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REO Properties are not Burdens so Don't Skimp on the Marketing!

Are you a REO agent providing minimal information about each bank owned listing? The bank expects you to market each listing as much as possible so the best possible offer is received. You should never look at an REO property as a burden and/or think little effort is required. Remember, each successful sale contributes to the next listing you receive from the REO Company/Bank.

Here are a few tips when listing the REO:

• Take the time to take incredible picture of the property. If the property has been de-trashed after the listing, upload the new pictures to the MLS. Do not leave the garbage-ridden pictures on the MLS or your flyers.
• Take the time to write about the property and its features. There is more to a property besides the standard, "Bank owned, sold as-is, great property." Write about the upgrades, good features, kitchen, amenities, etc. Give the property much needed attention.
• Fill out the square footage and acres if your MLS does not import all of the information from the tax records.
• Make sure your email address and fax is accurate.
• Always list the docs required from the bank in the broker area regarding all offers.
• Create a flyer and upload as an attachment in the MLS.
• Upload the offer instructions and letter of intentions as attachments to the MLS.
• List the property on various FREE websites. It is a good way to obtain buyers and investors for your database and sphere.
• Keep copies (PDF) of all marketing efforts so the banks will know that you are giving your best.
• Schedule showings and obtain feedbacks. You will need this information for the MMRs. If your area does not have a showing system, hire one or hire an assistant that can assist with your showings and feedback collection.
• If you do not have your own website, consider getting a site through Point2 so you can display your REO listings or have a site created.
• Create a network among local agents. Send updated listings to each on a weekly basis. Make sure you have permission. Even though marketing is an effort performed by all agents, I am still amazed at the number that balks when new listing emails are received.
Some of these tips appear as common sense but it is not all common.

Carolyn Dobbs, www.onlinerepa.com | www.reobookkeeper.com | www.point2close.com

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Comment by The Property Options Group, LLC on July 15, 2009 at 7:00pm
I can't tell you how many properties we manage, through am's and field service companies, where the assigned realtor has placed no signage, no notices- not even a business card. For our realtor contracts when we do the initial inspection we immediately place notices, as applicable, on windows and/or doors and get the signage up ASAP.
It amazes me how many realtors want the listing but don;t seem to put in the effort to do the base marketing needed in this market and economy to get a property sold. WE help as much as we can by sending e/mail and monthly calls but even after providing recurring services on a property for, 1,2,3, even 6 months there can be nothing to let anyone know that someone, somewhere has a vested interest in that property.
Comment by Carolyn Nelson on June 17, 2009 at 9:12am
Edie - Virtual Tours are good however, if the house is selling for $10k and the agent is making a very very small commission, some of the recommended perks are not advisable. Should spend more than 10% of the commission on marketing unless the house is $100k or more and a larger amount for a luxury property. Each each has to make their own assessment.

Sam - Working with a responsive agent is great however, once the offer is submitted to the seller (bank), the listing agent cannot provide an update since it is now the the hands of the banks. It is always recommended by the agents I work with that the buyer agent gives the buyers a two week waiting period minimum. If feedback is received prior to the two weeks, you are very lucky. During previous conversations with various asset managers, a typical asset manager may have 500+ properties minimum to manage. The foreclosure inventory is not decreasing. As the assistant, I handle the agent updates, collecting highest and best, etc. Sometimes, agents will call four plus times per day asking for updates on their offer. I have had several to give to buyers the listing agent's phone number. Trust me, constant phone calls will not make the seller (bank) move any quicker but it may make them select another offer. As for the light and water supply, rarely will a bank owned property have the utilities turned on but, the policy depends on the seller (bank). I suggest asking the listing agent or assistant when scheduling the showing if the utilities are on. If it is not on, you are risking your safety entering a dark building. I always tell the agents when the utilities are not on and encourage them to go to the property before it gets dark (7:30 pm +/-). There is professionalism but I often see the stress coming from the market condition on both sides. Patience is needed on both sides.

Steve - Getting full commission is great but there are sellers (banks) that will only pay the listing agent $500 and some have the nerve to charge fees against that amount.

Marketing a property is an art. You can get the best bank out of a shoe string budget if the property is marketed in a specific manner and showcased to the AM. Then and only then will the AM see value in your efforts and pay well.
Comment by Edie Czerniak on June 15, 2009 at 5:45pm
Agents might want to consider doing a virtual tour. I am trying to do them on all my listings and I include pictures of what is wrong with the house as well as the good features Also in my comments in the mls if the house has a problem I tell agents. Virtual Tour is very easy to use and I put as many picutres in as I can.
Comment by Sam Shueh on June 14, 2009 at 4:58pm
We appreciate the above suggestions.
80% of the REO listings I have viewed have only a fussy photo on the MLS. Few even bother to provide a flyer if any. Phone calls / eMail sent are rarely returned after a submittal. People putting a deposit expect some kind of feedback. About 25% of homes have no light and water supply. Agent has to bring a flash light showing properties. Great posting.
Often we wonder if there is much professionalism or agents just try to reduce the service to a bare minimum.
Comment by Steve Adkins on June 12, 2009 at 10:27pm
Great post Carolyn! My team and I treat REO's as any other residential listing, and by taking the extra steps in our marketing, we get our full commissions. I made them a believer when I had 18 offers for them in the first 36 hours we had our first group of listings. They would have freaked if I had sent them all the calls we generated! 1400+ in 6 weeks and still counting.

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