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Is It True? Is It Absolutely True?

As I sit here at my desk this rainy morning in the New Year, I was thinking about what I wanted to share as I have not been in touch with my family, friends, past clients, and business partners for awhile. I wake up every morning around 5a to work my morning routine and prepare for my day. This routine starts with a meditation and then some journaling of my personal revelation. Today, I wanted to share a tool with you that has transformed the way I think about things. I have always been someone who strives for more expansion in my life in all areas, but before I could expand I had to realize the stories I was telling myself that limited my growth. I was clogged up with “shoulds”, self-limiting stories, and judgements of myself and others that “should” do something or act a “certain” way. “We are disturbed not by what happens to us but by our thoughts about what happens.” This is when I learned suffering or being lost in my own thoughts, good or bad, was really optional. And behind suffering or self-limiting beliefs was a thought. I share this with you because in the New Year everyone thinks about what they want to accomplish, change, and even eliminate in their life. So many times in years past I would look at my journal, business plans, and goals I had set out to accomplish, and noticed that many times I would not have accomplished certain items. As I took a deeper dive, I realized that most of what I had not accomplished was due to some story I was telling myself. These stories can be about others, why you are different from others, it is too hard, I don’t have the resources, something came up, it’s not really that important to me, someone else interfered, my boss, etc.… You get it. There are a million stories or reasons we tell ourselves.

This is when I learned about the “The Work” and my life forever transformed. Today, anytime I have a judgment or opinion of myself or others that occupies brain space I log them in my journal. These entries mainly consist of “shoulds” or beliefs of acting, doing, believing, or anything that occupies space in my brain about myself or others. I keep this log and “do the work” on it in my morning ritual. These thoughts range from petty to big, from my wife should not act a certain way or should realize this or that, my coworkers or employees are frustrating me in not executing something, I should be a better leader, a family member that annoys you at holiday dinner, or I should create or eliminate this habit, etc. Anytime you use the word should for yourself or someone you are most likely caught up in a story or judgment. We allow these stories and judgments to have power over us and occupy our minds holding us back from what we really want. So, today I give you the gift of “The Work” by Byron Katie. The work is a simple worksheet that allows you to process all this stuff and create new beliefs and action items for all the “shoulds” in your life. As you plan your new year and all the things you want to accomplish I encourage you to create a habit of “The Work” and dump all the baggage that you may not even know you are carrying around.

This system has proved invaluable to me in my personal life and business life. Speaking of personal life, last year I shared an amazing year with my beautiful wife Terri, my almost 2-year son Brody, and my family. Our son has really brought our family closer and I am loving the experience of being a father. I want to thank you for all of your support in my business. Last year our business was over 75% personal referrals from past clients, friends, family, and business partners we work with. I look forward to an even better 2017 with each of you and wish you all a prosperous new year. I am here to support you anyway I can. Cheers and don’t forget to do “The Work.” Find it at:

http://thework.com/en/do-work

Sincerely,

Zackry Cooper
Team Leader / Senior Loan Advisor
925.297.6177 x101
Zackry@TMCooper.com

Zackry Where Do You Get All That Energy???

rocksLately and many times in the past I have been asked “Zackry where do you get all your energy from?”  I get all of my energy from building power on a daily basis.  My power is built on living in 4 dimensions of my life.  These 4 dimensions, in this order, are my Body, Being, Balance, and Business.  I have learned that in life you can talk all day about what you want to do, but in the end the only thing that matters is the results.  Results don’t lie.  They tell the true story.  I have been coached to gamify my life in these 4 dimensions of Body, Being, Balance, and Business.  Everyday I work to hit a “single” in each dimension.  In my past I would focus on trying to hit a homerun vs. trying to be consistent in hitting a single on a daily basis.  The odds of hitting a home run daily are far less than that of hitting a single.  I have learned that if I can hit a single daily I can create a lot of power, or what some would call endless energy.

First dimension is starting with Body.  Body is first because you have to have a fit body to be able to help others.  If you are out of shape and not taking care of yourself, it is going to be very hard to take care of others.  Each day I score myself a ½ point for finding a way to sweat for the day.  Now some days I sweat more than others but the question is, did I sweat today?  If so, I get a ½ point.  The next Body score is Fuel at ½ point.  Did I drink a green smoothie today?  I will not go into the benefits of a green smoothie but they are countless and you can do the research.

Second dimension is Being.  Being starts with a ½ point for meditation.  Did I meditate today?  This can be 1 minute to 10 minutes, your choice.  The question is, did you take time to shut down the brain for a moment and take time for yourself?  In taking this time it creates the space to stay out of “reaction” and not get caught up in “worldly” ways.  The next ½ point in Being is reflection.  Did I take a moment to reflect and journal?  Some days my journal entries are long and others it can be short and sweet.  Many of my journal entries are spurred by meditations, so it is very easy to journal if I meditate.

Third dimension is Balance.  I score a ½ point in taking a moment to appreciate and love my queen, aka my wife.  I do this by sending her a love note, a text, a video, and any other ways I can share my appreciation for her.  The next ½ point in Balance is family.  I take time for my son, brothers, mother, father, etc.  I reach out or take a moment to check in, the same way I appreciate my wife.

Fourth dimension is Business.  The first ½ point is to discover something new in business.  That can be a podcast, an article, a coaching cd, a webinar, etc.  The key is I discover something new.  The next ½ point is to take that discovery and declare it.  Meaning share what I have learned with others.  This includes clients, referral partners, team members, family, etc.  The key is to take what I have learned and share it with an individual or individuals.

I have learned that my power and energy is off the charts in the days I live in all 4 dimensions, and score a daily total of 4 points.  Somedays are not perfect and I have to remember playing the simplest form of the game is key in completing all 4 dimensions.  My morning routine knocks out most of the dimensions before my day even gets underway.  I am always striving for a perfect score of 4 daily, and 28 at the end of the week and record my scores daily.  There is no coincidence that my days are more productive, my relationships deeper, my reactions are more patient, my energy levels are high, and my results are off the charts on a week of scoring a 28.  I challenge you to gamify your life, hit singles, live in all 4 dimensions, and get the results you truly desire and deserve.  I love to share and help people with their personal journeys, so I welcome your calls and emails.  Let’s play the game together and create an abundance of energy on a day to day basis.  You deserve it.  Until next time I thank you for being a part of my life.

Be well my friends,

Zackry Cooper

Referrals are the lifeblood of my business.  I am never too busy for your referrals.

Consistency Is Our Brand Both Personally and Professionally

Recently I have been reading a lot and being coached a lot on consistency. At first I was thinking about how this applies in my business life. What we do over and over again that impacts individuals lives and also what do we do as a team consistently that creates the outcomes we desire for our clients. And then I thought about a consistent branding for our team. Like the 18 Day Closed Transaction that we are known for. And as I delved into this this subject it started to creep in how consistency really shows up in all areas of my life. How am I consistent with my wife and making sure that I always do certain things, or acts, speak, chores, etc. for her to count on? Am I consistent in going to the gym? Being consistent to certain reoccurring meetings. Being consistent in keeping contact with friends and family. Being consistent in things I share with my son. For example: taking him to his weekly swim lessons or waking up with him every morning and sharing some quality time. Coming home every night to give my wife a huge hug and take a moment to hear how her day was. Being consistent in waking up every morning and going through my morning ritual before the rest of the house awakens. My coach once told me he “lives a boring life.” He does the same things over and over again but always get the results he desires. At first I did not really relate with this message. As some of you know or don’t know I like “shiny objects” or I get excited about new ideas. But as I have continued to think about this concept of consistency I realize this is my brand both personally and professionally. Consistency is my brand and it is how I want to be known in those whom I encounter both professionally and personally. “That Zackry guy…..he is always at his sons swim lessons, he is always at the meeting every week doing his part, he is always in the office at 9a every morning, he always makes it to his gym appointment with his workout partner, he always calls me on my birthday……” I am really looking at this subject in a new light and thinking about commitments to reoccurring events or tasks. I’m choosing to be very selective in what I commit to in order to be consistent. If I can’t be consistent then I need to gracefully say no. I am also being very careful of those shiny objects. I am choosing to first find the consistency in everything I do day to day. I am super focused on the fundamentals or priorities that I have identified first before allowing anything else in. I want to look back after every week and consistently work through these items and reflect in how I personally showed up and look for consistency. We play many roles in life as I am a husband, father, son, brother, coworker, team leader, friend, nephew, and many more. One of my commitments to be consistent is in my communication with clients. I will share with you my journey in life and keep contact throughout the years. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life and the people you know – something I do not take lightly and respect greatly. I leave you with thinking about where you are consistent in your own life and where possibly there may be some inconsistency? I will be working hard on being more consistent and welcome hearing about your journey. Be well my friends.

Sincerely,

Zackry Cooper

PS I am always here for you and the people you know. I appreciate any introductions you can make to myself and team.

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, it’s what we do consistently.”
– Anthony Robbins

Appraisal Changes Coming January 2015. Read This and Understand How To Be Prepared. Don’t Read This and Learn The Hard Way!

I have had a lot of questions lately in regards to the upcoming changes to the appraisal process, known as the CU Program, with Fannie Mae.  Many of you watched this link:

http://thenationalrealestatepost.com/appraisal-time-bomb-coming-in-january-2015/

and after watching my email was full of questions on how this would effect upcoming transactions.  I decided to dig in and talk to the head of our appraisal department.  The key item to remember when dealing with HomeStreet is we own and operate our appraisal department, so our appraisers are hand selected by HomeStreet for the panel and have to pass rigorous standards in order to be a part of our panel.  “Our appraiser panel nearly rejects 1/3 of its applicants, so most of our panel has already been weeded out” as  per our head of appraisal department.  With that said what we believe at HomeStreet is the companies that do not own/operate their AMC’s, Appraisal Management Companies, will have issues due to lack of experience and whom is sitting behind the desk trying to review these appraisals and interpret this new change.  Below you will read the commentary straight from the head of all appraisal at HomeStreet and how we interpret the changes. Bottom line, HomeStreet Bank is positioned very, very well to tackle these changes and we can protect your sellers and buyers.

Tip:  If you are listing agent accepting offers you are looking pre approval letters from lenders whom own operate their appraisal panel.  Typically your large banks, brokers, and most correspondent lenders do not.  They use a 3rd party AMC typically.

Tip#2:  If you are working with buyers I would also make sure the lenders they are pre approved with have the above criteria as well.

Tip#3:  If you are working my team and HomeStreet Bank we will make sure to let the listing agents know on the offer going in we can help both their seller and agent navigate this new uncharted territory.

Here is the email from the head our appraisal department, Clark Dickson, in response to the upcoming CU changes:  (READ THIS)

My thoughts are that it is simply too early to determine how this all will affect appraisals/appraisers/mortgages, going forward.  As usual, there are always “The sky is falling” folks in the mix who always predict doom and gloom.

 

None of us here at the bank in the appraisal department has actually “seen” what CU will actually be.  All of us are aware of it and our compliance officer has been in any number of meetings and seminars to determine how it may affect us moving forward.

 

When I was in Las Vegas in November listening to the head FNMA appraiser discuss the implications of this “CU” program, he was downplaying it’s immediate influence.  The way he described it was as a double-check against appraiser’s choosing inferior comps, to inflate values and additionally, some minor level of insurance that the appraisers at least considered the most appropriate comps.

 

Generally, I believe that good appraisers, doing good appraisals, will be just fine, doing what they have historically done, provided that they explain what they did and why they did it.  To that end, we just finished an all-day seminar in both Carlsbad and Pasadena (and Fairfield/Dublin-Cathy), where we strongly encouraged appraisers to stop being form-fillers and gave them permission to become appraisers again.  This seminar was CA-approved for continuing education credits for appraisers.  We gave them specific language and techniques to more-strongly support their appraisals, along with a myriad of other issues.  Between the four venues, we had nearly 300 HomeStreet-only appraisers in, to re-learn how to work for us and provide well supported, credible appraisals for the secondary market.

 

FNMA appears to be trying to weed out weaker appraisers.  Our appraiser panel rejects nearly 1/3 of it’s applicants, so most of our panel has already been weeded out.

 

One of the assumptions made by the article below, is that AMC’s don’t have access to local data for ROV purposes and won’t be able to respond to the now-available 20 additional “low risk” comps.   Our experienced appraisal review team all have over 20 years of technical appraisal experience each, and we have MLS access to data for almost every area that we service.  In addition, our review team is residentially certified in all states that we serve.  We have three dedicated, experienced review appraisers stationed in or near Southern CA with MLS data for all So Cal counties.  We have three more in Northern CA.

 

It is a sure bet that many cost conscious AMCs will use low cost unlicensed staff to ‘review’ these computer generated comparables and ask for the originating appraiser to respond to any that have a lower ‘risk rank’ than the comparables selected by the appraiser.  This is not the case with us.  We will read the appraisal to determine if the appraisal has performed a reasonable analysis and supported his/her assertions in a credible manner, irrespective of computer generated printouts.  Based on all of the appraisal, we will question or have the appraiser respond to issues, based on sound reasoning and not a printout.

 

The directives from FNMA are that the neighborhood IS the neighborhood and that the data from the 1004MC (market conditions report) is dependent upon the actual sales data.  Irrespective of how they think they will be able to use CBG (Census Book Groups) to determine neighborhood data, they won’t.  It’s an apples-to-oranges comparison, which will never fit.

 

Every one of our HomeStreet appraisers on staff is already registered for THREE different units of FNMA training in January/February to become expert in CU.  Our compliance officer will keep us up to date and compliant.  But the sky is not yet falling and there is always a knee-jerk, over-reaction when these edicts come out from FNMA.

 

If there are truly issues to be addressed, then we will do so in a rational, compliant manner, leaving the sky where it belongs.  There is truly no need to panic at this point, although the dooms-dayers are already at it.

 

“The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.”

— Brian Tracy: is a self-help author and motivational speaker

In a Strengthening Market, Appraisals May Not Keep Up With Prices

Some people  live in one of those pockets of the U.S. where home prices never dropped as dramatically as elsewhere and in some instances, appear now to be rising. Other such pockets exist across the U.S. — just look at your local (not national) headlines to see whether you’re in one of them. But even if you’re not, keep reading to see what growing pains your own market might soon endure.

We’re only at the tentative beginnings of this mini-trend. And that very transition is leading to complications at appraisal time. The situation was summed up recently by Realtor Julie Scheff as, “multiple offers  driving prices upward and conservative appraisals [] dampening them downward (in an April 20 article in the Montclarion called “Multiple offers signal a strengthening realty market”).

By way of reminder, most home buyers take out a loan in order to buy a home, thus making the bank or other lender a key player in closing the sale. What the bank says, basically goes. And the bank will nearly always require an appraisal, in order to make sure that the house is worth the amount of the loan in case it ends up foreclosing.

Appraisers, meanwhile, have become a conservative lot. They got burned in the real estate meltdown, collectively accused of having willingly gone along with insane levels of home price inflation. So they take a much closer look at properties now before proclaiming their value, and if they don’t see comparable sales supporting the amount the buyer wants to pay, they may not sign off on the magic number.

The last thing you want in a market that still isn’t exactly superheated is to have the deal fall apart because the appraiser, having looked around at all the low comparables, says that property isn’t worth what the buyer and seller have agreed upon. Fortunately, there’s no reason to just sit back and wait for that to happen.

Avoiding a low appraisal in advance. It’s possible to forestall a low appraisal by helping the appraiser recognize the property’s value. Whether you are the seller or the buyer, you can commission your own, independent appraisal of the property, and give those to the lender’s appraiser ahead of time.

You (or your real estate agent) can also research and advise the appraiser of any local short sales or foreclosures that might artificially bring down the numbers. (Contrary to rumor, you are allowed to speak with the appraiser, though the lender may not do so.) Give the appraiser a list (with before-and-after photos, if possible) of interior features, upgrades, and improvements, all of which can boost the property’s value. And by the way, sellers, keeping the property looking good through appraisal day doesn’t hurt, either.

Your real estate agent’s industry connections can help here, too. Your agent can speak to other agents with homes in escrow and ask for the sales prices, then — assuming they reflect rising values — prepare a list of these homes with their agents’ contact information for the appraiser.

Dealing with a low appraisal. If providing advance information doesn’t work, and the appraisal still comes in low, the seller and the buyer can call up the appraiser and question the bases for the appraisal, hoping for a reevaluation. You can also commission a second appraisal, and (assuming it’s better) show that to the lender — though the lender has no obligation to accept it.

If you’re the seller, your main hope may end up being that the buyer is willing to pay the original price (particularly likely if you were in a multiple bid situation) but increase the down payment and take out a smaller loan. That just heightens the importance of sellers carefully scrutinizing the buyer’s financials before accepting an offer, and asking for detailed information on the buyer’s income and savings. Yes, it may feel like the seller is delving for private information, but the buyer has good reason to consent to share it in this situation. (It’s also another good reason for sellers to prefer a buyer who offers a large down payment to begin with.)

Barring this, a price drop (or failed deal) may be your only option. But buyers, don’t be overly alarmed if an appraisal comes in low, particularly if you did your research or were in a competitive bidding situation. While the appraiser is a professional, and the process is backed up by evidence, every house is unique. A house’s value comes down to what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept.