BEFORE You Change Companies
Your life and career have become stagnated. Or, perhaps you simply do not have a good feeling about the company you are currently working with in your mortgage business. In any event, you have decided it is time to start looking at another opportunity. Now, what do you look for when searching for your new “home”?
Here is a list of 18 questions that you must ask the prospective mortgage company that you are looking to move to. This will prevent you from jumping from the frying pan into the fire, or being seen as a loan originator that drifts from company to company.
- Products: Does the company offer in-house underwriting for FHA, VA, Conventional and USDA loans? This is a must to compete effectively in today’s business environment.
- What level of support is provided for loan processing and what are the expectations for you as the loan originator? Be careful on this one. Ask specific questions. It is impossible to build a successful mortgage business without excellent processing support. This is the number one complaint of loan officers and can directly impact your income and success.
- What are the company’s compliance requirements, and do they match with how you want to build your business? Compliance is imperative for everyone in our business, but some companies have extremely restrictive requirements on items like your own branding, websites, what can be sent to your database, etc.
- Are the rates and fees competitive? This is less important than most realize, but you do want to be in the ball park of having market competitive rates and fees. Remember – you want the company you join to be profitable also, or you will not have a long-term relationship.
- What is the capitalization of the company? Many mortgage companies are borderline on their capitalization, which could put you at risk of having to move to another company sooner than you would like.
- Will you have a mentor/coach that directly profits from your success to guide you in building your business? A win/win is a powerful motivator, and successful mortgage originators know the value of having a mentor who has been in the trenches to help guide them in building their business.
- Does the company have a written business plan model for every mortgage originator? This may be directly tied to # 6 above.
- What are the turn times for underwriting, clearing conditions, and drawing closing documents? You cannot have a great service standard if you cannot close loans. Turn times exceeding 48 hours for underwriting or 24 hours for documents hamper your ability to provide great service to your clients and referral partners.
- What kind of marketing support will you receive? Are there any systems or processes in place to help market your business, with others doing some of these contacts on your behalf? Are there any classes so you can stay abreast of state-of-the-art marketing techniques to build your business?
- What are the company policies on recovering out-of-pocket business expenses like cell phones, or marketing expenses you may incur to build your business?
- What is the commission arrangement?
- What benefits can you access with the company and what is your cost per month?
- What kind of technology is in place? Can you do all your work via online loan processing or loan locking systems?
- What kind of investor overlays are there on the underwriting guidelines for products?
- Do you have access to an internal account executive or help desk to run scenarios by?
- Do you have the ability to talk with an underwriter?
- Can the person you report to authorize a rush on a file? What kind of turn times can be realized if a rush file is approved?
- Do you have access to online underwriting guidelines?
The above list hits on the most important questions that you need to ask when searching for a new company.
Chad Bates is a long time industry leader who leads the Legacy Group of SecurityNational Mortgage Company. He is a faculty member of The Mortgage Marketing Animals and partners with Carl White to mentor loan officers and Realtors nationwide to achieve their own personal life and business success goals and dreams using his system "Creating Your Compelling Future" TM. You can connect with Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org