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Zach Anderson

Zach Anderson has always focused on driving business growth by focusing on the customer's experience. He has applied this fundamental sales and marketing principle to several industries including financial services and technology. In 2002 Zach founded and launched Cascadia Financial Group, one of the fastest growing mortgage companies in the Pacific Northwest. He sold the company in 2007 to Cobalt Mortgage, the largest privately owned mortgage banking company in the Pacific Northwest. Zach joined the Cobalt team and immediately focused on business development and marketing, his long standing business passion. He began using emerging technologies to connect, engage and transact with the Cobalt installed base of customers as well as new prospects. Zach found immediate success in utilizing video as a medium to deliver his message to all customers as well as strategic partners. He has authored many videos and has successfully created an extensive online community of followers, prospects and customers. Zach is now extending this business development approach to build large communities that deliver value through both entertaining and interactive activities.

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Beyond the Media – National Home Values

Every once in awhile we need a little reminder to fight off the bad news on housing. Here’s a quick one.

The housing market continues to do battle with strong headwinds. Unemployment hovering at the double digit levels, disruptive appraisal requirements, more challenging loan underwriting and in many areas, foreclosure or distress sales exerting their negative influence. On the bright side, for buyers, lower prices combined with historically low interest rates has pushed true affordability to record levels. Here are a few other points to consider:

1. While falling values predominate across the country, there are only six states where values fell by more than 10% over the last year.

2. Unlike other investments, housing puts a roof over your head. That has always been its primary function. Yet, along with that benefit it is still an investment and in comparison to most others, it has compared favorably. Over the last 5 years, the vast majority of states still show positive appreciation with half even showing double digits. The same can not be said for the stock markets.

3. Over time, home prices across all states have risen at average annual appreciation rates ranging from the high 3′s to over 7.5%.

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Sales Series: Performance Through Consistency

High performing sales professional that continually generate a steady stream of sales over a long period of time have perfected the art of consistency. These sales professionals have figured out what generates sales and have developed a habit around those tasks, consistently performing them day in and day out. You must be careful though because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The bottom line is that you have to understand what it is that is going to generate those sales and create a consistent system and process around that.

I have a colleague that is always one of the top salesman in his company regardless of what is happening in the economy or around him. He has a very simple formula that he follows every single day without fail. He calls it the 5/5/5 formula; he writes 5 note cards, makes 5 calls to current/past clients, and makes 5 calls to prospective clients. This simple tasks only takes him one hour each day and he attributes over 80% of his business from it.

In short, high performing sales professionals find the tasks that consistently bring in the sale and then perform those tasks on a daily basis. They are focused on building and developing a consistent stream of new and returning clients. We’d love to hear about your approach to consistent sales results. Tell us what you do!


Beyond the Media – National Housing Values

The housing market has been fighting some particularly strong headwinds. We have unemployment hovering at the double digit levels, disruptive appraisal requirements, more challenging loan underwriting and in some areas, foreclosure or distress sales exerting their negative influence. Despite all this, the overall results for 2009 were not as devastating as the media would have you believe. Here are a few points to ponder:

1. While falling values predominated across the country, there were only three states where values fell by double digits. Many other states saw only fractional or small declines and a few even saw nominal appreciation.

2. The financial news media likes to focus on the very significant rebound in the stock markets last year yet only rarely reports that over the last 5 or even 10 years an investment in the S&P 500 has gone nowhere. Conversely, all but 6 states have shown appreciation in home values over the last 5 years with many exceeding 20% and a few even totaling over 30%.

3. Over time, home prices in all states have risen at average annual appreciation rates ranging from the high 3′s to over 7.5%.

Subprime delinquencies fall for the first time in 4 years. Subprime mortgages are simply loans that did meet Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, or VA standards.  The massive onslaught of subprime delinquencies was one of the main culprits in our housing slump.  So it is great news that for the first time in 44 months, delinquencies bucked their trend and actually improved to the best levels in 2 years.

With Unemployment decreasing, delinquencies falling and home prices increasing, this could shape up to be a much better Spring/Summer housing market than last year.

Today’s housing market represent an opportunity that we will most likely never see again in our lifetime. Don’t get caught up in what you hear in the media, real estate is a long term investment and over time you will see positive growth.


Is Growth In Your Future?

Growth?  How about good old fashioned stability. Most of us would gladly have some of that these days. Indeed, both individuals and businesses are desperate for some stability and positive story for their respective “balance sheets.”

Personally going through something like this has really made me think about financial security.  How do I protect and grow my assets in today’s economy? How do I grow my business and build a customer experience that will last for years?  What things can I do moving forward to achieve financial security, personally and professionally? Read the rest of this entry »