NOTES with Jay Conner Success
How to Use Probate to Source Real Estate Deals
A t my recent mastermind meeting I held earlier this summer, we identified over 100 different ways we find deals! Not that you have to use all 100 ways, but it’s good to keep in mind that foreclosures, though they do account for 25 percent of our deals, aren’t the only thing real estate investors should keep their eye on. In fact, a good 15 percent of deals I do in my business are through the probate process. Just so we’re all on the same page: When the owner or part-owner of a property has passed away, the property goes into an estate or probate process. This gives companies and individuals time to place any claims to money the estate may owe them. It’s during this process that we as real estate entrepreneurs are able to market to the heirs of the estate to possibly provide a solution if the executor or new owner of the estate wants to sell the property. When it comes to probate deals, I had to learn a lot of things the hard way. This month, I’m going to show you how to avoid the mistakes I made in the past and start getting probate deals yourself. The Big Secret About Probate Lists Years ago, when we started marketing to people in the probate process, I used to go down to the courthouse and look up records myself. This is what I call the “hard way.” Over time, I learned how to streamline the process and now I get my probate list from a very valuable website. This website is one of my big secrets. I usually only share it with the students who attend my live events. But to help you get started working with probate deals today, I’m going to encourage you to visit UsLeadList.com . Once a quarter, this website generates a list of estates that have gone into probate in your area. Though they won’t tell you how recent the names are or when the person on the list passed away, you can use this list to reach out to people in the probate process who may be looking to sell the estate. This subscription is not that expensive; I pay around $250 a year for lists I get every 90 days. The Right Way to Reach Out to Someone in Probate How you contact the names on your list is very important. I use a letter I crafted myself. It’s personalized, right down to the envelope. The envelope is hand-addressed with a live stamp. Inside of the envelope, the tone of the letter is really soft, but I lay it all out for them. I’m upfront with how I got
their information, I express sympathy for their loss, and I acknowledge they may not be interested in selling the property right now, if ever. But if they are thinking about selling, I let them know I’m here to help.
I include the benefits of doing business with me — for example, not having to deal with a bunch of people from the real estate community dig through their relative’s home. If they want to close quickly, the letter lets them know we can close in as little as seven days and that we can make an offer on the property with no loan contingencies, no inspections, and no appraisals. And I make a point to mention that I buy properties in any condition. If you know anything about my foreclosure system, you know I use sequential letters when trying to close foreclosure deals. I do not do that with probate deals. Probate letters are soft. I don’t want to be hitting these people over the head. But the thing is, I don’t have to send multiple letters in a probate deal. What I’ve found with these people, the executor or heirs of the estate, is that they will hang onto the letter. Some people will call me right away, but there are others I won’t hear from until a year later. Now this is really important: If you are working in a small area, do not automate the letters going out to the people on the list you get from UsLeadList.com before you get a chance to review the recent list. You don’t want people you know closely getting the letter right after you saw them at their loved one’s funeral. Never Mail a Yellow Letter If you don’t know, a yellow letter is just that: a yellow letter with a message that basically says, “I want to buy your house!” in what looks like a handwritten font. A yellow letter may work well for most other leads, but for a probate deal, oh my lands, don’t even think about it. Yes, this is another thing I learned the hard way. I made the mistake of sending yellow letters to the names on my probate list, and it was horrible! Once, I got a voicemail from a young lady who Continued on page 3 ...
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