Monday, February 27, 2012

Quicken Loans Continues To Invest In Detroit

Those of us here in the Detroit area have seen a massive commitment to the city by Quicken Loans and their chairman, Dan Gilbert.  In addition to moving their headquarters to Downtown Detroit, Dan Gilbert has been on buying spree.  His purchases include:

The Madison Theatre Building
The Chase Tower
The Two Detroit Center parking structure
The First National Building
The Dime Building
Several additional Woodward Avenue properties 

He also has the rights to develop the former Hudson's department store site.  In total, Gilbert now owns approximately 1.6 million square feet of property in Detroit, making him the third largest landlord in Detroit, behind only the city itself and General Motors. The plan is to quickly develop and renovate the sites.   

And in a more subtle move, Quicken loans has begun quietly servicing more loans instead of transfer the servicing to other lenders, leading to more local jobs.  Quicken has had several hiring sprees over the last 12 months, and plans to add up to 1000 more people in the next 6 months.

The lending industry has been roundly (and in most cases, rightfully) criticized over the years for their practices.  But let's give credit where credit is due.  Dan Gilbert and Quicken Loans have made a huge commitment to revitalizing Downtown Detroit.  Major kudos to Quicken.

Monday, February 20, 2012

BBB - Top 10 Scams

The Better Business Bureau lists the top 10 scams for 2011:

Top Job Scam - Online applications that ask for your information.

Top Sweepstakes and Lottery Scam - Requiring you to SEND money first in order to receive your money.

Top Social Media/Dating Scam - Videos that look like they come from a friend may actually be viruses.

Top Home Improvement Scam - They knock on your door and offer an instant deal.

Top Check Cashing Scam - Someone purchases an item from you online, sends you too much, and asks you to deposit the funds and wire them back the difference.

Top Phishing Scam - Email or phone call claiming to be from The National Automated Clearing House Association asking for banking information.

Top Identity Theft Scam -You're staying at a hotel.  The phone rings in the middle of the night.  The caller claims to be from the front desk, says their computer crashed or that they need to verify your credit card number.  Only they're not really from the hotel.

Top Financial Scam - Debt assistance companies that ask for money up front.

Top Sales Scam - Penny Auctions

Scam of the Year - The BBB Phishing scam!!  Emails that pretend to be from the BBB, asking for information about you or your business.  Oh the irony.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Housing Crisis To End?

According to Capital Economics, banks are loosening credit, increasing the dollar amount of of loans based on borrower's earnings, and loosening loan to value ratios. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

5 Steps For Improving Your Online Social Reputation

From The Kudzu Business Success Center:

1. Consistency (consistent social identity across platforms)
2. Find Your Brand (determine what you want your digital reputation to look like)
3. Own Your Name (track your online reputation)
4. Get Some Help (utilize available tools to help monitor your online identity) 
5. You Aren't A Robot (humanize your brand using social media)