Archive for September, 2011

9 Signs of Hope for the Housing Market

September 23rd, 2011

By Dan Burrows | Sep 19, 2011 Courtesy of CBS Money Watch

Sentiment among U.S. homebuilders declined in September even as Lennar Corp. (LEN) said Monday it saw a slight pick up in demand last quarter. That’s a mixed to gloomy picture, at best.

However, although high levels of foreclosures, unemployment and household debt are still hurting home prices, there are indications the worst of the downturn is close to over, according to GMO, the Boston-based asset manager led by legendary investor Jeremy Grantham.

“The long-term fundamentals for U.S. residential real estate are sound,” writes GMO analyst Edward Chancellor in a new white paper prepared by the firm.

When the economy eventually recovers and unemployment declines, “household formation will rebound,” Chancellor adds. “Home prices will pick up together with construction. Another housing boom will follow.”

Chancellor sees nine indicators of the housing market being at or near its long-term cyclical bottom:

The healing passage of time. Five years have passed since U.S. housing prices peaked. “That’s about the average amount of time it has taken for real estate markets to trough after previous housing bubbles,” the analyst says.

Valuations are no longer over-stretched. For the first time since 1981, median monthly mortgage payments are lower than rents. “Following the decline in long-term interest rates, this is one of the best times ever for Americans to buy a home,” says Chancellor. After all, mortgage interest rates are at record lows.

Speculators replaced by investors. At the bottom of a cycle assets typically move from weak hands to strong hands, Chancellor writes. “The share of speculative purchases financed with mortgages has come crashing down since the 2005 peak, while the number of cash transactions (an investor proxy) in June rose to 29 percent of total existing home sales,” he says.

Credit crunch is over. “Although delinquencies on mortgages remain high, one should not exaggerate the tightness of the mortgage market,” says Chancellor. The number of foreclosures has turned down over the last year. The latest Federal Reserve loan officers’ survey suggests that credit conditions are loosening, he adds.

End to deflation. The Fed has kept short-term rates at zero for three-and-a-half years. “[Fed Chief] Ben Bernanke has shown a grim determination to ward off deflation. We have experienced successive bouts of quantitative easing, with more to come if necessary,” Chancellor writes. In the 12 months ended July 2011, the U.S. consumer price index climbed 3.6 percent.

» More: 9 Signs of Hope for the Housing Market

Hold your opinions, lightly!

September 23rd, 2011

There is a saying “I have my opinions, but I hold them lightly.”

There is a difference between opinion and truth, and to know what we are holding as as an opinion can make us more rigid in our thinking, it can keep us from new insight and truer information.

Today, we all have some opinions with which we are guiding our time –Let’s hold them lightly.  Don’t make assumptions about what is an objection, what your prospects are thinking, your product, your pricing…none of it.    Some times our own heads can get in the way of you making a sale.  Your opinion doesn’t matter…the only thing that matters, everyday, is that you have a buyer to sell a home too.  Bring that thought to work with you everyday.   Leave all the other stuff at home!

Happy Sales

Thank God is Monday!

September 20th, 2011

Many of us have learned on Fridays to say, “TGIF –Thank God it’s Friday.” What if we start this Monday in a different energy? Thank God it’s Monday –I have the chance to create a week out of an energy of intention, out of design rather than default. This is not a repetition of a week I’ve ever known before, and I can open up to the miracle that this Monday is. Miracles are happening all the time. Every breath is a miracle. Thank God it’s Monday.

Clean Slate

September 18th, 2011

Cleaning our lives can be like cleaning our closet. As we clean out our closet, we come upon things to sort out, things to let go of, things to keep and things that make us wonder, “How I ever collected all this stuff?”

As we go through our own mental closets and emotional closets, perhaps it’s time today to let go of some things we have held onto.

Take a hard look at what you bring to your sales career each day.  How can you clean your Sales Closet out and start with a clean slate?  Are you making assumptions about your prospects, your product or your market? Are you bringing those assumptions to work with you.  You are the one who can convince yourself that this is going to be a great day or not.

Remember, it’s best to start each day as a clean slate only bringing one thought to work with you each day…“I have two sales waiting for me today!”

Is now the time to buy?

September 1st, 2011

I often hear the Sales Teams I work with say that people coming in their communities are confused if now is the time to buy or should they wait for a lower market.

Do you have a response for this objection?  I hope so. Because you can actually take this objection and turn it around to an opportunity to create urgency…something that is desperately needed in this market.

And I hope you realize when a prospect makes a statement like, “we are not sure if now is the time to buy” they are asking you to give them more information why now is the time to buy. They want to buy or they wouldn’t be wandering around looking at homes…but they want you to give them a good reason, just to make sure.

Here is my spin and the best response you can give for this obejction. Change it around to fit your style and use it every time.

Potential script for this objection…

It is rare for our rates and our pricing to be low at the same time.  As a matter of fact, this rare occurence has not taken place in 30 years.  In the immediate past, we always had low prices with higher rates or vice versa. Now we have both, which makes it the BEST time to buy.  But it won’t last forever, in fact we are starting to see an increase in our pricing…

What you need at this point is a couple of good handouts you can show to prove this fact.

Here are a few of my favorites…

The wonderful thing about this chart is:

  • It’s from the census bureau so it’s reliable.
  • It shows the highs of the market and the drastic lows.
  • It shows that we have bottomed.
  • It shows we have established a bottom for a while now
  • So there will be no where but up…and soon.
  • If you know real estate you know we have cycles of two presidential cycles up and two presidential cycles down…for the last 100 years.
  • It’s through May 2011, so it’s current.

Just having these two items at your reach with a very good script about why now is the time to buy, should get you an opportunity to turn the objection of “Is now the time to buy” into an opportunity to create urgency.

Take some time to prepare for you objections and you can turn those folks into buyers.

Have a great sales week!

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