Real EstateĀ Blog &Ā Podcast

Episode 53: Marketing Magic with Kathy Kennebrook

brrrr method david dodge discount property investor michael slane podcast real estate 101 real estate coaching real estate investing real estate investor real estate tips wholesaling wholesaling real estate Sep 21, 2022

Show Notes

Today we have the Queen of Marketing with us Kathy Kennebrook, or as you may know her as the Marketing Magic Lady.  She shares some phenomenal tips on direct mail that are working for her and her students. To learn more about her system you can visit her website at if you use the Promo Code "Magic" Kathy is giving our listeners 15% off of any of her paid products.

Quotable Quotes: If you did something "Like a Boss" you probably just paid someone else to do it

Episode Transcripts

David: Kathy my name is David, how are you?

Kathy: Hey David, how are you?

David: I'm doing great, thank you. We are just going to go with it.
Welcome back to the Discount Property Investor podcast, this is your host David Dodge, joined by co-host Ray Bartle.

Ray: Hey.

David: We are... we are joined today by a special guest Kathy Kennenbrook, did I say that right, Kathy?

Kathy: No, it’s Kennebrook.

David: Kennebrook. Kathy Kennebrook. Ray, do you want to introduce Kathy?

Ray: I met Kathy at a REIA in Kansas City a few months ago. I was really intrigued with the amount of marketing knowledge she had. I asked if she would do a podcast for us and she was gracious enough to do that. Kathy is out of Florida but she does national speaking and goes all over the country. She coins herself as the 'Marketing magic lady', isn't that right, Kathy?

Kathy: Yes sir it is.

Ray: Got that right. She has been in the business a long, long time. I guess what I am going to start out with first Kathy is... how long have you been involved in real estate business? How did you get involved? I am always curious how that happened.

Kathy: Well I have been involved with real estate investing now for almost 20 years. I had actually spent about 20 years in the financial sector before getting into real estate. I was actually up late one night watching one of those late night infomercials...

Ray: Oh boy, I think we all have.

Kathy: One of my customers happened to be the person who ran our local real estate club in Tampa Florida. We started going to some of the real estate club meetings, we started going to some seminars and things like that. That is kind of how we got involved in real estate investing. It has been real exciting.

Ray: Great... I have seen your presentation; is there a reason you just ended up in the marketing area of real estate? Is there a reason or a calling that made that happen?

Kathy: Absolutely, the marketing as we found early on is the corner stone of your business. If you don't have leads coming at you, if you don't have motivated sellers contacting you, then there are no deals. So we very quickly realised if we could get the sellers contacting us first; we were more like to make better deals and that is exactly what happened. That is kind of why we chose direct mail marketing as our primary niche, because we are reaching a sector of the market that no one else knows, and doesn't exist for anybody else.

Ray: That makes a lot of sense. Marketing is really how you get that phone ringing isn't it?

Kathy: Exactly. If you don't let people know... so real estate you are not going to.

David: That is so true. We try to teach that to all of our students as well. You got to get your name out there. If nobody knows you are in the market to buy houses, no one is going to sell you a house.

Ray: I guess one of the first things I tell people that we take on as coach if we coach them is... tell everyone you know you are in the real estate business... some people say... well I am really a tech guy. I was a tech guy but people know I am a real estate guy which I do full time. But I find that a lot of people don't even realise you buy houses so... you think telling each person that. I think another thing in the marketing... it's really important because, there is nothing worse than the phone not ringing. Getting your direct marketing campaigns together... a lot of people when they go to these seminars thing... put no money into anything and the phone is going to ring and that's not true. Before we even take someone on, we have to say... what's your marketing budget? How much can you spend a month? I is it 100 bucks, 1000 bucks, a couple of hundred bucks?

David: Right.

Ray: I guess the one thing I have found about marketing is; I am sure you agree with me is... it's the target, how does that... instead of the shot gun marketing... kind of like target marketing I think... what do you think of that, Kathy? Is that something you teach on your end too?

Kathy: I do, there are two specific ways to target... to find motivated sellers. One is like you said; a target approach, the other is a shot gun approach. Shot gun approach is where we put our signage out there, we run some ads, we hand out some business cards, and we hope someone in that large sector has the home they need or want to sell with a targeted marketing... which is what I primarily focus on; you are reaching specific types of sellers in specific niches. In that way you are reaching a much more highly motivated seller and much more... highly motivated target, and you are going to end up doing more deals. Of course we need to integrate both of those into our marketing plan in order to reach our highest number of folks in our market area.

Ray: Okay, that makes a lot of sense.

David: Yeah, absolutely.

Ray: As a new investor, somebody who has been in the business... how many deals do you think you should be doing?

Kathy: Honestly? Whatever is comfortable I am thinking in the beginning. One of the things I did when I first got started in real estate... we spend the first year we got involved, we did no deals. But we spend $13,000 on books, tapes and programs.

Ray: Oh my gosh.

Kathy: That was a real motivator. I told my husband, I said I want to do one darn deal because I want my money back. We did that and did that deal. I stood up in a real estate investment club, and I said I am going to do ten deals this year. By saying that in front of a hundred people who were in that room... it made me want to get done, because if I didn't I would only embarrass myself. So it held me accountable. People would ask if I had done another deal and it held me accountable. We ended up doing 15 deals in that first year. The second year, the year we got motivated and got started. So really whatever works for you, and one of the things I can say to you folks is; the more ways you get educated on exit strategies, the more deals you are going to do. Because then you are going to be able to analyse whatever deal comes to the table for you. Whether you want to wholesale that deal, whether you want to fix and flip it... or whether you want to do a lease option with that, or owner financing or sell it on for work for equity. There are so many great exit strategies out there, and the more you educate yourself on those; the better deals you are going to do and the more of them.

Ray: So on your marketing, is there a particular media that you prefer? Like direct marketing or...?

Kathy: For us it is about 90% direct mail marketing. There are so many reasons for that. One is because we can real target market; we can really reach specific niches of folks. When we use those lists what we do is... we customise those lists to hone in even more... specific criteria to hone in even more to reach really...  those sectors. So we end up doing more deals number one, we reach much more motivated sellers, and we are reaching a market that doesn’t exist for my fellow investors, so there is no competition for those deals either.

Ray: So how do you find which niche to go after if you are just getting started in the business?

Kathy: Well the first thing... I actually have 12 different specific, targeted types of sellers that we go after, that we actually market to. For example out of state owners, quick claim deeds, estates, expired listings, multi family owners, zip code mailers. We work with the military, attorneys. There are different types of sellers we deal with. One of the things I tell my students it to check your demographic. See what kind of demographic you live in. For example; I live in Florida, so I am in the geriatric capital of the world. So we have a lot of estate, we have a lot of probate and we have a lot of folks who own vacation homes here, who at some point decide they don’t want to own a vacation home here anymore. So I have looked very carefully at what my demographic is, and those are the sellers that we target. That is what I want your customers and students to do in each area. Check out what your demographic is and which direct mail marketing campaign will work the best for you in your area.

Ray: Okay. So if I was a new investor and I just started; which... I know you spoke about 12 different areas to concentrate on, is there a particular one of two that would make the most sense for you as a new investor?

David: That's a great question.

Kathy: Absolutely. Well first of all vacant properties, because those are free leads. You are driving by them every single day. So vacant properties go to the top of the list. Generally speaking... oh expired listings are another really good one. Get with a realtor and get that realtor to start bringing you those expired listings. There are some really great deals there to be made. We also... working with out of State owners. Out of State owner is someone who owns a home in a city or county that you live in, but they don't live there full time. They use it as a vacation property, they inherited it, they don't know what to do with it. I will tell you, right now is a really good time to start honing in on your direct mail marketing, because tax bills are going on. Now you have a motivated seller with a house they don’t want, and they just got another tax bill to pay. Let me tell you how motivated that makes them. For example; tax bills in Florida come out November 1st. We beef up our marketing from October to February and we do our highest number of deals between that particular time because of those tax bills going out.

Ray: That's interesting. I can see that, because a lot of investors don't escrow their taxes so they have a big old tax bill at the end of the year. That can affect your budget there in December, especially Christmas time when you are supposed to be buying presents you are paying taxes... which is not a good thing when you are writing those checks. So...

Kathy: That was actually another point I was going to raise. This is also a really good time to start your direct mail marketing because... during the holiday season people are getting letters and cards from... people every day and they open everything. So they are going to open you envelope, they are going to read your message and they are going to get your message. Just like you said, they have a tax bill they can’t pay and they would rather buy Christmas presents, that motivates them even more. Right now is... that is why I wanted to do this call because right now is a really good time for people to really ramp up their marketing and get some great deals coming in.

Ray: That's great because I have heard a lot of other folks saying... they shut their market down December because there is nothing really happening. But I think... doing a direct marketing campaign. I have don’t direct marketing for many years too. It seems some of my letters that I see when I go see the house, could have been sitting there for 6 months, 9 months or a year... do you have any kind of frequency... idea on how many times I need to mail these people? Some people I have heard they mailed a hundred letters and didn't get a call. Is there a frequency that you suggest people use?

Kathy: Absolutely. Each one of the direct mail campaigns has a slightly different frequency, but at least every 60-90 days. As you know, repetition is key. The more that seller gently gets your message, the more you touch them with that message... the more likely they are to contact you when the need arises that they need to sell that house. So the longer you implement direct mail marketing, and the longer these folks get your message, the higher number of deals you are going to do.

Ray: Okay so...

Kathy: I will tell you, it's not true that in December or whatever that... nothing happens. I bought a house last year on Thanksgiving Day and honest to goodness, the seller came to my house because he was here from out of State; he came to my house because I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner, the only day he had, he was mashing potatoes while I was writing up a contract.

Ray: That's amazing. How about... do you have another example of somebody you mailed for like... two years or three years or anything like that, that comes to mind at all?

Kathy: It happens a lot. I had a gentleman who contacted me... he was living in a home, his aunt owned the home, and his aunt has raised him from a little boy. We... he came... he was from Michigan, he came down to Florida, we went over to the house, we met with him, he decided to sell us the home. He said... I can't do it, emotionally I am not there. I said, would it be okay if we just followed up with you periodically. I would send him either a note or a postcard... or you can use an auto responder system and it basically said, 'Hey Charlie, when you are ready to sell, I am ready to buy.' Two years later Charlie contacted me back, we ended up buying that house for the same price as two years ago. In the mean time he had updated the electrical system, put new cabinets in the kitchen and re-carpeted. So he did a bunch. That happens because these folks have an emotional attachment to properties sometimes, and they are just not ready today. But if you continue to follow up with them you are going to do that deal. Think about that; you paid the money to bring that lead into your funnel, right? Why would you just let it go to the wayside? You are going to continue to follow up with that until the person tells you to go away, or sells you the property.

Ray: Exactly. I think that... another thing is... think about the competition on people buying houses. Most people are not doing what you are doing I have to say. Wouldn't you agree?

Kathy: It's a machine. The mail a few letters, it doesn't work and they quit.

Ray: Okay, send letters out... do you have some sort of system that they call into? Do you use virtual assistants or do you have a system that you use to keep track of all these calls?

Kathy: I do have a software system that tracks everything. But 90% of the people I work with don't pick up a phone and call me at all. That is what is so unique and special about what I do. When I send a letter out to the seller... there is a response mechanism within the body of the letter that tells the seller exactly what I want them to do, what information I need to determine whether or not there is a deal there to be made. One of the parameters I use... and here is a free hit for you guys; I ask the seller for photographs. So the only way the seller can contact me is by mail, e-mail or fax in order to give me all the information I need and those photographs. If the seller takes the time to give me all that information; I already have a motivated seller on my hook.

David: That's a great point, Kathy. So Kathy...

Kathy: ... of my sellers don’t pick up the phone and call me. By the time I get the response from the seller, I have already got most of the information that I need in order to determine where or not there is a deal there to be made... before I ever have the first contact with the seller.

David: That's awesome. I just have a quick question for you, this is Dave here again. So whenever... you have your sellers either send you... let's review that. You said e-mail, fax or mail?

Kathy: Correct.

David: So...

Kathy: I will tell you right now; 50% of the mail pieces I get come from mail, snail mail.

Ray: Oh my gosh.

David: Wow that's surprising.

Kathy: ... and 20% by fax.

David: Wow, so the question I have though... aren’t you afraid that people... that are motivated... that would typically pick up the phone and call would... they wouldn't want to do those other ways to connect with you?

Kathy: They can, we give it to them as an option.

David: You do give the phone number to them?

Kathy: We give them five different... okay good question, Dave. The more you give the seller ways to contact you, the more of them are going to. You are reaching them at whatever their comfort level is, which is exactly what you just said. So you are giving them a mailing address, you are giving them an e-mail address, you are giving them a phone number a fax number, and a website if you have it.

David: Got it okay, so the number will be on the website then?

Kathy: Absolutely. So they can call me, but most of them don't because they are more afraid of you than you are of them.

David: See that is a great point Kathy. Me personally, I just want to pick up the phone and call but that's me. I got to put myself in the shoes of the seller.

Kathy: Exactly.

David: They may want to do the fax or the snail mail. Something I never really thought about.

Ray: The e-mail too. I have received e-mails from.... saying give me a call, give me the address. I have never got anyone send me pictures yet, that is a new one for me.

Kathy: Because you are not telling the seller what you want them to do and if you don't tell your seller what you want them to do they won’t do anything at all.

Ray: Exactly, I should say send me pictures.

David: Right.

Ray: Now... when you... do you have specific... letters for each specific... the 12 areas that you work in or that you are looking for?

Kathy: Yes. Each letter is specific, each letter has different language, each letter has different requests to the information that I need. I have 12 different direct mail campaigns specifically. Each letter is different, the language is different, the parameters are different for each one. For example, out of State owners, not only am I going for out of State owners but I am using specific criteria to create the list that hones in even further for me... to pluck out the most highly motivated sellers.

Ray: Okay, is this a service you provide your students?

Kathy: Absolutely. What they get from me is plugged into the mail campaigns; they get all of the letters, all of the parameters. Then we provide the lists of brokers for them for each one of the mail campaigns no matter where they live in the country.

David: Well that's great.

Kathy: We set them up so they can create a machine. Honest to goodness... direct mail marketing is a machine. Once you implement it... and it was really great. When the whole foreclosure thing was going on... and everybody was doing the short sales on the foreclosures... with our direct mail marketing and we did even more deals, because everyone else forgot about the direct mail marketing. Even my own customers and students... once that kind of all went by the wayside, like there is not as much of it anymore, all of a sudden my own students were coming back... how do I get started again? I am like oh come on!

Ray: You know...

Kathy: So the thing about direct mail marketing is that it is very flexible with your market. It is going to work today, tomorrow, next year, the year after, five years from now.

David: That's right, that is so true.

Ray: So key is to get onto automatic pilot is the best way to get the best responses?

Kathy: Exactly. We have folks that do all the work for us, all I deal with is the motivated sellers.

Ray: Oh wow so...

Kathy: Which is the fun part.

Ray: How do you go about finding lists? Do you have a service you provide or is it something that...?

Kathy: Well one of the ways they can get the list is going to their property appraisers office or assessor’s office... whatever that is called where they live, I give them the... ((call cuts off)) if they can't do that we also provide for them list brokers who will provide the lists for them.

Ray: Okay.

David: Good to know.

Kathy: They know exactly what they are looking for so... we have taken care of that obstacle completely.

Ray: So you can pretty much target a group or... type of motivated seller you are looking for?

Kathy: Exactly.

Ray: Let me ask you this; what kind of budget should you allow for the direct marketing? If I am just starting out... how much funding or capital do you think I would need to get started?

Kathy: Well when I first got started doing direct mail marketing... the way that we did it... because we were broke. Living beyond our means... typical 20 year ago younger stuff. Honestly, when we got home from work on Friday night, it really came down to are we buying stamps or buying a pizza this week? Back in those days the stamps won out. We were only doing 50-100 letters a week, that's it. We were producing deals; we were doing 3-4 deals a month just on that budget.

David: That's impressive.

Kathy: ... part of the profit from every deal went back into the marketing as it should, then you expand your marketing as you are going along. You should always have between three and five marketing techniques in place at all times. One of them has to be direct mail marketing.

David: That's so true.

Ray: That's awesome. So... when a seller calls you, do you have... a live person answer or do you have an answering machine? How do you handle the calls coming in? The ones that want to call you.

Kathy: If I am in the office I will pick it up. If i am not... it actually says in the body of my letter exactly what I want them to do if they call me. I am going to start recording those and bringing them to events I’m speaking at... okay so you wanted to know this da da da da. Then then will leave me the whole thing on the message on the machine. I am going to start recording them and bringing them to events because they are great.

Ray: Wow that's a great idea.

Kathy: The reason... well first of all, I would never use an answering service because... that's a really great way to drive away motivated sellers. They pick it up and hear ten other people in the background, they know they are in a telemarketing room and they hang up.

Ray: Oh wow.

Kathy: That is a complete waste of your time and money. So... the few that do call me, they just come right into the office line.

Ray: Okay.

Kathy: I have already told them in the letter what I want them to do. So they already know what to do if they call.

Ray: Right... okay. That makes sense.

Kathy: That's the thing that is so cool about the direct mail marketing and the way I do, and nobody else does it, nobody.

Ray: That's amazing. Let me ask you this, let me switch gears here. Can you use direct marketing to actually find your buyers that you are trying to sell these properties to?

Kathy: I do and what I do with that is we do use postcards for that only. We mail those postcards out to areas... where there are high numbers of rental properties. So apartment complexes, duplex city... which is what we call it here. High numbers of areas where there are high numbers of rental homes. So while we are accumulating these sellers and... bringing more deals in and more houses in, we are also matching those up with our buyers list that we have developed as we go along.

Ray: So you have lists readily available, or at least to find those particular buyers in that area?

Kathy: That's real easy for anybody to get, yeah.

Ray: Wow. Sounds like you have built a heck of a system there.

David: Yeah, I’m impressed, this is great.

Kathy: And it is all automated. We have people who do all the mailings for us, we don't have our hands on that at all anymore. The way I have done that for my students... there are three different ways they can do it. If they want to do it themselves like they are a newbie investor and they don’t have the money to farm it out... that is the way we did it in the early days. We did 50-100 letters a week, that is not a lot. That is an hour and a half to sit down and do, that is not a lot. Then we also have two different companies... who will do the mailings for them. One of them does a small quantity like 25-50 a week; the other one will do much larger quantities for them. Or we also teach them how to hire someone themselves... could be a stay at home child, single mom... neighbour, someone from a senior center, high school student, and we teach them how to 10.99 that person and all that is covered as well. So we give them lots of different options on how they want to automate it. So maybe they are going to start and commit themselves today, and maybe in three months they are going to hire a person, then a month after that... or three months after that they are going to let one of the companies do it. We give them lots of flexibility.

Ray: Your system sounds very extensive. Sounds like you have given it a lot of thought and... what else is included in your system? I know... also as a podcast person I know you have got some special offer that maybe you can offer our folks too.

Kathy: I actually do.  We are getting towards the end of the year and I really want your folks to get that marketing plan in place and together coming into 2018. That is going to be really, really important so... they get all 12 of the direct mail campaign, the directions to automate the systems, all of the letters and the info sheets. I have also included for them... 24 additional marketing techniques and samples and all of that as all. There is an 8 audio CD set that they can listen to and get started. There is a book in there called, 'Kathy's magic seller phone conversations'. Basically that breaks down for them exactly how to screen those sellers... based on which mail campaign they have sent out. So we give them a lot of really good information. I am also going to include a bunch of really special bonuses. We have talked about that, they need to use that coupon code that I gave you. So they are going to get my million dollar resource kit which has all of my resources in it... including the list brokers, hard money lenders, discounted pricing on business cards, signage and all of that. They are also going to get a CD which is called 'Seven ways to find wholesale deals'. They are going to get a six CD bonus pack that is going to explain exactly how to use the software system to track everything, how to use that auto responder system, how to buy properties, and then how to use a credibility kit. We are giving them a whole bunch of great stuff. They are also going to get a full year with me... they get my personal e-mail address; they can e-mail me any question that they have regarding their marketing. They have a full year to work with me on that. I am also... because you and I... this is our first call together. In addition to all the other bonuses... there are other bonuses in there too. I need to send you a sheet with the whole offer that we are doing. So I will do that for you. We are also going to include for them a free boot camp called 'The millionaire jump start boot camp'. It's with Louis Brown. So they learn what contracts to use and when, how to determine their exit strategy... negotiation skills, asset protection, how to use land trust. It's a three day intensive boot camp; there are multiple dates and cities to choose from. It is a $1997 value. We have six of those available, so that goes to the first six folks who get motivated and get my system ordered right away. But we are doing a special special for your folks. If they went on my website, or anywhere else they would not find that. This is something I am doing special for you guys.

David: Sweet! Kathy you mentioned the coupon code, what's the code?

Kathy: The coupon code is 'Magic'.

David: All right that's awesome.

Kathy: That will give them the offer... it will link them to your podcast. That will give them the special offer that we are giving your folks. We are going to also offer them a 30 day, risk free enrolment. So... basically when they go ahead and they invest in my system, they have a whole 30 days to look at it. If it is not everything I said it was going to be, they have 30 days to give it back to us.

David: That's a deal right there. So Kathy, where would they enter that coupon code? You gave us the coupon code. What is the website we can...

Kathy: They go to the marketing magic system and input the code 'Magic'.

Ray: Very good.

Kathy: It links them right to your podcast; I will know it's coming from you. There are some other bonuses in there that we are going to throw in for them so it is a really awesome deal. They have a full 30 days to check everything out.

Ray: Kathy we really appreciate... I know our listeners will really appreciate that too. Especially having a guarantee. I know a lot of people... will this work for me or not? Well you got 30 days to try it out and see what happens. I am just... like I said, we are really appreciative of you being able to spend some time with us. I know... this is very good timing with like you said, with the holidays coming up... I think... every investor in this business, you have got to have some sort of... got to have marketing for sure... obviously direct marketing... it can be expensive. But in my opinion, and I think Kathy would agree on this... it is the best one that you can set up and at times... it is almost automatic, isn't it Kathy?

Kathy: Oh absolutely that's what I’m saying. We teach them how to automate the system and get in someone else’s hands as quickly as they can. Once you do, folks it's a machine. I will just continue to churn out deal after deal after deal. No matter what your market is doing, it is just killer.

Ray: Once you set it up, just keep on, keep on. Well Kathy I really appreciate your time. I want to... as you can see why she has called herself the marketing magic lady. I can see why. But I really appreciate your time and... effort... I will let David take us out there. Again thanks for your time.

David: Kathy, thank you so much for all the information. I know I learned a ton. I am an experienced wholesaler, Ray has been doing it for a real long time and I am sure he has learned some things here too.

Ray: That's the thing about the business.

David: I know, we are going to take some of the things that you have mentioned and implement that into our current business. I think we are probably going to sign up...

Ray: We got the code now.

David: That's right, we are going to sign up ourselves here and check out what you got.

Kathy: That code gives a 15% discount.

David: Okay cool.

Kathy: They get a 15% discount which is also something I dont normally offer.

David: That's awesome, so we are going to check out on our end too.

Ray: Do you have any upcoming events you want to pitch out there at all?

Kathy: No, I am just... I am out there, continue to check my website, see where I am and come join us.

Ray: Alright great.

David: Kathy thank you so much, we appreciate it.

Kathy: Thanks for having me on the call.

David: Absolutely. Hopefully some of the students, listeners, viewers will check out what you got, and you can provide value to them just like you provided value to us today. So thanks again.

Kathy: I appreciate it, thank you so much.

David: Thanks Kathy, have a great day.

Kathy: Bye.

Ray: Bye.

David: Alright guys, thanks for listening to the Discount Property Investor podcast. We had an awesome guest on today, her name was Kathy... how do you say her last name?

Ray: Kennebrook.

David: Kennebrook okay good deal. Kathy Kennebrook, she is the marketing magic lady. She has a ton of good information on her course which you can find at Use coupon code 'Magic', save 15%, she has got tons of aditional bonuses in there, she also mentioned that the first six people I think... are going to get access to a live event that one of her friends throws, what's his name? Louis Brown.

Ray: He's famous actually. I have gone to his seminars before, he's really good, one of the original guys actually.

David: That's awesome, that's great. Well guys thanks for listening today and we will see you next time.

Ray: Talk to you soon, bye

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