It’s been said that knowledge is power. Armed with an accurate probate list, you can identify properties that are under the radar. Yet it’s the application of that knowledge that is more powerful. We not only equip you with probate leads, but give you the tools and insights to make the data actionable. Since a probate list captures the information on the Personal Representative, heirs and the attorney, who should you reach out to?
This is the rudimentary question that needs to be answered before you start an outreach campaign, so let’s start with an overview of the parties.
For sure, you should contact the Personal Representative. This is the universal term for the decision maker (normally a close blood relative) that has been granted the authority to wind down the early affairs of the deceased. The Personal Representative is also referred to as the “executor”, “administrator”, “trustee” and other terms depending on their gender, whether there is a will, and other factors, but for simplification we will call this individual the Personal Representative. Since the PR has been assigned the fiduciary duty to liquidate the assets of the deceased, this person exerts the most influence into what happens to the probate property.
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Some clients that subscribe to our probate list swear by contacting the beneficiaries (heirs) in order to facilitate communication between all parties. You have to put a finger on your marketing budget, as you can quickly build a massive list of heirs – the number of contacts can multiply in a case with many beneficiaries. Some of these heirs may not wield any say into what happens to the estate home. A niece can be listed as a beneficiary, but she may not have seen Uncle Bob in 30 years and have no influence into how Uncle Bob’s property is disposed of.
Although attorneys can be cagey creatures, it may be worthwhile to contact them to let them know that you can assist their clients in a quick settlement of the estate. Even though you may not land the deal at hand, by making an introduction to the attorney assigned to the probate case, you can “grease the skids” for other deals. Attorneys can be a reservoir of future, referral-based leads, and we can share with you some proven strategies to get added to their preferred network of real estate professionals.
How To Get Your Message Out?
Losing a loved one is never easy and so because of the unique sensitivities of probate, we don’t recommend sending postcards to a probate list. Postcards are cheap to print, cheap to mail, and there are no barriers to getting opened, but the standard “WE BUY HOUSES” postcards come across as impersonal or crude.
Letters have generated more response, particularly if it strikes of important estate-related correspondence. No real estate logos in the return address! Your message should be one of providing a quick, efficient settlement of the estate with the least complications.
The messaging will be slightly different if you are an investor or a REALTOR®. Better yet is to position yourself as a problem solver that can offer custom solutions according to the unique circumstances of the estate, be it listing the probate property for top dollar or closing escrow quickly by purchasing the home for cash in “AS IS” condition. The more options you can offer the estate, the better. Those families are looking for compassionate, dignified and efficient solutions to resolving their obligations and reducing their stress. NOT an opportunistic vulture looking to sweep in to profit from this trying time.