REOMAC’s Newest Member

I cannot believe it’s been almost five years since my most recent blog post here on Foreclosure Exposure!  As any close watcher of the default industry will tell you, the REO business is a shadow of its former self in most parts of the country.  The volume just dried up and blew away, especially here…

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.


How I (finally) Joined the NRBA

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.

Nrba logo only2

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.