I decided to pull some statistics out of curiosity. NRBA is probably one of the most prestigious and most recognized of all realtor organizations and they have a designation called CREO (Certified REO) that, I believe, cost members about $300 to take the course and get their CREO designation. Currently, NRBA has 1,039 agents throughout the country and guess what? Out of 1,039 agents only 63 have their CREO designation! Wow, by my calculations that is about 6% of their members! I do not mean to be negative, just being cautious. I was surprised and a little disappointed by these numbers. The NRBA has been around since 1998 and I remember how everyone was a little cautious of them at first. But, considering the number of licensed agents (and yes, they do have an approval process) they have a small membership. So, I did some more digging and discovered that many top REO agents do not have any designations/certifications/titles. Of course, by now, they are fully ingrained as REO agents and do not need these designations.
And one more bid of information, I sent out a blast email to many asset managers, VP's, SVP's directly to the banks/mortgage companies and the ones who responded were unanimous in saying that designations/certs/titles mean absolutely nothing compared to your perfomance as an REO agent.
With that said, I, for one, am no longer going to "contribute" my hard earned money to companies that want to charge for you to join in order to get REO listings. It is still going to take hard work, patience and a long term commitment in the "waiting game". My best contacts, so far, have been through networking and this has been a fantastic site to do just that. However, on the positive side, if you need the training because you are not that familiar with the REO process, then I would encourage you to take courses that would help you with a career in REO. Remember, REO is a 24/7 job, vacations are almost nil and void unless you have a highly dependable person to cover for you or take your laptop and blackberry wherever you go! And don't forget the expense, can you front $15k to $40k for repairs/maintenance/utilities and then wait 90 to 180 days for reimbursement? Before doling out the money, do some serious soul-searching, is REO really for you?