“Something is different”
Those of you who have been with me since I went into management have received my Monday Morning Coffee email entitled “Store Your Nuts” every year at this time since 2007. The email always pointed out that we could be in for a long winter without much business, so “Store Your Nuts”. Earlier in the fall one of my emails suggested that may not be the case this year but I wanted to give it a little bit of time. I truly believe at this time we are set up for the best winter we have had in 5 years. December closings will be at an all time high, the activity in the office and on the street remain very strong. So I started thinking “Something is Different” but what is it? So I took a look back at previous years to see what hurt us going into the winter.
2007- I remember driving back from a managers meeting in August of that year thinking we were going to be ok. They had an economist from NAR talk to us about declining home values and he thought we were at or near the bottom. That night on the news it was announced that Alt-A Lenders Indymac and Greenpoint were shutting down or stopping all Lending. My new thought was “Uh Oh”. It ended up this was the beginning of the credit crisis, most lending virtually shut down and ALL Jumbo financing went bye bye… That winter consumers were scared and credit was hard to come by.
2008-Late summer and early fall the crisis hit the institutional level. Lehman Brothers, AIG, Morgan Stanley, Auto Companies... The stock market went from 13,000-8,000 in a 3 month period, TARP arrived. That winter consumers were scared, financing was still hard to get and they did not know where the bottom was.
2009- The first of the first time homebuyer credit came. However in order to receive the credit you needed to close by November 30th. Mad rush in the late summer and early fall to get everything closed. Business died after December 1 and there were not many transactions to go around that winter.
2010- Repeat of 2009, second first time homebuyer credit came. You needed to be under contract by June 30th and close by August 30th which was extended to September 30th. Transactions for that year were pulled forward again, not many transactions to go around last winter.
2011- “Something is Different” I believe it is a combination of 3 things that will make this winter season much better. We are no longer dealing with major financial crisis in the Country (few smaller ones), we did not have an artificial stimulus this year that adjusted seasonal buying trends and most important is that we are dealing with consumers who are now confident. Let’s take advantage of it and have a great winter!
Enjoy the coffee,
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in time of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality."
STAND UP AND BE COUNTED!
Think there's any "moral crisis" going on in our country right now? What about in our city? Our schools? Our neighborhood? Where did it come from, and why are we facing these challenges?
We are a country - city - neighborhood - blessed with peace and prosperity. Our daily choices range from which SUV we will drive, to where we will dine next, to how we will redecorate our home this year. Our concerns include our child's upcoming soccer match, whether or not to refinance the house, making "Salesperson of the Year," and taking more time for golf or tennis.
With all the choices complemented by our affluence, we have also become compliant, accepting, and politically correct. We strive to please everyone, avoid "rocking the boat," and prefer the status quo. It's so much easier that way, isn't it?
In doing so, however, we may also abdicate responsibility for teaching our children the value of principle-centered living. What principles should we be teaching - and practicing? Why not adopt and teach the value of courage, diligence, faithfulness, generosity, cleanliness, honesty, encouragement, frugality, humility, industry, justice, moderation, order, resolution, silence, honesty, sincerity, temperance, and tranquility?
Imagine how the world around us would change if we taught and participated in more of these time-honored values. Remember that our country IS our cities, our neighborhoods, and our homes. What begins at the grass roots level - literally in our own backyards - can be spread throughout the world. Abandon neutrality and you can change the world!