Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nashville Spins

Here are still more examples of how much advertising and marketing contributes more to the decline of the real estate market than people realize.

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but the realty associations continue to put out statistics which do not have a positive impact. As sports fans can tell you, people can use certain statistics to make arguments for either side.

Nashville TN provides us with still another example. The Greater Nashville Assn. of Realtors released their latest monthly market statistics earlier this week. Keep in mind that the realty agents in the area are the ones who combine to financially support the Association. Yet, these statistics show a drop in home sales in the area for the 2nd month in a row.

The question should be asked. Why did the Association issue this information? The member agents don't benefit by current and potential sellers seeing that they have even less of a chance. I don't buy the argument that it encourages potential buyers to take advantage of all of the bargains out there. Instead, potential buyers from out of the area could think that the region has become less desireable.

The Nashville Tennesseean, the major newspaper there, added to the negative spin of this information:

Yet, the local business publication took the SAME information, and put a slightly more positive spin on it:

I'm sure that the Association intended their statistics to always have a positive spin such as the Post gave it. Come to think of it, the Post's article isn't totally positive either. It does show how two separate entities approached the same statistical information. Whether it should have been available to them or not.

Yet, these two articles are not advertising or marketing pieces. That's my other discovery this week.

It so happens that I use a mailbox store to receive a lot of my mail and also to receive packages during the day since I prefer not to have mail or packages left outside of my home. Of course, the junk mail also goes there, which is a good thing.

Earlier this week, I received a mailer from a local mortgage broker. Since I'm in contact with 200 to 300 mortgage offices and banks most every week, I was curious to see their angle. To my amazement, this lender's "letter" told me that they could get me a better deal for my home located at (address), even quoting an estimated amount of my mortgage.

What this mortgage broker didn't know is that the address in that mailer was for the mailbox place. There is no house at that address!

Of course, my industry colleagues are getting a good laugh about this as I spread the word about this lender's carelessness. However, if I were not an advertising and marketing professional in the business, I might well have considered that mailer as one more shady operator and a reason not to deal with mortgage brokers. Especially if I had recently read about how my local realty association promotes that fewer and fewer homes are selling in my area.

These realty agents and lenders seem to have nothing to talk about except for how awful the market is. Yet, next month is supposed to see the start of the Home Affordable Refinance Program. It could be huge break for the millions of home owners who are thousands of dollars underwater on their current mortgage, yet have made the payments and stayed faithful.

I know because it could impact me personally. I'm already on 2 "waiting lists" to be contacted the minute the plan becomes available to me. I might add that neither of those lenders are my previous mortgage broker, since he didn't contact me about this yet. From my conversations with banks and brokers each week, I know that some are planning to administer this program, while some aren't certain and some say they will not.

This HARP plan could save me and thousands of home owners thousands of dollars, and could very well keep numerous home owners from heading toward foreclosure over the years. This could be the most positive development in real estate in three years.

Yet, I'm one of the few writing about it, while realty associations continue to pump out the "nobody is buying" statistics and lenders continue to think that every address is a home with a mortgage.

Here's hoping that advertising, marketing, and news releases will appeal to 100% of the people next time around.


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