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Residential Department: From the Editor: September 2018


From the Editor

Recession pain lingers more than a decade later

Look around and you can find any number of post-mortems on the Great Recession.

There have been ample opportunities. The recession started in December 2007 and the crisis played out in a series of calamitous economic events over the ensuing months. r_2018-09_FTE

Any of those events could be fodder for a news story looking at what occurred a decade ago and how it affects today.

The down-the-rabbit-hole moment of the recession, when it became clear that everything had changed forever, was when Lehman Brothers shut down 10 years ago this month, and the television cameras caught all of those workers arriving at the New York offices to clean out their desks.

What followed was an upheaval of the mortgage industry unlike anything seen in generations.

Things are better now.

The stock market has recovered. People have been buying homes and would buy more if the inventory was available. Even median-household income looks to finally be surpassing the pre-recession levels.

That’s why it was surprising to see an analysis from online real estate database company Zillow about the number of U.S. housing markets where home values still haven’t reached pre-recession prices.

Las Vegas, for instance, has less than 1 percent of its homes worth more now than a decade ago. Other major markets still hurting include Miami and Orlando in Florida and Baltimore and Chicago.

Just 50 percent of homes in the U.S. are worth more now than pre-recession, according to Zillow.

Another recent Zillow report published in recent months was a survey of more than 100 economists and real estate experts who believe that the next recession is on the horizon.

The majority, many citing concerns about monetary and trade policy, expect it to occur by 2020.

On to cheerier topics now: This month’s issue focuses on marketing.

Jim Anderson of Certainty Home Loans writes about how originators can no longer rely solely on real estate agent and builder relationships. On Page 39, he explains how a well-thought-out marketing plan is needed for lead generation.

On Page 70, Jake Tesch and Connor Snyder of Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC write about how video should be key to any digital marketing plan, especially with the continued rise of social media.

Two articles talk about the importance of online reviews for the mortgage industry. SocialSurvey’s Scott Harris writes on Page 111 that originators who don’t tend to online reviews will likely be defined by the dissatisfied few.’s Henri Isenberg writes on Page 128 that online reviews often are overlooked, or at least under-managed.

RPM Mortgage’s Dick Lepre on Page 83 writes about the most important reports that originators should track each month.

Near the end of the magazine, on Page 135, is a piece by Churchill Mortgage President and founder Mike Hardwick on how originators need to serve as counselors for clients and not just look to finish a transaction. Truth and honesty need to be core foundations of this business.


Jim Davis is editor of Scotsman Guide Residential Edition. Reach him at (800) 297-6030 or

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