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Ok, I was reading Jessie's 2011 take on "How do I get my first REO listing?" and it got me thinking. So many agents think that once they get an REO listing they'll be on the easy money train. It just does not work that way. If this is the niche you decide to choose, be prepared, it is not glamorous.

First there are the properties, sure you might get lucky and get some 3 year old mini mansion, but more likely you'll get a mixture of suburban and urban properties to sell. In the past year, more than half of my REO's have had no plumbing- copper stripped, yet some still occupied. I have had to deal with flea infestations, break ins, police reports, fire reports, lead paint liens, city registration inspectors, abandoned pets, water penetration and mold.

Next there are the people. At times you'll be dealing with innocent tenants that have lived in the property for years and have no idea that the property has been foreclosed. You will be the bearer of the bad news that even though they paid their rent on time, the owner chose not to pay the mortgage. Other times you will meet with the former owner, and they will feel compelled to tell you their story. Some of these stories will break your heart, especially the ones when the foreclosure was caused by an illness or job loss.

Lastly there is the paperwork, not just a standard listing agreement and some disclosures, much, much more. There's initial occupancy checks, initial BPO, monthly marketing reports, updated BPO's, offer submission forms, utility invoicing paperwork, relocation assistance agreements, contractor repair bid forms and most of these documents need to be uploaded into a system.

Now I am not trying to discourage anyone from the REO business, just trying to give you a bit of reality.

So, How do I get my next REO listing? Plenty of tips are already posted on REOPro, but to reiterate;

1. Be available to your AM 24/7

2. Respond to requests immediately- get a blackberry, IPhone whatever you need to get this done.

3. Ensure all your paperwork is accurate and early, not just on time.

4. Anticipate your AM's needs, Know your AM's temperament.

5. Visit the property-often. Nothing is worse than not knowing about something that happened to one of your properties. You should always be the first to know.

6. Remember DOM=$$$$  Make sure every offer you submit is with a purchaser that is pre-approved or has proof of funds.

As an example today I trudged through over 29" of snow to do an initial occupancy check, so it would be in less than 24 hours from assignment, but that is how I will get my next REO listing.

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Comment by Billie Dalessio on February 1, 2011 at 2:55pm
Shelley, thanks so much for the Asset Manager's point of view. Being proactive is definitely a must in this business. Anyone who has an REO team should have an internal QC to ensure the work is accurate. Doing it right the first time saves time over doing it twice.
Comment by FREIDA SANEI on February 1, 2011 at 2:48pm
Welcome Shelley, it is great to have your input.
Comment by Shelley Kaye on February 1, 2011 at 2:10pm

Billie,  Great advise.  To expand on your comments, I have a few tips:

As an Asset Manager I found it very helpful when an agent gave me more information than required, so I could make an educated decision on price and marketing strategy. One agent constantly added an addendum to the BPO which gave me additional area information, additional comps if they were pertinent, as well as the benefits in selling either as is or repaired.  Every agent should remember that their BPO is their resume.  And if another person is doing the BPO for the agent, the agent should make sure that they review that BPO before it is submitted.  Many times I reviewed a BPO that made no sense and called the agent only to find out the agent had an assistant do the BPO and forgot to review it. At that point the agent had to redo the BPO so it was presented with correct information. 

If there is a problem to report to the AM, try to give the AM a recommended solution.  A good agent is proactive.

Comment by Billie Dalessio on February 1, 2011 at 12:21pm

Rochelle, I completely understand. I, too have worked on a property for 3 months and ended up with less than $400. I can do a 2 commercial BPO's in less than 5 hours and make more money. That is the point I was trying to make exactly- everyone wants to jump into REO thinking all they have to do is sit by their computer waiting for all these listings that are going to make them easy money. You really earn your money doing this work but a great deal of satisfaction doing it well.

Veronica- great point- many income streams is the best way to survive any market.

 

Comment by VERONICA MALOLOS on February 1, 2011 at 9:31am
Rochelle, I don't blame you for giving it up. If one is not doing enough volume, the financial and labor burden outweighs the benefits. However, I do believe that you can pick and choose who you work with based on what is BEST FOR YOU. Having multiple streams of income is always best for anyone and sometimes keeping REO on the side as one source (as long as it is bottom line profitable) is not a bad thing.
Comment by Rochelle Curtis on February 1, 2011 at 12:38am
I gave up on REOs. My last one sold in late summer 2009. I took on a partner in early 2008 because I was getting too many to handle by myself. With the tiny commission allowed by the asset manager, and then the referral fee to them, less my broker split, then divided in half with my partner, then E&O and other office fees taken out, I was lucky sometimes to see $300 on a horrible property that I easily spent months doing CFK, babysitting, writing reports on, doing trashout, vandalism repair, water leak repair, doing the buyer's agent's job sometimes (and they got the 3% commission), fronting all the utility bills, and even having to pay to submit an invoice for reimbursement, etc.  My husband was my bookkeeper, and he convinced me that giving up REO headaches and little commission was better than ending a 30+ year marriage...  My office manager has never done an REO and he never intends to ever do an REO.  I finally followed his example and gave them up.  I still do BPOs.
Comment by Billie Dalessio on January 31, 2011 at 11:54am
Angel, thanks good points, hate to have to delay a closing due to hoa.
Comment by Angel Caso on January 31, 2011 at 10:23am

great advise for the reo agent

to highlight your points of what i feel is utmost importance

#4 anticipate the dates of your reo asset mgmt monthly mrkt reports or updated prop value and do it early and discuss it with the file mgr/ your contact on the phone not just email..... if you don't have an offer than something is wrong and your overvalued for the distress controlled mrkt

#5 do not let 2 weeks go by without updating the mls listing and sending a report to the asst mgmt comp a mls hit or visit list and updating your buyers agents of any changes in the property.

 

and one that you may have missed is to be preped with the hoa or condo assc (if condo or in pud) info and documentation to give it to the potencial buyer immidiately along with any info on needed fees and dues

Comment by Billie Dalessio on January 31, 2011 at 7:03am
Corporate Relocation is an entirely different niche. Most larger real estate franchises have their own corporate accounts. I was a corporate relocation specialist when I worked at CB, see NRT, under asset management company links on REOPro. Most will require that you can perform ERC form which is similar to an interior BPO except they will want to know the costs for improvements to help sell the home, not just necessary repairs. A good place to start may be the Employee Relocation Council www.worldwideerc.org . Good luck!
Comment by Sima Saboury on January 30, 2011 at 9:55pm
Does anybody know how to get in touch with Re-location Company? I like to register with them but I do not know where to start and who should I contact with? Any suggestion will be appreciate it.

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