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January arrives every year and brings with it some credit challenges for those who may have over indulged on their purchasing in December. Record online sales and spending on holiday gifts are nice, but may bring about a few “Sudden Credit Surprises” for your clients. Here are a few examples:

A client with a marginal credit score or already high DTI goes crazy with credit card purchases in December. The possible surprises are:

• Now total DTI exceeds program limits
• Lowers amount they can borrow
• May eliminate them from a loan completely
• Possible MI challenges
• New accounts
• New inquiries
• New credit lines that all require explanation/documentation

People with higher credit scores and no DTI issues are also at risk for being a victim of holiday season for the same reasons, and while not in jeopardy of losing their ability to borrow, the costs maybe higher than once before.

• Those in top tier pricing programs may fall out to a lower tier raising the cost.
• Those who fall out may experience severe price shock if they were locked in at a low rate before Christmas and now have to lock a lower tier credit score loan with today’s higher rates.

What if any or all of these things happen and you don’t find out about it until right before closing on the final credit check? Do you really want to run around trying to get a rescore or documentation cleared a few days before closing?

It’s time for every originator to review every file that is closing from now until the middle of February and have a quick conversation with each borrower to be sure we don’t have any last minute surprises! You may have to make a few calls, you may not have any issues, but what if you find just ONE HIDDEN CREDIT CHALLENGE and are able to correct it in time to avoid a delay or the termination of one of your deals?

Things are challenging enough without any more surprises! Spending a little time with borrowers and even those you have out looking with preapprovals may be in a position to fix some potential challenges because you called!

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The advantage of Zero-Based thinking is that you are starting with a clean slate! There should be few pre-conceived notions with your primary focus on how to best go to market and take great care of your customers based on what’s going on today (and the days, weeks and months forthcoming). 

Three opening action items to participate in are recommended:

1. A new SWOT Analysis – SWOT Analyses (An assessment of current Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) can be very revealing. It is suggested that you have several of your smartest people participating in this exercise. Incidentally, if you do one every year, it should look different every year. This speaks well of the concept of constant fine-tuning of your business strategies and actions rather than doing what you have always done!

2. Have in-depth discussions with your top 5 customers. Identify the agendas of the top 2-3 people running those companies if you can get to them. If you can’t, talk to the most senior officers you can. Find out what is critically important to each of them and how you/your company might be able to positively impact them. Get passionate about providing the best and most targeted products the marketplace wants.

3. Put together “Deliverables Meetings” with 4-5 key people in your company to ascertain what you should add to or delete from your current product line or service offerings. Make sure you do Item #1 and Item #2 before you do Item #3 for best results. These can be some of your most important decisions going forward. When you vary your offerings from your competition, you have purposefully differentiated yourself in what is probably a crowded marketplace.

 With a Zero-based thinking approach you can also consider such important areas  as: employee compensation, capital expenditures, advanced marketing plans, and various areas of expansion and contractions.

It is also a good time to do a “Deep-dive” on research. The knowledge mass of the human race is now said to be doubling approximately every 3 ½ years! What’s changing in your industry? To assume not much is changing is usually a serious miscalculation of your current reality. What are some things that might well be changing?

1. Customer Needs

2. Employee’s priorities

3. Latest technologies in your business

4. Latest technology changes in general

5. Special or new applications of products

6. Financial applications

7. Expanded service requirements

8. New windows of opportunities

9. Closing windows of opportunity

10. Compensation in your industry

These are just some of the elements of change in a typical business. Give in-depth thought to others that would apply to your business and stay on top of current issues. It is better to figure out how to capitalize on changes rather than becoming a victim of them!

I suggest that you make a list of actions to cease and actions to take – with timelines. And ask yourself who should be “in the loop” on the various activities mentioned for best results. Be as creative as you can in tapping the collective intellect of your team members for best results.

Posted On Friday, 15 January 2021 00:00 Written by
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