Is Zillow crazy for doing this?

Plus, NAR president’s shocking resignation

Uncertain Times

We’re all looking for a little certainty in this market, and well, the Fed didn’t exactly give us what we want. Over the weekend, after its weeklong policy retreat, the Fed signaled that it’s keeping its options open. It’s probably not going to raise interest rates anytime soon but left the door open to raising rates if inflation doesn’t start cooling off.

We know that it’s not easy to live in this economic limbo. If you’re feeling uneasy, that’s totally normal. Just remember: the market is cyclical, and this won’t last forever. We know from experience. When we started out, the economy was still crawling out of the Great Recession. Everyone told us the same thing we’re telling you now, and they obviously turned out to be right.

While there are certain things we don’t know, we do know one thing for certain: people will always buy and sell homes. As long as you stay in this business for the long haul, you will eventually come out the other side.

- James and David

Zillow now offering a 1% down payment option

Source: Unsplash

For buyers facing affordability challenges, Zillow Home Loans is now offering a 1% down home loan program. Right now, Zillow is rolling out the program in Arizona with plans to expand to other markets. Here are the key points:

  • Buyers who qualify will pay 1% down, and Zillow Home Loans will cover an additional 2% to bring the total down payment to 3%

  • Zillow says this will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes buyers to save up for a home purchase

  • UWM and Rocket Mortgage rolled out similar programs earlier this year

Our take

This plan is definitely raising a lot of eyebrows around our industry. You don’t need to be a historian to know what can happen when homeowners get some very good arrangement that gets them into a house that they previously couldn’t afford. Now we know things have changed, and this isn’t quite the same as what we saw before the 2008 crisis, but let’s just say we will be watching this program very, very closely. While we do need to take some steps to combat the affordability crisis, many people in our business think this might be a step too far. We shall wait and see!

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Cities with the greatest home-price growth potential

Source: Unsplash

Yardi Matrix, a real-estate intelligence firm, has come out with its list of the markets with the greatest potential for home price growth. This is based on key factors like the influx of jobs and population growth. Here are the top 5 cities on their list:

  1. Dallas, TX

  2. Austin, TX

  3. Nashville, TN

  4. Cincinnati, OH

  5. Columbus, OH

Our take

Agents should always be searching for markets with growth potential. While these types of reports aren’t rock-solid predictors of the future, they can help steer you in the right direction. They also give you an overall sense of where economies are changing, and therefore, where home values are likely to increase. As remote work continues to reshape industries across our country, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on how cities and suburbs are changing.

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NAR President resigns after accusations of sexual harassment

Source: Data USA

In a shocking turn of events, just two days after a New York Times expose, NAR president Kenny Parcell announced his resignation on Monday. Here are the main points we know so far:

  • On Aug. 26th, The New York Times detailed allegations of sexual harassment by Parcell and a “culture of fear” at NAR

  • The New York Times spoke with 29 current and former NAR employees about sexual harassment and discrimination claims

  • Many of these claims began to surface after Janelle Brevard, a former employee, filed—and then withdrew—a lawsuit for racial and sexual discrimination

  • Parcell denied any wrongdoing in his letter of resignation and said he was shocked by the “character assassination”

  • Idaho broker-owner Tracy Kasper has taken over the role of president

Our take

We don’t wish to prejudge the matter as the story is just developing, but the accusations alleged against Parcell and NAR are extremely serious. They raise questions not only about the organization’s internal practices, but also about its commitment to fostering a safe and respectful environment for all its members and employees. Needless to say, we will be monitoring developments in this story very closely.

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The news that just missed the cut

Source: Unsplash

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

Prospecting leads is one of the most powerful skills you need to learn as an agent. We recommend spending at least two hours a day doing it. The more you do it, the more natural it will become. We suggest keeping these three tips in mind:

“Sell the sizzle”People can sense your energy, mindset, and excitement through the phone. We call it “selling the sizzle.” Bring your best energy and passion to every call and people will buy what you’re selling.

Call with a goal in mind – Before you dial, know what you want to get out of the call, whether it’s a listing appointment, a partnership, a referral, or whatever it may be. Call with a goal and stick to it!

Expect the objectionYou will get a lot of no’s. That’s just the reality of cold-calling. We recommend having a handful of responses prepared to the most common objections you hear everyday. That way the no’s don’t rattle you, and you’re always ready with a well-informed answer.

For more tips and some useful scripts on cold calling, start with this guide.


You ask, James and David answer!

Q: What advice do you have for agents trying to get into a new market that is already dominated by long-time agents with the majority of the market share in that specific location?

Mathew, The Blueprint reader, Texas

A: Great question. The only way you can gain your own market share when there’s already a key player is to do something different. Different how? That’s up to you! You can offer a lower commission, offer extra incentives the other person doesn’t, target a different demographic, go viral on the Internet, hyper-focus your marketing, offer amazing referral benefits, or any number of other things to stand out. But the bottom line is that you’ve got to take a unique approach if you want to gain share.

James & David

We’ll be back next week with another answer to a real reader question. Submit yours here!

Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Source: Rocket Mortgage

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.” - Mark Twain

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you Friday!