Using Second String to Your Advantage.

So, I’m the small guy. Integrity REO Solutions, LLC. is a blip on the landscape of REO Preservation and Construction companies who have been building steam for years. These companies are bringing in millions, I’m not. Yet. These companies have offices (not in their homes) fully staffed. I don’t. These beasts have first pick among Fortune 500 mortgage lending institutions. I’m currently second string.

Playing second string is not what you wanted to do when you went out for the football team. Sure, you were a pip-squeak. But, you almost killed yourself hitting bigger guys so you could make your place. But still, the coach (lacking vision and common sense) denied you that spot on the elite squad (This is not a personal story. Just an illustration, ok?).

But, what did you do? You pouted a little bit and then went head first into second string. There you gave everything you had. You crushed people of the same size. You went to the gym and got bigger and stronger and faster. You practiced everyday. Then, when the season was over that coach took notice.

In the business world, playing second string is none too attractive. But, there are benefits to accepting your place and starting there. Not accepting it as a destination, but a starting point.

In my industry, you’ve got the large companies like Field Asset Services, Cyprexx and Safeguard who often have the first pick among many mortgage lenders who hold a substantial portfolio of distressed properties. In my cold call attempts for business with many local realtors and brokers, I’m usually told that the lenders they work with force them to use these larger companies. At the beginning, I left it at that and thanked them for their time.

Then, I started doing Quality Control inspections for third party asset management companies, coming behind contractors assigned by these larger companies. More often than not, I was seeing incomplete work and documented this for my client in hopes to complete the adequately. Also, I was able to touch base with many of the listing agents attached to these property as I found signs of theft or vandalism that they may not have been aware of.

In my conversations with brokers, many have admitted they did not prefer having to use these larger preservation companies because too often the work did not get completed to their satisfaction. And, if there was an issue, they could not call the company who did the work directly.

So, now when I speak with someone and they say they have to use the larger companies I don’t shy away. I think of the benefits of playing second string. Then, I watch my bottom line grow. Here are some things to consider about second string:

1. Being second string is an opportunity to build a high level of trust with new clients. When you are asked to come in behind the larger companies and complete the work adequately, you have an opportunity to build a relationship with new clients. They will know that they can trust you to get the job done well everytime. Nothing builds business better than relationships. I have found the brokers who trust me the most are the ones I have taken the time to get to know — both in a personal and business sense. It is true that you will not get the big dollars playing second string, but the key here is not dollars. It’s relationships. Your excellence can shine in contrast to the big guys.

2. Being second string is an opportunity to turn heads. It is amazing what a small business run out of a home can do when it dedicates itself wholly to doing the job well and efficiently. The work of 10 people can be consolidated to 1 person who knows what they are doing and does it well. I have spoken with reps form companies nationwide who told me they had dozens of people in their office — keying in orders, reveiwing results, marketing the company. Then, when I explained that I was building a nationwide REO Consulting firm by myself they were amazed. Small companies turn heads because they do things that the industry didn’t expect. The larger companies are expected to do big things. But when the little guy does something big, it’s news.

3. Being second string is a chance to get bigger. The time when a company is small is the perfect time to shape and develop its strategy in the marketplace. You have the luxury of watching the larger companies and modifying your approach accordingly. You can see where they missed the mark and then you shoot the gap. Second string allows you the chance to be a student and enjoy low exposure until it’s your time.

Truth is, second string is a fantastic place to be. Stop hating it and see all the oportunities available to you. There is a whole army of second strngers out there quietly and systematically changing the market underneath the big guys. Then, one day they make a scene and the world takes a step back.

Second string is the place to be. For now.

My hope is to use second string to build trust with people in my industry. My heart is in the right place. It’s honestly my desire to change the neighborhood on vacant property at a time.


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