Work Orders Are The Beginning
Of Every Profitable Job

Work orders are probably the starting point for 90% of the people working in this industry. In all likelihood you are working for one of dozens of national property preservation / REO companies, or one of thousands of regional companies. You logon to get your work orders (WOs), or you receive your WOs via email.

Each company's WOs vary in how they proscribe the work to be done, but there are certain similarities between them all. Click on the links below to familiarize yourself with each of six different kinds of WOs.

Read Your Work Orders Carefully

Each WO has a lot of words, some of which are abbreviated, and therefore a little confusing at first. Read each word so that you understand it all completely. If there's something you don't understand, ask questions!

Much of the content is "boilerplate" (standard pieces of text) that is exactly the same in each kind of WO. It is helpful to read the WO with a highlighter in hand, marking the important words and phrases. From these highlighted words and phrases, you can then make a list of tools and materials you will be needing.

Plot Your Route

After you've printed your work orders, it's helpful to enter each address into Google and map a route for your day. Keep in mind that any online mapping software can make an error, so always compare the addresses on your computer with the addresses on your WO.

At times you may have to do more work to locate the house you're looking for. Sometimes we've had to go to the county assessors website and do a parcel search, or even call the local municipality in cases where street names have been changed.

Gather Your Materials And Tools

Even if you carry most every tool you need, as well as a plentiful inventory of locks, carriage bolts, antifreeze, and other commonly-used materials, you will save time by making sure you have everything you need for the day's work orders.

Sometimes WOs will tell you to perform work if you find it is needed when you arrive; jobs like boarding a window, tarping/parching a roof, or replacing a lock. The WO may instruct you to do these jobs without a bid, if you can do them for the allowable. Some banks tell you to do the work even if you can't do it for the allowable; they want you to just do it, and then invoice for it.

If you see this kind of verbiage in your WOs for the day, then take with you whatever tools and materials you might need for the jobs you may be doing. You save money, and therefore make more money, by getting all of the work completed in one trip.

Get It Right The First Time

These are the worst words to read in a WO: "Go back to the property and complete the work at your own expense." This is like throwing your hard-earned money in the trash can. If you don't complete the work that is ordered in the WO you may receive this dreaded message. And if you want to continue to receive more WOs, you have no choice -- you'll have to go back and do the work at your own expense.

Please take the time to carefully read through what we have written for you concerning each of the various kinds of WOs. We have included some very important warnings throughout the pages linked below. Click on the first link below and then take the time to read through each of them. We are confident it will save you time, effort, and money.

     • Initial Secure
     • Final Condition
     • Provide Access
     • Eviction
     • Resecure
     • Second Bid
     • Grass Recut
     • REO Initial Services

Important Additional Notes On Work Orders

     • Client Specifics - Here are important notes about unique WO distinctions that characterize some clients you may be working for.
     • Contractor Liability - Don't miss these valuable notes about how to protect yourself from financial loss due to improperly fulfilling your work orders.

If you'd like to go through each of these work orders one-by-one, click here to go to the next one.