Did you know that a whipping boy was a young boy who was assigned to a young prince and was punished when the prince misbehaved or fell behind in his schooling. How do we as real estate agents love to put Bank of America in his shoes.

As real estate agents we know all-too-well the horrors of processing a short sale. Many agents that I have spoken with over the past two years have put Bank of America (B of A) at the top of the “Bad Bank” list.

Our goal as an agent is to assist the homeowners and manage their expectations of the process, which is not easy when you the agent don’t fully understand the process. The changes in the industry, regulation and internal processes do not make it easy for us. Truthfully, B of A has done a much better job of communicating with the agent pool in this regard.

My personal experience with B of A short sale processing has been nothing short of awesome! How is this you ask? The tools available for you today are easy to use, comprehensive and offers an unparalleled level of communication compared to most other lenders. Recent changes in their short sale processing platform makes the system more flexible and covers more scenarios that more closely emulate what’s really happening in the real world. It’s not perfect, but much better today than yesterday.

How is that ol’ J.R. can sit here and shout from the mountain top that Bank of America is not a demon especially when we have had so much trouble with them in the past? Well, they simply cannot afford to get this wrong, it’s all in the numbers! We all hear that foreclosures are on the rise which should make more REO inventory available for listing agents. I believe that the processing of REO’s will increase, but not in the quantities being discussed. We will see more REO inventory, but we will see many more Short Sales processed and accepted next year.

A quick look at the numbers:

Bank of America processed 94,000 short sales last year. So far in 2011 they have processed over 100,000 short sales and they expect higher numbers next year. A significant number of the short sales that are being processed are actually approved. There are 4 or 5 things that can derail the short sale through most any lender or servicer, but knowledge is power, so learn what those 4 or 5 things are and you will be much more effective in your short sale processing.

If you can’t stand to process short sales, 2012 may not be a good for you as a real estate agent.

So what is the purpose of this blog? Simply put, your BUSINESS PLAN! The final quarter of the year is when you should be assembling your business plan for the upcoming year. A well thought out business plan includes a product mix that keeps your business healthy through the tumultuous times. Your plan should include a mix of REO inventory, Short Sales, Traditional Listings and yes if you are a new agent – buyers. If you focus your business on a good product mix, as the market shifts your business will be less likely to suffer. In other words folks, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. My experience with Bank of America has been great, don’t discount what you’ve heard about their ability to process a short sale, you will need short sales in your product mix to be successful. Too many times, agents lock-in with a ferocious singular focus, driving one product type into their pipeline only to absolutely freak out when a sneeze from up top disrupts their business. Don’t be that agent!

If you need direction with your business plan, leave a comment, shoot me an e-mail or give me a call. I will be happy to assist you. It’s not hard, doesn’t take long and is the only way that you can achieve your goals as a real estate agent.