Commercial mortgage insider: NAMB increases the fold for commercial loan brokersAnthony M. Gramzacommercial loan education, NAMBEF, Commercial Mortgage Task Force The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) and its affiliate, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers Educational Foundation (NAMBEF), are continuously growing throughout the United States. Although the majority of its membership consists of residential loan brokers, in recent years there has been a focus on increasing its numbers to include those who have an educational and financial interest in commercial loan brokering. Although interest in commercial loan brokering has increased with the upward movement of interest rates affecting residential buyers, NAMB and its Commercial Mortgage Task Force have steadily reinforced the need for the loan brokering community to educate themselves in commercial real estate and its many advantages. Those advantages not only benefit the broker offices, but local and statewide entrepreneurs as well. If the Mortgage Broker is satisfying the needs of the residential community, why not offer the same professional services to those needing assistance in commercial financing? As it has been stated so well in the past, "Don't let the deal, as well as a potential commission, walk out of your office." If this opportunity is to be seized, then the broker and office personnel must be versed in all aspects of commercial loan brokering--both the positives along with the negatives. Education is the mainstay of NAMB with courses taught throughout the country, both on the residential and commercial sides. Currently, a basic commercial loan brokering class is offered in all state affiliates, and NAMBEF, in conjunction with the Commercial Mortgage Task Force, is in the process of creating five additional "add-on" courses to cover all aspects of the commercial mortgage industry. The second add-on course will be launched at the Commercial Mortgage Educational Symposium and Lender's Panel for the Eastern States, Tuesday-Friday, October 17-20 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. For more information on the event, contact NAMB at (703) 610-9009. The Symposium, which will combine both educational opportunities as well as "deal-making," will be open to brokers from across the country. Once again, general and breakout sessions, along with lender "deal-making rooms" and supplier displays will comprise the Symposium. Plans are currently underway for next year's East and West Coast Symposiums. Judging from discussions we have had with attendees in the past, both brokers and lenders alike, the majority walked away with at least one deal in their pocket. A new idea learned helps make a new deal happen. Commercial loan brokering is a profession, whether on a full-time or part-time basis. NAMB and NAMBEF encourage continued education on the part of all its broker members, and are in the process of reviewing the advantages of a professional Mortgage Broker designation. Just as designations are awarded to the residential side of the industry, commercial loan brokers will eventually have a designation as well. Education, hard work, and perseverance need to be rewarded, and the pride of a designation is part of that reward. The fact that a broker assists clients in achieving their financial goals in commercial real estate, coupled with a commission, is the other half of the reward. If you are currently a Mortgage Broker and NAMB member, contact your state affiliate for more information on the commercial classes offered both in your state as well as those conducted in neighboring states. If you are a broker and wish to know more about NAMB and what it offers its membership, contact either a residential or commercial Mortgage Broker in your area, or NAMB headquarters at (703) 610-9009. You will be contacted by the Membership Committee and have the opportunity to discuss commercial loan brokering with a member of the Commercial Mortgage Task Force. The opportunities and advantages await. Learning never stops...it must be a continuous process if we are to grow. Like the saying of a great philosopher, "Minds are like parachutes...they function only when opened." Are you open to increasing your knowledge? Remember that new ideas won't work unless you do! Commercial loan brokering is not a mystery; it is not difficultCbut it is challenging and rewarding. If you have dreamed about commercial loan brokering but have been hesitant in moving forward, remember, "To achieve your dreams, believe in yourself. If you don't, who will?" Anthony M. Gramza, President of AMG Commercial Group, NAMBEF Region I Director, and Education Chair for the NAMB Commercial Mortgage Task Force, may be reached at (716) 264-9540 or E-mail [email protected].