When Your Best Client is Also Your Worst Client

Having seen the current foreclosure mess looming on the horizon several years ago I took steps to get into the REO (bank owned) end of the real estate market way back in 2003. One of my first big clients was a national government/private company who was displeased with their current local agent. Obviously a large account like the this has been a major source of business for us. In fact, in 2009 they have been the owner of 44 of the 92 properties that we have sold or have under contract to sell. There is no arguing that this seller hasn't been a huge part of our success this year.

The other side of this is that big organizations can be very difficult to work with. They have reduced the commission rate to the listing agent from 3 to 2.5%. This wouldn't be so bad if we didn't have to front thousands of dollars of expenses that can take 90 days (or more) to be reimbursed. Additionally, they change our sales rep contact regularly meaning that as soon as we learn how a particular individual likes to work they are replaced by someone whom we have never worked with. Because every person has their own preferred style and paper flow pattern this creates a perpetual learning curve that we suffer through. Also, the mounds of paperwork that these super sellers require are daunting as is the general bureaucracy. Finally, because of the pace of foreclosures we have had title issues with 4 different properties recently. On 3 of the 4 we actually listed, got contracts, and were proceeding to closing just to find out that the foreclosure wasn't done properly. More precisely, it wasn't done at all meaning that our client didn't actually own the property that we had successfully marketed. The error was only discovered when the buyer's title company's search of the courthouse records came up lacking. You can imagine that everyone in the non-transaction is irritated including the buyer, the selling agent, the title company, and your humble correspondent who all walk away shaking their heads and muttering.

In case it sounds like I'm whining I really don't mean to. It is just frustrating when your largest client is also your most difficult one. If you haven't seen my photo just take my word for it - I am thoroughly bald and this client is at least part of the reason for my being follically challenged. I AM grateful for the business, but I do wish that they would get their act together a little better. Of course, they are probably saying the same thing about me!

If you are looking for foreclosures, we have them - Just ask the bald guy!!


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