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How to Specialize in REOs, Make Money, and Still Have a Life!

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How to Specialize in REOs, Make Money, and Still Have a Life!

By Bob Corcoran

By now you might feel like you've heard it all about REO. No doubt, REO has had its 15 minutes of fame and then some. And it continues to command attention. But one thing you may not have heard about the REO life is that real estate agents can specialize in REOs, make money and, yes, still have a life.

I know that's true because several of my clients do it. And they're doing it without clocking 70 or 80-hour weeks. In fact, most of my clients are making a darn good living in REO working around 40 hours a week.

Guess what? You can, too. And don't believe the myth that it's too late to enter the REO market. Actually, experts say it's likely that the REO market will continue to be a healthy one for the next five to seven years.

Here are a few tips to help you make more money in REO -- with less effort.

1. Take time in the beginning to understand the finer points of REO. I'm reminded of the old Abe Lincoln quote: "If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four hours sharpening the axe." I think one reason REO has gotten a bad rap among agents is that many of them started hacking away  without first 'sharpening their axe.' They got into REO thinking they could handle it without doing their homework first. Bad mistake. It is different, but once you take time to understand those differences, chopping down the proverbial REO tree is much easier. Part of my work includes teaching an REO boot camp and I have a free sheet I'll happily send you on REO certification. Just e-mail me at Articles@CorcoranCoaching.com.

2. Network in the right places. After you get the basics down, making money in REO is about networking. And if you do it right, you'll land houses to sell by simply picking up the phone. Yes, if you take time to get to know the right players, they call you with the properties they need sold. These folks are asset managers, often found in the loss mitigations departments of banks. Take time to develop relationships with those in the mortgage default industry. Network wherever and whenever possible. You might even consider hiring a contact manager, someone who can get you in the door with asset managers and outsourcers.

As for groups and organizations, REOMAC, the trade association for the mortgage default industry, is a good place to start. Also, network with other REO agents in non-competing markets.

Asset managers tell me they often meet agents at various trade shows, at the National Association of Realtors conventions and through their company's website, where agents can register to become a real estate services provider.

3. Become fanatical about service. I hope this is something that's not a stretch for you. You should always take serving customers seriously. But in REO, it's essential if you want to stay in the game. Asset managers have plenty of other agents they can turn to so you need to take extra care in handling the assignments they give you. The agents I've found who are most successful in REO are particularly detail-oriented. That's a huge plus because there are plenty of details to attend to and asset managers truly appreciate that personality trait in agents.  

Let me hear from you. Are you considering REOs? If so, what are your thoughts, concerns or questions about entering the field? How does the REO market look in your city? Please send any comments or questions you have to Article@CorcoranCoaching.com or http://www.facebook.com/CorcoranCoaching.

Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (CorcoranCoaching.com, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent's existing practice.

Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Bob,

Good post. I decided to break into REO in 2009. I was sure I was too late, but I kept plugging away, doing 100 bpos a month. I now have 17 listings, and am on my way (slowly) to the 60-100 listings and 20 closings per month that has been my goal.

Thanks for the information


Jul 22, 2011 02:45 AM