REOs and Short Sales: Encourage Your Agents To Learn Everything

With RE/MAX University, you and your Associates have access to the real estate industry's greatest training operation. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter how or where your people get their education – as long as they get it.

Training in REOs and Short Sales is front and center right now. With U.S. unemployment rising to 9.8% in September – which translates to 15.1 million Americans out of work – the country is at a point not seen since 1983. Many analysts are saying unemployment will soon rise above 10%, which will only add to the country's housing woes. With upwards of 9 million homes in some form of distress, and another wave of foreclosures on the horizon, the majority of business in the next few years will involve REOs, Short Sales, investors and first-time buyers.

Some agents think it's too late to get in on REOs. They've tried a few times, had no success, and decided that asset managers and lenders already have enough agents to work with. Truth is, there's nothing stopping new people from being added to the lists. The key is knowing how to connect with asset managers, establish good relationships, and follow up in a way that displays your value and reinforces your reputation. With the proper skills and approach, a smart agent can still get a foot in the door.

One important thing to note: If you do have training or experience in distressed properties, make sure to include details on your Web Roster profile. This information could bring leads and opportunities your way. Updating your profile is easy; start by clicking "My Account" at the top of the Mainstreet home page.

A network star
We had an interesting meeting with one of real estate's top coaches at RE/MAX International Headquarters last week. It was nice to spend time with Craig Proctor and his wife, Catherine. Craig, as many of you know, was the No. 1 ranked RE/MAX Associate in the world for several years in the early 1990s. He's been a perennial RE/MAX Top 10 producer in Canada ever since, often reaching the worldwide Top 10 as well.

Over the past decade or so, Craig has developed a large following through his coaching program, Quantum Leap Systems. He has appeared on RSN and spoken at RE/MAX International Conventions and regional events many times. His 20-year track record of success in Newmarket, Ontario – just outside Toronto – established his credibility, and thousands of agents have enjoyed great success as a result of his instruction and coaching.

Distressed properties
Craig shares our belief that the troubled real estate climate will be here awhile. As a result, he's adjusted his coaching approach to focus more on first-time buyers, investors and people who are compelled by life events to buy or sell. He has also developed an REO program designed to help agents enter or move deeper into the bank-owned arena. A number of RE/MAX Associates have jumped on board and said good things about it.

Craig's REO Agent University costs $499 for 60 days and $299 monthly for 10 months after that. It includes step-by-step instructions, resume templates, coaching calls, an accountability component, networking systems, conferences and much more. Participants learn exactly what asset managers are looking for, how to catch their attention, and how to stay at the top of their lists. Craig offers a money-back guarantee if an agent doesn't receive at least one assignment – after following all the steps – in the first six months.

The enrollment fee includes admission to Craig's REO Retreat Nov. 18 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix. Participants can also attend, at no extra charge, Craig's annual SuperConference at the same hotel Nov. 19-21. You can download a flyer from Mainstreet. We've known Craig for a long time, and one thing has always been clear: He builds systems that work for individuals willing to commit to them.

Growing package of courses
The RE/MAX University message has certainly shifted over the past two years. We're trying to teach RE/MAX Associates as much as possible about how to turn distressed properties into transactions or other favorable outcomes. We believe agents who are trained to work in these areas are positioned to do well despite the tough conditions.

RE/MAX University is always looking for valuable material to add to its curriculum. In December, for instance, we'll start airing the REBAC "Short Sales and Foreclosure" course that satisfies the classroom requirement for the SFR certification recently developed by NAR. The course will debut at the NAR Convention in San Diego in mid-November, and we'll air it on RSN, probably at a significant discount, just a few weeks later.

We also continue to offer and endorse the "Certified Distressed Property Expert" (CDPE) class developed by Alex Charfen. The comprehensive Short Sale material in the CDPE course is staggering, and we've received lots of feedback on its practicality and effectiveness. If you or your people haven't taken the CDPE course yet, there are two RSN airings coming up: Oct. 27-28 and Dec. 16-17.

Another program in this area, the "Foreclosures, Short Sales and REOs" (FSS&R) course created by RE/MAX Broker/Owner Nancy Freeman of Joliet, Illinois, is available on DVD through RE/MAX University. It's a very good program.

Finally, a number of videos on our Agent Training On Demand and Management Training On Demand sites address these areas. You'll find Training On Demand links on the left side of the Mainstreet home page. ATOD's Distressed Properties channel contains almost 40 clips, with titles such as "REOs: Property Management," "Courting Asset Managers" and "Understanding the Bank's Perspective." On MTOD's "Best Biz Practices" channel you'll find "Managing the REO Boom," "Help Agents Gain Foothold in REO Market" and more.

The idea of constantly getting better at what you do is the cornerstone of the RE/MAX University mission. Many premier coaches have done sessions for us over the years. Like Craig, speakers such as Brian Buffini, Judy LaDeur, David Knox, Richard Robbins and dozens of others continue to instruct and motivate RE/MAX Affiliates in live settings and/or televised RSN presentations.

It's up to us as RE/MAX International leaders and you as Broker/Owners and Managers to help Sales Associates get the education they need. There's simply no good reason for them to ignore all the great training tools available – both inside and outside our network.

Dave Liniger

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