It’s November.  Time to take down the Halloween decorations gracing the front porch and get ready to turn the pumpkins into pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Next exit

It’s also a couple of days after my brokerage’s E&O Insurance policy got renewed.  Every year, the old policy expires on October 31 and a new one is put into force.  So every year around this time, I update all my clients with the new E&O information, and then I go through all the various banks and outsourcers I’ve registered with to make sure that they have my updated information as well.

This is something I could have one of my assistants do, of course, but I choose to do it myself.  I remember when I was first trying to break into this business, I got a bit of advice from ol’ Frank Patrick @ the American Society of REO Specialists – actually, ASREOS did not yet actually exist at that point (it was just REO Renegades back then), but ’twas Frank that gave me the advice, and it was: this is where the money comes from, so it’s really something you want to make sure you do it right – so do it yourself.

It’s a pretty rote exercise, but the sad truth of the matter is, business is down.  The cupboards are looking pretty bare, not a lot of inventory kicking around in pre-marketing and I have sold just about every listing I had marketed.  I can think of few times when I’ve been looking at such a trough in the business – even when other brokers were complaining about their lack of inventory, I hadn’t really experienced it to any significant degree – until the past few months.

So now that my E&O policy is good for another year, it’s time to go through the list and make sure my profile is all up to date with the various companies I’ve registered with – I’ve got a little time on my hands, I’m going to put it productive use.

The chatter is all about the build-up of REO inventory, and how the dam is going to burst – but this chatter has been going on for a couple of years.  There’s not going to be a burst – there will be some surges in specific areas by specific institutions – I think the best anyone can hope for is to catch a swell with an old client or a new one and hope to ride the wave and turn it into a lasting relationship such that when the swell passes and it’s back to a slower trickle, the business stays with you as opposed to another agent looking to lap up that same trickle.

Speaking of which, my old friend Rick Sharga (OK, he’s not a friend – but I’ve seen him speak enough time it feels like we’re old pals) is saying he expects “several more years” of 1 million foreclosures annually. I expect the same – how can it be otherwise?  There are 6+ million homes nationwide in some stage of foreclosure – today.  Last I checked, the economy is still terrible, and the recent 2.5% increase in GDP last quarter is but a pinky in the dyke – and I expect they’ll revise that number downward in a month or two.  While the economy remains in the dump, as I expect it will for at least another couple of years, I don’t see any other scenario but that more properties get dumped into that foreclosure pipeline.

One last thing:  in the interests of getting more REO Business, I signed on to become a Giant of REO – and my REO Giants profile page has just been launched.  They sent me a box with ten or so Giants of REO Booklets – not sure what I’m supposed to do with them, but they sure look classy.  If you know anyone who needs a Giant of REO Broker, send ’em my way.  My team and I are ready to serve!