This is a very good post. It is very good advice for agents to have these items. I have tried to reblog this three times with out having 25 words. I would love to write a better comment. However I had surgery on mt left hand and typing is not fun.
I was thinking today about the specific Tools Of The Trade we REO Agents like to have on-hand as we go about our business with these bank-owned properties.
When I was just a little tiny REO agent, my mentor, Obi-Wan "Broker" Kenobi, taught me the ways of the REALTOR®Force.
He introduced me to my very first water shut-off tool.
He said to me, he said, "this is your father's water shut off wrench. This is the tool of an REO Agent. Not as clumsy or random as a hammer. An elegant tool for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations the REO Agents were the guardians of peace and justice in the old Republic, before the dark times, before the Bubble Collapse."
It certainly comes in handy for shutting off water at the source, at the water meter. Sure, you can shut off the water at the riser valve where the line comes into the house... but gosh darn it, I don't want vandals getting inside, turning on ALL the faucets, and opening up that easily-accessable riser valve to flood the place. (Not like that's never happened to me before. Dang kids...) Shutting off at the meter gives me that extra sense of security.
What else is in my toolkit? Everbody say "hello" to my little friend, "Big Bertha"!
I have to tell you, when a property is vacant, and needs to be secured by MY crew, and I drove ALL the way out there, well, when I want in, I want in NOW. There isn't a padlock that can resist the gentle persusasion of Big Bertha. Resistance is futile.
Channel Locks & Pliers.
Channel Locks and Pliers are good to have on hand. I don't know HOW many times I couldn't get the water meter valve or the riser valve to shut off completely, when I had leaks and faucets that would NOT shut off. We do what we can, to prevent mayhem from ensuing, before our contractor can get out there.
You MUST have a digital camera to photograph your properties. I'm particulary partial to this model, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5. It is inexpensive, but takes excellent-quality shots. I really like the wide-angle panoramic shots I get out of this baby.
Check out what it can do!
We REO agents are taking pictures all the time for BPOs, MSRs and Damage Reports. Plus, they also come in handy for CYAs.
Asset Manager: "We just got a call from a neighbor that the pool is green and nasty, and giant mosquitos are carrying off dogs and small children."
REO Agent: "Well, according to this picture taken just 3 days ago - with a date stamp - it's clean and refreshing!"
There are plenty of other tools that an REO Agent should always have in the car: a nice, big flathead screwdriver always comes in handy for prying open open windows and doors, as well as water meter covers and window screens.
A roll of tape for posting notices to the property.
A hammer. Sometimes you just gotta hammer stuff, pry off stuff, and re-nail stuff back on. I gotta tell you, if I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning. I'd hammer in the evening. All. Over. This. Land.
A flashlight. Sure, this is a tool even non-REO Agents should carry. You never know when a client's gonna want to see "one last house" as it is starting to get dark outside. But for an REO Agent making first contact at a vacant home... well, it's just good for safety too. (No, I'm NOT afriad of the dark. But I am nervous about the scary things IN the dark!)
I'm sure there are tools I've left out. Maybe I'll mention them in another blog post!
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