Atlantic REO closed our offices at 3 pm on Christmas Eve Eve and made sure all client tasks that could be cleared were. In the life of an REO Broker, clients have strict deadlines for many of the activities we perform in the lifecycle of an REO property sale. We live or die by how successfully we can complete our tasks on or before they become late. If we clear our assigned tasks timely, our performance scores remain high and we continue to find ourselves in our clients' good graces.
Because Georgia is a Super Tuesday state, (meaning that foreclosure sales only occur once a month and on the 1st Tuesday of each month), receiving new property assignments so late in the month is unusual especially if they aren't simply existing REO properties that are being transferred between agents in an effort by clients to refresh the listing and shake up marketing by changing agents.
Nevertheless, on Christas Eve Eve after hours and again on the 24th we received two new property assignments that for whatever reason weren't yet placed with an agent and only now needed to be checked for occupancy.
Because we must check occupancy of new referred properties within 24 hours, I headed out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to inspect the homes we were assigned and determine who if anyone was in them.
I found myself in front of a house Christmas Eve morning with Christmas lights on and a tree lit in the window. I rang the bell and waited for someone inside to answer but thankfully, noone came to the door. I was able to post and photograph the necessary documents on the door and allow the occupant to receive the news in a perhaps less obtrusive manner than learning it from me directly.
In the other case, the house was vacant so I didn't need to break bad news on this holiday weekend.
In fairness, there isn't any good day to have an REO agent show up at your door and most homeowners experiencing the foreclosure reality are fully aware of the circumstances prior to my arrival on their doorstep. While it is never easy, often it is the occupant who makes the conversation easy for me and not the other way around.
We take great pride in our company and the quality of service we provide to our valued clients in the default property industry. Occupancy checks are an important and necessary part of the REO process and we approach this and every activity we do for our clients in a professional and empathetic manner. Our stated mission is to be our client's best choice and resource, to provide superior service, integrity and professionalism and always be a positive reflection of our client to others. That being said...I couldn't help but feel a lot like the Grinch this weekend.