Guests: Laurel Starks, Daniel Ramsey
Recorded: August 1, 2019

Excerpt

For nearly 14 years, Laurel Starks has blazed a trail, defining the role of the real estate expert in family law. In fact, she wrote the book on it. As the nation’s leading expert in divorce real estate, Laurel is now teaching Realtors across the country everything she knows so that they can become local experts in their community. In this fascinating conversation, Laurel sits down with CEO and co-founder of MyOutDesk, Daniel Ramsey, to discuss this high-level niche market in Real Estate.

After being a flight attendant for a decade, Laurel decided to stay on the ground and get into Real Estate. After finding a vast industry with many possible routes, she happened upon an opportunity to sell a property that was a part of a divorce case. While working on this, she realized a HUGE need for Realtors with knowledge of these kinds of proceedings. Today she is the country’s foremost divorce real estate expert. As Laurel has built her journey, she has recognized an entire skill set, and there is a lot of knowledge that Realtors have that the family law community needs. To make lawyers better lawyers and to help streamline processes so that courts are not as clogged with issues that can be put out by a knowledgeable realtor being on a case and ultimately so that divorcing homeowners are set up for the best success possible.

These kinds of proceedings are incredibly emotional. It’s a lot of drama and drama management. You have to juggle the balance to become a therapist, a filter, and part legal expert. It is complicated, and it takes a lot of hard work, but you feel the fulfillment that goes beyond professional or career at the end of each case. You cannot take their pain away, but you can help them go through the process as efficiently as possible.

Marketing strategies are also very different in this niche. Instead of prospecting to home sellers or home buyers, you reach out to family law and divorce attorneys. You’ve got a marketing plan that you’re going to give away as well as an intake form. So when a lead comes in. That is a divorce scenario; you can organize who they are and what their time frame is.

Transcript

00:00:08:03 – 00:00:28:11
Daniel Ramsey
Hey, everyone. Daniel Ramsey here with MyOutDesk. I’m super excited. As you know, we’re the leading the real estate industry leading virtual professional company. We help staff growing and scaling real estate companies. And today we have a special guest. I’m really excited because it’s a niche upon a niche upon a niche. It’s like the the highest level of niches.

00:00:28:16 – 00:00:42:19
Daniel Ramsey
And today we have Laurel Starr and in her I’m trying to read her resume it’s impressive awards designations. But here’s the thing today, she’s going to add value to you and teach you about the divorce niche.

00:00:42:24 – 00:00:59:04
Laurel Starks
I’ve just heard tons and tons and tons of great things for years about my desk, so I’ve never gotten to meet you personally, so I’m excited that we get to be acquainted. Yeah, I mean, everybody and everybody in the world and my real estate world uses has use my desk and your services for years.

00:00:59:04 – 00:01:23:05
Daniel Ramsey
So yeah, we’re, we’re 12 years old. We’ve served 5000 clients and it’s just insane the kind of good impact that we’ve had in the world. And so, I mean, and what we focus on this is crazy cool too, is what we focus on is helping people double their real estate practice, which is why having you on here is so awesome, because we always teach people have a niche.

00:01:23:05 – 00:01:46:11
Daniel Ramsey
I’m a real estate broker. My niche was investors. Like I was super deep and like, what’s your return on investment? You know, what’s your Capri? All that kind of crazy lingo. But I was not a divorced person. I know nothing about this niche, so I’m really excited. I’m Laurel. Here’s the thing. She wrote a she wrote a book, Divorcing the House.

00:01:47:03 – 00:01:49:12
Daniel Ramsey
Is that the book that we’re that we’re going to talk about today?

00:01:49:17 – 00:01:51:13
Laurel Starks
The House matters is what we’re going to talk about.

00:01:51:20 – 00:02:11:10
Daniel Ramsey
The House matters. And what’s cool about this is it’s super complex. There’s a lot of legalese and she’s going to dumb it down. So a silly real estate broker like me can understand it. And hopefully you can, too. So, Laurel, let’s dove in. How the heck did you get started in this crazy niche?

00:02:11:13 – 00:02:41:08
Laurel Starks
Yeah. So I got my license 14 years ago. In 2005. I had been a flight attendant for a decade. I know, but I think the haircut. Yeah. And so I just didn’t want to fly anymore after having two little kids. So I got in real estate, and then I learned real estate is like this vast industry, and it’s like, oh, my gosh, you can go so many different directions with it and there’s so much you need to know with it.

00:02:41:14 – 00:03:03:20
Laurel Starks
So I had a friend of ours who is a family law attorney at the time, and he’s a judge now. He referred me to a case. He actually called me one day. It was my second listing I’ve ever had taken. He told me that he has gotten me appointed by the court to list and sell this property. And I was like, Whoa, what?

00:03:05:05 – 00:03:31:11
Laurel Starks
What even does that mean? You know, I don’t understand. And so I, I went and I met with the client and she told me this whole entire story. So I’ve been happily married for 21 years. And so thank you. I my my parents have been married for going on 56 years. So I don’t I am not a product of divorce.

00:03:31:11 – 00:03:52:17
Laurel Starks
I do not come from a personal divorce myself either. So it was really interesting to me, this whole dynamic that this woman was telling me about her divorce and what these horrible things your husband does, etc.. And so long story short, she needs to sell the house immediately because she needs to get her son into a new school district.

00:03:52:17 – 00:04:15:21
Laurel Starks
Husband absolutely refuses to sell the house. He refuses to do anything, will not talk to me. And I found myself a few weeks later on a witness stand testifying to a judge. I had never even walked in a courtroom before. I mean, I’m shaking my boots. I haven’t even got a traffic ticket. Yeah. So I you know, it was this whole this whole dynamic.

00:04:15:21 – 00:04:39:16
Laurel Starks
And I’m looking at Nora and I’m looking on, you know, our state organization. And I’m looking at our company everywhere I can for information on how to handle this. Even my broker who is like that walking encyclopedia type broker. Yeah, is even stuck with what to do. So right now many moving parts is so many moving pieces. And I just realize like first is a super interesting.

00:04:39:16 – 00:04:55:17
Laurel Starks
Secondly, there’s a huge need and third, I need to become educated. So I was just drawn to it and I just it snowballed from there. I got one, I got two, I got three. And then it just it went on from there. So that’s how I got into it.

00:04:56:07 – 00:05:21:14
Daniel Ramsey
And now you are the country’s foremost divorce real estate expert. What’s crazy, too, and what I love about having you on the show is that you actually founded the Divorce Real Estate Institute. So let’s talk about that journey. What was that like to find you know, to found an entire institute around this niche that you now love and teach and train around the country?

00:05:21:14 – 00:05:25:01
Daniel Ramsey
And, you know, I’m real estate all over the world, right?

00:05:25:08 – 00:06:01:20
Laurel Starks
Yeah. So I so sort of to understand where I am today, you have to understand where I, you know, where I’ve been for, for 14 years. So as I got into, you know, like I indicated when I first began, I there was just there was no education available the more I got into it. So if you think I got into the business in 2005 and then the market crashed and I’m in setup, I’m at ground zero in the Inland Empire of Southern California for for short sales and for the distressed market, I think Vegas, Phenix, Detroit, US, you know, we were all right there as well.

00:06:01:20 – 00:06:33:04
Laurel Starks
So I, I, I kept getting these divorce listings and, and they’re underwater and they haven’t made payments and are subject to foreclosure. And they’ve got first loan, second loans. They want to do deeds in lieu like all of these stuff. It really complicated. So I, I’m like, well, I need to know. And I learned and understood at a high level our foreclosure and all of our like deficiency judgment, all of that kind of mumbo jumbo.

00:06:33:11 – 00:06:55:15
Laurel Starks
And I realized the more I got into it, I realized family law attorneys don’t know this stuff at a high level and they are advising their clients to do things that are just flat out not right. And it doesn’t come from a place of being, you know, trying to trying to harm anybody. It’s just they simply don’t know.

00:06:55:15 – 00:07:25:07
Laurel Starks
They don’t live and breathe the real estate world like we do. They’ve got lots and lots of stuff they need to know and understand. Is divorce attorneys, custody and business valuations and domestic violence, you name it. They’ve got their whole world. But what they don’t do is live and breathe real estate. So I realized back then that I was gaining a skill set in a knowledge that I needed to share with them, and I needed to educate the family law community on, you know, on all of these things.

00:07:25:07 – 00:07:44:14
Laurel Starks
And that is just never stopped. I mean, it was that was our market then and now our market now has has changed and they still need a lot of education. So, I mean, right now it’s you know, hero loans, pace loans, solar leads, all of that stuff’s plaguing our business right now. Right? Like, you know what even is this?

00:07:44:17 – 00:08:31:14
Laurel Starks
They’re putting huge snap views into our into our transactions. So I’ve just done some education to them on that. Anyway, I as I, as I have built my journey, I’ve known and I’ve recognized that there is an entire skill set that realtors have and there is a lot of knowledge and tools that we also have that the family law community needs to make lawyers better lawyers to help streamline processes so that courts are not as clogged with issues that can be put out by a knowledgeable realtor being on a case and ultimately so that home up divorcing homeowner is are are are set up for the best success possible.

00:08:32:12 – 00:09:04:08
Laurel Starks
We’re not going to make your pain go away. But what you can do is help to mitigate the damage that’s being done by the colossal event of a divorce. And so I knew if my community needed this, like what I’ve been able to provide, I knew that there were communities all over the nation that needed it. So I always knew at some point I’d get to the place where I could package what all I’ve learned and turn around and teach it to our industry because our industry needs it and so does family law industry.

00:09:04:08 – 00:09:07:08
Laurel Starks
So that’s what the Divorce Real Estate Institute.

00:09:07:23 – 00:09:30:19
Daniel Ramsey
Oh, that’s all about, yeah, I love it. Okay. But if it for the audience because everybody is going to get a copy of this video. Everybody how. I mean, why would I choose divorce as a niche. Talk me into it like help me understand what is the opportunity, what can I expect, what’s the work around doing it? Like?

00:09:30:19 – 00:09:34:19
Daniel Ramsey
Like tell me why divorce is where it’s at.

00:09:35:01 – 00:10:00:20
Laurel Starks
Yeah, that’s a great question. And I think people need to really ask themselves that because it is certainly not for everybody at all. And so just like everybody shouldn’t be parents, everybody shouldn’t do this. So it is you know, there are definitely pros and cons to this. So what I will tell you, the ugly part first is that it’s it’s messy.

00:10:00:20 – 00:10:17:13
Laurel Starks
These are very complex listings. Yes. They are under the jurisdiction of the court. There are emotions that we need to know and we need to manage. It’s a lot of drama and drama management.

00:10:17:21 – 00:10:25:08
Daniel Ramsey
You’re a therapist. You’re a therapist. Our realtor and part attorney slash. Part what?

00:10:25:17 – 00:10:47:16
Laurel Starks
Yeah, legal expert. So in that in the legal world, they they depend on experts and they’re term expert. I just want to throw it out there. Term expert is not, you know, our term. We use it as a marketing term. They use it as a legal term. So so the legal community depends on experts. So it’s really about being a legal expert to them.

00:10:47:16 – 00:11:21:06
Laurel Starks
We’re not attorneys. I’m not an attorney. Never went to law school. But it’s it’s so it’s really it’s it’s really understanding that when you get into these into these cases, they are they’re they’re complicated. They take a lot of hard work. It’s not, you know, this necessarily this it’s not a happy time for them. So this isn’t about, you know, that euphoric moment when you get to deliver keys to, you know, first time home buyer.

00:11:21:06 – 00:11:47:17
Laurel Starks
And it’s just, you know, you get their picture on social media. You know, this isn’t that so? Right. It really takes someone who is drawn to two complex issues, who’s good at problem solving, who’s good at at working through a big, huge puzzle. And you’re kind of you kind of drive it. I guess it’s the difference between somebody who just wants to go to the gym every day versus somebody who wants to run the Ironman.

00:11:47:19 – 00:12:18:06
Laurel Starks
Right? Like, right. I don’t know why anybody would ever run the Iron Man, but there are people that do so. But so this is for the marathon runners. This is for the Ironman, you know, and people, because it’s that’s what it really is. It’s about people who want to push past their limits. So there’s that in terms of a business model, it is you know, we as realtors are always trying to look for things, you know, how can we set ourselves apart?

00:12:18:09 – 00:12:56:04
Laurel Starks
How can we you need to prep. And rather than being one of 40 phone calls that are unexpired, listing debts and it being like this massive numbers game, what I did is I sort of took it and I inverted that. So in other words, you know, if you have a farm or you have a database or something like that and you’re looking to market to a thousand people so that you can get maybe 15 deals out of a thousand people a year, whatever the numbers are, it’s really marketing to a small group.

00:12:56:04 – 00:13:05:07
Laurel Starks
It’s marketing to 50 people or 100 attorneys that each have the capability of giving you multiple transactions in in. Right.

00:13:06:02 – 00:13:26:01
Daniel Ramsey
Well, let’s talk about let’s talk about like how you do that, because I think another thing I want everybody to know is Laurel’s giving some stuff away, which I’m really excited about. You’ve got a marketing plan that you’re going to give away as well as an intake form. So when a lead comes in, that is a divorce scenario.

00:13:26:01 – 00:13:38:10
Daniel Ramsey
You can kind of organize who they are and what their time frame is. So I’m excited about that. But so your niche allows you to just have a smaller database with divorce attorneys, basically.

00:13:39:05 – 00:14:05:08
Laurel Starks
Yeah. And it really is something that is it’s going to it transcends market fluctuations. You know, when the market is, when the market’s down or when we’re in a distressed market, people, you know, have to sell because they can’t afford to. They’re not in a position to buy right now. We have a problem or divorcing homeowners have an issue because there’s so much equity we are in.

00:14:05:08 – 00:14:39:03
Laurel Starks
We’ve we’ve recovered. But for a party who wants to keep the house, there’s almost too much equity for them to be able to buy out the other spouse. Yeah. So it’s, it really tends to to be a bit of a steady current in and among our fluctuations in waves in the, in the industry. So, so from a business model standpoint, I can tell you I experienced that firsthand, that my my business has not taken dips based on market fluctuations.

00:14:39:11 – 00:15:04:13
Laurel Starks
So so there’s that. And, you know, it just becomes when we get on a case, I get court appointed on it. So the parties are ordered by the court to list the property with me. So it takes out a lot of, you know, like competition. You know, you’re competing for listings and all of that sort of thing. So the motivation is very high as a result.

00:15:04:13 – 00:15:08:13
Laurel Starks
I close, you know, 99% of listings I take so.

00:15:10:09 – 00:15:25:07
Daniel Ramsey
And probably for a full fee, 6% or higher. You’re never having that commission conversation. Like, what have you done for me lately? You’re providing a court appointed required service to a to a seller.

00:15:25:14 – 00:15:51:20
Laurel Starks
Yeah. I mean, personally, you know, I do not inflate my fees, but I also don’t discount my fees. And so, you know, you’re hiring a specialist. And so we all know what that means. Right? You go to I mean, a cardiologist is going to cost more than a a general practitioner. So it’s the same type of thing. I, you know, I but like I said, I don’t I don’t charge a premium.

00:15:52:19 – 00:15:59:04
Laurel Starks
I just I, I charge my full amount. They don’t discount. And that’s, you know, that’s that’s helpful.

00:15:59:19 – 00:16:26:23
Daniel Ramsey
What just so the audience has an idea, if somebody wanted to launch this niche, what could they expect in a normal, you know, major market? There’s about 100 across the country that have a decent size like half 1000000 to 1000000 folks in their market. Like what is a normal like I’m I’m not let’s say I’m not doing divorce right now.

00:16:27:12 – 00:16:48:11
Daniel Ramsey
I hire you and we do some work together. And six months later, I’ve got this practice, this little niche. I create a website. Now I’ve got all of my branding together. What I expect in terms of a normal, you know, business flow every month, 3 to 5 listings, ten listings. Like what would I normally expect?

00:16:48:11 – 00:17:10:23
Laurel Starks
Yeah, I mean, so, you know, I, I always say that you get out of that obviously what you put into it, right. Yeah. This is marathon, this is marathon business building. So this isn’t, you know, you get quick Internet leads. Even Internet leads have what an incubation of 6 to 9 months, I believe something like that. I mean, that’s even better.

00:17:11:18 – 00:17:37:02
Laurel Starks
So we’re talking about building very strong relationships in a legal community that takes a while to break into. But the long term effects are are you know, are they continue to reward. I just went on a vacation. I was gone for two weeks. I came back to five new listings last week. So it’s you know, and I haven’t really done much marketing.

00:17:37:02 – 00:18:04:01
Laurel Starks
I mean, it’s just it’s it’s but I’ve been around for a really long time. So it our our students, what we’re finding is that our students tend to within the first year, they’re getting somewhere in the neighborhood of between three and five listings. And then it just compounds every single year. So yeah, this is definitely sort of, you know, long term.

00:18:04:05 – 00:18:14:00
Laurel Starks
401k Investing, mutual fund investing, right where you, where you make your business and you get the rewards over a long term compound effect.

00:18:14:19 – 00:18:59:06
Daniel Ramsey
You know, it’s interesting since Amazon just today like literally today. Yeah yeah announced that yeah they’re entering in the real estate world with Realogy. I think the other thing to point out that’s really important about this particular niche is, you know, it, it can’t get disrupted like this is not going to go away. Now, you know, a standard transaction where there’s happy buyers and sellers that that, you know, could change, maybe have margin compression, you know, commissions might go down, you know, iRobot might be on the other side, like Redfin, you know, like so there’s a lot of, you know, friction that these companies are disrupting that just simply can’t get disrupted in this particular

00:18:59:07 – 00:19:01:13
Daniel Ramsey
niche. Is that that’s your perspective to Ray?

00:19:01:19 – 00:19:09:10
Laurel Starks
100%. In fact, it’s it’s even a step further than that. And I would say this is an opportunity to be a disruptor.

00:19:10:02 – 00:19:10:13
Daniel Ramsey
Okay.

00:19:10:22 – 00:19:38:04
Laurel Starks
Yeah. So, you know, we as the real estate community, we need to take hold and and really disrupt what’s been going on in family life for all these years. And and that’s what I’ve done in my industry. My my community here, my family law community behaves very differently in in the way that they approach and handle the sale of the of the House than they do in most other communities nationwide.

00:19:38:04 – 00:19:56:07
Laurel Starks
And I know that because I train and teach realtors all over the country and I mentor realtors all over the country, I know exactly what’s going on throughout the country and how these how divorce attorneys and courts are handling the sale of the house, how it’s how they used to do it in my community until I came in and educated them and taught them there’s a better way.

00:19:56:17 – 00:20:00:20
Laurel Starks
So I just. Yeah, go ahead. I disrupted my own community.

00:20:01:11 – 00:20:37:17
Daniel Ramsey
That’s that’s a that’s a really interesting point. How do you connect with attorneys is like as a realtor like honestly, I used to try to avoid attorneys. So I’m just going to be clear, like when my a buyer registered on my website, you know, back in the day, a big shout out to boom town. They were my CRM of trying to yeah that you know Greer sold me property back back in the day when an attorney jumped on my website, I just kind of said, Oh, thank you very much, but we don’t serve your kind.

00:20:37:17 – 00:20:48:23
Daniel Ramsey
How do you build relationships in that in that particular niche? Yeah, my niece as a realtor and do it effectively to drive revenue. I mean that’s.

00:20:49:21 – 00:21:13:11
Laurel Starks
So, you know. Yeah. So you sort of have to be, you know, the guy that sort of runs into the fire rather than running out of it. You have to kind of embrace that instead of run away from it. And I think the biggest thing for us realtors to know is that is that, you know, lawyers are not and they’ll they’ll be the first to tell you as soon as you can, you know, sometimes get that ego to come down a little bit.

00:21:13:11 – 00:21:35:22
Laurel Starks
But they’ll be the first to tell you they are not the no all end all, be all. They don’t understand the guts of a real estate transaction. There’s no possible way that they can understand real estate at the level that we do. So it’s not to be intimidated by that. It’s really to own and appreciate and understand what we have to offer them.

00:21:36:06 – 00:21:57:18
Laurel Starks
And so when you when you realize, you know, what we as realtors, what we as realtors know and what they need from us, that becomes very empowering. And then it sort of takes the fear down and sort of takes those barriers down because then it’s like, well, we can walk in because you know what? We are the experts.

00:21:57:19 – 00:22:17:11
Laurel Starks
They’re not. We are so so I think it’s, number one, overcoming that. But the second thing I’d say is that building relationships with with attorneys, it is a very different approach than building relationships with, you know, your neighbor or a farm or and, you know.

00:22:18:00 – 00:22:20:19
Daniel Ramsey
Our consumer. Right.

00:22:21:13 – 00:22:50:19
Laurel Starks
The eight year they are academics, first and foremost. They hold themselves and anybody around them to a high standard. You’re you’re walking into a world of highly educated people, judges or highly educated lawyers, as well as they’re used to working with forensic accountants who are highly educated with psychologists, forensic psychologist, who are highly educated. So, you know, and they place a value on higher education.

00:22:51:03 – 00:23:13:05
Laurel Starks
So they they expect that everyone that they surround themselves with is an expert. So I really try to stress to to people who are getting into this, you know, there are two questions I get asked. It is how do I lead generate that’s 90 that 80 to 90% of the number one question how do I lead generation? The second one is how do I handle the drama?

00:23:13:05 – 00:23:34:05
Laurel Starks
What do I do with it? You want to get it right. And I would say it’s that that would need we need to kind of flip that. We need to do our research, do our homework, educate ourselves before we go out there and generate because they’re going to smell a lead generate. This is it. Just like master your scripts on the phone.

00:23:34:05 – 00:23:55:13
Laurel Starks
This is about really understanding what you’re doing and then and then going out and doing it. That’s what they did. They didn’t they didn’t hang a single and then get a case, walk through the door and then figure out what they were going to do with that case. Right. Right. Got they got a law degree. They went to school for seven years and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars before they ever hung shingle.

00:23:55:21 – 00:24:02:19
Laurel Starks
So so that’s that’s really the first thing. The first step is know what you’re doing, know what you’re getting into.

00:24:02:19 – 00:24:27:20
Daniel Ramsey
I love it. I, I was listening to another podcast because I, I’m, I’m a net with podcast, right? Yeah. There was this quote and I loved it. So I want to share it because I think it’s applicable to your world. Dissatisfaction erupts when reality and expectations are not aligned, like the reality of the world and your expectation when they’re not aligned.

00:24:28:04 – 00:24:57:19
Daniel Ramsey
Dissatisfaction. And I think I think that would probably be, you know, the challenge in your niche, which would be setting proper expectations not only for the attorneys but for your sellers and negotiate waiting. The emotional impact of, you know, my whole life is changing now and there is nothing more devastating than having your children be split and selling all of your assets.

00:24:57:19 – 00:25:00:03
Daniel Ramsey
And, you know, like I can’t imagine.

00:25:00:05 – 00:25:27:12
Laurel Starks
Imagine it right? Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I mean, it’s you know, and there there’s you know, there are studies that even just, you know, what it does emotionally and mentally to the mind, even temporarily in that in that time is is very devastating. So it’s knowing how to how to reconcile and how to work with these personalities that are going through something that are that’s that’s not their normal and they’re not behaving normally.

00:25:27:18 – 00:25:53:21
Laurel Starks
They always say that in family law, people show up at their at their worst. And in criminal law, they show up as their best. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So so it really yeah, it really is knowing that and you know, and that begins from step one. So when, when, when, when we get to when my job is when I get a phone, we get a phone call that, you know, I’ve been brought into a case or I’ve been referred to a case or whatever.

00:25:54:02 – 00:25:59:11
Laurel Starks
I mean, that very first conversation is different than in a traditional listing.

00:25:59:23 – 00:26:19:05
Daniel Ramsey
I think we nailed it. What’s interesting about this interaction is you don’t have to sell. That’s what I’m that’s what I’m like. You’re not even in the space where you’re trying to convince me that you’re the person you know, time frame. No highest dollar. I like when I’m calling for a listing, I’m like, Look, I’m going to net you the most money.

00:26:19:08 – 00:26:31:05
Daniel Ramsey
We’re going to sell it fast. I’m the person. I’m the expert in the world. But you had to do none of that in that in that interaction. Why? Why is that like what? Especially if you’re not on the order.

00:26:32:24 – 00:26:53:19
Laurel Starks
So and your answer is correct, by the way, there’s usually three calls I get. So either I am appointed by the court, I am the court’s expert. I’m appointed under certain evidence code. Right? The second one is the order says the parties need to sell their house and the parties are ordered to to list with Laurel Starks that just says that they’re ordered to use me.

00:26:53:19 – 00:27:03:15
Laurel Starks
That’s it. And then the third one is just like what you said, the house has to be sold. But there’s not a there’s not no no agents in the in the order.

00:27:03:23 – 00:27:09:12
Daniel Ramsey
And that’s probably when both parties agree to actually do the deed of selling the house. Correct.

00:27:09:16 – 00:27:28:11
Laurel Starks
Yeah. So in the scenario with you, which I would say is probably about 20% of the calls that I get in the scenario with you, I don’t know based on what you and I just said, if you guys have agreed to use me or not, I. I don’t know. You just called up and said that I was referred by your attorney.

00:27:29:14 – 00:27:53:10
Laurel Starks
I am going to proceed under the assumption that I’m agreed to. And so so I’m just going to proceed until I’m told otherwise that I’m not, you know, that that you guys are maybe interviewing or something like that. But most of the time, you know, by the time we kind of get down the road, if you guys are, you know, I’ve already I’ve already gotten it.

00:27:53:17 – 00:28:24:03
Laurel Starks
The other thing that I would do that’s a little bit different is assuming that I am the one that you guys choose, I actually send out something called a stipulation that I have that I with my attorney we created a long time ago. And it is something that does make me appointed by the court. So I’ll say, you know, at some point we would get to the point where I would say, okay, well, I’m going to send out a stipulation for it to be circulated through counsel so that I can be appointed under 730.

00:28:24:03 – 00:28:26:09
Laurel Starks
And there’s all kinds of reasons we won’t get into about that.

00:28:26:09 – 00:28:47:05
Daniel Ramsey
But and that’s because you don’t want even though everybody agrees to you now a listing document is or listing contract is not like they can cancel that in any time versus a court order, a stipulation that is signed by both parties that requires them to go to court to get it to get it overturned. And that’s why you want it.

00:28:47:12 – 00:29:12:11
Laurel Starks
So that’s that’s one reason I would say. The other big reason, too, is that when we as as agents, when we have a listing agreement or our agreement begins and ends with the parties, that’s it. It just begins. And ends with them. So then fast forward, I have husband tells me I want to accept the offer and wife tells me I don’t want to accept the offer.

00:29:12:20 – 00:29:13:04
Daniel Ramsey
Right?

00:29:14:04 – 00:29:36:03
Laurel Starks
As a listing agent, my duty begins and ends with these two. Right? I’m stuck. Right. If I am ordered by the court, if I’m if I’m appointed by the court, I actually have a duty at that point to to communicate with counsel and if we still can’t do it, if counsel can’t make an agreement, then we need to go to court.

00:29:36:03 – 00:29:43:18
Laurel Starks
I need to write a report. I need to testify to the court. Right. Brings me in and makes me part of the case. Does that make sense?

00:29:44:03 – 00:30:00:18
Daniel Ramsey
It does. And I guess my question would be then do you then get a court appointed appraisal so that if you have an offer for above appraised price, it just automatically gets accepted and you move down down the road? I mean, I would set it up like that if I could.

00:30:01:08 – 00:30:22:07
Laurel Starks
Well, automatically gets accepted means that it we still have to have everything executed, right? We still have to have everything signed. So sometimes what can happen is if the court the court ultimately has the power, ultimately has the power to evict someone out of the house. So you Daniel, you’re living in the house.

00:30:22:16 – 00:30:23:00
Daniel Ramsey
Right?

00:30:23:04 – 00:30:44:22
Laurel Starks
You start to sabotage the sale and you start to go against court orders. The court actually has the ability to remove you from the list from the house completely and turn over the possession to Mrs. Ramsey. Yeah. They also have the ability to sign on all of the documents on your behalf so the court can literally kind of take you and just kind of walk you over there.

00:30:45:12 – 00:30:49:18
Laurel Starks
But there’s a process to getting that done. It doesn’t just happen, you know.

00:30:49:18 – 00:31:07:17
Daniel Ramsey
And it’s probably a long process. Real quick, does it does this niche have significantly longer? What I call a cash conversion cycle like from lead to close? Is that a longer process than a standard consumer driven deal?

00:31:08:01 – 00:31:35:22
Laurel Starks
Yeah, I would say it does overall if you’re looking at overall, does it? Yes, I would say that it does because a lot of times we’re working on trying to get cooperation and we’re working through a lot of conflicts throughout the process. So I would say it definitely does. What I try to do is and this is what I teach is to resolve as many com conflicts as possible up front before we ever go on the market to.

00:31:35:22 – 00:31:37:11
Daniel Ramsey
Match the expectations.

00:31:37:17 – 00:31:50:22
Laurel Starks
Yeah, exactly. Because I don’t the last thing we want to do is is get a buyer in in the loop. But now they’ve got a contractual obligation to a buyer. So now they’re their legal obligations have just gone up.

00:31:51:00 – 00:31:51:21
Daniel Ramsey
Chris Yeah.

00:31:52:02 – 00:32:03:07
Laurel Starks
Priest And then we still have all these, you know, these, these conflicts that could have been potentially put out in the beginning. So I try to I try to get as much of that done as possible.

00:32:03:16 – 00:32:23:19
Daniel Ramsey
I’m guessing in the Divorce Real Estate Institute, you also provide disclosures for buyers who would be buyers, make sure they’re aware that this is a divorce and that you’re acting in an official capacity for the court and that the transaction may take longer. I’m guessing there’s a ton of kind of paperwork that you have to disclose to the other party.

00:32:24:00 – 00:32:48:03
Laurel Starks
Yeah, that’s a slippery slope because I also don’t want to for privacy away. Yeah, number one, I don’t want to. My job is to get them the highest net proceeds for the house. Right. I don’t want to create hurdles that I don’t even necessarily know we’re going to have. I don’t want to create those hurdles for buyers and turn people away so that we can’t procure the highest and best offer.

00:32:48:07 – 00:33:09:16
Laurel Starks
So I don’t disclose in the beginning for that. The second thing is that I also it’s also a privacy concerns, right? So they don’t want their neighbors to all know they don’t want the community to know. It’s not my place to disclose for them. When I do disclose, it becomes when we start to get into some real issues and we have to go into court at that point.

00:33:09:22 – 00:33:15:20
Laurel Starks
I need to disclose it to the buyers because they need to understand that there is this process and.

00:33:16:00 – 00:33:37:18
Daniel Ramsey
You have a fiduciary responsibility to even the buyers, even if you’re not sending them. Okay. Quick question back to the model, because we only have about five, ten more minutes left. And we’re definitely if you’re listening and you want in this post at the bottom, there’s a little thing where you can download your marketing plan and the intake form.

00:33:37:18 – 00:33:56:09
Daniel Ramsey
And we did a little role play, which was super fun. And if you register with us, Laurel has agreed to give away the for the first five people a copy of her book. So let’s talk about the book real quick and what you put into it. I just finished a book. I put my heart and soul into it.

00:33:56:09 – 00:34:04:17
Daniel Ramsey
I’m sure you did the same on yours. So let’s tell the audience what they get if they decide to register and actually to learn more about this particular niche.

00:34:05:06 – 00:34:39:05
Laurel Starks
So the House Matters in Divorce is a book that I wrote for the consumer. I, I wrote it basically to divorcing homeowners. So that they can be, again, better served. What I found is that realtors are the number one purchaser, author of the book. Second to that is family law attorneys and then the consumer. So so if you as a realtor read it, you’re going to read it through the lens of what?

00:34:39:11 – 00:34:40:03
Daniel Ramsey
A consumer?

00:34:40:08 – 00:35:04:11
Laurel Starks
Of a consumer, which is very enlightening. So it’s, you know, even though it may not be written to you as a as a realtor, it is you will be able to see through the eyes of consumers what they’re facing and the things that we as realtors need to, need to ultimately understand. So the book is also a very good gift to attorneys.

00:35:04:11 – 00:35:25:12
Laurel Starks
So a lot of our a lot of our experts that are that are with our organization as well as myself have given it out as an item of value to family law attorneys. And I’ve had attorneys I’ve had judges who have continuously come to me and said that they found a lot of value in it. So it’s.

00:35:25:17 – 00:35:26:02
Daniel Ramsey
Awesome.

00:35:26:09 – 00:35:30:24
Laurel Starks
For them, too. It’s a great it’s a great Legion piece, but it’s also a very good content piece.

00:35:31:11 – 00:35:57:08
Daniel Ramsey
Yeah. Yeah. Well and I think if somebody now that I know you Loral, now that we’re fast friends, if, if I ever was helping somebody with a divorce, I would just send them a copy of the book because. Like, the best thing you can do is align expectations with reality. I think that’s an amazing gift for somebody who’s going through it and giving them the information in the most stressful time of their life.

00:35:57:17 – 00:36:21:00
Daniel Ramsey
That could be a life saver. So I think that’s a brilliant idea. Real quick, how does this niche work with a regular consumer focused model and then do you stay in touch? What if you have a warring party? Do you add them to your database and then continue to try to help them by their next house and kind of serve them?

00:36:21:00 – 00:36:34:22
Daniel Ramsey
I’m kind of curious about how you approach your overall business because this is a niche, but it’s not all of your business. And I’m kind of curious how that all works together and how somebody might combine their existing business with this niche.

00:36:35:01 – 00:37:06:14
Laurel Starks
Yeah, so good question. So it actually is all my business I did last year. I did hundred percent, 100% of my listings, my deals, I didn’t work buy 100% of them were divorced this year. I think I’ve got two that are non divorce but they’re just past referrals. So so it is all I do in terms of working with the divorcing client after that can be a little bit of a slippery slope.

00:37:06:14 – 00:37:40:02
Laurel Starks
So I am I am very aware that sort of the hand that feeds me are the attorneys. And so I ensure that I maintain neutrality and that I maintain my expertize there being court order to use somebody isn’t what everybody wants necessarily. So they’ve got a friend, they’ve got a family member, they’ve got somebody else who either they wish could sell the house or is going to help them buy later on.

00:37:40:11 – 00:38:04:13
Laurel Starks
So I do not tend to go after that. It’s it’s not uncommon that they try to bury the hatchet and I’m part of that hatchet. Right. You know, we all have times in our lives where we became attached to a certain person. And then later on you see that person on the caller ID call and it’s like, oh, gosh, it’s pain.

00:38:05:06 – 00:38:31:00
Laurel Starks
And so it’s sort of, you know, I think almost in the same way, even though they have a good experience usually with us, I think that they they equate me as their divorce realtor. So so I typically do not that’s not a piece that I go after. Can you but it’s not something that I tend to do. How does and how does a realtor fold this leg into an existing business?

00:38:31:00 – 00:39:05:19
Laurel Starks
That’s a really good question. And I would say that it comes down to it comes down to time and time blocking and leverage. So the leverage piece, you’ve got that part handled right. And it really depends on whether or not an agent is has got, you know, closes an average of 5 to 10 transactions or if they’ve got a full fledged, you know, they’re doing 100 transactions a year, if it’s the former, then, you know, it’s just about it’s really about time blocking.

00:39:05:19 – 00:39:33:01
Laurel Starks
I took a lot of the Buffini method because I took the feeling when I first was licensed and I took that and applied it to real estate. So when you when you hear about the divorce attorney marketing plan that you guys are hopefully going to all download, then you will see that it is sort of, you know, a referral based login model that is tailored to to family law and there are bits and pieces throughout all of that that you can incorporate leverage.

00:39:33:10 – 00:39:57:24
Daniel Ramsey
I just I just thought and this is funny, it’s like by court referral only, like court is in brackets, you know? Yeah, I love the Buffini model. I think it’s really great. Okay, so, Laurel, thank you so much for your time. This has been really informal. I had no idea this thing even existed. I knew people did it, but not the way you’re doing it.

00:39:57:24 – 00:40:21:03
Daniel Ramsey
So this has been super awesome. Thanks so much. What would you leave our audience with if if and you said it best, if you need talent, jump on our website my artists dot com schedule a consultation we call it the double my business consultation so anybody who needs talent needs to scale their business. That’s what we do. That’s how we help folks.

00:40:21:12 – 00:40:28:23
Daniel Ramsey
But in this niche moral, what would we leave our audience with? What’s the one thing you’d like to share, you know, as we wrap up?

00:40:29:10 – 00:40:50:18
Laurel Starks
Yeah, the one thing that I would the one thing that I would say is just not to be afraid to to educate yourself, to go after it, to know that there’s a need on the other side. While you and I have been sitting here down at my local courthouse, there have been there have been cases that houses just got ordered to be sold, I’m sure of it.

00:40:51:05 – 00:41:03:18
Laurel Starks
And it’s happening you know, it’s happening right now. And we as realtors need to step up and and really serve our community so that we can be our name can be in those in those orders.

00:41:04:09 – 00:41:33:10
Daniel Ramsey
Okay. So if you want to go deeper with Laurel, what I love and the reason we kind of time this actually, I mean, this is just like perfect timing. August 6th, you’re doing an online education platform kind of training for this particular niche. Let’s talk a little bit about that. And in October, October six, you’re doing a live in person 25 person mastermind kind of training that lasts like six months.

00:41:33:10 – 00:41:42:11
Daniel Ramsey
So if you want to go deeper with you, Laurel, how would somebody do that and and get registered for either one of these training opportunities?

00:41:42:19 – 00:41:56:22
Laurel Starks
Yeah. So it’s it’s twofold, just like you said. So I, we have two programs. One is for those who are really looking to gain proficiency and the other one is really for those who are looking to gain expertize, know so and.

00:41:57:04 – 00:42:06:14
Daniel Ramsey
Break those down because people don’t know the difference between those two things. Yeah. What’s expertize and what’s proficiency like. Let’s, let’s just so the audience knows.

00:42:06:19 – 00:42:30:08
Laurel Starks
Yeah. So proficiency is going to be basically, you know, if you get a divorce listing, you’re going to be better at handling it. You’re there are some fatal mistakes that are very common for realtors to take and make. And and it’s going you’re going to be able to close them better, have a higher, you know, a higher ratio for listings to close.

00:42:30:17 – 00:42:58:02
Laurel Starks
And you’re also going to be in a position to be able to to to speak effectively with lead generation. So that’s that’s proficiency. And in terms of expertize, that is where we teach and train realtors to truly be the expert, the court appointed expert in their community. We put our name behind behind you. We then you become a CBRE certified divorce real estate expert.

00:42:58:21 – 00:43:31:12
Laurel Starks
You become part of our whole world. We’ve got an entire faculty of family law attorneys and mediators that that we that we work with you in supporting you to build your business as well as to to really be on the for for of change in your in your own community. So that is expertize. It’s really understanding at a very, very deep level on the challenges and how to overcome them and and become, you know, like I said, just the expert in your community.

00:43:31:19 – 00:43:58:09
Daniel Ramsey
So how does somebody get a hold of you to explore either of those options? Because I feel like it’s a two step thing. I would actually just do the August thing and then and then get the expertize and and understand it, right. Yeah. And then, you know, the, the actual experience I could make the decision if I wanted to go and then get proficiency, which, which I think that’d be a great thing for everybody, right.

00:43:58:22 – 00:44:00:07
Daniel Ramsey
Yeah.

00:44:00:07 – 00:44:28:01
Laurel Starks
So if you go to the divorce niche dot com on or or snitch website, that’s where you can register for our eight weeks to success. Eight weeks as is that’s what starts August 6th. It is once a week for eight weeks. It’s you and me going over an entire curriculum on how to become really proficient in in divorce real estate.

00:44:28:01 – 00:44:44:23
Laurel Starks
So it’s it’s 299 a month for two months and it starts August six. So if you go to the divorce NJ.com, you can do that. And then from there, if you think that it’s a fair if it feels right, then we can talk more in about the the certification program.

00:44:45:11 – 00:45:03:21
Daniel Ramsey
And there you have it, Loral Starks, the Divorce Real Estate Institute. Thank you for your time today. We’ve learned I personally have learned a lot. And I hope you guys have, too, and visit us at my desk. If you need high caliber talent today, we’ll help you scale your business. Loral, thanks for being here today.

00:45:04:05 – 00:45:16:14
Laurel Starks
Yeah, thank you very, very much. And I and I will definitely say that the ability to succeed when you already have a business going is through leverage. So it’s this is a12 punch here for you. So awesome.

00:45:16:14 – 00:45:21:12
Daniel Ramsey
Boom, boom, a new niche and more leverage. I love it. Have a great day.

00:45:21:12 – 00:45:26:06
Laurel Starks
Thank you for you so much for having me on. Take care. Bye bye.