Important Information

We got some really important information yesterday from a number of sources. The MBA shared that purchase activity was up 8% year over year and refinances were up 116% in the same period. Clearly the desire to buy homes is not wavering in the least, and the appetite to save money, reduces loan terms, change programs, consolidate debt, or access equity remains strong! This wave of activity is largely being captured by those who kept working hard in the fourth quarter of last year, and given the rate of new applications and the preapproval numbers being reported back by those I have been speaking to, we are in for a very strong first quarter!

The FHFA reported that in November, property values of homes financed with a conforming loan were up 4.9%. Now, any number of properties could be financed with a conforming loan program, but this number is likely to put more weight in more typical homes and less in larger homes. Certainly you could use a conforming loan on a two million dollar house, but most of these homes are likely represent what is the hottest part of the market right now, which are homes of more average market values.

Existing home sales were reported higher this month by 3.6% and almost 11% higher than this time last year! When you couple this with NAR reporting that housing inventories are at the lowest levels ever reported, and they started keeping this data forty years ago, we are in a real purchase housing demand cycle that makes sense given the rise of household formations, rising wages, consumer confidence, and the high cost of renting!

As supply continues to struggle to meet demand, new construction can only help so much! It will be those agents who can generate listing activity that will see the greatest advantage. For those mortgage professionals out there looking for an opportunity to forge new relationships with the best of the best, knowing the strategies to help generate those listing opportunities are essential! Buying leads will not create the relationships, value, and quality of experience needed this year; being a successful strategic partner in listing opportunities will be GOLD!

The cost of waiting will be enormous for those who wait to buy, sell, refinance, or learn the strategies needed to help create listing opportunities in your market! So use the tools and strategies on the website to help you create opportunities and build the very relationships you will need to defeat the algorithm enemy!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

 

 

Do What The Others Won’t Do!

The last couple of weeks of the year can really define who we are as mortgage professionals. For those of you who are going out of town on vacation or taking off until the beginning of next year, enjoy your time off and have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year! For those who are still engaged, you need to manage your work schedule to make the most of the opportunities left behind by those who will not do what you will; WORK!

Yes, there will be Open Houses this weekend. Find them. Visit a few. Connect with the agents, the seller, and the neighbors!

Yes, there will be people looking at houses this weekend. Be sure you are speaking to ALL of your active preapprovals. If you don’t know which ones are active, call every preapproval you issued in 2019 that you didn’t close yet and ask them!

Yes, you can find small banks and credit unions still open for business the next couple of weeks; go stop by for a visit!

Yes, accountants, financial planners, attorneys, and insurance professionals are working the next couple of weeks; pick up the phone and schedule an appointment!

Yes, there are people in your database that need to refinance or sell their home and buy a new one; call them in any order you like. Low hanging fruit first, every FHA loan needs to be refinanced, either streamlined or into a conventional loan to eliminate permanent MI.

Yes, there is work to do the next couple of weeks. Just two hours a day will help you take advantage of doing what the others won’t do and establish the base for a strong first quarter of 2020!

Have a Merry Christmas and I will speak with you again next week!

Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Working With Intention!

Welcome to the final countdown of 2019! We have less than 20 days until 2020 and even fewer work days to deal with. My clients and I talk about this and accept the fact that when we clearly define what is work and what isn’t, it makes life easier to be both productive and allow us the time and freedom to celebrate with our friends, family, co-workers, and all of our relationships.

When you face the facts that not everyone will have the same approach or schedule surrounding this time of year, you need to be very proactive and create your schedule of times and places; tasks and obligations, that work for you best this time of year!

My call is to understand that the personal side of things tends to be pretty obvious and are often a result of our traditions and culture, but our work side is much more jumbled. So here are a few tips:

  • Schedule your work time effectively.
  • Work with intention and focus.
  • Personal contact wins.
  • Understand the other guy’s schedule.
  • Know where you are taking each conversation.
  • Schedule the next personal conversation.
  • Share your stories and listen to theirs.
  • Have a message.

When you have limited time and resources, you need to make the most of it. If you are going to work, do so with attention and focus. Have a message to share and follow-up with.

For all parties, what is the winter strategy?

  • Realtors – Expired Listings, First time sellers, Rent to own?
  • Financial Planners & Accountants – Annual review, conversion of loan program or terms?
  • Insurance professionals – Renters policies to owner’s policies?
  • Small banks and Credit Unions – Sharing is caring, what do they offer and what can you help them with?
  • Past clients – Thank You
  • 2019 Pre approvals that haven’t closed with you!

All of these things are simple and obvious. However, those are the things we often miss. So take a minute and really plan out the rest of your work days of 2019 and get very clear on time, place, people, and message! Just a little planning and execution can keep your momentum rolling into 2020!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Work Still To Be Done!

Welcome to December! What a glorious time of the year! The year is coming to a close, holidays to prepare for and enjoy, and many friends and family to spend time with. That said there is still work to be done in December!

We all must remember that the mortgage industry is a momentum and flow business. Just because the months and years change, nothing really ends. We will all look into 2020 with relationships, pre-approvals, applications, databases, and active files that will cross over into 2020; nobody really goes to zero but the scoreboard!

Completing the year requires quickly completing and clearing all files left to be closed this year and be certain all the supporting players are on task and schedule with your timeline! Make sure everyone is working on your plan; one misunderstanding can cause huge issues! Every file should be CTC no later than 12/20 with a clear understanding of closing dates and times for all parties!

Preparing your list of other professionals to connect with who are engaging their customer base as the year ends is also important! Opportunities are significant with low rates, refinances, trade up or down, program and guideline changes, rent to own, first time seller and expired listings are just a few conversations we need to be having!

All the parties are a great distraction and certainly fun; but don’t forget the rules!

  • Be certain to attend the events you need to attend
  • Work each room and speak with everyone
  • One drink maximum
  • Keep it fun but behave properly
  • You can destroy a relationship or put yourself out of business by breaking any of these rules!

Big shout out to those who worked hard through Thanksgiving weekend and found themselves with significant opportunities to show for it! Black Friday Sales went great, contracts were written and loans came in. We also saw new referrals for loans to close this year from people who never referred us before, just because the loans could close by the end of the year!

Agents who made offers, offers that were accepted, all based on the fact that the deal could get done by the end of the year! In fact, some of you are still accepting transactions through this weekend and stand-alone in your markets! GREAT JOB!

There is still work to be done! Opportunities to generate and convert! Do the work and get the reward of being the one still standing!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

 

Winning The Race Against Time!

Every day the next few weeks we have lenders who can no longer accept loan applications that need to close this year. Each and every day another lender has to say no to a buyer, a seller, a listing agent, and a buyer’s agent. As we move into December, you need to seize the opportunity by getting yourself and your market prepared for what is possible as we all deal with the race against time to close transactions before this year is over!

I have talked before about looking at the calendar and understanding your clients and your market; your company and your support providers as to what is the real timeline to get deals done in your world, because the race against time is very real to those who need to buy, sell, close, and earn by the end of 2019!

The process is simple; here are a few questions you have to deal with:

  • What is your company timeline look like against the calendar and when are your people available?
  • Are your outside support people, title, closers, insurance, appraisers, inspectors, attorneys, HR people, and others going to be working the same days as you?
  • Once you have a clear understanding of the availability, what can you do? Are you closing loans on 12/31, and if so, how many?

Once you have these clear in your own mind, you need to connect with:

  • All of your current pre-approvals and share the possibilities.
  • All of your current referral partners
  • Message the managers of all the real estate offices, small banks, and credit unions about your ability to get loans closed and by when.
  • Connect with your database and share the story because you don’t know who they might know!
  • Social media and YouTube videos will help you count down the days to get these deals done!

Many of you have the ability to work through the end of the year and serve the people who may need your help the most if you just get out and look. I understand that for many, the focus is about the holiday parties and time off. I also have seen other coaches telling their clients that they have had a great year and they deserve to take some time off and enjoy the holidays! Well, I hope those clients listen to those coaches and take the time off. Coasting the last six weeks of the year will give my clients the opportunity to close more loans, serve more people, and open new doors to relationships they might not have had a chance to explore!

The last six weeks of the year is NOT the time to coast, it’s a time to serve and to build! There will be plenty of opportunities to have fun and party. Once you close out your pipeline for the year you can take a vacation in January or February, but now is the time to push hard right to the end of the year and take advantage of a market that needs your help!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

You Can’t Help Those Who Won’t Help Themselves!

It sounds like a very simple statement, but it’s true, you can’t help those who refuse to help themselves. As a coach and mentor, I know that all the direction and philosophy is wasted on those who won’t implement. In more than 20 years of managing, mentoring, and coaching mortgage professionals to the highest levels of success; I know all too often that many people will never invest their energy in improving their own outcomes. As my friend Steve Harney once said, “You can only pave the road in front of people; they have to drive the bus!”

You only need to look at the mortgage and real estate markets to see the proof. People are becoming more and more addicted to paying for opportunities than they are learning and mastering the skills required generating them on their own! This comes from the highest levels. Some coaches and trainers push the narrative. The very organizations who are supposed to grow and build these industries do nothing as the landscape shifts into a model the will push a vast majority of Realtors® and lenders into a low paying support role of a newly defined and automated industry!

Just like the companies who have reacted by putting in scanners in stores to take orders and check-out customers because of price pressure and the lack of people who feel that the quality of the customer experience is no longer required, those who no longer have those starting jobs now complain they have no opportunities to get a start! Well, this is being done to the mortgage and real estate communities. Loan originators and Realtors® don’t want to do the work and turn to automation to generate an opportunity, then don’t provide a great customer experience, the customer doesn’t see the value, then buys from an online company because it all became about the PRICE and not the total VALUE.

NAR and the MBA do nothing to warn, educate, support, or even bother to debate the issues at hand. When a CEO of a major lead seller, property marketer and buyer, and builder of the one stop shop to cover the entire transaction with the push of a button and not around qualified professionals; don’t be surprised when the consumer runs toward price and a lousy experience because that CEO know that Realtors and Lenders now need the lead provider MORE than the other way around!

So you get to choose; buy your leads and become dependent of the handouts, or learn the craft of being a quality professional that offers the consumer a choice of a quality experience. You can’t command top dollar for your efforts if you aren’t doing anything more than what an algorithm will do for far less money!

By 2025 more than 75% of those licensed in real estate and mortgage will be working in call centers, be in support of a lead person of a team, or out of the industry completely! Just watch! It’s becoming more about becoming a celebrity agent or originator, and NOT about being the local professional who provides a great customer experience. A handful of a few, supported by many, will become the new normal as nobody feels the need to do the WORK anymore!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Helping Them Level Up!

I spoke last week about paying attention to the calendar and how to set yourself up to create additional opportunities just by being aware of the timeline in front of us. One of those key points can become a significant strategy for those who work with Realtors® or would like to grow their group of Realtor® referral partners. That strategy begins with a simple understanding that many of your Realtor® referral partners work on a tiered commission schedule. This schedule determines the commission splits and often grows with the total volume of closed transactions in any given year.

While not all of the real estate professionals work under this arrangement, many do, and you should be aware that even just one or two more transaction sides can make a big difference in the commissions that are earned. In fact, one transaction at the end of the year can not only earn that professional more money on that particular deal; the jump in commission split tier is often the beginning base for the upcoming year! That said, one transaction more in 2019 could mean thousands of dollars in additional income for you referral partner in 2020!

So think about this. Did you know this information? If you were, have you ever discussed this with any of your referral partners? Have you asked them where they stand right now and what would it take for them to jump up to that next level? Wouldn’t that show your partner you had a real interest in their business? What would that partner think if you offered to spend the next few weeks helping them find the listing or that buyer that they needed, and then helped make sure the deal closed in time for them to level up? I think it would certainly help build a much more committed relationship!

The website has all the strategies you will ever need. Just pull up that section and become familiar with them again. Once that is done, it’s time to talk to your agents and see what you can do to help them make that next level happen by the end of the year! Just ask the questions and then log into the website and share the video clips with you agent! Once you choose the path, go execute the plan! Working together can make the process fun and even more rewarding!

So put together your list of Realtors® you need to speak with. Ask about where they stand on their commission levels and see if they are interested in making a run at another closed transaction or two by the end of the year! Even if they don’t work on a tiered system, an “extra” deal or two in the next six weeks wouldn’t be so bad would it?

Remember, pushing strong through the end of the year can help you start 2020 with momentum! There is plenty of time for special events and holiday parties, you can afford to spend a couple of hours a day helping put together deals that can close before this year is over!

Questions and comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com