Jack Miller answers the question: can someone be a part-time mortgage loan officer or mortgage commercial broker?

“Hi, this is Jack Miller. You know, I want to answer a question that we get all the time: Can somebody be a part-time loan officer and mortgage broker? We are commercial lenders, so the question usually comes in context to commercial lending, but it really is for residential lending as well. And the very short answer is absolutely. No one says you have to do this full-time. You know, in today’s world of instant accessibility with iPhones or other devices, working from home, working from anywhere, you can really be anywhere and be very, very effective. In fact, I would argue you could have someone who’s part-time, and they could be much more effective than someone who’s full-time. So don’t let not being able to do it full-time hold you back.

I want to break it down a little bit more. So, the answer is yes, you can be part-time. Not a problem. You can work anywhere, you can work anytime, same as full-time. Couple things on that line, just to—I don’t want to say advice, but I’ve made other videos on this, and I just want to reinforce it. One is set the expectations. You know, if you’re, for example, doing this part-time and you have a nine-to-five job, just make sure that your borrowers and your lenders know that you’re not going to be as receptive or in communication during certain hours. Now, if you have the type of job where you can make calls and return emails and things like that during the day, they may not know the difference. In fact, to be candid with you, you know, when I’m out of the office and when I’m away from the office on vacation or on a cruise or anyone, really, no one knows unless I tell them. So, it all depends on your schedule, but I would set the expectations. If you have limitations, if you have a job or you just cannot return calls and cannot return emails certain days, certain times, let people know so they’re not frustrated by the process. I’ve learned that people can deal with most things as long as they understand them upfront.

A couple other things, and these are sort of just—sort of things. One is make sure you have an email set up. Make sure on your email you have your phone number. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t have their phone numbers on their emails or on their reply emails being communicated, communication with people. Let people know that it’s easy to be in communication with you. If you’re hard to find, if they’re having a hard time finding your number, you know, they may move on to someone else. So, think about it from their perspective as well when you’re setting up an email. You know, you could set up a free Gmail account or AOL or Hotmail or anything like that, but really, I would tell you that you can set up a domain name for very inexpensive. I don’t know if it’s $10, $20, $30, $40, or $50 dollars, but I would set up a domain, whatever your company is. You know, your name at, you know, it’s much more professional than jackmiller@hotmail. You know, if imagine my email is jackmiller@hotmail or jackmiller@geltfinancial, the implication is when you have a domain name, you’re more of a serious player, and a lot of people just don’t do that. So just my personal advice.

I would also, again, learn. I’ve talked about this over and over again. Learn the products, learn what you’re selling. Don’t just take someone’s, you know, a lot of people out there, they’ll tell a borrower, speak to a borrower where a borrower will say A, B, C, and D. They’ll get the information, and they’ll just send it out to 20 lenders, and very seldom do those deals close. You know, I tell people, being a mortgage broker or a mortgage banker, whether it be commercial or residential, is a profession; it’s an equal profession to be an accountant, being a stockbroker, being a doctor, anything you want. It’s an equal profession, and you should invest that time and learn the products. Learn what the lenders are looking for. Learn how to determine values, how to determine a debt service coverage ratio, other key matrices, loan-to-values, CLTVs. Learn how to calculate income, expenses, learn how to read a tax return, learn how to add back depreciation. Learn all of the things that are critical to underwrite a deal when you’re a loan officer, whether it be full-time or part-time.

You want to put yourself in as many shoes as possible. You want to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, you want to put yourself in an underwriter’s shoes, you want to put yourself in an investor’s shoes, an appraisal’s shoes, a title company’s shoes. So, each thing that you learn makes you more valuable to everybody else. So, learn, learn. For example, how a title company operates, learn how an appraisal calculates a value. So, when something is going on, you know it like the back of your hand or whatever the expression. So, learning today on YouTube, all this stuff is free to learn; you could just literally sit, and let’s say you want to learn how to calculate values, for example, on a multi-family or on a hospitality deal, or let’s say, for example, a gas station, you know you could just literally do some research, and within an evening or a weekend, you could be an expert at it or learning. So, I always tell people, take the time and learn up front, all of the things you need to know. Don’t just throw stuff out there. If you throw stuff out there, you’re not going to get the same results as if you really dig in, and you’re going to waste more time.

So, take the time upfront to learn what you’re doing, learn about a product, and then once you do that, you will decide if you want to be a specialist in residential, you really, it’s a residential program. There’s jumbo, there’s non-QM, but it’s pretty much residential. There’s not that many things to be a specialist in, self-understood. There’s foreign nationals, things like that, but in commercials, much different. You could be a generalist and learn a little bit of everything, and that’s perfectly fine, nothing wrong with that. But what happens a lot of times, certain people become specialists, certain people learn to master, for example, multi-family or hospitality or gas station or whatever it may be, there’s a lot of different areas within the commercial arena that you could be a specialist in. So, my advice to you is maybe start out learning a little bit of everything and see what you like and see what you gravitate to, and that maybe will form your specialty if you want to. If not, not. But if you’re a specialist, what you’ll do is you’ll learn—if you’re a mortgage broker, you’ll learn who the buyers are, you will learn what everyone’s looking for. So, if you’re a specialist, for example, in hospitality, you know not everyone likes hospitality, but you’ll really own in on what the lenders in hospitality you’re taking. Or if you’re a specialist in SBA, you’ll really be the master and the dean of that. So, my advice is to be the best of the best, be the most educated in a specific field, and that will—you’ll get business by doing that, you’ll a 100% give business by doing that.

One of the advantages of being part-time, and that’s how I started this out, it’s going off on a little bit of a tangent, is when you’re part-time, if you have income from another source, you could really take the time to learn. There are ups and downs in the mortgage industry, and you know when you get in, you may not make any money for a while. That’s a simple reality. And the reality is, in the business, I’ve been in it for 35, 36, 37 years, there’s a lot of ups and downs. And every downturn, what you see is you see almost all of the business exit the business. You see people who are in the business, they leave the business because they need to earn a living. But if you’re a specialist, you can really change with the times. And if rates go higher, you can change products, change direction a little bit, and you have to reinvent yourself every couple of years, a lot of times, or at least I’ve had to. But I stayed in the business because I didn’t have any other options that I love.

So, learn again, try to be a specialist, and you’ll see if you can focus. You also have to figure out how—oops, I apologize, my phone—will turn it off, you also have to figure out where you’re getting your leads from. You know, are you going to get them from referrals? Are you going to get them from advertising? Wherever you’re going to get them. And it takes time to develop that lead source, that steady lead source. And there’s many advantages to referral based. It could be attorneys; it could be accountants within attorneys; it could be workout attorneys, or it could be just regular attorneys. Could be accountants, like I say; could be realtors. It could be any number of 50, 20, 30, 40, 50 things that you can get your leads from, referrals, or you can advertise for leads. There’s pluses and advantages to either or we’ve made many videos on it. Check out those videos. The purpose of this is, can you do it part-time? And the answer is yes.

Again, if you’re doing it part-time, set the expectations. That’s the big thing. And again, you don’t necessarily have to tell people you’re doing it part-time depending on your work schedule. I learned one thing: people are interested in results. Nothing else matters. You know, it’s very nice to be understanding and be compassionate and all that stuff, but at the end of the day, at the end of the day the only thing that matters is, did you deliver the results? Were you accessible? Did you meet their expectations, your client’s expectations? And that’s what matters. And you can do that part-time; you can do it full-time. There’s advantages to both. I’ve seen people very successfully do both. And that’s the scoop. Anyway, I hope I provided some value. My intent was to like the YouTube channel, like the video, leave your comments and questions; I’ll answer them. Remember, Gelt is a commercial lender, a non-bank commercial lender, an investor in commercial real estate, as JV equity. And if we can do anything for you, we’d love to. Check us out at geltfinancial.com. Make sure you have a fantastic day. Take care.”

Category: Mortgage Brokers


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