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Choose the right partner
Brokers’ success as branch partners only is as strong as their mortgage-bank relationships. Therefore, it is in their best interest to investigate banks thoroughly.
It is important to research companies to ensure their financial stability and industry reputation. The Better Business Bureau and state banking departments have records of complaints filed against banking operations — as well as against other types of businesses. Brokers can locate them quickly for reference. As brokers give up their broker licenses to become branch partners, it’s important for them to be 100-percent sure that they are making the right choice and that the bank will support them financially and ethically.
A solid mortgage bank provides its branch partner with the means for success. This includes infrastructures to support staffing, marketing and lead-generation systems, sales-training tools and educational seminars. The ideal mortgage bank has strong quality-control and compliance departments, as well as an experienced operational staff that can provide fast turnaround. It also should have sophisticated technology to support multiple loan products and processes. Furthermore, the bank’s and partner’s values should align.
After gathering information, potential branch partners should review corporate policies and procedures to learn how the company runs. By digging even deeper, brokers can discern true-life examples through interviewing current branch partners and senior executives.
Make the decision
It would be easy to say that one option is inherently better than another. Giving up a broker license is tantamount to giving up part of yourself and should not be undertaken lightly. The decision weighs entirely upon brokers’ commitment to the mortgage-banker transition and the ability to acquire the tools needed to make the conversion.
Although each broker case is unique and will have different outcomes, all call for serious research on risks vs. benefits. Even if everything looks perfect on paper, there always is a risk when making career transitions. However, if planned and implemented thoughtfully, the transition can be the best move for a broker — and it can be accomplished either as an individual or with support from an established mortgage bank. Partnering with a mortgage bank can be as successful as building a bank individually, and it will bring the broker to market more quickly.
William Alvaro is the CEO of Melville, N.Y.-based Global Home Loans and Finance, a retail-mortgage lender that specializes in responsiveness to homebuyers’ needs and loan-product diversity. It also has expanded into the wholesale market. For more information on Global or questions about branch partnering, contact Mr. Alvaro at firstname.lastname@example.org or (631) 393-0214.
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