Mortgage Rates Inch Up – Based on Freddie Mac reports, mortgage rates have reversed course after weeks of declines, but are still lower than a year ago. “While mortgage rates very modestly rose to 4.41 percent recently, they remain below year-ago levels for the fourth week in a row,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “In late 2018, mortgage rates rose over a full percentage point from the prior year, which was one of the main reasons that weakness in home sales continued into early 2019. However, the impact of recent lower rates and a strong labor market has led to a rise in purchase mortgage demand as we start the spring home-buying season.”
Report: Homeowners 8% Richer Over the Past Year – According to CoreLogic’s Home Equity Report, home equity continued to increase in the fourth quarter of 2018, with more homeowners profiting over rising home prices. U.S. homeowners with a mortgage saw their equity rise by 8.1 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2018. The average homeowner has gained $9,700 in home equity between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2018, the report showed.
Survey: Homeownership Still Hallmark of American Dream – According to a Bankrate.com survey, the majority of Americans, 79 percent still believe that owning a home is a vital component of achieving the American dream. Americans placed achieving homeownership ahead of retirement (68 percent), having a successful career (63 percent), and owning an automobile (58 percent), according to the survey. While the majority of respondents rated ownership high, they do see several challenges to overcome to achieve it. About half of the survey’s respondents say they don’t own a home because they can’t afford it on their income. Four in 10 Americans say they don’t own because they can’t afford a down payment and closing costs, while one-third cite high home prices as the major obstacle.
Young Buyers Trust Recommendations Above All Else – Based on a recent study of 18 to 29-year-olds by Swift Prepaid Solutions, friends and family are the number one way younger millennials and Generation Zers learn about brands. This outpaces Google, social media, Amazon, retail stores, and television. As digital natives, members of this group of emerging buyers are highly tech-savvy, and, like their older counterparts, they prefer to browse online before making a purchase. However, because brand loyalty among these buyers is largely driven by opinions of people they know and trust, it’s crucial to build strong, lasting relationships with their clients in order to attract more business.
Here are three ways to provide high quality customer service to strengthen your brand reputation and build loyalty among your clientele.
- Reply to emails and phone calls immediately.When a prospective client reaches out for the first time, and they do not hear back that same day, they may very well move on. Today’s clients are looking for fast responses to questions from someone who cares.
- Exercise unparalleled transparency. The more transparent you are when working with a client, the more trust you will gain.
- Focus solely on your clients.Work on remembering details like the names of their children or pets. True personal service will differentiate your brand.