NAHREP 2011: “Putting the Dream Back in Homeownership”

A stream of eager fans awaiting glimpses of stars on the red carpet for Sunday’s Emmy Awards intersected with our path into this year’s Real Estate & Marketing Conference for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) held at LA Live. Rob Chrane was at the event to speak on a panel about technology and social media in real estate, but we also learned some new lessons of our own from this dynamic group. After the spending the last few days in Los Angeles, we think we know how NAHREP came up with the conference name: “Putting the Dream Back in Homeownership”

Despite being disproportionally hard hit by the Great Recession, research shows that Hispanics hold a more optimistic view of their financial future than the general population. In fact, according to Fannie Mae’s National Survey findings on Hispanics from 12/12/09 through 10/04/10, 61%, they expect their financial situation to improve over the next year compared to 41% of all Americans. What’s astounding is that the optimism of Latinos shines through even at lower income levels.

In the wake of the housing crisis, Hispanics suffered much higher levels of foreclosures than the general population. One contributing factor is clear: Nationally, subprime loans were issued 2.3 times more often to Latino borrowers than to non-Hispanic White borrowers. keep reading

At Inman Real Estate Connect…less is more

It’s always an interesting time at Real Estate Connect — checking out cool new technology and discovering new trends, but a couple of themes emerged that might seem contrary to what one would expect from this cutting edge conference.

Several highly productive REALTORS® known for their tech savvy are actually minimalists when it comes to their use of technology, focusing on the basics rather than the flash. Consider Amanda McMillan, CEO of Chicago Home Partner. Amanda typically adopts only one or two new tools a year. This allows her to focus and achieve successful integration with maximum ROI. Her criteria for adopting new technology are elegantly simple: She asks herself, does it make her a better, smarter agent? And, does it help her customers?

Amanda reacted to a subtitle of her panel: “Help your clients get into a new home faster by introducing them to great apps and websites that they can use as well.” She noted that it’s actually not about rushing a client into a home faster. Instead, she believes the process should focus on being a “better” and “more efficient” experience for the homebuyer so they can move at a speed at which they are comfortable. keep reading

Down Payment Resource Wins 2011 Inman Innovator “Most Innovative New Technology” Award

Inman News (Inman) named Down Payment Resource (SM), a proprietary Web tool created by Atlanta-based Workforce Resource, LLC, the winner of the 2011 Inman Innovator “Most Innovative New Technology” award at the Real Estate Connect conference. Down Payment Resource (DPR) was recognized for its ability to efficiently connect eligible homebuyers and eligible properties with government-funded programs for down payment assistance. The product helps bridge the down payment gap for homebuyers and move real estate transactions forward in a difficult lending environment.

Inman’s annual Innovator Awards, created in 1997, honor companies that use technology and innovation to enhance the real estate transaction process and improve the experience for consumers and real estate professionals.

“We are thrilled with this new honor,” said Rob Chrane, founder and president of Workforce Resource. “We hope the recognition of Down Payment Resource will bring more attention to the importance and need for awareness of assistance funds across the country.”

DPR was one of eight finalists in the Most Innovative New Technology category including industry leaders Trulia and WSJ. The category’s finalists featured two new iPhone apps, a mobile agent search tool, a home design iPad app, a Web-based interactive floor plan, a broker/agent marketing system, and a quality assurance system. keep reading