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INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: Real Estate & Mortgage

Cassandra Andrews, Broker and Owner

PERPETUAL MOTION Continual activity is indeed a hallmark of

NEED TO KNOW

the industry; everyone involved must keep moving to stay on top of constant changes in trends, regulations and more, many that have been either driven by or made possible by advances in technology. Weeks remembers her start in 1979. “There were no electronic lock-box systems, so you had to drive to each company’s office to pick up keys in order to show properties. There was no email,” she said. Fast forward four decades, and the landscape is so different it’s almost unrecog-

MOST BUYERS nizable. Before cell HAVE SEARCHED phones, business was ONLINE AND FOUND THE done during business HOUSE THEY hours, and clients were DESIRE BEFORE kept more at arm’s EVEN TALKING length. “With the advent TO AN AGENT of social media, clients,

as well as other people in our industry, ‘friend’ us and are more a part of our lives,” Weeks said. And she sees positives in this blurring of lines. “This benefits us by enabling us to more effectively reach and serve one another and become a part of our clients’ everyday conversations, which boosts our relevance in their lives.”

of Chosen Realty, has been in real estate since 2005, and along with multiple ups and downs in the market, she’s watched technology greatly influence her industry. “Most

About to apply for a mortgage? If you haven’t been through the process in a while, you’ll notice some differences. Most regulation changes made in the last several years were put in place to protect consumers, like this recent one. “The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure, also known as TRID, requires the borrower to confirm receipt of the initial closing disclosure three business days prior to closing,” said Allison Bird, Vice President at Regions Bank and Mortgage Sales Manager for Central Alabama. “This was initiated to protect customers from any potential surprises at closing, as fees are not allowed to change by any more than .125 percent overall, and other charges cannot change at all.”

buyers have searched online and found the house they desire before even talking to an agent,” she said. “And we no longer have to meet face-to-face when signing documents thanks to the convenience of electronic signatures and more.” But technology has also brought a new set of challenges. The internet is giving consumers an abundance of instantly available information, raising the bar on what’s expected from real estate agents and mortgage professionals. “This access to information means customer expectations and client service are very different than they were even five years ago,” Weeks said. “And we expect even more changes to come.” And sometimes the information floating around online is misleading or even inaccurate. “The first place a consumer starts their home search is online,” Carter said. “One thing that negatively affects the residential real estate market is the incorrect information on websites such as Zillow and Trulia. To get the most updated information, a consumer should refer to an actual company’s websites or websites such as realtor.com or their local MLS website.”

ADVICE FROM LOCAL EXPERTS:

When it comes to getting a mortgage, what one piece of advice would you give?

“Consult and establish a relationship with a lender to determine your mortgage loan options before you shop for your new home.” Reba Curtis, Mortgage

“The single piece of advice that we give to our clients is stay local. By using local Realtors, builders and mortgage lenders, the homebuyer will assure themselves of quality treatment and total service from start to finish.”

Loan Originator,

Steve Kermish, President, Fairway

Trustmark Bank Mortgage

Independent Mortgage Company

48 MONTGOMERY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Profile for Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

Montgomery Business Journal - May 2019  

Montgomery Business Journal - May 2019