Time to Get Some New REO Business

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!


Steve Jobs and the REO Business

What’s Steve Jobs got to do with the REO business?  Nothing at all, not that I know of, anyway.  So what am I doing putting those two together?


Well, for one, Steve Jobs just died, and a lot of people are talking about it.  And two, I myself am in the REO business, and I have been a user of Jobs’ products for decades.

The truth of the matter is, there are a lot of different products I could use instead of Apple products.  I could use a PC, I could use an Android Phone – they would get the job done.  Actually, I have used lots of PCs and of course I do have Windows running inside a virtual machine on my Mac, because so many REO systems are writtten – for no good reason whatsoever – only to work on Microsoft Internet Explorer.

But I use a Mac (and before that, an Apple ][+ if you can believe it), and it’s not often that my iPhone is far from reach.  The question some will ask is,  why, when there are cheaper alternatives out there?

The short answer is, like so many things in life:  you get what you pay for.  I know, you’re reading this blog post here on my web site, SiiconREO.com – and you see that I am a REO broker servicing the greater Silicon Valley area – you’re thinking I must be some kind of huge geek, right?  Well, maybe.

But the reason I like Apple products is the same reason that for years, real geeks spurned them – it’s not the kind of technology that you’re meant to screw around with.  The thing is, I like technology that just works.  I don’t want to have to screw around with it.  I want to plug it in, and put it to work, so I can focus on what my job really is:  serving my clients.

Sure, sometimes my fancy Apple hardware and software lets me down, and I do have to end up screwing with it to get it to work.  But not often – and seemingly a lot less often than technology from a lot of other vendors.  For the most part, the technology part of the job recedes into the background and I am just left with the task at hand.  Ahhh.  Apple’s technolgoy empowers me to get a lot of work done, wherever I am – at home, in the office, on the road, in the field, on vacation – with a minimum of fuss and worry.  I view it as a force multiplier – I can’t clone myself, but I can increase my producitivty through the judicious application of technolgoy such that the effect is in many ways the same.

Many years ago, I actually wrote an e-mail to Steve Jobs.  This was right after he had come back to Apple and taken over.  I had just bought a Newton MessagePad, and Steve Jobs went and killed it off.  That thing cost me like over $1,000 as I recall, and that was back in the mid-90’s when $1,000 was a pretty good chunk of change.  So I wrote Steve an e-mail and I said basically, WTF?!  I’m sure I must have insulted him in some way, because the next day, I actually did get an e-mail back from Steve – or one of his asisstants,  who knows.

I looked for that e-mail about a month ago – I couldn’t find it, the e-mails I’ve saved only go back about 7 years, not 15.  His response to me was short and to the point – something about how if Apple should once again flourish in the years to come, I needed to look myself in a mirror and say shame on me for writing such a nasty e-mail.

Yes, shame on me.  Sorry Steve.  Mea culpa, or my bad, as they say these days.  Thanks for all those far-out groovy times basking in your reality distortion field.  I’ll go ahead and pre-order an iPhone 4S now, and I wish you the best in your future endeavors.



REO Asset Management Companies are accepting new agents!

If you’re an aspiring REO agent – or if you’re a salty old REO guy from decades time forgot, it may be that you’re looking for some REO clients.  If you’re new to the REO business, you probably don’t have any REO clients, or maybe you just got a one-off because you did a BPO somewhere along the way.  And many seasoned REO brokers will tell you their volume is way down, and they’d love to have some new REO clients. It may be easier for the seasoned REO pro to get those new clients – but getting them is no sure bet for most of us out there.


If you read around the internet where REO agents (and many more aspiring REO agents) hang out (think LinkedIn, AgentsOnline.net, and REOPro) , you’ll hear a common angst-ridden wail:  is it too late to get into the REO business?  I remember when I got into the REO business full-time back in 2007, a lot of folks were singing that same doleful tune – that maybe it was even then too late to make it in the REO game.

That was three years ago, and while it’s been a roller coaster of a ride for much of that, overall my business has grown and matured, acquiring new clients along the way.  I remember thinking back then that, at least in my local market, there was likely only to be an REO business for about 3 years.  In other words, if you’d asked me back then, I would have said I’d expect the business to be rolling up by late-2010 – right about now.

However, in that time, I think it’s become clear to pretty much everyone that the housing market – and, crucially, the economy as a whole – are in considerably worse health than most people thought, myself included.  What seems clear now is that we are at best half way through the REO extravaganza, but the likelihood seems to be strong that real estate will not resume meaningful appreciation any time soon, and that the low-, no-, and negative-equity positions many homeowners find themselves in and many more will soon find themselves in will continue to drive defaults and keep REO lisitngs coming on the market.

One thing’s for sure about the REO business:  it’s dynamic as all get-out.  Traditional real estate is sleepy by comparison to the REO world, where things move very quickly and it seems the only constant is that the whole industry is in a state of change.  Of particular interest for the aspiring REO agent, or the old pro looking to pick up some new clients, this means that many servicers and outsourcers lose and gain clients (lenders, investors) all the time.  As many a REO veteran will tell you, one client can provide a steady business for years, and then that client loses their servicing contract and with it the REO business – and the REO veteran can see the volume from that client drop to zero literally over night.


His loss is another agent’s gain, though – those REOs will go somewhere, to another servicer or outsourcer.  And that servicer or outsourcer may not have a large or strong enough broker network in an area where those bad loans are concentrated, and in that way will all of a sudden will have need of a new REO agent.  Even though their web site probably says they aren’t accepting applications, they may be actively recruiting agents – perhaps from within their BPO provider network, or perhaps through a web site like REONetwork.com.

I know this happens all the time – and I’ve got proof!  Here it is: just today I was given an REO assignment for a company for which I have only heretofore done BPOs for. They’re a well-known player in the default servicing business, and I look forward to working with them on many REOs – but first I’ve got to work on hitting this one out of the park to hopefully begin cementing the relationship.

If you’re looking to jump on the REO bandwagon, fear not:  the ship hasn’t sailed – it’s still there at the dock, taking on fuel – or taking on water, depending on your perspective.  To be sure, it isn’t easy to break in and even harder to actually be successful at it with a stable client base – but it can be done, by those willing to pour on the time, energy, dollars, and effort.

Texas Attorney General Halts Foreclosures

Can you hear it?  I’m hearing it.  It’s the sound of a drum beating, and it’s getting louder.  Now the Texas Attorney General has got in on the act, and he’s ordered a halt to foreclosures in Texas.


via BizJournals.com:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has asked 30 lenders to stop foreclosures and sales of foreclosures, while regulators investigate the legality of the process.

Read more: Texas attorney general halts foreclosures – Austin Business Journal

I still think this is all likely to blow over.  And, for the record, I’m not really against putting a temporary halt to foreclosure proceedings while this gets straightened out.  After all, we’ve gone through months of moratoria already, what’s another 60 days while the processes are reviewed and tightened up?

There’s definitely a silver lining on this dark cloud – the banks will help out the nation’s unemployment rate by hiring people to review all these foreclosure documents rather than leaving it to a couple-few robo-signers.  Likely as not they’ll just be contracted/temporary hires, but from the looks of it, many of them will be needed for some years to come.

And it’s also good new for me and other professional REO brokers – fewer assignments getting pulled or canceled due to mistaken or improper foreclosures.  Not that it happens very often – but it does happen, and the less of it the better.

REO Flood, Now an REO drought?

There’s no shortage of prognosticators telling us of a coming flood of REO homes on the market.  OK, a lot of those soothsayers have something to sell you – be it the likes of Lamco Network, REO Vendor Manager, REO Network, numerous REO consultancies and coaches like REO Renegades, SuperStarREO etc. – their message is all the same – join our network, pay the fee, you need to be in all the right places when the flood gates open and the REOs start pouring on the market.

And hey – it’s legit!  I believe it, that explains the copious quantity of dollars flowing from my bank account to some of the above-mentioned outfits.  A lot of folks will point to data provided by our friends at RealtyTrac (who, coincidentally, also have a product to sell you), which, if you believe them, say there are…jeez, I forget how many, 4-5, 7+?… million homes across the United States at some point in the foreclosure process right now.  Of course, they are quick to point out, not all of these properties will go REO – some will be sold via short sale, some will get loan modifications, etc. – but that no matter how you slice it, there’s a lot of REO coming down the pike, although it’s likely to come more as a steady stream rather than an outright flood as many of my colleagues in the REO Brokerage business seem to be hoping for.


Well, that was then.  Now, klaxon bells are sounding and the blogosphere is in an uproar – they’re pulling the plug on foreclosures!  It started with Ally/GMAC but quickly spread to JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America – and now others.  The New York Times has a couple good articles on the subject (Foreclosure Furor Rises, The Gathering Storm over Foreclosures), that old salty dog Bloomberg weighs in on it (Hydra of Foreclosure Probes).  A lot of states’ Attorneys General area getting in on the act, including our own Jerry Brown and the attorney general of Connecticut has ordered a halt to all foreclosures – while at the moment the foreclosures have ground to a halt only in judicial foreclosure states, it seems likely that it own’t be long before it spreads to non-judicial states like California.  And of course there’s no shortage of grandstanding politicians at the national level, either.  This could get messy (not that it isn’t already – foreclosure is a somewhat messy business).

Perhaps not surprisingly, all of this hubbub has actually reached its way down from on high and touched our business here at the Silicon REO Group.  Two days ago, I received via RES.NET a task to list one of the properties I had in pre-marketing.  Awesome!  I fired off the tasks to the appropriate people on the team – flyer design, MLS entry, ordering the sign up, filing the paperwork with my brokerage, posting on Craigslist, etc. Hours after seeing the RES.NET task, the property was listed.

And then, yesterday – kaboom!  An email from the asset manager arrived saying that the property needs to be pulled of the market, any marketing be discontinued, and that no offers/contracts would be negotiated on it at this point.  Of course, I’m expected to maintain the property and continue doing MSRs (monthly status reports) BPOs and whatnot while we wait to see if the property is to be re-listed, or…or what?  Give the property back to the former owner because there was an error in the foreclosure process?

Somehow…I don’t see that happening.  All this hue and cry about the MERS system and flawed titles, by the way – much todo about nothing if you ask me.  But people have advertising to sell to eyeballs looking to see the banks get theirs and hapless underwater homedebtors hoping and searching for how they can get relief for overextending themselves in the easy money mania of a few years back.  And I get that, and it’s fine, do what you gotta do, it’s a free country, right?

Although I’m no sage, and I’m the farthest thing from a legal or financing expert – I predict that all this will be just water under the bridge in a few months’ time.  For all the social tumult and government inquiries and TARP, HAMP, HAFA, HARP and a whole alphabet soup of other catchy acronyms – the foreclosure train rolls on, and I think it’s going to keep on rolling until the root causes of the crisis are behind us (negative equity, unsustainably high home prices, unemployment).  From the sound of it, we’re still some years away from working through it all.  So I’m prepared for lots of foreclosure drama in the headlines for some time to come – and you should be too.

Bad Real Estate News is Good News for You

I’m a Realtor, but i’m also a big fan of Patrick.net, which is loaded with anti-Realtor diatribe and invective.  In my copious experience, there’s all kinds of Realtors, from excellent to abysmal, from Realtors who will actually save or help make money for their clients, and Realtors who will cost their clients tens or even hundreds of thousands (millions, even?) of dollars through sheer incompetence in pricing, marketing, and negotiation.


Aside from all the fear and loathing of Realtors exhibited on Patrick.net, they do provide a daily e-mail blast of housing news – and it is universally negative, or so many would view it.  There’s article after article explaining how in most parts of the country real estate is still over-valued with more declines to come, it’s better to rent regardless, that government interference in the mortgage market is largely to blame for this whole “crisis.”  Here is a selection of choice articles they linked to in today’s e-mail:

U.S. House Prices Face 3-Year Drop as Inventory Surge Looms

Bank Repossessions of Homes Hits New Record in August

Home Price Double-Dip Begins

My anecdotal evidence from the field do indicate that in fact, inventory is surging, more homes are reverting back to lenders as REO foreclosures, and that in many areas here locally, prices do indeed seem to be on their way down again.

While many in America might read those headlines and see bad news, I see the opposite.  I see a long-overdue and very necessary correction in the housing market.  At least here in my slice of gorgeous Northern California, housing affordability has been so poor for so many years, it seems logical in retrospect that housing prices had nowhere to go but down.

And that’s a good thing.  Unless of course you bought some real estate at the peak, or re-financed your home and sucked out a lot of vapor-equity and blew it on travertine tile, granite slab counters, a Mercedes and a few lavish trips to Mexico and Thailand.

I got a new REO assignment yesterday, and I took my assistant along with me to go and do the occupancy check, and so we could chat and talk about the business, what’s going on in REO, and real estate in general.  My assistant is also my buyer’s agent, and we got to chatting about how one of his clients had bought a home in the area last year, and was loving being a home owner.

His client had, of course, purchased an REO – a big (2000+ square feet, that’s “big” here) house with plenty of space for his growing family.  He’d bought it for about $250,000 – which was about 50% less than the peak price of $500,000 for that same house.  His housing payment is around $1300 a month, which is much, much less than it would cost him that very same house, and of course about 50% less than if he had to pay twice as much for the same property.

The net result of that is this homeowner has a lot of extra money in his pocket than he otherwise might.  This is money that he is very likely to spend in the local economy – going out to eat, buying clothes for his kids and movie tickets and home maintenance and improvement supplies from the local hardware store, etc. – instead of seeing this money funneled un-productively out of the local economy and into the hands of out-of-state or extra-national mortgage bond investors.

So I welcome further home price declines.  I see low prices as opportunity, I see them as engendering stability and solvency – and I think this is really important if we want strong families, neighborhoods, schools, and society.  So even if you are one of the unfortunate people who bought at the peak and are paying through the nose on your mortgage and the government hasn’t given you a loan modification or a principal reduction because, ironically, you’re a good borrower and make your payments and therefore don’t deserve a reward – be at peace.  These are transformative times, and better days are maybe not on the horizon, but they’re at least over the horizon and we’ll get there some day.

Meanwhile, bring on the correction and let’s set the economy right, and we’ll see the housing values rise organically when the time is truly nigh.  But that time isn’t now.  Now, it’s time for me to get cracking on those 3 BPOs I have for my pre-marketing listings.  I’ll write again soon.

Meeting with the REO folks at Chase

This morning I went down to one of the local Chase bank branches and attended a meeting with the Chase Western Region REO Relationship Manager, along with some other local Chase employees and a dozen or two local Chase REO listing agents.  From what I could tell, this REO Relationship Manager is the essentially the REO Vendor Manager for Chase – except that they don’t really have an REO Vendor Manager because the REO at Chase is all outsourced to 11 different companies.


I don’t really want to get into the nitty-gritty of what was discussed at the meeting, since who knows it might be considered to be proprietary information.  I will say though that it does sound like Chase really has its act together, and that they do see there being an increase in REO volume in the coming months, and that they expect this current market to last another “five or six years.”  That’s even longer than I see this current market lasting, and I’m no optimist when it comes to seeing all this put behind us.

One thing that was nice was that I got to meet some of my erstwhile competitors.  Some of them I’ve met before, and all of them I’ve talked to at least a few times, inquiring about properties they’ve sold or listed as I go about preparing my own BPOs.  It was great having an opportunity after the meeting ended to shoot the breeze with these guys.

To be honest, I haven’t sold all that many assets for Chase, although this is something I hope to change, and maybe this meeting will be a catalyst to help me finally get approved of some more of Chase’s 11 approved outsourcers – something I’ve been picking away at for years.  As luck would have it, about 15 minutes after I arrived back at my office, I got a brand-new REO assignment for a Chase asset up in Felton.  It seems like the universe is in alignment with my getting work from Chase, and for that I am truly grateful.

Steady as she Goes Down, September 2010 Real Estate Market Notes

After what seemed like an agonizingly long time, IndyMac/OneWest Bank assigned me an REO listing a couple of weeks ago.  The property is presently undergoing a personal property eviction, so we won’t get started on the BPO for a little while yet.  Even though I’ve sold lots of houses in the area, the market is ever-changing and it’s important to keep up on the latest fluctuations.  The bank’s automated system wanted me to go out and do a weekly occupancy check and report back – silly, maybe, on a house known to be vacant but I have a policy of checking every property weekly regardless.  I thought I would make best use of the trip by also going and checking out the competition, and seeing some of the recently sold comps.

I should mention, this is a rural area – pretty much farm country, or horse country maybe.  Given that its a rural setting, it’s always a challenge to find any two properties that are actually “comparable” – since there is such a wide variance in age, style and quality of construction, lot size and utility, access, distance to urban amenities, and of course good old-fashioned economic obsolescence courtesy of amenities like high tension power lines and noise pollution from nearby highways and bi-ways.  But if you look at enough “comparables” you can get a pretty good idea of a subject property’s value by using back-of-the-hand matched-pair analysis and my personal favorite, the principal of substitution.

I checked out over a dozen properties yesterday, and I also e-mailed a few agents to ask about what kind of activity they had had on their listings – offers, threats of offers, inquiries, etc.  One of the agents wrote back and told me something pretty interesting – he’d been on the market a couple of weeks, and they had four offers.  The seller had rejected three of these offers and was negotiating the fourth.  All four offers had come in under asking price.

It’s kind of unusual to have a multiple offer situation and have all offers come in under asking price, to say the least.  It’s especially interesting when, of all the dozen or so houses I had gone to see, this particular house was the one I thought was by far the nicest/best deal – but everyone is coming in low?  Granted, it was also the most expensive on the list – but was the newest, had the least deferred maintenance, highest functional utility, etc. – and it was not all that much more expensive than the competition.

And the agent for this property added a bit of commentary which was totally unsolicited:  “Definitely like a big slowdown.”

Well that’s a nice juicy anecdote!  It does jibe with my own experience, which is that I have listings that are languishing, attracting no offers (even though fairly priced against the comps) – or attracting low-ball offers.  So what’s going on here, has the market fallen off a cliff since the expiration of the federal home-buyer tax credits?

Nationally, I do believe that is the case.  NAR (the National Association of Realtors, natch) reported in July that nationwide, home resales were down 27%.  I don’t believe they have posted their August numbers yet.  But how are we doing locally?  I have some freshly crunched numbers for you, served up hot and fresh:

Santa Clara County


Santa Cruz County


Monterey County


As you can see, in each of the counties that we service, the median home price is up year-over-year (especially so in Santa Clara and Monterey counties) – and the amount of “active” inventory (not under contract/pending sale) is down considerably in each county.  But, crucially – so is the number of sales.  We can clearly see that year-over-year, the sales volume in all three counties has dropped considerably.  One can take heart by looking at month-over-month sales numbers and see that at least in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties there were more closings in August than in July, but I have long felt that month-by-month numbers are much less useful than year-over-year.

It’s clear that the median price is rising in all counties that we service – but I would caution that this number does not mean much, as it continues to be the mix of homes that are selling which is driving the price “rise” – neighborhood-by-neighborhood, I don’t see much in the way of upward price pressure – quite the opposite, in fact.  While our “Days on Market” is generally pretty healthy across all three counties, I see the declining sales volume as strong evidence which, when coupled with anecdotes from myself and other agents, indicate that we may be setting ourselves up for a grim autumn and winter selling season.

What do you think?  Comments are welcome!

Lenders stepping up foreclosures?

I suppose I’m like a lot of REO Agents in my area in one respect at least – my inventory is way down from the level I was at a year or 18 months ago  Some REO agents talk about the “Kings and Queens of REO” – that is, those listing agents who seem to get a very disproportionate number of listings…dozens, or hundreds, even.

I never had hundreds, but I did use to have dozens – I probably had an inventory of over 40 listings back then, which probably doesn’t make me an REO King but perhaps a Duke or a Count, and certainly one of the busiest agents in my market area.


For a while, though, the listings were few and far between.  I used to get a couple of assignments a week pretty steady; for the first half of this year, it was more like a couple of assignments per month. Yeah, there was a bit of belt tightening here at the Silicon REO Group!

Over the past month or so, however, it’s been like the good ol’ days – I’ve had about eight new assignments in the past month.  So, what gives?  Have the lenders resumed their previously alacrity with pulling the trigger at the trustee’s sale? Does this mean a flood of new distressed REO inventory is about to hit the market, even as the market is hitting the skids?

Or – maybe this is not actually a flood of new distressed REO inventory.  For example, I got two assignments just today.  You know the drill – here’s your assignment, congratulations, go and do an occupancy check within 24 hours or we’ll pull it from you.

So I head down to the first one – and find that it was vacant and had already been re-keyed – and how long ago?  No way to know for sure, but there was mail on the kitchen counter dated from mid-February of this year, about six months ago. The second new listing was miles and miles away, located deep up in the woods.  I had trouble finding it; I spotted a neighbor and asked her if she knew where the property was.  “I don’t know that address” she said – and she didn’t know who the former mortgagor was when I gave his name.  “Maybe it’s that vacant house down the street?  It’s been vacant for a couple of years.”

Yeah, that’s a lot of fun – deep in the woods, marching up a gated driveway with no address on it, performing an occupancy check at an address where whoever is living there might not take too kindly to being disturbed.

Lonely Driveway

It turns out, though, that I had the right address – there was no house number on the property, but on the kitchen counter of this place there was a bunch of mail with the subject property’s address and the former mortgagor’s name.

But I digress.  Point is, in my own business, I’ve suddenly seen a nice (well, nice for me) showering of inventory.  Given today’s findings, might we be seeing the emergence into daylight of some of this much ballyhooed shadow inventory?

Who knows?  Funny thing about this business is that it’s really hard to take some anecdotal evidence and determine a significant trend from it.  Actually, it must be pretty easy, since that happens all the time – Realtors especially are prone to making sweeping generalizations about the state of the national real estate market based on whatever happened to them with their latest buyer/escrow/seller, or whatever.

But not me.  The assignments could (and in all likelihood, probably will) dry up tomorrow and I’ll be left tending to these new 8 and the other dozen or so I had before them and trying to get them sold – which is going to take some aggressive pricing, since as I mentioned earlier, the market is demonstrably weakening (and I have more than just anecdotal evidence about that one!).

As a very wise Realtor once said:  you have to make hay while the sun is shining.  Or maybe it was a very wise farmer who said that – but whoever said it, there was definitely wisdom in those words.  I’ll just keep my head down and work like crazy to beat my deadlines and bring in offers as close to BPO value as possible and get ’em closed on schedule to the very best of my ability.

And this I solemnly swear.