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Maintaining REO Business During a Pandemic

Last week, The Federation of REO Certified Experts [1] (FORCE) held virtual regional Townhall Meetings [2] to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on residential real estate listings. Members discussed sustainability and business operations in a time of crisis, and how each region is responding differently.

FORCE found that while each county is affected slightly differently, the core influence is the same in each region.

State by state, REO experts are facing different challenges. For example, in Washington, agents and brokers are not considered essential, while agents are considered essential in other states, including Nevada, Ohio, Arizona, and California.

In areas real estate agents are not labeled as essential, operational strategies should heavily involve online strategies

Business can still be done, with the right technology in place, and as FORCE members note, there are still buyers who want to buy and sellers who want to sell. Technology is the way to not be held down in your operations, and with stay-at-home orders in place, many are doing virtual and 3D tours. Make sure you and your staff have the proper internet speeds, and make use of services such as Zoom, Facetime, and Skype for virtual open housings and showings.

Members also discussed the potential for break-ins and squatters. In order to mitigate damage, FORCE members suggested working with your community to keep an eye on properties, and maintaining weekly inspections.

As members note, there should be no problems with cash deals right now, especially as many credit lines have been pulled. Many FORCE members have stated that they are not taking properties off the market right now to not weaken days on the market, as you can still be doing what you can to get your properties sold, and asset management companies are being more lenient on scorecards during this time.

In the coming weeks, Five Star Global and FORCE will be releasing a white paper of the Townhall Meetings' findings. View recording of each regional webinar at the following links