Charting the course for the future was the theme of the day when members of the Five Star Institute's Federation of Certified REO Experts (FORCE) convened on Sunday for the 6th Annual FORCE Rally at the 2016 Five Star Conference and Expo in Dallas.
The three-hour rally included presentations from some of the most elite REO agents and brokers and other industry stakeholders on trending topics within the REO industry and how to prepare for the future. Ruben Peña, President/Owner of TC Austin (Texas) Residential and chairman of the FORCE advisory board, moderated the event and provided his usually witty commentary throughout.
Ed Delgado, President and CEO of the Five Star Institute, provided an update on the market. Delgado told the audience not to abandon the REO space, because REO is a byproduct of the industry that will never stop; the businesses that perform well in the current REO market—that is, one where volume levels are similar to those from before the crisis—are the ones that diversify their business model.
Several experts from the industry spoke to the audience about various aspects on the state of REO. Sharon Bartlett, Executive Director of Industry Relations for the Five Star Institute, spoke about the most important benefits for FORCE members and partnerships that can benefit a brand. Jerry Mavellia, CEO of Guardian Asset Management, spoke about the importance of making lasting connections in order to grow a business.
Randy Cecil, President of Truly Noble Services, spoke on expanding business by utilizing the relationship between agents and property preservation companies; Mercedes Henriksson, director of loss mitigation with Fannie Mae, spoke about the importance of being proactive as an REO agent and executing a top of mind strategy. Dennis Cisterna, CRO of Investability, spoke on where the hottest single-family rental markets are; Eddie Speed, founder of NoteSchool, talked about the importance of finding market inefficiencies when buying notes; Amy Sanchez, VP of Business Development with Prescient Asset Management, spoke on new government and private sector assets that are booming in the REO and single-family rental markets; Steve Liang, co-founder of MLS Deal Finder, spoke on the new software programs that make an REO agent or broker’s job easier; and Rick Sharga, EVP of Corporate Communications with Ten-X, spoke on the importance of shifting real estate transactions to online from end to end.
Mixed in with the speakers, the audience also heard from three panels that included various experts within the REO industry on topics such as investment and single-family rental, growing a business through networking, technology, and market insights, and best practices and strategies to excel in the “contact sport” of real estate.
Editor's note: The Federation of REO Certified Experts (FORCE) is the Five Star Institute’s organization of residential agents and brokers working in the field of real estate owned (REO) properties. The Five Star Institute is the parent company of DS News and DSNews.com.