What are mortgage brokers to do now to make a living?Robin GronskyMortgage brokers after sub-prime crash Are your clients moving out of your state? Now that the housing bubble has popped, have home sales in your area gone down? Were sub-prime mortgages a large part of your business? Mortgage brokers are now looking at their quiet phones and wondering how they will pay the rent. One way to bring in new business is to get licensed in additional states. The license you have to do mortgage brokering allows you to solicit borrowers only in your state. I'm sure that in the past, you've received telephone calls from consumers who wanted a loan in a neighboring state and you had to turn that business away, or your loan officer has family and friends in the state that he's from. Stop turning away business—get the licenses that will permit you to take applications in places you never could before. You don't have to work where you live. You can follow your family, friends and customers to their new state and keep their business by getting licensed in that state. When they are looking for their new houses, get the name of the real estate agent who they are using. Establish a strategic alliance with each new real estate agent. Now you have a new network that can send you referrals that will keep your pipeline full. Network with retirees who are moving. Typically, when they get to a new community, they are eager to make new friends. Their new friends also had real estate agents who helped them buy their houses. Form another network of referral sources in those new states. You can become a regional company and give yourself a different brand. If your borrowers see that you operate in other states, they may think of other opportunities to refer business to you, i.e., friends and relatives they know in other states who may need mortgages where you have just obtained a license. This is a good time to get new licenses, because the banking departments are not inundated with new license applications. The ramp-up time is faster, so you can go after that new business now, and when it gets busy again in the future (and it will), you will have a jump on your competitors, who will just be getting their license applications to the banking departments. When the applications came gushing in, you didn't have time to breathe, much less think about strategic planning. But now, when business may be slower, it is time to mastermind the next phase of your business plan. Find those states that have a good-sized population coupled with high housing prices. Those are the states that will give you the most bang for your licensing buck. Don't just wait for the phone to ring. Create new paths to reach new business. Robin Gronsky is the sole proprietor of Gronsky Law Offices, a law firm that concentrates on mortgage broker licensing and compliance. She may be reached at (866) 821-4602 or e-mail [email protected]. You can also visit her blog at www.mortgagelicensesolution.blogspot.com.