So, you want to be a commercial mortgage broker. Well, here are the skills that I think you need to become one.
Let me know if these apply to you by sending me an email. I’m curious.
I’m dividing these skills into two areas. One technical. One personal.
The First Big Skill – Be Dependable
One of the main things you need to succeed at being a commercial mortgage broker is dependability.
Trust me, this is critical.
When people come to you, whether it be for a refinance or a purchase, they’re coming to you to make one of the most important decisions of their lives.
Borrowing money is not something most people do every day. Maybe they’ll do it once every 10 years, once every 30 years, or once every 5 years.
In any event, you need to be dependable so that they trust you with the process.
I see a lot of people getting into the mortgage business. But they’re only in it for three months. Then they’re out of it for a year. They come back. They go in and out. That’s not dependable.
People want to deal with someone who is rock solid and a hundred percent dependable.
For those in the back, let me say it again, you’ve got to be dependable.
The Second Big Skill – Communication and Language
Communication is everything.
You need to return calls. You need to return emails.
I’ve been in this business long enough to know. If you don’t communicate, your deals fall through.
Also, don’t be a goof.
If you don’t know the answer to something, admit that you don’t know, and then work hard to find out!
The Third Big Skill – Organization
A huge part of being a commercial mortgage broker is keeping yourself organized.
I personally recommend using a CRM system, as well as Outlook.
There’s no excuse for not being organized. Today it’s easy. There are all kinds of tools. It’s not like it was when I started years ago. Back then, there was nothing to keep things sorted.
Being organized is super important because there are a lot of moving pieces in this business, a lot of deadlines, and a lot of information overall.
If you don’t take notes, don’t keep tabs on everything going on, and then you drop the ball, you’re in trouble.
The Fourth Big Skill – Honesty
For some people, this is tough because not every situation or deal is perfect, and people don’t want to disappoint their clients.
The thing is though, honesty is absolutely essential in this business.
You’ve got to be honest.
If you’ve got a tough deal, if you don’t think you can do it, then set expectations upfront on the very first call. Don’t sugarcoat things.
I always tell my clients right up front what to expect. If there’s bad news, get it out right away.
Good news can wait.
But bad news…get it out right away and be a hundred percent honest.
The Fifth Big Skill – Empathy
Another key aspect of the commercial mortgage business is looking at things through somebody else’s lens, not just your own lens.
This is important because, in the mortgage business, you really do rely on a collaborative effort.
Think of making a commercial mortgage deal as playing in a band or even performing with a symphony orchestra.
You rely on a combination of talent.
Now, as a commercial mortgage broker, you’re basically the orchestrator directing the show.
The people a mortgage broker needs include:
The borrower, the appraiser, the underwriter, the processor, and of course, attorneys.
There are a lot of people in each transaction, and a commercial mortgage broker has to know how to work with them all.
The Sixth Big Skill – Adaptability
Being adaptable is critical to being a commercial mortgage broker.
Since the job is to orchestrate deals with a lot of different people, inevitably, unexpected situations will come up that require quick adaptation.
Major curveballs are unavoidable. This is something I’ve learned after years in the industry.
I started my company, Gelt Financial, 31 years ago, and what I’ve noticed is that the business changes every three to five years.
The truth is there are almost no companies around like us today who have been around for more than 10 years because most people are not able to adapt and change with the market.
I’m making this video during the pandemic. And it’s a perfect example of what I mean. Whatever business you’re in, you have to be able to change, and you have to be able to adapt.
You need to have a personality that can change on a dime and work with people to move projects forward…to get them to do what you want them to do in a friendly and genuine manner.
Your goal is to help everyone cross the finish line.
Sometimes you have to be subtle, sometimes a steamroller.
Knowing when to be subtle or forceful is a hard balance, but you need to be both.
It’s all about adapting.
The Seventh Big Skill – Networking
Another crucial skill is networking. You have to know and work with the right people.
Even if you are the best mortgage broker in the world, if you are using lousy title companies or lousy appraisers and things fall through, you’re the one who takes the hit.
I used to have a sign in my office years ago.
It basically said, “You can go to a restaurant a hundred times, get a hundred great meals, but if you get one bad meal, that’s what you’re going to talk about forever.”
The commercial mortgage business is exactly the same.
You need to have the best possible team to help you avoid major mistakes that can cost you in the long run.
That team, of course, is appraisers, title companies, attorneys, lenders, processors, underwriters, home inspectors, and realtors.
The Eighth Big Skill – Knowledge
To be a great mortgage broker, you need knowledge.
You need to have a basic understanding of financial statements, business, and investments.
Knowledge, of course, is a skill that is acquired through time and a lot of experience and study.
Although you might not know everything when first getting started, at an absolute minimum, you should understand profit and loss statements and know how to read a rent roll.
If you don’t have a good understanding of financial statements, take the time to learn before trying to become a commercial mortgage broker.
It also helps to know accounting and legal.
Much of what we do hinges around these subjects, and I mean everything together. Business, real estate, and so on.
A perfect example is a call I got an hour ago.
Somebody called me up, and they were buying an RV park. They were looking for financing.
I asked them what the Net Operating Income was. And they had no concept of what I was talking about. They sent me their expenses, and I learned that they were buying from a realtor.
The thing is the realtor left off a ton of fees and expenses that he would have later. And it was clear to me this buyer had no idea what he was doing. Zero. He trusted what the realtor said, which could be a big mistake.
You, as the mortgage broker or loan officer, need to know enough about the business so that you can spot issues like these and offer guidance to the buyer.
The Ninth Big Skill – Marketing
Today we live in a digital world.
When I started, I used to drive around to realtors and talk to them in person to get business. Now that the world has changed and everything is online, you’ve got to know how to stand out digitally.
You could know everything about commercial mortgage, but if you don’t have the ability to bring in deals through online marketing and you’re not getting referrals, you’re just treading water.
Work With Gelt Financial
Our motto is “When your bank says no, we say YES!”
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