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The question is: What if you could add 1 new listing per month?
How would a minimum of 12 more listings per year help your bottom line?

In the present economic and health climate, a tried and true option for Realtors is to explore the world of Probate. There is a real need for Probate Real Estate Experts. When a loved one passes away leaving real estate in probate that their heirs need to sell, who do they turn to? Why not you?

If there was a proven system that would not only find you these leads but help you contact them and get a first contact advantage, would that be worth looking into?

AllTheLeads.com has a complete Probate Selling System that will relieve you of spending countless hours at the courthouse playing detective. ATL sends you the Leads, they do the work of finding the attorney’s contact information, they will write the letters and send them for you, and they will train you all the best practices for contacting the lead effectively and getting the listing!

And, they will set up a search engine optimized Probate-specific website that will link directly from your main website that you can direct interested buyers and sellers to.


TRANSCRIPT

Brett Miller:

Hello, and welcome to How Adding A Probate Niche Can Increase Your Bottom Line As A Realtor – helping us understand probate is Jim Sullivan. He’s the co-founder of AllTheLeads. Jim’s personally been doing probate real estate transactions for over a decade. He started ATL in 2013. Hey Jim, welcome to the call.

Jim Sullivan:

Thank you so much. Appreciate it, Brett. Great to be here.

Brett Miller:

Well, there’s a couple other points you’re on, on all the leads. Tell us a little bit more about the company.

Jim Sullivan:

Absolutely. As you say, we started back in 2013. I’ve been in real estate as an investor and a realtor for about 45 years, and I kiddingly tell people after I guess about 40 years, I finally had a good idea cause we’ve been going down for about seven years. I think you and I spoke about five years ago actually, when we were relatively new and yeah, it’s going great.

Jim Sullivan:

You know, through good times and bad, even through the pandemic, we’ve grown steadily every year and right now we’re helping our clients, mostly realtors, some investors do over 1.5 billion in estimated transaction volume every year, and we get leads in every County there’s virtually nowhere in the US that we can’t get probate leads. Unfortunately, people die everywhere. And if you know, if there’s a courthouse there, we’re able to get the leads.

Brett Miller:

Well, fantastic. So go ahead and tell us what we’re going to be covering today.

Jim Sullivan:

Sure. We’re going to cover first of all, why is probate such a great opportunity? The driving forces are very strong, baby boomers, Brett, over the next 30 years and I’m one of them, but they’re going to be passing on a record number of assets to their heirs. And by most estimates, it’s going to be about $50 trillion in assets will be passed from the baby boomers to the next generation.

Jim Sullivan:

What’s very unique about probate. The sellers are more motivated, there’s less competition. It is absolutely recession proof in good times and bad times, people pass away in the areas, you know, didn’t need to liquidate those estates and then we’re going to go over the basics. You know what probate is and what it isn’t. How the probate process works, your local, local probate courts and processes. And then we’re going to kind of give you two options. You know, we’re going to tell you how you can gather the leads yourself manually, or we’re going to tell you kinda how you can do it the easy and smart way, and let us do all the heavy lifting for you.

Brett Miller:

Fantastic. So Jim, why is probate such a great opportunity?

Jim Sullivan:

Well, as I touched on briefly, just the sheer magnitude of it, there is so many people, baby boomers are starting to pass away, pass the property on to their heirs.

Jim Sullivan:

The sellers are motivated, Brett. They’re not, necessarily always distressed. The majority of these properties are actually free and clear, which really allows them to be well-priced. But typically there’ll be multiple heirs and the, you know, the siblings will get together. They need to settle the estate to, you know, to give up the proceeds and move on with their lives. And there’s less competition when we first started this company in 2013, there was virtually no competition. And so probate has caught a lot of it, you know, partially thanks to us, I think but it’s still far less competitive than other lead sources like Fizboz and Expireds. And honestly, the way we show you to do it, even if you’re in the most competitive places in the country, you have very little competition they’re really do it the right way. And as we said, it is recession, recession, proof, it’s economy proof. So regardless of what the economy is, like, there are going to be appropriate. It’s filed every month and every market in the country. And then just as far as the basics, Brett of we’re going to go over what probate is and what probate isn’t, and then we’ll talk a little bit about the, all the lead system.

Brett Miller:

Wonderful. Okay, well I’m sure for people who aren’t in the know, and for our agents who really should know about this, what is probate?

Jim Sullivan:

Sure. And very simply, I guess the formal definitions on this screen there, but probate is the process by which assets are transferred from a deceased person to a living. One, one very common misconception. Brett, is that it’s for people that don’t have a will. That really is not true. Just give you a couple of extreme examples of people that had to go through probate recently were Steve jobs and Walt Disney. I mean, just because somebody is wealthy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can avoid probate. There’s two types of probate. And if, if the person dies intestate without a will, it’s a little bit more lengthy procedure. And the court gets involved. They had pointed administrator in the state. The state will be settled according to the laws of succession in the state where the, you know, where the property is located. And that’s basically known as intestate succession.

Jim Sullivan:

And believe it or not, probably 25 to 30% of the people, not only don’t have any kind of a living trust, but they don’t even have a will, but most people do have a will 70 to 80% of the time. And that is defined his dying testing. If you die with a will and it still has to go through probate, it doesn’t avoid probate, but it’s a much simpler process. There’s a designated personal representative or executor who’s in charge in the court gets much less involved because you know, the deceased’s wishes are being carried out, carried out by an area that they designated.

Brett Miller:

Okay. And so maybe you can just kinda go through what the probate process is.

Jim Sullivan:

Sure. First of all, there’s 3,143 counties in the United States said one of the most difficult things with this is every courthouse is different. Every county has different filing systems and ways of keeping track of, of the probate process. But the things on the, on the screen here are kind of the order that things happen. Typically it’s three to four months from death. It can be sooner, but generally it will be three to four months from the time the person dies until the family gets together and says, Hey, we need to settle this. They see them. If they see an attorney, they provide the will and it’s filed with the local probate court. And depending on the jurisdiction like California, the courts get much more involved in most of the country. The court involvement is pretty limited. The courts just make sure that the debts of the estate are paid before the assets are distributed.

Jim Sullivan:

And they made sure that the rightful heir receipts, the proceeds it can take anywhere from three months to a year. In most States you can purchase a fidelity bond, which allows it to close much sooner. And that’s usually provided for in the will. If you’re writing up a will make sure you designate that you would like to provide for a fidelity bond. So for a realtor and investor getting involved, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to wait a year to get paid. There are ways to speed up the process and get the deal closed even before the probate is finished. And what happens is the executor provides to the attorney, a death certificate, a list of assets, a list of viabilities and a list of the heirs. And all that, like I said before, all the expenses have to be paid and the executor is guided either through the will or the courts as to how and when to distribute the assets. But typically, as I said earlier, there will be several layers. And typically the assets will be distributed among the heirs, according to the will.

Brett Miller:

Goodness. That is complicated. Well, so when are the probate not required?

Jim Sullivan:

Yeah, the only way, like I said before having a will does not avoid probate. The there’s really only two main ways to avoid probate. And that is to have a revocable living trust. Everybody listening to this call, if you have assets of more than a hundred thousand dollars, do your family, do your children, do your areas a favor, go set up a living, trust it than 5% of Americans have a living trust. It’s it’s ironic. Everybody knows they’re going to die Brett, but nobody really wants to think about it or plan properly for it. With a living trust the person designates ahead of time, what he wants done with all the assets he or she want done. And you can avoid probate. The other way, the main way, two other ways, if a husband and wife or joint tenants in common with the right of survivorship, then you don’t need to do the probate until, you know, the surviving spouse passes, or if it’s the smallest state, most States have an exemption. And typically it’s, if the entire estate is less than a hundred thousand dollars, then you don’t need to go through probate. But the vast majority of the time, you know, the real estate alone is worth more than that. So it most, most vast majority better than 95% of all the States in the country do have to go through probate.

Brett Miller:

Got it. But your state may be different. So make sure you know that.

Jim Sullivan:

Correct.

Brett Miller:

How can people understand what their local probate is all about?

Jim Sullivan:

We always recommend we have a pretty good handle on all 50 States by now. So we do have extensive training, but you can actually go down to the court, visit the probate court in your county and ask them to explain it to you. They’ll might be a little bit tougher with Covid right now, or get on the phone, visit your county’s website search for probate, visit your courthouse, learn firsthand from a probate clerk or you can network with probate attorneys in your market. We give you, I’ll get into this in a minute, but we also give you all the attorney information when we provide leads. So call in a probate attorney and, you know, develop a relationship where you refer business to him or her, and they refer business back to you and let them teach you now, attorneys don’t generally have a small ego Brett, if you call and say, Hey, I just want to understand, you seem to really be an expert in probate. I just want a little understand, a little bit more about it. You’d be surprised how often they’ll be willing to kinda educate you and teach you.

Brett Miller:

Good to know. So gathering probate leads. You know, I guess we’re going to get into why a realtor would be doing this, but Jim, tell us how they can do it themselves.

Jim Sullivan:

Sure. It’s interesting when we had, when I had this idea seven years ago, I honestly thought by now all the courthouses nationwide would be online. There’s still less than 10 to 15% of the courthouses that are online. And even if the data is available in your area online, it tends to be very sparse. All you’re going to be able to get online is, you know, the person that died, possibly their address and possibly a probate case number. Vast majority of cases, the only way to get good, accurate, actionable data is to physically go down on a regular basis and visit your court house. You asked to see the probate filings, different jurisdictions that are kept in different areas. Sometimes they’ll ask you for the name of the deceased in each case. So you may have to, you may have to go online first and then go down to the courthouse and make a list.

Jim Sullivan:

Some courthouses will just let you sit there and sift through the information. One thing that’s pretty universal is they will not, most courthouses will not allow recording devices. So you physically will have to go there with a pen and a paper and transcribe all the data into a usable format. And then of course, what you typically will get is the name and address of the deceased and the probate case number. Now you’ve got to try and generally you’ll also get the name and sometimes the address of the executor, which is the family member in charge. So now if you really want to do an effective campaign, you have to skip, trace, verify the address of the personal representatives and try to find good phone numbers and then mail them a letter and follow up with a phone call. You know, that’s, that’s kind of the manual process of doing it yourself.

Brett Miller:

My goodness, that is a lot of work. How long can that take?

Jim Sullivan:

Well, it’s funny. Whenever I have a prospective client call with our salespeople and say, you know, well, I can get it myself. I always tell them, go down and do it, and then get back to me and almost without fail, they’ll end up becoming subscribers. It depends on the number of leads nationwide. We average around 80 probate filings per month. So if you’re in a very small County that has a dozen leads, you might be able to get in and out of the courthouse in a couple hours. If you’re in like Harris, Texas, that gets 700 you better pack your lunch and plan on spending a few days at the courthouse, but typically for the average person, it’s probably gonna take a full day, if not longer at the courthouse to get all the information you need to get started.

Brett Miller:

Well, let’s see. There must be a better way.

Jim Sullivan:

Funny incidents, honestly. That’s what that, I’m sorry. I interrupted you. Go ahead, Brett.

Brett Miller:

No, I’d love to know you know, how your, your system is and how you help agents collect this info.

Jim Sullivan:

Absolutely. We knew when we, when we started this company that, you know, we didn’t want to be a commodity or a data company. So we have really wrapped the leads in so much of any system that it really doesn’t make sense to do it yourself. We in virtually every courthouse in the country, we have field researchers that we send to the courthouse at least once a month in some jurisdictions it’s every other week we physically, usually it will be two or three people, you know, to pull the files, copy that, verify the data. So they will go manually transcribe all the data. They bring it back to us. We do quality control, and then we skip trace for first of all, we double verify the addresses just to make sure that it’s correct. And then we’ll skip trace. We have about a dozen different databases.

Jim Sullivan:

We go through to find extremely accurate phone numbers. So typically we’ll find three to five phone numbers for the executor. And 90% of the time, the first one will be their cell phone number. We virtually are always able to get the attorney information. You know, when, when 95% of the country, the lists, the attorney name, an address, some places don’t use attorneys like Virginia. But if, if your state uses attorneys, we’re probably going to have very accurate attorney information. We’re often able to get the executors email also. And then what we do is we take all of that. We verify the accuracy, we double check it, and then we vote it into a probate specific CRM that we give you. And it’s, it’s single purpose. We recommend you use it strictly for probate because probate is really a unique lead source. You really don’t for several reasons, you really don’t want to mix it with your other leads.

Jim Sullivan:

And our CRM will allow you as you’re working your campaign to opt people out. You know, if you speak to someone and they’ve sold or they don’t want to sell, you can, Mark do not call, do not mail. So you don’t waste your time, you know, prospecting to them again. We have 500 hours of free indexed. Professional training is first of all, as soon as you get any leads from us, you get access to what we call our fast track videos. There’s three 20 minute videos that walk you through the system. Step-By-Step then we will schedule an orientation call with one of my partners. Tom, he’ll walk through it again, just make sure you understand everything, make sure you understand how to use the system, the CRM best practices. Then we’ll schedule a coaching call. We have a free full time coach Bruce we’ll schedule a coaching call with you and Bruce and Bruce will reach out to you on a monthly basis just to make sure you’re on track.

Jim Sullivan:

We have 500, I think we have about 700 hours now, actually a free indexed professional recorded training. Every week we do a open forum mastermind call for all of our subscribers where people come, they share successes, struggles, you know, wins places are getting stuck and it’s just really an open forum call. We do every Thursday at one o’clock Eastern. And then the first Wednesday of every month, we do a free monthly Roby probate roll call, play a role play role play call, and where we all get together. And we actually practice with, we have two coaches versus Jack. They will actually practice with people making the calls. They’ll be the agent, or you can be the agent. And those are really good to listen to, you know, find places you can get stuck in and practice it. We have a very user friendly website, so you can basically go to the search bar or our website and put just about any question on there.

Jim Sullivan:

It’ll take you two excerpts from a role play calls, mastermind calls, you know, are places in our training where you can find answers to your questions. We have about 15 templated proven letters that you can download and use. We’ll even do the mail for you bread. I mean, you’re, you’re welcome to use our letters. If you really want to put the system on autopilot you can receive your leads. We will do the mail for you. We’ll send you a letter from yourself just as kind of a reminder that it’s time to pick up the phone and start making the calls. If you don’t want to make the calls, we’ll make the calls for you. Now, we highly recommend that you do it yourself because we really believe nobody is effective as effective at selling you as you are. But if you’re not going to make the calls, the letters are great, but there are markets where people do get a lot of mail, especially from the we buy house investors.

Jim Sullivan:

So just sending out the mail, you’re probably going to be lucky to get a one to 2% response rate. If you’re willing to follow that letter up with a phone call, we recommend you do it yourself, but if you’re not, we’ll do it for you. You’re going to get exponentially better results at a better ROI than if you just send the mail. But we do have trained ISA is to make the calls for you. If you don’t want to do it, we do have a custom probate credibility word, press website. We’ve got other print, digital media collateral. And then once a month, we have an advanced course where you can earn your certified probate expert designation. It’s a small class of 30 to 50 people. Once you take it you can take it every month. We actually have people that have taken it 16 times now. If you’re ever going to prospect attorneys, we highly recommend the probate the probate certification course, cause you’re really, then you’ll be able to speak their language and you really understand the process inside and out. So like I said, we really tried to wrap it the complete system,

Brett Miller:

Right? The website I know we’ve set this up for other clients. You you set up one that, that uses their look and feel and, and it has all the information that they need in order to attract people who have probate needs.

Jim Sullivan:

Exactly. We’ll take their logo, their colors, their fonts, really try to make it look like an extension of their existing website and we’ll link their website to their probate site and vice versa. You don’t have to have a website, but if you are in a competitive market and they’re getting calls from two or three agents and the other agent is a generalist and you’re a probate specialist, it really can make a big difference in your conversion rate, having your own custom probate website. We’ll do all that for you.

Brett Miller:

Right. And we also will help our, our clients you know, get all the new graphics and layout information over. So you know, if you want to let HoopJumper take the lead on, on taking care of that for you we do have that handled

Jim Sullivan:

Wonderful. We’d love to work with you on that Brett. Sounds good.

Brett Miller:

If you want to know more about this they set up a special web link and if just go to: AllTheLeads.com/hoopjumper it has all the information and they’ve got some special special rates. They’re on some special offers just for HoopJumper members. Jim, I would like to hear if you wouldn’t mind just a success story and a regular success story of, of an agent who is using the system and what they can expect to get out of it.

Jim Sullivan:

Yeah. We’ve got a guy named David Pinel, if you just go to our website and put in David Pinel he’s in Texas, he made a little over $800,000 just on his probate niche. You know, last year, I’ll tell you one of the best stories and this may take a minute to tell, but it, what we recommend is treat this differently from your other niches. These people, they had a loss in the family and you don’t really want to go right for the juggler. When you call them, you want to call it, be as helpful as possible. You know, don’t, don’t wear your realtor and your investor hat call and say, Hey, I know it’s a tough time for the family. There’s so many different ways I can help you. You know, I have investors estate, sale companies, clean out crews, contractors you know, probate attorneys, what do you need help with?

Jim Sullivan:

And how can I help you? But probably the most moving story. We had a gentleman in central Florida who is a realtor and an investor. And this was about a month ago. He told the story on our, our mastermind call. He said, he called a couple elderly couple. They were in their eighties and Michigan. And they said, boy, what great timing. We’ve got a contract in front of us that we’re just about to sign. And he said, Oh, well, Hey, before you do that, do you mind me asking, how much are you selling the property for? And they said, well, somebody offered us 85,000 cash. And, you know, sounds good to us. Long story short. He was an investor. He could have jumped in there and bought it, but he didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do. He listed the property for 210,000 and sold it in 10 days for 220.

Jim Sullivan:

So it was in the sense that. I mean, just since he told that story, he uses that at his, you know, his presentations on his letter, but he just, we really recommend that come from a place of doing the best thing for the client. And if you do that, it’s just so different than the approach. Everybody else has taken everybody. Else’s calling, I’m the greatest realtor of the world. Also your house real quick, or I can pay cash for your house call with kind of a servant’s mindset, understand it’s a difficult time and be willing to help these people. And it can be an extremely satisfying you know, niche. I will say one other thing. That’s really unusual about probate. We hear from people all the time, Brett, that say, you know, I signed up for a month, I’ll give you another real quick story.

Jim Sullivan:

We had a gentleman sign up for a month and didn’t get anything in quit. About a year later, he took his list and had his assistant call the people. He got three listings from a year old set of leads. So he ended up coming back and we hear that from people all the time, you know, they’ll do their initial campaign, not get anything immediately. And then months later, they’ll start to get traction. Probably half of these people are ready to do something right away, but unlike Fizboz and Expireds, these leads seasoned extremely well. So the longer you stick with it, there’s going to be more and more of the people, three, six, nine months down the road that are kind of, you know, over the emotional part of it. And they’re really, they’ve gone through all the personal property and they’re finally ready to sell mom and dad’s stuff. So those are two pieces of advice, you know, be come from a good mindset and stick with the program and, and be real diligent in your lead followup. And you’ll do great.

Brett Miller:

Oh, fantastic. That was a lot of information. If anybody knows about probate you know, you have a chance here to be, to specialize in it. You can get certificated in it. You know, you can go up and you can be helping people. And like, like Jim says, come from a servant’s place in your heart. Jim and his staff are amazing. They love to talk about this and they can walk you through this. I would recommend that you go take a look at: AllTheLeads.com/HoopJumper. There’ll be a special offer, but you can also call them at (844) 532-3369, and somebody will be there to walk you through the whole process. Thank you so much, Jim.

Jim Sullivan:

Hey, really appreciate it. Let’s not wait another five years to do this again, Brett. We appreciate the opportunity. Thank you.

Brett Miller:

You bet.


If you’d like to expand your reach into the profitable world of Probate Real Estate, check this out today!