Real Estate and the Millennials-What Do They Need?

Real Estate and the Millennials -What Do They Need?
By Rick Guthrie

Thanks for returning back to my blog “Real Estate and the Millennials.” Today it’s about, “What Do They Need”?

So far we’ve touched on; “How will They Find Us?; Attracting Talent and “What do They Want”? Now let’s look at what they need.

According to the findings from Pew Research Center, on Millennials, they are Detached from Institutions, Networked with Friendsthey are also called “the generation of digital natives”. Technology to the millennial is not just an impact or a change in their lifestyle like it was to the boomers and gen x generation. No, to the millennial technology is a way of thinking, learning and encompasses a lifestyle they were, for the most part, born into.

Real Estate and the Millennials What do they need?The data points to fewer millennials seeing differences between political parties. This is certainly different than boomers. The average millennial investor has 52% of their savings in cash, compared to other age groups which has about 23%. Definite patterns have been developed certainly not unlike past generations.

Anyway, I’ve put together a few thoughts on what the millennial real estate professional needs to thrive.

  • They need a team environment:

Millennials tend to job hop. It seems to be over 2 major issues. A boss to subordinate relationship, (which they do not like) and fair monetary compensation. The interesting thing though is they would rather make less and be happy then make more and have no fun. They need a fun team environment.

  • The need for open thought and opinion:

Let’s face it, no one likes it when their ideas or opinions are shot down. Keeping an atmosphere that is not openly critical, opinionated or racially and religiously charged is important. 48% of millennials are racially determined as other than white. Racial discrimination will not fare well in the work place to the millennial and rightfully so. In short, they want to contribute as a team, to the end result, with little to no drama. Try not suppress opinions or thought.

  • They need to be represented and included in decisions:

Millennials feel that too much power is in the hands of only a few people. They need to be heard. They need representation in decision making activities when possible. Certainly a company would need to set standards to where millennial leaders could qualify to be involved in the decision making activities. That said, the input from millennial leaders is invaluable to the company and to them.

  • They need and organization who gives back:

This generation is particularly drawn to social and environmental causes. Ensuring that your company is involved in community and or social contributions through a team effort will go a long way.

  • They need an open work environment:

Rigid hours and floor time and the 9-5 attitude is going away. Now for some businesses that’s a tough one. However not for real-estate companies. Having a fun and open office environment that gets everyone in the office to participate in lead generation is a win-win. Having swipe cards for easy after hour access is a must. Maybe finding leaders that are more flexible with their hours to meet with team members after traditional hours could be a plus. Sounds like we may need more millennial leadership.

  • They need a technology driven work place:

I know you’re thinking more dollars but not really. The greatest technology is in the palm of their hand. You have nothing to do with that. What you can do is get friendlier wireless and blue tooth equipment that complements their smart phones, hand-helds and pads. Then get some great furniture and dump the cubicles and those old outdated PCs that they don’t use and are frankly a source of embarrassment for them.

  • They need the opportunity to collaborate:

Everyone, not just millennials, has the need to contribute. This group especially likes side projects. Remember it’s not all about the money. Provide them the opportunity to head up or belong to a committee. Maybe they could work on a community event or plan an office social hour. Provide them the opportunity to train others. This goes a long way.

The fact is that 75% of our workforce will be millennials in 2025. That’s just in 10 years. We need to grow our companies with that in mind. To do that we need to focus in on what their needs are and then meet them. Also, we need to look for that great millennial leadership that we can develop that eventually will replace us…… I know I am! Please call me if that’s you.

 

Research credit links. Forbes, Inman, Brookings, Pew Research Center

Real Estate and the Millennials-What do they want?

Real Estate and the Millennials- What do they want?
By Rick Guthrie

Thanks for returning back to my blog on Real Estate and the Millennials. Today it’s about, what do they want?

Millennials What do they want?We determined, in our blog how will they find us, millennials will find us the old fashioned way. Most of the time by word of mouth. This certainly holds true to the first time home buyer. They want a trustworthy professional who has been recommended to them. Also, in our last blog, we stated that millennials are looking for value plus opportunity in the work place. They want to do a good job, get paid for it then go home and enjoy life. Hey nothing’s wrong with that. It seems like all of the data and information supports these statements.

In this blog I want to look at what is important to millennials across the board. In short what do they want? I’ve been talking with several groups of millennials and I’ve started a millennial business group. We’re meeting twice a month. In our second get-together I gave them a questionnaire and also sent the questionnaire out to other millennial groups I’ve been talking with. Here are some key points that surprised me about what millennials want.

They want great technology-You would think that millennials are impressed with new technology like the boomers were. Actually they’re not really impressed with it, they expect it. They also expect that technology comes at a higher level backed with streamlined processes.

They want a consumer experience-You would think that millennials would prefer to shop online. Actually millennials are into the experience type of activity. They want a brick and mortar shopping environment that creates a great experience.

They want to involved I thought that millennials we’re more into themselves and not their surroundings. Actually they are more environmentally aware and pro-community than their predecessors.

They want a home – Someday anyway. Most say they want a home in the future but are held back by several things. For the most part, starting a family is not a pressing matter. It seems the ability to pick up and move quickly is very important. Lastly, debt mostly student loans is a factor.

They want to be healthyThey are more heath conscious and want more healthy choices. They are into exercising and are more anti-booze and cigarettes than pre-generations.

So why is this important? Well if you’re involved in any kind of business that deals with a consumer or you employ anyone who deals with consumers, it’s real important. If you’re trying to attract talent that can communicate with our largest population, it’s important.

I saw a report that it is estimated that 22.4% of the population, in my county will be retirees from the DC area in 2040. So how will the millennials effect that? In 25 years some millennials will be approaching retirement. That’s need to know info.

If I’m looking to grow my business and maybe leverage with other businesses inside my community, these are things I should be looking at.

Generational characteristics and attributes are important to understand. With millennials now being the largest population, we need to focus in on their needs. Now I’ve already gotten some push back from some on this subject. “Focusing on the millennial needs is not that important”. All I can say to that is, “Really?” Well the good news is that the millennial will find the product, brand, company and employer who will focus on their needs if you won’t. Blog you soon.

Real Estate and the Millennials-Attracting Talent

Real Estate and the Millennials- Attracting Talent

Thanks for returning back to my blog on Real Estate and the Millennials. Today it’s about, “Attracting Talent”.

So how do we attract millennial talent and how do retain them? I’m constantly searching for more data so I can pass on better information about the millennials. For the most part I’m trying to be more effective in coaching them in real estate careers. In my research, with no big surprise, the data points to better communication as being the key element. I think one thing that’s become very clear to me is this fact; we as baby boomers created the millennial. We were the generation that gave awards to our kids for participation before results. We were the soccer parents that took our weekends to make sure our kids were exactly where they needed to be even when it required us to put our plans on hold. We were the ones that instilled in them an attitude of entitlement. It is what it is, so why are we surprised that their attitude of entitlement has manifested itself in the workplace? Is it necessarily a bad thing that they are who they are?

Millennials attracting talent If it was important for us to treat our children differently than we were treated, doesn’t it make sense that we treat our business subordinates in a way that we would have liked to have been treated? It’s just a thought. So we have to realize that, in the work place, we should continue on with that level of support and recognition that we willfully bestowed on our children and graciously offer that to our millennial business associates.

Already some of you have that feeling of crimson creeping up from your neck to your ears. Let me ask you this, do you want and need a business that works with the insight and talent of Millennials or do you want to stand your ground and find the 1% that will lose their soul for your cause? Looking back, now at the age of 53, I thought you could get ahead by losing your soul. Honestly I wish would have been more selfish.

Anyway, I’ve found this incredible youtube that explains a lot about Millennials. It’s called “6 Strategies to Connect with Gen Y/Millennials in the Workplace”. Watch this it is really insightful.

So I promised you that I would share a question and answer I had with my favorite Millennial, my son, about what would attract him to a real estate career. Here’s how that went.

Question: If I was trying to recruit you to a real estate career what would be the some of the top things you would be looking for?

Answer: The more I thought about it I realized that you are dealing with the “ask generation”. Whether it’s through people or the internet, my generation has gotten accustomed to always getting an answer to any question that we have so keep that in mind. As far as the real estate career question is concerned, there are a couple of thoughts that come to mind. One, the money and always being able to make more is a big deal. I agree with one article I read that hit the nail on the head when it mentioned that millennials work to live not live to work. We will never devote our life to only work. We want to show up, do a good job, get paid for it, then go home and enjoy other things. Unpaid overtime is a bazar concept that no millennial will ever be okay with and with a real estate career, that’s a thing that doesn’t really exist. I’d also be looking for places that aren’t going to be taking a larger portion of my commission if it can be helped. The reason millennials jump companies a lot, at least in my eyes, is people want to nickel and dime us, not offer raises, etc. So we will go somewhere else that offers us more attractive benefits or more money compared to other companies. Offering mentoring and help that leads to success and helps build us up and become confident in what we’re doing is huge. I personally want to know the ins and outs of everything I’m doing so I’m not reliant on someone else. Don’t know if any of that helps or not but those are a few.

That’s great insight. If you read this with an open mind, it just makes sense. Please comment on your thoughts and any insight you may have. Millennials please chime in. In short this blogger feels not only are you our future, but we will benefit from you greatly in the workplace. That’s only if we take on the responsibility to improve on our communication skills. Until next time.

Real Estate Millennials-How Will They Find Us?

Real Estate and the Millennials- How will they find us?

By Rick Guthrie

Thanks for returning back to my blog on Real Estate and the Millennials. Today it’s about, “How Will They Find Us”?

Studying our new largest generation, the Millennials, has become a real passion of mine. Not just for helping with real estate careers here in Fairfax County, but for basically general knowledge. As with anything, our assumptions about others might not be accurate. Being a baby boomer and the parent of millennials, I felt that I knew what made the millennial generation tick. I thought that I knew all I needed to know. I must admit that I had some insight but most of my assumptions so far have been wrong.

I think back on how many times I’ve said, “kids of this generation know everything just ask ‘em, they’ll tell you”. I’m sure you’ve heard that too. The fact is…. they kind of do. Information is always at their fingertips and they will research that information at the drop of a hat if needed. The majority of my generation, in all humility, was researched challenged. Unless Mom and Dad fell prey to the Encyclopedia Britannica sales person or you had a good handle on the Dewey Decimal System, information was not easily forth coming. So for the most part, information came from the media and had a certain amount of subjection and or opinion. So we can assume, especially with the media inaccuracies of late, this practice doesn’t hold up for Millennials most of the time. I actually believe that they enjoy watching us banter over inaccurate information.

So what’s the point? The point is if we want to understand the Millennials we need to research Millennial how will they find usCharacteristics. The problem that I’ve had is researching very subjective and opinionated views. Sound familiar? Yep back to my old Boomer ways. So I’ve decided to actually survey the Millennials themselves. I’m not only surveying one on one but also in virtual surveys like Survey Monkey. Of course I’m trying to determine how to best meet the needs of my future millennial real estate clients but also attract millennial talent for careers in real estate.

My first research ah ha was from a conversation I had with my favorite millennial, my son. Now his occupation is in a tech related field and he is actually working towards his first home. My immediate assumption was that he would be virtually driven in his search for a real estate professional. Check this out.

          Question: I’d like to hear your thoughts and quote you in my blog. If I wasn’t your Dad and you wanted help with your home search, what would you be looking for from a real estate professional? What value proposition would spark you to use me?

          Answer: That’s a really tough question. I don’t know if I’d be the best person to ask, since I do tend to differ a bit from some millennials, but ultimately it’s going to come down to this. If someone I know, knows you and spoke highly of you or recommended you. As a first time home buyer, I have no expectations. I don’t know what’s typical and what I should be looking for. So I’m going to start asking people around me that I know if they have any suggestions and more likely than not, whoever’s name they throw out is going to be who I’m going to go to first. I might google that person’s name and see if anyone has said anything negative about that realtor, but if I don’t find anything they’ll be my first choice.

Isn’t that cool! We don’t need to change our mindset on relationships. Still our number one method of lead generation is asking for referrals. He didn’t say, “I’d go to the internet to get help”. Or, “I wish you guys had a robotic showing assistant”. Or, “I’d look at 3D floorplans”. He said he’d ask for personal recommendations. It’s still about that personal touch. I believe that’s going to be #1 in the real estate equation for a long, long time. Recommendations, referrals and relationships are how the Millennials will find us.

Wait till you hear what he said about contemplating a career in real estate. But that’s for next time.
Hey comment and give me your thoughts. Blog ‘ya soon.

Real Estate and the Millennials

Real estate and the Millennials

Millenials how may we help?Blog series by Rick Guthrie

According to the Pew Research Center , in 2015, the “Millennial” generation is projected to surpass the “Baby Boomers” generation as the largest living generation. The Millennial generation is typically classed from the ages 18-34 or born around 1980 through 2000. This presents an opportunity to look at the way we as real estate professionals are conducting our business. Are we attracting potential first time home buyers? Are we communicating our value proposition in such a way that the Millennials are hearing it and understanding it? Do we know the struggles and challenges that a Millennial may have in the home buying process? Are we attracting enough young talent to the real-estate industry that can support our need to service this next great generation? The average age of a real-estate professional is 57 years old. So the answer to the question above is probably no.

Over this next blog series I’m going to be doing some research and strategizing on how we as real-estate professionals can not only positively impact the “Millennial” real-estate client but also attract and train “Millennial” real estate professionals.

Many researchers have found “Millennials” to have high levels of self-esteem as well as a healthy feeling of self-entitlement. They are extremely tech savvy and communicate through a wide variety of social media platforms and for the most part seem ambitious.

Some challenges include high student loan debt. Not necessarily bad credit but no established credit. There seems to be more of a trend of job and career hopping.

The fact is every generation seems to have or have had a very definable established pattern. This of course stems from who and how they were raised. What events in history have shaped their character and belief systems.

I want to spend the next few months on looking at this from a view point of, “How do I affectively create a value proposition that is attractive to the “Millennial” real-estate client. The average age of the first time home buyer is 31.

So let’s seek to understand the “Millennial”. This is going to be fun. Stick with me and blog you soon.

Winterizing Your Real-estate Business, Expired Listings

Winterizing Your Real-estate Business #4.

Expired Listings: by Rick Guthrie

Thanks for coming back to my series on, “Winterizing your real estate Business. As you remember from our last blog, I blogged about holding 2 opens a week.

Today we’re going Winterize by focusing on Expired Listings.

expired listings

I’ve found a common pattern or strategy in the mindset of a seller is they seem to list around the Holidays. What I mean to say is, that a greater percentage of sellers will purposely have their listing contract expire around the holidays. Their thought is that if their home doesn’t sell before the holidays, they’ll just simply take it off the market and try again in the spring or hirer someone different to get the job done. Now of course people, who have to move, will still have the motivation to get their home sold and will need to relist. However, what’s on their mind is, should I relist with the agent who didn’t get the job done the first time or should I look for a fresh approach?

If you’ve been in the business for any amount of time, you’ll know the reason the home didn’t sell is most likely price. Actually, not most likely, it is price. You coming in as the pinch hitter or second choice gives you the opportunity to price the home properly this time. You’ll get it listed with less pricing objections. If you focus on the expired listing, in your winterization strategy, you’ll find some great opportunities. Here’s what I’ve done that’s worked well for me.

  1. Develop a Great Expired Packet
  2. Set my MLS to Search for New Expired Listings Daily
  3. Drop Off Expired Packets Daily
  4. Follow Up With a Phone Call

Develop a Great Expired Packet – You want to make an expired packet eye catching but very generic. I kept about twenty in my car at all times. That way I could drop of several on my way to the office. The cover of my bound packet said in big letters “Do You Know Your Home May be currently off the Market”? The reason I did this is that some agents don’t keep up with their listings like they should and one will expire without their knowledge. Bad news for the seller but good news for you when you bring it to the seller’s attention. This usually leads to an appointment. The content of the packet should be information about you and also your value proposition for sellers. Testimonials are great here too!

CAUTION: Too much information might have a negative effect. The seller could make conclusions about your marketing and services without meeting you. CLOSE TO AN APPOINTMENT!

Set my MLS to Search for New Expired Listings Daily – Three things I did every morning. Got up early, had my coffee and checked for expired listings. I always wanted to get the jump on anyone else. I pulled them up, searched the address on the MLS to make sure they had not been relisted, plan a route to drop off packets and got phone numbers if I could. Too Easy!

Drop Off Expired Packets Daily – I basically door knocked and dropped off packets in the morning. You’d be surprised at how many people are at home in the morning. I found putting a packet in their hand and asking for an appointment gave me a higher conversation rate than just a phone call. If they were not at home, I would leave the packet and follow up with a phone call or another pop by.

HINT: Roll the packet up and put it in the handle of their garage door. People rarely go in through their front door anymore.

Follow Up With a Phone Call: Always follow up with a call to make sure they got the packet. There are companies that phone lists for expired listings. I guess the key is you’re on the clock. You have to get to them quickly so don’t waste a lot of time.

These are some key elements I used to stay in front of sellers whose listing agreement had expired with their former agent. Remember that good memorized scripts and dialogues for expireds are a must. So take this opportunity to make expired listings one of your tools to winterize your real estate business.

“You have a Great Month Today”

Winterizing Your Real-estate Business, Hold Two Open Houses per Week

Winterizing your Real-estate Business #3 – Hold Two Open Houses per Week

by Rick Guthrie

Thanks for coming back to my blog series on winterizing your real estate business. Today’s blog is strategy number three, hold two opens per week. Now of course were talking about two open houses per week. Typically we’ll see agents hold two open houses per month. Remember we’re going to, at least, double our efforts. Holding two open houses per week certainly does that. It’s not surprising that holding homes open is quite prosperous and a successful way to lead generate. To increase our open house results, we need to increase our frequency in holding open houses. My recommendation is that you hold a minimum of two per week. Consistency is the key here. Make a conscious effort to commit, plan, strategize and implement, which leads to holding two open houses each and every week until spring.

I want to make you aware of three myths surrounding open houses.

Myth Number 1: You can only hold homes open on the weekends.

Myth Number 2: You can only hold one open house per day.

Myth Number 3: Buyers are the only ones that attend open houses.

Let’s start with Myth Number 1: “You can only hold homes open on the weekend”. The question that I would ask is, “do you think you would be positioned better to get more traffic from an open house if there were more homes being held open in a day or less homes being held open? The answer of course is you would get more traffic if there were less competition from other homes being held open. That’s why an open house during the week is very strategic to get you more traffic. Also, you will find people are available and will attend open houses that are held during the week. In Northern Virginia there are several large companies that allow their employees to work from home on Mondays and/or Fridays to cut down on commuter traffic. These would be two great days to hold opens. Also, the military allows their newly transferred members 10 days of permissive TDY (temporary duty) to house hunt. Try a couple of opens during the week.

Myth Number 2: “You can only hold one open house per day.” I’ve found that the majority of people attend open houses within the last 30 minutes of the home being held open. So if you hold a home open from 1 to 4 the majority of your attendees show up at 3:30. So why not hold one open from 1 to 2, take a short break, then hold a different home open from 3 to 4. Make sure you invite attendees from your first open house to your second. Wow, they can actually follow you over! This is a great way to rapport build and to ensure maximum traffic in both homes as well as make the best use of your time. The second open house may be a great place to have refreshments so you can spend more time with potential clients. Make sure you tell the folks from the first to show up at the second because you’re having refreshments.

Finally Myth Number 3: “Buyers are the only ones that attend open houses.” This is just simply not always the case. It’s so important to learn your scripts and dialogs and ask the right questions as people walk through the door of your open house. I have found a good greeting to start off with may sound like this; “What brings you folks out today?” You may hear, “We just wanted to see the home” or you may hear, “We’re thinking about selling our home and we wanted to compare ours to this one”. Sometimes people are just looking for their friends and family. This provides you the opportunity to create another relationship and provides you with another database entry. Either way you have a future client. The important thing is that you ask questions, come from a point of curiosity and get that new contact in your database as well as help them in any way that you can.

In closing, we talked about how important it is to hold two open houses per week to increase your business through the winter time. We’ve also talked about the three myths commonly surrounding open houses.

Quick tip: Have your sellers really decorate for the holidays. Buyers can visualize themselves in a holiday home.

Thanks again for following my blog and as always you have a great month today.

Winterizing Your Real-estate Business, Ask for Help

Winterizing Your Real-estate Business #2. Ask for help, by Rick Guthrie

ask for helpThanks for coming back to my series on, “Winterizing your real estate Business. As you remember from our last blog, I blogged about doubling your database entries. Included in that, I blogged about shifting your mindset and doubling your efforts.

Today I’m going to show you how to simply ask for help.

Toward the end of my first calendar year in Real estate, I was up for an award that 1st year agents rarely got. I was standing out in the parking lot talking with the owner of the company explaining how frustrated I was, in the month of October, being so close to qualifying for this award. I continued on with my rant because I had only been licensed for six months and I thought it would be quite an accomplishment. I went on and on about how I would have really liked to have won that award. I told him how frustrated I was because I had gotten so close. Did you notice how I was referring to the award in the past tense? I still had almost three months to qualify. Anyway I continued on with my idle chatter. The owner listened and I when I got through blabbering, he looked up at me and said, “Why are you telling me this?” I looked back at him and said, “I thought you’d want to hear about it”. This is what he said AND I WAS FLOORED!

“The people who you really need to hear about your goal is your past clients. Because if they knew that you are working so hard to accomplish this goal before the end of the year, they may be willing to help you. They may know somebody that needs to buy or sell before the end of the year. You need to tell them not me because in the end I really don’t matter.”

Then it hit me, maybe people would be willing to help me for a specific reason or cause if they saw my passion. So I immediately sent out a mailer and more importantly I got on the phone. One couple, Mr. and Mrs. Rose referred me to 2 buyers. The short story is, that by December, I had the five more transactions I needed to achieve my award. My past clients came through for me.

The reason I’m telling you this story is that one of the easiest ways to get more business is to simply ask for help. If you have a goal to help five or more families buy or sell a home before the end of the year, you need to tell your sphere that. If 100 people in your database knew your mission and felt your passion they would love to help you achieve your goal. Remember, we need to come from an attitude of contribution so always offer to help too.

This week make a list of your core advocates, allied resources, and past clients and make sure that they are aware of your year-end goals. Do this before the end of the week. Actually, you shouldn’t have to make a list, your database should be set up already following the MREA model. You’d be surprised at how many of your contacts are willing to help you and you would also be surprised at how many of your contacts know people that are needing to buy or sell before the end of the year. So this week make a GPS action plan and contact the people you know and simply ask for help. If you are not familiar with the GPS tool from Gary Keller’s book, “The One Thing” Click here and download that tool. Remember, people are not mind readers. They can’t help you if you don’t ask for help. The winter months can be prosperous if you are willing to do what others are not. Also, your contacts are needing a holiday call from you anyway.

Thanks again for following my blog. As always, you have a great month today!

Winterizing Your Real-estate Business

Winterizing Your Real-estate Business, by Rick Guthrie

Thanks for getting back onto my blog. Over the next few blogs, I’m going to be writing about winterizing your real estate business. Usually, I that find production starts to fall off during the winter months and into the first quarter. I’m sure you’ve noticed, I said production not business. It’s usually a combination of mindset and gentle market shift that effects production. As with anything we do, we need to refocus our mindset and double our efforts if we want to increase our production throughout the winter. This is what we’ll focus on in winterizing your business.
Winterizing your business

Each blog that I will be writing in this series, winterizing your business, will be at specifically based on one focus that has a desired outcome. So stick with me as we will be going over eight different concepts in eight different blogs.
For today’s blog, on winterizing your real estate business, I will be talking about doubling your database entries. As we all know, statistics tell us that between 65 to 75% of all of the real estate business comes from referrals. In other words, the real estate agent was referred by someone or a person had used the agent in the past. So the numbers tell us that doubling your database entries gives you more opportunity for referrals. The numbers also tell us that every six database entries should net you one sale. So let’s talk about just 2 ways that we can increase our database entries.

Using the MREA method, let’s focus on;

  1. Your Core Advocates
    2. Your Allied Resources

Your Core Advocate Group Your core advocate group are those top nine or 10 people that would stand on a street corner and yell at the top of their lungs, that if anyone had a real estate need, they would need to choose you as their real estate professional. If you have to sit and decide whether or not somebody is a core advocate, they’re probably not. So what we want to do is go to our Core Advocates and practice my rule of nines. You will say to each of your Core Advocates; “Please help me, by asking your nine closest friends, if they would be willing to receive some real-estate information from me from time to time. Of course your Core Advocates should immediately be willing to help you. If you collect nine data base entries, from nine Core Advocates, that’s 90 in your database. Your focus is winterizing your real estate business. This is a quick way to grow your database with people who are willing to help you grow your business. To me, this should be your main and most important focus. Not only are you winterizing your real estate business you are ensuring that you have stable business for years to come.

 

Allied Resources are those people that you spend money for their goods and services on. It’s time for them to help you through the winter season. This could be your insurance person, doctors, lawyers, hair dressers, barbers, restaurateurs, plumbers, contractors and so on. You would be surprised at how many people you know that appreciate your contribution to their livelihood. These folks need to be data based in their own category and you need to ask them for help and remind them that you are a Real-estate professional.

 

In summary to get through the winter months one of the first things that you should be focusing on is feeding your database twice as much as usual. Sheer physics and math dictate that you should get twice the results. Go to your Core Advocates to help you grow your data base through my Rule of Nines. Also, continuously ask your Allied Resources for referrals. Hey you’re helping them through the winter, they should help you.

 

So let’s all get out there and start Winterizing your Real estate business.

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – Sept 22, 2014

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week Sept 22 2014Last week’s economic news largely concerned the Federal Reserve’s FOMC meeting statement and a post-meeting conference given by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The FOMC statement indicated that the Fed continued its wind-down of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities and that its purchases are expected to cease after the next FOMC meeting.

The FOMC statement said that committee members find the economy to be improving at a moderate pace and currently strong enough to further reduce the QE3 monthly asset purchases. The Fed seeks to achieve and sustain its dual mandate of maximum employment and an inflation rate of 2.00 percent. While the unemployment rate is lower than the Fed’s benchmark of 6.50 percent, FOMC members cited concerns that the labor force is underutilized and that labor markets, while recovering, could use further improvement. The Fed repeated its customary statement that the Fed’s monetary policies are not on a pre-determined course, and that FOMC members continually review and interpret developing financial and economic news as part of their decision-making process.

Chair Yellen explained during her press conference that it is not possible to provide a specific date when the Fed will change its target federal funds rate. Economists and media analysts expressed concerns that raising the target federal funds rate, which is currently at 0.00 to 0.250 percent, could cause overall interest rates to rise. Chair Yellen said that she expects the current target federal funds rate to remain for a “considerable time” after the QE asset purchases cease. She also said that it is impossible to provide a specific date when the Fed will change its target federal funds rate and cited multiple influences considered by FOMC when changing monetary policy.

Home Builder Confidence Grows, Housing Starts Fall

The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index rose by three points in September for a reading of 59. Analysts had predicted an index reading of 56 against August’s reading of 55. September’s reading was the third consecutive reading above 50. Stronger labor markets were cited as supporting the higher reading, but builders were also concerned by tight mortgage credit standards. Any reading above 50 indicates that more builders perceive market conditions for new homes as positive as those that do not.

August’s housing starts were inconsistent with the Home Builders Index; according to the Department of Commerce, construction of new homes fell by 14.4 percent from July’s reading to 956,000. Analysts expected 1.03 million starts against July’s reading of 1.12 million homes started.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Weekly Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week. Average mortgage rates rose across the board with the rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage 11 basis points higher at 4.23 percent. The rate for a 15-year mortgage also rose by 11 basis points to 3.37 percent and the rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose from 2.99 to 3.06 percent. Average discount points were unchanged for all mortgage types at 0.50 percent.

New weekly jobless claims dropped to 280,000 against an expected reading of 305,000 and the prior week’s adjusted reading of 316,000 new jobless claims. The original reading for the prior week was 315,000 new jobless claims. The less volatile four-week average of new jobless claim fell by 4,750 new claims to a reading of 299,500 new claims.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news brings multiple housing-related reports. The National Association of REALTORS® will release its Existing Home Sales report for August. Case-Shiller’s monthly Housing Market Index report and the FHFA’s Home Value report will bring new light to national market trends. The Department of Commerce will release its New Home Sales report, and as usual, Freddie Mac’s weekly report on mortgage rates will come out on Thursday. To see houses for sale in the Northern Virginia area please click here.