The FORCE talked to Larry Pool, Executive Director and CEO of Asset Management Consulting Firm, about his best advice for working with asset management companies.

Agent/Broker Partnerships with Asset Management Companies

Long-term business partnerships between residential REO agent/brokers and asset management companies (AMCs) stem from mutually beneficial assignments and experiences. It’s important to make a good first impression with an asset manager so you can develop a lasting professional connection that results in increased value and repeat business.

Some banks are going to auction companies, and that takes away business from the agent/brokers. This does not seem like it will stop any time soon, but relationships between real estate agents and AMCs will remain an important part of the industry regardless. Lenders and AMCs will be more demanding and sometimes tougher on agent/broker’s scorecards. In this market, they need agents that will be focused on getting the property sold and maximizing the return on their investment.

What Do Asset Management Companies Value Most in Agents/Brokers?

AMCs value the agents they work with because they are the eyes and ears of the market in their area. Agent/brokers provide the most value when they develop their skills in the following areas:

– Marketing their services
– Representing sellers
– Assisting buyers
– Negotiating deals
– Providing financial advice
– Coordinating all the details of the sale.
– Keeping track of the trends impacting their local real estate market

The key to a successful partnership with an AMC is trust and honesty. You must have confidence that each agent will be doing a good job and looking out for the best interest of the AMC.

Other key areas of consideration are:
– The agent’s record of selling
– Communication skills
– Proactivity and thinking out of the box

AMCs all over the country have always said that communication is high on their list. If an email or call go unanswered for a long period of time, it can cause some serious issues. The asset manager could lose a property to priority-one tax foreclosure or even an HOA foreclosure. Being proactive and thinking outside of the box are traits that are often difficult to find. Depending on what type of professional relationship you have with your asset manager, this will pave the way for how you handle a situation.

An example of being proactive and thinking outside of the box is as follows. If a property has a pipe burst and the home is flooded, a simple email to your asset manager can go a long way. Depending on the type of professional working relationship the asset manager has with the agent/broker, he or she can call the agent on his or her cell phone and walk the agent/broker through exactly what to do if they have not already done so. Though most issues like this are something that agents and brokers know to handle, speaking with the asset manager can provide the agent with more detail regarding what needs to be done to fix the situation and preferred resolution methods for avoiding major repairs later down the road.

What Makes Asset Managers Call Agent/Brokers Back with Future Listings?

Asset managers call an agent/broker back for future listings for many reasons. The asset manager and agent/broker typically form an understanding and a good working relationship. They tend to complement each other, however, that is not the only reason an asset manager may call an agent back. Other reasons include the ease of working with them, the support staff, the score carding system, and the days on market (DOM) record. Asset managers like agents who show that they know the local market and conduct BPOs to support this assertion. Repeat business often goes to the agents who always complete tasks on time if not early.

When working with the agent/broker and their support staff, understanding of how the process works is key. Our industry is complex, and the staff needs to have a well-rounded and actionable knowledge. An agent’s recorded DOM with a particular asset manager can be instrumental in the decision-making process. Most AMCs prefer agent/brokers who sell properties within 60 days or less and are impressed when a property is sold within 30 DOM. This makes the client take note and significantly increases the chances that they will want to work with that agent again. Asset managers expect agent/brokers to possess an in-depth knowledge of the market in their area.

Their boots on the ground should be able to answer the following questions, among others:

– What is it doing?
– How are the values?
– How are the neighborhoods?
– What is the employment like?

Lastly, asset managers will never like when work is completed behind schedule. Agents have a good chance of being called upon for repeat business when all tasks are completed on time or early.

The main takeaways are to always be accessible, timely, proactive, and reliable. If an asset manager has a good experience working with an agent the first time, they will remember it and most likely reach out to them the next time they have assets in their area.