Get Your Marketing in Order for 2015 – Real Estate News

sales-up

Well, it looks like we’re going to get some snow today…anywhere from 1 to 30 inches depending on who you listen to…

Weather can be unpredictable and variable.  What should not be is the way in which you establish your presence in the market.  Today’s sales professionals need to establish a consistent, constant and predictable plan for marketing.  We need to utilize the web, social media and traditional channels of communication in order to succeed.  Not only that, but we can’t just post here and there, and expect results.  We have to be consistent.  We have to establish our initial presence and then keep up the pressure with a consistent marketing effort.

Do you want to be a more successful Real Estate Agent? What does success look like to you? Making more money? Working fewer hours? Or Both?

A recent independent survey of Real Estate Agents nationwide indicated that over 85% of agents fail to have a consistent marketing and branding game plan that they execute for a 12 straight months.

The reasons this happens is….

#1 Agents get busy. When agents are busy they are in reaction mode so they forget to execute their marketing and branding game plan

#2 Agents are slow. When agents are slow they are low on money and low on energy and excitement so they neglect to execute their marketing and branding game plan

#3 Agents don’t know where to begin.

Over the past 6 years I have had the pleasure of presenting to over 950 Real Estate agents in either a workshop, online seminar or training of some kind. I have been teaching agents how to generate, cultivate, incubate and convert leads and good number of agents have experienced increased sales on one level or another, but the most common mistake I see agents make is, they implement what I have taught them, only to go back to the “OLD WAY” of doing things because of one of the reasons I mentioned earlier.

Well let’s stop the madness…. I am proud to announce that we are working with a company and we are rolling out a comprehensive marketing plan where we take care of the marketing for you. It’s a set it and forget type of program. Now no matter how busy you get, your marketing will be sent out for you. Were talking print mail, postcard letters, etc. We’re talking email marketing, campaigns, follow-up, you got it. We’re talking social media marketing, brand marketing, direct mail fulfillment all leading up to one thing….client retention….. and more closed transactions.

Every year I pick a theme word that encapsulates our mission for that year. Last years word was elevate. The word of 2015 is contribution. Whether or not you partner with the Michael Mann Team, I still want to contribute to you growing your business. That is why, I am bringing this platform to you. Whether we are your lender or not, I want you to benefit from this program.

Is developing market strategies based upon video important to you?  Is having great video and professional photography, that’s affordable, important to you and your market strategy? Well with a sponsor, your HD home tour videos can be as low as $100.00 per professional video shoot and that includes professional photography. You don’t need to use The Michael Mann Team as a sponsor, in fact, bring your own sponsors and you can still enjoy the benefits of this program. Like I said, you don’t have to use the Michael Mann Team as your mortgage partner, BUT, if your lender is unwilling to be your sponsor, I would be happy to sit down and talk with you about your marketing plan. How do you learn more about this program that will put more money in your pocket and free up valuable time for you to do more of what you want to do????

Would you like to Improve your professional presence on the web? Do you think it’s important to publish relevant content on the main social media websites? Would you want someone to do it for you? Did you know 78% of agents have at least 2 errors in their social media and their online presence. What if a lead or client wanted to do business with you and had wrong contact information? What if it only happened once per year? That could cost you between $5,000 and $15,000 dollars… We will fix that.

What about the agents that don’t have a massive marketing budget??? There are programs that cost under $25 dollars a month. So whether you are just starting in the business, or you are an agent that wants to get to the next level we have a plan for you.

We are hosting a personal development workshop in conjunction with The Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors and The Greater Lehigh Valley Real Estate Academy on Wednesday February 18th at 9AM at the GLVR building and they only have 70 Seats available. And they are serving breakfast……..

Ask yourself:  Would you do more marketing, more consistent marketing, if someone was helping you and creating content for you?  Are you providing a consistent and constant message through all social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.)?  Would you like a “set it and forget it” strategy that could ensure that your marketing was done in a consistent manner and your message and presence on the web was second to none?

Some of the things we’ll cover:

– Improve your professional presence on the web
– Timely content posted to your social media outlets
– Set it and forget it marketing plan (direct mail, email and social media)
– Generate, Cultivate, Incubate and Convert more Leads
– Professional Photography on Listings – Do’s and Don’ts
– 10 reasons why great video that is affordable and brands YOU and your Listings should be on your radar for 2015!

Sales people have a lot going on…I get it.  Don’t let your marketing efforts fall victim to your ever-changing schedule.  Weather is unpredictable, your marketing efforts don’t have to be.  Please join us for this event and improve your business with tools for marketing in 2015.

As always, if you have someone who needs to be pre-qualified for a mortgage, our Team is waiting to hear from you.  Please visit us at www.themichaelmannteam.com or call us at 610-432-0900.

Be safe out there!  See you on the 18th!

Michael Mann

Fannie Mae changes the appraisal process – Real Estate News

Helping-or-Hurting

 

Every home must be sold TWICE! Once to the buyer, and once to the bank appraiser if a mortgage is involved.

The second sale may have just become more difficult.

A new program announced by Fannie Mae may slow down the home-sale closing process by causing more disputes over prices between sellers and buyers.

In a recent Washington Post article they explained the basics of the program:

“Starting Jan. 26, Fannie plans to offer mortgage lenders access to proprietary home valuation databases that they can use to assess the accuracy and risks posed by the reports submitted by appraisers.” 

“The Fannie data will flag possible errors in the appraiser’s work before the lender commits to fund the loan, will score the appraisal for overall risk of inaccuracy and may provide as many as 20 alternative “comps” — properties in the area that have sold recently and are roughly comparable to the house the lender is considering for financing but were not used by the appraiser.”

Using the additional information provided by Fannie Mae, the lender can then ask for an explanation from the appraisal company for any discrepancies and request an amended appraisal.

This added step in the process of determining the price of the home to be bought/sold, could add time to the closing process and cost to the appraisal for the additional work.

Why is this happening?

Fannie Mae wants lenders to make informed decisions when agreeing to the amount of a loan that a buyer will be approved for.

“Excessive valuations create the risk of future losses to lenders and investors if the borrower defaults and the house goes to foreclosure.”

What is the process now?

As a seller:

You’ve put your house on the market, picked an agent who has helped you determine that the best price to list your home for is $250,000, and found a buyer willing to pay that price. The appraiser comes to the home and agrees your home is worth the asking price and writes their report. Everything is working perfectly!

As a buyer:

You’ve found your dream home, in the right neighborhood, in the right school district, with the perfect yard, at the high end of your budget, but all the pluses are worth it. You agree on a price and start daydreaming about living in your new home.

What happens after January 26th?

The lender submits the appraisal report to the new Fannie Mae program and they come back with “lower-risk comps” that value the home at $230,000. The lender then turns to the appraisal company to justify the $20,000 difference, adding time and frustration to the process.

If the lender does not agree with the reasons for the price difference they will not lend the buyer the amount they need to purchase their dream home and the amicable, agreeable sale turns into a heated justification of the higher price. The buyer may even have to give up on the home if the funding isn’t there.

An article by Housing Wire shares the appraiser’s point of view:

“The bottom line, appraisers say, is this could lead to delays to closings and higher costs, as well as a depression of prices in markets where prices are rising.

Appraisers complain that if they have to justify every step of their comps for their valuation, rather than those coming from the one-size-fits-all evaluation from Fannie, it will delay closing, throw off buyer and seller timetables, and delay real estate broker commissions.”

Bottom Line

The fear of some real estate practitioners is that if appraisers feel as though they are constantly being second-guessed, they may become more conservative in their assessments, impacting home values and slowing growth in the market.

We at the Michael Mann Team are on top of these and other developments with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and will make certain that your loan closes…regardless of the curve balls that get thrown our way from time to time.  You can visit us at themichaelmannteam.com or call use at 610-432-0900 to apply or to get more information.

 

Michael Mann

Does it Make sense to try and “time the market”?

money vs. time

Did It Make Sense to Wait?

There are many people out there who debated purchasing a home over the course of the last year, but ultimately did not. Whatever their reasons were for delaying, let’s look at whether the decision to wait to buy made sense.

What happened in 2014?

The 30 year fixed rate on January 2, 2014 was 4.53% as reported by Freddie Mac. Looking at the chart below, your monthly mortgage payment with principal and interest for a $250,000 home would have been $1,271.17. Even though interest rates have dropped below 4% and ended 2014 at 3.87%, home prices appreciated by 4.8 percent over the same time according to the Home Price Expectation Survey.

So that same home appreciated by $12,000 and now costs $262,000. The most recent report by Freddie Mac reports the average 30-year fixed rate is currently 3.73%.

rate 14-15

Did It Make Sense to Wait? Many may say, “See waiting a year made total sense, I’m saving $60 a month.” And they’d be right, over the course of the year they saved $729.36.

But what they haven’t realized, is that as the price of the home they purchased went up by $12,000, even if they just put a down payment of 5%, they had to come up with an additional $600 at the start of the process. So really they’ve only saved $129.36 in a year.

Is a savings of $11 a month really worth holding off on pursuing a home to call your own after you weigh all the benefits that come along with that?

  • Building equity you can borrow against in the future
  • Having a safe, comfortable environment that fits your family’s needs
  • Having control over your space
  • Tax benefits
  • And so many more…

Bottom Line

The experts are predicting that homes will appreciate by another 4% and interest rates will increase by a full percentage point by the end of 2015. If you are in a position to be able to buy a home now before these predictions become reality, contact a local real estate professional and start the process.

You can call us at 610-432-0900 or visit us at themichaelmannteam.com to get started today…waiting may not really pay off for you or your clients.

 

Michael Mann

Building continued momentum for your real estate business – Real Estate News

I wrote this almost exactly 2 years ago, and it’s still true today.

Building momentum for your real estate business:

Push vs. pull, law of attraction or just plain physics. There are certain laws of the universe at work in determining your success.

We’ve all experienced it. You get in a funk. Nothing seems to be working. You feel like you’re beating your head against a wall, your attitude tanks. You’ve lost your mojo and so you retreat.

OR success after success, like a snowball effect, one thing leads to another. You’re on fire and you can do no wrong! Every time you turn around there are new opportunities landing in your lap seemingly out of nowhere!

Sir Isaac Newton knew a thing or two: His first law of motion states:

An object at rest will stay at rest and conversely, an object in motion will remain in motion, UNLESS compelled to change by another force.
Inertia
(as defined in Wikipedia)

A tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged…A property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force…
Life can throw some curve balls and take you off track sometimes. Inertia is a natural response when things don’t seem to be going your way. The problem of course is that no momentum can be built in a state of inertia.

Ebb and flow is a natural phenomenon observed in the waves of the ocean, and in all life cycles. We see it in Real Estate all the time. The same is true with business…Eventually the pendulum must swing back.

So how can you kickstart it and create some momentum to get things moving in your favor and create some opportunity?

Start with doing ANYTHING and incorporate these basic principles into your life:

Like attracts like.
Spend time with other successful people.
Review last year’s successes; rinse and repeat!
Shake off any negativity and look for the positive!
Life rewards action so commit to one small step you can make today. Focus on the little step, NOT the overwhelming hill you need to climb. ie: commit to writing one blog post a week or making one call a day to previous clients. Just getting CLEAR can be a step in the right direction.  FOCUS! Try not to get sidetracked before you accomplish your goal.
When you’re stuck, getting out for a walk to clear your mind and get you moving is a sure-fire way to get you back on track!  Remember, this too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever which is great news when you’re in a funk, but kind of a  bummer when you’re on a roll.
Keep getting up. Trick is to enjoy it when things are going well and just breath and keep moving forward when you’re being sucked back.
Take the time to learn the lessons you need to learn and don’t take it personally.
Whether you’re enjoying successful momentum or struggling to stay afloat, remember not to take it personally. Remain humble and don’t take yourself too seriously ~ It will be much easier to ride that wave.

 

All my best for a happy and successful 2015!

Michael Mann