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Mortgage technology and beyond: Pruning and planning

National Mortgage Professional
Aug 22, 2008

Finding the right employerSean Browningprospective employer, interview, positive environment, tips, goals The mortgage industry is going through a change and you'd better be ready. The past three years have given many newcomers an unrealistic view of the marketplace and those of us who have many years under our belt are saying, "Remember back in the day when ..." Regardless of how long you've been in the mortgage industry, the market will begin to stabilize shortly. For those who have entered the industry recently, you might think that all it takes to maintain a constant flow of refinances or purchases is a broker license. I would like to assure these newcomers that this is not the case and likely won't be the case again for some time. As rates begin to slowly climb, companies that have opened up recently to take advantage of the mortgage environment may not be there in the coming years when the market finally re-adjusts itself, causing a shortage of businesses and a surplus of mortgage professionals. Whether you are just entering the mortgage industry or you are a seasoned veteran looking for a change, the type of employer you represent should be a paramount consideration. While interviewing with prospective employers, it's important to realize that the interview itself is a two-way street. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Therefore, you should arrive at the interview informed about the company, prepared with questions and confident in your abilities. Be sure to ask many questions of your prospective employer and listen carefully for competitive advantages they may have over others. Initially, before the interview, you need to do your research. Regardless of whether you are an account executive, broker, loan officer or a support staff member, if you are considering a change, find out if the prospective company is stable and well run. Do they have good industry standing? Never underestimate the power of the "word of mouth" phenomenon. Attracting new and repeat business is largely a result of the impression the customer has of the company you represent. The next step is to identify a positive environment. Signs associated with a positive work environment should be identifiable by walking through the office and talking with current associates. Make a point to ask them questions, but be wary of asking questions that will illicit a prescribed response such as, "Do you like working here?" You should be looking for consistency in the answers. It's important to identify a workplace where associates are visibly content and the attitudes are positive. A positive work environment, in my opinion should be at the top of the list. Finally, the mortgage company you seek should have a hands-on management style. In our industry, part of a company's success comes from the loan products they offer, though all things being equal, the deciding factor for success is really the mortgage professionals themselves and the relationships they have with their client base. As such, it is important to choose an employer whose management staff has come from within the industry and is sensitive to the needs and challenges you face on a daily basis. This leadership should give you confidence that when a challenge arises, you will have a support team and leaders behind you. In closing, remember that there are many factors that go into choosing a place of business. The most important factor is to select a company that recognizes your value, appreciates your talents and helps you accomplish your goals. Sean Browning is senior vice president of production for San Diego-based SCME Mortgage Bankers Inc. He can be reach at (800) 716-7263 or e-mail
Aug 22, 2008
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