Field Inspections with Safeguard properties- is it worth it?

Real Estate Agent with Better Homes and Gardens Big Hill 2002018135

I was contacted today from a company called Safeguard properties that told me they looked over my application (funny, I don't even remember submitting one...probably for BPO work), and were wondering if I would be interested in doing work for them as a field inspector. 

I asked what this would entail and was told that essentially it would involve me taking pictures of houses for them, and sometimes handling the winterizing or securing of the home as well. 

They have offered a start pay of $6.00 per home.  I guess I'm a little spoiled because I am used to quite a bit more pay for typical work, such as BPO assignments.  However, if it were only one picture to take and upload, this seems like a fair price.

I'm wondering if anyone has experince with this company, and if so, or if with another, what your thoughts are on field inspection work.

In one regard, I think this would be a nice way to use my real estate license in a different manner, possibly gain some REO work, and add some supplemental income to my pocketbook.

On the flip side, I was told that I could have as many as 10-15 homes on assigment at one time, and I certainly would NOT want this to interfere with my true profession, which is real estate sales.

I'd welcome any input you might have on this topic.  Thanks!!

Kelley Weimer, a house "SOLD" name!

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Thanks for reading!

Kelley Weimerpink flower

 a house "SOLD" name!

Kelley Weimer is a full-time Real Estate professional serving the residential and light commercial needs of Southwest Ohio, including Preble County, Montgomery County, Butler and Darke Counties.  She serves the needs of today's home buyers and home sellers, working for one of the area's top real estate brokerages, Preble Plus Realty, LLC. Making real estate dreams come true since 2002, Kelley prides herself on honest, friendly service; staying on the edge of technology yet always keeping the focus on good ole' communication.  For your real estate dreams, please contact Kelley today!


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This post is directed towards everybody, but mostly EG. Can't say I'm sorry you left the biz, you'll likely be a better person for it. Unfortunately, as we both well know, the economy ain't so hot and not exactly conducive to starting a new "career"... And you know damn well as soon as subs start getting out of the biz en masse, fees will go up. I wrack my brain all the time trying to figure out how to go about establishing a field reps union, combined with pushing some type of industry regulation ideas on my state reps. I live in my states capitol, I have easy access to lawmakers. I'll bet dollars to donuts the politicians wouldn't be too enthusiastic about any ideas on "field inspection reform", as most of those pigs are the ones who let the banking and mortgage industry run rampant as it is. I do have the 2010 edition of the SOFI directory, which lists hundreds if not thousands of people just like you and I, including email addresses and phone numbers. Look up SOFI if you don't know of them. Maybe they can get you some leads on work. But I know what they always push, which is "commercial inspections", which is mostly insurance work looking for liability issues at every Chinese restaurant in your coverage area. There's almost always a language barrier, so it's next to impossible to schedule jobs without an interpreter, the pay isn't any better than the foreclosure/preservation stuff and you'll sit at your computer writing reports until midnight every night just to stay caught up, all for the princely sum of (give or take) $20. Anyway, about the SOFI directory, that thing essentially gives anyone access to every field rep industry wide who is registered with them. That would be a great place to start an email campaign to get the ball rolling on a union. I'm sick of these banks and insurance companies relying on the field reps to have work from "other banks and insurance companies going the same direction" to make their absurd fees seem worth it. I have been chasing $20 at a time down in 3 counties for months in hopes I'll have a couple going the same direction. It's just absolutely ridiculous. I shouldn't even have to start my car for less than $25. Most plumbers/electricians/HVAC techs charge a $40 fee just to come to my home to give an estimate! Why can't we?!?!?!?    

May 01, 2013 06:37 AM #83

EG... if all you were doing was QC and correcting others mistakes and not getting paid for it, you may be able to take part of a class action suit (I think there is one in progress) or report "fraud" to the government and be eligible for what may be a tidy sum. Apparently, there were some contractors and field service firms who were demanding the QC folks find deficiencies on EVERY inspection so they could get someone to go out to the property and perform work FOR FREE.  Kinda sounds like you may have been a target in that scheme. Go to the SOFI blog (Google it if you don't know it) and search for an entry titled "You may be eligible for a large cash reward" or something to that effect. It will tell you what was going on and what your options are at this point if you were a victim. Personally, I would love nothing more than to see several of these scum-of-the-earth primary contractors go down and you collect what is OWED to you ten fold. Hope this helps ya and good luck! 

Jun 27, 2013 02:09 AM #84
Bailey Pinney

I am considering entering this business as an owner. I have a talented crew who has many years experience in performing the work. My role will be mostly clerical and financial backing. Does anyone have any advice for me? It is much appreciated. 

Oct 26, 2013 01:35 PM #85
Safeguard's way of doing business especially for inspectors is to tell them you have 5 days from the time an inspection is assigned. You often have only 1 day. They may give you as many as 1200 or more a month at $3-$5 each with some a little more. You are really just paying Safeguard's bill because you will lose money at those rates. You will wear out a vehicle in a year. The gross you get sounds great until you realized the net is a loss. But, hey, if you want to help them out, go for it.
Dec 23, 2013 01:40 AM #86
@ Bailey Pinney: Mortgage foreclosure is "OUT". Best find another racket/scam to make your fortune. Assuming you have read all the posts here, and you still want advice about getting your foot in the door, maybe you are one of the chosen few after all. Go for it, and good luck.
Dec 30, 2013 11:56 PM #87
P&P Business
Safeguard Properties has had a lot of issues with work or should I say paying people fully for the work they do. The inspections take about 20 -30 min and there are a lot of photos required. They pay additional for securing and for winterizations. but not really what you should receive. I have been in the REO and P&P business for several years. Safeguard is a large holder of a lot of work but if you can Id go with other companies or direct with banks.
Mar 26, 2014 11:06 AM #88
This guy

Man, I know rates def could be better, but I hear a lot of complaining from people TAKING PICTURES for a living!! It's pictures. Safeguard has A LOT of inspections in my area, meaning my routes are almost always very tight. I can hit anywhere from 45-60 a day, with maybe 10-15 being interiors. An interior on average only takes 6-7 minutes, depending on damages. a typical drive by takes only a matter of 1-3 minutes to complete. If it takes you any longer than this then maybe you need to find a new profession. I usually work 6 days a week and bring home any where from 900-1200/wk. Also, you can always work for other companies or directly for banks on the side for even more extra income. Doesn't sound too bad coming from construction/masonry/roofing!! As for wear on the vehicle, you get what, 55 cents a mile? So do the math, if you put say 40,000 miles on your car in a year, that is 24,200 tax deduction!!! Sounds like that is about the price of a new car huh? PICTURES!!! PICTURES!!! Never had such an easy job!!

Jul 19, 2014 02:15 PM #89

@This guy, there is more to this job than "taking pictures" as you put it. You often work in unhealthy, hazardous environments i.e. homes that have been sitting for years festering with God only knows what kind of mold, bacteria, disease, vermin, squatters etc, not to mention the countless hazards like loose/deteriorating/SABOTAGED floors, stairs, railings, holes/pits/debris in yards that could take out yourself or a lawn mower in the blink of an eye. I ALWAYS carry a gun when I walk into one of these properties. I HAVE run across squatters. I HAVE been in homes where all the copper pipe has been stolen, possibly interrupted a thief or two. As far as the pictures go, you better know how to operate a camera above a casual user level AND you better know EXACTLY what photos you need to obtain. I have seen many job directions that require photos before, during and after. How you gonna get a photo of yourself sitting on a mower doing a grass cut? How you gonna get a photo of yourself blowing out a water line while showing a charge on the compressor with the compressor plugged in? Bottom line is we work for OURSELVES and should be able to set our own prices, regardless of how many other jobs we have in a geographical area. Go to the SOFI Mortgage Horror blog. Listen to the interview with the former SafeGuard employee tell how SG paid $30 for a winterization to a sub and collected $400. There is now a class action lawsuit in the works for all HUD jobs farmed out by these national companies. Here's why: HUD states what individual jobs will pay. When a sub is paid a fraction of what HUD states and the national order mill is collecting 100% that is a no-no. Go look it up for yourself. Get on board. There are 100's of millions of dollars owed to subcontractors who made less than what HUD requires because it was siphoned off by an order mill.

Jul 21, 2014 12:41 AM #90
Army Vet


You beat me to it. You are absolutely correct again. I retired a few years ago. But did inspections for several years. The amount of pictures required for an internal was ridiculous. And not just the quantity. What does it tell you when you have to take a picture of your hand wiping a surface to prove you inspected for cleanliness? The health hazards as you mentioned were everywhere. I barely avoided falling through a hole that was covered by a rug. I did fall on a greasy floor. The mold was the most worrisome.

Yes, I worked an area where I could do over 100 total inspections per day. Did I live yes. But to portray this as making a great living is folly! The fact that you write off $25K is not the same as having an extra $25K in your pocket. Simple math.

I have responded here before. Anyone who portrays working for SafeGuard as anything close to a positive experience is an employee trying to beef up the reputation of the company. Simple!

Duty, Honor, Country

Jul 21, 2014 01:10 PM #91
Chris- Yep Its me again...

TO: Bownze Regarding Post #80

I always chuckle to myself when one of you dudes accuses me and anyone else who has found some level of success within the Property Preservation Industry, of being an "insider". You guys cannot fathom the fact that there are actually people who have figured out a way to make it work and whose businesses are thriving within the current framework of the Property Preservation industry.

Your problem is that you are too damn negative all the time. Clearly you prioritize "whining about your financial troubles and bashing the nationals" on internet forums over and above working towards your business's success -- Look at how many times you had "diarrhea of the mouth" on this little forum alone and check the time stamp below all of your comments where it shows that you were screwing around on the internet at 9:30am and 1:00pm when you should have been out there working. WTF is up with that??

Do you really think that the national Property Preservation companies are the reason why you're having so much trouble making it in this industry? Don't be silly!

Look dude: every successful business person has experienced failure at some point in his or her career. Just because you failed does NOT make you a failure! There's no shame in failing to build up a successful Property Preservation business. Sooner or later you'll figure out that you just have to get over the fact that you somehow bungled up your own Property Preservation business, forgive yourself for said bunglement and move on with your life -- if you ever want to change your current situation from being the guy who nobody wants to work with or hang out with for that matter.

You really are fooling yourself if you think that EVERYONE who says their REO businesses are doing good, are hired to spread good PR for the nationals on the interwebs. First of all, nationals don't have a department for that -- it's not in the budget! Secondly, you are so spiteful towards this industry that you have somehow convinced yourself that 100% of the vendors in this business are failures.

The truth of the matter is that for every 100 of you "client haters" wasting his or her time on the forums making predictions about how and when the nationals will have their monumental downfall, there are actually 1500 of us who are out in the field working our asses off, accepting the work orders that you turned down along with the hundreds and thousands of work orders that you never even knew existed -- and some of us are even making real good money in the process. You guys waste your precious time commenting on all the Property Preservation industry forums, talking shit about you customers like kindergartners, while guys like me "invest our time" to figure out how to operate our businesses more efficiently, finding little known areas where we can reduce our expenses and basically just finding out how to get a little bit better at what we do, on a day by day basis.

AHA MOMENT: I just thought of something while I was pecking away at my keyboard typing out this comment. I should put guys like you on my own company's payroll for all the time you spend convincing many of my potential competitors to not enter this industry! Err, did I say payroll? I meant I should hire you guys as 1099 independent contractors.

You know that made you giggle.

BTW, if you somehow make the mistake of thinking this little bit of constructive criticism that I have just dropped on you, is not really a helpful piece of advice but rather a personal attack on your manhood -- then you would once again be utterly wrong with your assumption.

P.S. I won't be returning to this forum for probably another 6 months, so you'll once again be wasting your time if you spend one moment adding to your grand thesis about how it is impossible for a human being to own a successful Property Preservation business. Why won't I be returning to this forum? Because I actually have work to do and a family that has gotten used to me being there with and for them.

The first comment I posted to this page was on February 25, 2010 at 08:56 PM. It is now July 22, 2014 at 12:38am and I have the EXACT SAME MENTALITY ABOUT THE PROPERTY PRESERVATION BUSINESS. Nuff Said!

Peace to all...

Jul 21, 2014 02:40 PM #92

TO: KC c/o Comment #52
Your gross income would have only dropped 26% after the rate change, based on the figures you provided.

500 inspections @ $10.00 each = $5,000.00

350 inspections @ $5.00 each = $1,750.00
150 inspections @ $13.00 each = $1,950.00

$5,000.00 - $3,700.00 = $1,300.00
$1,300.00 / $5,000.00 = 0.26 or 26%

Just sayin...

Jul 21, 2014 02:57 PM #93

TO ArmyVet c/o Comment #78

How does a man go from working, as you said, as a "Director of Operations for several Hi-Tech Companies" to cleaning toilets? Why are you not still working in that industry?

I really hope you don't say, "it's because those Hi-Tech companies were scumbags and jacked you around" or that "it's none of my business"....

Jul 21, 2014 03:08 PM #94

@Chris Anyone can go on the internet and boast about their success. That doesn't always make it fact. On the other hand, when someone goes on the 'net and airs grievances about a company, and dozens of other people chime in with the same or similar experiences, I tend to believe the majority over the minority. So let's just say Chris The Contractor has had incredible success building his company on the misfortune of others, and for you to make the statement "You guys cannot fathom the fact that there are actually people who have figured out a way to make it work and whose businesses are thriving within the current framework of the Property Preservation industry" by definition makes you an insider. It is also very telling about what kind of person you are and what kind of integrity you possess. I have NEVER worked for SafeGuard. I have done PCR's and some other small maintenance tasks when the offer was out there and I was at the property anyway. My mainstay is INSPECTIONS, not PRESERVATION. As a whole the industry is rotten from top to bottom. If you're in business for yourself, you should be able to get a fee YOU SET. And here's a heads up: hope you stashed away some of that fortune you have been amassing. You know SG has had profit losses for several straight years, they've spun off another company to lessen the impact of the eventual demise of the preservation end of the biz, they're under investigation from government agencies for fraud and they have millions in unpaid debt to sub-contractors such as yourself? Hope you have a good Plan B. God forbid you get knocked off that high horse you're riding.

Jul 22, 2014 12:01 AM #95
Army Vet

Chris #94.
I did inspections only. Did not clean toilets.
What I did or did not do is not the point.
The point is how SafeGuard treats their subs.

What is your point? To impune my integrity? My work history? My moral character?
Sorry to disappoint you, it is none of your business.

Back on point, SafeGuard is a terrible organization. Yes, I made a living at it. I had good territory in terms of density of orders. Did I enjoy it? No!

If we were discussing how bad Toyota cars were and commiserating amongst ourselves. And one person was defending Toyota, what would be their motivation be? Toyota lover coming to the rescue?? Doubtful. More likely someone with vested interest in Toyota succeeding.

But, go ahead wonder about my past employment history. We will continue to discuss Safeguard.

Duty, Honor, Country

Jul 22, 2014 01:57 AM #96
Rita Green

I have been working for a company for field photography  for BPO's

I have been approached by another company and they want to pay $4.00 for each home inspection this the normal pay?


Dec 10, 2014 01:34 AM #97

@Rita If you're talking about $4 BPO's, run the opposite direction.

Dec 10, 2014 05:13 AM #98

Hey all, new to this board, and very new to the biz. I am actually in a better sitch than most of you, financially speaking, as I get a disability check each month that almost (not quite), but almost covers my basic expenses. I enjoy the simplicity of driving around and taking photos, and not having to talk to anyone. I work for a little BOTG and I do get between $4 (6 photos) and $10 (36 - QC) per home. All I do is photos. I can't work with other people, so this is perfect for me. My vendor gives me more days because I have a larger territory, so I can wait a few to get a tight run in the far away towns. HOWEVER: Yes, I am barely breaking even considering fuel, wear and tear, depreciation, having to have a $100 phone plan instead of a $35 one, etc, even with the end of year accounting losses. ***My question is this*** I contacted a few national groups to become a vendor myself. It would just be me myself and I. Would this be a risky move? Am I setting myself up to get screwed?

Jan 05, 2015 08:10 PM #99
James Burnett

I am currently an inspector for a vendor who contracts with Dafeguard. I am looking to provide my services directly. I do not wish to solicit Sagegurad but I am not familiar enough to know who is out there. I currently handle about 1200 inspections a month and could actually handle more. Can anyone pelase direct me to the names of either national companies or if it is better, wehere I can get a comprehensive list of na


banks or real eastate companies that i can solict businees from. I am not looking to expand my territory very much but I know that my pay rate will dramatically increse by hanging out my own shingle.

Looking forawrd to some help!

Jan 17, 2015 10:06 AM #100
Michael Hussy

Nice one Kelley Weimer. You can search on the web for comparing others. It's crazy to think about this only. Interesting. Are you looking for inspection app? InfiCare's Field Inspection App is useful for conducting field inspections quickly on tablets or smartphones virtually anywhere regardless of connectivity. It helps you to conduct more inspections while reducing cost and time.

Feb 16, 2015 10:17 PM #101

I am just starting out with Safeguard, I applied and was approached the next day. I will return here with the amount of volume they will offer along with rates....TBC

Dec 08, 2015 01:16 PM #102
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