Why HGTV is Fiction (HA 003)


Steven J. B.:                        Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Good day.

Steven J. 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 J. B.:                        Today, Jill and I talk about why HGTV is fiction.

Jill DeWit:                            Come on. Let’s be honest here. Don’t we kind of all know that it’s a TV show?

Steven J. B.:                        Jill calls it. Movie magic.

Jill DeWit:                            There’s always going to be conflict, and there’s always going to be resolution. They always seem to make it come together at the end.

Steven J. B.:                        It’s always profitable.

Jill DeWit:                            Do you know? It kind of always works out. It’s funny. It’s funny how that works out.

Steven J. B.:                        When it’s couples renovating stuff, they always get along.

Jill DeWit:                            They do.

Steven J. B.:                        We all know that’s fiction.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes. You’re such a stinker. Took me a second to realize what you just said. Thanks a lot. Oh, boy.

Steven J. B.:                        Hey, before we get into the topic, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the HouseAcademy.com online community. It’s free.

Jill DeWit:                            I have to say this is not our first show. We have another show on another channel, if you will.

Steven J. B.:                        It’s called The Land Academy Show.

Jill DeWit:                            But we have done a thousand. If you really dig in there, I bet you could pick out the days you can tell we are pissed off at each other, because I know I can. I can really look at those and go … There’s times that we’re sitting like this, and there’s times that there’s a wall. You can tell that we just have like … There’s times that I know that we don’t make eye contact, and there’s like, “Yeah, get it out. Let’s get this done. Can we go now?”

Steven J. B.:                        There’s also times you can tell, pretty much, what we did the night before.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, yeah.

Steven J. B.:                        And how late we were out. [crosstalk 00:01:49]

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. There’s times that we look kind of rough.

Steven J. B.:                        It’s like, “Wow. You guys really shouldn’t be doing a show today at all.”

Jill DeWit:                            Everybody’s wearing a hat, and they’re …

Steven J. B.:                        “In fact, the stuff that you’re saying about my real estate career really doesn’t make any sense.”

Jill DeWit:                            It’s so funny. Oh, my gosh. I have one example, a totally good example. If you go back and see, and if you’re from Land Academy and you’re watching this show, I know you caught this. After our two live events, the first two that we did in 2018, we were beat. Because you know what? It was exhausting. It was exciting, and it was night after night of partying with our people. We had so much flipping fun.

Steven J. B.:                        Self-abuse.

Jill DeWit:                            But we came in, it’s like I didn’t wash my hair. I had a hat on. I think I put lipstick on, maybe a little mascara. Who knows? I’m sure we stunk.

Steven J. B.:                        Oh, my God, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m sure … Why? What? It’s funny. I’m being honest.

Steven J. B.:                        You know you looked great, and you pulled it off. It was okay.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Thank you. It was fun. I don’t know where I got off on a tangent. I’m sorry. Just went there.

Steven J. B.:                        It’s okay. Well, we’re talking about fiction and truth.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Well, let me ask [crosstalk 00:03:00] question.

Steven J. B.:                        You know what? I’m glad you brought all that up, because this show, just like the last show and the one after this, is all about the truth.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, yeah.

Steven J. B.:                        How to buy and sell houses correctly, where you’re going to get hung up, where we get hung up. There’s no … We are not like career salespeople, and we’re not here to sell you anything. We’re here to tell you how it is.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. And we always answer the questions honestly.

Steven J. B.:                        I’m going to give you a very detailed description about why I think HGTV is fiction here in a minute.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Can I ask the question now?

Steven J. B.:                        Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. All right. Jeff asks, “Sending out mail seems old-fashioned. Isn’t there a better way?” I like this. I like this.

Steven J. B.:                        Yes. There are lots of ways. Well, let me put it like this. When you set out to send offers to owners, you have choices. Or let’s just say when you are trying to buy a cheap asset or an asset that’s undervalued, you have a bunch of choices. I mean, I’ve modeled this whole thing, since the ’90s, after the concept of a garage sale. When you go in to buy something from a garage sale or you stopped the car, and everybody gets out, and you start looking around, and there’s a brand new broom in the corner. It’s got a sticker on it for 25 cents. You know that broom is way more … It’s probably 20 bucks at Home Depot. Why are they selling it, then? Who knows? There’s a life circumstance. But whatever it is, they’re not trying to get the full value out of that broom.

Steven J. B.:                        It’s the exact same way with sellers of houses. They don’t care … We’re real estate professionals. If you’re listening to this, you’re some version of a real estate professional. You understand markets. You understand data. You understand analyzing stuff. The people who are selling a house, they just want the broom out of the garage and all the rest of the other stuff, because they already made some life decision.

Steven J. B.:                        So when they get that offer in the mail and then they’re sitting [inaudible 00:04:58] they might say something like this, “This is a ridiculous offer. It’s way too low,” and throw it away. That’s not your customer. Your customer is, “Hey, Wife, we’ve been talking about moving to Florida. Boy, we could have … I know you’re half packed. We could be out of … We don’t have to clean the garage. These people are saying they’re just going to buy this thing as-is however it is. We know that it’s probably 20, $30,000 less, or maybe we don’t care. We just want to get out of here.”

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven J. B.:                        Or some life event’s happening, so price isn’t the reason they call you back. You have to model your whole thing after that.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven J. B.:                        This day and age, and we’ll eventually launch services like this … I mean, there’s new technology about how to reach people all the time. Cell phones, and text messages, and email, and all kinds of stuff. There are, for certain situations, great ways to communicate an offer to a seller. Right now, for consistency sake and-

Jill DeWit:                            Cost.

Steven J. B.:                        … cost and data and efficiency, mail is … I was going to say, “Bad A S.”

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven J. B.:                        It’s awesome.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s a great way.

Steven J. B.:                        It’s very predictable.

Jill DeWit:                            But this is a really good question, because I want to [inaudible 00:06:08] that, too, because you’re right, Jeff. I mean, this is by far the best consistent way. Now/however, are new things coming up? Heck, yeah. Are we testing them? Hmm, maybe we are. You know what? This is part of the reason why you’re here, by the way. Because when we figure out if there is a better way, or every time we can tweak it and make it better, make it more efficient, either upping your response rate or just bringing the cost down, you’ll know. That’s why you’re here.

Steven J. B.:                        Some of these services … We’re licensed providers of, in my opinion, the top three data providers nationwide. Some of these services are thousands, and thousands, and thousand dollars a month.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, yeah. That’s true.

Steven J. B.:                        We go in, negotiate the heck out of it, or we pay the 10 or 20,000 bucks a month for the service.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven J. B.:                        Then-

Jill DeWit:                            Chop it up and deliver it to you like this, so you can afford it.

Steven J. B.:                        Yes. Yes. When she says, “Chop it up,” it’s just there’s a lot of people in the group-

Jill DeWit:                            And get you access.

Steven J. B.:                        … pay monthly fees that make access to these tools that were otherwise in accessible to regular people. They make it accessible.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven J. B.:                        I cut my teeth in commercial real estate, so these things were just always there. I didn’t realize, until I got out of it, how expensive they really are.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. It’s kind of like we all want to be, say, XZY Yacht Club. We all want to be a member of the yacht club, “But, gosh, I can’t afford the whatever monthly dues. But if I could get in six members, and I pay for it or we make it even cheaper, then I can get you in.”

Steven J. B.:                        I mean, even a better yacht club analogy is yacht clubs have fleets of boats. For a couple hundred dollars a month, you have access to hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some cases millions of dollars, worth of boats. So that’s more of a … She’s right, but …

Jill DeWit:                            What are you poking holes in my analogy?

Steven J. B.:                        No. Well, the yacht club came into it.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. I said yacht club. Oh, no. Here we go. Sorry I brought up boats, everyone. My bad.

Steven J. B.:                        Today’s topic: Why HGTV Is Fiction. Hey, this is why you’re listening.

Steven J. B.:                        We all know television is not real. If you turn on a sitcom-

Jill DeWit:                            No, no, no, no. Are you sure? I’m teasing you. I’m teasing you.

Steven J. B.:                        If you turn on a sitcom, you know it’s not real.

Jill DeWit:                            I know.

Steven J. B.:                        It’s a little contained little play for your entertainment.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven J. B.:                        HGTV’s no different. Do you actually renovate those houses? Yeah. It really actually looks like it. Do they do it as fast as they say? No.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven J. B.:                        Do they do it within the budgets that they always disclose? No way.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven J. B.:                        What ends up happening is, for us, people learn about stuff from TV and real estate investment’s no different. So what do you think happens to somebody who’s been watching HGTV for five years and decides, “You know what? I would like to buy and sell some houses. I’m going to do it just like on HGTV”?

Jill DeWit:                            Right. And then it doesn’t go as planned.

Steven J. B.:                        Then they find House Academy, and they’re like, “You know? That’s how you do it.” No. That’s not how it happens at all.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, you know what’s funny about it?

Steven J. B.:                        If it’s good news …

Jill DeWit:                            Well, most of the HGTV shows, back in the day, I used to see them posting numbers. I would often even wonder, “How accurate are those numbers?” Usually they wouldn’t put … They put the buy side. They put the renovation. They put their sales price. What they did not put in there was often what it really sold for. Then they stopped showing those, because obviously, there was a problem, I’m guessing, that maybe it wasn’t as accurate. So now they don’t necessarily share, or they’re very vague. Have you noticed what they … What we think your home is worth shows, so I get it.

Steven J. B.:                        We’re in Los Angeles, and we have a lot of people in our House Academy and Land Academy group that are in the television and movie industry. One guy said to me at one of our live events, and it always stuck with me. It always will. “Reality TV is a style of television. It doesn’t mean it’s real.”

Jill DeWit:                            Oh. That’s good. Yeah.

Steven J. B.:                        Like a sitcom is a style of a television program. Reality TV-

Jill DeWit:                            That’s true.

Steven J. B.:                        So that’s what this is.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s true.

Steven J. B.:                        There’s always something else going on. The people in Texas have a … What do they have? Some kind of … They have a store.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Steven J. B.:                        There’s other people that have design firms and all kinds of things. It doesn’t mean it’s bad. No. Does it mean renovating houses is bad or not profitable? No. It’s just not as easy as it looks.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s the point.

Steven J. B.:                        That’s all.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s what I want to say. Yeah. Take it with a grain of salt.

Steven J. B.:                        Yeah. Don’t expect for the first house that you buy, if you are a renovator, to go anything like that.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. If it does, it’s like you just walked into a casino. That’s your analogy. Just be ready.

Steven J. B.:                        The worst thing that can happen to you in a casino the first time you walk in is that you win.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven J. B.:                        Because you think it’s just how it goes.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep. I agree.

Steven J. B.:                        If you win the first time you walk into a casino, walk out and it’s over.

Jill DeWit:                            Never walk in again. Yep. Don’t do that again.

Steven J. B.:                        I know the script’s different. It’s your turn.

Jill DeWit:                            Join us next time for the episode called Driving-

Steven J. B.:                        Oh. Oh.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s okay.

Steven J. B.:                        [crosstalk 00:11:14] my bad. Join us next time for the episode called Driving For Dollars Is Bad. Driving For Dumpsters Is Good.

Jill DeWit:                            And we answer your questions posted on our online community HouseAcademy.com. It is free.

Steven J. B.:                        You are not alone in your real estate ambition.

Steven J. B.:                        I’m going to have to talk to the writer about marking this correctly. Oh, wait. I’m the writer.

Jill DeWit:                            Maybe. Wherever you are watching or wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.

Steven J. B.:                        We are Steve and Jill. Information …

Jill DeWit:                            … and inspiration …

Steven J. B.:                        … to buy undervalued property.


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