Ask the Expert: Should I be a loan officer or a realtor?

by MPA22 Dec 2014
By Dave Hershman
Special to MPA
I listened to one of your recent webinars on converting leads and really enjoyed it. I am a closing agent and I have decided to move into the other side of the industry. My question is should I be a loan officer or should I be doing real estate? I know this market is going to continue to pick up and there are buyers out there, properties are still affordable and rates are still good. How do I get into this market? Should I do loans or real estate or both?
Carol from Wisconsin

Good questions and thanks for coming to the webinar. First, I can’t tell you whether to be a loan officer or a real estate agent without knowing more about you —but I can say that it should be one or the other. There are several reasons for that. For one, if you are a loan officer doing real estate, you put yourself in competition with your most important source of purchase originations -- Realtors. Secondly, real estate and loan originations are very important careers and you must become an expert in these sectors. You can’t start out trying to be experts in both.
I will say this--being in the title industry you should know a lot of real estate agents as part of your sphere. Knowing many real estate agents is an ideal sphere for a loan officer. You also have a base of knowledge to teach Realtors with regard to preparing their clients for the closing process. That should become an integral part of your "unique selling proposition," or USP. Whichever way you go--you want to go deep with your new career, not wide. Best of luck with your decision.
Dave Hershman
Do you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered? Email Dave at

Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published.   His website is  If you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at