“The Three Step Refinance Opportunity”

Refinances are back in play again and I just wanted to take the time to share with you what I like to coach my people to do. I call it “The Three Step Refinance Opportunity”. It is a simple way to go through your database and generate opportunities by sharing the benefits of lower interest rates. Notice I said sharing the benefits of lower interest rates, NOT the benefits of refinancing!

Sure, you could get in front of people and just share the benefits of refinancing, and I am sure you would find a good number of people who would see the benefit and do the deal. However, to do that would not be sharing the whole story. In fact, it would eliminate a large portion of the total opportunity available to us with lower rates. The key other opportunity is selling the current home and buying the “Forever Home”, remember “The Forever Home Strategy®” we have talked about in the past? Well, now is the time to engage this strategy when you call to share the story of lower interest rates.

The three steps to this process are:

  • Identify your people with interest rates above 4%, or been in their home for five or more years, or have an adjustable rate loan product.
  • Prepare your talking points to not only explain the current market conditions, but to share the possibility that these conditions could now benefit them in a big way.
  • Once they share their interest, work the scenarios that show not only the benefits of refinancing, but the benefit of moving into their “Forever Home” while the cost of money is this low!

There are two distinct opportunities for current homeowners. One is to reduce the costs of their current home. The other is to reduce the long-term costs of their NEXT home. Think about it; are rates likely going higher or lower in the long term? Is the cost of their next home likely to be higher or lower in months or years to come? I think we can agree that interest rates are likely going to be higher in the future, as well as the cost of their next property! So why wait?

Now is the time to follow the steps. Sort your database by interest rate or by age of the loan. Obviously the higher the rate and the older the loan you want toward the top of your list. Arrange them in groups of 25. The reason for this is it makes it simple to get through a large number of calls and stay fresh with it if you break it up into more manageable groups.

Prepare a generic video explaining in simple terms that current market conditions have interest rates at all time low levels and that there may be a significant opportunity for them to benefit from these current conditions. Be very generic. Trying to get too specific here can turn some people off to your message. So just relate that current market conditions have created opportunities for homeowners to save money and/or reduce future housing costs.

Make your phone calls and share the story. If they are interested, put the deal together and email them a specific Mortgage Coach Total Cost Analysis® on their specific transaction possibilities. If they aren’t interested, just email them the generic video and thank them for their time and ask them to share the video with anyone they know that might need to save money on their housing costs.

Remember when you are talking to the client to be sure to ask about their “Forever Home”! If they don’t see the option of selling and buying as just as beneficial as refinancing, they might miss a golden opportunity! It is a very important part of the conversation; so don’t forget to talk about it. Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to have a few people to turn over to your referral partners who want to sell their home and buy a new one?

Make it fun for you, your team, and maybe your entire office. Why not set up a call night? Bring in some pizzas and make calls for an hour or two? See how many conversations you can have, appointments set up, or even applications taken? Why not work really hard for the next week or so to see if everyone can make calls and find five refinances and two potential movers in the next eight days? That would be a total of seven transactions for you, and two listings and four sales for your referral partners! Think about it. If you did a few hours of work and generated seven transactions for yourself, what is that dollar value? What is the value of the purchase and sale transactions to your referral partners?

You have a chance to share an opportunity with your clients and referral partners. Don’t waste time get moving! Celebrate Independence Day by creating a little financial independence! Go get the work done and go share the information about the opportunity at hand!

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

“Watch the Brexit vote today!”

We spoke about this last week and hopefully you are prepared. Making the list of potential refinance partners in blocks of 25 so you can easily contact and communicate if the market moves favorably enough to make it worthwhile for your client to refinance or move. Remember to always position the conversation as a choice between refinancing and moving, because it’s not always about reducing a monthly payment or loan term; sometimes getting something different is a choice the client would benefit most from.

Great Brittan doesn’t need to leave the European Union to make rates go lower, they are following a trend that is paying close attention to the German Bund being negative and possible weakness in the Euro just adds to the weak US economy. If the vote is to exit, mortgage rates are likely to benefit a great deal as the stock market won’t react well to that news. Either way, being prepared is a good idea.

In addition to the vote on Brexit, the housing market remains strong. Looking and increases in both purchase and refinance activity is certainly keeping originator pipelines quite robust! As national number show houses lasting only 32 days on the market, listed inventory remains a big issue in many areas. If you are in one of these areas, you need to be looking at some of the strategies we have shared to help locate those with an interest to make a change.

  • The Forever Home Strategy®
  • The First Time Home Seller Strategy®
  • The Help Us Pick Your New Neighbor Strategy®
  • The Neighbor’s Only Open House Strategy®

These are four simple and effective ways to help generate opportunities. We also have dozens of ideas that are included inside the website in both the “Lunch & Learn” and “Monthly Coaching” calls. If you are not using the website, you may be missing the very tools you need to generate more business for you and your referral partners!

Last quick note this week is, first time home buyers are now about 30% of the market. And while this is certainly a significant portion of the market, it leaves about 70% of the total activity being done by those who have bought a home before. With so much industry attention focused on the first time buyer arena, you might want to step back and think about how you are investing your time and money? I will have a complete conversation about this in the monthly coaching call on June 28th. Until then, identify the activities, schedule the work, and quantify your results!

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

“Pay attention to key news”

Here we are, forced to share some thoughts about rates and key numbers. As you know, I don’t spend a great deal of time talking about rates and trends. I would much rather talk about the business of our business. But when we are put in a position to see possible opportunities, we really need to take some time and share some information so you can be aware and make informed choices and prepare for potential opportunities.

First thing on the agenda is the important vote in the United Kingdom on June 23rd about leaving the European Union. A vote to stay would likely find us following the path we have been on, a slow push lower in rates as the economy struggles to find real traction and create meaningful jobs; full time, good paying jobs, not just the huge number of part time positions that some people have two, three, or more of trying to make ends meet. We also would like to see people entering the workforce at a higher rate than those leaving. While it is true we are seeing a good number of people retiring; all of those leaving the workforce aren’t retiring, they just stopped looking!

The other side of the coin is that if the United Kingdom chooses to leave the European Union. This could really trigger some huge moves. With the German Bund already producing a negative return, our ten-year has broken through a key level of resistance and heading toward an all-time low. If the ten-year breaks below the 1.54 level, there is no telling how far down it might go? Again, you have to remember the negative German Bund makes any yield in U.S. dollars pretty attractive. If pressure is put on the Euro, we could see rate fall significantly as demand for dollar denominated securities gain popularity.

So what does this mean for the mortgage market? Well, if you are tracking the FNMA 3% 30 year bonds, you will see that they have broken above a key ceiling at 103. A move above 103.28 could rally the bond toward recent high-level mark of 103.46 and possibly higher. All because of the value play in dollar denominated securities if the Euro weakens and people flock to quality.

Now is the time to pay attention. Not every minute, but you do need to be prepared for a potential opportunity. Another drop in rates opens up another whole group of people who will find refinancing beneficial. A significant move could open up the entire mortgage market to a benefit of refinancing! So get yourself prepared. Go through your database and put together groups of twenty-five or so in order that it would make sense for them to refinance. Keep these groups of manageable size. An email followed by a quick phone call notifying your clients of a refinance opportunity so that you can quickly connect with your people. Avoid long drawn out conversations and stick to the points you have to make. Maybe a sample Mortgage Coach Total Cost Analysis® and a list of things you will need to proceed.

I know you are busy with purchase activity and with school out or soon to be out you are looking forward to a vacation. That’s fine. But I would be remiss if I at least didn’t make you aware of this opportunity and how to spend an hour or two each evening sending out information and converting some deals. What if rates do drop and you managed to convert five, ten, or twenty percent of your database into a refinance transaction? What would that look like? How would that improve your retirement, new home, new car, kid’s college fund, or maybe all of the above?

The choice is yours. June 23rd is a week away. You can take a little time and get prepared, or you can just wait and see what happens and take it from there.

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

“Graduations, Vacations, and Gyrations!”

So here we are, closing in on the crazy days of summer and the old prevailing excuses as to why we didn’t capture more of the available business begin to surface. As a coach, you get to hear many reasons why your clients didn’t execute the plan that they themselves agreed to work. Here are a few of my favorites.

“I didn’t bother to go out this weekend and work the open houses because it was graduation week in my area.” Yes, that must be it. The real reason nobody was going to be out looking at homes or trying to sell a home was because it was graduation weekend! Oh please! Did it ever occur to you that graduation weekend is the exact weekend you would want to be out and active with your open houses? If you think nobody is out there, it is the exact time you want to be visible. Graduations are a great reason to talk real estate! Kids going off to college or out on their own, why not sell and get the house that works for you?

What if that open house is on the same street as a graduation party? Wouldn’t a few of the attendees be interested in moving to the same neighborhood as their friends or family members? Opportunity is everywhere if you just look for it!

Next on the list is, “Everyone is going on vacation”. Come on man! Give me a break! Everyone isn’t on vacation. Everyone can’t be on vacation every week from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so why even think to use that as an excuse? In fact, vacations are an excellent opportunity to get introduced to new referral partners! If in the course of your normal visitation schedule you find a referral partner that really is going on vacation, then simply ask them “Who is covering for you while you are away?” This opens the door to a warm introduction to someone you may not know, or may not have a solid relationship with. Why not make it a point to connect with the person covering for your referral partner and share with them how best to connect with you? Vacations are an opportunity, not an excuse not to work!

Last but not least is my favorite, “Things are so busy right now I don’t have any time to prospect?” Seriously, the absolute peak of opportunity and you think it’s okay not to follow your prospecting schedule? Your prospecting schedule is what got you the business. Now that the business is coming in, you are going to abandon the system you worked so hard to build?

Purchase applications are up almost 12% and refinances up a little more than 7%. You think now is the time to back off? You make your money doing the things the other guy won’t do! Yes it’s work. Yes it takes up time. But isn’t this what you have been asking for? Isn’t this why you did all the work? Don’t give up on success!

Have your process. Establish your timeline. Schedule the work. Track the results and make the needed adjustments. Now is not the time to back off, it’s time to double down!

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

“Peak of the Season”

In most markets across the country we are in the peak buying season. More people looking, listing, offering, and putting together transactions than at any other point in the year. With graduations, schools letting out, and vacations on the way, it is really important that you are clear about your process and your timeline. The more people you have to handle, the more important it is that you have consistent and clear process. You and your team need to have great communication and set proper expectations for everyone you need to manage, because each client and every transaction is important.

We have spent a great deal of time talking here about how your systems and your process act as filters for the clients and referral partners you want to work with. At the very peak of the season, when you have the maximum number of pre-approvals looking, and transactions working through your system, if you and your team are not really clear, you are going to disappoint people and lose business. So take a moment and really drill down on the details and the timeline.

I have shared many success stories about clients who have learned to master their workflow. Since no two people or companies function exactly alike, it is important that regardless of how you are set up, you tie certain actions and activities to your timeline and certain times of the week to review and make adjustments. I don’t want you having meetings every day for the sake of managing your pipeline or to just have a meeting; but I do want everyone focused on the process and clear about turnaround times!

Everyone on the team needs to be a “check and balance” for the other members of the team. As a team member, it is your job to “own” your work and your part of the transaction. It is also important that you don’t interfere with the other team members while they are trying to do their job. Just like in baseball, two fielders can’t catch the same ball. Know and respect each other’s schedule and blackout times. Don’t overload team members with call after call or email after email. And yes, remove the “reply all” thought from your brain. Nothing is worse than being bogged down clear fifty versions of the same email.

Originators, be clear about setting specific times of the week to carry out specific actions. Things like referral partner visits can be put on a “route” and run each week so that you develop consistency in your prospecting. Funny how it is generally prospecting that becomes the first victim of improved production. People get a few transactions racing through the system and right away they become too busy to get out and prospect for new business. So sad; people work hard to generate some momentum and the first thing they do is cut off the very activities that created the opportunities.

Take a few minutes and be clear about your process. Make sure your prospecting is consistent and that you are keeping connected with your pre-approvals to be sure they are looking at property and to show them that you still want their business. Out of sight is out of mind. You disconnect and they will too!

So be grateful we are in our peak season, interest rates are reasonable and people want to buy homes. Purchase inventory is stretched thin, so be sure you work the plan with your agents to help generate a few new listings! Be certain you work your full document pre-approvals so that when they do find that special property, they have a competitive advantage over someone with just a quick online pre-qualification.

Use your tools to be the expert in your market. Set proper expectations and be sure you communicate the way the client wants!

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