Kathy Kennebrook Discusses the Secrets of Land Lording

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By Kathy Kennebrook (The Marketing Magic Lady)

You’ve all heard the tenant horror stories from people who have had tenants in properties, but being a landlord doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you learn some strategies for handling your tenants. My husband used to say that handling tenants was like having a group of children that you have to train and discipline. But it doesn’t have to be that difficult.

You do have to make some specific rules for your tenants and stick to them. Every time you change the rules you give your tenants the upper hand. You must also have an iron clad lease that specifically addresses the issues that you may have with tenants including getting your rent paid on time.


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This is one area in which I am steadfast with the rules. I don’t care what the tenant’s situation is, their responsibility is to pay me on time and in full or they are stealing services from you without paying for them. My tenants are responsible for having the rent in our post office box or direct deposited through zelle or paypal on or before the date it is due or they are served with a three-day notice the next morning as required by law where I live in order to begin the eviction process. There are no exceptions. We even have tenants who send their checks to me priority mail to make sure they get to me on time. Most of our tenants have been with us a long time and many pay early.

You must also take the time to pre-qualify your tenants’ right from the beginning so you can avoid some problems right from the start. Don’t just accept a tenant into your rental property because they have the money to move in. Don’t let greed be your guide. Have your tenants fill out a specific rental application. Then you run must a tenant check with a reputable company. Don’t try to do this yourself just by looking at public record. You will miss credit issues and anything that may have occurred out of state. You need to find out the information you need to know about your tenants’ right from the start before renting them your unit.

For example, if the tenant check shows the applicant was just evicted from another premises, this certainly isn’t going to be a tenant you want in your property. Or if your tenant has had recent felony convictions, this isn’t a tenant you want in your rental unit. If your applicant has multiple animals, this is also not someone you want in your rental unit. I will mention however, that I will allow a tenant with a small dog or cat to rent my units. I find that usually a tenant who has a pet that they have had for some time will make a good tenant who will stay longer in your unit.


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I also have a separate pet lease which addresses specific rules regarding pets in my units. The pet lease requires that the dog or cat is an indoor pet and I have an additional non-refundable amount of security deposit for the pet lease and additional pet rent of 25.00 per month. I find that this works out very well. If the tenant gets a pet that is not on the lease, this is grounds for immediate eviction, and we do have someone who checks our units about every 60 days for us to make sure all is well with our rental units.

I also check out where they were living before by going by the address and checking it out and I talk to their previous landlord. I want to see how they have been treating the place where they were living before. If it looks like a pig pen or if they have multiple animals, this is not someone I want in my unit. If they don’t give me this information on the rental application, I won’t even consider them to rent my unit.

I know some of this is just common sense but it bears discussion. If a tenant makes it through my rigorous screening process, I also have them pay first month’s rent, last month’s rent and the security deposit either by cash, cashiers check or by money order. I do not accept personal checks for the move-in amounts.


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During the following months I do not accept personal checks from them for the rent, we only accept money orders or direct deposit. The first time a check bounces for insufficient funds or any other reason, they must make it good immediately or I will immediately begin the eviction process. This is all covered in the lease they have signed. I also make sure that the person I have putting tenants in units for me thoroughly covers all the items in the lease with them before they sign it.

If a tenant does get their rent to us late, they are responsible for additional rental fees of one percent per day. These fees are in our lease as additional rental fees as opposed to late fees since some courts won’t allow you to get a judgment for late fees. Within the body of our lease we also require our tenants to have renters insurance and I want to see proof of the policy before they move in. This way I can’t be held liable for any injuries or the loss of their possessions due to an accident, fire, hurricane or any other natural disaster.


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Additionally, once my tenants sign a lease with me, I will not give them keys until I see proof of utilities in their name for the unit. In certain counties like ours, the landlord can’t turn off utilities in their own name. The only way the name changes on the utilities is with a new lease and then utilities get put in the tenant’s name. This rule may be different where you live, but a lot of the time if the tenant doesn’t pay their utilities it falls back to the landlord. This is just one way for you to protect yourself.

These are just a few of the basic techniques that will make you a happy and successful landlord. Monthly cash flow is a wonderful thing if your properties are managed correctly.

For more information on becoming a successful landlord and finding all the deals you need for your real estate investing business, check out my website at While you are there be sure and sign up for my Free Monthly Newsletter!!


Buying Vacant Land . . . NO WAY! YES . . . WAY!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Kathy Kennebrook (The Marketing Magic Lady)

Do you realize that you can build your fortune through buying vacant land?

You are saying: “No way!!”

I am saying: “Yes…WAY!”

There are lots of great ways to make a lot of money in real estate, not the least of which is buying and selling vacant land. This is an effective way to do real estate deals with no hassle, no rehab, no insurance and no worries of vandalism and theft. Plus, there is virtually no competition for these properties since many investors are simply not going after this incredibly lucrative portion of the market place. I was actually in the real estate business for several years before I discovered this very profitable part of the market. In addition, in this current market buying and selling vacant land is another good strategy to continue making money in the real estate business.

If you live in an area that is particularly rural, then buying and selling vacant land is a more lucrative means of doing real estate deals. Since it can be more difficult to find homes to purchase in more rural areas, vacant land is definitely the way to go. There are several different ways to find vacant land deals.


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One is to simply drive around and look for them. However, since it can be kind of difficult to find addresses for properties this way, it is probably a much better idea to create a direct mail campaign to the owners of vacant land. Some of the parameters I use for this list are out of state owners of vacant land, especially those with past due tax bills or people who have inherited vacant land. These are some of the most lucrative deals out there. Be especially aware of those properties that front main highways since these will create even more valuable deals for you.

In many cases, these owners have inherited these properties and they are not interested in doing anything with them. They are usually tired of paying tax bills, so they stop paying them altogether. They are usually highly motivated sellers and fairly easy to deal with. In fact, in many cases, they may have never even seen the property and are unable to give you directions to it.

This is when it becomes really important for you to be able to work with your tax assessor’s office and get a mapping program so you can locate these properties with just the parcel identification number. There are also some national companies that can provide information such as mapping programs for you for a monthly fee. This tool alone has saved us hundreds of man hours and hassles in locating properties. In the case of vacant land, unless you know exactly where it is, one piece pretty much looks like another.


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Make sure you take the time to develop a relationship with a title agent or real estate attorney in your area and make sure you have title work done before purchasing these properties. Sometimes there are probate issues or liens to handle before you close which may also include past due tax bills. Some of these sellers will try to work directly with you without having a title search done on the property. Don’t do it!

I find that vacant land deals are very profitable for me personally. I live in Florida and here in Florida we have hurricanes. It is so much easier to work with vacant land because you still have the same big profits without the worries of damage, insurance, vandalism and rehab. In fact, some of the properties we have purchased were so inexpensive that we paid cash for them and put them into our portfolio to hold on to for retirement income when we sell them later on. They are already worth a lot more than we paid for them, so we figure the pay check will be huge later on as property values go up even more. And some, we will simply wholesale for a good profit. You can also purchase land into your Roth IRA.

In addition, with the current market being what it is today, purchasing land at huge discounts gives you the advantage to be able to sell it at “bargain basement prices” and still make excellent profits. Since you are selling the property at a lower price, it usually sells very quickly.


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Once you purchase these properties there are several ways to resell them at huge profits. One way you can sell these lots is to list them with a local Realtor who is familiar with selling vacant land without touching them. Whether or not you are able to sell your properties this way will depend a lot on how motivated the Realtor is. You also need to make sure that these local Realtors are part of the MLS system. Surprisingly we have found that in many rural areas they are not. You want to have as much exposure as you can for the properties you are looking to sell right away. Some of the best buyers for these lots are folks from out of town looking for a vacation get away. So they will purchase vacant land and build a home on it.

Another thing that some of my students have done is to buy some acreage, split it into pieces, sell off some of the pieces and keep part of the land for themselves. They will make enough money off the sale of the split that the pieces they keep for themselves end up being free.

The other thing you can do is to list these properties on your property for sale web site where people, just like you and me, who may want to build vacation homes in the area where your vacant land is will see them. You will be able to get attention from many parts of the country. You may also want to put a “For Sale by Owner” sign on your land or run an ad in the local newspaper and the newspaper in the next largest city near you. I have done this and it has produced many buyers for me.


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If you want to take the time and you have your team in place to take care of these matters, you can also partially clear the land and add water or electric and then raise your asking price. The more ready the land is for development or home placement, the more quickly it will sell and the more money you can make!

Depending on where the vacant land is located and how much there is, there are also opportunities to develop these pieces of land and resell them at really huge profits. One way to develop your land would be to get involved with a builder and have homes built on these pieces of land and then resell them with the land and the home already on it. Personally, this is not my favorite way to deal with vacant land because it’s time consuming and the more hands on and the profits are made later as opposed to sooner.

A better technique would be to hire an engineer to take a look at the property, determine its best use, possibly change the zoning, and then do the other things necessary to get the property ready for development, such as splitting the land into smaller parcels and then reselling it. This is one of the best ways I know to build in huge profit margins without ever touching the property yourself. I find this to be a really lucrative way to handle properties especially when you are buying in an area that is an hour or more from where you live. In my case, my vacant land business is about three and a half hours from where I live most of the time.


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Another technique you can employ to make vacant land work for you is to explore the possibility of leasing land you own. This way you make cash flow on the property on a monthly basis and you still own the land. For example, you could lease a piece of land for RV storage. We have leased land to someone who needed extra room to expand a worm farm business. On another occasion we leased property we had with many pine trees to a company that harvests pine straw. A billboard company leases a property for a billboard that we own on a main highway. The possibilities are endless with a little ingenuity.

Another real advantage to working with out of state owners of vacant land is that you will run across investors who purchased groups of properties a long time ago so they have several properties with a lot of equity in them to sell. This creates wonderful scenarios where you can purchase multiple lots at well below current retail. The seller still makes money on the deal, creating a win-win solution for both parties. That’s what the real estate business is all about, creating win-win solutions for all of the parties involved.

If you live in an area where there is a lot of vacant land, these techniques are definitely worthy of looking into because many of your competitors are simply not thinking about purchasing vacant properties. They are missing a huge opportunity since these properties are usually easy to purchase and reasonably easy to resell at huge profits.

Vacant properties can be a big “bonanza” for you!

For more information on marketing to the owners of vacant properties as well as all kinds of sellers and lenders, visit my website at


Kathy Kennebrook Discusses Owner Financing and Work For Equity Programs to Get Your Homes Sold Quickly- Part 3

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By Kathy Kennebrook

Another way Kathy Kennebrook suggests to sell properties, especially properties that need repairs is by implementing a Work For Equity Plan. This is a good way for you to get a higher dollar amount for properties that need some work instead of simply wholesaling them. This is another way to drive potential buyers to your properties no matter what your current market is doing.

So what does Kathy Kennebrook mean by Work For Equity? Simply, it means that you have a property that needs some repairs that you want to sell. Instead of wholesaling it, you will sell it to an end user or homeowner who will do the repairs in exchange for some of the equity in the home. You can either sell your properties this way or lease/option your properties using this method. Kathy Kennebrook has done both successfully.


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For example, say you have a home that all fixed up would be worth $150,000 and it needs around 20,000 in repairs, perhaps paint, carpet, appliances, or bathroom rehab. You should have purchased this home for around 82,000 or less if you structured your purchase correctly. You could then lease/option or sell this home on a Work For Equity program for around 115,000-120,000. This gives your buyer an opportunity to gain some sweat equity in the property by doing some of the work themselves and allows you a big paycheck at the end without having to do any of the repairs yourself. Kathy Kennebrook likes using this technique to sell properties since it gives a potential buyer the opportunity to purchase a home when they might not have been able to do so otherwise.

You have to be very specific about the terms when selling or lease/optioning a property this way as to what repairs are going to be done and in what time period. Kathy Kennebrook provides a list to the buyer of repairs that need to be done and she goes over it in detail with them. Kathy Kennebrook then has them sign an agreement stating that these repairs will be completed within a specific timeframe which might be 12-24 months, depending on what you and your buyer agree on. Kathy also keeps tabs as to what repairs have been completed. While the repairs are being done to the property, Kathy Kennebrook also has her mortgage broker working with her buyers in order to get them qualified for a mortgage once repairs are completed. She will allow the buyers to live in the property while repairs are being completed as long as the repairs are not something that is going to create a dangerous situation for the buyers.

This is a really good way to sell homes that need work and make more money on them than you would if you had just wholesaled the property. Selling homes on a Work for Equity program will bring you buyers that would otherwise not be able to purchase a home so it creates a win-win solution for all involved, and brings you buyers you would not have had before. In a sluggish market, this is a really good way for you to sell properties that need rehab and make really good profits on your deals.

For more information on buying and selling houses quickly in any market, visit Kathy Kennebrook’s website at


Kathy Kennebrook Discusses Owner Financing and Work For Equity To Get Your Homes Sold Quickly-Part 2

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By Kathy Kennebrook

The other way Kathy Kennebrook offers owner financing to a buyer is by holding a small second mortgage for them for part of her profit on the deal. This is personally one of her favorite ways to sell properties. Often having this opportunity available makes it easier for your buyer to obtain their first mortgage and gives you monthly cash flow for part of your profit. You actually end up making more on the deal this way since most of the buyer’s monthly payment to you on the second mortgage is interest.


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Kathy Kennebrook will typically hold a second mortgage for her buyer’s with a three year balloon. At the end of the three year period, they still end up owing her most of the principle of the original loan. This can become a nice stream of income for you both on a monthly basis and long-term. You end up getting a big check when your property is sold, then smaller monthly payments for a period of time, then another big paycheck at the end of the buyer’s balloon.


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The other method Kathy Kennebrook suggests using to sell properties is to owner finance the sale of your property for your buyer, and then sell the note to someone else at the closing table. If you structure your deal correctly, you usually end up being paid between 90-93% of the total amount in cash when the closing takes place. In this instance, if Kathy Kennebrook knows she is going to sell the note at the closing and take a lump sum cash payment, she makes sure she has sold the property for its full retail value or a little more. This way Kathy still gets a big paycheck and most of the value of her property’s sale.

These are just a couple of other methods you can use to sell houses that will drive buyers to you even in a sluggish market because you are offering your buyers assistance that most other sellers are not.

For more information on selling homes on a Work For Equity Plan, check out part three of this article. In the meantime, visit Kathy Kennebrook’s website at for even more information on buying and selling homes quickly in any market.


Work Smart……Play Hard – Kathy Kennebrook’s Real Estate Investing Mantra

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By Kathy Kennebrook, The Marketing Magic Lady

I got into the real estate investing business to have more free time for myself and my family and to have the financial freedom to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I wanted my life to be more worry free. I have spent a great deal of time accomplishing that goal and I want to share some of my insights with you as a real estate entrepreneur.

When you decide to become a Real Estate Investor, make sure you structure your business in such a way that it doesn’t become overwhelming, even more so than a full time job could be. It’s very easy to fall into that trap, especially if you work from home. You can also fall into the trap of trying to do everything yourself, and long-term, this just won’t work. Believe me when I tell you that most tasks in your business need to be delegated to others starting with your marketing, your bookkeeping and day to day management.


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In my particular case I like to work from home and most of the functions of our business are handled off sight and by Independent Contractors. One of the ways I solved the problem of getting overwhelmed with work was to determine what hours per day would be dedicated to my real estate investing business. At the end of the day the door to the office gets closed and the phones go to an answering service. Your family will appreciate you for this as well.

The other rule we abide by is that when the office door gets closed, conversations about our real estate business cease as well. You have to make a conscious effort to separate your business and your personal life, especially if you are working the business with your spouse or partner. Since real estate is an incredibly fun way to make a living, sometimes this is hard to do.

As you begin to attain success in your business and things become more automated for you, you will begin to have a lot more free time to do the things you enjoy doing. My husband and I like to kayak. We especially like white water kayaking and take several trips each year to enjoy the sport. I also enjoy traveling to places I have never seen before with my husband Jay. Our business at this point in time pretty much runs on auto-pilot. We have developed a dream team of key people we put in place who take care of the important tasks that make our business successful and run on auto-pilot even when we are away from the office.


Image by Joshua Miranda from Pixabay

The marketing for our business is outsourced along with many of the other tasks associated with our business including getting our rehabs completed, property management, bookkeeping, closings, etc. Since a lot of the marketing we do for our business is targeted direct mail, this is all outsourced to a company who does all of that work for us. We provide them with the letters and the lists and they do everything else.

My husband and I still continue to work our business primarily from home and our key people are independent contractors who work from their homes or offices. Since Covid 19 happened, this has become even more important to the ongoing success of our business. Personally I still like making deals with sellers even before I get out of my pajamas in the morning. I also like having lots of time to spend with my cats and my grandchildren.


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Once your real estate investing business is running like a well oiled machine, take the time to pursue the things you love to do, after all, that’s why you got involved in the business in the first place, isn’t it? Make sure you spend time with your spouse and your family doing the things you love to do together. This is the best time to begin making good memories for your children if they are still young. Remember that you must continuously pay attention to the balance between your business life and your personal life. Otherwise, it can become easy to short change one or the other.

Putting good team players in place to take care of the details of your business will be important to building the ultimate financial freedom you are striving for so you have even more time for the things you love to do. So just remember to work smart….and play hard!!!

For more information on automating your real estate investing business and locating all the sellers and deals you could possibly need, be sure and visit Kathy Kennebrook’s website at While you are there be sure and sign up for our FREE monthly newsletter.


Marketing Your Way To Millions

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When Kathy Kennebrook first started in the Real Estate Investing Business, she very quickly figured out that the best way to find good deals was to locate qualified motivated sellers. What is a qualified motivated seller? It’s someone who needs their property now, as opposed to someone who just wants to sell. This is the seller who has a problem they need to solve and they want you to solve it for them.

After Kathy had been in the Real Estate investing business for a little while, she developed some really effective marketing strategies including direct mail to locate highly motivated sellers. She then put together a system to create a machine that would bring her deal after deal after deal. Better yet, Kathy created a machine that was automated so she got someone else doing all the work for her so all she has to do is deal with the motivated sellers.


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Now you too can learn her special secrets to attracting motivated sellers!! Learn out how Kathy Kennebrook made a seven figure income in just 12 short months using her Unique Direct Mail Strategies to locate motivated sellers. Learn how you can do the same in your pajamas without licking a single stamp!

  • Learn how Kathy Kennebrook carved a unique niche market that other Real Estate Investors simply don’t know about, and how you can too.
  • Learn how to implement a “cookie cutter” system that works every time to get more motivated sellers contacting you than ever before.
  • Learn how to find the owners of vacant, abandoned houses even when they don’t want to be found.
  • Learn how to find and make incredible deals with out of state owners.
  • Learn how to start from scratch and complete your first deal within 30 days.
  • Learn how to implement a dummy proof, affordable and efficient Marketing System that will result in motivated, qualified sellers contacting you in droves practically begging you to take their property off their hands.
  • Turn small marketing dollars into BIG profits with minimal effort and HUGE results.
  • Learn how to automate the system so you can deal with the many sellers who will contact you, just like Kathy Kennebrook does.
  • Learn how to pick out the marketing gems that work best for you in your area and capitalize on them for maximum profits.
  • Learn how to use Kathy Kennebrook’s special response mechanism that gets motivated sellers contacting her quickly giving her the information she needs to make the deal.


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  • Learn how to find and make incredible deals with burned out landlords.
  • Learn how to follow up with prospective sellers so you buy their property when their circumstances dictate that they do so.
  • Learn how to use telephone scripts so you never have to wonder what to say to these motivated sellers.
  • Learn how Kathy Kennebrook locates motivated sellers who will simply deed her their homes in lovely neighborhoods.
  • Learn how to call on ads, what to say, who to call and how to get someone else doing all the work for you so all you have to do is deal with the sellers who really want to sell. Kathy Kennebrook even has all the telephone scripts for you to use so the sellers are pre-screened for you.
  • Learn how to use attorneys to find you great deals on distressed properties no one else knows about. This is an excellent lead generation tool you only have to market for one time. Kathy Kennebrook has used this tool to create relationships with attorneys who bring her deal after deal.
  • Learn how Kathy Kennebrook finds and works with owners of properties with no mortgages so she can get really creative financing on these beautiful properties in excellent neighborhoods.
  • Learn how to use wholesale buyers to bird dog for you, build your lead base and make even more money for you by buying the properties from you after you get them under contract. This is one of Kathy Kennebrook’s favorite techniques for making money quickly and easily in the Real Estate Investing business.


Image by Kelly Alpert from Pixabay

  • Learn how to find your personal dream home in a lovely neighborhood with no cash out of pocket and no credit. Your family will love you for it!
  • Learn to recognize the difference between a motivated and a non-motivated seller and end the conversation quickly with a non-motivated seller so you don’t waste your time.
  • Learn how to make the deal on the phone before you ever go see the property. Kathy Kennebrook knows how important your time is.
  • Learn how to use 24 additional marketing techniques that are some of Kathy Kennebrook’s personal favorites to build your lead base and let even more motivated sellers know you buy and sell houses.

Kathy Kennebrook developed these strategies and systems as tools for her own Real Estate Investing business, and now Kathy Kennebrook is going to share them with you, the Real Estate Investor in order to help you grow your own business. Kathy Kennebrook explains to you step by step how to build your Marketing System, and how to track your mailings, your sellers and your deals to make the highest profit possible in your Real Estate Investing business.

For information on these amazing strategies, take a look at Kathy Kennebrook’s Marketing Magic System at her website-

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Rehabbing Your Way to Millions Part II

By Kathy Kennebrook (The Marketing Magic Lady)

Here are some ideas I implement in my own business when we rehab a house to get it ready for resale, lease option or owner financing. These are some really great inexpensive ways to get your home sold quickly!


Image by midascode from Pixabay

  1. Pay attention to the exterior, put in new lawn and nice plants. Curb appeal counts!! If you can get your prospective buyer’s interest from the onset, you are that much closer to the sale of the property.
  2. Paint the exterior with two to three warm inviting colors. Add shutters if the exterior looks drab. Make sure the gutters and roof are in good shape.
  3. Make sure the front door is in excellent condition. This is part of your buyer’s first impression of your home.
  4. Paint the interior in neutral colors and paint the trim a different color than the walls. Make it look warm and inviting. We get compliments all the time from our buyers about the neutral colors. They will be able to match their furnishings easily when you use neutral tones.
  5. Pay attention to the kitchen and baths and make them as appealing as possible with as much counter space as possible. These are the two main areas of the home that really count, so spend your extra rehabbing dollars on them.
  6. Put in a Jacuzzi tub and rain shower head even if it’s a lower dollar home. The extras will make your home sell much more quickly since other homes in the same price range likely don’t have these extra features.
  7. Pay attention to smell. Does the home smell inviting when you walk in? Use a neutral air freshener in the home to keep it fresh.
  8. Use custom door knobs on closets and bedroom doors. Also use rocker switches for the light switch covers.
  9. Use crown moldings around the ceilings. This is an inexpensive feature that will make your home really “pop”.
  10. Use a decent grade of carpeting, tile, or laminate or wood instead of vinyl flooring in the home, even if it’s a lower dollar home.


Image by midascode from Pixabay

I believe in these ideas that will make your home stand out from all the others in the same price range. These are all ideas that will make your house sell much more quickly than others in the same price range and your buyer’s won’t argue about the price you are asking for the property. A lot of the time, you will get a higher offer than your asking price if your home is really gorgeous.

Just remember that the longer a house sits on the market before selling, the more it costs you in holding costs like mortgage payments, insurance, lawn care, water and electric. It is absolutely worth spending a couple of dollars more on the front end in order to get your homes sold quickly even if the market is sluggish.


Image by Alexander Stein from Pixabay

If you decide to list the property with a Realtor I suggest paying a higher commission than is normally offered in your area. For example, if a typical commission is 3 percent, then offer a 4 ½ percent commission on a full price offer. This will make your Realtor work much harder to get your home sold first. This is one way to automate the selling houses part of your business. We have been working with the same realtors in our business for many years now.

You can also run ads in the online newspaper, use social media and hold open houses to get your property sold. Make sure you produce flyers and post them in grocery stores and anywhere else a potential buyer will see them. You can also put an insert in your local shopper guide. Many potential buyers will see your property for sale. And don’t forget to use lots of signage to get your property sold quickly.

Always make sure you implement multiple ways to sell a property. You want to have at least three different marketing techniques in place to sell your home quickly.

For more information on selling homes quickly and finding even more motivated sellers, make sure you visit Kathy Kennebrook’s website at


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Rehabbing Your Way To Millions Part 1

Copyright: merznatalia / 123RF Stock Photo

By Kathy Kennebrook
(The Marketing Magic Lady)

In just about any real estate market I believe that there are a lot of great ways to make a fortune in real estate and one of those ways is to rehab and sell properties quickly. This is a strategy I implement on a daily basis in my own Real Estate Investing business.

There are some excellent resources for you to use to find vacant ugly properties to rehab and sell in virtually any price range. One of those techniques is to simply use targeted direct mail campaigns like I do to find motivated sellers of ugly vacant properties or estates.


Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay

This is a great way to find highly motivated sellers who need to sell quickly and there are great deals to be made for pennies on the dollar. Remember, your profit is made when you buy a property.

Another strategy I use to find the owner of vacant ugly properties is to mail to a list of property owners with delinquent taxes that belong to out of county or out of state owners. These lists are pretty easy to come by and I offer resources for these mailing lists and others when you invest in my Marketing System. Check out my website at

Another way to find great deals with ugly vacant properties is to work with the REO departments of your local banks. REO mean real estate owned properties. These are ugly vacant properties that the banks have taken back for non-payment of the mortgage.

These banks are generally selling properties for forty to sixty cents on the dollar in order to get rid of them quickly. Generally speaking the banks want to get these ugly houses out of their inventory since banks are in the money business, not the house business. And there are more houses available through these resources than ever before due to our current real estate market situation.

Handshakes with customer after contract signatureCopyright: alexraths / 123RF Stock Photo

You do need to be careful about the properties you are buying since you want to buy houses you can resell quickly, so there are some specific parameters I would suggest you follow. Here are examples of houses I would suggest you stay away from buying.

1. Houses on busy streets
2. Houses in war zones
3. Houses with only two bedrooms or tiny bedrooms
4. Houses needing more rehab than you can handle (like burn-outs)
5. Houses which are functionally obsolete
6. Houses on postage stamp lots
7. Houses near or across from commercial areas
8. Houses near or across from businesses or schools

The whole idea is to find houses you can rehab quickly and sell at
just under full retail or even more than full retail in order to sell them quickly, so you need to make sure the numbers work in order for you to get the profit you are looking for from the deal.

There are also specific things you want to do to make your house stand out from all the others in the same price range in order to get your house sold quickly; like really making kitchens and baths stand out, and adding inexpensive upgrades that homes in the same price wouldn’t normally have.

Some of these upgrades might include nicer hardware like faucets and showerheads, tile in the showers, nicer kitchen appliances, etc. Also make sure your house looks clean and attractive from the exterior. There are lots of inexpensive ways to accomplish this. These strategies will make your house stand out to the potential buyer and get it sold much more quickly.

For more information on finding motivated sellers for your real estate business and getting your houses sold quickly for more cash, make sure you visit Kathy Kennebrook’s website at While you are there be sure and sign up for my Free monthly newsletter! Also be sure and check out Rehabbing Your Way to Millions Part II



Where Do I Find the Best Direct Mail Lists?

By Kathy Kennebrook (The Marketing Magic Lady)

This is the big question that I get a lot! The true secret to success for a Real Estate Investor is finding sellers who really need to sell. I use several different targeted direct mail campaigns to locate different types of highly motivated sellers. Some examples of these types of mailings are out of state owners, estate and probate properties, quit-claim deeds, expired listings, burned out landlords, vacant properties, military transfers, inherited properties, for sale by owner, and pre-foreclosures, just to name a few.


The key to success using direct mail is customizing your direct mail piece and your list to reach exactly the kinds of motivated sellers you want to deal with in order to create the kinds of deals you want for your Real Estate Investing business. The very best way to do this is to locate mailing lists from reputable companies, refining them to meet your individual criteria, then mailing to these potential sellers again and again.

Real Estate Investors often neglect to market to sellers in this way because they think the list is too difficult to get, or they only send the mailings once and quit. These are some of the easiest lists for you to obtain and it will be very profitable for you to do so. After having mailed thousands of letters and done hundreds of deals I can personally attest to the power of direct mail for finding all the motivated sellers you could want that none of your competitors know anything about.


You can contact a list broker or your local property assessor’s office and ask them for these specific lists, or you can create some excellent lists to mail to yourself. It’s fairly easy to do. Here are just a few ideas for you. You can go to the courthouse and research divorce cases, death notices, liens and judgments, tax liens, marriage licenses, bankruptcies, eviction filings or Lis Pendens, which is the first step toward foreclosure in order to create mailing lists. Let me share a few pointers here.

  1. Do your homework when picking a list broker. How current is the list? Does it have all the information you need to create your direct mail campaign? Does it reach the audience you are targeting?
  2. Do a test mailing of 100 pieces to test any new list. How many responses did you get? How many letters came back with a bad address? How many deals did you create?
  3. Don’t waste your marketing dollars marketing to a bad list that won’t get you the result you want.
  4. Create continuity with your direct mail campaigns. You can mail a lot of letters or a few letters but you need to have a flow of mail going out at all times in order to create a continuous funnel of incoming leads.
  5. Never mail more pieces than you are comfortable getting responses to. If you do a huge mailing and you get tons of responses you can’t get to, you are wasting marketing dollars. Put systems in place to help you respond to the mailings and grow your business gradually.

Make sure that you do repetitive mailings. The more you repeat your mailings, the more deals you will create since you are taking the time to build a relationship with these sellers. When they are ready to sell, they will contact you first, even if they have been contacted by someone else in the meantime.


Another way to find motivated sellers is to cultivate relationships with individuals who can help you find deals. One of the techniques we implemented was to create a specific direct mail campaign targeting specific types of attorneys who were much more likely to bring us deals and we let them know we are in the business of buying houses.

Once you develop relationships with these attorneys, they will call you first when they have a client who needs to sell a property quickly no matter what condition it’s in. This is just another way to build ongoing lead sources using direct mail. You only have to create this direct mail campaign once to create an ongoing source of leads for your Real Estate Investing business.

If you own any kind of business and you need certain types of leads, think about unique resources that can provide you with the leads you need and create a direct mail campaign targeting these resources. This can be really profitable. For example; if you own an alarm company or a lawn maintenance service it would behoove you to create a direct mail campaign targeting owners of properties in your area who live out of state. These are potential customers who need your services.

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The main reason that direct mail works so well is that you are reaching highly targeted leads. You become the potential seller’s first option when they need to sell. Even if you are on a limited budget, direct mail is an excellent source of leads for you since you can buy more houses from fewer leads, thus maximizing your marketing dollars. As your business grows, you can increase the number of mailings you do. You can also target specific neighborhoods or dominate certain parts of town. In doing so, you become a “property value expert” in those areas, which makes the offer-making process that much easier for you.

You end up creating an ongoing relationship with your target market, which makes it easy for you to follow up with formerly inflexible or unmotivated sellers. Since these mailings are so targeted and so residual, there is virtually no competition for these properties. It puts your lead generating system on “auto-pilot,” leaving you more time to make offers, do more deals, and make more money.


Most importantly, be consistent in all your efforts. The successful Real Estate Investor has a network of people and strategies at their fingertips at all times. If you don’t develop continuity to your marketing campaigns, you’ll see your results begin to drop off immediately. This is true no matter what business you are using direct mail to target to.

When you implement multiple techniques and several different direct mail campaigns, you will have more opportunities than you’ll be able to handle and the possibilities become almost endless. Using direct mail to develop a “cookie cutter” system to accomplish this is one of the most affordable, reliable, and effective ways I know to build your lead base quickly and have all the business you will ever need.

Direct mail continues to provide our business with about seventy percent of the total deals we do. That’s a big number and an excellent result from simply taking the time to build a residual system to bring in new leads to our business every single day.

Be sure and check out my website at for all the marketing resources you need to grow your real estate investing business. While you are there be sure and sign up for our free monthly newsletter.



Maximum Asset Protection – Tips and Information

By Kathy Kennebrook (The Marketing Magic Lady)

A Discussion on the Importance of Protecting Your Assets

Throughout your life, no matter who you are or how you earn your living, you need to be concerned about protecting your assets. Your assets may include your home, vehicles, jewelry, boats, artwork, properties and whatever other assets you accumulate along the way.

After all, you work hard for what you have and there are always going to be people out there who want something for nothing. The more money you have the greater a target you become, and you’ll want to protect yourself from frivolous lawsuits.


In the real estate investing business this is especially true. The real estate business is one of those where you will be piling up assets quickly. If you are holding properties and you have tenants or tenant/buyers in your properties, this can make you an even bigger target for possible lawsuits.

For this reason alone you want to be holding your assets in another entity, such as a land trust in order to keep your name off of public record. The main advantage to purchasing properties in land trusts or other entities is anonymity.

If everything you own is in your own name, it makes it easy for someone who wants to sue you to find out what you have. If a plaintiff’s attorney looks on public record and it appears that you have nothing, you are much less likely to be sued.

If you are holding properties in land trusts, corporations or LLCs this prevents your name from showing up on public records; making it appear that you don’t personally own anything; and that is the whole idea. You want to hide your assets from creditors and predators. There are a lot of people out there who want what you have, but they don’t want to work to get it.

As you begin to grow your real estate business, you need to begin thinking about protecting yourself and your assets along the way. Make sure you begin working with a reliable real estate attorney who can help you grow and protect your business.

Make sure they understand the importance of purchasing properties in land trusts or in entities that do not represent you personally. If they don’t want to do things your way, find someone who will.


In addition, you want to be thinking about placing other items of value that you own, such as bank accounts, jewelry, vehicles, boats or artwork in property trusts. This will protect these assets from showing up should you be sued for any reason.

You also need to be working with reliable a financial planner and a CPA in your business in order to protect you assets by investing them well with a diverse portfolio. Your CPA will also help you hold on to your assets by finding ways for you to legally pay fewer taxes on the income from your business.

The real estate business is one of those businesses where there are a lot of great tax deductions for you if you structure your business correctly. You also want to think about diversifying your assets so that you don’t have all your “eggs” in one basket. As the markets continue to fluctuate this becomes even more important for protecting your assets.


Your CPA and your financial planner can also help you structure your assets so that if something happens to you, your assets will be distributed to children, grandchildren, charities or whomever you choose in a way that is fluid with the least amount of taxes and stress.

This way there is no question as to how the distribution of your assets will be handled if something were to happen to you and this can save your family a lot of hassles later on.

Protecting your assets while you are still around to enjoy them is going to be very important to securing a future for you and your family.

For more information on asset protection and all other aspects of real estate investing, visit my website at