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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.