“Information is everything”

Some information is useful. Other information is useless. What is useful to some isn’t helpful to others. So what is the point? Sometimes you have to look at the information and realize what is important to you! So let’s take a look at some of the latest housing data. We had a revision higher in new home sales and a gain of more than 18%. 18% gain is a MONSTER number. On the other hand, existing home sales were down and while many look at that as a bad thing, if you look deeper, you will find the real nugget of information. Person to person sales were actually higher. Yes, person to person seller to buyer transactions was UP!

So if the actual person to person sales were higher, why are the numbers lower? Well, the total number INCLUDES person to person sales, short sales, and foreclosure sales. When you did deeper, you find foreclosure sales were down almost 25% and short sales were down 40%. Those distressed property sales going down have brought down the entire number. In reality, the overall number is down because there were LESS distressed sales and MORE traditional person to person transactions. While not enough person to person transactions to raise the entire number and make up for the falling distressed sales, the good news is that we are getting closer to the end of the short sale and foreclosure wave toward much more normal levels. At the same time, the public seems to be working up an appetite to buy houses.

New home sales are up and person to person existing sales are up, while short sales and foreclosures are falling. That is the information the people need to know. You need to be looking up the numbers and sharing the data. Connect to the information and plug in to the community and SHARE! Break the myths!

  • New home sales are UP!
  • Seller to buyer, person to person sales are UP!
  • Foreclosure and short sales are DOWN!
  • There is no shortage of mortgage money!
  • There are many programs that require little to no money down!
  • If you can afford the payments and prove it, you can get a loan!
  • Owning is cheaper than renting in most markets!
  • Most people still believe they will own their own home!
  • Home prices and interest rates are likely to be higher next year!
  • The only way people will know this is if you share!

The third quarter of this year will be by far the best quarter of the year for my clients. Some are having their best months ever! Others are seeing large numbers of preapprovals coming in and people going under contract. The fourth quarter may even work out to be better than the third quarter! If you are not seeing these types of results, you need to engage and get working! People who are working a plan are seeing the benefits.

We have discussed numerous strategies in this blog post. I have gone through these strategies line by line and step by step. If you are not mastering these skills and sharing them with your people you are losing money!

You have to do the work. You have to talk to people. You have to share information, strategies, and provide solutions. People want to buy houses. People want the joy of owning their own homes. You can help them do this if you just get out and engage the people! Your output dictates your income. You control your actions. If you want to change your results you have to change your activities. What are you waiting for? You have less than sixty days to put together a deal that will close in time to get paid this year! Can you afford to wait?

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com or visit us online at http://improvemytomorrowcoaching.com

“What’s old is new again”

Just a quick note, I am very pleased to know that people are really reading and are connecting with this post. More than 30 bumper sticker requests came in the mail so far this week, and it’s really special that so many have taken action. I look forward to the first success story!

This week I want to share an “old school” strategy that is finding its way back to the streets and turning effort into income. The strategy is a take-off on the old fashioned “call night” at a real estate office. Back in the stone ages, mortgage professionals like me would sponsor a call night at a real estate office. The manager would have all the agents come in for a meal, generally pizza, and then hit the phones hard for an hour calling past clients or cold calling neighborhoods from a reverse directory looking for listing appointments. Well, I have taken a fresh look at this old school concept and made a few modifications to see if it would be as effective as it once was. Here in the new version.

We start with a little preparation. The agents are required to pull up five old listings and five old buyers from their records. If you don’t have five of each, just come up with ten people you have done business in the past. Then, find one FSBO in your market and any ten names of people in your database. This totals 21 total people.

Once you have the list you start the preparation. Look at the listings and the buyers and see what their current home value is and how long have they been there? The better their records, the easier having important information will be. Once you know the details of their old transaction you, the mortgage professional can gauge their current payments. Then the agent can look at potential trade-up or trade-down properties. Again, depending on the agent’s notes, this may be easier or more complicated to do. Armed with the likely two best matches, you can run numbers as to the potential cost of buying that next house and the new monthly payments. Do this for all ten potential opportunities.

Next we work with the information on the FSBO. Calculate payments as well, but the agent instead prepares a “Competition Worksheet”. This will consist of the two or three homes in the area that the FSBO is competing with.

The last thing to do is to brief the agents on the “Forever Home Strategy”. It only takes a few minutes and will help the agent deal with the last ten people on the list. A simple call to ask if they are currently living in their forever home, and if not, now might be the time to look!

All three of these help your agent engage the public with information and opportunity. These are very powerful tools to share. Now all we need to do is schedule a Tuesday or Wednesday evening to get everyone together. Bring in your food about 6:30pm. Allow everyone to eat and get ready; and then start the calls at 7pm. Just call and share.

If you reach someone, share the story. If not, leave a brief message. Either way, you then MAIL the prepared information to the person you called and schedule a follow-up call the following Tuesday evening. Simple, direct, and a powerful hour of prospecting! For the more advanced, record a video of the information and email it to your people as an additional strategy, but you must call and mail the material, then follow-up.

Yes I know this is work. Yes I know many of your agents won’t do it. Yes I know that you think this is silly. Yes, I know. Now shut up, stop your whining and go do the work! Somewhere in your town is a real estate office that would like your help. Find it. Even if nobody wants to do the work, this gives you an opportunity to engage and offer strategies and solutions.

You get 100% of what you don’t ask for. Or, you can make an attempt and see what the results are. It is always up to you.

Questions or comments please email: Mike@IMTcoaching.com or visit us online at http://improvemytomorrowcoaching.com

“Got Mortgage?”

I cannot begin this post without acknowledgement of the history surrounding this date in our history. Just like my father and grandfather never forgot where they were and what they were doing when they heard about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, My memory will never forget where I was and what I was doing when I heard about the assassination of JFK and then the attacks of 9/11. “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it” are words that ring in my head clear and loud. My prayers are for all of those lost and the families that had to carry on. I also pray that Americans look at history and understand that we can not, and should not retreat from the world stage, for when we do; the void is often filled with darkness and suffering. Like it or not, we ARE the world superpower and we need to start acting like it!

Now we can get on to the business side of this post. Years ago I had a loan officer that worked a long way from his office and had challenges working from home due to distractions. I suggested he find a Starbucks close to his house, or any place where he could get a good internet connection and a place to sit and relax, and make his calls and respond to his emails from there. Just pull in get a coffee and a snack, and conduct your business. The plan worked very well. In fact, it worked better than we had ever imagined. It seems as though people seeing what he was doing would come to him and ask him random mortgage related questions. This eventually led to a few loan applications and a few introductions to some very nice referral partners.

I suggested to him that he just put a small stack of his business cards next to his laptop so people could just walk over and take one should they so desire. As it would happen, people started taking the cards and then calling for information. A few even gave the card to a friend or family member! It was a very productive experience and became an excellent “fishing vs. farming” experiment. As time went by, I continued to share this story and have many originators doing this very same thing with pretty much the same outcome, people asking questions and seeking information leading to loan opportunities.

Not too long ago I decided to ask a few of my people to place a note on the back of their laptops in bold lettering saying a variety of things from “Ask me a mortgage question” or “Would you like to save money on where you live”. The thought process is that if we expressly ask people to ask us a question, or if we openly ask the world a question, there might be a larger body of the public who would feel comfortable coming up and asking a question.

I have played with a number of combinations of questions and have certainly seen the number of engagements rise because of the signs. But I wanted to simplify the question so we could make the letters as big as possible and still get the point across. So I ended up with small bumper stickers you can place on the back of your laptop that says: “Got Mortgage?”

Got mortgage (2)

I have been so pleased with the passive results that I went out and had a bunch of these bumper stickers made up to share with my clients. After all, it can’t possibly hurt, and if it gets you just one deal or referral partner, why not?

If you would like your free bumper sticker, just send me a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

IMT Coaching

8107 Woodslanding Trail

Royal Palm Beach, Florida 33411

It will be interesting to see how many of you are willing to give this a try and how many deals or referral partners we find for having done this over the next 90 days!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com or visit us online at http://improvemytomorrowcoaching.com

Watch out for “Experts”

It’s now September and we are seeing “expert” commentators predicting a housing collapse this winter. As if the mainstream media ever got anything right, the constant bashing of the housing market is getting a little tiresome. Remember all the “experts” that predicted that the housing market would continue its decline for years because of all the so-called “shadow inventory” the big bad banks were hoarding? Well it appears that somehow that entire lurking inventory seemed to be absorbed and that many parts of the country are actually experiencing a “seller’s market” because of buyer demand and lack of housing inventory.

Think back to January when the so-called “experts” were calling for interest rates to be in the mid five percent range by the end of this year? Here we are in September and the trend has been fairly stable around the low to mid four percent ranges with pressure on rates to go DOWN?

Did you hear all the experts predicting how quickly rates would go up as soon as the Federal Reserve pulled the plug on QE3? Well, the Federal Reserve has been removing money from the MBS markets and is almost completely out of adding any new money to MBS purchases and since the process started to conclude these purchases the rates on 30-year mortgage loans has actually gone DOWN!

“Experts” have been calling for the dismantling of Fannie and Freddie and that it will be the private sector that will need to fill the void of the mortgage market by risking their own money. Really, are you serious? Just when the GSE’s start turning over a HUGE PROFIT you are going to break them up? Is Congress really that stupid? Even if they were, do you think they could agree on exactly how to unwind these positions any time soon?

“Experts” have been calling for the end of the thirty year fixed rate mortgage loan for many years now. These “experts” would have you believe that just because the European housing markets live by the ARM product, that we here in the states need to abolish the thirty-year fixed. Is that really going to happen here?

Why don’t we look at some interesting information I shared on my monthly coaching call in August. On that call I discussed that there were some interesting observations I had made about a few key factors. The first observation was that in Germany, the DAX (German stock market) had seen a drop of more than ten percent since June and the German Bund (German Bond) rates on their 10-year was below 1% and their 30 years was below 2%. Significantly higher than what we were experiencing here in our markets.

I had also noted that while the Federal Reserve was close to ending its purchases of Mortgage Backed Securities and had already removed more than forty BILLION dollars a month in MBS purchases that interest rates on these bonds had not gone up; but had actually gone DOWN! How could this be? Who was stepping in and buying up all of this paper? Why was there so much interest in these bonds that the price was actually going DOWN? I speculated it might just be that the quality of these securities was worth the investment. All the regulation and restrictions was now paying off in the QUALITY of the MBS that were available on the market. So if all of this is true, why would the last twenty billion or so a month in purchases removed from the market trigger such a rapid rise in rates? And if it did, would the entire housing market fall apart because rates went from four to five? Did we not have a housing boom when rates were six percent? Is five percent interest rates really the end of the housing recovery? When rates were in the three percent range we were really at the BOTTOM of the housing market and things are rebounding a full point higher.

Be careful of the “experts”. You need to look at the information yourself and come to your own conclusions. Besides, there are so many outside factors involved in all of this that it makes it almost impossible to forecast. What I do see is that housing market is good right now and that interest rates are very favorable. In fact, you could make a case right now that we might be closer to three percent rates in the near future that five percent! Just look at the trend. People are moving into MBS markets as the quality and reduced quantity make these bonds favorable. And what happens as October comes along? What if we see a stock market correction in our markets like the one in Germany? Wouldn’t money then flow from the stock market into the bond market? Wouldn’t that drive rates even LOWER? Think about it. Look at the month of October through history and see if anything jumps out at you? I am not predicting a correction in October. I am just pointing out you need to be prepared with information so when you get the questions, you have the ability to share all the possibilities.

I believe that the fall housing markets will be much better than most people think. While many have already written this year off as a bad year, I believe the third and fourth quarters will be stronger that the first and second by a wide margin. For those looking forward at the numbers and not back at them, they have already noticed that we are much stronger now than we were last year at this time and that all the signs are solid for better than expected numbers by those people who have been out there working and sharing success strategies and building a steady stream of opportunities.

So don’t fall victim to what you hear the “experts” say. Educate yourself and others to the facts and trends that you see and the information you discover looking ahead at your numbers, not behind looking back. You either lead the elephant from the front, or you are forced to clean up behind as you follow! You get to choose!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com or visit us online at http://improvemytomorrowcoaching.com