if that’s not you, that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. You’re like, “I don’t have the patience.” Maybe you want to do this, but you’re like, “I just am not… I don’t have that voice. My voice is too deep.” I don’t know. Fill in the blank. “I just can’t sound like that person no matter how hard, hard I try, but I know what you mean.”
Well then go get that person. You can hire that person. And you could even use somebody like Pat Live. They have been doing it for us and members off and on for years. I like to say that part of Pat Live is a huge component of that’s Land Academy, and they take care of you and they know what we need and they know how to do this.
So, Jack, what do you have informational to share with us today, please?

Steven Jack Butala:
I would like to talk about a healthy dose of self-deprecation. I think that nobody wins.

Jill K DeWit:
Look at how funny this is. Talk about Yin Yang, positive, negative. Oh my gosh.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’m not a big fan of people blowing their own horn.

Jill K DeWit:
Like I just did.

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill K DeWit:
It’s okay. I can handle it. Go ahead. Bring it.

Steven Jack Butala:
I’ll never forget this conversation I had in college with a girl in my dorm. And she said, “You’re really hard on yourself and you have some really serious issues. You need to see somebody. You’re not a big fan of yourself, are you?”
And I just laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Obviously I remembered it forever, and it still makes me laugh. No, I’m not going to sit here and tell you how great I am. I’m not going to tell you about our balance sheet at all. I would rather talk about how I screw stuff up all the time and have a healthy dose of self-deprecation and reality.

Jill K DeWit:
I get it.

Steven Jack Butala:
I think that’s very healthy to not take yourself too seriously.

Jill K DeWit:
Do you remember what it was that she was bringing up in college?

Steven Jack Butala:
I don’t know. And you know what? She’s not the first person who said that to me over the years.

Jill K DeWit:
Shocked.

Steven Jack Butala:
And it’s not gender-specific. And I think that earlier you guys were talking about how the eBay marketplace has changed, how Facebook marketplace has changed, and I was sitting here thinking, “Well, Jill’s taking over the show, like she does.”
Public marketplaces and communities online, public ones, always, are deteriorating.

Jill K DeWit:
They beat up people.

Steven Jack Butala:
Land Academy is not public, and it gets better, and better, and better all the time. And then I started thinking about big cities are always in a state of entropy, or a state of slow death, and rural communities…

Jill K DeWit:
What the heck?

Steven Jack Butala:
Seem to me to be always getting better.

Jill K DeWit:
There’s a positive.
Whoever’s listening right now, I can just feel your shoulders getting lower, and lower, and lower. Like, “Yeah, live in San Francisco right here. I get it.” What the heck?
So I would like to say that I do agree with you on having… You know what I call it? Having a good sense of humor and being able to accept, and learn from your mistakes, and when you move on. And for me, that was very hard. So I don’t call it self-deprecation that’s way big words for me.

Steven Jack Butala:
Wait a minute. Learning from your mistakes is hard for you?

Jill K DeWit:
It used to be because I didn’t want to make any mistakes.

Steven Jack Butala:
Well, what the hell good is that, Jill? That’s not good.

Jill K DeWit:
I know. I’ve been working on this for several years.

Steven Jack Butala:
Where does that come from?

Jill K DeWit:
My dad. Remember the whole spilling the milk thing as a kid?

Steven Jack Butala:
No. Explain it, please.

Jill K DeWit:
Seriously?

Steven Jack Butala:
Yeah.

Jill K DeWit:
Oh my gosh. All right. If my children are listening, and I know they’re not…

Steven Jack Butala:
Kids don’t even know we have a show.

Jill K DeWit:
They’d say, “She did that to us, too.”
I broke a light bulb last night, remember? And I actually didn’t care. But it used to be if I dropped and broke something, big trouble, man. Don’t [inaudible 00:45:56], don’t break anything. Heaven forbid your car gets dirt, scratched, and stuff. You take good care of things. My dad was a very much a perfectionist about things like that. So I would overdo things to make sure. I’m like, “Whoa, don’t make a mistake. Make sure you do it right.”

Steven Jack Butala:
So I think being a perfectionist is the fastest way to being always disappointed.

Jill K DeWit:
That’s about right.

Steven Jack Butala:
I really mean it. I don’t think there’s anything healthy with expecting that everything’s going to be perfect all the time.

Jill K DeWit:
No, exactly.

Steven Jack Butala:
You were laughing yourself because you broke a light bulb.

Jill K DeWit:
The whole thing blew.

Steven Jack Butala:
Oh, really? Did you get it in your eyes or anything?

Jill K DeWit:
No. It was because the glass there was protecting it. I was, with my bare hand though, holding this light bulb.

Steven Jack Butala:
You know, I’m a man.

Jill K DeWit:
I know, but you weren’t here. Remember you were out last night with the guys that you were doing research with.

Steven Jack Butala:
You have a man for this stuff.

Jill K DeWit:
I know, but I blew the whole… The backyard went dark. I’m getting the ladder now, and I’m getting a broom.

Steven Jack Butala:
Oh, Jill.

Jill K DeWit:
But that’s okay. I’m very proud of myself because A, I fixed it, solved it, laughed at it. And here we are. I got this.

Steven Jack Butala:
You should start taking out the garbage too, if you need some stuff to do.

Jill K DeWit:
Thanks. Well, if you keep doing research at the level that you have been this week, I probably will be doing all your chores, too.

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

Jill K DeWit:
And inspiration…

Steven Jack Butala:
To buy undervalued property.

Jill K DeWit:
And do other’s chores.

 

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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