“It is always a good thing when a client reaches out to you wanting to share thoughts about their experience” — Recently, a client reached out to us saying that he wanted to talk about his experience. We were instantly concerned as we were assuming he had negative feedback. We were pleasantly surprised when his review was glowing and told us we were underselling our service.
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Leah Del Percio & Tara Faquir of Trustate
Leah Del Percio and Tara Faquir met in college and have both had successful careers respectively. They have joined forces to help families through the challenges and stress of administering a loved one’s estate once they have passed on. Their unique service marries technology and human empathy through this often challenging time.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
Leah Del Percio is a former trust and estate attorney who has settled hundreds of estates over the course of her notable career. Tara Faquir has years of sales and operations experience and has worked with well-known start-ups. She keeps the customer in mind when creating services to offer. Together Leah and Tara’s skills compliment perfectly.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
Estate administration is designed to be inefficient because lawyers bill hourly for it, causing the customer to pay hefty, unnecessary fees. The majority of the estate administration work is administrative, not legal work and does not require a law degree to complete. We at Trustate recognize the needs for an efficient, affordable solution for the millions of executors who are desperate for a solution. Trustate is where human empathy and technology meet. We are not your traditional tech company, because we recognize that difficult human problems (like losing a loved one) requires a human ear. Our technology enables our estate concierges to complete estate focused tasks in less time and more efficiently than if they were to complete them manually. Our user-friendly technology combined with our personalized service gives our clients the space they need to grieve and support their family — which is the most important thing they can be doing.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
While we don’t have a “funny” mistake, we did recognize early on that we needed a clear way for people to purchase our services. Through market research and listening to our clients at the time we learned through their experience things we could have done early on to make the process even better — like an easy way to buy.
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
The key to making wise decisions is learning from other people’s mistakes and be open to all feedback. We consistently ask for feedback from people who have done this before — whether they are successful entrepreneurs, investors or mentors. Their advice and guidance is gold as they have made mistakes along the way too and learning from their hiccups and stories has allowed us to be open to creating services and products that perhaps we had not thought of before. Even when we feel we have a great offering, we continue to seek feedback to see if there is anything missing/could be improved.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
We ultimately believe that Trustate is not disrupting but pioneering. We are filling a true gap in the market that has not yet been explored. Disrupt implies doing common things differently but pioneering means we are doing things better and creating a market.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
- “It is always a good thing when a client reaches out to you wanting to share thoughts about their experience” — Recently, a client reached out to us saying that he wanted to talk about his experience. We were instantly concerned as we were assuming he had negative feedback. We were pleasantly surprised when his review was glowing and told us we were underselling our service. We shared this story with an advisor who said “it is always a good thing when a customer reaches out to share their thoughts with you, because a bad experience they will share with everyone else but a positive experience they will share with you.”
- Don’t oversell — We are passionate about our business and find that we want to share every detail about how we can help our clients and partners- however, there is a fine line between sold and overselling. Years ago had an experience at a department store when buying a blazer. I was thrilled to buy the blazer I had my eye on for weeks. As I was nearing the register a salesperson approached and told me all the details about the stitching- handsewn, silk, hand-dyed…all I thought about now was the care this blazer would require- dry clean only, spot clean..”what if I get something on it”. As a customer I was sold but the salesperson in telling me what she thought I needed to hear oversold and ultimately deterred me from buying the blazer. — Tara Faquir
- “If I had asked the people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse”- Henry Ford. During the market research phase we were constantly told by lawyers that they didn’t need this solution. Then one day, someone said to Leah — “have you talked to any end-clients, do you know what they need?” This prompted a shift in the business model to create a solution for the end-client, not necessarily the lawyer. The Henry Ford quote resonates with us because the customer wanted a better solution, a faster horse. Instead, Trustate created the car.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
Trustate will not be done until we have settled every estate in the world.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?
Access to capital. Venture capitalists invested $109.3 billion in companies with all-male founders. All-female founded teams received just $2.86 billion.
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
We are constantly listening to new podcasts/reading new books. One of our favorites is “How I built This” with Guy Raz. Hearing stories of founders but the ups and the downs is both inspiring and thought-provoking. Starting Greatness — Another favorite of ours for the same reasons as above- gets us thinking about how others have navigated the path to success and things they learned along the way.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Time is most valuable asset — We work with so many people who have just lost a loved one, and one thing they always say is that they wished they had more time with someone. They rarely say that they wish they had more money/bigger house etc. We encourage people to spend quality time (screens aside/distraction free) with those they love, because friends and family really are treasures.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Will this matter to you in five years from now, or even five minutes from now?” Before you react, take a breath, take a walk and just ask yourself — how much does this matter to me? If you feel that in five years from now something will still be important to you then go after it with full energy, if not, perhaps re-evaluate.
How can our readers follow you online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!