I'm appraching my 6-month anniversary of being a Preferred Partner. Much of the information SSSN provides is helpful, but its 'guarantee' of at least one lead every 90 days has proven worthless to me. I've asked if there is a dignified means of bowing out with a prorated refund, but get no response. I know my negotiating skills are up to par, yesterday I got an offer for $375,000 on one of my Wells short saale listings - $40,000 above its certified appraisal.
Has anyone else had this sort of experience with SSS? Maybe ther are experiencing growing pains, but I prefer not on my dollar.
John E. Bonnett, CDPE, e-PRO
I think it depends on the area you service. Here in the Twin Cities we saw referral leads come in on a regular basis (1-2 a month on average). Mind you, like all leads not all were ready to do anything or were just gathering information but that's the way it is.
Had one who wanted all kinds of information and then turned out to not only be listed already but listed as a short sale. Had to tread very lightly on that one :>)
Under normal situations, I do not respond to these forums because it usually never produces anything good however, I did want to speak to a much bigger issues here that you address eliquently in your post.
Before I get started, I must disclose that REOPro by July 4th, if not earlier will also be entering the lead generation market and yes, we will have a dramatically different business model but, it's lead generation none the less.
For anyone considering buying leads, like yourself, you have some things you must consider. Granted, I won't be hitting upon every consideration but, here are the big ones.
1. Cost: Can you afford the payment?
2. Return: Is the actual return worth the cost?
3. Guarantee or Warranty: What promises have been made by the company generating the lead?
Now, for most well intentioned lead generation sites / companies, these questions you have as a user of our services, Short Sale Specialist or whomever, is something we strive to answer with sincerity, clarity, and honor. Yes, our industry has many lead generations sites out there that make wild promises and can't deliver and yes, many of us have been screwed over however, I can assure you Short Sale Specialist is not one of those companies.
I also need to be clear, I am not on Short Sale Specialist staff, they have not paid me, I am truly an independent voice so, when I express my opinoin in this reply, its truly my opinoin and no one elses.
Ok, so back to the issues at hand and, out of courtesy, I want to address each of your issues.
You Stated: "its 'guarantee' of at least one lead every 90 days has proven worthless to me."
My Reply: I can completely understand and agree with you that if you had not recevied a lead in 90 days or less, then the guarantee of such is worthless. Yet, I have had conversations with Mike on this very specific issue and let me assure you that your lack of a lead in 6 months is not be design or intention. Mike strives diligently to ensure that ever member he brings in to this network meets the business needs of the network so that he can deliver on the 90 day promise. Yes, will some people fall through the cracks, will some people not get a lead in 90 days for whatever the reason.....yes, that will happen. The fact of the matter is, that is the nature of running a large company / network. In my humble opinoin however, it's not because they were wanting, intended, designed or purposefully did not deliver. It just may be as simple as business need.
You Stated: I've asked if there is a dignified means of bowing out with a prorated refund, but get no response.
My Reply: First off, I can't speak for Mike or his Network however, I would be hard pressed to believe that they wouldn't deliver on their promises or giving you an option to bow out with some dignity. Once again, I have to go back to my personal conversation with Mike on thise issue and let me assure you, his reputation is very imporant to him and because of that, I am confident that you will likely hear from him or someone in his network soon. I am also confident that an amicable end to the relationship can be reached because I am sure Mike would have it no other way. Let me stress here once again, I do not speak for Mike or his network, I am simply speculating based on my relationship with this network and my conversations with Mike.
You Stated: Has anyone else had this sort of experience with SSS? Maybe ther are experiencing growing pains, but I prefer not on my dollar.
My Reply: Of course, someone has had a similar experience, statistically it's a fact. Asking if someone has had a similar experience is much like asking has anyone ever seen the sun. I know my analogy is fantastical at best but, my point isn't. The reality is it's just impossible to please everyone so, you will likely find someone who isnt' happy. I heard it once said that if you try to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one, this is so true in the world of lead generation.
With that being said, let me emphasise my point. I do believe you may find some people not happy with the network, why....because that is the by product of running a large network, I know. I do not believe however that Mike nor his Network was designed, setup or purposefully trying to "learn on someone elses dime" and I am willing to risk my own reputation as the owner of REOProNetwork.net.
Thanks and look forward to hearing from SSSNetwork, I am sure you will.
Thanks Jesse for your lengthy and thoughtful reply.
I've never doubted Mike's character or intent, I presume his Thanksgiving letter to all of us reflects his beliefs, and mine. I recognize that lead generation is a tough, difficult business.
At the outset let me correct one error I made in my earlier post; getting 'no leads' was not true. During the 4th month (I believe) I was grousing via email to April about no leads and the value of the guarantee; this yielded a lead in a large condo complex in Lisle, IL that required cash buyers since more than 15% of the owners were delinquent paying their dues, thus lenders won't lend. I appraoached it with the same zeal as the one we got an offer on yesterday for $375,000, even though it would have hurried the condo to fetch $100,000, probably less.
After gathering much information from the owner and contacting his lender and putting a package 70% together, the owner decided he was going to 'sweat it out' and not list it now. The more I educated him about the process, the less he liked what he saw.
In my zipcode (60047) there are nearly 400 preforeclosure cases on record. Fortunately, I've been able to garner a few. It's surprising, however, that SSSN isn't able to attract 1% from that area. Since even one per quarter seems impossible, I think it's reasonable for me to raise the question, "Is there a dignified way of discontinuing my membership?"
Thanks to you and 'thanks' to all who responded to my earlier 'flawed' post.
Have a productive day.
gosh John - something doesn't sound right...
what area do you service? is it a rural area where there is not much action? I received a fair amount of referrals, not all work out and I too am a good closer, but in real estate - part of it is just plain numbers.
Are there other Preferred Members in your area? I know there has been a campaign for new members - for instance, if my area gets another member.....well, there's just not enough referrals for two of us (right now I THINK there is only me - maybe I should check because the # of referrals has slowed down)
It's also unusual to not receive a response from the SSN team - they are typically very responsive.
I am sorry that you are not satisfied with our services. On 11/16/09 when you signed up for our network, the only open area we had available that you serviced was Lake County, IL. You still signed up knowing this. On March 19th, you posted on our forum and we contacted you. We then revised your service areas and gave you a referral on March 24th. At that point, you did not mention anything about a refund. Your statement that you have not received a referral in 6 months is obviously not true. I have attached a copy of the referral we sent you on March 24th. We have a stellar reputation, if you would like to see our testimonials click below:
John, I've been a Preferred Partner for nearly a year and have received very few leads, none of which have turned into listings. I attribute this mostly to the fact that I am on the opposite Coast and in a primarily rural area, while SSSN is based I believe in Florida. In spite of the limited number of leads, I've found their staff to be very supportive and conscientious and do plan to continue for at least another year looking to see an improvement in the number of leads generated. Their website and networking opportunities are first rate and I know that I'll get what leads there are in my area. This business is tough and getting tougher and timing is everything when it comes to snagging listings rights now but it only takes one good lead that leads to a listing/sale and my cost is more than covered. Hope the balance of this year goes well for you.
While, in the last year, I have only gotten one (1) listing referral from SSSN, I am not complaining. It's approved and going to settlement in 3 weeks. If we do the math: $265,000 sales price = $7,950 @ 3%; less SSSN referral fee of $1,987.50 = $5,962.50 return on my Preferred Partner Membership. Try and do that on Wall Street! (Only Bernie Madoff could do that! And we know how that turned out.)
. . . not to mention all the other great benefits and association with Mike and the other great members of the Preferred Partner Group. "Preferred Partner Membership? . . . It's a no brainer!
Hats-Off to SSSN!
"Patience is a Virtue" is a truth!
I was searching the member database for an agent in CA that I can give a referral to when I came across this group discussion. I too want to add my .2 mainly because you are in my preferred membership area in IL—In other words, I also service the 60047 zip code!...I would be more than happy to see you step down to a non-preferred member- This way, I might get a better chance of snagging one of those nice Lake Zurich homes as a SSN referral! LOL!!!
Let me share something with you- More than half of those NODs are people that are on the "loan-mod hamster wheel"- I used to sit on the board of directors for a not-for-profit who counseled folks through the loan mod process- Believe me when I say, over 60% of those we helped modify their loans were back in our office re-applying 6 months later for another mod. When you make reference, “In my zip code (60047) there are nearly 400 pre-foreclosure cases on record” that might be entirely true but don’t assume that they are all potential short sale clients! Lake Zurich and the surrounding areas like Kildeer and Hawthorne Woods are top notch communities with good schools and nice homes. Most people who reside there want to keep their homes-
I have been working with an elderly gentleman (widower) who lives in a $600K house in Palatine (next town over from Lake Zurich) who has modified his loan through Chase 3 times in the last 2 years! After having some medical problems and falling behind on his mortgage, he rented out 2 of his bedrooms just so he could qualify for a loan mod and keep his home of 19 years! A few months after he was approved, one tenant stopped paying and he went into default again… Kick the tenant out, get a new renter and re-apply…This is just one example of the many homeowners I have worked with in your area who will do anything and everything before they short sale!
You seem to be a very knowledgeable and talented short sale specialist who should be proud of your 100% closure rate- If this network isn’t working out for you, try a different area or a different direction for lead generations.
The Short Sale Network has been nothing but professional in my experience and has many added benefits aside from their listing referral program. Perhaps you aren't aware of this? (ie, buyer-link program, discussions, etc.) When I read through the member discussions, I learn something new every week! I know the info our members share is invaluable! For the record, I have only received 3 referrals this year (one every other month and only 1 was good). I have closed 2 deals from last year’s referrals to net 9K, so for the few hundred dollars I paid to join, I got over a 2200% R.O.I.!
In closing, (I know this was somewhat long winded) I just want to point out that Mike and his staff are awesome in every direction! The team is also very much aware that the leads are dropping a bit in our area- I was asked recently to provide statistics for the 5 counties in Chicagoland to see if we can get the lead generation going again- It will also get the SEO (search engine optimization) up- Things are constantly changing, with new info daily on the web. Web sites need to have fresh content to drive sellers to their sites so they are working on revamping the portal. Our network has grown by leaps and bounds-with that comes growing pangs! With that being said, I am very proud to be a preferred member of the Short Sale Network…
Whatever route you chose, I wish you the best of luck! I sincerely hope you go away (not literally) knowing your frustration is understandable, but your implication is NOT in any way deliberate- I would assume it is just your service area and the fact that you only service 1 zip code. I service over 200! :-)