MBA Servicing Event Precursor of What’s to Come

Derrick Logan, senior VP in the strategic alliance group for REO Allegiance

Survival of the fittest will continue to be the theme in 2012. And the annual MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference is the precursor of events to come, says Derrick Logan, senior VP in the strategic alliance group for REO Allegiance, Bayonne, N.J. “It sets the tone for the whole year.”

Industry conferences are “extremely important,” he says, because they create opportunity to open up new dialogue with peers in the industry and talk about business strategies going forward. It is where future business partnerships are forged.

“Those who don’t look outside of the box will become trapped inside the box in 2012,” he says. “You got to be able to talk to each other now. Plus, with the current type of volume…everybody is looking to do that, even the big banks are looking for good partners.”

Logan and his team are looking forward to meetings with representatives from other markets as they research new business prospects.

The focus is split between their primary business and where the industry as whole is going. The input appears to be the best way to expand inquiries about innovative ways to tie diverse opportunities into their core business.

“There are many avenues leading to your core business,” he says, because today’s clients “are asking for a lot more, they still want that one-stop shopping.”

The best way to take the additional weight off of servicers’ shoulders is service expansion and partnership-based collaboration. The strategy worked in 2011 and again will be the best approach in 2012.

Logan sees more mortgage servicing related partnerships this year, not necessarily mergers, even though “there will be a fair share of mergers,” as everyone is interested in giving their clients more than they expect.

Collaboration is a smart way to do business the same as many of its peers REO Allegiance is reviewing its property preservation market strategies. This year Logan’s focus is on relationships with municipalities around the country. “Business is not the same as it was five years ago so we’re looking at additional opportunities not only to bring value to our clients but also to add new business to its existing business model.”

The core value is property preservation and partnerships help, but he agrees with peers who say technology leads the way, especially new technology. “It will be even more important in 2012.”

REO Allegiance is updating existing tools with mobile options that are easy to use, “especially by the contractors we have out in the field,” who need mobile applications that help improve communication and information exchange.

“We’re working diligently to improve those areas and look at staff to ensure they are well trained for the job,” he said. “Technology saves time, time we can use to look at other areas” of the business and the industry to improve products and services.

REO Allegiance specializes in property preservation, custom maintenance programs and lockout field services. Its executives have been focusing on factors that contributed to the meltdown, including the housing bubble, as a way to better understand the present and foresee future developments in the property preservation marketplace.

Everybody has a 2012 prediction, the executive says. “And we’ve heard it all before.” Nonetheless at yearend 2011 the firm conducted a webinar in “an attempt to piece together the puzzle” by examining the events chronologically and by examining the role of the consumers, financial markets and the government in the meltdown.

It was a cooperative effort with FORCE, which stands for the Federation of REO Certified Experts, an alliance of agents and brokers who have joined together to market themselves efficiently to asset managers, REO servicers and lenders.

“Because there were so many factors that contributed to the housing bubble, it’s difficult to fully understand why it happened,” Logan said. The quest for better understanding and new foreclosure management solutions continues going forward. “We need be prepared for another year of foreclosure delays and more shadow inventory in the pipelines. That’s all you can do right now.”