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National Mortgage Professional
Sep 20, 2005

So, what do you do next?Anthony M. GramzaCommercial loan brokering, education, state licensing educational requirements You have been a residential loan broker for the past few years, and you have finally made the decision to spread your wings, open your war chest, take the new road of challenge and do what many other brokers are not doing entering the field of commercial loan brokering. So, what do you do next? I have been writing articles for The Mortgage Press for the past eight or nine years, and I have always been a strong advocate of keeping your options open in the mortgage broker industry. And as an author of many articles dealing with the commercial mortgage side of the business, I have encouraged our members to consider "getting to know more about..." you guessed it, commercial loan brokering. But these past few years have been the wonder years for our broker members who have made a great living placing residential loans for those clients who are either building, buying or refinancing a home. In one of my previous articles, I asked "What are your plans when the bubble bursts?" As interest rates increase and the pace slows down for both purchases and refinances, you have to ask yourself, "Will I be able to keep up the same style of living and if not, what do I do next?" Over the past six months, I have received an increasing number of calls from mortgage brokers who are now thinking seriously about commercial mortgages, and considering what they can do to assist those clients who inquire about purchasing or refinancing a commercial venture. The answer is to make a commitment to learn more about commercial financing, and that commitment must be achieved through education. So, what do you do next? The majority of brokers who call me are members of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, and their individual home states have state affiliates. Within these affiliates, you will find an individual who is listed as the Education Committee Chair. This is who you need to contact about NAMB's commercial loan brokering classes. If your state association is an affiliate of NAMB, these courses are readily available. If your state affiliate does not have a qualified instructor to teach these classes, then NAMB can provide that service through its network of nationally approved instructors. All NAMB members are entitled to the services offered by the association, including great courses to enhance your earning ability and helping you meet state licensing educational requirements. Many of the members of your state association are volunteers, and usually only one or two individuals are paid employees. One of these individuals will be the Association Executive, and the next in line to discuss your needs if you are unsuccessful with the Education Chair. On the other hand, you must remember that courses are offered to members based on need and the number of requests for such courses. Your state association cannot set up an all-day class, bring in a national instructor and cover the expenses for class materials, unless there are a sufficient number of members who wish to attend. The best option is for your state association to poll its membership to see what type of response they receive regarding the desire to have these courses. Set requirements may be a minimum number of attendees, a certain time of the year, or a minimum fee to cover the costs involved. Regardless, it will be worth the time, effort and expense, and will enhance the commercial loan brokering skills of many members who are currently turning clients and potential commission dollars away because of their lack of knowledge! If you eventually decide not to delve deeper into the world of commercial loan brokering, then that is your decision. However, having a basic understanding of the commercial side means that you can at least talk intelligently with a potential client and refer them to an experienced broker. Then you can work with that broker and negotiate a referral fee or a portion of the commission. Believe me, networking or co-brokering is not a bad word. As they have always said in this business, "A little is better than nothing." One word of caution: Be sure to get references from a broker before you refer a client to them. Those references should include past clients and lenders. You aren't asking for "trade secrets." It's your business, and you need to protect your credibility and your client. If someone cannot share his or her references, then stay away. So, what do you do next? That is up to you. If your state association offers commercial loan courses, take them as soon as you can. If not, then ask why not and strongly encourage your association to bring these courses to the attention of its membership. If that isn't successful, check NAMB's Web site at www.namb.org for a listing of commercial classes offered in surrounding states. Lastly, if necessary, call the NAMB Education Director. It's your association; it works on your behalf. Your membership dues pay for its existence, so take advantage of the opportunities offered to you. Have a great day and good commercial hunting. Anthony M. Gramza is president of Rochester, N.Y.-based AMG Commercial Mortgage Group Inc. He may be reached by phone at (585) 264?9540 or e-mail [email protected]  
Published
Sep 20, 2005
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