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3 Takeaways from the NAR October 2017 Existing-Home Sales Jump

According to the National Association of Realtors®, existing-home sales ascended in October for the second straight month and eclipsed June’s cyclical sales peak to become the highest annualized pace in nearly a decade. All major regions saw monthly and annual sales increases in October. Here are three of our takeaways regarding what this historic escalation in existing-home sales means for online mortgage originators:

1. So far this fall, buyer interest is at a historically elevated level

October’s sales pace is 5.9 percent above a year ago (5.29 million) and surpasses June’s pace (5.57 million) as the highest since February 2007 (5.79 million). NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, says the wave of sales activity the last two months represents a convincing autumn revival for the housing market: “October’s strong sales gain was widespread throughout the country and can be attributed to the release of the unrealized pent-up demand that held back many would-be buyers over the summer because of tight supply.”

With buyers experiencing more success lately despite low inventory and prices that continue to swiftly rise above incomes, a robust online presence is essential for mortgage originators. With 88 percent of buyers citing websites as the most useful source of information during their home search, it is imperative that online mortgage origination suites are positioned to provide instant best-execution pricing so that no potential buyer doing an online search needs to wait on actionable information.

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Commoditized Leads

Which Commoditized Leads are Right for Your Origination Business?

Commoditized leads are how most lenders originate business online. There is a space in the industry for them. But are they the right kinds of leads for your origination business? Non-exclusive leads can be highly competitive and require an infrastructure that can support them. Exclusive leads convert better, but may require more money and more effort to locate reliable sources. So, before investing in commoditized leads, there are some key questions you need to ask yourself. In this blog, we will explore some of these questions to help you find the right commoditized leads for your mortgage origination business to help you convert more leads into loans.

Do I have the right infrastructure?

Commoditized leads are inexpensive and abundant. But if they are not exclusive, you will likely be competing with several other lenders, (three to five, on average), who have purchased the same leads. To be successful you will need to be fast, you will need to be first, and you will need to consistently offer lower-cost products. This means you will need to have the right infrastructure in place to ensure that you are first to the table, and that you are able convert the most loans for the lowest possible cost.

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Fannie, Freddie Loan Limits Get a Bump Thanks to Rising Home Prices

Fannie, Freddie Loan Limits Get a Bump Thanks to Rising Home Prices

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), conforming loan limits for mortgages bought by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will increase for the second consecutive year in response to the rapid rise in home prices. The baseline limit for one-unit properties will increase from $424,100 in 2017 to $453,100 in 2018. The 6.8 percent increase reflects the rise in U.S. home prices during what is currently a robust sellers’ economy. High-cost areas will get a further boost: the new ceiling loan limit for single-unit properties in most high-cost areas will be $679,650, or 150 percent of $453,100, according to the FHFA. This figure is now up by $43,500 from last year.

This is good news for buyers who suffered through the summer with a tight housing inventory. According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) take on the existing-home sales jump of September and October 2017, total housing inventory at the end of October declined 0.5 percent to 2.02 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 4.3 percent lower than a year ago (2.11 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 17 straight months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.4 months in September.

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Harness the Power of Former Clients

Go the Extra Mile and Harness the Power of Former Clients

If you want to be a part of the top 10% of mortgage originators, and harness the power of your former clients it is essential for you to go the extra mile. For instance, sending an automated birthday email to your former client from your mortgage CRM is nice, but it’s also impersonal and the status quo. To break the status quo, instead of an impersonal birthday email, provide your clients with engaging, personalized, and helpful content. In this blog we provide 3 ways that you can go the extra mile to harness the power of past clients, leading to more meaningful relationships and more mortgage origination business.

Pick Up the Phone

If you really want to impress a former client, go ahead and send the automated birthday email with your mortgage CRM, but then follow up with a phone call. Wishing your former clients a happy birthday over the phone is a meaningful and powerful reminder that you will go the extra mile to give them the attention they deserve. You might discover that they are ready to refinance or ready for a move. They may also provide you with a personal referral, which is likely to perform with up to four or five times better efficiency than a lead.

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Five Takeaways from the NAR 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. The survey – an annual one since 1981 – collected data through 131 questions on demographics, housing characteristics, and the role of real estate professionals in their transactions. The NAR research staff distilled their research into two pages of highlights, from which we pulled these five takeaways and what they mean for online mortgage originators:

1. Forty-two percent of homebuyers started their journey online

Almost half of recent buyers looked for properties online as their first step towards buying a home. Only 17 percent contacted a real estate agent as their first step. For mortgage originators, ads placed in real estate marketplaces can help net homebuyers’ interest during their search. Ads that offer instant best-execution pricing provide instant gratification to curiosity about a loan terms while creating a new lead in your mortgage CRM.

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