Guide to Becoming a Successful Field Inspector

Written by Rasheedat Oduola on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Economy and Market, Mortgage Services and Providers

Field inspections also referred to as drive by inspections are completed in millions every year. Being a field inspector requires little or no training. It requires the inspector to have a car for easy movement, a computer with internet capabilities, digital camera which will be used for taking pictures and a smartphone.

Once you have all of these set, register and upload your information on websites that mainly cater to the real estate industry or field inspection companies .Always remember to include your area of coverage when putting out your information as this will ensure that you are always considered for jobs within your primary area of coverage.

Now that your information out, you may start to get emails or phone calls, so have your phone with you always as you are the one in need of jobs. Your cell phone should also have internet capabilities as you can respond instantly to emails when received. Your timely response and timely completion of jobs given to you will determine the number of jobs you get.

So If you are looking to make good and additional income, be that field inspector that completes jobs timely and also without error. Field inspection companies are always particular about having an error free report. It is also advisable to adhere to the inspection requirements and photo policy. Train yourself so you can get better at what you do as it is with all profession. You would also be doing yourself a good service to attend some of the webinars offered by field inspection companies.

Should you be in doubt or encounter any challenge while you are in the field, contact the inspection company . Make yourself what I call a “priority inspector” ;that inspector that will be considered first before any other inspector and before you know it, you are on your way to making this additional income regular.

Always remember Field Inspection Companies are in need of agents that can be relied on to complete their jobs timely and effectively.Now is the time to relax or perhaps work hard and enjoy your new money maker.

Got books?

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Closing Services, Mortgage Economy and Market

Are your accounting records up to date? Are they balanced? Are they understandable by anyone other than yourself? All of these are good questions to consider, especially when your record keeping is in question. Otherwise how will you know where you stand financially, economically? Accounting, which has been called the “language of business”, measures the results of an organization’s economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users including investors, creditors, management, and regulators. Did you know, both the words accounting and accountancy were in use in Great Britain by the mid-1800s, and are derived from the words accompting and accountantship used in the 18th century. Yes even back thenuntitled they had accounts to balance. If this all seems like a foreign language to you, you could outsource this area of your business and then use it as a business write-off instead. Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Here is more to ponder and maybe need translation on. For the past two decades, fair value accounting—the practice of measuring assets and liabilities at estimates of their current value—has been on the ascent. This marks a major departure from the centuries-old tradition of keeping books at historical cost. It also has implications across the world of business, because the accounting basis—whether fair value or historical cost—affects investment choices and management decisions, with consequences for aggregate economic activity. SOMETIMES it seems as if our lives are dominated by financial crises and failed reforms. But how much do Americans even understand about finance? Few of us can do basic accounting and fewer still know what a balance sheet is. If we are going to get to the point where we can have a serious debate about financial accountability, we first need to learn some essentials.

What Determines the Value of a Property

Written by Rasheedat Oduola on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Closing Services, Mortgage Services and Providers

Sepropert value imagellers often want to know the value of their property on the market. Is it about how much home improvement that has been done or the purchase price of the property. Most sellers think remodeling the house before it is put up for sale alone would help increase its market value.

This is usually not the case as the value placed on a property is much more determined by other factors than remodeling, making home improvements and maintenance.

A great factor that determines the value of a property is the fair market price. The fair market price is the price a buyer is willing to pay for the purchase of the property and the price the seller is willing to accept for the sale of the same property.

Determining the fair market price involves finding the values of properties in the same subdivision which are very similar to the property being put up for sale. This similarity  could be in terms of the property type, condition, number of floors, property square footage etc. These very similar properties are called comparables.
There are some cases where the exact comparables are not found for the property. In such instances, sales of properties which are similar but not exact can also be used as comparables.

In other to be able to compare this comparable sale to the property and bring them to the same level, net adjustments for differences are calculated in terms of the factors that affect the value which could range from difference in square footage , floors, amenities, house condition and view of the property.

Whether you are the buyer or the seller of a property, it is always advisable to seek the services of a professional to help determine the asking or the selling price unless you are versatile in that field and have carried out proper research.

Business slowing down?

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Closing Services, Mortgage Services and Providers

Now that business is slowing down, what do you do? How do you keep moving forward? Do you sit at home and just wait for the business to come to you?

Something you can tackle now with the business slowing is office politics. How things are running in the office, you know the place where your desk is located. No, not the one at home covered with stacks of papers but the one located off site and probably covered in dust. Well if this scenario describes your office, I would suggest beginning there, or maybe having the cleaning staff stop by a day before to get you started.

Now that the desk is cleared up, how are things in the office? Employee reviews up to date? Now would be a good time to catch up and touch base. Are all the departments running smoothly? Now may be a good time to hire new staff and complete training. Have them prepared for when things pick back up. How about a strategizing meeting with the staff to get things started. Marketing ideas, new product ideas or increasing coverage areas. Is the holiday season approaching? How about vacation times? Plan on some training and review of current policies. Look for areas that need improvement and then you should take small, common sense steps daily toward achieving those goals. Don’t try to tackle everything all at once, think small steps.

Woman looks up

Now would also be a good time to review stock. Such as paper stock, pens, ink, coffee and all other items that keep the office running smoothly. Recently a friend of mine told me her office incorporated a lunch service for all staff, maybe this is something to consider or even a potluck once a week would be fun and team building.

What ever you do, do something. That is why you’re here.  

Working from Home, Is it for you?

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Closing Services, Notary signings

how-working-from-home-worksWorking from home seems like the ideal scenario, but is it for you? There is more to evaluate when considering making the switch. The change in working environment not only affects you but those who are at home during the day as well. What you think you are saving in gas and commute time can cost you in other areas. Let’s look at some pros and cons.

Extra sleep.
No traffic issues.
No need to pack a lunch.
Dress code casual.
Less time away from home.

Now if you’re a parent, the likelihood that you can sleep in is slim, I still would need to make sure the kids eat, dress and get to school on time. That leads to the traffic issues, you still have to forge through it. Packing a lunch, I would still have to plan ahead to make sure it is easy to put together. The dress code is definitely a plus, unless of course your employer is requesting a live video while working. Let’s look at the cons.
Loss of social interaction.
Too many distractions.
Loss of regimen.
Too much time at home.

Social interaction can go both ways, at first you will find it to be more productive and then after a while you will notice you are more verbal on the phone with customers or after hours when talking to friends you just can’t seem to stay quiet. A quick follow up phone call turned out to be an hour on the line. Or the coffee break with a colleague turns into dinner. Now the distractions, I’m one of those people that can’t sit still when things around me are not tidy, I would continue to lose focus until I get up and straighten up what I didn’t want to do on my off time. I don’t know about you but I get off of work the commute to pick up my kids gives me a chance to change roles. To let go of my work day and turn on mommy mode. Same with the morning ride in, it gives me a chance to transition into work mode.

Too much time at home can go both ways. Your family sees you more, they feel you are involved. Then again you are seeing the same walls and faces for longer periods of time. Any chance you get to get out you will jump on it! Remember why you didn’t want to work in the office anymore?

These are just some things to consider when making the choice to transition.

Why New Real Estate Agents Fail

Written by Christina Green on . Posted in Field Services

3D real estate guy on a white backgroundMany experienced real estate agents love their job and feel that is one of the most fulfilling careers out there, but it takes a lot of hard work, patience, and determination to be successful.

It can take years for agents to see results, but many agents stick it out and make real estate their career until it’s time to retire. Many agents decide to leave the real estate field altogether for any number of reasons. Many new real estate agents end up leaving the industry early.

Some reasons why new real estate agents fail and end up leaving the business include:

Lack of training and experience

It is one thing to complete and pass your exams, but it’s another to use the lessons you learned during class and apply them to real life experiences. Learning is a lifelong skill and just because you passed your real estate exam doesn’t mean that the learning should stop there.

Many new real estate agents do not take advantage of the many certification courses and training classes that are available through their companies. Also a lot of new agents do not have a business plan that includes a clear vision and list of goals.   New agents should team up with their managers for one-on-one training. They have been in the business for quite some time and are there to serve as mentors.

Low on funds

For some agents that are coming into the industry after a career change, many are taken aback by the initial startup costs. Costs include MLS, NAR, state association and local association fees, marketing and advertising, business cards and lock boxes, among other business expenses. Additionally, a lot of new agents aren’t familiar with how a commission split works or are disappointed over how long it takes to generate a consistent flow of business.

Unrealistic expectations

Many new agents will come into the industry and treat it as a job, but real estate shouldn’t be treated as a business. Another expectation new agents have is that their personal friends and family members will help carry them through their first year of business, but oftentimes their friends and family will not be ready to buy or sell right away. Another belief is that they are there to sell houses when in reality, houses are secondary. Buyers and sellers will buy or sell with any agent. What you’re selling first is you.

Another common misconception that many new agents have is that they believe their brokers will generate and send any promising leads their way, but this is not the case. New agents lack the knowledge of what it will take to succeed. They enter the business believing that real estate will be an easy way to make money, and the difficulty is way beyond what they expected.


Need to know…

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Closing Services, Notary signings

handcuffed man Some simple mistakes can be misconstrued into big business issues, such as using the correct verbiage or keeping your stamp secure. Some notaries had to learn the hard way. When in doubt always do your research and then do more research. Other times you just have to stand up for the truth to be heard. When advertising your business, whatever the type do your research before committing to a template or specific verbiage. A notary in Arkansas (AR) had to learn the hard way. In the state of AR the Consumer Protection Act requires notaries to advertise in Spanish and English that they are not licensed attorneys. Apparently in many Latin American countries “notario publico” (notary public) is a specially trained lawyer, the misconception is taken as a scheme here in the states. “The suit in Washington County Circuit Court seeks an injunction to make Nimroozi follow the disclosure law. It may seek restitution if it is learned that Nimroozi charged fees for legal advice.” Posted the ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE. In 2008, Sacramento, CA the State Senate Appropriations Committee passed AB 886, a bill that will strengthen notary law and fight real estate fraud. Essentially this bill will has made it easier to investigate unethical and criminal notary practices. In these types of cases, notaries aid and abet fraud by loaning their journal to a non-notary, by notarizing documents without all of the parties present or by failing to properly secure their journal and stamp. Legislators approved a constitutional amendment in 1964 designating notaries public as officers of the state. According to the “Handbook of Maryland Notaries Public,” notaries are “held to the same high standards of public trust as other appointed and elected state officials,” and unlike other state officers, may hold another public office. Since then, notaries have administered oaths and affirmations, both of which are solemn statements of truth made under penalty of perjury.

Expanding your small business

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Closing Services, Notary signings, Tax

expand-your-business-with-us_1For those of you who have survived startup and built successful businesses, you may be wondering how to take the next step and grow your business beyond its current status. Don’t let the last recession fool you — now is as good a time as any to expand your business to global markets. Knowing when to expand a business is an important decision. Grow too … Finally, think about what impact a business expansion will have on you personally. When you first started your business, you probably did a lot of research. Is your small business as profitable as it could be? Has business been slow? Hard to keep busy? Struggling to keep active? Have you thought about expanding your coverage area, but the thought of gas prices keeping you close to home? Staying flexible in regards to distance is a great way to remain competitive. I would begin by looking at the statistics of your neighboring cities or counties. Evaluate the population and income levels, the higher either of these the more likelihood the expansion will pay off. You can go even further by looking at the number of available agents in that particular area as well to determine if you are even needed. Begin by contacting your current clients and then think about adding on new ones that service the new area specifically. Furthermore have you thought about adding on new services? As you contact your current clients you can ask them if there are any other services they need filled in your area and the new area you’re considering. It would be easier to start a new service with a current client as you have already built a relationship with them. Your current client may be more inclined to provide you with training you may not otherwise receive from a new client.

Congratulations on taking the next step!!

Be sure to stop back in and let me know how it worked out!!

Deadlines Scaring you?

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Closing Services, Notary signings

scheWhy do we stress ourselves out so much – just good old procrastination? Partly. A lot of it is also the logical thought that you want the team to REALLY know the material before completing it, and that takes time, pushing the start of the whole process back for several days. I will go against what might be logical popular opinion here and recommend something else – start earlier in the year and use the individual intense scrutiny that shadowing offers as a rehearsal per se to learn and strengthen yours and their confidence levels before they develop some potentially bad habits in each individual assignment.

Bear with me, though…

I find that when doing a last minute assignment no matter the type are essentially not ready, it becomes obvious in most cases that some people aren’t nearly as prepared as they think they are. The detailed quality control is just too hard to do. The act of planning ahead allows you to “kill two birds with one stone”, in that it’s a very detail-intensive rehearsal or planning criteria as well, working a few extra minutes now, a little at a time over and over until it’s easy to stay ahead. Such as certain documents for a notary assignment. You can create a folder to carry extra acknowledgement pages. Or for an inspector a folder containing signature pages or a blank sample report. Realtors a sample listing to ask all the questions to get it started at any time. Again, I hear you thinking: “Wait a minute, you make your living doing this, you’re just trying to make us spend more money, you vulture!”

Actually, it doesn’t have to cost any more, and theoretically should even SAVE you money in the mix while increasing your outside performance greatly – especially for those of you already working from the road. As having these documents with you, you will not need to return to the office to print a copy or miss a phone call because you just don’t know all the questions you need answered.

Financing applications are on the rise!

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Field Services, Home Buyers and Mortgagors, Mortgage Economy and Market, Notary signings

WorkingAs the market continues its rebound the applications are soaring. The economy is starting to rise in some markets and remain steady in others. Whether refinancing a current home or looking to purchase interested parties are signing up now before the rates sky rocket as history has proven. The increase was across the board with applications for either option of purchases or refinances, both are making healthy gains in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the same time period in 2013. Investors were concerned regarding the slight increase in interest rates, that it may slow down the progress but it has proven to motivate consumers.

“When we consider the seemingly illogical behavior of rates and applications moving higher together, it’s important to keep in mind that there were only really 2 days in the previous week with significantly lower rates than those seen last week,” notes Mortgage News Daily’s Matt Graham.  “It’s pretty normal for borrowers to get geared up for a mortgage while rates are falling, but to hold off on locking until it looks like the lows are in.  That’s exactly what last week gave us.” reported by MBA from its Weekly Mortgage Application Survey shortly after the Memorial Day holiday.

While foreclosure activity is down on a national level it has risen in 21 states compared to 2013. The largest annual increases were posted in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York to name the top three.

Whether you’re interested in market news as an investor, real estate agent, inspector or signing agent this news means progress. Our nation is moving forward, so be ready for the increased work orders and assignments and be prepared to meet those rush requests. Now is the time to let companies know of your availability as this is the vacation season and to get your affairs in order.

We’re ready for the boom but are you?