All Things Real Estate: How to hire a mortgage broker

All Things Real Estate: How to hire a mortgage broker
Phil Raices

In my 38 years doing real estate as an investor and Broker, I have had the pleasure of working with a few professional mortgage brokers. I have also had a few disastrous situations whereby one particular mortgage person, whom I originally thought was an upstanding individual in his field, did something unconscionable and totally unacceptable by scamming one of my most important clients by overcharging for his fees.

I believe in earning a living, but not gouging people.  When you do that, you may make a onetime score, but what are the consequences for future referrals and maximizing one’s earnings? Many so-called professionals in all fields make every attempt at maximizing their earnings today, but truly miss the mark because of what they are doing to their future business and contacts. When you create an environment of building excellent rapport leading to long-term relationships by “doing the right thing” from start to the finish, you can become very successful. All those hours that are sacrificed and provided with “expert service before, during and after the sale” go a long way in building and increasing your future referrals.

Just imagine a funnel that is constantly being filled with referrals and new business when you continually perform and provide professional, expert, and transparent services at an optimum level for your clients. It does require maximum efforts, disciplined actions and the sacrifice of one’s valuable time in order to succeed and maximize one’s income in this low inventory market that we all are currently experiencing. Unfortunately, due to the Corona-19 virus, as hundreds of thousands have fled and exited New York City for Long Island, Westchester and other states near and far, your real estate or mortgage funnel can surely be filled with quality leads very quickly.

However, if you have a substantial social media advertising footprint, it will also be a contributing factor in growing your business and brand. One of my slogans that I have expounded in the past is what I call Phil’s 6 P’s: proper planning prevents piss poor performance! Many do not practice this and that is why the average income of a realtor today is around $43,200, but then again the majority of people in our industry are part-timers who do real estate as an adjunct to their current “salaried or wage per hour” job. Those full time seasoned Realtors and professional mortgage brokers are subject to the exact same market condition. They have to perform in pretty much the identical way in order to succeed in scaling their businesses to a level to create and maximize their incomes.

One must realize that interviewing a mortgage person is exactly the same as when interviewing and receiving a listing presentation from a real estate broker. Similar questions that are asked are as follows:

1.) What are your fees if I hire you? (the same question asked of a real estate broker)
2.) How long will it take to receive the mortgage written commitment? (how long is the listing agreement?)
3.) How long will it take to go to contract and then close the transaction after there is a “clear to close” from the bank attorneys? (What is the timeline in setting up a contract to the closing?)
4.) Who have you provided a successful mortgage commitment to? (For who have you sold homes, condos or coops in the town or surrounding areas?)
5.) What makes you different as a mortgage broker than everyone else in your industry? (the same question asked of a professional Realtor during their listing presentation?)
6.) How many banks and lenders do you work with and how competitive are they in gaining the lowest interest rates with the least amount of fees? (How will you attract the greatest number of eyeballs leading to maximizing our showings and leading to a contract on our home?)
7.) If we were to hire you, how often do you follow up and stay in touch with us? (same question asked by homeowners during a listing presentation by the broker?)

As you can see many questions that are asked share similarities whether a mortgage broker or a real estate broker. The complete package of services and the most crucial and required follow-up that is supposed to be provided is somewhat identical and in the same way that one should present their program to a prospect. Developing that initial spark leading to a bonding connection with that client and the building of rapport and a growing relationship occurs when a successfully written mortgage approval is attained and can lead to the most important relationship.

We all strive to gain that final acceptance, which in turn will extend that relationship far into the future, providing one stays in touch, as studies show. However, the majority of people in sales and/or consulting, whether a mortgage broker, realtor, car salesperson, or do not keep those relationships because there is no follow-up after the sale over the long term. The greatest improvement will only occur when a plan is devised to stay in touch with your clients on a regular basis year in and year out. This will return tremendous financial benefits and personal rewards, potentially gaining new friends and pay you back for the fruits of your labor and time spent.

The desire and need to earn an above-average income will always correlate with the quality of time and efforts that you sacrifice and you put into your business. The question is how many actually “step up to the plate” who continue to swing, connect and hit that home run into the bleachers? The percentage of those earning greater incomes know what I am talking about and what must be done every day. But the majority are actually clueless, just plain lazy, or possibly their sales/consulting position is not comfortable for them if they are not willing to work and build their business brand.  We call the old adage that if you keep doing what you have always done and expect something miraculously to change and improve “business insanity.” What I have found over 38 years is that your return on investment from your business is determined and directly related to so many interconnected factors and must be learned, absorbed, practiced, applied, and honed over time to become the most proficient at your trade. There are no real short cuts and what you get of your business is related to what you put into it.

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has 39 years of experience in the Real Estate industry and has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S). Just email or snail mail (regular mail) him with your ideas or suggestions on future columns with your name, email, and cell number and he will call or email you back. For a “free” 15 minutes consultation, he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: [email protected] to answer any of your questions or concerns.


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