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Do you know how much your BPO client pays me?

I just received an email request for an exterior BPO due in less than two days (about 42 hours) for $42. I generally just delete these because the fee is too low for me but it just so happens I had an accepted order within a few blocks for another client (for $70, not a rush order). I thought I'd log into their system and reject for fee and see if I could get them to bump it up a little before I drive for photos tomorrow morning. I took a couple minutes to see if the property was listed, had any MLS history or if subject data was available in the tax records (it's not for many properties in our area).

By the time I logged in a couple minutes after receiving the email the order was already gone. No big surprise and no big loss. The thing is I recently did a drive by for this company, for $125. They offered me $200 for another but I turned it down because it would have been about a 90 minute drive each way and I didn't know the area very well. The one I did for $125 was a mile from my house and was really a pretty easy one. I guess whoever does them for $42 wasn't available.

I often get these email orders for exteriors for $40, $35 or even $30. I almost always just delete the email. Sometimes when I am not to busy I'll log in and reject for fee and ask for more. More often than not the order has already been accepted. Once in a while I'll get an approval on the increased fee.

I have multiple clients the regularly pay $65-75 for a standard drive by, and more for a rush or anything that might be farther than I'll normally drive or a little more difficult to find comps for. I often get companies that I normally do not accept assignments from offer well above their normal fees when they can't get someone to take these assignments. Sometimes this will be a Friday before a holiday weekend but often it's not. The recent $125 order came in on a Wednesday afternoon. Wasn't even a rush order, due the next Monday.

This got me thinking. I wonder if the agents that are accepting these orders for $42, or $35 or even $30, have any idea that they'll gladly give me $60, $70 or more for the same order when you don't accept them. What would they think if they knew I often get twice as much as they do, just because I ask for it.

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Comment by John Giammarco on June 8, 2015 at 9:33am

I have been rejecting anything less than $50 and naming my price on many orders, usually rural but I generally get what I feel is fair for the order. If I don't get it I don't worry about it move on and forget it.  If these agents would stop accepting low priced orders the fees would increase. I don't see that happening though, there are to many agents that are willing to accept low priced orders.  The problem is they can farm everything out and not have to leave the office.  For a $30 to $35 dollar order they can pay someone $10 to take the photos and another $8 - $12 to complete the form and another $2 -$5 for auto accept which leaves them $5 to $10 profit. If they do enough of them they can earn a nice little sum. Volume is the key. Which makes sense if you think about it. From what I can gather from most of the comments I see on this site is the agents in the highly populated areas BPO fees are lower, more agents available and the more rural agents are getting the higher fees, less agents available. Basic supply and demand.

Comment by Dorothy Monette on June 8, 2015 at 8:51am

I haven"t accepted anything for a few months. Here (CA) we are lucky to see anything over $45. Clear Capitol is the only one paying more, but I haven't been fast enough to accept those. But, the companies that were sending out $40-$45 has been sending them out for $20! Hard to believe, but people are accepting those. I just laugh because it won't even cover gas much less any time spent. 

Comment by Susan Sutton Newton on June 8, 2015 at 8:11am

I am losing a lot of BPO business because I refuse to leave my house for less than $50. I have had a lot of business up to $200.00 per order for traveling outside my County but all of a sudden I am losing this business . Is it because BPOS are slowing way down, or is it because there are more and more people out there working for nothing when thee companies and making a fortune off your less than minimum wage behavior. There are so many BPO companies now I can't keep up with them and I am not anxious to take on new clients for fear of not getting paid or taking more than 30 days to pay. Any suggestions.

Comment by Dorothy Monette on May 23, 2015 at 11:44am

Boy, I'd sure like to know which companies pay as high as the companies you are working with. Here in the SF Bay Area, we are offered $20-$45.

Comment by Michael Puhl on May 13, 2015 at 10:25am

In CA it is even worse.  The problem is outsourcing.  You can get an outsourcer in India that will accept the BPO, complete the BPO less pictures for $8.  There are signs on many telephone poles and street signs "Student needed to take pictures must be licensed and insured call   "  They pay the kid $10 for the pictures and 8 to complete the BPO and make $12-30 for doing nothing! Except giving the client what they are paying for.  BPO mills knows this is happening but why would they take any REAL steps to stop it.  They still charge the client the same and keep lowering the fees paid.   

Comment by Mark Allen on May 12, 2015 at 11:01am

So true, several companies send orders to me for $35-$65 dollars, I send back fee increases of $100-$375 depending on the location. Not many give me the increases so I only do 4-8 BPOs a week, but they are all at least $125.00.(I'm in a rural market). Back in the heyday of BPOs I used to do 10-12 per day.

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