How a Real Estate Agent can increase their number of Broker Price Opinion assignments by hiring a Virtual Assistant
The current need for BPOs
Banks and other Lending Institutions are currently overwhelmed with a record number of properties needing Broker Price Opinions (BPOs). This is an opportunity for Real Estate Agents to increase their earnings by getting paid; usually within 30 days or earlier for their BPO services. It is an additional stream of income for agents since they do not have to depend on getting paid only when a property is sold. But accepting large number of BPO assignments can be a daunting task especially if you want to handle the entire process all by yourself. Is there a way to increase the number of BPO orders you accept while making sure that the quality of your work exceeds the expectations of the BPO companies? Before I answer that question let me explain what a BPO is for those who don’t already know.
What is a Broker Price Opinion?
A BPO is essentially a tool that is used by banks and lenders to quickly determine the value of a property without having to pay for a full blown appraisal. An agent is usually assigned the task of carrying out the BPO which can either be an exterior BPO that requires only the pictures of; the street, the street name, the address numerals, the front of the property, the side(s), the back and so on; typically pictures that can be taken without entering the property itself OR an interior BPO wherein pictures of the interior are required as well such as pictures of every room, repairs needed, mechanical parts – water heater, HVAC, sump pump and so on. These pictures are usually accompanied by additional information of three sold and three actively listed properties that are comparable to the subject properties. Agents are paid more for the interior BPOs than the exteriors; depending of the market area, agents can get paid between $30 on the low end to as high as $75 (and sometimes more).
How to increase your number of BPO assignment by using a Virtual Assistant (VA)
- Registering with new BPO companies: A VA can help you get additional BPO assignments by taking over the time consuming task of signing up with new BPO companies. All you need to do is give the VA the required information and they will go ahead to fill out the application forms on your behalf. The competition between agents for BPOs is fierce; it can easily become a question of how badly do you want it and how quickly can you accept it. In order for you to get a sizeable and predictable number of BPO orders daily, then you need to be signed up with a lot of BPO companies.
- Following up with BPO company contacts: A VA can help you follow up with key contacts at the BPO companies in order for you to get assigned BPOs. Most times these contacts will tell you that they are no longer looking for agents in your area or might just tell you to be patient and wait to be assigned a BPO. The solution is really to attempt to get them to assign you BPOs that are needed in a hurry – rushed BPOs or those that were previously assigned to other agents who for one reason or the other did not do a good job on it. The VA can call these contacts quite frequently using a script you design to ask for BPO Re-Assignments and rushed ordered BPOs. After helping these BPO companies with these kinds of BPOs you will become a much needed resource to them because they can depend on you to correctly turn in BPO that other agents dropped the ball on or BPOs that they need to get back immediately.
- Entering time consuming BPO data: A VA can help you enter the BPO data into the system used by the BPO companies so that you do not have to spend time doing data entry. All you need to do is supply the VA with the comparable sold and actively listed properties in form of a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA), as well as the pictures of the subject property. Once the VA has completely entered in the data, you can then go back and quickly review the data and enter in the final comments to establish the value of the property. One of the reasons why using a VA to enter in the data is a great option is that you can keep track of what type of information each BPO company requires and essentially create a system for the VA to actually pull the data on their own without you having to actually pull the data yourself.
- Taking pictures of the property: Okay this point has two sides to it because it depends on where the VA is located. If they are located in your state, you can actually train them on how to take the required pictures for the interior and exterior BPOs so that they go out and take the pictures themselves. In situations whereby they are not located in your state, they can help you find people to go out to take the pictures on your behalf by posting ads on online classifieds such as Craigslist, Kijiji and so on. In this economy folks are eager for a paying job, I suggest paying them $10 per property and also paying for their gas. The VA will then be responsible for coordinating the picture taking activities of these folks by letting them know the addresses for each property, the types of pictures required and when they are due back.
In essence, I have gone through various reasons why it makes sense to have a Virtual Assistant help you with your BPOs. It really boils down to the systems you have in place because if you have a good system for doing BPOs a VA can easily take on some of the task or all of it so as to free up time for you to work on getting more BPO orders while ensuring the quality of your work so that you do not lose your relationships with the BPO companies.
This Video Transcript was prepared by the Transcribing HYVeneans™
So what do you think? I am sure your mind is already buzzing with other ways a Virtual Assistant can help to increase the number of Broker Price Opinions you do. I will like to hear from you so leave your comments below.
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