BPO SAFETY for agents and Realtors
As more and more agents complete the ever increasing amount of BPO's for the banks and asset management companies, it has never been more important to practice safety.
Home owners have increasingly lashed out at anyone in the field of Banking or Real Estate as their financial situations decline. There has been an increase in confrontations and threats that can not be taken lightly. The best course of action for a Real Estate agent is to be aware of their surrondings to avoid these confrontations.
THE TOP 10 SAFETY TIPS FOR AGENTS WHO COMPLETE BPO'S
1. Read your full BPO order BEFORE setting out to take pictures
2. It is good to also print directions than rely completely on a a GPS
3. Look up the house in MLS or tax card and make notes of it's color, style etc as many houses lack addresses
4. Do not take BPO orders in Area's that you are not experienced or comfortable with.
5. Drive by the house first to assess the situation
6. On drive by BPO's, if it is a dead end, turn around and make sure you are pointing out to avoid being blocked in.
7. Do not pull down a drive way or tresspass on drive by BPO's
8. Avoid speaking with the home owner or occupant on Drive By BPO's
9. If you do get confronted by the home owner, many BPO orders contain instructions of who the bpo is for, I found simply saying "I have been hired to complete an appraisal on your home, please contact your bank for more information as i do not receive any of your financial information or reasons for the appraisal" Saying appraisal saves me from explaining what a BPO is.
10. On interior BPO's do not enter houses that are unsecured without a partner. If there is damage or signs of a break in, call the police to check before you enter. There may be people in there or broken glass, water, mold or holes in the floor that could cause injuries.
In conclusion you want to keep your eyes, ears and sense of smell keenly open. If you see or hear something take caution, if you smell mold, wear a mask. Your expereinces are the best source of warning signs. Having a cell phone and pepper spray are now tools of the trade.
Updated January 24, 2011