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A fresh attitude — and the right technology — is critical for collection agencies to succeed

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Gordon Beck, President and Co-Founder of Valor Intelligent Processing, has been busting the stereotypes surrounding collections for most of his life. At just 19, he joined a small agency as a phone representative and became hooked. “Honestly, I really fell in love with the industry. I fell in love with the fact that it’s an underdog industry that was so mischaracterized, and I felt a sense of accomplishment in helping consumers who are having a hard time.”

Gordon is long removed from that “tiny” office where he started and now runs his own company, but his commitment to consumers hasn’t changed. That’s why he relies on TransUnion to ensure he can meet his business objectives, without sacrificing his desire to help others.

I came in and did something don’t have to be rude, harsh, stern, mean or aggressive to collect a bill.

The right attitude drives quick, early success

When Gordon first started, collections wasn’t nearly as strictly regulated, and some bad apples got away with tactics that are unthinkable today. As a result, the entire collections industry got a bad rap. “I came in and did something different. I couldn’t be mean to someone, so I was nice — and it worked. I not only performed at a high level as an agent, but the people around me saw you don’t have to be rude, harsh, stern, mean or aggressive to collect a bill.” Instead, his goal has always been to get people talking and find solutions that help.

That approach catapulted Gordon’s career. By his 25th birthday, he was a vice president. Nine years into his career, he was running the entire company. Along with a strong team, he drove rapid growth and built a business that won more than 40 national agency of the year awards.

His experience and success led him to launch Valor Intelligent Processing, which made its official debut in July 2019.

Advice for Success from Gordon Beck

  • Be on the consumer’s side — you can help people while also helping your clients
  • Spark conversations with consumers and really listen to what they say
  • Create a fun, supportive culture in your workplace
  • Use technology to your advantage — it’s key for staying profitable
  • Partner with a solutions provider like TransUnion, which has the technology, experience and shares your commitment to success

A case of buyers’ remorse

Gordon has a long history with TransUnion. “When I started at my first organization more than 20 years ago, we used TransUnion to pull old-school credit reports on paper, trying to do skip tracing,” he says. “We decided to keep doing business because TransUnion cared, out of all the credit bureaus, the most about the collection process.” Despite the strong relationship, Gordon’s previous agency let its contract with TransUnion expire in 2014 — and it didn’t take long for the regret to set in.

“It took just one month without TransUnion to realize that they have the best product in the business. That’s why when I started Valor and could choose the partners I wanted, I chose TransUnion, which is the only provider from my previous organization that is with Valor today.”

It took just one month without TransUnion to realize that they have the best product in the business.

Moving ahead: A focus on culture and tech

So, what are Gordon’s big goals for Valor? It turns out, it’s not all about numbers.

“I want to create an environment that employees love. When people are happy, I know they’re going to treat consumers with respect, be helpful and recover money for our clients. The right atmosphere and culture can lead to top rankings,” he says.

TransUnion will play a critical role

TransUnion aligns with Gordon’s beliefs about serving people. “TransUnion made us feel like family. TransUnion always led us down the right path and put the relationship before the almighty dollar.”

Gordon says the integrity of TransUnion data and its scoring capabilities are essential to the success of Valor.

“TransUnion provides us with solid, relevant data. It’s not the old garbage we often see from other providers. But where TransUnion really separates from the competition is scoring,” he says. “On average, I can identify 80% of my dollars on day one. And ironically enough, they generally come from 20% of the accounts. I’d have no way to know that without TransUnion’s Recovery Scores.”

Final thoughts on the industry

Gordon has high hopes for the collections industry, despite a prolonged rough patch. He says, “What we’ve been through the last 15 years has calloused our business, but those businesses that survived are in a position to thrive. We’re flexible, nimble and tough. We’re jaded, but we’re better for what we’ve been through. I believe this is the era of prosperity for collections.”

However, he believes the key to success is finding that balance between serving clients and consumers. “We do good for our society and economy. We collect for our clients, but we’re also in a position to help people who are having a hard time. We save them money. We keep issues off their credit, and we give them the time they need to pay,” he says.

TransUnion made us feel like family. They always led us down the right path and put the relationship before the almighty dollar.

With TransUnion, Gordon and Valor have the data and analytic capabilities they need to collect more for their clients — and to help consumers get on the path to financial recovery.

Do you have questions? Our team is ready to help.