It's a nasty day here in Maryland. Rain and humidity in abundance. Resulting in my feeling a little blah.
My blogs usually consist of some information that I feel pertinent to the industry, but today I am going to talk about this past year and how hard it has been.
As I look at projections for the remainder of this year I am hopeful that things are starting to turn around and that the market will stabilize and allow me to continue to have a modicum of success, but more importantly to allow me to continue to help people looking to own a piece of the American Dream.
I am an REO title expert. It's what I know and I know it well. I have spent the past 20+ years of my life as a title expert and I elected about 12 years ago to focus my attention on transferring property out of foreclosure. At the time that I decided to shift my focus, I opened THE PREFERRED TITLE GROUP, INC. http://preferredtitlegroup.com with a partner.
As time went on, and as will sometimes happen, my partner and I came to a point where we were no longer sharing the same dream, so just this past June she decided to leave the company. I was not really surprised by this move given the fact that business was super slow and I had seen the writing on the wall for some time. She just was not happy doing title work any more. She left and we remain friends. That is more than some can say when a partnership comes to an end. I pray for the best for her.
I found it somewhat ironic that on the same day that she told me she no longer wanted to stay with the company we had a major computer crash, the result of which cost almost $5,000.00 to fix. I did not think I had prepared for the worst. But, because I have a phenomenal insurance agent who advised me some time ago to insure my computers and the software installed on them, I was able to have the insurance company pay for the bulk of the repair. My prayers for the best were answered when they agreed to pay my claim.
The past year has been a tough one. Business has dramatically declined as a result of the fact that all REO lenders and servicing agencies have gone to the cradle to grave concept, meaning that the foreclosure attorney is tasked with handling the property from the time of the foreclosure through, and including, the conveyance of the property to the ultimiate 3rd party purchaser after foreclosure has been complete. I will now bore you here with the debacle that has become. But, as a result of this cradle to grave concept, independent title agents like myself have been left out in the cold; even those of us who have been recognized by others in the industry to be the BEST at what we do.
It is increasingly difficult to get your foot in the door with real estate offices or even mortgage companies because of the increasing number of ABA's (Affiliated Business Arrangements) in place. I have had lenders and real estate agents all tell me that while they don't really like the work product of the title agent that is part of the ABA, they are made to use those services by their brokers or the managers/owners of the lending institution. A possible roadblock to success. One that I am working hard to get through. I am praying for the best here and making some progress.
Over the years I have been blessed to have several clients who consistently send me all the work that they can because they know that I will give their client the best service at a fair price. However, this handful of loyal clients are all clients who also specialize in REO transactions and now they find themselves in the same boat as I, business has come to a virtual standstill because of the current foreclosure debacle. I pray for their continued success because many of them have not prepared for the worst.
As I look at projections for the rest of this year I wonder if I may soon come to a point where now I need to prepare for the worst?
I talked to my husband last night about this and, as always, because he has been my biggest fan and supporter for the past 30 years, he told me that he would support any decision I made and that he too has been praying for the best, but that we are prepared for the worst.
Over the years my husband and I have always tried to be prepared for the worst and that has always served us well. We have not lived above our means and we are practically debt free. So if the worse case happens and I have no choice but to admit that the current state of the real estate industry has defeated my best efforts I will do so knowing that while I have worked hard, ( and continue to do so) and prayed for the best, I am prepared for the worst.