• To provide you with up to date, top-quality information, training and educational materials on the topics of Broker Price Opinions and how to automate your BPO and REO Business.

Frequently Asked Questions:


What exactly is a BPO?

A "BPO" is an acronym for the phrase "Broker Price Opinion." For many of you this phrase may be a completely new and foreign term. In actuality, it is a very hidden industry within the real estate field and something that not many brokers, agents, appraisers or members of the general public know about.

What is a BPO report?

A "Broker Price Opinion report," is an opinion of value that is conducted by real estate professionals and/or appraisers to help determine the estimated, current market value of a specific property. A typical Broker Price Opinion form is 2-3 pages, is either an exterior drive-by or interior inspection and is seen within the valuation industry as an option to a full appraisal report.

Nicole had a steep learning curve when she first got started in this business back in September 2006 and wanted to make it easier for people to have access to information that may change their life as much as it did for her.

Plus, we feel that seeking information and being correctly educated about that which interests you is so empowering. We have tried to make it easier for you to get started in this exciting, semi-addictive and stimulating side of real estate. You will find that doing BPO work is a very nice source of supplemental income on top of your real estate commissions and they can even be something that you simply turn into a profit center. 

What can I expect to make?

Nicole has been paid different amounts for doing BPO work: Exterior BPO's can pay anywhere from $30-$200 (dependent on whom you work with, the distance from your office to the subj. property, and sometimes based on the fee that you ask for to do the order), Interior BPO's for anywhere from $50-$200, 2nd Opinion or Drive-By BPO's for between $30-$85, and Property Condition Reports for $10-$25.

The average fee for an exterior BPO has been driven down because of multiple factors. When Nicole got into the business over 4 years ago, the average was up to $55.00 for a typical 2 to 3 days full exterior BPO, now the average has been driven down to around $40-$65 dollars.

Who can perform Broker Price Opinions?

You must be a licensed real estate broker, agent and/or appraiser. Plus, your license must be active, current and in good standing within the state you are wanting to provide your service.

Is there still an opportunity to get into this field? 

Yes, I see it everyday by means my current customers and BPO training students that tell me that they are getting work right away from some companies!

One thing I tell people that ask me this question is that just like the traditional sales side of each one of our real estate businesses,  some of it  (as well as things within the BPO and REO business) is out of your direct control, such as: how much work or volume a company or companies have in your local area, how many competitors are currently signed up to do BPO's and REO's in your same area, how long these other vendors have been in the business, if these same companies are even still accepting new BPO vendors.....and on and on! 

What is in your direct control is just how much of yourself you decide to invest in following through with each of the steps that it takes to be successful and when the road gets bumpy and a bit worn down is to make sure that you do everything you can to blaze your very own unique well-deserved path. 

To do this, you will have to do more than sign up with the seemingly plentiful amount of companies that offer opportunities to be a subcontractor and do BPO's and possibly REO's for them. You've got to stand out! You've got to go out of your way to let the various companies know why they should give you work compared to the next person that has also just applied on their website. Most BPO, REO and Asset management companies are kept really busy on a daily basis by just having to go through and try to weed through all of their new vendor applications. So the total quantity of people that are ready, willing and able to do this business is not the real issue. Instead, what matters is the quality of people that they have working for them.

From my experience lots of people have jumped into this wonderful hidden niche within real estate in the last few years. Anyone who has done this should be given a big pat on the back for having good insight, forethought and follow through. I know of many people who are now doing very well with their BPO and REO business because of taking this initial step and accepting that there is a risk, but not letting that deter them off course.

Keep in mind that just as their are people getting into the business (both on the traditional real estate sales side but also within the BPO and REO side) there are also people who are getting out, retiring or getting fired and kicked out for one reason of another. The key to understanding this is to empower yourself by not only educating yourself with any and all material that you can to help you make an informed decision, but also to be smart enough to not focus on what is happening around you with other people (your competitors) but the direction that you want to go with the BPO and/or REO business.

I feel that one of the hardest things to do in life is to first make a decision and a commitment that you are going to do something, next is actually doing it and following through on what you have promised that you were going to do: whether this be by filling out an online application, by going to a seminar on the topic, by purchasing educational material on the subject or simply picking up the phone to get more information by going directly to the source.

Are there any websites that you'd recommend that I can learn about how much competition I have and who are the top producing BPO/REO Agents in my area?

Sure, they are: 

  • www.reonetwork.com ( Simply put in your zip code and do a search)

  • www.reoindustrydirectory.com  (Use the 'Find REO Agents' box)

  • www.nrba.com  (Use the 'Member Quick Search' box)

  • Your local MLS to pull up individual agents & brokers to see who is a Top Producing REO Agent(s)/Broker(s) that are listing foreclosures.

Do I need to carry E & O Insurance to do BPO's and REO's?

Most companies that ask that you (or the brokerage company that you work for if you are not a broker) carry E & O Insurance with a minimum deductible of $1,000,000 (yes you read that right, 1 million dollars!) in coverage. They typically do so because they assign REO listings and the liability is greater because it deals with contracts, whereas an actual BPO is not a legal contract instead it is an "opinion of value."

In order for you to accept and do BPO's and/or REO's from various companies they may require that you send in a copy of the declaration page from your E & O Insurance policy. Each company has their own policies on this so you want to verify this directly with them as to if you are required to send them this information. 

Is it illegal to perform BPO's in my state?

This is a big detail that you simply don't want to overlook when deciding if you want to and are able to do BPO work. The first place you want to go is directly to your broker. If they do not know then you and/or your broker may need to research this question more in order to get a crystal clear answer.

Here is a PDF that I put together that lists each state and their regulations on real estate professionals doing BPO work. Click here to see the PDF now.

Another good place to start is with your local real estate licensing board or your state's department of licensing. Click here to see an example of what my state's rules are on this.

Other places that are good to check in with are your state legislature. As an example my state's laws on this are explained in great detail on this page. Click here to go to there now! Some more places that you might want to consider checking are with your local Realtor Association or through the legal department within your local MLS.

Frequently Asked Question About Nicole Ocean and the BPO University

Below are many of the questions that I consider frequently asked questions when people call or email.

Do you do BPO's yourself?

Yes, I sure did! I used to do them full-time and even had a solid team set up to help me maximize and grow my business. In the last few years, I decided that I wanted to go another route and branch off by focusing on working the business full-time for BPO Automation as well as teaching other people about the business as well as reach more people through live teaching and coaching as a certified real estate instructor. After obtaining my certification from the state of Washington to be an approved Real Estate Instructor in March 2009, I put together a course on BPO's that's called "Broker Price Opinion Basics 101." It was the first one of it's kind, that was accredited and one that you can use towards your required continued education clock hours. I used to offer this accredited class on BPO's for real estate professionals in the state of Washington state. We still have a non-accredited version available that is similar and based on the approved accredited version.

Do you do REO's yourself too?

Yes, sir or yes ma'am! Believe it or not, but I turned down a handful of REO listings in the past because of not wanting to get into this side of the business. When I did decide to take on my first REO listing, (so that I can gain more experience and be able to teach other's more effectively.) I didn't like it and found that there was too much risk involved. I know that this may seem strange to you, but I am an exception to the rule and like guarantees!

Why did you not want to do REO's in the past?

Don't get me wrong the amount of income that can be made from doing REO's can be quite substantial, but for me I used to see this part of the business as one similar to being a glorified property manager. I know what some of you may be thinking when you read that but please don't hate me for telling you that! This is how I really used to feel. Now that I am doing them, I am able to get a more realistic perspective on everything.

I was also very concerned with the total amount of time, energy and out of pocket money that was required to handle REO's for lenders and asset management companies. To me it seems like a big risk where even if I do everything correct I still may not see a commission check let alone be reimbursed right away and be out thousands of dollars in expenses.

How long have you been doing BPO's?

I had done BPO's full-time for over 3 years over the span of being a Realtor from 2006 to 2013. I created a team that covered 2 counties. I continued doing BPO's on a part-time basis for a short while after the explosive growth of the BPO Automation Group in 2009 to today.

How long have you been in the real estate business?

I became a Realtor in Jan. 2006, a few months after my Dad suggested I consider a career in real estate. I passed my real estate exam with flying colors in December 2005 and within 6 months of being licensed to sell real estate and trying to do the traditional sales side of the business I became very worried that I just wasn't cut out for this line of work......then I found out about BPO's, which saved me from getting out of the business altogether! BPO's had been my savior and it helped turn my life around 180 degrees!

Why are you wanting to help other people learn about the BPO business?

Because I was able to harness it to help change my life and the quality of my life a full 180 degrees. Plus, I was able to finally strive at a career that was all based on what I put into it. I wish that I could directly thank someone for introducing me to this amazing and beautiful business, but I hope to be a direct cause of helping other people get into the business and take it as far as they want to! Lastly, I continue to do what I do because of my customers and those that I am able to affect. My customers are the very best! I wouldn't be anywhere without them!

Where can I learn more about how to fill in a BPO form correctly?

From us! Check out our "Broker Price Opinion Basics 101" course or our BPO Training Center for more info.

Where can I download a blank sample BPO form?

I've created a blank Fannie Mae BPO Form that I've included within my BPO Manual but you can also download it for free by clicking on this link: http://www.bpo-university.com/samplefannie.pdf

Do you offer a way to download the BPO Payment Log that you created for others to use too?

Sure, I'd be glad to share this with everyone. In case you aren't familiar with what my payment log is, it is an interactive spreadsheet that I created to help me track my orders, payment owed, payments received, total miles driven for BPO's and real estate showings as well as all of my expenses, plus my total income for each year., Please feel free to click on the links below to download your own copy of my BPO Payment Log for 2009. It is in an Excel .xls and .xlsx format.

(Excel 2017 Version)


How can I join and access the BPO Inner Circle?

Within the "BPO Inner Circle," Membership is free for customers who purchase(d) the "Broker Price Opinion Basics 101" course or are an active subscriber of BPO Automation Group's BPO AutoFill software. You will find an ever growing collection of blogs, step-by-step programs and interactive courses as well as short videos, articles and so much more.

Do you provide a free list of BPO, REO and Asset Management Companies?

Yes, we do! Click here to check out our:

"Free List of 120+ BPO, REO and Asset Management Companies,"

Notice of Liability:

Please note we are not an attorney, nor acting as one. The content and opinions expressed within this website are based upon Nicole Ocean's own personal experiences and research. Although, we have gone to great lengths to try to prevent any inaccuracies, we will not be held liable for any misunderstanding or negative results that may occur to others who use the information we provide, without consulting their broker or a qualified attorney. We encourage you to seek legal counseling if you feel it necessary when trying to make the best decisions for you and your real estate business.

Updated on: 05/14/2018