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The Art Of Negotiation

Everything in life requires negotiation. Whether we talk about a successful marriage; the cultivation of a proper pH soil content for a vineyard; strategic alliances; or business. I am not going to reinvent the wheel here; I am not going to instruct Labor or Management upon the Arcane Art of Negotiation — you either have the talent or you do not. What is required, though, is the ability to establish dialogue.

As I reported upon earlier, SEAS LLC has presented a Press Release which Kim Fatica, Director of Marketing and Business Development confirmed was released by himself upon behalf of SEAS LLC. The two components of the Press Release dealt with an RFQ — a Request For Qualifications; and a RFB — a Request For Bid. The acronyms are poignant as they are everyday language for folks like myself and others involved in the Federal Contracting Industry. To most Contractors, though, they are a defining moment; a proverbial Line in the Sand which will separate the wheat from the chaff.

I digress. I reached out to Fatica today whom was obviously swamped with the final preparations for the historic unveiling of SEAS LLC’s potential landmark business model. Why do I use such flourish in my Article? Quite frankly, it should be obvious. For the first time in the history of the Mortgage Field Services Industry a large Regional Player is opening up dialogue. The analogy is much like the delicate protocols involved wherein President Obama shook hands with Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz at the Nelson Mandela Memorial Service. While outwardly the impression had to of been anticipated by those involved with diplomatic protocol; while the forgone conclusion could have been surmised from an intelligence point-of-view, it was an unscripted moment.

What I write this evening as the fog rolls along in anticipation of yet another round of rain is not so much about SEAS LLC as a whole, but rather about their mindset; it is about the Art of Negotiation.

Kim Fatica is no stranger to Negotiations nor is he hampered by a shyness of the media. A Member of the American Marketing Association and former Broadcast Journalist for decades, Fatica brings several strengths to his job as Director. The bio aside, what he brings, which I find to be most valuable, is a fresh set of eyes upon a stagnating issue.

Introspection is both a painful and sometimes a debilitating experience. Introspection is probably the Number One reason why human beings part company with inordinate amounts of hard earned capital to visit the proverbial shrink. In this same way Companies oft times hire Consultants to handle delicate and obfuscated issues. I, myself, have Consulted to roughly eight percent of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) Membership on a formal contingency. Informally, that number probably rises to around nineteen percent. We had an old saying on K Street, “There are no enemies in the world of politics or finance, merely those whom write larger checks.”

Fatica was kind enough to respond to my email today. Both candid and sharp witted, I sense a mood of intellectual examination is occurring. What I mean is this: The National Order Mills are legacy orientated. Much like Strom Thurmond was, they are tolerated; however, their clout is wearing thin. The reality is that we are in a state of flux with respect to the Mortgage Field Services Industry. Dodd – Frank aside, the Financial Institutions are beginning to understand that their Return of Investment (RoI) is limited by both the stigmatization of bad apples on the tree and the reality that the ability to project a sphere of influence by these bad apples is now limited in scope.

Fatica has a pretty good track record in turning the tide. I won’t belabor the matter; the facts are there if you dig deep enough. I am 94% confident that his Territorial Model will ultimately prevail — I will have a larger Article out on this over the Weekend. The reality, though, is that even the contemplation of dialogue is enough to get my attention. So, I am not examining the Pricing Matrix here; what I am placing under the microscope is whether or not Fatica vis à vis SEAS LLC has a legitimate end game which will take into consideration Contractors. To be clear here I am not talking about Order Mill Contractors whom I despise ever more so than even terrorists — I believe they are economic terrorists. I am talking about Contractors like my girlfriend or those of you whom send in emails by the hundreds each week asking for help or advice.

The Art of Negotiation is premised upon several criteria. First, two diametrically opposed forces generally want something each other has. In the instant case, Management desires Contractors to perform services and Labor desires hard currency from Management. To date, Labor and Management have been at odds. Over the past year and a half, the deterioration of pay has been in a downward spiral not dissimilar to the sub prime crisis which created the ability for both Management and Labor to earn money.

No two sides involved in negotiation ever achieve precisely what they want. When both parties come to the table each are equally disadvantaged. In the instant case, though, I believe that SEAS LLC is in a precarious position. The Herd Mentality at NAMFS has always been to divide and conquer. For each and every well documented case of fraud I have published upon, I have received equal threats of litigation from NAMFS Members. SEAS LLC may very well be the lightning rod which creates change. The novel concept that Contractors are human beings; that Contractors should not be placed on Payment Plans and actually paid monies owed when they render services; and the concept that the One Price Fits All could pose to be problematic for The Herd.

I like underdogs. Hell, I am an underdog. Whom would have ever wagered that I would land Sources whom would release information requiring the Obama Administration to threaten to sue under Title 18 National Security Agency Language?! With SEAS LLC, the stakes are FAR HIGHER.

If successful; if SEAS LLC engages a wide enough spectrum of Labor to corner the market — make no mistake that I believe that is a very real possibility and I am RARELY WRONG — then the Financial Institutions will take notice. Going a step further, though, Sources speaking on condition of anonymity at SEAS LLC also intimated that the new models are going to comprise Contractors whom are not the proverbial Craigslist Crackhead Hacks. What I mean is this: If you bring Labor to the table as is apparently happening now; if you draw the Line in the Sand and determine whom is and is not a seasoned veteran, you have the ability to execute strategy upon an inconceivable Area of Operations. By proxy, when you have troops whom are detail orientated in strategic Areas of Operations, your Mission Success is then measurable in Metrics. The actuaries love the metrics, by the way.

Several of my Sources over at Wells Fargo have stated that the iron is hot for the striking in 2014. With the Nationals gone other than Safeguard Properties (SGP); SGP relegated to the nether regions of antiquated technology and the specter of litigation worrying even the most seasoned Portfolios, the King is Dead — Long Live the New King. In layman’s terms, the time has come for a New Model.

I am loathe to ever give the Nod to a Company; I am even more cautious when that Company has been caught in my headlights. The reality, though, is that with respect to the concept that is being laid out I must. Note here that I am talking about the RFQ/RFP Model. In this Article I am not opining upon whether or not the Pricing Matrix will or will not be better or worse. With that said, though, the reality is that if Contractors do not support SEAS LLC in their attempt to open negotiations, then they do not understand the Art of Negotiation. The far more real by product is that if SEAS LLC does not receive the endorsement of Labor for going against the grain of almost two and a half decades of NAMFS Herd Mentality, no other Company will ever contemplate it.

Foreclosurepedia recommends that any and all Contractors available within the United States and its Territories respond to SEAS LLC RFQ/RFP in a timely manner. While I have no vested interest in SEAS LLC’s success or failure, I DO HAVE A VESTED INTEREST in the success of Contractors prospering.

In closing, Kim Fatica strikes me as a gentleman whom sees both sides of the proverbial coin; Labor and Management needing to begin dialogue so that both sides reach an amicable agreement. Mark my words, if SEAS LLC is supported, Labor enters into a far better position to leverage a Seat at the Table. Respect, ladies and gentlemen. Fatica is proffering his and the reputation of SEAS LLC in hopes that Labor will learn the Art of Negotiation.

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