Executive Conversations is a HousingWire web series that profiles powerful people in the financial industry, highlighting the operations and the people that make this sector tick. In the latest installment, we sit down with Rida Sharaf, senior vice president of operations at USRES, to talk about the challenges and opportunities of providing REO liquidation for mobile homes.
Q. USRES is one of the oldest providers of real estate services in the country. What led USRES to start providing REO disposition for mobile homes?
A. Two foundational tenets within USRES’ corporate culture are continual service growth and innovative service solutions, both of which are paramount cornerstones in our quest to address our clients’ challenges and needs. Our many years of experience have provided us with a multitude of important attributes that give us a solid foundation to manage the disposition and liquidation of mobile homes.
First, adaptations and incorporation of new processes and procedures have been standardized in a fashion that expedites implementation, while maintaining QC expectations and guidelines.
Second, our strong and established relationship with our national vendor network. Possessing the “boots on the ground” is an intangible value that we have been very fortunate to have forged through our time within the industry.
Third, our expedited access and proficiency at adapting our existing technology to accommodate new product/asset workflows. Finally and perhaps most important, the experience of our tenured staff of real estate experts. Understanding the nuances of real property assets, specifically REO assets, has enabled us to quickly gather and master the unique idiosyncrasies associated with mobile homes.
All of these attributes positioned us perfectly to expand our industry-best REO management and liquidation services to the mobile home asset class. Simply stated, it just made sense, we have the capability, and there is a definite need.
Q. What are some of the challenges around providing this service for a new asset class?
A. As with traditional REO management and liquidation, the biggest challenges within the mobile home asset class are related to relationships and compliance.
The mobile home industry is a close-knit community with long-standing relationships between varying participants. Developing relationships based on trust and cooperation has been paramount. Taking the time to understand the needs, nuances, and expectations of our clients, mobile home dealers, manufacturers, vendors, and buyers has played a vital role in establishing our presence and value within this community.
At the forefront of this relationship building are professionalism and integrity. Once we established trust and clearly communicated our vested interest in the collective success of all parties involved, we quickly were able to begin streamlining procedures and process, thus making management and liquidation faster with heightened accuracy.
Just as important as the aforementioned relationships is the understanding of the regulatory guidelines involved with managing and liquidating mobile homes. Every state (and in some cases, county) has different rules governing the various aspects of the management and sale of this asset class. Being able to quickly aggregate, process, and learn these laws and guidelines was of the utmost priority.
As I mentioned previously, our robust implementation procedures and subject-matter-expert staff, through our vast vendor networks, were able to accomplish the necessary steps to understand the different rules and regulations, while simultaneously implementing procedural and technological workflows and tools to remain compliant.
Q. What role does technology play in successfully liquidating mobile homes?
A. Technology has become a cornerstone in almost all aspects of real estate management and liquidation (and life in general). Mobile home asset management is no exception. Through USRES’ intimate understanding and proficiency of the RES.NET REO Portal, we were able to quickly utilize existing workflows and tools to begin standardizing the process.
Additionally, through the REO Portal’s custom field and task capabilities, we were able to quickly add critical waterfall-type workflows and procedures to assist our clients and us in maintaining a high level of quality assurance, while establishing a higher degree of transparency and performance reporting related to the management and liquidation of mobile homes. Technology has played a critical role in our successful implementation of this product offering.
Furthermore, we are in active discussions to develop even more robust tools to continue to expand our reach and transparency, while systematically improving execution and results related to the mobile home asset class.
Q. How does your company’s long experience in REO disposition help you understand the nuances of servicing this unique property type?
A. As I mentioned earlier, our extensive experience in the management and liquidation of traditional REO Asset Management puts us in a unique position to successfully enter the mobile home REO space. Over the course of 25 years, we have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from our clients, vendors, and specifically challenging situations, which has made us adept at problem-solving related to new products, processes, and the associated procedures necessary to be successful.
I believe that what sets our service (and our company in general) apart from our competitors is our focus and attention on what our clients expect and need. We take the time to go through every detail to gain a full understanding of what is required and potentially what can be improved upon. We take a lot of pride in our accountability and ownership related to everything we work on or intend to take on. I believe these two specific qualities provide a platform that breeds a culture of success.
Given this culture and the high expectations we put on ourselves, taking on new products and/or services is something that we welcome and look forward to.