According to HM Land Registry and HMRC, which records all completed transactions with a SDLT of over £40,000 in value, one in ten properties that completes is a probate sale, which is typically 110,000 sales every single year.
The average sale fee in the UK is £4,100. That means for estate agents there is a combined huge pot of over £450m of potential fees.
The problem is that a huge percentage of estate agents have no way of tapping into that flow of fees, apart from random and rare instructions that come their way.
Milton Rodosthenous, founder of LetsBid Property, identified this problem faced by estate agents and decided to level the playing field by helping agents get a regular supply of probate instructions.
He personally invested in a cutting-edge technology solution which allows agents to get more than their normal share of these type of completions.
Knowing also the extrovert estate agents’ reluctance to utilise technology, Rodosthenous designed the whole automated system in such a way that it quietly and efficiently works 24/7 in the background, producing probate instruction leads, with minimal agency input.
As Rodosthenous puts it: “Large corporates have asset management divisions and strong associations with solicitors and banks and lenders, all of which makes sense. But it is almost impossible for the local independent agent to break into this marketplace, with LetsBid Property now they can.”
Not only do agents get hold of extra inventory to sell, but, as Rodosthenous says: “Agents get a second huge benefit, as once they successfully sell a probate property a strong connection is made with the solicitor, giving them a good chance of getting future instructions; not to mention we also list 3-6 months of probate stock with solicitors details giving them priceless information on who they should be networking with.”
When asked why estate agents do not set up a system to find probates, Rodosthenous says that all of this is a very specialised field. “I have a huge amount of knowledge and experience in this sector and that is where the germ of the idea came from plus its time at a click of a button, they have the information instantly with us.
“The system was developed in secret over a period of time and has been fine-
tuned, and already with just an organic path to gaining clients, there has been a recent surge, now with the Spring market we want all agents to contact us.”
Rodosthenous says: “The monthly cost of around £60 more than covers the fee of just one completed probate sale. Not to mention you get so much more with a prospecting tool and an auction tool within that price, which means that not only does it pay for itself, the return on investment is huge; just one extra completion a month could add £40,000 plus to an agents profit line every year.”
Milton Rodosthenous also says that now is a perfect time to contact its area managers at LetsBid property, as stock levels for properties being sold is at an all-time high yet new stock coming to market has dipped. Also with lockdown easing the housing market looks set to be extremely profitable for agents who have the most stock.
“The beauty of a probate property is that unlike a normal instruction where the property may not be sold as it is withdrawn, etc., all probate properties have to complete to ensure the probate process can be concluded, ensuring a fee to the instructed agent.”
Jake Field, Area Manager for the Midlands, says: “We are signing up new agents every week and the probate tool is a massive success. Only last week I had a call from a very excited estate agent in the Midlands who hand delivered a letter to some of her probate leads. The beneficiaries called her back the same day and got them in for a valuation and they were instructed…all in 24-hrs.”