The Latest on Probate Lead Generation with Bill Gross of

Probate Real Estate Coaching episode 81 Bill Gross

This is episode 81 of the Estate Professionals Mastermind podcast, as part of our probate real state training series.

In this episode, Bill Gross of coaches students of the Probate Mastery program on marketing, lead generation, and business best practices. Is it better to cold call or send direct mail to probate leads? How do you introduce yourself to personal representatives on the first call? Is RedX good for probate leads? How should I approach a reverse mortgage situation? Plus. Bill shouts out Miriam’s excellent content marketing piece on probate! Learn something new this week with the latest episode:

Take the Probate Real Estate Certification Course and get access to group coaching, all probate letter templates, the Probate Mastery Alumni community, and our CPE referral network.

Episode #81 [Live Probate Real Estate Coaching]

Episode Segments for Probate Real Estate Training with Certified Probate Experts – Episode 81

0:00 How to speak to a probate lead that’s in pre-foreclosure (Cold Calling)

How to speak to a probate lead that’s in pre-foreclosure (Cold Calling)

5:38 HELOC for new investors (Real Estate Investing)

HELOC for new investors

7:52 Calling probate leads for the first time (Probate Scripts)

Calling probate leads for the first time (Probate Scripts)

9:19 Cold Calling vs. Direct Mail? (Probate Marketing)

Cold call or send letters probate

10:47 Digital Marketing for Probate Real Estate: Agent vs. investor messaging (Probate Website)

agent or investor for real estate brand

14:05 Attorneys and Real Estate Agent: Solving complicated probate situations (Probate Properties)

Solving complicated probate situations

17:07 Branding yourself as a real estate agent (Real Estate Marketing)

21:47 California probate referee value (California Probate)

California probate referee value

26:53 Probate Objections: No trespassing/vacant property (Probate Sales)

California probate referee value (2)

30:04 Probate contact rates (Probate Prospecting)

Probate Prospecting

34:00 Questions from the Chat: NODs, RedX probate leads, reverse mortgages, and the EARN Course

Questions from the Chat 81

Resources & Additional Links for Probate Real Estate Training with Certified Probate Experts – Episode 81

General Links:


  1. Episode 80 Live Real Estate Coaching: EstateExec software as a value add, Probate marketing without cold calling (
  2. Marketing and Copywriting Tips: How to get more reviews from clients:
  3. Probate Cold Calling Tips: The best way to cold call probate leads: 3 lists, 3 offers, 3 scripts


  1. For Probate Mastery members: Join the Probate Mastery Alumni Group
  2. Public Facebook Group: Estate Professionals Mastermind

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT: Probate Real Estate Training with Certified Probate Experts – Episode 81

Weekly Real Estate Coaching episode 81

Weekly Probate Coaching with Certified Probate Experts | Episode 81

1) How to speak to a probate lead that’s in pre-foreclosure

Hey, it’s Bill Gross the LA probate expert. And this is our probate mastery weekly call. We get together every Tuesday at noon. Noon, Pacific time, 3:00 PM, Eastern time, and everything else on either side. to talk about all things, probate real estate related. In particular, this is designed for students and graduates of the probate mastery program who are putting into practice those principles.

And we want to get together to work through some of those common challenges and problems because expertise is not a destination. It’s a process. And I think business is also a marathon a. And so hopefully we’ve all signed on to work together and help each other. I’m a practitioner. I’m not a full-time coach.

I do a little bit of coaching on the public master website. It’s kind of a side thing, but my main focus is my business is selling. Real estate in the state of California. Its probate focused on my lead generations, probate focused, and I’m building a national team of probate experts, but I’m here today as a colleague to help answer your questions and share best practices and work together.

So, we have both real estate agents, and we have investors, and whole soldiers who get on this program and want some help along the way. I will tell you that I tell people all the time, if you want to make more money, you want to talk to more people and, and create more value. One. Is by participating.

So if you’re on this call and you want to make more money turn on your camera, let’s see who you are put in the chat box, your name, your address your phone number, how we reach you, what you do, what you specialize in, let’s work together, but more pro put yourself out there and then let’s try to help each other, build our businesses together and be more successful.

If you want to, you can raise your hand for questions or put the chat box best. If you put in the chat box, if you start with a queue that way, I’ll notice it’s not just crosstalk, but I’ll notice that there’s a, a question lined up and then we also cover the questions on the appropriate mastery alumni group.

Firsthand up, I see today is Alex. How can we help you? Hey, bill. Pleasure to be speaking with you. My name’s Alex, an aspiring wholesaler, and now I’m also taking online classes to get my real estate license.

Nice. But in the process also, I’ve been doing some, trying to be doing some prospecting and I found a, a lady who’s in her. I think she’s 74 years old going through foreclosure. And through my, we haven’t talked to her, but through my research and skip tracing it, you know, she’s had a couple of people pass away in her, her family, and I’m thinking her husband’s probably was one of ’em and nobody else seems to be living there with her.

And she’s, you know, I guess I’m, I’m guessing living it by herself. Property is due to be sold next month on the ninth. So, I have just been like really kind of real hesitant on, you know, what to say. And, you know, we’ll call her at first and, you know, see if there’s any way, I can help her. So, I was just wondering if you can gimme any of your insight on that.

And second part is actually my mom was talking about, you know, finding out how much she owes on the property, bring the loan current and maybe she invested into the property herself. Well, as far as your mom, I, you know, Obvious answer. Get the mortgage statement, call the lender, find out what the balance is.

And she has to sell the house or, get a loan on it. There are lines of equity that are available for those kinds of things. As far as the, the client, the prospect, you know, a lot of the questions we, we get in this call and other calls I see are, you know, this stigma making a phone call, but there’s a lot of hypotheticals that rattle around our brain because we’re scared to make the calls.

And there’s two parts to the work. You know, one of my mentors is Gary Vanderchyck, Gary Vee and he uses the term a lot, which is doing the work. And, and so I would say to you that part of the value of making the phone call is the lead. And part of the value of making the phone call is getting better at making phone calls and talking to prospects.

That’s a skill. If you, who would be successful as a whole seller or investor or an agent you have to develop. And so rather than go through a lot of possible hypotheticals, I will always say, well, why don’t you call. And offer her assistance and see what she thinks your problem is. Take detailed notes.

Yes. And, and, and then get answers those questions either coming back on this call or going into the into the probate mastery, alumni, Facebook group, or other places, and then come back to her with resources. Because I think that rather than talk about a lot of hypotheticals, I don’t want to support kind of the mind games we play. Well, what if I call? And she says, what if I call and say this? You know, if she, if she has a problem and you are offering to help her and you come across genuinely as offering to help her, then she’ll, you know, look for your help. The fact, you know, her house soon, foreclosure, you have torn in that very lightly.

You obviously can’t say, hey, I know you’re facing foreclosure is a gun to your head. You just lost some people in your family. I’m here to buy your house on the cheap and flip it to make money. That’s not going to work. But how do you get to where you talk to people sensitively while you talk to people and develop that skill.

And so, I’d say Alex, make the phone call find, just be polite, smile, sensitive, listen a lot, take notes and see what she needs. And then from there you can offer a solution without, without knowing what her issues are. She may already have a deal in the works or, you know. It is just impossible, really? To speculate.

Yes. I’ve, I’ve seen some of your yours and chats of YouTube videos and basically, yeah. Make the call, do the work, make the call find out there’s no, there’s no solution short of making the calls. There’s no script short of making the calls, just call and be polite and see where her problem is to see how you can help.

you’re right.

2) HELOC for repairs to increase equity

One more quick question. Like I said, my mom was interested in maybe bringing the loan current mm-hmm also and investing. She owns her own property, but she’s retired, so she probably has trouble trying to get equity out. Chad told me about the HELOC, a home equity line of credit.

However, maybe she might qualify for something like that also. So maybe we can get some repair money. Fix the property up, maybe go on a joint venture with her or something like. You know, generally these kinds of situations are a little more sophisticated for first time investor, in my experience. That said, she might want to get involved with it.

If she wants to line of credit, usually get them from your bank, your, your credit union. You have to qualify for ’em, but they’re a little easier to qualify for if you have good credit and it might not take a lot of money, you might find out that the back payments are five or $10,000 and your mom might have a $15,000 line available.

So again, You guys call her and find out what the problem is before you start putting together a solution. I wouldn’t shop at Home Depot for tools until I had a plan of what I wanted to build. Exactly. Okay, thank, thank you very much, bill. Great. My pleasure. Thank you. So again, if you have any questions, anybody on the, on the line here feel free to.

Raise your hand or put the chat box and then I’m going to I see everybody putting in their names and numbers. If you have a question, if you could just start with letter Q that way, I try to pick that out. I don’t see any live I noticed in the, in the private mastery and we see this from time and time Karen was asking for somebody to collaborate with Arkansas.

So, if you’re a public mastery grad and you’d miss that, you want to go to. The probate mastery alumni, Facebook group, and you can reach out to Karen perhaps and find there are a couple of people that were recommended. Actually, Chad recommended somebody. So maybe ignore my input there. But in general, I would say, when you look for somebody, you want to be as specific as you can.

What are you looking for specifically? What do you need done? What’s the problem you need a solution with? And I just find, I, I often find people will come in and ask a question. And look for somebody in a state. Well, some states are big. You really want somebody who has a particular skill that you’re looking for and usually in a particular area would be preferred.

Thank you. Thank you, bill. Rodger Lecy, we had a nice long talk yesterday last night. Very helpful. He responded to me and I see the group works. So, I appreciate you mentioning that. Thank you. Yeah, I think it does work. I think it does. And you get, I see that most of the questions come in have quite a few comments.

3) Calling probate leads for the first time

So good. Thank you for sharing that. I don’t know if Trina is on the call, but Trina Davis had another question. I saw you had a question about you being stuck as far as contacting people regarding where the owners passed.

You’re stuck in your intro, what do you say once you get sent on the phone? Is it better to call or mail these situations?

So. Just in general, a couple questions she asked, I think are among the most common questions we get. Number one, what do I say? And so, what I would say is that you can look on the website and there’s what to say kind of a basis of a script, but I think what’s important is, and Chad talks about regularly is, is not the script.

It’s kind of the “come from” and what’s the attitude when you call somebody? Nobody wants to talk to a telemarketer. Nobody wants to talk to a Barracuda, looking to take a bite out of them in order to get a commission check. Everybody with problems once a friendly shoulder and somebody who’s looking to give them a hand to lift them up.

And so I would say Trina, if you just really think about what would a person in that situation want in that circumstance or ask questions and find out and be available either to say, well, I don’t have that solution, but I’m part of a national team of COVID experts with a couple thousand across the country.

Let me get back to you on. I would say just calling it, being empathetic and finding out what their problem is, what their plan is, what they like to do, and then see if you’re able to solve that problem. That’s the key to this whole process. And I think we’re scared to do it before we do it.

4) Cold Calling vs. Direct Mail?

And then the next question she asks, which you get a lot also is, is it better to call or mail?

And the answer is yes, mail costs money. And I would say in general, you have to think of mail as six or eight or 10 times a campaign you’re talking about six or eight or $10. Per lead, you might have 500 leads. That could be 3000 to $5,000 or more, depending on how much you’re going to spend on mail when you’re starting out.

Usually, you don’t have extra cash to invest. And so, I say to agents, you’re not going to convert the mailers generally without cold calls. So why not start with the phone calls? You can always add mailing later. So, my general advice to agents is start with phone calling is free and it will help you learn the process.

It’ll help you learn to convert people when the time comes that you mail it’ll help you learn how to convert those people more effectively than when you are just. When you just mail out, cause obviously if you mailed out, you know, a hundred, you know, a hundred pieces and you got a hundred phone calls, what are you going to talk about?

They’re going to call you up. And the answers you have to, you might as well just call them and start those conversations on your end.

I saw Cindy on the call on a website, asked for somebody in Brooklyn. And of course, someone comes back and says that they’re familiar with Queens, which is close, but you know, different boroughs, a different county in essence.

And so, if you are experienced probate and it says here with probate experience, I suspect Cindy’s looking for a probate real estate agent, not a probate attorney. But again, we want to be specific when we go online and ask for referrals. And then.

5) Digital Marketing for Probate Real Estate: Agent vs. investor messaging

Michael asked a great, another great point. I don’t know if Michael Lund is on the call today. So he says, would a website tying my service as a realtor professional, be associated with a business entity from activities as a real estate agent with a business entity for my activities as an investor or yet a different business So I think what he’s asking is, do I tell people I’m a realtor AND investor?? Do I tell people I’m an investor? Do I tell people I’m both? And I think the answer is what are you and I, I always feel you want to be authentic in your marketing. I don’t think you want to pretend to wear two different hats. I think you want to know where the hat fits and be authentic with that.

So, my advice would be to figure out what your role is. What do you really want? I am an investor, but I’m not really looking to contact probate leads for investment property. They’re not the kind of property I want to invest in. I’m looking for properties that cash flow and generally probates are severe fix and flips or, or… so, so you have to think about what you want and where you want it.

And also, is that where you want to buy property to rehab. Some people make a lot more money on investment flips and want to be investors. Great. I think Dave Pannell is one of those other people like me are really, I want to be a real estate broker.

I make extra money and invest extra money, but I don’t invest in the kind of properties that I lead generate. They’re two different things. So, Michael, it depends on where you are. And what you want to be. And I think all of us have to think about the number one challenge. I think realtors have been we’re not clear on what value we create to the marketplace.

And when we’re not clear, it makes it very hard for us too. Present that to prospects and customers. When we’re clear, I’m very clear. I’m an expert in helping families and attorneys sell probate real estate in California. And when I’m clear on that, then the marketing strategy becomes clearer. I’m an investor too, but I’m not a great investor.

I would buy a property, a lipstick flip if I can buy a property and, and trash it out and clean it out and put it back in the market, I would do it and move quickly. I’m good at that, but I’m not looking for those. There’s just not that many of ’em in the probate space. So, you have to be clear on what you’re looking for, make sure that you put that out there so you can attract that kind of business to what you’re looking for.

Hey, really quick, I have you guys on the phone, would you put into the chat box if you’re a realtor or you’re an investor primarily, or a whole seller? Pick, and I understand we can all do all three and I’ve done all three, but what if you could build one, I could give you a magic wand. Would you be more successful in your business as a realtor or more successful as an investor or more successful as a wholesale?

What would your primary focus be? Like? Mostly realtors. Okay. If you’re investors, there we go. Investors. They can come back more realtors. Okay. So, looks to me 70% or so are realtors. So, if I speak to that more that’s because I think that’s where more this audience is. That’s not true of all probate programs.

This one is, I think more realtor focused though. Chad is really more of investor focused. I think it’s his style. So, I don’t know it’s because we attract realtors more or on this call, I help keep more realtors. I’m not sure what the reason for that is.

So, so, on the Roger is a broker and been doing probate for 30 years.

Roger. Good for you. Where are you located? Roger?

Fremont, California.

6) Solving complicated probate situations

So, I do Southern Alameda County, California Southern Alameda county. So, Oakland Raider territory sounds like, yeah, I’ve been working with a local attorney for many, many years and it has been a really good source of probates. I would think particularly in that area, I think you’d have a real good shot at it.

Good. What’s the biggest challenge you have in building your business? Appreciate having on the call today. What’s your biggest challenge? Dealing with the crazy families. Everyone has got heirs fighting with each other. I can’t tell you how many lawsuits I’ve settled mainly just by calling each and every one and keeping them updated.

You know, it, it’s really interesting you say that. I think that’s my strength. My father was an attorney. And I, I interned in his law firm for years for a few years when I was a high school in college. And as a real estate agent, I have disproportionate business with attorneys in the last three and a half years focused on probate real estate.

And the number one thing I think I do BA is when there are multiple parties. In fact, one of the first probate listings I got, I was in court and there, there were two petitioners fighting over who would run the estate. And I reached out to both attorneys saying I would be glad to, you know, arbitrate and be in the middle as a realtor and would sell the house.

The money goes into escrow rather than having a vacant house with a loan and such on it. And I’m good at that. And what’s, what’s the magic to that is I would call both parties and I would status both attorneys.

Just today, I have a case where I had these two warring parties, but I, I, you know, reach out to both principals and then if they don’t answer, I send them both personal emails.

I copy and paste the same email. And then I contact both attorneys, so everybody’s involved in, in what goes on. It takes an extra three minutes, maybe an extra five minutes. But that’s critical. And I think it’s a great asset. It’s hard to explain to an attorney how you’re good at that something you can build over time, but I think the attorneys really value that, that skill so good for you.


Yes. This is Deborah. I like to ask Roger how he met the attorney that he’s working with. How did that relationship come about? Sure.

Actually, I brought him a probate almost 30 years ago. And it was an extremely difficult one where there were no heirs living in the property or in the area. The attorney did a name search and came up with an, a niece living a couple hundred miles away.

We ran her through for letters and received them. And I orchestrated clean out of the house, and we sold it. And it caught on fire the very next day.

Wow. I had tarped the roof because it was in terrible shape and the buyer went in and pulled the tarps off and it rained and caught on fire. Oh, my goodness. Thank you. Yeah.

You can, you can tell real probate people from fakes, the fake people tell you how tough the business is. The real ones will brag about how tough it is.

Yeah. Did it have insurance? Thank goodness it did. Good. Good.

7) Branding yourself as a real estate agent

Bill. I wanted to comment on that answer you gave earlier. I, I just wanted to say that was a great answer you gave. What are you who are. I really like that answer. So, I wanted to say thank you for that. My pleasure. Yeah, my, my sponsor, one of my mentors is Don Hobbs.

When I was in real estate, I started 1986, the first two coaching options were Mike ferry and then Hobbs Herder was an alternative. And Hobbs Herder was a company that created the concept that real estate agents should market themselves. Back in those days, it was through the company branding. Of course, in those days, the signs all went to the company front desk, phone systems.

All you know, corporate phone systems weren’t we didn’t have cell phones then. So, it made sense. And hubs heard was the first company to say, well, leave your high commission charging company and go to one of the charges less. That’s how REMAX really grew. People were leaving Century 21 cold banker paying, you know, on a 60% split.

To go to REMAX, they called a hundred percent, but whatever. But take the difference in brand yourself. And so, Don Hobbs had a that concept of branding in focus. And he has a YouTube channel, a YouTube video called the brand is you. And I saw him do it in person and it was life changing. And I sat down, thought about that’s where probably kind of came to.

But more than just probate become a specific vision of what I wanted to build within my business. Once I got clear on that vision, the next steps made a lot of sense. And that’s the key part is when you’re clear on the bullseye, the path to get the arrow on the bullseye is clearer than when you’re not clear where you’re shooting at.

And so, I find most people’s challenge in real estate in particular is not being crystal clear what you’re trying to accomplish. And, and if you just buy a program and copy what they do, it’s not authentic or genuine if it feels inauthentic, that’s the problem. And so, you want to be really clear on what you want to do, so thank you for pointing it out.

Let’s see. I wanted to share also just in the, in the probable Mastery. Miriam Cruz shared some material she put together. I thought it was fantastic. A probate handbook and she was asking for feedback on it. And I just wanted show you describing what probate is and the personal representative’s responsibilities.

How long does probably take with a timeline? Would we have to sell a property? What can you except from us? Resource list. Her picture with a big smile, important notes. And I would say this isn’t for everybody. I mean, I have a handout that’s more me.

And I, I haven’t met Miriam. I, I think we’ve talked on the phone on, on the zoom call before, but you know, you want to make sure whatever you do marking is you. And so, she’s asking for some feedback on, I think it’s great.

It’s an amazing piece. I think it’s fantastic. And for the right approach, it’s a fantastic tool. But for some of you who would buy, would buy them and have ’em sit in your desk and never use ’em. that’s just not you, whether it be the concept or those particular approaches to customers, so really important.

I think it’s fantastic marketing piece for her and and wish her luck with it. Love to hear how I, I know she, she asked for some feedback I’d love to kind of get the after story of how people react to it once you got it done. For all of us. I’m sorry. Where is she asking the feedback from us or somebody else?

Yeah. You know, in I guess I keep referring to the Probate Mastery group in Facebook. I’ll put the link in there. If you’re not member, this is for probate mastery alumni. Which I think is, is what this call is about. So, it is a great resource for anybody who’s taken the probate mastery or is in it.

Where the alumni are, is welcome to participate. Great place if you’re building your business out, this is where we’re going to go and work together. To ask these kinds of questions, get feedback, get input look for tools like this and things like that.

 This was just Miriam’s particular marketing piece, but I thought, I thought it was exceptional, so, okay.

Bill, it’s me again. Where can I look at the booklet? Well, if you go to the Facebook group, it’s right there. It’s like the second or third post down. Okay. All right. That’s why I, I was sharing you. You guys the I’m just let me just show you really quick. I’m just sharing the screen. Probate Mastery alumni group.

Okay. Use the group. And then if you just go there and, and scroll down really, it’s really, I guess it’s most relevant. That is interesting. So, it’s not the newest activity. Well, it’s actually also the newest, it’s 11 hours old, many help. But it’s a great resource for all you guys who are in, if you you’ve taken probate mastery for sure you want to use this as a resource, if you haven’t.

Another reason to take the course is again: this is not about a onetime fix. I think that’s the mistake. I talk to people all the time will tell me, oh, I took a certification five years ago. That’s the problem. I think that if you had taken Chad’s program, I’m not sure when he launched this a year or two ago, you still are member the alumni group.

You’re still on this call. The call’s great. I, I mean, I, of course I think it’s great. It’s also great because you guys participate in and play along and then the the Facebook group is a great tool to help as well.

8) California probate referee value

Okay. Other questions, raise your hand. Bill. Yes. Roger here. Hey, Roger. In California. The probate referee comes out and does a drive by appraisal.

And, and we are limited if we cannot sell within 90% of that appraisal, we have to go back for real appraisal, which can be a real bear. I can’t see how investors can really benefit from buying. Probates, unless they wait till it’s gone through the whole system and then they try and make a deal. Right. So, Roger was talking about in California, we have really two tiers of probate sales.

So that’s true. Only unlimited authority cases. In full authority, the executive administrator consults for whatever they want to, whoever they want, unless somebody objects. If they’re the only air, there’s nobody else to object, then they, then they can sell if the only air and nobody else objects, IE creditors, or anybody else in California, a percentage of sales about 10% of probate real estate has what’s called limit authority.

Or it’s a full authority case, but they want to go to court for court confirmation of sale. The court confirmation process in California, ands similar in some other states, not all is the court hires an appraiser. They call probate referee to do an inventory pre as a report. And the statute says they can’t sell the property for less than 90% of that report.

That’s what Roger’s talking about. So, for example, if the property appraises that $500,000 by the probate referee, not an independent appraiser. But by the court appointed private referee, then the court won’t confirm a cell by code less than four 50. So, I deal with this regularly. This is my area. I, I, I focus in on these court confirmation sales.

I can tell you a couple things. Number one, I have had judges. Approved sales less than 90% where I showed them it’s a drive-by appraisal, but unbeknownst to them, the appraiser on the inside, we discovered mold the inside. It was thrashed. I reached out to the appraiser, and he wouldn’t change the value. And I say, so here’s the other comparable he’s comparing it to.

And they’re normal houses inside. I had; I had a case where we found black mold. And so literally the investor was based with about a $5,000 bill. Of course, you never know what you find. When you have mold, you go inside, you rip out some walls, you have to go further. And so, I I’ve personally had judges approve it and I’ve seen judges approve.

Less than 9%, but you have to make a case. The judge has authority to do whatever they want. Number one, number two, I’ve reached out to private referees. Now it’s interesting. Pre referees in California. The code is they have up to 60 days to turn their report. Ugh. Now they’re supposed to order right away.

And so, if it’s ordered, as soon as they get authority it only takes 60 days. Well, I tell people, go ahead and sell the property such to getting the report and know that you have that 60-day period and call the praise and try to get ’em done sooner. Some public referees will move more quickly because the sooner they turn the report in the sooner they get paid, some don’t care.

I would say about half don’t care. Some are very polite. You call on the phone. They’re glad to help, glad to work with you. If you have some data, they’ll look at it, adjust the report you might have. They’re not going to listen to you. So, I recently had a case where. We had a sale and the best price I can get was 2.1 and change.

And we had an appraisal done. By the objector at 2.6 and the appraiser done by the buyer by their bank was 2.6. Now, in both cases, the appraisers didn’t adjust for the fact that they were probate sales, subject to court confirmation, and so on. And also there’s another factor of the property that they didn’t take enough account.

So, the product referee came in at 3.9 million, 50% higher than the price we had. And they had had the market for 60 days. it was a commercial property. So, I mean, we went to the appraiser, we went back to him, we went back to him, we went back to him, we went back to him and finally, the attorney had to say, listen, we’re going to go to court tomorrow with you, without you.

And if you want to adjust, and here’s the appraiser from Cushman Wakefield, appraise apartment, here’s another, another commercial Realtor, and here’s market statistics showing patent in the market all the time. We have no other offers. We have another choice, but to bring it to the judge. Value is way out of line and in a nice way.

And, and as a result, he did adjust the appraisal to, I want to say 2.6, which was the same as two appraisals. So I will say it is difficult. Roger. You’re right. It can be done. You got to tiptoe around them a little bit. But I would definitely say that, you can work with prob referees sometimes and we should always be professional when we do.

And then B sometimes if you have to, you can go directly to the judge and the judge may approve it based on and circumstances you can document. That’s my experience. Mm-hmm okay. Okay.

9) Probate Objections: No trespassing/vacant property

Thanks. Richard De La Cruz, I see your hand up. Let’s uh, get you unmuted. And how can we help you? Hey bill, how are you?

Just a quick question. So I was following up on a probate lead, just checking in. It just so happens that I went over to the, to property was vacant and I provided him with a, no trespassing sign. So after I followed up with him about a month later, because he, it seems, Hey, he seems he has a complicated situation because it’s been more than like nine months. He still hasn’t had the letters yet, but he said to me, Hey you know, so I was checking in, he knew who I was. He says, Hey, I’m going to, I’m going to take off that sign because it, it gives, it gives the indication that there’s nobody living there and it’s more prone for a problem to happen. I said, Hey, was that, was that your lawyer who said that to you? Or it’s just you just decided, no, my lawyer said I could do whatever I want. I mean, do what I want. I said, okay, well, you know, I put it there because it takes something free of any problem away. But if you feel the other, if you feel contrary to that, you know, that’s what you want to do.

It’s fine. What, what do you think I should have said to him or….

So, first off, I would say that in sales anything, where the customer disagrees with this, is an objection by definition, and we always want to follow the three-step objection response process.

Step one, repeat what they say.

The biggest complaint that customers have about real estate agents or investors or salespeople is we don’t listen. So if he doesn’t think you listen to him, you’re not going to change his mind. So the first thing I always would say is, okay, so you want me to take the sign down? I can understand why you would say that.

And second, you affirm their comment. I understand why you’d say that. Third, the reason why, you know, I recommend the sign and I work with a team of probate experts around the country is we find that gives you better legal standing to remove a squatter if anybody has to break in. And yes, it does kind of put a target on the house, but at the same time, it also gives you a little more ammunition if we have the bad news that somebody broke in as living there.

Because then getting them out can be a nightmare. And that’s what we offer as a service. But what anyone does is fine. So that’s how I would handle it and just, you know, upfront, you know, make the case, explain why sometimes people have to be sold down the road, but just make sure that you’ll come across as arguing with them that you want to come across as agreeing, but then also offering an alternative point of view.

 Comment for Richard… go ahead.

The people who want the sign removed, generally, it’s only an attractive nuisance if the lawn hasn’t been mowed and the landscape looks rough. I always make sure the yards are taken care of it, at least in front so it doesn’t become a problem.

There you go. Yeah, another service you can provide. And I, I have a listing I sold where I provided that for my client in storage. I’m still getting the bill for storage, but it, it is an excuse to call the attorney every month. So it’s, it’s worth it for me.

There we go with that. And then Katt gives it a little script there for the trespassing signs.

Great. Thank you, Katt. Katt’s the best. Everybody who thinks Katt’s the best, put in the chat box. Katt’s the best. And it’s K a T T by the way, Katt’s the best just FYI. And if you don’t know that, then you don’t know it, but she is. Okay. Other questions? I don’t see other hands up. I don’t see other questions in the question box.

THE best it says, she is very good. So at least some of you’re paying attention there. Great.

Okay. Yeah. A great answer. Thank you.

10) Probate contact rates (Probate Prospecting)

Another quick question. When do you actually like? I mean, I got some people that I’ve been calling probably the 30th time or something. , I’m just like, I don’t want to call these people anymore. They either don’t answer or they don’t return your call, whatever it may be.

What, at what point do you just, call it quits?

You know, it depends on your business. So I’ll just share it with you. There are two ways you can go one’s broader geographically or one’s tighter geography. One of the best real estate agents I ever met in my career. He’s still practicing. He and his wife.

They took one city, the city of Walnut, California, nice city, you know, upper middle class, nice homes. A lot of new builds in the eighties and nineties. And their business plan was they went to, they contacted every single expired and canceled in the city of Walnut. They didn’t take the next city over.

They didn’t take the next city over from there. Just Walnut.

But they literally visited every single one in person. Probable’s all different, but I’m just showing you the concept. And so what they would do is if, if nobody was there, after 30 visits, they would continue. They would, he would write in the, he would print out the MLS sheet in the back, write the date and time of when he was there last with the idea, being that if he was there on a Monday, he’d go on a Wednesday. If he was there on a Wednesday, go on a Sunday, he was in the morning, go in the afternoon or the evening because the goal is to meet people. And so I can’t really answer the question for you, Richard, cause I don’t know where you are and where your whole business is.

It would probably be a 15-minute phone call to get a professional answer for you. But I would say that either 30 is way too many or 30 is just the number so far. And maybe you get ’em on 31. I don’t know the answer to your question you need.

But also, the second part I would say is you need to verify the statistics of what you’re doing and you know, how many contacts per hour you make on phone calls in general.

So, I’ll give you my answer in general for my business. I try somebody three times. If it’s a, if it’s just a piece of data, name, phone number: oh, bill. Somebody wants you to give ’em a call. I’ll try ’em three times and then I’ll just forget about it. If I left a message or text them afterward or an email, if they don’t reach out to me, I’m not interested.

I might call ’em again, 90 days later, because the data is now recycled. So, it depends on what, and where they are in your business geographically. And, and are you just calling probates? Are you calling several different types of data? Let me ask you, what, what, what, what is your lead generation strategy? What are you doing today for building your business?

Rephrase the question, please. you’re a real estate agent, right? You’re full-time. Right? How much time do you spend a day doing li lead generation or, or business development? Four hours, three hours minimum on the phone. Right? How many contacts do you make? A. About maybe I try to get at least 15 to 20.

Okay. Try to get, try to get 15 to 20 is different than getting 15 to 20, then 15, for sure. 20, you should really pick a number, make that your minimum and then push towards that number. Right. I’m guessing then. And are you calling, you don’t have them expired. I mean how many probates are you calling other types of data?

Yeah, Lis pendens, expired, for sale by owners, and probate. And geographically, where are you calling?

 About three counties? Is that what you mean? Let me understand. Don’t know New York, all that. Well, I knew so Queens, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk. Those are three pretty big territories. Yeah.

Right. So if you’re going that far out again, I’m not an expert on New York… But if you said to me, LA, Orange, and San Bernard counties, I would say you should be contacting more people per hour. You should be averaging probably closer to a minimum of five, probably eight people per hour. And so, I would try then calling those pieces of data three times, and then I might you know, I would, I would hang up before the fourth ring. I would try ’em three times and then I would recycle the data and go back 90 days later.

Wow, how I approach it because you have plenty of, you’re not getting to, if you, if you’re calling ’em that much, you’re not, if you call somebody 30 times, there’s plenty of other data you haven’t called that you could get to. Got it. Thank you. Appreciate that. Just in general, again, that’s a kind of a high overview and I don’t mean to be prescribing you the medicine as a doctor without really doing a full physical, but in general, those are, are concepts I think about.

Questions from the chat:

Okay. Sounds good. thanks. Thanks. Okay. Question of the chat box from Terry, she has a PR who failed to let me know about a NOD being filed.

We only have 60 days are close a sale and bring it current, any suggestions? So, Terry, what state do you do business in? I don’t know about you, but in California, I mean, I can check NODs myself. I’m in California. So, I do that for my own properties. If they, if it’s probate, I know nobody’s paying on the mortgage. You got to just check it every week or two yourself.

So, rather than focus on the PR not notifying you, I would just say this is the business. This is why they need a professional agent. This is why you can’t take this deal to an average agent. That’s why you need me. And as far as suggestions of closing, right, were you in the were they in the probate process. Do they have letters? Are they, is it a full authority?

Is it limited authority?

We’re ready to close escrow as long as I get it sold. Alright, you shouldn’t need more than 60 days. Just make sure you watch your timelines and keep eye on the mortgage. And then depending on who the lender is, keep them in the communication loop in California. If there’s equity, the judge can always stop foreclosure and will in most places, as long as you’re making a good faith effort and, and keep them in the loop.

Tougher in orange county Benelli county is pretty routine that they’ll, that they’ll file some sort of a Motion to delay the foreclosure, if you’re talking about weeks or 30 days or so, but you can’t make up the time in the end, you got to get on it right now. So, I get into escrow right away and do what you can to get it closed.

And you say, no, it’s a default, of course, you have most default period and then a trustee sale after that. So, you have, you have 60 days to close and you have another 30 after that, perhaps. So just make sure you know, your timelines and watch them. I would say, watch it regularly. Okay, thanks. sure.

George asked about REDX good source for appropriate. I’m not aware that REDX even has, do they have REDX is great for expireds or for sale by owners? I don’t have experience with their probate list. I know they have it. So, if there’s an agent online that uses or anybody uses REDX for probate leads, send me an email.

I’d love to find out or post in the probate master. Your experience with it. I have a list on my website. I list of all the data sources. I try to track that and be able to give people good references. So, okay. Let’s go back here. A question. Based on what you explained regarding the court property sale. Does the probate judge typically control what the real property probate is sold for? I understand saying the investors typically.

Okay. So, to answer the question, so rose asks me or rose and Lawrence, I’m not sure if I’m talking to rose or Lawrence on a court confirmation sale. Does the probate judge control the price? The answer is no, the. Confirms the price or doesn’t confirm the price and you have to make that case. You know, recently I had a two-point, we actually went up to 2.3 million confirmed.

There were objectors. They wanted to. Say, oh, you are underselling. It, the reality is they had a chance to bid more. They had months that they could have come in with an offer. They didn’t. And so, my job as a real estate agent was to present that we properly market the property and that we properly reviewed every possible offer.

And we brought in the best offer in the case. And if you do that, my experience is the judge will confirm it. And if you don’t then the judge won’t. And so, but the judge confirms the price, and you have to give ’em the evidence, I think, to get them to do.

A lot of love for Katt today. You guys, good job.

She’s fantastic. And does a good job running this thing here for me. So, thank you. Okay. I don’t see any other, I think I’ve covered all the questions I missed if I missed one, I see Maggie, you got your hand up or your camera off Maggie. What’s up with you? How can we help you really quickly before we finish? Good afternoon. Yeah, good afternoon. So, I took probate mastery quite a while ago and I haven’t really been as aggressive as I probably wanted to be.

And I’m listening to you know, this program from time to time and, and I see that people are serious about this and there, and they’re doing their thing and they’re getting results. So, my question is this, I recently came across someone who had a reverse mortgage. Their parent passed the last of two parents and they had a reverse mortgage and I wanted to sell the property.

And so initially I said, Gee, I would love to help you sell the property. I, I am an agent by the way. And I said, however, I’m also an investor and I might be interested or some other investor. And I said, if you’re looking for a quick sale you know, maybe we can get it done quicker. And long story short, they came back and said, well, I’ve got a cousin who really would like to have this property. They’re not financially able, but they’re going to look around and see if they can get the funding to do so. So, it’s been about a week and I want to call them again and I don’t want to press the point about me buying the property. Right. So, my question is how would you approach that situation knowing that there is a reverse mortgage, knowing that there’s a potential buyer who may or may not be qualified, and knowing that I personally may want to purchase it but not at the market price?

Yeah, I think it’s hard to do both in the same lead. So, I don’t know how to answer the question. You kind of went down that path. I think. That you know, sellers are rightfully scared. Are you an agent? Are you an investor, do you do both?

I think you have to overcome that fear initially, and then you continue that relationship if you can do both.

So personally, I only approach people as a broker, but I work with investors all the time. And I think one of the strengths I have is I have certain investors I’ve worked with a lot. They become good friends, good clients. But when I list the property, I have a contract in my mind for that seller to get them top dollar.

I mean, I have to look out for their interest, so I don’t bring an investor in unless it’s best for the seller. In my case, I’m not going to give it to ’em on the cheap, because it’s best for my investor client. Not allowed to do that, but sometimes I’ll say to the investor, listen, I need to get an offering right away because we have a foreclosure pending, or we have a court confirmation.

And if your offer holds up, it’s a great deal for you. And if it doesn’t hold. Nothing ventured, nothing gains. So, it’s a challenge when you, when you kind of go one way or the other, and you’re not sure what you are, how are they sure what you are? That’s I think the challenge you’ve created in a sense.

As far as follow-up, one of the reasons we follow up is we’re auditioning for the job sellers want real estate agents who are persistent, who have a system who are organized, and who follow through on things. And so, when we follow up on leads, that’s showing them that we’re doing our job, not just when we had the listing, but we’re doing our job even before the listing.

And I tell people all the time, let’s say you’re persistent. I say, yeah, imagine how persistent I am. When I have your property listed, I’m getting it sold. That’s what you want. Right. So, I don’t think you, can be too aggressive or I should say too assertive on the follow-up. And when we worry about that, probably that’s generally wrong, but we always want our follow-up to be a value to the customer, not a value to us.

Mm-hmm. And so, I might say, I’m just checking back. I know I mean, I know you mentioned you have a reverse mortgage and I know there’s a clock ticking on those things. And sometimes I found families like families that will wait too long to get the property marketed are then at the end, rushed, avoiding foreclosure.

It might, you know, lose money. I’m just here to help. Have you had any dis more discussions with your family member? I also know family members will oftentimes take forever to make that decision where it’s a nice way of saying they don’t want to say don’t qualify that their, their, their relative doesn’t want to press the issue with them.

And particularly if they’re living in the house, that’s another level. If they are living in the house, they’re rather live there for free forever. They never buy the property. So, depending on your situation, I would just say, I would always follow. Finding a reason to follow up that’s of value to the prospect timeline on the foreclosure is a good one for you or the timeline on the reverse mortgage.

You might check the public records, and see if it has been filed. It is public information. You might have an article about reverse mortgages and probate. You can send to them where you just might generally talk about the real estate market. I’m not sure where it is. I know you’re in Maryland. We’ve talked before.

Yes. I don’t know if it’s cooling off where you are or not, you might just want to pass on whatever market information you have. We want to be of value to our prospects. Okay. I appreciate that. Yeah, that kind of, helps me, and I will most definitely follow up.

But also, I’ve heard people talk about marketing and that’s something that I just haven’t been doing in terms of probate.

And so, is anyone using the new program? I forget what it was called that Chad put out with the attorneys. Earn, right? Yeah. So, EARN is earn attorney referrals now. I took it I’m also a teacher. I’m one of the segments in it. Okay. That was great. You know, most of my business is attorney referrals.

I think he did a great job. I think he also brought in a couple of good attorneys to help explain it, but you know, it’s like everything else. It’s kind of like tools of Home Depot. You know, I personally, I didn’t even hang pictures. I call my son-in-law to do ’em for me. Mm-hmm so occasionally I go to Home Depot to buy extension cords or life bulbs.

And I walk around filling very manly, but I’m not going to buy any tools there cause I’m never going to use ’em. And so, I would say to you, it’s the same thing with this program. It’s great if you use it. But you got to do the work. There’s no shortcut to making the phone calls and doing the work. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Sure. Thanks, Maggie. Okay. So, if your reasons going to sell you should become an investor Vince. I agree with you, but everybody has their own judgments and their own ethics and morals in different states and different circumstances. But in general, I only approach him as one, and I wouldn’t switch hats.

But again, if your, if your approach is you’re a realtor and investor, you start that way front and explain how it’s good for the customer I’m game for that, just be upfront about that. And then Larry says, what results do the survivors want? Offer that solution. Exactly. Where’s my, what the customer needs and offer that Jim points out the clock is ticking.

The reverse mortgage. Yeah. The clock ticks. The funny thing about these mortgages these days, it used to be, you could work with a mortgage lender, and they would, you know, negotiate they’d hold off. Now, I think they all will tell you that they’ll work with you, but none of ’em really do. My experience is they are racing to foreclosure.

They sell the servicing to a new company, which is often their own department that does nothing but foreclosures. And so, my experience on reverse mortgages, you get whatever’s in the statute, as far as the time periods. Once that’s up, they’re going to turn it over to foreclosure. If you don’t move on.

And the balance is growing all the time. Let’s see, Vince says, as a realtor has specific knowledge others don’t have, and the attorney could argue that you took advantage of the seller. I’d agree with you. I would say definitely. Being a realtor, you have certain obligations to tell customers okay.

And be a fiduciary asshole person. I agree with you. Okay, good. It looks like we got some good information in. Time to wrap up. So let me go back again. Bill gross. This call is Probate Mastery’s weekly call. We do this every week on 12 o’clock noon on Tuesdays at three o’clock Pacific time, 12 o’clock.

Pacific time, 3:00 PM. Eastern time. Our recordings are on the website as well as the YouTube channel. I’m bill gross, the LA probate expert. I’m also on YouTube and other social media at Bill Gross eXp love to help you if I can. Thank you all for being on the call. Thanks to those who contributed, make it a great week.

And we’ll talk to you guys soon. Thanks so much. Thank you, bill. Thank you.

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