September 2020

NAIBRS’ sponsor, Proposed Properties, has launched a seminar series titled “NEXT”, designed to help agents with practical application their New Contruction Specialist certification.

“Its very common for agents to reach back out to us after the NCS training and say something like “well that was great, but what do I do next?”

The NEXT seminar series picks up on how to put a new construction focus into practice for real estate professionals. The sessions will be interactive and cover topics such as

  • Prospecting and generating opportunities 
  • Mastering the listing presentation
  • Navigating buyers through the new construction process
  • Identifying teardowns and applying the 10% rule
  • Expanding your sphere of influence
  • and more…

NEXT is offered free to any NCS certified agent. For the next avaible session please visit the page to register.

A Message From Jimmy Pippin and the Fannie Mae Team


May 2020, Newsletter

We’re concerned for the health and well-being of our employees, customers, and communities, and we urge everyone to take precautions to protect themselves. We are actively monitoring the current situation and taking every step to help ensure a safe and sound housing market. Continuing to fulfill our mission is our priority.

Fannie Mae is fully operational and open for business. Our ability to serve our customers and support the market is paramount.

We will continue to support our customers by:

  • Remaining focused on our mission to provide liquidity to the market.
  • Keeping our Capital Markets desks open and trading mortgage-backed securities (MBS).
  • Supporting customers as they manage their pipeline — from hedging to funding loans — to minimize risk in this volatile market.
  • Fannie Mae will stay in constant communication with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to address any potential impacts to our employees and business operations. We will continue to take immediate action based on our business continuity plans and guidance and risk assessments from the CDC and local health agencies.

Recognizing the unprecedented situation, Fannie Mae has issued flexibilities and guidance on a variety of impacted components of the mortgage process:

  • Originating & Underwriting flexibilities
  • Appraisal flexibilities
  • Guidance on Selling Loans in Forbearance
  • Guidance on Remote Ink-Signed Notarization
  • Loan Servicing flexibilities
  • Forbearance options for impacted borrowers

Information on Fannie Mae’s response can be found here:

We will continue to monitor the situation and address issues as they arise.

Life after Covid-19 for the US Housing Professionals


By James Pesavento, Director NAIBRS

April 2020, Newsletter

Our industry is experiencing the front-end of Covid-19 with stay-at-home orders and open houses coming to a standstill. Many agents are seeing the balance of their pipeline dry up and are uncertain of their future.  It is a scary time but from this pandemic, comes a time to reflect and define your perspective.

We rarely have the opportunity to step back and truly look at the things we can do to grow our business, differentiate our service offerings, and meet the changing needs of our buyer clients. “What will I do with this time to grow my business and create new opportunities now and in the future?” is a thought running through all our minds.   

As real estate professionals we tend to see the world as “glass half full.”  With today’s uncertainty it is critical to be positive about taking control.

The question is….How?


Many of us feel isolated.  The true human need for contact with others is on full display due to the solitary conditions that have become the new normalcy in our lives. We all have family, friends and clients going through the same thing.  We should check in on them and see if they need anything. People will remember the authentic concern in our neighbors.


Education is the great differentiator in our professional lives. With over 2 million+ licensees across the country, what is your competitive advantage? Now is a unique time to look at trends and position yourself to take advantage of the market opportunities that are right around the corner. Consider these facts…

  • 64% of home buyers are currently interested in new construction
  • Less than 1% of real estate professionals are properly trained to service this massive segment of the buyer’s market
  • Leading housing experts predict a mass migration of urban homeowners to the suburbs. After weeks of being in their small, concrete homes they will yearn for big spaces, backyards and fresh air. Most suburbs are experiencing a housing shortage already, so for many, new construction on open lots and teardowns will be the only option
  • Post COVID-19, new construction homes will be associated with being cleaner and safer, and therefore, more desirable

NAIBRS offers a New Construction Specialist class that provides this valuable education for the real estate community. This certification is valid for 2 years, and will prepare agents for the upcoming wave of opportunities that are right around the corner. Due to the recent pandemic and understanding today’s financial challenges, NAIBRS is offering a $10 discount on this class. Just use the code “NAIBRS” and you will get $10 off, as well as a one-year membership in NAIBRS.  We will always make it a priority to educate our members.


So, what can you do right now? Actually, more than you think. Now is the time to grow while others are fearful. Although selling existing homes has a series of challenges in today’s market, land is readily available (one lot in North Carolina went under contract last week), sellable, and if leveraged property – very profitable. Since NAIBRS has a valued partnership with Proposed Properties and their Lot2Home program, now is the time for top agents to build a mega-listing inventory of lots and proposed new homes. This can take the unassuming, low-dollar lot listing and turn it into income opportunities that generate 3-4X the commissions, while bringing in dozens of additional buyers leads. Our partners at Proposed Properties have perfected the process and in these difficult times, are showing agents how they can not only survive, but to prosper.  In one short year, Proposed Properties has over 147 Lot2Home properties representing $125 Million of potential sales.  Why not be part of the new construction wave and take advantage of the 1 million+ open lots for sale in the US. This does not even include the available tear-downs in the market. For more information, reach out to us here at NAIBRS.  We are here to help, and can always be reached at [email protected]

Coronavirus and US Real Estate Market


By Sondra Barrett, President and the Board of Directors of NAIBRS

March 15, 2020 Newsletter

We live in uncertain times. We are bombarded with news of Coronavirus spreading in every continent except Antarctica. We are certainly going to break 100,000 infected and 3,000 mortalities….and quite frankly, it is terrifying. I’ve talked to so many friends, relatives and colleagues on how the virus has gone from a remote risk to a local concern. There are comparisons to the Spanish Flu of 1918. Most are shocked at 51 million fatalities caused by the pandemic virus.  Many are more shocked when you think our world population was much less than today 102 years ago (less than 2 billion vs almost 8 billion today).

I’ve been thinking about what this will do to our real estate industry…one of the core engines of driving our US economy. Thus, I am writing to you about what our thoughts are on the impact of Coronavirus on our real estate business.

Home prices still remain strong.

Most markets in the US are still going up. There is over 3.3M shortage of housing inventory (per Freddie Mac) and we all keenly understand that homes go up over time. History has shown blips (like a major recession) but prices tend to go up. After all population grows, but land availability does not. Coronavirus will be contained and will be under control as the world if focused on the solution, versus denial and assigning blame.

The Fed Takes Action as a Response to the Impact of Coronavirus

With concerns on an economic slow down, the fed dropped rates 50bps. What this means for us…mortgage rates fell to incredibly low amounts…low 3% range for 30 Year Fixed and some cases below 3% for 15 Year Fixed. This means our clients can afford more house.  For example, if rate is lower by 1%, this improves monthly payment by 12%. Your buyers (with prequalification from solid lenders) can buy more homes and save money.

Take a look at this chart of 10-year treasury rates, which are closely linked to mortgage rates.

10-Year US Treasury Rates

 (Source:  Google)

Many of you are thinking….are 10-year treasury rate and mortgage rates really connected?  Yes, they are very much tied together as the next chart shows how tight they follow each other!

Looks like there is a positive correlation!

What to do Now

By being in a digital work environment, we have advantages available today.

Our New Construction Specialist classes for designation are online.

Proposed Properties LLC has its new construction discovery sessions available on Zoom tele-conferencing.

Be positive– if you look worried then your clients will be worried.

Some Beacons of Hope

Tom Truong, 2019 national president of AREAA believes “We remain confident in the housing market and are optimistic that the combined countermeasures including lower interest rates and high homebuyer demand will make 2020 an outstanding year for our industry!”

Asa Fleming, president of NC Association of Realtors with 47,000 agents states “The demand for housing is extremely strong in my state, and I hear similar feedback from other states.

Per Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Department expects to continue “limited and tailored government support” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after their departure from federal conservatorship. “Stability in the housing finance system is crucial, and there should be no disruption to the market as a result of Treasury’s recommended administrative reforms.”

Jim Pesavento, director of NAIBRS states “We have faced more challenges in our lifetime and this too will pass.”

The Ultimate Advice

There will always be a possibility of a global risk that affects our assets.  Just look at the stock market with daily drops where many 401K values are dropping like a rock. However, people don’t live in their 401Ks…they live in their homes.

You can’t change how fast we will find a cure…but you can choose to take advantage of incredibly low mortgage rates and get into your dream home.

Life is too short to stop living. Like all storms, Coronavirus will come to pass and we will be back on the steady road to wealth creation for our clients.


Sondra Barrett

President, NAIBRS

US Housing 2019 Look-Back and 2020 Outlook

by Saurabh Gupta

NAIBRS provides economic commentary on the US housing market. We are pleased on launching our first US market view of housing and renovation. This provides a look-back on 2019 and what to expect in 2020. We live in interesting times (ranging Coronavirus to presidential elections) with lots of variables that can affect our market. Good news is that we aren’t expecting any major downturns in housing overall…enjoy the read.

Saurabh Gupta

About the Author

Saurabh Gupta is an economic advisor to NAIBRS. He is a veteran leader with experiences at Fortune 100 companies in finance, capital markets, business analytics, portfolio risk management and other business development disciplines. Saurabh is a CFA charterholder with an MBA from Carnegie Mellon and MS in Electrical Engineering. He has been a long-term proponent of the housing finance industry in the US and international markets. He can be reached at [email protected]

Our 2020 Vision


By Sondra Barrett, President

Can you believe it? 2020 is upon us and it seems like it will be a very different and improved market. As the president of NAIBRS, I enjoyed taking the position promoting new construction as a way to build our communities. I am a lifelong real estate professional as well as advocate for building homeownership as a way to build family wealth.

One of the key definitions for our organization is the tagline that embodies our mission-UNIFY, EDUCATE, GROW. To this end, I am commenting on the different areas on what we have done as an organization.


One of the key accomplishments this year is to expand our Board of Directors by adding industry leaders that are critical to the real estate sector. These include adding Jim Pippin, with Fannie Mae and Ed Currie, with Associated Bank. Both are accomplished veterans and will add the expertise firepower to take the organization to the next level.

Our plan for 2020 is to onboard several additional industry leaders to our leadership team, including builders, vendors, MI companies, and others that are both passionate and accomplished to take us to the next level. We will plan more housing summits to connect our members to builders, lenders and real estate professionals, and catalysts who as a collective group want to improve homeownership.

We are currently a 3000+ member strong organization, and will add a focus to increase membership across the country. With help from sponsors such as GO Mortgage, we will focus on expanding into new markets in Texas, Wisconsin, and others. I want to call out GO Mortgage for their generous financial sponsorship as a corporate partner….special thanks to their CEO Chad Jampedro!


One of the key accomplishments this year has been the creation of a New Construction Specialist designation and class (taught by our own Jim Pesavento, certified trainer!). Please see the recent press release referencing industry leaders like Tom Truong, former president of AREAA (Asia Real Estate Association of America). The class was at 100% capacity and had incredible feedback. If you are interested in becoming a NCS, please email us at [email protected] For 2 hours and $50.00 (very reasonable for class + certification), you can differentiate yourself in today’s competitive and rapidly expanding new construction market. A recent Zillow study found that 64% of all home buyers are considering new construction. It is the largest segment of buyers in the market, yet has the least available training for real estate agents. That is what makes the NCS education and designation invaluable for agents interested in capitalizing on this untapped opportunity! Our plans for 2020 include expanding this NCS program to several more states and add continuing education to our curriculum. Stay tuned in IL as it will be our first CE approved state! Also, we will be adding thought leadership and economic news from our experts (Nancy who has a masters from Duke University!)


Many of you have heard Jim Pesavento dynamic presentations around Lot2Home. Jim has been visionary in his process on how to leverage thousands of vacant properties, in-lots, and tear-downs as a way to enhance differentiation to win listing. More importantly, the program creates a win-win for everyone. In Chicagoland alone, we have over 100 opportunities that can leverage the power of the MLS and double the marketing exposure of our agent partners listings. If all 100 opportunities convert into new construction, just imagine – we just created 300 new jobs (source: NAR Analysis regarding impact of new construction jobs).

Our plans for 2020 including expanding nationwide into multiple states. With our value proposition, we expect to reach new markets and members who can refer business to each other.

One of our key missions is also to give back to communities. Not only do we promote rebuilding, we also encourage our members along with ourselves, to give back to great causes that align with our values. More information and news coming!

It has been an honor serving you as president of NAIBRS. With all of us working together, we will have an outstanding 2020 with many great successes– one new homeowner at a time.

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

Sondra Barret President, NAIBRS

With Board Members: Paul Imura, Jim Pesavento, Jeff Cook, Jim Pippin, Ed Currie, and Lindsay Kozlowski

NAIBRS Launches New Construction Specialist Certification Class


The National Association of Independent Builders and Real-Estate Services (“NAIBRS”), is pleased to announce it has launched its New Construction Specialist course to raise the industry’s base knowledge in identifying, nurturing, and leveraging market opportunities for residential building.

The National Association of Independent Builders and Real-Estate Services (“NAIBRS”), is pleased to announce it has launched its New Construction Specialist course to raise the industry’s base knowledge in identifying, nurturing, and leveraging market opportunities for residential building. Jim Pesavento, founder of NAIBRS, created the course because of the general lack of new residential construction understanding in the REALTOR® community. 

Pesavento states “From my travels in many states, we found there was a lack of core courses that teach agents the nuances of new construction. 50% of homebuyers are open to new construction homes. If the agent, who is the trusted advisor, is not armed with the details of building a new home it does the homebuyer a disservice. Our organization decided to create the course and designation because one of our three core missions is to educate the market.” Mr. Pesavento, who is a seasoned residential builder and managing broker in real estate as well as a certified trainer, created the course content. The material is patterned from Mr. Pesavento’s continuing education course structure. The course is designed, like most continuing education,to be covered in just a few hours with a competency test at the end. The graduates receive a 2-year NAIBRS designation that helps them with marketing their differentiating knowledge in the space.

Tom Truong, recent president of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (“AREAA”) and one of the industry real estate experts, immediately saw value in the course. Mr. Truong has agents from his eXp Realty in over 25 states. He states “many of my agents understand to be the best at serving homebuyers, you need to understand all aspects of the market. New construction is often overlooked, but many of our clients still ask about the option. I applaud NAIBRS for the vision and insight in creating a valuable tool.”

The first class was launched recently with plans to offer the course twice monthly. One of the graduating students, Paola Moore, states “the course was valuable and provided me with confidence to better serve my clients and win more listings. Traditional real estate education does not address new construction and many of its elements such as building permits, architects, contractors, and specialized financing. These all make selling new construction very different than selling existing product. In the end, many of my clients will find it was worth building their dream home.”

For more information on the New Construction Specialist course please contact [email protected]


Lindsay Kozlowski 
Press Relations 
[email protected]          

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