WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged lower this week.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages slipped to 3.89 percent from 3.90 percent last week. While historically low, that's still above last year's average of 3.65 percent. The benchmark rate stood at 3.43 percent a year ago.
The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate home loans, popular with homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages, fell to 3.16 percent from 3.18 percent last week.
Record-low interest rates have helped spur home purchases and boosted the housing market. Yet despite the low mortgage rates to lure prospective homebuyers, the housing market has remained hampered by tight mortgage credit, rising home prices and tight supply of homes on the market.
In the latest indication of low inventory constraining home purchases, real estate brokerage Redfin reported Thursday that sales in July declined 3.5 percent from a year earlier. The number of homes for sale fell 11 percent, marking 22 straight months of year-over-year declines in inventory, according to Redfin. There was a three-month supply of homes in July, higher than June's record-low 2.5 months but well below the six months that represents a market balanced between buyers and sellers.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.
The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was 0.4 point, down from 0.5 point last week. The fee on 15-year loans was unchanged at 0.5 point.
Rates on adjustable five-year loans rose to 3.16 percent from 3.14 percent last week. The fee declined to 0.4 point from 0.5 point.
CONGRATULATIONS – you have yourself a real estate license! It’s official: you are now a real estate agent.
So, what’s next? Garrett Lenderman, lead writer and researcher for Keller Williams’ publishing division, offers valuable insight.
“Your database is your business.”
Oftentimes, the difference between an average business and a mega business can be pinpointed to the number of times an agent communicates with members of their database.
“Each time you touch people in your database, you gain a piece of mindshare, which will help position you as someone they need to talk to when they think about buying or selling real estate. The more frequently you communicate with your database, the more mindshare you gain, and the more you’re able to profit from the relationships you build within it,” Lenderman explains.
He also emphasizes that how you talk to your database matters. While the world continues to invent new, easier ways for us to communicate with one another, for real estate agents, the number one weapon of choice is still the phone. This isn’t because real estate agents are old-fashioned; it’s because voice-to-voice communication is extremely efficient and effective. When engaging with someone else, what we say is only one half of the equation – there’s also how we say it. When speaking with someone else, we constantly send and receive millions of signals that all add up to our interpretation and understanding of what’s being said. When using simple forms of communication like text messaging, we restrict our ability to use our full arsenal of communication tools.
So go out and talk to people, and make sure what you say counts. Lenderman suggests, at the very least, you should pick up the phone and call everyone in your database at least once a quarter. When designing touch plans to add to that, remember that the more personal you make it, the more effective it will be.
“No is a spectrum.”
The importance of learning that “no” and “yes” fall on a spectrum is key to becoming a successful agent. When someone tells us “no,” there’s usually a condition associated with it. When talking with people who are interested in real estate, it’s important to gauge how strongly someone is committed to their current decisions and what needs to happen for them to change their minds. Sometimes you’ll find that you have the ability to help people turn their no into a yes.
Learning to interpret people’s needs is part of being a good communicator, which is why it’s important to focus on building your skills through scripts and dialogues, as well as experience, on a daily basis.
“You have to invest in your business and you have to invest in yourself.”
Starting out viewing your job as just that – a job – is a mistake. Agents should view and handle themselves as business owners. By treating real estate as an enterprise from day one, you set yourself up for future growth and success. This means operating off of a schedule that allows you to take control of your time, investing in a database that provides you and those you’re looking to serve with continuing value, continually educating yourself so that you can educate your customers, and pairing big goals with big actions and big accountability that will guide you to the future you desire.
“It’s never that hard again.”
Starting something from scratch is always going to be hard. Your first cold call is hard. Selling your first home is hard. The good news is that it is only going to get easier from here. Repetition, making mistakes, and learning as you go will help make things exponentially easier. Experience is a great teacher, and relying on your own and asking others to share theirs will help you on your own personal and professional growth journey.
“Take a leap.”
Jumping into a new career in real estate can be challenging. Working on outreach, making real connections with customers, creating a strong database, and treating real estate like a business are all key ingredients for success.
Assuming you’ve chosen to hang your license with Keller Williams, you’ve already started your career off on the right foot. Plug in to your market center by taking advantage of the training and expertise all around you. And, if you haven’t already, start memorizing the proven models and systems of The Millionaire Real Estate Agent – a book that has sold more than 1,000,000 copies and helped agents just like you create a business worth owning.
Attend a Free Career Session - Tuesday, January 3rd - 6:30 pm -- 7:30 pm - Career Session - Keller Williams Realty Silicon City, 2520 Mission College Blvd., #102, Santa Clara CA. - Can be attended by internet broadcast!
Not Licensed? Get your California Real Estate License!
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FREE GUEST LESSON -- Attend one lesson as our guest; no cost or obligation. You can try before you buy! CLICK HERE to register for a FREE Guest Lesson
VIDEO REPLAYS -- This is an added convenience for students with busy schedules or those who miss a class, want to repeat a class, or who want to accelerate the program because of an upcoming state exam date.
CLASS HANDOUTS -- You will receive copies of the lesson slides which will make it easy to follow along with the class and review the material. You don't have to become a stenographer.
BULLET OUTLINE -- This handy book makes studying for the state exam much easier and more efficient by condensing the testable information into a digestible outline.
PRACTICE TESTING PROGRAM -- Our questions parallel those used on the state exam and you take the practice tests online.
SATURDAY EXAM WORKSHOP -- This intensive session will give you the final push you need before your state exam.
PASS, OR YOUR MONEY BACK, COURSE GUARANTEE - Virtually all of our students pass the state exam on their first try. If you don't pass, we will refund your tuition in full. 100%
Free placement assistance. Join the fastest growing real estate company in the world
Advantages of a career at Keller Williams!
Industry-leading training and support
Proven business models to build your business
Make a six-figure income
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Work your own hours
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No experience necessary - we have all the training you need to get your real estate license!
Call (408) 357-0285 for further information.
Why Smart People Don't Multitask
Dec 21, 2016
You may have heard that multitasking is bad for you, but new studies show that it kills your performance and may even damage your brain. Every time you multitask you aren't just harming your performance in the moment; you may very well be damaging an area of your brain that's critical to your future success at work.
Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.
A Special Skill?
But what if some people have a special gift for multitasking? The Stanford researchers compared groups of people based on their tendency to multitask and their belief that it helps their performance. They found that heavy multitaskers—those who multitask a lot and feel that it boosts their performance—were actually worse at multitasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. The frequent multitaskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another.
Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.
Multitasking Lowers IQ
Research also shows that, in addition to slowing you down, multitasking lowers your IQ. A study at the University of London found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they'd expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child.
So the next time you're writing your boss an email during a meeting, remember that your cognitive capacity is being diminished to the point that you might as well let an 8-year-old write it for you.
Brain Damage From Multitasking?
It was long believed that cognitive impairment from multitasking was temporary, but new research suggests otherwise. Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK compared the amount of time people spend on multiple devices (such as texting while watching TV) to MRI scans of their brains. They found that high multitaskers had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region responsible for empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control.
While more research is needed to determine if multitasking is physically damaging the brain (versus existing brain damage that predisposes people to multitask), it's clear that multitasking has negative effects.
Neuroscientist Kep Kee Loh, the study’s lead author, explained the implications:
"I feel that it is important to create an awareness that the way we are interacting with the devices might be changing the way we think and these changes might be occurring at the level of brain structure.”
The EQ Connection
Nothing turns people off quite like fiddling with your phone or tablet during a conversation. Multitasking in meetings and other social settings indicates low Self- and Social Awareness, two emotional intelligence (EQ) skills that are critical to success at work. TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that 90% of top performers have high EQs. If multitasking does indeed damage the anterior cingulate cortex (a key brain region for EQ) as current research suggests, doing so will lower your EQ while it alienates your coworkers.
Bringing It All Together
If you’re prone to multitasking, this is not a habit you’ll want to indulge—it clearly slows you down and decreases the quality of your work. Even if it doesn’t cause brain damage, allowing yourself to multitask will fuel any existing difficulties you have with concentration, organization, and attention to detail.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world's leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, TIME, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.
If you'd like to learn how to increase your emotional intelligence (EQ), consider taking the online Emotional Intelligence Appraisal® test that's included with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book. Your test results will pinpoint which of the book's 66 emotional intelligence strategies will increase your EQ the most.