Why I’m Not “Nationwide”.


In many ways, I have Forrest Gump-ed myself into a really cool position in my industry. You know, Forrest didn’t have much of a strategy. He lived by impulse. Common theory calls these people “losers” but Forrest had a pretty sweet ride through life. Magical even. I feel that way as it pertains to how we have grown in certain areas and have acquired accounts that invite us to accept new territories.

We’re based in the Lone Star state, which is already big enough. I remember the awful trips we would take by car when I was a kid, sitting in the back seat. Trips so long as we spanned the state that literally a whole day could go by and we’d still be in Texas. To cover the land mass of Texas alone is a huge undertaking. At least to do it well. But nationwide?

Since I started Integrity REO Solutions, it was my plan to do out of state work. I already had some terrific vendor contacts and I wanted to put them to work. For me, it’s about liking someone and coming to trust them, then investing in their success once I am convinced they’re awesome.

I knew some people in key areas like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Portland and I called them to let them know I would be pushing to get work in their areas. We have been really blessed and have been able to do just this, but not in the way I originally expected. Over time, as I have built my relationships with clients and they come to a point where they feel comfortable with my level of work, I gently added that I had guys in other states that had the same ethic as I do and could help me kill a job for them. At first they didn’t bite, but soon enough the work started coming in by ones and twos. And, like I indicated, the work was done well by my company. So point made.

I love doing work in other states mostly because it keeps my job interesting. Most it comes in the form of Consulting. These are more or less problem-solving opportunities where I can break from the routine of reviewing hundreds of work order photos to ensure that a local assign has been done adequately. It’s funny, too, because there must be a handful of people in these areas who could do what I do. I’ve spoken to realtors or contractors more than once who said, “I wonder why the bank would ask a guy in Texas to manage a project here in_________________.”

The reason why I don’t classify myself as a “nationwide” company is because it’s a setup. I have a hard enough time trying to find a contractor to cover jobs in Eldorado, TX. I don’t want the pressure assigning projects in dead zones within another state. At least not on a regular basis. If one of my clients emails and asks me to help them in one of these zones, I would gladly do it. But, I don’t like the idea of insinuating that I can cover these areas on a regular basis because I have this fantasticly broad vendor network.

In reality, my network is relatively small. Mighty but powerful. It’s just a handful of qualified people spread out in key areas who I really like.

I’m just a freelancer, trying to bite off a chunk of the American dream.

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