Kathy Kennebrook is a speaker, author and has been actively investing in real estate since 1999, Kathy currently resides in Bradenton, FL and is known as the “Marketing Magic Lady” because she is the country’s leading real estate marketing expert on finding motivated sellers using direct mail.
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Using The Right Mailing Lists To Locate Motivated Sellers - Part 2
By Kathy Kennebrook on August 7, 2017
So what other lists can we use to locate highly motivated sellers? One of my favorite lists is people who are behind on taxes. You can get this list by getting a list of tax certificates available for sale in your county. In most counties this list comes out right before the tax certificate sale takes place. You would then mail them a neutral type of letter saying you are interested in buying properties in their neighborhood or subdivision.
When mailing these letters initially, I suggest that you do not refer to the seller’s specific problem. All you will accomplish is to alienate them so that they will not want to work with you. I personally do a mailing every year to folks whose tax bills have not been paid and I have purchased many properties this way. A lot of these folks are people who have a problem they need to solve, they just don’t know how until they are contacted by you. A lot of these people have inherited properties they neither want nor need and appreciate your offer to purchase it, especially if they have just received another big tax bill to pay. This is an extremely good lead source for really great deals. Read More >>
Using The Right Mailing Lists to Locate Motivated Sellers
By Kathy Kennebrook on July 10, 2017
Implementing the right list and using the right letter when creating your direct mail campaigns to locate motivated sellers is crucial to your success as a Real Estate Investor. There are lots of different ways to find these lists and lots of different types of lists to choose from.
The easiest way I suggest to locate a list to use for mailings is to simply go to your property appraiser’s office or auditor’s office and have them create it for you. There are many different parameters you can use to create these lists.
Some of the lists you could create might be directed at out of town owners, deed transfers, zip codes ranges, sale dates, estates, evictions, delinquent taxes or pre-foreclosures. These can all be good lead sources for you to use to find motivated sellers and these are lists that I use in my business on a daily basis in addition to several others. Read More >>
I also like to use my personal Credibility Kit to find more private lenders for my Real Estate Investing Business. You already have all the information about yourself and your company and deals you have done in one place to show your potential lenders.
Looking through your Credibility Kit leaves no doubt in a lender’s mind that they will be making a good investment in you and your properties. Plus, you have references available if they would like to see them and follow up with any of them. I also give my potential lenders an abridged copy of my Credibility Kit in case they know of someone else interested in loaning me money for my deals. This is a great way to build this part of your real estate investing business! Read More >>
Your Credibility Kit tells a story about who you are and what you can do for your seller or buyer in order to get a deal done. It will list the benefits to the sellers or buyers as to why they should work with you, a Real Estate Investor. The other main function of a Credibility Kit is to give you the confidence you need in order to create a win-win solution for you with your sellers. It should have all the tools you need in it to get you through the offer making process.
For example, in the back of my personal Credibility Kit, I have a list of different types of offers I can make on a property. This helps me when talking to the seller and keeps me from getting tongue-tied or forgetting a strategy that could just help out that particular seller. It also includes a cost analysis sheet which shows my sellers exactly how much it would cost them to sell their home in the traditional way and how much money I can save them at the closing table. My personal Credibility Kit gives my sellers all the facts they need to make a sound decision to sell their property to me. Read More >>
Why do you need a Credibility Kit for your Real Estate Investing business? In fact, what exactly is a Credibility Kit? This is the question I hear most often from students when I am at real estate investing events.
Think about this for a second. Have you ever had a contractor come out to do a bid for you on some work you wanted done, say new cabinets, or siding on your house or new windows? Do you remember seeing the book they brought with them that showed the photos of jobs they had completed, testimonial letters from satisfied customers and copies of their licensing and insurance? That was their Credibility Kit. Why then as a Real Estate Investor are you not creating this amazing tool for your real estate investing business? This is definitely a tool you will need for your real estate investing business and it’s so easy to create one if you follow a few simple steps.
Your personal Credibility Kit will not only build credibility and integrity for you with your sellers and lenders, it will give you a serious edge over your competition. Almost none of your competitors know about this incredible tool that makes you look like a true professional in your Real Estate Investing business, whether you are working with sellers or buyers of properties. Read More >>
Following Up with Motivated Sellers Can Make You Millions
By Kathy Kennebrook on March 6, 2017
Let me ask you a question… Are you properly managing your prospects? Are you taking the time to follow up with the sellers who didn’t initially accept your offers, or the sellers you still need to make offers to? Did you know that you are leaving thousands of dollars in potential income behind if you aren’t following up with sellers? One of the easiest ways to make a fortune in the real estate business and gain the advantage over your competition is to take the time to follow up with motivated and semi-motivated sellers. You’ve already got the seller in your pipeline, you’ve already done the marketing and spent the money to find this person, and now all you need to do is to follow up with them until they either sell you their property or tell you to go away. How much simpler could it be?
There are two types of sellers we are going to follow up with, those we’ve already made offers to who haven’t accepted our offer and those who have not made any decision after our initial contact with them. Quite often, you will need to make multiple contacts with sellers before their situation changes and dictates that they sell their property to you. When you stay in touch with these sellers, you build credibility with them. When it comes time to sell their home they will contact you first, even if they have been contacted by someone else in the meantime. Read More >>
So Where Do I Find The Mailing Lists For My Direct Mail Campaigns?
By Kathy Kennebrook on February 6, 2017
One of the Questions I am frequently asked by students wanting to implement a direct mail campaign is where to get the lists of sellers to mail to. While there are several resources available, I find they vary greatly in price and in quality of the lists. It is important for you to find a good, reliable source for your lists. When doing direct mail campaigns, their success is going to be based 70% on the list and 30% on the direct mail piece you are using to contact these motivated sellers.
There are a couple of resources for lists that I find to be especially reasonable in price and the quality of the lists is excellent for your use. One of those resources is very easy to find and simple to use use. Just go to your property appraiser, auditor, or assessors’ office and ask them to put the lists together for you. You will need to target specific types of sellers you want to do deals with. If your county is online preparing this list is usually pretty simple for them to do. I will suggest to you that you go down to their office and ask them for their help in person to customize these lists for you. If you just call them, you may get “blown off” by someone who doesn’t want to do the extra work, or you may get someone on the phone who doesn’t understand what it is that you need. I know all of this from personal experience with counties I have worked with. In addition, if you live in a particularly large county, they have plat maps you can look at to subdivide your lists by specific areas you want to mail to. This is just another way for you to hone in on the area and type of seller you want to work with. Read More >>
Why Should You Develop a Marketing Strategy In 2017?
By Kathy Kennebrook on January 9, 2017
We all know that developing an effective marketing strategy is essential to getting any business off the ground. Educating yourself and discovering how to locate and motivate potential sellers to contact you is a must in making your real estate business a success. You must be able to locate prospects who want to do business with you. You must find the sellers who need to sell, not just want to sell their properties. This is essential to your success as a real estate investor. Coming into the new year this will an important step to growing your real estate investing business.
Marketing is also a numbers game, the more leads that come in, the more opportunities you will have to make deals. You won’t buy every deal that comes your way, but when you develop a machine that brings in quality leads, you will be able to pick and choose the deals you want to do. You will quickly learn to recognize quality prospects. Read More >>
Despite the obviously important role information gathering plays in the art of negotiations, very few people actually spend much time analyzing their seller’s situations or needs before jumping into the negotiating process. Even logical individuals who wouldn’t jump into a dangerous sport before learning more about it often jump into a deal where they could possibly lose thousands without first getting the information they needed in order to protect themselves from a disastrous result.
I always remind my students that they need to listen, ask appropriate questions, do their due diligence and determine what the seller’s real underlying needs are. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your sellers in order to get the information you need to make the best deal possible. If you need clarification on some part of the negotiation, ask!
So why are investors so reluctant to ask questions? Part of it is fear and part of it is the unwillingness to admit they don’t know or don’t understand something. It used to cause me a great deal of discomfort to ask certain questions of sellers such as “how much is your mortgage balance?” That one question used to really make me choke. The main reason for this was uncertainty as to how the seller would react to my question. Even when a seller refuses to answer your question, you are still gathering important information about that seller, namely that they are not particularly motivated. Usually a truly motivated seller will answer whatever questions you have. Read More >>
Creating A Solid Direct Mail Piece To Locate Motivated Sellers
By Kathy Kennebrook on November 7, 2016
One of the most important aspects to a marketing campaign that is going to work is to create a solid mail piece for your business. These are key points for creating a solid direct mail piece that folks will respond to no matter what business you are in.
The first thing you’ll want to do is to “touch” your prospective customer or seller with “the dream”, or “the solution” to their problem. You’ll want to touch the basic emotions and the needs of your client or seller within the body of your letter, whether that is fear, relief, greed, pride or vanity.
Keep it simple. The grammar doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect. You want to reach this person at their comfort level. Keep your letter relaxed, personal and conversational.
Use simple language; don’t fill your letter with big words or technical words or “industry jargon” that your seller or your customer might not understand. Read More >>
So you think you can’t get a seller to pay you to take their problem home off their hands? I have heard many times from students, friends and relatives alike, “are you nuts, nobody would pay you to take a house off their hands.” Wanna’ bet??
There have been many instances where a seller needed to get rid of a piece of property quickly and they needed our assistance to help them make their problem go away. They were more than willing to pay us to make that happen. You have to remember that you are not in the business to make someone else’s problem your problem. We get paid to solve problems for sellers.
Now, you will never get paid to take a house off someone’s hands unless you ask. You never know what a seller will agree to until you ask them. The worst they can do is to simply say “no”. You just have to explain to them why they should pay you to take their problem out of their hands and outline the benefits to them of selling their property this way. Read More >>
Since this scenario has arisen for me in the past on a couple of really good deals with a lot of income potential, I thought I would take the time to explain to you how to deal with this kind of problem.
Sometimes you will put a property under contract with a seller, get all the way through the closing process right up to the time of closing and for some reason the seller changes their mind and decides not to sell to you. While this is not a usual occurrence if you are following through correctly with your deals, it does arise occasionally and you need to be prepared.
There are a lot of reasons this situation can occur. One main reason is that the seller may have gotten a better offer on the property after putting it under contract with you. Or maybe a relative or friend tells them they didn’t sell for enough money or maybe they just get cold feet and decide not to sell. None of these are a good reason for them not to sell to you, especially when you have a valid contract with your seller and have followed through as you are required to within the confines of the contract. Read More >>
Did you ever wonder why some people are really wealthy and some people barely live paycheck to paycheck? Did you ever think “Why can’t I be wealthy like them?” What do the wealthy people know that I don’t? “How did they get rich? These are all valid questions, but I would say, the reason why you are or aren’t a wealthy person is entirely between your ears. So what exactly do I mean by that?
It’s simply this. Wealth is based on a state of mind, not on how much education you have, how many hours you work, or who you know. A wealthy mindset is created by believing in who you are, who you want to be and where you want to go. It is said that our thought processes control the person we are and the person we become, and this is so true. I know a lot of people, many of whom are real estate entrepreneurs, who have become extremely wealthy and yet came from backgrounds of poverty and little or no education. Read More >>
Using Realtors To Find Leads For Your Real Estate Investing Business
By Kathy Kennebrook on July 10, 2016
There are several ways to use a Realtor to help you find good quality leads for your real estate investing business. If you have not already added a good Realtor or Realtors as a part of your real estate investing dream team, now would be a good time to do so. There are many types of leads your Realtor can generate for you so let’s discuss them one at a time.
The first service your Realtor should provide for you as a real estate investor is to e-mail you the expired listings on a regular basis. You will need to set up a way for your Realtor to be paid for providing these leads. One of the ways I provide payment to the Realtor I work with is to re-list some of these properties with the Realtor once I am ready to sell them. You see the Realtors I work with sees the “bigger picture” and you need to find someone willing to work with you on a long-term basis.
You need to take the time to find a Realtor who is very creative in the way they provide leads and sell properties for real estate investors, just as I have done in my own business. And you should be working with multiple Realtors in your business in order to find a variety of leads. Read More >>
Using the people around you to locate motivated sellers for you is a great way to find even more deals absolutely free. Think about it, the more people you have locating deals for you, the more deals you are going to make. And personally, I always advocate “free” techniques for finding motivated sellers, especially those of you with a very limited budget for marketing.
So how are we going to find these people to find deals for us? Well first of all, look around you. Friends, relatives and co-workers are good sources of leads for you. They usually live, drive and work in different areas of town than you do and they come in contact with a lot of people that you simply won’t. So they are likely to bring you deals you would never know about otherwise.
You can also ask anyone who does deliveries to be a bird dog for you. For example, mail delivery, Fed-X or UPS delivery people are delivering packages all over your area and can tell you about vacant houses they may see. In fact, you could even give them some of your business cards to stick in the doors of vacant houses they find. Just have them write their first name on the back of the card so you can pay them if you get a deal from it. Read More >>
While I personally don’t use a lot of post card mailings in my real estate business, they definitely have their place. One of the main uses for a post card mailing is to either test a new list before spending a lot of money mailing to it, or to canvas large areas at very little cost to you. Post cards are also a very inexpensive effective means to building your buyers list.
If you are going to implement post card mailings, there are several different ways to do them effectively. On my web site at www.marketingmagiclady.com, I provide you with resources to find list brokers so you can focus on the specific mailing you want to do.
One effective way you can create these mailings is to download your list to usps.com and let them do the mailing for you for the cost of mailing the post card including printing. The post card is simply black and white, no frills, but can be used to canvas specific areas or large areas with your message.
There are some good reasons you might want to do this. One reason would be to do a sweep of a particular zip code range or group of subdivisions you want to mail to in order to find motivated sellers. This is a very inexpensive way to accomplish this. Another reason would be to do post card mailings to specific areas with high numbers of rentals in order to build your buyers list. Read More >>
The Art of The Conversation With Motivated Sellers - Part 2
By Kathy Kennebrook on April 3, 2016
So how are we going to get ready to have a conversation with our motivated sellers? I believe that readiness is a state of mind, and I have put together some ideas for you designed to help you have meaningful and successful conversations with motivated sellers resulting in profitable deals.
First of all, expect to be anxious and know that it’s okay to be anxious. You probably wouldn’t be very good at what you do if you didn’t care about the outcome.
Next, while you are feeling anxious, get in front of a mirror and practice what you are going to say to the seller. Do this more than once. The more you practice what you are going to say, the more comfortable you will be and therefore less likely to forget what you were going to say. Practice controlling your voice and be mindful of how fast you are talking. Your speech should be at a moderate volume and speed when speaking to a seller.
Remember to breathe! Practice what you are going to say all the way through without making faces, gasping or throwing out any expletives. Your seller doesn’t care if you’re speech is perfect, they just want to know what you can do for them to help them solve their problem. You might even want to practice what you are going to say in front of a spouse or close friend. Read More >>
The Art of The Conversation With Motivated Sellers - Part 1
By Kathy Kennebrook on March 6, 2016
One of the concerns many of my students seem to run into is; once they find the deal, what do they say to the motivated sellers? How should that conversation go? On top of these concerns, many of my students say they are not really comfortable with having a conversation with a stranger, so how do they handle that conversation? How do you get over the “jitters”?
Okay, so you’ve practiced what you are going to say, you have a plan, you have your paperwork, you’ve probably procrastinated a little, then scheduled your appointment with the seller, so now what? You still feel those butterflies in your stomach and you’re still not comfortable with how the conversation with the seller is going to go. What should you say first? How should you make the offer? What if they ask you something you don’t know? What if they accept your offer? What if they don’t? Also remember that if you created your direct mail campaigns correctly in the first place you already have most of the information you need to have from the seller in order to create the deal. Read More >>
Attracting Even More Motivated Sellers in an Ever Changing Market – Part 2
By Kathy Kennebrook on January 31, 2016
You can also control the types of sellers who are contacting you and the types of properties you want to purchase. In a changing market, this ability to be flexible is especially important and using direct mail is the only marketing tool available that gives you the opportunity to pick and choose the types of sellers you want to deal with.
The more direct mail campaigns you do, the higher the response rate gets. So the more you do it, the less direct mail costs per lead and per deal. Direct mail is the only marketing technique out there that allows you to have these controls. I provide my students with a number of different types of direct mail campaigns to make sure they have the best opportunity to create more deals in their real estate investing business on an ongoing basis.
In addition, you are using your available marketing dollars to target specific types of sellers as opposed to other types of marketing like signage or an ad where you are hitting a much broader market area and hoping someone in that group has a property for sale. You should always have between three and five marketing techniques working for you at any given time and one of those needs to be direct mail marketing. I have lots of great information about other types of marketing tools on my website. Read More >>
Attracting Even More Motivated Sellers in an Ever Changing Market – Part 1
By Kathy Kennebrook on January 4, 2016
I am often asked whether or not there are still good real estate deals out there with the market constantly changing like it has been. The real estate market will always experience ups and downs and as real estate investors we need to be trained on utilizing the best tools to locate the motivated sellers within those markets. We also need to learn to be flexible in our marketing in order to bring in the highest number of new deals.
I often hear comments like, “you were just lucky” or “you got in on the real estate game when there were still lots of deals out there, it’s just not that way anymore”. Those folks couldn’t be more wrong in their thinking. This is just “stinkin’ thinkin’” as my friend Ron LeGrand would say. There are always deals to be made if you know where to look for them no matter what your local real estate market is doing. This is just a matter of having a marketing mind.
Using direct mail to attract motivated sellers is always one of the best tools in the real estate business for locating highly motivated sellers on a regular basis. I also utilize other tools along with my direct mail, such as lumpy mail pieces to make my direct mail stand out or I will send CDs to my sellers explaining to them why they should work with me. Using a little creativity with your direct mail campaigns will increase the response rate significantly. There are several reasons for this. Read More >>
Long Term Benefits of Using Direct Mail to Locate Motivated Sellers
By Kathy Kennebrook on December 6, 2015
As you probably know if you have been reading my articles, I strongly advocate using direct mail to locate highly motivated sellers for your Real Estate Investing business no matter what market you live in and no matter what your real estate market is doing. With the market being in its current state of affairs, there are more motivated sellers than ever before if you know how to find them.
As a seasoned Real Estate Investor I fully understand that I need to be locating the most highly motivated sellers in order to construct the very best deals. Remember, the profit on a deal is made when you buy a property.
In addition, while many investors enjoy working with pre-foreclosures, short sales, REO properties and buying houses on the court house steps, these properties take time to close on and there is a lot of competition for them.
In the meantime you need to be able to continue to fill your funnel with cash producing deals in order to keep your business moving forward. Working with motivated sellers that your competition knows nothing about is definitely the way to accomplish this goal and direct mail is the best technique to draw in these very motivated sellers. Read More >>
How to Locate Highly Motivated Sellers Using Business Cards
By Kathy Kennebrook on November 8, 2015
Finding ways to attract motivated sellers to your Real Estate Investing business is probably the most important element in your business, since without the motivated sellers, there are no deals to be made.
There are several different ways to find motivated sellers for your real estate investing business using a shot gun type of approach to locate as many sellers as you can. A shot gun approach is where you “blast” your message out to your market and hope that there are motivated sellers among the bunch. Some of these techniques include yard or vehicle signage, business cards, t-shirts and hats, door hangers, pens, buttons, business card magnets, flyers and auto shades. What I really want to focus on today though, is using business cards to locate motivated sellers.
When having business cards printed, there are a couple of things you want to keep in mind. One is that your business card needs to have a grabber headline and it needs to catch people’s attention by looking different from every other business card out there.
Use bright colors and a benefit driven message on your business cards. List the reasons on your card why that seller should work with you and how you can help them. Remember business cards are a highly effective inexpensive lead generating tool for your business. On your business card, you want to provide your potential seller with a couple of different ways to contact you so they can contact you in the way that is most comfortable for them. So for example your card might include your phone number, your email address and a website for them to check out. The more ways you give a potential seller to contact you, the more of them will. Read More >>
More Unique Strategies to Locate Motivated Sellers
By Kathy Kennebrook on October 20, 2015
I am always excited by the opportunity to share as many ideas as I can with regard to locating motivated sellers for your real estate investing business. After all, without the sellers, there are no deals. I also like having the opportunity to share ideas for both the beginner investor and the seasoned investor alike within a variety of budget constraints. One of my favorite techniques is using flyers to get the message out there that I buy houses.
Flyers are a great way to target and locate motivated sellers. They can be used to target specific neighborhoods and subdivisions where you want to buy houses. You can either hire a company to hang them door to door for you, or hire older children to hang these flyers for you.
Do follow up by driving by the area to make sure the work got done. When using a company to lay flyers for you, make sure you get references from satisfied customers first. There are some companies out there that will take you money and not get the work done, so you want to check their reputation before hiring them. Flyers are a wonderfully inexpensive way to locate sellers and this technique can be repeated either monthly or quarterly depending on your time and budget. When we used to lay flyers door to door ourselves, we would take one weekend morning to do this. My husband and I would each take one side of the street and lay flyers door to door. We would keep a chart of the neighborhoods we had done so we could track our results. You always want to be tracking where your leads are coming from so you know which of your marketing campaigns are working best. Interested potential sellers will hold on to these flyers until their situation changes and they are ready to sell, so laying flyers door to door becomes one of your long term marketing techniques. Read More >>
There are many creative ways to find motivated sellers and promote your business. One of the great ways to get positive exposure for your business and give back to your community is to sponsor events or teams. There are lots of great ways to do this.
You can sponsor sports teams such as soccer, softball, bowling or track. You can also participate in a local golf tournament for charity. One of the ways to do this is to provide uniforms or shirts which of course have your company information on them. Walk-a-thons are another great way to achieve this goal. This is a good way to get advertising out for your real estate investing business and support your community at the same time.
Another way to promote your real estate business in a positive way is to sponsor events or take part in local functions by donating promotional items. For example, if your community is having a local fair or parade, you could donate balloons to be given out to the children which have your company name and logo on them. These are always appreciated and it's a good way to get your company information out to the public. These events usually get press or television coverage as well. Imagine a news shot of a parade where every child is holding a balloon with your message on it! Or, imagine the winning team getting their picture in the paper wearing shirts with your message on them. What better advertising could you ask for! And what better way to let people know that you buy houses! Read More >>
The rental business can be very lucrative for the real estate investor. It can also be a pain in the neck. The trick to an effective rental business is the management. We have many rentals as a part of our real estate investment business and we have always said that managing tenants is like raising another set of children unless you do it correctly.
The first thing you should do is to decide if you are going to manage your properties yourself or if you are going to have someone else do it for you. There are ways to automate these systems either way and I will discuss both. You just need to choose the system that works the best for your own needs.
You can use a property management company and run your rental business pretty much hands-off. Just remember that there are costs involved in doing it this way and you don’t have as much control. If you do choose to work with a property management company check references before doing so. In the beginning, keep a closer tab on what’s going on with your properties. Some property management companies are definitely better than others and some will take better care of your properties than others.
When using a property management company who is going to place tenants in your properties, make sure they are using a reputable tenant check company and make sure you look at the applications and tenant check reports of prospective tenants before they are placed in your property until you are sure that you and the management company are “on the same page” regarding the tenant requirements you want for your properties. Make sure your property management company understands your personal parameters when placing tenants in your properties. Read More >>