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The Power of the Web

As servicers look to communicate out to more parties, more are realizing that having a robust Web portal is very helpful. As evidence of this trend, Mortgage Contracting Services, a nationwide property and inspection services provider to the financial services industry, has launched Broker360, a Web-based portal that allows REO brokers to access the status of preservation work completed by MCS. With inbound and outbound communication capabilities, the portal enables brokers to submit information and bid requests in addition to receiving electronic notifications regarding the properties they manage.

Broker360 works in union with MCS' existing Web-based client platform, MCS360, but is designed specifically to enhance the communication between the servicers, field service providers and real estate agents managing the sales process of REO properties. MCS360 was developed in response to the industry's need for software that allows for two-way communication as well as real-time delivery of work order results. While MCS360 is a client-based Web portal, Broker360 essentially performs the same functions for individual real estate brokers, thereby providing them with up to the minute information about their properties and affording them a direct line of communication with their asset preservation coordinator. This advancement in the speed in which information is sent and received allows asset managers to make more timely decisions with regards to preservation initiatives, which ultimately enhances short- and long-term maintenance as well as enables them to move the sale of these properties at a faster rate. Chad Mosley, vice president of operations for Mortgage Contracting Services, said, "It is important that we continue to promote cohesion and further develop our working partnership with brokers. With more and more properties adding to an already swollen REO inventory each day, it is vital that we do all we can to assist real estate agents in the selling process."

After logging into the system, brokers assigned to manage properties by MCS' mortgage servicing clients can view information about their properties including inspection results, work order details and photos of completed work. If they elect to do so, brokers can "watch" selected properties, allowing them to receive e-mail notifications when MCS completes work at one of the designated properties. The e-mails are automatically generated through Broker360 once a work order or inspection has been fulfilled and validated by MCS.

Real estate agents also have the ability to request work for the properties they manage through Broker360, with the option of selecting from an array of maintenance items currently performed by MCS. Once a request is received, MCS immediately notifies the client's asset manager and, if approved, obtains a bid and completes the work. This process changes the way MCS and brokers communicate with their servicer clients in that it centralizes the communication to one source for asset managers.