Bill Sparkman


Free Marketing Tips For Mortgage and Real-Estate Professionals

See The People!

98% of all success in sales is directly related to the number of people you meet and talk to every day! Want more sales? See More People!


Not A U.S. Citizen? Getting A Mortgage May Be Easier Than You Think

Fully 60% of homes purchased in the U.S. by foreigners are paid for in cash. Some of that, of course, is rich people abroad making investments. But much of it is from people who have green cards or valid work visas, and simply (and incorrectly) think it’s impossible for them to get a mortgage. The reality is, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have pretty much the same requirements for permanent residents and those with valid work visas as they do for natural citizens. Investopedia walks through this in more detail, including some hurdles that are real, but the bottom line is you probably don’t have to save 100% of the purchase price of a home in order to get one.

Beware! Home-Repair Scam Season!

With winter over, many people are looking to do lots of repairs, from storm drains, to shingles, to shudders. On top of that, with thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and every other kind of spring weather coming through, you can definitely call this home-repair season. And conmen know that. Of course, you need to get your home repaired, but if you don’t already have a regular handyman that you trust, be cautious — particularly if anything seems a little off. Huge discounts, large down-payments up front, and a lack of proper ID can all be signals — but some of these scammers even have yellow page ads. Here are a few local reports from around the country that go deeper into this: Bangor Daily for Wichita.

Google Joining Amazon in The Home Repair Act

The Tuesday blog update was about Amazon getting into the home repair
business (or at least, the business of locating home repair services). It
looks like Google wants in on the act, too. Rumors are circulating that
the search giant will be augmenting its comparative mortgage and insurance
tools with the ability to search for local services. It’s not yet clear
how this would be different from the current, Google local results, but one
thing is certain. If both Google and Amazon are entering a market,
there’s bound to be disruption. Keep your eyes open as you search for
your local plumber, and see how Google is changing things.


8 Year Later, Still No Private Money; Fannie & Freddie Running on Fumes

It’s been eight years since the sub-prime mortgage shutdown in 2007. Overall, the market seems to be doing fairly well, and while the U.S. economy may still not be firing on all cylinders, it’s certainly pointed in the right direction. But this belies a dirty little secret: the mortgage industry is still backed by the tax payer. There has been no meaningful injection of capital from private markets back into mortgages, and while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac paid back the treasury department (i.e., us, the taxpayers) a little over a year ago, they’re currently sitting on precious little capital to back any losses on the $5 trillion on their balance sheets.

Homeownership vs. Household Formation

Everyone is familiar with the concept of homeownership, but you may be less familiar with the economic indicator, “household formation” — and it’s something to which you should pay attention if you’re not buying or selling right now, but planning to do in the future. As the Wall Street Journal explains, “When the economy stumbles and joblessness rises, more people tend to move in with family or double up with roommates. When the economy expands, the opposite takes place as people strike out on their own.” That’s household formation. Yesterday, Reuters reported the latest figures on homeownership and household formation. Check out the article for better insight into the future of housing prices, housing starts, and rental rates.

Angie’s List, Craig’s List, …Amazon?

You never want to ignore when Amazon enters a new business: and they just have. If you’re looking for home repair, or any other general labor, Amazon may be the place you go in the future. Amazon Home Services is their new offering, covering over 700 different categories, and already live in 40 states. The Search Engine Journal covers in more detail why Amazon may be the next layer in local services: from their Happiness Guarantee to the ability to order products and services at the same time, it looks like they’re about to give Angie’s List a run for their money.

Interest Rates Staying Low; Rent- Not So Much

With inflation remaining well below their target rate, experts are predicting that this week’s meeting of the Fed will move away from any notion of raising interest rates in June. But while the overall interest rate may be below the point the Fed is targeting, that’s not the case for rent prices. According to the labor department, rent prices were up 3.5% in March from a year earlier. For more detailed financial analysis and explanation, see the original story in the Wall Street Journal. But, in the short term, you can read this news as, it’s still a good time to buy.

Spring Housing Market Stifled By Herd Behavior

A healthy housing market, balanced between buyers and sellers, is considered to be one with about 6 months of inventory. Today, there is just a 4.6 month supply, but at the same time, many homes on the market aren’t moving — they’re going stale (where “stale” is considered anything that’s been on the market longer than a month). According to CNBC  two things are driving this, both artifacts of the housing bubble and bust. First, everyone is more data driven, and data is more widely available. Second, the housing market is now seeing the kind of herd mentality we’re used to seeing in the stock market. Are you missing an opportunity, on either side of the buy–sell equation, because you’re caught up following the herd?

Let Your Watch Find Your Next Home

The Apple Watch has been all the news the last few weeks, and it’s unsurprising, given that smart watch sales are expected to grow from 4.6 million units last year to 28.1 million units this year. What does that have to do with real estate, you ask? Yesterday, Trulia announced they now have a version of their app for the Apple Watch, which extends the functionality of their iPhone app. If the Apple Watch is anywhere near as successful as one would predict, then this trend will only continue, with other real estate location services creating apps both for the Apple Watch and other, Android-based smart watches.

Did Your Home Come with A Maintenance Checklist?

Of course, the title is kind of a joke — it would be more than a little surprising if it had. But wouldn’t it be nice if it had? “A stitch in time saves nine” is a proverb that homeowners would do well to heed, because those proverbial stitches can become quite costly when we’re talking about home maintenance. If you want to keep your home functioning its best, and keep your long-term maintenance costs to a minimum, then a comprehensive maintenance checklist could be quite handy. Thankfully, Amanda Ballin has distilled out just such a list for those items you should consider every spring. And if you want the year long list, she provides a handy link to the comprehensive HUD recommendations.

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About Me:

Bill Sparkman has coached, trained and motivated thousands of mortgage professionals and real-estate agents nationwide. He has been creating and developing champions in the mortgage business, as well as salespeople in all fields, since 1987.
Bill's “nuts and bolts,” real-world approach to increasing personal performance and achieving a balanced life, can help move you quickly to the next level. His ideas are fresh, proven and easy to apply.
Bill is the creator of Total Success Seminars, The 30 Minute Marketing System, Circle of Champions™ Coaching Program, and the author of "Winning Ways", "How to Achieve Peak Performance in Sports, Business, and Life", "How to Sell to An Idiot - 12 Steps to Selling Anything to Anyone", and "Clear to Close, The Real Estate Agents Guide For Turning Prospects Into Paychecks."
Bill's talks, seminars and presentations can be custom designed for groups from 10 to 1,000 or more.


Bill Sparkman
Bill Sparkman Seminars
278 Worthy
Franklin, TN 37064
Office Phone: 847-721-6200
Fax: 615-794-0251



Biznik - Business Networking
Bill Sparkman
May 2015
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