Re: Probate investing - Posted by Rick, the Probate Guy
Posted by Rick, the Probate Guy on July 01, 2007 at 08:11:48:
I’ve been working exclusively in the probate and trust arena full time for over 17 years.
Well over 90% of my business comes by way of referrals from legal professionals, including probate attorneys, paralegals/legal assistants, fiduciaries, even tertiary sources like IRS and other unlikely sources.
For what it’s worth, I’ve also been the administrator no small number of times so I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of solicitations.
As for working with referral sources, I make a point to be perceived as a team member and I’m very clear about what perceived added value my services offer when dealing with the attorney and her/his support staff. It’s the rare practitioner who is uncooperative and even those can be educated into the reality of what’s necessary to complete a transaction.
I stopped mailing to personal rep’s back in 1993 and had a 15 year hiatus, primarily because I was satisfied with the volume of business that I do as a result of my vigorous attorney referral marketing.
The beginning of this year I started up a new campaign and it has began to produce the desired results.
As for the letters and solicitations that I receive as administrator of estates, I can always tell when one of the so-called guru’s have come thru town as the letters increase. The people offering to buy my property have been largely idiotic and don’t know how to work a lead. One even had sophisticated call answering system, yet still messed up on the follow-up side. Most all just don’t know how to talk to a lead and were very unprepared for my call. So, I don’t think this is place for newbies to start. I could be wrong, of course.
On the topic of letters, specifically, I would not make any sticky-sweet condolences comments as they come across as insincere (at least to me they do), as we are strangers and not personally connected. We recently lost Gary Halbert, the great ad copywriter, and his advise was always to write like you were talking to a friend, if this is any help (even tho’ this comment might seem in conflict with the last statement).
Lastly, on the topic of services, I don’t think that many attorneys are too keen on dealing with a prospective buyer of a property directly without benefit of an agent/broker in the middle. Sure, I’ve bought properties without an agent (I’m no fan of most agents myself, even though I have a CA broker’s license!). So, should you have a deal-in-hand, be prepared for the attorney to press for more market exposure by having the exec/admin list first, and convincingly make your case why your plan is best.
Personally, I like the properties that are vested in the name of deceased owner and the heirs have not opened probate yet. Escpecially one’s where big, hard-to-solve problems exist. I have much more control over the outcome.
Good luck to you.