Fast track to successAnthony M. Gramzasuccess, tips and tools, commercial loan brokering Success begins with a person's will, for it's all in the state of mind. According to Webster's Dictionary of the English Language, success is a favorable result that one has tried or hoped for. It may be the attainment of wealth or fame, and it could mean that you are a successful person. You may be asking, "What does this have to do with commercial loan brokering?" Well, to tell you the truth, it has everything to do with it. My intent will be to provide you with a comparison for further consideration as you try to maintain a successful track of business for yourself and your company. Furthermore, I hope that I can persuade you to consider the other side of our industry - commercial loan brokering. It can provide very favorable results as an adjunct to your residential business. Part of the success team is education. You can't do it alone, although you can try. Educating oneself through designed courses, such as those taught through the education program of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, will begin the formal process of preparing you for dealing in the commercial arena. Don't embarrass or frustrate yourself with a client if you do not have some type of formal training. Commercial clients usually can tell within a matter of a few minutes whether you know what you are talking about or are playing the bluff game. And remember your reputation, for it will follow you. Therefore, as a member of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, ask for these courses to be taught in your area or state. Request your state representatives to encourage the offering of these courses both on a state and national level. Whenever there is a state or national conference, educational courses, including commercial ones, should be offered, and member attendance should be encouraged. Make the effort to take as many recognized courses, through NAMB or the National Association of Realtors if commercial loans entice you. Whether you continue in the commercial field or not, you can always say that you tried. Another part of the team is commitment and perseverance. It may not be easy and you will certainly run into obstacles. But regardless of where they come from, you usually can overcome those obstacles by working diligently with other professionals. Start with some small transactions, get your feet wet and remember that you don't always have to do it by yourself. Ask for help. Work with other professional brokers and let one or two of them be your mentor(s). If you feel good and trust that person, let him be the angel looking over your shoulder. We normally recommend starting off with a small loan request, but it can happen that a multi-million dollar deal lands on your desk. Relax. Don't get frustrated. Ask for help, co-broker the deal with another professional and keep your fingers and toes crossed that the deal not only gets approved, but actually gets funded as well. Lastly, remember the theory of reality. You cannot always be successful in every project you are working on. I always use the 20/2 rule; if twenty deals come into our office, two may make it to closing. Don't get alarmed when you make a few mistakes (I guarantee that you will). Don't let those mistakes or failures discourage you. Without mistakes or failures, you cannot have successes. I guarantee that successes will come. They will be in the form of a genuine feeling of accomplishment in assisting your clients in achieving their goals and, at the same time, the reality of life - getting paid and receiving your commission for a job well done. When you are marketing yourself, remember not only the potential clients, but the multitude of lenders as well. Clients seek your help in packaging their transactions and lenders need you so that they can approve and fund those deals. Over the past few years, we in the brokerage community have been blessed with an abundance of mortgage funds (not only residential, but also commercial). Not only do we do business with the local and statewide lenders in our area, but also in the Wall Street conduit market - the big source of funding. When I say big, I mean big. For the year 2005, the commercial mortgage-backed security market garnered $169.2 billion in loan production, and that was only one segment of the marketplace. If this sounds exciting to you, then grab on and take a piece of that pie for your business. Whether you seek fame or not, it will come to you. It may be in the form of one client talking to another about how you, as his commercial mortgage broker, helped in obtaining the financing for his commercial project. It may be in the form of a newspaper announcement indicating your firm as the successful broker of record. It may just be the congratulations from your peers. As humans, we all look to some form of recognition, and it certainly enhances our ego. Therefore, as you obtain success, relish the accolades showered upon you. Never feel that you are outclassed and that you will not succeed. Always feel that you are a successful businessperson. Think highly of yourself, because not everyone will do so. Success begins in your mind. If you think you will succeed, you will, my friends, for "It's all in the state of mind." Anthony M. Gramza is president of Rochester, N.Y.-based AMG Commercial Mortgage Group Inc. He may be reached at (585) 264?9540 or e-mail [email protected].