InsightsFacing the challenges of the field services industry

Challenges facing the field services industry Q&A | ServiceLink

How does ServiceLink Link What Matters™ when it comes to Field Services as a facet of the default ecosystem? Tim Guertin, senior vice president, field services, shares his insights on some of the challenges facing the industry today and how his team and their unique approach helps servicers and investors meet their goals according to and in compliance with regulatory guidelines as a part of ServiceLink’s full suite of offerings.

Q: What is ServiceLink’s approach to field services?

Guertin: In field services, we are here to protect and preserve the asset on behalf of our clients throughout the default lifecycle. We ensure that damages are identified and that we understand vacancy status. We ensure that the property is, in essence, “bubble wrapped,” throughout the process, leading up to foreclosure.

Q: What services are included in the ServiceLink’s field services offering?

Guertin: The lifecycle of our products first starts with an inspection. We inspect the properties monthly. From there, we determine the occupancy. If we determine that the property is vacant, we then move to the seasonal offerings, whether that’s performing grass cuts or winterization.

If we identify damages, we work with the investors to get the best bids approved, to complete the repair work, and to continue to make sure that that property is protected throughout the default lifecycle.

Q: What are some of the challenges you’re seeing in the industry?

Guertin: Coming out of the pandemic, the industry kind of went through an overhaul. And one of the biggest challenges is the inflationary pressures coming from gas prices. You must have gas to power up a lawnmower, and more importantly, you must drive from property to property. I think that those pressures, coupled with increased building material costs, have been very challenging for our suppliers to make the kind of profit that they need to be successful.

Q: How does your team manage those challenges and work with vendor partners in this space?

Guertin: ServiceLink has a unique market manager approach to vendor management. We have 13 market managers across the nation, and each of them is responsible for a certain geographical area. We provide a true partnership where our suppliers have an individual to contact if they have any questions or concerns. They are their first line should they have questions regarding our vendor management system, or really anything. We believe in a strong partnership, so by having those market managers as experts in that local geography, they understand the complexity of the municipalities or the various states.

Q: How does your team keep up with regulations and guidelines on the services you provide?

Guertin: FHA properties are probably the most complex of all, and there’s a lot for our team to keep in mind to successfully hit the timelines associated with the services we provide for these assets. Our team is intimately involved in all the various milestones to ensure that we get the property conveyed on time or work in other ways to disposition it. We understand the regulations, timelines, and what is needed to get properties into conveyance condition and to ensure that we don't receive any reconveyances. Our long-standing FHA knowledge is the best in the industry and keeps everyone compliant.

Q: What sets ServiceLink apart?

Guertin: No other no other company can offer all the products in the default cycle under one umbrella like ServiceLink can. I think that’s one of the biggest differentiators in the industry. We work closely across all business lines. For example, we identify when we're getting ready to convey a property in FHA. We work with our post sale title team to let them know that we have properties ready to convey so they can prioritize the title and we can get that property back to FHA as soon as possible. In addition to that, we work with our partners in auction to help identify which properties can go that path versus the conveyance route. That's another avenue that no one else can explore. At the end of the day, our clients have one company they can come to when they have concerns versus having to manage five or six very different vendors.

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