Maximizing The Power Of Probate With Brett McCollum

FO 28 | Power Of Probate

FO 28 | Power Of Probate


The real estate industry is full of ups and downs, and it’s up to you as the investor to determine how to improve and take advantage of the failures. Paul Lizell sits down with Brett McCollum of MVP Group International to discuss how everyone can maximize the power of probate, which is still considered as the bread and butter of the industry. Brett also shares his takeaways about a particular transaction that went way out of hand. Furthermore, they talk about the stresses that come with managing a team, how their loved ones motivate them to work harder, and how real estate allows them to serve others.

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Maximizing The Power Of Probate With Brett McCollum

Lessons Learned On The Disposition Side

I had Brett McCollum along with me here. He is a friend of mine. We met at a mastermind in Tampa, Florida. We’re kindred spirits. Both of us played college baseball. We got into some high-level college baseball conversations here. We wanted to talk and catch up. I asked him if he minds if I turn it into an episode here. He was hitting some good high-level stuff that would be great for the audience to know. We jumped into a process where he’s buying and reselling a property, and how it went bad with his disposition guy as far as missing out on contacting sellers.

They have a twenty-person VIP buyers list. What happened was the guy only contacted 3 out of the 20. It turned out they could have made some money on this deal. They ended up losing the deal and luckily, it was an inexpensive one. He jumps into that. Brett is a wholesaler. He’s in Gainesville, Florida. He’ll give you a little bit of information about the statistics of the size of his market here. He’s doing some neat and special things here. I hope you enjoy this episode here because I had a lot of fun talking with Brett.

Tell me your process from A to B, your acquisition going on a call, go to see your sales guy. Break down that whole process. Give us a good sample deal that people would love to know about.

I came up through a well-known real estate “guru.” He’s well-respected, a great guy, and I love him to pieces. He’s one of my favorite people on the space. He teaches direct mail. That’s what I grew up with. That’s what I know and what we still do now. It’s our bread and butter. It’s what brings in the deals. Our deals are 85% direct mail, and then the rest are either referral or PPC. That’s where our deals come from. Our typical deal was coming from live events, everybody on our postcards. We live answer every call they come in and then we qualify them.

Our lead manager handles all the inbound calls, and then we have two different people that do our lead management. If they can’t answer the phone for some reason, it’s still going over to my phone so that we don’t ever miss a call. I shut myself down at 7:00 and my phone doesn’t ring after that because I got a wife, kids, and a family. It’ll come in, we’ll answer the call, and we’ll qualify that. Everybody has their own scripts or whatever. What we’ve been doing now because of COVID, and I love it, is it taught us how to deal with this more virtually and making offers virtually versus setting appointments and going to the appointment. I know you’re the OG of virtual. You’ve been doing this forever.

It forced me into that space. Whereas now, I’ve got my lead manager spell trained that he knows how to make front-end offers on the spot. We have ridiculous numbers that we’re getting on our spreads because of it. If it comes into like, “This one needs a little more nurturing” or whatever, I bring me on to a phone call every once in a while to have that follow-up conversation. Maybe they have some extra questions or some uncertainty. The biggest thing for our businesses, and every sales team should develop this, is the faster I can get that seller to trust me or to trust our business, the more we can get a deal.

Sometimes it takes a seller two years of follow-up before they go, “I trust them enough to do this,” or sometimes they’re not ready yet either. That happens. What I found is most of the people that contact us, if you’re going to call me on a $0.35 postcard, you’re probably ready now. You’re probably not, “Let’s see what this is about.” Unless you’re telling me, “Stop contacting me.” All of the negative comments you get. If you’re calling me and you are interested, you’re ready. That’s the way I look at it. I’m treating you like you’re ready. You are motivated now. For whatever reason, we can’t close him in that first process, we’ll set up a follow-up call with me. That’s what I instill to our whole team is The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey. We try to implement that into all of our conversations, “How can we get you to trust me?” That’s what’s changed our business. The call comes in, we qualify, we present an offer. We build that trust relationship with them. They say, yes. At that point is when we populate everything we can. With the virtual process, I’ve been getting our sellers to take photos and videos, and sending them to us.

A lot of people want to hire boots on the ground and I’m like, “You can do that. I’ve done it.” Unless they’re elderly and they don’t have a phone and they say, “I don’t know how to do something,” which happens from time to time, I don’t do that. I ask the seller to do it for us. When you empower a seller to help themselves out, I make it feel like they’re doing something. They feel like, “I’m doing something for this.” I’m like, “I’m going to give you a homework item tonight. I need a handful of photos and give me one video. Walk in there and show me each room.” I tell them what to do. I’m like, “Do you think you can do that?” They’re like, “I can do that.” When they’re done, they send it to me and I’m like, “You’re amazing. You rock. You’re the best.” You make them feel like the hero of the story. That brings that whole process to life.

You building trust with that. You got a relationship going on there too.

FO 28 | Power Of Probate

Power Of Probate: Empowering a seller to help themselves out is empowering on the part of the investor.


We get all that and then we package that up. We send it over to our dispositions, and then we blast that out. That’s why I say we got some ongoing training that we’ve got to clean up from that last one. This is our process. We have a group of buyers that actively buy from us every day. There are everyday buyers. If you’re right at that fold, you’re going to get a call and a text from us directly. In the meantime, we’re building out our campaign for that property. It used to take us about 12 to 18 hours for it to hit emails because we’re building out and making it look a little more professional.

I never used to do that. It used to be, “123 Main Street. Here’s the price. We’ll call you,” because they don’t care. When we’re dealing with volume, we’re trying to showcase ourselves and move away from the local small guy, mom-and-pop flipper to a professional business that this is what we do. That’s the shift that we’ve been making. That goes through that. These VIP buyers, we get the first right of refusal on it. When they don’t take it, it goes to our other next tier level guys. We have close to 1,000 cash buyers on our list at this point that it goes out to.

There are always 15 to 25 guys that are serious buyers, whether it’s fix and flippers or buy and hold guys. You throw it out and they are the first to go. You have other people in your list that occasionally do a deal. It’s more of a hobby for them, the one in the real estate deals. There are some that are like, “I’m here today. I burned out. I’m gone.”

They might buy one property a year or something and it’s cool. That’s the beautiful thing about investing. I guarantee, you run your business different than I do, and your investment strategy for your own personal life is different than mine. The only wrong way is to not do it at all on my own. There may be the best way, but there’s not a wrong one as long as you’re doing something.

Your business has ramped up over the past year-plus. The volume of what you’re doing per month.

I met you down in Tampa, and a lot of guys in that room are like, “Who I want to be when I grow up.” They would tell me like, “COVID’s been our best year ever.” It wasn’t for me though. I realized something that I was good at taking advantage of a hot market without issues in it like COVID pandemic stuff. I knew it was working and I beat it. We did. At the height for us, we live in a small market and I stayed local. There are 197,000 people in our market. I grew up in a small town. That’s not a small town, but for real estate investing, it’s a smaller market.

At the height when COVID hit, we had nine properties. Every month we were doing 7 to 9 like clockwork. COVID hit and I was like, “People stopped calling me. What’s happening?” We went down to three. I was like, “What do we do?” I realized quickly that I was good at taking advantage of the market, not at marketing. I had to learn what marketing looked like. It took me about three months to figure that out because I was split testing stuff, “This isn’t working. That is working.” Fortunately, if you’ve been in the business enough, you know what for until I sent out enough stuff, and I sent out broad enough different categories to what responses we were getting.

We lean hard on the stuff that was working and scale back on the stuff that wasn’t working. It took me about three months to identify who our buyers are currently. Now, we’re back up. We have put our six under contract. We’ve got another four. We’re looking at contracts, not closing because everybody wants talks about, “You’ve got to clear your contracts.” We’re looking at anywhere from 8 to 10. The better part of what COVID did for us is it deepened our spreads. If we’re not going to close as many deals, we get to buy deeper.

You’re maximizing your properties.

The faster you can get a buyer to trust you, the more you can secure a deal. Click To Tweet

If you’re used to making a certain amount of money per month and you’re not getting the same number of deals, you have to figure that out somewhere. The funny thing is that three months, we’re still going to hit our target goals for the end of the year because we’re going deeper. That’s crazy to me.

It’s been our most profitable year too. Partly because once COVID hit, I ramped up my fix and flips because the market was hot. I’m like, “I’m going to do more fix and flips.” Those spreads are big. I’m getting $65,000 to $70,000 spreads on some of these properties. It’s worthwhile to do fix and flips here as opposed to a $10,000 or a $15,000 wholesale. It was all about maximizing what we had. I hate rehabbing. It’s a pain in the ass. It drives me nuts, but it’s a necessary evil.

It’s one of those things where I look at wholesaling. It gives you quick money. Rehabbing gives you bigger money, but look at it more as a quarterly payment as opposed to the monthly payment, and then you’ve got your monthly rental income, which I love. My monthly owner financing income, which I love, and then the educational side income, which is growing all these things. It’s good to have a lot of different tools in your tool belt to be able to do, and deal with all kinds of things. You’re getting big margins right now, which is great.

That saved us in 2020 because it could have gotten bad. When you’re spending a considerable amount of marketing, you’ve got overhead. We never had to let go of anybody in our business. I have to take care of my family, but there are other families that are depending on me too. These people have kids themselves. That’s a massive responsibility. That was scary for a minute because I’m like, “How am I going to take care of these families?” Fortunately, we didn’t have to do any of that, and then because it taught us how to grow deeper and get bigger spreads, our 2021 year, we have our target goal for 2020, which we’re going to hit. Our leadership team will meet and that includes our accountant, CEO, and then me. We’re going to sit down and drill through 2021.

This is the time of the year to do that. Get ready for the goals of 2021.

The plane is in the bullet, and then she’s working backward. That took me four years to figure that out. I’m not that smart. All of you guys in this room, I’m like, “How are you so good? I’m not that smart.”

It’s experience. In years, you’re going to be in such a different realm, in such a different level from your experience, having gone through this cycle. When the cycle goes through and you hit the next one, you’re going to be like, “I remember this happened before. This cycle will be different, but we can adjust here.” That’s what it is. What you were talking about having to potentially let go of people, every single guy in that room was talking about the number one thing they had was, “I might have to fire my staff and get rid of people. These people have families.” Nobody wanted to, and people weren’t cut. They waited. They were able to keep everybody and everything ended up being okay, but that locked down last longer, then there would have been heads rolling. It would have been people cut and losing their jobs. That’s a stress that you have right there.

That’s the stuff that keeps me up at night because I know that deals are going to happen. I know that we’re going to be okay. I know that in my personal life, I’ve been able to put away for a “rainy day.” We’re going to be okay. Other families that are relying on us, that’s a big deal.

That’s an extra stress. That’s part of being an entrepreneur. When you look at it, there’s a part of the things you got to deal with here. You’re in the Gainesville market. Are you looking to expand at all or are you going to keep it in Gainesville for now?

FO 28 | Power Of Probate

Power Of Probate: Rehabbing is not an easy task, but it is a necessary evil everyone must swallow.


We’ve already expanded. Thank God for our family mastermind group because when I was there with you guys, the amount of clarity that I walked away from, I already had some ideas and things that I was shopping around in my head. I left there and I was like, “This time, I know what we’re doing.” We’ve already started taking action on it immediately. The day I got back, I was like, “We’re doing it.” What ended up happening for us is, we were doing probably 75% to 80% of our deals from one marketing source. It became probate. Everybody hates probate a little bit because it’s long of a process. It’s difficult. For me, I’ve developed a team on this enough that it’s only difficult because you haven’t figured it out yet.

It’s different process with probate.

I’m not saying I’m an expert or anything like that, but we figured out the process. Our fastest probate that we got done is in July 2020. We did that one in three days. My probate attorney is legitimately the best there is. I can’t say highly enough of this guy. It was a summary of the administration. It wasn’t a formal full probate. I should probably clarify that. To get the property legally able to sell, it took him three days and we bought it. That was the fastest one. Most of our deals are coming from this. Why is nobody doing this?

The biggest people in the industry that I know all do probate deals, but it’s just probate-and. It’s like they might get one here and there and it pops up. Once we started focusing on probate and marketing to probate, specifically a marketing piece to that customer, to the families and you relate to the families of those people, it exploded. We are in six markets in Florida doing probate. We were there in September 2020 and early November 2020. We were in six markets actively doing deals.

For the readers, probate is some of the most profitable deals too. You do have some equity spread and a chance to have real nice margins on these. I’ve done them over the years as well. They are good ones.

Those spreads are about as good as I’ve ever seen for me consistently.

They were our best margins too. I stopped doing that direct mail in 2013 because I was getting enough inventory from online auctions, REOs, and all those other things. Those probate deals were always our biggest margins. The next biggest margin list for us was the high equity list. That has probably changed over the years a little bit, but probates are still bread and butter for a lot of people out there.

We were hard in on the tax delinquents. I like the 2 and 3 years back on your taxes. It’s hard to come on that hole and they would call us. We would get deep deals there as well. They weren’t forcing the tax sales anymore on the courthouse or anything with COVID. I always tell people, “In a wholesale deal, you are sellers.” I say it and people are like, “This makes sense,” but nobody thinks about that. Our sellers are professional procrastinators. They’re going to put it off for as humanly possible until they have to get rid of something. When the taxes weren’t being enforced like, “You’re going to lose something if you don’t do this,” they stop responding to us.

That was when I went hard in on. That was worse so than probate. They weren’t evicting people. There were not a lot of opportunities by way of the natural part of tax delinquents, evictions, these things weren’t happening because of COVID. It’s like, “What do I do?” I hope I don’t sound morbid, but the one certainty that I had was, “People are still going to die someday.” We all are. It won’t change. When it does, a lot of people get burdened that they didn’t want. We put our hand up and we say, “Call us. We’ll help you out.” It took me months of figuring out the process of probate before I figured out how to get it done fast and efficiently.

There may be the best way to do real estate, but there's not a wrong one either. Click To Tweet

Whereas now, we’re getting it done because every state has different laws around probates. Ours is like, if you’ve died within two years, it’s accredited for a period of 90 days. In our market, we have a lot of rentals that are only worth $70,000 or $80,000. You can get those properties that are $70,000 and $80,000 or less. I can have my probate attorney talk to the judge throughout the sale of that property during the accredited period within that 90 days. Our average time is 2 or 3 weeks max on these probate deals, which is the average wholesale anyway. Nothing has changed for us on that timeline. For the first time in our business that I can think of, I felt like we became a service company. We’re providing a service to people, not just, “We’re house buyers.”

You even the process for them.

It was like, “We’re providing a service.” That’s how we started doing our marketing too. It’s as a service versus, “I’m interested in your property, would you consider a cash sale for it? If I can make you a fair cash offer, as is no commissions.”

You are offering to help them out. You’re giving them something without asking for anything yet. You build that rapport, build that trust, and then they’re going to want to deal with you when it comes to the sale over somebody else.

It became about pointing the systems and processes around that. The cool thing about probates is there are not that many of them per market per county or per wherever you’re going. I can be in six markets with just that. My budget didn’t skyrocket. The crazy part is I’m still talking to as many or more people than I ever have in the past for less money.

The biggest thing is your cost per unit goes down.

Our spreads are even bigger on the other side. We didn’t abandon all local market though. We’re still doing local stuff. Statewide, that’s the push that we’re doing.

You keep growing it. You figure it out from there and maybe you even move into other states at some point too. While you got this well-oiled machine going, no state law in Florida sticks with that for now and go as deep and as wide as he can, as long as he can manage it and continue to grow it.

You’ve got to go deeper before you can go wider.

FO 28 | Power Of Probate

Power Of Probate: Make sure you’ve got every possible scenario in your market taken care of before going into other markets.


Go deeper as deep as you could possibly go. Make sure you’ve got every possible scenario in your market taken care of before you go into those other markets.

We’re in six, but I’m not until at least the end of the first quarter of 2021. I don’t think it’s wise for us to go much further than that. Because that growing deeper, not wider mentality, I want to be able to max what we’re doing with that so that now we know exactly what to expect. We’ve built the processes, and then we can scale it to whatever we want to from that point. I know a lot of people that have success overnight. They want to go in every market out there and then they might be successful for a minute, but then it collapses on itself because they didn’t have the foundation from the beginning.

The speed of growth is an important thing in managing it. I remember our first mastermind that belonged to Clark Jim back in the day. When you first go there, this guy is saying, “I want to do these many deals.” Everybody is like, “I want to do these many deals.” I want to cut down the amount of deals I do and maximize my profit on each one. That’s my objective. It was the complete opposite. I’d rather work smarter, not harder. Try to maximize what you can profit-wise at each one, and not have to work like a madman possessed.

There was so much more like, “I got close to ten.” I was less stressed doing 4 or 5.

It’s so much less painful.

Financially speaking, we can hit our numbers. What’s the purpose of growing beyond that? Is it for selfish gain to make more money selfishly, or what’s the purpose behind it?” Personal opinion, I want to be more well-rounded. By that, I mean, I want to be able to spend time with my family where they get my full attention. My kids are young ones. He had his attention because he’s always worried about those ten properties under contract. I’ve got four, we’re making as much money and they’ve got my full attention. My wife gets my full attention. I’m trying to figure out what that number balance looks like for what that healthiness is. I haven’t figured it out yet, but it’s absolutely in front of mind for us.

I’m trying to figure our number out here, which works well. I used to always be doing ten-plus deals per month. When I cut it down to 5 to 8, those were so much more manageable. Somewhere between 60 and 90 deals a year is such a nice control. I could even do less if I rehab more, but I don’t want to rehab more. It’s a whole other business in and of itself. That number is good. I do a couple of whole tales here, a couple of rehabs here, and now I’m in the process to hire somebody to manage my rehab. I don’t have to do anything with them. I don’t want any part of it. I want to pay them. You’re my manager. You’re going to get a cut out of the spread and a monthly flat fee. I don’t have to deal with it. That’s my objective.

We’ve got two rehabs going in and I don’t like it. The numbers are too good. We couldn’t do it. It was not a financially sound thing to do.

You don’t want to leave money on the table when it’s easy enough for you to do.

The most rewarding experience is to appreciate the opportunity of serving others. Click To Tweet

We’re promoting so hard and I think you’ve done it. It’s like we’re private money sourcing and you can’t source private money if you don’t have deals to hand them like, “We want your money, but in the future, not right now.” That’s not good for business. That was a handful of things. One, the numbers were good, but two, we were trying to push our private money more to add that into our repertoire. I did the same thing. I delegated out the rehab as well. I’m not that savvy on it. I haven’t done it enough to be like, “I know exactly what I’m doing with this.”

Let somebody else handle it who’s the better expert and better at doing it. In other markets that I rehab the property in Casper, Wyoming, I have a guy out there. I picked up twelve units out there. It’s small multi-unit building here, two of them. I’m going to have this guy be managing everything. He knows what I want and how I want it to look. He’s going to manage all that. I have a guy out in Tucson, Arizona, an REO agent who helps me locate the properties. He gets to the contractors, manages and handles them all. I don’t have to do anything there other than send checks or wires to the contractor. It’s a smarter way to do it. Locally, I’ve been hesitant to do that because I’ve been able to manage them here. I’m like, “I’m done with it. I don’t want to do it at all anymore.” I need to cut myself completely from doing that and focus on other things. A balanced life, my 2021 goals are going to be somewhat similar to yours with things like that.

That’s why we do it. If I had no reason behind it besides making money, what’s the point?

There would be no point. Have fun with them, future for them, and hopefully, they follow in your footsteps and do that same business and see where it goes.

What’s funny is I’ve been to the property first. I make sure it’s safe, but I’ll bring my son out with me now. I let him see it and let him be out there. We’re driving places. He’s six. He’ll be like, “Daddy, I see a house that I think they need your help.” I’m like, “This is amazing.” He’ll be talking to somebody, “My dad helps people with houses. Do you know anybody that needs help with their house?” I’m like, “That’s the coolest thing.”

He might become your best marketer.

The kid has no fear of people. He’s not afraid to talk to strangers. He has no fear of rejection because he hasn’t learned that that’s a thing. He says stuff. He’s wise beyond his years with it.

He hears you talk. He’s watching you and learning. He’s an acquisitive kid. They should be at that age.

At a point one time. This was August 2020. I’m out with him. I’d already been there and met them once, but for whatever reason, we didn’t do the deal. I don’t know why. I bring him out with me because of schedule-wise. He comes out there standing next to me at my side, he looks at the seller in their eye, and said, “Are you going to let my dad help you or not?” I’ve tried to teach him like, “You can’t do that. You can’t interject,” but we got that one. I was like, “Do I owe my son?”

FO 28 | Power Of Probate

Power Of Probate: You have to coach each individual differently.


Hopefully, he does follow in your footsteps. That’s what we hope as parents.

You have to do this exactly. What we’re teaching our kids is like, I want them to think outwardly not inwardly. This may not be for everybody and I’m going to make that disclaimer, but this is true for us and what we believe. I believe that to do what makes you happy is one of the most selfish things we can teach our kids. I endorse that 100%, but I would rather, “What does my fellow man need? How can I serve other people?” What I ended up finding is what serves them the most is this weird by-product. I naturally am happy with that. That fulfillment comes, that happiness and joy, because there’s still not a day that I don’t wake up and go, “I don’t like our business.” This is the most fun thing I could ever have happened. Do you think it was the thing that I wanted to do when I grew up? No, I want to be a baseball player.

We both played college and that was our goal. This was not even a thought process in either of our brains.

I stumbled into this. I wasn’t an entrepreneur. I wasn’t a natural-born like any of that. Now, the more I know about how much we serve other people and the by-product is like, “This is the most rewarding experience.” We’re teaching our children, “Look out there and see what the needs are around us, and let’s solve those problems.” You don’t have to do what I do, but solve problems in the world because you’ll find your happiness is directly related to that.

You’re helping people out and you’re gaining financially from helping people out too. It’s a win-win for everybody. When it’s a win-win like that, it doesn’t get any better than that. It’s why this business is good on many different levels. I always want this real estate business to be mom-and-pop. I don’t want to see big hedge funds out there to try to do what we do because they’ll screw it up. They won’t manage people. They will be out there and try every dollar they can, because that’s the nature of the hedge fund and it’s got to be as profitable as possible.

Their business is good and what they’re doing. They’re buying in nice neighborhoods, holding for a period of time, 5 or 10 years. Get the equity in, either sell it or rerun it. They’re great buyers for us. We can sell properties. We’re willing to pay for the property because they have a totally different model. Their model isn’t wholesale. Their model is 5 or 10 years down the road, whatever that is. There’s a place for them. I always feel like mom-and-pop companies, like our companies will always be needed and a necessary thing.

It doesn’t go away. Our sellers in the wholesale world are not the normal breed of sellers either. Everybody wants to treat wholesaling, sell it. People want to treat those sellers like, “Why would they offer that price? Why do it for that? Why would you get those questions all the time?” They’re not the 95% of the population. That’s why I’ve stuck with direct mail because it keeps me real in front of you now. It keeps me feeling local to you now. Even if I’m not directly in your market, it keeps me in front of you because most of those people for us need real people. They want to do business with real people, not a big box business.

Zillow or Redfin and all those guys are going to get theirs. There’s a market for them. The mass-market share for people that want real people, that are genuinely and legitimately going to care for them at a core foundation level versus me making a dollar. I don’t know how many “deals” I’ve turned away or turned over to somebody else because it wasn’t the right fit for us and it wasn’t the right fit for them. We could have done it. It would have been the wrong thing to do.

Karmically, you would pay for that down the road.

Never stop learning in anything and any business. Click To Tweet

When we were down there in Tennessee, we talked about this briefly. What makes the whole process real for me is most of the people that I’ve met with, or that distressed fellow that we’re so accustomed and used to in the wholesale world, I grew up with it. We were the distressed family. I haven’t shared this with a lot of people, but I could tell in the world. We were physically homeless twice. I was six years old the first time, and fifteen years old the second time. We lived in a four-door car, my mom, dad, brother, and I, and our dog for six months.

You’ve been there where people are at the bottom. That’s tough.

I was fifteen so I was old enough to understand that this isn’t normal. It was what drove me with baseball. That’s what drove me to get better because I was, “I had to get out. I had no way out.” Now when I meet with these people that I see how rough life is on them, I can put myself in that position because I feel it and it’s real. That for me is one of the hardest things. We’re talking about letting go of different things in the business. I have a hard time letting go of some of that stuff because I don’t ever want to lose touch and sight of that person because I was that person.

That’s a driving factor for me in what we do. Even if I’ve done many deals over the last several years where we didn’t make a dollar, but we helped that seller. They’re hopeless and we can give them hope. What a powerful tool that we have in our world. I don’t want to go too far on that tangent. I started my business to pay the bills to make ends meet. Literally in three months, it turned into, “This is an opportunity to help a category of people that I never thought I’d be able to help.”

It’s one of your whys as to why you do this.

It is a massive drive.

People need to keep that in perspective and always understand that. That’s one of the reasons you like being a part of that. It’s talking to the people to find out what their situation is so you can help them in any which way because you never know.

How can I possibly train somebody to feel that empathy?

You have to be able to live it and experience it.

That’s been one of the hard things for me in our business. I feel bad that I’m going back to selfish. That is why the virtual process for us has gotten so awesome. It’s easier to delegate how to make offers on the front end when I don’t go belly to belly with that person. I know to grow our business to where we want on a consistent level and where I want to on a freedom level of like time, I cannot be that person every day. I want to start other businesses. I want to do other things. There’s other stuff that you want to do. If I’m in the weeds of our business every day, I can’t possibly do any of that. At the same time, I struggle with this balance ball, but that person. Who is that person? Don’t I owe it to them? If I can teach our business how to serve that person, I’m still helping them. You think you have a lot of stuff figured out. The more I think I figured it out, the more I realized that I have more to figure out.

FO 28 | Power Of Probate

Power Of Probate: When you’re in a winning culture, you learn how to win.


You never stopped learning in anything and any business. You’re going to be coaching your kids’ in baseball and sports like I did for ten-plus years of coaching travel baseball. Every year I learned something more. The biggest thing I always learned to do from a jump. Every kid and personality is different. You have to coach each individual differently. You can’t treat them all the same. If you want to get the most out of each one, you’ve got to know what motivates this person. It gives them apprehension. The two best coaches I ever knew studying Vince Lombardi, Bill Belichick and John Wooden from UCLA.

What they all understood is the player’s strengths, “I’m going to maximize your strengths. What are your weaknesses? I’m going to cover your weaknesses. You’re not good at this so I’m going to protect you from this.” That’s what a good coach is. That’s why the Patriots are usually always good. Besides having a good quarterback, they’re good and competitive because of that. That correlates in the business. How do you motivate your salespeople in the right way and show them how each seller is different, and what motivates that seller? Each one is different. Sports is life and life is sports.

Those coaches see. You’ve been on winning teams and you’ve probably been on losing teams before. If you play sport, you know what that feels like. When you’re in a winning culture, you learn how to win that. I know what it takes to win in a winning culture. When you go on a losing team, it’s like, “My team, the Browns, haven’t won in eternity.” When you’re Baker Mayfield and you get drafted in the first round, it’s like, “I’m going to the Browns.”

It’s no wonder that this person is like, “I’m okay,” but then you get Cam Newton, for example, who was on top of his game for a minute and then hit rock bottom. He’s on a one-year contract and looks at how he’s performing in the system now. He’s playing good football, but he’s in a winning culture. It elevates everybody around you. All those coaches that you named, that’s what they created, winning cultures. That’s the goal of our businesses. If I’m going to go on an appointment, I will walk away with that deal. That is the melody that I’m taken in it. I’m trying to teach that with every one of the calls that come in to our leads managers, “If they’re going to call you, close it.”

It’s a necessity. It’s a must. At that point, they’re motivated and want to move the property. They want to be done with it.

Everybody gets the win. That’s a beautiful thing. It’s not me or you, but everybody is. I can go in on the coaching stuff. That’s a passion. That’s what we bonded over. We love that sports team because it was our whole life.

It’s a competitive thing. I play paddle platform tennis. I’m super competitive with that. That’s my new thing. As I get older and I can’t move as well, it’ll be pickleball or something or golf. I’ll find my new thing. Once you get that competitive desire and you want to compete with that, you never lose it. It goes and it bleeds in everything in life. My wife and I are super competitive. She’s big into the paddle too. We’re playing in a mixed tournament which is going to be a lot of fun, but we’re hard on each other. We’re playing, “Why don’t you make that mistake? That was stupid. Why did you do that?” We are back and forth. We drive each other to be better. It’s important. Brett, I appreciate it. Thanks for sharing all this stuff. This was great. The audience is going to love it. I have fun talking with you.

I love it. We are going to catch up.

We’re going to do these more often for sure.

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