Arvest Sponsors Room at Senior Center in Missouri

Friday, April 24 at 06:50 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Arvest is proud to support the community by sponsoring an event room in a new wing at a senior center in Shell Knob, Mo.

SHELL KNOB, Mo. — Arvest Bank is pleased to announce that it has sponsored an event room at Central Crossing Senior Center. 

The Arvest Room, part of a new wing added to Central Crossing Senior Center, will be available for events hosted by the Center. The wing includes a dining area, four additional rooms, an exercise facility and additional storage. The Arvest Room is just off the main dining room. 

The center offered a “Room Donation Program” to help fund the wing’s construction. Sponsors are allowed to name the room and provide a display within the room. 

Mark Davis, Arvest Community President in Shell Knob, said sponsoring a room at the senior center fits in with Arvest Bank’s community approach to banking. 

“Shell Knob is truly a volunteer community; anything done here is done with volunteers. Central Crossing Senior Center is one of the centers for volunteerism within the community. We appreciate and honor that volunteer spirit and will continue our dedication to Central Crossing Senior Center with our volunteer hours and monetary support,” Davis said. 

Central Crossing Senior Center offers more than 20 activities for seniors and serves more than 15,000 meals annually to congregate and homebound seniors in Barry and Stone counties. Activities include cards, mah-jongg, dominos, bingo, line dancing, Wii bowling, quilting, foot care, health care, Medicare counseling, income tax filing assistance, wood carving, computer and educational programs. The Center also offers medical equipment for loan to any who have a need. 

Another example of Arvest Bank’s support for the community should be ready for use by the end of the year, Davis said. Arvest Bank is building a new branch bank to replace the current location and construction should be completed by the end of the year. The new branch will be larger and will add a third drive-through teller lane for a total of three lanes.

“We are very excited about the new building,” Davis said. “It will be larger, newer and nicer than what we have now.”

Tags: Community Support, Missouri, Press Release

Look at More Than Interest Rate When Financing Equipment

Friday, April 24 at 05:40 AM
Category: Business Banking
Sometimes small business owners ask how banks compete with the financing provided by large manufacturers and distributors of equipment. What many business owners don’t realize is there’s a cost associated with low percentage financing options. 
Here’s a true example from the Oklahoma City area about the cost of low interest rates. A commercial contractor went to a large manufacturer of farm and construction machinery and received a quote for 1.9 percent financing on equipment needed which he thought seemed like a rate no bank could meet or beat.
This same business owner met with his long-time Arvest banker, Keith Kersten. Keith asked this business owner to go back to the manufacturer to get the pricing on the units at a cash price. The pricing was significantly different on almost all backhoes this business owner needed. In fact in some cases it was 5 percent cheaper to pay cash!  
Arvest was over 1 percent higher than the rate of the manufacturer. However, because of the manufacturer’s cash discount, the business owner saved approximately $12,000 (over 3 percent overall savings) over the life of the Arvest Equipment Finance contract! Sometimes you just have to ask the right questions! 
Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking, Equipment Finance

Renters See Prices Rise as Vacancy Rate Falls to Historic Lows

Thursday, April 23 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Millennials are the leading segment considering home ownership as rent prices increase due to low vacancy.

LOWELL, Ark. – Across the nation, rent prices continue to rise as the vacancy rate of rental units has reached a 21-year low, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With landlords raising rents, this is moving an increasing number of people toward home ownership. Across all but four of the nation’s 70 metro areas, rent increased by an average of 15 percent between 2009 to 2014 (*). In Arkansas rent prices have increased by 25 percent since 2011, in Missouri rent prices have increased by 12.8 percent since 2011 and in Oklahoma rent prices have increased by 10.6 percent since 2011 (Zillow Rent Index).

About 5.2 million renters say they expect to purchase a house in 2015, up from 4.2 million in the previous year, potentially a reflection of the improving economy, according to the Zillow Housing Confidence Index released in March. 

An increasing number of these first-time homebuyers are expected to be in the millennial generation. In 2014, millennials made up 32 percent of the U.S. housing market, up from 28 percent in 2012, and have pulled ahead of the older Generation X as the largest segment of buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. 

However, the majority of potential homebuyers between the ages of 18 and 34 are unaware of closing costs – a key financial component in purchasing a home (USA Today, “Closing costs are a mystery to Millennials”*).  

While it can make fiscal sense to own a home and begin building equity instead of renting, it’s important to have a grasp on the fees and other expenses associated with home ownership. A first-time homebuyer needs to understand and be ready for not only the down payment, but also the closing costs, which encompass fees such as title and escrow, lender fees, and the price of an appraisal, which can vary widely. Over the past few months, we have seen more and more young consumers taking the step from renting to owning and we expect this trend to continue.

Home ownership is a financial and lifestyle goal that many people aspire to. If you’re ready to leave renting behind and pursue home ownership, there are numerous things to consider.

Some of those things are:

- How much money do you have saved?

- Down payments are typically five to 20 percent of the price of the home.

- Consider how much debt you currently have to make sure you’ll be able to make all of your payments, including the mortgage.

- Look into your credit score. A low credit score could keep you from a better interest rate on a mortgage loan.

- Consider how long you’ll likely be in the home. Generally, the longer you plan to live in one place, the more it makes sense to buy. 

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arkansas, Home Loans, Kansas, Missouri, Mortgage, Oklahoma, Press Release

Friday Financial Forum April 24 in Bartlesville, Okla.

Thursday, April 23 at 05:15 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Join us Friday, April 24, at 10 a.m. for our Friday Financial Forum. We’ll meet in the Friday Forum Room at Arvest's Eastside Branch located at 4225 S.E. Adams Rd., Bartlesville, Okla. Every Friday we invite customers like you to attend our one-hour Financial Forum. 

What you can expect at the event:

  • Information: Community leaders share topical, local and state information (Sen. John Ford, Rep. Earl Sears, Rep. Travis Dunlap)   
  • News: "The Scoop" about business and community happenings in Bartlesville (Billie Roane, Arvest Bank)
  • Stock Report and Economic Update: Josh Randolph, Arvest Bank
  • Humorous Anecdotes: Jim Bohnsack, Arvest Bank

If you have any questions about the event or would like us to add someone to the invitation email list, please contact Billie Roane at (918) 337-4358. We look forward to seeing you there!

Tags: Bartlesville, Community Support, Oklahoma

The Science and Art of Generating Referrals

Wednesday, April 22 at 07:10 AM
Category: Business Banking

In many businesses, referrals from existing customers are the greatest source of new business. Yet, many sales people don't effectively use this technique to generate leads. Understanding the referral process and establishing a technique to ask for referrals will generate qualified leads and increased business. 

Why are referrals effective? 
Once a sale is made and a relationship is established, that customer understands what you are offering and knows how your product or service has provided a solution for their specific need. They know your product, and they believe it will work. 
Most customers are likely to know others that have needs similar to their own. If the customer is a business, they know their competitors, their customers and their vendors. If the customer is an individual, their friends, business associates, family members or neighbors may have similar needs. In other words, they can provide pre-qualified prospects for you. 
There is also a sense of trust once a customer relationship is established. This trust is valuable and must be carefully nurtured. It can be leveraged by recognizing that most people want to help others, especially those whom they trust. Usually, your customers want to help you as well as others they know and care about. Properly handled, this trust can make them your advocate. 
Asking for the referral
Immediately after the sale, and while the customer feels good about selecting you and your product or service, is the ideal time to ask for referrals. At that point, customers often view you not as a salesperson, but as a resource who just provided a valuable service. You solved their problem. 
Asking for referrals does not mean begging for a list. It means educating your customer about what you are looking for in potential customers and sales opportunities. Be sure to explain you are seeking contacts that have similar issues to the ones you have just helped your customer deal with. 
Avoid asking too direct, blunt or limiting questions. Don't ask, "Who else do you know that might want my product?" A better way to phrase the question is "Is there someone else in your company or that you know that is facing the same type of issue we just addressed with my product?" Most people are reluctant to provide referrals if they think you are going to pounce on them for a sale. But they are receptive to providing a referral if they believe you will become a valuable resource for those referrals. 
There is usually a great deal of networking within an industry, even among competitors. As a result of an existing customer relationship, you are positioned to better understand the issues facing all those in the same business as your customer. Use this insider role when positioning yourself for future referrals. Consider this question, "What business functions or conferences could I attend to learn more about your business and find others that are facing the same issues we just addressed with my product?" 
After the sale and referral 
Stay in touch with the customer. Your relationships with customers are some of your most valuable assets. They may need additional products or services you offer. There may be others within the company that need your products or services. And, you want your existing customers to buy more of what they have already purchased. 
If your customer has provided a referral, be sure to follow through. Contact the referral and keep your original customer informed. Sending a thank you note is the polite thing to do and further strengthens your relationship with the customer. 
Finally, reciprocate. If you know people that may need the products or services your customer offers, make referrals to your customer.
Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking

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