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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition   |   July 2011

How to Be a Valuable Mortgage Broker

With information so readily accessible, brokers must do more to show their worth

Underwriting expertise and strong  communication and interpersonal skills are ground-floor requirements for any successful mortgage broker. Debt today is relatively easy to compare on terms and to evaluate at face value. Access to information alone is no longer of great value to clients, because information is generally accessible. To truly add value, brokers must have a firm grasp of current debt terms and understand clients’ capital requirements and timelines. 

As commercial real estate continues to recover, mortgage brokers play an important role in matching up borrowers and lenders. 

A successful mortgage broker has five key attributes:

  1. Broad exposure: Borrowers want to know that they are receiving the best terms in the market. The best terms are not necessarily the most publicized. These terms are created by communicating about the client, property and market fundamentals, as well as why this deal may be the best fit for a particular lender.
  2. Understanding the different options available: Borrowers rely on mortgage brokers to be a filter of information as well as a guide. Brokers should understand the borrower’s needs and be able to determine which loan options are most attractive and appropriate. In comparing loan proposals, brokers should present information so that the deals’ terms are comparable and consistent.
  3. Responsiveness: We live in a time of unprecedented connectivity. For good or bad, we have grown accustomed to getting immediate responses via texts or e-mails. Yet some people choose to be “strategically silent,” believing this tactic provides an advantage. In the term-sheet negotiation or the time leading to a rate lock, brokers must be in constant contact with their clients.
  4. Process predictability: As a broker, your interactions with a lender likely are extensive. Although you may be completely comfortable with how a lender evaluates, underwrites and processes a loan, assume the borrower is not. Establish requirements, milestones and timelines at the outset.
  5. Continued support through closing: When dealing with a new lender, brokers must help the borrower access key individuals within the lender’s organization who may be involved in later stages of the transaction. For a borrower, the closing process is among the more-intense aspects of financing a deal. Brokers who stay involved until the deal is closed — ensuring nothing falls through the cracks — go a long way in earning clients’ loyalty.

Having just emerged from a grim real estate financing market, borrowers are unsure where to go. Mortgage brokers are vital to reconnecting borrowers to lenders, so capital can flow efficiently.


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