Author - Tim Yandell

Are You An Ambulance Chaser?

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One of the most common concerns we hear from new subscribers to the probate leads offered by All The Leads is the fear that people they contact will accuse them of being ambulance chasers, hearse chasers or worse. Does that really happen? In truth, it’s pretty rare, but even when it does, a proper approach on the phone call can usually turn negative emotions into genuine appreciation. It’s all a matter of understanding what they need.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Despite that, many Americans dread April 15th and fail to plan for it until it’s too late and unfortunately, even less of us plan effectively for what happens after our time on earth is up. Sometimes a will has been created and an executor or executrix has been named before someone passes away, but that’s usually about the extent of any planning. Most often, that personal representative is saddled with decisions they must make alone that are quite hard to make without direct advice from the person who has passed on.

All too often, other family members have strong opinions about what needs to be done with the estate and in most cases, where real estate is involved, the person who died also left a home filled with a lifetime accumulation of possessions – many with strong sentimental value.

There’s also the pressure of time. Usually the person who’s been appointed as the personal representative was seen by the deceased as the one with the best ability to make decisions and typically, that person is working a full-time job. Having the time to deal with the many challenges of probate is often a very critical problem and almost every newly minted personal representative usually takes on that responsibility with absolutely no experience whatsoever and precious little available time to devote to the task.

They are constantly aware of the ticking clock and the stressful pressure to get the estate settled quickly and get the monkey off their back. Sometimes that clock is actually a timer, meaning that the estate has to be settled by a certain date to provide funds for something specific like medical care, housing for a surviving spouse or other family member, or a myriad of other time-sensitive deadlines.

Last, but certainly not least, in addition to the newly shouldered responsibility of being a personal representative, they may also be deeply mourning the death of the person who just appointed them as the most important person on earth to their remaining interests.

That’s certainly not a great way to begin each day, but every personal representative wakes up with this stress and added pressure every morning.

Then, guess what? Their phone rings and who’s calling? … IT’S YOU!

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Mailing Mistake May Miss Million$

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It’s always great when I can share a tip from a subscriber … especially when that subscriber is one of our oldest and most successful. I had the pleasure of learning this info yesterday in just such a conversation. I was speaking with this subscriber about a technical question he’d called me about. After answering his technical question, he mentioned that he was really excited to be back on track after changing brokers in the middle of last year. Based on a previous conversation, I knew that he’d been the new office’s agent of the month several times already and had enjoyed a couple of million dollar months, so I was curious about what “back on track” meant. His answer was enlightening.

He said that he’d been sending his letters out faithfully, but that he’d noticed they’d not been generating the same results as before. Initially he was concerned that maybe his new broker might have a less favorable reputation than his previous one, but that was before he noticed that several of the other agents in his office were offering homes with “estate sales” and the LIGHT BULB WENT OFF for him. When he’d changed brokers, he’d started adding the new office’s phone number to his mailings as well as his direct line. Then, he looked to see who the sellers were on the properties his officemates had listed and indeed, they were ones he’d mailed to.

Initially, he was concerned that he might have been been poached. However, he was pretty comfortable that was not the problem. Then he listened to the receptionist take a few calls and realized that if someone called the office and asked for probate and didn’t ask for him specifically, it went to whoever was available. He immediately stopped listing the office number on his letters and now, in the last 30 days, he’d taken one new listing already and had three more immediate listing appointments. I’d say he was definitely back on track!

However, be aware that when YOU are paying for your marketing, you must make sure YOU are reaping ALL THE BENEFITS the benefits. In your letters, whether we do them for you via Mailbox Motivator or you’re still doing them yourself, be sure you are driving the traffic to you, not feeding the rest of your office. List ONLY your phone number and it’s also one of the reasons we recommend using one of the special probate-focused websites we provide.  Control your lead flow and make sure your lead flow funnel points directly and ONLY INTO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT.

Are you a matchmaker or a wedding planner?

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I saw this great picture posted on a friend’s Facebook page and I thought it was worth sharing and discussing a bit. All too often, we get all tied up in the mechanics of the work we do every day.  That can make us lose sight of the fact that the people we are dealing with every day are making one of the biggest decisions they’ll ever make. That means they are under unusual stress and many people are unaccustomed to dealing with stress.  If we always keep in mind that being extremely patient and truly continuing to probe with easy questions as to what a client does and doesn’t like about anything you show them, you’ll become a far better “matchmaker” and get the opportunity to be a “wedding planner” faster and more frequently.  You can often learn as much from showing a house that a client hates as you can from showing them one they love.