The Mystery of Umar and Offers2Owners.com (LA 1080)
Steven Butala: Hey, Steven here. Welcome to the Land Academy Show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala, broadcasting from sunny Southern California. Today I talk with Umar, the manager of one of our companies called Offers2Owners.com. He’s going to share some stories of our Land Academy members sending out offer campaigns by the ton. I know from experience it’s going to be good. Some of it’s going to be bad and some of it’s just going to be a mess. Umar, how are you?
Umar Awan: Good. How about yourself?
Steven Butala: Excellent man. Thanks for joining us today. This is kind of something new for us so I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.
Umar Awan: Absolutely.
Steven Butala: I’m hoping on your screen you’ve got the stats so far this month. When we’re recording this is September 20th, so I’m wondering how many offers we’ve sent out on behalf of our members, including ours, so far this month.
Umar Awan: So currently we’re looking at actually quite a big number compared to last month. We are looking at 259,000 offers sent so far.
Steven Butala: Wow. Can you explain what Offers 2 Owners is in general?
Umar Awan: Absolutely. Offers 2 Owners…
Steven Butala: And then tell us how you keep track of all of it because that’s a daunting number and how we get everybody’s campaigns in the mail, and just basically why we’re great is what I want to hear.
Umar Awan: Absolutely. Offers 2 Owners it’s a bulk direct mail company, so we don’t focus on postcards. I’ll leave other things here. We are a real estate specific company which helps our members get exactly what they want and that is to make money through direct mail. we take out everything else, all the issues of having to do your own merge, to having to set up your data. There’s tons of headaches that come with every direct mail campaign. What our members get to do using Offers 2 Owners is completely outsource that work to us. Decide on a county, decide on a state and the acreage, provide us with the data and we take care of everything else. It belongs … [crosstalk 00:02:27] Go ahead.
Steven Butala: I’m going to interrupt you for a second, because I personally have been sending out mail campaigns since 2001, offer campaigns and it’s never been easier for me to get something in the mail now since we started this company. We started Offers 2 Owners, Jill and I, in response to our Land Academy members and our House Academy members saying, “Can you just please take this out of my life? I’m happy to pay for it.” Some of the companies that we start don’t quite take off, but for whatever reason, and I really credit you with this, Umar. This thing is just totally taken off. I mean people love it, and every time I talk to a member on our Thursday calls or whenever, they’re constantly giving you compliments. That’s kind of what I wanted to explore today aside from the raw numbers, and I don’t mean to interrupt you, but if you can finish that I want to know what your secret is, and everybody else does too.
Umar Awan: Thank you so much Steven. Honestly, there is no secret. When you do mailing campaigns eight hours a day, you kind of just figure it out. My personal thing is to make everything easier on the members because with a full-time job and a land investing business or a house investing business, there’s not a lot of time left in the day.
Umar Awan: So that’s it, we take out the headache entirely and we actually have super, super competitive rates. Whereas other people charge more with half the services missing that we’ve got and alongside that, well our members are awesome.
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Umar Awan: They’re just absolutely amazing. The biggest struggle I generally see is getting through the hurdle of sending out that first mailer. It’s a lot of being nervous mixed with just a fear of the response, really.
Steven Butala: How do you help a member who’s brand new and has this fear, or this concern, or just lack of confidence is really what I think it is more than anything else. How do you help them?
Umar Awan: I give them some of the numbers that other members do and be like, “Hey, member just sent out 6,000 letters on a Monday and was ready to send another 6,000 on a Wednesday, and he’s taking all of the calls themselves. How does that make you feel?” That kind of gets them working up, and handling data makes people nervous and I’ve noticed that a lot.
Umar Awan: We have full service options, if they’re really that nervous about the data handling, or if they just want to oversee the operation and see how we do it, so they can learn it better themselves. The first order can be extremely full service related where we pull the data and everything else. Then on the more [inaudible 00:05:39] side, if they’ve been through the program, they have a better sense of everything already and then it’s just talking them through it. Most of them have PATLive, if not, they’re taking their own inbound calls or they have people hired. The nervousness of the response is essentially the script that you’re going to give somebody else to talk to these people.
Steven Butala: Can you go over really briefly what our pricing is?
Umar Awan: Absolutely. O2O is open to non-members, our pricing there is 59 cents per mailer and that includes your postage, your envelope, a double window to high quality envelope actually, two sheets of paper, variable data, all of that within 59 cents. Then our members do get a discount, they get charged 55 cents per mailer with everything included and free mail merges in both of these packages.
Steven Butala: Wow.
Umar Awan: And then our full service option is 99 cents but you get total care, you just tell us what to do. And we make it happen [crosstalk 00:06:54]
Steven Butala: Basically do everything except the pricing, right?
Umar Awan: That’s exactly it. And even then, we actually plug in the formula for the pricing, you just tell us what you want to offer.
Steven Butala: Oh man. So as a percentage, of the three, what percent make up the orders? Is full-service 10% and regular Land Academy Member rate 50% or what do you think, ballpark?
Umar Awan: We’ve actually seen an incline in the full-service orders recently. I want to say about a good 20 to 25% are full-service orders now.
Steven Butala: Wow.
Umar Awan: It’s a pretty big inline there, and then I want to say still a good 50% of them are just regular docs ready members and well, I want to give the other 25% to non-members who still use O2O, because there’s really nothing else like it.
Umar Awan: I don’t mean to brag about O2O here, but really.
Steven Butala: Well that’s why I wanted to have you on the show. I’d like to actually, if you’re up for it, make this a weekly conversation, because the single number one comments that as I understand it from our customer service department is, or not comment, but concern is getting that first mailer in the mail and making it work. I think this really can help people and that leads me into my next question. I’m sure that the submissions that you see, the spreadsheet submissions that members and other people are trying to get turned into an offer campaign and get it in the mail, the quality of what you receive is wildly different. Give us an idea of what a perfect submission would be like and then tell us what you actually really get.
Umar Awan: A perfect submission would be, someone has taken our perfectly aligned template, changed it accordingly to what their business wordings are and entered all of their information. Took the spreadsheet, have all the data accurate and just merged the two and sent us a merged PDF. That goes from our system directly onto our printer and starts getting printed. That would be a perfect submission.
Steven Butala: Okay.
Umar Awan: Now what we see…
Steven Butala: I can’t wait to hear this.
Umar Awan: A lot of the times the one thing that gets changed or really messed with in any offer letter template is the alignment of the addresses.
Steven Butala: Oh.
Umar Awan: Because when you change out the body of the text, it shifts down a line or up a line and that totally throws off the dual windowed envelope factor of it. When we shoot that into our alignment tool, the address is five inches to the right of the window and it doesn’t show. We see that a lot.
Steven Butala: As a customer or a member submitting, they shouldn’t be concerned about this because you guys fix it anyway, right?
Umar Awan: Exactly. That’s why I actually urge our customers all the time to submit us all three, because some people like doing their own merges and send us that PDF. But alongside that also send us your Excel sheet and your offer letter template because just in case there’s a bit of an issue,, and sometimes we catch very small errors. We’ve caught a bunch of spacing errors, just a missing comma here and there, and all those affect the credibility of the mailer itself.
Steven Butala: I have to ask you, on a scale of one to 10, how high quality are the submissions that I personally send you for our own mail campaigns? Please be honest.
Umar Awan: Completely honest, 9.5.
Steven Butala: Really?
Umar Awan: Yeah.
Steven Butala: That’s shocking man, because every time I submit one to you, and we usually do it probably every other week.
Umar Awan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Steven Butala: I’m always thinking, man, I wonder if I can improve on this somehow or make your life easier. I guess my point is, regardless of how long you’ve been doing this as a member or a non-member, or sending out mail campaigns, I always wondered if it’s right.
Umar Awan: If you’ve done it a hundred times and there’s absolutely a chance that you make a mistake on one. That’s how technical the data piece of it is anyway. You miss a spacing in Excel and it just throws off your entire merge and it’s that simple of an error. Now do we get that error a bunch? No. But is it possible, absolutely.
Steven Butala: How many people ask you if you can do the pricing?
Umar Awan: Percentage related? At least 40%.
Steven Butala: 40% of the people who submit an offer campaign ask you to do the pricing?
Umar Awan: Correct.
Steven Butala: Wow. I thought you were going to say like 5%.
Umar Awan: That’s what I would like to see. Taking percentages into the mix, that’s 25% of full-service. So everyone that does full-service asks me to do pricing, the other 15% come from the docs ready. So there are still people who have the data figured out, but they just have a little bit of trouble pricing. There’s a lot of confusion when it comes into people deciding whether they want to do blind offers or a price per acre.
Steven Butala: Do you think we should offer a pricing product? We can do it. You know how price stuff. I know how to price stuff. What do you think?
Umar Awan: Absolutely.
Steven Butala: You do? You think we should?
Umar Awan: [crosstalk 00:13:04] That would be incredible.
Umar Awan: I think that would be incredible because we already kind of have a product in place for House Academy. We have the Smart Pricing Service.
Steven Butala: Yeah. I was going to ask you that next. If you can describe the house mailers and that product. What Smart Pricing is?
Umar Awan: Absolutely. So the Smart Pricing Service was launched to help people with house mailers alone. The best part of that service is that it takes the most insanely time consuming part out of your life when you use it. We go through five different websites. We go through Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Realty Track and…
Steven Butala: DataTree.
Umar Awan: Yeah, right.
Umar Awan: We plug in all the numbers line by line for you essentially, and you can then decide what average of that you want to offer to these people.
Steven Butala: Right.
Umar Awan: We pretty much plug in everything. We plug in the formulas for you, make everything happen, and the only thing you have to then do is finalize on it.
Steven Butala: Let me give you an example of what one deal looks like. If you’ve chosen any zip code to send Offers 2 Owners who own houses and you’ve identified…
Steven Butala: Jill come on over.
Jill DeWit: Are you recording?
Steven Butala: Yeah, come on over if you want to. We’re on the whole thing. Come on.
Jill DeWit: I’m sorry. I was here to have you sign something. Is that okay?
Steven Butala: Yeah. We’ll turn your mic on.
Jill DeWit: Uh-oh. I’m getting in on the recording. What is this we’re recording?
Umar Awan: Hi Jill.
Steven Butala: [crosstalk 00:14:47] We’re talking about Offers 2 Owners and what Smart Pricing is.
Jill DeWit: [crosstalk 00:14:48] Hi. Oh, great. Thank you.
Steven Butala: This is my way of if Jill’s going to interrupt my interview, then she’s going to be part of it.
Jill DeWit: I didn’t know. I’m sorry.
Jill DeWit: [crosstalk 00:14:58] It’s okay.
Jill DeWit: I feel so bad. I came just to have you sign a legal document.
Steven Butala: I’ll sign it, but we’re on the air here.
Jill DeWit: Okay, thank you.
Steven Butala: What questions do you have for Umar about Offers 2 Owners? He’s already described what it is and we’re covering Smart Pricing. This is what he just said, “about 40% of the people who submit an offer campaign to him request us to do the pricing.”
Jill DeWit: Of course.
Steven Butala: 100% of the full-service people request pricing.
Jill DeWit: Right. [crosstalk 00:15:33] That’s a big thing.
Steven Butala: Do you think ethically that we should price other people’s mailers?
Jill DeWit: No.
Steven Butala: That’s what I struggle with too.
Jill DeWit: No, ethically we should not because you should be sending out offers that you’re ready to act on. I don’t think that we could do that for other people. I love the Smart Pricing tool, so I think the Smart Pricing tool is as far as we can go. We take the average, I’m sure he explained it, of the best algorithms and give that to you, and then it’s up to you to say, “Do I like that number? How much do I want to reduce it by?” That kind of a thing. That’s for houses. For land, we don’t have that Smart Pricing tool.
Steven Butala: So here’s where we are in exactly in the progression of the interview here, I was going to describe or I will describe, what one line looks like in a mailer for smart pricing. You pick a zip code, you identify all the houses that you want to send offers to. For us, we send only offers using DataTree. We only send people who own houses with no debt, no mortgage on it at all. A lot of people do it differently, but that’s how we do it. Then we send it to Smart Pricing, send it to Umar. [crosstalk 00:16:43]
Jill DeWit: Can I add? That’s maybe 2,000 or more lines. So that’s the value of this, is do you really want to sit and do this for yourself for 2,000 lines? Heck no.
Steven Butala: Well, we haven’t explained what it is yet. If you’ve ever looked up your house or any piece of real estate on Zillow or Trulia, a number pops up, a value, what they think it’s worth. In Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and DataTree and all the others, they’re different. The value is to input all those numbers, take an average of it, and let’s say it comes out to $150,000, then you decide how much lower you want to send the actual offer out? If you want to shave $50,000 off in every line item, like Jill said, 2,000 lines, you set it there.
Steven Butala: Now you’re sending an offer out for a house for 100,000 bucks that you know retail, or not retail, but just in as-is condition according to their algorithms is worth $150,000. That’s what Smart Pricing is, it really takes the mystery of it. We don’t really have a product for land like that and it’s not stopping anybody from doing really well.
Jill DeWit: Exactly.
Steven Butala: I wonder Umar, if you could ask the house people, how much to actually do that piece for them? Just say “How much do you want? You want to reduce it by 50,000? I’ll do that. You want to reduce it by per square foot?” You know that option.
Jill DeWit: That’s fair. [crosstalk 00:18:12] We’re not setting the amount. They’re setting the amount and we can just run it down the line for them.
Steven Butala: Or do you already do that?
Umar Awan: In some cases we do. Not all, because some people do like to do the final pricing themselves just to ensure that they’re getting the accurate number in.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Steven Butala: This is the first episode, next week on a this exact Offers 2 Owners show what I would like to do is, I’m going to ask you to pick two or three actual, without releasing where the offers are going or the names of the people that are submitting it, I would like to review two or three offer campaigns. A good one and a bad one. So our listeners can see, so it will help them submit a better offer campaign themselves, if you know what I mean?
Umar Awan: Absolutely.
Steven Butala: So wrapping it up, I’d love to know what advice you have for people? And anything that’ll help.
Umar Awan: I think the only advice I have is just go for that first mailer. It takes out so much stress and fear, and just do it. Just shoot it out and kind of shotgun it, and deal with it later.
Steven Butala: That’s what I think. That’s great advice. Do a lot of people call you and say, “I just can’t get over it, Umar. Help me.”
Umar Awan: Yes, I get a lot of those.
Steven Butala: What do you say?
Jill DeWit: Go back and watch chapter whatever, four.
Steven Butala: Chapter five. Disc one, disc two.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. That’s not crazy. Well, you know the thing about it is, not to interrupt.
Steven Butala: [crosstalk 00:19:56] No, go ahead.
Jill DeWit: It’s funny how, here we are full circle. I was listening to the first episode that you did with Erin and at the end of the day, if you shoot too high, Erin called them “love calls”, I thought that was good. You get all these “love calls” because you offered way too much. Well, you know what? If you like the property, you can go back and say, “You know, I made a mistake. That price doesn’t work for me. Here’s why. Here’s what I can do. I apologize. Let me know if it works for you. If not, I get it.” And a lot of people go, “Darn”, and they’ll say “I thought that was kind of high. I get it”, and you can recover.
Jill DeWit: And then the other way too, this is all ties into Umar, just get the mail out and figure it out. If you underprice it by a crazy amount, well people have done that. We’ve all done that. We make mistakes.
Steven Butala: We still do that.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. I’ve had people call me so mad, it’s so darn funny. Because we missed something about it because it was agricultural land or there’s right now cattle on it, and all these other things we couldn’t have picked up on. I just go, “Okay, I realize I might’ve missed a zero or two. What would you sell it for?” Then now you have a number and you can decide.
Steven Butala: There’s so much margin for error in this. We just recorded one of the House Academy episodes and we talked about, we sent out a 20,000 unit mailer, which is pretty large by anybody’s measure. We’re doing 11 deals. The profit in the deals range from 30 to $50,000 so that mailer costs about 10 grand. We will make about $350,000 after everything.
Jill DeWit: Right.
Umar Awan: Wow.
Steven Butala: Even if you get half of that or a quarter of that or 10% of that, this business model makes so much sense. Let’s say I entirely and completely screwed that mailer up and we got one house back, one, so my mailer cost is $10,000 and I make 35,000 bucks.
Jill DeWit: It’s still worth it.
Steven Butala: How can you argue with that?
Jill DeWit: Exactly. Yet he did it all wrong and there you go. But won’t happen, usually.
Steven Butala: I don’t think there’s any doubt any longer, especially if you’re listening to this show, you’ve chosen to listen to this podcast, that this works and how.
Jill DeWit: Thanks for letting me hijack your show, Umar.
Umar Awan: Thank you guys.
Steven Butala: Join us next time for another interesting episode and we answer your questions posted on the online community, LandInvestors.com.
Jill DeWit: You are not alone in your real estate ambition.
Steven Butala: It’s free. Hey, I guess we can finish the show at this point, Jill.
Jill DeWit: I was going to kind of jump in and do my normal part, is why I was going to do that.
Steven Butala: Hey, thanks again Umar. Do you have anything else to add pal?
Umar Awan: No sir. The only thing I have to add, is to all the members out there listening and non-members, if you have any questions at all about Offers 2 Owners or are stuck in your campaign, feel free to reach out. We have a live line. I’m always available for that. It’s 800-725-8816 and then our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven Butala: That’s the number two.
Jill DeWit: Offers, number two.
Steven Butala: Owners.com.
Steven Butala: I forgot to ask you, Umar, do you feel like the videos on the front page of Offers 2 Owners are sufficient to help people do a mailer? Or do you think we should redo them in a more detailed way?
Umar Awan: I think we’re going to be making a few changes very soon to some of the templates and I think we should redo them then, because currently they actually do a hold up and they are pretty good.
Umar Awan: Okay, good. Good. Do you want to finish it?
Jill DeWit: It’s coming. It’s good.
Jill DeWit: Thanks. Land Academy, the Land Academy daily show, and all of these podcasts remain commercial-free for you, our little listener So wherever you’re watching or wherever you’re listening, please subscribe and rate us there. [crosstalk 00:24:00] We are Steve and Jill.
Steven Butala: Information.
Jill DeWit: And inspiration.
Steven Butala: To buy undervalued property. Thanks pal.
Umar Awan: Thank you.
Steven Butala: Have a good day.
Umar Awan: You too.
Steven Butala: Bye.
Umar Awan: Bye.
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