Real estate investment opportunities are out there. You just have to stay curious and learn how to navigate that world. Tune in as your host, Julie Houston, talks with Kathy Kennebrook about marketing magic unlike any other. Kathy shares her unique direct mail strategies to locate highly qualified, motivated sellers. This creative masterpiece package is the key to your success. Even in today’s market, you must get educated and implement strategies to attract sellers to your business. So tune in to learn how to create the highest response and see your income grow!
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Marketing Magic With The Marketing Master Kathy Kennebrook
I am honored and excited for our guest, Kathy Kennebrook. Kathy, welcome.
Thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to it. You are always fun to do a show for us.
She’s one of the top marketing ladies in the real estate space, but before we even dive into that, Kathy, do you want to give a little bit of your background for our readers?
We have been in the real estate sector for several years. Time has flown. Prior to real estate investing, I was in the financial sector. I worked in banking and I worked in the barter industry. I decided I hated Corporate America. I was working 60 hours a week. I was never home. I was putting $100,000 miles a year on my vehicle. At that point in time, my husband was also working for a national food distribution company. He was working in what they called the freezer section. The poor guy was sick more than he was well.
We knew there had to be something else out there. We didn’t know what that was going to be. One night I was up late watching one of those late-night infomercials on how to buy houses with no money down. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if that worked?” I called one of my customers who was the person who ran our local real estate club in Tampa, Florida. I am from the West Coast of Florida. I said, “What do you think about this real estate investing stuff? Does it work?” He goes, “It does. Come to one of our meetings and make that determination for yourself.”
We started going to some meetings and seminars. The next thing you know, we bought our first house and it was subject to deal. The guy deeded it to us for the balance of the mortgage. We ended up making $51,000 on that deal. I took a copy of the check to work the next day because my boss had been teasing me relentlessly, “Have you done anything yet?” I took a copy of the check to work the next day and he said, “You are fired.” That’s how I got into real estate investing.
We started doing direct mail because that was a good way to start reaching sellers who would never get our message otherwise. That was one thing we had learned along the way. If you could get a seller to contact you first, you were much more likely to make a better deal. After about another month of working by myself, getting direct mail campaigns out, and dealing with seller responses, we had all of a sudden, more responses coming in than I could handle on my own. I called my hubby at work one day and I said, “I need you to do me a big favor.” He said, “What is it?” I’m like, “Quit.” He said, “Are you serious?” I said, “I can’t do this by myself anymore.” He gave his notice that day.
One of the things that we found quickly is that you need to do something for your business every single day. One of those needs to be targeted, continuous direct mail, two targeted sellers who would never receive your message in any other way. Since that time, we have done hundreds of deals. Another piece of advice I would give your folks is don’t lock yourself into any one niche. If a deal comes at you and the deal makes sense, do the deal.
Single-family homes are our first love. Small apartment complexes are also our first love, but we have done single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and wobbly boxes. That’s what we call mobile homes down here in Florida. We do urban commercials. We do a little bit of everything. If the deal makes sense to us, we do the deal as long as there’s money on the table and it’s a win-win between us and that seller. That’s how we got started in. We have done hundreds of deals since then, whatever deal comes our way. We have never locked ourselves. People always ask me, “Are you a wholesaler? Do you wholetail? Do you resell? Do you do everything?” It depends on how the deal comes to me.
I didn’t know that about your husband. You called him and said, “I need you to quit your job.”
He was 40 feet in the air at the time. It was back in the day of the pager. I paged him. He had to climb all the way down and call me. That was a good day for him.You need to do targeted, continuous, direct mail to sellers who would never receive your message in any other way. Click To Tweet
I bet if my husband was like, “I need you to quit your job.” I’d be like, “Now? Okay.” For investors that are starting or even seasoned, why do you feel that it’s important for them to develop a specific marketing strategy for their business? Not to go off of it, but especially in this market.
Now more than ever, because I also hear that out in the field, “There are no deals out there. You are not looking in the right place.” There are deals out there to be made. To be perfectly honest with you, the market is starting to soften, with the Fed raise, and the interest rates. The market is softening. Now there are more sellers and there are more properties available. We are starting to see better deals being made even in my own working with the motivated sellers that I deal with.
It’s important to build a marketing strategy because you want to have consistency in the deals that are coming across your desk. You always have to have leads coming in, in order to create the next deal. You want to create a marketing machine. You want to automate that as quickly as you can. We will talk about that a little bit more later. The more quickly you are able to automate your marketing and get deals coming in regularly, then you get to pick and choose the deals you want to do, and you have a lot more of them to pick from.
One of the things that I use in my direct mail that no other guru out there to date does, which is stupid, is a response mechanism. If you don’t tell your seller what you want them to do, they are not going to do anything at all. You have to have a response mechanism in any advertising that you are doing, whether it’s direct mail or ads you are running, giving the seller multiple ways to contact you. Tell your seller exactly what it is you need from them. The deals are pre-screened when it hits your desk. All of these are pieces to building a long-term marketing plan that will continue to have deals coming across your desk.
Since you do target direct mail and you are having success with that, I know that’s your expertise in using direct mail along with other techniques to locate highly motivated sellers. Why is that?
Originally, if you want the truth, hubby is not here so I can tell the truth. Do you know how opposites attract? I’m a big mouth and I’m out there. I’m extroverted. I’m always getting myself into stuff. My husband is on the other end of the spectrum. What we wanted to do was to make it more comfortable for him to deal with sellers.
If he already had the letter or the response from the seller, and he already had most of the information that he needed, it made it a lot easier for him to deal with those sellers. We found out that everybody else out there has the same problem or the same difficulty with even seasoned investors. They love what I do because it’s a lot more comfortable for them to deal with motivated sellers. That’s why we started the direct mail.
One of the things that I have done is I have perfected what we do because I want you to use the least amount of marketing dollars to create the highest response. I know we have talked about this before, but even more garbage is hitting my desk every day. I told you that I got a letter from a guy wanting to buy my post office box. Where does he get a list? They are out there spending tons of dollars, spouting garbage.
They said, “Call me at this number.” That’s all they give to the person. They don’t give them any information about who they are or what they do. They don’t give that seller multiple ways to contact them. That’s important. You have to give your seller multiple ways to contact you so that you are reaching them at whatever their comfort level is. Give them a phone number, fax number, email, mailing address, or website if you have it. The more ways you give a seller to contact you, the more of them are going to.
Do a lot of people use fax? I’m curious.
One of the things that you know about me is my degree is in Finance and I can’t help myself. We track everything. About 11% of my total response rate is still coming in by fax. Why do you think that is partly?” It’s because these are older folks. That’s the way they grew up. That’s what they are accustomed to. I’m asking them for information, photographs of a property and how else are they going to get that to me? It’s either going to be email, mail, or fax. By the time, the deals come across my desk in 90% of the cases I have got photographs of the property.
I honestly can say that I haven’t even spoken to an investor even in the past that would even consider or thought of using a fax machine.
When I’m in a room, I’m speaking and I say the word, “Fax.” They all go surprised. If you are dealing with partly a senior group of folks, fax numbers are free. It’s an 800 number. It’s a program in your computer. The faxes come to your computer. If you are not paying anything for it, you are giving a seller another way to contact you. Why would you not? That’s dumb because everybody is techy these days that they forget about everyone. They have narrowed their field to a narrow seller. You shouldn’t do that. The wider a field you are marketing to, the more deals you are going to make. Until that number becomes two, I’m going to continue to use that fax number. It’s free. It costs me nothing.
That alone is something I know most people don’t even utilize. I understand that you have developed niched markets that you like to target. What types of motivated sellers do you target and why?
I like out-of-state owners. I’m an out-of-area owner myself. I get it. Senior homeowners, which we talked about. Expired listings, I work with attorneys, and we work with the military. The military market is a market. If you live near a military base, that’s a way to make a huge amount of money in real estate investing. We discovered that particular niche when my son was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. What happened was we were out on base and our vehicle was wrapped. We buy houses and the whole nine yards. We’d shut off all the phones because we were visiting the kids and stuff. We got home and there were three messages on the phone from folks who needed to get a home sold.
What happens is these folks are were in the military for several years. They’re told, “You are going to be stationed here.” They end up stationed, wherever they are stationed. They bring their family. They purchase a home off base. They use their VA certificate. They buy that home. They pay pretty much full retail for it. Several months later, they get transferred somewhere else.
They have a home and a mortgage that they neither want nor need. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place because they paid pretty much full retail. They can’t afford to write a check for realtor fees and closing costs again so they are stuck. These are an ideal situation for someone to simply have a home deeded to them for the balance of the mortgage. We have done a ton of these deals. I still own properties in North Carolina.
What ends up happening is that working with the military is like working with section eight on steroids. The military helps you to find the person to go into your property. The military takes the money for their rent out of their paycheck, biweekly and they deposit it into your checking account once a month. If they destroy your property, guess who they have to answer to? Their superior officer.
I did not know that. I never even thought of that.
That’s one of the niches that we like and always have. When I work with my students throughout the country who live near military bases, that’s one of the direct mail campaigns I want them to get started. We also work with attorneys who bring us deals. We created a direct mail campaign. We mail out 40 or 50 pieces at a time to specific types of attorneys who are more likely to be working with us. Estate planning, probate, bankruptcy, and those types of attorneys.
We mail the direct mail out to the attorneys. We wait for their response. If we don’t hear from them, we call them. The first time I did that direct mail campaign, I created relationships with four attorneys who still bring us deals now. We are talking several years ago. They still bring us deals because if you are a person of integrity and you do what you say you are going to do. When the attorney has a client come to them who needs to sell a property quickly, no matter what condition it is in, in order for the attorney to liquidate assets, they are going to call you first. That’s a whole other niche that we have created.
I can’t tell you how many private lenders I have gotten from my attorney because they know people who have money they need to invest. If you are a person of integrity, yes. That’s another good result we have had from working with attorneys. We have created relationships with other private lenders. Folks that are being transferred out of state, quit claim deeds because a property gets quitclaimed for a lot of reasons and people don’t think about this. I’m always thinking about what the other investors aren’t doing.Don't lock yourself into any one niche. If a deal comes to you that makes sense, do the deal. Click To Tweet
For example, with a quick claim deed, a couple gets married. He owns a home, she owns a home and now they are going to sell one or both of those and buy one of their own. In the interim, they have each deed and the other person onto that property via a quick claim deed. That’s another good way to find deals. We find a lot of estate and probate properties through the quick claim deed as well. That’s another good one.
My marketing system consists of twelve different direct mail campaigns that each have a specific targeted letter that goes to a specific target market. Within each one of those, we use targeted lists. Within each list, we hone it even further to reach the most highly qualified seller in that group. That’s why our mail campaigns are effective.
You have a pretty unique way of marketing and how your direct mail system is your marketing method per niche I’m seeing.
We have companies that will do all the direct mail campaigns for them. The more you get your hands off of stuff, the more money you are going to make. What I do is as a resource with my system, I give them companies that will do as few as 25 letters a week or month up to 500 or 1,000 letters a week or month. The more you can get the work into somebody else’s hands, the more money you are going to make.
I have a question and I know some of our folks might be wondering about it. Where do you get the list that you used to mail?
There are several different ways to get the list. One way that you can get the lists is you can go to your property appraiser’s office or assessor’s office, depending on where you live. It’s called something different here. It’s the property appraiser in North Carolina, for example, it’s the assessor’s office. You can get them to create the list for you based on the specific criteria that I use to do each of my direct mail campaigns. They are very inexpensive to get. You can get them either as a paper list or on a disc.
In a lot of states, you can go to your computer and do it yourself. I have students that do that. I can do it here. You go into the property appraiser website and it gives you an area where the lists are. It gives you a place to put the criteria in and you print them out yourself. That’s one way. We also can use list brokers and I provide resources for my students for list brokers for each of the direct mail campaigns, no matter where they live across the country and Canada.
Are there any other marketing methods that you are using to attract motivated sellers?
One of my favorites, except if I’m busy and I need to get in and out of a store is apparel, t-shirts, caps, pins, and kinds of that stuff. I love apparel. We use signage. I could do a whole seminar on signage and stuff that people are not thinking about. For example, if there are properties that we like, in a particular subdivision, we put signs on each entrance to that subdivision.
We work with car dealerships, car washes, and stuff like that. We put signage on their properties. At the car dealerships, we will put a banner on their front fence and we pay them a referral fee if we get a deal. The same thing with the car wash. I pay him a referral fee if I get a deal. There are many unique things that we do lots of them are free.
Another thing that I like to do is like the flyers that would go on a pizza box. You get your pizza box and there’s a flyer. On the top is the menu, you open it up and there are ads. The way that I do that is, I will take a four-page ad folded in half. The front is the menu for the restaurant. The second page is my ad and I have sold the other two pages to other businesses. My ad becomes free. We are printing these flyers. They go on the pizza boxes. They go out to hundreds of people and my ad is free. I work with my students with all these unique ways to find sellers that people aren’t thinking about.
That’s pretty creative. You had me at the car dealership. I was like, “I have never thought to have a sign made for a car dealership.”
Oddly enough, I have gotten a ton of deals from the car washes. I don’t know why but think about it. Here’s the lane going into the car wash and you are sitting there waiting. If you are not on your cell phone, you are looking around. What we do is we have a sign on either side. There are two lanes going into the car wash. We have a signs on the sides. They see our signage as they are going into the car wash and we have got these several calls from the car washes. I don’t know why.
We do flyers anywhere that we can find on public boards. One of the ones I like is laundromats. I don’t know why we get a ton of leads from laundromats. Storage units, that one I get. Generally, when you walk into the office of a storage unit, they have a public board right there. We do a nice size ad with pull tabs. If you are putting your stuff in storage, you are either moving out of or moving into. That’s another good source of leads for us. I’m always thinking of the things that other investors are simply not doing.
You do have some unique processes and I know that your system is extensive. What is all included with your systems?
There are twelve different direct mail campaigns, including all the letters and resources. All of that is on USB for them. We revamped the entire system several months ago. I did a bunch of rewrites and we put everything on USB, not the system, but all the resources, letters, where to find the list brokers, and where to get discounted pricing on all of your apparel items, signage, business cards, and all of that stuff. All of that is on USB. That’s cool. I was excited when we did that.
I include the twelve direct mail campaigns. I include 24 additional marketing techniques and samples of all of them. They also get twelve months of consulting with me directly. I don’t pawn them off on anybody else. That’s a $5,000 bonus by itself, seriously. They can email me any marketing question that they have for a full year, and nobody else does that.
I haven’t seen anyone else that does that.
I like supporting my students. That’s half the fun and we have done a super special price for your guys. My system is normally $1,697. We are offering $1,197 for your folks on the show. That’s something that we are doing special because you and I have a good history together.
We are gonna have that information at UndergroundWealthSecrets.net/MagicMarketing and everything that Kathy and I reviewed now is going to be all in that link to review everything.
I like to do things that nobody else thinks about.
I’m stuck in the car lot. There are many all over and even at the car wash.The more you get your hands off of stuff, the more money you're going to make. Click To Tweet
The buy here, pay here, car lots. You can those on the main roads. They will have a gate in the front because they close their gates at night. We will put a banner on their fence and anytime we get a referral from them, we will pay them a referral fee. You only have to pay for the banner once to get continuous leads coming in.
It’s the same thing with the direct mail campaigns that we do to the attorneys. We create that relationship one time and it continues to spit out leads. That’s the thing I like. It is something I do one time and it fits out leads. We pay people to keep our signage on their vehicles. That’s normal that a lot of people do and we have gone more to vinyls now. We are not doing the stick them on there anymore. The magnetics like we used to do in the old days. Now everything is vinyl. It doesn’t damage somebody’s car.
I have got a fellow and we pay them monthly to keep the signage on the car. They also get an additional bonus if we buy a house from their vehicle. I have got one fellow who lives in a condo. He pulls into the condo and takes the vinyl off because he’s not allowed to have advertising on his car. That’s part of the association thing. In the morning when he leaves, he puts him back on. We got people working for us.
What’s the craziest deal or most challenging deal you ever got through the car wash or something?
The most challenging deal would have to be the monkey house. Anybody who’s heard me speak anywhere knows about the monkey house.
What did you do?
We did a deal with a lady and she got three different letters from us because she fell on three different lists. She fell on the out-of-state owner, divorce, and the expired listing mailing. She got three different letters from us because she wound up on three different lists. She calls us on the phone. The house had been on the market as an expired listing. It had been on the market for over a year and had not sold.
She called us on the phone, which people don’t generally do. Ninety percent of my sellers, don’t pick up a phone and call me. They send it in writing. She calls us on the phone. She mails us the keys to the house. She doesn’t know me from a squat. Is this a motivated seller? Obviously. She mails us the keys. She had been raising Capuchin monkeys in the house and they were supposed to be therapy monkeys, but not so much.
She mails us the keys. We go over to the house. We open up the front door and there are two inches of monkey poop everywhere. What do you think monkey poop smells after about twelve months? It smells like a cat’s poop. We ended up buying that house for $225,000. It was worth $450,000. We did about $75,000 of rehab to that property.
The best part of this deal was the closing. About two weeks before the closing, she calls me on the phone and she says, “I’m coming down early. I’m coming down about two weeks before the closing. I want to take some of the furniture back to Indiana with me. I’m bringing a couple of the monkeys with me.” The lady at the title company calls me on the phone and she goes, “Ain’t no way the sellers bring in no monkeys to my closing.” I said, “Not to worry, I will take care of it.”
The seller says, “No problem. We will leave the monkeys in the house. It will go to the closing. After the closing, I will pick up my monkeys. I will give you the keys and that will be it.” Best laid plans of mice and men. I didn’t quite work out that. We go to the closing, and everything goes fine. We go back to the house. She’s brought two monkeys with her. One is about three years old and he’s about three feet tall. He’s got these bangs and red yuck. She has this baby monkey that’s four months old with a little diaper, t-shirt, and everything.
We go back to the house and she gets the big monkey. His name was Rambo. She goes into the house and she gets Rambo. She clicks this little leash on him and she brings him out. She’s got this big Penske truck. She’s got a big cage in there for the monkey. She puts Rambo in the cage, closes the cage, goes back into the house, and gets Ryland. Ryland was the baby monkey. He was four months old. If I was sick out, we are going to have to have a monkey. He’d have to stay four months old. He was cute.
She brings Ryland out with his little diaper and t-shirt. She puts him in the cage. Right about then, Rambo decides he’s not having any part of it and gone monkey. He’s going through people’s yards and jumping fences. The seller, her son, my husband, and I chasing this monkey all through the neighborhood, through people’s yards, in their pool cages, and all of that.
Mind you, this house is close to where I live and I live half a mile from a nature preserve. If that monkey gets to the preserve, it’s over, never getting back. He’s booking down the road and he’s on his way on this main road that goes to the preserve. Everybody is chasing this monkey. Right about that, there’s a car coming in the other direction. You can’t make this stuff up.
The car coming in the other direction. He’s got these Thump speakers. He thinks this is the funniest thing he’s ever seen. He pulls his car over. He opens the door and grabs his iPhone. Right about then, for some reason, the monkey jumps in the car and the seller jumps in the car. Kid you not. I can’t make this up. She finally got her monkey back. That would probably be my most contentious deal.
Thank you for sharing that.
We made $85,000 on that deal. It all turned fine.
It was worth chasing that monkey.
We had to hire a professional company to come out and sanitize the house from top to bottom before we could ever get a rehab crew in there to do anything. It was crazy. This is a $450,000 gorgeous house and a nice neighborhood. She has jungle wallpaper on every wall in the house, bathrooms, and everything. It was all for the monkeys. She had one room that has floor to ceiling cages. We have cats and we like cats. I called a rescue that we work with a lot. They were over there in fifteen minutes to come and get those cages. That was a nice donation that we made out of the deal too.
That is a positive that came out of it. Thank you for sharing that story. I have never heard that story.
That’s one that I like to bring when I’m speaking out. I have pictures and I have video, but I have got pictures of the one monkey when the inspection service came. They popped popcorn in the microwave to make sure the microwave was working because it was built-in. The inspector handed the bag to my husband and the monkeys crawled right up to him to get the popcorn away from him.
Thank you, Kathy, for being here. For our readers, for more information about everything that Kathy and I discussed, you can go to UndergroundWealthSecrets.net/MarketingMagic.
I appreciate your having me on the show. Tell Bob I said, “Hi.” I haven’t seen him in a while.
Thank you for being on. It’s been such an honor having you here.
About Kathy Kennebrook
Kathy Kennebrook is the ultimate success story. She spent over 20 years in the banking industry before discovering the world of real estate. This 4 foot 11 mother of two got really excited about expanding her real estate investing business into vacant land and before you know it shed bought sold and leased many pieces of vacant land using very little of her own money and none of her own credit.
Kathy holds a degree in finance and has co-authored several books- The Venus Approach to Real Estate Investing, and Walking With the Wise Entrepreneur which also includes real estate experts Suze Orman, Robert Kiyosaki, and Dr. Wayne Dyer. She has also authored the book Your Personal Path to Prosperity.
She is the nations leading expert at finding highly qualified, motivated sellers and buyers using direct mail marketing and other techniques to buy sell and lease vacant land. She is known throughout the United States and Canada as the Marketing Magic Lady. She has put together a simple step-by-step system that anyone can follow to duplicate her success.
Kathy has been speaking throughout the country and across Canada for many years and has shared the stage with Ron LeGrand, Dr. Phil, Dan Kennedy, Mark Victor Hansen, Ted Thomas and Suze Orman to name a few.
Kathy is going to share with you how she generates a Huge income by mailing a handful of letters throughout the year to highly selected targets by knowing exactly what to send them, who to send them to and exactly how to deliver her message. She will also share how she buys land through tax certificates and tax deed sales. She will teach you the secrets of pre-screening and automating your marketing, your buying, selling and leasing systems to put your entire Vacant Land business on auto-pilot.
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