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 success? 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 business. 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 basis. 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 soon! Colette Berrebi is a national recruiter for Centreville, Va.-based Carteret Mortgage Corporation. She may be reached at (866) 265-3883 or e-mail [email protected].