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Posted On Tuesday, 04 April 2023 05:31 Written by
Posted On Monday, 03 April 2023 21:07
Posted On Monday, 03 April 2023 20:58
Posted On Monday, 03 April 2023 20:47

The future itself is uncertain, and this is an all-too-often scary realization for businesses of all sizes and industries. Where is your specific industry headed? Will a new technology come to be that leaves your current technology or operation completely in the dust? Will your customer base take a dramatic turn in their wants and needs? These are only a fraction of the questions that plague businesses on a daily basis.

Yes, the future is uncertain and this may strike fright in some. But to me, this uncertainty is exciting and full of opportunity thanks to the skills that come with an Anticipatory mindset!

The difference between those that fear the uncertain future versus those that find it exhilarating and ripe with opportunity is one’s ability to more clearly see the future in front of them and in turn, feel confident leveraging it to their advantage. And in my Hard Trend Methodology, the Soft Trend future possibilities are a vital piece to bringing certainty forward in uncertain times.

Soft Trends in My Hard Trend Methodology

Soft Trends are those future possibilities that may or may not happen. These future “maybes” are open to influence. This is a real skeleton key to becoming the positive disruptor, just as much as those future certainties that will happen!

I have taught this concept for many years, yet every new year that comes around brings individuals who do not realize the real potential and disruptive power of leveraging Soft Trends to their advantage, just as they would leverage a Hard Trend. When something is open to influence, it means you can influence it in your own way and transform it into an advantage.

Thinking of it in software terms, a known Hard Trend future certainty is that more and more employees will work remotely in the years to come, while the Soft Trend is the remote working platform that is most efficient for remote employee engagement. Basecamp is one that comes to mind, which is a virtual and interactive task list for employees working remotely to communicate, assign work, and check off tasks as they go.

By an organization first identifying the Hard Trend of remote work, it should then be able to identify the Soft Trends around it. Software for working remotely is needed, and while Basecamp may be a great option, nothing is perfect, meaning entrepreneurs can leverage this Soft Trend and design something better!

What does this do for the uncertainties that come with the shift to fully remote work? It helps you as a business leader find certainty in all the uncertainties of having a decentralized workforce, knowing that you can influence how efficiently the shift happens while preventing you and your staff from trying to avoid a Hard Trend — something that cannot be avoided.

Corporate Coaching: Playing Professional Offense and Defense

A core component to taking full advantage of Soft Trend future possibilities is to be both Anticipatory and agile. In sports terms, this is playing offense and defense, with anticipation acting as an American football team quarterback’s read on the defense while agility is adjusting to prevent a team trying to score on you; in corporate terms, a known competitor trying to disrupt you.

Let’s use a skiing analogy. Suppose you are skiing down a mountain. There are certainties that you know are coming, such as trees planted firmly in the mountain that you can avoid. Then there are the uncertainties you do not know for sure will happen, such as other skiers flying past you, someone falling in front of you, or hidden patches of ice.

If a skier is in front of you, you do not know whether they will fall or not, but you do know that because they are there, that possibility is evident. The skier’s existence is a Hard Trend, and their actions are the Soft Trend. Acknowledging that the skier falling is a possibility and that you have to be ready for it is playing defense, or being agile, and knowing how to dodge the fallen skier is playing offense, or being Anticipatory. You cannot have one without the other.

Ask any professional athlete — no team will make it to a championship without both a great offense and defense. Because we as humans have the capabilities of thinking critically about the future while appreciating the potential for something unpredictable happening to us, the potential for a powerful strategy in business is exponential!

A Meltdown During a Deep Freeze

Soft Trends are composed of two components: Hard Assumptions and Soft Assumptions. Hard Assumptions are those based on empirical data and analytics and Soft Assumptions are those that have no data to support their existence. They are quite literally assumptions based on emotion or superstition.

Let’s take the Southwest Airlines debacle that happened during the 2022 holiday season to better understand these two pieces of Soft Trends.

There are two nonnegotiable Hard Trend future certainties that always impact airlines in the winter. The first is that the holiday season always shows an increase in air travel. The second is that the winter season always brings winter weather patterns that affect the ability to fly. For this second one, the uncertainty comes with when these winter weather patterns will occur, or if they will occur at all.

Again, to leverage both Hard and Soft Trends and avoid ultimate disruption from anything, businesses need to be both offensive and defensive, or Anticipatory and agile, in their decision making. Unfortunately for Southwest Airlines, they were neither. Instead, they implemented a wait-and-see strategy that wasn’t Anticipatory but didn’t incorporate much agility either.

This past holiday season, the winter weather patterns brought a deep freeze and blinding blizzards in many parts of the country during the busiest time of the year for air travel. Southwest Airlines neglected to identify the Hard Trend that weather disruption will happen at any given point during the holidays.

But the real kicker was Southwest Airlines’s legacy systems, computer software, and even phone lines were outdated and unable to handle the number of flight cancellations and rescheduling that were being forced due to weather. Southwest canceled more than 16,700 of its flights between December 21-31, 2022.

Southwest Airlines could not influence the weather, but they could influence their ability to respond to it and be prepared for it, answering the question of “how can we prepare internally to be ready for tumultuous weather at any point during the busy holiday travel season?” Where other airlines were able to recover quickly from the weather disruption, Southwest Airlines lost nearly $825 million!

The Hard and Soft Assumptions of Southwest

So, where do the pieces of Soft Trends — Hard Assumption and Soft Assumption — fall into place? For airlines to be prepared for potential disruption due to winter weather, they rely on years of data highlighting that this weather often occurs during the holidays, when an increase in air traffic is evident. This is a glaringly obvious Hard Assumption.

For Southwest Airlines, instead of relying on these Hard Assumptions based on data, they relied on the Soft Assumption that perhaps because winter storms have not been this bad in previous years, they would continue to be manageable or that their legacy systems would handle the issue just fine. There is no data to support these claims, and as Charles Dickens once wrote, “never say never.”

For those airlines that quickly and efficiently rescheduled flights, found lost luggage, and had superb customer service through this storm, customer loyalty increased, the potential for future sales improved, and if they are looking at their internal operation exponentially, they can now see future problems to pre-solve.

Soft Trends carry enormous potential and opportunity, which is why they are such an integral part of my Hard Trend Methodology and thus, a cornerstone to my Anticipatory Leader System. By understanding uncertainty, you make the future more certain as well as prepare yourself for anything that may come your way!

Posted On Tuesday, 04 April 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 04 April 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 03 April 2023 20:13
Posted On Monday, 03 April 2023 11:27 Written by
Posted On Monday, 03 April 2023 09:23 Written by
Posted On Monday, 03 April 2023 00:00 Written by

Another week, and another group of people who are shocked by the reality of the markets. To some people it wasn’t a surprise that pending home sales were UP .8% instead of the projected -2.3%. Those that were projecting, didn’t know what we all were seeing, interest is up, credit pulls are up, pre-approvals are UP! So of course we have people making offers and properties going under contract!

Rates are an excuse, not a reason. Anyone who thinks it’s about rates, really needs to understand how to calculate payments and explain that the interest rate on renting is 100%, FOREVER!

Inventory isn’t an excuse, it’s an OPPORTUNITY! If you can’t find an agent that can understand that, then go explain it to an agent so that they can, then work with them until they DO! How are all these homes going under contract if there isn’t any inventory?

What we know that they don’t is that every day people buy houses and the vast majority of them are going to use a mortgage in one way or another. Are there less loan opportunities then there were before? Sure, but you aren’t going to land a deal if you aren’t WORKING a plan that gets you in front of them. Everyone that closes a loan today in your market didn’t hate you. They just didn’t know you were an option for them to choose from! 

Get up, get to work, get in the GAME! For help with specific strategies, you can go to the website or email me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 03 April 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Friday, 31 March 2023 20:56
Posted On Friday, 31 March 2023 20:50

Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index jumped as prices fell for the sixth-straight week and mortgage rates declined for the third week in a row. But a lack of new listings is holding back sales.

House hunters are wading into the market as mortgage rates and home prices continue to decline, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

Mortgage-purchase applications increased for the fourth week in a row and Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index—a seasonally adjusted measure of requests to tour homes, make an offer and/or talk to a Redfin agent about a home search—jumped to its highest level since last May during the week ending March 26.

“My phone is ringing, and it’s usually first-time buyers or investors,” said San Francisco Redfin agent Ali Mafi. “First-time buyers are interested in looking at homes because prices have come down, though they’re still concerned about high mortgage rates. Investors who can pay in cash are honing in on luxury San Francisco condos because prices on those have dropped even more significantly than the overall market.”

The uptick in early-stage demand has yet to translate into more home sales. Pending sales dropped 19% year over year nationwide in the four weeks ending March 26, the biggest decline in about two months. Demand for homes hasn’t yet translated into an improvement in sales mainly because would-be buyers are limited by lack of supply.

New listings of homes for sale declined 22%, one of the biggest drops since the start of the pandemic; homeowners are reluctant to sell because they don’t want to give up a low mortgage rate. The lack of new listings is causing a growing share of homes to fly off the market quickly: Nearly half of homes are selling within two weeks, the largest share since June.

Home prices drop in over half of the country, but rise in some areas

While the scarcity of new listings is holding back sales nearly everywhere in the U.S., prices are dropping fast in some parts of the country and increasing in others.

Home prices dropped in more than half (28) of the 50 most populous U.S. metros, with the biggest drop in Austin, TX (-15.2% YoY). Next come four northern California metros: San Jose, CA (-12.9%), San Francisco (-11.7%), Sacramento, CA (-11.4%), and Oakland, CA (-10.8%). Those are the biggest annual declines since at least 2015 for Austin and Sacramento.

On the flip side, sale prices increased most in Milwaukee, where they rose 14.1% year over year. Next come Fort Lauderdale, FL (8.5% YoY), Virginia Beach, VA (6.9%), West Palm Beach, FL (6.7%) and Providence, RI (6.4%).

On a national level, the median U.S. home-sale price fell 1.8% year over year to $360,500, marking the sixth straight week of declines after more than a decade of increases.

“Prices are still rising quickly in some places while they are down by double digits in big tech hubs, so it’s important for prospective buyers to work with an expert local agent,” said Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr. “One thing that’s true almost everywhere: It’s difficult to find a desirable, well-priced home for sale, so offer and negotiation strategies differ depending on where you’re looking.”

Leading indicators of homebuying activity:

  • For the week ending March 30, average 30-year fixed mortgage rates dropped to 6.32%, the third straight week of declines. The daily average was 6.59% on March 30.
  • Mortgage-purchase applications during the week ending March 24 increased 2% from a week earlier, seasonally adjusted, marking the fourth straight week of increases. Purchase applications were up 19% from a month earlier, but down 35% from a year earlier.
  • The seasonally adjusted Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index jumped to its highest level since September during the week ending March 26. It was up 6% from a week earlier, but down 24% from a year earlier.
  • Google searches for “homes for sale” were up about 44% from the trough they hit in December during the week ending March 25, but down about 17% from a year earlier.
  • Touring activity as of March 26 was up about 20% from the start of the year, compared with a 24% increase at the same time last year, according to home tour technology company ShowingTime.

Key housing market takeaways for 400+ U.S. metro areas:

Unless otherwise noted, this data covers the four-week period ending March 26. Redfin’s weekly housing market data goes back through 2015.

  • The median home sale price was $360,500, down 1.8% from a year earlier. That’s the sixth week in a row of prices declining annually after more than a decade of increases. The latter is according to Redfin’s monthly dataset, which goes back through 2012.
  • The median asking price of newly listed homes was $392,225, up 1.4% year over year.
  • The monthly mortgage payment on the median-asking-price home was $2,518 at a 6.32% mortgage rate, the current weekly average. Monthly mortgage payments are down slightly from the peak they reached three weeks ago, but up 16% ($354) from a year ago.
  • Pending home sales were down 19.2% year over year, the biggest decline in nearly two months.
  • Pending home sales fell in all 50 of the most populous U.S. metros. They fell most in Las Vegas (-52.6% YoY), Sacramento (-48.6%), San Jose (-46.4%), Oakland (-45.4%) and Seattle (-45.2%).
  • New listings of homes for sale fell 21.7% year over year. New listings have been dropping by about 21% to 22% on a year-over-year basis for the last month.
  • New listings declined in all 50 of the most populous U.S. metros, with the biggest declines in Sacramento (-48.8% YoY), Oakland (-44.3%), San Francisco (-41.8%), Riverside, CA (-39.7%) and San Diego, CA (-37.9%). New listings declined least in the South: Nashville, TN (-1.1% YoY) saw the smallest drop, followed by Dallas (-3.3%), Fort Worth, TX (-3.4%), Austin (-4.8%) and Houston (-9.3%).
  • Active listings (the number of homes listed for sale at any point during the period) were up 13.9% from a year earlier, the smallest increase in more than four months.
  • Months of supply—a measure of the balance between supply and demand, calculated by the number of months it would take for the current inventory to sell at the current sales pace—was 2.8 months, down from 3.5 months a month earlier and up from 1.9 months a year earlier.
  • 47% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market, the highest level since June, but down from 53% a year earlier.
  • Homes that sold were on the market for a median of 41 days. That’s up from 24 days a year earlier and the record low of 18 days set in May.
  • 26% of homes sold above their final list price, the highest share in more than three months but down from 49% a year earlier.
  • On average, 4.9% of homes for sale each week had a price drop, up from 2.2% a year earlier.
  • The average sale-to-list price ratio, which measures how close homes are selling to their final asking prices, was 98.6%, the highest level in four months but down from 101.7% a year earlier.

To view the full report, including charts, please visit:
https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-market-update-homebuying-demand-increases

Posted On Friday, 31 March 2023 09:30 Written by

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