How To Stay Strong In A Weak Real Estate Market by Stefan Kasian, PHD

5 Strategies to Stay Strong in a Weak Real Estate Market

By Stephan Kasian, PHD

            If you haven’t been at least somewhat rattled by the major economic earthquakes hitting the U.S. and world economy in recent times, then you need to have your pulse checked. Let’s face it, these are challenging times. And you are not alone. Other entrepreneurs like you feel the pain, too. Just ask Kathy Kennebrook and she can share what she and her students have experienced.

            “The only constant is change,” said my father, a brilliant electronics engineer who retired handsomely from the military. This article will give you some eclectic tips to stay afloat to survive and prosper during these dramatic changes. These strategies come from my psychology background plus decade and a half experience as a real estate entrepreneur mentoring countless students and helping hundreds of clients.

  1. Manage stress. “Stress will kill you,” says my mentor Dr. Bernando LaPallo, age 108, and alive and well. (And yes, he has been featured in the news; the media verified his age.) He is living proof of the longevity that proper stress management can bring, and reveals some of his secrets in his book Age Less Live More. The guy smiles and laughs at life and retains a positive mental attitude no matter what countless challenges he has faced—and breezed through. He lived through the Great Depression. It was his positive attitude that saw him through those dark times. This is not just lip service or New-Agey hype. Solid medical research proves this to be true. Some specific ways to manage stress for the busy entrepreneur: exercise every day. Even if its for 5-10 minutes of walking, calisthenics, stretching, or yoga. Do it daily. Your body will thank you – and you will be able to think more clearly because of it.
  2. Eat properly. Don’t skip meals or overeat. I notice that when I am stressed out I lose my appetite and forget to eat. This bad habit can deprive your body of vital nutrients to stay strong and healthy. Conversely, when some people are stressed out, they overeat. Also eat the healthiest diet possible, minimizing caffeine, sugars, dairy. Stick with light, green, organic foods whenever possible.
  3. Get adequate sleep. Most modern working professionals don’t get enough restful sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, it affects your decision-making, and decreases your ability to manage stress properly. As all consuming as real estate can be, don’t let it ruin your sleep—you need proper sleep so you can stay in your optimum mental state to deal with challenges. Keep a regular sleep routine as much as possible.
  4. Live in “day tight” compartments. Read Dale Carnegie’s timeless classic: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (the companion to the bestselling How to Win Friends and Influence People). In it, he explains how the highest achievers don’t worry about tomorrow or fret over yesterday. They stay present in the moment simply focusing on doing one thing at a time, exceptionally well. Earl Nightingale in Lead the Field, said how each day, lived to its fullest, creates the successful foundation to a happy and healthy life. So, if you have a problem property or cash flow issue, do everything you can about it today, but don’t let yourself worry about what might happen. Also don’t let the concerns about your real estate business leak into and affect your personal, family, or relationship time.
  5. Make a written plan and stick to it. Break down your plan into written steps that you can act on every day to get you closer to your real estate goals. For example, every day I strive to write at least 3 pages (credit Gary Halbert) to support my information marketing activities. I mandate a weekly staff meeting by phone to make sure we are moving forward on all our properties, and make myself available on a daily basis to check in on properties as needed. I know that this is a strategy that Kathy Kennebrook implements in her business as well.  A former client of Michael Gerber’s company, every day I engage in “e-myth” practices to better and better manage, plan, and track systems relating to the business to help it run more smoothly. I also do at least one thing a day to move forward on revenue generating, credit-line building activities. These daily practices all help me get closer and closer towards my strategic goals. Just ask yourself: what one thing can I do today to move me forward toward my goal?
  6. Remain flexible and open to eclectic input. This is a suggestion offered by Dan Kennedy, a brilliant marketing strategist I eagerly strive to learn as much as I can from. In these times of constant change, you must also be willing to adjust your sails to any latest developments. For example, in the real estate world, you must stay open to new short sale techniques, to the latest technological advances, to the changing demands and budgets of the buyers. You even have to adjust to values increasing (or decreasing) in your neighborhood. But the quality of eclectic input means to allow yourself to have a variety of interests…go see a great movie, interact with people outside your industry, read a variety of articles about different topics. Any one of these sources can provide a creative breakthrough or much needed insight that could revolutionize your business—and multiply your profits. My publications and unique strategies give you unique perspectives that return many times your modest investment. Check them out.

In summary, to survive and prosper in real estate—or any other business you are involved in—during these challenging times, calls for more than simply running your business well. You must run your life well. That means managing stress, proper exercise and rest, and a proper philosophy of living in the “now”, following a written plan, and remaining open and flexible to the opportunities that change itself can bring. Be sure and check out Kathy Kennebrook’s website at  to find even more tips and tools to help you prosper on all levels of body, mind, and spirit.

Create A Solid Direct Mail Campaign for Real Estate Investing

Creating A Solid Direct Mail Piece
By Kathy Kennebrook (The Marketing Magic Lady)

One of the most important aspects to a marketing campaign that is going to work is to create a solid direct 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 including Real Estate Investing.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. I also use paragraphs in my letters so that there is a specific break between thoughts and so the letter just flows better and is more pleasing to the eye.

5. Even though this is a personal letter, I still begin with a powerful headline or first sentence to make sure I have their attention so that they read the rest of my piece.

6. I also list the benefits to the seller of choosing to work with me the investor, as opposed to perhaps listing their home or trying to sell it themselves. You always need to list the benefits of whatever it is you are selling and why they should buy yours.

7. In any piece you send out you need to have your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). For the Real Estate Investor this is going to be the ease with which you can help the seller solve their problem and/or debt relief. For every business the USP will be uniquely different.

8. Always include a strong P.S. In my case the P.S. is “contact me immediately since we budget to purchase a certain number of homes each month.” This motivates them even more to contact me right away.

9. Create residual mailings so that your seller/customer sees your message over and over again. By doing this you create credibility with your prospect and when they need your services they will contact you first.

When you are creating direct mail pieces or letters no matter what business you are in remember to think about writing your letter as though you are writing to just one person.

For example, you wouldn’t begin your letter “Dear Neighbors” you would begin it “Dear Neighbor” or “Dear Friend”. Within the body of the letter you should write as though you are writing to just one person, so you wouldn’t say something like “all of you” within the body of your letter.

Always remember that if you are handwriting the letter make sure it’s easy to ready, printed might be best. If you are using a computer or printer generated letter be sure and use a font that is easy to read such as 12 or 14 point. And use a type set that is easy to read like Times New Roman.

These few points will help you to create direct mail campaigns that will continue to net you excellent results just as ours have over the years. For specific information on how to create direct mail campaigns to find motivated sellers visit Kathy Kennebrook’s website at

Kathy Kennebook Discusses Marketing in Rural Communities

Marketing to Motivated Sellers in Rural Communities
By Kathy Kennebrook
Since I am the type of investor who purchases properties in multiple counties and in multiple states, I have had many experiences of buying homes and vacant land in rural communities. In fact this is a part of our business that we find to be profitable for us on a daily basis. I will absolutely share with you that buying properties this way is a science in and of itself. There are many different parameters to buying properties in rural areas, but it can be a very profitable business for you.

First of all, if you like to buy vacant land, it can be a real challenge at times. For example, many times the parcels you are looking to purchase will not have a street address, making them more difficult to locate. You will need plat maps and street maps in order to locate these properties. One advantage to buying in rural areas is that generally speaking the folks at the court house, the property appraiser’s or assessors office and the tax collectors office are usually easier to work with and very knowledgeable about the local area and property.

If you plan on buying vacant land, I would suggest getting a plat map book which shows the subdivisions and the properties in lot and block. The easiest way I found to do this is to go to the court house or property assessors’ office and ask if they have a copy you can buy. If this is not possible, find out if you can make a copy of the one they have. Sometimes they will let you borrow it, or copy it on the premises. This is another main difference when working in rural areas; they are much more likely to be very helpful to you. Having this tool available will make it a whole lot easier to locate the properties you are trying to buy. If it is possible, you may also want to purchase a computer program that shows this type of information so you have it at your fingertips. There are programs like Real Quest or Win2data available for this purpose.

The other thing you will also need is a street map of the community. Usually these street maps will also show subdivision locations. This also makes it easier to find properties. You can use the plat and the street map together to locate properties you are interested in making offers on.

If you are looking to buy properties in rural areas there are three main ways to find motivated sellers. One of those is to work with a local Realtor. Usually, they are much easier to work with than those in larger cities. They are usually willing to share information for example on why a seller needs to sell. If the first Realtor you talk to won’t help, find another. You do need to be careful in one respect when working in rural areas with Realtors. Many times the Realtors themselves are investors, so you need to make sure they won’t snipe deals from you if you ask them for help with comparables before you have a property under contract. Also make sure the Realtor you are working with has access to the MLS because many of them do not. Sometimes there are MLS listings in these rural areas that can produce good deals for you as well. Additionally, if you plan to list properties with a Realtor, you want to make sure they get listed on the MLS.

The second way to find motivated sellers is to simply use signage. Usually in a smaller community, the sign ordinances are not nearly as strict as they are in a larger city. When you put signs up in the ground or on poles, they are likely to stay there for long periods of time, so using signage usually works very well to find motivated sellers.

The third way to find motivated sellers is to do direct mail campaigns to non-homestead exempt or absentee owners. The program I use to do this is called Real Quest If you go to my web site at, you will find a lot more information on this company. This program can provide plat maps, sales information, property information, comps, and more. I personally use this program to find motivated sellers in the community I like to buy in.

Another way I use to find all the motivated sellers I need in rural areas is to send direct mail to owners of vacant land whose tax bill has not been paid. This is an easy list to get and can be obtained from the tax collectors office. Usually these are folks who have inherited properties they really don’t want or need.
There is absolutely a lot of money to be made in rural communities and people sell for a variety of reasons. I find the main ones to be estate and probate and pre-foreclosure. All of these situations create wonderful opportunities for buying properties well under their value. Just remember that you will have to be a little creative when you resell these properties since you are dealing in a very small market area. Usually I will advertise in the newspapers of bigger cities surrounding the rural area or work with a Realtor who can get these properties list nationally. There are lots of people who are looking for vacation properties in rural areas.
You will also need to set yourself up with a title company who understands your business, even if you have to train them yourself. I know that the first couple of deals I purchased into land trusts I had to explain to the title company. I even provided them with the deed that included all of the duties of the trustee. Once you have them trained, they can be a real asset to your business, especially when it comes to working with out of state sellers.
Buying properties in a rural area is a real learning experience, but I will tell you that if you take the time and the energy to do it, there is a lot of money to be made, and there is almost no competition for these properties at all.
For more information on finding motivated sellers in rural areas and the Real Quest program, along with all of the other tools you need to find motivated sellers, visit Kathy Kennebrook’s website at Kathy Kennebrook is one of the top Trainers in the country with regard to marketing and finding profitable real estate deals.

Kathy Kennebrook Shows You How To Spend Time With Family While Finding Buyers For Your Properties

Kathy Kennebrook discovered early on in her real estate investing business that making time for her family despite the demands of her real estate business was going to be very important and somewhat difficult. Being a mom to two growing teens made this a real challenge on a daily basis. Kathy Kennebrook has always felt that having dinner each day as a family was an important way to stay connected, but with working on finding buyers for her real estate deals this could be really difficult. Kathy Kennebrook has very active real estate investing business and chooses to run it hands on.

Kathy decided to make a conscious effort to make the meal making process as easy as possible so she could strive to meet her family’s daily needs and develop a real estate investing business at the same time. So Kathy Kennebrook sought out solutions to assist her in providing her family with good nutritious meals that could be prepared quickly.

So one of the things that Kathy Kennebrook did since she loves to cook, was to come up with delicious recipes that were easy and nutritious, some of which she will share with you in other articles. She totally believes in the credo “quick easy meals so you can do more deals”. She also devised ways to make shopping a lot easier, quicker and more convenient, since grocery shopping is one of those chores that takes a lot of time and energy unless you plan ahead.

As you begin your real estate investing business and you start buying and selling a lot of properties, you will find that you can get really overwhelmed by responses from sellers, buyers, bookkeeping matters, closing deals, dealing with contractors and vendors and everything that goes along with running a successful real estate investing business. You always need to be careful to try to balance your business with your family life, and one way to accomplish that goal is to make sure you try to have meals together at least a few nights every week.

Kathy Kennebrook found a really wonderful company that can help you accomplish that goal and assist you with your grocery needs by providing good, quality products that are easy to prepare, and come right to your front door. In fact her groceries arrived while she was writing this article.

The company she is referring to is Omaha Steaks. They can provide you with all kinds of good food, including steak, chicken, pork, fish, veggies, and fully prepared meals and desserts. You can call your order in or simply order on-line and everything will be delivered right to your front door in a cooler with dry ice so everything maintains it’s freshness. Kathy Kennebrook has provided a link below for your convenience.

For more information on Kathy Kennebrook’s real estate investing products to find even more buyers and sellers, visit her website at

Burdensome 1099 Requirements For Landlords and Business Owners Repealed!

Al Aiello
Kathy Kennebrook is so excited about this news that she had to share it with you right away!!

This ridiculous idiotic law would have required landlords and business owners to file 1099’s for payments of goods or services $600 or more to EVERYONE AND THEIR GRANDMOTHER (except tax-exempt organizations). This would have included – Home Depot, Lowes, Staples, Orkin, Ace Hardware (or your local hardware), CPA’s, vendors, suppliers, construction companies, even if they are corporations (or LLC’s) and even if they are big corporations!

Good news – as a result of vigorous and vociferous protests from business groups – these knuckleheads in congress did listen and we are back to the way it was before. That is, no 1099’s to corporations or LLC’s. However, payments of $600 or more to unincorporated businesses or individuals still require the filing of 1099’s. (TIP: If you are paying an unincorporated business or individual on a continuing basis, get then to incorporate or LLC so you do not have to file a 1099 for over-$600 payments).
The Very Best

Al Aiello, CPA, MS Taxation, RE Investor
Author of the new home study system – The Renaissance Goldmine of Brilliant Tax Strategies for Real Estate Investors-at Kathy Kennebrook’s website-