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RISMEDIA, May 26, 2009-Real estate agents who are finding success in today’s market likely have a key commonality: they’ve accepted that working the foreclosure market is no longer optional.

Foreclosures are at an all-time high and, according to the Distressed Property Institute, at least 50% of all successful residential closings in 2009 will involve distressed properties.

Here are some solid first steps toward getting started:

Learn the ropes
Short sales are complex transactions, but many agents who struggle through them simply need proper training. Consider taking courses on foreclosures, short sales and REOs and earning one of a growing number of foreclosure designations and certifications.

Get the word out
Many homeowners in distress don’t realize they have options. Use your prospecting skills to find the homeowners who are in pre-foreclosure, which is the best time to intervene.

Explore auctions
Real estate auctions are nothing new, but their popularity is on the rise, particularly for banks selling foreclosed properties, for sellers needing a quick sale, and for buyers interested in a straightforward and often discounted purchase.

Connect with lenders
Building a rapport with representatives from banks can help you expedite actions on behalf of your customers and can establish you as a referral candidate for REO listings in your community.

Whether you form relationships with the banks or homeowners in distress, you can help keep the inventory and your career moving by expanding your business into the foreclosure market.

Margaret Kelly, CRB, is chief executive officer of RE/MAX International.

For more information, visit www.remax.com.

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