Landing referrals from probate attorneys
Attorneys already have real estate agents they work with, right? Sure. So what? Distinguish yourself from the next REALTOR® to provide a better experience for their clients.
I'm somewhat bewildered when I hear agents shy away from contacting attorneys because it's a country club network of preferred agents they've worked with for 20+ years. Let's face it, other people sell real estate. The key is separating yourself from your competition and earn their referrals. It's no different from what you do every day in your real estate business, and it's the same with reaching out to attorneys.
There is no need to be intimidated when approaching attorneys for referrals. To object on the grounds that an attorney has already cultivated relationships with a REALTOR® is a little like saying you shouldn't approach buyers or sellers because, well, there are other real estate agents that can handle the task o listing the home or finding a home.
I'll get off my soap box and offer a couple actionable strategies to get in good graces with lawyers and turn them into a reservoir of probate, trust, and inherited property leads.
Volunteer to take pictures.
This is what I dub a "low maintenance" decision on behalf of the attorney. Remind the attorney that the estate does not want to be sidetracked with code violations or deferred maintenance and that the assets of the estate could be eaten up by the costs in maintaining it. With their permission, you can take photos of the estate home to ascertain its condition to anticipate - and forestall - any issues later on.
Provide them a platform to "guest blog"
Probate can be a complicated legal matter and Personal Representatives/heirs going through this process are well served to hear from an attorney on such weighty issues.
Ask an attorney (or CPA's and other professionals, for that matter) to write an article to be promoted on your real estate website. Funny thing is, are you asking them for a referral? No. You are asking permission to promote their legal services. Not a hard sell, right?
"Mr. attorney, my name is Karen and I'm a local realtor that specializes in helping families going through probate liquidate the real estate portion of the estate. I have a website that is dedicated to probate assistance/education, and since you are likewise an expert in this arena, I'm curious if you can write an article or two for inclusion on my blog. In this way, we can both provide valuable insight to people that are going through this tough time, and it may be a good vehicle to promote your legal practice".
Again, this is taking the soft-sell approach - you are not asking them directly for referrals, merely giving them a platform to dispense legal advice, and the referrals will flow organically.