5 Quick Tips for Realtors to Get Listings Noticed Online

 

Real estate agents have a wide assortment of marketing tools that help elevate their listings and marketed properties. One such tool is the online listing.. When it comes to your listing, success is in the details. Here are a few tips for marketing online that, when done well, can make all the difference in getting a listing noticed and sold.

 

Learn and use good SEO. Take time to learn about using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your listings. Good SEO involves finding keywords or phrases that define your listing to your chosen market audience. These keywords and phrases usually include two to four words that clearly highlight the listing’s location (e.g, city, state, neighborhood) and type of home (e.g., type of home, bedrooms, brick); an example of a good SEO listing might be “4-bedroom rambler in Holiday,” or “2-story, red brick, single-family home, Sandy.” Use keywords in titles, listing descriptions, URL, social media, images and marketing materials. Think about the search terms your customer will use; in fact, you can even do a search online to see what comes up!

 

Develop and manage your email list. Learn about how to use email to put your listing in front of potential clients. Email is a marketing tool; it can be used effectively or ineffectively. You can achieve a lot by sending out a well-targeted email with an eye-catching headline, like “Just listed: 4-bedroom, 3-bath, 2-car garage rambler, Everton.” Additionally, emails with high-quality images catch attention better. 

 

Great photos that tell a story. Your listing photos tell the story and introduce the homebuyer to seeing themselves living in the home you are presenting. Many listings  are full of images that have been taken without much forethought to message that is being sent. Many try to save listing expenses by the using the mobile phone.  Mobile phones are great for selfies, but not for selling your listings. If you are taking the photos, invest in a good camera, take a class in listing photography, and study images used in listings to understand what sends a good message, or hire a professional who shoots listings on a full-time basis. In addition, consider adding photos that highlight the surrounding area, such as parks, schools, shopping, downtown areas, and more.

 

Take advantage of video or slideshow tours. Video and slideshow virtual tours are a great way to market your listings. You can use these to highlight compelling features about the property and the community, and to effectively brand you or your brokerage. When creating the video, you will need to clearly define who your target clientele is and what is most important for them. You will need your best images in the beginning of the video to “wow” your audience. You will want to highlight the prime selling points of the listing. If it makes sense, you will also want to show the local parks, schools, shopping, recreational areas and more; give the viewer a feeling of what it would be like to live in the community for a day.

If you lack photography skills, this is not a do-it-yourself venture. Often, the professionals who take photos for your listing can also create videos and slideshows.

 

Share your listing in social media. Social media is probably second nature to you. You may be already using social accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to alert your community about listings. Make sure your various profiles appear clean and are up-to-date across all of your networks. For a listing, use some of the great photography and video you have with a short description. Make sure you also ask your community to share your listings and provide tips on anyone who might be in the market to sell or buy a home. If you are new to social media as a real estate agent, take time to learn about what makes good content for sharing in addition to listings.

 

At Chenoa Fund,we offer DPA in the form of second mortgages. We offer five different second mortgage options, each with their own individual underwriting requirements and guidelines, in an effort to provide options to borrowers of any income and any DTI. Some of our options include products for both FHA and Conventional loans; some features for our products include zero percent interest rates and no monthly payments.  Click here to find an approved Chenoa Fund lender.

 

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8 Ways A Seller’s Agent Can Make A Difference

 

 

It’s a great privilege for real estate agents to help homeowners sell their home. It will likely be one of the  largest financial decisions they will ever make. hey are going to need a great real estate agent to help them navigate this important journey. One of the questions they may ask is just how you, as the seller’s agent, are going to help them. Consider the following eight points when answering this question.

 

Prices the homes correctly. Share what your sale-to-list ratio is. This is derived by dividing the final sale price by the asking price. They will want agent who is close as possible to 100%. If the percentage is over 100%, the agent is getting more than asking price for the homes they sell.

 

Aggressively markets their home. The agent needs to know how to effectively market home on the internet. Be prepared to share several examples. You should be well versed on how to get the word out about their home using all available marketing channels, not just the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). You should have a website that draws traffic and showcases all the properties for sale. You should be using social media effectively such as Facebook, Pinterest and other forms. Marketing material should be excellent in every perspective from top-notch photos and video to brochures and flyers. Provide examples.

 

Communicates effectively. There is no excuse for poor communication. How do you respond to potential client’s phone calls and emails? That will be a good indication as to what they can expect from you. You would be surprised how many client/agent relationships are lost before they every get started simply because the agent is slow to respond. Staying in touch is a right all homebuyers expect from their agent. Agents need to be regularly updating you with feedback from showings and other concerns.

 

Confirms that the buyer is qualified. You need to confirm that the potential buyer is qualified, who have already submitted all information, including a credit report, and been given the go-ahead for a loan.

 

Negotiates for the seller. Great agents fight for the best terms and conditions for their clients. They want an agent who is not worried about when the next sale takes place. Everything in a real estate contract is negotiable. The Homebuyer needs to know that you have negotiation skills that will get the job done.

 

Attends inspections to represent the seller. The reason the listing agent should be at the inspection is to observe and listen first-hand to the feedback from the inspector and learn exactly what the issues are which can protect the seller from unreasonable requests.

 

Attends home appraisal. Attend the home appraisal and answer any questions the appraiser has to make sure they understand the facts about the home.

 

Helps finalize loose-ends at closing. Selling a home is full of details. The home buyer needs an agent and their team who has been there and done that. No detail is too small. The less work your client has to do the better your services will be viewed.

 

Remember, that while answering these questions may be old hat for you, this is a new experience for many homebuyers. Your sincere and thoughtful answers will be the beginning of a great opportunity to help your client.

 

At Chenoa Fund ,we offer DPA in the form of second mortgages. We offer five different second mortgage options, each with their own individual underwriting requirements and guidelines, in an effort to provide options to borrowers of any income and any DTI. Some of our options include products for both FHA and Conventional loans; some features for our products include zero percent interest rates and no monthly payments.  Click here  to find an approved Chenoa Fund lender.

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What Lenders Should Tell Real Estate Agents about Down Payment Assistance Programs

 

Many real estate agents have the opportunity to help creditworthy low- to moderate-income individuals and families find homes. As a lender, you are undoubtedly seeking to form relationships with these realtors and want to educate them about DPA programs. Realtors can use DPA programs to help the homebuyer achieve the American dream of homeownership where homebuyers might otherwise be stopped by financial barriers. Do real estate agents in your community understand down payment assistance in all its forms?

 

Down payment assistance (DPA) programs provide assistance to low-income homebuyers who can’t make the down payment or pay the closing costs a mortgage requires. To help borrowers even further, some DPA programs include 0% interest rates, deferred payments, and forgivable loans. Many DPA programs will offer buyers upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, money that can be applied toward down payments, closing costs, principal reductions, repairs, etc. Typically, these DPA programs are offered by federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as by nonprofit organizations or employers.

 

Program guidelines can vary, but in most cases, applicants must be a first time homebuyer, defined as someone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years. The applicant normally must occupy the property as their primary residence, and often the applicant must complete homebuyer education counseling, meet the requirements of the lender and the DPA guarantor, and meet program limits for household income and property price.

  

Below are descriptions of some of the most common forms of down payment assistance.

 

State and Local Grants and Programs

Many states and local governments offer help to first-time homebuyers. Local housing agencies—county or city—are also a useful resource. Community grant programs can often provide the best deals for low- to moderate-income homebuyers, in part because these programs are designed to encourage more people to buy and settle in their city limits.

 

Check your state or community website for information on housing grants and programs available in your area.

 

Employer Mortgage Assistance

Some employers provide their employees with mortgage assistance programs in a variety of forms.

 

A borrower may use these funds to cover all or part of the down payment or closing costs subject to the minimum borrower contribution requirements. Employer assistance funds are rarely allowed on a second home or an investment property.

 

Soft Second

A soft second mortgage combines a subsidized second mortgage with a traditional first mortgage to make housing more affordable for low- to moderate-income homebuyers. There are usually income restrictions limiting who is eligible.

 

One example is the Chenoa Fund DPA Edge: Soft Second Product. With this product, the borrower receives a 30-year term, 0% rate, no payment second mortgage. Borrowers must meet a minimum FICO score of 620 and have a qualifying income equal or less than 115% of the median income for the county in which the borrower will live. The loan is forgiven as soon as the borrower makes 36 consecutive on-time payments on the FHA first mortgage.

 

Repayable Second

Repayable down payment assistance programs provide buyers with the down payment they need now so they can buy a home sooner. The funds are delivered at closing.

 

One example is the Chenoa Fund DPA Edge: Repayable Second Product. This product has no income restrictions for buyers and offers two options for a repayable second. The borrower can choose a 10-year repayable second at a 0% interest rate, or a 30-year repayable second at a 5% interest rate. Borrowers must meet a minimum FICO score of 620.

 

Chenoa Fund—The Nationwide Down Payment Assistance Program

At Chenoa Fund, we offer DPA in the form of second mortgages. We offer five different second mortgage products, each with their own individual underwriting requirements and guidelines, in an effort to provide options to borrowers of any income and most DTIs. Our options include products for both FHA and Conventional loans; some of our products include 0% interest rates and no monthly payments. 

 

Click here to find an approved Chenoa Fund lender.

Click here to become an approved a Chenoa Fund Lender

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5 Traits Real Estate Agents Need to Help Lower- to Moderate-Income Homebuyers

 

Creditworthy low- to moderate-income homebuyers are no different than any other homebuyer when it comes to achieving the American Dream of homeownership. Low- to moderate-income homebuyers are faced with many obstacles, like saving for a down payment while rent goes up. When you earn less, it is more difficult to keep your bills paid on time, your credit pristine, and your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) low enough to qualify for a home loan.

 

As a real estate agent of creditworthy low- to moderate-income homebuyers, and to best help these homebuyers overcome their unique obstacles, you need five traits to help them land a home within their budget.

 

Have the right experience. Have you sold homes in the price range and locations that qualify for low-income homebuyers? What examples do you have to show that you have been able to find valuable homes for buyers with similar budgets? You should be able to show your borrowers that you have what it takes to get them a good home. 

 

Sometimes working with low- to moderate-income homebuyers requires practice in being creative and thinking outside the box, which can include persuading these homebuyers to consider fixer-uppers or foreclosures, speaking with Community Development Corporations or Local Land Banks, or viewing homes in distressed neighborhoods.

 

Be familiar with market trends. Do you know the current market trends for low- to moderate-income housing? Top agents know their local real estate market. When asked questions about their area, they know the answer—or they know where to go to find the answer. Top agents know basic factors, forces, and principles that shape the area economy. They know where to obtain current marketplace data, and they know how to use that information to benefit their client.

 

Know about available mortgage programs. Many of the best opportunities for homebuyers are government-mandated programs that help low-income individuals break into homeownership. These low-income loans offer below-market interest rates and payments, discounts on mortgage insurance, low down payment requirements, and sometimes even down payment assistance.

 

Many of these programs require the borrower to complete some form of approved homebuyer education. Many of these programs require the homebuyer to live in the home—no vacation homes or rentals allowed. Keep on top of the requirements each program has and the benefits each may offer.

 

Know the best lenders and mortgage brokers. Before you spend time with any client, make sure they qualify for a loan, and then know their budget. Do you know lenders who have experience providing mortgage loans and products to low- to moderate-income homebuyers? The majority of these lenders offer down payment assistance (DPA) in some form, making it easier to buy a home for many who would otherwise struggle. Other lenders have other resources to help low- to moderate-income borrowers become homeowners.

Know the available down payment assistance programs. DPA programs provide cash to low-income homebuyers who can’t make the down payment or pay the closing costs involved in obtaining a mortgage. Typically, DPA programs are offered by federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as by nonprofit organizations or employers.

 

The benefits of DPA often include 0% interest rates, deferred payments, and forgivable loans. The amounts available to buyers can be as high as tens of thousands of dollars.

 

An example of such programs is Chenoa Fund, a DPA program available in all states except for New York.

 

To learn more, visit Chenoa Fund.  Chenoa Fund is a program that offers DPA in the form of second mortgages. We offer five different second mortgage options, each with their own individual underwriting requirements and guidelines, in an effort to provide options to borrowers of any income and any DTI. Some of our options include products for both FHA and Conventional loans; features for some of our products include zero percent interest rates and no monthly payments. Click here  to find an approved Chenoa Fund lender.

 

 

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February 3, 2020: Chenoa Fund Correspondent Newsletter

In the newsletter we will provide you with important information about Chenoa Fund. In this issue you will find:

  1. FHFA Announcement
  2. Program Guidelines 8.2 Published on January 15, 2020
  3. CBC Mortgage Agency on the Road
  4. Chenoa Fund News Releases
  5. Chenoa Fund in the News
  6. Chenoa Fund Blog Posts
  7. Marketing Resources Have Four Versions

FHFA Announcement

FHFA makes annual adjustments to the Conventional Loan Limits, and the 2020 Conventional Loan Limits have been announced. Additionally, HUD also announced that they were updating the FHA loan limits in 2020. Accordingly, CBCMA would like to formally confirm that we will be adhering to the updated 2020 Conventional Loan Limits as well as the updated 2020 FHA Loan Limits.

 

Program Guidelines 8.2 Published on January 15, 2020

CBC Mortgage Agency officially published its monthly update to the Program Guidelines on January 15, 2020

All previous guidelines can be found under Archive: Program Guidelines.

 

CBC Mortgage Agency On The Road

CBC Mortgage Agency went coast to coast this month meeting with new lenders, realtors, and homebuyers!

The first stop was Sacramento, CA, for our homebuyer event in conjunction with the UHOUSI project. With over 60+ interested homebuyers in attendance, there were several speakers who touched on the different aspects of making the leap to homeownership. CBCMA’s Tai Christensen spoke about how using down payment assistance makes the American Dream of homeownership possible.

 

Pastor Gouddeaux speaking to potential home buyers on down payment assistance

 

Next up, the team headed to Las Vegas for the IBS (International Home Builders Show). Corporate Account Executives’ Dominique and Emenyo met with home builders from all over the country and worked with them on how to offer Chenoa Fund to their buyers. We saw heavy attendance from Ohio, Texas, Georgia, Florida, and many more states from the south.

 

 

Our final stop for the month was the Big Apple for Inman Connect. A conference built for realtors, this show was amazing! With friends like Finance of America, Direct Link, and many others, it was great to meet with realtors from all over the country and educate them on the program. We connected with Presidents from each state from the National Association of Realtors and are looking forward to working with them to provide training on how to better equip their realtors with down payment assistance options.

 

 

We had a busy month on the road, but we’re excited to head to the following in February:

  • National Association of Realtors Affordability Forum (Washington, DC)
  • National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (Las, Vegas, NV)

 

Have an event or training you think we should be at? Let us know at lendermarketing@chenoafund.org!

 

Be sure to follow our instagram to keep up with all the things happening at CBCMA!
(@chenoafundofficial)

Chenoa Fund News Releases

CBC Mortgage Agency made the following press releases over the past several weeks.

 

January 14, 2020-Press Release: CBC Mortgage Agency Applauds Congressional Black Caucus and Hispanic Caucus Letter Encouraging HUD to collect Individual FHA Loan Performance Data

 

December 23, 2019-Press Release: Cedar Band of Paiutes Lauds Bipartisan Letter Urging HUD to Follow Longstanding Tribal Consultation Policy

 

December 12, 2019-Press Release: Cedar Band of Paiutes Applauds New Resolution Calling for HUD to Consult with Tribes

 

December 10, 2019-Press Release: Cedar Band of Paiutes Applauds Sen. Tom Udall’s Remarks Reinforcing Sanctity of Tribal Consultations

 

December 9, 2019-Press Release: CBC Mortgage Agency Lauds Chairman Lacy Clay’s Questioning on Down Payment Assistance

Chenoa Fund in the News

The following articles have mentioned Chenoa Fund and/or CBC Mortgage Agency in the past several weeks.

 

January 29, 2020-MReport: Mortgage Agency Celebrates Five Years of Service

 

January 27, 2020-National Mortgage Professional Magazine (NMP): CBC Mortgage Agency Celebrates Five Year Anniversary

 

January 23, 2020-Whittier Daily News: FHA Commissioner Montgomery, leave down payment assistance alone

 

January 23, 2020-Orange County Register: FHA Commissioner Montgomery, leave down payment assistance alone

 

January 3, 2020-Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA): CBC Mortgage Agency Releases National Down Payment Assistance Study

 

December 22, 2019-Banker & Tradesman: Odd Lots: Don’t Let Clients Go Radio Silent

Chenoa Fund Blog Posts

January 30, 2020: As Seen in the Chrisman Report

 

January 29, 2020: How to Help Renters become Homebuyers with Down Payment Assistance

 

January 29, 2020: How to Spend $1 A Day to Generate More Mortgage Leads

 

January 29, 2020: How Realtors Can Spend $1 A Day to Generate More Leads

 

January 29, 2020: Five Tips on How to Engage Potential Hispanic Homeowners

 

January 24, 2020: Ten Questions Homebuyers Ask When Choosing a Loan Officer

Marketing Resources Have Four Versions

Chenoa Fund has created a variety of high-quality marketing materials (Click for Marketing Resources), including postcards, flyers, door hangers, and yard signs that you can use for creating interest in CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA) products and programs. Each PDF for Lenders has four versions that provide you with space for entering your contact information. Information includes:

  • Lending Partner
  • NMLS
  • Branch Location
  • Loan Officer
  • Phone
  • Email

This example shows the version that can include both lender and realtor information.

 

Click to download example on a program flyer.

CF3-Flyer-EdgeSoftSecond-LenderRealtorV1-printer_0319

 

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Five Tips on How to Engage Potential Hispanic Homeowners

The homeownership rate for Hispanics has jumped recently, a fact that could buoy the housing market for years, according to a recent Wall Street Journal1 article.

 

The homeownership rate of Hispanics is on the rise, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. It was only three years ago that homeownership for this group was at a fifty-year low. Today, census data shows that it has risen 3.3%, which surpasses the homeownership growth rate of 1.3%. Further, while Hispanics account for only 18% of the U.S. population, they accounted for 65% of the homeowner gains. 

 

Some key factors in the gain were attributed to the Hispanic gains in income, education, and understanding of the U.S. mortgage market, as well as the increasing population of Millennial homebuyers. Some challenges that face Hispanic and other minority groups have been the lack of starter-home inventory and home affordability in concentrated areas. Despite what the WSJ describes as “a growing population of young Latinos increasingly eager to buy homes,” homeownership rates for this group remain well below non-Hispanics—47%, compared with the non-Hispanic 73%, in the first quarter of the year. The latest National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) State of Hispanic Homeownership Report, says this group accounts for 32.4% of overall U.S. household formation.3

 

While 55% of the nation’s Hispanic people live in Texas, California, and Florida, the Hispanic population of eleven other states has grown 10% since 2000: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Hawaii, and Oklahoma. Hispanic people will compose 56% of all new homebuyers by 2030, according to the Urban Institute.4

 

There appears to be an education and communication barrier between lenders and Hispanic borrowers. Hispanic consumers commonly believe that a minimum down payment to buy a home is 20 percent of the sales price. About 56 percent think it’s difficult to get a home loan in today’s environment, yet more than 80 percent think that owning a home is a good long-term investment. From this data, home ownership is a long-term goal for most Hispanic households, yet their perceptions about obtaining a loan keeps them from speaking with a loan officer, much less applying for a loan.

 

At Chenoa Fund, we see many correspondents who tailor their offerings to provide Hispanic buyers with down-payment assistance in the form of second mortgages, for the purpose of increasing affordable and sustainable homeownership, specifically for creditworthy, low- and moderate-income individuals.

 

Here are five tips on how you can reach the potential Hispanic homeowner and develop strong relationships:

 

1. Partner with Local Hispanic Organizations

In almost every city there are events and celebrations throughout the year for the Hispanic community and culture. You can support these local organizations by sponsoring events, attending luncheons, and participating in events. The NAHREP (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, https://nahrep.org/) a resource with over 30,000 members, is a great match for lenders to connect with at a national or local chapter level. Reach out to these professionals and consider putting on a series of home buying seminars about first-time home buying, FHA loans, and other housing assistance programs.

 

2. Understand the Hispanic Homebuyer

It is important to understand the needs and profile of the Hispanic homebuyer and what sets them apart from other homebuyers. Many are bicultural, bilingual, and live in extended family situations that can include several generations. Hispanics are known to be brand loyal, tech-savvy, and 58 million strong. According to Forbes, half of the Hispanic community is under the age of 296. Hispanic Millennials make about 20% of Millennials, according to a Brookings Report5. As a bicultural group they can easily speak and read Spanish at home but just as easily watch a movie in English.

 

Start by speaking about the goal of homeownership and available product offerings though communication vehicles that communicate to a Hispanic audience. A Spanish-language radio ad may help you reach baby boomer grandparents, while a Snapchat filter can help you reach “il-linenials” or Hispanic Millennials. 

 

3. Include Hispanics in General Marketing Efforts

According to the Harvard Center for Housing Studies2, it is estimated that by 2025 three-quarters of all new US household formations will be minorities. When you think about creating marketing campaigns, you might be tempted to create a niche marketing campaign to reach Hispanics. Rather, it is recommended that you be inclusive in your general campaigns to reach the greater community you serve. Stay away from stereotyping. For example, use images that reflect varied ethnic cultures and races.

 

According to the Forbes article, more than half of the respondents said that they use English online, even if they generally spoke Spanish at home. While they consume content in English, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be making the effort to incorporate Spanish into your marketing campaigns. It was noted that 56% of Spanish-speaking Hispanics said that they were more loyal to companies that advertise in Spanish, which underscores the need for campaigns to connect with Hispanics in their own language. They continued by stating that it’s also important, in marketing, to transmit elements of Hispanic culture, even if it’s in English, because it makes individuals feel that you understand them and their cultural backgrounds. Social media represents an important touchpoint for Hispanic consumers, especially for much-sought-after Millennials, since almost 50% of Hispanic millennials said they had talked about a brand online with others or used a brand’s hashtag, compared to 17% of non-Hispanics. Brands should take care to use social media to cultivate brand loyalty among Hispanics.

 

4. Give Choices

It’s important to have loan officers in the office that can speak both Spanish and English. Many Hispanics prefer to speak Spanish instead of English, and there are many who buy homes who don’t speak English. On a website and mobile app, consider giving people a chance to review the webpage in English or Spanish. Your blogs and articles can also be printed in both languages. Always prominently include the phrase, “Se habla Espanol” on all media.

 

5. Consistently Invest in the Community

Create a plan and stick to it. If you are going to include the Hispanic community in your business development strategy, do not take the “one and done” approach. You need to be consistent and sincere in your outreach to develop long-lasting relationships throughout the year. Like any potential homebuyer, Hispanic homebuyers interact with those who are sincere and authentic in their communications. Enter new prospect information in your database and add them to your marketing campaign. Send them regular emails, newsletters, and tweets that cater to the Hispanic market.

 

 

The Hispanic community wants to be homeowners, yet many feel they just won’t be able to qualify. By using these strategies, you may begin to connect with the Hispanic audience to build a loyal relationship with long lasting dividends.

 

 

1. Wave of Hispanic Buyers Shores Up U.S. Housing Market, July 15, 2019

https://www.wsj.com/articles/wave-of-hispanic-buyers-boosts-u-s-housing-market-11563183000?mod=hp_lead_pos7

 

2. State of the Nation’s Housing report-2018

https://www.jchs.harvard.edu/state-nations-housing-2018

 

3. 2018 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report

https://nahrep.org/shhr/

 

4. Urban Institute

https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/2000257-headship-and-homeownership-what-does-the-future-hold.pdf

 

5. Booking Report

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/20180124_metro_millennialreport_pressrelease.pdf

 

6. Six Facts About The Hispanic Market That May Surprise You

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2018/01/09/six-facts-about-the-hispanic-market-that-may-surprise-you/#6ae2e5985f30

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How to Spend $1 A Day to Generate More Mortgage Leads

As a mortgage originator, you are constantly seeking to generate a flow of quality mortgage leads to keep your loan officers productive and engaged throughout the work week. In this article, we are going to focus on how you can generate more leads for $1 a day. We will discuss and introduce Facebook ads and why they could be a good addition to or replacement for some of your current marketing efforts.

 

Competition for leads can be fierce, especially when you consider market ad noise from companies like LendingTree and Quicken Loans. The question is how to compete, stand apart, And improve mortgage lead generation?

 

You probably believe that you are doing all the right things: talking to real estate agents, attending networking meetings, and updating Facebook regularly to make every NMLS login worth it. Perhaps even a little cold calling that generated a few actual conversations. But are you really getting quality leads?

 

What sets you apart from the giant mortgage companies? You are focused on delivering the best possible rates, service, and turn-around and return times. You know your products and rates will save homebuyers thousands of dollars over the life of a loan.

 

But the questions still rise. How do you get a message to stick in a very crowded market place? How do you get quality mortgage leads? Let’s start by addressing the message. Just because you are making noise does not mean that you are being heard. It is probably safe to say that most of your messages are going to people who are NOT actively searching for a mortgage.

 

Put yourself in the shoes of the homebuyer and and ask yourself how they look for a home. Here is a typical sequence of events:

  •  Most homebuyers start by visiting Trulia, Zilliow or Realtor.com to look for and find a home they like. This phase is high with emotion and desire to find the home with the right color of paint, kitchen cabinets, neighborhood, and layout.
  • When they find the home they like, they call an agent who will then send them to MLS to look at the listing in closer detail.
  •   If the homebuyer is interested, the agent will show the home.
  •   If the homebuyer wants the home, it’s at this stage when they start looking for financing.

 

The home search starts as emotional search. Once the agent is involved, it transitions to a transactional search. Understanding this process is critical in focusing your message to the right people.

 

Yes, it would be great if the homebuyer started by securing financing first and then looking for a home, but the typical homebuyer does not know this process. Filling out forms online requires a commitment and creates a huge barrier for the homebuyer. They are concerned about giving up sensitive personal information and being badgered by telemarketers. This is why the real estate agent usually gets the lead first. The real estate agent is the most powerful asset in generating mortgage leads. And that is why so much of marketing is focused on building relationships with realtors.

 

Is there a way that you as a mortgage lender can change the process and begin to get the leads from buyers directly? Facebook Ads could be the tool to consider.

 

Unlike other forms of advertising (e.g., radio and TV), Facebook ads allow for specific targeting for a minimum of $1 per day; this averages out to around $.25 cents per 1000 impressions. By using Facebook ads, you will most likely get in front of 4,000 people that would not have seen your message otherwise.

 

Most people spend their online time browsing their social media pages. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are used for socializing and finding products and services.

 

The idea of finding a trusted brand has moved from “Google Search” to Facebook. In my local community of 1500 homes, the Facebook community is active with over a 100 posts each day from people actively discussing and looking for recommendations for every conceivable need,including home repair, realtors, and lenders.

 

A Google search will return websites without endorsements attached. Facebook business pages and ads display the names of friends who like the brand. People generally view Facebook ads as being less disruptive and annoying in their social browsing activities. With Facebook ads you can…

 

Be very specific about who will see your ads. Facebook ads are based on clicks, impressions (number of people who see the ad), and conversions (number of people who take a specific action). You have the ability refine who actually sees your ads through selection criteria for Facebook ads, such as:

  • Location
  • Demographic characteristics (level of education, income)
  • Behaviors (newlywed, new parents, newly divorced)
  • Interests (users who liked real estate company pages or platforms like Trulia, Zilliow, or Realtor.com)

 

For example, did you know that you can target someone as specific as a 35-year-old married man who lives in a specific suburb in your city, has a university degree, and reads business and investment magazines? The possibilities are limitless.

 

When you are targeting people that are interested in mortgage loans, Facebook is looking at websites that these people visit to put them in a market.

 

You also have the ability to upload a list of subscribers and Facebook will identify user accounts that you can target with ads. In addition, you can install the Facebook™ Pixel on your website and target visitors.

 

Statistically speaking, it takes an average of 7 to 10 touches in order to convert a lead into a customer.

 

Make Friends before you sell. Facebook is about socializing and being known. People usually don’t go with the first lender they find online. They are careful to find a lender they can trust. A portion of your Facebook ads should be about awareness. For example, rather than asking your audience for a mortgage evaluation, ask then to download a link that will provide them with information educating them on what they can do to maximize their chances of being approved for a loan.

 

Focus on homebuyer pain points and provide them the solution. Homebuyers are focused on

  •   Finding a mortgage loan with affordable rates and flexible conditions
  • Being able to move into a home as soon as possible
  •  Being able to close on the deal they have discussed with the realtor

 

Your ad should focus on your lending conditions, smooth approval process, and your ability to work with a realtor to help them close as soon as possible. Use words in your ad copy like: “you”, “save”, “results”, and “now.”

 

Cut down or even eliminate professional bragging, such as “5-star professional service as confirmed by X business magazine,” or a list of your professional capacities and markets you’ve served.

 

Design ads for visual engagement. Facebook ads are visual. Most of the ad area is reserved for a photo or video. Focus on promoting a specific property or pre-approved properties for sale in your ads. Every now and then feature yourself and your team using actual team photographs. Stay away from stock photos because they come across as being fake.

 

Where to capture the lead… landing page vs Facebook lead ad. Some lenders will use the Facebook ad to drive to a landing page. Others will use Facebook lead ads that will capture the lead right there within Facebook.

 

Lead ads can be an extremely effective option because they reduce the amount of work a potential prospect has to do in order to “take the next step.” Facebook pre-fills the form in the ad with the information that the user has already given to Facebook—such as phone number, email, name, etc.

 

Essentially, people only have to tap the submit button—the form is filled out for them by Facebook. This is important because the majority of people are now operating on a mobile device, and filling out a form on a landing page is more difficult than a pre-filled lead ad. When an offer is good and the target audience selection is right, lead ads work great.

 

This is where the help from a Facebook ad specialist can guide you on whether to drive leads to a landing page, a Facebook lead ad, or a combination of both to see what works best for you.

 

Adjust and test your ads to drive the right leads. With Facebook ads, you have the ability to test different ads with different messages for your target audience. Getting the right message and format is critical for reducing the overall cost per lead. Factors that affect the quality of the ad include:

  • Your offer—providing something people can get excited about will have a direct impact on the response to your ads
  •  Your ad copy—are you writing effective direct response marketing copy?
  •  The number of fields of information you ask for—form fills decrease with the more information you ask for; in other words, asking for only an email will get more leads than asking for an email, phone, and address
  • The size of your target audience in Facebook—this is determined by:
    • The population in the geographic area you’re targeting—larger populations allow Facebook more opportunities to find the ideal prospects
    • Targeting within Facebook—what interests, demographics, and behaviors are you layering on? Keeping audience size larger or as large as possible is the best strategy as it allows the Facebook algorithm more room to find the ideal candidates.

 

Ads work because when you get these factors right:

  •  Value proposition—ocus the ads on messages like, “buy your first home” and show in the images people in the target market with moving boxes, or in empty homes with a realtor.
  • The Offer—convey that your mortgage product is a “deal” that not every lender can offer, such as Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance. Say what is unique about the product, such as the fact that the product offers specific savings (worded “save up to”).
  • Urgency—state in the ad that this program is limited and only valid for people who qualify.
  • Call to action—your call to action button can say, “Tell me if I qualify?”

 

For example, the following are some sample messages:

  •   “Interest rates are at their lowest, find out how much you qualify for.”
  •   “Did you know Renting is more expensive than Buying? You qualify for more than you think.”
  •   “Save up to $___ with our exclusive loan program for people in the [city] area.”
  •   “You can own a home for less you are paying in Rent.”
  •   “Do you need assistance with down payment? We can help.”
  •   “Why are you renting?”
  •   “Tired of Renting? Ready to own a home? Yes.”

 

Targeting events—design an ad for an upcoming home buying seminar, such as

  •   How to qualify for a home
  •   The homebuying process
  •   How to buy a home with no down payment

 

 Coordinate the brand design of your landing page into the ads—if you choose to drive people to a landing page, your ads should match the look and feel of your landing page. When a person clicks on an ad and they reach a similar page, they have the reassurance that they have found the right page.

 

In addition, don’t forget to make your landing page simple and easy to read. Clearly address benefits, concerns, value, your unique selling proposition, and a call to action.

 

Show them testimonials and images of past customers. Your calls to action can include a free rate quote, letting them know how much they’ll qualify for and what rate they can expect to pay, or a free consultation. Make sure that the images you use in your Google ads and landing page reflect the real people you work with.

 

Manage the Facebook ads yourself or hire out—there is a learning curve to running Facebook ads. More often than not it’s a wise decision to identify a member of the team to prioritize these ads, or hire an expert to do it for you—just as you wouldn’t advise your clients to figure out how to manage the mortgage themselves. The key to hiring an expert is finding a person who has plenty of experience working with mortgage lenders, someone with a solid list of case studies and success stories. With such an expert, you won’t have to worry about Facebook, tracking campaigns, optimizing the “funnel,” or any other complicated technology-related decisions. You can focus on dealing with leads. 

 

Take the next step and learn about how Facebook ads can become part of your lead-generating activities.

 

 

The post How to Spend $1 A Day to Generate More Mortgage Leads appeared first on Chenoa Fund – Down Payment Assistance.

Ten Questions Homebuyers Ask When Choosing a Loan Officer

As a Mortgage Professional, you know that 50–70% of your income comes from your past clients through repeat business and referrals. That first engagement is the building block for current and future income. Loan officers should be prepared to answer ten questions that savvy homebuyers ask before making a decision on who will help them realize their dream of owning their future home.

 

Question 1: How many transactions do you work on per month, per year?
Transactions can be viewed as upvotes and likes. The more transactions a loan officer is working on or has closed, the better a potential homebuyer assesses your experience and track record for helping others like them successfully get loans. Include in the conversation the number of referrals you receive because that suggests happy customers. When you talk about transactions, discuss the level of the difference between normal and excessive transactions and what that means to the borrower in terms of service they will receive.

 

Question 2: What is your Net Promoter Score?
As you know, the Net Promoter Score is used by many lenders to track their loan officers’ performance on every closed loan transaction. Every loan officer is going to tell potential homebuyers that they give great service.

 

Help the borrower know that a Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an objective measurement of your customer’s willingness to recommend your product to their friends or co-workers. It’s’ a holistic way to measure the satisfaction of your customers. A Net Promoter Score is an index that ranges from -100 to 100. Often an NPS is based on a single-question survey delivered post-closing after their buying journey has finished. For example, on a scale of 1-10, “How likely are you to recommend our services to your friends and family?” Responses from 0-6 are “detractors.” Responses from 7-8 are neutral, and responses from 9-10 are your promoters.

 

Help the potential homebuyer understand the scoring and where you place in the scoring. A loan officer with a very weak score of less than 50 has less than 50% of consumers recommend the loan officer to a friend and should be a sign that homebuyer walk away from that loan officer. Low scores could reflect issues that consumers have identified with the loan officer, such as (1) closing delays, (2) not being responsive to phone calls or emails, (3) lack of transparency into the process, and (4) other negative experiences.

 

Question 3: What is your experience working with consumers like me?
Yes, every loan is unique. When you are engaging with a potential homebuyer you are learning about their situation. But you have experience with homebuyers in similar situations. For example, if the homebuyer is a marketing manager working at a startup and receives annual bonuses and incentive stock options, you will want them to know that you have experience working their profile and structuring and closing comparable transactions. Help them understand what that experience means to them.

 

Question 4: Can you explain your process and turn-times for working with applicants to get my loan from application to approval?
You should be able to explain the mortgage process concisely and clearly so that potential homebuyers can be sure that you understand how to help them navigate the process and that you are not a newbie. Be upfront; if it is going to take two weeks for an underwriter to review a loan file, share that so the homebuyer can write a purchase contract with enough time for closing on your loan. If you are only in charge of the initial sale and will not oversee the loan from start to finish, they need to know that so they are clear what to expect. There should be no surprises, and being upfront helps the customer trust you through the process.

 

Question 5: What is your track record of on-time mortgage closings?
Talk about the importance of closing loans on time and what that means to the borrower, especially when they can be held liable for a breach of contract by the seller for not closing on time. Honestly share your record for closing loans on time and the process you follow to make that happen.

 

Question 6: Tell me why you chose this profession?
Are you passionate about your profession? Top producing loan officers are dedicated and will go the extra mile to deliver a compelling experience for their customers, and to make the mortgage process as seamless and user-friendly as possible. Simply the way you talk on the phone or interact with your customer says a lot about you.

 

Question 7: How do I keep track of the status of my loan and at what milestones will I receive updates?
Communication is everything. Sometimes, as loan officers, we forget just how stressful applying for a mortgage loan is for the homebuyer. Let the potential customer know how you will communicate with them throughout the 30-day mortgage process, and help them through each step and to track the progress of the loan. This becomes especially important if they sense that you will be working on too many files. Share what kind of updates they will receive; for example, routine versus immediate communication, such as when a further documentation is needed. If you have online portals for consumers to track the status of their loan, make this a clear value proposition.

 

Question 8: What do you think my chances of loan approval are?
You know what your institution can and cannot approve. You should be able to clearly articulate whether you believe a borrower can get a loan approved or not and why. Be transparent. If the borrower needs to change aspects of their financial situation to get a loan approved, they should know that. Most loan officers use an automated decision engine to see if the potential homebuyer can be approved at point of sale even if the loan officer is not sure, or the loan officer can call an underwriter to get an opinion on a lending rule or guideline upfront. Talk about the tools and some of the key factors in the decision process.

 

Question 9: What city and state is your processing center and underwriting center located at?
Help the potential homebuyer understand your closing process with the processor and underwriter. Homebuyers are told that it is always better to have local processing and underwriting (or at least within the same time zone) because it is easier to get questions answered. If processing or underwriting is not local, let the borrower know what hours are available for them to contact the appropriate person for questions and how this might impact their loan closing, especially in case you need to submit additional items.

 

Question 10: Is there anything that we have not discussed that I should be aware of?
Based on your conversation with the potential borrower, help them understand that their loan is top priority to you and that you will help them through this complex process. Be willing to disclose the positive and the negative. Help them uncover questions that they should be asking and the answers to those questions. Often, it’s these moments that determine if the borrower will become your customer.

The post Ten Questions Homebuyers Ask When Choosing a Loan Officer appeared first on Chenoa Fund – Down Payment Assistance.

CBC Mortgage Agency Applauds Congressional Black Caucus and Hispanic Caucus Letter Encouraging HUD to collect Individual FHA Loan Performance Data

 

16 Members Signed onto Letter Urging HUD Not to Impede on “Well-Performing Programs”

 

Today, CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA) applauded a letter sent by the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson highlighting the importance of down payment assistance programs to low-to-moderate income and minority homebuyers. Over a dozen members signed onto the letter, sponsored by Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO), underscoring concerns with HUD’s recent actions that could potentially reduce the availability of down payment assistance programs and calling for further data before taking future action.

 

Additional signers on the letter include: William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Al Lawson, Jr. (D-FL), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Robin L. Kelly (D-IL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Lucille Roybal Allard (D-CA), and Bobby Rush (D-IL).

 

The letter noted, “Additionally, HUD indicated…that it is considering limiting national scope governmental entities providing secondary financing. It is critical that well-run programs, regardless of their scope of operation, be allowed to continue their mission of assisting minority borrowers. We ask that HUD collect performance data on individual government DPA programs so that it can identify those programs that are not performing well rather than eliminating programs simply because of their scope of operation.”

 

“As a provider of down payment assistance to homebuyers across the country, I commend Rep. Cleaver’s leadership on this issue, and the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses for their continued support of Americans interested in buying a home,” said Michael Whipple, senior vice president of CBC Mortgage Agency“Without accounting for the performance of the individual governmental DPA programs, broad-brush elimination tactics will ultimately harm homebuyers seeking financial assistance, and do nothing to protect the taxpayer.”

 

The letter also recognizes HUD’s responsibility to ensure the solvency of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF) and support HUD’s efforts to properly administer its programs. However, the letter urges HUD that if restrictions on secondary financing are necessary to protect the MMIF, those restrictions would not necessarily hinder well-performing programs who are responsibly assisting qualified borrowers.

 

“HUD has provided no data to support its claim that through eliminating the scope of programs such as CBCMA, it will improve the solvency of the MMIF,” said Whipple, who noted that CBCMA data shows that CBCMA-assisted loans perform as well as the general pool of government entity assisted FHA loans.

 

This letter is among a recent series of congressional actions urging HUD to collect data on the entire list of down payment assistance program providers.

 

About CBC Mortgage Agency

CBCMA provides secondary financing to borrowers, who are receiving loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). CBCMA takes great care to ensure that the FHA loans perform well, including providing education as well as 12 months of counseling to borrowers after the purchase of their home. In addition, CBCMA regularly reviews its credit standards to ensure that the borrowers it assists are credit worthy.

 

CBCMA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cedar Band Corporation, a federally chartered tribal corporation wholly owned by the Cedar Band of Paiutes, a federally recognized American Indian band. For more information about CBCMA and its programs, visit chenoafund.org.

 

The post CBC Mortgage Agency Applauds Congressional Black Caucus and Hispanic Caucus Letter Encouraging HUD to collect Individual FHA Loan Performance Data appeared first on Chenoa Fund – Down Payment Assistance.

Cedar Band of Paiutes Lauds Bipartisan Letter Urging HUD to Follow Longstanding Tribal Consultation Policy

Congressional Letter Calls on Agency to “Engage in Meaningful Tribal Consultation” Prior to Issuing Rules Affecting Tribal Nations

 

CEDAR CITY, Utah – The Cedar Band of Paiutes today applauded a letter (attached) sent to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson regarding Mortgagee Letter 2019-06. The letter, co-sponsored by Reps. Cindy Axne (D-IA) and Tom Cole (R-OK), underscored the serious bipartisan concern over HUD’s April 18th ruling which, if implemented, would have caused a “significant detrimental impact on one or more tribal nations.”

 

The letter also highlighted how the agency “must follow federal policy on consultation with tribal nations…which provides that federal agencies shall not make regulations, policy statements, or take actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes and that impose substantial direct compliance costs.”

 

Additional signers of the letter include: Reps. Sharice Davids (D-KS), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Deb Haaland (D-NM), Kendra Horn (D-OK), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Betty McCollum (D-MN), and Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM).

 

“By undermining the rulemaking process which requires any federal agency to consult with tribal nations before drafting policies, HUD has set a dangerous precedent in disregarding its own ‘Government-to-Government Tribal Consultation Policy’ and Executive Order 13175, the ‘Consultation with Indian Tribal Governments requirement’” said Michael Whipple, executive with the Cedar Band of Paiuteshousing agency. “We thank Congresswoman Axne and Congressman Cole, as well as each other Member of Congress who signed onto this letter, for their leadership on this issue and for defending the sovereignty of tribal nations.”

 

To date, HUD has failed to fulfill its obligations to engage in tribal consultation in its attempts to either eliminate or severely limit down payment assistance programs provided by governmental entities, including down payment assistance programs offered by Native American tribes. Although HUD ultimately withdrew the Mortgagee Letter after litigation brought on by the Cedar Band of Paiutes, the agency recently announced plans for a proposed rulemaking that would have a similar devastating impact on tribal nations.

 

The Cedar Band of Paiutes wholly owns and operates Cedar Band Corporation, which wholly owns CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA), a provider of secondary financing to homebuyers receiving loans from the Federal Housing Authority. The Band heavily relies on the revenues generated from CBCMA and other Band enterprises to support its essential governmental programs.

 

“HUD’s action issuing Mortgagee Letter 19-06 in every way tramples on the self-determination of the Cedar Band, and threatens the sovereignty of all tribal nations throughout the country,” added Whipple. “We hope that HUD adheres to both Executive Order 13175 and its own policies when considering implementing future rules that affect the sovereignty of all Tribal nations.”

 

About CBC Mortgage Agency

 

CBCMA provides secondary financing to borrowers, who are receiving loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). CBCMA takes great care to ensure that the FHA loans perform well, including providing education as well as 12 months of counseling to borrowers after the purchase of their home. In addition, CBCMA regularly reviews its credit standards to ensure that the borrowers it assists are credit worthy.

 

CBCMA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cedar Band Corporation, a federally chartered tribal corporation wholly owned by the Cedar Band of Paiutes, a federally recognized American Indian band. For more information about CBCMA and its programs, visit chenoafund.org.

The post Cedar Band of Paiutes Lauds Bipartisan Letter Urging HUD to Follow Longstanding Tribal Consultation Policy appeared first on Chenoa Fund – Down Payment Assistance.

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