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Short sale success thanks to Bank of America on Twitter

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Bank of America is on Twitter for the win…here is my tale:

Almost six months ago I got a short sale listing from a distressed (and stressed) home seller who wanted to sell with a short sale and couldn’t find a real estate agent to help.

I took on the listing because this woman was very organized and was barely behind on the mortgage. No late taxes or other liens in place and the house was well maintained and sparkling clean.

A couple months later I procure a first time home buyer who decides to take the gamble on the short sale and we present our purchase to Bank of America’s short sale division.

One Ringy Dingy…

I did my due diligence and called at least weekly to check on the file. Each time I called I was told that the file was in review which takes two weeks, awaiting a negotiator who then had another two weeks to review the file before we would hear anything. That answer worked on me the first time, but when I called a week later and was told the same exact thing, I grew a bit concerned.

At that point I asked if there was something we could do to move things along as it was nearing the foreclosure date and the answer was yes, we could request escalation.

Two Ringy Dingys…

One week later I call back, am told the EXACT same thing as my very first call and I get a bit terse with the representative. I tell them the file was supposed to be placed into escalation and they assure me that they will put it in this time.

Fast forward another week and you guess it….another phone call with the same answers. This time I insist upon speaking with a supervisor who informs me that there was no possible way the file could have been placed in escalation because it wasn’t even an accepted file until one day prior.

Well, I lost it. I am normally a very diplomatic, calm and dare I say even nice person, but I was pushed beyond patience and I let this guy have it. He must be well used to it because I think I even heard him whistle the Jeopardy tune and he was totally nonplussed by my anger. After I ran myself out and poked the red button on my cell phone really hard (I miss slamming the phone after those conversations, don’t you?) I went to Twitter to rant where someone might empathize.

Forget the phone, time to tweet…

I tweeted out that I was fuming at Bank of America because while I did anticipate a short sale with them would be long and perhaps even unpleasant, I did not anticipate that they would be lying to me.

Very quickly thereafter I got a response from @BofA_Help asking if they could well…help. After I verified that this was a real Bank of America representative we took our conversation to email and then a phone call.

Within hours of our call I had another phone call, this time from the assigned negotiator!

Once the negotiator was assigned it was smooth sailing and within ten days we had our short sale approval from Bank of America.

In the meantime the representative from @BofA_Help has followed up with me to make certain that my client is getting the appropriate service and I am won over by their proactive and effective Twitter based customer service.

Bank of America has impressed me with their implementation of social media tracking to see who is talking about them and by reaching out to quell my complaints and assist in a solution.

@BofA_Help on Twitter FTW!

Lesley offers 21 years experience in real estate, public speaking and training. Lesley has a degree in communications and was the recipient of an international award for coordinating media in real estate. In the course of her career Lesley has presented at international real estate conferences and state REALTOR associations, hosted a real estate television program, written articles for trade magazines and created marketing and PR plans for many individuals, companies and non-profits.

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42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. Ed Daniels - Metrowest Boston Homes

    May 1, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Well, after the 4th buyer has come and gone, and BofA dropping the ball for 250+ days, thank you for the helpful info. i will give them a try too. This home had a $410K buyer, recently I was only getting $360K buyers. I convinced a buyer to pay a requested BofA amount of $380K, then the investor had the nerve to counter $390K! Deal falls apart in frustration. Who wins? Listen up BofA… you will not do any better with your foreclosure the seller has decided on!

  2. sharonalters

    May 2, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Lesley, I’m impressed! BofA has such a bad reputation even the public knows about it when they don’t exactly understand what a short sale is. They still know Bank of America is hard to deal with. Amazing! But listen to this, we just got an answer from an Equator BofA file in TWO WEEKS! We are encouraged that the improvements they have been talking about really are finally happening.

  3. Lesley Lambert

    May 2, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    I hear you, they are the Goliath with a bad rep, for sure! But I didn’t go looking for them, they found ME which is what impressed me the most. Proactive is good.

  4. BOA has gotten much better overall in the last few months. Still some issues, but miles above their recent reputation.

    Wells fargo on the other hand has been going down hill fast. Maybe I ticked someone off there?

  5. Lesley Lambert

    May 3, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Bank of America’s use of social media surveillance is a success story and I would hope other lenders like Wells Fargo would hop on board, too.

  6. Christine Latham

    May 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I have a stressed seller who is in danger of losing his home to foreclosure. He has tried to sell for a YEAR! Unsucessfully. I’ve secured a pre-approved and pre-qualified buyer who is asking for nothing except a reasonable closing date and bank approval for closing no later than May 17,2010. NOW, two months ago, when this went under contract, it was not an unreasonable date. Now, that the days are looming around the corner, the buyer is considering NOT waiting around and purchasing something with less wait. My seller will have a foreclosure sale date any day. AND HE’S DONE EVERYTHING TO COOPERATE! What a shame that someone who has not walked away, and has tried to work at keeping his home from foreclosing, the best that he could, is now considering the upsides of giving up! COME ON BANK OF AMERICA! YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS! I HAVE FULL PRICE CONTRACTS ON THIS PROPERTY…AND IT’S PRICED RIGHT!!!! Everytime a foreclosed property pops in a neighborhood, the values of other homes go down by approx. $5000! Not to mention what it must cost you to draw out a long and expensive foreclosure!
    Now, I’m very educated on the art of short sales. I’ve sent every piece of document that the bank can and will call for. AND I’ve been “esculated” into receiving a negotiator within 2 weeks. The only problem with this is, I’ve been told this TWICE. AND I CALL BANK OF AMERICA EVERY DAY!!! H E L P ! ! ! !
    Christine Latham, Wheaton Real Estate njre4u@comcast.net

  7. LesleyLambert

    May 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Christine, as this story says I suggest you try tweeting with them. All I can tell you is it worked for me. Good luck, I know how frustrating it is!

  8. Jill Angelino

    June 25, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I am a Realtor in South Florida. I needed to write and THANK YOU for posting your experience with Bank of America and Twitter. After 6 months of waiting, and 2 months after accepting BOA conditions on my short sale listing, only waiting for the approval letter, I was panicked. My listing had 2 loans..BOA being the 2nd. I was going to loose my 1st loan approval, and the buyer within 2 days. I went to Google in hopes of finding someone at BOA to help my cause, and stumbled across your article…So glad I did! I had never been on Twitter before, but took your advice and opened an account. After posting that I needed help on BOA help page, I was contacted within 10 minutes…and within 5 hours, had the approval letter I had been waiting 2 months for, and am now clear to close tomorrow! I am forever grateful for your shared knowledge. I would like to mail you a small token of appreciation. If you are comfortable sharing with me your address. There is no doubt, that without reading your article and using Twitter my sale would be dead! Thank you again!

  9. sean anguiano

    August 30, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    I am starting to wonder what’s happening on our offer. We are the only bidder on a short sale that is now 80 plus days in input. No decision, just dithering and zero action on Bank of America’s part. They have postponed foreclosure twice, there are no other investors, just BofA, and they don’t seem to care. As a buyer I have to wonder if they really want our offer, or do they want it to go into foreclosure?

  10. Rachel LaMar, J.D.

    August 10, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Thank you so much for this story! I just Tweeted a message to Bank of America about two short sales I have been waiting on, and they sent me a message within minutes. They will be calling me today…will keep you posted. I love Twitter – it has truly taught me so much and put me in contact with such incredible industry leaders…and I LOVE AgentGenius!

    • Chris

      August 31, 2011 at 4:59 am

      Well? 🙂

  11. Cyndee Haydon

    October 25, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Hey Lesley – thanks for the tip – when we ran into a brick wall we took your advice and connected with @BofA_Help on twitter – thanks to you we closed on a waterfront home and I just got a check for over $13,000 after 6 months with no progress ;D you ROCK!

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Social Media

Social media is being used for hiring, and no, we’re not talking just LinkedIn

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media has evolved from being only community-oriented to career-oriented. See how users are getting jobs by being creative.

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social media, like tiktok, is being used for hiring. here are some examples of tiktok resumes.

Gen Z and Millennials are no doubt the heaviest users of social media, and perhaps the internet in general. But it’s no longer just about catching up with friends and family, posting memes, and hailing yourself as hashtag king – they are using it to get jobs in creative ways.

Kahlil Greene was a student at Yale University hell-bent on educating others about African American social movements and culture. Known as “The Gen Z Historian” on Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn, he got to posting about the lesser-known facts and stories of history, amounting to 1.3 million views very quickly, catching the attention of employers. Now with over 500,000 followers across all major platforms, Greene is heading to work in consulting focusing on public education.

“I think that’s the thing that people don’t realize that social media is everywhere, and it’s congruent with every lifestyle you want,” says Greene.

Another TikToker, Emily Zugay, has over 2 million followers on the platform from hilariously redesigning brand logos. Her personality of shooting down brand choices with such a dry delivery is sure to make you giggle. She’s appeared on Ellen, and many brands changed their logos to her suggestions, including McDonald’s, the NFL, Tinder, Doritos, and Nascar. Just announced, Panera Bread is realizing limited holiday cups by Emily Zugay, taking a stab at Starbucks who typically creates the mad rush for holiday cups. Though she hasn’t publicly spoken about taking on a new role due to her wacky design endeavors, she has been approached for many partnership collaborations and markets herself as a content creator on the platform in order to rack in the dough.

Having the perfect one-page resume and perhaps, an inkling of personalization in the cover letter (which no one enjoys writing and barely anyone reads), is no longer the secret to landing jobs. 92% of companies use social media to hire.

“Creating a personal brand doesn’t have to be scary, hard, or time-consuming. You just have to be yourself. Consistent posts, a few follows and some direct messaging can go a long way to open doors.”

TikTok launched a pilot program of applying to the short-form video powerhouse by well, making a TikTok on the platform. Within 48 hours, 800 videos were submitted with #TikTokResumes in their captions. Expanding from internal hiring to external hiring, the program allowed job seekers to apply with their videos to Chipotle, Target, Shopify, and more.

Want to get in on the action but don’t know where to start? Unfortunately, the TikTok submissions have now closed, but you can always follow these tips to start getting creative for your next career move: Embrace the tools on the platform, do your research about the company you’re applying to, make connections on the platform and within the company, show off achievements as you would in a typical resume, and be yourself!

For more cool resume ideas, check out this article on the most creative techie resumes.

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Social Media

Reactions to Twitter Blue from real subscribers, p.s. its not worth it

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter’s paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, gives more control over tweets and custom UI, but subscriber reception has been lukewarm.

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Twitter Blue Sign Up Page

Twitter Blue, a paid subscription service that gives users increased control over their tweets and the appearance of their interfaces, launched this summer. Subscriber reception has been lukewarm, foreshadowing some resistance to shifts away from advertising-based revenue models for social media platforms.

The allure of Twitter Blue isn’t immediately apparent; beyond a relatively low price tag and increased exclusivity on a platform that emphasizes individuality, the service doesn’t offer much to alter the Twitter experience. Twitter Blue’s main selling point – the ability to preview and alter tweets before sending them – may not be enough to convince users to shell out the requisite three dollars per month.

Other features include the option to change the theme color and icon appearances. Twitter Blue subscribers can also read some ad-supported news articles without having to view ads courtesy of Twitter’s acquisition of Scroll, a company that provides ad-free news browsing.

But even with this variety of small customization options and the promise of more to come, users are skeptical. Android Central’s Shruti Shekar is one such user, beginning her review with, “Right off the bat, this feature isn’t worth the money you’d be spending on it every month.”

Shekar posits that the majority of the features are wasted on long-term users. “I think a lot of my opinions come from a place of using Twitter for so long in a certain way that I’ve gotten used to it, and now I find it challenging to adapt to something that would theoretically make my life easier,” she explains.

One of those adaptations centers on Twitter Blue’s “Undo Tweet” feature – something that belies the notion of proofreading and using common sense before sending thoughts into the nether.

“For me, 95% of the time, I really do pay attention to my tweets before I send them out,” says Shekar.

Twitter Blue checking Tweets before sending.

Shekar does praise Twitter Blue’s “Reader Mode” feature that allows users to view threads as uninterrupted columns but argues that the feature would probably end up being underutilized despite being a cool concept.

The aforementioned color and theme customization was of little interest to Shekar. “I actually found it a bit challenging to get used to the other colors, not because they’re ugly, but again because I am just so used to the classic blue,” she says.

One problem here is that the options to change link and theme colors and put threads in reader mode seem more like accessibility features than premium content. Twitter might do well to make these available to all users, if for no other reason than to avoid criticism about locking quality of life updates behind a subscription paywall.

Shekar’s criticism hits on a crucial point for any social media company looking to emulate Twitter Blue’s subscription model: Even if the subscription price is low, companies have to be prepared to make actual meaningful changes to the user experience if they want satisfied subscribers. That includes building in options that don’t fundamentally alter the basic aspects (or appearance) of the platform.

For more on Twitter Blue, check out their blog post on it here.

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Social Media

Instagram flaunts new features, including a decked out desktop experience  

(SOCIAL MEDIA) It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram with additions of Collabs, fundraisers, and desktop posts on deck

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Instagram displayed on a desktop

It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram on both mobile and desktop.

Collabs Feature

“Collabs” allows up to 2 accounts to co-author a post or Reel, both sharing joint ownership of what is ultimately published. The post or Reel will show up equally on both users’ feeds with the same amount of engagement numbers, but combined, including comments, view numbers, and like counts. This is initiated through the tagging screen and the invited account will have to accept the offer before the collab can be complete.

Examples of adding a co-author in Instagram Collabs feature

Fundraiser & Reel Features

Instagram was quick to jump on the short-form content trends taking the social media world by storm. With the rise of TikTok, the Insta platform that was originally focused on static photos added Reels, along the same wavelength of short 15, 30, or 60-second videos, though the competitor has now expanded with the option of 3 minutes. Even so, Instagram is taking the time to improve music-related features within the Reels section of the app, adding “Superbeat” and “Dynamic.” The first adds effects to the video matching the beat of the chosen song, while the latter offers unique and interesting ways to display the song’s lyrics on screen. In addition, they are beginning to test the option to run fundraisers on a post by clicking the + button in the top right corner of the interface.

Examples of Dynamic for Reels feature

 Desktop Feature

FINALLY! Instagram is now realizing just how many users truly enjoy the desktop experience. If one were to compare the platform on the mobile app vs. desktop, they would see the slew of differences between the two with the desktop interface looking like the 1st year Instagram was even introduced. Functionality is no comparison; they only just added the ability to DM on desktop last year. As one can see, there is an extremely limited experience on desktop, but Instagram is now rolling out the ability for users to post from their browsers. Catch us enjoying posts on the big screen!

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