Mr.Rolfe I would like to know and I think many of us do also. How did you approach the FDIC and REO’s,also individuals in purchasing Billboards in this recession? Was it the land that you purchased that made you take possesion of the billboard?
No, I only owned the land under 3 of my 300 signs in Dallas.
What you have to do is track the borrower in default, and then follow the progression of his foreclosure.
For example, if you see a billboard company that has a ton of vacancy, and you can see that their structures are showing signs of no maintenance, it’s possible that they are going to default on their debt. You try to find out who their lender is, and contact the lender and let them know that you buy foreclosed billboards, if they should ever get any (already knowing that this particular company is probably heading that direction).
Another tactic is just to send direct mail and cold call all of the banks that you think might be carrying loans on billboards, and let them know that you buy distressed billboards. I did this throughout the 1980s -1990’s recession, and it worked pretty well. My sales pitch was that I would pay $10,000 cash for any billboard the bank had taken back. Some of them were pretty spectacular – others only average. But my flat $10,000 per sign program did the trick, as all banks knew that I would pay them on the spot without a lot of hassles.
Just about every bank – large and small – has an REO department. Get to know all of these individuals and constantly remind them that you buy billboards if they get any in their REO. If you do a good job, they will be calling you on a consistent basis.