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I was just sitting here looking at my finger, which hurts 24/7 and has for two years, when the thought of this subject came up. You see, my finger is missing the tip and after two years I still have the craziest sensation in it. It was taken off through my window by an angry homeowners dog, which had been sic'd on me as soon as he saw my camera. Had to drive to emergency and get stitched up.
So whats happened to you agents? Here is a recap of my experiences.
1. Been shot at. Really. Bullet went into tree just past my head. Yes, I ran and drove the he** out fast.
2. Been cornered by subjects neighbors, who formed a line in front and back of my vehicle. It was a small one way dirt road in the woods by Portland. Reminded me of 'Deliverance' lol. Apparently they all stood up for each other. The only photo I had was a womans hand holding the shovel that she was going to use on my window before I started honking and just drove through them. A guy scratched a mark in my paint from bumper to bumper. I sent that photo to the BPO company as my explanation for not getting pictures and they accepted it no problem.
3. I was going into a long driveway when a (I know it sounds fake but this next part is true) a black suburban with darkened windows appeared in front of me. 4 guys in cammo jumped out and told me to get out. I had a hard time turning around as they drove up to my bumper but made it, only to have then chase me about 5 miles before pulling off.
4. Was doing an interior. A little older woman was very mad at the bank, me, the world in general and growled at me through the door but let me in. She followed me around, becoming more agitated by the minute. As I walked through the door to leave, she started screaming and chased me to my car. She grabbed the door handle and hung on all the way to the street and about another 20 feet as I tried to get away. I only went about 1 MPH so she wouldnt be killed.
5. Had a really backwoody type low IQ guy (urban home though) come out and spit chew at me then he pointed a drawn bow and arrow at my chest while cursing and saying there was nothing wrong with his loan. I had not asked though, so he knew he had loan trouble. I still wince while thinking about that 4 blade hunting arrow pointed at me. Jeeze.
6. Fleas. Lots of em. I walked into a house. Had almost white pants on. After a few minutes I looked down and was horrified. Could hardly see the color of my pant legs! Didnt know how so many fleas existed in a vacant house. I swatted and slapped and ran out, not wanting them in my truck carpets but couldnt get them all. Drove to a quickmart and got some RAID bug killer. I know it can kill humans too but didnt care! I sprayed my carpets and my pant and socks. When I got arrived home, I went into the back yard (High fence) stripped and hosed myself before going in.
7.I guess my favorite was an interior that was supposed to be vacant. The back windows had been broken and the agent told me they had to chase squatters out 3 times. There were empty food and milk containers all over and cement blocks with boards on them to use as chairs, etc. Clothing was here and there on the floor. I heard something and pushed open a bedroom door to find a large woman in a wheelchair and a scraggly looking guy trying to 'make a baby' in the chair. Should have taken that photo and sent it FARVV, lol
How bout you folks?
I have had two BPOs result in a negative interaction. The first one was a few years back. I went to do an early morning drive-by, thinking that the chances of being spotted would be minimal. Unfortunately, I got caught by someone going out to work. She was very upset and said she would call the Sheriff. I simply gave her my business card and explained what I was doing. I did not get any calls from this lady or the Sheriff.
The second incident happened earlier this year. I had an exterior in a rural area. Once again a woman saw me taking the photos and flagged me down in the car. She was quite hostile. I explained what I was doing and gave her my business card. She was very unhappy and said she wanted me to delete the photos off my phone and she wanted to watch me do this. At this point I refused and drove away. Some hours later, the lady called me using my number on the business card, and was much more open to discussion. I explained that from time to time, lenders subcontract agents to take photos and complete price opinions. She explained to me that she had seen other people taking photos of her home and was worried about why this was happening. After explaining the process, she ended the phone call and seemed at ease about the whole situation. This is an example of how a negative situation can be turned around to give a positive outcome. Now this lady will probably not worry so much if she sees another agent taking photos of the home.
Discretion and not being caught is always the best outcome but if we are caught taking photos by the occupants, explaining the situation in a calm and professional manner can be the best solution in order to put these people at ease. I always go back to thinking how I would feel if I saw someone photographing my home. It raises suspicion at the very least.
Just added a new one to my bad experience list. Agent warned me that it hadnt been trashed out and that maybe I should wear rubber shoes. UNDERSTATEMENT!!! Opened the door and immediately vomited all down my shirt. I jumped back then tried to see inside--my eyes were burning. I could see what looked like feces inches deep all between many many personal items. Furniture, etc. Looked like some died , was taken out but the place never touched again. Im sure she was some type of hoarder. Also sure that no one had bothered to check for animals which must have gone through total hell before dying. The carcass smell was unlike anything Ive ever experienced! I reported to the BPO company and they put it on hold. THREE times they have come back and said its off hold--please complete it but its never been cleaned out! Today I told them to please take it out of my order que.
Me thinks you need a different line of work. Perhaps you should write a book EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE BPO BUSINESS, AND WERE AFRAID TO ASK...
oH, YES I HAVE STORIES AND HAVE BEEN CHASED, called by the state police etc. If I have to go into a scarey area I have police escort
Id write that book then send copies to the BPO companies, who would pay me big time not to publish it! lol
So, I take a BPO that is in a rural county. I mean rural. La de da, I am driving getting close to where I think the property is. About a 1/4 mile from property I see 3 county sheriffs parked at a closed location, all 3 were outside their cars yaking. So I slow down, trying to find property. Can't find address. See a road where I can turn around and go slowly back. Park at the mailbox and of course only one digit on the box out of 5. So I get in my car and head back the way I came, then I realize that was the correct mailbox, across the street from subject. So I turn around and head back, naturally mail box is on the wrong side so I had to do another turn.At this point, I see all three sheriff's watching me. Thinking to myself, self, they are going to pull you over. Sure nuf, I get to the turn around point and here they are, all 3. Roll down my window and the woman sheriff comes up to me, I say, bet you'd like to know what I am doing, yes says she, I explain. She tells me she has a friend that does BPOs. Then proceeds to tell me they've had several burgleries and they are just checking. So I proceed to subject take pictures and start heading home. Shortly there after, I see one of them behind me. They turn around when I get to next county
I had a deputy show up here about a month ago after someone complained that I was taking photos of his property. I gave him a card and told him what I was up to. No worries from him!
I can take a photo from anywhere that I can lawfully be, and that includes in the roadway of a public street or highway! If you don't like it, take some of that money that you ought to pay the mortgage with and put up a privacy fence!