Jacob Babins is a seasoned entrepreneur and operational leader with considerable experience leading start-ups and family businesses in the real estate and healthcare space throughout the growth and development lifecycles. He currently serves as the President of The Recovery Agents, LLC and Lien Capital, LLC based in Pompano Beach, Florida, where he directs the day-to-day activities of the companies. Jacob has oversight of the accounting, finance, operations, and business development teams at the Company. Jacob received his Bachelor of Science degree in economics and marketing from Clemson University. Outside of the office you’ll find Jacob spending time with his wife and newborn daughter and cheering on his Clemson University Tigers.
The Recovery Agents, LLC is a multifaceted real estate platform company that assists homeowners who are facing foreclosure or those who have recently gone through foreclosure.
The Recovery Agents specialize in the recovery of real estate surplus funds—that is, the funds remaining after payment of all disbursements required by the final judgment of foreclosure and shown on the certificate of disbursements. Using a simple process and a team of experienced foreclosure experts they ensure the property owner gets the funds that are rightfully owed to them, and in some cases, they offer cash advances to their clients. Jacob Babins has many years of experience in the real estate market and has extensive knowledge of working with distressed properties in particular. He and his partners are constantly striving to increase their client offerings and to improve the client experience in the constantly evolving real estate market, as well as to growing their business in a meaningful and sustainable manner.
Where did the idea for The Recovery Agents come from?
My partners and I have been real estate investors for many years. Combined we have over 30 years of experience in real estate. We have always worked a lot with distressed properties and homeowners in difficult financial situations. We work on properties in the most complicated situations—title chain issues, liens, lis pendens, foreclosures, code violations, etc. You name it, we’ve seen it all.
We became experts on how to manage these cases. In the past we had helped homeowners with short sales, refinances, and other ways out of their property. But we always thought about what happens if foreclosure cannot be avoided? How can we help those people? That is where The Recovery Agents started.
In the beginning, because we were experts in this realm, we were immediately able to help homeowners recover surplus funds after the public foreclosure sale. We can help in complicated situations where other surplus companies and even some attorneys can’t. Now we assist homeowners going through foreclosure in many different ways. Not only can we secure their excess funds but we can review their foreclosure case, refer them to one of our independent attorneys, negotiate more time in the property, find them suitable housing, help them move, and see to it that they land on their feet moving forward.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day starts by meeting with my team and reviewing the cases of clients we are currently working with, and what we need to accomplish as a company. Part of my day is in client development and assisting our recovery agents who are talking with potential clients of ours. As the President of the company, I am involved in all aspects of the business. I know all of our clients by name and I check in with them and my agents often.
How do you bring ideas to life?
For me, it all starts with developing a plan and a course of action, setting expectations of yourself and others, holding everyone accountable and then executing on the plan. Once it’s completed, we look back and say what could have gone better? What can we do differently next time? We are continually learning.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Our expanded client offerings really excite me. We are better positioned and better able to help homeowners in their biggest moment of need, that in itself is rewarding.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Real estate, especially in South Florida, is constantly evolving. There are constantly new players in the space, changing valuations, evolving hotspots. We try to stay ahead of the trends and ahead of our competition. We wake up every morning to be the market leader.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I like to think I am still pretty young, but I would tell my young self to trust the process. We have put in a lot of time and effort and sometimes it takes a little bit longer to see it through to fruition but that it will be worth it in the end. Our client testimonials speak for themselves!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Being tenacious in business does not mean taking advantage of people. In fact, for us it often means fighting on the side of people who are in dire need of help.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Read your new emails from bottom up and get through all of your emails before you respond. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves, as someone who is constantly on top of their email, but we live in a constantly changing environment. The facts of 6 hours ago may be different. Get all the information you can before reacting and responding.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I am constantly looking for ways to expand our client offerings. To provide more of the services that homeowners facing foreclosure need. We want to be a one stop shop. You need help getting additional financing? We can do that. You need us to hire an attorney for you? We can do that. You just want us to safeguard your surplus funds against competing claims? Easy peezy. We never want to say no to a client.
We stay on top of the trends by consistently asking for feedback. We ask for feedback from our current clients, past clients and homeowners who decided not to work with us. What could we do differently? What services would be valuable for you. The feedback loop never ends!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My partners and I had an idea for another business, but we failed to evaluate our bandwidth before we started. We eventually had to sit down and decide that this was not going to be a priority for us and needed to be punted for now. That cost us a little bit in terms of an investment, but saves us months of inefficiency and costs down the line.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Paid networking / communities for professionals to share stories and industry specific advice. But somewhere that will make it fun and interesting, instead of boring industry associations or trade events.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought and sent a few gifts to some close friends that I haven’t seen in a while, not for birthdays or a holiday, but just as a surprise. They were all genuinely excited and happy.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The Recovery Agents are big Salesforce.com users. It’s the market leading CRM for a reason. It allows us to manage not only our sales cycle, but for us, the process just begins when we sign up a client. We use it to manage the client all the way through to a happy ever after ending, and that’s all done via salesforce.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini. It talks about some of the thought processes people experience when making purchases. Cialdini goes over a few theories, real world examples, and offers some good insights.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” – Stephen King
- Trust the process and put in the work.
- Be efficient in communication and reading messages like email.
- Set expectations of yourself and your team and hold everyone accountable.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.