Be The Resource

Is anybody out there enjoying this rollercoaster ride? Since the middle of last week we have seen rates rise sharply as a whole, with huge fluctuations from open to close. We lost a bunch of ground, around ½% in rate or so, just in three days. The scary part of this is, there were five FAKE stories that did most of the damage!

  1. The false rumor about a trade deal between China and the US. It only took 30 minutes for the White House to dismiss the rumor as completely false, but the damage was done and the market began to see rate go higher.
  2. A politician said it was time to privatize FNMA & FHLMC. This spread quickly, but it isn’t even on the agenda for discussion yet! No matter, just more fuel to the fire!
  3. If FNMA & FHLMC go private, they will require more than a TRILLION DOLLARS in new cash reserves. Where is that coming from? Higher fees and rates maybe?
  4. Another part of this was the thought to reduce risk by reducing the DTI ratios down to 45%. Again, not a fact, just a story, but enough to keep the pressure on rates!
  5. Last but not least, was a THOUGHT that the government should refinance its debt by issuing 50 bonds! While it would take a huge amount of work and no guarantee that the credit markets would even have a desire for this paper; people went into a full panic and rates continued to rise!

So my question to you is, did you get out in front of the rise in rates? Did you have a reason or reasons to share with your clients and referral partners about what just took place? If you did, were you proactively walking them through the issue? If not; why not?

If you aren’t the expert; if you aren’t the trusted resource; if you aren’t out there keeping things calm and explaining what is going on, you might as well be an online lender who just cares about the transaction, not the people or the relationship!

The good news is we recovered nicely Monday and Tuesday. Yesterday we were really doing well before the FED announcement and press conference, and then it was a wild ride! We still closed better for the day, but far from the best levels of the day. So keep informed. Watch rates carefully today and Friday and keep calm and informed. Mostly, don’t panic your people! My belief is that rates will continue lower and could reach all-time lows. It just won’t be soon! It will also not be in a straight line! As you have seen, volatility is something we are going to have to deal with for a while!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

How Fast Did That Happen?

I was thinking yesterday that “9/11” was 18 years ago. How fast those 18 years went? I was also talking to a client about a training I did last year called “Crossroads” where I shared the evolution of real estate and mortgage originations from a predominantly realtor referral business to a much larger reliance on consumer direct business and referrals from other professionals.

The talk centered about how nobody knew who “Quicken” or “Zillow” was ten to fifteen years ago, and now they are dominant in the market. How Zillow may have started out as a website for houses, but that made way to selling leads, and now trying to eliminate the agent, the lender, and title companies because they believe that those people are not “important” to the quality of the transactional experience.

You would be surprised to see how fast they went from being supportive to the industry to trying to take it over! How fast did that happen? How quickly did they go from begging agents to post heir listings on the site, and getting agents to work with lenders to pay for the lead information back; to now saying out loud that they intend to replace the agents and the lenders and there is nothing they can do about it because the agents and lenders have become dependent on Zillow for their business!

Boy did that happen FAST!

So what is the game plan? What will you do? How will you compete? How will you set your value to the customer? How will working with you be better for that customer? How will it bring greater value to them? How will you create a better customer experience?

Zillow isn’t alone. Other companies are changing the way our industry works. Ever see “Open Door®”? Redfin® ring any bells? Will Amazon® become the beast of “Prime Real Estate” or mortgage? If you haven’t thought about this you really need too! The crossroads are upon us and you will need a plan to compete going forward!

Keep an eye out for your invitation to the October 22nd2019 “Crossroads Webinar” and “Business Planning 2020” event October 29th2019. These two events will help you see the strategies you can use to take control of your business, and thrive in 2020 and beyond!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Working The Plan For September!

We are rolling into September with a full head of steam and firing on all cylinders. The strategies we put in place are really taking hold and Labor Day weekend has been very productive for those who have engaged the market.

The back to school strategies and the patience to prepare our Realtor referral partners for the “functional obsolescence” conversations are generating both listing opportunities and some refinances. Clearly a strategy that has made both referral partners happy with new opportunities!

Those originators who have invested their time and energy executing the small bank and credit union strategy are already seeing referrals on both bank turn downs and loans those institutions just don’t do! A very limited investment of time and effort fueling purchase referrals for those who chose to engage!

Another strong strategy has been to work those “Open Houses” and the surrounding neighbors. New listing opportunities, buyer opportunities, new listing opportunities, and even a handful of refinances are making a big difference in the bottom line. In fact, we are seeing record closings in August and scheduled closings for September for purchase, units, and dollar volumes! Some personal best individual months have helped fuel some branch bests, area records, and are helping exceed performance numbers for all of 2018 by the end of this month; so bravo to those who have made the effort.

We now have to continue with the ongoing plan and include our calls to our accountants and financial planners! September and October are ripe for these contacts and the execution of the plan to help generate these often overlooked opportunities! At the same time, the commitment to making those ten refinance opportunity calls three nights a week are driving some great numbers for refinances and listing opportunities for our referral partners!

Just keep working! We are heading for a huge finish to an already great year if we just keep executing!

I also want to take a minute and thank you all for your concern for me and my family here in Florida due to the potential impact of Dorian. We were spared major damage, but those in the Bahamas were not. Please remember those who have suffered a huge life altering event with your thoughts and deeds. For those who are still in the potential path of this storm, please take it seriously. While not the monster storm it once was, it can still take life, damage and destroy property! So please be careful and know me and my family are praying for you and yours!

As always, you can send your questions and comments to Mike@IMTcoacoaching.com

 

 

More Nonsense!

Just when we thought the main stream media just might have a clue about the housing market, they prove once again that they don’t. This week is just another reason you have to keep informed and know the reality of the markets so your clients and referral partners don’t make poor choices.

Mortgage application data was posted this week that showed a drop in purchase and refinances, and the nonsense began to flow. People actually saying refinancing opportunities were over as mortgage rates have begun to rise!

Are you kidding me? I often wonder how people get paid for such stupidity. The reality is, rates are still trending LOWER. Yes, we are seeing volatility. Yes, trading ranges are pretty broad. But we have mentioned here before that the trend will continue lower from trading range to trading range. We have not seen the bottom of this market, and the refinance cycle has just begun!

We have all the people who have closed in the past year who can come down in effective rate. We have those who need to refinance out of FHA loans and into conventional loans to reduce or eliminate MI costs. We have a whole group of people who used JUMBO loan products who could easily refinance from their current high 4% to low 5% loans into a conforming loan in the 3’s using the $484K loan limit, even if they had to bring some cash to the table it’s a great deal! We must also not forget the biggest part of the equation, either reducing term of the loan or just plain selling and buying the home they really want!

We have a good way to go before these opportunities go away. I think we could see all time low rates for sure, but also, the large number of people who waited on the “bottom” of the market to jump in as soon as the market rebounds and begins to rise once again.

Some estimates are that there are almost ten million homes in this country that have a current mortgage that is higher than 4.5%! We certainly haven’t made personal contact with all of them yet! So refinances are still there for the taking. Purchase business is also more restricted by inventory issues in most markets, not the lack of qualified and interested buyers!

We will know where the bottom of the market is about six months after it happens. I am certain that time isn’t today! So reach out and make personal contact with your people and explain their opportunities and their options. You can’t just rely on email and mailers to get the job done.

Don’t let bad information dictate your market. Make your market by being the local professional people trust to present the real information and the real opportunities!

As always, questions and comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Recession Talk

It’s time to have a real discussion about all of the recession talk floating around. While it may be a legitimate discussion, we really need to get clear of what a recession is, and what it may mean for our customers. While I am not an economist, I have been in the mortgage industry since 1983 and have seen a few of them come and go.

First, the widely accepted definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. So before we get everyone gets into a panic of a recession, don’t you think we might need to see at least one month of negative growth before we get all wound up about a recession?

Second, the effects of a recession in the housing market are generally positive. Home prices rise and interest rates remain steady or go lower.

Third, the last recession, the one everyone felt most impact on home prices going lower, was a direct result of the housing and financial markets gambling with home ownership. Everyone could get a loan, many did, a few had many! It seemed everywhere you went people were buying one or two investment properties with no money down with poor credit histories! Places like Florida, Nevada, and Arizona saw people buying multiple properties from other states trying to become successful absentee owners, and many others bought homes they could never really afford. Add to that, Wall Street was playing games with mortgage backed securities and you had it all came tumbling down! That is not the scenario now, not by a long shot.

Today we are seeing a world-wide recession where there are actually many places where you can find negative growth and negative interest rates! We are not there! While we did see the markets go crazy when the two year treasury and the ten year treasury invert, the two year was paying higher interest than the ten, we are still far from negative!

I also want you to remember that the same people now screaming about a possible recession were the same people who said that 30 year mortgage rates were going to be 4.8% to 5.7% by the end of 2019! They said this in January 2019. So, if all of these financial guru’s thought rates were going to almost 2% higher than they are right now, how are we supposed to react to their projections for something going to happen by 2021?

So please, inform yourself first! Go look and locate the very information I am talking about. Google search rate projections from January 2019 and see what you find. Look at the great information available through KCM (Keeping Current Matters) has on its own Facebook page that you can share with your clients!

We may actually see a recession in the years to come. It’s very likely to happen because it happens on a regular basis! The facts remain, while recessions are not a great thing, they generally help the housing market, not hurt it!

Thanks for all the great feedback on the new website www.imtcoaching.com we really appreciate your comments. Keep the comments coming, Mike@IMTCoaching.com

Quick note, NREP published a great piece on their site which I shared on my Facebook page on 8-20-19 regarding Zillow! You all know what I have talked about the last few years, it’s nice to see someone with a larger platform sharing the awareness!

The Best Marketing Vehicle is YOU!

There is certainly no shortage of ways you can market yourself or to get in front of opportunities. Technology and social media can put us in front of potentially unlimited impressions to people who may need our product or service. Clearly, I want each of you to have a presence on social media and to be fluent in communicating in all forms available. The issue I see is that far too many originators are trying to do all of their marketing and connecting through email and social media and not enough time connecting live and in person with their clients, prospects, and referral partners!

Right now the gap between personal and electronic communication widens every day. Many originators think that email campaigns and autoresponders are the best way to keep connected to their people. With the market opening up to a huge opportunity in refinance business, many originators and their companies, are blasting emails to databases in rapid succession. While these emails are certainly generating a response, I have found that those emails actually cost you more opportunities than they generate! Why do I believe this? Simply looking at some data from my own clients provide some major insight. Email blasts do generate activity, but not all of that activity gets directed back to the person, or entity, that it was sent by. In fact, when we call our clients on the phone directly to talk about refinancing, we see a better than 7 to 1 return over the number of opportunities secured by an email blast!

Clearly calling takes longer. Yes, we all know that many of those emails don’t get opened or reacted in the same way. But one of the more alarming things I have seen is that in some cases, people who opened an email about refinancing often went online to check rates, only to be contacted by other salespersons who would quickly promise the world to take the deal. How would you feel if you sent out an email that caused your client to apply for a loan with someone else? You see, when you take the person out of the process, the customer only has the rate as a commodity to look at for a sole point of value! They might never see that changing term or program is actually better for them. They may never have a conversation about the benefits of selling their home and moving! They might not actually see all the options to make an informed choice. They might just end up with a lower payment and not the best possible outcome over the long term!

A declining rate market is great for our business. It also can work wonders for the entire economy as a whole. However, the speed of an email may not inspire or connect with your target as well as you might think! I believe the investment of your time to make the personal phone calls to actually talk to your customers will not only improve the number of transactions you close, but it will help that client know that they explore all of their options and made an informed choice that worked best for them!

The best thing you can market is your expertise and experience. The most effective way to do that is to call and actually speak person to person with your client. Yes, it takes a little longer to do it that way. But in the long run, you will build better and stronger relationships and close more loans with higher referral rates as well!

Also, as I spoke of last week, I have a big announcement to make. For the better part of the past year we have been working on a redesign of our website. We have taken all the suggestions you have made and tried to put items that work together in sections with each other. The “public” part of the website allows everyone to see and get a simple “taste” of the content and the strategies available. To “ACCESS” all the lessons, strategies, and supporting materials, you will either have to be a coaching client, or subscribe to the “Access Program”. If you would like to try “ACCESS” for just $39 a month, use the following link https://www.imtcoaching.com/offers/2CNVRmPF/checkout with the coupon code AUGUST and you will save $20 per month! There is no long term commitment. You can cancel at any time you like just by sending us an email and we will cancel your membership.

So please stop by www.IMTcoaching.com and take a look. We are very proud of the new site and we would love your feedback!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

 

Refinance Realities!

With the single most informational report week in recent history behind us, the dust begins to settle in on the fact that mortgage interest rates will continue lower and bring with them the same volatility we have dealt with the past few months. Without getting too technical, we have been experiencing a series of “trading ranges” that helps fuel this volatility, as well as the move lower. Since nobody ever knows until after it happens when and where the “bottom” will be, it does seem like a very real possibility that we could push toward the lowest rates on mortgage loans in history!

With rates going lower there will be a huge push into refinances. As a mortgage professional it is your job to keep your closed clients informed as to market conditions when the market presents them with an opportunity. It is also your job as a mortgage professional to provide accurate information to your client so they can make an informed choice! It is also your job to know all of those choices and present that information so the client can understand it and make the choices that serve them best!

The realities of our industry make so that we tend to forget the personal connection to the very people we are supposed to serve! I have gone through my objections to the use of email blasts and campaigns to generate refinance opportunities. I have also seen other originators talking solely about lower payments. Some have worked on debt consolidation, while others have talked about shortening the loan term. All of these are proper conversations, but you need to have ALL of these discussions as well as a few others. What if the best choice for that client is to do nothing right now, or to sell their current home and go buy the house they would really like to own? You have to have allof those conversations, and it can’t be done easily or quickly by email!

The solution is very simple, pick up the phone and call your clients. Take ten minutes to discuss the options and their potential benefits from a lower rate market. You will find these calls very beneficial as well as productive. As I have said before, email is fine for documenting a conversation, but it can’treplace the quality of the contact you get from a simple phone call! That is the simple reality of refinances; presenting the opportunity and options personally!

Next week we will have a big announcement, so please stay connected! As always, if you have questions or comments, please contact us at Mike@IMTcoaching.com