Financial Outlook

July 6, 2018

Mortgage Rates End Q2 Stable

Good news for homebuyers who are able to find a home to purchase; mortgage rates have finally started to settle down, according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market survey. While mortgage rates are still 67 basis points higher than this week a year ago, it provides some relief for prospective buyers looking to get into the market this summer.

Trade Tariffs Impact Consumer and Builder Confidence

U.S. Consumer Confidence increased only 0.2 to 98.2 in June, slightly below expectations, as consumers cited the potential negative impact of tariffs on the domestic economy and rising inflation as their main concerns.

Consumers are not the only ones concerned about the negative impact of the tariffs. The NAHB Housing Market Index reports that tariffs placed on lumber contributed to homebuilder confidence slipping two points to 68 in June. Lumber prices have made homebuilding less affordable, adding to homebuyer hesitation to purchase new homes.

17 Real Estate Email Templates & Scripts

Today, most leads (especially millennials) prefer to be contacted via email. Writing effective real estate email templates can help you close more deals in 2018. If you are challenged by writing effective emails, check out the email scripts for the following types of emails:

  1. Discount Broker Rebuttal
  2. One Year Follow Up
  3. Seller Lead
  4. Lender Referral
  5. Listing Feedback
  6. Reconnecting with Past Client
  7. Second Contact with Seller
  8. Testimonial
  9. Referral Request
  10. Listing Request Follow Up
  11. New Agent Recruiting
  12. Home Valuation Request Follow Up
  13. Second Contact with a Passive Buyer
  14. Annual Home Sales Report
  15. Non-Responsive Leads
  16. Open House Follow Up (Neighborhood Expert)
  17. Coming Soon Preview Email for Cold Buyer Leads

4 Mistakes Real Estate Pros Make on Social Media

Social media has become one of the most effective real estate marketing tools. While the marketing success of social media continues to grow, it is important to use it to its fullest potential in order to get the best results. Avoid these missteps and watch your social media campaigns flourish.

  1. Not Interacting – The goal of a post is not to blast out information, but to promote engagement. A simple “thanks for commenting” can go a long way.
  2. Inconsistent Branding – To maximize exposure, agents should use a range of social media platforms and make sure the brand is consistent throughout all platforms. Consider using the same profile and cover image while posting specialized content for each platform.
  3. Going Off-Script – Video content is a great way to showcase houses and gain exposure, but it is important for agents to avoid winging it. Script all video content (including live content) before recording so you are communicating with clarity and confidence.
  4. Posting Listings Exclusively – Though businesses utilize social media for business-related posting, followers will quickly lose interest if business content is the only thing being posted. Consider posting your listings only twice a week and fill the rest of the week with calls to action, questions, or information that addresses buyer or seller concerns.

Big Company vs. Small Builders: Workers’ Benefit Packages

If you are finding it difficult to hire new workers, consider revamping your benefits packages to compete with larger companies. Research suggests that less than a third of workers are satisfied with their benefits package and over half of the workforce would heavily consider taking a lower-paying job that offers more benefits.

Compared with companies in all industries that have at least 100 employees, remodelers and small builders are:

  • 3%-21% less likely to offer health insurance which is 13%-18% behind big companies
  • Up to 25% less likely to have a 401(k) retirement plan
  • 55% less likely to offer life insurance
  • 32% more likely to offer paid time off

Single-family builders are more likely to offer employees retirement planning benefits, life insurance, and paid time off than full-service remodelers and replacement contractors.

Benefits packages offered by single-family builders, full-service remodelers, and replacement contractors compete favorably against companies in all industries that have fewer than 100 employees. Compared with these businesses, remodelers and small builders are more likely to offer dental insurance, health insurance, 401(k) retirement plans, and paid time off.

Hundreds of Girls Head to Construction-Based Summer Camps

The next generation of builders are attending construction-based camps this summer to learn about plumbing, carpentry, and electrical work. The purpose of the program is to teach girls construction-based skills while instilling confidence and possible interest in the construction industry.

Women make up only 9.1% of the construction workforce, mainly holding positions in office staff and management. Less than 4% of the industry is comprised of tradeswomen such as carpenters, electricians, and plumbers. These jobs pay an average of $29.65 per hour compared to the average nonfarm private-sector jobs that pay an hourly rate of $26.92.

At the nonprofit, Tools & Tiaras, the girls will learn from professional tradeswomen how to install a bathroom faucet, introducing them to soldering; how to wire a battery-powered light switch, introducing them to electrical work; and how to make a crown, introducing them to sheet metal work.

At the Girls Garage camps, girls learn basic skills in handling tools and then work to design and build a project that benefits the local community. This year, girls ages 9 to 13 will make furniture and a tool wall for a local school, and 13- to 17-year-olds will design and build four planter boxes, a picnic table and benches, and a kitchen storage system for a local women’s shelter.

construction summer camps



Information Courtesy of Jason Browning  – Certainty Home Loans 

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