It is party time as seen by the photo above of Eric “The Cowboy” Miller, NAMFS Executive Director being walked around the ring. In a recent survey conducted by Foreclosurepedia of inspectors working throughout the Industry, there has been a dramatic decrease of inspections originating from Cyprexx, Guardian Asset Management, and ZVN Properties. There were moderate increases reported at both Brookstone Management and National Field Representatives (NFR). A2Z Field Services and MCS were reported to be roughly the same, month-over-month. Out of the 100 inspectors we survey there was a loss of nine percent — nine people — who simply left the Industry due to a lack of work. These folks have made up the core of our surveys over the past year with most inspectors fielding at least 200 inspections per month.
The data is concerning. Several months ago, Foreclosurepedia reported on the massive movement away from independent contractors to employees in many of the metropolitan areas. In fact, out of the 387 designated metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) in the United States, at least half of them have Prime Vendor employees providing services including all of the Top 10 MSA’s.
Foreclosurepedia’s survey of administrative personnel working at the largest Industry firms have shown and enormous turnover of staff, as well. In fact, the online employment website Indeed has shown that there is an enormous amount of dissatisfaction with all of the Prime Vendors. It really seems to be a race to the bottom when it comes to how these firms are organized. Guardian Asset Management tied with Brookstone Management with the lowest ratings with Brookstone’s here and Guardian’s 2.1 out of 5 star rating here. Startlingly, Guardian and Brookstone were both rated lower than National Field Network, who was forced into involuntary bankruptcy with a 2.3 star rating. Cyprexx weighed in at a 2.9 star rating. MCS did not fare much better with a 3.1 star rating. National Field Representatives was just above MCS with a 3.2 star rating. A2Z Field Services came in with a 3.3 star rating and tied with ZVN Properties 3.3 star rating.
In all due candor, when you click the links and read through the reviews left by current and former employees, they are brutally honest. And in an Industry where customer service is key and retaining contractors is the only way to survive, these ratings give merit to the reported 70 percent attrition rate of labor in our Industry as reported by NAMFS.
Building on this mess is the fact that NAMFS Prime Vendors have received enormous pay hikes from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD which we have reported upon, in the past. To this point, exterior inspections now pay $30 and interior inspections pay $45 across the board. This comprises over ninety percent of all inspections in the Industry. Additionally, grass cuts were raised to $525 by Freddie Mac. NAMFS members today pay $7 — not a typo — on average per inspection and $35 per grass cut. The price hikes were pitched based upon the fact that NAMFS members were going to increase pay to Labor which was an outright lie.
The fact of the matter is that 2024 may be the first year wherein both administrative and boots on the ground personnel simply leave and the Industry ends up with no ability to perform the services. Brookstone Management, whom took over the Assero Fannie Mae contracts and ZVN Properties have both been plagued with an inability to complete work on time and sometimes not at all. And with payments lagging in upwards of two months after completion, the reality is that even if there were price hikes, most contractors simply are refusing to perform the work. Add to that the recent collapse of Assero and failure to pay nearly One Million Dollars to Labor on Fannie Mae and LoanCare contracts by HUD M&M FSM Awardee 24 Asset Management, the reality is grim when it comes to hiring new contractors.
Editor’s Note: Magically, several hours after publication, Guardians Indeed score climbed to 2.6 stars. 19 people gave Guardian 1 star and 11 gave them 5 stars. No category rating, though, was above 2.8 stars.