Mortgage brokers help people buy houses and other real estate by giving them advice about the mortgage process and making introductions to lenders. They commonly provide this service for a fee, which is typically split between the broker and the lender.
Mortgage brokers will often work closely with clients to figure out their home-buying goals. This might include determining if they’re looking to buy a primary residence, a vacation home, or an investment property. They may also help clients figure out how much of a down payment they can afford, what type of loan they should get, and how much debt they can take on at once. From there, mortgage brokers help their clients find the best possible mortgage products that meet their needs.
Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a mortgage broker and what it takes to become one yourself.
Mortgage Broker Job Duties
Mortgage brokers are responsible for a wide range of duties, including the following:
- Providing clients with mortgage loan quotes and other information about available mortgage products
- Identifying potential customers and generating sales leads
- Determining whether applicants meet income, employment status, and other requirements specified by lenders
- Helping clients apply for loans, which involves collecting documentation and arranging meetings with bank representatives to discuss loan options
- Finding solutions to clients’ financial problems by helping them restructure their debts or selling their home to settle debt
- Communicating with banks to ensure that documents are received in a timely manner
- Communicating with clients throughout the application process to answer questions and ensure that they are satisfied with their loan terms
Mortgage Broker Salary & Outlook
The median annual wage for mortgage brokers is $62,500. Those earning higher wages tend to work in the financial industry. The highest earners of the profession are making over $140,000 per year.
The number of mortgage brokers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade. Although some jobs will be lost due to the consolidation of mortgage companies, more people will need mortgages as the population grows.
Mortgage Broker Job Requirements
The requirements for a mortgage broker are as follows:
Education: Mortgage brokers are required to have a high school diploma or GED. However, some employers may require their brokers to have a bachelor’s degree in finance, real estate, business, or a relevant field. There are also ]schools that offer specialized pre-licensure programs in mortgage brokering. Their classes cover federal and state mortgage laws, broker ethics, and financial regulations.
Training: Mortgage brokers are required to complete on-the-job and pre-job training before they begin working in the field. During their training, mortgage brokers learn how to assess loan information and determine an applicant’s creditworthiness. Brokers may also take online or in-person courses to improve their knowledge.
Certifications & Licenses: Mortgage brokers are required to pass the National Mortgage License System test. Some employers require mortgage brokers to hold additional certifications. For example, some mortgage brokers may need to get certified by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB).
Mortgage Broker Skills
A mortgage broker needs to possess the following skills:
Communication skills: Mortgage brokers must be able to explain and understand financial products and services.
Time management skills: Mortgage brokers must be able to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines.
Problem-solving skills: A mortgage broker must be able to solve problems quickly and effectively.
Persuasive skills: Mortgage brokers must persuade clients to buy a product or service, which requires strong persuasive skills.
Negotiation skills: Mortgage brokers must negotiate with lenders, banks, and other institutions to find the best possible loan for their clients.
Knowledge of mortgages: Mortgage brokers need to know about different types of mortgages and how they work. They also need to understand how mortgage rates are determined.
Mortgage Broker Work Environment
Mortgage brokers are sales representatives who work for mortgage companies, independent financial institutions, or other businesses. They may have to travel to homes or businesses to secure loan information and negotiate deals. The work is fast-paced and requires a high degree of concentration. Mortgage brokers spend time entering data into computers and writing reports. The job is not physically strenuous, and is usually done in a comfortable office.
They usually work regular business hours and put in additional time on evenings and weekends when needed to close deals.
Mortgage Broker Career Path
New mortgage brokers usually work closely with more experienced professionals who help them create and cultivate their own client base. After a few months, the new mortgage broker has learned enough about the field to start working independently. The first two years of a mortgage broker’s career are the most challenging, because brokers must build their reputations and networks from scratch. They work long hours, and their income grows slowly.
Five Years Out
Five-year mortgage brokers have established a strong reputation and a large client base. They have had several years of experience selling mortgages, developing new business relationships with banks, and managing their employees. These brokers have established a solid network of contacts at local banks and other lending institutions. They have also had the opportunity to hone their sales techniques, which helps them close more deals. A significant number of individuals leave the industry to become loan officers at banks or to start their own businesses.
Ten Years Out
As Brokers gain more experience and move up in status and responsibility, they supervise other brokers and make more money. Some make partner in an existing business; others begin their own company with other experienced brokers. Those who stay in the field for ten years or more make solid incomes and enjoy their work. Satisfaction is high for people who are good at what they do.
Mortgage Broker Trends
Here are three trends influencing how mortgage brokers work. Mortgage brokers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
Interest in Renting Over Buying
As more millennials begin to form families, many are finding that it is financially advantageous to rent rather than buy. According to a recent study, 44% of Americans surveyed believe renting makes more sense than buying in today’s economy.
Furthermore, 37% of millennials surveyed stated that they intend to continue renting for the next five years or longer, largely due to the ability to live in areas with higher rents without having to worry about maintaining an expensive home.
Personalization in Mortgage Financing
Personalization is becoming increasingly important in the mortgage finance industry, largely due to increased competition between lending institutions. Mortgage brokers are increasingly using social media networks to attract new customers.
Social media ca be used to share relevant industry information and ask for feedback about what kinds of products consumers would like to see. Furthermore, many banks are offering free consultation services in order to help borrowers learn more about their options, which can help with closing rates when loans are actually financed.
Self-Service Mortgage Applications
As banks and other lending institutions begin to streamline their mortgage application processes in order to stay competitive, customers will have more control over the application process.
The rise of online applications has led to the introduction of self-service mortgage options, which allow customers to fill out applications on their own time. This allows them to save money by eliminating unnecessary overhead costs for mortgage brokers while still getting the same quality service they would expect from a professional broker.
How to Become a Mortgage Broker
1. Planning Your Career
If you’re considering a career as a mortgage broker, make sure you understand the full scope of your responsibilities before signing up for training or an internship. These programs can be expensive and time-consuming, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before enrolling.
The role of a mortgage broker often requires interaction with customers, so friendly and outgoing personalities will fare well in this position. Those who are introverted may find that a different job behind the scenes works best for them. If you’re unsure where your strengths lie, consider interning or working part-time at an organization near you. Most companies would welcome some extra help during busy times such as tax season or year-end periods.
2. Writing a Resume
The best resumes for mortgage brokers highlight their ability to build relationships and provide excellent customer service. To show this, you may want to list your past accomplishments such as how you were able to double your sales or create new partnerships.
To build your work history, you may want to include brief descriptions of each position that show how you supported the success of the company by contributing to sales or profitability. You should also include computer proficiency details listing all accounting and finance software that you are proficient at using. Lastly, if you have any certifications related to this field be sure to list them here as well.
3. Applying for Jobs
If you’re a Mortgage Broker, you will likely need to have an established network of contacts who are willing to refer business your way. In order to get this ball rolling, consider attending networking events and trade shows. Then, use your contacts to help introduce you to other people in the field.
You can also set up a LinkedIn profile that highlights your personal and professional experiences, as well as a simple website that provides a bit more information about your business. Once you’ve done all of this, make sure to keep a contact list updated with relevant phone numbers and email addresses. Also, send out a monthly newsletter or other relevant emails to let people know what you’re up to and to provide tips and advice for those working in the industry.
4. Ace the Interview
When you are interviewing for a mortgage broker job, you will want to show your knowledge of the mortgage business. This could include examples of the types of mortgages you have worked with in the past, or an explanation of trends in the industry.
When it comes to handling the interview questions, think about what you would like to get out of it. The interviewer will want to know if you are organized and have good time management skills, so talk about how you balance your personal life with work commitments. You can also explain how being a mortgage broker fits into your future plans for professional development.
Be prepared to answer technical questions about mortgages, lending regulations, and general financial advice. Try not to get nervous. You will also need to be ready for situational questions that require specific answers. For example, if an applicant has an outstanding loan application on their credit report but is not sure what should be done next, they might ask you what your best course of action would be in that situation.