What is your recipe for success?Colette Berrebiemployment, business model
If you are considering a change in your employer, there are many
key ingredients you may want to mix together for a successful
match. As in cooking, you look at the ingredients and determine
which recipe you will like best. The same applies when choosing a
new company. All of the ingredients must be there in order to
produce a successful product and fit. Some key ingredients to
consider are more lenders, multi-state licensing, commission turn
time, team building, training tools, processing support and
compliance. With so many companies to consider and so many
different structures, how do you find the right fit for personal
What is your current business model? Assess yourself. Why do you
want to make a move? The most common reasons are an increase in
your commission split, the flexibility to originate in more states
and the access to more lenders. Here are some things to consider
when you are basing your move on these objectives.
Always remember - if the commission sounds too good to be true,
maybe it is! Is there really a 100 percent split? When seeking an
increase in commission, carefully investigate the advertised split.
Does the structure pay you on basis points or gross revenue? Is the
structure W-2 or 1099? If it is a W-2 structure, are the employer's
taxes paid by the company or back-charged to you? What fees are
charged to you and your clients by the company? Are there volume
requirements to maintain the initial pay structure? Is there the
opportunity for an increase when volume requirements are met?
Beware of potential hidden costs.
If you are interested in building a referral-based business
model, multi-state licensing is a very important ingredient. The
company should provide solid support to ensure that you are
compliant and current with the changing licensing requirements in
the states you are interested in working in. With more flexibility
in origination, you will now be able to reach out to your friends
and families in other states that you didn't have access to before.
This is a wonderful opportunity for an increase in your referral
Are you looking for a business model that has the ability to
originate any type of loan? If you are, seek a company that has a
variety of lenders who are able to do conventional and government
loans (FHA and VA), "A" paper, automated system underwriting (often
paperless), sub-prime, reverse mortgages, a variety of product
niches, construction, rehab, lot loans and commercial loans. As you
come to specialize in a product and become an expert in that arena,
you are able to take yourself and your clients to the next level.
This will ultimately increase your referral business. The greater
the lender list is, the greater your ability to secure financing
for anyone is!
Additionally, you may have outgrown your current company and
might want to take on more of the responsibility. Another key
ingredient is to have the ability to use your management skills. Be
sure to place yourself with a company that will allow you to build
and manage a team. In this case, direct your inquiry to the backend
support. The company you now seek should staff strong
administrative departments. Ensure that there is always room to
grow. This leads to another key ingredient, which is training. A
good company should be able to provide adequate training and
support for the success of you and your team and help you keep up
with the many changes that affect our industry on a continual
Probably the most important ingredient today is compliance. As
you put your all into your work, be sure to align yourself with a
company heavy and strong in compliance. Being compliant is
expensive and takes a strong administrative department to support
today's demands from the regulators. You may assume that because
the company you are considering is in business, they must be
operating with a compliance department. Inquire as to how proactive
the company is in keeping your everyday tasks compliant. Don't risk
working for a closed-door company.
So, you now have found the perfect company that possesses all
the above ingredients. As you begin to mix them together, don't
forget to add the ingredient that binds it together - timing!
Making a move commands reorganization and focus. Are you in
position for a move? Do you have an active book of business? If
not, then calculate how long you can live off of your nest egg
until you build your momentum. If you experience financial stress,
it will interfere with your focus. Success may not happen
overnight, but with the right ingredients, you will be cooking
Colette Berrebi is a national recruiter for Centreville,
Va.-based Carteret Mortgage Corporation. She may be reached at
(866) 265-3883 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.