Bob Williamson has been a sales, marketing, and productivity coach to the mortgage industry since 1988. His client list includes some of the most successful and well known mortgage professionals in America, and he has also helped hundreds of new and struggling loan originators establish themselves in their local markets. Participants in his lead generation coaching groups report an average increase of 29% in the number of leads they generate each month.
"An excellent course! Among other things, it gave me the motivation to do follow up with clients. Prior to this I just sent literature and did not follow up with a phone call in a timely manner. I now have a strategy for how to talk to new leads, and a drip marketing campaign to implement. I am working with my website company to include more reports with a registration form to capture the leads. Your 14-page report is also attracting requests from the open houses I am sponsoring. I really enjoyed the course, and appreciated being able to download the recordings for future review. Keep up the good work Bob.” --Michael Harte, Mortgage World Bankers Inc., New York City
"I liked the way you were able to get everyone in the group to brainstorm and share new ideas. Your postcard promotion concept was great, and you gave me the confidence to build on it. I loved the Visa gift card promotion, and I've just gotten approval from my bank to proceed with this promotion. You recommended some excellent books including the book on SEO Made Simple -- a very good book. Finally, I have implemented your drip campaign in Swiftpages, and I have already started seeing results from leads who are contacting me instead of my having to chase after them." -- Brian Bulger, Peoples Bank, Kansas City
“I really appreciated the variety of options you presented for lead generation. I thought the discussion about how to build relationships with Realtors was excellent, as was the gift card campaign idea. I felt that the input you gave us on how to improve our websites was very helpful. Finally I get much more done when I have a to-do list, so I found it very helpful that you gave us a little added push each week by assigning homework.” -- Laura Kidd, Mortgage Network, Philadelphia
A Really Dumb Idea
by Bob Williamson
The following article was written in July, 2010, after the expiration of the $8000 Homebuyer's Tax Credit. But it's amazing how little things have changed since then.
Now that the home buyer tax credit is over, how are things looking for the real estate purchase market and the mortgage professionals who make that market possible?
The government promoted the tax credit as a way to boost residential real estate sales (and support home values/prices).
The idea was to persuade homebuyers that they were the ones who would benefit from this subsidy -- when in fact the opposite was true. The tax credit was a subsidy for sellers, not buyers, because it allowed sellers to increase their asking price (or avoid decreasing it) by up to $8000. And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. You can look it up: home values began to slowly increase shortly after the tax credit was passed. They continued to rise until the tax credit expired at the end of April:
But wait, there's more! A few days ago the Treasury Department's Inspector General issued its second report on home buyer tax credit fraud. Among the more interesting findings:
1,295 prisoners received $9.1 million in credits for houses they claim to buy while they were locked up in the slammer – some of them serving life sentences.
In another case, 67 different people claimed a tax credit for the same house! More than 2,500 people got almost $18 million for homes they bought before the credit even took effect.
In all, the inspector general unearthed 14,132 people who received erroneous credits totalling more than $17.6 million. And that was just a preliminary report, filed before the latest rush of tax credit claims.
And what effect did the tax credit have on home sales and the recovery of the real estate market? All we seemed to have done is pushed most of the existing home purchase demand into the first four months of 2010. As Ted Geyer of the Tax Policy Center warned, "At least 85% of these buyers would likely have purchased a home anyway." So they all signed contracts before April 30th. Now what?
Recently released data for May 2010 show sharp declines in existing and new home sales and housing starts. Inventory data and foreclosure activity have not shown any signs of improvement. Mortgage application data from MBA and pending sales data coming in now from local markets suggests that housing demand plummeted after the expiration of the homebuyer’s tax credits at the end of April.
According to the National Association of Realtors on July 1, contracts for pending sales of previously owned homes plunged a record 30% in May, far more than expected, after the homebuyers tax credit expired at the end of the prior month.(Economists had expected a smaller decline of only 12.5% in May.) The index fell sharply in all regions of the country.
The supply and demand picture looks challenging, to say the least. On the supply side, both LPS Applied Analytics and the Mortgage Bankers Association recently estimated the number of REO homes on banks' books at 1.1 million units, and the number of seriously delinquent mortgages and foreclosed homes in the range of 5 million units. In fact, at the end of April, LPS announced that at the current rate of sales, it would take 103 months to sell off all of the foreclosed homes in banks’ possession, plus all of the homes likely to end up there over the next couple of years. For those of you who have not done the math, 103 months is more than eight years.
Furthermore, Zillow's first-quarter home owner confidence survey puts the estimated number of sidelined sellers (sellers who are very likely to try to sell in the next 12 months if they see signs of market improvement) at 5.3 million homeowners.
That is one heck of a lot of inventory. But where are the buyers?
The Silver Lining
The reality I’ve described here is sobering, without question. Just about everything the government has done to try to ameliorate (or at least delay) the damage – from TARP to the tax credit, to the loan modification initiatives, and other attempts to delay or forestall foreclosures -- has been a pretty spectacular failure. One can hope that the politicians have finally run out of bright ideas, and that they will finally step aside and let the market run its course. I could argue that if they had done that 5 years ago, we might be out of this mess by now, but better late than never.
For those of us who make our living in the mortgage and real estate industries, there are opportunities – if we have the vision to see them and the courage to pursue them.
Learn How to Get and Close More Mortgage leads with this FREE 1-Hour Training Video and 11-Page Special Report
"Well done today! That is the best information I've gotten all year. And it was free!"
That's what one of the attendees wrote me after my webinar, "How to Get & Close More Mortgage Leads." And I received similar compliments from many of the other people who attended.
You can download this 1-hour training video for FREE now, and also receive my 11-Page Special Report on how to close more mortgage leads.
A couple of weeks ago, I finished writing a special report that I had been working on for some time. In that report, I tried to address a fundamental problem that I have observed in many loan originators: the inability to fully take the perspective, and thus to truly understand, the very people you are attempting to reach in order to grow your business.
I wanted to build on the foundation I created with that article and that's what the 1-hour training video covers. I wanted to show people that there are some very practical and effective -- and inexpensive -- ways to generate new leads of high quality, and to follow through with those leads in a way that recognizes the realities of today's market -- meaning that instead of having people blow you off, the leads you generate will be genuinely interested in talking to you and learning from you.
I think I succeeded, and I think you will be glad you took the time to watch to this one-hour video. One of my coaching clients who was on the call told me afterward, "I've heard you talk about this subject many times before, but there was something about the way you said it yesterday that really got through to me."
So, complete the short registration form below, and you can securely download not only the webinar, but my original special report on how to get and close more leads.