Your 2010 Business Plan Started Days Ago: How To Market The Extended Homebuyer Tax Credit

Your 2010 Business Plan Started Days Ago: How To Market The Extended Homebuyer Tax Credit.

I posted a blog on Marketing Opportunities: Homebuyer Tax Credit in AR and also on my Facebook.  I had approximately 45 posts on the AR blog and about 26 personal replies and on Facebook I had no posts and about 30 personal replies. I hyperlinked the blogs with and had about 33 people opt to follow me on Twitter. If you are left wondering what were the personal replies about, the majority of them were from REALTORS asking me to share with them some marketing ideas.  Get this?  REALTORS asking ME for marketing tips!  Well, I confess!  This is my expertise and I am a marketing wiz of sorts.


What is my point?  Well I started marketing the idea of marketing the Federal Housing Extended Tax Credit on my blogs that resulted a total of 1300 views, 134 replies and additions to my database of which I was able to generate 7 appointments with REALTORS and it also generated about 4 referral (buyers) clients to my team.  I would say that was a pretty big start.  Don't stop the press yet, I just got started!  To simplify what I have and continue to do, let me make it simple:

  1. Blog, blog, blog and then blog some more.
    1. Sign up on as many blog sites as you can and write material worthy of reading and educate the masses (learn more at Federal Housting Extended Tax Credit).
    2. Let people know that this is the last tax credit and it "WILL NOT" be extended after April 2010.
  2. Call, call, call and then call some more on your database.
    • This is the foremost important aspect to what we do as sales consultants.  WE TALK!! Do I need to say more
    • Do not call asking if your client wants to buy or sell.  They likely DO NOT!!  Use them to extend the word out to their sphere of influence.  Let them know that this is the best opportunity for them to help their friends and family take advantage of historic lows while earning the tax credit even if they currently own a home.
    • Ask your clients if they understand the tax credit.  They might be eligible and do not know enough about it.  In fact they can claim the tax now if they want to, they do not have to wait to tax return time
    • Conduct more calls!
  3. Get together with your Marketing Rep and/ or Loan Officer
    1. Strategize on a viable marketing plan (FYI: This takes speaking to a real Marketing Rep.  not someone who is going to just throw postcards at you) or even an LO who understands marketing (not many do) not just answering calls and sending preapproval letters.  I am an LO and I can tell you that many just don't get it too well.
    2. Obtain a list of homeowners that purchased in 1999-2004 and still live in their homes.  Believe me, there are more than you think.  Here in Arizona the count was in the 100's of thousands. 
    3. With the help of your Marketing Rep and/or LO, devise a letter worth reading and highly informative. 
    4. Don't try to be elegant on the letter. 
      • Think about this.. When you get a letter solicitation in the mail in 10-12 size font: How Many Seconds Does It Take You To Throw It Away?
      • Now think about this:  When you get a letter solicitation in the mail with big 18-42 size font: How Many "MINUTES" Does It Take You To Throw It Away?
      • BIG, LOUD, and GAUDY WORKS!!
    5. Take out your check book. This is going to be an investment well worth it. The best things are not free and take TIME, MONEY and DEDICATION.  Sorry! No Freebies here.
    6. Write a check to your preferred direct marketing company and get the postcards, door hangers, and letters out into the world.
  4. Repeat Step 1 through 3 all over again. 

Fellow associates... this is not rocket science but it does involve some hard work and dedication.  Keep in mind that Real Estate & Mortgage sales and is a lot like holiday shopping where now everyone begins as early as September to buy gifts.  For us, we go selling!  October, November and December is our 2010 New Year.  Our 2010 is already in the works.  If you are not devising and/or implementing a plan of attack, you leave the playing field open to the REALTOR & LO next door.  We must earn our keep and get our hands dirty and consult our clients to the best of our ability.  As you already know, the cream of the crops is rising in the industry and there will be more collateral damage.

As always, the 90/10 Rule Applies here.. What side will you be on?

                                             Direct lender and licensed in most states across the U.S.

                             Real Estate Information You Can Trust, mortgages, home loans,

Ted Canto

Sr. Mortgage Consultant

Direct: 480.650.8602


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Comment balloon 65 commentsTed Canto • November 13 2009 05:33PM


     The million dollar question, which will seriously boost the business of whomever figures out an answer, is "How can you get the tax credit funds moved around to the front end of the transaction so they can in effect be used as down payment assistance or closing cost help?"  

     Of course doing that will re-create another subprime boom, but it would sure cut loose a bunch of no-cash buyers now!

Posted by Jim Gilbert, The Gold Homes Team (Keller Williams Fairfax Gateway) about 11 years ago

It's not rocket science yet, why is it so difficult sometimes to do the same steps over and over?  They do work!  Good post and we much of this right.  I am looking forward to taking your advice on the tax credit.  It is good information to share and it's not pushy, just sharing the info that really is important.

Posted by Bruce & Sandy Soli, Tahoe Lifestyle Experts (Sierra Sotheby's International Realty) about 11 years ago

Really good info that I plan on implementing right away. Thanks.

Posted by Bernadine Hunter about 11 years ago

Great post so now I'm trying to translate into how I as the owner of a handyman business, can partner with local realtors.

Posted by Tina Gleisner, Home Tips for Women (Home Tips for Women) about 11 years ago
Plans are well under way to share the news.
Posted by John about 11 years ago

Isn't it crazy that a nicely polished attractive letter gets tossed and those obnoxiously bold ones get responded to. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't tried so many different styles.

Posted by Jeff Cole, Homes For Sale 360-316-1177 (Realogics Sotheby's International Realty) about 11 years ago

Excellent plan Ted.  I mailed out postcards last week.  My next steps are to use some of the ideas you have here, including blog, blog, blog, call, call, call, and then repeat.

Posted by Bob Willis, Orange County & L.A. County Real Estate Agent (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties) about 11 years ago

Great post!  Anyone who isn't marketing the tax credit opportunities to their clients is missing out on a huge chunk of business!  I am out-straight with tax credit clients right now.

Thanks for sharing! 

Posted by Cristina McBreairty, Realtor, CDPE, SFR (Century 21 Nortrh East) about 11 years ago


Thanks for the post. I would actually like to focus on the first part and ask you a few questions regarding your AR blogs. For some reason, I am getting NO replies to the blogs I create and very few views. Sure, they are not all dressed up like yours but usually the content is there. Also, just prior to posting, there are many choices as to where the blog will be listed. Is there any secret there? How should it be listed?

Thanks in advance for your help. I am not licensed in AZ and would gladly send loan requests for that state over to you when I receive them.




Posted by Eric J, Dream Home Financing (Eric J - Dream Home Financing) about 11 years ago

@ Eric w/Dream Home:  That's pretty easy.  You aren't getting any comments... none whatsoever... because your posts are pretty much invisible.  Nobody sees them.  I have checked your blog... and that seems to be the case with ALL of your posts.  If you would like some help on what to do, I would be glad to give you some suggestions.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 11 years ago

You are so right about the last quarter of the year being our new year - - last year, I basically lost Oct - Dec to medical issues and I didn't recover from the void in my pipeline until June!  This year, the Nov 30th expiration of the tax credit was so well publicized, but it seems that realtors were the only ones paying attention to the passage of the extended and expanded tax credit - - we need to get the word out EVERY way we can!  Thanks for your great ideas!

Posted by TERRY DRISCOLL, REALTOR - Buy or Sell in Any Season! (MAINE HOME REALTY) about 11 years ago

Great post and helpful tips. I'll put this into action.  Thanks

Posted by Anna Stout (F.C.Tucker Co.-Carmel/Westfield IN Homes for Sale) about 11 years ago

I'll take it a step further and suggest you co-market with a tax professional.  Prepare your literature and allow your tax pro to get specific like only a tax pro can...and guess what there are a lot of other tax credits out there that your tax pro can add to the he has the credibility of working with a REALTOR any the agent has the cross credibility of a tax man on their side.

Posted by John Occhi, SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate (Mason Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Wow Ted ... some really great tips ... Thanks for the post!

Posted by Diane Zorich (Weichert Realtors - Shoreline Properties) about 11 years ago

Great advise and energy behind it, very well written. You are so right, just do it..... I will anyway!

Posted by Dianne Hicks (Realty ONE Group) about 11 years ago

Good stuff!  Will do ASAP.  I like John's idea of working with a tax consultant; if you can find one after the first of the year that has the time!

Posted by Linda Landry (HomeSmart Realty) about 11 years ago
Great post Ted. Gee, I wonder which market rep you are referring to that isn't going to "just throw postcards at them but actually gets it", thanks for the referrals! Of course, now I have to one up your post.....:) MyTitleGuy
Posted by Stephen Garner, Hub Media Company (Hub Media Company) about 11 years ago

Great post informing potential buyers about this credit is a priority.Also people may not know that they are considered "first time home buyers" even though they owned a home in the past.

Posted by pedro espana about 11 years ago

Great suggestion.  We just have to do it - just do it!

Posted by Marzena Melby, Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty) about 11 years ago


It's the season to go out and get face to face and talk, respond, and educate.

Posted by Eugene Adan, Carlsbad Real Estate (Adan Properties, Carlsbad, CA (760) 720-9710) about 11 years ago

Great post, started info. barrage before it passed and have not slowed down.

This is the focus of what I am doing right now.

Rain on

Posted by David Timm, CRS, EcoBroker, GRI, ABR (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 11 years ago

I particularly like the idea of contacting homeowners who purchased from 1999-2004.  I believe many of these owners are thinking of a move but are bewildered by our current economy and are afraid that it is the wrong time.  The tax credit for these owners will be the spark many need.  I too have been working on my advertising tax credit information strategy and this post helps.  Thanks!

Posted by Sandy Horan (RE/MAX 440 Realty, Inc.) about 11 years ago

i am glad to see you all choose to be in the 10%! the results will be great but you have to think it through. Even if you are of my state I am more than happy to talk to you about ideas. i would love to see us doing well and still in business in 2010. I say this with love- Most of us will not do a darn thing! Don't be that person!

Posted by Ted Canto, Arizonan #1 Mortgage Lender (American Mortgage Network) about 11 years ago

I am passionate about business planning

This is a wonderful article! I will share it!

Posted by Joeann Fossland, Master Certified Coach to Motivated Agents (Advantage Solutions Group) about 11 years ago

You are so right.  It is just hard to do it because there is so much to do.  Thanks for the push.

Posted by Jirius Isaac, Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA (Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage) about 11 years ago

BIG, LOUD, and GAUDY - I totally agree with you.  The SQUEAKY WHEEL is always heard.  Great Post.

Posted by Eric Anderson, Fort Bragg Military Relocation Services, Fayettevi (Eric Anderson Realty Group) about 11 years ago

Eric seems you have the drive which is half the battle. Also feel to contact me directly or lookup your local AR Ambassador who can help you. Also the AR Community is very giving like people like Karen Ann. You just need to ask and you will receive. I would start by saying you likely need a foundational understanding about Social Media. There are plenty of tricks to this medium. Writing a blog isn't enough. Feel free to contact me thru the week.

Posted by Ted Canto, Arizonan #1 Mortgage Lender (American Mortgage Network) about 11 years ago

Ted - GREAT ideas.  Thanks for being so clear, excited, uplifting and encouraging. We all hear this news but the folks who incorporate it quickly move up the ladder - I'm planning to be one of those!

Posted by Susan Jacobsen, 20 Years Providing WOW Real Estate Service (The Alliance Group Realty) about 11 years ago

Ted, once again a great post.  You are the man!!

Posted by David Krichmar, ( - Legend Lending) about 11 years ago

Great post Ted.  We are always looking for the ways to add value to our clients and increase our business at the same time.  I was brainstorming  on my next marketing piece but I think I like your ideas better. I will start with the SOI but I loved your idea on the buyers that bought 5-10 years ago.


Posted by Brian Birkel (Deeb Realty) about 11 years ago

John- that is an awesome idea. I like that a lot! I know just the CPA. Thanks for the tip.


Stephen- How did you know I was speaking about you? Kidding.. You're awesome and people should get it into their head. If the idea of agents calling job responsibilities "GOOD SERVICE" they are highly dazed and confused. I highly recommend talking to Stephen for 10 minutes and will instantly see what I am saying.


Eric- Ft. Bragg? I trained there. Awesome memories!

Posted by Ted Canto, Arizonan #1 Mortgage Lender (American Mortgage Network) about 11 years ago

Thanks Ted-Great ideas that we keep hearing but now I just have to do it!

Posted by Nancy McNamee (Keller Williams Realty) about 11 years ago

By the way everyone. The tally continues.. 20 more Twitter follows today, 2 more referrals, 7 personal emails asking for marketing tips and 3 REALTORS that I have been soliciting wanting to meet with my team. As always the 90/10 Rule Applies here.. What side of that equation will you be on? 

Ohhh I forgot to mention.. 10 more fans on my Facebook Fan page "The Mortgage Library-The Canto Team"

Posted by Ted Canto, Arizonan #1 Mortgage Lender (American Mortgage Network) about 11 years ago


E-mail sent...thanks !

Eric -

Twitter =



Posted by Eric J, Dream Home Financing (Eric J - Dream Home Financing) about 11 years ago

Kent.. Think about this.. Home values are down and if the potential client does not currently hold an FHA loan, he can buy himself a home equal if not better than his home now. Using FHA financing they can get into a home between 180-200k withe tax credit. another thing worth noting.. They DO NOT have to buy up which has has always been a pain. Also they do not need to sell their current property (as I understand it).

Posted by Ted Canto, Arizonan #1 Mortgage Lender (American Mortgage Network) about 11 years ago

Hey Ted, Great energy and marketing ideas.  I agree wholeheartedly with the need to begin the 2010 marketing plan NOW and that the Federal Housting Extended Tax Credit is a tool in the tool box to motivate buyers.  On a more practical note, I do not see a $6,500 maximum tax credit as much of a motivator once a potential buyer actually sits down and crunches numbers.  It's better than nothing, however.  ...I guess.

Posted by Kent Anderson, from Schweitzer to the Lake (Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho) about 11 years ago

Great ideas everyone!!! Thanks

Posted by John Callesen about 11 years ago

Great ideas, thank you so much for sharing.  Sometimes I feel I don't want to overdo it with blogs and facebook, but you show people are interested.

Posted by Carol Hamilton, Prudential, Real Estate, Omaha, NE (Prudential Ambassador) about 11 years ago

Ted - I totally agree with you regarding the same steps over and over again.  Consistency is important.

Posted by Pam Dent, REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse (Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc.) about 11 years ago

These are some really good ideas!  Thanks for a great post!

Posted by Michael Barrow, Realtor, San Diego CA Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty - San Diego Metro) about 11 years ago

Ted, thanks for giving us some specific ideas. I've sent out an email blast to about 100 clients;sphere; received two responses almost immediately. Am planning to walk some info around to part of my farm. Haven't blogged about it (yet!) I'll incorporate your suggestions.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 11 years ago

Great ideas.  We have been handed a perfect talking point and it's up to us to get out and use it.

Posted by Marian Pierre-Louis, Metrowest Boston (Fieldstone Historic Research) about 11 years ago

Good ideas on Marketing the Tax Credit.  Not sure what your point is about the number of responses.  Having a bunch of Realtors following you is like ants at a Picnic.  They probably do not bring much and can be pests.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Gene.. My respones led to the business referrals aka Buyers. I achieved that all in 48 hours by sending out the previous blog. By the way I received another 2 referrals today from this blog. Iwould say that is a pretty good response wouldn't you say?

Posted by Ted Canto, Arizonan #1 Mortgage Lender (American Mortgage Network) about 11 years ago


I'm feeling inspired and have just spoken with my husband about ideas.  We'll contemplate throw a few back and forth over the next two days and work to get something going early next week.

Thank you for the motiviation.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 11 years ago

Hi Ted, Great Post! It always good to go back to the "Basics" to get back on track again and to start the new year off right. Thanks for reminding us all! Your websites are nicely done, congrats!

Posted by Eric Shute, MA Real Estate Sales Agent (Cameron Real Estate Group) about 11 years ago

I like the way your post is put together. The big bold is also different and the inpression is that it will not take much time to read. Most letters with the small font tend to require action that will generate more action and then turn into smoke and morrors. Good way to distill this into a simple plan.


Posted by Bonner Thomason, CRS, ABR, GRI, e-Pro (Keller Williams Realty) about 11 years ago

 I think you woke me up with the realization that what you do know will feed 2010.  I don't know why I don't put that together in my own head without someone holding it up in front of my face.  I agree, this is a good strategy.  I'll be doing my 1st home buying webinar tomorrow - we'll see how it goes.

Posted by Anonymous about 11 years ago

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I have been reading and re-reading the new rules and thnking about where to got with the information now. This is a good plan. I think you are absolutely correct!



Posted by Jerri McCombs, Broker, Hendersonville NC Relocation (Dogwood Real Estate Services) about 11 years ago

You are all welcome! It's inspiring to know that the blog is helping.

Posted by Ted Canto, Arizonan #1 Mortgage Lender (American Mortgage Network) about 11 years ago


Thanks for the tips.  It is always good to try new things.   What you say is not some new idea, but the steps you take are different then most Realtors are currently taking.  Sometimes we fear change, we want to make sure it works and see results, especially if we are investing time and money.   Keep up the good work.

Posted by Nicholas Caron (Caron's Gateway Real Estate) about 11 years ago

great post and good advice.

Posted by andrea re about 11 years ago

Thanks for the clarification of "repeat homebuyer", especially.  I fall into that category and so do many of my clients.  also, I appreciate the kick in the slats in terms of marketing.  I need to do more of it and this is a good opportunity.











Posted by Pam Canova about 11 years ago

Thanks for the info and good suggestions, glad it's working for you.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 11 years ago

That's good advice Ted. Thanks for helping me organize my thoughts.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) about 11 years ago

Great post thanks for the grat advice.

Posted by Walter Jetter (Heavenly Homes Realty, Inc) about 11 years ago

Big and Gaudy works that will be my new marketing Mantra for this.

Posted by Mike Henderson, HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848 (Your complete source for buying HUD homes) about 11 years ago

Great advice in that post.  Getting the word out isn't always enough as people are still sitting on the fence.  A one on one contact may spur them on to buy now.

Posted by Anonymous about 11 years ago

Ted, great ideas!! I've been following the status of the tax credit on Facebook. Based on the number of responses I've gotten, I know people are interested! I like the idea of calling my SOI about it. I know what I'm going to be doing this week. Thanks again!

Posted by Kristen Wahl, CBR (Re/Max Plus) about 11 years ago

The way that I handle this is with a simple formula. 

1. Create an faq on my web site explaining how  FH tax credits effects a purchase of a Key Biscayne property. I rely heavily on my own experience with FHTC.

2. I create an email campaign defining the process and include at least two examples of buyers that were successful with the tax credits. I also cover requirements, forms, and paperwork.

3. I follow up with a quick phone call to keep in touch and answer questions.

4. I then post the above on my blog and keep the conversation going. But only after steps 1. and 2. are completed. You will also recieve dozens of calls and numerous posts,  just like Ted.

Try this formula it will put a smile on your face and bring business you never expected.

-James Salas

Posted by James Salas about 11 years ago

Good suggestions and a plan that makes sense.  Thank you for the blog.

Posted by R.E. Renée Hoover, Salesperson, Poconos, Pike, Wayne, Monroe Counties, PA; PA/NYS (Century 21 Geba Realty, Milford, PA; Licensed in PA & NYS) about 11 years ago

Thank you for sharing these ideas! Coming from the NAR convention, I'm making plans for 2010 to be a big year.

Posted by Stacey Johnson-Cosby, Selling Kansas City-Real Estate & City Blog (Reece & Nichols Realtors-Kansas City) about 11 years ago

Thank you for the great post.  I needed that one last push to get going.

Posted by Gary Pike (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers) about 11 years ago

Think it, Feed it, Feel it.  Setting goals that work.  Good post.  Greg

Posted by Greg VanLaere almost 11 years ago

I need to follow you on Twitter and Facebook. And I never did get that call Ted. Even though it is pass April 30th now,I think there is a way to make good use of this blog. Thanks for sharing. Great post.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) over 10 years ago

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