The REO Default industry is a niche market. As a subset of the broader real estate industry, it focuses strictly on bank Real Estate Owned property. These properties or non-performing assets can be at any stage of the default process, from collections and loss mitigation to foreclosure, eviction, and property management. Those professionals who make careers in this niche fulfill these financial institutions' needs to either collect, mitigate loss, or liquidate the asset.
As a smaller market segment, it is highly volatile and comes with much greater risk. From government policies to preserve homeownership or pandemic relief efforts, the REO industry is often battered and tossed about by outside forces that can come and go with the morning tide. Fly by night Asset Management companies and unscrupulous charlatans guaranteeing unprecedented returns on individual investments; many professionals litter the sidelines of broken dreams just as naïve as they first began with less money in their pocket.
As a successful REO agent myself and REOPro Network owner, I have often been asked to consult or even coach others. I have always shied away from such a request, knowing I cannot guarantee any participant a return on their investment. Nonetheless, times have changed, and the drumbeat for reliable, trustworthy information about the industry is louder than it has been in a long time. For this reason, I have decided to write a blog series on how to break into this niche. I will publish this blog right here on REOPro, and it will be free to REOPro members.
The first thing an REO upstart needs to do is get noticed. Getting noticed in this pandemic has genuinely changed the game. Before Covid-19, you could attend an industry conference, buy a ticket to an after-party and drop a card here or there. The next morning, you could get up, dress your best and speak to a panelist after some discussion you attended. For lunch, you could head out with new friends and network about which connections you made seem promising and put a plan in place on whom you were going to try and find that afternoon. In this Corona Virus era, traditional networking rules no longer apply, and a robust digital presence is your tool for getting the REO world to take notice.
Start by getting yourself an REO website. This website should be separate from your standard website and should focus on highlighting the skills decision-makers want to see you have. Items you would like to include are.
#1: Your service area – A map highlighting the service radius from your office or home, including zip codes, town names, if possible, some of your larger subdivisions.
#2: Your service offerings – Provide a list of commonly performed services. These could include BPO's, clean-outs, single property websites, and whatever else you are offering.
#3: Marketing endeavors – What special marketing efforts do you do? Do you have a Youtube channel, do you have an exclusive investor list?
#4: Highlight education and experience – If someone trusts you to manage a non-performing asset from cradle to close, they want to know you have the knowledge and know-how to get the job done.
A strong keyword URL, a well-written keyword website, and some well-placed advertisements or at least some viral vlogs or blogs can make a difference, but we will cover that later.