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From HW Magazine

Safeguard Properties innovates new technology solutions

Anticipating future challenges to mitigate risk

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TheCOMPANY

As the largest field services company in the country, Safeguard continues to develop industry-leading technologies that improve the accuracy of property updates and provide best practices for the entire industry.

Safeguard delivers a full spectrum of inspection, maintenance, preservation, property registration, repairs and rehab services on vacant, defaulted and foreclosed properties.safeguard

“What distinguishes Safeguard is our commitment to delivering excellent customer service and performing at the highest levels of quality, timeliness and cost-effectiveness,” said Robert Klein, founder and chairman.

Mortgage field servicers continue to adapt to meet the changing housing climate where the number of distressed properties is declining and the time to foreclose is rising.

Safeguard has been testing the use of video in the field as one of the most promising new technologies for field services companies. Video gives the boots-on-the-ground inspectors and contractors the ability to report damages and receive bid approvals in real time, and provides more detailed evidence of any issues at a property.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, the possibilities of video in this industry are endless,” said CEO Alan Jaffa.

Regulatory challenges are putting service providers under increased scrutiny and Safeguard stays on top of this by anticipating client needs, employing best practices to minimize risk, and creating comprehensive frameworks to ensure transparent communication from all organizational levels.

“From new technology and the expansion of in-house internal audit and compliance teams, we have been working to proactively and aggressively manage risk, and to ensure the frameworks are in place to maintain regulatory compliance and fully protect the consumer,” Jaffa said.

Now in its 25th year, Safeguard believes its biggest opportunities will come from technology.

By looking at industry problems or situations from a fresh perspective and investing heavily in new technology, Safeguard has been able to optimize mobile location, business intelligence and tracking. This technology means they can identify location accuracy, quality check the data, ensure the right people are at the right property at the right time doing the right work and support compliance requirements.

“By critically looking at the issues currently facing the industry, Safeguard has been able to provide solutions to minimize risks to clients and to properties,” Jaffa said. “Safeguard’s forward-thinking approach allows the company to anticipate industry challenges and changes and develop best practices to meet them head on.”

TheEXECUTIVES

Robert Klein, Founder and Chairman

RobertRobert Klein is the founder and chairman of the board for Safeguard. Under Klein’s leadership, Safeguard grew from a handful of employees in 1990 into the largest field services company in the industry, with an extensive network of contractors throughout the United States. Klein assumed the role of chairman in May of 2010.

Klein serves as chair of the National Vacant Properties Registration Committee of the MBA
and he represents not only Safeguard, but the industry as a whole in national associations including MBA, USFN, CMBA and REOMAC. He also is the founder of the National Property Preservation Conference in Washington, D.C. In 2009, Klein received the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He won both in the northeast Ohio region in the category of professional services and asset management firms, and nationally in the servicing category.

Alan Jaffa, CEO

Alan JaffaAlan Jaffa assumed the role of CEO in May 2010. Previously he served as COO. He also serves on the board of advisors for SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complementary markets. Since joining Safeguard in 1995, Jaffa has worked in nearly every department. Under his leadership, Safeguard has doubled in size and, in 2010 and 2011, was recognized as the fastest-growing large company in Northeast Ohio.

Gregory Robinson, CPA, CFO and EVP

GregGregory Robinson directs all financial management activities and also oversees human resources, quality assurance, internal audit and support services at Safeguard. Under his HR leadership, Safeguard has implemented strategies to support a 400% increase in Safeguard’s work force since 2006. Robinson also serves on the board of advisors for SCG Partners. Prior to joining Safeguard, Robinson led successful consulting practices at CGI Inc., NetGov Inc. and ORION Consulting. He is a CPA in the state of Ohio. In 2010, Robinson was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business as CFO of the Year in the category of large private companies.

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