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I've been following Cindy Billman's Discussion "REO/BPO COMPANIES THAT DON'T PAY" for a couple of years now and I've come to the conclusion that it can't be about the money because it seems that a lot of us are either chasing our money or not getting paid at all.  Is it because we think by doing BPOs we'll get REO listings?  Is it because we just love doing them or perhaps because we find it easier than actually listing and selling real estate?

I'm just curious as to what compels and drives the agents that do BPOs to continue doing them and I thought that this may make for an interesting discussion.

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Speaking for myself, doing BPO work is a way to make a little extra money working from home and it gives me an excellent view of my local market. Very few, if any BPO companies also provide listings, so that is definitely not my motivation.

Doing BPO work for good companies can keep you in the loop of the market.  I only work for 3 AMC that send me the BPO work and I do get listings, not necessarily the BPO I did but getting your name out there works.  If you do a good job, with no returns to fix a bpo your name really goes out to many other companies, who in turn calls you for listings.   My first year of doing BPO (2004) I made over 100k and sold over 4 million in sales.  I have been and REO agent long before REO's were a fad so I feel fairly comfortable with my job and my bpo work.  I do not work for very many companies, only the 3 that pay very well if your seasoned at your job. 

would you share the good payers?  I too only work for 3, Clear Capitol, LSI and Valuation Vision,  once in a while ISGN

For me, it's a little extra money.
In the bitter cold months, I can work on them in my home office where it's warm and dry.
I can keep up with real estate trends around the area.
I go into areas where I would probably not go if not for a BPO. :)

But I decline, especially far-away assignments,
when there is more lucrative real estate work of sales and listings that I have going on.

I do very few "Fee BPOs" these days, but I have done hundreds over the years. The initial BOP, pre-Listing BPO and the Updated BPO are what we all want. They mean we have the listing.

While I suppose you could consider it a profit center, the time required to do them right and the fees commonly offered are not in sync with each other. Some of the offers that are not quickly taken by others, do come with a substantially increased fee

If you are really busy with your listing and selling, BPOs are probably a distraction.

If you want to start or expand your REO listings, they may lead to that business

I currently list properties for nearly a dozen REO entities, and BPOs were definitely a help in building that business. And the few bucks generated were a little help. But the experience and exposure to REO were invaluable.

Assuming you can deal with the administrative aspects of REO sales, the BPO may be one of the most important skills in being a REO Broker. While some Asset Management seems to always overprice their listings, many reward accurate valuations. The ratio of the initial BPO to the final sales price can be a big factor in getting additional listings,  Doing 2nd Opinion BPOs and having better accuracy than the listing agent might get you noticed.

Doing a few BPOs, say 2 or 3 a week, can put you in closer touch with the market. Since the internet came to be a preferred way for buyers to cruise listings, we may not get out to tour as much as we once did. If we are not doing a few listing presentations a week, and we are not showing or previewing  dozen or more homes a week, we may not be in close enough touch with the market and inventory to function properly.  It is hard to win over a buyer if they are more familiar with the inventory than you are.

A few BPOs a week can generate $500 or more a month. That can cover your cell phone and gas money.

I use it as time with my husband. He is an amateur photog (for 60 years now) and he enjoys going with me to look at houses and take photos. He takes excellent photos, and we stop for lunch or ice cream on the way home. I do find the filling out of forms is tedious and I am looking into software to help, but I need to figure out what the software actually fills out and where it gets the info. If I can fill them out faster I can accept more assignments. I like working at home, setting my own schedule and not having to deal with buyers and sellers all the time. It also keeps me in touch with the market which is extremely helpful.

When I first started doing BPOs, it for the money.  I needed extra cash when the market changed.  I still do BPOs, but now I'm more selective and the money is used to pay for my real estate marketing.  As others have mentioned, the insight you gain about what's happening in your local market, various cities and neighborhoods is an advantage that keeps you in the loop. When you meet with a seller, you can present local market information that another agent may not have.

Sharon, it is time with my husband too. He drives, I take the photos, and we both look, fast as we can, for repairs needed, and for the address number. We need to get in, and out, discreetly and quickly, on some of the assignments. :)

Hi Sarah.  You're so right.  My husband is not in the business, but he has gone with me on numerous assignments.

Hi Douglas - I'd best not say why I think agents do BPOS, but I will say, 2 years of doing them almost broke me and I quit doing them.

Several years of REOs and short sales and I quit them this year.

Listing and selling is where the money is and I work from home, do not show other agent's listings. Do not list overpriced properties. It's my way or the highway.

I like the way you do business... 

My main reason for doing BPO's is to stay on top of property values for my Buyers. I list very few and represent investors almost exclusively.

It keeps me sharp; however I don't work for free.

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