All about getting real estate referrals from lawyers the smart way. This is the full transcript for episode 86 of the Estate Professionals Mastermind – More than a Probate Podcast.
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Introducing Brian Wilson, Certified Probate Expert
Chad Corbett: All right. Welcome everybody to my favorite episodes, customer success! Today we’re gonna talk to a Certified Probate Expert and student of the Probate Mastery Course, Brian Wilson. He has also recently purchased and implemented what he learned from the EARN or Earn Attorney Referrals Now course.
So I’m excited to jump into his story and see what inspiration we might find for you guys, especially the over 150 people- this is mid-September 2022- and over 150 people that purchased this course have not started the course. So my big goal now is to motivate you guys to invest the time in what you’ve already invested money in so you can get your return. And hopefully, Brian’s story can help you guys find the time to jump into the course and implement some of this.
So, Brian, welcome.
Brian Wilson: Hey, thanks Chad.
Glad to be here.
Chad Corbett: Yeah. For context, let’s start with where you’re from, and what you do, and kind of help everyone understand who you are.
Brian Wilson: Well, Chad I’ve I’m located in greater Washington, DC. I’ve been a real estate agent since 2008. Before that, I came to the business from IT.
So my background is in IT. And I brought a lot of that technology into real estate. And so I developed a different business model here and have been running it on my brokerage for 10 years. And then I left and joined International Brokers so that I could do some referrals.
And over time started running into a lot of estates. And the very first one I did, I had no idea what I was doing. And over time, you kind of stumble through a couple of things, and then I saw your Probate Mastery Program and a couple of other referrals from that. And I was like, this is exactly what I need to accelerate and to add to my business here in the DC area.
Probate Strategy: Direct Marketing vs. Referral Systems
Chad Corbett: Great. So you took mastery how long ago?
Brian Wilson: I took mastery within the last 90 days.
Chad Corbett: Oh, okay. So you’ve, you’ve taken them both. That’s awesome!
Brian Wilson: Yeah, I’ve taken ’em both. As soon as I saw the EARN right after mastery, I was like. That’s the way to go.
Chad Corbett: Yeah. So for anybody who’s not familiar with the Probate Mastery course, we teach kind of a two-pronged approach.
The one that most people focus on is direct marketing to the family, to the personal representative more specifically. That is you know, it’s the easiest way because you can get the leads from lead providers. You can get direct mail, but it’s also the most expensive way. And honestly, the most work.
The other thing that we teach there is building a referral network. That’s a more sustainable long-term source of business that you don’t essentially don’t pay for. You pay for it in social capital more than you do in marketing dollars. And the EARN course that we’re discussing today is just a really deep dive on specifically your referral network, specifically the estate attorneys, and how to go deep with that and make a huge impact.
He had a brief introduction to the referral network in probate mastery. And then when EARN came out, it was like a focused approach toward just the attorneys.
I’m really curious about what stood out most to you. I’m trying to ask as many people this as possible. I mean,
I’ve been blown away by the feedback we’ve gotten from the course. I’m really curious about what stands out the most to you in that, and what was the thing where you’re like, “holy crap!” And took action on it immediately?
What was the top takeaway that you’ve already taken action on?
EARN Course Reviews: Top Tips for Getting Real Estate Referrals From Lawyers
Brian Wilson: The top takeaway was when you started talking about administrative drag for attorneys. That was the number one thing because in my previous life when I was implementing IT, the number one thing we were trying to do was eliminate administrative drag. Just the paperwork, we were trying to automate the process for fortune 100 businesses. And as soon as you said that, it just clicked. And so I’ve been able to take all of that experience that I had with technology, implementing software, et cetera, and just rolled it right into my conversations with attorneys.
And attorneys, very much like the real estate business when I got into it, there were very few people who were high on tech. Lots of paperwork, lots of manual processes, lots of putting it in a folder. Give me this paper, this and that, and there. When I started talking to the attorneys, which was the very first thing that I did I said, all right, I know six attorneys and I know two title attorneys.
And I picked up the phone and I said, “Hey, who is the best estate attorney that you know, that I need to know?” They all gave me somebody. So I’ve had lunches, I’ve had coffee, I’ve been in office meetings. I’ve done phone calls and every single attorney has told me exactly what you said, which was, if you can eliminate some of this mindless administrative drag that they’re trying to eliminate, you’ll be my guy. I’ll call you every time, I’ll send you my clients. You take care of it. I know that you’ll treat ’em well because you know what you’re doing. And I can say, Hey, here’s a partner that we have, who is certified in probate, who understands this process, and who will bring to bear this process. Anything that you need relative to personal property real property anything like that, that can help you go through this process.
He can do it. And then on top of it, you introduce me to the software. And that has just, I thought that’s where you were gonna go first. That has just been attorneys are like, whoa, I can get this?! I show them those reports and it is… It closes the deal every time.
Chad Corbett: So for anyone who’s new to this and hasn’t taken the course, the very first part of the course teaches you. So just for context, so you understand, because you don’t know what you don’t know… what I’ve coached people on for years, but have never really taught was, you know, here’s why it’s hard to be an estate attorney. Like here’s the, here’s what it looks like in the daily struggle, and getting you into the mindset to acknowledge that they are small business owners.
They’re not bigger than now idols like we’ve been conditioned to think they’re. They are small business owners who struggle every day, just like we do. And getting into that mindset is step one, step two is solving their biggest problems. And the biggest problem that I’ve seen in the industry is, well…
The single biggest problem, I think, is serving a potential client base that is unwilling to accept the valuable service they provide. And what I mean is how many people do, you know, sit around talking about their death plan? I do it with my friends, cause we have wealth planning and legacy planning. And like I have had a death plan, an aging plan, and a death plan since my mid-thirties.
But they’re serving a prospect who doesn’t really wanna be served. They don’t want to sit down and go through the pain of one, talking about it; two implementing it. It’s a very challenging career. So in the course, we look at kind of here’s what an attorney’s day looks like, here are their biggest problems, and here are some creative ways to provide value as a solution.
And the software integration, did you see the interview that Dan Stickle and I did?
Brian Wilson: Yes, I did.
Chad Corbett: Yeah. So where we’re headed with this is even more exciting. And if you haven’t already, contact Dan’s team and get yourself built into the checklist. So anytime somebody in the Northern Virginia area uses EstateExec, whether you provided it or not, you’ll be the local certified probate expert.
And we’re gonna move to where we can build your entire team like that, that vertical integration into your personalized checklist. So you talk about a wow factor when you make contact with a personal representative, get them to load the assets, the liabilities, and all the heirs with as much as the heirs’ Facebook profiles and cell phone numbers. It’s everything, literally in one place.
Then when you approach an attorney, ” oh, by the way, I’ve got this family that needs, needs help. And I have everything that you’re gonna need to file the petition and see it through the initial hearing and damn near to closing. It’s already done.” You are going to make an impression, I promise you.
They have never met a real estate professional that has proactively coached their legal clients through the administrative steps they need to take to move the case through. So you’re going to bring efficiency to their business as they’ve never had before. And I don’t give a damn if they have three realtors and three investors they’re currently referring to, you’re about to earn all that business.
And that was why I chose the acronym of “E.A.R.N.” Like by providing value, you can earn the business instead of paying for it or begging for it. So that’s awesome.
How to take immediate action as a Certified Probate Expert
Chad Corbett: So I wanna talk about how long it, like from the day you bought the course, how long was it until you’ve completed the last module, and then when you took action and went and met with six, not one guy, he met with six attorneys right off the bat and then two title companies.
So that’s eight appointments. So how long did this take? Just for everyone else who’s been sitting on their hands saying I don’t have time to finish it right now… start to finish. How long was the course? And then how long did it take you to get through those appointments?
Brian Wilson: I am a bit of a night owl and I bought the course and I finished the course within two-night sessions.
I had come home, finished work, and put the kids to sleep. And I, I went through the courses twice just because when I started listening, you were, you were speaking my language and I was like, this is exactly where to go. If you want to start getting probate real estate referrals from lawyers directly, to beat everybody else who is racing to the courthouse or trying to find out through other online lead sources, et cetera.
If you go to the attorney, they are one of the ones who are probably closest with that PR. And if the PR comes and says, Hey, I have, you know, attorney or I have real estate agent or investor X, Y, and Z over here that says this, the attorney’s gonna go “well, that’s good, but I recommend that you at least talk to my friend Brian. My friend Brian is certified in probate. He does this all the time. He has an entire team, nothing falls through the cracks. We work in a very good symbiotic relationship, and he’s gonna take care of you better than anybody else off the street.”
When I started seeing that come through the course and knowing that we can provide a differentiator to these attorneys… I just, I was so excited.
The next day I was on the phone asking people who is your favorite estate attorney. Who would you recommend? Who should I be talking to about this business that I’m building? And it just… it’s fantastic.
Chad Corbett: No, that’s such a great question. So I was coaching. One of my friends just left the DMV, like the Maryland side of your market.
And he moved to Phoenix and we were talking about how he could quickly build a network. And I said: there’s a question. I just made this up when I moved from Hawaii to Roanoke, Virginia, and knew nobody. When I would meet someone I respected, I would say, who are three people that you think I have to meet?
And then I would get their numbers. Right. And I’m, I’d say, you know, within the next 12 hours, can you email or text me the name and phone number of three people you think I absolutely must know? And then, the filter was, I wouldn’t ask that question to anyone I didn’t respect. You’re not gonna click with everybody you meet, but I like that.
If you don’t know where to start, I mean, The earn course gives you multiple ideas, but if you don’t know where to start in your networking, just start by looking at your phone. What professional have you spoken to within the last seven days? Call them back and ask them, Hey, do you know any estate attorneys?
What’s the one that you think I need to meet? It can be that simple. We talked about the more complex ways of networking and ideas, but what if he just simply calls your current sphere of influence and says, do you know any estate attorneys? Which one should I know? So I think that’s awesome.
So the EARN course right now, when we’re recording this, is around seven hours of content. And Brian was able to knock that out in two nights and on the third day- so within 36 hours- he was taking real action and speaking with attorneys.
Of those six that you’ve reached out to you’ve had six meetings or conversations?
Brian Wilson: Yes, six meetings, six conversations with real attorneys doing this work and it’s been, it’s been great. I already have probate real estate referrals coming in from lawyers. I do not have an active listing, but I am already in conversations and already on the radar for PRs.
So I know that the pipeline’s building
Chad Corbett: And they all own real estate.
Brian Wilson: They all own real estate.
Chad Corbett: And you’re helping the attorney and helping them. Who do you? Think’s getting them, who’s getting the real estate?
Brian Wilson: I believe that I will get the real estate deal.
Chad Corbett: I think, I think you’ve already got it.
And that’s the point. I keep trying to drive home to people. Everyone’s trying to get a deal when they buy probate leads or when they buy a probate course. That’s the wrong focus. You need to be focused on getting trust. And then the deals are all yours. Like, all you have to do is get attorneys and families to trust you and find your offer valuable.
And you’ll get the deals. They just come to you.
So anyways, I won’t get on that soapbox right now, but… [Laughs].
So how long did it take to have those six conversations with those attorneys? How many days was that? Do you think?
Brian Wilson: I had all those conversations within two days.
Chad Corbett: Okay. We’re talking about four days guys; from realizing that there was a course on how to build a referral network with attorneys, to taking the course, to realizing it wasn’t bullshit, to be excited, to taking action, to getting six relationships and inbound referrals. Four days.
In the next four days, you could do this. That’s amazing, Brian. So this is a story I want to tell. I want every student to be able to tell everyone who’s watching this.
I’m proud of you for doing that. That’s amazing that you’re able to do it. And I hope that a lot of other people can be inspired.
How to get started in probate real estate
Chad Corbett: What would your advice be to someone who’s just considering probate?
Brian Wilson: I would tell you two things. Number one: when you take a course like this, or when you’re looking to take a course like this, you’re looking to elevate your level of expertise above whatever level your client has. So you want to be someone that becomes a trusted advisor. The only way to do that is through education or experience. And so the course gives you that accelerated opportunity to learn through education and then through experience, you become even more of an expert.
So I would tell anybody who hasn’t done it, first of all, to get an education.
Secondly: build relationships inside this world. Ask a question either. First of all, go to your trust attorney. And if you haven’t already established a will or a trust yourself, go get one.
Chad Corbett: Tell them! You’re the first referral. For anyone- if you don’t have a living trust, you are the first referral. Go get ’em, right?
Brian Wilson: Amen. Go get one. Have conversations, and develop that relationship. And then number two. I heard this from another one of your coaches, Chad – go to your local courthouse. Go sit through a session of probate at the courthouse.
You will listen. You will learn. You will meet. You will network.
If this is a business that you’re interested in, educate, learn, and network. That is it. And once you become known as someone who is focused on this because this is a niche that not everyone is focused in, not everybody’s comfortable in… once you become known as an expert in this niche, it’s very easy for people to then turn and say, “Hey, you know who, you know, who can help us in this? Brian can help.” It may not have to do with real estate. It may have to do with, Hey, we’ve got this unbelievable situation over here. We’ve never seen it before. Let’s call Brian. Maybe he’s seen it before. And maybe you have, maybe you haven’t, but because you’re developing the networks, you can begin to say,
“Hey. Let me, let me go take a look at that and I’ll get back in touch with you.” And then Chad, you’ve already built a network of experienced probate experts around the country and we all network together online anyway. So if we have something that we’ve never seen before, what a great way to ask the question or to bring it up in the weekly calls or to go onto Facebook.
Do THIS NOW to start getting real estate referrals from lawyers
Brian Wilson: So the network is there and doesn’t be afraid. Just take that, take that step. Do the training. And call and get going.
That’s the thing! I’m shocked that you told me. We have people who have bought this course and haven’t taken it yet. That’s a shocking thing!
Chad Corbett: I know! Like, I released the course.
I went to Europe for three weeks, come back and I was like, all right, everybody’s gonna be finished and charged up. And it was like 70 students had completed it out of 250 that bought the prelaunch. And I’m like, what is happening here? And I think it’s back to school. It’s grabbing that last chance to get a summer vacation.
Like I think a lot of folks bought it, eagerly purchased it and they’re just not taking the time. Those are the ones that I want to get into next. So you gave good advice for someone who’s just considering the probate niche. Now get on your tallest soapbox and tell all of your peers, all those people in the community with you that have purchased this course and they’re still sitting on their hands… I think they get the point already. In four days, you got a better result. Than 99% of real estate professionals in the country will ever get. So what’s your advice to those people who put it under their pillow, but the referral ferry hasn’t shown up yet?
Brian Wilson: It’s all about relationships. I would say to you if you have not called your trust attorney or a second trust attorney. If you haven’t asked your CPA, who do you use? If you haven’t asked your neighbor, do you have a trust? Who do you use? Who do you recommend? That to me was the absolute best question.
And I ask it almost everywhere now, because if I’m out to lunch with somebody, if I’m on a showing, if I’m on a, listing appointment, I’ll say, “do you have a recommendation for a trust attorney?” They’ll say absolutely! Call John. This is him, I’ll give you his information.”
Great. If they go… “What’s that?” I go, do you have a trust? This piece of real estate should be in a trust. You should have this in a trust. Let me, let me give you this name and number. And then I call trust attorneys and I say, Hey, I’m gonna list this house. They’re not in a trust, highly recommend that you reach out to them. They’re open to an initial conversation.
So it goes both ways, but make the call and find one. As soon as you find one, just have the conversation. Tell me about what you’re doing. Tell me what is the biggest challenge in your business and how can I help. Start asking attorneys that, they will be on… You will be on their top of mind the next time a referral is available.
Chad Corbett: You’ll be the first one. Certainly, the first real estate professional that’s ever asking; is probably the first professional in general. I don’t even think business coaches dare to approach attorneys. And I think it’s one of the most underserved coaching markets probably in the world.
In real estate, everybody’s a coach for, you know, an expert, but you don’t see that much in the law field, like coaching on customer acquisition, marketing, you know, inbound and outbound marketing.
So, you can present yourself as a referral source, as a marketing assistant, like you can help co-market with them. You can bring so much value to these attorneys and they’re not being approached with a million offers a day like we are in real estate. Real estate is, you know, compared to a law, basically unregulated.
Attorneys, like financial services, it’s more regulated. They have higher standards of professionalism because of bar rules. They’re not used to being bombarded by every guy on YouTube offering coaching or, you know, these services or those services.
So when you step up and offer something that they can take action on that day, like I can talk to this referral and do business, or I can log into this software and see the quality of this person’s client, the referrals he’s sending me… They’ve never seen that before most people come in the office with their me, me, I badge on like wearing their name tag with, you know, Hey, I’m my name’s Chad I’m with Remax. I did this many deals last year. My broker is blah, blah, blah. We have X number of agents. He doesn’t give a damn about that. That doesn’t help him with his business at all. Like when you go in, make sure you’re talking about their business, not your business. That in itself differentiates you.
And you got them, you got their attention.
One of my favorite things is when you take someone that’s very doubtful. They heard about building a referral network and probate mastery.
They’re hitting a wall with their direct mail campaigns, or they just have call reluctance and don’t wanna make their calls. For anyone who’s struggling on the marketing to the PR side, I immediately say, okay, let’s just shift gears. Like, you’re going to quit if you try to make yourself do this.
“Willpower doesn’t work.” Ben Hardy:
If you try to force yourself to do this, you’ll eventually quit and say it doesn’t work. And we both know that’s not true. So let’s focus your attention on a different way of earning business and I’ll take them. I’ll coach them on approaching attorneys.
Typically what I do is I’ll have them make a list of 10, get you to know, put a driving app on their phone, lay the addresses out in the most efficient route, and then take an entire day and just drive around visiting those firms. And I’ve yet to have a single student anywhere in the United States- I’ve, I’ve done this in Midtown Manhattan and rural Colorado and the middle of nowhere in Nebraska.
I’ve yet to see a single student get stumped or snubbed and not come back with an attorney relationship. So I can’t wait to see, like when this course is out there and, and more people have taken action, like Brian, like the impact that it will make…
I think it’ll shift the industry, honestly. And we’re currently building an estate professional’s directory. That will roll out I believe next week, next Thursday, I think is when we will be done. We are creating a new standard of service and law in real estate and every aspect of this because we think it’s needed.
Like that’s, that’s the calling. So the network that you’re part of is Estate Professionals Mastermind, Probate Mastery Alumni… We’ve worked damn hard to keep integrity and value and differentiation in that. And now we’re bringing the attorneys into this.
I’ll give you a hint, Brian, hopefully by the end of the first quarter, you’ll be able to go to your attorneys and say, here’s a digital course that will take all the administrative drag out of your business. I’ll license it to your firm. Give it to every, every client… because they have to have that initial conversation over, and over, and over.
So here are the documents you need. Here’s the timeline you need to get them to me in… My paralegal will be harassing you daily until we have these things. And if we can imagine how professional will be, if the attorney had a 20-hour course, that would step for your market, walk them through everything. And it’s just, you know, them being explained to them one little piece at a time, no matter how stressed or no matter how sophisticated or, or not sophisticated, they are, the course will be designed in such a way that it will take all the anxiety and worry away from the personal representative.
It’ll take all the administrative drag off of the law firm. And you’ll be able to one to get the business and social credit for handing it out for free. And that’s the consumer impact piece we’ve been trying to get to. So that’s where we’re headed with this tying together the consumer experience, the attorney experience, and the real estate professionals… you know, we’re always talking about it from the aspect of real estate, but that was part of what earn was, was bringing the attorney into the fold where we can all benefit greater from working together.
And then the EstateExec partnership, which has a lot of room to grow too. I think I think you’ll be excited to see where that’s headed.
Well, I’m gonna let you get back to your day! Any parting words you have, parting advice, for anyone who’s watching this?
Brian Wilson: I would just say, take action. You have done all the hard work for us, Chad. You’ve laid it out for us. This is… Sometimes I tell clients to my detriment… What we’re doing is not rocket science. But it does take a certain level of understanding, a certain level of empathy, and a certain level of relationship building to be successful.
And we can all do it. We’re all already doing that as real estate agents. Now we’re just becoming laser-focused on probate and clients and attorneys and just take action. It’s as laid out for success, as it can be 1, 2, 3, do it. I did it in less than a week. And I know that you can too.
Chad Corbett: And got the result in less than a week. Like I love your story. I want so many more of these. So.. Obviously guys, you can connect if you’re a certified probate expert, you can connect with Brian and the probate mastery alumni group, Facebook group. If you’re in the general public, if you’re not part of our group, you can find him in the estate professionals mastermind. Any other more specific contact information you wanna share?
Brian, if anyone wants to reach out?
Brian Wilson: You can find me online, Brian Wilson hybrid agent. You can find me everywhere.
Chad Corbett: Okay. So if you guys if you’re inspired by this and you’d like to pay Brian back and give him some of your best ideas or collaborate, if you’re in the DMV area and, and want to connect please reach out to him.
The estate professional’s mastermind or Google Brian Wilson, north Arlington, and you should be able to find him. But thanks so much for sharing your story. I hope for everyone watching, I hope this was inspirational and you realized, oh hell, maybe I can do this week. Maybe I’m not as busy as I let on.
Go back and add up the hours of YouTube or television you watched in the last week. If you purchased this course and, and haven’t taken it and then set an accountability goal for yourself.
Brian, thank you so much for sharing your story. I can’t wait to do a follow-up when you’ve got this rolling.
Look what you’ve done in a week. What the hell are you gonna do in 12 months? I look forward to future interviews. Thanks for being a part of our community and sharing with everybody.
Brian Wilson: My pleasure, Chad, thank you. All right. Have a great day.
Chad Corbett: You too.