Archive for the ‘Home Builders’ Category

Improved Equity Position Empowering Trade-Up Buyers

Posted by Joel pate in Home Builders, Mortgage Loans. Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Housing demand by trade-up buyers is rising as the home equity available to these prospective buyers is improving; at the same time, foreclosure sales are declining nationwide while those properties are in high demand in many fast-rising markets.

According to FNC’s Foreclosure Market Report, the foreclosure market has rapidly improved in recent months with foreclosure rates approaching pre-crisis levels — an indication of strengthening supply-side conditions. On the demand side, steadily rising home prices and an expectation of continued recovery have stimulated housing turnover by prospective buyers who are in a position to take advantage of low home prices. In the meantime, higher home prices are bringing out trade-up demand from existing homeowners who are experiencing rising home equity, and that supports a down payment on their next bigger house.

“We’ve seen hard data from the past 18 months that show rising home prices and a foreclosure market with diminished impact due to decreasing foreclosure inventories and fewer new foreclosure filings,” said FNC Director of Research Yanling Mayer. “Meanwhile, a very encouraging trend that has been developing is the rising participation of trade-up buyers who are seeing improving home equity position and positive capital appreciation on existing homes.

“An important sign of a healthy and sustainable recovery is increased housing turnover driven by trade-up buying, which is more or less discretionary spending,” Mayer said. “These buyers are typically more responsive to market conditions and financial incentives.”
FNC’s report shows that foreclosure price discounts, which compare a foreclosed home’s estimated market value to the price paid by investors or home buyers, have dropped to a 10-year low at about 8.1% in Q2 2013, down from 12.5% a year ago. At the height of the mortgage crisis in 2008 and 2009, foreclosed homes were typically sold at close to 25% below their estimated market value. In many fast-rising markets, such as Phoenix, Las Vegas, and California, investor activity and low foreclosure inventory drove foreclosure prices up, frequently resulting in a price premium relative to estimated market value.

FNC publishes the mortgage industry’s first market-value based foreclosure price discount to gauge the degree of market distress. For more information about the foreclosure price discount, please refer to FNC’s March 2011 report.

According to the FNC report, investing in foreclosed property continues to be profitable with gross capital appreciation — the annualized percentage difference between a foreclosed property’s sales price and subsequent resale price — averaged at 7.8% on sales of homes previously purchased at foreclosure sales. In the meantime, ownership duration on distressed investment is up, along with the average ownership duration of all existing home sales.

More highlights from FNC’s Foreclosure Market Report:
Single-family REO and foreclosure sales are 12.2% of total home sales as of July, down from 17.3% a year ago.

The median foreclosure price is $98,000 or $67 per square foot, up 6.8% since the housing recovery began 18 months ago. In comparison, the median price on non-foreclosure sales is $205,000 or $118 per square foot, up 21.7% during the same 18-month period. Foreclosure price discounts are typically larger for low-tier properties, averaging 13.7% in Q2 2013. One in four homes continues to be discounted heavily. High-end properties, on the other hand, are typically sold close to their market value.

At 86% of total foreclosure sales, low-tier properties continue to account for the bulk of foreclosure sales. Prior to the housing bubble, low-tier homes contributed more than 90% to foreclosure sales.

Collateral depreciation on foreclosure sales — the difference between a property’s prior purchase price and foreclosure sale price — continues to decelerate, down to 3.8% in Q2 2013 from 6.4% a year earlier. Among the re-sales of non-distressed homes, for 16 consecutive months the median home has sold at a price above its prior purchase price, enabling potential trade-up buyers to capture a small capital appreciation.
Despite declining foreclosure rates, Michigan continues to be the nation’s most distressed market with one in three homes sold during Q2 2013 being foreclosed properties.

Arizona, California, Nevada, and Oregon have seen the fastest declines in foreclosure rates in the ongoing recovery, down respectively from 30.7%, 33.4%, 44.9%, and 24.2% entering 2012 to 11.9%, 12.4%, 15.3%, and 7.2% by Q2 2013. At 3.2% of total home sales, the District of Columbia has the lowest foreclosure rate.

States with continued high foreclosure rates include Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee. More notably, foreclosure rates in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky are trending steadily upward in recent months, dampening home prices.
Among the largest housing markets (MSAs), New York, Boston, Portland, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. have the lowest foreclosure rates at 4.3%, 5.4%, 6.8%, 7.0%, and 8.3%, respectively, compared to a national average of 14.8% in Q2 2013. In contrast, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Cincinnati have the highest foreclosure rates at 34.7%, 27.1%, 24.3%, 19.4%, and 19.3%, respectively.

Of the cities identified by the Federal Reserve Board as the largest REO inventory markets entering 2012, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Riverside, CA., have since improved and are in strong recovery. The recovery in Atlanta is on par with the national trend, and in the 18-month period, home prices are up 9.8%; foreclosure rates are down from 32.0% to 19.4%; and the foreclosure price discount is down from 18.8% to 8.7%. Conditions in Detroit are improving despite continued high foreclosure rates. Chicago, however, lags behind the rest of the country in the ongoing recovery — foreclosure rates are elevated at about 27%, contributing to the continued weakness of home prices.


Selling on the Small Screen

Posted by Joel pate in Home Builders. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

If pictures are worth a thousand words, some home builders are figuring out that moving pictures on YouTube videos are worth exponentially more without costing exponentially more. Real estate professionals can also take a cue from this phenomenon, whether they are representing small to medium homebuilders or just marketing their individual listings.
YouTube, the second most popular search site behind Google, has become a powerful advertising tool for some home builders.

“While YouTube has long been primarily thought of for entertainment, we are finding it as one effective way to get in front of the right audience,” says Deborah Wahl, PulteGroup’s chief marketing officer. The company uses YouTube to market its three brands: Centex, Del Webb, and flagship Pulte.

When Pulte rolled out its new Pulte Life Tested home designs last spring, it launched a video to explain the new designs and show what they look like in a home setting. It includes interviews of real people — sharing what they’re looking for in a new home — from the focus groups that helped create the new designs. The clip had more than 750,000 views in four months.

“Video is effective in communicating our home building brands because it allows viewers to get to know us,” Wahl says. “Video gives you the sense of what a company is all about and can truly support branding efforts like no other medium on the Web.”

YouTube is but one part of Pulte’s Internet arsenal in a day and age when more than 75 percent of people use the Internet to search for homes, some even before setting foot inside a community, and many before even talking to a Realtor, Pulte says.

The videos Pulte uploads to YouTube give viewers a good idea of what the community looks like, what the homes and amenities look like, and plenty of images of local entertainment venues, grocery stores, and other nearby shopping.

Reeling in Prospective Buyers

Clayton Homes, a large builder of manufactured modular homes headquartered in Maryville, Tenn., uses its YouTube channel to walk potential buyers through its products, but it also has become a tool to nurture them through its three- to six-month time period between first interest and purchase. Clayton sends video links to prospective home buyers to educate them about its products and processes, emphasize the structural integrity of modular homes versus old-style mobile homes, and show the construction and delivery processes.

While many of the videos are instructive and persuasive, some are merely entertaining, designed to foster “warm home” feelings about Clayton Homes. There’s one with the co-stars of Duck Dynasty, Phil and Kay Robertson, sitting in their kitchen, discussing how Clayton Homes are built in America as they cut into a sweet potato pie and talk about filling a home with love.

“Right off the bat we really weren’t sure what to expect” from the advertisements, says Jim Greer, Clayton’s lead generation manager. “It has turned out very well for us. We are excited about the results.”

Immediate Gratification

Unlike some forms of advertising, results can be measured from YouTube, and advertisers need to pay only for the traffic they get versus a newspaper advertisement that costs the same no matter the results. “You pump money into that and you know real quick whether it’s successful,” Greer says. “Digital mediums in general tend to be a lot cheaper cost.”
The Internet is changing the way many people are buying products, says Patrick Grandinetti, Google’s head of real estate industry. The old rule of marketing was that there were first and second moments of truth that determine what a consumer will buy and whether they will keep buying it. The first was during the three to five seconds when they are looking at a product’s logo in the store, and the second was after they took it home and used it. Now there is a new moment of truth that sometimes comes before the other two, says Grandinetti: The results of Internet research customers are doing before they even go to the store.

For tutorials on how Google advertising works, visit

By: Teresa Burney,

SoLoMo Marketing is a Big Deal

Posted by Joel pate in Home Builders, Mortgage Loans. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

How are you connecting with homebuyers and sellers? Are your advertising dollars going into a black hole or into the honey hole? recently polled real estate professionals and consumers to determine home search habits, marketing trends and their respective perceptions of local housing conditions. This insight and infographic will help real estate pros evaluate their SoLoMo (Social Local Mobile) marketing strategies to better target potential clients and drive traffic back to your business.

Word of Mouth Recommendations Still Carry the Most Weight

No surprise here: Both real estate professionals and consumers chose personal, word-of-mouth recommendations as the top means by which they connect with one another. In this day and age of technology, an old-fashioned, genuine recommendation from a trusted friend or family member is the primary source when deciding on a real estate professional.
This goes to show that building and maintaining authentic relationships with your clients is still paramount. To build and compliment your endorsement library, focus on building a strong presence in your local market by collecting and promoting client endorsements on your websites and social channels.

Since first impressions are always the most important, provide them with really unique marketing materials and professional, well-designed listing presentations to demonstrate that you are the person for the job.

National Real Estate Sites are Paying Off

Forty-seven percent of real estate professionals are spending the majority of their marketing dollars on national real estate listing sites (i.e., and®).

This has proved to be a valuable investment, since 67 percent of consumers prefer these sites when searching for homes via their desktop or mobile device. Furthermore, the majority of real estate professionals report that these sites provide them with the most quality leads and are also their primary source for sharing testimonials (i.e., “word-of-mouse”).

Join the others who have already reaped the benefits of using online resources and create an agent profile to increase your visibility, tell your story and share your praises.

Social Media Promotions Lead to Conversions

Real estate pros reported that social networks were their top choice for promoting client endorsements, listing videos and pictures. In fact, a whopping 75 percent of real estate professionals say that they are actively using Facebook to promote all aspects of their business! Social channels are a great place to promote client endorsements since 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals, so maintaining your online visibility will be key to a larger return in building your business.

Mobile Marketing is a MUST

If you’re not mobile yet, you’re simply missing out — big time. Mobile web access is projected to overtake that of desktops by 2014, so it’s imperative that you start advertising here and formatting your marketing materials for mobile viewing. This is especially important when targeting local business, since 94 percent of smartphone owners are searching for local information and 73 percent of these mobile searches trigger follow-up actions. Further, three-quarters of the homebuyers and owners polled in the survey prefer to be contacted by email — most of which are accessed on a mobile device. That said, be sure that your email campaigns are formatted for easy viewing on smartphones.

Understanding Local Market Conditions Makes You an Expert

Local market outlooks give you the opportunity to understand the amount of confidence consumers have in their respective housing markets. We found that 54 percent of homeowners believe that their home values have increased over the last twelve months. To help clear up uncertainties about the state of their local real estate market and to minimize any hesitation to purchase or sell a home, provide your clients and prospects with detailed market reports in your listing presentations, email campaigns and blog. Proving that you are the local expert will give them just another reason why they should feel comfortable working with you for their real estate needs.

While no marketing technique guarantees success, understanding what consumers are looking for during their home search is pretty obviously the best way to drive traffic back to your business. Bottom line, SoLoMo reigns! So invest your time on social networks; make it happen on mobile to engage with local consumers!

Checkout out all the findings from the Real Estate Marketing Trends Survey for an even more in-depth look at what you can do to turn your next prospect into a client. Click here to see the results:

By: Erica Campbell Byrum,

My best tip for setting goals – try it

Posted by Joel pate in Auto Loans, Banks, Business, Credit Cards, Credit Repair, Home Builders, Leads, Management, Mortgage Loans, Sales, Uncategorized. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,


Is goal setting like making a wish? It doesn’t have to be. Read on to find out how to set realistic goals and actually achieve them.

I recently overheard a business associate make the statement: “Goals suck!”

Why, I had to ask, do goals suck?

My visibly upset friend said, “I missed my numbers again. I didn’t bring in or close as much business as I had planned. My goals never come true,” he said. After a few minutes of investigating the method that he utilized to establish these important and necessary fundamentals of his business, I said to him, “You mean your wishes suck?”

Real goals do not demand luck or hope. Nor, can it be said that they “come true.” By the way, this same associate had stated previously that he had set a goal to make $1 million in the next twelve months. Understanding the size of his current business opportunity I asked, “How long have you had that particular goal?”

His answer: “I make it every year.”

This was not a goal but merely a wish. A wish has no energy; where as a real goal contains the energy that you will need to accomplish it. Instead of providing energy a wish diminishes your energy and devours opportunity. Why? It causes you to lose tangible focus and serves to demoralize you when the “wish” does not come true.

So, how should you set goals?

Real goals start with you.

Real goals ask:

  • “Do I have the knowledge and ability necessary to accomplish this plan?
  • Have I identified the resources needed?
  • Are my liabilities too great to accomplish this plan or do I need to adjust?
  • Do I understand the Process of Improvement?”

This assessment must be honest. The fact is that you currently have the knowledge, assets and ability to accomplish A goal but you may not possess the ability YET to accomplish THE goal you prefer. If not, this little test will help you assess your needs.

Then ask the same questions regarding the business opportunity. Consider the weakness and strengths, assets and liabilities, employee depth, and don’t forget the market. Sometimes we establish goals that are unrealistic due to the market conditions. The market does matter.

Only when all of these components are honestly measured and categorized will you be ready to begin to understand enough about you and your business to even consider the establishment of a goal. Real Goals require considerable effort before you are ready to say; “By this date – I want X.”

For example:

In my business we initially said, “The market is X big and by X month we should have X number of affiliates sending us X number of customers.” It didn’t work that way. Instead we found that setting goals for volume was the last thing we needed to do. Only after we began to focus more on ourselves, the organization and our customers did we see real improvement of volume.

Every business is the same. You too can focus on these basic questions:

  • “How can we improve customer satisfaction?
  • What systems do we need to improve affiliate training and product knowledge?
  • What do we need to know that we do not know right now about the best practices and systems to run our business?
  • What do we need to know about the market?”

Only when you understand these areas of your business will you be prepared to form an action plan.

“Yeah,” you may say, “but I want to set goals of X number of additional closings per month by X month now!!”

Okay, go ahead. Make a wish but the real progress for your business will only come after you have implemented the Process of Improvement in enough areas of your business to make a difference. Until then, you are only making a wish.

To your success,


Joel S. Pate, Founder & Chairman

Ox Publishing

Joel Pate is an entrepreneur and founder of multiple successful companies in the mortgage, real estate, and marketing space. For more information on Joel, contact him

If you want to learn how Joel created over 5000 referral sources in eight years, click here: