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House Academy Show

Steven and Jill share their personal investment/real estate business achievements, answer questions, share valuable tips, all in the name of promoting listeners’ personal and professional real estate success. Steven and Jill have been flipping houses wholesale style since the 90’s and have completed the purchase and sale of more than 15,000 properties. Their experience has earned them a solid reputation in the industry as well as assisted them in gaining the respect and friendship of many of the top national real estate investment and internet marketing experts. Through House Academy, Steven and Jill mentor ambitious real estate aspirants on how to buy Houses for half their immediate resale value and immediately resell them to rehabbers or landlords . Every week they buy and sell houses alongside their members. They take you through all the parts of this process in great detail in their programs. All in the spirit of house flipping, house investing, HGTV, house wholesaling, real estate investing, direct mail acquisitions, how to buy cheap houses.

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Member Bei Zhang Shares House Academy Success Stories (LA 1041)

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, broadcasting from sunny southern California. Steven Butala:                   Today, Jill and I talk with member Bei Zhang, who shares her Land Academy success stories and maybe some potential failures. Well, let's see what we talks about. Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Steven Butala:                   Bei, am I pronouncing your last name correctly? Jill DeWit:                            Bei Zhang. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah, Zhang. Exactly right. It sounds like Jong. Steven Butala:                   All right. Awesome. Tell us a little bit ... In the pre-show, Bei, you were talking about how you just got back from China. That's super interesting. Tell us what happened. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Well, this is a special trip and me, my mother-in-law and [inaudible 00:00:42], my nine-year-old daughter, and then also our nephew, we all come together to Beijing to meet my parents' side. So spent two weeks there and visited the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, those parks ... It's fabulous. Yeah. It's fun. Jill DeWit:                            Wow. I'm jealous. Steven Butala:                   So it was all just a social fun trip. No work? Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. I tried to cut off my workflow. I try to forget there has work, just fully enjoy my trip. So customer who leave the voicemail to me, I feel bad. I never really returned a call. Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            You have to do that sometimes. That's okay. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah, sometimes. Jill DeWit:                            That's not your norm. I know it. You have to really ... We have a trip coming up actually soon. By the time this airs, we'll be back from the trip, but ... Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            Actually, we'll be on the trip. I don't even know. Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            Anyway, we're going to go to Santa Barbara, and I'm really trying to orchestrate it so I don't have to do that much. There's always something I've got to check on, a few little things, but if I could do an hour a day, then it's perfect. I'm okay with that. Bei Zhang:                           Yes. Steven Butala:                   How does real estate work in China these days? Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Bei Zhang:                           I think it is highly regulated by the government. So the government, they're really involved in the lot of those policies, so I think you have to have a very deep relationship with someone in that industry, in the government, to help you. It's not like everyone has an equal opportunity. That's how I feel. Steven Butala:                   Okay. Jill DeWit:                            Wow. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Steven Butala:                   I just read that Chinese individuals buying residential real estate in this country dropped off this year by like 30%, and everybody wants Florida because it's inexpensive. Jill DeWit:                            Really? Steven Butala:                   But for some reason ... I don't know if it's the local economy there. Do you have any insights on that? Bei Zhang:                           I think it just like the price are very high in those cities. [inaudible 00:02:43] ridiculously high. You think about how much you earn versus your salary and then housing price, the ratio is really high. Not like in the U.S. Your salary, you add together in the middle class, probably, I don't know, six years. Assume you don't spend anything, you can pay off the whole house in a middle class type of house. But in China, it just like ... Well, 30 years it's just like a mission impossible. I feel the ratio is too high versus how much you earn, how much the house price is. It's ridiculously high. Yeah. Steven Butala:                   Oh. So you think it's rooted in not an earning to spending ratio, which I guess all residential [inaudible 00:03:24] is? Bei Zhang:                           Yes. I think when people, they traveled to the U.S. They see the price. They're like, "What? That is ridiculously low. I have the cash." The thing is they have a lot of cash. They're trying to looking for the investing opportunities. Then they just feel like, "Hey, let's just buy five houses one time." A lot of people do like that. Steven Butala:                   I see. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            Yep. I swear it was a big deal when I was in New York like two years ago. Everybody know who bought the Waldorf. All they kept saying was, "It was the Chinese." Some investors, like you're saying, maybe had a lot of cash and they just bought that whole thing. Steven Butala:                   Yeah. I've been doing this for a long time, and over the years we've sold tons of real estate land to people who are out of this country and shocked and amazed at how cheap it is. Jill DeWit:                            True. And how easy it is to transfer it, you know? Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah, exactly. Even this time when I meet my friends, and I think they immigrate to Canada, and then they're thinking about how much I paid from my own house, and they're like, "What? We pay at least 10 times more than what you paid." They just cannot understand why the price here is so good here. Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            That's interesting. Steven Butala:                   You're in Indiana, right? Bei Zhang:                           Yes. I'm in Indiana. Indianapolis, yes. Steven Butala:                   Did you fly to Chicago? How did you get to China? Bei Zhang:                           Fly to Newark, New Jersey, that airport. Then, yeah, fly from there. I think it's like 14 or 13 hours of flight, so it's a long trip. Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. That's super great. Steven Butala:                   Right into Beijing? Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Right to Beijing, the Capital Airport. Yes. Steven Butala:                   Excellent. Jill DeWit:                            Awesome. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. You should go visit someday. Jill DeWit:                            I want to. Maybe next time you're on your way, I would love to go with you, Bei. We'd have a good time. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Steven Butala:                   Yeah. You guys should- Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. I can be your tour guide to stop someone rip your off. Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            That would be so fun. You should tell how we met. Bei Zhang:                           Yes. Yeah, I think that's a good ... Yeah, we talk about this. So basically again, China, I grown up. Then I think I just in my corporate world, towards the end of 2016, I just don't really feel happy. Then I connected with one of the investors in the Land Academy. Then so he introduced me to meet us in person, and I feel so bad that day. I was like ... I didn't really know. "They sounds like really cool, Jill and then Steve, but I haven't really know anything about them or their program," I kind of think. But after I talk with you guys, I feel like it's so positive. Bei Zhang:                           Then when I go back to work on Monday, I start searching your podcast. I started doing a lot of research and try out listening. I'm like, "Oh, this is so you. I cannot wait to take actions." Then your podcast, for me, is almost like a treat when I drive to the corporate world, drive to the office, and back to the office. I just feel like, "Why they're so happy, and they make everything sounds so easy? Why I have to feel like sad every day?" I was looking for a new journey and life experience. So I just want to be like you, as well. Be happy. That's the first thing I want to be. So when mind feel calmed down, I feel like, "Hey, I can focus on what versus how." You know corporate world always focuses on how. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Butala:                   That's a nice compliment. People ask us a lot like, "Are you guys really that happy, or is it a big act?" And here's my answer, "Jill wakes up happy every single day. Me, not so much." Bei Zhang:                           Oh, no. I don't believe you. Jill DeWit:                            That's good. I love our story. It's so funny. Yeah, the you had the first time Bei met us, we're buying her beer, and she's like, "Who are you guys?" Steven Butala:                   Yep. Jill DeWit:                            Then here you are now how many years later? Steven Butala:                   I think you were in Scottsdale for like another different event. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Yeah. Another program. Then I just feel like I like to know the how part, exact how, to do it. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Bei Zhang:                           Then I think the data is the key thing is my bottleneck. I just cannot figure out, "How can I scrap the data? How can I get the data?" So the other investor, his name is Steven, he said, "Yeah, I know you'll like Land Academy. They really have the data program." So I'm like, "Hey, that's what I really need." Then I really liked your style. I feel like every day you're just so real. Then you always ... Seriously. When I drive to my corporate world, I was like, "Oh my God, I got six meetings back to back for eight hours. How can I go through that?" Then when I listened to the podcast, I'm like, "Hey, that make me feel so positive." Bei Zhang:                           Then I start doing the deals. I think it ... Because we meet at, I think April, 2016, so I start ... My first deal actually is July, 2016. So that year I probably did 12 or some deals. [inaudible 00:08:30] pretty big. I have no idea why I get those good experience. Then 2017, I just feel like, "Hey, I'm ready to [inaudible 00:08:30] my corporate world." So I just doing it full-time, so it very good experience. Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. How many deals did you do in '17, do you think? Bei Zhang:                           I think '17, I probably did somewhere close to like ... I think it's 48 that [crosstalk 00:09:00] Steven Butala:                   48 deals? Bei Zhang:                           Uh-huh (affirmative). Steven Butala:                   [crosstalk 00:09:04] that's great. Bei Zhang:                           Last year, I think 2018 was 58, I'm thinking. Yeah. Not a huge [crosstalk 00:09:13] Steven Butala:                   That's fantastic. Bei Zhang:                           And this year I did some research for this show I've just reviewed just now. I think so far as of today I did 56, something like that. Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            Oh. Steven Butala:                   I got the wrong impression on our webinars, because we talk about that one deal that was giving you trouble. Bei Zhang:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative). Jill DeWit:                            Oh, she's doing a lot. Steven Butala:                   We didn't talk about all the great deals you're doing. Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. And you're usually doing the bigger dollar amounts, aren't you, Bei? You went right at it. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. The very interesting ... The first deal I brought it. It's so funny. It's a title company right of away [inaudible 00:00:09:49]. So I start with the title company with the first two or three deals is all title company. They teach me a lot, and then I start doing a little bit smaller deals. And I feel like it click a little bit better with the larger dollar amount of deal versus the very tiny one. I don't know why it ... I don't know why. Maybe there has [inaudible 00:10:14] power. This is a harder question. I don't know. Jill DeWit:                            Love it. I think it's the bigger return on the bigger deals, for me. Steven Butala:                   I mean, you've obviously made this work for you. Jill DeWit:                            Yep. Steven Butala:                   So what can you attribute that to? Bei Zhang:                           What is the question? I don't quite understand. Steven Butala:                   You've obviously made our program and land investment itself really work to your advantage. Bei Zhang:                           Mm-hmm (affirmative). Steven Butala:                   And honestly, you're ... I'm telling the truth here, because I guess it's the spirit of telling the truth, you're a very unlikely corporate success candidate for Land Academy. So I'm wondering if you can share with us what it is about land and what it is about you that's making this work. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Yeah. Thank you for explain that. Elaborate. Yes. I think is probably the personality. I think the personality decided your life a lot of the times. I'm more like a person looking for experience versus the security. Because 15 years ago I come to the US. It's a huge journey for me for go to business school. Then I work as a marketer for years, working with agency side and working for the client side, and all kinds of the industry, like a customer products, medical device, health care, pharmaceutical. I think probably just like I keep jumping here and there. I just trying to feel what I like, because I don't want to waste my time. I think that life is short. Why are we have to worried about the retirement money? We're [inaudible 00:11:50] to trade your golden years, or just the later year when you're 70. So that's how I keep looking. Bei Zhang:                           Then I like to control my life. In the corporate world, I think it's fancy, because my last role is as a brand manager for a top 10 pharmaceutical company in the world. So to manage one of their cancer drug for lung cancer, I think at first you would thinking about it's fun as glamorous, that kind of feeling. But I just feel in the corporate world that you probably hard to control your schedule, your life. You're kind of like flat, go with the flow. Then, again, people ... They really focused on doing the how part versus the what part, where you're using one meeting to prepare another meeting and just do the how [inaudible 00:12:40]. But nobody really worried about what's the project lead us to? And I feel like that's waste my time. Bei Zhang:                           So what I'm looking for is I don't like politics too much, because I think that's a waste of my time. I just want to find a area I can control who I want to work with, what I want to work with, and when I want to work. So that's the three part I like to find. Bei Zhang:                           Then to [inaudible 00:13:05] I got a book ... I think as Rich Dad Poor Dad, the famous writer Robert Kiyosaki ... really make me think about if you want the working bee hard toward the investor that hard, and how the money flows. That just opened my mind. So there always have something in my back of my head like where I should find this opportunity. Bei Zhang:                           So I'm so glad I connected with Land Academy. You guys teaching me tons, of tons, of tons of things. Then the last two years I feel like I learned from Land Academy, from my peers, from you, Steven and Jill. And then from my customers, from those sellers, from those county persons, all those lawyers, and that kind of thing. I feel like I'm just like learning. I'm so happy about I'm not wasting my time, and I could be very flexible. So I guess it's just entrepreneur experience, you know? Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Bei Zhang:                           My spirit kind of lead me to here. Jill DeWit:                            That's so great. Steven Butala:                   You have such a good attitude. Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Steven Butala:                   It's amazing, actually. Jill DeWit:                            It's huge. I think at our first live event, you were the very first one. [inaudible 00:14:18] I remember I loved it. And I'm pretty sure, I think I saw you on the list for this October, right? Bei Zhang:                           Yes. Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            Okay, good. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. I just feel like connecting with people in our community just ... You feel lonely every day sometimes. You want to have some feedback, right? And then my family, they could give me some level of feedback, but their feedback is so ... The mindset is different. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Bei Zhang:                           So I appreciate that, but I want to see the feedback from you and from the other peers. I want to see how other people doing. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. I love it. It's going to be fun to fast forward a year. We should talk about that, actually, at this event. It'd be fun to talk with everybody, maybe at the end. Talk about where we've all grown from last year to this year, because from what I've been hearing, it's astronomical. Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            I'm excited. Steven Butala:                   I know you're in our advanced group. What do you think of that and those webinars that we hold on every Thursday? Bei Zhang:                           I think we're talk about more specific questions. Maybe they're more specific, especially focus on acquisition part versus the general full call. Probably, you get all kinds of questions. This advanced group is more, I think, for people who've had some experience, and then they are looking for some other niche aside. Then some of the thought process is interesting. I like to listen. Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            I do, too. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Steven Butala:                   You two women are role models for young girls all over. Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Bei Zhang:                           Oh. Steven Butala:                   Absolutely. Taking life and careers and just made it work for you guys. Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. I was stuck in that corporate role too, you know? I remember thinking, "Why am I working so hard for somebody else? I'd rather work this hard for me." Bei Zhang:                           Exactly. Exactly. I just feel corporate ... If you want to push in one things, it's so hard. Too many cooks in the kitchen, I would say. Then, right now, as an entrepreneur, I know like Steven, Jill, you guys have different little mini corporations, different project. That, to me, so fun is you get to figure out what you want to do and where you want to go. So really, that's your baby. You get to decide how the baby grow. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Steven Butala:                   Of all the ways to describe those little other corporate projects that we have going on, fun is not how I describe it at all. Jill DeWit:                            That's where we differ. That's one of the many ways that we differ. Bei knows. Bei Zhang:                           I think just after you ... Because every day I think just a little tiny things, it will influence my mood. Sometimes even the hate call where some people, they have some ridiculous request, or county say, "You violate this." It just is a little thing where make your feel kind of like, "Eh," down. But once you just get up, and like Jill, you always say you reset yourself. I take that notes. I think that's good advice. So I reset myself and I just feel like when you have a different mood, you treat the same thing differently. So when you [inaudible 00:17:37] feel like, "Hey, that's nothing. I made it, so it was fun in the way." Jill DeWit:                            It is. I do. I still look at these challenges. We're working on bringing back TitleMind, and we have a new partner in our office, and we're doing stuff with him. He's going through all the steps, and he hasn't done it at this level, I think, before. Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            And he's had other companies, but not like this and has not seen this many hoops and this much vagueness, too. It's really kind of funny. And I talked to him about it the other day. I said, "You know what, Ken? This is one of those things that every time I get into it and I see this many issues and this many problems and this many things we've got to get past, I cheer because I'm like, 'How many people just dropped out because of that?' There's going to be ... That's where we're going to do it and other people can't." Steven Butala:                   Yep. Bei Zhang:                           Yes. [crosstalk 00:18:30] I think our business model is very simple, but simple doesn't mean easy. Jill DeWit:                            Correct. Bei Zhang:                           I always feel almost like if you only have one child and get pregnant, that's easy. But if you have 10 children there and you're pregnant with twins, it's just so hard to take care of each of those little project. That's how I feel. It's simple, but it's not easy. Jill DeWit:                            Isn't that true? You present it pretty funny, but I'm sure you've had this too, Bei. Even like you're traveling or talking to relatives, and you explain what you do, and they think, "Oh, it's just so easy. I could do that." And you're like, "Hold on a moment. It's not that ... There's a lot of moving parts, and you can't be afraid of a lot of things like data." Steven Butala:                   So Bei, what do you mean simple, but ... You said it's easy. No, simple but time-consuming. Bei Zhang:                           Not easy. Steven Butala:                   Is that how we describe it? Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. I think because just like when Jill talk about there has a lot of moving parts, the concept is really easy. You find the deals, and you just flip the deals, right? How easy is that? But there has a lot of ... the process. How do you make the process when you operate that? I think the operational excellence, that's the challenge. Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Bei Zhang:                           How do you save your time? How do you manage your team? How do you using other people's strengths to help you? Then how do you think about the process? I think it's about the process. How do you [inaudible 00:19:57] work? How do you create a system? I think these are the things that not easy. You have to make certain deals to fully understand how do you talk to the customers and that kind of thing. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Steven Butala:                   That's our biggest single challenge, what you just described. Getting the right people in the right place, systematizing everything, and then really kind of ramping it up. Jill DeWit:                            Yep. Steven Butala:                   So we conquered it with land a long time ago, but when it comes to companies like ParcelFact or TitleMind.com, like Jill mentioned, that we haven't released yet, it's like starting all over again. Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Maybe after you make some mistakes, a couple of a hundred deals like you did for land, your other little company, you understand what's the flow should be, so that- Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. You're going to make some mistakes there to learn. Steven Butala:                   People- Jill DeWit:                            [crosstalk 00:20:50] I have a question. Steven Butala:                   Go ahead. Go ahead. Jill DeWit:                            Do you outsource any of this? And if so, what do you outsource and where? Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. I used to outsource quite a few like marketing. I think marketing is the [inaudible 00:21:0 I'm a marketer. I know it. I just don't want to do the repeat work. So I go to ... You know Upwork.com, right? So you can find those freelancers. Then I outsource these. There has a woman. She worked with me probably for over two years just help me with my customer services or the basic emails and then with some hosting. Steven Butala:                   That's great. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Other data input. Then I used to want to hire some like assistants, but I think it's really hard to find a assistant, because you have to buy the time. Then, basically, probably I'm in the learning process, also. I'm still learning how to manage the freelancer, and then like win-win situation, because sometimes they just don't want to do those work or, I don't know, the relationship is hard, especially for remotes. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Butala:                   That's such another challenge for us, too. When you hire somebody, even if it's outsourced, how much time is it going to take to get that ... your time to ... Because now you can't do that job anymore. You're hired this person. So there's always this ramp-up period where stuff's not getting done that you hired the person for. So I'm famous for like waiting too long to hire the person, and then it's not the right person, so you got to hire them again. And it's a big challenge. Bei Zhang:                           I had thoughts, Steve. You talk in one of your podcasts ... You mentioned about, "Well, just let that person get the things done, even though that's not you." I think you made really good comments. I'm like, "Okay, I'll let [inaudible 00:22:42], even though it's not my way to do it, but to get things done." So, yeah. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Exactly. Steven Butala:                   All right. I'll take my own advice. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. You have to go back, think about your good advice. Yeah. So Jill and you both give me really good advice. Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. What are your goals for this year? Is it a deal goal? Is it a money goal? Whatever you want to share would be awesome. Bei Zhang:                           I think my goal, probably just overall, I want to do somewhere close to 100 deals, more like the number of the deals. Then the size, I want to make those deals a little bit higher dollar amounts, a little bit higher. But lower is fine, also, as long as they earn money. I just go with the flow but focusing on a little bit higher. I think the key thing is you got to buy more property, that way you can keep selling more. Bei Zhang:                           So at first, I'm very happy whenever I sold a property in year one and year two. Then once I sold out all of them like, "Oh, what shall I do?" Then, Steve, you mentioned when you get excited is the time when you purchase a property in the right price, so now I get that. Steven Butala:                   Good. Bei Zhang:                           I am happy when I make a good acquisition, because I know lot of times when I sell property, I really don't really lower the price or I really don't push or chase these people. I think it just price, the value of sale. So I just market there and the people just bought right away, so I know if I do my research right about a good price, and then I win. Yes. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Steven Butala:                   Good. Jill DeWit:                            That's good. All right, so over a hundred deals. You're coming to the event. And is this it for you now? I mean, you're in it, man. This is your career and just going to grow this business forever? [crosstalk 00:24:46] property tax. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Basically, I think ... Yeah. I joined the House Academy early. Steven Butala:                   Oh, good. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. I think it's probably last two months were ... But I haven't really get a chance to learn yet before my China trip, but I'm going to look. I think it just opened up more window. Definitely, I think real estate is very fun. There has different sub-category of real estate, so land, house, even mobile home. I'm kind of open to learn. But I think real estate will be where I like to go. I feel happy. When I feel happy, you heart is a harmony level and when you do things, you enjoy your life. So that's what I'm looking for. Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            That's so [inaudible 00:25:30] Steven Butala:                   She's really taking a spiritual approach to this. A feeling approach. I think that's great. Jill DeWit:                            It is. it makes a difference. Steven Butala:                   It's really refreshing for me, because I'm all numbers and angry, you know? Bei Zhang:                           No. You're funny. I don't think so. Jill DeWit:                            I think, maybe too for women, we might talk ... You guys may not even know that you feel that way, I don't think, because you guys don't talk like that. We will be open and share it. But I think you know ... When I say you, I mean men. You have a sense of accomplishment. You may not go back and reflect on it like we do. Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            So you get it. Steven Butala:                   Right. I mean, it's good. It's good to ... I didn't know I could have feelings. Bei Zhang:                           Don't get womens wrong. We like numbers, also. We like to [inaudible 00:26:18]. Jill DeWit:                            That's true. That's true. That's true. Bei Zhang:                           [inaudible 00:26:23] checking all my numbers, and I'm like, "Oh, good. [inaudible 00:26:24] Jill DeWit:                            Good point. Yeah, Bei's [crosstalk 00:26:26] her way through every deal. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. It's so funny. Like this time we traveled in China, and then people try to rip you off in certain markets, so we try to negotiate the price. Every time whole family from the U.S. side, they asked me to negotiate the price, and then they're, "Oh, you're such a harsh negotiator." So when I buy property or when I sell, I do put the negotiator role there. So, yeah, that's important. So I do look at the number, make sure that they're right, and then spiritual. Jill DeWit:                            Because you know what's funny about that, Bei? You just said something that Steven has said about me. He will go back and look at some of the deals that we're doing and ones that I have approved and not approved. He's like, "You're a little tougher than I am on these guys." Like he would have said, "I would accepted that. It's fine. It'll work out." I'm like, "Nope." Steven Butala:                   She's tough. Jill DeWit:                            "I need to buy it at this, and then I can [inaudible 00:27:20]," you know? Bei Zhang:                           Yes. Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. So we're a little [crosstalk 00:27:21] Steven Butala:                   And it happens. It ends up actually the deal happens, you know? Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. That's how I feel. Jill, you are tougher than Steven for that part. I can read you pretty well. That's how I feel. Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Thank you. Steven Butala:                   She picked up on it. Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Bei and I connect. We're good. And look at us. We're happy and laughing and smiling all the way through it. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Yeah. You're inspiring me. I just feel like whenever I feel lonely, I just listen to more of the podcast. Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. I'm glad. Steven Butala:                   Oh, good. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. Steven Butala:                   Bei, are you the translator everywhere you go? Bei Zhang:                           To talk in China? Steven Butala:                   Yeah, just constant translation? Bei Zhang:                           Yeah, mostly I'll do that. And my husband, he know a little bit, very tiny bit, and my ... I have a nine-year-old daughter, and she can say pretty well, but she's not fully competent for that if people speak fast. Yeah. It was fun. Steven Butala:                   Great. Jill DeWit:                            That's great. That's cool. Steven Butala:                   I'm sure that plays all into this. She's like the role model/leader, you know? Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Bei Zhang:                           Oh. Jill DeWit:                            What a good example. You, too. Bei, I mean, he's right. I mean, look at what you're teaching your daughter about what's possible. And the changes that you've made in your life and leaving the corporate world, and a very, very good paying job, by the way, to do this for yourself, and then just kill it. Bei Zhang:                           Well, what I happy about when I go back to China, I connected with some of my like 20-years-old friends. We used to work together, whatever. And I just feel they're still in the same area. I mean, good for them, because they feel stable. But I feel like, "Hey, within those 15 years, I learned so many things," you know? Even someday when I'm turning 90-something, when I look back what I did, I feel happy. I didn't waste my time. That's all I'm looking for. Yeah. The biggest thing, I cannot bear is wasting my time to do something repeatedly again, again. Yeah. Steven Butala:                   People ask Jill and I what we're going to do in retirement, and I say, "We're going to go back and buy and sell real estate," because it's about 10% of what we do right now, and I long for the days when ... Remember when we started out? Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Steven Butala:                   We're in that back bedroom- Jill DeWit:                            Just deal flow. Steven Butala:                   ... and just like I was buying, and she was selling it. We were just counting the money. Jill DeWit:                            That was it. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. I don't really perceive you retire or anything. I think you're just probably make the flow slower a little bit and make the products more focused. That's all. And then it's just like do not need a lot of operational help, just flow come in and the money come in right away. Jill DeWit:                            That's a good plan. I like that. Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            Do you have any questions for us? Bei Zhang:                           A question. At this point, I don't have any question. I just feel like I'm so glad to connected with you and to see you in person. Almost feel like that I look forward, we can see each other probably another two months-ish. Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Bei Zhang:                           And I cannot wait to meet other peers, as well, and then to exchange ideas and connect within that group. Yeah. Very positive. Jill DeWit:                            Me, too. Us, too. Steven Butala:                   Great. Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Steven Butala:                   Hey, we know your time's valuable. Thanks for spending some of it with us today, anyway. Join us next time for another interesting episode. Jill DeWit:                            And we answer your questions posted on our online community at LandInvestors.com. It is free. Steven Butala:                   You are not alone in your real estate ambition. Steven Butala:                   Bei, I can't thank you enough. Jill DeWit:                            That was fun. Steven Butala:                   It was really funny of you. Bei Zhang:                           Yes. Jill DeWit:                            It's nice. I feel like we just got to have a nice little quick girly chat on the phone and connect, but we just happened to share it with everybody. Bei Zhang:                           Yeah. This is a casual talk almost, but it was fun. For me, it's a good experience. Thank you for your time interview me for this one hour. This is my treat. Yeah. Steven Butala:                   Yep. Jill DeWit:                            Thank you very much. Steven Butala:                   We'll see you soon. Thank you. Bei Zhang:                           See you. Take care. Bye-bye. Steven Butala:                   Bye.

31mins

31 Jul 2019

Rank #1

Podcast cover

In and Outs of Baby Sitting a House Deal (027)

Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here. Jill DeWit:                            Bonjour. Steven Butala:                   Welcome to the house academy show, entertaining real estate 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 the ins and outs of babysitting a house sale. If anybody is qualified to talk about this topic, it's Jill. Jill DeWit:                            Oh, I would say it's us. Steven Butala:                   Jill is a great ... I'm very good at generating these house sales economically, and jill is fantastic at putting the money back in the account after it comes in. Jill DeWit:                            You know what's funny about this? Parenting comes in. You have to set goals and boundaries and check in, and there has to be rules, and a lot of communication. Steven Butala:                   It's totally true. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. I can share more on that in a minute. Steven Butala:                   If you're considering being a parent, do a couple house sales and see how you like it. Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, you might change your mind. Steven Butala:                   Before we get into it, let's take a question posted by one of our members on thehouseacademy.com online community. It's free. Jill DeWit:                            Andrea asked, "I've set up my first mailer and I'm getting a lot of response back. Maybe too much response." That's good. "What are your average numbers for your mailers?" Steven Butala:                   Okay, good. Excuse me. Great question. On the outbound, you can expect this: for every 1800 to 3500 letters that you send out on their own, you can expect to buy a house. Some of our really experienced house academy members, us included, do a little bit better than that, but I'm not comfortable telling you that sending out 800 mailers is going to get you a house, which is realistic after four or five years of doing this. Steven Butala:                   In your head, if you're new, just keep the 3000 number in your head. So you're going to spend about $1500 on mail and data in general to generate between $10 and $80,000 in profit for yourself. Those are pretty strong numbers by anybody's measure. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Butala:                   So those are the outbound numbers. On the inbound numbers, what does it cost to close a deal? So a title costs, inspections is $500. Title probably costs, let's just say $1500. Jill DeWit:                            Close a deal, I'm going to say it's about a $2000. Steven Butala:                   That's what I figure. I always put between $2 and $3000 in my head. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Butala:                   There's some marketing costs like fixed price MLS. So your data and mail should cost about $1500, and your closing costs should cost around $2500. So $4 to $5000 to close a house and own it. Jill DeWit:                            I want to talk back about her question about the numbers. She's asking about what are the numbers when I sent out the mailers? What should I get back? Jill DeWit:                            So when you say, buy a house, that's at the very, very bitter end. So keep in mind, I think it's Andrea, so keep in mind, Andrea, that you're sending out mailers. You're going to get maybe 10-20 that you're going to review to buy one or two. Steven Butala:                   Oh, I see. Jill DeWit:                            That I think is her numbers question. Steven Butala:                   20 houses? Jill DeWit:                            Well, 10. Let's just say 10. If you look ... when we say all these offers, I mean, there's a lot that come back. There's a lot that come back that are not in our ballpark, right? So we throw those out right away. Maybe they do want to sell, but they're like, they want retail. That's still a response. So we take them all in. We log them all, we track them all, and keep an eye on them. Some of these people, too, it may not be right now. It may be six months from now. So I just want to point that out. It's not that you send out, let's just say an average of 3,000 offers. You have one person that calls you back and you buy that one house. It's not like that. Jill DeWit:                            There's more than one that call you back or respond to you or sign it. Then you do your due diligence and you decide which you want to buy. Steven Butala:                   So my summary numbers are what I said. I think ... I mean, Jill is a little bit closer to it on the sale side than I am. I think it's closer to maybe three or five to one. The five people you talk to on the phone that come back. Jill DeWit:                            That's what I mean. We're saying the same thing. Steven Butala:                   Okay, good. I thought you said ten to one. Jill DeWit:                            So we're saying the same thing. You know, we could look at the sheet again. It's probably a good idea. We should keep a running total and we don't keep a running percentage. Steven Butala:                   Some of our members report back to the cent, like to the 841 mailers to everyone and I've been doing it for 18 1/2 months and I've sent out ... I mean, the detail is amazing. Jill DeWit:                            Well, what screws it all is you have a mailer from two years ago that comes in. It's like, do I go back and redo my percentage? Steven Butala:                   No, i don't think they do. Jill DeWit:                            See, that's the thing. Steven Butala:                   So there's a lot of accumulated good will with these mailers. They never go away. They get your offer, and the way that it's written, it's an actual offer unlike everything else that they did. They put it in a file. Everybody who owns a home over the age of 30 has a paper file on it somewhere, and I'll tell you the truth is, after they pass away, their kids find this file or they get the tax bill. They start digging through all this stuff. Jill DeWit:                            And see an offer. Steven Butala:                   They see an offer and they call you. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Butala:                   It happens to us every week. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Steven Butala:                   From years ago, when we sent a letter back. Yeah, those never hit our statistics. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Steven Butala:                   So it's good. It's a conservative number. Base topic, the ins and outs of babysitting a house deal. This is why you're listening. Steven Butala:                   What's the first thing that comes to your mind, or what's the first thing that you do when a seller calls back and they say, "I got your letter and I talked to my husband, and we really are thinking about selling." What's the first level that the babysitting starts at that moment? Jill DeWit:                            I want them to say they are ready to sell. So let's assume it's that. [inaudible 00:05:42] "We got your offer. We're ready to go. What do we need to do next?" They very first thing we do is get eyes out there, get the signed purchase agreement, and get someone in that house and get some photos so we really see what we're working with. We want to make sure it's still standing, there wasn't a fire on Tuesday. That's why they're calling us. We joke about that. Steven Butala:                   [crosstalk 00:06:01] Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Steven Butala:                   There's no house there. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. It just got demolished. Who knows what happened. So we want to get out here and just get a quick idea. Make sure they weren't using it for a lab and there was an explosion in the garage, you know? Steven Butala:                   Which happened to us. Jill DeWit:                            Right. So we want to get eyes out there real quick. You're starting the process and you're doing this because you don't want the deal to go away. You have to keep them going because time kills deals, and if you always have a next step, a next step, and next step, it keeps them in the loop and it keeps this moving forward, and they know what's happening. Jill DeWit:                            So that's the very first thing is get out there, take some pictures, and at the same time, while you're sitting at the coffee table and getting the sign purchase agreement and they're filling you in on anything they need to fill you in on about how much time they need to pack up the garage or, "Are you sure it's okay? I don't need to remodel the kitchen," kind of thing. "Yeah, we want it just as it is." Jill DeWit:                            At that point, then you're sitting at the inspection. I want to have my inspector come out and what, "Is Tuesday good? Wednesday good? What's good for you guys?" And get that process going. It's tons of ... I was going to kind of talk higher level first, and if you want to ask me some detailed questions, I'll bring it down to this level. Jill DeWit:                            So things about babysitting a house deal is if you could afford a transaction coordinator some day, that's the goal. It's awesome when you can do that. So for years, we were the transaction coordinators. I was a transaction coordinator at a time, and so were you. Until we got to this level now to have a dedicated transaction coordinator, we were doing it. So I'm overseeing all these little things and there's a lot that goes on, and I wanted to give you some tips and help you right now. Jill DeWit:                            Number one, tons and tons and tons of communication, especially in the beginning. It really doesn't stop, I got to say. You got to be in the loop. What are you doing with your communication? You're doing two things. You're holding the hand of your seller. With one hand, you're holding it and you're helping your seller, letting them know how easy this is. "Hey, do you have any questions? Yep, we're right on time, on schedule. Did you get your movers scheduled? Great, that's perfect. Okay, you're good. I'll talk to you tomorrow. Or did you turn in what the title agent needs? Great. We're good. I'll talk to you tomorrow." Jill DeWit:                            Then on the other hand, you're over here talking to your title agent like, "Hurry up. Remember? We said we're closing on the 30th. Do you have everything you need? What do you mean you didn't hear from them? Okay, hang on. I'll call you back." "Hi." That's really what you're doing. You're doing a lot of ... as you're doing this, I want you to think about making it as easy and simple as possible for your seller while you're pushing and keeping on track your title company or your attorney, whoever you're using to close this deal, kind of thing. Jill DeWit:                            What I want you to think about, too, is when you get off the phone with your escrow company and they say, "Hey, we need such and such affidavit of this form, explaining X, Y, Z," you should be hanging up with them and quickly making it a simple, "Hi. They just need a little letter from you. Email is fine, saying you paid off that bill and you have a receipt to show it's done." Something like that. Steven Butala:                   Better than that, even write the letter for them. Just ask them to sign it. Jill DeWit:                            If you want to, you can go that, but you want to make this as simple for your seller because they don't know the process. They don't know the steps, and that's why you're here. So that's a thing. Jill DeWit:                            I wanted to make sure, too, that you're providing anything anybody needs, you got to be on it, and you got to be quick because you don't want to slow down your own deal, by the way. Like I was saying, too, about goals, you got to set real clear closing dates and goals. This is one of the things that I've learned and I'm constantly ... every time I'm bringing in a new staff member, I'm telling them, "Hey, these title reps work for you. You don't work for them." So when you're calling and setting up and starting the process, you've met with your seller and you guys have an agreement that you're going to close in two weeks. They need that money. They're ready to go. That's part of why they chose you. So now your job is to pick up the phone and call ... maybe it takes six until you find one title company that you connect with. Say, "We have to close in two weeks. The money is all lined up. It's all ready to go. Nothing's needed. There's no contingencies. It's cash only. Can you do this?" Get their commitment, and then stay on them. Steven Butala:                   In some cases, it's better to even do it with a real estate specific closing attorney. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Butala:                   They can get it done really fast. Jill DeWit:                            They might be faster and easier. Steven Butala:                   Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Steven Butala:                   Nothing holds up a deal like a title agent. So you're going to have to go through a lot of them to find one in the market that you're in, and then use that person over and over again. You can just communicate with them. Jill DeWit:                            That's it. Steven Butala:                   You should have a home inspector out there within a day, maybe two days. The title agent should have everything done, depending on the market, in twelve to fifteen days. When people own houses for a really long time, like 60-70 years, the title plan ironically is harder to get because it's hard to go back that far. Jill DeWit:                            You'd think it would be easier because you're like, "It didn't change hands. So what's the problem everybody?" Steven Butala:                   So if they've owned it for five years, a young couple and they're just moving up or something, somebody did a title report five years ago on it, and it's easy to pick that up and find out what happened. Jill DeWit:                            That's true, in the last five years. Yeah. Steven Butala:                   It's ironic. Jill DeWit:                            Yep. You're right. My last point is, when you find a good one, like a good title agent, because that's what a lot of this is about. Steven Butala:                   Oh, I stole your thunder. Jill DeWit:                            No, it's okay. Treat them. Treat them well. I have sent them treats. I sent them $150 worth of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory apples. Steven Butala:                   Did you? Jill DeWit:                            I did. Steven Butala:                   That's great. Jill DeWit:                            I did. Steven Butala:                   This one we like [crosstalk 00:11:57] Jill DeWit:                            Yes. I told her I want to hire her and I would hire her, but she's out there. I need her out here. So yeah. She's good. Steven Butala:                   All these real estate deals, every single house deal that there ever was, not so much land, but every house deal, something goes wrong and your goal in babysitting your seller is to kind of plan for that one thing that goes wrong where they start to get a doubt and they're like, "What? What do you mean X, Y, Z?" Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Butala:                   If you've done your job as a babysitter up front, you're going to be able to solve that. They're going to be able to trust you and they're going to pick up the phone. You're going to sooth that concern they have. It might be something as silly as, "You know, I really do ... I talked to my sister and I need to keep the appliances. I told you guys we were going to include the appliances but ..." So you just need to be prepared for that and not be an adversary. You really need to be on their team. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Make it known that you are. Then they'll call you. I've had this, too. I've had title agents ... or not title agents. Sellers call me, literally on a Friday afternoon saying, "The title agent said something that made me concerned that we're not going to close on Monday. Are we okay?" I'm like, "Of course we're okay. Don't worry about it." We had that relationship that she was comfortable to call me and make sure. I'm the buyer. I'm really the buyer. Steven Butala:                   Exactly. Jill DeWit:                            She's like, "Okay, we're good." Steven Butala:                   You know, if you do this perfectly, money is not the first concern. It's just being treated right and not being disappointed. There's so many ... consumers have so many disappointments throughout their regular day. An idiot clerk at Walmart, just getting double charged on a gas bill, on and on and on. So you don't want to be that kind of person. You want to be on their team and win some stuff because a little bit sideways. Let's not make it about money. Let's say, "Yep, you know what? You didn't tell me there was a bunch of back taxes on this property, and I didn't catch it. What are we going to do here?" Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Work together. Steven Butala:                   Yeah, work together. Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative) Steven Butala:                   Hey, I know your time is valuable. Thanks for spending some of it with us today. Join us next time for the episode called our in house title escrow companies, coming soon. Jill DeWit:                            And we answer your questions posted on our online community, found at houseacademy.com. It is free. Steven Butala:                   You are not alone in your real estate ambition. Jill DeWit:                            This is one of those topics that I could really go on and on and on. In and Outs of Baby Sitting a House Deal (027) Steven Butala:                   I know. I noticed. Jill DeWit:                            Oh. You said take notes. I did. Steven Butala:                   You know what, Jill? You're an expert at it. You're an expert. You could teach a whole class and have a whole thing on how to close a real estate deal. Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Steven Butala:                   You know, you probably should. Jill DeWit:                            In my spare time. No problem. Wherever you're watching, wherever you're listening, please 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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What Makes a Successful House Wholesaler (HA 081) Steven Jack B.:                   Jill and Jack here. Jill DeWit:                            Hello. Steven Jack B.:                   Welcome to the House Academy Show, entertaining real estate investment talk. I'm Steven Jack Butala. Jill DeWit:                            And I'm Jill DeWit, broadcasting from sunny Southern California. Steven Jack B.:                   Today Jill and I talk about what makes a successful house wholesaler. Jill DeWit:                            I would like just to point out something. The way you just started the show just had a nice ring to it. Steven Jack B.:                   Oh, because you're first now? Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Steven Jack B.:                   You know what we decided? Jill DeWit:                            I was first there, but I wasn't first on the names. Maybe we should- Steven Jack B.:                   You know what we decided? Jill DeWit:                            Are we easing into it? Steven Jack B.:                   And it's been this way all along, but it was brought to our attention, my attention recently that, "Hey Jack, it's not about you, man. Hey Jill, it's all about you." Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Steven Jack B.:                   "You're just a sidekick. You're just the guy who's standing there trying to make everybody look a little bit more intelligent, just trying to." Jill DeWit:                            The one who's doing the math, the man behind the curtain. Steven Jack B.:                   The other thing too is that Jack and Jill sounds like we're selling nursery rhymes. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly, so we thought we'd go with Jill and Jack. Steven Jack B.:                   So yeah, it probably confuses the hell out of everybody. Jill DeWit:                            It makes you think. I hope it does, we'll see. We'll find out. Steven Jack B.:                   Before we get into it let's take a question posted by one of our members on the houseacademy.com online community. It's free. Jill DeWit:                            Aaron asks, "What exactly is SPS," which is a Smart Pricing Service, "from offers to owners? Have any of you used it?" And I see someone's already weighed in and answered here. Kelly said, "Is that an abbreviation for Smart Pricing Service?" Yes. "If so, yes, I've used it for a big list and it's definitely worth it." So without getting too into it and too brainy, can I- Steven Jack B.:                   I got some instructions today about how the show should go, how we should record the show. Here's the instructions. Jill DeWit:                            Oh no. Steven Jack B.:                   "Hey Steve"- Jill DeWit:                            Jack. Steven Jack B.:                   "Can you tone it down and just stop making this so brainy and so really nothing interesting?" Jill DeWit:                            Well, I'm right on the interesting part. We like the brainy part. That part's good. Steven Jack B.:                   So I'm going to sit quietly and listen today. Jill DeWit:                            No, that's not the truth. Okay, so here is the deal. One of the things that we do when we're doing our pricing, we all come up with our own ... We have our own way of valuating these assets, looking at what's available, but let's take a step back. We all know ... If you don't, you should and you do now ... that Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Realtor, DataTree, all these companies spend a lot of money to put together their own unique algorithms for pricing properties. That's why when you go on something like realtor.com it gives you it's value. It's not a made up number. It's looking at comps, what's available, what's sold, probably square footage. I'm hoping the size of the lot's in there, three bed, two bath, whatever it is. I'm sure they all do a version ... I don't know all the details and I don't need to get into all the details here now, but they do some version of informative, elevated, smart pricing. So what we do is- Steven Jack B.:                   It's an algorithm. Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, it's an algorithm. Do you want to continue it? Steven Jack B.:                   Yeah. So if you'll notice if you look up your home address on Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, DataTree, it's all different, but they're all not crazy, crazy different. One's not $500,000 and one's $1.2- Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Jack B.:                   In very rare cases, that's the situation. Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Steven Jack B.:                   So they all have the different take on what's in that algorithm. The ones that are my favorite lean heavily on recent sales or recent listings, not so much on the asset itself. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Jack B.:                   And then they look at the lot size and square footage. So is one better than the other? I don't know. But we don't judge. We just line them all up next to each other and take the average, and so it's a lot of work to look up all those properties. And we're working on automating that so that you just hit a button and it goes out and brings all that data back into the spreadsheet in the correct format. But until then a human has to do it, and we choose our virtual assistant team in the Philippines. Jill DeWit:                            Right, so we saw that on offers to owners. You can go in and you could put it ... I don't care if it's 10 units or 10,000 units. We hit them with 20,000 and then they'll work on it. Depending how many it is, it might take hours, it might take a day- Steven Jack B.:                   It's never taken longer than 48 hours and we do some 20,000 unit plus mailers- Jill DeWit:                            Exactly- Steven Jack B.:                   Often. Jill DeWit:                            And they sit and look up all those numbers and put them in for you and send it right back. And then it's great because then from there Jack still does his magic, if you will. And he uses that as a tool to price our offers. Steven Jack B.:                   Exactly. And it's very, very accurate. It's way more accurate and more fun than the values that we come up with to buy land. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Jack B.:                   That's more of an art. Jill DeWit:                            It's true. Steven Jack B.:                   This is more of a science. Jill DeWit:                            It's very true. Steven Jack B.:                   Today's topic, what makes a successful house wholesaler? This is the meat of the show. Jill DeWit:                            You go first. What do you think? Steven Jack B.:                   After I get my keyboard thing up. Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Is everything working okay there? Steven Jack B.:                   Before we say ... We talked about what a successful wholesaler is, let's just define it. What is a house wholesaler? Oh go ahead, yeah, sure. I want to see if our answer's the same here. Jill DeWit:                            If you didn't see that, for those of you that are not watching I raised my hand. And no, I wasn't always that kid in high school that always had an answer for everything. Usually in high school by the way, I was in the back going, "Please don't pick me. Don't make eye contact." Steven Jack B.:                   Me too. Jill DeWit:                            Even if I know the answer, just let somebody else go. It's too much work. I'm over here doing my thing. I'm only here because I have to be here. So anyway- Steven Jack B.:                   This morning Jill and I were having breakfast together and for whatever reason we were talking about when we were little kids and how our parents reacted to stuff, and how as parents we are. Jill and I just walk around and say, "Gosh, we're the coolest parents there ever was." All parents probably say that. Anyway I said, "What was it like when you were a kid?" And she said, "I broke a lot of glass." Jill DeWit:                            I said, "My dad was, "Really?" Steven Jack B.:                   Did you really- Jill DeWit:                            It's so funny- Steven Jack B.:                   Break a lot of glass? Jill DeWit:                            Hold on a moment. Yeah, my dad was pretty chill. My dad's like, "Just come on, can you get your act together here?" My mom was not that way, no. And so for some reason I seemed to drop glasses a lot and my mom would always have a fit. Whether it was emptying the dishwasher or just getting them from the table to the kitchen, I have no idea why. Actually, I do think I know why. You know what, this is Jill therapy. Steven Jack B.:                   I want to hear this, too. Jill DeWit:                            You know why? I have been and forever will be someone who wants to make less trips than more trips to and from the car- Steven Jack B.:                   Me too- Jill DeWit:                            To and from the kitchen, to and from anywhere. So what do I do? Oh, I load up man. Steven Jack B.:                   Overload. Jill DeWit:                            And so I'm sure that's why. I was probably balancing 16 things because I thought I could do it in one trip and I was willing to risk it, to try. So what happens is I'm always dropping something, that's why. Steven Jack B.:                   When the kids were little I was trying to be a better parent, so I was read these books about parenting. And one of the things that stuck with me forever was this person who wrote this book, I don't remember even what book it was, they said, "There's a really big difference between telling your child that they made a mistake and telling them that they're stupid." It can be psychologically damaging forever. Jill DeWit:                            Oh my gosh. What if somebody says, "You made a mistake, stupid?" Steven Jack B.:                   You drop a glass, it's not that Jill's a ... doesn't make her a bad person. Jill DeWit:                            No. Steven Jack B.:                   She just made a mistake. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Steven Jack B.:                   And my parents did not know the difference between that. Jill DeWit:                            Oh ... oops, sorry. No, I got in trouble for the incident, not for being an idiot. It's true. Nevermind, I was an idiot. Steven Jack B.:                   My parents whole take on the thing was, "This is just another incident that confirms what we knew all along." Jill DeWit:                            "You're not that bright." Steven Jack B.:                   "A long, long list of examples that you continue to add to. This is the most recent one." Jill DeWit:                            Nice. "Check, we knew that was going to happen." Oh gosh. Okay, so back to what is a successful wholesaler? Steven Jack B.:                   What is a wholesaler? A wholesaler is not what you see on HGTV. That is a rehabber. We don't want any part of that. Our group is packed full of people who have long thrown their tools away. We want to buy an asset for 70% of what it's worth-ish, mark it up 10 to $50,000, let's say ballpark, and sell it to the person who's going to clean it up or rehab it. We are wholesalers. Jill DeWit:                            It's the easiest thing. I love it. And imagine this, because you're only dealing with other investors. You're not dealing with the realtor who has the couple in the car, who wants to drive by and look at it and then bring the kids and maybe even have a picnic there to see if the view's that good. You never know. Steven Jack B.:                   Occasionally we hit an asset, we buy an asset that looks great, and we decide incorrectly to retail it- Jill DeWit:                            Or to do a lipstick flip kind of thing. Steven Jack B.:                   Yeah, we maybe change the carpet out or something and that's it. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Jack B.:                   And every single time we do that, we regret it. Jill DeWit:                            We kick ourselves. Steven Jack B.:                   It hasn't happened much this year. We did one last year, but we made a hundred grand on it but- Jill DeWit:                            We have to catch ourselves. Steven Jack B.:                   It took four or five months to sell it, I think. Jill DeWit:                            So much more work. Steven Jack B.:                   Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            A lot of talking- Steven Jack B.:                   A lot of phone calls, a lot of real estate agent contact. So if you listen to this show at all you know how we feel about that. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. You know, the thing is too when you're dealing with people who are just like you in the like mind, you bought it for cash, they're coming in with cash. They love that you had the inspection, you hand it to them. All I need to do is walk it once and they're done. I mean that's really it. And that's- Steven Jack B.:                   And if you do it right you're selling to the same person over and over again too, for the same five, eight, 10 people per market. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. So I think we're describing not only what a wholesaler is, but what a successful wholesaler is. Steven Jack B.:                   That's a wholesaler. "So that's great, Steve. Thanks for the definition." Jill DeWit:                            "I could've done this myself online." Steven Jack B.:                   If you're actually still listening, here's the topic. The successful wholesaler is data centric. The asset itself is merely the results of the manipulation of assessor data and how you've utilized it and looked at it and looked at the market. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Jack B.:                   We are data people that happen to buy and sell real estate. We could be data people that happen to buy and sell stock. Jill DeWit:                            It's true. Steven Jack B.:                   We know people that are like that, very successful people. Jill DeWit:                            We could be doing this with cars- Steven Jack B.:                   Extremely successful, yeah. Jill DeWit:                            Boats- Steven Jack B.:                   But it's data first. So that's in my mind what makes a successful wholesaler. But I'm the acquisition guy and I designed all this, put this whole thing together from scratch. I came up with it somehow, I don't know why. Really because I didn't want to talk on the phone. Jill, once the mail gets out, if you listened to yesterday's show or whenever it aired, the most recent show before this, I'm done when the mail goes out. I'm done. What makes a successful wholesaler then is Jill. Every single person in our group who does very, very well is on the phone all day, all day. That's what this business is. And so I don't want ... I think there ... The ones who are great- Jill DeWit:                            You mean getting inbound calls? Steven Jack B.:                   Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            Okay, yeah, yeah. I'm not outbound calls, it's inbound calls. Steven Jack B.:                   Inbound calls, responding to the mailer. Jill DeWit:                            I want to make that really clear. Do you know what, that's what's interesting. I'm going to just say real quick, we talked about this the last show too, we're just with a couple last weekend who thought they knew what we do and realized they have no idea what we do. Steven Jack B.:                   Which we don't talk about it anyway, we're out having fun. Jill DeWit:                            And it was so cute. Yeah, trust me, we don't bring this up. Steven Jack B.:                   They didn't make a mistake- Jill DeWit:                            No- Steven Jack B.:                   Is what I'm saying. Jill DeWit:                            Oh no, no, no. But what's funny is people ... and I can see where they get this, they think this is a cold calling environment. It's not, there's no outbound calls. Steven Jack B.:                   The whole concept is- Jill DeWit:                            It's all inbound. Steven Jack B.:                   We send out thousands and thousands of letters and then if you can envision these people opening their mail, all of them simultaneously sitting at their kitchen table ... there's only going to be a handful of them that have chosen themselves as a potential seller now. You just kind of rattled the cage. Then they've said, "Wow, this is perfect timing. I do want to sell this. I was just talking to my wife a couple of days ago. We need to sell this house." Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Jack B.:                   "We need to move back to Boston. We need to," fill in the blank. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Jack B.:                   So they choose you, we don't choose them. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Steven Jack B.:                   And so 20 or 30 people are going to identify themselves as a seller, per mailer, and maybe three, four or five of those people, the deals actually make sense all the way through, from a financial perspective and a location and all that stuff. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Those numbers apply to a how many unit mailer that went out? Steven Jack B.:                   For houses? Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. Steven Jack B.:                   Oh, those numbers ... Let's just back it back into it this way. I feel very safe in saying that between 1200 and 4,000 people ... you want to answer this on the air? Jill DeWit:                            You want me to answer this? Steven Jack B.:                   Yeah. Jill DeWit:                            All right, I'm going to answer real inbound. This is a seller calling me back. Who knows what this is going to be. Ready, here we go. Jill DeWit:                            Hi, this is Jill. Speaker 3:                           Okay, I called this morning. I got one of your ... What are they called, purchase price things? Jill DeWit:                            Yes. Speaker 3:                           Okay, and I called you this morning because I want this name to be taken off your list. Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Speaker 3:                           Paul Romberg at 1435. Well, after the family did a little bit of research they want to make sure that you do that because it's really worth three times that much. Because when you send things out as you know, it's the seniors that you probably research sometimes. Jill DeWit:                            I don't- Speaker 3:                           And they go ahead and agree. Jill DeWit:                            No. Speaker 3:                           How are these done? Jill DeWit:                            You know what, I'll tell you. Here in Southern California it's tricky because it's based a lot of it ... There's a lot of stuff that goes into it. The way things are valued here in California and what they're really worth sometimes are very different, I totally understand that. And it's a good thing because we all know that you don't want to run down right now to the assessor and say, "Hey, I'm paying you too little in taxes. You all think my property is worth less." We like it that way, so that's part of the thing. So the bigger question is ... And I know sometimes they're off and I apologize, I did the best I can. But if that price doesn't work and you do want to sell, what price would work and I'll sure look at that. Speaker 3:                           Oh yeah, they've already done that. They're not selling. Jill DeWit:                            Oh, okay. So it doesn't matter what. I could have offered you three times what you really think it is and you don't want them- Speaker 3:                           He's 92 and he's not dead yet, so they're not selling. Jill DeWit:                            Okay, nobody wants to sell? Speaker 3:                           We don't want to get any more things like this because we don't get them very often. Jill DeWit:                            I understand- Speaker 3:                           And it's disturbing because if someone isn't here to open the mail then it creates other problems. Jill DeWit:                            Okay- Speaker 3:                           And confusion. Jill DeWit:                            No problem. Speaker 3:                           And so that's another thing. If you have a grandfather or a grandmother- Jill DeWit:                            I do- Speaker 3:                           Or something and they go, "Oh, this sounds good," and they sign papers- Jill DeWit:                            Oh no, we would ... Oh no, I wouldn't let it get to that point too, by the way. I would make sure and do my homework and make sure everybody's on board, and exactly. Don't even worry about that. Speaker 3:                           I just want it clear that it's taken off because I don't think they're going to sell it. Jill DeWit:                            That's a whole different thing- Speaker 3:                           [inaudible 00:16:33]. Jill DeWit:                            Well you know what though, save it and who knows? Someday if something changes and you do want to sell it, let me know. And you can call back and say, "Hey Jill, I know I got this crazy offer from you two years ago, but we do want to sell and here's the price. And you said you'd do it quick and fast. I might be interested." So just let me know. Speaker 3:                           [inaudible 00:16:59] the file. Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Alrighty, thank- Speaker 3:                           I wanted to know what was what because otherwise I'd be thinking about it and going, "What?" Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Speaker 3:                           But thanks for explaining what you're doing and- Jill DeWit:                            No problem. I appreciate it- Speaker 3:                           [inaudible 00:17:12] real estate, so- Jill DeWit:                            Yes. Speaker 3:                           Thanks very much, Jill. Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Speaker 3:                           No problem. Jill DeWit:                            Take care. Okay, bye bye. Speaker 3:                           Bye. Jill DeWit:                            You never know. Steven Jack B.:                   That is how you take an inbound phone call. Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Steven Jack B.:                   Jill, in a very firm and very respectful tone turned that call all the way around. Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Steven Jack B.:                   She was mad. You could hear it in the beginning. At the end she was thanking Jill, and that is what it takes. Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. Steven Jack B.:                   I'm just going to go out on a limb here because I know I say stuff on these shows sometimes and you're like, "God." Jill DeWit:                            Go ahead. Steven Jack B.:                   If that is not in your skillset, what you just saw and heard, this business is going to be very hard for you. Jill DeWit:                            Right. And you have to say that with these people. You'd be surprised how many phone calls that I have taken in the last 48 hours that I got a number out of them. They're like, "Oh, okay, well let me tell you, if it was this much money I would be interested." Okay, now we know. And so then I go back and we do our work and then sometimes it works- Steven Jack B.:                   Exactly- Jill DeWit:                            If it's still a good number. Steven Jack B.:                   But to finish my thought ... Absolutely Jill- Jill DeWit:                            Thank you- Steven Jack B.:                   To finish my thought, I don't have that talent that Jill has. I have it if I ... It's in here, I just don't want to do it. That's the truth. So I stick to the data piece and all that. Chances are you're either like me or you're like Jill. And if you find a partner that's the opposite, you're going to do just great. Jill DeWit:                            Exactly. Steven Jack B.:                   I've said this a million times on the air since 2015; when I teamed up with Jill, our revenue quadrupled- Jill DeWit:                            Thanks- Steven Jack B.:                   That week because she does what it takes on the phone with these buyers and sellers and gets them to do what she wants them to do. It's classic Dale Carnegie stuff, and they don't even have any idea that it's happening. I live with her and she does it to me all the time. Jill DeWit:                            I don't even think it's that. It's not manipulation, it's just figuring out if they really want to sell or not. What's going on? It's not manipulating anything, it's getting to the bottom of it. Steven Jack B.:                   Its helpful. That's how I look at it. Jill DeWit:                            And you know what, and if she doesn't want to, she doesn't want to sell. I'm not going to beat her up, who cares? But someday they might. She just told me the guy's 92. Well you know what, he might not make it to a hundred. I'm not trying to be mean or anything but hey, that doesn't mean I'm a bad person. My offer was off, who flipping cares? Steven Jack B.:                   For the record, we don't target- Jill DeWit:                            I don't target- Steven Jack B.:                   There's no age, or there's no way to look at that in assessor data. Jill DeWit:                            We don't look at the obituaries. Could you imagine? Steven Jack B.:                   We just send it- Jill DeWit:                            We don't do that. We don't do back tax properties. Steven Jack B.:                   Price per square foot analysis- Jill DeWit:                            Exactly- Steven Jack B.:                   That letter just happened to get to somebody who was older. Jill DeWit:                            Right. Steven Jack B.:                   That's it. The next one- Jill DeWit:                            The 20 year-old down- Steven Jack B.:                   The next one got to a millennial- Jill DeWit:                            The block got one too. Just bought his first thing. He got a letter too, so that's exactly right. He probably just bought it six months ago, who knows? That property is zoned and priced the way we wanted. Steven Jack B.:                   Exactly. Jill DeWit:                            I think we covered it. That was good. Steven Jack B.:                   We know your time is valuable. Thanks for spending some of it with us today. Join us next time for another interesting episode. Jill DeWit:                            And we you answer your questions posted on our online community that you can find at houseacademy.com. It is free. Steven Jack B.:                   You are not alone in your real estate ambition. Jill DeWit:                            That was kind of fun. Steven Jack B.:                   I think that was incredibly informative. Jill DeWit:                            I hope so. Steven Jack B.:                   I was hoping when it rang that it would be a deal. Jill DeWit:                            I know. Steven Jack B.:                   Because that'd be cool. Jill DeWit:                            That'd be good. Well I'll keep doing this on these shows now and then. When the call comes in I'll just answer it. I think it helps everybody. Steven Jack B.:                   I think it's great. Jill DeWit:                            You got to get over it, and a lot of people are afraid of those calls. You've got to get over the hurdle and it's okay. Well, you know, I had a great call today earlier too. I had one that turned out that she didn't want to sell. She's a buyer, I could tell because she's already down the process of doing their own ... We hit another investor who's already redoing the property. She's thinking she's going to sell to me now and then when it's done. That's not what I want. Slash however, now I can cue up deals to her. She's a buyer, it's really good. The House Academy Daily Show remains commercial-free for you, our loyal listener. Wherever you are watching, wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate us there. Both:                                     We are Jill and Jack. Jill DeWit:                            Inspiration- Steven Jack B.:                   And information to buy undervalued property.

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