Property services industry vital in preventing foreclosures: FAS
Field Asset Services expects things to get busier in 2012. The Austin, Texas-based property services firm said protection and maintenance services during the pre-foreclosure process will increase. Demand for single-family REO properties from institutional investors will increase. And access to key property data for banks and servicers, allowing them reduce expenses and boost sales opportunities, will increase. FAS said providing superior customer service, pre-empting problems and demanding knowledge that will deliver results should be key business priorities for the property preservation industry this year. "The field services industry must be proactive and begin delivering banks and (mortgage) servicers vital property information to avoid additional foreclosures from occurring," according to FAS CEO Dale McPherson. The company sees remodeling services increasing as investors begin purchasing properties to transition to rentals. Last week, BuildFax reported that its residential remodeling index in November rose for the 25th straight month from a year earlier, exceeding levels reached during the home-equity withdrawal boom of 2004 to 2006. "Residential remodeling in 2011 grew substantially above 2010 rates and remained strong through the end of the year,” said Joe Emison, vice president of research and development at BuildFax. McPherson said property services firms need to work more closely with municipalities to ensure code violations are mitigated. "New programs are being created to lessen the burden banks and servicers are carrying, but as field service providers, we can begin making a difference today by taking greater initiative, developing expertise in our work and becoming trusted partners with our customers," he said. FAS said mobile technology innovation is necessary for vendors and contractors to work more efficiently from the field and deliver guaranteed results in 2012. The firm expects utilities management services to become more essential in helping ease customers' pains. Write to Justin T. Hilley. Follow him on Twitter @JustinHilley.