buying a home - keys

Is Buying a Home a SCARY Endeavor? Here’s How To Overcome Your Home Buying Fears!

Today we are here to dispel all the common home buying myths and conquer any home buying fears you may have! 

Whatever has been holding you back, we promise to have a simple solution to. Don’t let fear, stress, or financial obligations intimidate you away from beginning the home buying process. All the benefits that come from becoming a homeowner far outweigh any negatives. Especially when you have an expert team with over 30 years experience to guide you through each step of the way! 

home buying fears - home

Here’s some of the top concerns we hear from clients who were on the fence about starting the home buying process….

I’m renting a home right now. If we ever need repairs, our landlord has it covered. I’m worried about having to cover expenses as a homeowner and all the responsibilities that come with it. I want to be a homeowner, but how do I overcome this fear? 

Even if you aren’t a natural “do-it-yourselfer”, there are many things around the house that are actually pretty easy to learn how to do! As long as you get familiar with basic tools, you should be good to go. We live in a whole new world of awesome technology. YouTube has a video or tutorial for literally EVERYTHING. 

I know the responsibility of buying a home may seem daunting at times. You can no longer rely on a landlord to come and fix whatever issue arises. BUT, there are plenty of classes, tutorials, and research that’s easy to get your hands on. This saves you money AND gives you more knowledge on how to do easy fixes on your own home. 

Repairs like replacing fixtures, leaky faucets, potholes, cracks in your driveway, repainting or re flooring, tearing out the carpet- these are just to name a few of the simple things that can be easily done yourself! 

Here’s a few resourceful links that’ll go through the different common home repairs and how to do it yourself!

https://lifehacker.com/outdoor-home-repairs-you-can-totally-handle-yourself-1702709456

http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/advice/small-repairs-you-can-do-yourself/

https://www.familyhandyman.com/skills

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/repairing/simple-home-repairs

buying a home - paint

I don’t know much about the process of becoming a homeowner, the qualifications,etc. How do I get started?

Don’t know the first thing about becoming a homeowner? A lot of first time home buyers may not know where to start. Once you and your family have decided your budget is in a good spot to get started, your first step is to apply and meet with a lender! They’ll guide you through the home buying process, go over your budget, income and credit info. Once you get pre-approved, your lender can now pinpoint the loan amount for which you qualify. Now you can focus on a set price range and do some real house hunting! Sellers take buyers more seriously with a pre-approval in hand. Here’s a pre-approval document checklist to give you an idea of what documentation needs to be prepared. 

Now let’s say you’ve found your dream home and made an offer. Now begins the Mortgage Loan Process with your Loan Officer. More paperwork is gathered, you’ll get a Loan Estimate, go through Processing, then Underwriting, and then finally Closing! To see a more thorough explanation of each step in this process click HERE! 

buying a home - moving

We have foreclosed in the past, can I still qualify for a home?

Ever since the housing crisis in 2008/2009 that America faced, foreclosure doesn’t carry the negative stigma that it once did. Even the most responsible had no other choice but to face foreclosure during this recession. In the past decade, millions of homeowners went through foreclosure. Luckily, we are moving forward and things are starting to look up. In order to qualify for a home loan after foreclosing, you will need to re-establish your credit score, save money, and be prepared to provide a decent down payment. 

Ultimately, this answer varies depending on your finances, credit score, and how long it’s been since you’ve foreclosed. There’s usually always some sort of waiting period, on average 3 years. But don’t ever feel like all hope is lost in ever buying a home again if you’ve foreclosed in the past. With some patience and good financial skills, you’ll be a homeowner in no time! Click here to learn more about how to qualify for a mortgage after going through a foreclosure!

My credit score is pretty low. I have also recently filed for bankruptcy. Can I still become a homeowner? How long until I can qualify?

Don’t let your credit score be such a heavy burden or let it hinder you from starting the home buying process! If you know it doesn’t meet “home loan” standards, in a course of just several months to one year you could drastically improve your credit score and be ready to get approved! Study your credit report and clean it up as best you can. Although a decent credit score is imperative to qualifying for a home loan, other factors are taken into consideration as well. If your job history, income, and the percentage you’re able to put down on the home looks really good then that could balance out your below average credit score. Definitely do everything you can to pay off debts, learn which ones need to get paid off first, and practice other credit repair tips in the mean time.

As far as bankruptcy goes, it depends on which type you filed for. For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you must wait a period of at least two years minimum from the date the action was discharged. With a Chapter 13, it varies depending on which loan you are trying to qualify for. You also must meet those programs credit score terms, and any other qualifications that traditionally come with them. Buying a home after bankruptcy is by no means unattainable. Be patient and consistent rebuilding your credit, since both Chapter 7 & 13 bankruptcy can dip your score pretty low. 

buying a home - card

Did we miss any questions you may have? Our knowledgeable team of Loan Officers are prepared to help you with any concerns! Our team has the best reputation in the Valley, just check out our 5 star reviews on Facebook & Google! 

Call us at 480-832-4343 or visit us at www.sunamerican.com


References:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/02/19/first-time-homeowner-advice/5615307/

hustle - work

One Word That Changes Your Business TODAY!

“If I could give ONE piece of advice to a budding entrepreneur, it would be one word: HUSTLE! Sacrifice, in some form, will be a necessary part of the process, and whoever is more willing to sacrifice for the hustle will always succeed in the long run. Prepare yourself, as it’s time to EMBRACE the underdog within and step into your greatness!“- Lewis Howes

hustle - lewis

This is a direct quote from New York Times best-selling author Lewis Howes. His podcast School of Greatness, has over 400 million downloads and over 500 episodes since its launch in 2013! He was recognized by The White House, featured on the Today show, People, Forbes, Men’s Health, and many more! His best-selling book The School Of Greatness is incredibly informative, motivating, and teaches how we can all strive for greatness.  He is a true example of an underdog who rises to the top and through each lesson, teaches how you can do the exact same.

Today we will breakdown the main points of one of my favorite chapters in this inspiring book. Chapter 4 is titled “Develop Hustle” and if this chapter doesn’t light a fire in you to chase after your goals I don’t know what will!

hustle - dont wait

Freakish Combination of Passion & Hustle

Lewis’s success story really began with his older brother Chris. At just 18, Chris was thrown into prison for dealing drugs and was sentenced to 6-25 years. Fast forward five years later, Chris was released for good behavior and went on to become one of the best jazz violinists in the world, has been on the cover of magazines, played Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated with musical legends. He beat the stigma that came with being a convicted felon. He walked out of those prison doors with a fire lit underneath him to repent, to hustle, and do whatever it takes to make something of himself. He promoted himself like crazy, showed up to coffee shops, tiny jazz clubs, and no name festivals.

Chris’s journey taught Lewis one of the most valuable lessons of his life. In his words, “With a freakish combination of passion and hustle, Chris overcame others opinions, biases, and fears of people he encountered. Instead of blaming the system or anyone else around him or giving up, he made clear choices how to resurrect his life.”

This story and especially this quote is so powerful to me. With over 500 podcasts episodes and best selling books, Lewis has discovered a trending theme in all of these entrepreneurs journeys. It is to have PASSION and develop HUSTLE. It’s not about who has the most talent, it’s about who is willing to put in the most work. Maybe you’re not the most experienced in the industry or you’re just getting started. But if you’re willing to do what others are unwilling to do, you already have a head start.

“No one is going to hand me success. I must go out and get it myself. That’s why I’m here. To dominate. To conquer. Both the world and myself.”- Unknown 

Urgency

It’s pretty easy to put things off, procrastinate, or put a dream on hold to be more “realistic.” Something magical happens when you truly understand the value of time however. Something that really sticks out to me from the story Lewis tells us of his brother, is the sense of urgency his brother Chris had. He values time so much and was doing all he could to make up for the time he lost behind those prison doors.

The truth is, we are all making up for lost time…and THAT is the essence of hustle in the pursuit of greatness!! It’s doing whatever it takes and chasing opportunity with great urgency, like your life depends on it.

The Underdog Inside Each Of Us

Lewis used to be a pro-athlete, but his football career was cut short due to injury. He soon spiraled into depression, had student loans and credit card debt built up, and no money to pay it all off. After meeting with his past mentors and other people who’ve inspired him, he started to create a better vision for himself. He began by using LinkedIn to his advantage and in the first year made 10,000 connections! Soon after that, he started hosting networking events in major cities with hundreds of people attending. These connections were just a kick start for him in this grand vision he created for himself.

Every great success story involves some type of pain or trial that was used as fuel to transform themselves to something bigger and better.

“The best hustlers are all underdogs. Even if they’re not, they view themselves that way. They have a chip on their shoulder, they chase something bigger than they are. Hustlers are better and badder. They work smarter and harder. “

We all love a good underdog story and Kyle Maynard is the perfect example of that. Despite being born with profound limitations, Kyle accomplishes every goal he has set his mind to. He is the first quadruple amputee to climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. He went on to become a champion wrestler, CrossFit Certified Instructor and gym owner, competitive MMA/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter, world record-setting weightlifter, and skilled mountaineer. He deeply believed in his passion, went out and hustled and proved that you can push past any limitation set upon you! He didn’t sit in self pity, blame others, or wait for success to come to him. He puts in the work and is unstoppable!

Listen here to Lewis Howes Podcast “The No Excuse Approach To Success” featuring Kyle for free! 

Failure is Feedback

Everyone is absolutely capable of hustling and chasing after their dreams with this incredible urgency. So what is it that holds people back?

FEAR.

Fear of looking bad, fear of failure, fear of being in the spotlight. The biggest solution to smashing these fears is to take baby steps. No one gets to where they want to be without the necessary progression. It takes time to achieve greatness at a high level. So stay consistent, and be patient with yourself.

Failure is just feedback. It’s growth and a chance for you to stop and evaluate how you can improve from that lesson.

Mistakes are inevitable. You have to feel the fear, process it, and still continue to achieve what you’ve set out for yourself.

I’ll conclude with Lewis Holmes conclusion paragraph for this enlightening chapter!

“When you experience fear, move toward it. When you feel doubt, take the necessary actions to build your confidence. When you are afraid of being wrong or looking bad in front of others, be humble and vulnerable to create real human connection. The hustle takes action. It requires getting over yourself and how you look. It can be a beautiful journey if you give yourself permission to hustle like a maniac because what else are you here to do other than make the most of what you can be?” 

Hustle is the number one thing that separates the mediocre from the truly successful.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did in writing it. I’d love to hear what you think – Comment below!

Until next time!

niche - water

How To Create Separation In A Crowded Market

In 2005, Professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne launched a REVOLUTION in marketing strategies. Their first book sold more than 4 million copies and was translated into 44 different languages. Together they were inspired to teach readers how to get out of the bloody shark infested and highly competitive “Red Oceans”, and move to the “Blue Oceans” where there is little to no competition. The Blue Ocean strategy is a sensation and opened up the door to many possibilities in the marketing world! What makes these books so fascinating is that this is more than just an outlined plan “strategy”. It’s a total shift in mindset and how to be the best leader possible for success in your business!

niche - book

Picking a Niche

The Red vs. Blue Ocean Marketing is actually a pretty simple concept to understand. Red Ocean is where every business or competitor in your industry is right now. Similar to a shark infested ocean where all the sharks are fighting for the same prey, these are the businesses doing the same exact thing everyone else is doing.

The Blue Ocean is a totally different environment. This is where there is little to no competition and lots of food. There’s no fighting, there’s plenty to go around for everyone. This is where everyone ideally wants to be! Here’s a little breakdown of the difference between the two.

niche - red

So how do we form this Blue Ocean? First you MUST pick a niche that you feel passionately about serving. Let’s say for example, you love helping new home buyers find their dream home. You have to get more specific. What age group are you targeting? Zip code? What social media platforms do they go on the most? Narrow it down as best as you can and make that your center focus. That’s just the beginning, but everything starts falling into place as soon as you make this first step.

Program

The whole idea behind this successful strategy, is to have high value at a low cost. Competition becomes completely irrelevant, because they can’t duplicate your original ideas. All the potential competitors begin to fall by the wayside! Let’s use Cirque de Soleil for example. About 150 companies attempted to compete with them and everyone went out of business.

“Cirque did not make its money by competing within the confines of the existing industry or by stealing customers from Ringling and the others,” Kim and Mauborgne wrote in the Harvard Business Review magazine. “Instead, it created uncontested market space that made the competition irrelevant. It pulled in a whole new group of customers who were traditionally non-customers of the industry – adults and corporate clients who had turned to theater, opera or ballet and were, therefore, prepared to pay several times more than the price of a conventional circus ticket for an unprecedented entertainment experience.”

The same pattern is seen over and over again. A new captivating idea or company comes out and captures the attention of a specific market. Similar companies try their best to imitate it and fail.

One of my favorite speakers, Tony Robbins, gives a quick podcast lesson on why this strategy is so important for success in your business. Click on the video below to learn more about how to dominate your crowded market with this strategy.

niche - ocean

Think Outside The Box

Have you heard of the luxury car brand Tesla? Of course you have! According to USA Today, “The swoopy electric sedan outsold all models from other luxury brands – Porsche, Volvo, Lincoln, Land Rover and Jaguar…With 4,714 new Teslas registered over the six months, it even topped some established conventional luxury models like Lexus GS at 2,298, and Audi A6 at 1,619.”

All of Tesla’s competitors were well established brands. Tesla was a brand new concept- all electric cars- that are now dominating the market.

So what are some ways you can really stand out in the Mortgage or Real Estate business? Here are some great tips that can produce substantial success!

Email Marketing: Optin Monster concluded that there are more users on email and more people are active on email and use it more often than social media. Click here to read how you can hit the jackpot with email marketing!

Invent New Programs: Analyze your competitors current programs and presence on social media. Outline what you can do to be better. Post good quality content. Create an app for your business. Lay out simple steps and an “easy to use” system that will captivate their attention.

Foster Relationships & Building new ones: Building solid relationships plays a pivotal role in the success of your business. You never know what connection can lead to potential clients, future hires, etc. Just like any relationship, these connections will require consistent nurturing. Over time, make sure to build trust, keep in contact, and be helpful when needed. Provide advice and feedback. Promote their work by sharing it with others, or on social media.

Host a community event and invite contacts and their families. This can be a BBQ, Fall Festival, Christmas Party-brainstorm ideas depending on the season and plan something fun!

Do the things others won’t! If you took the above ideas and stayed consistent, you’d see new clients popping up instantly. Especially since most people won’t go out of their way to do these things. They’re either too lazy or don’t understand that going above and beyond is what will bring in new business. It’s proven that only about 5% of people are the risk takers, the fearless go-getters who dismiss the fear of putting themselves out there.

So the real question is… are you ready to be in that 5% group? Or are you comfortable with the other 95% surrounded by competition in the Red Ocean? Today I’ve only covered a small aspect of this great concept, but it’s definitely worth your time to really dig deep and do some more research.

Best of luck! Have a great Monday and remember to think outside the box this week!

Until next time!


References:

http://www.corporatestrategy.com/red-ocean-vs-blue-ocean/

https://knowledge.insead.edu/strategy/want-to-create-a-blue-ocean-avoid-these-six-red-ocean-traps-4082

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5647-blue-ocean-strategy.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2017/09/24/moving-to-blue-ocean-strategy-a-five-step-process-to-make-the-shift/#810e9a97f119

down payment - boxes

No Down Payment? No Problem!

You may have just stumbled on the perfect option for you and your family. There are no catches to this NO down payment loan program, and we are super excited to share it with you!

So you know you don’t want to rent anymore, but coming up with the required down payment scares you a little. You are definitely not alone. This is why there’s another loan program aside from traditional loans or the FHA option that can really help you out.

down payment - kitchen

What is the USDA Program?

This is a home loan that’s guaranteed by the US Department of Agriculture, aka USDA. It provides an incentive for families to buy a home in a rural area. This helps our nation’s smaller, rural communities thrive by making property more affordable.

The USDA loan program serves a fraction of the US housing market and most banks actually don’t offer them. However, here at Sun American Mortgage we DO offer this no down payment loan program and it comes with MANY other benefits!

So what are some more “pro’s” of this no down payment loan program?

loan program - list

How It Works?

There is a traditional process that comes with a USDA loan program. It looks something like this..

process

Saving for a down payment can be difficult for most families. The only other loan program that doesn’t require a down payment is the VA program. That’s why this is such a great opportunity to get your hands on! 

down payment - home

Who Can Qualify?

Do you feel more at home surrounded by trees, farmland, and pastures versus living in the city or a suburban community? A USDA loan program is probably the best fit for you! There are different eligibility requirements for the borrower and the property as well. Eligibility is restricted to specific rural areas. It’s very likely that a property close to you qualifies. 97% of U.S land mass is eligible for USDA financing. 

USDA loans are also appealing and accommodating to low income consumers. There are income limits to this option and they vary on location and household size. Click here to see them by state and county.

Are you house hunting in the East Valley? Put an address in here to see if the property you’re looking at qualifies for a USDA loan program!

Here’s a few points to keep in mind when you’re house hunting for a home that qualifies for a USDA loan program…

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When it comes to buyers eligibility, your credit, income, bank account info and a few other things are compared to current guidelines for the USDA loan program. Some others will be:

-Loan limits

-Employment

-USDA loan debt-to-income ratio (DTI)

-Citizenship

-Credit Score Requirements (Rental History, Payment History, Insurance Payments, etc.)

To learn more, click here! 

What’s My Next Step?….

If you think a USDA loan program fits you best, let’s take the next step and fill out the easy to use Online Accelerator HERE! Get a quick estimate of how much you can qualify for and let our team help you move into your dream home. 480-832-4343 www.sunamerican.com


References:

https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do

motivational podcasts - computer

Our Top Podcasts Picks To Start Your Week Off Right!

Need a little Monday Motivation? We’ve got you covered!

If you’ve never been a big “podcast” person, I promise that you just haven’t been listening to the right ones. We’ve compiled a list of our favorites that will help spark some inspiration and motivation for your week! These hosts and their guests cover topics that range from nutrition and health to business and relationships.

Here’s the list of some of the most motivational podcasts that we highly recommend!

Self Made Man

Investor, entrepreneur, and host Mike Dillard, along with his guest host, give advice on how to better improve yourself so you can achieve greatness. While this show specifically emphasizes on finance and business, they also will often cover topics like health and relationships.

Click here to start listening! 

Art Of Charm

Learn expert strategies on how to improve your career, confidence, love life, and life style from business hackers Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi, Noah Kagen, and more! This podcast has been featured on NBC, Mens Health, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, TIME, and more!

Some of their guests include Neil deGrasse Tyson, Shaq, Tony Hawk, Mike Rowe, and more. Click here to start listening!

motivational podcasts - art of charm

The School Of Greatness

This is one of the most popular podcasts almost every single year! Lewis Howes will inspire you to achieve your biggest goals and dreams AND he’s a phenomenal interviewer who always asks the best questions. If you just want a quick 5 minute inspiration, Lewis does “5 minute Friday”, click here to check out these different episodes! 

Jocko Podcast

In this Podcast, Jocko Willink teaches great leadership skills, getting through adversity, and other great conversations with his interesting guests. He is a retired Navy SEAL who tells it like it is, and teaches how to be the best version of yourself, and other inspiring life lessons. Here’s a little more info about the host from their podcast website!

Click here to start listening!

Marketing School

Each of these episodes provides you with a unique online marketing tip in less than 10 minutes. Neil Patel and Eric Siu are pros in the digital marketing industry and share their knowledge in this awesome podcast! Click here to start listening!

To see some more popular podcast picks, click here! 


I’ve learned so much from listening to a new episode each day from each of these leaders and incredible speakers. Listening to even just one episode a day or while I’m sitting in traffic, helps keep me in the right mindset daily.

You can listen to these podcasts on any podcast app, Itunes, Spotify, Youtube, Soundcloud, or Google Play.

Let us know YOUR favorite podcast, blog, or speaker in the comments. Thanks for reading, go SMASH your goals and have a great rest of your week!

Until next time!

Scary (Avoidable) Mistakes People Make in the Mortgage Loan Process!

What’s scarier than applying and qualifying for a mortgage, and then having to start the process ALL OVER?!

Starting from scratch all because of one mistake that could’ve easily been avoided…

Today we will list the most common (and avoidable) mortgage mistakes, how to steer clear of them, and why they mess up the mortgage loan process! 

Switching Up Jobs

This is one of the most common mortgage mistakes lenders have to deal with. Changing careers or even deciding to retire in the middle of it all, can really hurt your chances of closing on your mortgage. To put it simply, a lender can’t make a case for a borrowers future income based on their current income if jobs are in transition. Underwriters look at employment and income, length of time you’ve been employed, stability and more!

If you’re expecting to change jobs during the application process, just let your lender know ahead of time so paperwork is easier for both of you. As long as you can show moving forward that your future income will be able to make those monthly mortgage payment, there’s no need to worry about starting all over again.

Credit Changes

Does it FREAK you out when something negative pops up on your credit report? Are you extra careful how you spend your credit cards and meet payment deadlines? Good! During the mortgage loan process, keeping major tabs on your debt to income ratio, credit score, and how on time you are paying your bills, is going to be crucial. Even after you’ve been approved and are in the mortgage loan process, don’t forget how important it really is to stay on top of your credit score.

Here are a few other things that can lead to trouble with your impending mortgage…

-Getting a new credit card. Whether that’s through your favorite department store, avoid the temptation to register for one. This results in a MAJOR headache later for you and your mortgage lender.

-Getting an auto loan. This can potentially throw your debt to income ratio out of whack, change how much you qualify for, and totally cancel out the previous pre-qualification that’s been done.

For more credit tips to BOOST up your credit score, checkout some of these clips from financial and credit expert Jeff Boulton

Big Purchases

Just as a general rule, save any big purchases for AFTER the closing of your mortgage. Another way to doom your mortgage approval is to spike up your debt to income ratio.

Maybe you’re super excited about your new home and want to put all the new home decor charges on a credit card. BAD IDEA.  Spending big bucks on new home decorations, a motorcycle, a spontaneous trip, or anything else on your credit cards is a definite NO while you’re in the process of closing on a home. Life gets busy and random expenses will naturally pop up, so this is one of the most common mortgage mistakes that can get easily be forgotten.

What are some other red flags for mortgage lenders to see from borrowers? Here’s some more “DON’TS” to help you better prepare for the mortgage loan process..

-Getting involved in a timeshare. Really anything that requires you to “finance” – or that will be showing up on a credit report isn’t worth the trouble down the road.

-Paying off charges or collections without consulting with your loan officer first

-Changing bank accounts or making changes to your credit profile.

Following these simple guidelines will keep this final chapter of the home buying process as hassle-free as possible! As a mortgage company, our favorite part of the job is delivering the great news that you’ve closed on your dream home. Keeping these tips in mind throughout the process will make your life much easier and speed that process up as well!

Call us to talk to one of our knowledgeable team members today 480-832-4343 or use our NEW Online Accelerator application to get a quick estimate of what you can qualify for!


References:

https://www.mortgagelendersofamerica.com/preapproval-tips

https://www.moneytips.com/7-mistakes-to-avoid-after-mortgage-pre-approval

generate leads - meet

How To Generate Consistent Lasting Business

Building up a business in the Mortgage/Real Estate industry can seem like a daunting task. Even impossible at times. The vast majority of competition in the market place can cause you to take a negative approach to building your business, or even a lackadaisical one.

Until NOW…

When it comes down to it, there’s 3 major factors to focus on when you are trying to generate more leads and grow your business. Connecting with people you know/warm marketing, having an engaging and interesting social media presence, and targeting a specific location or community, should be the focus.  Today we are going to cover each of these areas to help you better connect and generate more leads! 

Warm Market

If you’ve dived into the marketing world, you may have heard of the term “warm marketing”. If not, warm marketing is basically reaching out to someone who you’ve had previous contact with, as well as friends, or family members.  This group of people is also known as your “sphere of influence”. Basically, anyone that knows your name. Some avoid working this group in fear of being too pushy or losing friendships in trying to influence them to do business. It doesn’t have to be this way if you go about it the right way. 

generate leads - pics

Here’s your first step – Start building a list of everyone in your sphere of influence with names, addresses and email. This list ideally needs to be input into a CRM, but if you have to use a spreadsheet, make sure you segment out this group in this fashion…

  1. Family and Friends 
  2. Business partners/associates
  3. Clients

You need to treat this list like GOLD! Because essentially that is what it is. How you manage, communicate and provide value to this sphere of influence will greatly determine your success. The key is having a strong marketing plan and strategy that will enable you to accomplish the above 3. Manage, communicate, & provide value.

As part of your strategy, here are some tips you can incorporate that have proven to be very effective. 

  1. Send a personalized newsletter in the mail.  No one get’s a personalized mail piece from people they know these days. If you think about it, an email newsletter has a far greater chance of getting lost in the mix, or lost all together, decreasing your chance of open rate, read rate and conversion. However, when you send it to your sphere in the mail, there’s a great chance they will open it, read through it, and comment back to you on it. Here’s the other secret…once it’s in their hand, they’re less likely to get distracted by a computer screen with all the other attention suckers pulling at their brains. Try it and see for yourself. It works! It’s called the “Blue Ocean Marketing Strategy” – go where no one else is going. 
    (If you want to a really good newsletter template that works, give me a call, I’m happy to discuss this with you.)

  2. Go to lunch with highly influential people in your sphere.  – By spending time with people you know who have a large influence and voice to their own warm market, you’ll position yourself to be leveraged into their sphere. Build the right relationship and foster those relationships with these individuals and you’re sure to get referrals.
     
  3. Do client appreciations events and invite everyone! – Everyone in your sphere is a client or potential client. Putting on appreciation events is not only a great way to say “Thank You” – but it utilizes the power of RECIPROCITY. It’s a real power, and taps into the psychological effect that when you do something for someone that has value, they are emotionally inclined to want to give something in return. This is where asking for referrals later on doesn’t come as being pushy or salesy, it’s a given. 

If you just did these 3 things really well, it would serve you year after year. There are many more things that we know we could list here, but keeping it simple, yet valuable is the ticket. The top 3 above also allows you to really connect with people, and that my friends is where success is found. 

 

Social Media Presence

Did you know that about 90% of businesses that have a dedicated social media platform as part of their marketing strategy, report an INCREASE in their market exposure?! More than half of small businesses also reported having the highest increase in sales when they invested their time into their social media marketing. 

Studies have also shown that customers would purchase from businesses with an active Facebook page rather than without. All of these statistics lead to the conclusion that one of the most important things for growth in your business is to highly invest in your social media platforms!  

Don’t let your competitors serge above you just because they’re a step ahead with social media. It’s easy to get on board and build a brand of loyal followers! Like with anything else, it takes consistency and good communication skills. 

-Post good content everyday. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.

-ALWAYS respond to comments sincerely and be personable. Don’t sound like an automatic and boring response.

-Try sending direct message to potential clients, or people who recently liked or shared something you’ve posted. 

-Boost your SEO efforts. Optimize keywords in your blog or post descriptions that connect you to consumers searches in the community. Use hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. 

-Have a photo, video, gif, or something visual with every single post. Almost every study shows that just content alone on a post gets hardly any attention. Catch readers eyes with something captivating to draw them into the content. 

-Feature someone with a strong following onto your page and have them share the post onto their social media. 

There’s plenty of ways to build a strong following and grow your social media presence. Even if you are just getting started, if you are consistent with these tips, you’ll see the fruits of your efforts. 

 

“The difference between those who succeed and those who fail, lies in their habits.”

 

generate leads - man

 

Farm a Zip Code/Targeting a Large Neighborhood

“Farming” means growing something. So when you hear the term”farming a subdivision”, you are planting seeds of future business and marketing to them as best you can to reap future rewards. The best way to get started, as with anything, is to set up a game plan!

Go deeper than just targeting a specific audience. Other than just knowing where they live, get to know WHO they are. Is this area you’re targeting full of young families, baby boomers, retirees? If its a mix find the best way to market to both of them! It doesn’t matter if you grow these relationships through blogging, social media, or directly calling them- building these friendships and connections are the only sustainable way to grow. 

Remember, you’re aiming to be the FACE of the community in this industry. It takes more effort than just sending out newsletters, postcards, and flyers. Face to face connections is what is proven to make you stand out among the rest. Some ideas to connect with your community could be...

-Planning a Fall Festival, or a big seasonal event. Invite food trucks or a popular restaurant to cater. Plan out fun games and music! 

-Have a Community BBQ, bring in bouncy houses, face painting, and invite other vendors or businesses. 

-Put on a community rummage or garage sale

These are just a few ideas, but start brainstorming and put on something creative and fun for the community to get involved in! 

Another thing to remember when you are “farming” a certain area, is that everyone loves facts and statistics. Home owners love to know how their home looks in the current market. Get yourself known as the local expert of these market reports. Send out advertisements with a link or a few stats to drive them to your website/page. Post on your social media platforms the best listings in that area, market updates, and full reports that keep the community in the loop!

This is one of the main ways to generate leads and connect with your community organically. 

generate leads - target

We know a lot of these points require you to go the extra mile. But THAT is what ultimately separates you from everyone else in this competitive market. 95% of people will stay in that nice comfort zone and go about things the “traditional way”. But those 5 percenters are the ones who branch out of their circle, meet new faces, and are always going above and beyond what’s expected of them!

Use warm marketing to your advantage and connect with people you already know. Make friends with mutual friends and become the known brand to all of them. Build an engaging social media presence and communicate on all your platforms as best you can! Make a game plan today to farm a zip code you want to target. Get to know WHO they are and what they like best.

Hope you liked today’s Monday Minute. Tell us what you think in the comments!

Until next time! 

 


http://hardcorecloser.com/2017/03/10-ways-to-generate-mortgage-leads-quickly-from-social-media/

https://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Getting-leads-as-loan-officer/548949/

https://www.inman.com/2016/02/25/21-ways-generate-real-estate-leads-can-handle-2016/

7 Warm Market Prospecting Tips to Grow Your Downline Fast

closing costs - wallet

What Are Closing Costs?

If you’ve been interested in becoming a homeowner, you may be wondering what the different costs are and what they entail. Closing costs are a standard step in the home buying process! So it’s good to do your research and look up whats included, how to save, and why they are necessary. 

What are closing costs?

Mortgage closing costs are fees charged by the lender to the borrower, for services that were performed to close your loan. This is how we seal the deal and get ready to finally move you into your new home!

To avoid surprises, get a good idea from the start of what gets included in those costs and how much you’ll need to have ready. Many mortgage closing costs go to a third party for their services in helping close the transaction, and lenders usually have no control over these fees. 

closing costs - writing

What’s included in closing costs?

If you want to get a good idea of what home buyers typically spend on these closing costs, on average it comes to about 2-3% of the property price. Again, this is totally situational and prices vary from person to person. 

Some of these fees include:

Lender Fees: Here at Sun American we have some of the LOWEST lender fees in the Valley. These fees include a Documentation Prep Fee & an Underwriting Fee. This ranges anywhere from $1,000-$1,200 altogether. 

Title Company: A title company makes sure that the title to the home is legitimate. They issue title insurance for that property that protects the lender or owner against any claims against the property. To learn more about title companies and why they are a necessity in the home buying process, click here

ESCROW: When you close, you may be required to deposit money into an Escrow account for homeowners insurance, PMI Impound, and Property Tax Impound for example. 

There can also be some other 3rd Party and Appraisal Fees. The amount of fees and their prices all just depends on the property, which lender you choose, and some other factors. 

Saving tips, how to prepare for them!

It’s not like these costs will come as a shock or will hit you out of nowhere. From the beginning of the mortgage loan process, a Loan Officer is going to give you a Loan Estimate which gives you a good breakdown of the services, fees, and costs through this process. An estimate shows you your estimated interest rate, monthly payments, taxes, insurance, and closing costs. 

If paying for closing costs out of pocket is not something that you want to do, you are in luck! There are actually several really effective ways to take care of the closing costs that don’t involve your bank account. In fact most buyers never end up having to pay for them out of pocket! We suggest negotiating a closing cost concession from the seller in the purchase contract for all or at least most of the closing costs.

A seasoned real estate agent will be a great resource when it comes to this negotiation. They do it ALL the time! If for some reason the seller is unwilling or unable to provide the concession needed to cover the closing costs, Sun American can also provide lender credits to pay for them as well through some creative mortgage financing on most loan types. It’s super easy and it only has a minor impact on your final monthly payment. We’ll figure out something that will work for you!

Here at Sun American, we offer some of the BEST prices and rates in town. Our knowledgeable team has a great reputation going on 33 years of incredible service to our community and TONS of five star reviews to show for it. 

If you need some more explanations of fees in detail, checkout these websites to get a better idea! 

http://www.homeclosing101.org/the-closing-process/closing-costs-explained/

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/cost-to-close-mortgage/

https://www.trulia.com/blog/what-are-closing-costs/


Take the first step and start a QUICK Online Application, free & simple to use!

Or call one of our Loan Officers to learn about our loan programs, how to get started, and how much you qualify for 480-832-4343 www.sunamerican.com

connecting - man

It’s All About Connecting!

What separates an average company or entrepreneur from a thriving and trending one? Most of the time they’ll both start out with the same budget, target their audiences, pay good money to promote their ads and both will follow some basic marketing tactics. However, the latter knows how to use psychographics, understands the importance of connecting with their niche/audience, and how to STAY connected. 

connecting - team

Know Your Niche

Did you know that you’re losing sales if you’re not already using psychographics?

Don’t know what that is? Think demographics but taking it one step further. Demographics on Facebook or Google Analytics can tell us the basics. Things like gender, age, location, marital status, household income, etc. You can set this up for any ad or post on social media and generally get some good feedback from doing so. 

But psychographics tell us the WHY. Mastering this skill makes you more money and drives more traffic to your page/website. Demographics is more factual, while psychographics is less tangible.

Psychographics covers things like…

connecting - psychographics

For example, lets say your niche is new home buyers. More specifically, you want to help Millennials purchase or qualify for their first home.

JUST using demographics means you boosted a general ad or post and targeted it towards this age group. Doing this alone will maybe bring in some good business, warm leads, and a few clicks to your page. 

Incorporating psychographics means digging a little deeper. You already know Millennials are all over Instagram and Facebook, so these would be your top social platforms to target. Millennials biggest concern and stress is getting into debt. This generation is also especially interested in visually pleasing ads. The more captivating and aesthetically pleasing your ad, content, and videos are, the more likely you will be grabbing their attention. Incorporating psychographics also means you know what kind of humor, trending ads and memes are popular with this audience. 

connecting - people

I promise no matter how well you think you know your niche or audience, there’s always more to learn. And why wouldn’t you want to do the research? This audience can be Millennials, Retirees, Baby Boomers- whoever it is, it benefits you to know your niche better than anyone else in the industry! Connecting is easier the more knowledgeable you become. 

 

Producing Engaging Content

There’s a basic set up for creating captivating content. It goes: Goal, Struggle, Objections.

Here’s a great example from sumo.com

connecting - ebook

Goal: Wanting to create an eBook

Struggle: Not being able to get around to creating one.

Objections: writing the content & having the eBook designed

Identify the problem, aggravate it, and then pose the solution. 

Use your customer’s psychographics to aggravate these problems and let them know you are their solution. Throw in some interesting visuals, a call to action, and you got yourself a successful post. 

Here are a few more creative content ideas…

-ALWAYS use a visual. Funny gif, relatable meme, interesting video, or eye-catching picture-something that will bring in readers. Content alone just doesn’t cut it. 

-Dream up challenges for your followers, fun contests, and Giveaways.

-Diversify your content. Know your niche and target audience and the different types of posts they’ll be attracted to!

-Have a voice. Bring your own unique style to your writing, blogs, content, and ads. The best type of content has fresh ideas and perspectives. 

-This one is my personal favorite…share testimonials and stellar reviews! This is the only way visitors browsing through your page know you’re the best. Would you contact the personal trainer that had no “after” pics of their clients experience with them? Sprinkle these testimonial videos, reviews, and posts in every once in awhile to mix things up. 

connecting - content

Personally Connect

I can’t stress this last point enough. You HAVE to follow up with comments, reach out to customers by direct messaging them, and make obvious efforts that you communicate with your customers! Be personable and avoid sounding like a robot in your responses. 

Here’s an example of a Real Estate team responding as themselves on Facebook vs. as the page admin. 

connecting - comment

The key thing to remember is to be consistent answering back and to be genuine and personable! 

To wrap up..

You’re not bugging the audience you’re reaching out to. You are the solution to their problems. It’s just about finding WHO that niche and specific audience is, WHY they need you, and consistently connecting and communicating with them as BEST you can. 

Take these tips and marketing tactics to make your mortgage or real estate business thrive on these social media platforms!

Hope you enjoyed this article, until next time! 

To learn more about connecting with your community and knowing your niche, click here! 


References:

https://sumo.com/stories/psychographic-marketing?src=sumo-email&ref=em-se-content-em-080917

http://blog.realvolve.com/the-blink-moment-how-to-connect-with-people-as-a-real-estate-agent#comments-listing

10 Secrets to Creating Engaging Content that Will Attract Readers

conventional loan - homes

Meeting Your Mortgage Needs

Are you sick of paying rent? Taking out a mortgage is easier than you may think. Especially when you have a knowledgeable and caring team like ours to guide you along the way! Today we want to address common concerns and frequently asked questions we get from new home buyers. 

There are a few different mortgage programs and financing options, by the end of this article hopefully you’ll have a better idea of which one works BEST for you!

Meeting your mortgage needs is our number one goal, lets get started!

What if I can’t afford a 20% Down Payment?

Its unrealistic to think everyone has that 20% down payment stashed away in their bank. Luckily there are other mortgage options to help meet everyone else’s needs. 

For example, with an FHA Loan, lenders require less money from the borrower upfront. This low down payment can be as little as 3.5% down! With this low down payment also comes possibly a higher monthly payment or less equity in the home when you’re ready to sell. 

To learn more about our different Mortgage Programs, click here! 

conventional loan - pic

I have children in elementary school, I want to pay off my mortgage before they leave to college. How can I do that?

With a 15 year fixed rate loan you’re gaining equity in your home quicker and paying off your loan faster. If you don’t mind a higher monthly payment, a Conventional Loan may your best pick, click here to learn more! 

You could set realistic and attainable financial goals that will help you to pay your mortgage loan off faster. Meet with a financial adviser or do some research. Many have done it and so can you! Here’s a great article that can offer you some tips: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/money-finance/loans/8-ways-to-pay-off-a-mortgage-early

conventional loan - family

I don’t have the best credit score, what type of mortgage should I look for? 

Borrowers with a lower credit score are more likely to get approved if they apply for an FHA Loan. Scores can be a low as 580! However you will still need to do some explaining why your score is so low, how you plan on improving it, etc. Click here to learn more about how to clean up your report and prepare your credit for the mortgage loan process. 

conventional loan - card

What else should I take into consideration when I’m buying a home and taking out a mortgage?

Get information from other lenders, do your research, shop around, and make sure you’re getting the best possible price. Here at Sun American we have the best rates and prices in the Valley! Our reviews on Google and Facebook beat any other mortgage business in town, here’s some of our most recent ones! 

conventional loan - reviews

I’m not too sure how long I’ll be living in my current city…should I still take out a mortgage right now? 

Real Estate professionals recommend taking into consideration how long you’ll be staying in that area. A 15 year or 30 year mortgage is the best way to go if you’re pretty uncertain. This gets you the most equity in your home. 

conventional loan - city

What are closing costs and how much will they be? 

Closing costs are fees that come along with your home purchase and are paid at the end of the real estate transaction. In a recent survey done on Zillow.com, on average buyers will pay roughly $3,700 in closing fees. The Loan Estimate from the beginning will give you a pretty good idea of what you’re closing costs will be. 

This week we celebrate 33 YEARS of helping individuals become home buyers! Whatever your concerns or questions may be, we always answer them as thoroughly as we can. The best part of our job is making this new chapter exciting for you and your family. Meeting your mortgage needs is our top priority!

Call to speak to one of our expert team members today! 480-832-4343 


References:

https://www.trulia.com/blog/type-mortgage-best/