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“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams
NEWS & HEADLINES
Any company originating FHA & VA loans, and either securitizing them or selling the loans to a company that does, should be aware of HUD’s new data elements to Ginnie Mae pool issuance. Commencing 9/1, Ginnie Mae will require Issuers to provide up to eight additional new data elements on single-family forward mortgages in an effort to provide greater transparency for investors, which in turn should help prices and therefore rates. For complete details go to GinnieData
Here is one trend that Realtors and mortgage originators should pay attention to, and that is household formation. Yes, as a nation the population in the US is steadily increasing, which in the past led to an increase in the number of households. But at present, household formation has been slowed by the recession. There are a large number of adults who have either moved back in with their parents because they can no longer maintain the expense of their own household, or are not even moving out due to economic uncertainty. A loan agent wrote to me, “In the recent past many kids got down payment gifts from their parents, but now the parent’s wealth has gone down, and a portion of my clients don’t feel comfortable giving their kids any money to move them out of the house.”
Owning a home is a subset of forming a household (which includes rentals), and most analysts believe that several years ago home was driven up artificially high by political mandates, bad mortgage lending, artificially low rates, or any number of other factors. The homeownership rate has been inching back down for a variety of reasons, but the number of households is not showing the same dramatic decline since people do, indeed, need a place to live. And many in the business believe that encouraging more investor loans would be an improvement rather than the government concentrating on keeping people in homes with mortgage modifications. Clearing the existing inventory, and the inventory of about-to-be foreclosures, is a necessary condition to improve the housing market.
Many originators are hoping that this week is an improvement over last week, when we saw the price on the 10-yr Treasury Note worsen by nearly 1.25 (3.45% up to 3.57%) and current coupon mortgage-backed securities worsen by roughly .5 in price. What’s been driving interest rates higher for three weeks in a row? The markets seem focused on the trend in rates moving higher, commodity price pressures (seen every time one drives by the gas station), the job market improving, persistent stock market gains, European Central Bank tightening, increasing Treasury supply (this week we have 3’s, 10’s, and 30’s), our Fed tightening going from “if” to “when”, and so forth. In early February the 10-yr yield hit 3.74%, but most don’t expect us to see that high of a yield in the near future.
Last week we had very little scheduled economic news to chew on but this week we have “a ton.” We don’t have anything today, but tomorrow we have the trade balance figures and import & export prices. Wednesday is the MBA application index, Retail Sales, Business Inventories, and the Fed’s Beige Book monitoring economic activity in the various Fed districts. Thursday brings us Jobless Claims and the Producer Price Index. Tax Day we’ll see the Consumer Price Index, so we can see how much of the change in the PPI is passed on the consumers, Empire Manufacturing, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, and a University of Michigan sentiment number. Ahead of that our 10-yr Treasury is sitting around 3.59% and MBS prices are roughly unchanged.
PRICING IS ALWAYS LOCAL…MOST OF THE TIME
We understand that real estate is intensely local. Whether you are thinking of buying or selling a home, you should sit with a real estate professional familiar with your local area. However, that does not mean that what is happening nationally doesn’t apply to your market. What is taking place with home values is a perfect example of this. Prices are softening in many parts of the country. We all hope that our region is the exception to this trend. Before we buy or sell we should make sure. Just how widespread are these price declines? Let’s take a look at what the current pricing indices have found.
Their Home Price Index shows that 18 of the 20 cities they monitor had year-over-year depreciation. San Diego and Washington D.C. were the only two markets to record appreciation. However, San Diego was up a “scant 0.1%”, while Washington DC posted a healthier +3.6% annual growth rate.
Their Home Price Index states:
“Of the top 100 Core Based Statistical Areas measured by population, 86 are showing year-over-year declines.”
National Association of Realtors (NAR)
Their Existing Sales Report showed that 13 of 17 metros they report on had median sales prices decline in the last year. Only Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Diego and St. Louis saw their median price increase.
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)
Their website has a visual that shows how widespread the price situation has become:
Pricing is a major challenge in the vast majority of regions right now. Definitely sit with a local agent. However, make sure they tell you what you need to know not just what they think you may want to hear.
COACH, MENTOR, TRAINER: PICK THE RIGHT PATH FOR YOUR REAL ESTATE GROWTH
Are you ready to double or triple your real estate income? Who is the best person to get you there: A coach, a trainer or a mentor?
First, most real estate professionals who want “coaching” are really looking for real estate sales training. Second, there is tremendous confusion about what constitutes coaching, training, and mentoring.
Depending on what you want to achieve, each of these approaches is a viable way to increase your income. Here’s how to tell whether training, coaching, or mentoring is the best choice to help you achieve your goals.
1. Real estate sales training
Training teaches you a skill or a strategy for your business. This can include how to conduct a listing presentation, scripts for working with buyers, or how to use Web tools or mobile apps. In each of these examples, the trainer is the expert who is showing you what to do and how to do it.
No matter how long you have been in the business, attending regular training can help you improve your business and your income. Today’s technology innovations are occurring at such a rapid pace that it takes a concerted effort to stay up to date.
In fact, when I do a major speaking gig for a company, the management almost always makes the same observation: “My top producers were all sitting in the first three rows. The people who really needed this aren’t here.”
When I ask the top producers about why they are such avid consumers of training books, seminars, and webinars, they pretty much agree on this one point: “If I learn just one thing that can help my business, it was worth my time.”
2. Real estate sales mentoring
Mentoring refers to learning from someone who is an expert. An excellent example includes working with a top producer and shadowing that person to learn how the individual conducts business. A mentor draws upon professional experience and can provide you with practical and proven success strategies.
3. Real estate coaching
Many agents have discovered the benefits of working with a coach both in terms of increased production and having a better life. While training and mentoring can help you achieve your goals, coaching is usually the best tool for helping you to double or triple your commission income.
Unfortunately, because of the confusion about what constitutes real estate coaching vs. training and mentoring, agents often end up with a solution that won’t work for them.
Here are some examples of real estate “coaching” that may or may not be a great solution for your business. Use this list to determine what will work for you:
1. The granddaddy of them all
Mike Ferry was a pioneer in launching a national coaching program. Ferry’s programs have a proven track record for success that date back over two decades. His programs are well suited to those who have a strong drive to succeed, handle rejection well, and are numbers-focused.
Coaching consists of staying on target with your numbers, mastery of scripts and dialogues, and access to video, online, and live training to support your success. The core emphasis is on cold-calling, door-knocking, and calling on owners of expired listings and for-sale-by-owner homes.
2. Oh, by the way
Brian Buffini and Joe Stumpf focus on helping agents build their businesses “by referral.” Their programs provide a turnkey solution that sends snail-mail letters to your database each month. Your coach works with you on using their systems and strategies to generate referrals.
3. Words of wisdom from Gary Keller
Gary Keller, who consults and coaches the top agents in his company, made an interesting observation about how well his agents did with each of these two different approaches.
According to Keller, the people who rely exclusively on door-knocking and calling on owners of expired and FSBO listings must place up to five times as much effort into their lead generation activities vs. those using the by-referral model.
On the other hand, because the referral approach requires someone else to generate the lead for you, agents who rely exclusively on this approach often see their business decrease by as much as 80 percent during market downturns. This occurs because someone else is controlling their lead generation.
The agents who have consistent top performance are those who actively prospect daily and maintain strong relationships with their referral database.
4. You know what to do … what’s keeping you from doing it?
Coaching is about removing the blocks that keep you from achieving success, and building on your strengths. It’s not about trying to force yourself to do something that you hate doing.
As Joeann Fossland says, “No one ever got to the top by developing their weaknesses.”
The challenge with training and mentoring is that they address the “what to do,” but don’t provide the coaching necessary for you to personally implement these skills in your business.
If you want to double or triple your business, implementation is the key. See Part 2 for specific steps on methods that could help you to multiply your real estate income.