The world of mortgage brokering can be both exciting and rewarding. While most agents and brokers start their careers on their own, it’s important to realize that you’re still operating a business. Regardless of whether you have your own brick-and-mortar office, you still meet with clients, collect necessary information, market, prospect, filter through leads and provide a service.
All of this can become overwhelming, especially when working alone. Here are five tips that I recommend every up-and-coming agent or broker implement for the good of their career.
1. Develop the right relationships
We’ve all heard about the importance of developing strong relationships. But what you’ll find in this business is the constant solicitation of your time and attention by lenders, title search companies, lawyers, tech companies – the list goes on and on.
What I recommend, and what we do at Millennial’s Choice, is cancel out all of the noise. We only subscribe to relevant emails and only take meetings or phone calls that are valuable to us and our clients. In addition, having solid relationships with reputable lenders is always important. Go above and beyond with your lenders by inviting them to special lunches, dinners or planned activities.
2. Focus on quality deals
I know the excitement of having a client ready to work with you, but it’s important to focus on quality deals that are more likely to close, rather than just taking on any new deal that has the potential to fall apart. It’s also imperative that up-and-coming agents do all they can to make sure they’re submitting quality deals to lenders, which is key to building credibility and strengthening relationships with them.
One of the ways we do this is by asking the client for all of the relevant documents upfront that we know the lender will eventually want to see. The idea is to get a full picture of the story so we can ensure maximum success. We inform the client that we may be asking for more than we need, but we do so to ensure there are no surprises.
3. Stand above the crowd
We know there are many agents, brokers, brokerages and, of course, banks and credit unions that clients can simply walk into. Additionally, social media feeds are constantly flooded with advertising and solicitations about mortgage services, the best rates, etc. What are you going to do to stand above the crowd? Provide more services or a better quality of service?
We went the one-stop shop route and decided to offer real estate, mortgage and insurance services under one roof. It’s not the route for everyone, but it works for us. Decide what you want to be known for and work toward becoming the best at that.
People are always looking to connect with like-minded individuals. Pre-COVID-19, we had many opportunities to network at in-person events like seminars, awards galas and other events. I’m sure that time will come again.
In the meantime, invest in attending online events that connect to the mortgage industry to network with other professionals, business owners, potential clients and potential referral sources. You don’t have to invest your money to attend these events, although that’s not always a bad idea. Attend relevant events, develop a unique elevator pitch and be ready to expand your network.
5. Commit to your personal and professional development
First you learn, then you earn – but never think you know everything. Rules and consumer trends are constantly changing; lenders alter their guidelines and products all the time. A lot of information is readily available online for clients, so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and to learn as much as you can so you can be the expert when a client comes to you with a question they can’t answer.
As a part of our team training, we focus not only on mortgages and sales training, we also tackle personal development. We read books and listen to audio programs together. We share our thoughts on ideas we find helpful. Try to surround yourself with like-minded people and groups that share the same ideas about personal development.
Matthew Ablakan is the founder and owner of the Millennial’s Choice Group of Companies and is constantly on the lookout for creative ways to shape the real estate, mortgage and insurance industries.