For quite some time now Foreclosurepedia has been drilling down the fact that in upwards of 80 percent of the current contractors in the Property Preservation Industry (Industry) have no business in the Industry. If this was the military, these 80 percent would have never made it through MEPS. Unfortunately and much like sexually transmitted diseases, they are ever present and their numbers multiply daily due in large part to Regional Order Mills posting Craigslist ad after Craigslist ad. My theory is that the main requirements to be hired include: Contractors must own a Pinto hatchback, have a death grip on a Old E 40 and an electric lawn mower. No applications are considered unless you have a minimum of two felonies.
The Property Preservation Industry today has been destroyed, in large part, due to ZERO oversight by the National Order Mills with respect to the hiring process on behalf of their financial institution clients (FIC). As the theory goes, the more uneducated a person is, the less apt they will be to cause problems or complain about not being paid. By in large, if the 80 percenters are cutting grass to pay for their parole fees and score a sack on the corner they are not going to be preoccupied with trivialities like professionalism or G-d forbid legalities.
Over the past several fiscal quarters there has been a movement spurred, in part, by the FICs to get a better Return on Investment (ROI) for the meager 15 to 20 cents on the dollar that actually reaches their properties. Novel concepts such as work ethic and aesthetics are creeping back into the Industry vocabulary — no, Robert Klein’s investment in Minority Opportunities is not the lynchpin. In any other Industry on Earth there are Training Mechanisms in play which both determine the competence of the work force and additionally utilize metrics to ensure the validity of the same. The Property Preservation Industry has struggled with Training for decades now. Accordingly, Foreclosurepedia decided to reach out and examine this quandary and these are our results and recommendations.
Here is a novel concept: Transparently examine the Training Models available and recommend to Contractors where they should put their money. No Good ‘Ol Boy System; Foreclosurepedia simply lays out the facts and suggests where Contractors should go to get the best training at the best price.
First, why Training? Most Contractors tell me that they know what they know and have been doing it for twenty years. That’s great: Get on board with the 80 percenters! Here’s a news flash: You have NO WAY of proving what you know! Go no further than the High School Diploma; while the 80 percenters find that the GED is well and good, a Diploma is a Public Withholding of a skills assessment. Other Contractors piss and moan about the costs; a further addition to the already heavy load, and a perceived burden which is unfair. Most 80 percenters agree! Another news flash: Real Contractors have bills other than a dime bag and pay per view!
The two main Training Platforms I found were from the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) and Rob Preston over at Fury Learn. We had taken a look at NAMFS and their Testing in a Previous Article. So, I took a look at the NAMFS Model first,
The NAMFS Academy has a set of “Modules” which appear to be based upon pricing reflected for either Members of NAMFS or Non Members. Non NAMFS Members pay an ADDITIONAL THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER TEST! Now, the Membership into NAMFS is anywhere from THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS with an additional ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS TO THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS for a Non Refundable Application Fee! To add insult to injury, the testing is only good for ONE year!
I cannot really opine upon the testing as there is absolutely no documentation about NAMFS’ Testing Program. I will say that I am extremely concerned with the fact that NAMFS refers to their Testing as Certification. This is a precarious position to take as I am unable to find any International Organization for Standardization (ISO) documentation. I suppose that NAMFS is allowed to “certify” whatever they want; the US Government and most Industries rely upon ISO Certification Standards, though.
Enter Rob Preston. Preston is actually an ex-NAMFS hand. There is a large bio on him over on Preservation Talk. He originally worked upon a NAMFS Educational Model which was cast off several years back. This is a HUGE story which we are going to publish later this Summer. Preston realized early on that the importance of Training revolved around the ability to quantify the metrics involved in testing. Not just the metrics, though, but also creating an ALL INCLUSIVE Testing Model within reach of the Boots on the Ground Contractor! This also is not Preston’s first rodeo. Preston has been working with large Industry Firms to ensure that their Contractors are top notch. The reason this is important? Preston knows both sides of the Training Coin as he has both blue and white collar experience.
Preston’s Training Model measures multiple metrics including how much time a person is actually logged into a test. One of the most striking differences between Preston’s Fury Learn Testing and NAMFS’ is that Preston actually provides Training Material. Additionally, Preston’s obvious dedication to the Boots on the Ground Contractor shines through in his Pricing. Rob has been in the field with us and knows that every dollar counts at the end of the day. Instead of the possible THOUSAND DOLLARS PLUS which a Contractor may incur from NAMFS, Preston has put together his Triple Play Deal specifically for the Boots on the Ground Contractor! This includes NOT ONLY THE TESTING, but the large edition Mortgage Field Services Manual AND the Pocket Guide! The Price? Folks, let’s not bullshit around here, Preston rolls all of this out for 75 bucks! Now, let me think a minute: Both NAMFS and Preston provide accepted Testing Models; both NAMFS and Preston have been utilized within the Property Preservation Industry yet NAMFS want hundreds and possibly well over a THOUSAND DOLLARS MORE!
I want to dwell on the above paragraph quotation for a moment. The stark differences between NAMFS and Preston are really at the heart of what is wrong with the Industry today. NAMFS penalizes a Contractor, by and through the pricing of its Testing, for not joining their Association. As there is no legal system of credentialing in place to determine whether or not the NAMFS Model or Preston’s Model are better or worse than the other when juxtaposed, why would any Contractor in his or her right mind pay more for the same Product? Let’s go a step further. NAMFS recently threw their hat in the ring to the Insurance Underwriters in an attempt to have their Model be considered for a price reduction on Policies.
Foreclosurepedia realized immediately that NO competition; no consumer choice, would be a disservice to both the Contractors and the Industry as a whole. We reached out to the Insurance Industry and liaised with them to ensure that Preston’s Model be considered as well! You know what happened? They are looking at Preston’s Model now alongside the NAMFS Model.
For any Company to require one Training Model over another violates the Independent Contractor vs Employee Mandate. Let’s not mince words here, the Playing Field is ripe for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to begin to closely examine Companies whom demand ONLY their pre approved Training. At the end of the day any type of Company Training forced upon Contractors borders upon immediately creating an Employee Status. I am not implying that NAMFS would ever look at the landscape in this manner; I am stating that Companies would be very wise to consider whether or not they want to deal with an SS-8 Filing.
Contractors come to Foreclosurepedia daily to get information on the Property Preservation Industry. You count on us to break the stories no one wants told and recommend how to get the best value for your hard earned dollar! I have personally known Rob Preston since I originally founded the National Property Preservation Guild (NPPG). Training was at the forefront of my Strategy which is why I reached out to he and Terry Platt. While I have moved on from the NPPG to pursue other objectives, NPPG has continued to foster its wise goal of vetting potential members by and through Preston’s Testing LITE. I rarely recommend anyone publicly; however, in the case of Rob Preston and Fury Learn I am 110% behind them!
Look, I didn’t get the Quality and High Placed Sources I work with in my investigative journalism by chance. People know two things about Foreclosurepedia and I: First, people know that the welfare of Contractors are my TOP PRIORITY. Second, people know that I am on the cutting edge of Industry Prognostication. Training will become mandatory far sooner than anyone knows! I broke the 30 Minute Interview with Michelle Hirsch, Senior Vice President of Brunswick Companies, with respect to Errors and Omissions back when most folks didn’t even know what it was! No different here. Do yourself a favor and get in front of the bus instead of UNDER the bus! Get a hold of Rob Preston over a Fury Learn today and let him know that you ARE NOT an 80 Percenter and you want the Testing which will secure your place in a more profitable future! Don’t put it off; don’t wait until tomorrow — DO IT TODAY!
In the spirit of FULL DISCLOSURE I am in no way, shape or form being PAID for this Review of Rob Preston.