*REO Doesn’t Have To Be A Headache*
**By Joseph Badalamenti**
***Field service companies must demonstrate the ability to handle both quantitative (volume) and qualitative (depth of service) market demands. Meeting this dual-track challenge requires a large, nationwide field service team ? the key to rapid deployment of field resources on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood, property-by-property basis. Providers who can perform at this level are re-defining responsive REO service.
****Occupied Property Management: Leading field service companies can determine occupancy, evaluate state redemption guidelines and provide a full range of document delivery, signature execution and related borrower contact services. Qualified field service providers can also save their clients time, money and administrative headaches by assuming full REO property management responsibilities, including services such as cash-for-keys exchanges; eviction coordination; utility, property tax and insurance payments; and rental lease management, including payment pickup.
****Pre-Marketing: With in-depth, experience-based knowledge acquired before a property becomes part of the client’s REO portfolio, providers offering both pre- and post-foreclosure services are uniquely positioned to create and apply the right marketing approach for each REO property. This includes recommending auction or traditional sales methods, preparing detailed property/market analysis, as well as providing turnkey auction management or assigning a broker, as appropriate.
****Marketing: Field service providers who can offer comprehensive property marketing services are helping REO properties return maximum market value in minimum time. Qualified providers can mount complete marketing campaigns, provide detailed monthly marketing reports, and assume full responsibility for broker monitoring/evaluation.
****Closing Services: Well-qualified field service organizations can provide the people and expertise to coordinate and certify closing documents, organize and attend the closing, collect and distribute funds, and disseminate closing information – all in strict accordance with client, legal and regulatory requirements. Title procurement, HUD-1 review and approval, escrow/closing coordination – these services and more are well within the scope of today’s best-qualified field service organizations.
****Benefits of Pre-Foreclosure/REO Integration
****Servicers are experiencing a number of benefits as they strengthen relationships with field service companies capable of working effectively across both pre-foreclosure and REO fronts. Our clients, for example, are seeing:
****>> Reduced costs. Lower commissions, economies of scale, and stronger control with fewer compliance problems deliver substantial cost savings.
****>> Shorter asset resolution cycles. Property-days-on-market for Five Brothers-managed brokers is 30-90 days.
****>> Smarter property marketing management. Knowledge of the property and the neighborhood leads to smarter valuations and more productive selling strategies.
****>> Clearer lines of accountability. Five Brothers monitors and manages broker activities on an individual property basis.
****The Path Forward
****Improving and streamlining default and REO processes will remain a primary focus of servicers and their field services partners as elevated foreclosure rates continue and regulatory compliance becomes more urgent and complex. The field service provider’s first step in navigating these realities will be to become an even more capable and efficient resource – a true problem-solving partner who understands both broad market forces and the servicer’s particular needs and business circumstances.