How to Dive into Probate Leads!
One of my favorite real estate podcast hosts has a great question for every guest: “If I were to drop you from the sky into a market where you knew nobody, had no local market knowledge and had only $100, what would you do to make a living in real estate?”
In 2011, I left a career in resort whole-ownership sales and moved from Hawaii with a median price of $1,350,000 to Virginia with a median price of $140,000. I knew nobody and had never sold a single-family home, so I was pretty much living out the hypothetical scenario from the podcast, that’s why it caught my attention.
I had bought and sold several investment houses, but the first house I sold for someone else went a little something like this…
Prospect: “Hi, my name is Pam, you mailed my Mom a few months ago about buying her house, and I found your letter on her refrigerator. Things have changed drastically and I’m not sure what to do.”
Agent: “Well I’m glad you called, tell me about your situation.”
Prospect: “Well, my dad died last year and my mom has been living alone. I live about eight hours away and last night I wasn’t able to reach her. She has had a severe stroke and probably won’t make it through the week.”
Agent: “I’m sorry to hear that. How can I help?”
Prospect: “I’m not sure, I read your letter and it looks like you buy houses, so I wanted to see what it’s worth so I can cover the care she is receiving. She listed with this agent but he never showed it and didn’t even keep in touch with her. I called him to come get his sign and he hasn’t even done that.”
Agent: “Your mom’s house is just down the road from me. Would you be able to meet me in two hours?”
Prospect: “Today? Well, I didn’t expect that but I can be there, sure.“
It was a beautiful mid-century ranch home in a great neighborhood. Why had it not sold with 12 months of MLS exposure? Upon logging into MLS to do my homework and seeing the listing, it was apparent. All of the personal property was left in the home, the photos were the best you could get from an iPhone 4, and the listing description was typical.
I would later find that this was one of the 77 percent of probate homes in my market that had expired in the last year. These properties were being listed by agents who didn’t bring any unique value to the situation and as a result the sellers had even more stress to deal with.
I met with Pam that afternoon, toured the house, listened to her needs, and gave her four options for selling the home. The option she chose played out like this:
- My contractor came in the next 2 days to do about $2,500 in upgrades and repairs that we identified in the initial meeting.
- My Estate Sale Company came and paid her $5k for the antique furniture she was planning to donate to Goodwill.
- We arranged for the remaining personal property to be donated or stored.
- We listed the home for sale at the expired listing price but this time as a Lease Purchase with a $6,000 option fee.
- We received 4 offers the day we listed and chose an offer from a couple of retired Navy vets who had left a power bill unpaid in PA years prior and they didn’t find out about it until they were well into purchasing a home and were shot down by the underwriter. Their agent told them to call back when they had gotten their credit repaired.
- We took a $6,000 option fee and $2,200 for the first and last month’s rent and signed an option for a full price offer of $150,000.
- In 8 months the buyers exercised their option and closed within 3 weeks at $150,000 after paying $8,800 in rent and a $6,000 option fee.
- With the money from the furniture, the option fee and rent, we created just under $20,000 of additional income for her AND sold the house for full price.
This is a bit of an extreme example because I used creative financing. Most probate transactions are way simpler. I could have easily listed the house and sold it conventionally, but I saw her immediate need for cash and her need to get every dollar of equity she could to pay for her mother’s care so I got creative and FAR exceeded her expectations.
Become the Hub, But Don’t Re-invent the Wheel
They reason I chose this story is because it was my very first probate transaction, but also because I offered options and leveraged my relationships with several trusted vendor partners to engineer the perfect solution to my client’s problems.
The key is to provide a broad scope of service that addresses any problem a family could encounter in the probate process. We teach every Subscriber to become the hub in the wheel and add as many spokes as you need to address any challenges the family has.
Our system is built on years of personal experience working with probate clients in hundreds of markets. We have trained agents/brokers in all 50 states and have learned exactly what it takes to build a lasting and profitable business around this service. It starts with setting up the right offer.
When you have the right team, you can provide a wide variety of services, most of which don’t require any additional expense or work on your part but have a massive value to the family because they are overwhelmed.
Real Estate Services
- Cash Sale
- As-is Sale
- Conventional/Retail Sale
- Renovate and Sell
- Transition Property to Rental
- Sell & Help Heirs Upgrade Housing
Valuable Services that Differentiate You
- Arranging the Estate Sale
- Cleaning Out Houses
- Coordinating Moves to Suitable Housing for Family Members
- Helping Heirs Set Up Estate Plan for Future
- Helping Heirs Invest Proceeds Wisely
A System is the Key To Sustainability
If you want, you can learn to do everything we do to gather leads from our free YouTube videos. However, the average agent’s time is worth $25 per hour and a top producer’s time is worth $75 or more per hour so the highest and best use of your time is not spending hours upon hours building marketing lists. It’s like stepping over dollars to pick up pennies!
The real value we offer is a full Probate System that trains you to provide a specialized service, automates marketing activities, and continuously supports you as you execute your campaign. Oh, and at a fraction of the cost of doing it manually.
The ATL Probate System
- Every probate lead from your courthouse every 30 days (no contracts)
- Accurate phone numbers for Personal Representatives (not on public record but vital to successful prospecting)
- Full contact info for the Probate Attorney
- Probate Fast Track Training – to get you started TODAY
- All The Leads Mastermind – Closed Facebook Group
- Weekly Probate Mastermind Calls (recorded and archived)
- Monthly Probate Role Play Calls (recorded and archived)
- Probate Mastery Advanced Training with a Certified Probate Expert Designation
- Free CRM Specifically for Probate prospecting
- Proven Letter Templates
- Automated Direct Mail Service
- Automated ISA Calling Service
- Custom WordPress Probate Websites
- Custom Probate Credibility Kit
- Personal Account Manager to Ensure Your Success
- One-on-One Live Customer Support
To see how this is all organized into a simple Subscriber Portal, watch this training video:
A Typical Probate Marketing Campaign
We find that a combination of direct mail and phone calls to be the most effective marketing. Obviously, the more frequently you follow-up, the more likely you are to get business. Each subscriber has to consider their own time and budget but we recommend a minimum of 3 letters, each followed by a phone call.
- Log into Subscriber Portal
- Complete 3-Part Probate Fast Track training
- Customize your letters and set up mail campaign
- Schedule calls or set up ISA campaign to coincide with letters
- Leads are delivered directly into your CRM
- Mail and ISA campaigns are triggered as scheduled
- You get a copy of your letter in the mail
- You make calls or ISA campaign begins
- Repeat this sequence every 30 days for at least the first 90 days
Maximize Results by Building a Probate Referral Network
Marketing is half of the equation. Our most successful subscribers view this as a 2-prong system and, in addition to marketing to the Personal Representative, they have a Referral System to attract those who did not respond to the marketing campaign but still need assistance. Your professional referral network can easily bring you as much business as your marketing efforts and often times our agents get non-probate referrals because their referral partner sees the value they bring to many situations.
The key to creating and maintaining a success Referral Network is getting out of your comfort zone and out of your office to meet these folks in person to help them understand the value you bring to their industry and their customers. Once they understand your business model it will be easy for them to forget every other agent/broker they know.
Learn More About Becoming a Probate Expert
To see how many leads are in your county, please go to AllTheLeads.com/LCA or call (844) 532-3369 to speak to our team.
Check out our Facebook Group for archived calls and conversations among agents/brokers nationwide that are using the ATL Probate System.
Join us on Thursday for our Weekly Mastermind Call
Date: Every Thursday
Time: 1:00 PM (Eastern)
Phone Number: (712) 432-0075
Conference Code: 6562932#
To Ask Question: Press *6 to enter queue then press 1
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