As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, May 2011.
In Marcy Briggs' home base of Phoenix, foreclosures are almost the norm, rather than a niche.
Foreclosure homes comprised 43 percent of Phoenix-area sales in January, according to an Arizona State University report. In all of Arizona, foreclosures accounted for 49 percent of all transactions in 2010 — the second-highest rate among states — foreclosure-research firm RealtyTrac says.
Since 2008, Briggs says, loans for foreclosure and real estate-owned properties have been the bulk of her business. In 2010, they made up 77 percent of her volume — tops among the year's highest-producing originators.
Although focusing on foreclosures may be necessary for survival for brokers in Phoenix and similar cities, it's not a move to take lightly. Foreclosure deals can involve more paperwork than other loans, Briggs says, in addition to more guidelines, more-complicated situations and ultimately, more cooks in the kitchen when closing time comes.
One secret to success, Briggs says, is to focus on the core service values that every broker should maintain. "If you do right by your clients and referring partners and don't react 'transactionally' — meaning [you shouldn't] treat relationships as transactions — you will be successful."
Tony Stasiek is a producer/editor for MSN. He is based in Seattle.
View Scotsman Guide's Top Originators 2010 rankings at sctsm.in/TOlist.