So yesterday I failed...Well, actually my staff failed but that means that ultimately I was responsible. Whew....got the self blame out of the way. Is it supposed to feel good to take responsibility or is it just the right thing to do? Who knows and WHO CARES! 😉 Anyway, I get an email from my office manager telling me to call a particular selling broker, who was upset about how the negotiations were going on one of my listings. He really could not believe that his buyer's offer was flat out "rejected" without a seller counter right in the middle of negotiations (very short negotiations I might add...his buyer was WAY low on price). Anyway, long and short of it was that did not "believe" that banks would just stop negotiating in mid-stream and force a buyer to either walk or counter their own counter. The guy actually believed that the bank was using his offer to shop other offers. He REALLY just didn't "get it"! So how do you (and how do I NORMALLY) prevent this? Actually, it is very easy. Myself and my inner circle of top brokers across the country developed a standard "Contract Instructions" brochure, that is automatically delivered to selling brokers, before they write an offer on one of our properties. It contains important information and required REO specific documents and addenda AND it contains a full explanation of WHAT TO EXPECT during an REO negotiation and more importantly, HOW TO INTERACT WITH US throughout the process. We explain up front and in writing, that banks behave differently than the average owner occupant seller and that there may be long wait times before offers are accepted and formally ratified. It also explains that for certain reasons "YOUR OFFER MAY BE FLAT OUT REJECTED without explanation" (one of the reason specifically cited is "low offers"). Now you would think that this alone would be good enough...clearly I did. But there are ALWAYS exceptions. In 25 years of selling real estate, one thing that I have learned, is that you must always "dumb it down". You need to do and say things in a way that a fourteen year old could clearly understand without tugging on mommy's leg and screaming "WHY WHY WHY!!!!!!!!!". You have to also remember that most of the selling brokers out there today are used to selling traditional real estate and have only been forced into REO because of the swift change in the market. These are the same guys who 3 years ago would have told their clients "REOs are junk" and turned and run from our listings like a lost kid in the woods on Friday the 13th who found himself face to face with an axe wielding Jason! Point is; most of these guys really don't understand how the process works, and without setting expectations, you're going to have a tough road to hoe to get these agents and their buyers to be patient, jump through all the necessary hoops and ultimately to the closing table. So you might be wondering just exactly how it is that I screwed up even though I have these instructions in place. Well, let me say first, that I always take the position that if my day to day business requires my active participation in matters that could be EASILY handled by my staff or by systems, then I do NOT have a business. I instead have a "practice". NOT GOOD! Now, I realize that you MUST work "IN" your business quite a bit before you can actually have a true business, but I have personally been at this for 19 ears and my job now is primarily to make it rain-that is, bring in new business and create solid systems and develop the very best staff in the world. It is NOT to get bogged down with mundane b.s. that hinders my ability to grow that extra 1% that day. So you see, I FAILED. I needed to have a procedure in place whereby the selling broker in someway acknowledges his/her understanding of the process before submitting an offer. Perhaps a simple signature line n the instructions. Maybe he/she is required to view the document before we even deliver the contract docs. In any case, there WILL be swift and immediate change implemented today. Decisiveness and action are the key to kicking butt after all! I should add that by no means is any system perfect. Things ARE going to slip through the cracks. And while this particular incident may seem like a very small slip, it really bothered me, and usually when I get that little bit of anxiety from something it turns out to be a good learning experience. It became a real time suck for me because I chose to handle it poorly as well. I decided to call the guy (incidentally this was time #2 that I had to call him). And because I am so well known in Atlanta for my radio and TV ads over the years, he goes on to tell me how "a guy as powerful as Mike Costigan should be able to pick up the phone and get this done". So I let him stroke my ego a bit and in the end I promised to call the client personally. Yyyyyesssssshhhhhh..........I LET this become a blood-thirsty vampire of a time suck now and because I PROMISED I would call I will! So you see, even the small things matter. We are processing 50+ contracts at the moment and preparing 100+ properties to be ready for market. These "little" things can become big speed bumps that slow down forward progress. When you do big volume you can't let anything slow down your momentum. Lesson learned! Trust me, I'm one quick study. You won't see this garbage in my business again!
P.S. A version of my Contract Instructions is in your Uncensored REO Secrets package and also available for download from the REO Rockstars FaceBook Group. I'll discuss this topic in greater detail on an upcoming call.