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2. Learn all you can
To become an expert in any field you must research, study and live that niche every day for your entire mortgage career. As such, one key to choosing your niche is that you must really like the area you pick.
Becoming an expert doesn't happen overnight. You must plant the seeds before you reap your reward. This means reading everything you can find about your niche, including books, trade magazines, articles and anything else that will teach you the lingo. You must understand the terms properly so you can convey them in your conversations with prospective clients.
In addition to reading about your chosen specialty, seek mentors who can teach you about it. For example, if you choose U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans as your niche, you may want to befriend a business-development officer at a nationwide bank who is an SBA expert.
Also, review as many loan documents as you can find. Ask your mentor to share nonconfidential documents with you. Seek your mentor's written lending guidelines. Keep asking for as much material as your mentor will give you.
As long as you are using the information that you receive, you often will get more without even asking. In fact, the more you can develop a good, strong mentor relationship, the more you will become that expert.
3. Let the world know
The final step is to let others know that you are an expert as you continue developing your niche. There are many ways to do so.
Writing articles about your specialty is a great way to let others know you are an expert. Speaking engagements also are an effective way to share your knowledge. You may want to start off with your local service clubs; they often are looking for speakers on various topics.
Another way to become known is to create a blog and to blog regularly about your area of expertise. Before you know it, you will develop a following. You may want to try sending articles related to your specialty to your database.
Finally, if there is new information or legislation pending, comment on that information in your blog or in an article.
The point is to not keep your expertise a secret. Let the lending community and prospective clients know.
Harlan A. Friedman, J.D.,
is president of Lightning Commercial Funding Inc., a California mortgage broker that specializes in financing commercial projects, from new business startups to large commercial transactions. He has more than 25 years' experience as an investment banker and financial consultant. He is the author of GET Your Loan Closed!, a commercial loan training book that can be purchased at getyourloanclosed.com. Reach Friedman at (858) 592-0659, ext. 101, or email@example.com, or visit loanforbiz.com.
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