Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II

Posted by: Gulf Winds

Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 06/26/07 08:14 PM

I thought I'd share a couple of tips since us "oldies" are referred to as many different expletives & generally branded as unhelpful! Even an old dog can learn new tricks! This may be helpful to all members.. old & new!

This thread can be easily located or referred to via a simple search using the keywords.. Tips ~or~ Tricks

Just use the next number in sequence when posting a tip or trick.. #3, #4... It will be interesting to see how high the number will go!



Enjoy:

#1 Do you have a property that's new & you can't locate the details (sf, #br, #ba, etc) via MLS or tax search?

Call the local building permit department. They will have all the details on file and in my experience, have been really eager to help. I've gotten to know one of the ladies in my local one by first name and she even faxes me a summary detail if I need it.

It's helped me out several times and especially in one case where the BPO company kicked back a BPO as the subject info did not match the appraisal! They certainly believed the summary fax from the building department and approved my BPO immediately.

#2 Going crazy trying to remember all of your login user name/passwords?

Get RoboForm! http://www.roboform.com/ It stores all of them for you! I bought the RoboForm2Go version and it's on a USB key. All you have to do is click on Logins and select the web site. It automatically goes to the web site (as it stores the web site address as a link) and enters your user name & password! I like the portability of the USB version as I can use it at the office and bring it home as well. Nothing gets installed on your PC, just the USB key. This can also help you login faster for some of those orders!



If you have a useful tip to share, post it here. Let's try to keep his thread free of questions, only post tips & thank yous to contributors!

Posted by: Carey

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 08:23 PM

Gulf Winds,

At the risk of sounding low tech -- what is a USB key. I went to that website you listed. Looks like a problem solver! I have all my password stored on my desktop on an Excel sheet. So If I'm working from my laptop it creates a problem.
Posted by: BrevardFLRealtor

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 08:27 PM

Oh my thanks for that password thingy..Everytime I get an email from one of the companies (other than the ones that I always do) I have to rush back into my email to get the logon and password (and by that time, it is GONE!!!)
See we aren't all that bad are we.. I haven't heard from a certain someone for what most of the day now...It has been very very quiet.
Posted by: Gulf Winds

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 08:31 PM

USB Key aka Thumb Drive (portable storage device)



NOTE:

If anyone has questions for contributors, please send them a private message to keep the content mainly tips, tricks & thanks!
Posted by: R. Danneskjold

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 08:33 PM

3# Measuring Distances

If you have a company that does not automatically calculate distances for you (PTEK, RRR, etc.) try Microsoft Streets and Trips. From pinpointing the subject property to your comparable use CTRL + E and the distance will be measured for you.

4# Resizing Pictures

After retrieving a large group of photos you can have them batch resized for easy uploading by using a program called Visualizer Photo Resize. The program is free and no I do not have a web address. A Google or Yahoo! search should turn up the program with relative ease.
Posted by: KT

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 09:03 PM

#5 Declining an order due to being busy, or unfamiliarity with an area, is better than accepting one that you know will not be completed on time, or done shoddily. (Is shoddily even a word?)

#6 Before doing 2nds, ask the listing agent about any issues. They're gonna know way more about a property from the pre-list stage, than us in our 15 or 20 minutes inspection. And they appreciate it!!! You'll get to know the other REO agents in your area so much better.
Posted by: REO Pro

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 09:10 PM

#6 Fax Program

Best tool I ever invested in… www.extremefax.com No more having to run to the office or where ever to pickup fax… They fax right into your computer… They give you a personal fax number (mine is toll free, no extra cost)… When ever I get a fax I can view it, print it, save it as a pdf, or email it… It even sends me a text message to my cell, telling me I have a new fax, shows from what tele number and how many pages… It also send s me an email, so I can pick it up if I cant get to my computer (just check your email from any computer)… No more having to worry about other agents in your office reading your confidential faxes… You cant the price, only $79 per year, includes up to 300 pages per month (additional pages avail for extra cost)…

Regarding tip #2: Roboform - I also use and recommend it…
Posted by: KGM

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 09:30 PM

#7 getting rid of the stall air in reo.

vanilla plug in..( i know not a great tip, however it helps make the home appear more welcoming, and i have gotten positive feed back from buyers over the years.) i will try and think of better tips. this could be a fun thread
Posted by: King of Internet

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 09:38 PM

#8

if you go to do a bpo and its gated, or empty, never leave empty handed. take a picture of what you can.
Posted by: Guest

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 09:53 PM

#9 I agree that MS streets & Trips is really a great program, but there is one county that it can never map for me, and if the address is too new, sometimes it can't get those either. That's when I try Google Maps. It has saved me several times. I can even map that particular county that never works on Streets & Trips, with Google Maps. You can just go to google.com and there's a map link at the top left of the page.
Posted by: Houston Agent

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 10:33 PM

#10 Use autofill! I purchased a Mac not too long ago, and it has an awesome autofill feature. When I first start entering information, I start out by filling out everything that's the same on all comps, such as "type of property". All I have to do is hit the first key and it fills it in for me. Love it!

Just be careful... because it'll also enter numbers that you don't want there. For example: you've previously entered 103 DOM, and now want to enter 10 DOM. It'll add that 3 at the end.
Posted by: sortahippie

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 10:37 PM

Originally Posted By: stlrockinrealtor
#8

if you go to do a bpo and its gated, or empty, never leave empty handed. take a picture of what you can.


ive been known to tailgate... whistle

or use the MLS to get codes
Posted by: caboguy

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 10:42 PM

#9 Make sure you have extra batteries for your camera, just in case.
Posted by: R. Danneskjold

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 10:53 PM

Caboguy that is actually #11

Extras on Interiors

#12 - Flashlights (this should be a no brainer) and an extra set of batteries

#13 - Screwdrivers and Powerdrills. If you are in an area where city or county governments love to board things, a set of screwdrivers and a power drill can come in handy for that interior that was requested and the listing agent has no idea that the house had been boarded (like that day or the day before).

#14 - Extra clothes and Flea bombs. And yes I do carry all of this with me, most of the time. I could live out of my truck if I needed to. This should be self explanatory, I brought fleas back to my cats once......never again.
Posted by: PlatinumBroker

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 10:57 PM

#15 *learning the concept of 'copy and paste' is priceless!

i also have a "cheat-sheet" of common "bpo blubs" that i use to describe neighborhood areas, market conditions or my "this is not an inspection report... blablabla" that i copy and paste into the proper sections. it saves lots of time!
Posted by: Margaritaville

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 11:09 PM

#16 - OpenOffice.org. Download it - It's free. If you have an attachment you can't open, save it to your desktop, right click and go to Open With, then Open Office. It opens anything - It comes in really handy when you do a BPO and they e-mail you the form. I recently bought a new computer and didn't get Word or anything - I saved a bunch of money, and I haven't had any problems.
Posted by: realtor1126

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/26/07 11:49 PM

I'm downloading OpenOffice as I type. Thanks, Margaritaville!

#17 Save a few keystrokes when entering URL into the Internet address box. Just type the "guts" of the address, press Ctrl + Enter, and voila! http://www.guts.com ! (Note this only works on .com addresses)
Posted by: Brad

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/27/07 08:27 AM

The way I remember the user ID's and passwords for these companies is to edit the bookmark name in my favorites to include the ID & PW. Granted I am the only one that has access to my computer.
Posted by: RESTEVE

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/27/07 10:28 AM

#19 I highly recommend one of those flashlights that you shake and it doesnt need batteries. They arent all that expensive and work pretty good. It is plastic though so its not good for double uses like a 2 foot long maglite. Vic's vaporub helps when you are going in a stinker.
Posted by: ggwwttre

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/27/07 11:01 AM

There is an SD memory card called "Ultra" that has a USB connection on the back of it so you can plug it right into your computer even if you don't have an SD slot. It comes with a keyring holder for the card.

I bought it because they didn't have anything else that day... best thing I've ever got. No fussing with wires, no running my battery dead because I forgot to turn off the camera after I reloaded.

Camera stays in my car, SD card is either in camera, in computer or on my key ring...

It' been wonderful, I'd buy it again.
Posted by: Gulf Winds

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/27/07 11:20 AM

Originally Posted By: ggwwttre
#20 There is an SD memory card called "Ultra" that has a USB connection on the back of it so you can plug it right into your computer even if you don't have an SD slot. It comes with a keyring holder for the card.

I bought it because they didn't have anything else that day... best thing I've ever got. No fussing with wires, no running my battery dead because I forgot to turn off the camera after I reloaded.

Camera stays in my car, SD card is either in camera, in computer or on my key ring...

It' been wonderful, I'd buy it again.


Here's what I assume Gary is talking about. If not, here's another to consider.

I have this exact one (Sandisk MobileMate. Bought it at Office Depot:



Works with pretty much any memory card and it's really small. I keep mine in my camera bag.
Posted by: RisingREALTOR

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/27/07 11:42 AM

#21 I always take a picture of the street sign before I take any subject pictures. This makes it easy to determine which picture corresponds with which address. It can be confusing trying to find a particular address photo when you're downloading 20 or more at a time.
Gulf, I'm going out to find one of those Mobile Mates TODAY!! That thing will save me sooo much time. As usual, you contribute some really great tips. Thanks to everyone for their contributions, great thread!
Posted by: Flr47

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/27/07 12:02 PM

If you need distances try using the free version of google earth. Plug in the address then zoom to move your pin to the exact location then under tools measure straight line between 2 places (as a crow flies). the paid version google plus allow you to measure a circle.
Posted by: ggwwttre

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/27/07 01:41 PM

TIP #1

Don't spend all your BPO proceeds on gadgets.

He who has ears to hear...

P.S. That's more for me than you ohsay
Posted by: Jollymon

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/27/07 03:02 PM

#22

Pack heat.
Posted by: sortahippie

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/27/07 04:47 PM

#23 Going with the theme of #22...

I always look at the map of the neighborhood ahead of time and make sure that 1: I have an "out" of the neighborhood if things get hairy, and 2: that my car is pointing that way when Im taking pics. Nothing like having to make a U-turn when someone's coming after you!
Posted by: MMann1

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/27/07 07:12 PM

#24

Logmein.com. Its great...its free...and its fast. Remote access to your computer from anywhere...like gotomypc.com but better and free.
Posted by: Darlene Bitner

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/27/07 08:21 PM

#23 EXCELLENT ADVICE.

#25 I now keep paper on front seat with the BPO address written on it EXCEPT a slight change in the street name. If I am snapping 0000 Morning Glades, I write 0000 Morning Glory. Or I write Smith Village instead of Smith Valley. Then, if I get caught and am desperate to leave, I just try to look confused and say something like "You called for the quote to paint your house?" Then I just hand him the paper with the wrong street name, and he will say something like, "You are on the wrong street, Lady", allowing me to apologize, thank him and drive off. This may work well for ladies especially, if they feel the situation may get hostile. Love this thread.
Posted by: rls362

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/27/07 09:44 PM

# 24 if you are looking for companies to sign up with read ads other agents post on ds news or reo network or their web sites. Many will brag about the companies they work for.Thats how I got started 3 years ago.
Posted by: Mitch

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/28/07 12:57 AM

#25 - set up a dual or triple monitor display or invest in a large (32") monitor - this will allow you to have multiple full screen windows open at the same time - works great when transfering info from MLS, tax records, etc.. into your bpo form - In my opinion, this is one of the best time saving techniques around - I couldn't imagine having to toggle through your different windows to gather and input information
Posted by: ggwwttre

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/29/07 02:37 AM

21B (On taking street sign first)

If you miss the street sign (by the way that is a most excellent tip got it from Gig'em about a year ago helped me tremendously) if you miss it, don't worry, take the close up of the house number first... that'll work in a pinch for a separator too and even on a 15 photo day you can probably find the order by the number.
Posted by: Gulf Winds

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/08/07 08:28 PM

#27-

Originally Posted By: Perky_REALTOR
Here is a free showing feedback service. They offer a couple of different packages including free.

I like free. smile


This is a great tool and your sellers will love it! One more way to save some time!

Why would you NOT use it... it's FREE!

Thanks Perky_REALTOR for the tip!!!
Posted by: Ron Bourgeois

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/09/07 06:51 AM


Remember your Passwords tip:

Today most passwords require a minimum of 8 letters and numbers, to keep things easy use this 8 character password changing only one character for each vendor.

BPOE2007 is the sample password, now lets break it down. BPO 'E' 2007

[BPO] or any of your own first three letters that you select are always the same. 'BPO' E2007

[E] Represents the first letter of BPO Vendor as in EMORT**** BPO 'E' 2007

[2007] or any four numbers you select are always the same in the password. BPOE '2007'

Examples: BPOC2007, BPOE2007, BPO oh oh what do I do if I have two companies with the same first letter. Let's say Country Wide.
use the W. example BPOW2007 or CW example BPOCW2007. or CC example BPOCC2007.

This way if someone gets one of your passwords they won't get into all of your online registrations.


ron

Posted by: Ron Bourgeois

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/09/07 12:16 PM

Acronym definitions,

Need a definition for that acronym, go to Google search, enter the information needed as follows; [ define:GLA ] without the brackets. For the best search results you should use the colon between the words.

let GOOGLE be you acronym resource.

ron


Posted by: Clientless

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/16/07 02:22 AM

28 On those 15 bpo days and you can't remember the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, especially in old houses sometimes chopped into duplexes, take pictures of your fingers. I shoot a few rooms and then hold up 2 or 3 fingers to indicated 2 or 3 bedrooms. I use left hand for bedrooms and right hand for bathrooms. Easy to tell when I get home and sort through to upload. Requires no paper and digital photos are cheap.

29 Stock Phrases. Spend a little time typing up a list of stock phrases. I use Excel. Tape the list next to your monitor. Can make it quick to enter comments when your brain is dead at the end of the day.
Posted by: reopro

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/16/07 08:10 AM

30: If you are a bad speller or typist, checkout ieSpell.com It will spell check most of your on line BPOs.
Posted by: REO Specialist

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/16/07 08:23 AM

Heres one that everyone should do... Even though you might not think it will happen...

Keep some kind of form or paper with you from the assigning company, just incase a neighbor calls the law on you for doing an Interior BPO!!! It will save you a lot of headache!! Also helps if you have a Realtor tag or something on your vehicle as well!!!
Posted by: LizL

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/16/07 01:50 PM

32 http://www.city-data.com/ Get statistical info on small towns and villages to explain why you had to expand search radius to find comps. I created a Word document into which I have copied the stats for my area's small towns. I copy and paste relevant info into any BPO without retyping it.

33 As mentioned in a previous hint, I also rename the Favorites link to add the user name/password. To provide some security, however, I have a "normal" word I use in most of my passwords. I can substitute a * for that word and then add prefix or suffix to change passwords for different uses. Email your browser's Favorites/links to yourself if you need to transfer them to another computer.
Posted by: WorkWorkWork

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/17/07 11:19 AM

#34 -- Trade-in the gas-guzzling SUV . . . perhaps this seems like a "duh" to most of you but i had a really intimate relationship with my Durango (anyone cried at a dealership on trade-in?) -- it's gone and i don't miss my 11 miles to the gallon and my Toyota Matrix is averaging 33 miles/gallon allowing me to broaden my work area and help my bottom-line with gas prices --
Posted by: Countrygirl

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/17/07 04:43 PM

#35 If you can't find an address in a small rural town call the post office.
Posted by: JQRealtor

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/19/07 11:03 AM

#36 www.grandcentral.com

One phone number for life...this allows all calls to be routed to your grand central number so if you change office, move or get a different cell phone number and have given out your Grand central number NO problem... no one will ever know...
Will ring all numbers (the one you choose to do so) at one time! Never miss a call again. Plus tons of great features FREE in beta. Grand Central has been aquired by GOOGLE.

Now taking reservations for numbers so check it out.
If you are interested... I have 5 invites I can give so you don't have to wait. I DO NOT receive any compenation for this...it is just because I have been with them prior to being aquired by GOOGLE.

Thanks.
Posted by: TheTexasGal

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/25/07 02:23 PM

Ok, heres my contribution.....

#37
I have 2 sets of business cards (broker approved).... One is the normal business card that us RE agents have. The other is my BPO business card. It says my name, realtor and then on the next line it says Property Investment Specialist. I give this one out when Im doing interiors, or some nosey neighbor gets in the way, or the police (on occasion). Its worked for me.
Posted by: Katerina

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/25/07 02:39 PM

I have been trying to figure out how to do that for a long time. How do you do that on your monitor?
Posted by: Katerina

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/25/07 03:09 PM

A great way to save your password is with Roboform. It is free. I installed and you can password protect your passwords or not, it auto populates forms and passwords,etc. I love it because I forget to write them down and at times I have been known to forget where I put them when I did write it down. Here is the link:
Roboform Roboform.

Posted by: Margaritaville

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/25/07 03:10 PM

#38 - In addition to always having extra batteries, invest in a battery charger you can plug in to you car's cigarette lighter. I found one on clearance at Wal-Mart for about $12.

#39 - I'm a total germaphobe - I bought a 50-pack of cheap washcloths that I keep in my trunk along with a bottle of rubbing alcohol. I wipe my hands and arms, and any other exposed skin, after interior BPO's. I'll also spray my shoes and pants with Lysol after the really nasty ones, and I spray my car seats every week or 2.

#40 - Be prepared; I keep it all in my trunk, and have been very glad to have it with me many times: Well stocked tool box, broom/dustpan, padlocks/hasps/lock boxes, air fresheners, light bulbs, flashlights, batteries, latex gloves & surgical masks (visit someone in the hospital and stock up smile ), small step ladder, trash bags, vics vapo-rub for the stinkies (Altoids work well too), bug spray & flea collars.....Did I miss anything? Duct tape! Gotta have duct tape!
Posted by: KGM

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 09/30/07 12:57 AM

thought I would bump this one back up to the front.. thanks gulf winds this was a great idea and what this form was about.

41. don't wait till your signs are stolen for scrape metal 3 times. in some areas it may be a good idea to use a plastic sign or put it in a front window.
Posted by: bristowVA

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/04/07 10:00 AM

#42 - If you can't find an address because the area is covered in new construction drop by your local firehouse and ask if you can get a copy of their map.

I've found them a great help for this, and a small donation makes them very happy.
Posted by: Ellen45

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/04/07 04:54 PM

#43 Use a checklist for every BPO you do.
Posted by: WorkWorkWork

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/04/07 09:41 PM

#44 Trying to track down an "occupant" that won't answer door? Great FREE site http://www.peopledata.com - enter their name and state and you can even get a phone number on most for FREE! and if you need more information on occupant, put his/her name and state into http://www.veromi.net to get their relative's names (you can tell moms, dads, sisters and brothers by their ages which are also displayed) and i love the state court records -- my state actually shows addresses and birthdays so that if your occupant has been to court recently another place to track them down - these sites have helped me tremendously.
Posted by: HughesREO

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/06/07 02:39 AM

#45 - Kall8 Numbers. Better than any other portable number out there, including efax, ureach (which I also like), trust me, there is no better toll-free solution. What's nice about Kall8 numers are you can BLOCK unwanted calls (if the number falls into the wrong hands), and real-time, unstoppable caller ID(even if caller ID is blocked) with address reversal for .12. You can actually forward your cell into one of these numbers and never have to give out your true cell number (for all you bar flys and players). You can also get local numbers, which have toll-free capabilities. These numbers are great for sneaky things too.

http://www.Kall8.com
Posted by: Gig em

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/07/07 10:32 PM

#46 Get the Sony T100 camera. It's 1 inch thick, about the dimensions of a credit card and with it's 25X zoom will enable you to shoot house number shots from a block away. I take them at time when the owners are sitting on their porch and don't have a clue about what I am doing.

It can shoot up to 8 Megapixel so it is great for family shots also.

Another great feature is that its Lithium battery lasts about 300 minutes of shooting so you will seldom run out of juice. Charge once a week and forget it.

Also, with a 4 gig pro duo disk, you could put 10,000,000 images on the disk before you would run out of disk space.


This shot was taken from 7 houses away from the subject at the maximum 25X zoom.

Posted by: afsa99

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/08/07 02:49 PM

 Originally Posted By: BPO PRO
4# Resizing Pictures

After retrieving a large group of photos you can have them batch resized for easy uploading by using a program called Visualizer Photo Resize. The program is free and no I do not have a web address. A Google or Yahoo! search should turn up the program with relative ease.


#47 Guess it's time for me to add a tip... The best way I've found to resize quickly is Microsoft's Picture Resizer power toy for Windows XP. Select one or more pictures and right click them. The resizer is in the right click menu. Slick and quick. Does not work with Vista from what I can tell. For my Vista Machine, I use VSO. Both are free. Microsoft's is better IMO.

Quick download - links provided below.

Microsoft Resizer Power Toy for Windows XP
VSO Image Resizer for Windows Vista
Posted by: HughesREO

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/08/07 09:14 PM

#48 - Mag Light Upgrade - We all have one laying around...

--------------

A great upgrade and mod for that dated 3-D Cell MagLite everybody has laying around.

Yes, it’s an LED upgrade and although similar in price, it’s not the same one you find at Wally Mart. This one is digitally controlled and bright – 150-200 lumens compared to the 35-40 lumens Maglight LED upgrade.

Efficient too – an expected 60 hours on Akalines (yes, 60 HOURS).

The total upgrade and mod takes about 5 minutes and will set you back $29.95 for the new LED upgrade/shipping.

------------------

For the bulb upgrade, purchase a TerraLUX TLE-6EX MiniStar5 SSC P4 U bin LED upgrade for 3-6 C/D cell Maglites. The drop-in upgrade is $24.95 and you can find it online, or at http://www.batteryjunction.com, .

------------------

For the mod, all you need is some masking, electrical, or duct tape. The end result is turning your 3-D cells into a 4-C cell light. This increases the voltage by 1.5V – so you get the performance of a 4-D cell light, in the 3-D cell body.

This mod physically balances the light too. It reduces the weight by 8.5 ounces, and when you pick it up, it’s like, huh? Since the extra weight is gone – you can use this thing to whack something efficiently without worrying about snapping your own wrist.

Remove the rear cap, and remove the foam/spare bulb. Flip the spring. You are nearly done.

Next, take one of your C batteries and wrap it in tape so that it fits sug inside the Maglight body. The goal here is to be sure the C battery diode will always be cenetered on the Maglight positive switch. Be sure to trim off any tape around the edges so the batteries will make contact with each other. No need to wrap the other 3 C cells, the spring will hold them tight (and no, they will not rattle around sinside the body). Done.

-----------

For $25, you’re getting a light with comparable performace to many lights costing $300-$400. Not to mention with the 4-C cell mod, it has a 60 hour runtime – that’s a long, long time in flashlight hours.

Personally, I like the new, smaller LED lights. These guys (www.fenix-store.com) make great lights now approaching 200 lumens – which is surprisingly bright – and the light is only 2/75” in length!

Enjoy \:\)
Posted by: SoCal Agent

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/10/07 02:15 AM

#49
Can't legally carry "heat" here in Ca so I've always got my pepper spray. Attached to my keys so its in my hands at all times. If I have an interior BPO and am going in alone, I make sure I'm on the phone with someone who knows where I am and what I'm doing there such as my husband or the listing agent. The agents are always happy to assist me as they are familiar with the property & circumstances. A bluetooth makes talking and snapping photos at the same time much easier =)
Posted by: NewBreedAgent

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/11/07 11:33 PM

#50
Mapquest has a new feature to route 10 destinations in a trip.

Route your subject properties and print the directions. Once you begin taking pics, just jot down the number of pics that you took of each property beside the address on your sheet. No need to take pics of the street signs to remember which house is which. And you have a record of mileage for the day too!

Before you print the directions, there is a notes box at the top. I always enter "BPO route for (Date)" keeps everything organized.
Posted by: Cleveland REO

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/16/07 09:35 AM

#51

Fleas are a common problem in many of the REOs in my area. It's very easy to walk out of a property covered in them. Get rid of them by starting your car and standing in front of the exhaust pipe. Be sure to leave the garage door open if performing #51 in your garage!


Posted by: Cleveland REO

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/16/07 09:41 AM

#52

Open a separate checking account for payment of REO expenses. This is also a good idea if you work for companies who do ACH payments for reimbursements and/or BPOs.
Posted by: patty

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/19/07 12:13 AM

#53 For those who want the extra set of business cards (as TexasGal recommends - me, too) go to vistaprint.com. You can get all kinds of really neat and nearly free business cards and other stuff. Cannot beat the price.
Posted by: patty

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/19/07 12:19 AM

#54 I use dictionary.com to find new words when I feel I'm being repetitive in my descriptions. It's a good spellchecker, too.

Posted by: go4REO

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/19/07 04:00 PM

#55
Photo separator
Blank between the pictures I’m using order form from each company with big number on 1,2,3…and snap blank.. When I download the pictures I know which photos belong to which address.
Posted by: RealityRealty

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/30/07 11:36 AM

#56 When doing a search for comps in your MLS, save it as the address you are doing, so you can come back to it. Delete them all at end of the month.
Posted by: MMAC

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 11/04/07 11:00 AM

#57

For those new agents that don't have a lot of extra money to spend on misc software programs that do help, however 20 bucks here and there every month will add up.....use a free email account such as gmail. They have web based areas that you can upload pictures, documents, ect. and can access anywhere you find a computer. The EFAX is key, a must have but as far as roboform, thats great until your computer crashes and everything is lost and you never took the time to make a hard copy of your passwords. (Make sure that you back up your hard drive and Roboform.) You can also create an excel spreadsheet and upload it to the documents section of gmail, and have it, make changes, save all your BPO's as reference, like when your on vacation, don't have your laptop, and an asset manager calls you wanting to "talk", get on your friends computer, and have available that BPO you uploaded.
Posted by: HughesREO

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 11/05/07 07:46 PM

 Originally Posted By: MMAC
#57

For those new agents that don't have a lot of extra money to spend on misc software programs that do help, however 20 bucks here and there every month will add up.....use a free email account such as gmail. They have web based areas that you can upload pictures, documents, ect. and can access anywhere you find a computer. The EFAX is key, a must have but as far as roboform, thats great until your computer crashes and everything is lost and you never took the time to make a hard copy of your passwords. (Make sure that you back up your hard drive and Roboform.) You can also create an excel spreadsheet and upload it to the documents section of gmail, and have it, make changes, save all your BPO's as reference, like when your on vacation, don't have your laptop, and an asset manager calls you wanting to "talk", get on your friends computer, and have available that BPO you uploaded.


#58
Great ideas. And to expand...

OpenOffice Writer - or even get the whole suite. It's FREE!

This is not shareware junk - it's put out by Sun Microsystems to compete with MS. The writer program, in many aspects, is more functional than Word. In fact it has a built in PDF button which allows you to save directly to PDF.

http://www.openoffice.org/
Posted by: LovestJac

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 11/07/07 06:20 PM

#59 ~ Payment tracking. I have created an excel spreadsheet with the bank name, property ID and address, payment amount, date received order, due date, payment amount, ref. #. When I receive an order I input this information, once the order have been completed, I input the date completed and/or sent. Once I have received payment, I delete the amount to be paid from one cell and more it to the paid cell with a ref. number. I also keep a total of the amount I'm due and the amount that I have been paid.

Due to me having many companies I work for, this helps me keep track of what, and who have paid me.

Hope this helped.

Also, this is an excellent thread and tips.
Posted by: Mre

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 11/08/07 04:23 PM

About # 59, being an accountant also, I enter all my "sales" (BPOs performed) as invoices for each client, this is very useful and it allows me to know exactly when the invoices are due, who owes me what, and the different price levels. I can send statements, have a separate bank account for BPOs, and with a click of the mouse I can know who is giving me the most business and who is paying within terms.
About #55, I have a BB and before I take each pic, I enter the house number in my BB (like if I was calling a telephone #), take a pic of that, then take the subject or comparable pic, this is great bc I don't have to have additional papers with me, and we all know how many papers we have to deal with daily!
Posted by: Build-&-TheyCome

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 11/08/07 07:30 PM

#60

Need to get into a gated community (and you either don't have a key or the wrong one to the exterior gate) and don't wish to ring up the home's occupant?

Call any other community residents from the callbox and anounce yourself as UPS or FEDEX. You'll be amazed at how most people will buzz you in without question!

(*Don't say that you're with the US Postal Service. They're federal employees, thus making it illegal to impersonate one, regardless of the reason).
Posted by: WorkWorkWork

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 11/08/07 08:47 PM

#61

Strange place to find a comp?? We've all had a bpo where comps were really hard to find. A site that i frown upon my clients going to (usually gives them a really bad value for their home) can be so helpful when you're not having any luck searching one of the difficult properties. http://www.zillow.com will show the comps they use by closest square footage and by distance and includes all properties that have changed hands (including FSBO's) -- if a comp works for me i also have its distance -
Posted by: karole

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 11/11/07 10:02 PM

Regarding #55, I have found that using the -Recent Selections- feature on my Garmin GPS really helps to ID the pictures after I have downloaded the pics for a big order. I work in reverse and label the pics accordingly.
Posted by: JonathanLIVE

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 11/14/07 08:28 PM

#62 Remote login to your PC from anywhere

There is a FREE service you can use from anywhere called Logmein that will allow you to access your system from any web browser on anybody elses system. Completely secure, and FREE. \:\) ... Very useful if you are caught requiring access to information on your PC at a particular moment.

Can get it at http://www.logmein.com

Jonathan
Posted by: iTSSold

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 11/19/07 02:28 PM

#63

for a quick and painless resize (less megs)-
if you open a pic in MS Paint, and then re-save it, it will usually save the pic size at about a third of its original file size.
Posted by: fieldbids

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 11/22/07 04:02 AM

#64

Invest in your tools (cameras, locks, etc.). Cheap tools, lots of headache.

#65

Get with a local gas station and negotiate a discount for gas for your car and fleet, trust me it works!

#66

Make sure you find and place work in clusters (think same zip, same street, same neighborhood, if possible). Running around town hardly makes it worth it.
Posted by: Seymour

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 11/23/07 06:49 PM

#67 Watch the weather and base your "photo shoots" accordingly. Nothing is worse than having to go out to take pics in a "NorEaster".
Posted by: neudot

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 11/26/07 11:01 PM

#68 Have you ever had to go take pictures of comps because your BPO company said the MLS photos weren't good enough? Here's a program to improve those MLS photos. I read about it, but haven't tried it. There's a free trial offered that might be all you need to satisfy those pesky QC people.
http://tinyurl.com/azvom
Posted by: RaquelMangual

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 12/01/07 07:51 PM

#69 - Keeping photos organized: Print out your driving directions, then before you take pics of the property, snap a pic of the address on your printed directions. The pictures will always follow the address they belong to.
Posted by: Broker Paul

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 12/05/07 04:05 AM

#70 check out this STUN GUN FLASHLIGHT.

I bought the one from target after our Jack Russell was mauled by a German shepard on a morning walk. Almost got the wife to trying to save her dog.

This has prevented two animal incidents 1 coyote and a rogue dog. Just the crack of the stunner scares them off.( down side is it terrifies your dog as well ) Also kept a homeless from following her. The one from target is plastic and has an impressive stun gun. A so so flashlight works and she uses it daily. A pain to change the 9v batteries and the wires seem a bit cheap. Although it has worked great for a year.

I plan to order this one for the rechargable batteries. (need to research if the site is good though.)
http://www.tbotech.com/stunflashlights.htm

This is the one I already got her from target.com
stun flashlight
http://www.target.com/Commando-Flashligh...ashlight&page=1
Posted by: IndianaRealtor

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 12/13/07 10:03 PM

#71 I use a Dewalt flashlight, it uses the same batteries as my Drill, is incredibly bright, recharges in about 1/2 hour, ad last a really long time on each charge. It is far brighter than others I have tried.
Posted by: ...

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 12/14/07 11:15 PM

#72

the 2 applications I use most for bpo work are:

1. GIMP (Graphic Image manipulation Program) http://www.gimp.org this is essentially a FREE professional grade photo editing application on par with Photo Shop. I use it for resizing (Image/scale) all of my photos.

2. ACD CANVAS it is expensive BUT... this is the only application that I have been able to find that will allow you to do photo editing, scalable vector graphics, edit PDFs, and precision drawing all in the same app. One of its more useful tricks is to get a parcel size when none is available from a plat map or public record (estimate). I place the Parcel Map PDF in a Canvas template redraw the scale box and measure it with the default ruler, change the default ruler to the scale ruler then trace the parcel, when I "select the parcel" (object) and choose (select) "object properties" it gives me the square footage of the parcel (this is an estimate of course but it is better than nothing) and unless you have it surveyed sometimes it is the only one you can get.
Posted by: MUNCH

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 12/19/07 12:18 AM

#73

Make a spreadsheet in Excel with sums that will easily update for ever new year. I use this reference to quickly determine the age of the home.

Yr. Age
1971 -36
1970 -37
1969 -38
1968 -39
1967 -40
1966 -41
1965 -42
1964 -43
1963 -44
1962 -45
1961 -46
1960 -47
Posted by: Vintage

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 12/30/07 07:06 PM

#74 When you get home from a day of 10 property inspections, upload the photos immediately. Nothing worse than your daughter holding the camera and asking,"Daddy, what does FORMAT mean".
Posted by: OldSouth

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 12/31/07 01:17 PM

#75 My MLS only lists DOM, not date listed... Some bpo's want dom and others want the date listed. To convert DOM to an actual date I use a free program Easy Date Converter.

http://www.hermetic.ch/solo/edc.htm

just put in what todays date is, put in the dom and it will give you the listed date.
Posted by: TB in TX

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 12/31/07 01:32 PM

Uh-oh old south. I would be careful - days on market are not literal....There can be breaks in the history. Like I just saw one active with 94 days on market, but it was listed in 10/2006. Several periods temporarily off the market and pending.

Is there no history report on your MLS?
Posted by: OldSouth

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 12/31/07 01:37 PM

Yes... but on our goofy MLS it only lists Days On Market... no dates. I was just offering the program I use to convert days on market to an actual date...
Posted by: DougGreen

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/09/08 02:53 PM

#76
1. For my palm, a little freebee that calculates the number days between two dates (listing date --> today = DOM) Very handy . . . don't have link but it is called: "Time Apart"
2. Checklist, I use one always . . . when I don't I am sorry.
3. Organize directory tree BPO's --> Company --> Address then you can keep all documents, PDF's images related to the BPO there including the completed BPO for future reference.
4. Use QuickBooks and create an invoice at the time the order is received. No more surprise checks (if you are lucky) 5 months later
5. On check list, spell out photo requirements.
6. On check list, track mileage.
Posted by: IndyReal

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/23/08 07:06 PM

#77
Again with the keeping up with passwords and log ins....
I put everyting in my palm(cell/phone). I Enter each companies name in my phonebook, all contact info and, my phone lets me edit the lables so, I enter my usernames and passwords there too. I always have my phone with me if I work at home or any of the office computers, so I have all the log in info and pertinant info I need right there. Oh yes, and I can and do password protect my phone......Guess I will just have to remember that one though
Posted by: AdamKitt

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/29/08 04:37 PM

#78 Always take a picture of the Address if you can...

Even if it is not asked for, often the bank has an old appraisal that they will compare your BPO to. You will need proof if asked that you were at the right spot.

Adam Kitt
BPO Expert
Baldwin Real Estate Svcs.
SoCal
Posted by: AdamKitt

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/29/08 04:40 PM

#78 Great address verification site...

http://www.melissadata.com

Go to "Free Lookups" and select US Addresses. This site is amazingly great for many searches. 99% of the time I can get the address verified along with a map, county info, city info, demographic info and much much more.

You can also get a list of all of the zip codes in your county and copy/paste it into excel for easy access for the BPO Co's.

Adam Kitt
BPO Expert
Baldwin Real Estate Svcs.
SoCal
Posted by: azmi100

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/29/08 09:11 PM

#79

I have got so much help from you all, and always wanted to contribute. so I found this website to calculate DOM
http://www.calendarhome.com/date.shtml
cheers
Amir and Nadia
Posted by: Crash

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/07/08 07:16 PM

#80 Have you ever deleted files on your memory card accidentally?

Sure, me neither but IF you should:

http://www.download.com/SoftPerfect-File-Recovery/3000-2248_4-10578156.html?tag=lst-2

THis little utility can recover deleted files from sd cards



#81 Nice over head photos of neighborhoods

maps.live.com be sure to try birdseye view

Posted by: DeanaW

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/13/08 03:26 PM

#81 - After you have signed up with a company, if you don't get a username & password emailed to you within a few days CALL THEM! I have found out the hard way that I haven't gotten anything from companies because they will have some little glitch in their system that isn't allowing me to get orders.

One place had me so I could receive a maximum of 0 orders. The gal bumped it up to 8 & I started getting them left & right. Called them back a couple of weeks later and got it bumped up again to 20.

Another place I had registered with back in 6/05 & I didn't realize it was the same company so I reapplied in 1/08. Turns out the 1/08 application was declined because I already had an account on file. I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't called, turns out they needed some paperwork from me that I never received back in 05. I sent it over to them that day & was up & running getting orders immediately!

Take the time to follow up with companies!!!
Posted by: DJones

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/13/08 09:44 PM

When I take pictures of the properties, I always get a pic of the street sign to help sort them (amazing how taking pics of 8 houses in one day seems to make them all look the same). Also, after taking my pics of each subject, I press the cam down on my leg to create a "black" picture. When I get to my computer, I select "thumbnail view" in the folder and the black pictures make a nice divider between each home.
Posted by: DJones

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/13/08 09:46 PM

I bought a power inverter at Wal-Mart for about $40. It plugs into my cig. lighter, and creates 110V output. This is always in my truck, and I can always plug in my camera charger to avoid having dead batteries.
Posted by: patty

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/19/08 11:59 PM

We use a variety of different style lockboxes and lockbox codes. I try to ALWAYS write them down as soon as it is installed, but sometimes forget and struggle to remember the codes. A new idea I'm trying is to TAKE A PHOTO OF THE LOCKBOX as soon as I install it. Once I see the box, I usually know the code. We take photos of everything else, why not the lockbox? Also, don't know if this is already on the list, but of course you want to take photos of the dataplates on mobile/manufactured homes. It will save you time and effort later!
Posted by: zilver

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/21/08 07:59 AM

Great ideas. I also keep a list with me of gate codes for gated communities. Some agents use the same combo for each of their listing combo-boxes, so I keep a list of those, also.
Posted by: RichardDD

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/23/08 05:05 AM

LOCKBOX CODES---get used to some type of coded method to insert them into the agents comments on the MLS.

For example---if you work for ABC Realty Co and the lockbox code is 2609 then at the end of the agent comments put the following.

ABC2609

or

2609ABC

Of course you can choose to make it a bit more complex.
This is largely for those agents in your office who may be showing your properties or those who are taking your phone calls away from the office without all of the info handy.
Posted by: Delicious Cake

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/23/08 07:20 PM

We get fined $100 for any mention of a combo lockbox in the MLS. It has to be a Metrolist lockbox or we can't bring it up..

I soooooooo wish we could put the LB codes in the MLS!
Posted by: RichardDD

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/24/08 10:05 PM

Auburn-Have you thought about encoding the code like suggested? I don't like to tell other agents in the listing as there are too many in our area that I know let their clients just "visit" on their own---which when I find out I call their broker..
Posted by: coloradoreo

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/28/08 02:08 AM

CAUTION ABOUT LOCKBOXES...

A REO property I had listed last year went under contract in 10 days and then the fun began...Some agent gave out the combo and when we weren't looking someone out of Puerto Rico (or maybe here in Denver) started renting the property out asking for money wire transferred to PR, the minute the transfer hit PR it was wired out. The phone company investigated the phone number and found out it was bouncing through at least four services then lost. The Denver accompliace even held an open house to rent it. Four families were stung, and the lock box changed every three days.
Posted by: coloradoreo

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 02/28/08 03:01 AM

I think it's #83 or so:

After doing all those BPOs, you get that REO listing only to have your beautiful sign tagged by some kid's fat maker. After installing my signs I smooth on a thin layer of Vasoline to both sides, using my always available vinyl gloves. Serves two purposes, keeps my signs relatively clear from graffitti, and I usually find the Magic Marker nearby as it will no longer work. If the sign gets to dusty, or bug filled, I replace and bring home and wash with Dawn detergent. Remember to pick-up those dead markers ;\)
Posted by: Char K

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 02/28/08 07:59 AM

#84 http://www.bestplaces.net/ and cyberhomes.com are to sources for comps, neighborhood and demographic data that are useful for me
Posted by: coloradoreo

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 03/01/08 11:40 AM

#85 - Tagging BPO photos with contact information -

I use either PaintshopPro or Adobe. After I resize the photos, I look for an area that is either pretty uniform in color e.g. sky or asphalt, pick a color that will stand out against the background color. Using the text editor within the program I add the following:

Asset ID: 12345
Address: 1234 Main St.
View: Front (or back, street, address verification, damage, etc.)
BPO completed by: ColoradoReo
email: coloradoreo@comcast.net

I pick a font size that is not to distracting, neither too large nor too small. I also BOLD, ITALICIZE the text. Helps it stand out.

No company that I have done BPOs for has complained, but I don't think they really know what and why I'm doing this. I have gotten direct contact from lenders on other properties which I didn't even do a BPO on. And have gotten listings.

This act of self-promotion keeps your info in front of the lender who ordered the BPO. Remeber, if they say your name three times they will remember you.
Posted by: adamwealth

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 03/06/08 11:33 AM

Its always a good idea to keep a list of lockbox codes in you PDA for agents. Lots of them will use the same code for multiple properties.
Posted by: orlrealtor

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 03/28/08 10:42 AM

Thank you for whoever started this post. The information on this post has been great.

Dan
Posted by: Gulf Winds

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 03/28/08 04:43 PM

Thanks for the compliment Dan! I'm happy to see SO many great replies and tips!
Posted by: LizL

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 03/29/08 10:22 AM

SUGGESTIONS FOR HANDLING LOCKBOX CODES ON YOUR REO LISTINGS

#86

Keep an up-to-date list of all lockbox codes posted at your office for use by floor duty agents and the secretary. Make extra copies for yourself: the car, by every phone you use, taped on the computer, and I even have my husband keep a copy in his wallet in case I get a call when we are out.

When you have a few REO listings, it isn't much of a bother to have showing agents phone you directly for codes--but when you get a dozen or so, it gets to be a problem. I put the following in agent only comments on all my REOs: Call office for lockbox code.

#87

When the vendor allows you to select the lockbox code, use the last four digits of two or three different phone numbers and then rotate among them (office number, fax number, your cell number). That way if you get caught without your list, you only have to guess a couple of times.

#88

Pick any two numbers as the last two digits and then assign the first two numbers of the address as the first two digits.
Posted by: BP!

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 04/01/08 10:26 PM

#89 Finding information on a newer property not in tax record or MLS.

Try to find the subdivision name at least. This can lead you to some type of listing - which can get you a builder's name. With either builder's name or subdivision name, you can often find a website with the info online to include sq ft, acreage, # BR, BA. You may even find Active Comps this way.

BP!, REALTOR, 8 years doing BPOs. Now specializing in BPOs.
Posted by: realtorca

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 04/06/08 03:18 PM

#90 City Profile by zipcode

You can find out about Median Dwelling Age, % of Owner Vs Renter.

http://www.moving.com/find_a_place/cityprofile/results.asp?Zip=91504

Just change zipcode.
Posted by: beansie53

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 05/02/08 11:12 AM

#91 Picture Resizing

I am sure lots of you have a program to resize all of your pictures at once but Microsoft has a free program called "Picture Resizer" that resizes all of your pictures in one folder all at once. The cool thing is you dont need to open a new program to resize them. All you do is select all the pictures in a folder then right click on one of the photos and one of the menu options says "resize images". It is very quick and easy. Here is the link to the program:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx

Look on the right hand side, there is a list of programs and the one for the picture program is called "image resizer".
Posted by: Wealth Realty

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 05/06/08 09:58 PM

#92

reprogram your mouse buttons...!!!!

i just did this and love it.

i have a logitech mx3200...

i had to install the driver but then i reprogramed the buttons that originally were back and foward, to now be copy and paste...

pretty sweet if you ask me !
Posted by: Lin [*^_^*]

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 05/07/08 03:36 PM

#93 Use VB scripts to automatically refresh the website so all you need is just watch the screens for those companies that you need to monitor their webs to get orders. Now you can sit back & relax!!

I have just the program that does what's needed in the interval that the user can specify like 23,60,85 seconds,etc.
Posted by: NCREOATTORNEY

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 05/16/08 10:32 PM

#94 Be Careful who you bash!!!! Some of us are asset managers, some of us are vendor scouts, some of us assign out listings, oh yeah--- a lot of the above look to the REO attorneys to help refer them listing agents.....
Posted by: Linsey

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 05/30/08 12:48 PM

[quote=SoCal Agent]#49
Can't legally carry "heat" here in Ca so I've always got my pepper spray. Attached to my keys so its in my hands at all times. If I have an interior BPO and am going in alone, I make sure I'm on the phone with someone who knows where I am and what I'm doing there such as my husband or the listing agent. The agents are always happy to assist me as they are familiar with the property & circumstances. A bluetooth makes talking and snapping photos at the same time much easier =) [/quote]

As 'heat' isn't entirely legal in many areas, I suggest as much self defense training as possible. A few years ago I took several classes in knife offense and gun defense and it was the best fifty bucks I've ever spent. Martial arts classes often incorporate daily defense training as well. Carry that maglite and be ready to use it. I just read the post about the taser/flashlight at target and I'm going to get one. The pepper spray is only good if you have it out and are ready to spray. It's no use to you if it's buttoned up on your keychain, ("Excuse me, could you please stop robbing/beating/raping me kind stranger? I'd like to get out my defense mechanism first." This doesn't typically fly! :-)).

However, I wouldn't recommend being on the telephone while entering a sketchy area. It's always a good idea to have a home base phone call before and after your visits, (If I don't call you back in fifteen minutes I'm at XXX address, please call the police). If you are on the phone in a dangerous opportunity, your senses are dulled by the telephone distraction and you may miss a warning sign. Speaking of police, it doesn't hurt to call the non-emergency line to tell them what you are doing and see if they can't send a squad car to the area to 'drive by' while you are there. As a single woman in this industry, I've found that the police are more than happy to establish a preventative presence if they aren't already occupied. Obviously I wouldn't have them park outside the property with sirens and lights flashing, but a couple circles around the block are more than sufficient.

Just joined today. Thank you to everyone contributing, I know this forum is and will be a valuable resource to me!
Posted by: Rob Robertson

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/05/08 11:17 PM

Here's a low tech way to resize your pictures. Simply email them to yourself out of MS Outlook and if you label them before you email them, it's a simple and quick entry with out having to look at them as thumbnails.
Posted by: reochica

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 06/06/08 01:15 AM

Here are helpful techy stuff we've found.

I think www.gpsvisualizer.com/calculators is really great. Our MLS features google maps when you click on the address you can punch in "to here" and "from here," but it only gives you street distance. GPSvisualizer gives you straight line distance.

Roboforms is a must have for remembering passwords.

PDF995 free PDF converter-printer, no need to buy expensive Adobe. We couldn't live without it. You can download it for free.

Microsoft Powertoys Image Resizer
This PowerToy enables you to resize one or many image files at one time with a right-click.
Posted by: reodriven

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 06/18/08 02:45 AM

Since everyone is so helpful on here - here is a good tip - don't post the CFK notices the asset managers send you - We have more success with just a big lettered sign saying that the occupant no longer owns the property and we would like to help get them cash for keys. Most people see a legal looking document and throw it away. If it is bold and to the point they usually call back.

Also going along with the lock box combo - if you can set your own I use four of the digits of the asset or loan number - easy to remember when you deal with the properties a great deal in the initial listing.

My question to everyone is I would like other peoples opinions on how they figure land value and adjustments. Thisis always such a gray area - and my agents that work with me keep asking me to explain- but I am a doer not a teacher. Any insights on how to teach this skill without pulling my hair out trying to make sure they understand.
Posted by: nomba2

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 06/20/08 08:27 PM

Google's Picasa is a good photo editor, it is really excellent for brightening up dark photos, use the "Fill Light" feature for that: picasa.google.com

If your camera does not have a feature to add timestamps like mine, try TimeToPhoto, it will stamp single photos or batches of photos using their file data.
Posted by: OH agent

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 06/25/08 11:29 AM

#95
After I upload those 15+ photos, I rename each one to identify it, which helps when uploading to order forms also-

1314 Oak Street:

ofr (Oak front)
oint1, oint2 (Oak interior 1, 2..)
oadd (Oak address)
Posted by: TopRealtor

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 07/06/08 05:58 PM

#96
I created a work sheet, which I carry in my car so I can keep tract of all the for sale by owner, for rent signs, that I see and note that in my bpo.


#97
When doing address verification I take a picture of the address first when I get the rest of my pictures I take another picture of the address and then I will snap a picture of a piece of paper or something on my seat of my car to remind me that I am viewing another property.
Posted by: Adam's Dad

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 07/07/08 12:48 AM

I store my passwords in a text file (sync'd to my Palm TX) except that I camouflage the actual user names and passwords. For example, if your user name is markJones71, (your first name, last name and year you were born) I list it as johnSmith99 in the text file (lower and upper case letters and numbers in the correct place; you need to remember that the 99 represents your birth year). If the password is autumnROSe you could use summerLILy. These pseudo-user name and -passwords are really just clues to the correct information. If your computer/Palm/Treo/Blackberry is lost, your password information is still somewhat protected. Although this is not a foolproof system and could probably be "hacked" by someone with some skills, it's an easy way to handle a large number of user names and passwords.
Posted by: bpoker

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 07/16/08 04:49 PM

#6 Fax Program

Best quality and affordable service to receive fax via email is http://www.packetel.com

Plans

Subscription Cost Bonus Month(s)
============= ================= ===============
3 month plan 3 x $3.95 = $11.85 N/A
6 month plan 6 x $3.95 = $23.70 N/A
12 month plan 12 x $3.95 = $47.40 1
24 month plan 24 x $3.95 = $94.80 2
Posted by: MArealtor

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 08/08/08 11:09 PM

Someone on this thread suggested using a dual-monitor setup for doing BPOs.......I should have listened months ago. It cuts my time to completion in half. Buy a second monitor!
Posted by: Gulf Winds

Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 08/10/08 01:11 PM

This is part II of the ever popular Original Tips & Tricks Tread .

As before:

This thread can be easily located or referred to via a simple search using the keywords.. Tips ~or~ Tricks

You must use acending numbers for each tip/trick and place the # sign in front of it. Example.. #1, #2, #3, #4... It will be interesting to see how high the number will go! Part I reached over 100!!!


A few requirements:

- this is only for posting tips and tricks, not questions!!

- don't recycle/post old tips and tricks from Vol I! Let's keep this fresh!!!

- oh yeah, don't post questions!!!


Enjoy!


If you have a useful tip to share, post it here. PLEASE.. keep his thread free of questions, only post tips & thank yous to contributors!

Posted by: Gulf Winds

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - 08/10/08 01:15 PM

Please continue in Volume II
Posted by: RecoveringREAgnt

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 08/13/08 01:32 PM

#1

I just got this new gadget for my business, but I was thinking to use it in my BPO side of it as well. Check the video and if you like it, give it a try.

http://www.previsite.com/instructional.htm
Posted by: lisa p

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 08/23/08 05:08 PM

#2 For lot size, to convert from sqftg to acres or acres to sqftg, use

http://www.metric-conversions.org/area/acres-conversion.htm

If you are given the lot dimensions, use

http://www.ez-calculators.com/land_acre_conversion_calculator.htm

it would be impossible for me to be able to keep the bpo form uniform with sqftgs or acres if it wasn't for these sites!

Posted by: smiling jack

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 08/28/08 10:43 AM

It put this in a different thread, but thought it needs to be here.
Helpfull Hint to those who don't already do it. I put a new folder in my inbox for each property and move each email to it. Saves a lot of filing and printing.
Posted by: FL_Agent

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 08/28/08 12:10 PM

#4

To help with a repair estimate:

http://fixfliprent.com/repairs/index.php
Posted by: SuzeeQzee

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 09/08/08 12:37 PM

I had gotten a new computer this year and unbeknownst to me, it only had a Microsoft Word trial and my trial had expired the end of August. One of my monthly reports was due today and I had to use Word to complete it. I didn't want to spend $150 for a program I rarely use, so I found a Word Clone for $11.49. Its wonderful, I am in love with it. It does the same thing as MSWord only the cost is very small. I don't know if I can post the link here. Someone please let me know if I can, and I will post it. You can download the software and use it immediatey.
Posted by: MUNCH

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 09/10/08 07:25 PM

Openoffice.org are good MS alternatives as well.
Posted by: Ryan

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 09/10/08 09:54 PM

Here's a great FREE program to automatically resize your images prior to upload:

http://bluefive.pair.com/pixresizer.htm

Just point to the source directory, then select an output directory. It takes seconds to resize all of the pics and will save you a lot of time when uploading your photos.
Posted by: PhoenixREAgent

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 09/13/08 10:27 PM

One of the things I find takes FOREVER in those BPO forms where you have to upload one picture at a time (even more so if you have a very high quality digital camera) is uploading the pics on my BPO. I found a program that will downsize them however you need (by percent, exact size, etc.)

Also works GREAT for your REO forms if it's an AM that just uses the word doc with Photo Addendum and you need your photos in an exact size, as you can set the exact size you want the photo.

This program lets you resize entire folders of photos and place them into whatever folder you want. And it's FREE. Hope this helps someone else. :)

http://www.fotosizer.com/
Posted by: SanDiegoREOAgent

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 09/15/08 02:41 PM

For those of you using 23"+ montiros, checkout Acer Gridvista. It makes running splitscreen a breeze! You can split your monitor up into four separate screens. This saves a ton of time when doing BPOs.

http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/Acer-Gridvista.shtml
Posted by: jdharpe

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 10/21/08 09:24 PM

free program for turning anything into a pdf, .doc, .xls, .jpg, anything, It installs itself as a printer on your pc, and anything you can print can be turned to .pdf. great for those bpos that you fill out in word, send them in .pdf so they can't be changed. And Everyone can open pdfs.

www.cutepdf.com
Posted by: The Realty Block

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 10/27/08 04:04 PM

For those of you who what to try dual monitors without buying one try Maxivista.com. Instead of purchasing an additional monitor, you can connect a laptop to use as an additional display with your desktop monitor. Works great and saves me a lot of time. A free trial is available a Maxivista.com
Posted by: Crash

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 11/06/08 04:56 PM

Solicitations from R.com or web optimizers??? Get taken off the call list by trying this little gem

"I am leaving the business and placing my license in escrow as of the 1st of the month....i am out of business...sniffle" If they persist i explain that " you don't understand....I am unemployed...how am i going to pay my mortgage, how am i going to pay for groceries....how am i going to pay for this 18 month old lexus/mercedes/porsche i leased (they will probably be repo'ing in in a few weeks anyway)....How am i going to pay my childs special education teaching assistant?

Just continue until it registers," my cards are cut off because they are delinquent.....my 90 foot yacht payment is late and being hidden in a little cove just outside us waters..."

Works like a charm!! And it can be fun, especially to kill time between the massive amount of work you are doing... Mr Agent, are you taking pictures? Yes the of the private school my 5 year old was going to attend....
Posted by: KW Richmond

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 11/15/08 04:37 PM

You can also use www.doc2pdf.net to transfer from a word document to a pdf file.
Posted by: socon

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 11/29/08 08:30 AM

#5 If you don't want to spend big $ on software and you have a student in your family, most companies give huge discounts to students. I bought Adobe Professional while my daughter was in college and only paid $172 with her student ID.
Posted by: BuckeyeMatt

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 12/17/08 09:43 PM

For those suckers out there paying for expensive data plans on their pda's to receive notification emails.

I put key words rules in my outlook that will trigger it to send my cell a text message anytime I receive an email with those key words (say stuff like "BPO", "Valuation"). The really weird thing is the rules are actually faster than my exchange server and I generally get the text message and then am sitting in front of the computer when the actually email solicitation comes through so I'm ready to hit "accept". This is great for when your walking around the office gabbing or at your house watching Tv or something and don't want to miss a BPO.

Don't forget to turn your cell phone's txt alert volume on high so you know when it goes off to high tail it to your email box!
Posted by: BuckeyeMatt

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 12/17/08 10:14 PM

Got another one.

Don't waste your time dumbing down your digital photos with software. It takes too long and it usually messes with the clarity of the photos. Instead get out the manual for your camera and you should be able to change the settings down to 640x480 or something comparable. If you don't have that setting on your camera, toss it in the trash and go get yourself a Canon Powershot. You can pick up a 8mb with 3x optical zoom for like 150 bucks and you'll never have to dumb down your photos again! Your uploading time will be a gazillion times faster than when you were trying to upload those 8 megabyte photos.
Posted by: colemacj

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 12/22/08 08:11 PM

I use the following service to get rid of vehicles at abandoned properties.

www.junkmycar.com

they usually get it done in a day.
Posted by: c21secretagent

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 12/23/08 01:46 AM

Ah, but can your text message allow you to accept broadcast bpo orders?

I struggled with the same thing you are suggesting, and found I lost more orders than I saved not using a data plan. The $30/mo I spend on a data plan I more than make up for with one bpo. Plus having blackberry/pda is pretty much essential for anyone serious about doing real estate these days. I'm all about saving money, but when it comes down to it, not having this a smartphone w/ email access would cause me to loose more money than I'd ever save.
Posted by: orlrealtor

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 01/12/09 09:23 AM

if you need information on a condo or HOA go to www.condocerts.com

I just found it and it works great.
Posted by: WisdomRealtors

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 01/18/09 09:07 PM

#6 (even though there were more in between, that's the last number)
use google toolbar to check spelling when filling a form online.

#7 use google maps to plan a route and measure distance -> after getting the "from" and the "to" you have a link "add destination" this allows you to add over 20 addresses in the route
Posted by: Alabama

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 01/24/09 08:08 AM

Review your completed orders if they are available online. Reading the QC comments can help you determine how the company rated your work. Also it shows you the format that the company uses, and you can determine if your agent info is transmitted with the order.
Posted by: TB in TX

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 01/27/09 09:59 PM

Okay, I haven't signed up but am going to right now - www.dashfly.com

It plans your routes using google maps, optimizes the route, creates an IRS compliant record and report of your mileage. It also has a feature to show recent gas prices along your route.

I got an email with a discount code. I don't think I should post it here, but I bet if you call them you can get 50% off...

I don't use my GPS, but have been using google maps on my laptop, so this just takes it a step further (because I really stink at tracking my mileage, and it is one of the top things that gets us audited!)...

**Oh, and you can make notes for each destination, so you have a record of why you went to a location (appt, bpo, closing, whatever) for you favorite friendly auditor smile
Posted by: Doin' bpose

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 02/15/09 09:04 PM

I have a stock alibi for the times when I am confronted taking pics. Still in the awkward position of zooming in on the address and facing a potential angry out of work person about to lose his home I say, "I with the boat trader magazine. I am looking for the 24 foot stingrayn for sale by owner. Or Auto trader looking for the 92 Deville." Whatever fits--it gives an excuse for the camera and buys enough time to click and get out.

Also automatic windows are recommended. Leaning over across my wide F150 to manully crank my window down to get a good shot, well...not so much.
Posted by: REOmike

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 03/03/09 07:53 PM

#8 I buy Master combo locks for pool gates in bulk with a common combo. No key to lose and all contractors know the code.

#9 I cut down on calls from brokers asking "is there a supra keysafe" by adding a stock photo of a front door in the MLS with a supra on it. I even superimposed the words "Supra on front door" over the photo.
Posted by: HogCallBroker

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 03/12/09 12:28 AM

#10 I started getting SOOOO many voicemails that said "what's the combo for 123 main st, etc", I added a line in our MLS comments that says email/text me for combo. I give my blackberry email address so agents know i can respond fast.

Also, my voicemail now says something like, "...sorry i missed your call, feel free to email/text your message or i'll call you back..."
Posted by: cantrabla

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 05/07/09 12:04 PM

I have put together a list of helpful recommended sites.
Real Estate Websites



Repair Website http://fixfliprent.com/repairs/index.php

Calculate land Size http://www.ez-calculators.com/land_acre_conversion_calculator.htm


This site is a big help to me, I can upload all the photos at one time!

Resizing Pictures http://bluefive.pair.com/pixresizer.htm


Resizing Pictures http://www.fotosizer.com


Split Screen http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/Acer-Gridvista.shtml


I use this product everyday. It cuts down on printing and scanning. Best part it is free!

Convert to PDF http://www.cutepdf.com


Get Rid of a Car http://www.junkmycar.com/


Condo or HOA Information https://www.condocerts.com/home.html

Track Driving Route http://my.dashfly.com/


BPO Foreclosure http://www.allaboutbpos.com/


Store Passwords http://www.roboform.com/


Converts Documents www.OpenOffice.org


Remote Log in to Computer www.Logmein.com


Background Information http://www.peopledata.com/


Background Information http://www.veromi.net/processor.asp


Property Comps http://www.zillow.com/


Days Converter http://www.hermetic.ch/solo/edc.htm



Maggie McFarland
http://www.thehomesourceonline.com
Posted by: PhoenixReo

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 05/11/09 06:31 PM

Time saver tip. I have learned to pick locks so I can access the property on my first visit. After I confirm that the property is vacant I can access the interior, make my inspection and take pics. I stress making sure the property is vacant before entering. You don't want to bust in on a family having their Thanksgiving turkey. I hang a combo lock box and call the locksmith to re-key. I let him know the kwick-set code, he re-keys and leaves two keys in the lock box. This saves me a lot of time waiting for the lock-smith to show up or trying to coordinate our schedules or making a second trip to the property after determing vacancy. You can go to lockpicks.com, order a pick set and a book telling you how to do it.
Posted by: bmoreiko

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 05/13/09 04:39 PM

For those who arent treo friendly, try keeping your logins and passwords in an address book alphabetically.

Make it a habit to always make a note of it and be sure to get a book that you can add pages to later, you'll need to.
Posted by: ValuationGal

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 05/19/09 11:45 AM

SET OF DEFINITIONS OF PROPERTY CONDITION RATINGS (POOR, FAIR, AVERAGE, GOOD, EXCELLENT)

POOR: Property has obvious signs of neglect including boarded/broken windows, peeling/missing siding, roof at the end of its useful life, considerable interior damage and/or extensive water damage/mold. These properties are generally vacant and typically uninhabitable.


FAIR: Subject will appear occupied, but ignored. Beginning stages of neglect, such as older windows and roof yet still functional. Exterior may need to be painted, but it is primarily intact.


AVERAGE: No apparent recent updates and no signs of significant neglect either. The exterior features of the property appear generally maintained.


GOOD: There are recent improvements observed, such as newer siding, windows or roof. Subject is typically well-maintained and is usually a younger home. Thus the features are newer, yet no obvious signs of deferred maintenance.


EXCELLENT: All major features appear to be recently replaced or the subject property is less than 5 years old and very well-maintained. Visually it should show as having been remodeled in a professional workmanship-like manner.
Posted by: Doin' bpose

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 06/07/09 07:50 PM

Originally Posted By: smiling jack
It put this in a different thread, but thought it needs to be here.
Helpfull Hint to those who don't already do it. I put a new folder in my inbox for each property and move each email to it. Saves a lot of filing and printing.


Along these same lines I just made folders for each REO properties on my desktop. Inside I have listing packet, pdf of tax recs, pdf of bpo listings and solds, all addenda, list price reduxes, you get the idea. Just building on a theme. If desktop gets too cluttered, put all folders in one master folder called REO listings.
Posted by: Doin' bpose

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 06/15/09 09:19 PM

I just came up with a new one for occupancy checks when you just can't tell for sure if anyone lives there. Leave a 'tell marker' on the door, like your card or a note taped to the window next to the door. When you return days later you will learn that it has been removed or that it remains. Either is a great clue to share with your AM. It makes O-check trips more meainingful.
Posted by: Grampa

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 06/30/09 12:42 PM

Most digital cameras allow you to reduce the resolution to the point that you do not have to resize the photos even for ResNet.
The photos are of good enough quality for MLS and it save the time of resizing. You only need 8 meg resolution for high quality magazine work of if you want to blow it up to poster size or larger. 0.2 meg resolution is fine for BPO's and MLS and most cameras can be set to it. It also allows more photos on a smaller memory chip.
Posted by: c21secretagent

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 07/07/09 11:10 PM

I have made a folder in my pics for BPO and then list each by address when downloading to keep them off the desktop and separated from listings, periodically dumping old ones to free up space. I also lowered the resolution and photo size on my digi cam as LSI changed their photo size requirements. The best thing I ever did was buy a big snazzy widescreen monitor and wireless mouse and keyboard. Made an old inefficient comp good as new and turned me into a superhuman BPO machine!
Posted by: neudot

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 07/17/09 05:27 PM

I'm not sure what you are referring to by "all this crap," but if you are referring to a way to organize your files on your computer, I find it essential. I have one folder for each company, subfolders for each address, all docs and photos for that order in that file. Not only can I find everything together while I am doing the order, but I can refer back to it again in the future if, say, I get another order on the same address.

From reading the Tips & Tricks suggestions, I have incorporated GPS Visualizer, an image resizer, and a calendar calculator for days on market. I also have set up excel files for bpo tracking. It's all good, in my opinion.
Posted by: SDorm123

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 07/20/09 08:46 PM

I also taught myself how to pick locks, and rekey locks. But probably the most useful and easiest item I have is a set of bump keys. They are fairly easy to use, the best ones i found were at www.probumpkeys.com We do PP and they always come in handy and I can skip the locksmith altogether. :D
Plus I don't have to drill many locks.
Posted by: Johnny B

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 07/22/09 01:21 PM

I've tried variations from 1 to 6 monitors on my desk.

My favorite is 3 monitors. I'm not a graphics enthusiast but I need 3 screens so I bought 2 cheap PCI Express Graphics cards and threw them in my box.

My workflow is way up!

Also use this filing system:

BPO, Company, City, Street, St Number - Date

I find I can remember the city and street but can't remember the street number. This works well for finding things.

My favorite calendar sites:
http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/ - for a quick calendar
http://www.timeanddate.com/date/dateadd.html - for adding or subtracting dates
http://visual.merriam-webster.com/house.php - visual dictionary

https://www.yousendit.com/?home=true - for sending huge files

http://www.geocode.com/ - to locate addresses that aren't mapped

http://www2.dre.ca.gov/PublicASP/pplinfo.asp - keep link handy for looking up agents

bizmore.com - Resource for Answers and Advice

Posted by: ben_blonder

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 10/19/09 04:12 PM

Definitely the most important "trick" for me which allowed me to start getting tons of BPOs was to assign an alert sound on my Blackberry for emails, and vibrate for when that is necessary. If you don't get to those blast solicitations within a minute at most, they are gone. Most of the BPO companies do not allow you to change your password and some of the passwords they assign as so stupid! So you have to keep your passwords with you at all times as well. There is a thing called Password Keeper on the Blackberry which works just fine.
Posted by: Blaise_C

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 11/24/09 05:02 PM

A nifty way to get BPO's without having to set your Blackberry to alert you is to use the Auto Accepter software that BPO Automation provides. Basically what it does is takes your login info and logs in over and over again, checking for new orders, which it then accepts for you.
Posted by: Doin' bpose

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 11/24/09 08:12 PM

This is a reiteration of a topic covered earlier, but I recently have gone to copy and paste data entry. It saves time and lowers supply costs. It does take getting used to if you are used to having paper to work with, but once I got used to it, I can't see why I did it the other way.
Posted by: PalmBeach BPO

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 11/30/09 05:05 AM

here in south florida, many realtors do not enter their listings with the right mls area # or even worse spell the subdivision name wrong. I now do a general search under the city, always finding many more comps. Don't assume that there are few to no comps where you are searching.
Posted by: smiling jack

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 12/10/09 08:45 AM

In Atlanta with FMLS; I use a map search, which I can set the radius to; it will pick up the misspelt and misscategorized; usually I get 1 or 2 I would not have had otherwise.
Posted by: Doin' bpose

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 01/11/10 09:18 PM

If you do work for FARVV then try this to save some time on every order you do....Skip city and state. Go straight from address to Zip and you auto calc will kick in. Oh good.
Posted by: Nifunifa

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 01/20/10 11:08 PM

For those setting up utilities, I have an master account with my electric company, it is linked to my home account in that way I don't have to leave a deposit on each property (which is 2 months of the average monthly bill).... ask you electric company if you will qualify for that option. This had worked for water in a few cities where I already had a past account and they waived my deposit. I hope this info helps someone.
And for the photo resizing, some cameras needs to be set at VGA format which set the photo for email and no need of resizing smile
Posted by: Sparrow

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 03/04/10 02:18 AM

Taking pictures when it is really storming can help lessen the amount of people around that might be wondering why your taking pictures as quickly as possible and getting the heck out of there!

Also I try to take the smaller SUV to take pics, because it is smaller and quieter than my diesel truck. Makes things less obvious. Plus I seem to have a knack of getting bpos in dead end lanes with not a lot of space to turn around.
Posted by: Jeff Adams

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 04/12/10 09:58 PM

I've gone to using my cell phone for BPO pictures. It's really lessened the "freak out" factor. When I was using a regular camera, people would approach me and ask what I was doing. Most of the time they weren't to excited to see me. Now, I jump out on a drive by BPO and pretend to fiddle around with my phone. In a minute or two, I have the 3 pictures I need and I'm driving away. On my computer, I run the pictures through an editing program to fix lighting, crop and resize. I'm even doing interiors with it now.
Posted by: MassBPOer

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 05/06/10 02:17 PM

Before going to an Interior, google the address, if there were any incidents there that got reported it will usually show up on the local newspaper website.
Posted by: CALIF DREAMING

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 05/06/10 04:26 PM

I leave the cell phone in the car so it does not ring while I am taking pics. Don't slam the car door or activate the alarm to take quick exteriors. Those two actions are sure to bring attention to yourself. I take street photos from a block or two away, then zoom in my camera before approaching the property to take the address closeup. Zoom back out for quick front and two side shots.
Posted by: Shannon

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 06/11/10 08:06 PM

For lockbox combos: I like to use the number of the address or the last 4 numbers of the address.

Missing photos: I keep all my pic's. Occasionally I have forgotten to get the street photo. I can go back through my photos and many times I have some from same street on an earlier bpo


Posted by: Don Price (Pine)

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 06/11/10 08:17 PM

That might be a good thing in some areas - maybe not so much in an area not composed of Monks, Knights, Clergy or other people of honor.

As a matter of fact - I do my darnedest not to need to get out of the car, and then I know our to get out of the neighborhood quickly in the direction the car is already going.
Posted by: Tim Ventura

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/10/10 12:57 AM

My big tip is GET REGISTERED with as many BPO Companies as possible, but do your research to ensure that you're not signing up with companies that have a horrible reputation.

There's a good, free, comprehensive list (220+ companies) online at http://www.bpo-companies.com with links to each company to help registration.

Do not pay money or buy anybody's list of "400+ BPO Companies", because this is the sort of thing that should be free & open to all professionals (just feeling some ire after seeing 20 or 30 buy a list sites in Google).

Various agents say various things, but generally speaking you want to try & touch base with the regional asset manager at your BPO Company, so that they know you're in the market, willing to accept orders, and a dependable person. Just don't drive them nuts with phone calls.

Also, keep in mind that a "high volume" company depends on what region you're in: if you live in Los Angeles, you're going to see a LOT more LPS orders than rural Ohio - so don't freak out if you sign up with LPS and don't instantly see a bunch of work.

Also, the chief of IT at Quandis (manages IT assets for Old Republic, Equity Pointe, and RealServ) told me that they use a sophisticated program that searches for "cookie cutter comments", so avoid using them if possible (most agents re-use marketability comments, but try to do so thoughtfully and be sure they apply if you decide to do this).
Posted by: Temeculaproperty

Re: Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 10/29/10 06:15 PM

i also used roboform and loved it. it also is very reasonable.
Posted by: Jen H

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 11/18/10 12:55 AM

I'd love to know your standard blurb for "this is not an inspection..." Jen
Posted by: Eden Sir

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 11/21/10 10:22 PM

#16 - Keep your original BPO's on file for reference when you do a follow up BPO so you don't contradict yourself or put your foot in your mouth.
Posted by: Eden Sir

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 11/21/10 10:29 PM

Some useful linkes.

Image resizer that can be done with a simple right click.
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx

Florida Condo Docs online
http://www.flcondodocs.com

BPOs online generated and stored
http://www.bpoforms.com

Fannie Mae REO forms and Bpos
http://www.amnforms.com

Bpo helpful guidelines
http://www.nabpop.com

In a pinch and don't have a front view photo. Google street view.
http://maps.google.com/help/maps/streetview/

Posted by: smg

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 11/21/10 10:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Jen H
I'd love to know your standard blurb for "this is not an inspection..." Jen


HOw is this?

“Notwithstanding any preprinted verbiage to the contrary, this is a broker price opinion of the subject
property specified on this report. This is not an appraisal of the market value of the property. If an
appraisal is desired, the services of a licensed or certified appraiser must be obtained.”
Posted by: Analog Man

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 11/26/10 04:14 PM

I was out taking pics today and I got a small part of my car mirror in the photo. (I hate it when that happens.)

I found a real neat web site that lets you edit your pics for free without having to download any software. It really works well, and I wanted to share.

http://www.lunapic.com
Posted by: stevenl

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 12/21/10 08:47 AM

Wow, this is one the best threads that I have read in this forum. There's so much to learn. I'm a part-time, newbie investor - just got started this year. Thanks folks.
Posted by: Jeff Adams

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 01/09/11 03:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Eden Sir
Some useful linkes.


In a pinch and don't have a front view photo. Google street view.
http://maps.google.com/help/maps/streetview/



I have to confess, I've busted out the photo editor and "cleaned up" a Google photo for those comps where the listing agent decided he/she would only use interior pics. It's enough work to go out and take photos of subject, but to make a second trip to take pictures of comps in MLS?

Hiding the Google marker balloon is no fun....
Posted by: CentralFLbeepo

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/27/11 01:41 PM

Use an excel spread sheet to keep track of your work orders, payments etc. With one single click I can see what the next checks are going to be like. Kinda makes me feel good to see the numbers add up!
Posted by: PhxBlue

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 01/28/11 01:02 PM

I found a new website for finding birds / crows distance. I found it when the last site I was using was down. My favorite part of this straight line calculator is it always does the 2 past the decimal. The last site I was using would use feet if it was under 1000 feet.

http://www.wayop.com/Crows%20Distance%20Calculator.htm

Hope this helps some others out.

Rob
Posted by: PhxBlue

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 01/28/11 02:50 PM

It does not look like it worked as a link. Here is a try again.

http://www.wayop.com/Crows%20Distance%20Calculator.htm

Rob
Posted by: NorcalREO

Re: Pay it Forward... BPO/REO Tips & Tricks - Vol II - 02/20/11 09:21 AM

[quote=Doin' bpose]I just came up with a new one for occupancy checks when you just can't tell for sure if anyone lives there. Leave a 'tell marker' on the door, like your card or a note taped to the window next to the door. When you return days later you will learn that it has been removed or that it remains. Either is a great clue to share with your AM. It makes O-check trips more meainingful. [/quote]

I have monitored a number of properties and there have been times where the occupant(s) continue to enter and exit the structure without touching their NOD, NTS, business cards, etc. So, if this is the case there are a few tricks I utilize:

1) Check the meter. If they have power on, that meter will indicate that.

2) Place a piece of scotch tape at the base of the front door so that it is positioned on the door AND the door frame. If that
door opens up, the tape gets repositioned. Plus scotch tape is practically invisible and the it is likely that the occupant wont see it.

3) The best tip I can give is TALK TO THE NEIGHBORS! They know everything there is to know. They'll tell you when they moved out,
what moving company, etc. Plus, in some instances, you are setting up a pair of eyes for yourself. Make sure to give them your card and
get their number too.

4) Check the mailbox... it is policy that once USPS learns of a vacant property, they tape a bright colored card to the interior
of the box that says VACANT. If there is mail in it, don't mess with it until you take possession.

5) Go check out the property at night in the dark. Occupants have a tendancy to use light.

6) If all else fails, call PG&E (in California at least)or your water dept... They won't give you contact info or billing names, but they will tell you whether or not service is on and, to determine tenant vs. owner, give them the name of the homeowner and PG&E will confirm whether or not that is the name on the account. They will only say yes or no... that's it.
Posted by: mareo

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/25/11 02:12 PM

Quick question for fellow members. How do y'all find contractors online to get multiple bids on ur reo? Im just curious what method you used.

I've com across a few

servicemagic.com
ecoverybid.com
angielist.com

What are u guys using?
Posted by: Doin' bpose

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 03/08/11 08:57 PM

On my desktop I have a folder for each listing. Today I just came up with the idea of starting a 'running' notepad file for each property. Into this file I copy and paste each email relating to the property. I might switch over to a word doc, but for now I have established a communication log, which already exists in my email files, but is scattered. This will be a good addition I believe.
Posted by: ReferralAgents

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 04/15/11 03:29 PM

bing.com/maps aerials are amazing...
Posted by: VABroker

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 05/02/11 07:25 PM

This would be very good for just about any type of transaction for showing a conversation log. I have been shrinking my emails (to save ink) and printing them, one above the other, to save paper. (This is on just the important emails). But copying and pasting into a Word document, I wonder if a court or an arbitration or real estate board would consider them as actual emails because you can actually change the words on a Word Doc. Although they may consider my way of saving/printing emails questionable also. I had one transaction that I saved the emails as pdf files and put them on a SansDisk. I may go back to that. We're in a world that wants to sue any and every one if they're not happy about something (even if it's they're own fault). Maybe I could purchase the Disks in bulk for a cheap price.
Originally Posted By: Doin' bpose
On my desktop I have a folder for each listing. Today I just came up with the idea of starting a 'running' notepad file for each property. Into this file I copy and paste each email relating to the property. I might switch over to a word doc, but for now I have established a communication log, which already exists in my email files, but is scattered. This will be a good addition I believe.
Posted by: Tim Ventura

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 08/09/11 11:14 PM

I can share some software tips - I worked with lots of agents for two years at the BPO Automation Group, and recently left to startup a new company.

Some stuff that comes to mind:

ROBOFORMS: An REO industry standard, but it slows your web-browser down for most people, and adds clutter to your screen. The solution?

For many agents, the solution is a second web-browser: especially if you have several toolbars on IE. Try downloading Mozilla Firefox. It can be helpful to have two web-browsers anyways: for instance, you can be logged into eMortgage Logic with two separate accounts, because they don't share cookies :o)

SPEED UP YOUR BROWSER! In Internet Explorer, goto Tools -> Manage Add Ons, and then disable the junk (I disabled everything; it still works fine). You can renable it later if need be.

Disabling add-ons doesn't remove them, but DOES make your browser faster. Most agents are shocked at the difference.

UNINSTALL Google Toolbar and/or Yahoo Toolbar unless you really use them.

GET REGISTERED! I'm going to mention www.bpo-companies.com as a solid list of links to vendors you can register with. It's sponsored by my old company, but worth checking out nonetheless.

Just today on REOPro, somebody put up a "get registered" offer for sale at $300 to $700 for them to do it for you. Interesting, but everybody I know does it themselves. That should be your first step in this area - get registered, get to know your asset managers at the various providers.

Also, if you're feeling lost with tons of orders, you can login to my new project http://www.team-workflow.com (user: leader, pass: password) and see if it might help. Maybe not - it's a tracking tool, but maybe Excel does the trick for you as well (90% of agents use Excel).
Posted by: 75Corvette

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 09/09/11 05:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Tim Ventura


For many agents, the solution is a second web-browser: especially if you have several toolbars on IE. Try downloading Mozilla Firefox. It can be helpful to have two web-browsers anyways: for instance, you can be logged into eMortgage Logic with two separate accounts, because they don't share cookies :o)



I love Firefox, it's my regular browser, but I am amazed at how many BPO sites are not compatible with it.
Posted by: Realnet Tampa

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 09/26/11 12:11 PM

#2 Going crazy trying to remember all of your login user name/passwords?

Get RoboForm! http://www.roboform.com/ It stores all of them for you! I bought the RoboForm2Go version and it's on a USB key. All you have to do is click on Logins and select the web site. It automatically goes to the web site (as it stores the web site address as a link) and enters your user name & password! I like the portability of the USB version as I can use it at the office and bring it home as well. Nothing gets installed on your PC, just the USB key. This can also help you login faster for some of those orders!

Thank you for posting that!! Trying to remember all of my passwords has been driving me INSANE! This will help tremendously. :-)
Posted by: Dave23

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/16/11 10:04 AM

Originally Posted By: Realnet Tampa
#2 Going crazy trying to remember all of your login user name/passwords?

Get RoboForm! http://www.roboform.com/ It stores all of them for you! I bought the RoboForm2Go version and it's on a USB key. All you have to do is click on Logins and select the web site. It automatically goes to the web site (as it stores the web site address as a link) and enters your user name & password! I like the portability of the USB version as I can use it at the office and bring it home as well. Nothing gets installed on your PC, just the USB key. This can also help you login faster for some of those orders!

Thank you for posting that!! Trying to remember all of my passwords has been driving me INSANE! This will help tremendously. :-)


I use a free program that does the same thing.

http://keepass.info/
Posted by: Merkaba

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 12/06/11 01:51 PM

Get Evernote for your phone...priceless!
Posted by: Edson

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/03/12 10:04 AM

Hi all,

This is the best site for converting acreage to square feet or square feet to acreage

http://www.convertunits.com/from/acre/to/square+feet

it has a date calculator and metric system

enjoy!!

Edson
Posted by: Doin' bpose

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/03/12 12:42 PM

I started a running email that I forward to myself daily after updating it. Subject line reads Get these things done. It includes whatever I need to remember with all phone numbers, email adresses, appts., or whatever. Once something is completed I highlight it in red. I can highlight things in other colors to add priortize or further classification. If something is not accomplished it can be copied and pasted for the next day. I can reference the email anytime from my blackbberry. I can print the list at regular intervals for a record of where my business has taken me or who I met with.

For example,

Tuesday Jan. 3 2012

call joes exterminating 000-523-3621 for 5309 Rockingshire bill to remax send report and clear letter to ______
hoa packet
pay bills
Wala Wala for 3 bpos

rich road MSR finish (comps from recent bpo)
PAY DELMAR ROOF, SUBMIT DELMAR ROOF INVOICE
pay for newsletter for 2 1/2 adds 37.50 each

rich road lb paintcheck out rockingshire repairs
(rudeboy0@gmail.com) is contacting you about:
103 Brock St,
Posted by: Edson

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/12/12 01:44 PM

Here you are. This is an amazing time saver. This is a super software for FREE

Create PDFs fast from any page

http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/

I love it
Posted by: JR758758

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/15/12 12:09 PM

Hi, Everyone

Quick question,i have been in the property perservation business about 15yrs i got established with a couple of company and got complacent. now i'm trying to expand. do any of you have some pp reo,or morgage companies you could suggest that need help in Ga.
Posted by: Ryan

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/21/12 06:45 PM

There is an app for Android named Real Sync. It allows you to automatically send your camera pics to dropbox. This will allow you to take inspection pics with your phone and have them waiting for you at your office when you return.

Note: The cost is $4 and you need to have a free dropbox account (and Android dropbox app).
Posted by: jjvfla

Re: Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 01/27/12 07:32 PM

Gated communities that I have gone into I keep the gate code in my smart phone. I now have all of them and just zip though the gate. If you have a phone that crashes on you follow up the code on your computer or in a little black book that you can keep in the car.
Posted by: MassRealtyPro

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/10/12 07:09 AM

best REO tip i can give... ignor all of the 1000's of "pay" sites trying to sell you info or lists or other BS about getting on the REO/BPO bandwagon (these sites make more money of us with that crap then they ever made doing REO's) and they are giving you NOTHING that is worth anymore then your own efforts could provide you.
Posted by: TheBPOExpert

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 05/06/12 06:16 PM

I used CutePDF for creating PDFs fast. It works great and it's free. Google it
Posted by: TheBPOExpert

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 05/07/12 08:02 PM

I recommend having an iphone if you can. You never know when that camera is going to go out
Posted by: Brit16

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 05/08/12 09:24 AM

Thanks so much for that password link! I hate trying to keep up with all of them, and am a little nervous to use the same one for everything.
Posted by: sunnywonder13

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 05/24/12 04:30 AM

I tried to think so, but i found it was not as the same in the actual process. As you mentioned, I still have doubts, but really thank you for sharing!


(url link removed)
Posted by: nemmar

Re: Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 05/31/12 10:37 PM

I have some advice for #1 in your list at the beginning of this thread about problems with the accuracy of MLS listings.

The best source is town hall records since that's the legal public record for any property.


There are lot of items to check at town hall for any property you buy, sell or renovate.
Posted by: gonefishin27

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 09/12/12 05:20 PM

If any of you are contacted by this outfit. Be cautious.

http://www.centrislink.com/

It is run by a woman by the name of Lynnae Lake and her partner Jeff Ongsiaco. She is a very smooth talker and she will try to suck you into signing on with their company. She has an iron clad contract that will lock you in for 2 years after you leave them with a non compete clause. That will end you doing BPOs on your own. She charges 30% of your BPOs as a "fee" for signing you up with companies and to help you out if you have access issues pay issues etc.

Her invoices need a Philadelphia lawyer to understand and she will over charge and charge for orders you haven't been paid for. She insists you pay whether you have been paid by the BPO company or not. She can be very nasty and makes numerous "mistakes" on her invoices. This is just a heads up for all you who do BPOs.

I was with her with another company she owned with a different partner. That company was known as Crosscountrybpos. I heard from the partner that she absconded with the company books and all the company money leaving her elderly partner holding the bag for all taxes due the government. Lake is very unscrupulous from what I observed in the time I was contracted to to Cross Country BPOS.

This is just a word to the wise.
Posted by: Jessm

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 09/21/12 10:44 PM

My best tips:
- KeePass to keep track of logins/passwords
- Bookmark folder of all the login screens of my active BPO companies
- Excel spreadsheet to keep track of orders and when I get paid on them
- Text file of frequently used phrases
- Excel spreadsheet with today's date so I can quickly figure out DOM
- Same spreadsheet has formula for rent based on square footage.
- DoPDF for printing out anything as a PDF (in case the MLS PDF feature isn't working for example)
- PDFSAM - PDF Split and merge - this is awesome for splitting out the comp files for MSV
- Large monitor - Put input screen on one side and MLS PDF on the other side
- Keep each BPO in it's own folder by company

Some of these might be duplicated, but there you go :)
Posted by: Moorea3

Re: Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 11/01/12 04:35 PM

Any one have a tablet that works with multiple company's bpo sites? I'm looking for an on the go solution to completing BPOs other than a laptop (if any exist). I know my iphone won't work, so I'm assuming an ipad won't either (specifically to upload the pictures)

Any ideas would be helpful.
Posted by: Artiste

Re: Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 11/02/12 12:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Moorea3
Any one have a tablet that works with multiple company's bpo sites? I'm looking for an on the go solution to completing BPOs other than a laptop (if any exist). I know my iphone won't work, so I'm assuming an ipad won't either (specifically to upload the pictures)

Any ideas would be helpful.


Are you sure you want to plink out a BPO on a virtual keyboard?
Posted by: CentralFLbeepo

Re: Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 01/16/13 11:11 AM

For exteriors, I use Google Maps to see if the numbers are on the mailbox, on the home or by the curb. I hate having to waste time locating the number or mailbox, turn around to get a better angle and all that. Google Maps also helps me find the easiest way in and the fastest way out.
Posted by: Title Search Sam

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 04/16/13 10:53 PM

The most important item in due dillgence,in Forclosue properties
to make sure the lender has joined and served all the right parties.Check taxes as Forclosures do not wipe out back taxes.
The most important item is Detailed Title Search

Sam@its1.net
its1.net
Posted by: Joccity414

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 11/19/13 07:41 AM

How can I get a copy of this?
Posted by: CDNJ

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 12/02/13 02:35 AM

I second this.
Take a picture of the gate house, the community sign,
the street sign, and whatever you can get of the community, even if it is just a picture of some of the houses in the distance.
It is much easier to get too many pics on the first visit than to have to come back.
You never know when the client will insist on a picture of the nearest fire hydrant. (this is obviously an exageration)
Posted by: CDNJ

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 12/02/13 02:39 AM

If you are using Windows 7 the snipping tool is worth a million bucks!!
It is great for getting photos off MLS, or sending docs to the requesting company for clarification.
You can select as much or as little as you need and then easily cut or paste or save it.
Just type Snip into your start menu and select snipping tool.
It has been a life saver since my main MLS decided to block copy/save on the MLS photos due to copyright issues.
Posted by: Albert020

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/06/14 08:18 PM

Very nice thread and very useful also.
Posted by: DaperDanMan

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 01/27/14 07:52 AM

Maybe someone will find this informative. I've been doing BPOs continuously since 1988. You know how much they paid for an exterior BPO in 1988? $50. How about an interior? $100? I usually had a week to do the report, and I'd have to have my photos developed and then glue them to the report which was then mailed in. Ahhh the dark days before scanners and high speed internet.

Despite inflation, the fees haven't come up. Some valuation companies pay even less than what was paid in 1988. Oh, and the forms back then took about 20 minutes to complete. Some exterior BPO forms are more like the forms that licensed appraisers do for complete appraisals. I call those "appraisal-light" BPOs.

Here is what has helped me:

Take your photos in the same sequence every time. For me I do it in this order, every time : House Numbers, Front View, Right Side View, Left Side View, Rear View, Yard view (rear and yard If needed for an exterior order). Interior photos I shoot in a sequence that will help me remember the layout when I review the photos later so that means I take a number of photos that I wont use in the actual report, but so when I'm flipping through the photos its like a virtual tour of the house. My big thing is that I save damage photos for the end. Honestly, if your shooting the rooms and start photographing every thing you notice in each room the first time you walk through the house you end up getting tunnel vision and missing a bunch of stuff. That's why I find it better to shoot damages (or odd things) after I'm done with my sequenced photos. I do this slowly.

Check the ceilings for leaks, but also ALWAYS check the ceilings of closets. Most people painting over water spots don't re-paint their closets since it requires removing all their stuff. Also, it helps to carry binoculars. Why? For looking at the roof. You can tell if a roof is starting to go when it looses its granulation. If there is a tree or branch that is touching the roof, take a look at that area. Tree branches rub against the roof and cause premature wear rather quickly.

Checking out a foundation, put the side of your head against the foundation wall, close one of your eyes and look straight. This is an easy way to see if a basement wall is shifting, bulging, or cracked. It's really easy to miss foundation problems if you don't look down the walls in the way I described. Foundation issues are big $$$ items for a seller and can have a large effect upon the value. It's going to stand out to a valuation company if your the third person to do an interior BPO on the property, but the first to point out major damage.


Now, I'm going to share with you my golden rules...

Rule #1 NEVER make up data (square footage, age, etc.)

Rule #2 NEVER make up data.

Rule #3 Always double check the square footage and age listed on the MLS for your comps with the Assessor's office. We all know that agent's love to list a 1325 sq.ft Split Level as 2,800 sq.ft because they are including the below-grade square footage. I think that some agents want to house to be more appealing to the public, but that most of the time it is because an agent didn't measure it them-self, or didn't measure it properly, or was just too "busy" to at least check what the assessor's office has it as. That being said, the assessor's are also frequently wrong. If you know you measured the home for an interior BPO properly and the assessor is wrong, use your data. Just make sure you make a note of why you did it. Which leads us to why you should....

Rule #4 BACK UP YOUR REPORT with written explanations. You should actually utilize the comment areas in the report. Most valuation companies complain that most agent's don't write enough. Maybe that's why your having so many BPOs kicked back for "revisions". Explain what you did. Explain why you had to break the report guidelines. Explain that although Comp Sale #2 says 4 Bedrooms 2.1 Baths on the MLS, that it is actually a 3 bedroom 2.1 bath with a below grade bedroom in the basement. If you don't take the extra few minutes to write clear and concise comments then you are going to likely end up with a report getting kicked back to you for "revisions". Which is why you should...

Rule #5 DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. Don't be one of those agent's that constantly has to revise a report because you were lazy the first time around. You'll notice that you have little to no reports kicked back. However, you might notice that some valuation companies ALWAYS kick back your reports. But if you do it right the first time, then you will be confident enough to...
Rule #6 STAND BEHIND YOUR WORK. There are times when I've had orders kicked back for revisions because they didn't like certain comps which I had already thoroughly explained why I had chosen them. This is rare, but if you honestly know that you did the best possible report, and believe in the value and comps you chose, then tell them you refuse to change "XYZ". Its a BPO. Broker Price Opinion. It's your opinion of the price, not the valuation companies opinion. This is why you should...

RULE #6 TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR WORK. When you do it right, you will be proud of your work. It gives some meaning to what your doing and helps with personal motivation.

I wish everyone the best of luck, and good fortune. Hard work always pays off in the end.

Kind Regards,
MJC.
Posted by: Pittsburgh412

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 02/04/14 01:44 AM

*** Keep in mind that some PCR's are actually REO's not all are mortgage finance transactions and to use caution with those too.... They can be potentially conflicting, when you have a angry homeowner losing their home and see you getting the photos. Always, be quick and get out. If they approach your vehicle just drive. Just driving away is much safer then dealing with a crazy person, who will then film you with their I-phone, demand a warrant for your photos or paperwork or documentation.... Then continue to follow you and harass you. Those are not worth a mere $15.
Posted by: DCF

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 04/28/14 10:34 AM

Hello
I am looking for investment condos in N Miami , Hallendale , FT Lauderdale
Can anyone direct me to RE Auction Forums , web sites for quality info.

Thank you
Dave
Posted by: Nashville Homes

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 09/09/14 03:38 AM

I wish I could +1 DaperDan's post! I'm going to use some of those tricks, for sure.

Pittsburgh412, sounds lie you had some rough times! frown
Posted by: Lola1234

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 09/24/14 07:20 AM

Thanks Dan, good tips. I am working with a hedge fund out of state that is bidding on auction properties. They have me go to the property before they bid and I do the BPO. They stopped sending me work orders and when I called to ask, they said that my valuations were not good. When they are looking for the "AS Is Normal Sale" are they wanting what they should pay at the auction or what the property will sell for. Thanks for any help.
Pam
Posted by: realMDagent

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/10/14 06:25 AM

Thank you for info much appreciated.
Posted by: N_Fla_Realtor

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/15/14 03:02 AM

I am a newbie in N. FL. Does anyone have any tips on how to get started working BPOs? I must be missing something because I have not had any luck at all. Also, I filled out a Vendor Registration/Application yesterday and it asked me for 3 references. Are they asking for companies I have done work for before or business references or what?
Posted by: Ben34105

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/16/14 10:37 AM

It's a tough time to get started in the BPO business. I got my start almost a decade ago. Most companies now require 2 years experience and references from other BPO companies or asset managers. I'm sure you'll find a few companies to give you a shot, but make sure they actually pay their agents!
Posted by: FLBPOREALTOR

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/18/14 02:57 AM

You can put business reference, this way you have something to put down. They may or may not look at them. Alot of companies want 2 years experience now. I started back in 2005 9 years ago before the short sale crisis and when other agents did not know what a BPO was. We all started without experience, so hopefully you will find a company or two that will start assigning.
Posted by: LendSome

Re: Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 04/02/15 08:36 AM

Get private funding and make money off the loan!
There is a website for private money lending where you as an agent can get a free website to offer private lending.
WWW.BridgeLoannetwork.com if you go an register as a broker and let them know your an REO agent they will offer you a free site to Broker Hard Money Loans.
Posted by: CALIF DREAMING

Re: Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 04/02/15 10:48 AM

Is an NMLS license required to solicit hard money loans?
Posted by: Broken-Monkey

Re: Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 04/02/15 11:34 AM

http://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/49/t...-licensing-reqs
Posted by: Angel4132

Re: Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 05/15/15 10:30 AM

New to this forum. Need help..... i'm doing a bpo for an AM and the found 2 closed comps in the same bldg within the last 2 months with the same sq.ft however one sold for 900k and the other for 600k. Is that too much of a price swing to use as a comp? should I go to another building and find something more similar in price range? I would appreciate help from an experienced bpo realtor. Thx
Posted by: LizL

Re: Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 05/15/15 10:54 AM

Can you account for the difference in sales price? Was one in poor condition or a "motivated" seller or maybe all furnishings were included in the higher sale? If you need both as comps, you might give the buyers' agents a short phone call.
Posted by: Angel4132

Re: Pay it Forward - BPO/REO Tips & Tricks I & II - 05/15/15 11:12 AM

Yes I spoke to the agent of the lower priced listing and she said the owner just wanted out but the unit was in good condition. Should I just go to a different building and find another comp? I believe the value of my subject should be closer to the 900k range.
thank you.
Posted by: TheBPOExpert

Re: Pay it Forward... Tips & Tricks - 10/27/16 08:43 AM

Don't listen to negative talk about getting into bpos. Just keep signing up with more and more companies. Once signed up call in and ask for orders and you'll be surprised how many you can get.