Meet Chad Corbett - Probate Mastery course creator and Co-Founder of All The Leads
"Hi, I’m Chad Corbett, Founder of Magnum Opus Project, LLC and Creator of Probate Mastery. This company and this course exist solely to see how much value can be put forth into the world and how many lives our team can change with what we’ve learned over the years. Here’s how that happened..."
My Early Days In Real Estate
I got my first real estate license at 24 and hit the ground running. I had 24 closings in my first 4 months of being an independent agent which led to being recruited by Intrawest to sell at Snowshoe Mountain Resort in WV. This is where I set a goal at 25 to be a millionaire by 35 (I was at -$20,000 in net worth).
Little did I know the economy was about to be upended and luxury resort real estate would not be the best place to become a millionaire in 10 years. In 2007 I understood economics enough to know I had to become a moving target and sell inventory that was a lifestyle investment but also offered an ROI so I moved to Sevierville, TN to help launch Wilderness at the Smokies indoor waterpark resort. While in TN the shift happened and lenders pulled financing so I quickly, and covertly, raised over $40MM in community bank funding to save the project (and to get my commissions since it was pre-sold and I had not been paid).
It was obvious by Jun. 2008 that I had major headwinds as a commission-only luxury condo salesperson so I volunteered to coordinate lending and closing of over $1 Billion in pre-sold real estate that was ready for delivery but the banks had run for the hills. I took the challenge, moved to Seattle to be in the middle time zone between Hawaii and Tennessee and I worked 18 hour days helping high net worth buyers navigate their way through the financial crisis and close so they didn’t lose their 20% cash deposits. After I wrapped up closings on the TN project I moved to Maui to be on-site for the rest of the closings in HI and to sell the inventory that the original purchasers could not close on.
By this time I was 29, I had 4 real estate licenses, had managed over $1 Billion in closings, and sold over $100 Million in real estate but I had only made it to a net worth of $150,000. I was living in Kaanapali Beach, Maui and I was NOT fulfilled or challenged so I found the courage to follow my intuition and hit the reset button. I left my W2 J.O.B. even though I didn’t know what I would do in the 2011 economy.
Finding Purpose in My Work and becoming Chad Corbett again.
For the next 2 months, I traveled to Canada on an adventure motorcycle with a flyrod, a journal, and a backpacker’s tent. One night by a lake in interior British Columbia, when I least expected it, I had an experience that changed my life, and the lives of many others, for the better. That night I was watching the last light tuck behind the Three Sisters and paying close attention to the feeling of peace and tranquility in my heart. After weeks of being alone nearly 24 hours a day, with no electronics, I finally felt relaxed and at peace with the risks and tranquility of the wilderness. It was at this moment that I asked myself “How do you need to live in order to be in control of this feeling whenever you want it?”. I had a bit of a burning bush moment as the 3 guiding principles I still live my life by came to me silently but in the loudest voice I had ever heard:
- Always help others more than yourself
- Always net $100k+ so you can live and give the way you want to
- Always be able to run it from a phone or laptop anywhere in the world
Imagine this...I had just walked away from a job at the top of the industry I chose, I was living on freeze-dried food, I had not showered in days, and I had NO clue what I was going to do for a living when I eventually had to return to reality. I was quite literally homeless and unemployed but at this moment I let go of the “what the hell did you just do” thinking and embraced the curiosity of what could possibly be next for me and the people I serve.
Over the next several months, I traveled to nearly every National Park with my Dad and my dog, Grizzly. Eventually, I landed back on the family farm in rural WV. At this point, I was no closer to knowing what I would do professionally than I was when I left Maui but I was LIT UP and ready to find a way to put the 3 principles to use for good.
Taking the Leap Into Entrepreneurship
On Nov. 13th, 2011 I formed my first official real estate company, REsolutions Real Estate Services, LLC, with the vision of having a vertically integrated real estate service that provided investment, brokerage, property management, and lending services.
Coming from luxury resort real estate development and sales into residential real estate in a town I had NO relationships in was a tough transition. I had NO IDEA how hard residential real estate agents and investors had to work just to get by. Furthermore, everything I was told to do either didn’t apply to me, because I had moved there less than a month before and had no SOI to aggravate, or just went against my personal principles. So, rather than competing by doing the same thing everyone else was, I decided to focus on value to the consumer to EARN the business I needed to reach my goals.
Over the year of 2012, I deployed several real estate investment strategies including wholesaling, lease options, subject-to, fix & flip, buy & hold, private lending, etc. What I learned was that NONE of them were meeting all 3 of my new guiding principles and I just knew there was a better way for me to build the business I wanted while living the adventurous lifestyle I wanted. I was hungry but unwilling to compromise my principles so I kept trying new things with confidence that I would eventually find what was right for me.
Chad Corbett on finding his Blue Ocean
In early 2013 I decided to no longer avoid becoming a REALTOR so I took the state test and added my VA license to my portfolio of real estate licenses. I had no intentions of getting into “conventional real estate” in a market with a median price of $140k but I knew I was leaving a ton of money on the table and I was limited in the options I could provide to the people I met with that didn't want to sell fast at a discounted price.
Just days after getting my VA license hung I was at my desk working on a blog post for my real estate investor website when my phone rang. On the phone was Pam, a very distraught middle-aged woman who had just driven 8 hours to see her mother in ICU because she had a massive stroke the night before. She called me because her Dad had passed the year before and one of my letters was under a magnet on her Mom’s refrigerator when she got to the house that day and she didn’t know who else to call. Now, back then my letters were BAD because they carried a selfish “we buy houses” message due to my lack of a better methodology...but, it worked every once in a while.
Just minutes into this conversation I realized that she was calling from a house, not even a mile from the house I was renting. I wanted to buy a home in that neighborhood so I was quick to suggest we meet in person…TODAY. We set an appointment for an hour later and I went to work trying to figure out the ARV of that house and what my offer would be based on how little I knew. Admittedly, I was proceeding into this with a selfish “Yes, I’m going to buy this one for me and for cheap!” mindset.
When I arrived at the house Pam was there alone and it was obvious that she was very stressed and needed help. I asked for a tour of the house and as we walked through she brought me up to speed on the situation. Her dad had passed and the house transferred on death to her mother so it was not tied up in the probate proceeding and it was owned free and clear and she had Power of Attorney for her mother. My newly built “transaction engineering” mind started to churn through all the strategies I had used over the last year to find the right offer that she couldn’t resist.
We finished the home tour back in the living room and sat side-by-side on the couch. For the first time since I had started meeting with motivated sellers, I decided to let the seller choose the strategy, even though my selfish desired outcome was to buy this house at 70% of market value or less. I started by explaining to her that I wasn’t sure how I would help her but I was certain I could help her. I laid out the following options in a TOTAL improvisation that even I didn’t expect:
- Option 1 - Cash Offer
- 70% of Retail - Repairs = Offer, closing within a week, no contingencies
- Option 2 - As-Is Sale
- 80% of retail, she needed to deal with personal property
- Option 3 - Retail Sale
- Full retail value, sell personal property, and use cash for cosmetic rehab prior to listing
- Option 4 - Creative Financing Sale
- Everything in Option 3 but instead of listing on MLS we market to vetted tenant buyers who want to own but have minor credit issues that can be resolved and we don’t negotiate the price
To my surprise Pam seemed to understand the options better than I expected and she was EXCITED about Option 4 because it met both of her goals: 1) Get as much cash as possible for her mother’s long-term care, 2) Get the cash as fast as possible.
Within 3 days I had the personal property sold to a cash buyer who picked it up and cleaned out the house. Within a week I had 4 tenant-buyers calling multiple times per day begging to be accepted for this house. I coached each of the tenant-buyers and showed 3 how they DID qualify for financing now and didn’t need this house because they had the privilege of choosing from MLS and FSBO inventory. I approved the 4th tenant-buyer, a retired Navy Vet couple who forgot to pay a utility bill which marred their credit, and they paid $8,000 for an option fee, $1,100 first month rent, and $1,100 last month rent, we got the VA inspection/appraisal and cleared contingencies upfront and they moved in less than a week after I first got the call from Pam. Once I had put this deal together and gathered these video testimonials (give me a break, it was early in my video production days) I realized just how unconventional, but valuable, the service I just provided was.
Finding Focus & Accepting My Niche
The next morning I went to the Roanoke City Probate Clerk’s office, went straight to the clerk and said, "Hi. I'm Chad Corbett and I want to learn exactly what someone filing for probate has to do because I'm looking to help more families like the one I just did." That's where Kim walked me through the entire probate process as a Petitioner so I could understand what these families are dealing with. Once I had a basic understanding of the process I had her show me how to pull probate records and I built my first list with the intentions of reaching out to each of the 120 families in probate to whom I could offer this new valuable service.
I can still remember vividly how SCARED I was to offer this service in a market where hardly anyone knew me and I had only done a few deals. I had to deal with imposter syndrome before I even started because I didn’t fully believe in myself yet. Regardless, I wrote my letter, set up the mail merge, printed it, stuffed the envelopes and posted them, drove to the post office, and then waited the 3 days for the mail to be delivered.
I expected to be called an “ambulance chaser” and told to go to hell. I expected my peers to talk poorly about me. I expected it to be hard to explain to families. I had “stinkin’ thinkin’” all the way around but my desire to serve and repeat what I had done for Pam and her mom was stronger than the BS self-doubt so I put my head down and ran toward my calling.
When my Google Voice line rang the first time I was SHOCKED that it was a family asking to meet that day because they had been in “probate quicksand”; they had hit a mental block when preparing to get rid of the personal property. I quickly took down the details, started my pre-appointment market analysis, and pulled together a simple excel sheet that showed the net proceeds for 3 different scenarios: cash offer, as-is sale, and conventional sale. With my custom-tailored sport coat hiding my lack of confidence I dashed out the door to learn by doing.
I got that deal along with more positive reinforcement and validation that this niche that had seemingly found me, was worth pursuing because it fit my 3 guiding principles, it felt GOOD to receive the gratitude from these families, and I realized that was going to be the normal response, not an aggressive negative response.
As any overly-ambitious entrepreneur would do, I decided that scaling up would allow me to reach more people so I built a small real estate team on the brokerage side and ran the investment and holding companies alone. Little did I know at the outset of building toward that vision that I would isolate myself by creating more deals and work than me or my team could handle and even though I was meeting my 3 guiding principles, I had no life because there were so many families in need and it took all of my time to keep up so I had no personal life…sound familiar?
The Scary Act of Leaving Production
As I was juggling over 100 deals per year I thought it would be a great idea to have yet another business so I co-founded a probate lead company called All The Leads in mid-2013. I felt that by teaching my model to Brokers, Agents, and Investors across the country I could reach WAY more families and if we could provide the data and the systems to support the model then we could quite literally change the world for the better. In the course of building out All The Leads, we realized that there was a need for better education in the probate niche so I made the VERY difficult decision to wind down both my brokerage and investment activity so I could focus on building the educational resources I thought were missing.
Throwing Down the Rope, the Chad Corbett way
As All The Leads took shape and we developed basic, and free, probate education resources I then realized that there was a HUGE demand for a course that would give real estate professionals a rapid education in the probate process, but more importantly, teach them how to craft a valuable offer, how to present their offer to the families and how to get an appointment so they could step in with their vertically integrated solution and probate team to solve most, if not all of, the problems in the estate.
Probate Mastery is the course that was developed to meet the needs of these benevolent entrepreneurs who wanted to serve these families. Since the course first launched we have educated and certified thousands of Brokers, Agents, Investors, and Attorneys across all 50 states and included them in a community of experts and peers who are also offering specialized services in the probate niche.
Chad Corbett leaves All The Leads to pursue a BIG Vision
In early 2020 I finally made the next difficult decision to sell my shares in All The Leads so I could pursue my big vision of creating an even more valuable and exclusive community for us benevolent entrepreneurs who are actively making a difference in the lives of thousands of families across the nation. (Join Chad Corbett and the rest of the community on Facebook in Estate Professionals Mastermind)
The Probate Mastery course is now part of Magnum Opus Project, a social enterprise established for the benefit of everyone it touches, not just me, not just the team, not just the students, but everyone down to the families that receive the help from our Certified Probate Experts in all 50 states. What you see now is but a fraction of my bigger vision and I couldn’t be more proud of my amazing team, our CPEs, and even the community members who are watching from the sidelines trying to decide if this is the right niche for them.
Since Feb. 2021 I've been living in a luxury 5th wheel RV building Magnum Opus Project from my favorite places in North America. You'll see me with several different backdrops in our video content because I travel at will and work from the places my heart tells me to be (remember those 3 principles and how I came up with them?)
As Magnum Opus Project evolves and grows you can expect our team and our community to provide ever-improving courses, live instruction, networking opportunities, and more in the probate niche as well as many others. The ultimate vision is to create a trusted post-secondary education institution that serves benevolent entrepreneurs around the world who graduate owning a business and with a check instead of debt. We will change the world for the better…are you coming with us?