I was just catching up on the posting within the forum this afternoon and wanted to address some very important points that I mention to others when they email or call asking for advice.
If you don't get business right away or are not getting enough business, it could be because of a number of factors. Within the last few years many agents, brokers and appraisers have jumped on board and started doing BPO's and some have gotten REO's. Plus, as many of you are well aware of the foreclosure rate throughout the nation has increased, in some areas it has started to drive the local market (I don't know about you but the foreclosure rate has jumped up from this time last year and short sales are a common, more cost effective alternative to foreclosure in my area of being in Bellingham, Washington).
With this trend a few things have happened. More companies have gotten tighter on their new vendor application process & requirements for new BPO/REO Vendors wanting to get into the business. Some companies have even stopped accepting new vendors because they have enough quality agents already.
Another sad but true reality is that the fees that companies offer to do a BPO have decreased. I've seen the downhill shift occur personally and accept it as part of being in this business. I look at it as just needing to do more volume and work like heck to consistently provide good quality orders so that the favor is returned to me by means of having all the work I could ever hope and ask for.
Within any segment of real estate we are driven to a certain degree by having to deal with competitors and having to work really hard for the business that we get. The same applies to BPO & REO work.
One site I recommend people checking out to learn who their competitors are and how many of them are doing BPO & likely REO work is:
They have a search feature where you can put in your city, state and zip code and then do a radius search. You will be able to find out the top REO listing agents (Most times they pay to be featured as a Premier Partner and stand out from the crowd by being placed at the top of the page). You can read their profiles and see who they work for and many times how long they have been in the business. You can also take this info and go to your local MLS. I'd recommend doing a search on any of the people listed to see how much REO business they are currently getting.
Then mirror who they are working for, where they are signed up (websites to promote themselves), etc.
This will help you understand the amount of work that is being shared in your area, plus you will learn a lot by watching your competitors to see how they do what they do and who they work for.
Plus, the only real way to get more work is to be proactive, just like you would do in your real estate sales side of your business. It's all about building relationships! In the case of BPO/REO work it is super important to build relationships with lenders, asset managers and reps as well as be able to provide something that others cannot do as well as you....and on a consistent basis!
When you do get orders, knock them out of the ball park and beat your deadlines! Also, if you can avoid having your orders stopped by the Quality Review team then you should be able to get more work.
Remember the amount of work available to you depends on a few outside factors. Competition, amount of work available, your vendor rating with each company you receive BPO's from, the fee you charge and being able to stay out of trouble with the company. (a.k.a. quick turn around times, meeting the deadlines they give you, being consistent, picking good comps, providing accurate values, keeping your orders out of QA (Quality Assurance) and overall just by providing outstanding orders. Who wouldn't want to give you more work if you meet all of those expectations?
On an end note, the more companies you sign up with, the more you increase your chances of gaining work. Also, if you do not hear back from them in a while or even right away after signing up with them, then pick up the phone, introduce yourself to them and ask if there is anything else they need from you (W-9, a copy of your real estate license)....start building that relationship! :-)
Hope this helps you understand more about why you have to work really hard in this business to get work, then the key is to work even harder to keep it and make everyone happy in the process!
Best to you all!