Asset Managers - Do You Know The Whole Truth About Your Assets?

Real Estate Agent with The Alliance Group Real Estate Services 01298719

Asset Managers - Are You Getting The Whole Truth on Your Assets?


At risk of potential Realtor backlash I'm putting this blog out there to Asset Managers.  I can only imagine the job you have of trying to stay on top of your Assets; having to understand each individual market is next to impossible on your own so you have to rely on the help of team, data, appraisers, bpo agents, and most importantly your REO agents.  


To help you, here are a couple of interesting developments I see regularly that are costing you money and my buyers opportunities:


  1. The out of area Listing Agent.


Many of you assign assets based on office proximity.  You want to make sure that, if the agent you assign is in a different county, they have local MLS access.  One of my favorite tricks for helping my Buyers get below market assets is to log into the MLS for the next County north of me. Lots of local listings and no one near your asset knows it.  And that means lower price for my clients and more loss for you.  I am in San Diego County and many of my Buyers are looking for homes in Oceanside (San Diego's northern most city).  Orange County is within 20 miles so many of you are assigning these listings to Orange County agents who don't have San Diego MLS memberships.  You are missing out on all the Realtor business in San Diego. 


Looking at 2009 to now, Oceanside REO's listed only in the Orange County MLS sold for an average of $36,614 less than if listed on the San Diego MLS equaling a 17% added loss just for choosing the wrong agent.


Solution:  Select an agent who has access to the local MLS as well as any Real Estate Boards that may assist in selling your asset.


  1. The impossible house to show.


Even more frustrating and frankly fraudulent is the house that just can't be seen.  A great example yesterday was an amazing home high on a hill in La Mesa.  Partially rehabbed and surrounded my homes in the 800,000, several of my clients were clammering to see it.  And rightfully so as it was listed at 399,000.  Incredible 5 mile views, great curb appeal, we couldn't wait to see inside.  Two lockboxes, two keys, two doors, no way in.  Obviously the locks had either been changed or the wrong keys were in the boxes.  Why?  Someone wanted to be sure no one else offered on this home. 


I've heard all the stories of unscrupulous REO agents purposely hiding your inventory and investors changing the locks while their offer is submitted.  Regardless, that house is underpriced by at least $100,000 and that Asset Manger will never know.  What will be confirmed is the date the home was put on the MLS, and how many times that Sentrilock key box was opened. 




Did we try to contact the listing agent?  Of course we did.  No answer, no response.  Even if we did, how could I ever confirm my clients offer would ever be presented?


Solution:  You can't teach an unethical person how to be ethical.  You can only put a priority on selecting team that you can trust.  Trust your instincts; if they seem like their priorities are in the wrong place, or if they seem desperate to you, they probably are.  Talk to your agents and ask questions. 


If you want to take trust totally out of the realm of risk consider a monitoring system that records all activity in your assets.  We are testing a new monitoring device that is activated by any door opening or movement.  It takes photos of everything and it also monitors for smoke and carbon monoxide. 


There are many more ways to hide your assets and with inventory so tight, its critical you stay on top of your assignments. 



Rebecca Austin is the Broker/President of New Team Realty in Carlsbad California.  With 11 years experience, her team specializes in Short Sale and REO transactions.   

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Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. John Occhi 11/26/2009 08:47 AM
  2. Matt Stigliano 11/27/2009 12:45 AM
  3. Scott Taylor 11/27/2009 11:01 AM
  4. Mirela Monte 12/18/2009 06:06 PM
  5. Efrain Bobadilla 12/23/2009 06:13 PM
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Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Rebecca, I was thinking too about writing this, and you beat me to it and articultated it so well.  THANKS for having the guts to put it out there.  The shenanigans going on are unethical at best, but the mess this economy is in, it perpetuates the downturn.  I so agree with Bob, don't we owe it to the banks to get them the most return, rather than playing unfair...I've had the commission changed AFTER I printed out the mls, and negotiated in the counter, which is not proper in California, but do they care?  Not one bit, and they had done it before and tried to force the buyer out and put it back on mls while we were still in contract and waiting to close.  OH so many abuses, makes me worry about the reputation of Realtors...when all this comes out, and it will.  Thanks for posting this.  It needed to be said.

Nov 26, 2009 05:16 PM #32
Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Rebecca - I reblogged your post with a link back in the comments section to bring anyone with something to say back to you.  Hope it brings you some extra conversation on the topic.

Nov 27, 2009 12:50 AM #33
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Rebecca, It is frustrating out there to say the least. I am fortunate that most of the REO agents in my area do a very good job.

Personally I list short sales. The beef I have with lenders is when they send a company out to change the locks on the house with out telling me or the seller. Even though it;s obvious that the property is being watched an is "for sale" they just ignore the fact that my sign and lock box are at he property and change out the locks. I don't find out until an agent calls me to say they can't get in. 

Instead of simply calling me to see what's up with  the property they destroy my lock box and just throw it on the ground.  Then of course it;s impossible to find out what company changed the locks. So I send my own locksmith out to rekey it. This cost me $75 for the locksmith and $50 for the lock box. My sellers are already struggling so I eat it. When it happens several times a month it really adds up.

Bank suck.

Nov 27, 2009 01:19 AM #34
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Excellent post and a reminder that when this REO debacle is finally over...we need to remember that banks should never be in the business of selling real estate!

Nov 27, 2009 01:32 AM #35
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Excellent post and a reminder that when this REO debacle is finally over...we need to remember that banks should never be in the business of selling real estate!

Nov 27, 2009 01:32 AM #36
Ron Sullivan

Reading this blog left me wondering how may Asset manager's actually read it?  Being an REO agent in Bakersfield located in Kern County California, we have been hit hard with foreclosures we are #6 or so in the nation. I have sold over 200 REO homes in the past 24 months. I have encounter diversity from every possible source. I feel that I am at the top of trying to be ethical, compared to other REO agents. I am in no way the king or queen of the REO business in Kern County, but somewhere within the top 35 agents doing this thankless job. My day starts with instructions from my asset companies and I move to their tune. I see every property I list, I do my own BPO's and I take pride in pricing them correctly. Oh by the way there are usually two BPO's and an Appraisal done from the Company I work for. Then To keep everybody honest there is a Final after BPO done a month or so after the close of the home to see how much money was left on the table. I am sent a score card on how I am doing. Buy the way the "key" problem, you will never be unable to get into one of my listing, there is a post there right on the window with my personal information and I answer the phone. I can't afford not to. I do have a problem with some asset management companies not seeing the big picture. After being in this business for a while I can tell you anyone that has 75 Plus assets assigned to them at any one time is beyond their span of control. The two top agents here are over that level. This is where the problems start in my opinion. They have other's doing important task that they should be doing their self. They don't answer the phone. Some assets I see are priced ridiculously low and are contingent or pending within hours. I am not sure why but like the blog states, maybe there are unethical agents out there. I see these agents getting the cream of the crop properties. Granted they have been doing this longer than others but span of control is the key to doing a good job verses leaving money on the table and having angry agents out there that say there offers were not submitted or key not working in the REO doors. I have gone to my properties and found the box's missing, keys stolen and I guarantee you it wasn't me that took them. I think it was an agent that wanted to make it hard for other agents to see the property. We do the best we can. Oh by the way our average priced REO is around 130,000 some being lower and some higher. I hope if asset managers do read this it may help when they assign there next listing to the King or Queen instead of the smaller agent that is doing a good job.

Nov 27, 2009 01:58 AM #38
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Hope some of the asset managers out there see this.  Duhh about the out of area MLS but we used to see that also here in our area long before our merger took place creating one large MLS.  It does make a difference, whether the bank knows it or not.  Sometimes the key issue with a particular property is just hopeless & frustrating.  In our area, they have to post who to contact (other than the listing agent) on or near the front door - maybe you should start calling?  Would serve the listing agent right.

Nov 27, 2009 02:08 AM #39
Stephanie Reynolds
Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. - Santee, CA
East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408

Great post, great comments. This is so frustrating. I too have run into many properties here in San Diego County that I am sure the asset managers do not have a hint of what is going on.

Nov 27, 2009 03:13 AM #40
Alan Grizzle
Chestatee Real Estate - Dahlonega, GA
Full Time Realtor, Lifelong Resident of Dahlonega

Do not forget the REO agents who have the same legal description for all there properties, they all seem to be in land lot 0 district 0 section 0 plat book 0 page 0 and the lot dimensions are 0. It is left up to the buyers agent to resurch the property just to see what they are selling Or how about the ones that rather than use the supra electronic lock-box approved by the local board they throw a combo box on the listing never mention a word about it in the showing instructions, you get there with your client and can not get in. Of course you can not get anyone on the phone for the combo.

Nov 27, 2009 04:46 AM #41
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Results - Edina, MN

Every REO has a surprise inside.  There is usually one ugly photo taken by the cleaning crew, with maybe one or two more helter skelter shots.  The listing agent is responsible to access, and some never pick up a phone. Massive numbers of listings require massive teams, but they are unreachable over a weekend.

Asset managers never see the properties, and in some cases neither do listing agents. This issue isn't exclusive to REO agents. There are also short sale agents who warehouse listings in the hope that some will sell.  They treat their listings like REO, one ugly photo take in the winter, do not call EMAIL ONLY, M-F.

An effective complaint would be to our local association, or to our MLS board.  Most boards require fully filled out mls information, but offices are lax in enforcing room sizes, or an details about properties.  The worst is that we waste many hours showing properties hoping that a listing that has almost no information might pleasantly surpise a client.  

Nov 27, 2009 07:10 AM #42
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

You are so, so right about what yo say here.  I could go on with stories myself all day.  I think the asset managers sometimes would be better off without an agent representing them because some are so bad.

Nov 27, 2009 10:34 AM #43
Scott Taylor
Realty Center - Orlando - Ocoee - Orlando, FL

Good for you! Who cares about the backlash from the offending agents, LOL!! I couldn't agree with you more. Now the question is, will any asset managers see this? Sure hope so.

Nov 27, 2009 11:01 AM #44
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Nice post and the comments were great.  It sucked me in.  There are definately different sets of rules.

Nov 27, 2009 12:59 PM #45
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

I second Scott. I pray that a whole bunch of assest managers see this. You ROCK! Thank you for posting what needed to be said. Enjoy your day. Regards, C. :-)

Nov 28, 2009 12:08 AM #46
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

I wrote a similar one back in September.  I am seriously sick and tired of REO REO REO and shenanigans!  We need to keep writing about this because there are better ways to protect their assets.  We need systems where we (the buyer's agents) can upload offers and possibly give feedback about listings that are impossible to show (wrong lockbox codes, missing keys, etc!)

Nov 28, 2009 11:05 AM #47
Rebecca Austin
The Alliance Group Real Estate Services - Carlsbad, CA
Broker Associate, Sales & Recruitment Manager

Wow, I think I stirred the REO pot a bit!  Thanks all for this and, for what its worth, all your comments and suggestions will be shared with the 577 Asset Managers I have access to. 

Written out of frustration for my clients, I'm happy you all have contributed with your additional information.  Although we shouldn't have to deal with this, its critical information to run our businesses today.

Mary Jo, Alan, and Bob:  Your additional contribution is extremely helpful to me and all.  Matt:  thanks for the boost and the added comments!

Bryant:  The banks may try to change the locks on a short sale when/if they learn the home is vacant.  (how they can get away with it is an entirely different blog-they don't own it...).  The way I ensure this doesn't happen is I make myself the contact for the BPO agent and I control the BPO as much as possible.  If the seller has to leave a few things behind until the BPO is complete this usually avoids this ridiculous obstacle.  Does that make sense?

Darla:  The Lockbox in this situation is a Sentrilock box.  That means, when I open this lockbox with my card, this information is gathered as a "showing".  When I go back the next day because the office says it should work now, it records my frustrating visit as another visit.  Both times, the key doesn't work and I can't get in.  But the bank see a report that I was there twice, and never offered.  With inventory so tight my client almost offered on this property, but how can they?  Its a partial rehab!  How could we ever estimate the cost without getting inside??!!  My guess is that someone has had a good look though.

Lyn:  So the story on this property will continue thanks to the encouragement of all of you.  Since the listing agent is not helping.  (And I did visit their "office" which is actually a house....).  I will do my best to locate the Asset Manager and see what happens.  My goal is not to tattle or out the listing agent, but to get inside this house for my client and present an offer directly to this AM.  Regardless of the outcome, I can say I performed MY duties to the best of my ability.  Isn't that what its all about in the end?

Thank you all!


Nov 28, 2009 11:35 AM #48
Pam Dent
Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse

i have encountered many of the problems that you write about such as properties that are not listed in the mls in the area that they are located.  An additional thing that we see alot of is one listing agent being given so many REOs by a bank that they can't properly service them.

Nov 29, 2009 04:43 AM #49
Mary Ann Daniell Realtor
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Subsidiary of NRT LLC - Killeen, TX
Delivering Successful Results Since 1999

Before last week I would have said "not in our town"!  But I've been "victimized" by an asset manager (or my client has, really)since last week and am just steaming mad.   And there is no way to appeal to anyone higher up to solve a trivial issue.   They hide behind their email and won't come out into the light of day.. seems like this one in particular is really enjoying turning the screws on my client.  The day these properties disappear from the market can't come too soon.

Dec 15, 2009 09:15 AM #50


Be careful at  REOMAC, AREAA, NAHREP and Five Star of guys who pose as fake asset managers. One particular person is by the name of FLINT FAULKNER. This guys is a true con-man and makes our industry look bad. He goes around with an asset manager's business card from LANDAMERICA and try to get realtors to pay for his expense. Many realtors know he was never an asset manager but they don't share this information to the rest of us "NEWBIES". I if you ever meet a guy name FLINT FAULKNER let him know that his con won't work on you.!!!

Las Vegas REO Agent

Dec 20, 2009 10:44 AM #51
Jami Van Den Bogaert
RE/MAX House of Brokers - Springfield, MO

Great post! Hopefully an asset manager will actually read this and all the comments. Especially #10. There's one agent in my area who always has a disclosure that an agent representing themselves will not be paid a commission, and often have reduced commissions anyways. It's funny because the other listing agents for those reo sellers still pay a commission even if you represent yourself. Unfortunately they are one of the major listers so I have to grin and bear it if I want to have a shot at their houses.

Dec 22, 2009 06:27 AM #52
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Rebecca Austin

Broker Associate, Sales & Recruitment Manager
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