2011 Predictions From Industry Experts – Dave Rank

Dave Rank: Area sales manager, Mortgage Services III

Name three people/businesses that you are watching in 2011. One business that I will be watching in 2011 is a company called Cartavi (cartavi.com). Cartavi makes web-based software that allows you to store and share files securely with all parties involved in a real estate transaction. It’s more than just online storage and they’re one of a few new software companies heading in the right direction in terms of providing easy-to-use technology for the real estate industry. Users love the fact that they can fax or share documents with anyone right from their phones. Keep an eye on Cartavi in 2011.

A second business to watch in 2011 is Chicago Short Sale Specialist (chicagoshortsalespecialists.com), which is affiliated with Jameson Real Estate. The trend of opting to sell your home via short sale instead of foreclosure will continue to rise over the next couple of years and CSSS has the knowledge and experience in negotiating these short sales to help a lot of consumers. CSSS works with all major lenders and has the experience to get these short sales approved. They have developed a specific methodology that has been proven time and time again. CSSS has successfully closed over 200 short sales in the Chicagoland area. I am looking for these numbers to increase dramatically in 2011.

Last is New Home Star (newhomestar.com). Founded in 2007, New Home Star markets and sells new residential construction for builders, developers and financial institutions. From the early planning of a new project to the selling of close-out units, their staff possesses an expertise in all facets of new residential development sales and marketing. New Home Star believes in a simple equation: sales = traffic x conversion rate. New Home Star makes a science of driving more traffic for less dollars and achieving a higher sales conversion rate by having a better point-of-sale experience with a more robust follow-up program.

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What plans do you have for your own business in 2011? MSI grew very rapidly in 2010, adding new annualized production in excess of $600 million. That growth included loan originators, and also sales assistants, processors, underwriters and closers. In 2011, MSI wants to grow at a similar pace as 2010. I would expect MSI Retail in Chicago to add new branch locations, building a greater presence throughout Chicago over the next year.

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Where will the real estate opportunities be in 2011? The real estate industry will continue to work through turmoil in 2011. Balancing a lack of consumer confidence, continued declining home values and unemployment which continues to grow, I believe the real opportunity in real estate will be for those who directly help the consumers reposition their own financial pictures. The focus will be on helping a consumer sell their house to avoid foreclosure, helping a consumer refinance their current mortgage to realize monthly savings in their budget and helping a builder sitting on property strategize, market and sell newly constructed homes, and as always helping the first-time homebuyer realize the American Dream. Really, the opportunities in real estate will exist as they always have, to help the consumer. Those of us that continue to work to find new ways to reach the consumers will succeed.

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How many people, if any, do you plan to hire in 2011? I cannot put a figure on the number of people we are planing to hire at MSI. What I can say is that we are looking to add experienced, well-respected loan originators that have the relationships needed to increase our loan volume in 2011. That could come from five new loan originators or 20. As we continue to grow our sales staff, our internal operational staff will grow in accordance with our desires to maintain the highest level of customer service in the industry.

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What are some obstacles you see in the industry today? The largest obstacle we are faced with in the mortgage industry right now unfortunately affects the entire real estate community, this is the legislation that has been passed over the last couple years. REG Z, HVCC and the anticipated comp changes have all forced mortgage originators, appraisers and real estate salespeople to change the way they have done business over the years. I do understand why the pendulum had to swing so heavily toward regulation over the last couple years, and at MSI we continue to insure we are engaged with these changes and communicate them effectively.

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Dave Rank is area sales manager at Mortgage Services III, LLC. He can be reached at 630.880.8866.

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