When ServiceLink had a particularly difficult property to list, they knew they were in good hands with FORCE member Zena Dakroub. Dakroub is the broker/owner of Realty Executives Classic. She sat down with us to explain her approach to REO properties and what other agents need to keep in mind when handling challenging listings.

FORCE: What made this property difficult to list? How did you overcome the challenges it presented?

DAKROUB: The condition of the property was a challenge, it was really worn out. When this occurs, the price point the buyers want may be completely different than what the seller envisions. To overcome this, we follow up with calls and leads constantly follow up with leads. Because of the Internet, there are buyers who reach out to us who are working without an agent. We try to sell them on the potential of the property. The property was located in a great city, near the water. So there were a lot of nice perks with this property, it just needed a little more time and effort to sell.

FORCE: What advice do you have for other agents working in REO who want to increase their sales?

DAKROUB: Always answer your phone. Try to understand some buyers who call with even the most simplistic of questions. There is never a dumb question. As agents we are here to inform them of what’s going on in the market. They could be first-time homebuyer, so you’re not always speaking to someone familiar with the process of purchasing a home. In addition, sometimes I have an issue when I call on an agent to answer a question for a particular property. They do not return calls. They do not return emails. They think that they should just list a house and it’s going to sell itself. I don’t feel it does work that way.

FORCE: What advice do you have for agents who want to strengthen their relationships with asset managers?

DAKROUB: Customer service, contact, and being interactive with your asset manager are key. We’re not working against each other. If you have a delay in something, let the asset manager know what’s going on. Sometimes weather doesn’t permit me to do a re-key in time. I immediately shoot my asset manager an email. At least then they’ll let whoever else is on the other side of that know that we have two feet of snow out there and we can’t get out there to get those re-key photos for you today. Contact is the most important thing with the asset manager. ServiceLink has been great to work with. We work together as a team basically.