Interested in what is positive in the industry - REO Property Preservation Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Interested in what is positive in the industry

I've been reading and researching the Preservation business for a while. I have two other businesses and learned about Preservation from a current client of mine. Reading this forum it tends to lean toward the negative. Negative experiences and negative feedback. Those are very important observations and I appreciate them. It has made me look deeper into beginning a Preservation business and try to carefully select companies to work with and even rethink the venture. I am getting in slowly and watching my step, so thanks, I appreciate the horror stories.

Where are the positive stories? For those who have some positive experiences to share do you find its due to luck? Careful reading of the contracts and requirements of the Regional/National? A good Quality Control Process? Your personal business acumen? I'm sure it like any other venture, with pros and cons. Please share.....
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by VicNew View Post
I've been reading and researching the Preservation business for a while. I have two other businesses and learned about Preservation from a current client of mine. Reading this forum it tends to lean toward the negative. Negative experiences and negative feedback. Those are very important observations and I appreciate them. It has made me look deeper into beginning a Preservation business and try to carefully select companies to work with and even rethink the venture. I am getting in slowly and watching my step, so thanks, I appreciate the horror stories.

Where are the positive stories? For those who have some positive experiences to share do you find its due to luck? Careful reading of the contracts and requirements of the Regional/National? A good Quality Control Process? Your personal business acumen? I'm sure it like any other venture, with pros and cons. Please share.....

There is nothing positive in this industry. You can see the trend that many experienced contractors are leaving it and working either direct or private.
We left more than a year ago and never been happier
as far as horror stories goes search for charge backs and this will guaranty sleepless nights
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 10:00 AM
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Yesterday on this forum there were two new threads put up. The first was about a guy that got out of this industry after finding a good job. Keep in mind he was working for nationals and regionals. In 4 hours there were 9 posts and 11 thanks with genuine well wishes and congrats to him.

The second post went up with asking for stories and how you got started in this business. It's been up for 21 hours now and virtually no interest.

Getting out? Good!
Getting in? Nothing....

What does that tell you?
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. Still not really what I am asking. There is plenty of the negative and problems. I am looking for the positives (if any). The forum seems active enough. If people are only here to complain about an industry they want to get out of then why so much activity? I'm just trying to dive down to the root of the matter. I get it that companies can be predatory and will find any way to not pay a vendor. At some point people are making some money and even if its not enough they remain for one reason or another. Some because they have to, others because they may be forcing a bad business model into failing system.

So your saying that there is no one who has a decent experience (with expected setbacks) with the industry and is able sustain or grow their business? Those are the people I am looking to hear from.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by VicNew View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Still not really what I am asking. There is plenty of the negative and problems. I am looking for the positives (if any). The forum seems active enough. If people are only here to complain about an industry they want to get out of then why so much activity? I'm just trying to dive down to the root of the matter. I get it that companies can be predatory and will find any way to not pay a vendor. At some point people are making some money and even if its not enough they remain for one reason or another. Some because they have to, others because they may be forcing a bad business model into failing system.

So your saying that there is no one who has a decent experience (with expected setbacks) with the industry and is able sustain or grow their business? Those are the people I am looking to hear from.
I'll bite.

Preservation work kept me from having to travel to the oil fields of North Dakota to support my family during the worst of the recession. The money wasn't great and it was even harder to make & keep.

I live in an area that is extremely hard for nats & regionals to cover - therefore I played on that and named my price nearly from the beginning. Not all agreed with my prices, but some did. I hooked up with 4 good brokers that send me work to this day - now half of that work is not preservation related. Early on I was contacted by the manager of a local Credit Union to manage all their REO inventory, and that was good money while the inventory was high. Today I work with multiple nationals & regionals & investors & brokers & private clients - as long as they agree to my prices. Things are slowing down, but I am still making money.

Knowing what I know about this industry now, if it were me I would not waste my time getting established in this industry today. It will require nearly all your time to manage & fight for your money (and thats if you find good clients). Either re-double your efforts on your current businesses if they are profitable or focus solely on a handyman type business aimed at private clients - either one will give you a better return on your money & time spent.

Iíve already told you more than I know.

Last edited by PropPresPro; 04-19-2016 at 11:48 AM.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 12:02 PM
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Vicnew,

I can only attest to our own business with respect to P&P.

I was fortunate to "stumble" into the business in the mid 90's and continued until late 2011. Those times were profitable and when the business model of today came along I shuttered the doors. I truly enjoyed the business and as any business it is cyclical.

I'm waiting for the business to implode so we can step in and resume
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. Information is king! I figured from reading posts that getting in with the actual owners is the best route to take.

Thanks again.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Yes. My businesses are cycilcal to a certain degree. I'm wondering if the industry will ever have a downturn like 2008-2011 again.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 04:49 PM
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For the most part my experience has been positive, I was realistic going into it and knew what dollars I needed to make to survive, went out and made it happen.The last few years volume has slipped so it has gotten tougher as well as the unrealistic expectations of the "Nationals" and "Middle Men"..you want me to do what for that dollar amount? and so on..Positives: I have seen everyone of my daughters High School soccer games the last four years. My wife has gone out and helped me from time to time and it is quality time, me and her out on the road, drive time is good talking time. I have seen just about every part of Florida, while the shacks and "houses" are generally a complete mess, the things you see and the people you meet out on the job can be pretty memorable. And I will also admit that six years ago I was one of those stupid ones out doing lawns for 15 dollars because I didn't know any better, that is why this forum is valuable, the information and advice while often cynical is I feel for the most part honest (thanks fellow contractors!) But even when I was working for the middle man to the middle man it was a good learning experience, I learned the work required, photos and reports etc etc. I was dumb to go all over Florida for that but I honed my craft so to speak and moved on to bigger and better opportunities.

Negatives: The money chasing and waiting for payment is ridiculous. I have done "preservation" work for seven different companies, been paid on time and every dime by two..and that is all I do work for now. I have been near 100 percent on time and have never had a work related return to property, pretty proud of that, so it is not an issue of chargebacks or shoddy work. And if you are doing straight up "preservation" work your equipment will get destroyed be prepared to bend blades and decks and even a weedeater shaft, most of these properties are allowed to sit for months or even years before we get the work order. Anyways good luck to you, if you have realistic expectations than it is an OK experience. If you think you will make a fortune I think those days are over.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by VicNew View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Still not really what I am asking. There is plenty of the negative and problems. I am looking for the positives (if any). The forum seems active enough. If people are only here to complain about an industry they want to get out of then why so much activity? I'm just trying to dive down to the root of the matter. I get it that companies can be predatory and will find any way to not pay a vendor. At some point people are making some money and even if its not enough they remain for one reason or another. Some because they have to, others because they may be forcing a bad business model into failing system.

So your saying that there is no one who has a decent experience (with expected setbacks) with the industry and is able sustain or grow their business? Those are the people I am looking to hear from.
Vic it sounds like you want us to whistle sunshine up your keester. The analytical side of your brain sees all these properties and all this work and all these people doing it and thinks "someone has to be making money so how?" The truth is there are some (very few) at every level making money. Even the 15.00 grass cut guy in the chevette hatch back with the used push mower is making money. He simply has to do 20 yards a day and process work until 3 am then back on the road at 6. He is bringing home more than he ever did at his old job in the factory. What he doesn't factor in is he never worked this hard at the factory. Had he put in this kind of effort and hours he would have been paid overtime and made far far more than he does in P&P. He has drank the kool aid and believes he is his own boss and his effort is building his company. While that business model is semi? profitable? it is not sustainable. It usually takes this guy 3-5 years to even realize they are losing money not making it. They wake up one day and the Chevette won't start the pusher only has 3 wheels on it and there is no money to fix any of it.

There is the guy with 2 scags on his trailer and a nice F250 Super Cab who uses preservation as a stepping stone. He's cutting a few foreclosures but mostly private customers and commercial accounts. He eventually tires of the nonsense picture garbage, arguing over pay, tearing up his nice equipment on debris in foreclosure yards, driving the wheels off of his truck, and the fluid guidelines of P&P. He never lasts long in the industry and leaves with a sour taste in his mouth.

You have the regional wannabe contractor. He is a guy that sees plenty of opportunity to have other schmucks make him a living. He wants in on the action. He applies at every national, and regional he can find. He runs adds everywhere and he starts making money. At first he rakes in the dough! Everyone is excited and willing to work. After the paychecks start rolling in the chargebacks and late orders are soon to follow. See, our regional wannabe contractor told Safeguard he could cover the entire state of Tennessee but his Memphis contractor is way behind and won't leave the city limits. All of the orders in the surrounding towns are growing stale. Pretty soon Safeguard is calling and emailing daily with complaints. Then the subs start complaining about pay and driving too much. So our regional hero pays them extra to go to the way outs. Soon he is losing money coming in to charge backs and no pays almost as quickly as he is losing it going out to float contractors so they can keep running. Add in the stress of being screamed at from all angles everyday from the moment the world starts up until well after 10:00. If our hero makes it 3 years in he has been through Safeguard, MCS, AFAS, 5 Brothers and about 100 contractors who didn't have the skills required to change a light bulb. Our guy has been their marriage counselor, their banker, their accountant, tax man, friend, and in the end they Mother Eff him to everyone they meet, and on every site they can because they feel they were mistreated. Eventually our Regional guy learns he was better off back in the day when he was pulling a mower around town letting the other guy fight all day.

You have the large regional such as Loudan, True Assets, Extraordinary Properties, Guardian Asset Management, ZVN, Asons, we can list them all day, These guys are more dangerous than a clown selling snow cones out of a panel van, in a park filled with children, advertising free puppies inside van! No matter how it starts with these companies it always ends the same.

Then you have the most successful contractor in the business. The jaded Ah*le you see on here telling everyone the hard truths they don't want to hear. This guy has seen enough regionals come and go to know that XYZ, is no better than ABC was. He has danced with nearly every national out there only to realize he never wanted to answer to someone else when he went into business for himself. He knows enough about how the whole ponzi scheme works to see the opportunity with investors, bank work, and private customers. This guy knows what he needs from whatever jobs he is taking and he gets his price MOST of the time. He got here by getting screwed repeatedly and learning the hard way. If he had it to do over again he would have just built a construction or handyman business from the ground up and he would be nearly retired. Instead he spent multiple years trying this and that in Preservation only to realize he wasted those years when he could have been building his brand.

The positive from all of that is experience. That's about all you get.
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