Finally selected my niche!!! Looking for advice from the EXPERIENCED

9 Replies

Hello fellow investors,

Finally I have decided to go with wholesaling probate deals as my niche. Obviously I am a new investor and I am seeking any and all advice from those who have mastered the art of probate deals. I have chosen this for multiple reasons. One being, I am very low on capital and my credit isn't the best either, so in order to build my revenue Im going to wholesale until I can make bigger and better moves. I have done a good amount of research on this and I am continuing my studies here on BiggerPockets. I've chosen to order bandit signs with my google voice number posted on them as my initial marketing to end buyers. Please give any advice you have in field. I am also looking for a solid mentor in the Houston area who is willing to teach a young, hungry, and very motivated future investor. I am willing to offer my time to someone who provides me with the experience and knowledge needed to succeed in this journey. Thank you all in advance. I hope to hear from you very soon. 

@Cordell Hinton-Brown

 I don't know squat about that niche, but wanted to wish you luck! Maybe you can find some other wholesalers to bounce ideas off of. 

You don't need to worry about a niche until you've learned the basics. 

Study real estate principals, title, escrow, valuation and financing. I am amazed at the number if people who want to fly jets before they've taken ground school, flight training or solo'd.

Probate is a drawer full of tools that go into your larger tool chest. Not really a niche to start with. 

Once you do, study the probate code in the state(s) you intend to do business in.

Probate is really just a title problem with a lot of moving parts. 

@Rick Harmon

Best of luck with doing probate wholesaling! The leads are definitely very motivated and are looking for any help they can find.

I've been wholesaling about 2 years now and will say that the probate deals we've done have been the most time intensive. From affidavit of heirships to releases, etc., you'll find that one of the best tools in your pocket is a good title company. If you can find one that works well with investors and also has a solid legal team, they will help make your job a lot easier. 

Also be prepared to understand how heirships work and what the level of entitlement is. Rule of thumb: go down, go up, go over. As in, if someone is deceased and you need to find their heirs, first look down a level to their kids. If no kids, look up to their parents. If no parents, look at their siblings. If none of that, go up to the parents, move over to their relatives and repeat. One of my investing partners told me (and wisely so) that there is ALWAYS an heir. You just have to find them.

With that, you may also need help with skip-tracing. Keep that in mind if you need to find someone who has rights to the property.

Finally (and I know this is long), I would recommend using yellow letters or postcards to probate leads. We've found these work a little better as they are a bit lengthier in text, can convey more feeling (especially with a death in the family), and are more targeted. With bandit signs, you're going to get lots of calls but many of them will probably be tire kickers. 

Keep up the marketing and good luck! Let me know if you'd like any help.

Cheers!

Originally posted by @Rick H. :

You don't need to worry about a niche until you've learned the basics. 

Study real estate principals, title, escrow, valuation and financing. I am amazed at the number if people who want to fly jets before they've taken ground school, flight training or solo'd.

Probate is a drawer full of tools that go into your larger tool chest. Not really a niche to start with. 

Once you do, study the probate code in the state(s) you intend to do business in.

Probate is really just a title problem with a lot of moving parts. 

 I've more than studied the basics. I've devoted tons of time reading, watching videos, and talking with other investors. Hence why I stated that in the original post. Now it's time for me to take action and put boots to the ground. 

Ok. You've got all the answers then what's stopping you?

Go for it!

Originally posted by @Rick H. :

Ok. You've got all the answers then what's stopping you?

Go for it!

 Not saying I have all the answers. I'm just saying that I have done my due diligence in learning the basics of the real estate game. Im just looking for someone with the experience in this specific area.

@Cordell Hinton-Brown

I have no experience what so ever in that particular field.  If you truly are ready to take action then and are only seeking someone more experienced here's what I would do if it was me;

Instead of searching for someone to come to me and help and give advice, I'd search through the particular niche or field's forums for someone who has posted on a deal they've seen success with.  Or even a regular user on the forum who chimes in on the field.  Approach them directly and share my background, my intention, and the value I'm going to provide for them, if they would be so kind as to advise me on getting started. That's just me, though.

Goodluck!

Originally posted by @Cory Gardner :

@Cordell Hinton-Brown

I have no experience what so ever in that particular field.  If you truly are ready to take action then and are only seeking someone more experienced here's what I would do if it was me;

Instead of searching for someone to come to me and help and give advice, I'd search through the particular niche or field's forums for someone who has posted on a deal they've seen success with.  Or even a regular user on the forum who chimes in on the field.  Approach them directly and share my background, my intention, and the value I'm going to provide for them, if they would be so kind as to advise me on getting started. That's just me, though.

Goodluck!

 You are absolutely correct. Thank you very much for that reply. I'm very new to biggerpockets.com so I'm still learning the ropes. That's exactly what I am going to do. 

Probate is a phase that an estate goes thru, the purpose of which (we care about) is to transfer the ownership of real estate from the name of the deceased into the name(s) of the heirs.  In the case where there are multiple heirs, the heirs are often represented by a family trust.  In the probate process, the executor (aka personal representative) files with the county court the appropriate documentation (will, inventory of assets, etc.) and when the process is completed, the deeds for real estate are changed to reflect the new owners (the heirs).  Now, those new owners can sell the real estate, if they choose.

When probates are initially filed, that record is public information and you can get it and market to those people.  Probate marketing needs to be very sensitive and professional - it's not the cheesy "my wife and I want to $BUY$ your grandma's house" stuff.

Probate processes can take months, so we mail to them every 2 month over a 6 month period (i.e., 3 mailings).

Some of the people I know that are successful with probates actually research the estates and call the executors/PRs.

Any communication needs to be super professional - you provide a service to convert real estate to cash, with very little hassle.  And cash is the only way to divide the estate among the heirs, if that is what they ultimately want to do.

But once a property is inherited, sometimes family members live in it or it will sit vacant for years.  I often find people still paying all the bills on their parent's vacant house for YEARS after inheriting it, just because they haven't gotten around to doing anything about it.

So, where does a property go after the probate phase?  If the heirs don't live in it, it then shows up in your ABSENTEE OWNER lists.  THAT is why that list is good for us.  We can't buy a house while the estate is in probate, not until the deed is in the name of the heirs.  It's the ABSENTEE OWNED INHERITED HOUSES that you want to target.

Absentee Owners are a better, more target rich list than Probates, because absentees also includes "tired landlords" - one of our other favorite targets.  As a result, I would first market to absentees, then consider probate as an additional layer to my marketing strategy.

"Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later." ~ Og Mandino

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