Bob Shelton’s REO Bootcamp Grand Finale

I’m sitting here in my motel room in Gaffney, South Carolina, having just attended the Grande Finale of Bob Shelton’s NRBA REO Boot Camp.  Now that everything’s been said and done, I thought I would take a few moments to reflect on the experience.

The Boot Camp was held in the small town of Gaffney, South Carolina, about 40 miles away from Charlotte, North Carolina, where my plane landed and to where I will be returning early tomorrow morning.  I haven’t really seen too much of Gaffney – I am not sure there really is all that much to see, I think it’s a pretty small town.  I doubt there are many tourists who come here, and I doubt also that it’s a big draw for business conventions.  Quite possibly, the NRBA Boot Camp is one of the biggest driver of out-of-town visitors this town knows.

I got in last Thursday morning, and Thursday evening there was a welcoming mixer at the Bronco Mexican Restaurant.  Seeing as how we are pretty far from the border with Mexico, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of South Carolina Mexican food – so I wasn’t disappointed.  Although the salsa they served with the chips was pretty mediocre, they did have actual habanero sauce at the table to put on the food, so they scored some points there. The mixer was fun, and I got to talking with a bunch of fellow NRBA members from the four points of the compass.

The boot camp proper began on Friday morning.  I don’t want to get in to the material that was actually covered, but a lot of it was similar to what had been discussed the week prior at the Southern California Business Development Seminar which I had also attended.  There was some new material though and I listened with rapt attention.  That afternoon we headed over to the offices of Shelton Properties to get a peek at how they run their REO business there.

That evening we headed over to the Gaffney Elk’s Club for a little BBQ and some more socializing/networking.  The BBQ was pretty good – they also had a DJ and some dancing, although there wasn’t too much dancing going on.  All too soon though, they announced that we had to get out of the Elk’s Club and we would be regrouping at the Hampton Inn where most folks were staying. After returning to my own motel to say good night to my wife and kids, I too headed over to the Hampton Inn and stayed for a couple of hours, chatting with other members about the REO business.

Saturday morning rolled around and it was back to the boot camp and more sessions – there was more material presented on Saturday than on Friday and again I listened alertly and jotted down some notes with some ideas I will implement in my own business.

And then, just after 3 PM, the session wrapped up and boot camp was over.  It was time to say goodbye to the people I’d met and say “See you in Denver” at the NRBA conference in May.  I did finally get my NRBA pin, handed to me by Bob Shelton himself.  I’m just about to head out the door and have dinner with another member who isn’t leaving until tomorrow morning, and I’m looking forward to that.

So what is the REO Boot Camp all about?  It’s not really a boot camp – the emphasis is more on mixing and networking with other NRBA members in an informal setting.  But to me, that’s really where the value lies.  It’s all about getting to know other professionals in the business, hearing what works for them, and figuring out how to adapt my own business model to incorporate the best of what I learn works for other agents.


What to do in a Multiple Offer Situation

One of the most-read blog posts I have written on here is about how to lose at highest and best offers.  I want to take a few minutes here and sort of do a follow up, because I’ve been handling a few multiple offer situations in the past week – I had three properties get a whole slew of offers, so all week long I’ve been working with a number of agents, taking phone calls, e-mail inquiries, offers, and highest-and-best offers.


Here’s the thing:  I keep all offers confidential.  That is to say, if you put an offer in on one of my properties, I will not tell anyone else anything about that offer – not the price, terms, nothing.  I do this because in most cases I am instructed by my clients to keep the offers confidential, in other cases this is only implied, and when it is not implied, I keep all offers confidential because I think it makes the most sense to do so.

So here I have all these offers on these properties last week, and agents call me up, and they ask:  hey, is it too late to put in an offer?  I tell them no, not at all – we are doing highest and best offers right now, so please put in your highest and best offer.  They ask what price they need to come in at – and I tell them my standard line:  all offer prices and terms are confidential, however, given that we already have, say, 6 offers, they should be prepared to be competitive.

If you are a buyer and you want to put in an offer on a property that already has six offers, the question to ask yourself is:  is this offer going to beat out 6 other offers?  Will my offer be the best of seven?  Given that they are already doing “highest and best” offers – you won’t get another shot, you have one chance to offer on the property.

What surprises me is how many buyers, given this situation, will come in under asking price.  It’s amazing.  I am going to say something which if you are a buyer, I want you to take a deep breath, and stare at the next sentence for a minute:

I have never seen an offer below full asking price win in a multiple-offer situation.

Never.  Not even if you are competing against just one other offer.

Now, some buyer out there can doubtless claim that they have done just that.  And I am sure there are agents out there who will tell you that this can happen from time to time.

I have never seen it, though, and I have to say:  it is a losing strategy. If you are going to play the multiple offer game, why play to lose?

What also is amazing is that when I tell agents that their buyer’s offer needs to be competitive to beat out, say, six other buyers – they come in only at full price.  I really hate to try and make rules or formulas for figuring out how much to offer.  But if we are talking about a winning strategy, here goes one:  if you want to win in a multiple offer situation, come in something over asking price.  This is not a rule, but I’m going to put this out there:  if you are competing against 3 or more offers, you need to come in over asking price to be competitive.

Now, I shouldn’t really be telling anyone any of this.  Why?  Because if people took my advice to heart, they would realize the futility of writing up weak offers in a multiple offer situation.  The number of offers that I get on my listings feeds the hysteria and drives the price higher, which is good for my clients  – and good for me, since I’m paid on commission –  except of course when the bidding goes up high over my BPO value, but that’s another story.

I bought a REO in Santa Cruz!

Sheesh, it’s been over two and a half months since I wrote my last blog entry!  A lot of water has gone under the bridge since last I wrote.  I’ve had a lot of stuff I should have blogged about, but didn’t – maybe I’ll blog about it in the coming weeks, while it’s still somewhat fresh in my noggin.

Reo house

The big reason for my silence these past 10+ weeks is … drumroll please… I bought my very own REO property!  And not as an investment/income property, either:  I bought one to live in. I closed escrow back on January 20 or so, and since then it’s been a blizzard of activity:  repairing the property, moving, buying new furniture and all the other stuff which is typical anyone anyone buys and moves into a new home.

It almost goes without saying – yup, we got a good deal.  A great deal, actually.  In my professional opinion, we got one of the best deals on real estate I’ve seen around these parts in quite some time.  That’s one of the joys of buying a REO property, of course:  they are generally priced to sell and represent excellent value.  Some more than others, of course, and the home I bought is definitely in the “more than others” category.

Of course, when a good property hits the market, there’s no time to waste. We put in an offer the day the property was listed, and got our offer accepted hours before two other offers made their  noisome appearance.  Fortunately for me my reputation as an upstanding and stalwart REO agent precedes me, and my beautifully-crafted offer was accepted without counter, except for the seller’s standard addendum.

So am I worried that there’s going to be some defect in the foreclosure, some robo-signing scandal that’s going to bite me in the rear years down the road?  Nope.  Lots of things keep me awake at night (like making my new mortgage payment!), but fear of improper foreclosure or title defect isn’t one of them.  So let it be known:  I put my money where my mouth is and stand behind the product I peddle:  there’s nothing like getting a sweet deal on home sweet home.  I know from first hand experience!

Alright, time to put the kid to bed and get ready for what will surely be another exciting day in the REO business.  Stay tuned for more blog entries, I’m back on the blogging bandwagon!