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Are You Working For The Companies That Matter?
Since 2009, my team and I have been very fortunate to have worked with thousands of BPO & REO professionals all over this great nation. During these last 7 years that my software company has existed, I try to do a special blog posting once a year, where I give my top 10 favorite BPO mills or companies that I recommend that people sign up with to do BPO work.
Below you will find a list of my absolute favorite companies. Know that I am using my own industry experience as well as that of many of our software subscribers.
Here is my Top 10:
4. Clear Capital
5. eMortgage Logic
6. BPO Fulfillment
8. Specialized Asset Management
10. SWBC (fka: Equi-Trax)
Bonus: Honorable mention goes to: Single Source Property Solutions
Top BPO Portals: Res.net and Equator
There you go! Please note, I choose the above companies because they all have a combination of being:
- A stable company
- Around and in business for years
- Able to maintain a positive reputation in the industry overall
- Having a high volume of BPO work across the nation
- Smart enough to have adopted the NABPOP's BPOSG
- Seen in the industry as a good company to work for.
To wrap this up, I can guarantee that if you are signed up, with more than one of the above companies (and don't have all your "BPO eggs" in just one basket, you are more likely to be successful in this niche business)
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I hope you enjoyed reading this posting and if you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to help. Simply post a comment below!
Founder & Owner
BPO Automation Group LLC
All Rights Reserved, BPO Automation Group LLC, © 2009-2016
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Founder & Owner
BPO Automation Group LLC
I have heard more than just rumors that Lenders with REO's are very closely looking at how Realtors use video to promote their properties. Clearly the 85% demand number is going to move our industry. In fact I know of a growing Brokerage here in San Diego, that is offering video support to the right, hard working, agents as an inducement to join their firm.
This week I am going to be a webinar guest for Woman in Diversified Services. If anyone has any comments about video and REO use, I would love to hear them before the webinar.
At some point when i started getting REO's in 2006 i was told by Spring of 2009 it would be all over. Boy they were wrong in 2009 i sold 189 REO's but something was different then. REO's were being traded from one asset company to another and i was sent along the ride with the new companies selling an average of 150 a year till 2014. Now in 2015 the REO's are just drying up with no new asset manager on the block and nobody even making claims that we have a shadow inventory coming sometime soon. So is it finally over?
Sometimes you have to search through the fog to find the best real estate agent you can. Here are seven key points you can look at to make sure you stand the best chance of finding that quality agent to help you sell your home.
- •Look at Reputation – Ask your potential agent to provide evidence of previous listings sold in the past year with contact information. Find out what the asking prices were and what the final selling price was.
- •Check the licensing – all states will issue real estate agents with a license and it is these licenses which can reveal if there were any complaints or problems with sales in the past year.
- •Go for a winning team – Awards issued by peers are worth taking a look at: if the local or state branch of the NAR has awarded your potential real estate agent with “Realtor of the Year” then it’s worth possibly considering this agent
- •Make sure an agent has the right credentials – just as doctors have specialist fields they study in, real estate agents may specialize in certain products. A doctor may be an expert in glaucoma, chiropractic or cancer but there are real estate agents that specialize in selling (or buying) condos, expensive million dollar-plus homes or luxury tower condo properties.
- •Check the experience of your agent – Finding out how long a real estate agent has been in business is important. There are two places where you can find this information online – one is the agent’s own website and the other is Realtor.com. It should say the year in which the agency was established. Be very wary of those agents that don’t reveal this information.
- •Check out the current listings – This is one sure-fire way of checking that the agent is selling the type of property you are wanting to sell (or buy). If you are selling a small one-bedroom apartment and the agent is listing million dollar plus homes then he or she may not be the agent for you.
- •Check their local Listings – By finding out the local listings, you will get a good feel of the homes the agent is selling in your district. If there are no local listings, you may have the wrong agent for you.
On a personal not, I have always found that just as important as the list above, is the potential agents personalities, professionalism and upfront honesty...even if it’s not something you want to hear. So don’t forget to see if you “click” with your new agent.
www.pamsvas.com - Real Estate REO and BPO Virtual Assistants
If you are selling a home, your real estate agent may often tell you the something like – “we have to sell it fast, it’s in your best interests”, “get rid of this chapter of your life and start anew”. “make sure you clean your home thoroughly and give it a fresh coat of paint on the inside and out, and watch it sell like a hot cake.”
Real estate agents often recommend that you make use of a professional home stager, a person who will evaluate your home and tell you what it takes to make it appealing to potential buyers.
A recent survey has found that more than 50% of agents who work with buyers say that staging has an effect on the buyer's view of the home. It does tell us that staging is one sure-fire method to get buyers interested in at least looking at your home.
There is little doubt that decorating a home before putting it out there on the market, really does attract more buyers. Especially if the home is vacant or out dated. So the million dollar question has to be: “what if I have decorated my home but not necessarily in a way that will please a potential buyer?”
A bad paint job is as bad as not bothering to clean or decorate your home at all. If you really want to make that sale then you should be looking at spending a bit of money. Depending on the size of your home, If you look at a home staging budget of say around $700, spent wisely, then you may very well get an extra few thousand in sales price.
If you have a larger home – say a house with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, then expect that home staging budget to be higher but you can also expect a much higher return on the sale of your property when it closes and more immediate interest when it hits the market. The fact is you should be able to recoup costs associated with the decorating and paint work you do around the home, and most times, even more.
So make sure you at least consider your Realtor’s recommendation of home staging. It may shorten your time on the market and put more money in your pocket at closing.
PamsVAS.com - Real Estate Virtual Assistants
Moving out of a huge house and into a property that is considerably smaller is taking off in the U.S. (as well as in many other countries) in an ever-increasing way. So why do people do it? The average floor space of the typical American home is approximately 2600 square feet, but compare that to a tiny house where the floor space can measure just 100 square feet and no more than 400 square feet, and suddenly you really are looking at a huge downsizing operation.
Put simply, the Tiny House Movement is a social networking group whose aim is to downsize the area they are living in and then broadcast their experiences in the transformation. Advantages include lower mortgage payments, less cleaning and maintenance, lower utility bills, lower taxes, environmentally friendly and simplified living.
So what is the main reason why so many people are flocking to join this new revolution in downsizing the amount of living space in their new homes? The main reason is definitely financial and the effect of the 2007 Housing Crisis still has a huge impact on the way we are all managing our money now.
Indeed, the real estate down turn has changed the way most people live – which is hardly surprising when you consider that an average of around 50% of the income a person earns, is set aside for that roof over our head. Downsizing, even just a little, can reduce the portion of income dedicated to housing to as little as 30 per cent, thus freeing up some 20 per cent of our salary to spend on other luxury items or necessities.
Just calculate how much 20% of your take home pay is and think what you could do with that money: take an exotic vacation overseas, buy a new car, pay for your child’s university fees or just invest in a small swimming pool to go in your much smaller back yard. It’s a shocking statistic that some 76% of all Americans are living from one pay check to the next.
Another appealing statistic is that 55% of all tiny house dwelling people have more money in their saving accounts than the average American has (average savings is currently $10,800), so you can really bank on having more disposal income than the people trying to get by in their huge homes.
A Tiny House may not be for you and your family, but many people are learning to adapt, especially with all the advantages of a Tiny House.
Are you like us? Seeing a decline in social media engagement over the last year?
I have heard many say "why is my social media traffic slowing down, specifically Facebook?" and I have noticed the same with my pages, that I have built slowly but surely over the last 5 years.
So on one hand, I'm relieved that it's not just me, that there are others in the same boat. On the other hand, I want to know why. Well, there are certainly dozens of opinions across so many social media news sites and platforms.
There seems to be a consistent theory out there, that it's due to Facebook's algorithm changes in 2013 and 2014? So many people don't know what an algorithm change (or update) actually is. Depending on who you ask, the answers can be quite different. If you ask Google, they might say that their algorithm updates are to provide a better user experience for you and more accurate search results. Ok, maybe!
If you ask Facebook, they may actually respond in the same way. But is there more to it?...There always is more to it. Especially when Facebook's brand pages have seen a decline in reach of around 44% late last year, with their paid exposure/posts bringing in over $6 Billion.
It's been documented that Facebook Brand Pages use to bring in a reach of approximately 16% of their page fans. Heres the bad news... that number has come down last year to around 3%. What? Thats about an 80% decrease in our posts being seen by people who have actually Liked our page and Follow us there.
We have all received those messages from Facebook about "Promoting our Posts" to increase our reach and our interactions, or even for more Likes. Have you tried paying to promote your posts? Did it work? Of course it did, because you paid to have people see your post.
Many Brand Page owners seem to be expanding their Social Media exposure to include Google+, Instagram and of course giving more attention to their Twitter accounts.
We would like to know what your doing to spice up your social media interaction and presence. Have you see a rise in interaction on other platforms? Which ones?
Mom always said to not put all your eggs in 1 basket, and I can't think of a better example of that old adage.
Here is a great article that further explains some specialist's opinion on the current status and future of the big Social Media Platforms. "Is Social Media Dying a Slow Death?"
PamsVas - Real Estate REO Virtual Assistant Services
One key component to becoming a successful real estate agent is to start getting better reviews and more of them. How does a realtor get the reviews they so richly deserve? To convert a potential client to sign on the dotted line, often the defining factor is whether the agent must be well liked or well reviewed.
Most of the time the job of the potential client is to find that perfect real estate agent who retains the key qualities they want to see written on a resume are local knowledge, negotiation skills, responsiveness and process expertise. If you have those four qualities then you are probably a successful agent. Successful real estate agents have such qualities and the reviews will come if you can tick five stars in those fields.
You cannot expect that review to be completed automatically. In fact, eight out of ten clients won’t bother actually writing or completing a review unless they have been specifically asked. An agent can email, text or politely call the client after the sale and request that they write a review.
I knew one agent who would specifically ask their client, face to face for a written review or recommendation when dropping off a house-warming gift after the close. That way the gift would be a constant reminder to make sure the review is completed. So dangle that carrot. It is not as if an agent is buying a review, just thanking the client for their time and effort in completing the review.
An agent should mention reviews from a very early stage. If you leave it until the day after a sale has been completed, the client may believe there is little importance attached to it. Make the request for the client to complete one, part of your business practice.
It is also worth the time and effort for real estate agents to help clients fill in their review forms. When someone looks at a blank screen and tries to think of the words that will form their review, often there is a moment of writer’s block or difficulty in coming up with the right words. It is not OK for a real estate agent to write a review for the client, but it is fine for them to cite examples.
So get out there and start asking for those reviews. With so many real estate agent websites out there, you are sure to improve your reputation and increase those sale.
Pam’sVAS – Real Estate REO and BPO virtual Assistant Services.
Continuing Education Classes start as low as $29.95 for 3 hours of continuing education credit. Some classes we offer are BPO Simplified, and REO Simplified. If you need CE credit for your license, why not get it through us? To learn more, visit REOPro's Continuing Education tab and follow the directions.
Visit REOPro Default Professionals at: http://reopro.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network
Posted by: James A.Browning, Course developer and creator for BPO and REO Simplified.
Most organizations, people and teams like to come first, but when you are top of the league in the foreclosure division stakes, it’s not a medal your team will be proud to wear. This is the wooden spoon prize, the unwanted accolade and a position not to be proud of.
CoreLogic is a leading provider when it comes to real estate charts and data, and it places poor old New Jersey at the top of this league for foreclosures. At 5.5 per cent, New Jersey has the highest percentage of foreclosures among mortgaged homes. And what makes that figure sound even worse is that in second place came New York and Florida, which both tied for the runners-up spot with 4.1 per cent. That’s quite a big difference!
Moreover, it seems to get worse when the figures released for the state’s delinquency rate is the highest of them all in the United States at 9.1 per cent. That figure is well in excess of both Florida and New York once again. Yet these figures come as the country as a whole seems to have falling rates of foreclosure.
Last October 2013, there were some 875,000 homes registered as in some form of disclosure across America. But overall things have gotten better because the rate of homes in some form of foreclosure in October 2014, exactly a year later, had dropped by a staggeringly impressive 30 per cent. Currently there is slightly more than 600,000 homes under the threat of foreclosure.
So what is behind the science and under the hood of these higher than average foreclosure rates in New Jersey? Well, for starters the entire process of foreclosure (from the very first payment missed to kicking the occupants right out of their home) takes much longer in New Jersey than it does anywhere else in the U.S. And it is this long drawn-out process that has contributed to a backlog in the county courts that get to ultimately deal with the foreclosure.
Many mortgage lenders in New Jersey decided to freeze the foreclosure process for thousands of households in the state. This meant many homes were effectively frozen in the foreclosure status, but Hurricane Sandy also helped to play a huge part in the process of adding new homes to the foreclosure lists, although this would have affected New York State just as much. The good news is that the process is moving swiftly along now.
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If you fail to keep up your homeowners’ association fees or complete the annual assessments, the HOA could end up foreclosing. Its par for the course these days that when you purchase a home, condo or town house, that happens to be a communal development, then you will most likely have to pay fees to a housing association.
Now what would happen if you simply ignored these fees or failed to meet the annual assessments? The Housing Association would apply to get a lien on your home and this then leads into foreclosure (assuming you still fail to settle up with your housing association).
The Homeowners’ Associations are a body that sets up to look after the communal garden areas, essential repairs in stairwells, cleaning, lighting for communal hallways and exterior electricity bills. All this maintenance costs and it recovers its cost from the lease holder. Failure to pay up means a service is being provided to you and you are essentially not paying for it.
Other work that the housing association must carry out includes removing snow, landscape gardening, fitting new communal windows and repairing roof tiling. Some of the more-modern condo complexes have swimming pools, gyms, clubhouses and tennis courts which can be used by the residents. All of these amenities need regular maintenance and cleaning, so the fees required by the association are likely to be higher in these luxury blocks.
The housing association also has to enforce the rules within the community; if one resident happens to be playing music loud late at night and making life a misery for all the other members of the community, the association must act and the administration work to remedy anti-social behaviour can mount up in both time and money.
HOA fees can often spring a surprise one-off fee for those complexes that need work carried out on a one-off basis. An example of this would be that a condo complex may need new exterior windows and fascia repairs following a wild storm or even hurricane; these “special assessment fees” are an unfortunate but necessary payment that will land in the lap of the resident – but not as a regular payment but as a one-off fee and comes in addition to regular payments being made.
Before taking out a homeowner association property you should read the terms and conditions on payment of fees should you default at any time, as some associations may charge interest on late payment as well as collection cost fees (if an agency was involved in the fee recovery).
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In business and commerce circles, the big news just days into October is the buy-out of Move Incorporated by the newspaper and media giant News Corporation. So who are Move Inc and why did News Corporation decide to splash out an eye-watering $950 million for the business? In the United States, Move Inc stands as the third biggest online real estate listing firm. It helps home buyers and sellers to purchase a new home by providing them with tools, guides, information and professionals from the real estate industry to make that purchase run as smooth as possible.
News Corporation is essentially a newspaper publisher which began its business from South Australia and later moved into New York to become the second-largest newspaper and media organization in the world. It now want to increase revenue and expand its business beyond just selling papers and promoting a media front and real estate is seen as a pretty good sector to get the turnover and extra revenue it now seeks.
As for Move Inc, the buy-out could see the online real estate listing agency become a real giant and a major player in the U.S. online home retail market. Robert Thomson is the Chief Executive Officer at News Corporation these days and he predicts Move Inc will soon become the United States’ biggest online real estate listing firm, thanks to News Corp’s influx of cash and support.
News Corp needs a change after the scandals of 2011 when the company was forced to close down its best-selling Sunday newspaper in the UK, News of the World. Allegations of phone hacking seriously depleted the organization’s reputation both in the United Kingdom and abroad.
Mr Thomson also believes that online home buying and internet real estate business is a growing market that has not yet taken off to the heights he believes it could reach. News Corp are convinced this sector is still in its infancy and is at the early stage of development. If it is right then the prospects for extra revenue could be huge in years to come.
There is no doubt that more and more people are now using the internet to buy their next home. Many Americans have actually purchased real estate by using self-help tools and become their very own real estate agent, just like many have booked their vacations online without using a travel agent.
Only time will tell if this was the best move for News corp and to see what direction Online Real Estate Listing Services will take.
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I recently had the pleasure of serving as one of the expert panelists at the Five Star Conference & Expo held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.
This particular panel was part of The Five Star REO Lab, and was titled, "Adjusting for Inventory." and focused on the need for real estate brokers and agents to diversify their service offerings by including retail sales, property management, valuations and other services, since REO inventories have decreased noticeably in most markets.
While it is true that REO inventories are declining in most markets across the country, I offered the argument on the panel as I do here that brokers and agents who have specialized in or at least have participated heavily in the REO market should remain plugged into that space.
This is because the so-called housing recovery has been artificially created in large measure by government intervention with programs such as HAMP, HAFA, foreclosure moratoria due to robo-signing, and other key factors.
We are not headed for another housing downturn as much as we are still in the major one caused by the housing bubble that burst in 2007-08. Affordability issues, looming interest rate hikes as have been predicted by Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, too many FHA loans being made (this is the "new" subprime market), federal emphasis being placed on low-income borrowers, and other factors are causing house prices to decline once again in many markets.
In addition, many of the foreclosures that had been stalled in California after the passing of the Homeowners Bill of Rights so that everyone involved could clearly understand its impact are now being flushed out of their system.
This is also true in judicial foreclosure states where there had been significant backlogs in the court systems. Most of these foreclosures will go all the way through the process to become REO properties.
Because I believe a further downturn is inevitable, mostly due to too many people having short memories, REO professionals need to be on top of their game to be ready for another wave — certainly not a tsunami, but a wave nonetheless.
At one point during the discussion it was argued that the federal government plays a vital role in resolving issues surrounding the economy in general and the housing market in particular.
I countered that the true role of government is to protect the citizens of the United States, to legislate and provide oversight, but they should stay out of the way of the private sector, because they are the ones with the experience and knowledge to resolve the housing crisis.
It has been my view since the early days of the financial meltdown and the ensuing housing crash that had the government stood back and allowed the private sector to develop ways to resolve these issues it would have been quite painful to be certain, but the recession would not have lasted so long.
Nor would this obscene debacle have been so devastating for so many individuals and families due to related loss of income and jobs.
And while the second-quarter GDP estimate of 4.6% reported today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis appears to reflect an improving economic environment, one quarter’s numbers does not a trend make.
There are still enough indicators out there that suggest another round of foreclosures is near. That was certainly reflected by yours truly and other panelists at this conference.
Throughout the panel discussion it was agreed that new and improved technology will make it easier for agents and brokers to diversify their service lines. Investment in technology efficiencies is as important as ever in this transitioning new climate, whatever service lines are pursued by each individual.
Lynn Effinger is a veteran of more than three decades in the housing and mortgage servicing industries. He currently serves as executive vice president of ZVN Properties Inc.
Submitting your Broker Price Opinion two hours before the 24, 48, or 72 deadline is very important!! The reason: if the BPO Company/Outsourcer has Quality Control Department has issues with your BPO for accuracy, distances from the subject or whatever the reason may be. If you submit your BPO early, this will give you time to fix any issues and then send it back before the BPO Company flags you for being late!!
REOCertified @ www.BrowningRealEstateSchool.com
Over the past few years, REO supply has fluctuated almost constantly. The REO Brokers/agents and suppliers who work with agencies like HomeSteps, see this everyday and understand the seasonal and demographical reasons behind these fluctuations. These REO Brokers know how to adapt and change with the low supplies of inventory.
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