• 10 orders x $30=$300, which is tempting. I get tempted that weekend thinking I could really get my name out there doing them. I'm not as quick as the Pros here. If each order takes me 2 hours. That's 20 hours. If we can charge $50 per order( which some companies pay)that's 6 orders for $300. If each order takes me 2 hours, that's 12 hours. For some of us, 8 working hours are about 2 business days. I can do many things with those 8 hours. I can show them that $30 is not good enough. It's a win win. I understand we all need money. I don't know about you guys but BPOs can REALLY distract me from doing more lucrative business. Until we take a stand, it won't be any better.
    • The reason agents wanted to do BPOS way back when was to get REO listings. BPOs were done on all REOs and many agents got into the REO filed by doing them YEARS AGO. One page 6 lines for the comps. No photos of the comps and only 3 of the subject. Exteriors were 50.00 and you got paid even if you got the listing.

       Agents began accepting BPOS for 20 and 30 dollars hoping to break into the REO listing field. Agents did dozens of BPO for 50.00 for drive bys In hopes of getting one REO to list. The AMC soon saw that even a chance of getting one listing would have agents doing 100.s of BPOs for low amounts. We still hear agents say " I have been doing BPOs for 5 years now and have never gotten a listing.

      Times changed and agents started seeing BPOs as the money train or a way to "pay the bills"

      " Slowly agents began to feel "oh well if I do 10 a week that is still 300.00", That is when the real problems developed. Now agents are doing BPOS to pay the bills not realizing they are stuck as if they were on Welfare. BPOs are like that. Not enough to make you successful or even increase your bottom line but just enough to keep you trapped in the BPO machine. BPOs are now full fledge appraisals , long forms with many required photos and even repair estimates and a whole new requirement for commentary in each one. QCs , corrections multiple uploads and more. Now a BPO takes 2,(hours as some claim they do them in) or  3  to 4 hours to complete.(Which is what it take me to do one beginning to end) So you get from  7.50 to 15.00 per hour ...minus your expense. The most you can hope to make on a BPO after taxes and expenses is 6 to 10.00 per hour. It takes a whole set up and a lot of expense and time to make BPOs bring in enough to make them a stand alone business and there are a few agents out there that feel they are on the money train with that.  Volume does not make BPOS anymore profitable . They take the time they take and require what they require and there is no way to shave that down. Volume is a misleading concept in the BPO world. Do 30 a week and you will make 900.00. it will take you 75 hours or more to accomplish this. That is 12.00 per hour before taxes and expenses of any kind if you are really LUCKY. So while that 900..00 per week figure is enticing, reality is it less than 10.00 per hour at the very very most and more likely closer to 7.50 per hour.  And working 75 hours per week leaves you with no life at all  IMO.. If you do a log on hours , expenses and tax and really are honest you will see what the real bottom line is and stop fooling yourself here.   

      I think everyone on this site is capable of more than that but if the BPO machine has you fooled and trapped and you are happy .....Well then you are doing what you want and like .

      • That's a good point, Barbara, and not one that isn't already understood by those in the business longer than 10 years.  Its also noteworthy to mention that the real estate market has been down for a long time, now - since the Mortgage Meltdown of '08, as you know.  It has been touted as the cause of the worst recession/depression since the '30's.  Its the new agents on the scene, having heard the war stories from veteran agents about the truck loads of money they made and media hype that real estate is going to stabilize soon - and no doubt it will, which is causing huge anticipation among many newbies (new licensees) who have swarmed the BPO trail and are happy at all to be 'active' in the "real estate" business, which BPO companies know this and are exploiting them for sure.  We know, this is not the real market.  Eventually, many will burnout, unfortunately, because like you say, they're trapped in the BPO machine - having known nothing else and no idea what the reality is.  How many truly successful agents of the REO recent past are still doing REOs?  None!  Why, because the whole industry has changed.  The previously successful agents have joined-in the REO/BPO bandwagon and are making money too, selling their knowledge to rookie agents for anywhere between $100 to $300 to receive this valuable, coveted information.  So these companies are enjoying this momentary pleasure, and this too will also change.  It seems to be the new evolution of the real estate business cycle.  If it is difficult to obtain "real" business - listings, sales, etc., then this is the only game in town for the time being.  Then, when the market shifts, loosens up or gives way, again, and it will - how many agents do you think will still be crowding the BPO wagon?... probably much fewer than today.  When these companies realize the game is changed yet again, it won't take too long before they tweak the system to their advantage if not already.  When many of the rookie agents discover the challenging reality of the real estate market, they will abandon it like so many before them in the history of this business, rationalizing that the job is not for them.  So, its all part of the same ebb and flow pattern of the real estate business cycle.  The only difference now than before is that there has not been such a devasting, nationwide - worldwide, financially catastophic event caused by our general greed to sell junk loans to keep churing real estate cycle beyond its peak then send it crashing down to 1930's depths.  Another viable is, will there ever be another meltdown...?  Possibly.  Have we learned anything?  Maybe not.  Have you seen sub-prime loans come back by another name?  Short-cuts are killers, but I'm just one voice.

  • I agree with all of you. It isn't worth it to do the BPO's any longer at that price UNLESS they can guarantee us a listing out it. If that be the case I would do it but as Carol says at the beginning of the chain, $30.00 doesn't pay for the gas.  Especially in Texas where things are sprawling! 

  • I often get a handful of orders from BPOFulfiment at a time.  But when I logon, usually within 30-seconds, a statement tells me there is no available orders at this time or that another agent has got it before me.  Its a bit frustrating, and I've yet to "get lucky" with them.  It's the same with Old Republic.  Rachel and Carol are right, if so many agents are chomping at the bit for $30 bucks per/BPO, where's the incentive for these companies to pay more or give better treatment?  Even more so, many agents sell themselves cheap... very cheap.  There's no unity among Realtors to maintain minimum standard - that's what these companies prey on...

    • when all is said and done-$30 is less than minimum wage

  • About 10 Old Republic orders came in in the last 2 days around Tampa Bay, FL. Each time, I went in to check the status waiting to negotiate my fee, SOMEONE ALREADY TOOK IT! No wonder they keep offering $30 an BPO!
    • By accepting those low fees they pretty much admitting that is all they are worth as a professional.

  • Carol, 

    For about 4 years these bpo companies had agents begging for their business, fighting for their attention and they were calling the shots, however, the scales are back in our favor and we as agents and brokers need to understand we are in the driver's seat. Now, for every agent that doesn't do the work they ask us to do for pennies, it threatens their future existence. As you can see from the chain of responses, agents and brokers are doing just that as well as myself. I stopped doing bpo's for Old Republic a year ago when they got pissy with me on the phone for requesting a higher fee. I also have seen threads from agents asking if Old Republic was in trouble over the last year because they were on the watch list for late payers. 

    Just walk away because they aren't going to change their fee structure and if they don't have the respect of the real estate community then the hell with them.

    • AMEN, AMEN Tom,

       Again and again I say they need us we do not need them with their below minimum wage job offers. We need to organize just as the appraisers have been and are doing now. Oh wait a minute we already have it is called NAR right ? Please let NAR know what is happening to the coveted BPO business now. We can stop this if we either just say no or refuse the demeaning attitude these BPO assignment companies are giving us by offering the insulting fees. Remember they are paid 200.00 to 250.00 for each BPO they have a Realtor do for 30.00

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