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Time to Update Technology & Training

Technology is timeline and recovery driven within the REO industry, and with the right systems in place, asset managers can shave at least 20 days off their timeline, said speakers at the REOMAC Spring Conference in Indian Wells, Calif. Even 15 minutes in saving extra steps can make a huge difference to the disposition of properties.

Eighty percent of households have a computer and use the Internet to search for homes, according to a panel on technology. Oftentimes, these consumers have already looked at properties online before walking through the homes in person. "They are going to the Web to find their next home. Are you keeping up with borrowers? You must be computer proficient. The computer ranks third for generating leads," said Chris Bowden, vice president of HomeSteps, a unit of Freddie Mac.

REO agents and brokers must be proficient when it comes to using technology to upload digital photos. Don't be afraid to ask questions and ask for help. It's also important to invest in training. It is not an option to train, says Mr. Bowden. "Expand your horizons. I try and learn something new every single month. Invest in yourself and the future. Invest in time."

REO business models drive connectivity with buyers and sellers. The right systems give asset managers an edge. Technology is not cheap, the speakers agreed. It is an ongoing investment to keep current and meet the needs of the buyer and seller, along with managing properties out in the field.

"Customers will demand you invest in technology. If not, you will lose business. Work together within the company to build better technology. Meet the needs of customers. Have good people on hand who understand technology. Use training to reach more buyers. Build technology for future business success."

When it comes to report cards for scoring performance, there is not just one way to do it. For instance, through technology, it is crucial to get broker price opinions back within 24 hours. "You may or may not get along with the asset manager. When you are asked to complete certain takes, say 'yes' and 'How fast do you need them done?' Do not argue."

Follow up investment in technology with training options. Join user groups and have tech support.

Monica Horan, chief executive officer, Aspen Grove, says training is crucial in order to work with all of the different database solutions out there. Make sure to try out various methods when pursuing training. All employees have different learning styles. "We learn in different ways," Ms. Horan said. "Some are better with a hands-on approach. Others can look at hand or online manuals for reference points. There's classroom training, electronic CDs and tutorials, or learning through online services. With the advent of webinars, you can receive training any time, anywhere."

Chris Saitta, president of REOTrans, has over 20 years in the industry. He says five years ago he never would have been speaking at an industry conference about technology. That is how much times have changed from an operations standpoint. For many, technology was a foreign concept back then. "Technology is now paramount in this industry. It has become the single most beneficial part of setting yourself apart from the competition." (c) 2007 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com