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.