Dave: Part of being an expert is knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t know. While I have been writing an economic commentary for over 30 years (I started when I was five), the one thing I do know is that you cannot predict the future. If I could, I would be doing something else for a living. As a matter of fact, when I was on the street decades ago, I would give talks to real estate agents, and I would bring a “prop.”
What was that prop? It was one of those “Magic 8 Balls” in which you shook it, and it gave you an answer. Invariably, an agent would ask—what do you think rates are going to do? I would pull out the ball and shake it and answer something like: "Don’t count on it." I always got somewhat of a laugh, but they got the point. Two years ago, in January, nobody was predicting record low rates just a few months later.
Even though most predicted higher rates this year, most did not expect them to shoot up so quickly in just a few short weeks. Usually, rates don’t go up or down in a straight line. Rates will likely move lower at times even when the general direction is up. In effect they are trending back to where they were pre-pandemic. So, my question to you is: assuming rates are higher this year, what are you going to do differently to maintain your success?
Here are just a few suggestions, but they are critical:
- Finally build a complete database of your entire sphere. How long have you been promising yourself that you would compile your complete database? This is not just your previous customers, but your entire sphere, which I call a compendium of your life.
- Tell everyone in your sphere what you do for a living. Then ask for their help and tell them how to help you. Your next-door neighbor does not know that you would like to meet their brother who is a financial planner.
- Prioritize your contacts. Now that you have the universe of possibilities, you need to decide who is more important within your sphere. You can’t have lunch with 3,000. Lunch is a prioritization decision, and you can’t make the best decision unless you consider all the possibilities.
- Focus on Cash-Out. Rates are still reasonably low. There is plenty of equity to be tapped and plenty of consumer debt and home improvements to undertake. Focus on solutions for your previous clients and entire sphere.