Continuing education is important for professionals in any industry, and mortgage brokers are no exception. Given the drastic ways in which the industry has changed over the last few years, brokers should consider how specialization can augment their businesses.
“Here we are with major policy changes in the last year and changes in how brokers do business,” said Frances Hinojosa, a managing partner at Tribe Financial. “Many brokers have learned that we have to recalibrate conversations with clients. Our knowledge level of structure a deal is even more important than it was in the past. With change comes opportunity, but with opportunity comes re-educating yourself.”
Hinojosa spent 20 years in the banking industry and switched gears under a decade ago by entering the broker channel. She knows a thing or two about how important education is.
“Five years ago, I personally went through a major change and people are going through it now with the B-20 rule changes,” she said. “I came out of an environment where I was an expert in one silo of product, and coming into the industry I learned I had to quickly get up to date—lending policy, procedure, offerings in the marketplace—because my knowledge only extended to one area. I learned to embrace the resources out there today.”
The brokering landscape has indeed changed and Hinojosa recommends focusing on certain areas and becoming an expert. For example, for brokers thinking about specializing in the luxury home market and growing their databases, the Luxury Home Advisor certification is being offered. Dustan Woodhouse also offers Be the Better Broker. This weekend in Montreal, Mortgage Professionals Canada is holding its annual conference—arguably the one industry event with the highest attendance.
“As we are entering a new environment and phase of mortgage brokering, it’s all about education and finding ways to evolve your business,” said Hinojosa. “Attending conferences such as MPC’s National Conference, which is coming up this weekend, attending workshops and networking events and signing up for seminars such as the Luxury Home Advisor and Be the Better Broker with Dustan Woodhouse, you should always be re-investing in yourself to ensure growth and sustainability of your business long-term.”
Hinojosa also recommends brokers study target marketing and opening new avenues of revenue.
“Don’t become a jack of all trades, master of none. Figure out your area and become a master.”