Home Sales Fuel Distributor Optimism
The real estate market keeps the American economy robust—and profitable for distributors.
In its 2004 Performance and Accountability Report, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported that the nation's homeownership rate reached a record high of 69 percent, an increase of 0.6 percent from the homeownership rate at the end of 2003. The document also showed that the United States gained an estimated 1,594,000 new homeowners—attaining a new high of 73.7 million homeowners.
Based on these findings, it is clear that the real estate market is thriving. And, distributors looking to become household names should consider its many opportunities.
According to Suzanne Alber, manager at Broker Forms, Grand Rapids, Mich., there appears to be a dual agency when it comes to the sale of real estate products. "The market tends to go up and down based on interest rates," she explained. "If interest rates are low, more people will buy and refinance homes, and the need for compliant forms goes up."
Alber said that Broker Forms, which carries a complete line of compliant stock mortgage forms used by banks, credit unions, mortgage companies and mortgage brokers, receives 30 percent of its sales from real estate.
She added that these forms are unique because many of them are federally mandated to be used during the mortgage process. "With more than 20 years of experience in compliant government forms, Broker Forms guarantees that all of its mortgage documents are 100 percent compatible with federal regulations," she said. "We have an established department that works solely to assure that our forms meet federal regulations."
David Spangenberg, director of business development at Carlson Craft Business Solutions, North Mankato, Minn.—a wholesale manufacturer of business products, including stationery, presentation folders, engraved signs and full-color badges—said that the products are unique because they allow the company to provide a complete marketing solution. "We find that most segments of the real estate market wish to portray a very polished and professional image, and require products that can help support this goal," he said. "Our full-color products allow for photos, creative designs and quality business stationery."