The Council of Residential Specialists (CRS)* interviewed Kim about specializing in San Diego Probate and Trust Real Estate.
CRS Interview about San Diego Probate Specialist Kim Ward
In San Diego, clients also value the highly specialized service provided by Kim Ward, CRS, a broker/REALTOR® with Horizon Real Estate. Ward discovered her niche in 2003 when a man whose father had recently died hired her. The man was in charge of administering his father’s estate, including the sale of his home and other personal property. Ward could see he was clearly overwhelmed by the probate process, both through a combination of patience, empathy and expertise; she was able to help him get through it smoothly and eventually sell the house.
“It was so rewarding to be able to help this man who was not only grieving his father’s loss, but was also having to deal with this overwhelming burden of trying to dispose of the personal property as well as the house,” says Ward. “It felt great to be able to take the steps to help make it simpler for him and the family.”
Energized by the experience, Ward went online to research how many properties in the San Diego area were sold through the probate process and “discovered an area of opportunity,” she says. “I decided there wasn’t any reason I couldn’t be the person that would fill that niche. Nobody was doing this type of work.”
Ward immersed herself in researching the probate process, reading everything she could find on the subject. She landed her earliest clients by going to the county court house and pouring through the probate files to find the names of people who were in charge of handling estates. She then cold called them to offer her services. At the same time, Ward created a website, put together a marketing brochure and created a business card.
It was tough going the first year and Ward was happy if she got one probate client a month. But gradually her business began growing. Today, Ward helps more than 40 such clients a year, she has hired three assistants to keep up with the demand and she also has created a training program to teach other agents about helping a client through the probate process.
Education is the key to being a successful specialist, says Ward. “Learn everything you can about the area you’d like to specialize in,” she says, “and figure out how to make yourself the leader in that segment of the market.”