Kathy Fettke joined the Landlordettes for our latest Those That Inspire feature. Kathy has a passion for researching and sharing the most important facts on real estate and economics. She gives us her story on what got her where she is today and how, in someways, she never would have seen this path for herself.
Let’s jump into the Q & A…
Landlordette: Let’s start from the beginning! Give us the details on your past, what got you here, etc.
Kathy: To start off with I have 2 beautiful daughters and I married the best man in the world. He actually proposed to me on a horse in a prince costume. I started off in broadcasting but once we got married and had children I wanted to be home with them. My husband did business coaching and news, his career was taking off. He wrote a book called, Extreme Success. So he was traveling all over the country promoting that.
To make a long story short what really got us to where we are today was actually quite scary. We went to a wedding in the Caribbean and my husband was wearing shorts. He looked down to notice a weird looking freckle on his leg. This was very weird to me considering he was a redhead with lots of freckles. How he noticed that one is beyond me. Anyway, he got it checked out and it turned out to be melanoma. He had it other places and the doctors thought it spread to his liver. They told him he had 6 months to live. Our kids were small, this was not the plan. I was in complete denial, I didn’t believe it. We had to work through it though so he stopped working and I started working in hopes that he could get better. However, I didn’t want to be away from kids.
At the time I had a radio show that no one listened to, no really no one did. All of a sudden, I realized I should try to monetize my show into a business. I’d been a stay at home mom long enough to forget how to make money so it was tricky. At this time, there was so much money in mortgage companies looking to lend and provide funding for the housing boom. So I started calling mortgage company after company and getting denied by all of them to sponsor my show. I’d had enough. I decided that I was going to get this next person I called. I realized as I was calling I wanted to switch it up, so I asked this man to be my co host. And he said yes! I am the last person anyone thought of when it came to finances but I decided I would make it human interest and find out what people were doing with their mortgages. Mostly so I wouldn’t be bored the entire time. Basically, we interviewed his clients and we ended up talking to people who were flipping, investing, etc. All of a sudden, people were calling in the show looking for a mortgage. So I got my license and became one of the biggest mortgage brokers in San Francisco. And that’s where it all really began!
Landlordette: Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Kathy: Obviously, the biggest challenge to start was my husband’s health but the good news is the doctor was wrong and he’s fine! The biggest challenge when I was starting in real estate was trying to find good, quality, free education. I was discovering that REIAs (Real Estate Investment Associations) and investing was, and still is, full of sharks.
Real Estate is truly a beautiful thing but unfortunately everyone in the industry doesn’t have the best intentions. The everyday example I like to give is that it’s similar to Florida. The water is beautiful and there is so much good but you can still get pretty hurt if you jump into the water with sharks. I didn’t know this back when I started and I was naive.
Landlordette: How did you overcome this challenge? What advice would you give to those in difficult situations today?
Kathy: I would saying knowing what to look for and who to trust is how I overcame this. Not even trust per se. Just the knowledge of how to do it right. Having the right due diligence and taking the right steps to ensure everything is okay. Now that I’m more well known world wide it’s amazing to me how much people will trust me. I have honestly had people ask me where they could send their money to the first time we talk. Yes, I am trustworthy and would never take that but not everyone is like that and you can get into a lot of trouble. The problem is most people are good and think other people are good, that’s not always the case. Going to back to that analogy from above, you can go swimming in Florida 9 times but you still might get bit on the 10th.
The bottom line is to educate yourself as much as you can and surround yourself with people who have a track record of exactly what they say they do.
Landlordette: What should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Kathy: First off, we are absolutely blown away by deals that are coming to us. We’ve been around since 2004 so the word has been out for quite some time. We get about 1000-1500 new members every month and we’re raising money really quickly. People come with deals and in a 2 day period raise 13 million dollars. A little sneak peak of a deal that I can’t disclose too much of but we just closed…this deal is a developers dream. It’s walking distance from one of the world’s biggest universities. It’s really exciting we’re become a company that can seize the moment and get those kind of deals. I think we’ve really proved ourselves by making it through tough times. Plus, we carve out a great amount of money for the investors. We believe in doing the right thing, there’s so much profit. There’s no reason to not give out the biggest percentage we can to show our customers we care, despite what those guys on Wall Street say.
Landordette: Is the customer service aspect important to you and your company?
Kathy: Yes, I 100% believe that customer service matters in every industry. Love your customer. Southwest was one of the first companies to say this out loud and look how it turned out for them. I know what it’s like to struggle, have medical issues, etc. I want people to have the same awakening I did and see what’s possible. Nothing makes me happier than people coming up to me and saying they’re learning and growing. Things don’t always go right and that’s okay but if you’re good to your customer and disclose the truth you’ll earn their trust and loyalty.
Landordette: Let’s talk real estate…How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Kathy: There are a lot of changes on the horizon. Some we can’t predict yet. The next decade I believe we are going to see changes as transformational as PCs and cells were. Things we don’t even know about and haven’t been created. One thing I think is a possibility because of the automation of transportation is less population in cities because of driver-less vehicles. You will no longer have the problem of not being able to live anywhere. If you can work remotely you don’t need to be in a city. There will still be cities growing but people will be able to live in smaller cities that they hadn’t considered before. For example in Fresno, CA. This is a great place to buy right now it is super cheap but it’s in the middle of nowhere. Because of this people overlook it but what if it only took 1 hr and 30 mins to get to San Fran? Now it takes 3 hrs. That’s a huge difference and it will be a game changer.
Landordette: Any mentors? Who has played a meaningful role in getting you where you are today?
Kathy: The first mentor I had was the mortgage guy. He opened open my eyes to a world I never would have considered. He really looked at leverage as a way to accelerate the process to building wealth. He was an educator on the show and to me as well. I was able to interview Robert Kiyosaki. This was transformational. I learned about bubbles and understanding the market. He came on the show around 2005 and I asked him where he was investing. He told me he sold everything in CA and was investing in TX. He explained we reached a bubble. In California the market was 28% undervalued. Texas had all fundamentals there plus cash flow. This was huge so I shared it with my audience. Hopefully I helped thousands of people never feel the recession because they sold at the peak and bought at the trough.
Landordette: If you could have an all expense paid vacation anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Kathy: All expense paid? Love it! I’d have to say Thailand, it’s been on my list forever. They have great massages, great food, good clothing, rock climbing, and surfing.
If you want to know more about Kathy & her company you can find her at the Realwealthnetwork.com. It’s free to join and once you do you get access to their private membership pages, teams around the country, different projects, etc. Doesn’t sound too bad!
We hope you enjoyed our 3rd ever feature. Those That Inspire is all about who is inspiring us in real estate! If someone stands out to you and you want to know more, let us know here.