“Negative Nancy is at it Again”

I know we have talked about this a good deal lately, but this issue won’t go away. The main stream media, especially one CNBC reporter seems to provide a negative view on everything housing and mortgage. Barry Habib of MBS Highway has called her out repeatedly for her consistent negative comments and what is worse, failure to acknowledge the actual facts of our industry. I will refer to “Negative Nancy” in regards to the entire main stream media that continues to vilify the housing and mortgage industry, and not just one specific reporter.

The “Negative Nancy” media has made it a point that all news, no matter how good, must be a problem and a sign of an ongoing housing problem. When even seriously positive news is in the numbers, it seems the headline or focus must be made to a point, slanted to make the reader believe there is something wrong with buying a home or taking a mortgage. Unfortunately, this view of an entire industry is a great disservice to those who would benefit from significant opportunities.

The facts are clear, people still want and need to own homes. Mortgage rates remain a significant value and in MOST markets in this country, owning remains cheaper than renting! Listed inventory is holding back greater purchase activities because of qualified buyers who WANT to buy a home are having trouble finding a home available for sale that they want to buy! Prices are solid and rising at a very sustainable rate, NOT wildly rising, but when housing prices grow between 4% – 7% in general, that is not threatening of a housing bubble at all!

What is much more confusing is that there is no longer the panic of the dreaded “shadow inventory”. “Negative Nancy” media was all over the fear that this monster underlying problem was going to rear its ugly head and send us back into a housing recession. So where is this entire shadow inventory? If all of these properties are sitting empty, why, given the demand for houses, would all of these banks be sitting on all of these homes losing money every month? The answer is, there isn’t this huge number of homes sitting vacant.

Another rant of “Negative Nancy” has been that the market activity is fueled by investors buying homes all cash. If that is true, than how do you explain that conventional purchase mortgage loan applications are at their highest point since 2014? All cash deals are going DOWN!

As an industry, we need to be certain that the consumer has ALL the information so they can make an informed choice. There is nothing wrong with renting. There is nothing wrong with owning. Sixty-five percent of people will tend to own where they live. Renting has advantages, but owning over the long term has proven to be one of the best investments the average consumer can make.

As industry experts, we must be aware of all the information and share strategies that help our clients make informed choices. We must also spend time sharing information with those who may read an article or see a report who are not being given all the information, or are getting the information from “Negative Nancy” media that consistently slants information to the downside, while playing down or ignoring to upside.

The housing and mortgage industry are doing well and buying a home still remains a significant part of the “American Dream” for most people. We all need to be honest and open with all of the information. When the message is distorted, regardless of in which direction, someone needs to take the other side of the issue and share the information. The “Negative Nancy” media is making the case against buying a home. We, as professionals need to provide the other side of this story so the clients can make their own choice as to what is best for them.

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

The Numbers tell us what we already know!

So more positive housing numbers point to the fact that we in the industry already knew; housing is getting better and the markets are proving it. Prices are up a significant 7.8% year over year with fewer and fewer short sales and foreclosures as part of the mix. Many more person to person transactions taking place as mortgage purchase applications were up 5% last month, an improvement of more than 16% year over year.

As listed inventory remains tight, total transactions are on the rise so even though more homes are coming to the market, many of them are gone as quickly as they arrive. This can present some challenges to buyers and agents who are not keeping close track of the markets and who still think that running low offers past these current sellers is going to meet with a favorable result. It just isn’t going to happen.

Mortgage professionals and their Realtor® referral partners need to remain educated to specific market conditions and to help provide that information to their buyers, so that each buyer can make an educated and informed choice when it comes to making an offer. Low offers are not likely to win the day in most cases. So please, let’s all keep current with our local markets and help buyers make good choices.

The same also holds true for home owners that might be interested in selling. Perspective and real time information on their markets, as well as the value of their current payments in today’s rate environment can quickly show an opportunity to sell their current home and buy their “Forever Home” with very minimal impact on their current budget. In fact, some people are able to make this move and actually pay LESS for that new home! If originators and Realtors® work together in generating real time information and sharing it with consumers, they will see for themselves the types of opportunities that are available in this market.

It’s always about information, education, and options. That is what experts do. It is important that you realize that you are a solutions provider, not a salesperson. Sharing information and providing the path to an improved lifestyle is what you should be doing on a daily basis. It’s not about selling anything to anyone. It’s about sharing opportunities through providing value to the very people you are trying to SERVE! We are a SERVICE BUSINESS! When you serve people by providing value in opportunities, you are at the best possible place you can be.

As more and more mortgage companies are in fear of the changes coming in August, you MUST embrace them as your opportunity to excel. Adding fifteen or thirty days to a sales contract does not guarantee that the customer will have a great experience or even that you can make that extended closing date on time. All it does is create more time for you to juggle files that you don’t have a system for to disclose and close properly within thirty days! Now is the time to create the systems and the timeline you will need to follow and share with your customers and referral partners to be sure that you can still close loans in thirty days or less. You can be sure that some of your competition is already doing this and are already prepared to pick up the business that others will lose when they can’t get the job done on time.

We may not agree with the new rules. They may not make things clearer or better for the customer. But these rules are the rules we will have to live with, and your clients and referral partners are looking to you to have the plan to be sure that thirty closings are still part of our culture. They can be if you set the proper expectations for yourself, your team, your clients, and your referral partners. When you match the process to a timeline and hold everyone accountable to their part in making it happen, you will be sure that you have a major role in your local market!

Special shout out to Dannelle Taylor in Orange County California, who went out with one of her agents and worked the neighborhood around and open house. Door knocking resulted in a number of solid and warm conversations, one buyer lead for the actual open house listing, one refinance opportunity, and a reverse mortgage inquiry. Not to mention a THRILLED agent who wants to do it again this weekend! Great job Dannelle, the strategies work if you work them!

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

How BIG is the Purchase Market?

April 15th signals to most of us that it is time to pay our taxes. It also tells us that spring is underway and the pace of new home listings and buyers coming into the market to find their next home. In many parts of the country, there is no equation to be found, buyers are outnumbering sellers. It’s funny how the main stream media talks about how poor the housing markets are and how hard it is to get a loan to buy a house when quite the opposite seems to be the case. People who want to buy a home who are qualified to repay the money they are looking to borrow are NOT having any issues qualifying for a mortgage at phenomenal rates. Sure, if you have poor credit, don’t pay your bills on time, don’t report your actual income, or want to have a payment that exceeds your abilities to comfortably pay all of your bills, you might have a problem. For the vast majority of people who want to buy a home, you have no real issues making the financing work. Given that in most markets in the country owning a home is actually cheaper than renting one, more and more people are seeing that the value in ownership!

So if people can obtain the financing they need to buy, why aren’t we seeing more transactions? The answer is two parts; one, we ARE seeing more deals, purchase transactions year over year are steadily rising. The second part is a little trickier; we would be seeing MORE sales in many parts of the country if more properties were available for sale! Demand is outpacing supply in many parts of the country. In Denver for example, one of my originators told me that there is only a three week supply of inventory and many of those homes are so overpriced that they are rolling over month to month and many homes coming on the market are gone the first weekend they are on the market!

So how BIG can the 2015 purchase market be? I fear that number will not be anywhere near the number it could be because some of the potential buyers will pull out of the market and continue to rent because they can’t find anything to buy!

New construction is an option, but we all know that a new build can take months to happen and many builders are cautious about how many homes they are building and how many they will commit to building. So many builders got stuck with land and unsold inventory in the last housing shift, that they are reluctant to extend themselves beyond a new and lower capacity. With that said, where will the inventory come from to satisfy the growing demand? Same place it always has, current home owners who currently live in a home they like just fine, but are unaware how close they are to moving into the home they would love forever! Remember “The Forever Home Strategy®”. Mortgage professionals working hand and hand with their Realtor® referral partners, who identify and connect with the owners of those first or second homes, who are likely NOT living where they ultimately would love to be, but don’t realize how close they are to making that happen.

Remember, while many people were refinancing current mortgage loans to “save” money; many would have made the choice to sell their current home and buy their FOREVER HOME if someone would have shared with them the true value of their mortgage payment in TODAY’S MARKET!  What if each loan originator spent just a few hours working with their best Realtor® referral partner looking at neighborhoods, talking to those homeowners, doing some of the research to see just how easily some of their past clients could list, sell, and buy their Forever Home? How much effort would it take to find one or two people willing to make that move? How happy would your Realtor® referral partner be with you if you shared a strategy and applied a little effort to working the plan and it turned into a few deals?

The 2015 purchase market will be better than the 2014 market. Just HOW much bigger is going to depend on how well we all work together to generate transactional opportunities? What if the market got bigger and the people you were working with gained a LARGER percentage of market share because YOU worked with them and shared a few simple strategies that found that one or two more transactions? A bigger piece of a larger market means more closed transactions for all of us!

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

“Me + Me = We”

Prospecting can be challenging; sometimes so challenging that it often gets put off or deleted from the schedule for no reason at all. Often I find my clients hide behind being “too busy” to be committed to their prospecting schedule. I ask them, what is more important than the beginning of the business cycle? How is it ever acceptable for you to eliminate prospecting from your daily routine? The answers I get are simply amazing. “I had to return phone calls”, “I had emails to reply to”, “I had files to work on”, excuse after excuse. This lack of schedule discipline causes the very production roller coaster most originators complain about. The very lack of consistent prospecting IS the cause of the roller coaster effect!

One of the ways to eliminate the possibility of even thinking about canceling your prospecting is to set yourself up with a prospecting partner. Sort of an accountability partner if you will. It is simple to do, find one or more of your referral partners that want to and NEED to generate more opportunities. You can spend one day a week working with another loan originator spending time calling your database using any of the strategies we have talked about.

  • Forever Home Strategy®
  • Annual Mortgage Fitness Check-up & Identity Theft Screening®
  • Collecting 9s & 10s®
  • Thursday Pre-approval follow-up

Any or all of these can be used to generate opportunities and are easily done so you can keep each other moving through the list of calls and sharing success as you find opportunities. A little friendly competition is good to keep you going. It just takes two people, but you can have your entire origination staff join in. Maybe make Wednesday night from 6pm to 7pm pizza and prospecting night. Anything to be committed to taking the very actions you know you should be doing!

You can also get your Realtor® referral partners to participate. Pick an agent and work a neighborhood together! Remember, Me + Me = We! You will get more done if you work TOGETHER! So many Realtors® today are complaining about a lack of inventory. As we have discussed here in the past, there is no lack of inventory. There is a lack of people sharing the reasons it makes sense for people to list and sell their homes and buy another one!

We have spent many posts explaining all the strategies:

  • Forever Home Strategy®
  • Help Us Pick Your New Neighbor®
  • Neighbor’s Only Open House®
  • First Time Home Seller Strategy®
  • Sharing today’s value of their current housing payment

Any or all of these are simple to do, don’t take a great deal of preparation, and cost almost nothing to do other than your commitment of time, energy, and mutual support! ME + ME = WE! Together we get more done, more quickly, more consistently! This generates more opportunities for both of us!

There is never a good reason not to prospect at least two hours every day. Prospecting is the life blood of your business. Prospecting with others makes the time more enjoyable and more productive because you have an accountability partner working with you to help keep the process moving and to share the success with!

  • Look at your weekly schedule.
  • Be certain you have a minimum of two hours each day scheduled for your prospecting efforts.
  • Find prospecting partners to help make more of your efforts more fun and to increase your chances of success.
  • Create games, competitions, prizes, anything at all to help keep you focused and committed.

Alone you can only do so much and are likely to allow yourself to become distracted or become less than completely focused. Together, you have the ability to help each other move forward and find opportunities that you might have missed!

ME + ME = WE!

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

“Keep Focused”

April is here and so arrives the spring buying season. Add into the mix low interest rates that lead to refinances, and it is really easy to get lost in opportunities without keeping focused on what makes you money. Simply put, busy isn’t productive!

In order to keep things going in the right direction, it is important that you keep yourself scheduled and on task. You are NOT going to be able to take every phone call when it comes in, so don’t pretend to try. Just set your one voice mail message to explain that you have meetings and appointments throughout the day, and then provide them a series of options as to when you will be available to call them back. The simple script for your phone is:

“Hi, this is (insert your name here), I have meetings and appointments scheduled throughout the day. I will be returning emails and phone calls between the hours of 9am and 10am; 1pm and 2pm, and 4pm and 5pm. Please leave your name, contact number, and which time is best for me to return your call, and I will be happy to call you then. If you would like to begin the application process, please complete my online application on my website (www.xxxxxxx.com).”

When you set the proper expectations, you set the tone of cooperation. If you become a slave to the phone, text messages, and email, you won’t have time to make money!

Same thing holds true about doing the majority of the work on your file upfront. Collect all the documentation you are going to need at preapproval. Explain to the client to save every pay stub, every bank statement, and any other documentation you require so they can deliver it to you at the same time they give you the fully executed contract of sale. And be sure you tell them that you need ALL of that within 48 hours of signing the contract or it may delay the ability to close on time!

It’s that type of focus that allows you to complete each step of the transaction while setting up the next step to be executed. Again, setting the proper expectations will come in very handy as the pace of business picks up and you need to manage your time doing the things that make you money.

Be very clear about your prospecting schedule. Try to work from home in the morning setting up your day. If you prefer, find a Starbucks and get a cup of coffee while you prepare your schedule or return your emails prior to getting started. Then hit the streets prospecting. Get in a good two hours visiting your referral partners and making connections. You can have a full days prospecting done in time for lunch. Then you can head into the office to return your calls, respond to emails, prepare your files, or whatever else needs to be done. Remember, once you stop prospecting, you stop the action that leads to opportunities!

Spring buying season is here. How well you do depends on how well you remain focused. All my research indicated a very strong buying season and the possibility of a push LOWER in rates, which may open up another wave of refinances. If you remain focused on your dollar productive activities, setting proper expectations, and getting your prospecting work done early in the morning, there is a great chance this could be a very special five or six months coming up!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com.  And, be sure to visit our new website http://www.imtcoaching.com