How to Price Your Land Offer Campaign (LA 1125)

How to Price Your Land Offer Campaign (LA 1125)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill:                                          Hello.

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

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

Steven Butala:                   Today Jill and I talk about how to price your land offer campaign successfully.

Jill:                                          More importantly because it’s the holidays, I would like to talk how to price holiday jewelry for your spouse.

Steven Butala:                   This is a good question because I go back and forth on this.

Jill:                                          That’s way more important than this dumb land thing.

Steven Butala:                   I’ve got a lot of questions. I’m so glad you brought this up. Seriously. Jill and I keep these pre-topic discussions from each other so we try to keep it real.

Jill:                                          Yes. Oh it’s real. We can tell.

Steven Butala:                   If you have, a lot of people in our group are doing, they had a pretty good year and they have spouses. Is it expected? I’ve always wondered this. If you spend $50,000 on jewelry, is that okay? If you spend 500, is that okay? If you spent 2200, assuming that everybody in this group is going to get a reasonably good deal and not go into a mall and pay retail.

Jill:                                          Okay. Number one, it should be relative to your situation. Please don’t spend $50,000 on something to try to impress somebody and get them a Rolex, because that’s just dumb. There are a lot of nice watches out there you can get for a couple thousand dollars, if that’s your game.

Steven Butala:                   A couple thousand dollars, she says, a couple thousand dollars. Now we’re getting somewhere.

Jill:                                          That’s actually what I prefer. I wouldn’t wear a Rolex if you gave me one, and I know you wouldn’t either. We’ve actually, we’ve had this discussion. So that’s too much. Yeah, $500 in Sears. Not a fan. Even though you’ve got a really good deal and it was 90% off. I don’t know.

Steven Butala:                   This is a moving target, landmine field. You have no idea how hard this is for men. Seriously. They have no idea what to do.

Jill:                                          Well, do you know your woman? You should know your woman. How’s that? Let’s start with that.

Steven Butala:                   No, I don’t. I don’t know my woman and I’ve been with her for quite some time, and that’s the truth.

Jill:                                          You could ask your woman.

Steven Butala:                   I have to say, you’re like really easy to buy. You’re very appreciative no matter what.

Jill:                                          Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   You find some some slot for it in your head.

Jill:                                          Right. Why I like to think that we talk about it and I leave clues. Well not clues. I try to make it hit you in the face because all women, every woman knows that if you leave clues around they’re not going to see them. It doesn’t matter. It could be taped on their side of the mirror. They’re not going to see it.

Steven Butala:                   Absolutely true.

Jill:                                          Have a circle and an arrow pointing to it, it still might get missed. I guess just ask. That’s all. Just ask.

Steven Butala:                   Just ask. That’s what I think. I mean unless you’re really young and still haven’t accepted reality yet and you actually believe the person that you’re with is going to buy you something that you want without using, you still think that other person can read your mind, then this isn’t the show for you, but anyway-

Jill:                                          By the way, it goes both ways. I want to say, I even ask you. I flat out say, “What do you want for Christmas?” Because you are the opposite. If I overspend or something that you don’t think is really necessary, you’re not happy about that.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Overspending really that actually makes me upset. I don’t care what you buy me. I don’t care anything about that at all, but overspending is bad.

Jill:                                          You like useful things.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill:                                          You don’t want a bunch of stuff.

Steven Butala:                   I think 2000 bucks for jewelry is a lot, unless you’re just financially done.

Jill:                                          Right. Well, that’s true. Okay. For a couple hundred dollars, something really nice. Really nice diamond earrings. When in doubt, go very simple and basic and you won’t go wrong there. I don’t know how this got into shopping by Jill but-

Steven Butala:                   I still think it’s just a minefield. Every guy’s shaking their head yes right now, who’s listening to this. I shouldn’t say guy. It’s just everybody.

Jill:                                          Let’s move on. Move on.

Steven Butala:                   Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the online community. It’s free.

Jill:                                          Josh asks, “Hi all. I wanted to get some opinions on a couple of things. I joined Land Academy a few years back and worked at it for almost two years. I completed almost two dozen deals, but they were all the standard cheap desert properties. It doesn’t seem like I was always breaking even on the deals since there wasn’t much margin to begin with. Needless to say, I got burned out with that. Along with that, I haven’t been able to do much with my land business for quite some time now with other things going on, job, et cetera, but I’m really looking to ramp things back up and get back into it. Currently I have a .org as my domain and I really feel like I should change this to a .com. Would anyone agree? Is it worth redoing my entire website, email, social media, et cetera to make this change or should I just continue with what I currently have set up and move on? Just curious what your thoughts are.”

Jill:                                          “Also while trying to gain some momentum on this, I only have a very small budget to get started and I really don’t want to chase the small, cheap desert properties like I did before. I don’t want to get burnt out on those again. I know there’ve been a lot of developments with Atlantic and [inaudible 00:05:21] funding and such, which is awesome, so should I just focus on finding deals and partnering with someone on the financing portion of it? Or should I try to do some smaller deals to begin with and try to build some capital? Thoughts? I really want to get things going again with this business because I really see the value in it. I’ve proven to myself that it works, but I guess it can be a little overwhelming getting started again. I want to get off on the right foot. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.” How cool is this? This happens.

Steven Butala:                   This is very, very frequent in our groups.

Jill:                                          Life gets in the way, you know there’s something there and that’s what’s so funny. We have members that have been our group just like you, Josh, for some time and they left and then six months, maybe even a year later, here they come again and they’re like, “I know there’s something. I know this is right.” It wasn’t the education, it wasn’t this. It wasn’t that. It was me.

Steven Butala:                   I had a job change or something, didn’t have time.

Jill:                                          My life got in the way, something happened with my family and it’s never a bad thing because now they’re inspired and fired up and determined and they traditionally come in hot and kill it.

Jill:                                          So I would like to go through these questions, just briefly answer each one and tackle each one instead of as a whole. So I think you, you did a great job, too, Josh, of explaining your back story. So that was awesome. So the first question I found is the .com .org thing. I personally don’t like .org and I’ll tell you we did this too in the beginning. was not free, but was. So people had been with us that long, remember when we changed from to .com. It wasn’t that hard and that wasn’t big of a deal. And for us, it made more sense for this business model because I don’t want you thinking that this education is nonprofit and that’s what people kept doing.

Steven Butala:                   Here’s what we didn’t change. Our brand. We just changed a .com to a .org. You don’t want to go-

Jill:                                          It was still Land Academy.

Steven Butala:                   That’s a big, huge, if you change the actual name and then slap a .com on it, now you’re going to change your whole brand and all that.

Jill:                                          Right.

Steven Butala:                   So it’s going to be your call. If it’s like more than eight characters as a .org, I would consider making some changes. You really want the shortest .com you can get hopefully two syllables.

Jill:                                          Hopefully it was like and now it can be

Steven Butala:                   You might have to buy it.

Jill:                                          And you can and you might have to spend some money to get it, whatever it is.

Steven Butala:                   I will tell you this really quickly. I know Jill was trying to move through this. This whole notion of having the sell side website and all this other stuff is becoming less and less and less important for some reason. You do have to have a strong internet presence in social media, and a strong presence when you send mail out so they can look you up and see you’ve got followers and you’ve got a website that doesn’t have to be complicated at all. You don’t have to sell anything on it. It’s just has to be a reference. You to look good on the internet when they look you up because they’re going to spend five minutes doing it. And that’s it.

Jill:                                          Thank you. His other thing is, okay, do I start out with it in, you’re not alone in that. A lot of people with a cheap desert properties, do I want to, I don’t want to chase those cheap small desert properties like I did before and get burnout. And I agree, I wouldn’t want you to do that, too. And one of the things that we are reminding again, and I don’t, last thing I want to do is nag. Those are just meant to be a reference in our program. We really don’t want you to do that. But just giving you some examples.

Steven Butala:                   Showing you what’s possible.

Jill:                                          … of what’s out there. I would rather you do these deals in a whole different part of the country or state or region, something that you know better. A lot of people came in doing the desert properties based on what we knew, which, great, we proved that, but you need to apply that to the area that you know and use it with your thoughts. And then I want you to come in and price them accordingly. What if by doing it somewhere in Georgia where the best properties are buy for 10,000, sell for $30,000. You don’t have that money, but you know that area so well. You know it’s possible. I would rather you split your money, invest in that data, invest in those mailers, get those deals and then do some deal funding.

Steven Butala:                   Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Jill:                                          Thank you. Because you know those.

Steven Butala:                   By the way, we’re not the only deal funders out there. There’s tons and tons and tons of deal funders, tons of people with money in our group all over or LandTank or HouseTank.

Jill:                                          I’m hearing every week on our Thursday member calls, by the way that, gosh, every time someone puts a deal in a LandTank for funding, it’s gobbled up so quick. Yep. They are. So don’t worry, Josh, there’s people out there to help you with this and you already have some experience coming in. I would feel good working with you.

Steven Butala:                   LandTank is the first place I would put it.

Jill:                                          Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Regardless of where you are in your career and regardless of the amount, there are people staring at LandTank waiting for submissions.

Jill:                                          and it is a great way to build some capital. Instead of doing, buy for one, sell for five, buy for 10, sell for 30. You’re going to get there faster. And the last thing is, I think that’s kind of covered it. Do you have any other suggestions or advice?

Steven Butala:                   What I would do is you obviously know what you’re doing and you’ve cut your teeth, you’ve done 10 deals. Like Jill always says, get 10 deals under your belt. See if this is for you, you’re passed all that. And you’re not, this isn’t unusual and it’s not bad. You got some, you found out it was for you, you got some deals under your belt and now you’re trying to figure out what to specialize in. And you see it for whatever reason, it makes sense to you to do bigger deals and get them funded. So just follow through. You have what it takes to follow through in the desert property. It’s the exact same thing with bigger properties. It’s just a larger dollar amount.

Jill:                                          And then as the inspiration side of all this too, kudos to you for figuring this out, that you know what, what was in your way before was you. And I’m sure you’re going to make all the changes, I’m sure you’re going to hold yourself accountable. I’m sure you’re going to stick to a schedule. I’m sure you’re going to like power through. You know what has to happen. You did it before and now you’ve just got to really up your game and you’ll do great. Please keep us posted.

Steven Butala:                   We have both. We have both side by side, desert operations and large transaction operations and in newly have multimillion dollar operation. So I can speak, feel very qualified to talk about this. We buy properties for $100 an acre or about $500 a lot, 400 or $500 a lot in the desert and we sell them for 200 or $300 an acre or about a thousand bucks. We double our money, like 30, 40, 50 properties a month very successfully.

Steven Butala:                   We have one guy managing it for us. I’ve trained him and he does a great job and we kind of put that on the shelf and take the money out of it when we need to. The other stuff, and I would honestly, I think I would recommend to you that maybe you continue down that path if you can double your money on it. Get somebody involved where you can just let it run itself and then it funds the other bigger stuff. So the bigger stuff you’re going to is more like buy for 25 or 30 and sell for 75 or 80 and you’re only going to do one or two deals a month like that. And so you can really pick up some capital and some resources cause it’s begins to be a lot of work. It becomes a non part time thing and then the bigger deals will come.

Jill:                                          Perfect.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic, how to price your land offer campaign. This is the meat of the show.

Steven Butala:                   Yesterday it was all about houses and how to price your campaign. Today it’s all about land. The two and the steps are very, very similar. What makes them not identical is the geography that you choose to send mail to. With houses, it’s zip codes. With land, rural, vacant land, anyway, it’s counties and pricing. Those are the two different things. All the other steps are the same.

Steven Butala:                   So how do you pick a good county? By looking and eyeballing and research on sites like Redfin,, LandWatch and Land And Farm. And what you’re trying to do there is establish a range, price per acre for for sale property. And so let’s say you go on all these sites, do a bunch of research and you determine that the properties that are available for sale in the, let’s say the 5 to 10 acre range because you determine that’s what you want, are $250 an acre. And that’s like now you’re 90% of the way there if you can figure out what that number is. Once you decide that that’s the number, you can build an offer.

Steven Butala:                   Get the data, pull all the data down just like we talked about yesterday, scrub the stuff out like we talk about in all of our education programs, take out hospitals and it’s the silly stuff, properties with improvements on them. And getting real good data set as my point, a land data set for those acres, that acreage slot. You have determined that they’re for sale for 250 and you want to send it 250 an acre. You want to send an offer campaign out that’s obviously below that and do some math on it to see how you can double your money. Is it a $100 an acre to sell for 250, 125ish, some number like that and run a bunch of tests.

Steven Butala:                   Take a look at your data set once you’ve all priced it and see if you actually take 20 of them out of your dataset and if you’d be actually buy them for that number, somebody signs a purchase agreement and sends it back and you buy it. Can you sell it for what you think you can sell it for? Are you still at the bottom of the market out there? So pricing land is a little bit more nebulous. There’s a little bit more art to it than houses. Houses is really just all math, but it really, really can pay off. What’s different about houses and land is that you can hit a home run out of land. We do all the time. With houses, you’re hitting a lot of singles. Maybe you hit a double once in a while, but a lot of singles.

Jill:                                          That’s what I was going to say with land. It’s so interesting. Even right now, if you go look on LandWatch, you’ll find some areas, it’s like all over the place. You know what they’re pricing things for. You can really, like what you just said, you can really find more amazing deals with land than houses and with houses, there’s just so much more information. I think that’s a lot of it. I don’t think it’s that people don’t know.

Steven Butala:                   That’s it, Jill.

Jill:                                          I think it’s just more information available.

Steven Butala:                   More data.

Jill:                                          A lot of land transactions are bundled up in multiple deals and so there’s not good comps out there, so people don’t even really know what it’s worth. But we do. That’s the value. We know how to get through those. We know how to read through that. We know how to download that and figure out a really good offer price and get them out there and the person reading it, they don’t know what that sold for or that sold for or this sold for. Maybe nothing’s really sold, that they know of, if that makes sense.

Steven Butala:                   Sure.

Jill:                                          So getting an offer and they all they know is what they paid for it and what they want to get out of it. That’s usually it. And usually too, it comes back to the whole situation thing. What they want to get out of it is to stop paying the taxes on it because they’re not using it. And that’s, they’re not living in it. They’re not loving it. It’s not mom’s house. They’re not trying to maximize price. They’re trying to be done with it. So that’s a whole other driving force that makes this so much more fun and easier. I just love land. At the end of the day, I love it. I love it more than houses. So I really do.

Steven Butala:                   The takeaway is this, yeah, so do I. The takeaway is this. You have to come up with a number of a price per acre for for-sale property in that county and then work your way backwards from there. That’s the whole way to price a successful land offer campaign. And I will leave you with this thought. Very, very, very often, almost always actually, pricing the whole entire county at one price per acre amount isn’t going to, it’ll work, but it’s not going to be as effective as breaking up the county.

Steven Butala:                   There’s a lot of different ways to do that. If you think about it, every county has got a real urban area or multiple urban areas in it. Really rural areas, maybe some agricultural areas, maybe some industrial areas. That’s what a master plan, what sort of a civil engineer does. They plan these things out. So once you do a few deals, you would do yourself a huge service to isolate these pockets or these sections of any given county and price it a little bit differently. This is just a one-on-one overview.

Jill:                                          And then within that too, not just the pockets but the sizes. Which makes me think of one other thing I just remembered, too. We have a contest going on right now. It’s going to be really cool. We gave everybody on our Thursday member call, so those of you who are members, you know about this contest going on right now. So Steven picked a county and gave an exercise and said, “I want everybody to price, you know up to one acre and price one to five acres and I think it was like 5 to 10 and then 20 to 40 and then he’s going to do his pricing thing. It’s going to be a contest to see how close everybody comes to his pricing and then there’s a prize. It’s just going to be fun.

Steven Butala:                   And somebody’s going to, I almost can guarantee, somebody’s going to have better information and more accurate reasons why the price is the price over mine.

Jill:                                          We’ll see.

Steven Butala:                   I want to see.

Jill:                                          It’s going to be cool. I’m excited. Happy you could join us today. Remember every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can find us right here on the land Academy Show and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, don’t worry, we’re still here, but we’re over on the House Academy Show.

Steven Butala:                   Next week, join us on the Land Academy Show on Monday for another interesting episode. You are not alone in your real estate ambition.

Jill:                                          Happy Friday.

Steven Butala:                   Happy Friday to you, Jill. Happy holidays.

Jill:                                          Thank you. I’m going to go shopping now.

Jill:                                          The Land Academy Show remains commercial free for you, our loyal listener, so wherever you’re watching or wherever you’re listening, please subscribe and rate us there.

Speaker 3:                           We are, Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   Information.

Jill:                                          And inspiration.

Steven Butala:                   to buy undervalued property.


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How Land Academy Works From Everywhere (LA 1121)

How Land Academy Works From Everywhere (LA 1121)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWitt:                          Hi.

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

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

Steven Butala:                   Today Jill and I talk about how Land Academy works, from everywhere and anywhere I’m happy to report. Because that was one of the… You know, I honestly sat down as a real estate professional in the mid to late nineties and said in a huff and disgust, how can I solve this ridiculous, inefficient process of buying and selling real estate? I know it’s profitable. I know it’s within my skillset. Everybody’s running around like a chicken with their head cut off doing these real estate deals without any real organization and everybody’s unhappy. And so this is kind of what this is all about. For me, anyway. Jill probably has completely something else to say.

Steven Butala:                   Before we get into it, though, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the online community. It’s free.

Jill DeWitt:                          Matt asks, I have a property under contract that is no doubt a residential deal. Buy for six, sell for 12, I think.

Steven Butala:                   Thousand.

Jill DeWitt:                          Buy for 6,000, sell for 12,000, I think. But it’s zoned commercial general, which doesn’t have any residential uses under the zoning except potentially mixed use with a plan development permit required. My general understanding of any deal as a residential lot is only made more valuable with commercial zoning. Before I pull the trigger on this, does anyone have any experience to say, yes, go ahead, go for it, or no, this could potentially be a problem.

Jill DeWitt:                          The property is in California. From the town zoning map, it looks like three residential properties to my right are supposed to be zoned commercial. So I imagine they don’t have any trouble zoning it back down to residential.

Jill DeWitt:                          I wonder if they changed the zoning since those houses were built. That’s my first thought. I’m wondering how urban that area is.

Steven Butala:                   When this happens, we jump up and down in our office. This is a very, very, very, very positive thing. I can’t think of any circumstance off the top of my head, although I’m sure there is a couple somewhere, where commercial zoning, not industrial, but commercial zoning, is as a negative thing when you’re buying a house. All it does is widen your choices for how you can sell it.

Steven Butala:                   You know, Jill and I, we have a couple of properties under contract that are zoned commercial, but they’re existing as single family residences. And it’s like when you really dig into what’s possible there on this lot, it’s insane. Sometimes you can build a ten unit apartment building. He says mixed used here.

Jill DeWitt:                          Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   Mixed use is great. A mixed use building is like there’s retail in the bottom, restaurants or whatever, convenience store, and then above it there’s apartments, maybe there’s office. Sometimes they are office condos. Maybe there’s residential condos. There’s a lot of options. So developers run around looking for this stuff.

Steven Butala:                   This is a very, very, very positive thing, Matt. In fact, my guess is if you did this deal, or do this deal, and it works the way I think it’s going to work, this might become your business model. We have people in our group who seek these transactions out.

Steven Butala:                   And then finally, my last comment here is there’s this concept of zoning down, and I referred to it a little bit. What you said was, well, maybe I can zone it back into a residential. You never want to do that, because then you’d have to get it into commercial, which is zoning up, which is incredibly difficult. It’s not so hard to zone down. It’s very difficult to zone up. So without getting into a tremendous amount of detail, you’ve found yourself in a pretty good spot here. I would move forward.

Jill DeWitt:                          I would too. And celebrate that and put that in your posting. That’s the whole point here is your buyer has so many options. What do you want to do? There’s houses here, so most likely you can make this happen. You want to go bigger, you’re ready for it.

Steven Butala:                   I’d put it in signal.

Jill DeWitt:                          Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   House for sale, zoned commercial, whatever it is, C-whatever, and watch how fast that happens.

Jill DeWitt:                          Correct.

Steven Butala:                   It’ll sell that day. I would put it on the MLS, and I would put it on LoopNet, by the way, which is where all the commercial real estate is. It’s the closest things we have to a commercial MLS.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic, how Land Academy works from everywhere and anywhere. This is the meat of the show.

Steven Butala:                   When I sat down in the mid-nineties and I was just more frustrated than, well, a lot of you are listening to this because you’re frustrated with how your real estate career is going, or want to get into it. I came off of one of the most complicated real estate transaction types ever known in this country. Longterm care. Buy a nursing home and resell it to a new owner who’s a chain or an operator or somebody who’s got an idea of what that asset can become.

Steven Butala:                   So not only are you selling a piece of real estate, you’re selling the business with it, and you need the federal government’s approval, the state government’s approval. You’re almost always working with a lender because it’s a multimillion dollar deal. If you’re an operator of these things, you don’t ever pay cash. Maybe somebody else does. So maybe one person’s buying it, one person’s leasing it. Now you’re introducing a lease into the situation, and it’s a longterm triple net lease. So on and on. There’s like 10 more things I can say about why these deals are complicated and they take a year.

Jill DeWitt:                          We’re already overwhelmed. It’s okay.

Steven Butala:                   They take a year to do, and they almost always die. Because after a year everybody changes their mind.

Steven Butala:                   So I sat there in frustration after successfully doing a chain of these things and making a fairly large fee, almost a million bucks in fee, which I earned by the way, and saying, what do I want to do with the rest of my life, or what do I want to do next, anyway? I know how to do these deals. I want to be an owner-investor. I hate the idea of being an agent and having my life controlled by a buyer and a seller and a lender and everything else. How can I make this simple? And I want to do it from the back of the yacht, because I expected to be successful at this. It was just really about what this topic’s about.

Steven Butala:                   So I came up with sending a blind offer to somebody who owns a piece of land that they’re never going to use, ever, for a very small amount of money just to see if they want to sell it. And I did. And it worked. And what is it? Almost 2020 now. We’re at 16,000 deals later. By November, 2019, the time we’re recording this, we will have done this month, we’ll buy well over 45 properties. I don’t know how many we’ll sell. At least probably not as many because we’re building up our inventory for next year. So this thing works. Right?

Jill DeWitt:                          I don’t want to make you sound old, but I just like to point out, do you realize it’s over 30 years you’ve been doing this?

Steven Butala:                   Wow.

Jill DeWitt:                          Talk about-

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, it is.

Jill DeWitt:                          Talk about… Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   It’s about that.

Jill DeWitt:                          I just did the math.

Steven Butala:                   It’s about 30.

Jill DeWitt:                          It’s over 30.

Steven Butala:                   It is 30.

Jill DeWitt:                          It is. It’s over 30.

Steven Butala:                   Next year it will be 30.

Jill DeWitt:                          Over 30. Because you just started in the ’90s.

Steven Butala:                   Well, 20 years in the 2000s, and then 10 year. I started in like 1992, ’91. That’s 30 years.

Jill DeWitt:                          That’s more than 30 years. Now we’re talking almost 40 years.

Steven Butala:                   All right, math whiz.

Jill DeWitt:                          Sorry. Is it more than 30 years? Wait, ’99, 2000 and… All right, anyway. It’s so hard. It’s a long time.

Steven Butala:                   Information and inspiration.

Jill DeWitt:                          Yeah. Math? No math. I’m just kidding. It’s a long time.

Steven Butala:                   No. Jill’s a pilot and a physicist.

Jill DeWitt:                          I could do a lot. I’m like maybe, all right.

Steven Butala:                   It’s just a show. The bright lights and the weather.

Jill DeWitt:                          He has a light in my face, I can’t do math. Just kidding.

Steven Butala:                   So to even make it better, I honed in on this after a while. I’m like, all right, now I don’t have to be in a location anymore, because as the time this all progressed, cell phones became into play. This is all before the internet that I started this. Then we’re plugging computers into phone lines and then eventually cable lines ,and now you have the computers on your phone. So it just got easier and easier and easier. And then there’s these data sets that you can access like a RealQuest and now DataTree, and it continues to get better. The connectivity continues to get better, and the ways to buy property continue to get better. Now we have everybody’s phone number.

Steven Butala:                   You know, it’s getting better and better. And the result of that is you can do this from anywhere. We have multiple members in multiple countries, in multiple continents, actually, successfully doing this. Jill and I just had a conference call with some people in Ireland that are successfully foreclosing on some property that they’ve identified as as a great deal. And they had a conference call to confirm that we think that’s a great deal, and I couldn’t have said better things. It’s a father-son team, and I love to see that.

Steven Butala:                   Go ahead.

Jill DeWitt:                          I love this. This is one of the things that when we got together and you proposed this business model to me to get involved in, I’m like, what do you mean we can do this from anywhere? It’s the greatest thing. All I need is a laptop. And if I do it all wrong, I can do stuff on my phone if I had to, by the way. But really all I need is a laptop and an internet connection. Because if I’m traveling, I can get to a printer and on a scanner. There’s Kinko’s, or a version of Kinko’s, everywhere. I can figure that out. I can go to-

Steven Butala:                   And in every hotel.

Jill DeWitt:                          Every hotel has a business center. I can make this work if I had to. And that’s the beauty of it. I know you did this for quite some time literally on the back of a boat with a good printer and a good scanner.

Steven Butala:                   Yep.

Jill DeWitt:                          And your laptop.

Steven Butala:                   For a decade.

Jill DeWitt:                          Exactly. I think that’s the greatest thing. And I was watching someone just the other day on social media celebrating like, I just did it. I just took a trip.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWitt:                          My business didn’t miss a beat. And I’m like, yay, isn’t that the greatest thing? It’s just a perk to what we do. You don’t have to do it, but if you need to, you can. It’s just so nice. And with your staff, so many of us in our business model have remote staff. We have VAs and other countries. PATLive was not next to us. We don’t talk. And maybe you outsource somebody doing your deeds, things like that. You can do online recording. There’s so much.

Steven Butala:                   When you really think about our business model with both houses and land, here’s the steps. You gather some data, you can do that from the back of a boat. You can do it wherever your laptop is at 24/7. You gather some data, identify a market where you think people want to sell property and people want to buy it, send the data out. All of this is outsourced, because you send the data straight to O2O and they put it all together for you and send it into the mail, the physical mail. You can do that from Japan or anywhere you want.

Steven Butala:                   People, eventually, after two weeks are going to respond to what you sent in the mail. They’re going to call somebody like PATLive, not you. PATLive is going to sort out which sellers are real and which ones aren’t and you’re going to get a list, an email list, every night. This person’s real. You’re going to wake up the next day, or whatever time zone is compliant for the seller, and you’re going to call him. You’re going to have a few days or a week of calling people, which is really what Jill deals with, or her staff now. And you’re going to put a deal together.

Steven Butala:                   When it’s together and signed, you’re going to send it to an escrow agent, which you can do from anywhere. And the escrow agent, while you manage them, will sell the deal, will close the deal. While that is happening, you’re setting it up for marketing, which you can do from anywhere, and you’re going to either get it on the MLS or go through social media or send it to one of your contacts that you’ve already established that’s going to renovate the property or the house.

Steven Butala:                   So just takes a bunch of organization and willpower and some discipline. There’s no reason to ever really go see an asset, especially with land.

Jill DeWitt:                          That’s the funny part I think people can’t wrap their head around. You don’t have to see it. And we do it with houses, too. But you don’t have to.

Steven Butala:                   So it’s just one of the probably 50 perks of this business model. So coming full circle here to wrap this up, I sat there in a huff trying to create the perfect real estate investment environment or business back in the ’90s. You know, I can go be a residential real estate agent. I can be a commercial real estate developer. There’s just a hundred different ways you can go. I could be a syndication person, raising capital for people that want to go do that other stuff and take a fee. I could be a hard money lender. I could be a bank lender. I could be a bank REO specialist. The list goes on and on and on.

Steven Butala:                   All of that involves having a boss. Or most of it, anyway. Using someone else’s money. Which is not that big of a deal if you do it correctly. But really it requires presence. All of it. With the exception of just being a true private investor, which is what this is. Then you pour on top of it the fact that you can start with 500 or a thousand bucks.

Steven Butala:                   So we’re kind of running out of time here, but I couldn’t come up with a better business model back then, and I still can’t come up with one now. We still always come back to no matter what we do, ParcelFact or these tech projects we have, or even Land Academy itself, we still always come back to buying and selling real estate.

Jill DeWitt:                          Yep.

Steven Butala:                   I guess that was the Steve Show.

Jill DeWitt:                          You did very well. It is. Thank you.

Jill DeWitt:                          Happy you could join us today. Remember every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we are right here on the Land Academy Show. Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can find us over on the House Academy Show.

Steven Butala:                   Tomorrow, the episode on the House Academy Show is how to price your house offer campaign. You are not alone in your real estate ambition. Super simple instructions tomorrow on how to price an offer campaign that will get the results as you want.

Jill DeWitt:                          The Land Academy Show remains commercial-free for you, our loyal listeners. So wherever you’re watching, wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate us there.

Jill DeWitt:                          We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   Information.

Jill DeWitt:                          And inspiration.

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.

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

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at

The BuWit Family of Companies include:

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

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

How One Land Academy Member Nets $75,000 per Month (LA 1120)

How One Land Academy Member Nets $75,000 per Month (LA 1120)


Steve and Jill here.


Welcome to the Land Academy Show: Entertaining Land Investment Talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

And I’m Jill DeWit broadcasting from not so sunny Southern California.

Today Jill and I talk about how one Land Academy member nets 75000 bucks a month.

You know, I would first like to start with what we just talked about 30 seconds before we rolled. It’s a blustery day. You don’t like the sweatshirt look?

Oh, Jill, you don’t have to explain. You of all people do not have to explain one thing to like anybody on this planet-

I like my little-

Least of all-

Cozy sweatshirt.


Well, here’s the thing [crosstalk 00:00:40]

I was just asking you about what it’s all about.

Well, I’m wearing a sweatshirt because it’s a cold day, and I like to be all comfy in a sweatshirt, however, you could still say I have a butt and a waist because I’m wearing the right jeans, I hope.

You have a butt and a waist?

Yes. You can still see it. That’s the thing if you wear … What’s really bad is if you wear a long sweatshirt, or a long sweater, and then like no one can see anything. You’re like a big ball of fluff, and then like little legs stick out like leggings. That I don’t like that look, and I won’t do that look.

Like you just lose all shape?


These are things that men have … It’s never crossed a man’s mind.

Cinder block on sticks don’t want that look. Anyway.

Oh my gosh. How we veer so far from land so quickly.

Well, you know.

Anyway. This topic today, very briefly, this is a real story, we’re not going to use any names or locations or any of that stuff, about a member that we have who was actually at the live event, and a pretty lengthy presentation about-

Oh, great. Now, you’re narrowing it down.

His business model. And the reason that I’m bringing it up today is because no ones forgotten it. It’s constantly this undertone of-


“Well, I want to be like X. I need to do more like X. Member X has all this figured out.” So, I want to kind of get into this, and figure out if it’s actually a unicorn, what’s real about it, what’s unreal about it. I mean, and I’ll tell you it’s 80% positive, and we’ll talk about the positive and negatives, but we still have to do deals. It’s not like you’re choosing to do … I’ll describe his business model in great detail.

I’m sure you will.

Before we get into it let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the online community. It’s free.

Aroldo … I can never pronounce this name, I’m sorry.

You got it.

Aroldo asks, “For our first mailer should we keep the letter exactly as the download on Offers2Owners? I think it’s all great especially for the sentence that says, ‘We are partners with who have been in business for 20 plus years, and have successfully completed 10s of thousands of purchases like this one.’ I think that would help us with credibility. My gut just tells me to keep it simple and to just send it as it is to make it easy on myself. Any thoughts?”

Look at that. Well, I see one of our members on here already weighed in. Member and moderator Kevin said, “Aroldo leave it the way it is until you know enough to change for some reason. In three years I’ve only made a couple of very minor changes.”

There you go. There’s something to be said with aligning yourself. Well, A: Transparency. Number one, you never want to say it’s you if it’s not really you, and if you really are aligned with us, and partner with us, and you’re in Land Academy, which you are, that’s true too. But it helps to have that credibility for people to look you up, and see who you are. It still happens.

Now and then I get phone calls or text messengers or even social media people reach out to me from tracking members down to us, and they have said … And they see us as a credible source, and they say something like this, “Hi, you don’t know me. I got a letter from x, y, z individual. This is his company name. He says he’s a part of Land Academy. Is that true? Can I trust this person?” Of to which I do check, and make sure I do know the person, and they are in our group, and I’ve never had it not be the truth, and I’m happy to fire back with, “Heck yes. This is part of our group. I’m sure it’s a solid offer, and I wish you all the best.”

Yeah. This person is very prevalent on … They’re a new member, and they’re very prevalent on Land Investors asking a lot of questions, and working their way-

That’s good.

This is what I would recommend to any new member working their way through the steps of making sure this succeeds. And this question is one of many that he’s asking, and I think it’s a great question. It comes up every … Over the years this question has come up pretty consistently, and I know the person that runs Offers2Owners answers it all the time. The mailer template is sitting there for everyone to use, do I change it and make it my own, or do I use it exactly as it is? So, as Kevin, our moderator who’s incredibly successful, he’s an advanced member in our group said, “I haven’t changed it very much at all.”

So, I think you should approach this whole model as do it Steve and Jill’s way until I can prove it to myself, if you need to do that, and then kind of make it my own. So, I wouldn’t change too much about what we suggest in the beginning. Let’s say the first 10 deals. But if this is for you, if this is a business model that was made for you, you’re going to find out pretty fast, and you’re going to start making a few little tweaks and changes to make it your own.

It’s actually a pretty appropriate question for today because that’s what this is about. This person that we had, this member, I’ll just say it … Today’s topic how one Land Academy member net 75000 bucks a month. This is the meat of the show.

During our most recent live event we had several advanced members speak about their experiences with Land Academy, and how they’ve made it their own, and why they’re in advanced group, and the good, the bad, and all the other stuff that goes on with it. And one member in particular stood up and said something I’ve never heard any member really allude to in any way, because it’s not part of my like entrepreneurial makeup. I stopped what I was doing and listened pretty hard core. He said, “I do one deal a month, and I net between 50 and 100 thousand dollars a month. So, I make sure I make between half a million dollars and a million dollars a year, and that’s it. I’m done. I’ve been doing it for at least a year. I got to quit my job last year, and I’m moving forward, and I don’t have any intention of going from one deal a month to two deals a month. I’m done.” And that goes against every single thing I’ve ever learned in school, everything that’s in my soul about growing and being an entrepreneur, and moving forward.

But we’re still here, however months it is later, talking about it, and people still bring that up. Young members hear about this because we talked about it on the show, and because he’s a semi vocal person in our advanced group, and shows up on the Thursday calls most of the time, or at least half of the time, and he’s stuck with it. He hasn’t moved from that. And so, it just intrigues.

So, I’m going to explain how and why he does this. This is just really intriguing to people. It’s not so much intriguing to me because I know how he does it, and I get it, and this is part of what we do. We actually have a line of business that does this. It makes 75 to 100 thousand bucks per deal per month, and that’s fine, but I just can’t stop there.

I know you can’t, and that’s something that we’re working through together. I want to say it’s really you have a lot of choices. For me, is that all you want to do? There’s nothing wrong with that, and that’s for a lot of our people. It’s a lot of work whether you’re doing one big deal, or several smaller deals because those one big deals might need more involvement. There might be brokers involved because they’re bigger transactions. It might be a different property type that you’re learning about the area. It might be an in full lot where you’re dealing with finding the right buyer, and builders in the area, and you have a substantial buyers list to make those happen. It’s just whatever you choose.

So, first you choose … I look at it this way: How hard do I want to work, and how much money do I want to make? That, for me, is what … I mean, once you figure that out then you back it into I don’t want to work that hard, or I do want to work that hard. And, honestly, I think doing more smaller deals sometimes, for me, is easier because I’m not so worried about deals. I can just power through, get them in the system, not think about it, make good money.

You’re looking at me like I’m nuts.

I’m just waiting for you to end spectacularly. I don’t know. Sometimes I don’t know when it ends.

Oh, thanks. That’s a whole nother conversation.

This guy makes it sound easy-


That’s my whole point to all of this. Is it a unicorn? Can it exist? Can you actually easily do this, and kind of just chill out? I think a lot of people … Or some of the motivation for people to get into this business, which is fine, is to slow down not have a boss, and manage your own time. And he’s certainly done all of those things. So have we. So have the vast majority of the people in Land Academy that are successful. But I think it gets mistaken for, “Well, his way is better and easier.” And it’s not. He’s got to probably run through five disappointments to get one good deal done. He doesn’t talk about this stuff, and neither do we. He’s got to read I don’t know how many purchase agreements, and start red lining stuff wherever he needs to, and then eventually it’s going to kill deals. I know this from experience.

So, my point is if you’re listening to this and thinking, “Well, I want to adopt this guys model.” Like so many people since the live event just know the truth. That’s my whole point. And here’s the truth: He has to go through at least five to eight deals before he lands that one that nets 75 to whatever, 50 to 100 grand. There’s going to be all these deals have the same potential issues, and you have to go through the same potential due diligence. He’s just chosen, for whatever, to hit a triple every time he’s up to bat, and then strike out probably four other times at bat.

So, I don’t want to … Ever since Jill and I started Land Academy I’m very, very cautious about trying to make this sound it was too easy, and too simple. It’s a lot of work. He’s not sitting around doing nothing. In fact, in this model I would bet, I haven’t asked him this, he’s probably dealing with a lot of not rejection, but a lot of failed deals to get to that triple.


I mean, you’re on the front lines every day. What do you think of this business model?

I hate passing on what I think are good deals to hang out for that, like you said,-

Me too.

The unicorn-

Me too.

That’s where I have a little bit of difficulty. So, I would just be … And that’s how we roll, I pull the trigger. If it’s a good deal I pull the trigger. I don’t think about it.

Yeah. So, I think it’s a great business model. We have a business model like that that functions pretty much. It’s not so much 75000 it’s closer to 50000 a month, and that’s fine. But I know how much work goes into it. We have full-time staff people who report to Jill to get these deals purchased and resold. And this guy doesn’t. He’s a one man show. Doesn’t even have an assistant, and that’s part of his whole deal is to keep his costs as close to zero as possible. And just really spend money on data, and mail, and then he’s a real systems guy. So, he’s got somebody else answering his phone overseas I think, or-


Is it PATLive?

Oh, yeah. I’m sure it’s PATLive.

And so, he’s outsourced some of that stuff, but the actual deals themselves he does them himself.

It’s a little bit scary because I remember talking to him about the money that he spends in the front end on that deal. It works out every time, but there’s a lot of money that goes into the phone calls, and the mail to get that one, and there’s more juice there. There could be more deals.

And this is my final point on it: The thing that concerns me the most about this business model … And I’m not knocking it because if there’s one person in our group who’s doing it, there’s probably 12 we don’t know about at least. I say our way is to get like we buy and sell probably at least 30 properties a month that are pretty low end properties where we double our money on the internet whether it’s through social media marketing, or Ebay, or some venue like that. And so, that’s very profitable for us, and very easy, and it’s in a system, and we go back to the same place and buy these properties that’s one of like maybe 12 places all over the country and resell them. So, at least I know there’s food on the table, and everybody’s paycheck clears. And then Jill’s got a team that does some of these higher end deals.

So, I just remember him talking about it, and I’m saying, “Wait. I could get rid of all of this, this, this, and this? I could only do this. Jill and I could sit in a room by ourselves somewhere. I could buy them, she could sell them, and we make 100 grand a month.” And then I started really thinking about how much work is involved in that, and the things you’d have to give up. So, you know what? Is this topic making sense?

Yeah. I think it is.

Everybody’s got to choose their own thing.

I agree. That’s my whole point. You have choices, and know that no way is right or wrong, no way. They each have their challenges.


That’s it.

Happy you could join us today. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday … Go ahead Jill.

Thank you. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday you could find us here on the Land Academy Show. For Tuesdays and Thursdays catch us over on the House Academy Show.

Tomorrow the episode on House Academy is baby boomers will sell 21 million homes in the next decades. How does this affect you?

You are not alone in your real estate ambition.

Such an interesting case study the case study for his case. Every case study like that there’s probably 15, 20, 30 other ones in our group where we could sit down and really kind of analyze how they do it and why, and then look at the consistencies of the model, and then the inconsistencies. But I bet you a dollar the consistencies would be organization, follow through, mailer consistency-

A team. Someone else answering your phone.

Systems; all the stuff that all of our education programs preach.

Right. Getting the right data. It starts even with that.

I think that trying something new, I’m going to probably eat my words five shows from now, you have to be really careful about there’s a balance between trying something wildly new, and just doing the same thing over and over again. You got to find that middle area, and it’s hard. That’s when I separate it all out into lines. So, that for the lower end property we just keep doing the same thing over and over again. For the higher end property we stay in urban areas, and keep doing the same thing over and over again, but there’s always something little over here that I’m trying that’s new. And sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Every single time though it’s freaking expensive. It’s expensive to try stuff new.

You know what’s funny? I was just thinking what you just said a minute ago about picking something. I mean, this case has a great example of one person doing it one way, and we have another person in our group that kills it on the volume. Volume is like he’s a master there. And they both-


I don’t think they both went into with that goal in mind like they didn’t say, “I’m going to do one deal a month is my thing.” It just kind of happened, and it worked out to fit their lifestyles. That’s it. Don’t overthink this.

I think in all cases follow through is imperative.


The Land Academy Show remains commercial free for you our loyal listener. So, wherever you’re watching, or wherever you’re listening please subscribe and read us there. We are Steve and Jill.

We are Steve and Jill. Information-

And Inspiration-

To buy undervalued property.


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

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at

The BuWit Family of Companies include:

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

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

Confirmation You’re on the Right Track (LA 1119)

Confirmation You’re on the Right Track (LA 1119)


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

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at

The BuWit Family of Companies include:

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

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

Being Thankful (LA 1118)

Being Thankful (LA 1118)


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

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at

The BuWit Family of Companies include:

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

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

Attitude is Everything (LA 1117)

Attitude is Everything (LA 1117)


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

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at

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

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

How to Turn a Hate Call into a Love Call (LA 1116)

How to Turn a Hate Call into a Love Call (LA 1116)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hi.

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

Jill DeWit:                            And I’m Jill DeWit broad casting from sunny Southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today, Jill and I talk about how to turn a hate call into a love call. Guess whose show this is?

Jill DeWit:                            Could you imagine, what would your title be if it was your show?

Steven Butala:                   Why data is important.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, I would say how to turn a hate call into a-

Steven Butala:                   Hang up.

Jill DeWit:                            There you go. Perfect. Awesome. Who would hang up first?

Steven Butala:                   Oh I would. I devised, this is funny, one time, this is long before you came came aboard. I devised, before there were tree systems, you know, “Press one.” So we devised this whole thing about, “If you don’t want our offer, press one. If you do want to accept our offer, press two.” And we still got tons of property. But I look back on that now and I’m like, “Wow, we probably lost a lot of deals.” Because I hear you on the phone. Yeah, I mean that’s what this whole show’s about. This whole episode is all about how Joe takes someone who’s ready to just beat us over the head because of the offer we sent into a transaction.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. Into something that we actually buy and everybody’s happy.

Steven Butala:                   Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the online community. It’s free.

Jill DeWit:                            Lee asks, “Hey, all I have a lot. My wife and I recently inherited locally that I’m going to sell. My question is everything I look that the lot line runs right through the neighbor’s house. This lot was previously owned by a family friend who built the house and owned both lots. I’ve checked Google Earth, Google Maps, parcel fact, and also First American Title, that I have access to, and they all show the same thing. Are they all using incorrect data or is the house straddling the lot lines? Thanks.”

Steven Butala:                   So this is really an interesting and timely question because I’m scouring some back tax property right now because I’m training two people internally, two young guys, to kind of take this over for me so I don’t have to do it anymore. And yeah, I mean there’s a lot of property that it’s on the back tax lists where there’s a house and it’s smack in the middle on a line between two lots. And so what ends up happening is that through the years, there’s no mortgage on the property. So if there was, the mortgage company would figure this out and rectify it.

Steven Butala:                   But the person gets a tax bill, whoever’s living in the . maybe somebody died and the kids live there now or something. But they don’t know the whole story. They get a tax bill and they pay it and they think the lot is, they just think it’s their house. It’s a very logical thing. And so the other one just doesn’t get paid. They don’t know what that is. And so it goes back to the taxes. So this is actually a lot more common than people think. We see this all the time. So what do you do? Is that the question here?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Well I guess the question, “Is could this be an answer?” Yes, it could be. It could be exactly what you think.

Steven Butala:                   It’s not crazy common, but it happens all the time.

Jill DeWit:                            What you are pulling up is very, very likely true, that the house is built right down the middle and nobody expected them to divide the property exactly in half or they wouldn’t have built that way.

Steven Butala:                   So I will say this too, and this happens a lot with new people. In fact, I catch myself doing it even now. You pull up a source of data and you find out this is the case. There’s a house on two lots. And then you say, “That can’t be right. I’m going to go over here to Data Street.” And it’s the same thing. “I’m going to check the title pro. Oh man. It’s the same thing. How about Google earth? How about parcel fact? Oh it’s the same thing.”

Jill DeWit:                            That’s what happened.

Steven Butala:                   Because it’s all the same source of data. So the vast majority of the data that you look up through all these services is assessor data, especially the mapping part. Well not especially the mapping part, but all the numbers and all that, it’s assessor-based data. You’re just looking at it through different ways. So at some point you stop looking at all five or eight sources. You just say, “Yeah, that’s it.” There is a small possibility that the satellite doesn’t line up. But if the satellite doesn’t line up, especially on Google Earth or Google Maps, it doesn’t line up everywhere, everywhere in that tile of the satellite image. So you can see really quickly that it doesn’t line up everywhere. But this is very common. So you have a couple of choices here. You can buy the property and contact the owner and try to sell it to them, which in my experience doesn’t go very well, or you can walk away.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   I think you should walk away.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s what I think. After you take it all the way you can and confirm what it is, talk to them too, by the way. It’s where you need to make sure, because you’re inheriting from it sounds like a family member, part of it. You need to find out the story about it. And they might be trying to sell you something that they know is a problem and that’s why they’re trying to sell it to you, or giving it to you. It sounds like you inherited it or something. Do you know what, there’s a reason why.

Steven Butala:                   Are they the homeowner or the lot owner?

Jill DeWit:                            They’re the lot owner.

Steven Butala:                   The side lot owner.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, I think he said he inherited a lot, but yeah.

Steven Butala:                   The truth is if you’re the homeowner, you’re in trouble. I mean there’s a lot of things that can happen. If you own that side lot, you have a tremendous amount of power.

Jill DeWit:                            If you want to be that guy.

Steven Butala:                   If you want to be that guy,

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, and say, “Hey.”

Steven Butala:                   You can say, “Hey, I own this property. I’m going to …”

Jill DeWit:                            “I’m going to do something. You have to rectify this.” There’s I’m sure a procedure you have to go through.

Steven Butala:                   Well the procedure is to get a survey.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. And then the procedure to get them basically evicted off that four feet that they’re on your property kind of thing. I don’t know if you want to be that guy.

Steven Butala:                   And this can turn into a ten-year battle.

Jill DeWit:                            Now it’s a Hatfield’s and McCoy’s

Steven Butala:                   Or you could sell the property to the homeowner. This is the right thing to do, is sell the property to the homeowner for 1500 bucks and call it even.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Say congratulations.

Steven Butala:                   They’re happy, you’re happy, and you don’t really have a choice.

Jill DeWit:                            Here’s what’s the legal fees would be to rectify this. So we can just call this, let’s just call it that.

Steven Butala:                   I made a choice a long time ago, a way long time ago in my real estate career, to stay away from stuff like this.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   It’s just not good karma. Let those people live there. Or maybe call a guy and say, “Look, I own this lot. Let’s work on this together. Maybe pay me 50 bucks a month or something like that. And five years, you own it. Some version, I don’t know.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic, what to do when you can’t find a property. Oh, that’s a really incorrect teleprompter here on my part.

Jill DeWit:                            How about today’s topic, how to turn a hate call into a love call.

Steven Butala:                   Saved by Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            This is the meat of the show.

Steven Butala:                   Thank you Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            So this new formats got us all get goofed up. So in case you’re wondering, you’re not alone. We are Monday, Wednesday, Friday Land Academy show, we are Tuesday, Thursday House Academy show. Sounds easy. Not so much.

Steven Butala:                   Easy for normal people.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. We’re not normal. So today’s topic is really fun because I’m doing this right now. And we decided to make a show out of it because my team has been listening to these calls, because they’ve listened to me take the calls, right? Because I’m taking these LA County calls personally, taking the first wave as they come in just to kind of see what juice is there, get the deals flowing before I pass them off to my team to close the deals. And just kind of gauge the area, engage these sellers and see how much they know.

Jill DeWit:                            And by the way, they’re smart. It’s so funny. The little old ladies that say, “I know the zoning in my house.” I’m like, “Really? I’m impressed.” So they’re listening to my calls and they’re actually, I want to share this too. They’re actually taking some of my calls and squeezing them without the personal parts down and putting them on social media and things. So you can actually hear them. Because it’s a great resource and a benefit to be able to hear me in action so you know how to handle these calls. So just so you know, they’re out there, you can listen to them.

Jill DeWit:                            So all great. Mailer hits. Here it comes. Phone rings. You don’t know what you’re going to get. What do you do? The very first thing, do you weed it out like Steven and say “Press one for yes, press two for no. Press three if you’re sending a Hitman to my house.” So that could be an option. Don’t do that. Answer the phone, don’t screen it. And I hear people going like, “Oh I just let it go to whatever. I don’t want to talk to them.” It doesn’t have to be you. It could be an assistant, a service. But I do want to live body answering the phone because I’ll tell you, that makes a difference. If it’s you, that’s even better because you’re going to give the energy and you’re going to do what I’m what I’m prescribing here.

Jill DeWit:                            Number two, smile and be happy and just be excited that they’re contacting you. I answer, it’s so funny, I tell you, it takes the wind out of their sails. I answer the phone and my thing is, “This is Jill.”

Jill DeWit:                            And they’re like, “Jill, Jill?”

Jill DeWit:                            I’m like, “Jill.”

Jill DeWit:                            “The Jill on the letter, Jill?”

Jill DeWit:                            “Yep. The very same Jill. How can I help you?”

Jill DeWit:                            Already right there, I took away all their anger and their angst or they didn’t think I’m going to answer. They’re prepared to leave me this fiery voicemail. And someone nice and happy and pleasant is on the other end? Well shucks. Oh, and it’s a girl by the way. Now it’s really hard to get mad at them. So, and I really am excited that they’re contacting me because I know that there’s a reason they’re calling me. And usually, there are some that just say take me off your list. Right? But those people are usually like me, we just throw it away. Usually there’s a reason that they’re calling you. They probably do want to sell. They’re just hopping mad about your offer. So be happy. You want to interject at any moment or you want me to keep going?

Steven Butala:                   Oh, I’ll interject at some point, I guess.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay.

Steven Butala:                   Because I don’t, you’re so much more qualified to this whole topic. The only thing I would interject with is just snarky little silly comments from a data person. That doesn’t help anybody.

Jill DeWit:                            No, it really doesn’t. All right. Number three, let them say what they need to say. They’ve got to get it off their chest. If they come in hot and mad, don’t cut them off. It’s going to make it worse. Let them get out there like, “You must be nuts. Do you really think that that dah, dah, dah,”

Steven Butala:                   You let them go, huh?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. I do. Not that long.

Steven Butala:                   None of this stuff applies to our personal relationship. None of it.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh yeah, that’s very true. That’s not how this goes at all.

Steven Butala:                   Let them get it off their chest.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Could you imagine?

Steven Butala:                   Okay, Jack, I’m going to let you get this off your chest. Go ahead.

Jill DeWit:                            Could you imagine? “What were you thinking when you backed the car over my brand new dah, dah, dah.” And I just let you go. Sometimes I do that though. It’s easier if you let the person go.

Steven Butala:                   You’re actually very, very good about that.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s just let them get it out there. Then quickly address it, get it out of the way. Go, “You know what? I would be mad too.” Something like that. Whatever you’re comfortable with, you don’t necessarily have to say, “I’m sorry,” because I don’t really, I’m not really sorry. Let’s be honest. I’m not sorry about my offer because it’s probably a pretty good offer. You just didn’t like my offer. They didn’t like my offer.

Steven Butala:                   What do you really say? Because I’ve heard you. Tell them what you really say.

Jill DeWit:                            No. I make a joke out of it. I’m like, “You know what?” Or I will say for real, “You know what? I would be mad too.” Or okay, so here’s what I say, or, “Here’s what you’re telling me. I forgot one, maybe two zeroes? Oh gosh.”

Jill DeWit:                            Or sometimes, well it depends on what they ask me. Sometimes they’re asking me, “This is insane. Where did you get this number?” I’m like, “You know what? I did the best that I could with all the information that I had available and I’m happy to talk to you about it.”

Steven Butala:                   Well, the line that I’ve heard you recently say, which I love, and I personally would respond to this really well. She says, “You know what? In this area, it’s pretty clear to me now that it’s mis-assessed.” This is total full-blown fibbing because if you ever listen to the show or if you’re in our group, you know we don’t use assessment data to price anything, ever. But what she says is perfect. I clearly made a mistake with the assessment data that we were provided. So if there’s an offer that works or something that’s more accurate, let’s talk about that.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s true. That’s what I’ve said.

Steven Butala:                   Or some version of that. I would respond to that

Jill DeWit:                            And then I …

Steven Butala:                   Because now you’re making yourself smart, you’re not just like a call service.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. But I really put some time into it, so thank you very much. And then I ask them, whatever it is, I address it, let them know I’m on their side. I did not mean to offend them. Let’s get past … we’re past that kind of thing. That’s my point of that next sentence. I immediately say, “Bottom line is, do you really want to sell. And if so, what is the right number?”

Jill DeWit:                            Then they go, “Oh. Oh. Okay.” And that’s what you want to happen.

Steven Butala:                   That’s the moment you need.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s what you want and they’re going to go, “All right, well you know what? My mom lives there and she’s not moving. She’s going to live there through the end of time. Trust me. I do want to sell Jill. But mom’s only 70 and I think she’s going to live to 95. Oh gosh.”

Jill DeWit:                            Whatever it is, they’ll tell you. Or they’ll say, “You know what? Actually my wife and I have been going around about this. I can’t believe even sent me an offer. This is where we stand.” So that’s the conversation you want to have. That’s the whole point here. So if they say no, like I said, they never want to sell whatever, send them on their way. Wish them well.

Jill DeWit:                            If they say yes, now you’ve got there. This is the exact conversation you want. You want to find out what’s their bottom number. Maybe explain them a little bit to how this works. Like, “Look, obviously I’m not an agent. There’s no commission involved. Yay. We both get to save that money. I don’t need to negotiate. Your time is valuable. My time is valuable. If you could walk away with a green bag of cash on Tuesday, what would be the bottom number?”

Jill DeWit:                            That’s what you’re trying to do. And just get that out of them. And these calls, by the way, can be three minute, five minute max calls. That’s all you had to do. And then once they say, “Here’s my number,” that’s what you need, and you’re going to go, you know what-

Steven Butala:                   That’s what this whole call is about.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s it.

Steven Butala:                   Getting a number.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. And along the way in this process, what I forgot to say, you’ve got the property information. Once they got mad about it and you said, “Do you even want to sell?”

Jill DeWit:                            They said, “Yeah.”

Jill DeWit:                            “Okay. All right. What’s the house please? Kind of the reference number? Or what’s the address?”

Jill DeWit:                            “Okay, this is what it is.”

Jill DeWit:                            “Or the APN.”

Jill DeWit:                            And then what you’re going to do then is hang up the phone and you’re going to let them know, “Thank you so much. I know I offered you, let’s just say $5,000 and you told me,” this is Land Academy, “You offered $5,000 and you told me you won’t take anything less than $9.” It’s not crazy. It’s double, but it’s not crazy. Now you’re going to let them know, “Thank you. I’m going to go back, do a lot more work based on what you told me. I didn’t know it had this. I didn’t know there was a well on it. I didn’t know whatever special thing’s going on.”

Jill DeWit:                            Maybe they’re right about the area. You’re going to go check it out and you’ll say it, “And I’ll get back to you. And how can I reach you? When’s the best time?” That kind of a thing. How great is that? You just turn this whole thing on. They were hopping mad. Now they’re like, “wow, there’s some hope going. Hey babe, I just talked to someone. They’re serious. I didn’t like their offer. I told them what we’d be willing to sell this for and she’s going to call me Thursday or Friday after she does some more work on this.”

Steven Butala:                   You should do a whole webinar on this.

Jill DeWit:                            I know. I need to.

Steven Butala:                   I’ll write it with you and help you if you want.

Jill DeWit:                            I need you. People have been asking me and I’ll let them say, “Here’s what I have. I had this question. I had that question. They told me this, they told me that.”

Steven Butala:                   Well I think it’d be helpful to probably, have you ever seen a director’s cut for a movie and the director talks all the way through it. It would be great to pick like 10 calls, because we recorded everything. It would be great to take 10 calls where some of them were real problematic. Some of them went great. Maybe even a couple of where we ended up buying it. And how and why you turn the table.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s a brilliant idea.

Steven Butala:                   Let me preface this too to the listener/watcher. In the programs that we do, most of them and for years on end on this show, you’ve probably heard us say some version of this. We don’t negotiate. Well that’s great, Steve and Jill. You guys just spent a whole episode talking about how to negotiate a deal. Here’s why, these properties in LA County, they average a million and a half bucks. And the buyers that are buying these properties don’t care about the price. They’ll pay retail. Retail, sometimes more, because they’re being converted. They have existing zoning that will be converted into commercial properties of some sort.

Jill DeWit:                            This is the Land Academy show, so I’m going to show you how it applies to land.

Steven Butala:                   So my point is this, and then Jill, convert it. When a mailer starts to come back, you’re going to almost immediately gauge, “Wow. I priced it really right. There’s a lot of … I mean, this is going to be a successful mailer. I’ve got a lot of people calling saying, ‘you know what? This is exactly what I want. Sign in my offer.'”

Steven Butala:                   So you’re going to gauge that and see if it was priced right and hopefully you’re going to say, “Yeah, I did this right and I’ve got a lot of property coming in. I’m going to buy it.” If that’s the case, you don’t want to negotiate with anybody and all this stuff that Jill just said, not sure it really applies. Because you don’t need 500 properties in the exact same spot. So there’s a time to negotiate. And on this mailer, it’s truly the time to negotiate or it is for us, in our career, because we’re buying a million and a half dollars property and selling for two or two and a half. So just gauge your mailer. And don’t be too fast and too anxious to listen to these knuckleheads when they call you back, is all I’m saying.

Jill DeWit:                            Well that’s great Steve. But this is about turning a hate call into a love call regardless of the property type. That’s what this is all about. So I appreciate where we’re going and I understand that you’re taking it to a different level and assessing the value of your mailer and that’s great.

Steven Butala:                   What’s new.

Jill DeWit:                            So in an effort to not make this a 45 minutes show, I’m going to recap. Answer the phone.

Steven Butala:                   Everything’s fine until I wrapped it up.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, I know it was great if you had just left it with me.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. All right I’ll leave it with you now.

Jill DeWit:                            All right. Answer the phone. And again, even for land, this is the way I do it with land too. So not to take the wind out of his sails, he doesn’t answer the phone.

Steven Butala:                   That’s true.

Jill DeWit:                            And we have them in our program by the way. I have lots of land calls that I share with in the Land Academy program in there. So you can hear me do this too. And even with land, they might say, you know what’s so funny with land? Often they’ll say $4,925 doesn’t work, but 6,000 does. And I’m like, “It’s $1,000 off?” Because I still know, I’m still going to double my money. That’s all it takes. That’s often how those calls go.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. I shouldn’t have talked.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s okay. We’ll let that go. We know your time is valuable. Thanks for spending it with us today. Join us every Tuesday and Thursday for the House Academy Show and then Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Like you’re right here now, join us for the Land Academy Show. So no matter what you get us five days a week.

Steven Butala:                   Next week join us in the House Academy Show for another interesting episode. You are not alone in your real estate ambition. That was brilliant.

Jill DeWit:                            Thanks.

Steven Butala:                   That was useful. I think everyone can agree that some of these shows are really useful. And some of them not so much.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Well this comes up often, people always, it’s so funny what’s too on our weekly member calls, I’ve been answering the phone live as it would come in and everybody’s like, “Oh, I want to hear do it. I want to hear do it.” So I put them on speaker and and sharing the phone calls with our members on the calls and I know that they love it and they get a lot out of that. So I like your idea. I hadn’t thought about dissecting the calls. That’d be kind of cool. I’ll pick my top two or three and say, “Here’s what I did there. Try this, try that.” And I think you’re right. That would really help a lot of people.

Steven Butala:                   I’m not kidding when I say this. That’s a webinar I would attend.

Jill DeWit:                            Thanks. I appreciate that. This show remains commercial-free for you, our loyal listeners. So wherever you’re watching or wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   We are Steve and Jill. Information,

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.


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How to Market and Sell Snow-Covered Land (LA 1115)

How to Market and Sell Snow-Covered Land (LA 1115)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hello.

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

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

Steven Butala:                   Today Jill and I talk about how to market and sell snow covered land. This has been a long standing kind of inside joke between Jill and I for a lot of years.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m happy to paint the picture.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, I would … Tease us a little bit on the picture, then we’ll take the question and we’ll tell you what’s really going on.

Jill DeWit:                            All right. So here’s what happened. I’m from … Should I do it now or save it? I have a couple of minutes of things to say.

Steven Butala:                   Jill’s from California, I’m from a very snow covered area. A lot of you who are listening to this-

Jill DeWit:                            Know that.

Steven Butala:                   Don’t see the appeal to snow. There’s nothing magical or mystical about it. In fact, it’s just a huge dent in your whole day for about six or eight months back East.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay, so that’s your story. Tell me, then I’ll tell you mine.

Steven Butala:                   Jill sees it like out of a Christmas special.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m going to tell you, I thought it was cool. I grew up in sunny Southern California. I mean, not this close to the water obviously, but in a great community. And the first time I saw snow fall I was in middle school or high school, and I thought it was the coolest thing. So I grew up here near the ocean, looking at these snow-capped beautiful mountains. And every time I go up to the snow for the weekend it’s beautiful. It’s fun, it’s sunny and gorgeous and fresh, and the air smells so great. So I think it’s cool. So that’s my experience.

Steven Butala:                   So you can see the innate conflict here about snow covered land. Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the online community. It’s free.

Jill DeWit:                            Jenna asks, “I have a contract on a lot that has a mobile home on it: buying the lot only, not the mobile home. The owner said it’s not in livable condition and no one lives there. My photographer said there’s definitely someone living there and it looks like a meth house. He’s going to send me a picture if he can. It’s worth about $9,000 but not with the mobile home removal/eviction. Obviously I’m not going to agree to buy it for the $3,800 I offered. But what would you offer to make it worth it? I was thinking $500, self close, sell for $1,500 and the tenants and the mobile home would be the new owner’s problem.” Yikes. “Or should I even waste my time? No one would buy it.”

Steven Butala:                   What would you do?

Jill DeWit:                            Well first of all, I wouldn’t do the idea of kind of brushing it under the rug and pushing the problem onto the buyer because that never works. You don’t want to do that, because all they’re going to do is find out what’s going on, call you and they’re asking for a refund or something. You don’t like my idea?

Steven Butala:                   I just, I know we’re going to differ on this and I think it’s funny.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, okay.

Steven Butala:                   And I’m not being satirical.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay, all right.

Steven Butala:                   And I have to say before you finish what you would do, I would veto … Every once in a while when Jill and I disagree on whether we should buy a property, one of us says veto and the other one just stops and walks away and they get their way. This is a veto thing for me. Go ahead.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, I would try to solve it. I would either solve it or move on.

Steven Butala:                   I would buy this property.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh!

Steven Butala:                   Period, veto.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s why. So you’d buy it and brush it under the rug?

Steven Butala:                   Just go ahead. I want to hear what you say first.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay, because I have a lot of questions.

Steven Butala:                   No, never brush anything under the rug, but-

Jill DeWit:                            All right, but-

Steven Butala:                   All of these problems that she sees … are attributes.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, that’s my thing. I would try to fix it. And first of all, just because your photographer thinks it’s a meth house doesn’t mean they’re … It could be very nice family. Who knows? They don’t have a lot of money, they’re making their best. Maybe it’s a distant relative of the person. You’ve got to get to the bottom of this a little bit I think, but I do see it as an opportunity.

Steven Butala:                   I absolutely disagree with that plan also.

Jill DeWit:                            We know it’s livable, by the way. All right, you don’t like my idea? You go with your idea. Go.

Steven Butala:                   Number one, there’s so much drama these days about buying real estate within this group. I don’t know what … Something changed recently. Maybe it’s just how open our group is and how much access we have because of Land Investors, or maybe it’s the advent of House Academy. But there’s a lot of, “I’ve got this situation man and this thing’s going on over here and it’s got this thing over here.” And I’m not picking on this person at all, this just happens to be the question today.

Steven Butala:                   Back in the day, and probably even last week, I would’ve found out that there’s a mobile home on the property, I would’ve jumped up and down, probably celebrated and said something like, “Wow, so all the utilities are figured out.”

Jill DeWit:                            True.

Steven Butala:                   Then I would have sent the photographer out there. That photographer would have confirmed to me, “Oh yeah, there’s somebody living there for sure. I think they’re squatting, but they are. I got a lot of pictures.” That confirms to me, I don’t know, maybe the sanitation’s working, they figured out electricity or some version of it. So those are all positive things.

Jill DeWit:                            True.

Steven Butala:                   And then I would have said excellent. I would have called the owner and said, “You got a deal. Thanks for all the information.” And maybe I would’ve re-negotiated the price a little bit. Maybe not, but probably not because I don’t remember the exact numbers on this, but they sounded great. I don’t know what state it is, but five grand, I think for the whole thing? I don’t want to scroll back up. If it’s five grand with a livable mobile home, in very few places that’s not going to work. That’s a smoking deal. You’re going to be able to sell it for $15k in any condition.

Steven Butala:                   Here’s what happened and how it went sideways in my opinion. The photographer … And Jill’s famous for saying this. This is an original education, because the number one question that we get at a cocktail party about the business that we’re in after we describe it is, “Who the hell would want to do that? Who the hell would want to live out there? Do you know there’s a meth trailer out there?” And all I see is opportunity, and all this new person’s sees … And again, I’m not picking on her at all, is sees a problem, something she’s got to do, she’s got to fix it. So it’s just on how you see this stuff.

Jill DeWit:                            I agree.

Steven Butala:                   What?

Jill DeWit:                            No, I agree. I do. No, when you put it like that, I do. I forgot about the whole utilities and things, but I guess I would … I think I would’ve gotten to that point in the end anyway. That’s my do your homework and figure it out. Don’t dismiss it right away and don’t brush it under the rug. There’s some good stuff there.

Steven Butala:                   There’s people in rural markets, middle-aged guys usually, that specialize … They love this kind of stuff. Are you kidding? If I buy a property for three to $5,000 bucks and sell it to them for $15k it’s got what he would call an unpaying tenant in it. Regardless of their meth blood alcohol content, it’s maybe a livable structure on it so he’s got to spend some time and energy, maybe remove that tenant or get the tenants just to pay. They love that stuff.

Steven Butala:                   Sometimes they’re retired cops and stuff. They live to make money like that and then rent it forever. So these are all real positive things, but I can see how somebody, and maybe it was me at some point, would see this real negative. So I think you got a real good situation on your hands and hopefully this airs before you kill the deal or anything. If you don’t want to do the deal, call me. I’ll do this deal. I love these kind of deals.

Jill DeWit:                            Definitely. Call his directly. I’ll give you his cell later.

Steven Butala:                   I would close that fast and I wouldn’t do a self close on it, by the way. I would close with title because you know you’re going to … It’s because the person who buys it is going to make use of what’s there. The value in this property is not the land. The value is the fact that there’s already a mobile home there and you can either scrape it and put a new one or make do with what’s there somehow.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Does that all make sense-

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Steven Butala:                   Or am I going a little nutty here on this?

Jill DeWit:                            No, it’s okay. You’re good.

Steven Butala:                   I get excited about that. Today’s topic, how to market and sell snow covered land. This is the meat of the show.

Jill DeWit:                            So here’s the backstory. So I told you my experience, snow is dreamy. So we get this piece of property, I’m looking for pictures and I come across some pictures. I’m rolling into the inventory, the picture of the area that are snow covered and I think is … And it did have blue sky, I will say this, but there’s definitely snow on the ground. It shows the gate going and it’s got a gated community. I think it’s dreamy and beautiful. So this is way back in the day. I’m making this posting, I’m putting these pictures in there and Steven comes along and says, “What are you doing?” And I’m like, “Isn’t this gorgeous? Look at the snow on the ground and that blue sky.” And that’s the thing. And he’s like, “Oh no, that’s not going to sell.” Please explain.

Steven Butala:                   This is a classic, marital, chuckle about it for months, if not years-

Jill DeWit:                            Years-

Steven Butala:                   Marital thing that … Especially with two people that come from different backgrounds. And so I grew up in Michigan where snow is just … Aside from that first day that it snows and everybody gets a little bit excited about it, it just becomes this massive nuisance. And everybody, if you live East of the Mississippi or in the mountains at all, anywhere, or even Pacific Northwest, weather’s a massive nuisance. This is the only place that I’ve ever lived right here in California, Southern California, that the weather isn’t a problem. And so especially back East you don’t want to buy anything snow-covered. You don’t want to think about snow.

Steven Butala:                   You want something that’s dry. First of all, snow’s wet. You want something dry and comfortable and easy to get to. And when there’s a lot of snow on the ground in a lot of places in this country, then that property, you just can’t get to it. And so snow sends to me the wrong message, and I don’t think I’m in the minority. And so when you’re in a relationship with somebody, the stuff that if someone else, a regular person did, you just want to kill them. It’s annoying as hell. It’s just cute with the person that you’re in a relationship with. So this snow thing has just been a longstanding joke between Jill and I.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. So what do you do? So here’s the whole thing. How do we market this? I bought it, it’s the middle of the winter, it’s snow covered. Well first of all, the people who are buying this property when you try to market it, I mean, they know. You don’t need to talk about the weather or the conditions, things like that. They know where the property is and they’re buying, they’re looking in that area by the way. I would do my best to get photos taken on the best possible day that you can, because you want to get it on the market quickly as possible. And if there’s snow on there, I would try to time it when there’s a melty period. Does that happen?

Steven Butala:                   A melty period?

Jill DeWit:                            Yes, based on your experience.

Steven Butala:                   You know, the line between marketing and lying, it’s a pretty big line, a big fat black line. And everybody knows it snows in Michigan, and I think in this case it was in the northern part of New Mexico if you already mentioned that, it doesn’t matter. And everybody knows that there’s fantastic beautiful days too. So I don’t think shooting a property on a fantastic beautiful day is by any stretch lying. It’s a good day.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   By saying it never snows, that’s a bad thing. So everybody knows that you’re buying snow property.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   And it shouldn’t really seasonally affect the price too much. My general opinion is, and I don’t think there’s any … This is one of those topics where there’s no good straight answer … I personally don’t think you should … All of us that look through the internet in June and seeing pictures of property that’s got snow on it and you’re like, “Ugh.” It takes all the wind out of my sails completely. Well first of all, it’s been on the market so long or they don’t care enough to get current pictures. Look, snow’s bad. I don’t care how you slice it.

Jill DeWit:                            But here’s what I want you to think about and here’s what I would do. Just because you acquire property right now and it’s in a great area, you know what’s possible in the summer, I don’t want you to not buy it because you can’t market it.

Steven Butala:                   Me too.

Jill DeWit:                            I still want you to get it out there. So buy the property. You might even get a better price for it by the way, because the guy who has it doesn’t see the value in it right now because it’s covered in snow. This could help. And I don’t want you to hang onto it and you just keep it in your inventory and not put it for sale in the spring. So what I would say is do your best. This is the whole point of the show here: you got to market the snow covered thing somehow. I don’t mean to sit on it until May.

Steven Butala:                   That I agree with, by the way.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Well, thank you.

Steven Butala:                   Don’t let the snow stop your acquisitions, just maybe shoot it on a different day.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s it. Do your best and get the angle … You are famous at this one, Steven … if you have to, as close to the ground, shooting up high, showing the horizon, less of the snow and you’re still being accurate. Do things like that. Do the best that you can. And then when you have a good weather day, the snow is melting, get someone out there and then update your pictures if it’s not already sold, and hopefully it has.

Steven Butala:                   So if you’ve ever taken a photography class … That’s a really good point … a good photography professor, a good course, they’ll tell you this: when a camera’s at your face … We all put cameras up to our faces, that’s just what we do. We always spend a lot of time looking down because we’re walking or looking down and around ourselves. And that’s never, in my opinion, never the best view of anything.

Steven Butala:                   Regardless of the situation that you’re in, if you kind of look up even if you’re in a big city, you look up, it’s like “Wow.” Or especially out in the woods or anywhere, you look up a little bit, there’s a mountain view, it’s a lot more interesting in my opinion than looking down. So I’m famous for getting down on the ground and shooting up, and it’s a lot more interesting.

Jill DeWit:                            Trees-

Steven Butala:                   Try it sometime. Even try it in your house or try it in your yard. Even with your phone, get down and take a … I’m not saying shoot straight up in the air. I’m saying maybe 40 degree angle, 35 degree angle and just that perspective for real estate, even if there is snow on the ground, that’s really my point here. I don’t think it should seasonally change your acquisitions, I’m saying how you present this stuff on the internet can be improved.

Jill DeWit:                            Here’s what I’m envisioning. Here’s how I’m envisioning the prep going for this. I’m aimed up high and then I keep tilting, tilting, tilting, snow. There’s the shot.

Steven Butala:                   Or get a little snow on the bottom of it, but shoot the stuff, the attributes that are up.

Jill DeWit:                            The trees, exactly. That’s good.

Steven Butala:                   I have a lot to say about this, but-

Jill DeWit:                            But yeah, well the reason it’s coming up is because it’s coming up. People just got hit with snow. It just happened. There’s a lot of the East Coast right now that’s dealing with it. I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with that, and it’s funny because I know exactly what you’re saying. I watched my cousin put something on Facebook the other day with her son and, “Hey, it’s the first snow day of the year,” and she’s from Michigan. She’s from Michigan, went to the Bay Area and now is back in New York. So she’s like “It’s the first snow day.” Her son’s in kindergarten. It’s kind of cute right now and I know in about 90 days or less, maybe 30 days, it’s not going to be so cute anymore. So-

Steven Butala:                   It takes a lot less time than that. Well, the day that their car door’s frozen, then it goes down from there.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. We know your time is valuable. Thanks for spending it with us today. Join us here every Tuesday and Thursday for the House Academy Show. We said that wrong, excuse me. Join us here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the Land Academy Show. That’s what I’m trying to say. You need us five days a week? Don’t stress. On Tuesdays and Thursdays you can find us on the House Academy Show.

Steven Butala:                   Tomorrow the episode on the House Academy Show is tips from a major city zoning planner by Mike Marshall. You are not alone in your real estate ambition. You’re not alone at laughing at Jill and I trying to read the new-

Jill DeWit:                            Mumble-

Steven Butala:                   Words on the teleprompter.

Jill DeWit:                            Through our new schedule. We clearly don’t know our new schedule. But I do know this, whatever it is, we’re here five days a week and we remain commercial-free. So wherever you’re watching or wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate us there.

Both:                                     We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   Information-

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration-

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.


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

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at

The BuWit Family of Companies include:

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

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

Holiday Sales Slumps – Do They Exist? (LA 1114)

Holiday Sales Slumps – Do They Exist? (LA 1114)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hello.

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

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

Steven Butala:                   Today, Jill and I talk about holiday sales slumps. Do they exist or not?

Jill DeWit:                            It’s funny. I love this one. Every year we get these questions that come in a lot. Everybody gets concerned. It comes up on our weekly member calls. So I talked to my team and we’d thought we’d make a whole show about it. And I’m going to fill everyone in and I have some good ideas too.

Steven Butala:                   Before we get into it though, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the online community. It’s free.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Buzz asks, “Has anyone ever bought land through Government Auction and resold? Is it a good idea or a bad idea?” Go.

Steven Butala:                   Oh man, I’m qualified to answer this.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   So here’s the thing. There’s this website called It’s owned by, or it used to be owned by, I’m not sure now who owns it, a guy named Paul Sebasky. And so he calls it government auction but it has nothing to do with the government. That’s just the name of his company. And he’s been around since longer than I have. So he actually, before the internet would do live auction sales. So he would spend a tremendous amount of money on advertising, get a bunch of people in a room, and again, because there was no internet way to do this, auction off property with terms and the whole thing. It’s very, very successful. He was only like one or two or three or four people in the whole country that was doing it. And he’d travel around doing it, buying property the same way we do.

Steven Butala:                   So just be careful about that. That’s a piece of old school information. You may not be buying property from the government, you may be buying it from him or somebody else that is using that word. I think the real question that you’re asking is, “Is it okay to buy back tax property?” And the answer is we’ve made a career out of that. It doesn’t hold a candle to buying property the way that we do with sending out direct mail. In fact, as a percentage, I bet 95% of the property we buy is through direct mail. Land and houses. The other 5% is either back tax deeds or foreclosing on tax liens.

Steven Butala:                   And that’s all land. In all of my experience it’s near impossible, contrary to the late night infomercial, buying houses for back tax. There’s just too much competition and it’s too laborious to get through these tens of thousands of units of lists to find that one little gold nugget. You know, there’s just a better way. So I could do a whole podcast, not an episode on this topic. I’m pretty well versed in buying back tax property all over the country, actually. So yeah, if that interests you for whatever reason, there’s a lot to it. It’s very brainy and very time consuming. And really when I say this, seriously, please take me seriously back. Buying back tax property is a great compliment to sending out mail. It’s not the other way.

Jill DeWit:                            I was going to add too, because we’ve talked about this often, some people worry that, “Well gosh, if I do this, I’ve got this treasurer’s deed, I go to sell it, now can they get title insurance on it?” And there are companies out there that specialize in this so the answer’s yes. They can help you do that. So people can use it and love it and build on it, whatever they want to do in the normal way.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah. It used to be you get a treasurer’s deed and then it’s like, “Ah man, I got a second class piece of property. There’s probably some problems.” All of that, thank God, is going away.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes.

Steven Butala:                   The negative vibe or the negative connotation that goes on with back tax property is slowly but surely, because of the internet and the tools that Jill was talking about, going away. Which is good.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   I could talk for hours on this actually.

Jill DeWit:                            I know you can.

Steven Butala:                   And probably should. You know what? I’ll probably, I’ll put something-

Jill DeWit:                            Do a back tax week.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            That would be kind of cool.

Steven Butala:                   Well, I’ll put something together where it’s not just me talking in front of a camera. I’ll put some stuff together on this, and maybe hold a webinar or something like that.

Jill DeWit:                            That’d be great.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic, holiday sales slumps, do they exist or not? This is the meat of the show. Jill, define this please for everyone.

Jill DeWit:                            So every year this comes up. And we’re getting into the holidays, obviously, it’s like right around the corner. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, Christmas, New Year’s, and everybody worries like, “Ah, shucks. Am I going to have trouble selling property during this period? Is anyone even online? What’s going to happen?” And so every year we talk about it and every year we all sit back at the beginning of January and go, “Wow, that was great. It didn’t materialize.” Because things do happen. I’m here to tell you, property does move. You’d be surprised.

Jill DeWit:                            And it’s not just me, there’s so many members that we talk about like in our own community, like, “Yep, I sold that one the day after Christmas. I think I sold that one on Christmas.” And I have my own little theory as to why I think it happens, and I’ll share that actually. Especially between Christmas and New Year’s, a lot of people have time off. They’re on the computer. They’re staring at the snow. They’re dreaming of other things. The family, the kids are driving them nuts. You know what I mean? And now they might be ready to pull the trigger on something.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            So it’s comical how you think it’s not going to happen, but it does. So here’s my advice. And I was just thinking about this for the show, and actually, my team’s not using it to our best advantage as we could, so I’m sharing this with you and everybody, including my staff. We need to all use this to our advantage. Why are we not having a Black Friday land sale? What’s wrong with that?

Steven Butala:                   I agree.

Jill DeWit:                            You know, I don’t know if you could do it now, but back in the day on eBay, you used to be able to put things on your lead photo. Remember that? I could put like a red ribbon on it. Why wouldn’t you not… I don’t know if you could do it now-

Steven Butala:                   You can.

Jill DeWit:                            You can?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Why would you not do that? Have like a red ribbon, like, “Give this for Christmas?” kind of thing. You know, you’re dreamy cabin property.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            You know, I think it would be awesome. My other point I want to make is… Well, what do you think about that, first of all?

Steven Butala:                   About the Black Friday sale?

Jill DeWit:                            You like my idea?

Steven Butala:                   I think it’s the greatest thing ever. I mean, you know, the Norman Rockwell version of holidays is for some people, but I think honestly it’s definitely from a numbers standpoint, the minority of people, minority number of people have that kind of holiday. I think there’s tons and tons of people scouring the internet. This isn’t my theory, I just read that all over the world, that Black Friday is the highest sales from a dollar standpoint, sales day for everything, real estate included, of the rest of the year. So no, I’ve had a tremendous amount of luck buying and selling property during that holiday period.

Jill DeWit:                            You know too, it’s funny if you notice there’s like a lot of open houses and things around the holidays.

Steven Butala:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jill DeWit:                            People have the time off. They’re saying, “Hey, let’s go cruise that neighborhood, babe, that we were thinking of moving in.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            “Put the kids in the car. We’ve got nothing to do today. Let’s go do some driving around. And we’ll look at the Christmas lights while we’re at it.”

Steven Butala:                   All the type AAA people that I know, entrepreneurs and stuff, they don’t take a day off during the holidays. They might take a few hours off and hang out and do some stuff, but they’re still kind of working. You know? All through the weekends I’d work. I wouldn’t call it like sitting down on a desk working and buying real estate, but I do research for new companies or whatever. So I think there’s a lot of people that if you just push them a little bit, like with the sales and stuff that Jill’s talking about, it’s going to work.

Jill DeWit:                            I wonder how many people listening have the same thing going on in their household as in mine. Is there always a laptop on your couch plugged in, because at that moment that your partner wants to just pick it up and do some research, do you find yourself watching Shark Tank and trying to reach out to people on that show and say, “We’re hiring that guy.”

Steven Butala:                   Do not play that Shark Tank card.

Jill DeWit:                            Welcome to my world.

Steven Butala:                   Between the two of us I’m not the compulsive Shark Tank person.

Jill DeWit:                            Actually I did that. Isn’t that funny?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            I did that one time. There was this guy on Shark Tank that he called up somebody and said, “I should be your COO.” And they got together. And I’m like, “I’m calling that guy.”

Steven Butala:                   Which you did.

Jill DeWit:                            I did. I tried to stalk him and obviously the gig he’s got is working out fine because he didn’t get back to me. But I was trying to get that guy myself. It was so funny.

Steven Butala:                   Seasonality and holidays and all this stuff, to real entrepreneurs just don’t matter. You’re going to find a way. Forget about land and real estate, but whatever you’re working on, if it’s in your soul, this is going to happen for you. So I don’t think the seasonality matters. As far as your customers go, for like land buying customers and house buying customers, they’re probably the same way. If you’re truly wholesaling like we are and you’re not going to the consumer, selling to the end user or consumer, these people are all just as nuts as you are. And me. I put myself completely in that group.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. I have to admit I’m a little nuts about that too. I don’t sit and research new businesses and things like that as much as you do. but I do get very into my side of the business.

Steven Butala:                   Jill does not… She used to, but she does not now put an apron on, put her hair up, put some soft music on in the kitchen and bake some pies and spend a couple of days in there before Christmas. Trust me. In fact, the reality is, because of our family and how it’s all structured, we don’t even have the holidays on the day we’re supposed to have it. Because it’s just the kids aren’t in town. They’re not in town the next week.

Jill DeWit:                            They’re older.

Steven Butala:                   She used to do all this stuff, and I’m not knocking it.

Jill DeWit:                            Do you miss it?

Steven Butala:                   No, I don’t.

Jill DeWit:                            Do you want me to make a pie?

Steven Butala:                   Nobody’s starving. We still have pies and stuff, she just doesn’t make them.

Jill DeWit:                            To be honest, I never actually made a pie. So if you think I made it, I didn’t. I make cookies.

Steven Butala:                   You’re a good actor.

Jill DeWit:                            I’ll make a lot of cookies. That’s my thing. I make cakes. I’m good with cakes, cookies. I don’t know why I’m not a pie… making a pie. Do you know what? I think Marie Callender does it so much better than I could.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, exactly.

Jill DeWit:                            I don’t need to do that.

Steven Butala:                   And I swear it’s cheaper.

Jill DeWit:                            Uh-huh (affirmative).

Steven Butala:                   You don’t need a 25 pound bag of flour to make six pies and then it sits there.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   Join us next time on the House Academy Show. We just made some changes. This is a good time to bring it up.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   The Land Academy Show, since 2015 has either been a seven day a week show or a five day a week show. Most recently five days a week for years and years and years. The House Academy members… We have another company called House Academy, another membership group, are saying, “Where the heck’s our shows?” So Jill and I decided… It took us a while, we debated about this for quite some time. The Land Academy Show now is Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The House Academy Show, which is on a different channel, is on Tuesday and Thursday. Still five shows, everybody, just three for Land Academy and two for House Academy. But they’re on different channels.

Steven Butala:                   So tomorrow, which is Tuesday, if you’re wondering where the Land Academy Show is, it’s the House Academy Show. And all you need to do is keyword search “House Academy” wherever you have it all linked up into your phone, or however you listen to the podcast or watch YouTube. It’s on a separate channel, but the show is there at the same time.

Jill DeWit:                            And you might want to check it out. There’s a lot of things that overlap in our business between Land Academy and House Academy. So you might learn some stuff that help you with your land business.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, the most successful people in our group use both product types to overlap their product lines, in conjunction with each other kind of thing. So join us next time on the House Academy Show for the episode called, Deals we are Doing Today, by Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            And we answer your questions posted on our online community found at It’s free.

Steven Butala:                   You are not alone in your real estate ambition. I’m excited as hell about this. That’s the truth of it.

Jill DeWit:                            At the holidays?

Steven Butala:                   No.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh.

Steven Butala:                   No, no. About the House Academy thing. Because we’ve been quietly going along buying and selling houses. We’re doing a ton of deal… Actually, we’re going to talk about it tomorrow. A ton of deals. Jill’s been just doing a ton of deals in LA County, so we’re going to talk a lot about that. But it really makes a lot of sense, all kidding aside, to do both.

Jill DeWit:                            I agree. By the way, our Land Academy Show remains commercial-free for you, our loyal listener. So wherever you’re watching or wherever you’re listening, please subscribe and rate us there.

Steve and Jill:                     We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   Information-

Jill DeWit:                            And inspiration-

Steven Butala:                   To buy undervalued property.


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

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at

The BuWit Family of Companies include:

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

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