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We are coming in at the close of Q2. What a wild ride we are experiencing, and it seems things are continuing to get more volatile and challenging.
A headline in January 2022 from CNBC said, “mortgage rates, record low supply and record-high prices have house hunters feeling more frustrated than ever.” Rates in February were 3 percent. Today they are 6 percent.
Interest rates are rising. Confidence is wanning. Buyers are frustrated. Inflation is real. The buyer-seller market is not yet balanced. Prices and the cost of living are up, etc. Home affordability is a big deal.
If you are a mortgage or real estate veteran, you have seen this before and have gone through it if you’re newer, welcome to the Mortgage and Real Estate Reset of 2022.
Successful mortgage and real estate professionals understand, you don’t let the market define your success. You define how you will succeed, no matter what the market does.
Since we don’t control the market, we can control what we do in that market to help people win and achieve the goals they seek. If we focus on them, they will in kind, help us.
In times like this, seek a constant reset, mentally and strategically. The three resets you must make now:
Choose abundance over scarcity
There are buyers and sellers in any market. You will attract them with the right mindset and vibe. You will also stand out because of others’ scarcity and fear. Remember in markets like this, you will have less competition because a population of those people will not make it.
W. Clement Stone wrote, “There is very little difference between the successful and the unsuccessful. But the little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it’s positive or not.”
Make trust your No. 1 goal
Markets like this produce concern, doubt and fear; your job is to instill faith, hope and confidence. Everything gets easier as trust gets higher. Understanding this model means knowing that trust is the most attractive asset you have in your toolbox, in any market, and especially now.
There are four layers of trust you must pay very close attention to in this market. They are, in order:
Humanity: This is where connection takes hold. It is where relationship is birthed. It is where emotion is unleashed. It’s where trust begins.
Transparency: This is where truth is mandatory. High truth creates high trust. Staying clear, purposeful, honest, and humble is attractive to your prospects and clients right now. Truth requires both the good with the bad. What is, and what isn’t. One of the greatest elements here is your knowledge, advice, and commitment to doing the right thing.
Capability: This is the ability to get the job done. Any consumer who has high confidence that the “deal” is going to get done will say yes faster. Here you must rely on everything from social surveys, reviews, video testimonials, and what I refer to as endorsement value.
In any market, but especially today, the best way to initiate this is with your database, a client concierge, annual mortgage reviews, and our circle of cash flow. With high endorsement value, people say yes faster and negotiate less. Imagine this: in every real estate transaction; there are 10 potential “verticals” you can leverage:
- Borrower referrals
- Buyer referrals
- Seller referrals
- Agent referrals
- Builder referrals
- Banking/credit union referrals
- Financial services referrals
- Financial planners, CPAs, insurance
- Attorney referrals
- Real estate
- Wills and trusts
- Employer referrals
- Faith-based et al
- Trade associations
Reliability: With the rare exception, everything you say will happen, happens, repeatedly. Consumer confidence in you breeds retention and conversion, and referrals.
Go all-in on relationship value
Solve, don’t sell. Listen, don’t talk. Get very in tune with what your prospects and clients want and give it to them. The market I began in as a loan officer is the market that our current market is being referred to. People were still buying and selling real estate.
The Great Inflation was the defining macroeconomic period of the 20th century and lasted from 1965-1982. In 1980, inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, was 15 percent. Inflation rates rose throughout the late 1970s, reaching double-digit levels in 1979 and peaking at 22 percent in 1980.
30-Year Fixed Mortgages were 18.45 percent. FHA/VA? 16.5 percent and 5 points.
Current Market Note: National housing costs were significantly lower in the 80s with the national average being $82,800 in 1985. By 2000, it had risen to $119,600. At the beginning of 2022, the average home price in the U.S. reached $348,079.
So, I chose the strategy of doubling down on relationship value, widening my marketing effort, and helping my clients win.
My questions for every agent, builder and referral partner was this: “What can I do right now to help you win? What are you most afraid of, and how can we turn that into a positive? Where do you want to be when the recession ends, and how can I help you get there?”
My questions for every borrower: “Let me show you how to feel safe buying now and not waiting, and let’s see where that leads you. Are you ok with that? What are you most afraid of, and how can I help you get comfortable moving forward now? What’s essential about owning a home to you, and is the timing starting to feel right to move forward?”
And the magic? Listen with the intent to solve, not to sell. Don’t be needy. Be valuable.
Today our coaching clients are deepening their relationships and following up weekly with their referral partners and more frequently with their borrowers, buyers and sellers.
What does this all mean?
I believe the market in which we find ourselves is a great market to hit the gas, be positive, be informed, be valuable and be connected. Formulating and committing to these three resets will be your North Star as we power into the balance of this year and next.