In this episode, we break down real estate branding with multiple real estate titles and services. Bill Gross of ProbateWeekly.com coaches students of the Probate Mastery program on titles, introductions, and designations. Certified Probate Expert Larry Smith shares how he went to probate court and what happened. The group shares ideas for branding, marketing, and building a probate business. Let’s mastermind with Probate Experts in episode 82!
Stream Episode 82 Now: Branding with multiple real estate titles
Episode Segments for Branding with multiple real estate titles and services – Mastermind with Probate Experts Episode 82
0:00 How to succeed in real estate: Talk to people (Real Estate Mindset)
5:54 I went to probate court – Here’s what happened (EARN Course)
22:27 Branding yourself as a Realtor that also invests (Probate Business)
33:14 Probate designation and titles: Do they matter? (Probate USP)
37:17 Do I need signed paperwork? (Probate Business)
48:39 Does every MLS offer probate property search filters? (Probate Property Search)
51:12 What do I call myself when I do many things? (Branding Tips)
Resources & Additional Links for Episode 82
- FREE TRAINING WEBINAR: Probate Fast Track
- Take Chad’s Probate Mastery Course and get Certified in Probate Real Estate
- Sign up for EARN – Earn Attorney Referrals Now
- Facebook Group: Estate Professionals Mastermind Group
- For Probate Mastery members: Join the Probate Mastery Alumni Group
- Probate and Pre-Probate list providers
- Try Propstream Free
- Book a marketing strategy consultation
- Book a coaching session with Bill Gross
- ISA and voicemail courier service for probate calling
- Bill Gross’ Probate Weekly Content: ProbateWeekly.com
- Episode 81 Live Real Estate Coaching: Probate Real Estate Training with Certified Probate Experts
- Marketing and Copywriting Tips: How to get more reviews from clients: https://youtu.be/bY_1HXEzZxA
- Probate Cold Calling Tips: The best way to cold call probate leads: 3 lists, 3 offers, 3 scripts https://youtu.be/Wx1hkGHZurg
FOR THIS EPISODE:
- 7 things to do at probate court besides pull probate lead lists
- 6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Domain Name for Your Probate Website | LinkedIn
- 12 ways to get real estate listings, deals, and referrals with a Probate Cash advance – Probate Mastery
- 18 Prompts for YouTube Videos that will Jumpstart your Probate Real Estate Marketing – Probate Mastery
- Bill’s Excellent 11 Ways to get a probate deal 11 Ways to Get a Deal | Probate Weekly
- 12 ways to leverage a probate cash advance
- Bill interviews Marc Harris of Probate Cash
EPISODE TRANSCRIPT: Branding with multiple real estate titles and services – Mastermind with Probate Experts – Episode 82
Weekly Real Estate Coaching episode 82
Weekly Probate Coaching with Certified Probate Experts | Episode 82
Hey, good afternoon.
1) How to succeed in real estate: Talk to people!
This is our Probate Mastery weekly probate call really is meant as a mastermind call. I’m Bill Gross. We do every Tuesday at 12 noon Pacific, 3:00 PM Eastern and all times left to right of that. This is done live on a zoom.
You have to register for it. We also record it, put on our YouTube channel. Love you participates meant to be participant love to. This is really about answering questions. And working together is more of a mastermind. I do this, I do some coaching for Chad, to be honest, you have full disclosure, but in reality, my primary job is I’m a real estate broker selling houses in the state, of California, as well as building a national probate team.
And so, a real estate team. And so,, I’m a practitioner I’m on here to learn myself. I’m here to maximize work with you guys. And help me build my business to be more successful and be able to serve my clients better and hope to help you do that today as well. Love to have you participate.
If you have a chance at the chat box, you should put your contact information, your name, what state you’re in, and contact info. If you put in if you’re a real estate agent or an investor in that way. Our realtors can reach out to investors and your investors can reach out to real estate agents and we can work together.
Cause I do think at probate I use what I call two bites of the apple. If I’m working on some business and my partners and investor is on the same data, the same market, we share one plus one can be three or four or five. So, we want you to work together. So, feel free to put the chat box, always any zoom calls your, your contact info, but in particular, put down whether what your primary focus is and like many.
I’m a realtor and an investor, but my primary business all day long is as a real estate agent though. I do investor real estate as well. So, feel free to put down your information, and what you do there. And before we start, I just want to share with your kind, something that I picked up this week, myself, I want to share with you that I think that’s important to what we’re trying to do together here, which is I was watching.
Some of you may know Mary V Gary Vanderchuck and he is, I think the primary expert on using social media to market businesses. Now, his primary market is, is larger than us, real estate agents. Generally, it’s more, his customers tend to be. Large national influencers and up to fortune 500 companies, but his, his, principles are the same.
And so, I listen to a lot of what he has to say. And one of the things he talks about all the time, it’s really important. And I think I wanted to say that in this call here is regardless of what tactics you use, what niche you go after, probate being a great one regards what tactics you use.
If you have. Use direct mail or social media or use ISAs do phone calls for you or you could call regardless of tactics. You’ve got to do the work in order to build a business at the end of the day, there’s some work involved and that’s what you need to do to build the business. And so, I think oftentimes in this call, one of the things I find is people who haven’t done the work will say, well, what should I do?
Should I call this or this? Should I call that list? Should I call this one? And I think that my answer, and if it sounds graphic it’s because I’m not really selling anything here other than I’m inviting you to engage in a business has been so good to me and my family. I would love you to be success. But there’s no, there’s no way.
There’s no pathway there without ruling it proceeds and getting to work. And we can spend a lot of time on perfecting the direct mail and perfecting the phone calls, but all that’s going to generate. More phone conversations. We might as well start while we’re working on that to get better at the work.
We’re just talking to people, engaging with them and have them choose to do business with us, either to sell the property or to choose us to sell it for them. So, I just, I, I wanted to kind of flavor everything I said today. And I think as the market. Is changing. And I would say, of course, mostly it’s a national market with a lot of local differences.
I’m in Los Angeles. In our market. We went from a red, red, red, hot market to a good, strong market still, by comparison, slowing down. But in reality, based on my career is still a great market to sell houses in a great market as an agent to do business. Even nationally, we have maybe 30% fewer transactions, but the sales prices wound up 10-50% a year of the last couple years.
So, the total sales volume is probably about the same as pre-pandemic or maybe even a little higher than the total sales. And if 3% of the agents leave, we had 3% more agents come in the business. So, we’re probably can hit right size about the right number. So, I’d say overall, it’s a great market to do business in most markets.
Of course, there’s different localities where it’s different. Some are still red, hot, and some are falling apart, but nationally, overall, it’s a great time to do business, but I will say whether it is or not, the solution is doing the work. And the reason I’m here every week is my sleeves are rolled up. So, to speak.
It’s a short sleeve, short sleeve shirt, but kind of rolled up, but I’m here with you. I just got the phone making phone calls. I’m supposed to make, when we’re done here, I’ll take a bit of a break. I’ll get back on making phone calls and talking to people. There’s no shortcut there. We’ve got to do the job.
We got to do the work every day. So, I’m here to invite you to participate. I see some of you put your contact info in the chat box. I appreciate that. Love to see you guys’ network with each other and share with each other and help each other. Help all of us do a bit more business together. And I’m here to help.
So, this call’s participative. If you have questions. Put in the chat box. I’d love to bring you in live so we can talk about it. Most questions require a little more explanation than just a chat, and that’s why we do the call this way.
So, who has a question or something we can help with today or who can report a victory you want to share with us today, or who can show us a problem that you overwhelm with and don’t know what to do about.
2) I went to probate court – Here’s what happened
Larry, if you I’ll unmute, if you want to go ahead and just jump in, I’m glad to, how are you? Good. How are you? Yeah. Awesome. Hey so I took you up on, I, I did earn a couple of weeks ago and your approach really resonated with me. So, I hit the, the courthouse, went to probate court. We have two courts here in the county I’m in.
And I found it to be fascinating actually. And I was curious, yeah, I know that your goal, you said that you wanted to meet like, oh, you wanted to average one and a half contacts, but in the context of court with it to being. The attorney, the probate attorneys and their clients, those once they’re done, they, they step out and there, their private conversations.
How did you find the segue to, to talk to the attorneys or the, the litigants, if you will, or the, the petitioners or the, what, what have you? So, I was kind of curious. I mean, I kind of stumbled into some conversations and I think I made it work. Love to hear how you approached him. Yeah. So, I think that as a real, no, Larry, are you real agent or investor?
I’m primarily a real estate agent. I, I would take a swing at a deal with, I felt like it was the best thing for everyone involved. That primarily is an agent. I think it’s an easier way, an easier path for. And remind me, where do you do business? Dallas, Dallas, Texas. I was just there last week, by the way.
Loved Dallas. Yeah, my, my good friend told me you were there. And I went, oh, darn you were right down the road. I could have seen you, but yeah, it was, we were at the what’s that thing called the build. Yes, in grapevine. Yeah. At the that resort was amazing.
Yeah. You do things big in Texas. Yeah. That’s a cool place. Isn’t it? It was fantastic. Yeah. See, at Christmas time so just for those who are listen in He’s referring to within Chad Corbett’s Probate Mastery program. He has a, a second level program called earn. So, you really have to take the first one probate mastery, which is more the overview of probate and the basics.
And then Chad put together a program called earn attorney referrals. Now has a secondary level or additional level for those to continue. And, and in particular, I want to focus on getting. Referral business from attorneys, which was my particular business, but also others as well. The team, the program includes some attorneys includes some.
And I, how many modules it is, but really goes into that in detail, in that I share my particular path when I took Chad’s training, he challenged us to go to court. Now, this was not in the earn program. This was in the basic probate. He just said, you should go learn, see what it looks like. And I thought, well, that makes sense.
I know where the courthouse is. 30 minutes for me, I used to go there as a kid. My father was an attorney, so I’d been there, and I went and, I, I, for me personally, I could just smell the money. Like there was just business going on. There there’s all kinds of people. And a lot of ’em were in suits and the ones were in suits were dressed really nice.
And they’re all talking about real estate. And I didn’t really understand what was going on in detail, but there was just a lot happening. A lot of people. And so, I went there the first day just to watch and learn, and it was fascinating. So, I came back a second day and I came back a third day and I said, well, I’ll just stay for the rest of the week.
And I ended up actually going for an entire month and I was taking detailed notes after a while I saw, mistakes that agents had made. And then I made another list of what the solution would be to that mistake. And so, I made a list. And I’ve been adding to that, throughout my career it’s in a Google doc.
I have, but about 49 mistakes as agents make when they were sewing properties and then obviously the solution to avoid those. And I’ve used that to create my market material. And I realized after that, that while now, again, California’s different. And LA is the largest probate court in America. And it also is a half hour from my house.
So, it’s not for everybody, but for me, and, and I like wearing a suit and time going to court and playing attorney. It’s not for everybody, but I made the decision to go. And my prospecting was to go to court every day for three hours a day, being a realtor, I was just brought up on that’s what you do every day.
You’d lead generate for three hours. And so, I would go to court and court started at eight 30. I found the best time to be there was 7 45 because occasionally there are people there early and people are early, have nothing better to do than talk to me. And I’d be there till 10 45 in the last three hours.
And I’d either be in, in the courtroom or in the hallway or there’s a, there was a, probably a research room with some computers and such, and I would just be around and paying attention. So, Larry question is, what did I say? And the truth is. If I was, really good-looking gal, be Le maybe I am me.
So, I’ve developed the skill I work. I’m a really shy person by nature. But I’ve really worked on the skill of meeting people, introducing PE myself to people. So, one thing I, I made a decision years ago when I’m in an elevator, I always start chatting up. Whoever’s in the elevator. It drives my daughter crazy.
But as a result of that, I’m pretty comfortable just walking up to people, introducing myself. So, I would just walk up and say, Hey, Larry bill gross. I’m a real estate broker, focus on probate. What brings you here today? And just start a conversation. Okay. And, and I think that, generally speaking in court, most people are nervous.
We’re excited, same thing, baby. And if you’re friendly and have a smile and walk up in a nonjudgmental nonthreatening way They’re relieved. Right? They, they can’t, they can’t, there’s certain things you can’t do in court, but you can talk to somebody who seems friendly and nice enough. And so, I’ve just talked to ’em find out what they did.
That was part of my prospecting, of course, being every day. At some point, there are people who see me every day and walk up and introduce themselves to me, which was nice where they’d see me regularly. Attorneys just see regular. The couple of things they did was in our probate research room. I could just sit there on the computer and people would have questions and I would answer questions, or I’d be in the hallway.
People would say, they might know where department 18 is. Well, I had a list of all the rooms and departments. I was like the answer guy to be helpful. And another thing I did was after a while I created, I used meetup, and I would offer to. Give a little tour to investors or other agents at the courthouse.
So, the meetup was at 8:00 AM. And originally I did it any five days a week, whenever somebody would sign up and I had to consolidate it to two or three days a week, I would get three, five people at a time and I’d just walk around and show them where the, where the calendar was and how that worked and where the cases were and taught them how to go into court properly, turned the phone off and what they could have do.
And of course, a trans would see me, like, what are you doing with all these people? And then the other thing I did was if I, if it was done early or if I had something to phone calls to make, I would go to the cafeteria at the courthouse to make my phone calls. So rather than get my car and drive back right away, I would just sit there in the, in the there’s a large cafeteria in LA county.
It’s on the top floor of the courthouse of magnificent view. It’s kind of a fun place to see, but of course attorneys would see me there. I picked the table where I was most obvious. To be seen by other people. So how do you get hit by traffic? How do you hit by a car? You stand in traffic. So, I purposely stand in high traffic areas.
When I went to the there’s like a little snack bar where I’d get coffee in the morning, I would always over tip. Maybe coffee was two bucks and I’d give the gal like a dollar tip. But believe me, when I walked in, she, she took care of me, man. She got my coffee right away and the attorneys would say, who are you.
Say, well, I come here regularly. They I’m a regular here. Right? What was that worth or the parking garage? The parking lie I went to when I had clients come in, I would give my card and I’d prepay my client and tip the guy a little bit. And so, when my clients showed up, they got parking. And so, there’s a lot of little things I did.
I made whole business out of it. After a while I was doing enough business where I could afford to do some things that might seem extravagant, but I’m a businessman. Or I should say to use the quote. I’ve never heard the song, but somebody quoted Jay-Z no, nothing against, Jay-Z just not my flavor of music, but a quote from one of the songs was, I’m not a businessman, I’m a businessman.
I am a business. And so, when I went to court, I. Treated the whole thing. Like I was a business and anyhow, in the, in the earn program, I go a little more detail, obviously, I’ve maybe an hour to talk about it here. I’m trying to summarize at a high level. So, I don’t know if that helps a little bit, Larry.
Yeah, it does. It is kind of funny too. I did dress formally. Like I used to way back in the day mm-hmm and everyone thought I was an attorney mm-hmm, I was pulling my, me. My briefcase behind me on wheels and be getting the pad out and taking the notes. And everyone of ’em goes, who, who do you represent?
And, and the judges actually stopped and, and asked me they didn’t recognize me. Who did I represent? And right. It was kind of funny. That’s beautiful. Yeah. I, I have one of those. It’s in the other, where is it at? It’s the other room? I have a, a brief for court. I have a briefcase on rollers. I only use it for court.
Yeah. The only thing it is like my lunch. I do bring the probate code book and put that in there. Yeah, that’s part of the props. That’s fantastic, Larry, that, and I got, I judges, I got to know the judges that way they, they asked me questions and what I’m doing there, and they were all impressed.
I was taking a deeper dive in, in understanding the legal process, but really, I guess my takeaway from that was watching all the mistakes made by people that were there. And I did, I did some short videos on that outside the court. Phenomenal. The other, the other thing I, I did, and I noticed was just making note of that.
I noticed that some attorneys, I would never want some of ’em showed up late. Some of ’em didn’t know procedure. Isn’t it amazing. And they didn’t, they didn’t, I, I don’t know. It was like they were sleepwalking their way through it. And the, the judge would actually go off the record and actually say would give ’em a tip on what they should ask for next.
And then he’d go back on the record and then they he’d go back off the record. So, it was kind of interesting, like, who you don’t want to. So, I’m writing down notes about the attorneys. as much as about the case. Yeah. Because I just didn’t really want to associate with people that weren’t doing a very good job or, and, and I’m saying you’re right or wrong.
I’m just saying another option is maybe you do want to reach out to them to help them because they need your help more than the other ones do. Right. The ones are really good. Are smart enough to pick a realtor who is an expert, but the ones who aren’t don’t know they need you, but maybe with encouragement.
And, and I think there’s a couple things going on there. One is many attorneys don’t know the right thing to do. Another one may know what the right thing to do is, but under the pressure because they do it solely. They kind of forget. It’s like anything else in life, if you don’t do it regularly. Yeah. Get nervous.
You don’t really put in your best effort. Right? Like playing baseball, the first time you go to a bat in a game, you might know what to do, but you get nervous and don’t swing properly. Right. If you go regularly. And so, as a real estate agent, who’s been to court many times, I’m much more comfortable doing the things that the attorneys are supposed to do than they are, because they’ve been to more than them.
Gotcha. Good real deal. Hey, thanks so much. Well, thanks keep, keep coming back here and sharing with us your progress as this goes forward. And I think like everything else, it takes longer than you would expect. Yeah. That’s just, relationships are, but I would definitely encourage you to reach out even once you think we’re incompetent, reach out to them, invite them to lunch and just say, hey, this is my area of expertise.
And he might be an attorney, or she that specializes in something else, and they get the occasional prob. And you should be there to help them and make me feel confident to get the business very well. Thanks. Thanks so much. Thanks, man. Appreciate it!
So, Terry says: The EARN course is comprehensive for sure. It was long. I’m embarrassed, I’m a section of that which I did myself. But there were, I don’t how many other sections that were eight or 10 in the chat box: I had to admit on, on the Facebook group, I hadn’t finished, and Chad was on me a little bit!
It took a lot of work to get through all the material it was, and it’s, it was very comprehensive. It was very well done. I thought and Terry says that their experience is the attorneys need backup from real estate agents to get the whole job done. Terry, do you want to jump in here and maybe I agree a hundred percent, but I’d love to hear your, I mean, I can talk for hours on this stuff personally, but maybe do you want to come in and share kind of like a little more details of what that, what you see that you think real estate agents need?
Okay. What I was talking about, I had a client who made an offer on probate property. So, I ended up in court while the thing was being bid because it required court approval and the attorneys are so kind of scattered a little bit, really.
Unless they can go to the client or the agent and say, well, what about this? And what about that? And will this do, and that do I found that they consulted quite a bit with the agent that was involved with them? Yeah. And I was, I was really impressed with that, that it really felt like, that agent was a valuable addition to the attorney taking care of the sale of the property.
And we wouldn’t be that agent. Yeah, exactly. You wouldn’t be that agent. Right. And, and versus the other agents, I I’ll say this in, in my experience, agents come to court about half the time now. Cause they go on video. On a video, the judge doesn’t necessarily see you the same. You don’t get to hear people talk the same.
You don’t get meet in the hallway. The same. You miss out on a lot of the details of the relationship and the process. And then again, you can’t really be the, the, the spoke of the will. If you’re not there, you can be one of the, I guess, I’m sorry, you can’t be the hub of the wheel. You can be the smoke, but you can’t be the hub of the wheel, unless you’re really there in the courthouse making it happen.
So good observation. And that’s why I. When I have any listing for sale, the court confirmation or investor, I go in person, even though we can do video, I would definitely go in person. So yeah, I agree with you sitting in the courthouse and watching the things, they would go down this blind alley and back out and go down a different blind alley back out, and finally get it right.
And there’s quite a bit of flexibility. Yeah. One guy was on the phone getting bids from his investor. I mean, it, it was really kind of circus tell you. Some courts won’t allow that some will, some will allow them texting some won’t. So, there’s, it, there, all those, all these rules now of. Virtual. I won’t say all of ’em, but a lot of the rules are not really decided by law or even my local procedure, but the judge come on the spot, kind of make some decisions in how you handle it.
And what I find is if I’m there and if the judge has seen me before, or I, I create trust in the judge that I’m doing is right. I can get away with things that other people can’t. I’ll give you another example. The bailiffs don’t want you to text while you’re in the C. But I, I have a list of the cases and I’m following, I’m taking notes on what’s going on when I’m there and I’ve shown the bailiff.
My, my iPad. I say, look, I’m just here following the case that has my notes on. Oh, okay. That’s fine. They won’t be texting other people. Now. Truth is, I’m also texting other people, but I do it in a way that everything’s silent. My phone’s turned off. I’m not going to make the bailiff look bad. That’s the key. He can trust me that I, I know the rules and procedure.
So, there’s a lot of things you get away with. If, if the court, the judge or the bailiff or the personal think have trust in you and you really trust by being there, anything particular you saw that the attorney needed backup from that you can share. I, I know for me, I sometimes it’s the preliminary title report I have with me, an estimated net sheet I have with me, anything in particular that you noticed that the attorney needed help with, or just in general, the bidding Terry’s mu let me see there.
You. No. Okay. I think he’s awful. Take him up. Okay. Good other questions? Who else has a question? Lot of cheering for Larry. Very nice. Larry other questions, raise your hand. Either in the, if you want to put it in the chat and the app and zoom, you can raise your hand or others, Larry again.
Yes. Let me ask you to. There you go. Oh, okay. Back again. I’m going to charge you double Larry. okay. Well, I’m going to get the most heck hand out of my hour.
3) Branding yourself when you provide different type of real estate services
Okay. So, so, Chad talks about like, he, he likes to introduce himself as just Chad. He’s not Chad, the real estate agent he’s licensed as an agent or an investor.
And the question became like, when you mail out a piece, of information to a prospective seller or buyer in this case, if you’re approaching probate leads, are you required to disclose your agency or your affiliation or your being a broker when you’re sending out letters to these executors, is that required?
Do you want to be able to stay low key like Chad and he’s just Chad reaching out to tell you about the professionals he has in the community. Well, first of I’ll say, laws like that vary by state and by company policy. And then I’d say second, depends on what your ad says. Right? So, if you’re offering to represent somebody.
As an agent, you have to identify yourself as an agent and, and in most states that means you have to identify your brokerage and your license number and things like that. if you’re, reaching out to him as a prospective investor to buy the property as the principal there’s no such requirement.
If that’s really your intention. If you’re, if your intentions to be deceitful, I’m going to approach you as an investor, but I’m really just a realtor. That’s a different, or the opposite. That’s obviously a different problem. So, I would say the laws vary and, and brokerages vary, and the rules vary, but in general I would say that you need to do what’s best for you.
I, I do. I, I’m not looking to invest in the properties that I represent in my area though. Occasionally there is one I want to buy, and I’ll flip it and make money on it, but that’s not my basic everyday focus. And other people were different. So, I would say that’s kind of an individual question.
And I, I know in my case I work for a large, one of large companies in the country. I, we have brokers, I have to run by them for approval. So, it depends on what you’re trying to do. Yeah. That’s a good idea. Okay. Okay. Good. That’s it, buddy. Thank you all. Thank you so much. Okay. Let’s see. John, you have your hand up, let’s get you UN muted and add you in here.
Yep. Can you hear me? I can hear you. Good. So, I met with my first attorney and that was a really productive, encouraging meeting. And one of the things he mentioned to me that, and what I would like you to shed some light on is I, I, I mentioned that I would like to meet other attorneys in the probate field.
And that I get these leads and they have the attorney’s name, but that I was taught, do not reach out to them. Just from the lead, by contacting him in some way. And he kind of corrected me. He he’s, he looked at what I was doing. I had a, a, one of the postcards from all the leads and he looked at the services I was offering.
He was really impressed. And he said, I’d really like to stay in touch with you, when he’s going through these probate cases, but he said he doesn’t think the other attorneys would have any problem with me reaching out to them in some way. Can you shed some light on that? How did you approach this attorney originally?
Well, his partner taught classes on the real estate contracts. Where I’m at in Southwest Florida. And I just moved to Florida, and I wanted to learn more about the state contracts that are different from where I moved from. So, I contacted her and then she set up the meeting with her partner because he does the estate.
Type of law, whereas she does something, a little bit different. So, so they’re referred to, its marketing is so funny. It, it’s kind of like, and I don’t want to get into political discussion, but we’ve all seen this. If we’re honest is, you one side hates a certain candidate and everything they do is wrong and everything their guy does is right.
And the other side. The person can do the exact same thing and that’s wrong, but when everybody does it, it’s right. And I think, when somebody’s referred to you by, by their partner, in this case, they’re more inclined to like you and accept what you present as information than a stranger versus a complete cold call.
And so, I would definitely urge you to reach out to you. Sphere of influence anybody you meet that knows likes and trusts you to find out if they know attorneys in the field and ask for introductions and reach out to those people in that manner, I will say that referral marketing or networking, which is a proven method.
We there’s a fine line between that. And just spamming everybody who happens to be in Facebook and your area as an attorney. But somebody who knows likes and trusts you, who makes a reduction, that’s a powerful opening to a relationship versus cold calling. So, if your question is, should I, should I just reach out to every attorney in the world?
No. Should you reach out to every attorney that anybody who knows likes and trusts you introduces you to? Yeah. That’s the best business. There is a hundred percent. Now I’ll share with you flip side. I had one of my closer friends who was an attorney and a client. Refer me to a probate attorney and she was just so negative and rude to me.
And kind of gave me some obstacle of, of success. That was ridiculous by use that to fire my competitive juices. And I reached back to a year later and showed her all the business I’d done. I can’t get her to my phone call. So, sometimes people are just nasty people. But I will say that. Yeah, you want to meet everybody you can on referral basis.
I do know of a couple rusted agents who cold call attorneys and develop a business. That’s a tough business. That’s a tough way to go. Most attorneys tell me they don’t want to be cold called. And, and I think you also want to think about how you are positioning yourself to them. Now I will say to you, I’ll reach out to attorneys cold because I’ll offer to interview them on my YouTube channel to promote their business.
Mm-hmm I’ll get recently. For example, you might know that I promote a service called easy hyphen probate as a low-cost solution for families to get probates and they refer a case. And the, the service didn’t do good job of the customer. So, the customer went to some other service that’s based, really an attorney who just is a discount probate attorney here in the LA area.
And he got the probate filing and then referred it to his attorney, his realtor. So, I lost the deal. So, I called the customer and asked why they told me. And so, I called the attorney service, say, hey, you are obviously doing a good job. I’d love to promote you to. Followers, can I interview you on my YouTube channel?
Yeah, that’d be great. So obviously, its cha it’s a different phone call. I’m bringing them value rather than asking them for referrals. So, I would say to you, you can call somebody want, if you’re bringing them value. If you’re calling somebody cold to ask them to give, to do business with you. I think that’s a tough way to do business today.
Okay. Okay. Thank you. Sure. My pleasure. Okay. A couple questions chop box, and they don’t get to you Terry. So, one question I see from Valerie in Roswell, Georgia, she says in Fulton County, they don’t. They’ll let you go to court in the courtroom. Is anybody else having that issue? So, I will say in Los Angeles we are, judges are very different.
Some judges require as of this week still require masks. We’ll ask anybody who’s not needed to be in the courtroom to not come in and come on video. Other judges are, are more comfortable with people coming in court. They’d rather hear in person because it’s easier and more efficient for them. And I would say big cities are probably most difficult, most shut down to get into.
And I just find a general more suburban and rural counties. Are more open and some are just wide open, like they always were before. But anybody else has any answers to that for, for you to put in the county and state that you’re in and what your experience is? Can you go to court as a closed down, or are you able to get in and do some business?
Chris RA a question in the chat box. Any other practitioner seeing increase or decrease in probate filings in your area? And then Larry responds with an increase. I will say that personally, the number’s about the same I don’t know. I would say it’s increase or decrease, but it’s been about 500 a month filing in LA for the last year or so.
It hasn’t changed so much.
Larry says courts are open to the public in Texas. Yeah. I think technically courts are open to the public everywhere. The question is what does that mean in a global pandemic? And so, in California courts were always open to public. They just weren’t as open as they discourage you from coming and make it hard for you to get in.
Now I’d say most, I’d say we’re about 75% open, but we have about 10% of the traffic that we used to have. Larry hand up again. What’s going on, Larry.
Larry again, muted. Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you said Larry. I just want a quick thing. I’m sorry, Terry. I did say Larry. Terry. I’m sorry. Turn that again. Yeah. I just want to give a quick, thank you. I talked to the attorney for my, my probate deal and the one that had a foreclosure and he said, worry, not I’ll get the judge to just stop it or at least to delay it until you can get the thing sold.
So, I got. That information from one of these calls. I just wanted to thank everybody for, for helping me. Yeah, good job. In most venues, judges can stop a foreclosure in most venues. Judges can do just about anything with a court order. Now that said some are different, like for example, I’m in Los Angeles where judges are predisposed, as long as you’re making progress on the file, you are reasonable and there’s money there for this state.
They’re predisposed to holding foreclosure to protect this. And it is like next to nothing to get it done. I’ve seen judges nor county say, listen, you had your time periods, even follow them. The lenders entitled to get paid. So, either pay them off or they’re entitled foreclosed by law. So, it depends on where you are.
And I would say it varies by court. It varies by judge varies by county quite a bit, but they certainly have the power. And a good attorney is able to persuade the judge to get what the customer needs. And that’s why you want to get a good attorney, or they’ll tell you ahead of time. They know the judge, they know the court and they, they know what’s likely to happen.
That’s a big advantage for being active in the court versus being an occasional visitor. Okay. We’re running right along here. Any other questions or put your hands up, put the chat box. I know I saw a lot of discussions I couldn’t want to follow, but I don’t think I missed any questions. If I did, if you want to repost as a question, I’d be glad to reach out to that.
And I appreciate you putting in your contact info make sure if you want to put in your name, phone number, email company, and then if you’re a realtor versus investor, what your primary focus is. And again, a lot of us are. Or both, but let’s put down what you’re looking for.
4) Probate designation and professional titles: Do they matter in branding?
Most I specialize in Laura has been a survey probate expert makes you cut above, it’s interesting.
Recently I had a petition to say that the attorney was asking for a different designation by name and, and it, it’s just interesting to me that they would reference by name. Maybe it’s because the realtor they work with was through another company. To me, clearly inferior though. I happen to have that other designation as well.
Clearly inferior level of education, clearly less continuing education, clearly less powerful. Resources like this mastermind group. So, I don’t know if that judge makes a difference on, I mean, I try to make a difference on which designation you have. I think that’s important. The designation is I. As an opening, then you must act like the expert, show some value, look for the opportunity to explain to them in a way that’s not threatening in a way that’s respectful that something more than the average real estate agent.
I was told real estate agents at a minimum. I’m in California. In most states, we have approved forms in California, car forms, California association of realtors. I know in Florida, you have ’em in most states we have approved forms and in most states there’s a form for probate, whether it be a listing addendum, a sale addendum, or both.
And I would say for sure, read those forms and know every single word on those swarm. At a minimum. It’s interesting when the, when attorneys present on probate and trust at the bar association, I’m a member of two bars, the Beverly Hills bar association, and the LA county bar association. And for continuing education, they’ll have attorneys talk about the new car forms that come out about probate.
They just go through the form and read the paragraph by paragraph and explain what it means. And by the way, they’re written in plain English, like, they’re not hard to understand if you just read ’em. And I would say if you read the form and don’t understand it, that’s why you have a broker or a manager.
And certainly if, if you want to come on this call, bring a form on and ask questions. That’s what we’re here for. I think also, so I would say at a minimum master what’s right in front of you, which should be the forms you have to use. And I also would say, make sure you. The requirements of your realtor in your multiple listing service are amazing to me.
I subscribe to every listing that comes out in my MLS that has probate and part of the way I want to see who’s doing business. I want to see; I also want to read the remarks because you’ll see who knows what they’re doing and who doesn’t. The people put the remarks that should be for the agent in the consumer section, their agents put the consumer marks in the agent section where agents just make up stuff.
They don’t know what they’re, they obviously don’t know what they’re doing. And to me, that’s a clue to take a look at the listing and see if it’s a good deal for us. So, at a minimize urge anybody in, in real estate to get your competitors’ listings and the MLS or read them, you’ll learn a lot.
and learn the right way to input listings for probate. There are different ways. Is it a keyword or is there a check mark or how do you do it? And as a real estate agent I always teach the agents on my team. You pay a lot of money to be an MLS member, but a lot of it goes to the support, feel free to call yours help desk.
And have them walk you through what you would do for a listing that’s in probate for your MLS, because they vary by MLS sometimes. And then the data gets merged statewide or nationally, but definitely for free I would print the forms of read ’em and for free, I would do a search in every probate property in the MLS and look at those remarks carefully.
And see who’s doing business. Okay. No hands up. No questions. I think I covered everything in chat box chat, unless you see something I don’t we can wrap it up. I mean, I, I’m not here to waste anybody’s time. Probably master.com is a website where you can go and learn, get the, probably train.
There’s a lot of free material there. I would urge you all. To take advantage of what’s free. I always tell agents who ask me, should I take this training or that training? I always say, take, take advantage of what’s free before you do anything else. Let’s see. Roger Baldwin. I see your hand up.
You can get your camera turned on. That’d be great. Start your, there we go. go, how can we help you?
5) Do I need signed paperwork?
I just wondered when you take on a client and for instance, if you. We’re going to have expenses such as small expenses and you want to make sure that you’re covered as far as getting reimbursed for your expenses down the line somewhere, and it doesn’t involve selling real estate necessarily.
Do you have a contract you sign with the client at that point that would cover you. And if so, drafting, something like that. And great question. And I would say anybody here on the call who advances money or spends money behalf of clients, feel free to jump in and answer as well. So, I think the first thing I would say to you is I’m a business, right?
So, I make good business decisions. So, if it’s, I have an attorney who I, I had good personal relationship with, I had done his real estate. I didn’t know he did probate, actually. I think he moved into probate just a year, two ago. And but he had a couple cases. He referred me, a couple leads right away.
So, one of cases, I advanced quite a bit on his commitment that would get paid. And that was a business decision I made. I’ve never had a customer sign, anything other than email promise to pay me out an estate or an attorney. Right. And I’ve probably advanced as much as probably 12, $13,000. On some cases I’ve advanced money on probably.
10 or 15 different files. So, I’m not saying that’s right. I’m saying that’s how I do business. I’d rather keep it simple. Right. And I do make a good income. And at some point, maybe I’ll have a bad expense write off, right now I have about an $800 invoice on one client who have a written agreement to repay and it’s just dragging on, but they want to wait till they distribute funds at the end.
I’m okay with that. It’s not how I want to do business, but I’ve gotten another referral from the attorney. So again, that’s a business decision I make. Anybody else have any input on that, on their own. I’d be interested in, in your input, but I know you waiting until the funder dispersed, to get paid, but I just want to make sure I get paid.
That’s all. Well, sometimes, most I get paid when the house sells. Right, right. That’s, that’s different. That can be a few months. That can be years before. Disbursement of the probate. So, every situation’s different. Generally, I want to get paid when the house sells, I feel like that’s my job and I’m going to help him sell the house as part of what I’m doing, but I’m entitled to get paid back at that time.
And I don’t, I don’t advance it out of my own pocket. I get paid back through the estate, but I also feel like that’s part of the service. It’s kind of fun. If I was, to be honest about it, I kind of like doing it. Should I have a whole written form and update? I do use PayPal, the invoice, and I send it to the client and to copy the attorney.
I don’t know how legally binding that is, but that’s what I do. So, it makes it easier for them to pay me. And I might lose a little bit on the credit card if it’s a credit card, but again, I’m looking to get paid through the real estate sale. So, most time that’s how my money comes back. So, but I’ve right now, did I close the house?
Four months ago, and they, we put stuff in storage and the Bill’s about three 50 a month and he has me pay the bill. And then he reimburses me. He’s done this every month now for, for four months. And I’m glad to do it. It’s an excuse to be in touch with the attorney on a regular basis. Isn’t that ideal.
But again, I’m a business and I’m making my business decisions. I’m, I’m really interested to hear anybody else make their own business decisions on the subject. Does it help? Roger? Yeah, I’m, that’s kind of where I’m at, but the midstream, it kind of took change, because they were waiting to get into the safety deposit box.
There was no will up front. And then suddenly, they opened a safety deposit box after a few months and find out the will, there is a will, and it says something different. So now the, the errors have decided they’re going to hold onto the house, which I’m fine with. I have no issue with that. I’ll still keep performing as I’m performing, but I just want to make sure.
I don’t get shut out in the end. That’s all one of the reasons why I, in fact, I, I think I met you guys. I’m launching a, a series gives me Wednesday mornings, 8:30 AM. Pacific time. I’m going to do it. I’ve written out about 15 weeks on how you use probate advance as a tool for business and if they don’t yet have their authority, I’d rather use a probate advance to get attorney’s fees and, and a lump sum of cash.
And they can use that to pay those kinds of expenses. Typically, so that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t advance 70 couple hundred bucks for something. Again, it’s a business decision. I’m saying that she’s well, I have a very good relationship with a personal representative, and I’ve been working with her for about six months now.
And I have total confidence in her and the fact that she’ll be willing to pay, reimbursed me for my expenses. I’ve been providing her the receipts and things like that. And we’ve been in agreement on everything that’s taken place, but she’s 1200 miles away. So, I’ve been doing quite a bit forward. Nice helping her out.
So., I guess I should feel confident in the fact that I think she’ll be fine with paying for my, my services and my reimbursements. Yes. And again, I think those are business decisions you have to make, based on your relationship and, and what you want to do, what you like to do. Some people hate advancing money and doing all that stuff.
I, I, to me, it’s a source of pride. I remember one of these calls Chad was on, and semi was complaining about how much they did on their phone. I said, As I were complaining, I just made a list of all the different things I did in this one estate. I think it was 11 different vendors. I’d advanced some money for, but for me that was a source of pride.
I was glad to do it. And, and it made me feel my petitioner was in a nursing home in, I think Pennsylvania, destitute. And we sold the house and got her hundreds of thousand dollars to change her life. So, I felt proud to be able to do that. Right. Great. Roger. Thank you so much for jumping in.
6) Choosing a probate brand name
Thanks. Question from Vince, would you suggest an umbrella name for your probate support company since you’re basically a general contractor? Does that make sense? Vince, is it, let me ask you if you’re available to jump in here and maybe we talk a little bit about this here. Yeah, I’m here. I’m very how you doing? So, I’m doing longer. how you like that. Okay. So is this something you’re doing now and helping in these, are you just asking kind of theoretically basically theoretically, you’re, you’re coming together or you’re putting.
Together a series of subcontractors, if you will, to take care of specific things, for an estate or for an executor or whatever, mm-hmm. And I’m not embarrassed to say I’m a realtor, but by the same token, there’s a certain amount of resistance to that. So, if it was ABC probate support, I’m just wondering if that would have maybe more.
Market acceptance, because then, like I said, you’re basically bringing together these contractors. If you get the listing, that’s wonderful. You are the realtor in this group of people. And I’ve just, I, again, I, I’m not ashamed to say I’m a realtor, but I’ve just felt like I’d be maybe one part of a big machine that way.
So, I label myself as the LA probate expert. And I don’t, of course I’ll tell people I’m a broker when I need to, and, and such to make the appropriate disclosures, but I am more emphasized being an expert in probate. And oftentimes people confuse me with being in a journey or being something else I’m not.
But as far as the branding, I think everybody has to have their own personal brand. This is a very big area, probate. I’ve identified, I’ll just show you have a YouTube channel. Bill gross XP. You go to youtube.com/bill gross XP. I have three videos. One is 11 ways to get listings. So, I think most coaching companies teach cold call petitioners or cold call attorneys as two, and I teach nine other ways.
So, a video 11 ways to sell real estate IE buyer sites. And, and probate and 11 ways to run a business in probate real estate. So, I think there’s, there’s an endless way, different ways to run business that’s appropriate for you in your market, in your particular skillset and what you want to do. And your branding should reflect that.
So, my, my coach or sponsor at XP, Don Hobbs developed Hobbs Herder, which was the one of the first real estate agent coaching companies. And he has a video called the brand is you, you need to create the brand for your business. That defines your value proposition clearly. And, and so I would say you, I don’t know enough about you or what you’re doing or what you don’t want to do the answer.
That’s something worthy of you spending time about when I started in probate real estate and part of what I was doing in that first 30 days when I went to court every day, was working on my, my plan. What, what do I want to do? What do I, I know what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want a cold call for three hours a day on the phone.
Strangers. I love going to court every day for three hours. I like when a networking event from the probate expert. I don’t like walking and being another realtor in a whole group of realtors. So, I think you define what you like to do and define those services and present that to your marketplace.
However, you want to do it, but make sure it’s you for you, not for you copying somebody else. If that makes sense that that being a realtor, I feel very compelled that I, my real value is being an. And with all these other things going on that’s been mentioned, you personally buying a property and so on and so forth.
That makes me a bit nervous being a realtor. That’s too final line that I feel like I could fall off the edge of mm-hmm so I, I was just thinking that maybe just maybe. As an umbrella of all these, we got clean out people. Mm-hmm, we’ve got cleaning people. We’ve got handymen, we’ve got contractors.
Hey, we’ve got a realtor. Well, that’s me. So that’s the only thing I’m thinking of. I think my, I think my sales pitch is going to be not only are you Mr. Miss attorney representing this? But truly I am too, so that, I think that’s a big part of what I feel like can offer. And I, I know the washing machine’s filling, so I’m going to shut this.
Well again, I will say that sounds great if that works for you, Vince, but just keep in mind for everybody on the call. There are different ways to skin the cat and we should all make sure we use the one that works for us. And I know there are people who I’ll share with you on my P, and L I have eight different.
Source of income that I’ve made money in my business this year. There are people who create multiple businesses for each one and promote themselves as an umbrella business with eight subsidiaries. I saw a guy; I was an event last week where he had like 15 different businesses underneath him.
And at that, if that makes you feel good and proud, I think you should do it that way personally. I’d just rather be me. And these are multiple ways that I do business and different activities. I do, underneath my business, but you had to do you. And I would say there’s probably no wrong answer.
It’s just really, which fits you a great question from zoom user.
7) Does every MLS offer probate property search filters?
Does every MLS offer tips to understand which properties are inprobate? I think that almost every MLS has a method to identify probate listings and probate listings that need core confirmation from regular listings. That method varies from MLS to MLS.
It’s more standardized in California or a bigger market. It’s different in other states and I’ve seen states where the only distinction is in the remarks or description that you’re required by their MLS to put the word probate in there so that a keyword search will pull up that term. So again, I would re I would encourage everybody in any MLS.
Sure. Part of what you pay for is dues is the help. And I find they’re glad to help you. That’s my experience, having been a member of eight or nine different MLSs and coached agents all around the country, generally speaking, they’re great resource. Call your MLS, find out how they in particular.
And also, I would say, look at your MLS rules. Here’s a key question I would ask every. In, in court confirmation, for example, you list a property, then you get an offer, and you accept it subject to court confirmation that first buyer clears all contingencies raises deposit and you follow a petition.
You go to court. So, in my MLS, we have an active under contract status and we have a pending status. When you have a, a buyer whose clear contingencies and raised deposit, is that pending? Or is that active under contract. And it goes pending after the court confirms the sale. And the truth is a mind molest.
There’s no right or wrong answer. When I call him unless say, well, whatever you want to do is fine. And my brokerage says, there’s no right or wrong answer MLS that’s between you and them. To me, there is a right or wrong answer to me. My job is to market the property until the court approves it.
And so, it should only be active a contract. And then pending my question to those you realtors on the call. What’s your MLS rules. Do you know the rules and make sure you follow them and see that other agents follow them as well. So again, I would reach out to your MLSs, find out what the rules are and then find out what the procedures are in the MLS.
Larry Smith says sounds like a great opportunity to introduce probate advanced funds. When’s a series start for catch funds. So, I’m doing one. I’m just saying personally, I’m, I’m running a series on Wednesday next week. I have to reach out to, to Chad and, and cat and see if they want to co-promote it.
Or we can work on something together with that, but it’s just something that I’m working on. Because they end up bench, lot questions that area. And I wanted to record some material on that.
8) What do I call myself when I do many things?
Frank says he calls himself a project manager as well as a real estate. Okay. So, I would say if that worked for you, Frank, that’s great.
The only challenge I would say to anybody is the problem is when we have multiple hats, it’s difficult to clarify. I know Frank, you want to jump on really quick, but I would say, how do you clarify or how do you present yourself? The market? You present yourself as a project manager. You present yourself as a real estate.
Or both, or when do you identify yourself as one or the other? Because for me, I found that branding is important and the clearer you can beat your prospect, the more likely you are to get a response. So, and then cat points out in the chat box that there are 12 ways to leverage appropriate cash advance.
And then an interview I with Marc Harris is well on YouTube. So, they’ll be in the show notes as well. So, if you’re going to learn more about probate advance, how that works they’ll be the show notes on this call and is also on the probate master website. There are 12 ways to leverage probate cash advance in your business.
Bill. Am I on? Yeah, Frank. Hey, Frank. Hey yes, in regard to the probate or in regard to the being a project manager it, that comes up for me, it, during the course of the discussion where the discussion leads with, with the, with the prospect. And I kind of position myself says, well, I’m, I’m kind of like the project foreman or whatever.
Like I kind of oversee this team and I, and I’m like the point guy. And so, but, but my branding and everything is as a probate real estate expert. Okay. So, I got that. So, you’re, that’s how you’re presenting yourself once you’re in the deal with somebody and what your role is in all that. And, and I think what you’re saying also speaks to when people say, well, I would have a team and say, well, you do it’s you.
Because if you don’t have a guy or gal to do that work, you got to find one, you might have one that does that work but doesn’t do it in that area. You have to find somebody who does it in that area. So as a project manager to use your terminology, your job is to, is to not just have a list of people, but to constantly vet and work on and expand your list as exactly.
Yes. Yes. That’s our job. And again, don’t be hesitant if you don’t have, a team. You just get you are the team and you got to find some way to get it done. And, and as for Chad, I think it was Chad asked Nicole one time. Pretty sure it was him. It was somebody else. I think it was him. He said, if I gave you a million, let’s say, what are you having problems finding and, and say, well, I can’t find a guy who does, I don’t know refinishing marble tile.
Okay. If I gave you a million dollars, could you find somebody to be there tomorrow to fix the marble tile? I think all of us would say yes. So just treat your business. Like it’s worth a million dollars. And that’s a short version to a long conversation. So, I, I apologize, but we’re kind of at the end here.
So, I’m going to wrap up in the show notes, we’ll have some in some information on probate advances as well, that will help you guys free, interested in that topic. As always, we do this call every Tuesday, noon Pacific 3:00 PM turn, and all of the times a correspond it’s also recorded on the YouTube channel.
It’s also recorded on the ProbateMastery.com website don’t forget if you’re a graduate of the program. We’re in a student in the program. Great. Another resource is the Facebook group, Probate Mastery Alumni and Estate Professionals Mastermind Facebook group is fantastic. I go all the time to seek people, asking questions, answering questions, leads, and such.
So great place to go. So hopefully this is helpful to you today. I enjoyed it. I’m bill gross and thank you so much. We’ll see you guys’ next week. Thanks everybody.
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