Thursday, October 30, 2014

Membership Drive...how much new Blood can you recruit?

















Currently in the lead with the most new Blood

Gus Rubio with Gabriel Builders
welcoming: Evan Farner
                   Tony Freeman
                   Alan Carver
                   Julie Eldridge

Todd Usher with Addison Homes
welcoming: Diane Jackson
                    Eddie Woodard
                    Ted Bragg

Rhett Brown with Allen Tate Realtors
welcoming: Shelly DeVreese
                    Julie Howe
                    Christy Grear

Bill Kane with Ryan Homes
welcoming: Trina Montalbano
                    Christina Brooks
                    Brittany Bailey

You still have time to recruit new members, contest winners will be announced at the Annual Meeting sponsored by PestBan on November 13th with featured speaker Jerry Howard, CEO of NAHB.

SMC's ABC's of Green Construction, Behind the walls of a zero energy home!- November 11th

Ready to Learn More, Earn More? Come see what it looks like behind the walls, and one of Greenville's first Zero Net Energy Homes at that. The SMC will host it's Education Kickoff on November 11th sponsored by Addison Homes at Trailside Communities starting at 10:30 a.m.
Come grab a bite to eat and drink, walk through the home and speak to those that are making this home Zero Energy. Todd Usher, President of Addison Homes will conclude this event with information about the home, making you more confident when your client asks you about going Green.
Vendors invited to the event to share information about their contribution to this home include Dow Solar, Dow Building, Palmetto Exterminators, Prime Energy Group/Icynene, and Wood Insulating.

                                                                                  


Greenville╩╝s first community built to
rigorous ChallengeHome &
ActiveHouse standards
 
Best value available,
utility bills that approach zero



Managing Online Leads Through Marketing Automation

When the home building market was struggling, most chose to take advantage of as many lead opportunities as possible. Now, as the market rebounds, record numbers of new leads are coming through the pipeline.

And it should come as no surprise that more than 90% of home shoppers begin their search online. So, in an upswing market, how do you find time to deal with the onslaught of new leads?

Enter Marketing Automation: A Smart Way to Manage Leads
Marketing automation offers an answer to this problem with ready-made, analytic information on lead quality and customer profiles, as well as automated methods to prioritize and nurture leads based on where they are in the home buying process. Using this type of software gives you the ability to capture online leads with little effort, and spend less time qualifying prospects and more time closing sales.

How Marketing Automation Works

Marketing automation works with your existing customer relationship management software, and scores leads based on their browsing habits and other customer profile information. It then generates and distributes tailored, valuable content to prospects through your website, social media and email marketing — all designed to nurture consumers through the buying process.

Automated analytics allow you to spend more time developing high-quality content, while the software progressively scores, profiles and prioritizes leads. With that information, you can ramp up your marketing efforts in a calculated way, providing useful, well-timed content and interaction to your customers.

The Benefits of Marketing Automation for Home Builders

For most home builders, automated scoring and categorization of leads is a huge breath of fresh air. There are plenty of tire kickers out there anxious to learn every detail of every floor plan with absolutely no intention of buying. Automation allows you to focus only on the leads worth the effort, saving yourself time and money.

Consumers don’t want their time wasted either, and will appreciate original, relevant content and outreach. A customer just beginning the research phase may not respond well to an immediate, head-on sales approach, when they simply need more information about a particular plan or feature.

Through the methodical process of progressive profiling, you learn whether a contact is a qualified prospect, and if so what makes them tick. And then you can provide them information of real value through relevant event invitations, personalized email content, graphics or other important communications.

This article originally appeared in the May/June issue of Sales + Marketing Ideas magazine. 

FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Continue To Decline in September

Nationally, interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages decreased slightly from August to September, according to several indices of new mortgage contracts.

The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 4.06 percent for loans closed in late September, down 2 basis points from 4.08 percent in August.

The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.07 percent, down 2 basis points from 4.09 in August.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.31 percent, a decrease of 2 basis points from 4.33 in August.

The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.22 percent in September, down 2 basis points from 4.24 percent in August. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

The average loan amount for all loans was $281,000 in September, down $6,100 from $287,100 in August.

To find the complete contract rate series, go to www.fhfa.gov/Default.aspx?Page=251. ​​​

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Skirting Lead Paint Certification Doesn’t Pay

Recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions indicate that contractors who are operating without proper certification or training to remove lead-based paint will be held accountable for being non-compliant.

Last week, the EPA announced settlement agreements with nine California-based companies that failed to get certified before advertising, bidding on, or performing renovation and repair projects in older housing and schools. Each company was ordered to pay a $1,000 civil penalty and, in most cases, required to complete training and obtain certification.

Contractors and renovators who are not certified pose a potential health risk to consumers if they are working in pre-1978 homes and schools that may contain lead-based paint.

Under the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule remodelers and other contractors are required to be properly trained and certified by the EPA before working on these types of structures. The RRP program is designed to protect consumers, especially children, from exposure to hazardous lead dust caused by renovation and repair activities.

Contractors and renovators who are not certified undermine the intent of the RRP rule and the good work being done by those who are trying to comply with EPA’s home owner/tenant lead-based paint pre-work notification, lead-based paint safe work practices, post work cleaning practices, and reporting requirements under the RRP rule.

The agency said in a press release that it will continue to pursue enforcement against companies that are not certified, using public information to help identify violators.

Your Home Builders Association has been actively engaged in EPA’s lead-based paint program for the residential sector since its inception and has been an advocate and supporter of the required training completion for its members.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Annual Meeting on November 13th, Sponsored by PestBan! Featuring NAHB CEO Jerry Howard. Also, HBA Coat Drive to be held at this event.

Don't miss out on a GREAT event, Jerry Howard, CEO of NAHB will be the featured speaker, at our Annual Meeting November 13th. This event is sponsored by PestBan and will be held at the TD Convention Center starting at 11:30 a.m. 
Prior to the event your HBA will also host members for Member Orientation starting at 10:30 a.m. at the TD Convention Center. 


Jerry Howard, Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Home Builders, has more than 25 years of association experience and a lifetime in the housing industry.
         Jerry began his association career at the National Association of Realtors, where he served as a Legislative Analyst for tax issues. Prior to joining NAHB, Jerry served as the Chief Lobbyist for the National Council of State Housing Agencies where he was instrumental in the development of the low income housing tax credit as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Jerry came to NAHB as tax counsel in 1988 and was promoted to Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer in February 2001.
         Before embarking on his association career, Jerry practiced real estate law in his home state of South Carolina. Jerry earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina. He, his wife Christina and their children Eirann, Meaghan and Sean live in Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.


To RSVP for this event or for more information on any of our upcoming events please contact the HBA office at 864-254-0133

Don't forget to bring a new or gently used coat for the HBA of Greenville- Community Service Committee's, Coat Drive to benefit Miracle Hill.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Facts about the Penny Sales Tax Referendum for Roads in Greenville County

Your Home Builders Association is in support of the referendum on the Penny Sales Tax for Roads in Greenville County.  The Board of Directors supports the referendum because it is a broad-based funding solution for a problem in our county that affects everyone.  More specifically, however, it impacts home builders.  During the last year, local governments have denied approvals to several new subdivisions because of traffic concerns.  Our county's inadequate roads do affect home builders and will continue to if a solution is not found to repair our roads. 

Below are some facts about the referendum from Citizens for a Better Greenville, a coalition your Home Builders Association joined to support the referendum question:

"County Council can change the list of projects to whatever it wants."
This is false. This comes from a very erroneous reading of the ordinance. The County Council operates on a 2-year budget, so every two years of the 8-year lifetime of the tax, the Council will have to approve a list of projects. The current Council cannot bind the next Council. But, the ordinance goes on to say that the language "shall not" mean the Council can deviate from the detailed list of projects approved by the voters.  It only means that the next Council can set priorities from within the project list approved by the voters.

"The state has the money to repair the roads."
This is false. If you drive 15,000 miles a year, and get 20 miles per gallon, you pay enough gas tax to pave 7 feet of road.  Our state has 216 million feet of state road. The state's plan for roads, based on current funding, has resulted in 70 percent of our roads receiving a rating of "poor," and at the current rate, some Greenville County roads will not be repaved until 2097. Clearly, the existing gasoline tax and other funding for our roads is not enough.

"Only 4 cents out of the 16 cents in gas tax returns to Greenville County."
This is false. The numbers do not lie, but the opposition does.  From 2002 until 2011, drivers bought 2.2 billion gallons of gasoline in Greenville County, and paid $353 million in taxes on that gas. Greenville County received $567 million in funded road projects from the Department of Transportation. We actually received 27 cents in projects for every 16 cents in gas tax Greenville County sent to Columbia.  This rumor is rooted in the fact that 4 cents of the 16-cent gasoline tax is dedicated to a program for maintenance of county- and locally-maintained roads.  However, only 30 percent of all roads in the state are maintained by counties or cities.  The rest are maintained by the state.  It is only fair for the state to receive the largest portion of the gasoline tax that drivers pay.  Even so, the state spends their funds where the needs exist.  The fact that Greenville County has received a larger share than it contributed speaks to the need to repair and maintain our county's roads.

"It will be a $300 tax burden on Greenville families."
This is false. According to Clemson University, it will cost an additional $119 per household. To cost an additional $300 per year, a family would have to spend $30,000 a year purchasing taxable items. The average household income in Greenville County is only $42,000. That claim is patently ridiculous, since most of our income goes to housing, electricity, water, gasoline, and other items not subject to the sales tax.

"Not all of the money will be spent in Greenville County."
A shred of truth. It makes for a nice talking point, but only a tiny fraction of the money collected will be held at the Department of Revenue as a fee for the service of collecting the tax and remitting it to the county. More than 99 percent of the money will flow through the Department of Revenue, the agency that collects sales tax, and sent to a special account at Greenville County.

"This will cost Greenville County taxpayers $65 million a year."
This is false. Clemson University and other researchers have studied whom will pay the tax.  Their research shows that as much as 30 percent of the revenue will come from people who live outside our County. And the average annual cost of the tax will be about $8 million per year.  What really costs Greenville County taxpayers is the more than $250 a year that DOT estimates we spend in maintenance on our cars due to poor road conditions.

"This tax will apply to groceries."
This is true, for now.  When County Council approved the referendum, it selected a method that restricts the collection and use of the tax proceeds and binds future Councils to the decision made by the voters on November 4, if they approve the referendum.  County Council modeled the program based on NOT taxing groceries.  Unfortunately, it did not become apparent until later that the method selected requires that the tax be collected on groceries, a holdover from an era when the statewide sales tax did apply to groceries.  County Council, the Greenville County Legislative Delegation, and Citizens for a Better Greenville have all committed to seek legislation when the General Assembly returns in January to exempt groceries from the proposed one-cent sales tax.  The effective date of the sales tax, if approved by the voters, is not until May 1.  So there is plenty of time to change the law.