When I first got into the REO business, lo these many years and gray hairs ago, I was warned away from paying money to join REO associations and broker networks – except for two.  One of those was REONetwork – which I joined as a Premium Partner as soon as I was able to (that is, after I had closed my first REO Sale).

The other I was encouraged to join – if they’d let me in – was the NRBA, the National REO Broker’s Association.  In order to join the NRBA, you need to provide references from three REO clients for whom you have actually listed and sold REO properties.  It took me a little while to get another couple-few REO clients and close some deals, so it was a number of months after I joined REONetwork that I first submitted my application to the NRBA.

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And then, I waited. And waited.  I managed to get an e-mail from someone at the NRBA about six months after I’d initially applied and she let me update my application with more and newer references.  And then I waited some more, and then the person who had e-mailed me – her name is now lost to the sands of time – was unreachable, as anything sent to her e-mail address just returned as a bounced message.

Then, back in February of 2011, I saw a thread on LinkedIn about the NRBA, and there was a message from a master broker with the NRBA, indicating that she’d be able to help anyone who’d been waiting on membership.  I wasted no time in replying, asking for help.  And help she did – a couple of weeks later, I was again allowed to update my references…and then, back to the waiting game.  The master broker in question made a few more inquiries as to the progress of my application, but nothing came of it.

Until about ten days ago, when – boom!  Like a bolt out of the blue, an e-mail landed in my in-box saying that my application to join the NRBA had been approved.  Hallelujah!  Wonders will never cease.  I don’t know what it is that finally opened the door for me – but I do know that one of the NRBA members in my home county…is no longer a member, so perhaps it’s just that a slot had opened up in my area.

Over the years, I had talked to a number of NRBA members that I’d met at various conferences, and almost every one of them has been very enthusiastic about their membership – nobody would provide much in the way of details as to what exactly their membership had done for them, aside from mentioning the training and networking opportunities. As anyone in the REO business knows – there is no shortage of training and network opportunities.  However, I think most will agree that there while there’s a lot of quantity as regards training and networking options, the quality is often below par; at least, that’s how it’s usually seemed to me.

So it is with great excitement that I have joined the NRBA and I really hope to catch the buzz that seems to have so many other members singing its praises.