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Many factors go into answering this question and the truth is, I don’t have the time to explain each one so, let me give you my top 3.

1. REO Experience = REO Listings; I know for many of you, this fact is frustrating but, it’s a fact none the less. Why is this the case, you may ask? It boils down to what “Experience” really represents. In other words, if you have REO Experience then you have a direct knowledge through direct exposure to REO and, therefore you have the “know how” or “procedural knowledge” it takes to get the job done. Keep in mind that the rule isn’t REO Training = REO Listings, it is REO Experience = REO Listings.
2. A Proven Track Record of Sales: It may be hard to believe, because your calls never get returned by that power house REO listing agent but, a REO Agent with a large number of listings has a proven track record of sales. This proven track record establishes confidence on behalf of the lender providing the listings and as long as the sales are occurring with little to no problems, that agent will continue to be given the opportunity to do so.
3. The Asset Managers are Graded as Well: Just like a REO Agent has a performance evaluation, so do the Asset Managers. If an Asset Manager is performing poorly because they have a poor Realtor in the field, it’s the Asset Manager who is held liable and risking their job. The banks consider the Asset Managers ability to choose high quality, high performing Realtors as a part of their job and if they can’t do that, they don’t keep that job for long. This is why points 1 and 2 are critical and most Asset Managers will not budge off them.

I hope this has given you a different prospective, if you have questions, comments or concerns I would be happy to help out.

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Comment by Glenda S. Howell on July 1, 2009 at 10:06am
Angel, I have over 10 years of REO experience and ditto everything our fellow Realtors said is true.
As for my own personally testimony, I have both experience and the education, but how I have gotten most of my REO listing was not so much as a result of my experience nor all the money I've spent on training to get certified, nor all of the money I spent on advertisement, it has been because I built a rapport with a particular Asset Manager.
Developing a good business relationship/rapport with an Asset Manager oftentimes will go farther than experience and/or certifications. I am of the opinion this can be a good thing or a bad thing for two reasons; some Asset Managers that will have you jumping through unnecessary hoops on the possibility of getting a listing and in my opinion this is neither ethical nor professional. Secondly, the Asset manager could have less knowledge and/or experience than the Realtor, which could be a tremendous challenge for both of you. So my advice to you would be, depending on your market area, you might contact some of the local banks in your area to find out how/who handle their REOs and see where that will take you.
Please keep me posted and let me know how you are doing...If you would like you can contract me personally my personal email is
Comment by Konnie Mac McCarthy on April 6, 2009 at 11:34am
This all makes a lot of sense..... experince = listing... I have been working REO for a year and a half...and I am having a hard timing growing my business..the companies I work for have a policy..they don't give out recommendations........AHHHHH..(that's me pulling my hair out ... :) Any suggestions.. :)
Comment by Joe Kirby on March 31, 2009 at 5:42pm
I have to agree with Jesse and the others. It's REO Experience and a Proven Track Record, and a wee bit of who you know......if you know what I mean. I was never the "Big Dog" in my market center with the other "Retail Agents".......and they all questioned me, like Mike Shannon below. But now that I was number 1 in sales in my market center last year.......I can't get them off the phone! I'm still polite, help them in some ways, but I'm not going to give away my secrets.......that's just a bad business plan from the get go. The issue that I have with "Education or Certifications" is that the "Industry Itself" has not garnered that idea yet. The survey we took earlier this month on Certifications needed to address that as well. Most if not all of my AM's don't really care how many letters I have after my name.......they care if I can do the job, give them the least amount of problems, and ultimately sell the asset for them so that they make money and I make money. When I do that, and sometimes more for them.......I see more listings. I notice that we are getting listings in areas that we've never had listings in before. Let face it folks, we are all in competition with each other in our given market centers, learn what works for you and take command of your experience. I remember when I got my first listing, I remember when I got my first REO listing.........and you know what.........I still get a little thrill out of it 19 years later!!!
Comment by Addie D Scharff on March 30, 2009 at 10:30pm
I truly believe that most agents here are working VERY hard, I know I am, at getting more of the share of REOs, (in these REO dominated markets), doing BPOs, by signing up with tons of companies, doing everything we can afford, but it is difficult no matter what. I agree that it is hard, hard work. We must be good at what we do, we must be consistent, and we must optimistic, knowing that it pays off to give it our best. Of course, being are in an REO dominated markets and getting to see the consumers’ side of how too many REOs are marketed by over loaded agents (it’s everywhere, face it!), you know things need to change for the better. And just because an agent has not listed 100s of REOs it does not mean they are not capable, or EVEN BETTER. Everyone starts out having to prove (which means they're good from the START. There HAS to be a start) themselves. But opportunities are a few and far between for too many, and it is especially noticeable in today's trying market. But, let's keep on glogging, working hard, and learning. This is very educational, so let's not give up, and let’s keep giving 100% every time….and hopefully we can keep our cool, too! :)
Comment by George Kenner on March 30, 2009 at 4:11pm
Mr. Shannon:
I think we are both saying the same thing in just another manner. I have not called My Board of Realtors, or My Mom and Dad.. but I know Agents that have called their Mom and Dad and their Congressman about the way they are treated by some lenders. If the lenders had been doing a little better job on the mortgages they were selling we would not have this opportunity. We as a Nation have come to a point where "To Big To Fail" is creating "To Small to Suceed". Why does a small bank get taken over when a big bank is given TARP Funds?

Me, I am just going to keep calling and handing out my team Brochures, I love these blogs and have got some great information off them. I have even had Asset Managers call me for Services and a favor every now and then off the blogs.
Comment by Michael Shannon on March 30, 2009 at 2:57pm
How many FSBO's have hung up on agents calling to get the listing.

Are you going to run to to the Board Office, NAR, or Mom and Dad when they list with one of your competitors. NO Way It is exactly the same. No different.

I spend at least an hour or more a day marketing my team. I the past year I spent $5,000 on professional brochures, $1000 a month on postcards to banks, $2000 on calendars, 5000 business cards a year, at least $12,000 on conferences, ads in the REOREDBOOK, 16 websites, 7 blogs, press releases to the wire services, interviews with local and world TV and print media (try search "mike shannon landlord nation"). I do REO for real.

The doors are open, look harder. I published the names and websites to over 300 banks and outsourcers on several of my REO Agent blogs, and I published the names of who you need to contact to help out other agents trying to get into the business. I also teach FREE classes on the REO/BPO business every 90 days to hundreds of agents in Michigan. I give them everything they need to get business.

All real estate is a fair playing field. I just market better that the majority of my competitors in Michigan (yet some of my competitors do better than I) and I am not jealous, envious or whiny.

Every time the FDIC seizes a bank, we research the bank, who is going to buy it, and sign up with all parties before it goes through and guess what, we get business. The business is there, and I go get it every day. Ask my staff. It isn't luck, rather perseverance and sheer determination to succeed. Nothing less will do.

By the way, FSBO's understand that. It's the last agent still there that gets the signed listing.
Comment by George Kenner on March 30, 2009 at 2:31pm
Mr. Shannon:
As you have built your business over the last ten years you may not be aware of what it is like to have the Asset Managers and Banks hang up the phone or even refuse to give you the opportunity to submit a resume. That is part of what is going on in the Market.... No matter how much people get off their BUTT as you say many of the doors are closed. This is what people are upset about. They don't feel like it is a fair playing field. This is just an observation but many people feel that in Bailing out the BANKS , Fannie and Freddie the system the work should be a little more distributed. Again just an opinion but I think the FDIC, and Congress is listening.
Comment by Michael Shannon on March 30, 2009 at 1:24pm
The funny thing is, in regular residential real estate, in every town around the country, there are several big dogs that have a lion share or normal listings. Every agent in town knows who they are. Those big dogs usually have teams, and are extremely good at handling their clients. Every other agent town competes against them for listings, and many times, the best agent will prevail. It is the same with banks. Agents that don't perform well over time are fired, listings are transferred to other agents and the real estate world keeps on turning.

Taking a class or two, or ten, does not make you experienced enough to deal with REO. My team closed 423 REO's last year, and we have closed thousands in the past 10 years. That experience far outweighs any class or REO designation. When a bank assigns a listing to my team, they know with certainty that the asset will be managed exceptionally well. Our track record speaks for itself.

There is no secret door. We started working with banks 10 years ago, and regular listing agents laughed at us. "Why would you want to deal with (dirty, cheap, horrible - You choose) bank owned homes", they would say. We it was a choice we made, and we became really good at it. Now, those same agents claim it not fair that we have all the houses. Fair, what's fair? We started small, cut our teeth, and signed up for 100's of banks and outsourcers. We marketed ourselves via email, phone, direct mail, web, conferences and by personally visiting the banks. I have spent thousands doing so.

If regular agents want to get into the REO business, then get off your lazy butts and go get it. Stop whining, and just do it. Google the banks, sign up for the conferences, join the trade groups, mail your business cards and brochures, market yourself. It's just like competing against another agent for a local listing. There will be only one winner.
Comment by George Kenner on March 30, 2009 at 10:14am
Angel everyone starts with their first listing and then everyone starts with their first REO Listing. The capture rate that is present with REO's is changing. I work in an office of 104 Agents and they are all screaming at the local board and their elected officials about this. The industy is not being spread around like it could be. Me I dont worry about it. I use a team resume and accept the fact that I will get what I get. Don't get drowned out in the Negative stay on the phone and go see Asset Manangers if you can. There is the personality you will click with that will give you a shot. Change is part of life, it happens every day, make your change positive.
Comment by Jesus (Jesse) Gonzalez on March 29, 2009 at 8:10pm
It's not about getting a chance or even getting a break. The most successful REO agents are those who engineer their success. I cover this in my blog, Apprenticeship, Experience and Referral.

As for education, most Asset Managers look at a REO Certification / Designation with a very doubtful eye. Simply put, it's all alphabet soup to them. Until our industry comes together and agrees upon a standardized knowledge base, a REO Certification is as only good as the business it can directly bring to the agent. I haven’t met an agent yet that can say, “My REO Certification made me rich” and, lets all be honest with each other, that is what we want, right?

My point is, it’s all about Apprenticeship, Experience and the Referral, read the blog link posted above to understand more.

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