How Do I Compete With Field Asset Services, Safeguard, Etc.?


Most might say a small, but promising REO workshop out of Garland, TX cannot compete with established giants such as the servicing companies listed above. To which I would quickly reply:

“You’re right……OK, maybe…….You’re dead wrong!!!!”

A response which one might expect to be followed by a wild tick and perhaps involuntary cursing. But I assure you my words are well-placed. And don’t think for a minute that I don’t have these sort of dreams. The “secret” to any company that sticks and thrives anyway is to balance between the meager now and the glorious then. So I’m letting you in on one of these dream sessions.

I would say you’re right if you buy me a cup of coffee first and then say I can’t compete with these guys. Why? Because hello they have millions (perhaps billions…I haven’t researched that far yet…some day I will pay people to do that for me). We are currently not even a speck on the horizon in comparison to their profitability. And, it takes riches to be in their position to handle the volume of assets they see on a normal basis. I’m coming from ground zero, just trying to build trust. It wasn’t long ago that I weened myself off unemployment. And, we’re only in our second year — still on the ramp. So, forget my delusions of competing with them on that level.

I would also say OK, maybe if you declared vociferously that I shouldn’t even try to compete with the big boys. That it’s good to take wise counsel into consideration. I like to tell people who offer advice that I will think about it. That’s not a tool by any means to make them go away, it’s an honest approach to both positive and negative criticism. You have to share your dreams and then think about what people say in response. Not that you have to believe them. Just think about what they say. Listening to both your supporters and your critics stirs creativity and it welcomes additional data from all sides to help you achieve your dream. People, especially jerks, like to be heard. If you listen, they will tell you why you can’t compete. This new information will be a resource for you to use in becoming a better service provider.

But, I would also say you’re dead wrong. I’ve cleaned up after these guys. Realtors with whom I have built a substantial partnership have asked me to provide quality control for them after these knuckleheads do their preservation work. I never see the attention to detail that I would demand of my contractors. I rarely see the work done to my satisfaction. Often, something is missed. And, that is not just after one visit. Sometimes I have been asked to go to a property multiple times to make sure they got it right. To which I say, “Not fair.”

Many I have worked for have admitted they don’t like working with these nationwide agencies. And, if it were left to them to decide, they would chose companies like Integrity REO Solutions. The trend now is that major construction lending institutions, however, are deferring to these companies in the spirit of making it easier to manage. This month I emailed 50 – 100 REO managers at different banks and most of those who responded forwarded a link to become a vendor for Field Asset Services, Safeguard, Etc.

On a general level, I don’t want to compete with these guys. To do so is unrealistic and consumes needed time and resources. I would rather put these resources to wise use and keep cleaning up after these guys. That way, at some undetermined time, we can make our place in the market.

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