Pass this along to your Realtors and SOI:
This is BIG news: FHA is going to be cutting their mortgage insurance premiums from 1.35% to .85%.
Here's an email I sent out this morning to all my Realtors....
Subject: What do you think of this strategy?
I saw this little video clip over at the National Real Estate Post... be sure and read the comments as well. I can definitely see where this might be a problem with fair housing, but I also know there are many, many buyers that are trying to get an accepted offer and keep missing out.
As many of you know, one strategy that I offer is a quick phone call to the listing agent when you present your buyers offer. Everyone has an approval letter, so just this won't set your buyers apart from other offers. When I call the listing agent, I emphasize that these buyers are truly approved and working with a reputable lender that will make sure the transactions gets to closing on time.
Let me know what you think of the video and please pass along my name to your next buyer. Thanks much and have a great day!!
Kelly Waugh decided to save a little money and send her cupcake coupons by email. There is a little risk involved of this being shared virally, but she made her expiration date the end of February. Kelly has been really pleased with the feedback and response; yet not many of the coupons have been redeemed yet. I'll be following up after this month to let you know how manyof mine and Kelly's were redeemed so you can have an idea of the final costs we incurred. My mailing is heading out today.
I know the text is a little small above, but I wanted you to see how the email looked. Click picture to enlarge.
It seems like I will go a month without sending one of my random emails to Realtors and then I'll have a week where I find a couple of great things to pass along. This was one of those weeks. Here's a copy of the email I sent out this morning to all of my Realtors.
I like to believe that I am a positive person... you know, glass half full and all that stuff. Which makes me hesitate to be the bearer of bad news. But I also believe that knowledge is power. So here is your dose of upcoming negative news from FHA.
- Monthly mortgage insurance premium to be raised from 1.25% to 1.35%. If more than 5% down then this is only increase to 1.30%
- Monthly mortgage insurance premium to be for the life of loan rather than until the loan reaches 78% LTV. This is BIG deal and translates into THOUSANDS of dollars for homeowners.I hesitated to share this as we don't have an official letter with the date these things will be implemented; but they will happen. This is just ONE MORE reason to get your buyers to buy and the your sellers to sell as soon as possible. As always, I am here to help you and your clients. Let me know if you have questions on this or any other mortgage topic.Now back to my cheerful self - Have a great day!
Here's the email I just sent out... feel free to swipe it. Just remember to change the weather reference if you aren't in a winter wonderland like I am today.
Happy snowy day!!
I just saw that this post is the most read ever on KCM Blog. Today would be a great day to pass this along to your potential sellers, sphere of influence and maybe even your mom.
Who knows, you might just find someone that decided to move to Florida today :) As always, I am here to help you and your clients with any mortgage related questions.
Have a great day and stay safe if you are out on the roads!!
I'm a fan of Carl White and the Marketing Animals so was very impressed when I saw his Random Act of Kindness yesterday. Carl passed along his PowerPoint Presentations Made Easy... for FREE! I then proceeded to pass it along to my Realtors. Here's a copy of the email I sent out:
Subject: Random act of kindness - Powerpoint help
One of the marketing guys I follow sent out a Random act of Kindness today... "PowerPoint Presentations Made Easy" I know some agents like to have a ppt for listing presentations and thought this might help you if that is something you do or want to start doing.
PowerPoint Presentations Made Easy is a FANTASTIC guide. All yours for free.
Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you or your buyers!
This is a copy of the email I sent out today to my Realtors:
Subject: Fabulous resource for pop-by's to your past clients...
I stumbled across a great blog with pop-by ideas for Realtors and thought I would share. I spoke with the blog author, Peggy Urieff; she is a Realtor in Sacramento and contributes much of her success to the relationships she nurtures through her pop-bys. She is a Brian Buffini follower and shares her pop-by ideas on this blog.
Fall and the holiday season are great times to reconnect with your past clients and sphere of influence. Sometimes all we need is the idea!
As always, I am glad to help you in any way!
I sent this email out today to all of my Real Estate Agents:
Subject: USDA boundaries will stay the same through March 27, 2012
Rural Areas for USDA Mortgages Remain Unchanged Through March 2013
On Tuesday, September 25, 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development (RD) issued an Administrative Notice stating that RD program providers, including USDA lenders, may continue to operate under the 2000 census data so areas that have been designated as rural areas - and are thereby eligible for making USDA mortgages - will remain unchanged through March 27, 2013. This was a critical announcement because the census data collection for the most recent census in 2010 did not collect income information and would require RD to use other data sources to determine what areas will be designated as rural. With the passage of legislation to fund the USDA through March 27, 2013, the program will remain unchanged. However, as the March timeframe approaches, MBA will be working with Congress to determine whether a further extension or more in-depth, Census-focused changes will be required.
"The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing," said David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Single-family housing starts are well ahead of last year's pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing."
CNNMoney had a fantastic article today about the their plan to unleash more stimulus:
Send this link out to your SOI and Realtors with the following quote from the article:
In addition, the Fed also indicated that it plans to keep short-term interest rates at "exceptionally low levels" until mid-2015. Previously, the Fed had forecast rates would remain low until late 2014.
The central bank's main objective is to lower interest rates and mortgage rates in particular. By keeping rates low, the Fed hopes to fuel more spending and eventually, more hiring.
I've been out of town quite a bit this summer and have religiously utilized the "out of the office" autoreply email. I have tried to make it a bit interesting (see my latest one below) , but I love the ideas in this article by Andy Horder. Out of This World "Out of the Office" Replies.
Sorry to have missed your email... I am spending August 4-11 with family out of the country and will have limited email and no phone access.
If you have questions about a mortgage loan currently in process or a new client, contact Ty Hansen at 801-792-2398 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you ahve questions regarding marketing training or coaching; Jaidi, y fabulous assistant, can help you. Email her at email@example.com.
I will be back to work and completely rejuvenated on August 13.
Have a great day!
Horder's six tips will help you stand out from the crowd next time you are headed out of town. If I had read this article prior to leaving, I would definitely made my auto-responder a bit funnier. Next time you are heading out of town, spend a little time creating a memorable email reply.
Here's a pretty simple tip for you that can make a big impact. Ask your clients and referral partners how they best like to communicate... Email, text, phone, smoke signals etc. Then use that method for most of your communication.
One of my coaching clients recently shared a way to send texts by email.... so if you are like me and don't enjoy typing out texts, this is a great tool:
After this P.S. post, Ken Boyle asked this question:
Bliss -- I have never thought to add this to my signature or do you ask as part of the body of the e-mail? Any text samples?
I reached out to Catherine and her assistant, Matthew to find out more to share with ya'll:
Hi Bliss, Thanks for the kind words! Catherine and I are both reserved about asking for referrals--we are afraid of getting obnoxious about it. She asks for referrals as part of her email signature. I do not. I decided to be selective and make the request stand out. And the positive response rate has been at least 33%, if not 50%, including one client with whom we had difficulties. If the "PS" goes after a long email signature with NMLS# and contact info, then people likely won't see it. This is also the only time that I sign/type my name above my normal signature, just so I can get that "PS" in the email more naturally. So here is the template of what I send when we receive final approval for a refinance: Subject: [last name] Loan Status Update - Final Approval Hi ____, Your loan has been given approval by the underwriter and there are no other conditions. Congratulations! You will be contacted soon by ____ (or her assistant ___) of Alaska USA Title Agency to schedule a closing appointment. Best regards, Matthew PS: Please don’t keep us a secret – we would love to help your friends and family with their next mortgage. [Insert full signature with contact info here]
I also received this from Matthew:
Here is an example of a note we received last month from clients with whom we had a few tense moments while asking for conditions. I guess that “PS” smoothes over a lot of frustration. Thanks for the advice on adding it.
I wanted to write a note of thanks to both of you for making this a pain free process!!!! As far as we are concerned it couldn't have gone any smoother. We are both looking forward to our closing date and to move forward to trying to pay this unit off. The only thing I would still like at your convenience is what difference it would make on our mortgage if we were to put down an extra $600 a month towards the princepal.
We are definitely telling all of our friends about the wonderful experience we have had with AK USA. Knowing our mortgage will be with the credit union gives us peace of mind. We are not bank people. So you both have every reason to feel good and pat yourselves on the back for a job well done!!!
There's a lot going on in the news today. Here are a few things you can pass along to your Realtors, clients and other referral partners.
1. Over at ThinkBigWorkSmall, today's video talks about an interview with Warren Buffett where he encourages people to buy homes now. Great tidbit to pass along to your clients and referral partners. Warren Buffett Says Buy Homes Now!
2. This one isn't so positive, but definitely a reason to encourage people to get off the fence and buy a home. FHA mortgage insurance is going April 1. See full article here.
3. I took this from my state Mortgage Association and recommend that you send it just like this:
HUD has proposed a rule change that would reduce seller concessions.
The rule change is CURRENTLY OPEN for public comment until Mar 23, 2012.
"... [The] new proposal permit[s] concessions as offsets to actual closing costs on individual loans up to the greater of 3 percent or $6,000 of the lesser of the sales price or appraised value."
This will impact our FHA purchases, the growth in the market place, and the ability for the market place to correct itself. True, we are low cost state so it may not impact us as dramatically as others but the continued regulations have slowed the ability for the national market place to correct itself organically and as a result it has slowed Utah's ability to correct itself.
We encourage ALL Mortgage Professionals, Realtors, and other industry partners to understand the proposed rule change and make a Public Comment. Here is how:
1) Go to www.REGULATIONS.gov
2) In the "SEARCH for:" box type HUD-2010-0063-0908
3) Click on "Submit a Comment" (found far right) and share your thoughts
4. Home Prices are lowest since 2002. Another reason to buy a home.
Share one, two or all of these with your Realtors and clients. Let me them know you are available to help with any questions or concerns.
Saturday, November 26 is the second annual "Shop Small Business Day". I'm a huge supporter of entrepreneurs and small business owners in America and want to spread the word as much as I can. So I plan to share this with my database.
Marketing tip: Email and social media this out to your Sphere of Influence.
Marketing doesn't always have to be about YOUR business. It can be something you want to share that helps those around you as well as your community.
I promise... last post of the day (or I'll miss my plane:) But FINALLY a positive article on the housing market. My favorite line from this article: HOUSING IS BACK. Pass this along to clients and Realtors:
Here's a great tidbit from Readers' Digest. If you do any FSBO marketing, this would be a great addition. You can also share on your blog, facebook and with your Realtors.
Thanks Linda Davidson for sharing!
Trulia.com shares 6 characteristics of sellers, listings, and homes that turn home buyers off, and action steps you can take to prevent your home from being an offender:
1. Stalker-ish sellers. You might think you’re being helpful by following the buyer through your home and pointing out your favorite features. However, the buyers might be trying really hard to ignore, minimize, or figure out how to undo the very features of your home you hold dear. They also may want or need to have personal space and conversations with their mate or their agent while they’re viewing your home.
What’s a seller to do? Back off. Let your home be shown vacant, or leave the house when people come to see it. If the buyers have questions, their people will contact your people.
2. Shabby, dirty, crowded and/or smelly houses. You already know this one. Yet, buyers constantly marvel at the state of disrepair and disorder some homes are in when they are shown.
What’s a seller to do? Other than listing your home at a competitive price, the only tool within your control for differentiating your home from all the foreclosures and short sales is to show it in tip-top shape. Pre-pack your place up, getting rid of as many of your personal effects as possible. Do not show it without it being completely spic-and-span.
3. Irrational seller expectations. Buying a house on today’s market is hard work! With so many homes on the market, the last thing buyers want or need to add to their task lists is trying to argue a seller out of unreasonable expectations or pricing. When they see a home whose seller is clearly clueless about their home’s value and has priced it sky-high, most often they won’t bother even looking at it.
What’s a seller to do? Get real. Get out there and look at the other properties that are for sale in your area and price range. Get multiple agents’ take on what your home should be listed at, and don’t take it personally if their recommendation is low. Don’t be tempted into testing your market with an obviously too-high price, unless you’re prepared to have your home lag on the market and get lowball offers.
4. Feeling misled. You will never trick someone into buying your home. If the listing pictures are photo-edited, or your neighborhood is described as funky and vibrant, as code for the fact that your house is under the train tracks, buyers will figure this out.
What’s a seller to do? Buyers rely on sellers to be upfront and honest – so be both. If your home has features or aspects that are often perceived negatively, your home’s listing probably shouldn’t lead with them. But don’t go out of your way to slant, skew, or spin the facts which will be obvious to anyone who visits your home.
5. New, ugly home improvements. New home improvements that run totally counter to a buyer’s aesthetics are a big turn-off, because in today’s era of “conspicuous frugality,” buyers just can’t cotton to ripping out expensive, brand new, perfectly functioning things just on the basis of style – especially since they’ll feel like they paid for these things in the price of the home.
What’s a seller to do? Check in with a local broker or agent before you make a big investment in a pre-sale remodel. They can give you a reality check about the likely return on your investment, and help you prioritize about which projects to do (or not).
6. Crazy listing photos (or no photos at all). I’ve seen listing photos featuring dumpsters, piles of laundry, and once, even the family dog doing his or her business in the lovely front yard. Listing pictures that put your home in anything but its best, accurate light are a very quick way to ensure that you turn off a huge number of buyers from even coming to see your house! The only bigger buyer turn-off than these bizarre listing pictures are listings that have no photos at all.
What’s a seller to do? Check your home’s listing online and make sure that the photos represent your home well. If not, ask your agent to grab some new shots and get them online, stat!
I've received a few emails from loan officers asking if I have anything they can share with their Realtors on the new compensation regulations that go into effect April 1. Most of what I have read hasn't really done a good job of explaining the situation.
Thanks to Karen Deis for sharing a link to this article that is well written.
"New regulations limiting mortgage brokers' compensation go into effect on April 1, and they might prove to be appropriate for an April Fools' Day. Though aimed at unscrupulous mortgage brokers, it seems the regulations will instead hit the nation's struggling housing market.
The Federal Reserve Board says that its regulatory goal is to "protect mortgage borrowers from unfair, abusive, or deceptive lending practices that can arise from loan originator compensation practices." The basic idea is to prevent loan officers from steering borrowers into riskier types of loans or a higher-than-average interest rate to make a higher commission."
It is vitally important that those you work with for referrals and other business partners understand what our industry is going through. Pass this along by email, facebook or twitter and let everyone know that you are going to continue being a high-quality loan originator that looks after their clients interests first.
Today's article over at KCM is very interesting and would be great to share with Realtors and even the prospects your have that are thinking about purchasing a home.
I also LOVE this graph... it shows prior to and after the stimulus. Meaning: rates will NOT stay low. They are being pushed to these low levels for a specific reason (boost the economy) and once that has been accomplished, the pressure will be taken off.