As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, October 2005.
In the realm of continuing education and professional development for brokers, there are two forces to consider: 1. As competition heats up for market share, we will see survival of the fittest — an informed broker is a fit broker; and 2. More than 115 pieces of state and local legislation are under consideration this year that could create, broaden or strengthen licensing requirements for mortgage-industry professionals. Many of those bills will include expanded educational requirements for licensees.
For the purposes of this article, continuing education is defined as educational credit hours that can fulfill state-licensing requirements. Professional development encompasses everything else: reading trade publications, attending trade-association and lender-sponsored seminars, networking with peers and more.
To keep up with the evolving industry, brokers must continually participate in professional-development activities. Along with the aforementioned activities, this can mean taking part in industry education programs, monitoring local and national legislation and listening to lenders’ concerns.
Specifically in the nonprime and Alt-A markets, lenders find competitive advantages to working with brokers who are well-versed in the nuances of “challenging” borrower scenarios. If you want to work with the best, you have to be the best. Your pursuit of knowledge should serve a purpose greater than simply fulfilling state licensing requirements. It is a strategic investment in your business and your future.
Future licensing rules
Dick Howarth, a California-based loan consultant, says that because of the increasing licensing requirements and the changing marketplace, continuing education and professional development are “the wave of the future.”
“As time goes by, we are going to be asked to further our education and learn more about our field,” he says. “To be successful, we need to be able to impart that [learned] information to our client.”
Riding this wave of professional development is the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), which launched its Campus-MBA continuing-education division in 2001. CampusMBA is approved to provide mortgage-lending continuing-education for licensing credit in 23 states, says Krista K. Sabol, senior specialist for education communication and technology at MBA. More than 100,000 real estate finance professionals have taken classes or purchased materials from CampusMBA in the past five years, she says.
CampusMBA also uses professional education to help the industry’s workforce better represent the communities it serves. Through its Mortgage Career Paths program, one of the several diversity programs offered, MBA and others provide free online training and career-placement services to qualified applicants. This increases the industry’s talent pool.
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