So by now you all have heard that the Trump administration has stopped the planned decrease in the FHA MIP by .25%. While it would have been nice to have had a decrease in the cost of an FHA loan, it certainly isn’t the end of the world as some would have you think.

Articles and conversations on various social media platforms would have you think somebody eliminated FHA all together! Seriously, the number of loan officers throwing themselves into a fit is quite shocking. In fact, it’s pretty disturbing behavior for a financial professional.

This was a REDUCTION, not a new fee. FHA MIP premiums weren’t raised, they were left alone and not reduced until the new administration could look at the data and make sure this proposed fee reduction was something that could be done comfortably and without potential issues for the fund that insures these loans.

The crying over how people are no longer going to be able to afford to buy a home is absolutely ridiculous! On a $200,000 loan, you are talking less than $42 a month! If $42 a month is what keeps someone from buying a house, then maybe they should rethink their situation. Clearly rent on an apartment or equivalent home would be going UP more than that each year! And again, this fee isn’t going up, it’s staying the same!

Now as a business coach, my job is to help my clients deal with certain challenges. So, while none of them have had any issues with this situation, how about we talk about how to deal with this for those who may have an issue?

  • You could always buy a house that is about $8,000 less expensive?
  • You could spend a few thousand dollars in points to buy the rate down on the loan by .25%
  • You could use money from your 401K to make a larger down payment.
  • You could negotiate a seller’s concession toward closing costs to pay down the rate.
  • You could look for assistance with the down payment or closing costs to make up the difference.
  • You could work a part-time job for a couple of months and use that money to buy down the rate.
  • You could look to other loan programs that may have lower fees or allow you to finance more money.
  • You could wait and see if they lower the fee in the months to come, and hope interest rates don’t move higher.
  • You could pray that interest rates go down.

All of these ideas and likely many more are all ways to deal with the fact that the FHA MIP was not reduced. However, the facts are, most people don’t use FHA loans to buy a home, and those that do are largely not now precluded from buying a home, or are even close to their maximum payment tolerance. For those that were; maybe they really need to rethink what they were going to do?

In any circumstance, it is your job as a financial expert to explain the situation, not inflame it! This really isn’t that big a deal, so don’t act like it is. Just explain the options and do the math! For those needing to use FHA to buy their homes, they are still getting a great deal. Don’t add to the drama by fueling the fire. Nobody is a victim here. Just be professional and share all the options!

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“Don’t forget to measure!”

Hard to believe we are closing in on February already! How many of you are executing your 2017 plan consistently? My guess is that if you are reading this post, you are doing a really good job with your execution because we have talked about it a great deal. So the next most critical thing to master is to be certain you are measuring your efforts against your projections to be sure you are doing what you said you were going to do! Remember, first we plan, then we execute; finally, we measure! We measure the actions. We measure the time it took. We measure to see if we are really doing what we said we were going to do! It is important to measure because failing to measure your actions weakens your ability to make the proper adjustments to improve your results. Just like a computer, garbage in, garbage out!

With three weeks into the year, now is a good time to see if we have developed the habits of our new intentions! Twenty-one days to a habit, you should be well on your way to success! With those new habits established, we now must look forward to measuring the results of our actions and activities! Again, if you don’t measure, you can’t make the proper adjustments!  Failing to make the correct adjustments will hinder your ability to be as efficient as you could be.

Twelve key things we need to sure to measure:

  • Are we prospecting a minimum of two hours each day?
  • Are we receiving a minimum of 5 credit pull opportunities each week?
  • Are 70% or more of the credit reports we are pulling good enough to proceed further to document collection?
  • Are we growing toward, or maintaining twenty or more pre-approved clients out looking for a home at all times?
  • Do we connect with every agent, accountant, attorney, financial planner, and insurance professional involved in every deal?
  • Are we sending hand written thank you notes to our referral partners at the closing of each transaction, including those we just met?
  • Are we following up with those new referral partners ten days to two weeks after we send the note to set an appointment?
  • Are our referral partners sending the number of referrals in January that we projected they would?
  • Are we adding the number of new people to our database, Facebook®, Twitter®, LinkedIn®, or other social media connections that we had scheduled to do?
  • Are we posting helpful and valuable information on our outlets to keep the people connected, looking, and sharing?
  • Am I adding the video frequently asked questions to my YouTube® channel that I said I was going to do?
  • How many times have my referral partners or past clients shared my video business card?

All the planning in the world won’t help you if you aren’t measuring against your projections and being prepared to track the results and make needed adjustments! Our business is all about being able to adjust quickly and effectively. Sometimes we don’t know what to measure? Sometimes we don’t make the correct adjustments? But failing to make projections, track the results, and make adjustments will only give you everything you have always gotten! So if you are already getting everything you want, then ignore this post and we will see you next week. But if you aren’t getting everything that you want, then project, execute, and measure, so you can learn how and when to make the adjustments you will always need to be making!

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“Stop chasing dreams!”

We all have to do better with our words. Words mean something. Far too often, people just throw a word out into the universe as sort of a casual thing, often diluting the meaning and by connection, the message or intent of what they were trying to communicate.

For example, we just celebrated the end of 2016 and welcomed in 2017. As the year changes from one to another, it has become a habit for people to proudly share their “New Year’s resolutions”. Yes, it seems like every year we all talk about our “resolutions” and the things we are supposed to be committed to doing, or changes we are resolved to make in our lives.

At first look, it all sounds so important and so structured! We are making a commitment in front of other people to the very things we are going to change about ourselves! However, these resolutions, these commitments, are often no more than making a wish upon a star! In fact, many have the same exact outcome; nothing changes!

How do I know this? Well, imagine if you went to any gym in your local area on January 2nd about 7am. It’s likely you couldn’t find a parking spot! If you did find a spot, it’s likely that every machine and piece of equipment was occupied! Yes, the very first day would have seen a pretty strong showing of those who make the resolution to lose weight and to get back in shape. Not all the people who made the commitment mind you, but a pretty large number actually made it to the first real day to get to work.

Now fast forward to a week later, January ninth; fewer cars in the parking lot and still quite a few people in the gym. Then, think about a few weeks from now, on Monday January 30th; the parking lot has plenty of spots open and you can go inside and use just about any machine you like! Less than one month and the vast majority of those resolutions are gone! Not all, but most!

That is why I bring up the issue of goals and dreams. I really don’t like either of those words as they pertain to the business world. I truly believe that those two words have gone the way of the resolution. In fact, all of them are likely synonymous with the word “wish”. People are hoping things are going to change, but they really aren’t committed to the actual things they need to do over time, to make a resolution a reality, or a goal and a dream become an actual outcome!

So think about this the next time you are setting “goals” or thinking about chasing you “dreams”; what are you really doing? Are you just making a wish and hoping by some chance it will come true? Do you really think that getting all excited and pumped up that the outcome of your life will change? Well, unless the guy from that magazine distributorship comes knocking at your door, it isn’t likely going to happen if you don’t make a real commitment to change your actions!

So please, stop chasing your dreams and create a plan that will get you to where you want to go! Schedule the time and do the work needed to succeed. If the first results aren’t what you thought, keep pushing forward until you can see where the projections were off and then make the adjustments needed to obtain the desired results! Find a winning plan and execute that plan. Do the work! Make adjustments! Get help or find someone who has done what you want to do and ask them to mentor you through the process! Get an accountability partner! Everyone needs a coach, so find yours!

Or, don’t do any of these things and I can tell you that your 2017 won’t look that much different than any of the years before it! In order for your results to change, you have to change your efforts and actions! If not, the outcome won’t likely be any different. Just like going to a concert or listening to music and playing the “air guitar”; you are going through the motions but you really aren’t making any music!

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“Welcome Back”

Welcome back to work, it’s a brand new year! I know that some of you never went away, but a great many of you took some well-deserved time away from the office to enjoy the holidays. The great part about our business is that we can create our own schedule and work when and how we choose. For those of you who kept going right on through, you have seen significant benefits from you efforts because the limited number of people, who were active, were very serious about it and many found deals! Keep on working, and keep on following up with all those new connections!

For those that are making their way back into a full schedule, please take a minute and get prepared for re-entry! Just like an athlete that warms up before competing; take some time to get yourself ready, and ease back into your full schedule slowly! The number of people who make critical mistakes when they first come back from time off is a significant issue. Those who work excessive hours to try and “catch-up” often run themselves down and many get sick! Some stress themselves much more seriously than they can handle and suffer life-threatening situations like heart attack and strokes! So be careful and clear about what you are going to do and be sure it meets your priority list and makes it comfortably into your schedule!

With that said, get back to, or develop a work schedule! Be sure you are realistic about your time, and how long things take to get done! If you follow the outline in my e-book “The Scheduling Advantage”, you can set yourself up nicely and be certain you have time each day to get all of your obligations handled. After all, we really only have a few things to do each day:

  • Plan the day.
  • Prospect for new opportunities.
  • Process the information gained from the prospecting.
  • Managing the communications from the above actions.

You will find that when you take the time to schedule and prioritize your own actions and activities, you don’t leave a great deal of time to waste! You maximize your efforts and focus on the things that are really important! You will also begin to notice how long things take you, and if you are scheduling yourself as effectively as you could be? This becomes a great learning tool. Knowing how long things really take can change your perspective quickly! You will also realize that your timing becomes more important and that certain tasks are better done at specific points in the process.

2017 is here and I expect another record breaking year for many of you. We have plenty of opportunities in the market just waiting to be handled. What portion of those opportunities you will be in a position to convert will largely depend on the systems, tools, and schedule of activities you present to the public. If you are clear, confident, and consistent, you will likely do very well. If you are scattered, uncertain, and obscure; you will find a great many challenges!

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