Kara Herbeson has a technical background, so when she decided to change careers and become a mortgage agent, she felt like she was behind the eight ball.
Fortunately, she had the wherewithal to choose a brokerage that offered mentorship.
Herbeson joined Tribe Financial in April 2016 and was immediately taken under the wing of its three managing partners, Glenn MacLaren, Peter Lirantzis and Frances Hinojosa.
“They would sit with me, and Glenn would let me sit in on his conversations to see how they went, and he’d showed me how to structure a file, and Frances would show me where files are placed,” said Herbeson. “The internship program Tribe offered was an ongoing process. I would go in every day and sit with Glenn mostly because he worked in the same office, and we’d discuss different issues that came up. We’d discuss the regulations, talk about stated income clients, all the potential files I could get. Every day I’d sit with him for an hour and we’d go through that, and I’d also help fill out applications.”
Tribe offers a two-year coaching program that teaches everything from time management and creating business plans, to the brass tacks of different mortgage types, how to use emotional IQ to facilitate deals, negotiating strategies, dispute resolution, and more.
David Mandel, president of First Source Mortgage Corporation, credits mentors early in his career with helping him get to where he is today. He says that a mortgage education yields a general understanding of the business, and that experience is paramount, however, experience cannot be accrued overnight.
“It is imperative for new agents to work with a mentor,” said Mandel. “A mentor can provide value in decreasing the learning curve for newer mortgage agents by sharing his or her experience in a real life context, working on live deals, as well as teaching above and beyond the textbook or classroom.”
Over more than 25 years, Mandel has mentored many mortgage agents and brokers, some of whom have founded their own successful brokerages. His approach varies depending on what the mentee requires.
“I find myself in a small way mentoring agents every day by assisting and directing them in their effort to place a private commercial mortgage,” he said. “They call me and usually need help since they, and often their broker, have limited, if any, commercial mortgage experience. However, they have a deal that they feel has merit and would like to get it done. If I like the deal, I create a learning experience for the young agent. If I don’t like the deal, I provide the agent with some additional tools and information to take to the next lender whom I often provide the contact information. It is important to help the agent commit to their business to grow and prosper.”
Herbeson has come into her own as a mortgage agent, and, more importantly, appears as such to her clients. She says mentorship is tantamount to continuing education.
“Mentorship for me is everything,” she said. “I met with 12 different brokerages before coming to Tribe Financial, and it was them speaking to me about how they bring in new agents and what they do for them that hooked me on them. Without them, I guarantee you I wouldn’t be in this industry today.”
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