Dealing with County Officials

Dealing with County Officials

When dealing in Tax Delinquent Real Estate you will invariably have to work with the counties and their employees and officials on an ongoing basis.

Here are few things to take into consideration when dealing with the county officials.

  1. County officials are elected and therefore are politicians. They work for their constituency and not for you (although officially they should)
  2. County employees are government employees and are not rewarded for their creativity and “go get it done” attitude, but instead are working for their retirement benefits.

Having made the above two statements, I have usually a GREAT relationship with county employees and officials.

But you need to understand where they are coming from. County employees are usually in positions where there is no way for them to advance into a higher position. They are Case workers or customer service personnel and the supervisor (if there is one) is usually already in his/her position for many years or the immediate supervisor is the elected official him/herself. Therefore since there is nowhere to go and the work they do is pretty much the same year in, year out, they tend to be the kind of individuals who work to pay the bills and for the benefits. Life in their point of view is being lived after work and on the weekends.

That is fine but it kind of goes against what you want to accomplish when you get there. You want help, assistance, questions answered, paperwork processed, etc. and all of the above in the fastest possible time. That is a dilemma.

However in my experience there are ways to get stuff done fast. One thing County officials and employees do cherish (like any other human being) is praise and a good honest thank you. So whenever you deal with the county personnel make sure you thank them, and if someone did something out of the ordinary which they did not have to do for you, and then send them a little card or a box of chocolate. This is not a bribe; it is just an honest thank you. Since you know what position county workers are in you all can have a higher level of appreciation if they actually do something faster and more efficient than what the official duty calls for. I have learned over time that a thank you note or a box of chocolate goes WAYS. One time I sent a little card out just because that person in the county really bent over backwards for us to make some things happen in a couple of days that otherwise would have taken weeks to accomplish. Over one year I did not need to be again in contact with that department and surely I did not even think about that card anymore. But when I then after more than a year contacted that same lady again, she immediately remembered me, and thanked me for the card. She even mentioned that nobody had ever sent her a card thanking her for her services, and guess what, whatever I needed to be done was done in lightning speed with a smile on her (and my) face. Needless to say I made sure to thank her again explicitly and even mentioned it to her boss.

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