A while back I wrote a blog Top ten reasons your short sale will not close. I thought a perfect follow up would be a blog on the tools I use to stay organized and make short sales so simple that you'll wonder why you haven't delved into this niche market sooner.
After reading through this post and you still don't want to handle short sales, I will pay a referral fee of 30% for those of you who would like me to handle them for you. I will take the listing and do all the negotiations and get it to closing. No upfront fees (scam) just good old Realtor networking. Did I mention I've gotten 100% approvals on all my short sales? Can't beat perfection. (Southeast Florida Only Please!)
First off I want to disclose that I have in no way a relationship with the products or services I am promoting. I use these every day in my business and I am happy to promote them.
Bluebeam The bluebeam software is amazing for the price $149.00. It is a pdf editor that allows you to do all sorts of things to pdf documents. You can't change the copy but what I do is color over copy I don'tneed with a white marker, then flatten the image and use the text box to add whatever I want. The feature I particularly like is the"insert documents" one. I insert all the pdf documents needed for my short sale package and save it to one nice concise pdf. If you use a tablet, bluebeam allows you to sign and secure pdf's as well.
Metro Hi Speed Metro Hi Speed fax service is again another must have. At $12.95 per month for 1000 pages what else is there to say? You simply attach the documents you want to send in an email and plug in the phone number in the "To" field along with the metrofax extension and go have lunch. You can add as many documents as yo want separately up to ten megabytes and this service works flawlessly. After the fax is sent you get a confirmation e-mail.
Microsoft Office Suite 2007 You can find MS Office Suite at your local Best Buy or get it from the Microsoft website. With MS Outlook, the email management software, I created a fax cover sheet "signature" which I select and use when sending faxes. I just fill in the required fields, attach the documents I want to fax and hit send. You can create folders with rules and when you receive and email that conforms to those rules instead of your inbox it goes to the folder specified. You can also save all your emails for a particular transaction to a custom folder you setup. I use the MS Excel spreadsheet program to keep all of my listings organized. I got this idea from a brokerage I used to work for. They had this large dry erase board with all the office listings. I decided to do the same with a spreadsheet. You can add comments to each individual cell in the spreadsheet which is where I keep my notes when I speak to the banks while negotiating short sales.
Smart Phone with Bluetooth Headset I'm a Palm guy but any smart phone with e-mail capabilities, internet access, texting and word processing software is a must. I know there are agents out there who don't embrace technology and like to do business the old fashion way, knee cap to knee cap, but I personally don't know how I would survive without my Palm. Nothing beats being on hold while cooking dinner in the next room and not missing the connection to that short sale negotiator. That's what the bluetooth headset feature provides, freedom and control.
Tablet Laptop Speaking of technology, this is really taking it up an notch. I use a Gateway tablet with a Maxtor external 160 gig hard drive to keep it all safe and organized. I go as paperless as possible, from listing agreements to simple addendums it all it gets done on the tablet. After closing I hand my broker a cd instead of a dog eared file of faded and coffee stained legal file. It's not only cheaper this way, nothing gets lost as it;s backup on the the external hard drive plus it's good for the environment.
All in one Fax Copier Scanner This one should have been the first on my list but these units aren't exciting anymore. They have become an after thought yet oh so necassary. The most important feature is the scan to pdf feature. I use an ancient Lexmarx 6500 I picked up for $199.00 and it does the trick for me. Today's models have fax to email features, bluetooth, Wifi and the list goes on and on.
Education I saved the most important for last. I attended a 2 day intensive seminar that gave me the tools to build a foundation as to where I could be successful in getting short sales approved. I learn new something new everyday so you absolutely must keep an open mind to new ideas and be resilient and creative. Notice, I didn't take a two hour course or some 60 minute webinar, I invested in my business and spent 2 intense days learning. As far as I'm concerned nothing beats the Certified Distressed Property Institute.
As a Realtor you probably own most of these products but as a short sales specialists you may need to invest in some of these tools or upgrade to make life easier. Please free to add to the list, I'm a techie junkie and new gadget that makes life easier is an A plus in my book.
Happy Short Selling!
"Doing Business Right"