Source = Habitat HQ Habitat HQ was awarded the coveted “Favourite Backpacker Accommodation in Victoria” title at the 2012 TNT Golden Backpack Awards Backpacker Industry Gala Dinner in Sydney last Thursday, 8th November. This makes it a ‘hat trick’ as it follows on from consecutive wins in 2010 and 2011. This much deserved accolade reflects a superb level of guest satisfaction. The Golden Backpack Awards are highly regarded within the industry and much sought after, as they are the only consumer voted awards for the independent travel industry in Australia and New Zealand. In 2012 the Australian industry awards were voted for by 80,000+ online independent travelers.Karyn Harte, Business Development and Marketing Manager proudly received the award on behalf of the staff at Habitat HQ commenting “This accolade rewards a passionate team committed to providing guests with exceptional service and travel experiences that create lifetime memories. As a people’s choice award, this is the greatest compliment our guests can give, and acknowledges that the Habitat HQ team is certainly delivering in every way!” This was backed up with a nomination as Finalist in the “Best Backpacker Night in Melbourne” category. Continually striving to achieve excellence within the Industry, Director Peter Beaconsfield comments “Our goal is to be the Number One Backpacker destination in Australia. Receiving this people’s choice award for the third consecutive year reflects the tireless commitment displayed by our team in delivering a dynamic events program and superior customer service.“ As the first Melbourne-based carbon neutral hostel, Habitat HQ continues to develop innovative and unique initiatives that support and encompass St Kilda, Melbourne and Tourism Victoria, promoting the best local, Melbourne and Victorian sights, activities and events on offer. Habitat HQ is located on St Kilda Road, St Kilda, in Melbourne’s premier bayside tourist precinct, providing dorm and motel style accommodation for over 230 guests. Other awards in 2012 include the STAY WYSE Green Initiative Award, City of Port Phillip Business Excellence Award, bronze in the Australian Tourism Awards and a finalist in the 2012 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards to be announced next week.
Cunard Cruise Lines’ 2015 Australian bookings have spiked by more than 40 per cent due to the popularity of its world voyages and new Mediterranean fly-cruise program.Speaking at the World’s Leading Cruise Lines Summit, Cunard international development director David Rousham said 61 per cent of Australians which booked with the line’s Queen Mary 2 this year were newcomers to the brand, compared to an average of 38 per cent across other nationalities.Meanwhile, 39 per cent of Australians on Queen Victoria had been first-time Cunard patrons, compared with the average of 18 per cent for other nations.Australia is Cunard’s third largest market, after the UK and US, with a higher proportion of first-timers than any other country.In 2014, Queen Elizabeth newbies have accounted for 43 per cent of Australian guests, compared with an average of 29 per cent from other countries.Mr Rousham attributed the growing attraction of Cunard to the cruise line’s increased presence in the Australian market since 2007, when Queen Mary 2 first toured Australia, sharing Sydney Harbour with Queen Elizabeth 2.Source = ETB News: Megan Tran
Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) has recently been launched as the new identity for New Zealand’s peak tourism industry organisation.Formerly known as the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand, TIA has more than 1500 members representing about 85% of total New Zealand tourism business turnover. It is the only private sector organisation to advocate for every sector of the industry, including accommodation, transport, tourism services, activities and attractions.The organisation’s new name is supported by new branding and a new website, TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says.“The tourism industry has changed and grown considerably in the last few years and we feel our new identity better reflects TIA’s role as the voice of New Zealand’s tourism industry,” Mr Roberts says.“It clearly signals that we are not simply a membership association but are strongly focused on being the advocate for the whole tourism industry. By incorporating Aotearoa into our name we are also deliberately referencing the culture which is the unique attribute of our country’s tourism offering.”Mr Roberts says there has been a degree of confusion with the organisation sometimes referred to as NZTIA or TIANZ.“The correct abbreviation is TIA but those three letters have not previously appeared in our branding. Now there are just two ways to refer to us – Tourism Industry Aotearoa or TIA.”TIA’s new logo represents the connectivity and alignment which TIA offers the industry. The natural green and blue of New Zealand’s landscape is complemented by the ‘Takahe’ pink of its native birdlife. It incorporates a koru design that references Maori culture and represents a link to TIA’s previous logo.The new website highlights the diversity and vibrancy of New Zealand’s tourism industry while also making it easier for users to find information relating to their sector or interests.In July, a new TIA members’ section will be launched which will give users an improved and more personalised experience.“We are really excited about this step forward in TIA’s evolution. Our mission remains the same – through leadership, influence and action, to achieve tangible benefits for the tourism industry and Aotearoa-New Zealand – and our new identity will play an important part in helping us to succeed,” Mr Roberts says.TIA was formed in 1953 as the New Zealand Travel and Holiday Association. In 1970 it became the New Zealand National Travel Association, then the New Zealand Tourist Industry Federation in 1984. It has been known as the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand since 1993.Throughout the last 63 years, the organisation has continually championed the interests of its members and the tourism industry.TIA’s new identity was revealed at TRENZ 2016, the New Zealand tourism industry’s premier international trade event. TRENZ brings together about 300 New Zealand tourism operators (exhibitors) with targeted international travel and tourism buyers and media from New Zealand’s key established and emerging tourism markets. The event directly helps to grow New Zealand’s $30 billion tourism industry. View the new TIA websiteSource = Tourism Industry Aotearoa
Source = AirAsia AirAsia Top LCCAirAsia named Asia’s Leading Low-Cost Airline for the fourth time, also wins first Asia’s Leading Inflight Service awardDA NANG, 18 October 2016 – AirAsia has bagged top honours at the World Travel Awards (Asia and Australasia) here on Saturday, winning the prestigious Asia’s Leading Low-Cost Airline title for the fourth time.Asia’s largest low-cost carrier by passengers carried and jet fleet was crowned the region’s top budget airline, ahead of Jetstar Airways, West Air, GoAir, JetKonnect, Air India Express, Nok Air and FireFly.AirAsia also won Asia’s Leading Inflight Service for the first time, beating a field of full-service carriers such as Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, China Southern Airlines, Air India and Hong Kong Airlines.The World Travel Awards (Asia and Australasia) serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the travel and tourism industry in Asia Pacific, as chosen by thousands of travel professionals and high-end tourism consumers.Airlines are judged on customer satisfaction and service quality, overall business performance, product innovation, staff relations and development, corporate social responsibility and contribution to local community, commitment to sustainable policies and fulfillment of long-term corporate vision.AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, “It’s an honour to be named Asia’s Leading Low-Cost Airline for the fourth time. This is further affirmation that we are, without a doubt, the best budget carrier in the region.“I’m also super proud that we’ve won our first ever Asia’s Leading Inflight Service award. AirAsia made history last year by becoming the first low-cost carrier to be named Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew, and we have built on that achievement. Our success shows it wasn’t a flash in the pan, and that our service isn’t only best-in-class but the best of both low-cost and full-service as well.“I’ve always said we have great inflight service, with our amazing cabin crew and great products like Premium Flex for business travellers, roKKi inflight wifi and our Asean-inspired Santan menu.“And we’ve only just started. We have many more innovative ideas that we’re working on right now to make our inflight service even better and I can’t wait to share them with our guests, so keep watching this space.”AirAsia has also been nominated in six categories in the global World Travel Awards that will be held in the Maldives in December.The categories are World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline, World’s Leading Inflight Service, World’s Leading Cabin Crew, World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Website, World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline App and World’s Most Efficient Low-Cost Airline.AirAsia is Asia’s leading low-cost carrier, with an extensive network of more than 120 destinations in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East and Africa. It is also the only airline to fly direct to all 10 Asean countries, including some 60 unique routes in the region.AirAsia was also named World’s Best Low-Cost Airline for the eighth year in a row at the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards in July. AirAsia
Travel Counsellors understand the Power of StorytellingFred van Eijk, Managing Director of Travel Counsellors, comments that many parents will have experienced the rush home to do bedtime duty – getting the children’s PJs on and settled for a bedtime story. Or have the guilt of not doing as often as you would have liked or perhaps should have. Fortunately, flexible working now enables more people to be good parents and have a career too.But it’s not just the kids that love a good story – they are what make us tick, whether it’s a plot in a soapie, a good book, a play or snappy headline that captures our attention, such as the recent ‘Australian Travel Counsellor helps his customer to pack her suitcase’. Indeed, every sales person in travel will have a story of how they have done something for a customer that has made that customer feel special.In an ever-evolving industry where businesses are focused on data, profit and margin, we must remember what makes us different. The ability to create and share these stories is that differentiator, and it is more important and relevant than ever before.According to a recent study by researchers at Oxford University and Deloitte, about 35% of current jobs are at high risk of computerisation over the following 20 years. You can google ‘will a robot take my job’ and see how future proof your profession is, or indeed the professions our children may be considering. Out of interest, travel agents score a relatively low chance of being automated (that’s a relief!). However, I also think this could be a little misleading.If a ‘travel agent’ just does the booking for the customer, the risk of automation is high and indeed already with us. We have already seen the development of travel websites, supported by on-line virtual travel agents. However, whilst robots may be able to recount a story, they can’t create one. The travel advisers that stand out are the ones with the stories of how they have helped people. Most studies show that people buy based on emotion rather than logic, and stories and anecdotes will stir the emotion more than anything else. As cognitive scientist Roger C. Schank said; “Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.”So, great travel advisers are also great storytellers and ‘social sharers’. Social media gives us the ability to collate our stories and share them across a global network of current and potential customers. We see daily occurrences of this with our Travel Counsellors. Here’s just one example…Earlier this year two of our customers missed their flight for their Caribbean Cruise; their Travel Counsellor Nikki went above and beyond to get them re-booked so the holiday was unaffected; the customers were so grateful Nikki received a huge bunch of flowers that afternoon; Nikki shared her story on Facebook with a picture of the flowers. The result? Her most engaging post to date and several new enquiries from people who like the sound of her service.These stories are free PR, the clearest sign of what you are about and they create the narrative and personality for the business and your personal brand. And don’t let the doom-mongers or defeatists convince you of anything to the contrary. In Daniel Pink’s bestseller ‘A Whole New Mind’, he states that “the future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators and empathisers. The people, artists, investors, story tellers, caregivers, consolers, will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.”That is why those jobs that are least likely to be automated are those that require the highest amount of human qualities such as empathy, including nursing, care workers and psychologists. The message for us in the industry, and those we want to encourage to join it, is simple – ramp up the care and empathy with a customer; focus on how you make them feel more than the price of what you offer; and ‘bring it to life’ by sharing the stories of the things you do naturally for customers because you care and you operate in a culture that fosters doing what is right for the customer.So, when you’re telling those bedtime stories tonight remember that it’s all good practice for the office too! Travel CounsellorsSource = Travel Counsellors
Vis island_CroatiaWind & Wine Croatia launches a new adventure travel companyCroatia has been making wine for 2 millennia and is home to the oldest continuously-planted vineyard in the world — yet many people have never tasted Croatian wine.Wind & Wine Croatia is on a mission to change that. This adventure travel company takes small groups on week-long luxury sailing trips and organizes custom, curated winery experiences in the Dalmatian Islands. Travelers will experience the adventure of sailing and sleeping on a modern yacht while visiting six hand-selected wineries and exploring six historic islands and towns.Wind & Wine Croatia is co-founded by seasoned wine professional Lizann Grupalo and life-long sailor and certified yacht master Ivan “Pale” Paškvan. Both have over 20 years of experience in their respective fields and formed this company to share their two passions – wine and sailing – with others.Co-founder LIzann Grupalo in NapaValley_Stags Leap District vineyard“Wine in Croatia has a celebrated history of more than 2,500 years and offers more than 130 indigenous grape varieties,” said Lizann Grupalo, co-founder of Wind & Wine Croatia. “The vineyards are planted in some of the most stunning regions of the country. With each passing year, Croatian wines garner more accolades and awards, yet they remain relatively undiscovered globally. We hope to change that with our wind & wine tour!”What You Will ExperienceWind & Wine Croatia is currently booking trips for June – August 2018. The itinerary includes one-way navigation under sail from the city of Trogir/Split, ending in Dubrovnik, one of the most beautiful ancient cities in the Mediterranean known for its white limestone streets and ancient city walls. Along the way, visitors will explore a variety of popular and off-the-beaten path islands such as Brač, Hvar, Vis, Šćedro, Pelješac Peninsula and Korčula. With options to hike, explore, swim and snorkel by day, the afternoons and evenings will provide ample opportunity to visit local wineries, enjoy olive oil tastings and sample the local cuisine, all while strolling the streets of these quaint and charming towns.Guests can choose between a modern, state-of-the-art sailing yacht or catamaran experience. Each yacht, with skipper and host, will accommodate six guests and be part of a small 4-boat flotilla, which provides travelers space to explore each island on their own or, if they wish, engage with other like-minded travelers as they discover the history and complexity of Croatia, its wines and its people. Each yacht offers modern amenities including the tranquility and privacy of double bed cabins, each with their own bathroom. Priority is given to full boat bookings. Customized solutions are also available upon request.About Wind & Wine CroatiaWind & Wine Croatia is an innovative adventure travel company that takes small groups on week-long luxury sailing trips and organizes custom curated winery experiences in the Dalmatian Islands. Learn more and book your trip at windandwinecroatia.com. Follow @WindWineCroatia on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.Source = Wind & Wine Croatia
The Rees’ Lakeside ResidencesThe Rees Hotel Queenstown wins ‘Best New Zealand Hotel’The Rees Hotel Queenstown was again the winner of the prestigious ‘Best New Zealand Hotel’ Award at the 2018 HM Awards for Accommodation and Hotel Excellence held at the ICC in Sydney on Friday night. The award was hotly contested with a high calibre of entries. The achievement caps an outstanding year for The Rees with the highly anticipated opening of its luxury Lakeside Residences and an array of new hotel initiatives, culinary events and more international awards. The HM Awards are the leading industry awards in the region and celebrate the best properties, departments, people, chains and brands in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Over 1500 different properties are nominated each year for the HM Awards with finalists and winners decided by a judging panel of 20 industry professionals and travel media. The Rees was nominated as a finalist in five categories: ‘Best New Zealand Hotel’ (won previously), ‘Best General Manager’ (won previously by Mark Rose), ‘Best Hotel Chef’ (won previously by Mr Batterbury), ‘Best Communications Associate’ (Caroline Davidson) and ‘Australasian Hotel of the Year’.General Manager Mark Rose has been responsible for The Rees Hotel’s continued success and impressive growth since its opening in 2009. He recently oversaw the construction and implementation of five luxury Lakeside Rees Residences as well as the introduction of groundbreaking housekeeping technology Optii keeper and the Hotel’s ‘Rees Bees’ apiary eco initiative amongst many other achievements.These initiatives, along with the outstanding level of service and hospitality at The Rees, have further secured its reputation as an exceptional luxury Queenstown accommodation choice.Mr Rose said, “It is an absolute honour to accept this award on behalf of The Rees Hotel Queenstown. We are truly blessed with an incredible team and their commitment, effort and support make this accomplishment possible. Each year we strive not only to meet but exceed guests’ expectations. This award is a great reminder that we are maintaining an outstanding level of excellence”.In other awards, The Rees Hotel was crowned ‘Best New Zealand Ski Hotel’ at the 2017 World Ski Awards and this year achieved two of the NZ tourism sector’s highest official marks of quality, the ‘Qualmark 5 Star Hotel and Gold Tourism Business Sustainability Awards’ for the second year running. The Rees’ fine dining restaurant True South Dining Room was also awarded a 2018 Wine Spectator ‘Best of Award of Excellence’. The Rees Hotel Queenstown blends chic five star accommodation with all the comforts of home and the service and facilities of an elite international hotel. Situated on the absolute lakefront, The Rees’ terraced construction delivers complete privacy and showcases panoramic views overlooking Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables Mountains in Queenstown, New Zealand.Its landmark restaurant is the True South Dining Room.For Hotel bookings and enquiries phone: +64 3 450 1100 Or email: email@example.com Source = The Rees Hotel Queenstown
We are honoured to be a part of this grand exhibition for the second time in association with JNTO. We participate in this exhibition because India is very important source market for us. The current economy is growing and perhaps in the next five years the number of tourists from India to our country will double. Therefore, it’s important for us to continue our participation in this exhibition.
Share January 2, 2013 409 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Federal Reserve Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers 2013-01-02 Tory Barringer Mortgage Applications Rise in December, Close 2012 Strong Mortgage application activity turned in December to close the year on a positive note, according to “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) data compiled by “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/.[IMAGE]After declining 10.7 percent from October to November, mortgage applications picked up about 3.0 percent in December. The rebound boosted the annual growth rate from 26 percent in November to 30 percent by year’s end.The increase was fueled mostly by a turnaround in refinance applications, which came back from a 13.2 percent month-over-month decline in November to rise 3.9 percent in December. Applications for home purchases also rose for the fourth consecutive month in December, increasing 3.6 percent from the previous month. Kelvin Davidson, a property economist for Capital Economics, says the sustained increase in purchase applications may mark a shift among buyers.””To be fair, the bigger picture is that home purchase applications remain low in a long-run context,”” Davidson writes in the firm’s most recent _US Housing Data Response_. “”But with the level having risen to a two-year high in December, there are now at least tentative signs that housing market activity may be broadening out from investors and cash buyers to mortgage-dependent buyers.””Capital Economics also recorded another drop in 30-year fixed mortgage rates, which fell five basis points to 3.50 percent for December–a new record low. Given the apparent impact of the Federal Reserve’s purchase of mortgage-backed securities under its quantitative easing initiative, Davidson says “”it would be no surprise to see further gains in new mortgage applications over the coming months.”” in Data, Origination
in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, News Production on new homes slowed in November, falling off from an upward revision to October groundbreakings.According to a report released Tuesday from the Commerce Department, homebuilders began construction on new houses in November at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.03 million, down 1.6 percent month-over-month and 7 percent year-over-year.Month to month, single-family housing starts were down 5.4 percent to an adjusted estimated rate of 677,000, the government reported. Multifamily production rose 6.7 percent to a rate of 351,000 units, meanwhile.Despite the retreat in housing starts, there were a few pieces of good news in Tuesday’s report. For one thing, November marked the third straight month in which starts came in at a rate above 1 million. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the three-month moving averages for both total and single-family starts are now the strongest they’ve been since the Great Recession.”These numbers are in line with our latest surveys, which show that single-family builders are confident that the market is gradually recovering,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly.In a report released Monday, NAHB recorded a one-point drop in its monthly gauge of builder sentiment, putting the measure at a reading of 57. An index level above 50 indicates a market viewed more positively than negatively.Further good news came in the form of October’s revised estimate, which climbed to 1.05 million from an originally reported 1.01 million.On the other hand, November also saw a decline in permit issuance for new home construction. According to the Commerce Department, housing permits were issued at a seasonally adjusted yearly rate of 1.04 million last month, a drop of 5.2 percent from October and 0.2 percent from a year ago.Permits were down for both single- and multifamily projects, declining 1.2 percent to a rate of 639,000 and 11 percent to a rate of 396,000, respectively. December 16, 2014 442 Views Commerce Department Homebuilders Housing Permits Housing Starts National Association of Home Builders 2014-12-16 Tory Barringer Share U.S. Housing Starts Dip in November
Opportunity Knocks in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News, Origination, Print Features November 26, 2015 782 Views Housing Downturn Mortgage Industry Pacific Union Financial 2015-11-26 Staff Writer Share The housing downturn tested the mortgage industry. Pacific Union Financial, LLC, rose to the challenge and found its own niche in the marketplace.By: Elaine Pofeldt Though we are now seven years removed, the aftershocks of the housing crisis can still be felt. In today’s changing industry landscape, smaller, independent companies have opportunities like never before. No longer are only the largest banks able to compete for significant market share in the lending space. Instead, a new crop of entrepreneurs are offering loan products that are attractive to both home buyers and mortgage originators who have previously been underserved in the marketplace.One such innovator is Evan Stone, founder of Pacific Union Financial, LLC. Founded in 2004, Pacific Union Financial weathered the Great Recession by adapting to the changing marketplace, rather than rallying against it. Though Pacific Union Financial began its life as a retail lender, it has thrived through diversification. Today, the company offers wholesale, correspondent, retail, and warehouse lending, as well as mortgage servicing, and it serves as a guide for other independent companies looking to fill today’s lending gap.The Retreat of the Big FourPre-housing crisis, four big mortgage banks loomed over the rest of the marketplace. However, because these entities—Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and CitiMortgage—held the majority of origination share pre-2008, they were hit the hardest by the market downturn, and the rise of subprime-related lawsuits further hurt their balance sheets.In response, corporate strategies changed in the last few years as big banks began to remove themselves from the marketplace.“As some banks retreat from the home-loan market, specialized mortgage companies are stepping in to fill the void,” wrote Joe Light in a 2014 Wall Street Journal report. Light, who covers housing and mortgage for the paper, elaborated on the underlying reasons, saying, “Mortgage lending at big banks such as Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase has dropped more quickly than the rest of the industry in the wake of large mortgage-related legal settlements, new banking standards that require lenders to carry more capital, and increased scrutiny from regulators.” This shift in power did not go unnoticed.The Rise of Nonbank LendersIt has been a long journey for Pacific Union Financial since its start in 2004. But early on, founder Evan Stone recognized that smaller, nonbank lenders had greater flexibility to change with the market than larger banks.“People thought I was going to go out of business,” Stone says, “and they thought of me as a young cowboy that wasn’t properly considering risk.”Since then, Stone, 37, has turned Pacific Union Financial, based in Irving, Texas, into one of the top independently owned mortgage lenders in the country. The once tiny company is now a direct lender and servicer with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae, and it is on pace to fund $15 billion in mortgage volume this year. Sure, this doesn’t rival the numbers the largest banks pull in, but it represents how much the market has changed since 2008 and the opportunities now available for even smaller, non-bank lenders.“Pacific Union has been one of the success stories,” says Tim Nguyen, co-founder and CEO of BeSmartee, an online marketplace that he dubs “an Expedia for mortgages.” “They’ve grown tremendously in the past 11 years.”BeSmartee has never served Pacific Union, but, Nguyen says, “You keep an eye on the clients you wish you had.”Success through AdaptationWhen Stone founded Pacific Union Financial, he did it with only two loan officers and one loan processor in a 1,000-square-foot suite in San Francisco.“The office was dirty,” Stone jokes. “It was small. It was a true startup. We weren’t going to spend one penny for niceties.”By the end of 2005, the company had built enough net worth to transition from being a mortgage broker to a mortgage lender. It began lending in 2006, and operating from a new office in Walnut Creek, California, Pacific Union Financial had a staff of 75 employees.Then in 2007, mortgage markets started to unravel. “Securitizations were stopping,” he recalls, reliving the stress. “We couldn’t get loans funded.” Stone, not yet 30, was not sure what to do. “I’d never seen multiple business cycles at this point,” he says. “I kept thinking it’s got to get better from here.”The company lost some money but still had cash reserves from the good years. Things fell apart in the middle of 2008. “I was three payrolls away from being personally and professionally bankrupt,” he recalls. “I didn’t know whether to take the remaining money I had and go do something else or hope somehow over the next six to eight weeks things changed. I didn’t have a penny left to my name. I had a mortgage and wife.”As the business got closer and closer to failure, he grasped unsuccessfully for a path out of disaster. “Some days we wouldn’t even show up for work,” he says. “It was like, ‘What’s the point? We’re just going to get our butts kicked.’”Finally, salvation arrived in the form of an employee named Jake Howard.“These old leads you’re making us work, we can’t close these,” Howard told him, “but the good news is I was on this mortgage broker blog. All these mortgage brokers are posting deals they’re having a hard time getting done. We can do a lot of these deals. Would you be okay accepting applications from brokers?”The company started taking applications from mortgage brokers, becoming a wholesale lender.“That turned everything around,” Stone says. “We went from being close to closing our doors to being profitable in 2008.”Why It WorkedStone credits four critical changes made within Pacific Union Financial as to why the company was able to thrive while other lenders during this time did not.The first, of course, was moving from a retail model to a wholesale model in 2008. “We entered this segment of the market when mortgage brokers had fewer choices. This decision allowed us to save the company with a pure focus on wholesale,” Stone says.The second change was the decision to use size to its advantage. “In 2009 it became clear to me that the large aggregators Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Citi were putting heavy credit overlays on top of FHA guidelines, such as a minimum 640 credit score. Since our underwriting process was less automated than those banks, we could take the time to consider and be more selective with other credit criteria; we chose not to write off borrowers simply because of their credit score,” Stone explains.In order to open credit access to a higher segment of borrowers, Stone says for loan applicants with lower credit scores they don’t allow debt-to-income ratios over 40 percent, look more closely into housing-payment history, and weigh applicants’ tenure on the job more heavily, in addition to being more conservative with loan-to-value ratio. The average FICO score of a Pacific Union Financial borrower is 720.“By taking that approach, we were able to put a lot of borrowers into homes that we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise,” Stone says. “By building in some additional margin, we could flourish in the market. We didn’t have the strict competition of going head-to-head against the big guys. It opened doors to work with both borrowers and originators who we might not have otherwise worked with because we were offering other products.”Stone cites becoming Ginnie Mae approved as a crucial part of this step, as it allowed Pacific Union to keep their own loans rather than having to sell them to the big four. “We recognized the opportunity not to be beholden,” he explains.For other lenders wanting to follow this path, Stone says to start immediately. “It can take a year to year and a half to get approved by Ginnie Mae. We got approved late 2010, and it took us 20 months.”Currently, fewer than 2 percent of Pacific Union’s mortgages are 90 days late or more, he says. Stone credits this system of checks and balances as the reason why.The retreat of big banks also led to the third major change that took place within Pacific Union Financial. “In 2011 Bank of America made the business decision to exit the correspondent lending space, and that had a ripple effect, because they were such a large buyer of loans,” Stone says. “When the No. 2 player exits the market and other companies begin to follow suit, it opens up a lot of opportunity.”In order to take advantage of this market shift, Pacific Union Financial established a correspondent lending platform to give lenders liquidity for their loans. “It allowed for us to spread our operational costs, and allowed for us to start building a significant mortgage servicing portfolio,” Stone says.The fourth change was the biggest one to Stone personally, but it has also allowed the company to reach new heights. As Stone scaled the company, he began to have doubts he was the right person to lead it. “I realized I’m not,” he says. “If I wanted to give Pacific Union the best chance of long-term, sustained success, I needed to find a more experienced and mature CEO. That CEO would likely replace a number of the existing executive team members.”After conducting an exhaustive, nationwide search for a CEO, he found a new leader in Rick Skogg, who had been COO of Aurora Loan Services and most recently served as executive director of the institutional lending group at MetLife Bank.“The majority of our loans at that time were originated third-party,” Stone says. “This was where Rick lived and breathed. His performance track record in that space was second to none.”In April 2012, Skogg came on board. “The growth under his leadership has been phenomenal,” Stone says. Skogg has also deepened the company’s compliance bench, according to Stone. “Rick has allowed me to sleep better at night. My investment is better protected under his leadership.”Industry TakeawaysIn the same methodical way that Stone outlined the pillars of his success, he also outlined things he would have done differently if he had the knowledge he has now. The main takeaway for other industry professionals? React faster to the changing environment and don’t be afraid to “pull the trigger.”“I probably would have tried to find ways to be more differentiated early on,” Stone says. “I probably would have fired myself a year earlier . . . I probably would have tried to gain Ginnie Mae approval a couple years earlier and built a servicing platform earlier. Back in 2008, I may have timed the transition from retail to wholesale well, but in retrospect, instead of waiting until 2014 to start building a strong retail platform, we probably could have benefitted from starting that process a year or two earlier.”In addition, Stone urges others to realize that focusing on building a healthy corporate culture is crucial. “The people that you work with need to understand the DNA of the company, and there needs to be cohesiveness with the team,” Stone says. “Like a competitive sport, the company is really a team, and I would have built more of a team culture early on. This is an area where Rick has been really helpful.”Stone may have been early to the game, but as the economy healed, more independent mortgage lenders jumped into the fray. “It’s funny,” says Casey Fleming, author of The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage, and a mortgage advisor at C2 Financial Corp., in San Jose, California. “People think it’s either prime or non-prime. In reality there are really quite a lot of choices in between.”Competitors in California include Angel Oak Funding and Woodland Hills Mortgage Corp., Fleming says. For non-prime mortgages, he works with Bank of the Internet, another Pacific Union competitor.Despite mounting competition, Stone sees plenty of opportunity for growth. “Three years from now I think the mix between purchase to refinance will be different,” he says. “Today, while Pacific Union has a strong focus on purchase business, industry wide, refinance transactions comprise a large percentage of total mortgage origination volume. Three years from now, I think we all hope that there is a greater supply of housing and there are more borrowers who can qualify to be first-time home buyers.”In addition, Stone sees more private money entering the market. “There is already a movement underway. You are starting to see private money enter the marketplace,” he says. “For the last seven years it’s predominately been either direct or implicitly implied government-backed loans, and I definitely think within three years non-government, institutional money will absorb a meaningful percentage of the secondary mortgage market, and that, in turn, will create opportunities for first-time home buyers. Guidelines are still, historically speaking, stringent, but some credit loosening will occur to help first-time homebuyers get into homes. Non QM mortgages will represent a larger percentage and that means a greater opportunity for homebuyers.”No matter the changes that arise, Stone plans to keep the core values that built his company. “We have been a consistent player in the industry. We don’t pull out on products or channels on a whim. We stay the path.”Editor’s note: This select print feature appears in the November 2015 edition of MReport magazine, available now.
in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News The mortgage industry is still adjusting to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule, and although the dust has seemingly settled community banks are still battling with the regulation.Even though the industry struggled with TRID implementation and there’s a good chance that delays continue, there’s a feeling that the worst has passed.Eric Rawlings, Chief Technology Officer at Digital Risk and Janice Minchenberg, Director of Implementation Management at Digital Risk discuss how “bolt-on” technology meant to make lending systems compliant remains costly, inefficient, and a band-aid solution, especially among community institutions.MReport: There has been a lot of talk about how increased regulation has been tough on community banks. How are they adjusting to the implementation of TRID?Rawlings and Minchenberg: If you ask them, not well. The Community Banks did not have the luxury of funding an in-house solution to the TRID compliance challenges, as compared to larger financial institutions. As a result, they have had to purchase technology from third-party vendors, but these technologies are not perfect; there are compliance issues that not only slow down the pace of the business, but also expose them to regulatory liability and could even make the loan unsaleable on the secondary market. The problem community banks are facing is that many investors interpret the changes differently: Agency loans have not been an issue for them because the GSEs allow more leeway for “errors” (currently), but Jumbo and Bond loans have more confusion and are at a higher risk of being deemed unsaleable. Larger lenders still face the same challenges, but they have the ability to portfolio loans and retain servicing. Thus, the potential for risk and financial loss is greater for community banks, where just a few unsalable loans can have devastating effects on the bottom-line. Additionally, Community Banks have the added cost of seeking external pre-closing quality control services, as well as external training, webinars, LOS systems and counsel, to reduce the risk of producing unsaleable loans. Unsurprisingly, community lenders have been outspoken regarding these issues in their efforts to secure grace periods and to ensure the industry understands that the depth of the TRID impact has been different for smaller lenders.MReport: What are a couple of the major TRID compliance issues you have been hearing about or that you have experienced within the community bank space?Rawlings and Minchenberg: The biggest issue so far for community lenders has been the software reconfigurations necessary to begin processing TRID loans in the first place. TRID combined prior forms, created two new forms, changed timelines and made minor details more important than ever. For example, the LE and the CD have different rules of rounding numbers, and most systems do not accurately capture that. Another issue for Community Banks is the longer timeframes for closing, which lengthens the period for the locked interest rate. Community Banks have to sell the loans within the lock period they locked with the investor, so if the lock period is lengthened, they have to pass along the cost of the extended lock period onto the customer. Larger Banks can absorb this cost, so Community Banks’ pricing is becoming less competitive. Additionally, many large banks have been issuing credits to the consumer for errors, rather than issuing changes in circumstances and delaying closings. Community Banks cannot eat those costs and must instead re-disclose and wait for the time periods to be met. Following the timeframes has also created issues with many lenders inadvertently issuing a re-disclosed LE after the CD may have been issued, causing a violation and potential penalty or even an unsaleable loan. As a result, the community banks with weaker internal support for technology and fewer resources have taken more time to verify the accuracy of the documents via personnel review, costing them money and time. Even with these reviews, mistakes have still occurred, and the potential for liability weighs heavily on the community lending leaders.MReport: Do you see TRID compliance becoming less or more of an issue over the next year among community banks?Rawlings and Minchenberg: We believe that TRID compliance will be more of an issue in the short-term. The issue will begin to resolve once the inaccuracies within the LOS systems have been discovered and corrected, Investors become more comfortable with the changes, the Closing Attorneys/Title Companies are on the same page, and employees understand the requirements. Even with the CFPB’s recent response to the Mortgage Bankers’ Association regarding deference to good faith efforts in TRID compliance, the technology solutions for TRID still, at some point, must work properly. Good faith will only take a community bank so far. Employing a vendor solution that fails again, for example, may have a significant detrimental impact on business. Either way, TRID will remain the focus of community banks in the New Year as they search diligently for a true solution. Most of these kinks will be worked out but community banks in the long-term; however, community banks will still be faced with the additional cost to validate compliance reviews, and consumers who obtain loans from community banks will be required to pay higher fees to compensate for the longer lock periods, closing time frames, and additional costs the lenders and closing attorneys/ title companies have had to incorporate. We recommend that large lenders and community banks obtain third-party assistance from compliance and technology experts, such as Digital Risk, who can bridge the gaps between technology solutions and newly implemented regulations.MReport: What role does technology play in TRID regulation? Has it been effective among community banks? Or is it just a temporary solution?Rawlings and Minchenberg: Yes, Technology plays a very large role in TRID regulations and will not be a temporary solution. Technology will be ongoing for many calculations, alerts for increased fees, tolerance violations, accurate date requirements, deadlines, proper calculations, rounding, placement of fees and the output forms properly extracting the correct data into the correct fields. Technology will also remain important to the tracking of the disclosures, how they were submitted to the consumer, and the need for an increased amount of electronic signatures. As rates increase and Adjustable Rate Loan programs become more dominant, it will be even more important that technology is properly configured, since there are many additional fields that will be required. In fact, many of these additional fields have not been tested at this time because ARM loans are currently not popular.Many community banks do not have their own LOS systems and usually purchase a third-party LOS system, which enables them to rely on that vendor to apply the adjustments and updates. We believe in this case, community banks may have an upper hand over the larger banks as they have the ability to have the corrections made by their LOS vendor, rather than having to either hire internal technical support or depend on the internal team to figure out a workaround. Many large lenders have had to install a manual work around until their inside technology teams can incorporate improvements to their systems, thereby leading them to hire third-party vendors to get them caught up and back on track. Technology will also be required to assist in reminders and alerts for timing of the disclosures, proper calculations for the different definitions of business days, tracking, and retaining proof of the intent to proceed, methods of document delivery and receipt and document retention.MReport: As lenders engage in more efforts to bring Millennials into the housing market, the availability and efficiency of lender technology will be emphasized. How can community banks reach this generation effectively?Rawlings and Minchenberg: Having come-of-age in an era of incredibly quick technological development, Millennials expect the option of doing business quickly, virtually, and from anywhere they choose. The ability for electronic delivery, e-signature and smart phone applications will be in demand to allow for the ease of following the loan process through real-time electronic updates and texting. Because of the pace of technology development and the power of brand recognition in the Millennial generation, community banks are at a disadvantage as the cost of obtaining this type of technology may be out of reach for them. As a result, community banks must be targeted in their efforts by focusing on the technology most aligned with Millennial expectations. Streamlining these few aspects of technology will have the largest impact on the Millennial Customer Experience, while incurring the most reasonable expense.Click here to learn more about Digital Risk. Community Banks Digital Risk TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule TRID 2016-01-08 Staff Writer The Worst of TRID is Yet to Come for Community Banks January 8, 2016 717 Views Share
Construction Spending Rises in the First Half of 2018 August 1, 2018 2,826 Views Total spending on construction rose 6.1 percent to $1,317.2 billion above the June 2017 estimate of $1,241.3 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Construction Spending data released on Wednesday. The data indicated that construction spending had also increased at a healthy clip during the first six months of the year, rising 5.1 percent to $619.9 billion compared to $589.6 billion recorded in 2017.However, spending saw a slight dip across the board in June on a month-over-month basis. The data said that overall spending during June 2018 fell 1.1 percent and was below the revised May estimate of $1,332.2 billion.The report provides a monthly estimate of the total dollar value of construction work done in the U.S. The survey covers construction work done each month on new structures or improvements to existing structures for private and public sectors. Data estimates include the cost of labor and materials, cost of architectural and engineering work, overhead costs, interest and taxes paid during construction, and contractor’s profits.Spending on private construction was down 0.4 percent month-over-month to $1,019.8 billion. When broken down, residential spend was down 0.5 percent in June at $568.3 billion, and nonresidential spending decreased 0.3 percent below May’s revised estimate of $453 billion. On an annual basis, private construction spending grew 6.5 percent from June 2017, while residential expenditure for new single-family homes increased 8.8 percent over the same period last year.According to the National Association of Home Builders, the month over month decline is primarily attributed to a significant drop in both single-family and multifamily spending in June. “This is in line with the soft readings of single-family and multifamily housing starts in June,” The NAHB said. However, it found that on a quarterly basis, private residential construction spending climbed 4 percent in the second quarter, recording the most significant quarterly gain since 2017. Census Bureau Construction HOUSING National Association of Home Builders New Homes Single-Family Homes 2018-08-01 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share
The global blueberry industry gathering in British … July 24 , 2018 Araya explained that varietal reconversion is a complex task, with challenges including the low availability of plants. “You need to order the number of plants that you need to make the change one or two years in advance, as they are not available in the market,” said Araya.Furthermore, according to Arrieta, there are high costs involved which not all local farmers can afford. However, Araya said that change is essential for those who want to remain in the market.This coming season is expected to provide a greater idea of how some of the new varieties perform in the different growing areas.Climate changeAnother important topic in the Atacama grape industry is climate change, with two adverse weather events that included flooding and even snowfall severely damaging growers in 2015 and 2017.Fernando Santibañez, director of the environmental and agricultural organization Agrimed, said it will be key to plant varieties that are better adapted to the varying weather conditions.A possible increase in the frequency of high temperatures, above 35°C, has the potential to affect the quality of the fruit, “in terms of size, health, appearance and ability to travel to the final market”, he explained.In addition, high winter temperatures could produce “a greater aggressiveness in pests”, and phytosanitary strategy will therefore be key for the future, he said.www.freshfruitportal.com Apeel Sciences to join Europe’s fight against fo … Several new table grape varieties are being planted in Chile’s Atacama region, under a project that now 15% complete and expected to be finished by 2025.Growers in the northern region are searching for larger, sweeter, juicier seedless grape varieties amid intensifying competition in markets like the U.S., according to Lina Arrieta, president of the Copiapo Valley Agricultural Producers and Exporters Association (APECO).U.S. demand over recent years has declined for the region’s predominant varieties, such as Red Globe, Flame and Superior, she said.In addition, Peru has been significantly increasing its production of newer, seedless varieties and has been gaining increased U.S. market penetration at the expense of Chile.Regional Agriculture Secretary Patricio Araya told Fresh Fruit Portal varietal reconversion has become essential for the region to be able to remain competitive, explaining that varieties typically found in the area are becoming obsolete both due to market preference and yield.During the 2017-18 campaign, more than 10 million boxes were exported from the Atacama region, of which four million went to the U.S.The new varieties being planted are Timco, Arra15, Unknown Black Seedless, Ralli Seedless, Allison, Sugarthirteen and Sheegene 13. But the APECO president said that production is still small, and a clear idea of the market response is not expected for three years. You might also be interested in Europe’s heatwave intensifies with dangerous tempe … Australian table grape season in China “outstandin …
cruiseluxurySeabourn CruisesSeabourn Sojournworld cruise 2020 Seabourn has announced a 146-day “World Cruise: Extraordinary Destinations” departing Miami on 4 January 2020 and travelling east, arriving in San Francisco on 28 May 2020.Seabourn Sojourn will stop at 62 ports in 36 countries on five continents throughout the course of the sailing, visiting many extraordinary and noteworthy destinations around the world, including the Caribbean, Africa, India, Arabia, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Australia & South Pacific, and Hawaii. “The World Cruise on Seabourn Sojourn will be an extraordinary journey, offering guests a trip of a lifetime with many unique experiences and unforgettable adventures as they sail to so many far off destinations,” said Chris Austin, Seabourn’s senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales. “This is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of fascination, culture, and people while our gracious crew makes you feel at home aboard the world’s finest resort at sea.”
Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away According to ProFootballFocus.com, Peterson played a near perfect game against Bill Belicheck and Co. Outside of a potential holding penalty call he got away with in the 3rd quarter, the former LSU standout was certainly a thorn in the side of the defending AFC champions.Only six balls were thrown his direction in Arizona’s first road win of the 2012 season. And of those six passes, only two were completed.“I thought I played pretty well, but I still have some room for improvement,” Peterson said. “This was a great opportunity. Any time you can get a win that’s huge, especially against a pretty good opponent like the New England Patriots.”In 2011, Peterson was targeted an astounding 113 times and gave up 67 receptions, both respectively good for fifth-most among all cornerbacks. He finished the season with just two interceptions.But if two games are any indication in 2012, then Peterson is certainly on his way to becoming the versatile, shutdown corner the Cardinals projected he’d be.Peterson — who also recorded the Cardinals’ longest run from scrimmage in New England — will have no room for a letdown this weekend, as Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and the Philadelphia Eagles come to town for a Week 3 showdown of undefeated teams. Top Stories D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke 0 Comments Share The indelible image of Patrick Peterson from the Cardinals’ 20-18 upset victory over the Patriots on Sunday in Foxboro was undoubtedly his diving interception of a tipped Tom Brady pass on New England’s first drive of the day.It’s the kind of play that made its way onto all the highlight shows by Sunday night, but it doesn’t tell the entire story of the second-year cornerback’s maturation under Ray Horton’s defensive scheme.
Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Abraham has never played in a Super Bowl and has seen action in only eight playoff games since entering the league in 2000. He’s not letting that or his age deter him from setting lofty personal goals for the season.“I’m shooting for at least 20 (sacks). I always shoot high,” he said. “Shoot high, you might hit low, but at least you shoot high. Don’t bowl, you’ve got to shoot a basket. Shoot high, don’t bowl.”Between Abraham’s projections and all the Super Bowl talk permeating through the team’s facility, shooting high doesn’t seem to be a problem for the 2014 Cardinals. – / 21 Over the season’s last ten games, the five-time Pro Bowler notched 11.5 sacks, helping the Cardinals to a 10-win campaign for just the second time since moving to the Valley in 1988.Now 36, the question persists: Is Abraham ready to be an every-down defensive player once again?“Damn skippy,” the veteran exclaimed following an organized team activity (OTA) Tuesday in Tempe. “I’m glad they finally let me do it. I’m definitely ready for it and that’s why I’m resting now (he didn’t participate Tuesday). I’m not going to put everything on the field now and they say ‘oh John, you’re only out there for 50 percent of the plays.’“Everybody knows how I play, I don’t like to come off the field. Even when I played for Atlanta, it was tough to come off the field.”With the way Abraham produced for one of the league’s best defenses in the second half of last year, head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles might not want him off the field in 2014. “It’s going to be a fun year,” Abraham said. “Super Bowl in Arizona — 49 is going to be a nice little number for us this year, so hopefully we can get there and be the first team to do it and win one, because I’m getting up in age.” John Abraham thought 2012 might have been it for him in the NFL. After registering 10 sacks for the Atlanta Falcons, the team cut him in March. He remained unemployed until July, when Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim inked the prolific pass rusher to a two-year deal on the eve of training camp.Abraham was a situational player at the beginning of the season, and struggled mightily in his new role, failing to register a sack in the first six games. But injuries to outside linebackers Lorenzo Alexander, Sam Acho and Alex Okafor opened up more time for Abraham, and he thrived. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires
Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for November Thursday.The third-year safety out of LSU helped the Cardinals go undefeated for the month, and has been a big part of the team’s 9-2 start to the 2015 campaign.In four November contests, Mathieu registered 27 total tackles, one tackle for loss, two interceptions and five passes defensed.For the season, Mathieu is second on the team with 70 total tackles and is tied for the team lead with four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown in a 47-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3. Top Stories Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact It is Mathieu’s first career selection as the NFC Defensive Player of the Month and it’s only the second time a Cardinals player has won the award. Safety Kwamie Lassiter did so in 2001. Since the inception of the monthly awards in 1986, the Cardinals have also had two players win the offensive honor (Neil Lomax in October 1988 and Boomer Esiason in November of 1996) and three special teams players (Neil Rackers in October and December of 2005, Patrick Peterson in November 2011 and Justin Bethel in December of 2014). Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu is tackled by Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham after he intercepted a pass during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Whether it’s the rookie or the incumbent, it seems Fitzgerald won’t be surprised. – / 36 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “You feel bad for Sam because he works his tail off every day and he gives it his best, but you have a first-round pick,” Fitzgerald said. “I guess you’re on borrowed time when you’re in that position.”Related LinksCardinals’ Wilks defends use of RB Edmonds on key 3rd down vs. BearsBradford’s first-quarter tease gave Cardinals’ Rosen no margin for errorSam or Josh? QB decision looms after Cardinals’ Rosen can’t provide sparkRapid Reaction: Josh Rosen debuts as Cardinals fall apart vs. BearsCardinals defense finding legs but not enough to beat BearsIt seemed as though Bradford would get an extended period of this borrowed time. The Cardinals jumped to a 14-0 lead as he started the game 4-for-5 with 92 yards and a pair of touchdowns.But he couldn’t produce any further, getting benched after three second-half turnovers.“You do go through a game of emotions,” Fitzgerald said. “To jump out like that to 14-point lead, and do it on a road game like we had today, you know, it’s good. And then the momentum completely shifted.”Sandwiched between the 14-point lead and the momentum shift was Fitzgerald’s underlying comment: “… a road game like we had today.”Chicago fans consistently turn out in droves to Arizona sporting events, whether its spring training in Mesa or NFL games in Glendale.After Bears defensive back Eddie Jackson caught what appeared to be a pick-six before it was called back for an offside penalty, he found a large enough group of Bears fans at the wall behind the end zone to perform a Lambeau Leap — on an away team’s turf. 32 Comments Share The excitement for Josh Rosen from Cardinals fans seemed palpable, but Fitzgerald barely took notice.“Which fans are you talking about?” he said when asked about the crowd’s energy created by Rosen. “I couldn’t hear the cheers on top the boos.”He chuckled, apparently joking, but less than a week after the Arizona Diamondbacks lost a series to the Cubs at home, the Cardinals had to deal with the noise from the same Chicago transplants.Asked if it bothered him, Fitzgerald paused before answering: “I’m not going to mess with that one.”He had plenty of time to listen to them. The new Cardinals coaching staff is still struggling to give its stars the ball — running back David Johnson had just 12 carries, and Fitzgerald was only targeted twice all game.Fitzgerald was asked if the Bears defense did anything special against him.“No,” he said. “That’s just the way the cookie crumbles at times.”Nothing special. He just wasn’t a frequent target. The way Fitzgerald and Johnson will be utilized as the year goes on is one of the major questions the Cardinals face.But there is one thing that might be more pressing heading into Week 4: Who will the starting quarterback be? Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has seen plenty quarterbacks come and go through the Arizona locker room.What’s one more switch to him?“Surprised? Nah, nothing surprises me in this business anymore,” he said.Starting quarterback Sam Bradford was replaced in the fourth quarter by rookie Josh Rosen, who was picked No. 10 overall in the NFL draft. The rookie was unable to initiate a comeback and the Cardinals lost 16-14 to the Chicago Bears. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) celebrates his touchdown catch against the Chicago Bears with Larry Fitzgerald, right, and Christian Kirk (13) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories – Arizona will be without linebacker Deone Bucannon due to a chest injury against the Lions.– Slot corner Budda Baker is listed as questionable to play with a knee injury that saw him leave and then return in Sunday’s win at Green Bay.“This is really the first kind of big injury I’d have in my life,” Baker said this week. “There’s definitely sometimes you get up out of bed to maybe do something real fast and it’ll stop you — nah, wait, hold on. You can’t do this right now.” (AP Photos) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact With Barksdale prepped enough, the Cardinals are calling it a game-time decision.“He looked great, to be honest,” Wilks said Friday. “Understanding the system … he knows the terminology. I think he’s going to be fine.”Related LinksCardinals not concerned about Josh Rosen’s low completion percentageNot according to plan: Cardinals’ injury-battered O-line holding upWeek 14 injury report: Detroit Lions at Arizona CardinalsBarksdale, 30, would be the oldest member of the Arizona offensive line. He and right guard Oday Aboushi, 27, are joined by three rookies at left tackle, left guard and center.“I see myself as a rookie with eight years experience,” Barksdale said of being surrounded by young teammates along the line. “At the end of the day, you never stop learning. There’s never something you can’t get better at. Learn along with them.“There’s a learning curve. But, you know, I’m a professional. Think I’ll be fine.”Stepping in for KirkLosing receiver Christian Kirk for the final four games due to a broken foot not only took the Cardinals’ most productive wide receiver — it took a steady, threatening punt returner.Wilks said receiver J.J. Nelson and running back T.J. Logan are the next players up, as the team’s depth chart indicated.Injury update TEMPE, Ariz. — Cardinals coach Steve Wilks hasn’t ruled out starting recently-signed tackle Joe Barksdale on Sunday as Arizona hosts the Detroit Lions.Barksdale, an eight-year pro who was released from the Los Angeles Chargers this week in what he called a mutual decision, inked with the Cardinals as they placed starting left tackle D.J. Humphries on the injured reserve list Wednesday.Wilks said earlier in the week that second-year pro Will Holden, who joined the team last week and started at right tackle at Green Bay, would be the starter. 2 Comments Share