MMG Weekly / Vantage Production.blueForecast for the Week

After last week’s busy economic calendar, economic reports don’t begin until Thursday this week.

  • As usual, weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be released on Thursday. Last week’s claims jumped unexpectedly by 16,000, reaching a one-month high.
  • On Friday, look for news on inflation at the wholesale level with the Producer Price Index. The Consumer Sentiment Index will also be released.

In addition, the minutes from the March FOMC meeting will be released on Wednesday, and they could provide more insight regarding tapering and the Fed’s Bond buying program.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving – and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.

To go one step further – a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.

As you can see in the chart below, the markets have been volatile this year but home loan rates remain near historic best levels. I’ll continue to monitor them closely.

Chart: Fannie Mae 4.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday April 04, 2014)

Japanese Candlestick Chart
The Mortgage Market Guide View…

The Power of “Listening Slowly”

As a sales professional or service provider, you often meet with new clients and referral partners. But even if your questions are thorough, people may occasionally give vague or incomplete answers that, when left unexplored, could significantly impact both the advice and service you give them.

In the book, Change-Friendly Leadership, management coach Rodger Dean Duncan suggests you try a technique called listening slowly, which Duncan learned directly from PBS NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer.

“He urged me to ask a good question,” says Duncan, “listen attentively to the answer, and then count silently to five before asking another question. At first that suggestion seemed silly. I argued that five seconds would seem like an eternity to wait after someone responds to a question. Then it occurred to me: Of course it would seem like an eternity, because our natural tendency is to fill a void with sound, usually that of our own voice.”

So, how can this technique help you in meetings? When people are left with a few moments of silence, you’ll be amazed at how often and how quickly they will offer more information that can help you better serve them.

Of course, you don’t want to pause for five seconds after every single question – strictly factual and yes-or-no questions are fine as they are. But when you’re looking for a deeper-level answer, an opinion, or an expanded view into a person’s thoughts or needs, then try incorporating the magic of listening slowly into your client meetings.

Please feel free to pass this tip along to your team, clients, and colleagues.

Economic Calendar for the Week of April 07 – April 11

Economic Report
Wed. April 9
FOMC Minutes
Thu. April 10
Jobless Claims (Initial)
Fri. April 11
Core Producer Price Index (PPI)
Fri. April 11
Producer Price Index (PPI)
Fri. April 11
Consumer Sentiment Index (UoM)

The material contained in this newsletter is provided by a third party to real estate, financial services and other professionals only for their use and the use of their clients. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.

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