REOPro - Real Estate Default Professionals

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I often wonder, how good am I doing, really? You always hear about how the asset management companies grade and score you. A few of them, you can actually see your score - but the rest? Pfft. Who knows. So long as the listings keep coming, I guess we're doing OK.

This morning, I got a broadcast BPO request from a company that also does REOs, but I have never listed an REO with them. The guy who sent the request out mistakenly did not use a "bcc" - blind carbon copy; that is, every recipient got to see all the other recipients. It was interesting to see who else in my area is doing BPOs!

One of the recipients did a reply-all back, and said:

"The one and only time I did BPO work for your company it took more than 90 days to get paid, and I had to write letters and threaten to sue you to get paid at all. $60 for an interior BPO? Are you sure you want to pay that much? Perhaps you can find someone who will do it free of charge, just to do you a favor."

Yeah, $60 is cheap for an interior BPO. But you're missing the point. Even $100 is a trifle, if you value your time. Is not the whole point of slogging thorugh these miserable BPOs to get a crack at the listing? This business is really a lot of work. I guess if you're trying to make a living on BPO fees, I can see the rancor. But that's thinking pretty small, IMO.

Also this morning, I got an e-mail from an asset manager questioning one of the BPOs I did for another agent's upcoming listing. There was a big discrepancy in the square footage between me and the other agent - about 1,000 square feet. I had used the actual assessor's data for the square footage figure, which as I understand it, we're only supposed to count legal square footage. So I wrote back to the asset manager, and explained the discrepancy, sent along a copy of the assessor's data sheet, and also mentioned how when the house had sold in 2005, it had sold in-line with prices for 2,000 square foot homes, not 3,000 square foot homes.

I am guessing that the listing agent for this property didn't actually look at the assessor's data, but pulled the data off the MLS. But that's not the shocking thing. The shocking thing is the image that was used for the "front view" of the property. This company uses the "front view" image from the BPO as their "thumbnail" image for the property, which they show on their consumer web site of REO listings.

What was the biggest thing in the picture? The side-view mirror of the agent's car. The house itself was practically a speck, partially obscured by trees, and the clearest thing in the picture was that side-view mirror.

I have a theory. My theory is that most people do a mediocre job of whatever it is they are doing. Surgeons, lawyers, physicists, carpenters, presidents - you name it, the average person in that capacity does mediocre work. Few are truly exceptional. The same is true in the default services side of the real estate business. Actually, that's also true in the traditional "retail" side of residential real estate as well.

The lesson here is: don't waste time worrying about how you're doing, especially not compared to how everyone else is doing. Be diligent, apply yourself, be honest, and work like hell. The rest should take care of itself.

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Comment by Corey Barnes on November 2, 2008 at 3:33pm
It really is sad to see that there are so many individuals in our industry that just don't take the time to do there research. I have had several issues that where similar where the agent just did not pay attention to the data they entered. I have also got several listing from AM because the other agents just where not doing there job or taking there sweat time on getting back to the AM. My team and I do around 30-50 bpos a week. We stay pretty busy. I have two individuals who job it is to take care of all the bpos. My self and another agent handle the reos. I have found if you pay your agents hourly then also give them a bonus on the reo's you sell it really does make a difference and you could alot more work done. To solve the gas issue I purchased a small compact car just for the bpos...
Comment by Diana Endjilian on November 1, 2008 at 2:44am
Well me and my stuff do lot of BPO's, by the time you drive back and forth and the time you spend it's not even enough to pay for your gas.. If get 5 or 6 BPO's a weel that will pay off all your hard work, I done 10 REO's for the last 3 months.. I had a short sale and I was dealing with WM they send thier own BPO person this guy didn't know nothing he was keep calling me for the infomation he had no idea what BPO means and becuase of his lack of knowledge and base on his BPO pricing for my short sale he price it way $30K over asking price and no matter what I do WM didn't except my offer this makes me upset why Lenders send someone who has no knowledge and no experience that cause us lot of problems..
Comment by Dunia Partow on October 24, 2008 at 4:20pm
Hey Seb, would you know how I could attend the Keystone Training. any suggestions??? would greatly appreciate.
Comment by Raul Novales on September 22, 2008 at 3:27pm
Everybody wants to list REO properties without realizing how much work is involved. I listed and sold REO's from 1985 to 1997 I averaged well over 200 properties under management at any one time. All of my properties were clean, well kept and ussually sold quickly. My carrying costs were high since I had to cover utilities, lawn maintanance and other expenses. The reason why I was carrying so much inventory was because I met and exceeded the clients needs. This time arround I am seeing lots of listings that have not been detrashed, and will have one picture if we are lucky. And good luck trying to present an offer and communicating with the listing agent.
Comment by Seb Frey on September 14, 2008 at 9:47am
That home - the one where I did the BPO and the asset manager wanted to know about the missing 1,000 square feet, and where the agent's photo of the front view showed mostly the side-view mirror of the agent's car...this home is now listed for $15K more than my BPO suggested value (about 3%). There is no picture on the MLS (it has been on for 4 days now). Here is the description on the MLS: "great home with lots of space and land" - that's it. Here are the private remarks: "bank owned -". Is this agent really taking care of the client? It's incredible.

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