An interview with FORCE member Donald “Donnie” Bass.

Donnie closes roughly 100 Fannie Mae REO properties every year. He has built a successful relationship with the GSE through hard work and dedication to staying in front of the competition.

Getting in the Door

Donnie was at an event in Florida when, “I recognized an asset manager I had worked with before and I just asked him, ‘How does a guy like me get involved with Fannie Mae direct?’” That asset manager told Donnie about the application process, but he never acted on it at the time.

“Then we started using social media, just to kind of stay in touch. So one day I said, ‘OK what do I have to do to get in with Fannie?’” This time Donnie acted on the instructions and applied.

“The application process was really intense,” he said. The Fannie Mae employees asked him all kinds of questions and they “really drilled” him. But after a little over two months, Donnie finally received his approval and vendor ID number.

Staying in the System

“If you think getting in is hard, staying in is even harder,” Donnie said. Fannie Mae representatives constantly called him to ensure he was in compliance with the GSE’s standards, like having a storefront.

“I really had to figure it out for myself,” Donnie recalled. “I wanted to be the best I could be because there was another broker in my area working with Fannie, and they wanted to get me out.”

Improving with Experience

“The asset managers would really beat me up about any mistake. They would say things like, ‘You should know this by now,’ and I would take it personally,” Donnie said. “But I had to realize these people [at Fannie Mae] are just doing their job. They don’t have time to explain, they don’t have time to train everyone.”

After learning that important lesson and mastering its processes, Donnie’s business from Fannie really took off.
“Right now, I have 45 listed, probably 25 maybe 20 pending [under contract], six in negotiations, and 30 pre-marketing,” he said. “And yes, that is just Fannie properties. “

Final Advice

When asked about his best advice for FORCE members, Donnie said, “Know that people you have worked with in the past can help you … and you can help them.”

He also mentioned that you should always take any opportunity in front of you; if he wouldn’t have filled out the Fannie Mae application (after putting it off for more than two months), he wouldn’t’t have his biggest client.

About the FORCE member

As the broker/owner and full-time team lead for one of the most productive REO offices in the county, Donald knows the ins and outs of REO and the daily challenges it brings. He is currently a Fannie Mae direct broker and consistently maintains no fewer than 70 properties at any given time. Donnie’s vast experience allows him to efficiently manage high-volume inventories and still give each asset the attention it requires.

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Have you worked with Fannie Mae? How did you get accepted as a broker direct? Tell us your story in the comments below!