Letters to the Editor
Fed up with Fed, broker considers career changeBy Inman News, Monday, November 12, 2007.
Re: 'Housing needs restoration of new credit' (Nov. 9)
Lou Barnes' article could not have been more right on. I have been in mortgages since 1984, having started with "hard money" before anyone else was doing it and before any institutions were doing high LTV loans and very few seconds.
I have grown very weary of being in a business where the Fed, no matter WHO is chairman at the time, hasn't had a new idea in maybe 100 years (at least since John Maynard Keynes walked the earth) and every few years comes in and ruins our business by reckless raising of short-term interest rates with little regard for any global changes in the economy at large.
Now the mess is so huge, greatly exacerbated by the 24-hour media, that Congress is looking to pass legislation that will put the dagger in so far it may be fatal to our industry, and thus our economy. Eliminating yield spread premiums (i.e. lender pays the broker) will only make the problem worse and more costly for the consumer. It has ZERO to do with the problem we are facing and will do ZERO to remedy the situation at hand. I am so greatly distressed at the damage Congress will do to our industry (and thus the economy at large) that I am considering leaving the industry after more than 30 years and going to just go drive a tour bus at the zoo.
These knee-jerk reactions by an out-of-touch Congress over the years have always presented more trials for the industry, but the changes now proposed will slow already lethargic home sales to a snail's pace. This will increase supply, and thus continue the downward spiral of home price-points. This ain't gonna be pretty.
La Mesa, Calif.
Re: 'Agents can exchange 'Mickey Mouse' leads' (Nov. 7)
I belong to HouseValues, and, yes, it has some nice marketing features; however, the lead quality is very poor (and, of course the number of leads has dropped).
To top this off:
1) They do not want the agents to return leads to them that do not have valid e-mails until the agent has tried three times to send that lead something (why should agents waste their time doing this plus all the start up we have to perform for each lead? HouseValues should verify the e-mail for the subject lead the three required times and pass it on to the agent only if they are able to confirm it is a viable e-mail -- then the agent can spend the start-up time for setting the lead on a campaign, sending letters, lists, newsletters, etc.)
2) You have to keep leads when the person is already listed with another brokerage, etc.; they are not the owner of the home they want you to do a market analysis on, etc.
HouseValues would be doing themselves a service by verifying the leads they send out instead of just capturing junk and sending it -- agents are getting tired of paying for this kind of product. I will either be reducing my lead volume with them or just canceling. Also, another thing, you are locked into a contract with a penalty if you find it does not work as well as it should -- you have to pay the balance of your contract if you terminate.
The Noble Team
Diamond Bar, Calif.
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