Ok... so I'm on a rant and boy this one has simply really got my goat!
My wife and I have been in this great industry for over two decades. We, like many of those of us who are seasoned professionals, pride ourselves in how we manage our business and how we respond to one another in our profession. We respect our clients property and offer the most up-to-date methods of securing ingress/egress to the property.
- We ANSWER our phone
- We RETURN our eMail messages
- We use a secure SUPRA KEY Lock Box ingress/egress system
- We DO NOT place our clients property at risk with unsecure mechanical lock boxes
- We RETURN our text messages
- We publish our cell phone numbers in our MLS listings
We make it nearly impossible for anyone to ever say that they couldn't get in touch with us. We maintain between 20 and 30 listings at any given point in time and all of our listings have all of our methods of contact such as cell phone, fax, office phone, text message and eMail. We know everything about our listings. If the listing is a short sale, we know who the lien holders are and we know how many lien holders are involved; we know who the negotiators are; we have points of contact for each lien holder negotiator; such as eMail, fax, phone and supervisors name and points of contact. We know if the properties utilities are active.
If the property is not a distressed listing, I.E. owned by some seller who simply wants to sell their home to move up or move down in size or for any number of normal, and some time abnormal, reasons, we know everything there is to know about that property. We know that one of the best ways to get another REALTOR® to show the property is if he or she has as much Intel as possible, and... can get that Intel from a real live person.
LACK OF SECURIETY AND RESPECT
Now, contrast that with many, if not most, REO Secret Agents who handle REO properties. These agents make it extremely difficult to show properties. Many of them don't use any form of secure ingress/egress control, I.E. a secure SUPRA Lock Box system. There is no way that these agents can protect their client's property without a secure and accountable method of monitoring who has entered the property. IMO, these less than professional acts of inexcusable lacks of professionalism show a total disrespect for their client's property.
My favorite all time reason that I hear REO agents use for not putting a secure SUPRA lock box system on the property is, "it's too expensive".
- Do you really feel you have a right to not offer your client the most complete and competent protection of their property?
- Do you not feel your client would like to be able to tell the police, in the event of a break-in and/or the property being vandalized... who the last persons were who entered the property?
- Do you not think your client would like, at the very least, a small chance of seeing justice done to those who would destroy their property?
- Do you not think it appropriate to hold real estate agents who are inattentive to their tasks to re-secure a property rafter showing, to be held accountable?
- What in the world are you thinking? And... what in the world would your client think if you said, "I can't really afford to secure your property with a secure SUPRA lock box system, you'll simply have to deal with the consequences of not knowing who has entered your property last".
DISRESPECT OF FELLOW REALTORS
Try calling a REO listing. If you're lucky, you might get a recorded message that says something like, "If you see a listing that is showing ACTIVE and not under contract, that is accurate information, our listing are updated every day". Yeah, right! But that does not include updating their listings over the weekend. Oh here's a bute... you call on Friday afternoon, about 7pm so you can vet the list of homes you're going to show tomorrow. You begin to make phone calls to vet the availability of the home and you get this: "Our office is closed for the weekend. Please call back Monday between the hours of 8am and 5pm." Or my favorite, "Hello, you have reached Agent Brown. I am sorry I can't take your call at the moment. I return my calls between 2pm and 5pm Monday through Friday. If you have called after 5pm, please try to reach me the following day after 8am. If you have called me on the weekend, I will return your call the next business day. Please leave a message". Like heck I will!!! If you want my client's business, you should have answered your phone or at the very least, answered the voice mail message I left you.
WHAT ARE REO ASSET MANAGERS THINKING?
Would someone kindly let me know why any asset manager would want to hire a real estate agent or even better, an entire team of real estate agents who will not give the property the proper attention it deserves? Is there an asset manager out there who can explain why you would not want your property protected by a secure Ingress/Egress verifiable lock box system? Is there an asset manager out there who can explain why you insist on hiring real estate agents who are, well... Secret Sgents? That is to say, why don't you want the agent or team of agents, you hired to answerer their phone in response to a buyer or buyer agent? Do asset managers simply have a death wish for the property they represent? Do asset managers find wisdom in conducing business with real estate agents who do not have the best interest of their client at the forefront?
I just don't get it!
I could go on and on about the most unprofessional niche of our industry, the REO listing agent.
Now, don't misunderstand, there are some GREAT REO listing agents. They secure homes properly, they have a team of agents who really answer their phones or if they are lone wolfs, they answer their own phone. But... sadly, this gallant and noble group of REO listing agents is but fraction of an infinitely small fraction of REO agents and agent teams who manage and list REOs. To this truly noble group; Congratulations on a Job Well Done. This very small microcosm of REO listing agents even knows all about each listing. WoW! That's simply refreshing.
But to the rest of you... get the heck out of the kitchen if you can't stand the heat. You, who match up to my comments in the beginning of this post, do not belong in the REO business. GET OUT and get a 9 to 5 job... or... do the job the asset manager hired you to do, in a dignified and respectable and professional fashion.
- Answer your phone!
- Properly secure the property!
- List your cell phone or the cell phone of an "On-Call" team member!
- Return your voice mail messages!
- Return your eMail messages
- Return your text messages!
And... participate in our industry as professional agents, not "Secret Agents"
G-II Varrato II is a licensed REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. You can reach G-II (G2) at 602-796-5674 or by eMail at G-II@AllAboutRealEstate.pro